Fashion designer Georgia Hardinge’s star is undoubtedly shining brighter every season. Her Autumn/Winter 2012 womenswear collection, with the title ‘Inverted’, confirms not only her sartorial ingenuity but also her competent command of print, texture and volume as ways to appropriate art to the service of fashion.
The garments designed by London-based Hardinge for ‘Inverted’ continue to explore recurrent themes from her previous collections: the notions of strong Cubist angularity and flowing softness are contrasted and forced to cohabit in the clothes conceived to clad confident women. Thick and yet soft wool knitwear (in trousers, tops, coats, and shorts) and wool pieces contrast with long and vaporous blouses, dresses and skirts to provide a sense of depth and scale. This combination of opposites takes place in the form of opposing flowing skirts and thick wool jumpers, or by adding thick wool cuffs to delicate chiffon sleeves. The print range and colour palette reinforces the notion of duality by matching abstract organic shapes with plain monochrome fabrics, and by alternating neutral creams and off-whites with mustard, burgundy, and bright orange and blue.
Georgia Hardinge graduated from Parsons Paris School of Art and Design in 2008 with a collection that garnered the Golden Thimble award for best designer. At that moment, she was recognized for creating highly technical and structured designs, and her clothes were described by designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac as ‘little pieces of fresh poetry’. Spotting her creativity and commercial flair, Samsung chose her to create a one-off collection for an advertisement that was aired worldwide. Since her return to London in early 2009, Hardinge has been involved in numerous projects and has delivered five collections under her own label.
In July of 2009, she was chosen to take part in ‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’, a project set up by Caryn Franklin and Erin O'Connor with the intention to challenge fashion expectations about women. The catwalk event, which showcased female models of different ages, shapes and sizes, also included designers Mark Fast, Hannah Marshall and David Koma. Hardinge went on to show her designs in September 2009 as part of independent fashion showcase ON|OFF, alongside London Fashion Week. The following season, she exhibited her Autumn/Winter 2010 collection as a promotional fashion film with the title ‘Cage’. Hardinge’s Autumn/Winter 2011 first stand-alone runway show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout was greeted with a great deal of success, allowing her to receive a merit award and be described as ‘one to watch’.
There is little doubt that, since its foundation, the Georgia Hardinge brand has been growing at a very swift pace. As other recent examples of success, Hardinge was commissioned by L’Oreal to make six dresses for their Colour Trophy Grand Final Show, received sponsorship from Swarovski to work with Charlotte Stockdale on a project that took place in late 2011, and has seen her designs worn by a number of celebrities (including Beyoncé and Lady Gaga). Georgia Hardinge’s clothes can be found in retailers in Australia, Canada, Japan, Latvia, UAE, UK, and the USA.
Photographs © 2011 Christopher Dadey