We round up the hot new labels making a fash splash, with all the insider intel you need to dazzle your friends next year...
From Demna Gvsalia of Vetements reaching the dizzying heights of the Paris fashion establishment with his appointment at Balenciaga, to the runaway success of cult brands like Mansur Gavriel, it’s been a good year for the creative Davids of the world, vs the Goliaths who normally grab all the attention. But which hot new fashion labels will be producing 2017’s cult pieces and most-Instagrammed looks? Here’s our pick of the new fashion brands to watch out for – and why….
If you like…Comme des Garcons
Who: Simon Porte Jacquemus is the chic-est ‘conceptual’ designer we’ve seen in a long time. He started his own label at the tender age of 19 and developed his love of a canny-but-possibly-a-little-challenging design after working in the Paris Comme des Garcons boutique. Along with Demna at Vetements, he’s part of the bold new wave of designers currently shaking up Paris Fashion Week.
Why: From scissoring the arms off blazers and combining dresses and trousers, his designs take deconstruction to a new level. His SS17 show was our Paris highlight – his crisp white gathered-sleeve shirts have ‘forever piece’ written all over them.
If you like…Roksanda Ilincic
Who: Glamorous Italian duo Giorgia Tordini, now based in New York, and Gilda Ambrosio, who lives in Milan, are fashion industry insiders – they’ve both worked with a host of designers as creative consultants, as well as being street-style stars themselves for their colourful personal looks.
Why: Their brand, Attico (‘penthouse’ in Italian) is all about slinky boudoir-inspired pieces designed to be worn outside – in fact, popping on their frayed purple satin wrap dress is pretty much guaranteed to get Tommy Ton’s lens whirring (well, at least his assistant’s…). They also do incredible shoes – ciao, lace up pointy mules – for off-kilter head to toe glam.
If you like…Loewe
You’ll love…Rejina Pyo
Who: Originally from Korea, Pyo is now based in London, where she studied at Central St Martin’s before working for Roksanda Ilincic. She’s now making waves with her own label, which has been snapped up by influential retailers of the Net-a-Porter calibre.
Why: Structural, architectural pieces in off-beat colours like egg-yolk yellow – think puff shoulders and exaggerated shapes but with an arty, minimalist vibe. For a new designer (whose costs are always sky-high), her prices are pretty good too – you can pick up a top or a shirt for under £300.
If you like…Giambattista Valli
Who: OK, this one isn’t exactly a newbie – in fact, the Spanish house of Delpozo (originally called Del Pozo) is nearly 40 years old. But since Josep Font took the helm in 2012 and began showing at New York Fashion Week, his insanely beautiful ‘pret-a-couture’ creations (ie, couture-like, artisanal pieces that are available to buy off the peg) have garnered fashion fans aplenty. And this spring sees the opening of Delpozo’s first London store – so this label’s moment is about to get even more major.
Why: If you’re the kind of gal with a gala to go to and you want a couture-inspired outfit with a big dash of cool, Josep’s your man. Cristobal Balenciaga is one of the most bandied-about fashion references of all time, but fellow Spaniard Font’s pieces truly are approaching that rarefied realm. His organza is the stuff of our dreams.
If you like….Rosie Assoulin
Who: Kym Ellery might be Sydney-born, but her style is so not Bondi Beach. Nope, her look is all about cool, feminine tailoring with a Japanese influence – huge swooshing flares are her signature silhouette, along with sweeping ruffles and glorious flashes of lame. She shows at Paris Fashion Week and has an army of followers for her personal style too – when you’re tall and gazelle-like with the taste of a Parisian concept-store buyer, that tends to happen.
Why: Statement shirt, statement trousers or a statement dress – Ellery’s got it all. But it never looks like you’ve tried too hard. Win win.
If you like….Vetements
Who: Virgil Abloh aka Kanye West’s long-standing art director. Not nearly as controversial as it sounds. In fact, his designs are the most meticulously thought-out ‘streetwear’ the catwalks have seen in a while. Abloh, who’s orchestrated both albums and fashion shows for King Kanye, started with another streetwear label, Pyrex Vision, before founding Off-White a couple of years ago.
Why: Menswear has been his big success story but womenswear is now the focus – with a slot on the Paris Fashion Week schedule, his collection of sweatshirts and tees have grown to include shirting, leather jackets and a whole host of canny collaborations including Levi’s for SS17.
If you like…Marques Almeida
Who: Parisienne designer Christelle Kocher – who also happens to be the artistic director of Lemarie, the French couture feather house (who supply feathers to all the major houses). She made quite a splash with her debut Paris Fashion Week show last SS – partly because she made all the industry heavyweights stand at the back, while Joe Public guests were seated. We told you she was subversive.
Why: Her background in the meticulous art of couture trims mixes with her own streetwear-influenced aesthetic – with fabulous results. Tracksuits trimmed with silk, a baggy blouson jacket made from a patchwork of the finest lace in different colours…these are pieces equally at home in Hoxton or Holland Park.
If you like….Saint Laurent
Who: Born in Beirut, Racil Chalhoub moved from Paris to London to study fashion design before starting her label because she just couldn’t find the perfect tuxedo. (We can so relate – how are we supposed to pull off Grace Jones styling with a sub-par satin lapel?). A couple of seasons in, her label is already a big hit with influential buyers like Natalie Kingham of Matchesfashion.com, who snapped her up exclusively for her first season.
Why: Razor-sharp, rock and roll-inspired tailoring. SS17 was inspired by musicians including David Bowie and Prince – see the black blazer embroidered with purple and red zig-zags for evidence. While not exactly bargain bin, her prices are refreshing considering the impeccable quality – £650 for a gold brocade tux jacket that will make us feel like Bianca Jagger forever? Yes please.
If you like…Preen
You’ll love…Magda Butrym
Who: The lady putting Polish fashion on the international map, Butrym worked for several designers in Warsaw and as a celebrity stylist before starting her own brand. As an ‘outsider’ without easy access to international buyers, she initially build buzz using good old Instagram – her first orders were thanks to her posts featuring the first collection of models artfully shot on vintage carpets.
Why: Pretty, vintage-infused and slightly gothic – with a focus on Polish craftsmanship and hand-finishing. Think ruffles, floral prints and flashes of denim and leather.
If you like…Mansur Gavriel
Who: LA uber-stylist Maryam Malakpour and her sister Marjan. When you’ve dressed everyone from the Rolling Stones to Halle Berry, you know what makes a good shoe. The brand’s name comes from the saying ‘my dogs are barking’, meaning ‘my feet hurt’ (no, us neither – clearly a West Coast thing) and the collection addresses every fashionista’s big dilemma: what’s the cool alternative to the – yawn – ballet flat?
Why: Answer – metallic and patent leather loafers and backless slip-0ns that the sisters say have been described as ‘Moroccan babouche meets English gentlemens’ slippers.’ Bliss!
If you like…Simone Rocha
You’ll love…Molly Goddard
Who: OK, so you’re probably familiar with her name. She first stole our hearts with her quirky London Fashion Week presentations a couple of seasons back – who could forget the ‘life drawing class’ with girls sketching as they posed in her ironic tulle party gowns? Thanks to a win at this September’s British Fashion Awards (for British Emerging Talent) Goddard is about to enjoy a real moment in the fashion sun – and on the red carpet.
Why: Her aesthetic revolves around exaggerated versions of the tulle prom/party dress – but for her first proper catwalk show for SS17, she rendered them in neon and layered them over trousers and t-shirts for a 90s rave take that was anything but sugary sweet. We’re expecting big things from this one – and we’re not just talking about her skirts.