Essie Buckman, the powerful force behind the award winning brand, Fortie Label, showcased her intriguing creations for Fashion Scout Autumn/Winter 2018. She was awarded the remarkable Merit Award from Fashion Scout as a celebration of her unique designs and her undeniable work ethic in building Fortie Label.
The light were dimmed and the R&B beats dropped as the audience saw the outlines of models moving and dancing behind the gates in the grand hall. The first model pushed the gates wide open and strut down the catwalk bouncing to the urban music. He threw money into the air as he made his way to the front, wearing an oversized brown fur coat, the neutral tones contrasting against the art-deco tiles on the floor.
The “Forty Thieves”, an all-female London crime gang was a key concept for this collection. The 90’s neutral and brown tones were featured through oversized boiler-suit silhouettes, cropped hoodies and black PVC cycling shorts. Re-worked denim and nude heels took to the runway, elevating the feminine, sports luxe themes. Burnt orange tones and black bikinis with golden ring details emitted an edgy but relaxed look. This was the contrasted with dazzling metallic heels and snakeskin printed boots.
A Beyonce track came on and the collection was even more alive and powerful, the crowd began bopping to the music and cheering on as all the models joined together and danced at the top of the catwalk, the atmosphere was vibrant and cheerful.
Essie launched her brand whilst achieving a BA honours in Womenswear Fashion Design with Marketing at Central Saint Martins. After five intense years at Central Saint Martins she was handpicked by Willie Walters to debut her first collection at the CMS BA press show in 2017, her success has only amplified from there. Essie aims to use fashion as a way to express her views on social and cultural issues as well as challenging gender norms. She uses contrast within textiles and colour to create noughtie’s inspired pieces that reflect her fierce aesthetics. Essie explores themes within black culture and constructs her collections channelling her admiration for iconic, powerful women in history.
Words by Ellie Pinder
Photography by Nicholas Kristiansen