I styled an AW08 look book the week before last for a new young ethical designer whose work I really rate. All her pieces are fair trade, and the fabrics are all organic. Better still, the designs stand on their own merits, regardless of their worthiness.

She had chosen to use the factory in the Garment District where her samples are made up, and shoot the model in situ, as though she was a designer working there herself.

Her creative vision is so strong, and so spot-on, that I was less a stylist and more a sounding board. It’s perfect when you just get each other, and we really do work brilliantly together, with a total respect for each other’s opinions. This meant I had time to scoot about the factory floor, which has to be one of the most fascinating places in which I’ve hung out in Manhattan. R, the charming & super helpful owner has worked with anyone who’s anyone in the young American designer world, and there were bolts of fabric and trim stashed away on shelves with labels with boldface designer names scribbled on them, sketches and cuttings pinned to the walls, and half made up garments lying on benches.

It was a fantastic insight into the side of the industry we journalists rarely get to see, and I have a whole lot more respect for young designers now that I appreciate just how much back room work goes into a small capsule collection like F’s.

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Would love to know who the designer is!

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