London's taste for the eclectic and avant-garde keeps it firmly at the frontiers of fashion - creating the perfect, fertile environment from which an abundance of new designers can emerge. The energy and diversity of the city has been a constant source of inspiration for generations of London-based designers and indeed, anyone interested in fashion, and this new series of STYLEist celebrates the amazing talents of the capital's up and coming style-setters.
Beatrice K Newman
22 year old, SE London based Beatrice graduated from De Montfort University in Fashion Design in 2009. She soon went on to become a finalist in numerous competitions including Maxmara, FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) competition 2009 and won the Hand and Lock Prize for embroidery 2009 competition winning her $10,000. Some of her other achievements include being selected to be part of the fashion industry day at Buckingham palace and her illustration from the FAD competition being featured on Vogue.com. Beatrice is now doing work-experience and working with retailers such as Pick ur Berry and Not Just a Label producing collections for their S/S and A/W stock. Beatrice's garments have appeared in a number of publications such as Dazed Digital, Mirren Mag and Elle Czech Republic and her creations have been worn by the likes of Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes, Sabrina Washington, Gabriella Cilmi and Gemma Cairney from the BBC 1Xtra Breakfast show.
Describe your brand
Luxurious, elegant, esoteric. The Beatrice K Newman (BKN) brand is bold and sassy. As a Ghanaian much of my influence is drawn from my highly rich, cultural, African background and my love for glamour and 1920's Erte designs really inspires me and helps me to push the boundaries in creating clothes that are unique and express a powerful statement.
Who epitomises London Fashion for you?
Alexander Mcqueen. His collections always embodied a kind of beautiful disturbance. Dark but engaging. He created his own world and it felt so beautiful that audiences around the world could be part of his....wonderland.
How has London inspired you or your designs?
When I want to be inspired I normally go to the Tate to look at the beautiful paintings of Bottecelli and Fragonard and sometimes I like to wonder through the parks near the capital. The exquisite detailing of gates, fountains and palaces, especially Kensington Palace, is simply breathtaking to me.
Where do you hang out?
I Hardly have the time to hang out. However I do love the vibes of Brick Lane and Spitalfields market. On some summer days I love walking through Kensington Palace park and visiting the Horniman museum in Lewisham.
What's the worst outfit you've seen someone wearing on the tube?
Sheer leggings and tight short tops that reveal your muffin top. It's just U.G.L.Y!!!
What was the first thing you designed?
A sheer black wedding dress with tattoo prints drawn on with glitter pens. I was in my first year of college. I absolutely loathe it now. And don't ask me why I made it black....I thought I was being clever and might be picked up by some big designer who'd love my creativity. Sadly, for me then, it was just friends and family at the show.
Which designers inspire you?
Azzedine Alaia, for his beautiful but simply perfect designs. I think any woman could wear his creations and look absolutely fabulous in them. Jean Paul Gaultier for his over the top glamorous eccentricity, and Tom Ford. I think he's a genius!
Where can we buy your clothes?