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Kevan’s new designer collection is all grown up

A selection from Kevan's autumn/winter Collection modelled by 27-year-old Rebecca Poole. The images were taken at Bankfield Musuem, by Chris Lord. The outfits cost between �110 and �390

A selection from Kevan's autumn/winter Collection modelled by 27-year-old Rebecca Poole. The images were taken at Bankfield Musuem, by Chris Lord. The outfits cost between �110 and �390

  • by Diane Crabtree
 

Calderdale designer Kevan Jon is on a high after taking part in one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious fashion events.

The 42-year-old who is celebrating 20 years in the rag trade, took part in the third annual Prince’s Trust Fashion Dinner in Leeds earlier this month.

The sell-out event featured well known English designer Zandra Rhodes and Harvey Nichols. The first two events raised over £100,000 to support the Prince’s Trust programmes in Yorkshire.

Kevan was asked to take part because the Prince’s Trust played such a big part in his life. It was a grant from the Trust that helped him start his own business. “If it wasn’t for the Trust I wouldn’t be where I am today. It was brilliant to show guests just how the Trust can help people’s dreams come true. I was thrilled to give something back. It was a fantastic evening and raised a lot of money for a cause close to my heart, ” he says.

He showed his new autumn/winter collection which is going into 35 shops across the country this month. The garments are designed and made at his workshop in Burwick Mills, Halifax.

The collection features stretch crepe and lace, faux leather, flip sequins and washed satin. There’s a lot of hourglass enhancing bondage dresses and a bit of edgy rock chic too. Think 1940s with a modern naughty but nice twist. Many of the fabrics he uses are now sourced locally from companies around Yorkshire.

“My latest collection sees a departure from my comfort zone of evening wear. It includes a lot of day wear. To me it’s got a grown up feel and I guess that is what has happened I’ve moved with the times and grown up.”

Kevan was born in South Africa and moved to Yorkshire when he was eight. He attended Batley College of Art with Calderdale golden boy, Christopher Bailey, the mastermind behind Burberry, and later Epsom School of Art and Design.

He couldn’t settle in London so he returned home and with the help of the Prince’s Trust set up his own company. His debut collection was shown at the London Show in 1992 and throughout the 1990s he was known for his skimpy, figure-hugging and revealing outfits, worn mainly be teenagers and girls in their early 20s.

His customers now range in age from their late 20s to their early 60s, and he says his aim, no matter what their age, is to make them feel elegant, stylish and feminine. “I think women should look like women so all my creations are very feminine and show off the female silhouette. I channel sensuality into a lot of them but they are still sophisticated,” he says.

His dresses still grace the red carpet. Coronation Street stars, Jennie McAlpine and Shobna Gulati wore his creations at the Soap Awards this year.

His ambition for next year is for the Kevan Jon label to be in at least 60 stockists, and he has every intention of being around for the next 20 years because he says he loves what he does, and can’t ever imagine doing anything else.

He has a showroom at his Halifax studio but it is by appointment only. The nearest stockists are in Huddersfield and Leeds. For more details visit www.kevanjon.com

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