The five lucky semi-finalists of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize were announced on Tuesday, by a judging panel made up of fashion royalty - Manolo Blahnik, Giles Deacon, The Hon, Elizabeth Saltzman and Gianluca Longo. Louise Goldin, Mary Katrantzou, Chau Har Lee, Hermoine de Paula and Thomas Tait all secured a place in the semi final, with the winner to be announced in November.
The prize gives the winner the opportunity to host their own event at any preferred Dorchester Hotel across the world, as well as granting them a whopping £25,000 prize fund to launch a new collection of ready-to-wear or premium accessories. While the international fashion prize was held in London this year, stateside designers take note - next year's competition will be held at The New York Palace.
"In London we can be ourselves and it just works," admits half of design Sass & Bide's design duo, Heidi Middleton, "In the US we have to tone it down and explain it more - here we can just be." That'll explain why the Australian brand are so focused on hitting Britain, and soon, as they announced plans to open the brand''s first store in London. "We've been expanding so fast over the past few years and we're looking at the UK next," the team revealed, "Our CEO is due to come out to London with us in September and we'll discuss a site then."
This comes as exciting news for fans of Sass & Bide, who only recently begun showing at London Fashion Week. "We love coming here to do research; it's such an inspiring place. The old markets are incredible places," Middleton admires. The duo, made up of Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clark are currently looking at Dover Street Market for the brand, which was set up in 1999, however it seems we'll be kept waiting until September for more details. "There is such a strong creative energy and sense of freedom in London that you don't find in Sydney or New York. We're very excited to be coming here."
I'm definitely responsible for the image that I put out there. But it does become frustrating, because I don't want 'sexy' to be my defining characteristic. I'd love for my ambition and will and intellect and sense of humor to define me as well.
This Sepember, Fashion East will celebrate its tenth anniversary and with it comes a killer lineup for spring/summer 2011. As well as it also being the 15th season that Topshop has been its headline sponsor, a returning face in the form of Heikki Salonen will join newcomers Felicity Brown and John Rocha's daughter Simone on the runway.
Managing director of high street giant Topshop , Mary Homer said:
"Topshop is extremely proud of our support and association with Fashion East. Lulu Kennedy and her panel of insiders have consistently shown a talent for identifying the best of British-based designers, giving them a credible platform to show their collections. The British fashion industry has become all the richer over the past ten years from this exciting project."
First appearing in the year that was 2000, Fashion East has bolstered an array of designers to become household names. It is resposible for kick-starting the careers of Louise Goldin, Roksanda Illinic, Gareth Pugh, Richard Nicoll and Marios Schwab to name a few.
French fashion designer Christian Lacroix, known for his ostentatious personality and exotic flair is currently pursuing post-fashion activities. These include designing stage costumes, hotels and trams whilst leaving his beloved brand's management to new Lacroix creative director, Sacha Walkchoff. Having just been named artistic advisor to the french mint, Lacroix is likely to be designing medals for marriage and civil unions rather than the gowns for such occasions.
Walckhoff however, is peddling the house's first menswear collection funded by a licensee, since the label took a fatal crash with the recession last year. The company is focusing on its bridal license, sunglasses, stationery and home textiles for now until business picks up again. Lacroix CEO Nicolas Topiol announced "We don't expect to enter into women's ready-to-wear again before 2012. We must first pay the debts.”
Sales at Burberry have hit an all time high and this only comes as pleasant and exciting news since most fashion brands have taken a battering with the everpresent recession. Rising a mountainous 27 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, Buberry should definitely be giving itself a pack on the back. Revenue alone totalled a whopping £291 million whereas in the previous year it had been £229 million, beating expectations by a large sum.
The growth is thanks to Asian markets and surprisingly, wholesale sales which has helped the iconic British brand pull in the profits. Burberry is one of the few fashion houses that has always cashed in on internet sales and used clever advertising with celebrity endorsement to bring in sales. Bands playing live on video footage posted on their homepage whilst sporting the latest looks has reinvented Burberry as the cool, chic brand of London youngesters.
The brand has always been tremendously coveted and now more than ever it shows the increased demand for luxury goods within Britain.Whilst the label enjoys increasing profits, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts said the company plans to open 20 to 30 stores in America and Asia by the end of this year.
If you've ever wanted to smell like Lady Gaga, you might be in luck. According to the UK's Marketing magazine, the singer is in working with Coty - the company behind Sarah Jessica Parker's fragrances - to work on an unsurprisingly 'unusual' scent.
Coty had not responded to requests for comment but they are allegedly working on a big marketing campaign to launch the fragrance in time for Christmas.
Two weeks ago we told you all about the rumoured cover stars for the big magazine's september issues and today a lot of these were confirmed by WWD.
Although Stefano Tonchi was rumoured to have chosen Lindsay Lohan to cover his first september issue at W, he is now said to be working with Zoe Kravitz and actress Emma Roberts. The Cut reports that Vogue has not confirmed Halle Berry as there September cover but according to insiders, it's a done deal.
WWd confirmed the following covers:
Elle — Julia Roberts Harper's Bazaar — Jennifer Aniston InStyle — Hilary Swank Vanity Fair — Lady Gaga T — Freida Pinto