Hooked: Lulu & Co.

It makes so much sense that we didn’t see it coming. First, some backstory. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Fashion East, London’s groundbreaking group fashion show masterminded by that champion and goddess of the East End, Lulu Kennedy. Since 2000, Fashion East has been instrumental in launching many of the city’s hottest underground names. Who knows where Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll, Gareth Pugh, Roksanda Ilincic, and Marios Schwab would be without it.

Now, in a stroke of genius and a checkmate to the fast-fashion chains of High Street, Kennedy has taken the great leap into production and created an actual label, Lulu & Co., in collaboration with many of the same designers propelled to stardom by Fashion East. For its inaugural project, Lulu & Co. has just unveiled a lower-priced capsule collection of signature dresses by ten of those talents. Some of these dresses have been shown on the Fashion East runway yet haven’t been produced, until now, while others have been reissued in new fabrics and colors.

One caveat: prices are lowish, not rock bottom (but at least you can feel confident the pieces weren’t made in a Chinese sweatshop). This patent leather bandeau mini-dress by Gareth Pugh and flame-inspired chiffon gown by Jonathan Saunders are the most expensive of the bunch, at £995 each, or about $1575. On the other hand, Scottish designer Holly Fulton’s art-deco-meets-Mayan-temple tube dress comes in at only £225, or about $350. Take that, Topshop.

Available in London at Harvey Nichols and online (Nov 2) at Matchesfashion.com

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