We didn't quite know what to expect from Alternative Fashion Week 2012 at Spitalfields Traders Market in London last week but it certainly offered an interesting mix of incredible talent.
Walking around the various stalls, set up by a whole range of rising fashion designers, it was fascinating to see the wealth of expertise.
The whole event was hosted by Alternative Arts to showcase the most original and creative collections by a 'fresh crop of new designers with truly innovative ideas'.
Speaking to the organisers, they said: "Alternative Fashion Week is where all the best new designers are discovered. It provides a genuine alternative for them to present their work directly to the press, public and the fashion industry. Designers come from all over the UK and other parts of the world including Italy, Spain, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Uruguay & Sri Lanka."
Over 80 designers were selected to show their work during the week-long event. Hundreds of applications were received from independent designers aiming to establish their labels to recent fashion and textile graduates.
There was everything from elegant to edgy with 14 different designers taking part in a catwalk show each day. We visited on the Thursday and enjoyed viewing collections from George Strood, Francisco Sanchez-Canete, Rasha Swais, Kathryn Braby, Rebecca Cochrane, Charlotte Smith, Adrienne Ford, Kat Simpson, Chloe Watson and Zsofi Nora Peto. There were also collections from the University of Derby and Kensington and Chelsea College.
Original and recycled textiles were a major feature with an emphasis on environmental awareness and ethical sourcing. And everything was displayed by stunning new models who took part in a special model training course in the six weeks leading up to Alternative Fashion Week.
After the show, we wandered around and met the actual designers. Bek Cochrane - who also featured in the catwalk show - was one of them. We loved her unusual urban style. Eustratia had some amazing latex clothing and accessories as well as perspex jewellery - all handmade and made to order.
We also met Jade Davies and discovered her stunning couture face and bodywear. She was exhibiting alongside Gemma Landing - a bespoke fashion designer who is clearly one to watch. There was George Strood - who's collection also appeared in the catwalk show.
Whilst we were there we gave out a few I Like What You're Wearing cards to the best-dressed. ILWYW.com is actually one of my new clients at Boomerang and we were there to represent them and meet rising designers. Please note, if you're reading this article and you met us - please comment below or tweet @ILWYW.
We only wish we'd had chance to visit the whole week as the designers on show were obviously set for bigger things. Thanks to Alternative Arts for making us feel so welcome and it was great to meet all the designers on the stalls. See you in 2013!
Alternative Arts is a publicly funded arts organisation presenting fashion as an exciting and original art form and supporting fresh talent by producing and directing Alternative Fashion Week at no charge to the designers. To find out more visit www.alternativearts.co.uk.