Thursday, June 29, 2017

How Chanel Successfully Curbed Counterfeiters

Big brands don't take counterfeiters lying down, and Chanel is the latest luxury fashion house to stand up for itself this week. The house, helmed by Karl Lagerfeld, has successfully won a lawsuit against more than 24 Amazon sellers, reports WWD, who were accused of selling replica items featuring the famous Chanel logo.

The case, which was brought in America in April, was settled on Friday last week as a Californian judge decreed that the sellers would have to cease selling the counterfeit items and pay $100,000 to Chanel for each item that was sold (Chanel allegedly originally sought $2 million per item) - a total which is estimated to come in around the $3 million mark.

Infringement and intellectual property rights are taken seriously in the industry which relies upon brands maintaining a solid reputation and protecting how every element of its operations are perceived. Just last year, Alexander Wang was awarded $90 million in damages after successfully suing over 45 defendants operating 459 websites that sold counterfeit goods bearing his eponymous brand's name. The brand, however, admitted it was unlikely to receive the actual amount, as the owners of the domains selling the illegal goods are impossible to trace.

Better news for Chanel, who will receive its damages after Amazon Payments transfers funds held in the accounts of the sellers to the fashion house, as ordered by the judge.

How Couture Fashion Week Is Changing

Ahead of the Paris shows, we look at how the haute couture season is shifting and what a ready-to-wear invasion would mean to the most selective event in the fashion calendar.

This coming Sunday, 550 journalists from 25 countries will gather in Paris alongside some of the world’s most devoted – and wealthiest – high-fashion consumers for the unveiling of the Fall-Winter 2017-2018 Haute Couture collections. As a stand-alone event, set in the heart of the European summer, this week is something of a respite for us in the fashion media: just three days, as opposed to the eight-day ready-to-wear marathon, and only six to seven shows per day. It’s a nice leisurely pace at which to marvel at the work of the world's greatest couturiers and their teams of skilled artisans.

Sustained by a few thousand global elite, unfazed by the £250,000 price tag of a bespoke, hand-embroidered dress, the couture collections have long existed outside of the pace and pressure of the commercial sales cycle. It is the genesis of fashion before it became muddied by sell-through reports and a spin-cycle of trends. This season, however, marks a shift. A whole line-up of established ready-to-wear names have appeared on the schedule - A.F. Vandevorst, Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp, and US wunderkinds Proenza Schouler and Rodarte among them - elected by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode as “guest members” for the week.

Haute Couture Fashion Week was once a sacred institution reserved for createurs awarded the fiercely protected haute couture label by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Following strict guidelines, first outlined in 1945 (when more than 100 houses bore the label), each accredited maison is required to have an in-house atelier in which garments are custom-fitted to clients and then realised by a team of 20 or more who use recognised savoir-faire techniques. Today there remain just 15 brands with this distinction — historic maisons like Chanel and Christian Dior, as well as contemporary couturiers like Giambattista Valli and Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko — and of the 36 names on next week's schedule, only 13 accredited houses appear. (Givenchy and Yiqing Yin are sitting this round out.)

To keep pace with the industry’s shift to ready-to-wear, the guardians of high fashion are opening their arms to a growing number of designers outside the strict confines of haute couture. "We are in a time when it could be possible for haute couture to be considered passé, but today people are looking for individualism and uniqueness, mixed with a strong aesthetic dimension. This means that there are different ways to approach this notion of couture," Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, tells Vogue of next week’s additions.

It’s not just the couture calendar that stands to benefit. An invitation to show at couture immediately elevates a ready-to-wear designer’s standing. Plus, there’s the opportunity to work with the bounty of artisans the city provides. "We wanted to utilise Paris's rich history of couture and are working with many independent ateliers on our collection,” Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez wrote in an e-mail ahead of their show on Sunday. The duo have long embraced American craft in their designs, as have Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy, whose magical line was born from a handful of couture-like dresses hand-sewn in their home in Pasadena, California, twelve years ago. "Alex de Betak, our visionary show producer has been encouraging us to come to Paris for a while as he sees the creative possibilities for Rodarte," says Kate Mulleavy of their decision. "Our work is so romantic.”

