Recent fashion grad at Kingston University, Alicia Duncan-Smith, is making waves with a collection inspired by her mother, wife of Tory cabinet minister Iain Duncan-Smith.

Austere and powerful, the padded shoulders and masculine silhouettes she has produced are a dramatic contrast to the whimsical romance of the Spring/Summer 2011 collections we have all become used to of late.

Far from being clichéd and prosaic, these shoulder pads are slanted in an edgy, futuristic fashion; rather than having an 80s feel, this collection feels more like a tribute to the strong, powerful woman of today. The woman who manages to raise her children, nurture her friendships and cultivate a career all without breaking a sweat.

Alicia said herself, “This isn’t the Dynasty look. These are New Age Power Shoulders, without a hint of polyester in sight.” The certainty with which this young graduate speaks is no surprise; the assuredness of the clothes she has produced shows that steely edge to her that you mightn’t expect from such a young designer.

In the world Alicia has created, there is no room for girlish whimsy, but it is not all practicality and severity. The drapery on the ankle-skimming skirts is feminine, in a no-nonsense kind of way. The skinny trousers with contrasting tunics celebrate the female form without being clingy or coy.

This new designer looks set to make her name in the fashion world, having already scored placements at Burberry, Markus Lupfer and Banana Republic. Remember her name. You’ll be sure to read about her again soon.

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