Christian Blanken Rises to the Occasion



Timeless classics don’t get much more contemporary than under the eye of young British design talent Christian Blanken. After founding his eponymous line in 2008, Blanken, who was born in the Netherlands but grew up between East Asia and the UK, has gotten notice from some of fashion’s sharpest critics. Last year, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana snapped up the Central St Martin’s alum for their new retail concept, Spiga 2. Now Marigay Mckee, fashion director at Harrods, has installed the designer’s fall 2011 collection in the prized first floor contemporary designer studio.

Blanken’s look is casual chic and riche. “I don’t take specific themes or fantasies as a starting point but rather look at redefining what the modern wardrobe means today,” he stays. He’s long been obsessed with American sportswear, he says: “I found European fashion too precious.” For fall, he’s got strong lines and monochrome separates with stand-out leather paneled leggings. With spring, Blanken’s girl goes from gutsy to “charismatic with an artistic side,” he says, as eccentric materials, metallics, and stingray prints mix get into the mix. Dramatic eveningwear has also emerged, albeit with a relatively low price point. Expect a menswear collection soon, initially available online. “I actually find designing men’s easier because I relate to it better,” he says.