The magic of couture aside, there’s a real business incentive, too. Haute couture coincides with the Resort sales period. Alongside Pre-Fall, Resort collections are far more profitable for ready-to-wear designers than the spring/summer and autumn/winter collections because they have the longest shelf life. Showing in July gives Rodarte and Proenza Schouler the opportunity to not only show two months ahead of their contemporaries, but to deliver to stores earlier as well.

Vetements tried this model last year to great success and it’s a move that has been welcomed by retailers. "Jack and Laz at Proenza Schouler embracing alternative ideas proves that a shift in traditional market dates and presentations is not only possible, it's do-able," Ken Downing, fashion director and senior fashion director of Neiman Marcus, tells Vogue. "The calendar shift is something we've been trying to do for years, so it's definitely something we are committed to long-term," McCollough and Hernandez wrote. They are planning to show again at the next couture week in January.

Still, the absence of both Proenza and Rodarte will be keenly felt in September at New York Fashion Week. Plus, a ready-to-wear invasion during couture week does pose a bigger problem for the industry: What if a flood of designers follow suit? And, if they do, how will the industry support such a monumental shift? "The couture calendar will remain selective," Morand says firmly. "If it went too far, it could move the gravity centre of the week, and that would never happen."

Miranda Kerr Returns Jewellery Worth Millions From Jho Low

Miranda Kerr has returned jewellery estimated to be worth $8.1 million to the US Justice Department after prosecutors said the items were bought for her by Jho Low and stolen Malaysian government money.

Kerr dated the Malaysian financier after separating from ex-husband Orlando Bloom in 2013, and prior to meeting her husband, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, in 2016.

From Valentine’s Day 2014 onwards, Low is said to have presented the model with a $1.29 million 11.72 carat heart-shaped diamond engraved with Kerr’s initials, a $3.8 million 8.88 carat diamond pendant, a $1.98 million pair of 11 carat diamond earrings and a matching necklace, ring and bracelet. All of these gifts are alleged to have been bought with some of the $4.5 billion Low is accused of stealing from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund, known as 1MD, which was created by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to promote economic development.

Kerr, who has reportedy cooperated with the investigation fully, has returned the jewellery to the US Department of Justice. "The transfer of the gifts from Ms Kerr's safe deposit box in Los Angeles to government agents was completed on last Friday afternoon," a spokesperson for the model has said.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also embroiled in the case against Low, has reportedly initiated the return of artwork by Picasso and Basquiat that was given to him by a Hollywood production company, Red Granite, which is connected to Low.

Tommy Hilfiger’s Daughter Ally Marries In A Bespoke Design By Her Father

Ally Hilfiger wed her partner of six years, Steve Hash, wearing a unique gown designed in collaboration with her designer father, Tommy Hilfiger, this weekend.

Hilfiger gave his daughter away during the small ceremony on the Caribbean island of Mustique, and guests took to Instagram to share pictures of the happy couple, and the bride's bespoke look, which consisted of a cream V-neck slip dress and an embroidered hooded cape.

Hilfiger told Hello magazine in September 2016 that she was hoping to create a bohemian dress to suit her “gypsy chick” nature. Of collaborating with her father, she said: "He has a really great eye and [knows] what looks good on a woman – and I have a clear vision of what I want, so I think that combining those will make for a beautiful dress."

Step-mother Dee Ocleppo shared a photograph of the proud designer and herself on the beach post-ceremony. Both adhered to the cream colour palette of the bridal party.

The Hilfiger family holidayed on the island prior to the wedding, with the bride posting idyllic pictures of her “soulmate” Steve, and her daughter, Harley, who acted as bridesmaid during the ceremony.

Ashish's High-Street Collab

Ashish Gupta - the London Fashion Week designer famed for his sparkle and statement catwalk shows - has been plucked by River Island for the high-street store's latest Design Forum collaboration. But, rather than follow in the footsteps of his predecessors (who include Sibling, Zoe Jordan and Eudon Choi) and design separate menswear and womenswear edits, his 15-piece collection will be gender neutral.

"I think the industry has evolved a lot in many ways and I think social media has made a huge difference. It is much more conscious of diversity and inclusivity issues now," Gupta told us of the collection, which will launch, as usual, during the next LFW at the BFC's Fashion Film initiative - something which he revealed was "new for me and definitely a medium I would love to explore further".

In addition to the clothes you can wear outside, Gupta was keen to create pieces that need no effort at all, pieces which are "cosy enough to be worn indoors but stylish enough to be taken out", and ideal for "a lazy Sunday afternoon after the night before".

