Young designers come and go, but every so often one shines. STYLE meets four who are the talk of the fashion world. Richard Nicoll Biography Richard Nicoll captured the hearts of Bjork and Tracey Emin shortly after his graduation at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, in 2002. Known for his architectural tailoring and his quirky touch of humour, his graduation collection was snapped up by Dolce & Gabbana. Nicoll worked as a designer for Louis Vuitton in 2004 before launching his own label. Richard Nicoll is available at Browns Focus and Jezebel in London, Opening Ceremony in New York and Side by Side and Dual in Tokyo. Quote Individuality and courage inspire me. My style is based on personal expression and idiosyncratic style rather than being concerned with status and overt sexuality. It's for strong, self-confident women who don't pander to the gender stereotypes of femininity. Style Nicoll's design is a fine balance between austere tailoring and innovative, quirky styling. His palette is eclectic, ranging from acid green to sombre grey. His recent collection featured mannish trousers, tweed dresses, miniskirts with asymmetric, voluminous layers and elegant pin-tucked dress shirts with puffed sleeves and empire-waist details. Joseph Li Biography Li studied sociology at university in Toronto, but went on to pursue a career in design by launching a womenswear label in 1999. The collection was snapped up by the likes of Lane Crawford and Bergdorf Goodman. After a stint at the Studio Bercot, Paris, and an apprenticeship with Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, he moved to London to complete his MA in fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After graduating, he returned to Hong Kong and this year became chief menswear designer at Blanc de Chine. Blanc de Chine is on Pedder Street in Hong Kong, and in Beijing and New York. A branch opens at The Landmark, Central, this month; www.blancdechine.com . Quote My design is a perpetual exploration of forms and proportions and I tend to pay great attention to detail. My recent collection for Blanc de Chine was inspired by Chinese architecture and the art of Ju Ming. Style Li's quietly confident designs exude grace and style. Inspired by shapes and tailoring, his creations are versatile and consist of softly structured silk jackets, crisp dress shirts and plush velvet dresses. Phillip Lim Biography 2006 is already looking like a great year for New York-based designer Phillip Lim. His label 3.1 has been phenomenally popular since its launch last year. Lim studied finance at California State University before embarking upon a design career and working as design assistant to Katayone Adeli. In 2000 he co-founded street-chic label Development and, after 22 successful seasons, decided to strike out on his own. 3.1 by Phillip Lim is available at Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, at Selfridges and Browns Focus in London and at net-a-porter.com. Quote I find myself designing garments that seem to be familiar, comfortable, protective, yet silently elude to personal ideas and fantasies. Just as one begins a romantic relationship, I want to put it all out on the line. Style Think feminine one-shoulder dresses, sexy satin skirts and versatile cropped jackets. Lim's designs exude a romantic air of nonchalance and he favours tactile materials such as felted cashmere, cross-dyed rabbit fur, tissue-weight cashmere and fine Italian wools. Christopher Kane Biography Kane has been hailed as the fashion world;s next 'it' boy by Anna Wintour, American Vogue's editorin-chief, and Donatella Versace - for whom he is a design consultant. In 2000, when he was 17, Kane moved to London from Glasgow and enrolled at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After graduating he was named Young Designer/New Talent of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards. His most recent and high-profile accolade is winning New Generation sponsorship from the British fashion retailer Topshop and the British Fashion Council. Christopher Kane unveils his debut collection this month. Quote I'm working towards a new glamour. It's about being young, fresh and modern: girls with tousled hair throwing these dresses on and just rocking in them. Donatella Versace once said to me, 'More is more', and I believe in that. Style Sexy and decadent, Kane's designs conjure up the heydays of Azzedine Alaia and Versace. Think body-hugging lace dresses that Paris Hilton would go gaga over and chain-mail designs that hark back to Studio 54.