5 fashion houses with a fresh creative vision, 5 super coveted collections to shop
Words by Jessica Aureli
They’re the innovative designers who have arrived at their new fashion homes to great fanfare, to the houses whose shows are frequently the hottest tickets in town. But who are these individuals tasked with reworking the DNA of our favourite labels, and how exactly are they doing it?
With fashion month in full swing, and some of the newly instated designers set to show their collections for the first time, we’re giving you the rundown on the names you need to know now.
Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent
The story so far: Anthony Vaccarello took over at Saint Laurent after the departure of Hedi Slimane, a designer who brought about significant and successful change at the house. So much so in fact that you could say Vaccarello has not one but two sets of shoes to fill - the outgoing Slimane and the iconic Yves Saint Laurent himself. Now in his second season, Vaccarello is concentrating on reworking his idea of who the Saint Laurent woman is - via his own aesthetic - exploring Eighties excess, extravagance and glamour.
Key pieces to look out for: Bustier dresses, leather bikers and modern renditions of the classic Le Smoking suit.
Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga
The story so far: Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga was known as “The King of Fashion” during his post-war heyday, and his structural silhouettes, masterful tailoring and uncompromising attention to detail secured him a place as one of the best designers of all time. Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia took over in 2015 and is still in the process of putting his own stamp on the label: his penchant for avant-garde streetwear translates into pieces that combine wearability with a sense of modern sophistication.
Key pieces to look out for: Check tailoring, twisted outerwear and the shoe of the moment, the sock boot.
Francesco Risso at Marni
The story so far: The Marni aesthetic is impossible to mistake: during her time at the label she founded in 1994, Consuelo Castiglioni made architectural shapes, standout prints and a vintage-inspired palette her stock in trade. Prada alum Francesco Risso is now at the helm and keeping things right on track, putting the focus firmly on femininity and exploring the label’s established signatures with undeniable energy and freshness.
Key pieces to look out for: Printed dresses, love-forever outerwear and quirky accessories.
Raf Simons at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC
The story so far: Arguably the most buzzed-about show of fashion month, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC is led by the Belgian designer Raf Simons. When the eponymous designer was still in residence, the label was one of the key proponents of Nineties American minimalism; now, over the course of the past year Simons has taken the Americana element and run with it, riffing on cowboy styling, denim and varsity looks.
Key pieces to look out for: Plastic-covered coats, colour-pop knits and (of course) the two-tone cowboy shirt.
Fran Stringer at Pringle of Scotland
The story so far: 18 months into her tenure at Pringle of Scotland, Fran Stringer is drawing inspiration from the Scottish brand’s 200 year archive, refreshing its luxury cashmere knitwear in new and unexpected ways - think modern silhouettes, earthy hues and mix-and-match textures. The Argyle check, which has been a signature since 1934, also makes a comforting appearance across separates and accessories.
Key pieces to look out for: Argyle jumpers, Fairisle coatigans and tactile winter accessories.
Our Farfetch insiders share their predictions for the big brand designers making their debut for SS18
Givenchy: ‘Clare Waight Keller’s appointment came as something of a surprise; her bohemian aesthetic at Chloé is in stark contrast to Riccardo Tisci’s tougher look. The Resort 2018 collection is still decidedly goth-chic, which I think Waight Keller will accentuate with some feminine va-va-voom for her SS18 debut.’ Christina Smith, Fashion Assistant
Carven: ‘Serge Ruffieux’s Resort 2018 lookbook definitely gives us a glimpse into his vision for the brand ahead of his runway debut. I think we might see a quirky update to this sweet Parisian label, with Ruffieux playing into the sporty spirit of the moment.’ Emma Pull, Womenswear Buyer
Chloé: ‘I'm expecting Natacha Ramsay-Levi to stay true to the house's DNA: naive bohemia with some rock'n'roll elements, as we’re seeing in the Resort 2018 collection. I’d love to see some classics reinvented, and an unexpected use of their signature materials like lace, suede and silk.’ Sonia Jesus, Senior Visual Merchandiser