How Stella Really Felt About Using The Supers In Her CSM Show

She may have had the most famous model line-up compared to her peers when she presented her Central Saint Martins graduate fashion collection, but Stella McCartney has admitted that she recalls the moment that Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon hit the catwalk (and subsequently the following day's headlines) with mixed feelings.

"I look back on that moment and feel a bit embarrassed that I was so naive," she told Kirsty Young on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. "They were my mates and that's who I was hanging out with at college. Kate was even living with me for a period of time and that was what I was engaging with outside of my college life, so when it came to choosing the models for my degree show, I thought, 'Well I might as well ask my friends'. I can understand why it was headline news and may have pissed my fellow students off a tad, but it was a very Brit moment."

The designer continued that she thinks the famous trio would have probably walked for any of the budding designer if they had asked them to as they were "were travelling the world representing Great Britain" and thought, "'Yeah we'll do a degree show for Britain'", before Young reminded her that they were famously the generation of models who said that they wouldn't get out of bed for less than £10,000 a day. "Yeah, who am I trying to kid?!" laughed McCartney, "Scrap that, edit it out!"

In the one-hour radio show, McCartney also disagreed with Young that buying expensive clothes is trying hard, saying, "I think that you have to wear the clothes and not let the clothes wear you. I think it's really important to take control of your wardrobe. Women choose to buy my clothes, I don't make them buy them," and revealed how proud she feels of seeing her designs on women in the street

"I'm really embarrassing and go up to people in the street and say, 'Nice bag!'... for me it's an achievement. I'm not interested in landfill, I'm interested in re-use and continuous design. Staying power in every sense of the word is really important."

She also touched on female designers in the industry when Young name-checked Miuccia Prada, Donna Karan, and Sarah Burton as a handful of women at the top of design.

"That's a historical one," said McCartney of why there aren't more. "I think when I came into fashion it was even less, probably. I think it was the idea that the men in the boardroom chose the men in the design room, possibly. I think maybe women felt more comfortable with men dressing them, but I think that's changed. Women designing for women is really powerful and really important. There are very few of us, not enough of us. I've always said that behind a great man, there are many, many great women... There's a lot of very impressive women working in the fashion industry but behind the scenes."

Aitor Throup On Making Clothes Matter

Aitor Throup has always been something of a risk-taker when it comes to fashion - seen keenly in his work for G-Star where he is executive creative director and for which today he presents his first womenswear edit for the brand's third Raw Research collection. Conceived to create a platform where new constructions and innovation can happen with denim by deconstructing it, it is designed to "challenge how we typically approach design". But what does that mean in reality? And how does the Argentinian designer, known for his cutting-edge collaborations with fellow boundary-pushers Damon Albarn, Kasabian and the Hunger Games franchise, intend on making it something that means more than surface matter? More from the man himself...

How would you explain the Raw Research concept?

"Raw Research is our research lab within G-Star where we focus on denim innovation. We believe in the idea of innovation and research being about taking risks and creating an environment that even as a global brand allows us to make mistakes in the process. We believe that’s what can lead us to truly new thinking that challenges how we would typically approach design. As we continue this journey of exploration and experimentation, we continue to push ourselves to think of new ways to explore denim, and to suggest what jeans could be and mean when you look to the future."

How are you trying to push boundaries?

"With this deep understanding and respect for tradition being informed by our vast archive, we are trying to redefine and shift the conventions of denim. In the case of Raw Research III, this has resulted in us challenging and questioning the very nature of denim fabric. We have actually deconstructed denim itself and in doing so we are redefining what 'raw' means to us. We believe that denim is a material that can be seen as a metaphor for us as individuals because it grows, evolves and shapes itself to the wearer: it is a reflection of the wearer and their life. Ultimately, this conceptual approach to denim research and exploration within our innovation lab, leads us to create a range of prototypes every season that serve to inform newness in our general collection, and ultimately services the brand by providing new denim innovations."

How did you go about approaching the womenswear and how does it complement the existing menswear collections?

