Monday, August 12, 2013


Five innovative young designers have been shortlisted for the 2013 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, the annual award created three years ago by the eponymous luxury hotel company to discover emerging fashion talent.

Designing duo Fyodor Golan
The five, including a duo working under one name, come from various backgrounds and will compete for a prize of £25,000 which will help them to establish their brand, according to the Dorchester group.

The organizers said that the judging criterion is based on finding the designer “who best demonstrates original aesthetic flair, combined with capability for future critical distinction and commercial success”. The winner’s work must also “evoke the spirit of Dorchester Collection’s iconic hotels and, therefore, project a sense of individuality, luxury, style and craftsmanship”.

Designer Barbara Casasola
The final stage of this year’s competition will take place on 29 October at The Dorchester hotel in London, where the five shortlisted designers will stage a catwalk presentation.  Last year’s finale was held at the landmark Plaza Athénée hotel in Paris and attracted a large fashion crowd, with judges including the France-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.

The Dorchester group has hotels in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles and other cities, and designers who enter the competition have to be based in countries where there are Dorchester Collection hotels: the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland and the United States.

“We’re thrilled to continue to support upcoming designers and launch the 2013 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize with a new international format,” said Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of Dorchester Collection. “Our aim is to continue to attract a high standard of talent; it’s been rewarding to follow the success of previous winners and finalists, knowing that the prize has helped them to make that next step to global success and recognition.”

Huishan Zhang
The 2013 finalists are Barbara Casasola, a Brazilian-born, Paris-based designer who studied at Central Saint Martins in London and later at Istituto Marangoni in Milan and has worked with Roberto Cavalli and others; the duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, whose brand is Fyodor Golan and whose ready-to-wear garments are inspired by artwork, with striking shapes and colours;  Emilia Wickstead, the  New Zealand-born designer who studied in both Milan and London, launching her own label in 2008; and Huishan Zhang, a Chinese-born designer and recent graduate of Central Saint Martins who was reportedly chosen by a leading fashion businesswoman to work at Christian Dior while he was still a student. 

The five will have their work cut out for them in the run-up to the grand finale in London. As the organizers state, the winner’s work must “evoke the spirit of Dorchester Collection’s iconic hotels and, therefore, project a sense of individuality, luxury, style and craftsmanship”.

Designer Emilia Wickstead