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Since 2008, the British Fashion Council in partnership with Vogue have been celebrating and supporting young designers with the Designer Fashion Fund. Finalists are in with a chance of receiving £200,000 to drive their label to new heights, as well as incomparable kudos.

This year, Scottish born Jonathan Saunders was the lucky recipient. A former Central St Martins graduate, Saunders specializes in printed textiles and is no stranger to awards, previously winning Fashion Enterprise Award by the BFC and the Elle Style Awards designer of the year in 2007. Jonathan Saunders as a brand is quirky, on the pulse and has underlying luxury throughout every garment. His signature is eye catching prints that adorn sophisticated silhouettes; his midi skirts and chiffon blouses for Autumn 2011 were an instant success. Saunders use of colour is confident and bold without appearing garish; he seems to have the desirable skill of taking risks with unlikely combinations, that meld together effortlessly. Despite being undoubtedly hip (he is integral to the East London fash-pack), he does not seem to single out a stereotypical “Saunders woman”; his clothes are flattering on all body shapes and are not age specific;

“There’s an important ‘reality’ to the designs, which at the same time will always be optimistic and colourful” says the designer.

Saunders collection for Spring/Summer 2012 was a resounding triumph. With a palette of candy coloured pastels, the garments flowed down the catwalk as if being worn on a stroll in the park on a breezy summers day. From silky pyjamas to more structured dresses, each piece was classic with a modern edge; these were pieces that will remain in wardrobes for years to come.

Receiving the BFC Designer Fashion Fund is an exciting chapter in Saunders career, only propelling the brand further than it already is, after an increase of 188% in sales last year. His collection at London Fashion Week this February is one of the most eagerly anticipated and 2012 promises to be a year of success for this unstoppable British designer.

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Written by Camilla Harrison

Camilla is currently in her final year studying BA Fashion History and Theory at Central St Martins and is a freelance writer for a range of publications and websites, writing fashion, arts and culture. In the last year, Camilla has been archiving the garments and history of Margaret Howell.

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