We've talked about the breadth and depth of fashion uncovered at Vauxhall Fashion Scout in February this year. But we haven't talked loud and long enough about a young lady from the Isle Of Wight who goes by the name of Charlotte Taylor.
Charlotte's Autumn Winter collection was, for us, the most dazzling use of colour and juxtaposition of textiles imaginable. There was no way in which we could have walked past the parade of penguins and the immediately quirky yet accessible nature of this range.
There was a touch of early Paul Smith, of the eccentricity of Westwood, glimpses of eons of terribly English designers that have gone before, but, and be in no doubt, we are looking at a very new originality here. One that is Charlotte Taylor from the Isle of Wight through and through.
Charlotte's inspiration is taken uniquely from grannies, penguins and favourite films and soap operas. "My obsession with the elderly stems from my childhood. My grandmother's face, which in her later years I studied, sketched and painted. The style of the elderly, their random collaborations of clothes from all the different decades and trends throughout their lives. Penguins because they have been my brother's and my favourite animal forever."
Charlotte freely admits that she is drawn to nutty characters and this is reflected in the upbeat nature of her collection. And that in a nutshell is what we really, really love about Charlotte Taylor. She makes us smile, giggle, guffaw, smirk, beam with delight.
Not only do we have marching Emperor Penguins emblazoned in yellow and cerulean, but there are lightening flashes of orange which burst joyfully out of conservative, by any other name, English tweed. A little tweed A-line wrap skirt keeps its eyes demurely low until a saucy breeze reveals its penguin silk lining.
There are capes in Barbour like fabric that make you want to splish splash in puddles the whole day through. There are dresses where tweed clashes with silk, crepe and cotton and creates a veritable knickerbocker glory of colour and textured delight.
We can't think of a designer more joyful, more original, more exquisitely, quirkily English than our Charlotte Taylor. It's no wonder that she's 'One To Watch'. And from the whisperings we've received we're all going to be watching even more and smiling ever more broadly for Spring Summer 2011.