Summer isn't even in full swing yet but already the Fall 2012 campaigns are beginning to drop online. First up was the first images of the new Burberry campaign, which were released earlier on this week and yesterday it was Marc Jacobs' turn.
As always, the ads were shot by Juergen Teller but this season the designer opted for two new faces, Marie Piovesan and Marte Mei van Haaster, who appear sporting those Jamiroquai-like Stephen Jones hats that had everyone talking.
"It's the most inspiring teacher," John Galliano said of nature, the inspiration behind the latest Dior Couture collection - a bright show of blossoming ruching, enveloping ruffling and delicate feathering. Fascinated by the beauty of flowers, Galliano threw himself into studying the blooms in great detail, even spending an hour watching the changing light on a parrot tulip, and the attention had definitely paid off.
Cascades of fabric sauntered along the catwalk, decorated in different ways - lilac tulip skirts made from tulle were gathered intricately, resembling tiny violets themselves, heavier silk numbers were painted with pansies and feather-light chiffons faded from a dark centre to light ends mimicking the beauty of petals, even the millinery by Stephen Jones paid homage to florists' plastic wrap in a rainbow of colours.
Evening dresses were as expected for a couture collection from one of the most renowned fashion houses - exquisitely beautiful and easily capable of demanding the entire attention of the room occupied. That's exactly what the dresses, and the rest of the collection, did - another breathtaking show from Galliano at Dior.
From the very beginning, John Galliano has made his love for hats clear. Still a student when he approached legendary milliner Stephen Jones in a club to make hats for his collection, the rest seems to have been history, with Jones designing hats for both Galliano's eponymous collection and the Christian Dior empire for quite some time now. After years working alongside a living legend, it only makes sense that the extravagant designer would move into the millinery industry himself, and that's exactly what he plans on doing.
Galliano is set to design a range of scarves and hats after signing a licence with Italy's Isa SpA, and the good news is we only have to wait until October until the women's collection will be revealed to trade. "It's really one of the key elements of the brands," explained Pierre Denis, Galliano's managing director, referring to the regularity of the appearance of hats at Galliano's helm. He continued to reveal that the collection will take inspiration from runway looks, usually designed by Jones, and what with Galliano's exquisite imagination and years of experience, we have no doubt that the hat and scarf line will be well worth the short wait.
Classical music crashed to a halt when Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love' ascended to full volume on the Kinder Aggugini runway, followed with yet another drastic change as the heavy bass of Deadmau5 pounded out. Aggugini cited Juliette Recamier as inspiration, the woman who stood up to Napoleon, with the Aggugini AW10 woman being one who 'lives like a true rockstar whilst turning heads for both her look and her intellect'.
Describing his design signatures as 'Sid Vicious marries Coco Chanel' certainly explains the mix in the catwalk soundtrack, and sheds a little light on the juxtaposition of heavily military-influenced power coats - with carefully selected corners pinned back to reveal contrasting pillar-box red lining - and the long, fluid lines of the black maxi dresses. Stephen Jones' Napoleon-inspired hats suited the army of models' slick black painted hair, of which all sported bar a model with striking auburn locks, which highlighted the reddish tones within the print on her flowing maxi dress. The double-breasted, structured outerwear was the definite strength for Aggugini this season. We couldn't get enough of the raw seam details.
Good for Stephen Jones: the milliner has been named to Queen Elizabeth II's 2009 New Year Honors list, which recognises today's most innovative and influential designers and tastemakers. Accordingly Jones, who held a retrospective at London's Victoria & Albert Museum last year, has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE. "Around the world, millinery is seen as a uniquely British art and I am proud to be part of that tradition," Jones said.
Amanda Wakeley made the list and earned an OBE for both stocking the fashion industry with elaborate gowns and serving as founding co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in the UK. The honour capped off an exceptional year for the designer, who successfully bought back her label from an investor in the midst of financial scandal. Michelle Mone, who founded Glasgow-based lingerie brand MJM International, Ultimo's parent company, earned an OBE of her own.
It's not very often that the editor of a prestigious magazine decides that it's time her wardrobe had a clear out, however that's precisely the task that Italian Vogue editor, the iconic Anna Piaggi undertook recently. Renouned for her eclectic style, auctioned items included a cone-breasted black velvet evening gown by Jean Paul Gaultier - reaching £13,750 - and a rare 18th century blue damask court gown, which fetched a staggering £42,050 amongst the 321 piece-lot.
The court gown, which is revealed to have gone to an unnamed institution rather than an individual, was just a small part of Anna's archive of fashion, which was displayed to the public back in 2006 when Piaggi's impressive collection featured in a stand-alone collection entitled Fashion-ology at the Victoria & Albert musuem, London. Close friend Stephen Jones - who describes her wardrobe as 'a walking library of fashion' - and Manolo Blahnik helped Piaggi promote the sale, which after a flurry of of bids amongst fashion designers, private collectors and museums such as the V&A, raised over £59,055. In keeping with her tongue-in-cheek persona, Anna's comment after the clear out was a comical, "What will I find to wear now?"
You'll be forgiven for mistaking German born, London based designers Daniela and Annette Felder for models. Before setting their roots as designers, the identical twins went travelling around Europe using modelling to fund their exploration. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, having interned for the likes of Robert Cary-Williams and milliner Stephen Jones, the duo made a splash on the British Fashion circuit securing a nomination at the British Fashion Awards and a legion of celebrity fans including Estelle and Gwyneth Paltrow.
This week we caught up with the design duo to talk about to talk about inspiring women and their love of Iggy Pop.
Betty Jackson opened the third day of London Fashion Week with a fresh collection of marble prints, sheer socks and painterly florals. Close friend Jennifer Saunders sat pride of place on the front row, joined by Tracey Emin, Stephen Jones, Jimmy Choo, Melanie Blatt, and Jasper Conran.
Pink florals on a brown base opened the show with bib style ruffled blouses, and underwear as outerwear became an apparent theme with pastel coloured sheer socks, cute silk shorts and night robe style tunics. Prints ranged from that of a monochrome marble to watery silk florals in pastels and nudes, contrasted with an updated breton stripe in gold and black. The eighties was still a clear inspiration for Jackson, who continued the use of accented shoulders with padding and embellishment, however the new season's show saw a looser fitting aesthetic, nipped in at the waist with a thin material belt, with far less structure and formality of that seen over the Autumn Winter shows. Edwardian style ruffles around the neck added volume to blouses made from the sheerest of fabrics, and metallics made an appearance with a pewter dress and top. As Eniko Mihalik and Ali Michael and strutted to eighties-esque music, the colour pallette, prints and optimism of the whole show provided a freshness and excitement for the coming Spring. Be sure to look out for the sequined lightning bolt jumper, soft camel coloured leather jacket, and simply anything with those embellished shoulders.