Jonathan Saunders

Born: Glasgow, Scotland, 1977

Designer Biography Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders was brought up in a strict house hold. His parents had hopes he would take up carpentry, however he instead decided to study at the Glasgow School of Art. Saunders graduated in 1999 and enrolled at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design graduating with an MA in printed textiles in 2002. On completing his studies, Saunders was awarded the prestigious Lancôme Colour Design Award.

Two days after graduating, Saunders was hired byAlexander McQueen. In 2003 he created the iconic bird-of-paradise print that featured in the McQueenspring/summer 2003 collection. The design became the most photographed print of the season. In 2007 the print was reproduced for the McQueen spring/summer 2008 collection and was once more, incredibly popular.

After graduation, his striking aesthetic caught the eye of other high profile fashion houses including Chloé and Pucci. Saunders worked for both as a consultant and has continued to do so for various fashion houses throughout his career.

Despite being in high demand, Saunders presented his first namesake collection at London Fashion Week in 2003. His combination of graphics and colours in silk prints resulted in a refreshing chic style. The look became instantly successful with fashion editors.

The following year Saunders created a collection inspired by David Bowie. The ‘Ziggy’ dress featured was presented on the front cover of British Vogue with Natalia Vodianova wearing the design.

In 2005 Saunders was named Scottish Designer of the Year at the Scottish Style Awards. The following year he was awarded the Fashion Enterprise Award by the British Fashion Council.

Saunders showed consecutively in London for nine seasons. In 2008 he moved his shows to New York. Still focussing on his signature prints, Saunders took inspiration from his surrounding city and began to focus on the development of an architectural clean form, which he felt fitted appropriately with his decision to show in New York.

That same year Saunders was hired as Creative Director of Pollini. He presented his first collection for the label in Milan that September.

In October 2008 Saunders worked with US value store Target. Creating a capsule collection, the designs sold out immediately. The year also saw the beginning of a collaboration with Topshop where Saunders created four capsule collections between 2008 and 2010. That same year he was enlisted by Escada to create a collection for the sports label and most recently Saunders has worked with Debenhams as part of their Designer Editions concept.

Saunders was recognized again for his talents in June 2010 when he was awarded the prestigious Designer of the Year award at the Scottish Fashion Awards, which he won again the following year.

Inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli and Helmut Lang, Saunders has forged his own path, regardless of current trends. He uses traditional silk-screen printing techniques, sometimes creating up to twenty silk prints within a single collection. With a balance between simplicity and decoration, Jonathan Saunders creates beautiful, feminine, colourful clothing.

Jonathan Saunders Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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