With the four main Fashion Weeks just around the corner, I am looking forward to finally seeing the latest collections from some of the world's best designers. Whether I am lucky enough to be present at the shows, or if it's a case of catching up online afterwards, September marks the time of year I make my imaginary shopping list of coveted items, either for my styling clients or myself. With a jam-packed schedule in each city, and a host of brands to choose from, it can be a difficult task to name my favourites, however, I have tried to encapsulate below my "must-see" shows, and the designers I will have my eye on this season.
London Fashion Week
London has always fostered a hub of creative talent and as London is my home, I will be trying to see as many shows as possible. My two must-see shows are two British female designers: Temperley London and Anya Hindmarch.
Temperley has been a firm favourite of mine since the label launched more than a decade ago. Alice Temperley has created a fashion line that is extremely feminine whilst remaining true to its British heritage. S/S12 for Temperley London showcased a collection of pure elegance. Muted pastels and simple block colour matched with flowing floor length frocks, made it a highly desirable collection. Likewise, the Temperley London Pre S/S13 collection, inspired by the book, Café Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists: 1920 to 1960 by Thierry Coudert, took the silhouette to a new level, keeping shapes ultra-feminine, tidy and graceful yet full of soft fifties shape. It was a truly beautiful collection. I can't wait to see what Temperley London will be showcasing for S/S13; I know I won't be let down.
My next must see is Anya Hindmarch whose last A/W12 show was fantastically outrageous (think flying Quality Street!). I cannot wait to see what is in store for the S/S13 show. Anya Hindmarch's handbags and accessories are a wardrobe must-have for any fashion conscious individual. We have a number of items on Gift Library, and she is always a best seller.
Paris Fashion Week
Paris, the home of luxury and hauté couture, is a must go fashion destination even when Paris Fashion Week is not on. When it comes to choosing from the must-see shows, Paris is where you are spoilt for choice. Seen by many fashion editors as the epitome of the four Fashion Weeks, spectators have the best designers of the world showcasing their talents from Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto and Valentino amongst the Parisian powerhouses of Chanel, Dior and Hermès.
But during the French capitals time to shine, I will be casting my eye on the Hermès catwalk. Why? Because Hermès for me is one of the classics, a French high fashion house that is steeped with history and is an establishment in its own right. The brands accessories radiate sophistication and a quality that no other brand can emulate. Last year, the S/S12 collection was deemed a terrific success by the critics, as the collection paired the right volumes of elegance with dramatic shapes and cutaways, whilst still retaining its demure, grown-up, yet at times eccentric style. With A/W12 too, Christophe Lemaire took his highly praised, androgynous style, to a new level with an undeniably soft result. With this one collection, Hermès was able to deconstruct masculinity, and pave the way for passively-dominant power dressing. The brand has managed to stand to the test of time, and still manages to push conventional boundaries. I don't doubt that S/S13 will be any different, and I can't wait to see what this fashion powerhouse will have to offer.
Milan Fashion Week
Milan is one of my favourite places to visit as it's a city where design talent prospers. Every time I visit on buying trips for Gift Library I come back with another exciting new designer I am keen to host on the site.
This year I will be attending the Roberto Cavalli show. Famous for his detailed and exotic animal prints - he is a designer that screams desirability, excitement and sensuality. The Pre S/S13 collection evoked chic style perfectly. Looking to the Baroque period for pattern inspiration and embellishment, Cavalli used simple shapes and fluid tailoring; each item oozed femininity and was dreamily luxurious.
New York Fashion Week
When it comes to forward-thinking designers, New York is one of the most innovative cities in the world. Many designers that have shown at previous New York Fashion Weeks have broken boundaries and revolutionized the way consumers and industry experts look at style - you only need to think of Rick Owens and his fitted leather jackets to see what I mean. If you want to attend a Fashion Week where you will see future stars born and an exciting, edgier pool of talent, mixed with a little adventure too, then New York is for you. It will certainly be where I will be investing my time this September.
This year I will be casting my eye on new designer, Erin Barr. She is certainly one to watch, especially having only unveiled her first collection last spring. With her first collection generating the tag line 'An American Tomboy in Paris' it's clear Erin will be making an innovative name for herself - by combining the ease of American dressing with the chic of Parisian culture. For me, her recent collection has captured what many other designers lack; sophisticated and beautiful clothes that are practical and wearable. Her next collection is one I can't wait to see.
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