On Wednesday, when the British Fashion Council announced the latest recipients of NEWGEN support, sponsored by Topshop, a new name popped out of the mix. Royal College of Art graduate Paula Knorr will now be showing alongside previous beneficiaries Molly Goddard, Sadie Williams, Ashley Williams, Danielle Romeril, Faustine Steinmetz, Marta Jakubowski and Ryan Lo at London Fashion Week this September.
Sinuous and ominously beautiful, ITS winner Knorr’s aesthetic is a uniquely glamourous addition to an already glittering rosta. BFC NEWGEN mentorship, sponsored by Topshop, is a dream come true for young designers, offering them financial help, business training, mentorship and either a catwalk show or presentation. Since the scheme began in 1993, designers such as Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and J.W. Anderson have all been part of the legacy. Knorr’s brand is three seasons old; the timing is perfect. Here’s a lowdown on the latest NEWGEN name.
WHAT SHE SAYS: ‘For me, the most inspiring aspect of creating fashion is exploring how clothes can convey unique personality and individual beauty. Garments should never mask the woman; if the garment contains too much information itself, you tend to lose the connection with the person who wears it. How can we design clothes that satisfy this right mixture of diffidence and unique design without feeding stereotypes?’ rca.ac.uk
WHAT NOTJUSTALABEL SAYS: ‘Her Wet Skin, the debut collection, from Paula Knorr explores conventions of femininity. The collection was governed by a personal exploration of 25 women and their attitudes and understanding of womanhood. The studies pay tribute to their thoughts, wishes and anxieties around womanhood and femininity; about their inner feminist struggle and the circumstances which make them think, feel, act like the women they want to be. To translate the answers into visuals, Paula created 25 videos, which play with the interaction between artificial materials and the nude body. Knorr has created luxury RTW pieces that respect and fulfil the thoughts of her muses; creating a new poetic womenswear identity. Loose metallic scraps are sliding down matte skin-like dresses. Frozen in motion, they create a contrast between artificial lightness and sensual velvety skin. Glossy fabric pieces are moulded around the woman´s shape, creating a relief of the body, surreal fixed in place by a lycra backside.’ notjustalabel.com
WHAT HER WEBSITE SAYS: ‘Originally hailing from Frankfurt, Paula lives and works in London. A graduate of MA RCA Paula Knorr won the ITS Fashion Award in July 2015 in Trieste Italy. For her second collection, Collage of Herself, Paula continues her exploration of womanhood. Reviewing the conversations and interviews she did with inspiring women [for her graduate collection Her Wet Skin] she now carefully selects moments of confidence and power in their answers to begin her design process. Her new collection is a complex collage of attributes which create an intense and powerful picture of femininity. Her goal, to create a fitting identity for a woman who feels balanced in her strength and vulnerability. Like her last collection, expressive fabric choices are important to visualize her inspiration. This time, materials like silver metal mesh and soft washed leathers, liquid silk velvets and stiff iridescent lamés are creating strong emotional contrasts.’ paulaknorr.com