"Our approach to design is actually very instinctive from a product design perspective. In essence, we don’t approach womenswear design any differently to how we approach menswear design, because we are prioritising product design values first and foremost. As we intensified the level of development within the Raw Research lab and as our technical expertise and approach to engineering grew (in terms of details and constructions), we realised that we were actually developing components that were informing the general collection for both men and women. It’s really interesting that the product design elements, philosophy and values that we have been investing in, are actually non-gender-specific. They’re neutral values, but they are typically associated with a sense of masculinity.It’s really interesting that the product design elements, philosophy and values that we have been investing in, are actually non-gender-specific

We think about the idea of functionality, utility and transformability together with our continuous focus on the product design principle of concinnity (the harmony of line in product design). Those values directly inform our approach to unique product design in a womenswear context, through a womenswear filter with a feminine sensibility and understanding of volume and drape.

Introducing womenswear into the Raw Research collection also made us really interested in exploring the very essence of femininity, so that we could learn from that and perhaps influence the menswear with some of those learnings. It’s not just about taking the menswear learnings and putting them through a womenswear filter, but it’s also about having an understanding of womenswear and aligning that to influence the menswear. So what you are seeing are a lot of new volumes and silhouettes being developed that are learning from each other as well as classic womenswear cues - such as paper straw sun hats – influencing the aesthetic across both genders.

Where do you find your influences and how has this changed as you’ve gotten older?

"I’m never really looking for a source of influence, inspiration or some sort of external source of creative energy - it’s actually just the same continuous drive to tell stories through design, art and in this case through product design. I believe that truly timeless design can be created if an artist, a designer or a brand has something truly new to say, because you can create equally new ways of saying so. That’s what drives me; using art, design and product design to create narratives. What is particularly interesting to me is the notion of anatomy, creating narratives and indeed products that are constructed anatomically through design systems, physical layers and a layered process where the viewer can actually have a sense of the process that leads to the final result.I believe that truly timeless design can be created if an artist, a designer or a brand has something truly new to say

It’s extremely interesting to me that the idea of an anatomical approach to product design is a true connecting factor between my own approach as a designer and G-Star’s approach as a brand. I really believe that this sense of respect and focus on the human body, and a three-dimensional approach to design - particularly in denim innovation - is what has defined G-Star since the beginning and it is indeed that essence that attracted me to the brand in the first place. It doesn’t only mean anatomy in a physical sense where we are constructing things anatomically and ergonomically (for and around the human body), but also that we’re doing so in a way that strives to create products that are inherently human, that almost have a soul. That is my ongoing obsession, to create pieces that we have a connection with, because as human beings we sense that these pieces, like us, are anatomical beings. They have been constructed anatomically from the inside out, they have complexities, they have systems, they have layers and they aren’t just surface designs from the outside in - they are intricately constructed objects."

What are your views on getting influencers to wear the clothes you design and how important is having famous ambassadors and collaborators?

"Whenever you create something, there is an opportunity to connect that creation with a person or people who embody similar values. Culturally speaking, it’s very interesting to me when different creations or creators that express similar values through their own specialism and in their own way, come together. It’s really powerful and that’s arguably when we have seen pivotal moments in society and culture. At G-Star we really believe that through our approach as a brand, now and historically, we are speaking to a generation who is interested in doing things in new ways, as we take risks and aren’t afraid to redefine the conventions of a very specific industry. We are empowering the self-confidence of individuals by proving that we share a similar point of view, because we are also doing things our own way."

You have a diverse CV – how do your experiences feed into each other?

"Very early on, even when I was still studying, I was very conscious of the limitations that an industry can typically create around an individual. I was just as interested in drawing and sculpting, draping and pattern cutting, construction and engineering, as I was in music, film direction and graphic design. I saw all of those fields as intrinsically connected languages whereby all that I needed to do was to invest my time and energy to push myself to learn those fields in order to be able to create a message that was truly multi-faceted. I don’t have any interest in being primarily a clothing designer or primarily a film director or an illustrator – I want my specialism to be the message and concept rather than the medium.It’s great to be working at a time where the previous rules are being challenged

I truly think that design and art are simply ways of communicating without necessarily using linguistic or symbolic systems. The most powerful design and art is arguably communicating an emotion, resulting in causing an emotional effect on the viewer: something that happens instantly and in a much more powerful way than language typically allows.

What are the major differences in the fashion industry now to when you started out? 

