Last summer, when most other London designers were frantically putting the finishing touches to their S/S’11 collections, Danielle Scutt was on a voyage of discovery on the other side of the Atlantic. ‘I wanted to spend a month in New York to see if I could actually live there,’ she explains. ‘But I started to miss London desperately – the culture, the complete freedom of expression. I feed on that when I am designing.’ A year on, born-and-bred Londoner Scutt has once again joined the ranks of LFW designers – and this time she’s preparing her S/S collection to show on September 20. Although she’s reluctant to give too many secrets away before her show, it’s safe to say that this time it’s personal. ‘It really feels a part of me,’ she says of this collection. ‘The inspiration has turned out to be coincidentally quite topical, so it will be interesting to see how that goes down.’ Launching her label in 2007 at Fashion East after graduating from Louise Wilson’s famous Central St Martins Fashion MA (following in the footsteps of Alistair Carr, McQueen, Saunders, Galliano…), 30 year-old Scutt has never been scared of being bold. Her first collection was inspired by Helmut Newton, and she once told Time Out that she wanted to create ‘fiercely commanding’ looks. Her A/W ’11 collection – which appeared on the catwalk in February after 3 seasons – continued in this uncompromising direction. Supersized fishnet featured across shifts and shirts, ruching gave evening dresses a Grecian feel, and a fun jewellery collaboration between Scutt and Topshop saw glossy red lipsticks repurposed into directional chandelier earrings. It all looked very slick, but it was anything but behind the scenes. ‘I can’t believe we made the show happen at all,’ Scutt marvels. ‘We didn’t get funding for it until four days before. The whole thing was done by the skin of our teeth.’ Scutt’s determined that this season will be different. ‘I’ve known what I’m doing for a quite a while, I’ve even had the music selected,’ she says. Sales have also become a priority: ‘I have already taken appointments with some London stores,’ she says. ‘I’ve never been excited about that aspect of the business before – but now I’m thriving on it.’ We predict buyers will be lining up to stock Scutt. Fiercely commanding women need something to wear, after all.
For info, see our guide to London Fashion Week.