Standing Ground - The Name to Know at London Fashion Week

Words by
Melanie Rickey
Photography by
Cris Fragkou

24th February 2023

The heady combination of London Fashion Week and its timely dovetail with the BAFTAs set London aglow with glamour at the weekend. But, one new brand shone out above them all - Standing Ground by Michael Stewart. SPHERE shares all you need to know about this new London atelier. 

Very occasionally a new designer emerges at London Fashion Week, with clothes that stand out for their purity of line, clarity of thought, and a flash of modernity that works perfectly for now, and will last for years to come. Last September, and again this week, that designer was Michael Stewart, the Irishman behind the label Standing Ground, who showed as part of the emerging talent incubator Fashion East.

His skill and passion for insouciant seeming draping looks more reminiscent of a great couturier than the typical explosion of ideas that usually springs from a new-to-the-runway talent.

Standing Ground by Michael Stewart
‘I want to cut from scratch to someone's body and really consider their proportions. You have to cut beautifully for everyone’, says Michael Stewart of his new label Standing Ground

Though, of course, his long-line draped column dresses literally come with an Instagram and fashion friendly twist. His spring/summer 2023 dresses expose the rib-cage and hip bones with elegant splices, while beaded loops and tucks in his new collection creates the kind of proportion play beloved by elegant women now.

This design assuredness is in place because Stewart has taken his time to put himself into the limelight. He graduated almost six year ago from the Royal College of Art but waited until 2021 to launch Standing Ground.

Standing Ground AW23
Standing Ground's long-line draped column dresses create proportion play with elegant twists and turns

His London Fashion Week show for Autumn/Winter 2023 cemented his status as a name to take seriously with a carefully iterated development of his label, including outerwear and an edgy take on the kind of top-to-toe beige dressing loved by the Kardashians.

Standing Ground AW23
Stewart's sculptural work is crafted by hand, with consideration given to every angle of his pieces

‘I want to do made-to-measure. At the end of the day I want to cut from scratch to someone's body and really consider their proportions. You have to cut beautifully for everyone’, he says.

Standing Ground SS23
A dress from Michael Dunne's first collection with his made-to-measure label Standing Ground

We certainly won’t be seeing the last of this collection’s stand-out pieces. His tweed coat with gently padded hips is a palatable way to wear the trend for accentuation that shows zero sign of abating. And the lithely pretty one-shouldered bubblegum column dress slung with a burgundy floor skimming opera shawl, is sure to reappear at the Oscars. And if not, why not?

Standing Ground AW23
Stewart’s strictly tailored Donegal tweed coat features invisible corsetry, and subtle hip-pads. The designer currently offers his collections to individual clients for made-to-measure commissions.