"I feel like my own stance within the industry is unchanged, I actually feel exactly the same now as when I started out, and I feel like I have the same level of uneasiness existing within that industry which is reflected by the fact that I’m equally interested and active in other industries. What’s also interesting is that my continuous approach of not subscribing to the traditional, standardised conventions of the fashion industry - such as presenting seasonally, the format of the catwalk or the idea of wholesaling in a typical structure - seems to be the most prominent definition of the current zeitgeist within the industry. It’s great to be working at a time where the previous rules are being challenged by more and more brands and designers, because it keeps us on our toes and it can lead us to achieve even greater things than if we were the only ones that were challenging those conventions."

What is your dream project to work on?

"Without a doubt I want to design the ultimate Batman suit. I think that they still haven’t got it right, and I’ve been working on it for a very long time. I would also love to redesign the astronaut suits for NASA."

How do you champion emerging talent?

"The vast majority of the people who have become part of my team within my own design studio have come through the internship program and I really believe in creating an environment that nurtures young talent. Also within G-Star, we have established a new structure for the design team whereby we now have a design assistant program in every product category which basically provides an entry point for young designers to enter the brand. In addition, we have collaborated with the Sandberg Institute on its Fashion Matters program in order to support fashion design students not just financially, but also with dedicated business and design workshops, or the space and equipment for the graduates’ final work photo shoot. It shows that as a company we dare to be vulnerable and put the question on the table of the role and future of the fashion industry and invest in talents that are eager to find new ways to be more sustainable in the broadest meaning of the word."
How do you want people to think of G-Star?

"As the denim brand that isn’t afraid to challenge conventions through innovation that is focused on research and exploration. As the denim brand that isn’t afraid of taking risks and particularly of making mistakes, which is ultimately what makes us human."

Raw Research III will be available around the world, from early December 2017.

Over To You, Alexandra Shulman

After 25 years at the helm of British Vogue, today marks Alexandra Shulman's last day in the office. We've had the goodbye parties, toasted her future endeavours, shared our favourite (read hilarious, embarrassing, emotional) memories, celebrated her phenomenal success, and said our fond farewells. 

So, as the curtain closes on a career spanning nearly 40 years at Condé Nast, the last word goes to the inimitable editor-in-chief. Here, she shares what she will miss, what she won't, and what she's looking forward to the most as she embarks on life after Vogue.

"I really like spending my days with lots of people and to spend them with people you have chosen to spend them with is a great luxury"

"I’ve been doing it on and off for about 40 years – that will be a huge thing to not have as a part of my life"

"I’m going to miss knowing everything that there is to know about what’s going on in fashion and being in the epicentre"

"Because I get to try lots of new brands out for free and it's always there for a last-minute emergency"

"I’m going to miss having a lovely pink office – where I’ve been able to keep all my books as it’s an escape from home"

"The thought of operating solo with technology is very frightening!"

"I won’t miss having to tell people I don’t like something they have done – I hate that"

"I won’t miss being in the office every Monday morning – it will be a great treat to treat Sunday evening as a part of the weekend"

"I won’t miss being irritated if someone has a story that I wanted to have – but then I will miss being the one to have the story"

"I’m looking forward most to doing some things I’ve never done before – meeting new people and feeling that I’m moving forward. I’m really looking forward to a sense of a future and it's as amorphous as that - it’s really exciting"

The Return Of Jo Sykes: See Her New Label Here

Rejoice  the return of celebrated Brit designer Jo Sykes, who has established her own-name label, Sykes, for spring/summer 2018. The designer, who previously had an eponymous label of the same name, is widely known for her work as creative director at Aquascutum (from 2010 to 2012) and subsequently Nicole Farhi, which she departed in 2014 - but now she's back and as of November this year we'll be back in her wares.

"I've been business planning the whole thing for the past year and a half and deliberately didn't take on any full-time roles after I finished at Nicole Farhi because I wanted to come back with something that was Sykes," the designer told us.

Sykes's new 40-piece collection is a homage to the Seventies sportswear aesthetic that has proven so popular of late, with a delicious dose of tailoring, all with Sykes's signature attention to the finer detail and a mindfulness of what her target customer wants: "With an increased focus on health and wellness, the clothes are cut to flatter and fit with sensitivity for the female form and comfort."

