Excerpt from Vogue.com
Olivier Rousteing, Kate Bosworth and Nick Knight, were joined by a host of esteemed fashion names in London yesterday to choose the winner of H&M's 2016 Design Award, eventually crowning Royal Academy of Art graduate Hannah Jinkins - a unanimous decision by the panel, Rousteing told us.
"She was one of my favourites so it wasn't difficult for me. It wasn't difficult for anyone, we all agreed and all loved her," he said, referring to the full panel that Katy England, Floriane de Saint Pierre, Chiara Ferragni, and H&M's Margareta van den Bosch and Ann-Sofie Johansson helped to make up. "Hannah knew how to make her collection really strong and deep, but at the same time the cuts were great. It was really defined - rough but at the same time sophisticated. It was almost poetic."
Jinkins had tough competition from seven other designers, who themselves had been whittled down from 400 entries to eight for the final that took place in The Orangery at Kensington Palace. Ka Wa Key Chow, Patrik Guggenberger, Milligan Beaumont, Long Xu, Enoch Chung, Jemma Beech and Gabriel Castro, all impressed the judges with their talent and dramatically different collections.
"What was hard is that they are all so different - some were more romantic, others were more flashy with their colours. It was really tough to choose," continued Rousteing. "You pick a universe that you feel closest to but everyone was strong in their own world."
Jinkins's universe looks like a deconstructed utilitarian utopia, with her collection comprising threadbare selvedge denim, a coated boilersuit, and a contrasting orange mohair and waxed khaki fisherman smock, all of which had a luxurious silk lining, invisible to the outside eye. Everything was also embellished with large, worn brass staples (the collection has already been bought, if you were thinking of putting in a call).
"It was about mending things," the designer told us. "I looked at Japanese processes of repair and the idea that things are more valuable when you fix them, so that's where the stapling came from. In my research I found all this pottery that had been mended and on the reverse side you saw all these little staples and to me that was such a beautiful detail. So it became about finding beauty in pieces that were damaged or worn or broken."
"I was so impressed by Hannah's collection. It is very contemporary, with a real understanding of a woman's body. It feels like something very new in womenswear, which makes her such an exciting winner of the H&M Design Award 2016", said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor of H&M, while Knight enjoyed the fact that Jinkins had really considered the female form. "I had a fitting session with about ten girls and fitted the jackets to them so that they felt comfortable and could move," explained Jinkins, "so the collection became ergonomic."
"Fashion is amazing when you have fresh blood and this is what you get from things like today, new emotions and stories to tell and that's what we want from fashion," continued Rousteing. "We need people with new energy because sometimes you feel fashion getting old. After today you feel like, there is the future for fashion."
While praising Britain for supporting new talent, Rousteing also singled out H&M - with which he has himself collaborated with - for praise.
"I think with H&M you can feel the love. You can feel the love today, I felt the love a year ago when I started collaborating with them, I felt the love two months ago when we launched the Balmain collection, I felt the love at my last show in New York with them. H&M is all about supporting," he enthused. "They can support big brands as well as young talent and that's the great thing - they can go from minimum to maximum. They are curious and they always want to discover a new world and a new universe and that's what they have shown again today."