One to watch: Erin Hawkes

CSM, renowned worldwide for the top-class talent it produces, has named Erin Hawkes as this year’s winner of the L’Oreal Professional Young Design Talent Award.

A collection of over-sized, exaggerated shapes took to the catwalk as Hawkes channelled conservative nun mixed with hip-hop style. The lengths of the hemlines were long, shoulders big and collars high so as not to enhance the female silhouette but keep it hidden. Further symbols of traditional influences were seen with conservative hats and apron style skirts that mimicked outfits of olden times.

Hawkes then introduced low-slung tailoring, corpulent shapes and prints normally associated with 90s ghetto style. Graffiti denim, plaid and flannel were carefully used to give the collection another dimension but were somehow able to flow well with the conservative designs. A palette of dark shades of blue, violet and black were juxtaposed with white and cream, with the odd flash of vibrant print that also brought a contemporary feel to the final collection.

Last year’s winner Flamina Saccucci, with her recognizable collection of disjointed lengths and floral graphics, is now stocked at Browns focus, her designs featured in Vogue Italia in March 2012, and more recently the starlet Solange Knowles wore an outfit for the 2012 Museum of Modern Art’s party. All reminders of the powerful accolade this prize can bring. It is no doubt that like past winners, Hawkes and the other 2012 graduates of CSM have a bright future ahead.