"Lifestyles have changed and the sportswear aesthetic is a way of life, not just a fad or a trend. My muse is the travelling professional, people like Carmen Busquets and Natalie Massenet, inspirational women who work and travel a lot and their wardrobes have to be versatile. Therefore there is a lot of jersey, a lot of stretch and a lot of fabrics that don't crease. The Anna maxi dress is a gorgeous slinky pique jersey which looks super chilled with a pair of trainers but looks great dressed up."

The fabrics used are "pretty much all Italian", said Sykes, who jokingly added that when you've been in the industry for as long as she has, you "collect factories over the years". As such, she manufactures 95 per cent of the label (which is fur free and leather free) in Italy, while a proportion of the knits are made in China.

"In Prato, Italy, they have put a lot of energy into building ecological and sustainable methods into the production process so it starts at source - not an afterthought." It's what Sykes has coined as being "future fit", and one that she takes seriously, especially now her name is back on the door.

"That was another reason to do this now," she said of re-establishing her own brand." You get to a point where there's so much to choose from, but for me design is a philosophy - the materials you use, the message you give, how you inspire future generations. The woman who wears my clothes is someone who is really in touch with her body."

"It was amazing to work for other brands," she continued, "as it helps you learn about working in a team and to think about the collections in a commercial way, but the lovely thing about having your own brand is that it gives you complete clarity about what you're doing and you can really pour your heart and soul into it."

So far so good, but it gets a little better. Contrary to the price points of her previous employers, the CSM graduate - who stretched her design muscle in Milan, working for houses including Giorgio Armani, Cerruti, and Alberta Ferretti - has created an accessible and affordable collection with prices starting at £90 for a top and £275 to £575 for dresses, while coats come in at £730. "It's important to me that people can afford to buy into my aesthetic," explained Sykes. "It's a contemporary price point and they may not be the loudest pieces in your wardrobe, but they are pieces you will wear again and again."

While she is currently wholesaling her first collection, she is aiming to make the brand's website her main retail point, incorporating capsule collection drops into her annual offering which will see two collections - a mixture of spring/summer 2017 and resort; and autumn/winter and pre - happy to get away from the rigid seasonality of structures past, and equally keen to maintain the aesthetic we love her for.

"I've always designed with the same ethos," she concluded, "this is just a fresh approach."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

11 Summer Menswear Trends You Need To Know

Want to know the biggest men’s trends to hit the catwalks in London, Milan and Paris this season? Look no further. Below, we break down the most important menswear trends for Spring/Summer '17 to look out for on your next shopping trip.

Get Stoned

Across the board, stone - that colour that hits between white and sandy beige - was the most popular colour shown by designers for the season. The great news is that it’s not only a fantastic colour for a suit (especially one for you’ll wear on the weekend), but it’s also a sun-friendly alternative to stark white jeans and will warm up all skin types (no need to fake tan those ankles, pale guys).

Outerwear Gets Technical

With the shows straddling Britain's EU Referendum - an event causing political speculation across a Europe divided on the subject of immigration - it was hardly surprising that themes of travel, voyaging and cross-cultural mixing were frequent in Milan, Paris and especially at London Collections Men. Interestingly, this manifested itself through the rise in popularity of traditional hiking gear in even the most established fashion labels - and most notably with almost every big brand showing a technical parka or anorak cut from light waterproof fabric, often in an eye-catching colour or pattern, and kitted out with all manner of high-end hardware and detailing.

Vary Your Stripe Widths

As we watched the shows it almost appeared that patterns were in a state of anarchy this season - however, by the end of Paris Men’s Week, vertical stripes emerged victorious. While a menswear classic, the difference this season is that they were seen in varying widths - what we’d be inclined to call "deckchair prints" - and injected with pastel colours clashed with darker ones, as seen at Ami and Fendi.

Get Pinked

Aclose runner up for colour of the season was pink - in particular the warm, dusty rose seen in a big way at Gucci and Topman Design. The most popular way to wear it was in full summer suit form, but if you’re looking for a way to incorporate the trend easily without getting quite so bold, simply add a burst of it by slipping a pink crew neck T-shirt under your tailoring.

Get Punked

During a rebellious fashion week, British punk emerged as a key inspiration for many designers. Sometimes this was explicit (such as the braces and acid-splashed jeans at DSquared2 or with the zippered trousers at Louis Vuitton), however, often it was far more subtle. While slouchy trousers were clearly the shape of the season, there was a significant majority which were drainpipe slim and cropped above the ankle - not to mention sleeveless jumpers making appearances in most major shows. One thing’s for certain next season: sun’s out, guns out.

A Season Of Squares

From windowpanes to Prince of Wales checks, squares were all over the shows this season. And while brands like Wooyoungmi went hard on the shape and successfully clashed prints of varying sizes together, other brands like Ami and Paul Smith simply went for a burst on outerwear or tailoring. After the pinstripe revival of the past few seasons, we predict a comeback for the windowpane check suit this time next year. Get on the trend now to avoid the rush.

Knuckle-Skimming Knitwear

Ring-wearers beware: next season, jumper sleeves are getting longer. From the shaggy sweaters at Louis Vuittonto the hand-hiding knits at Dries Van Noten, the shape of your jumper is looser, slouchier and grungier than ever for summer. If you’re shopping, ask yourself WWKCD (what would Kurt Cobain do)?

Purple Reigned

Perhaps it’s all to do with the Queen’s birthday, perhaps it was all about Prince's untimely death only a few months before, but rich royal purple was another significant colour in a notably muted summer season. It’s a bold menswear move, but fortune favours the brave, as they say. Or tip? Wear it with other dark colours to keep it in check.

Plump For Piping

It's amazing how detailing traditionally found on the most casual item in a man's wardrobe, namely a pyjama shirt, can look so superbly smart when worn in broad daylight. This season, contrast piping is the detail you need to look out for, not just on shirts but also on blazers and trousers bringing. Far from making you feel like you want to head to bed, we guarentee it'll make you feel like you're headed out for a couple of cocktails on your yacht on the French Riviera - even if you're confined to an office in overcast Britain.

Get A Pair Of Convertible Kicks

Two-in-one shoes are trending hard this season. The most notable feature on catwalk footwear was a fold down back - that's a heel with more supple, unstructured leather that can flatten underneath your foot to make the shoe into a mule. And while the styles we saw at the shows were mostly loafers, this detail is now starting to appear on a whole range of styles from espadrilles to skate shoes. Slip a pair to add an instant summer vibe to your outfit. See a few of our favourite pairs available now below.

Stand Out In Your Sunglasses

Sunglasses are bigger and bolder than ever for Spring/Summer 17, with patterns, tinted lenses and super-thick frames trending in designer collections across the board. Frames were either strong and angular or perfectly round, with eye-catching patterns or extra details like acetate overlays, seen especially at Kenzo and Versace. Retro shapes have been reinterpreted into more modern styles, with Marni and Fendi showcasing shades with half frames in eye-catching colours. And good news for gentlemen looking to keep things classic; tortoiseshell remains as popular as ever, with excellent iterations shown at Topman Design, Canali and Paul Smith.

Rihanna And Manolo Blahnik Unveil So Stoned Collection

Joining forces for a third and final collection, Rihanna and Manolo Blahnik unveil So Stoned, a collection of bejewelled sandals.

Launching in July, the summer footwear follows previous collections Denim Desserts and Savage, and is no less as glamorous.

Four styles feature in the So Stoned line; a mid-heeled mule, high-heeled mule, strappy high heel and heeled gladiator. Each is created in PVC so that the straps look almost invisible and the bold Swarovski crystals take centre stage. A Perspex heel adds to the barely there aesthetic.

Fans of the British Vogue cover girl's charismatic approach to Manolos should snap up her final designs for the esteemed footwear house quickly. The four statement styles are limited edition and only available in select Manolo Blahnik stores and online. Start refreshing come July.

Why Farfetch Is Riding High Right Now

A week after  after Farfetch announced that it has partnered with Condé Nast to absorb the publishing house's e-commerce venture, the brand has announced another partnership with, China's largest retailer, to expand its presence and business in the region.

In a press release sent this morning, the brand states that the union opens "a gateway to an $80 billion market" and "leverages JD's unparalleled logistics, internet finance and technology capabilities and social-media resources, including its WeChat partnership, with Farfetch's leadership in global luxury, to create a frictionless and seamless brand experience". While Farfetch already operates in the region offering 200 luxury brands and more than 500 multi-brand retailers the virtual space to sell their wares, its union with will ensure heightened awareness and, it envisages, an "unparalleled luxury proposition".

As a result of the partnership, is now one of the largest shareholders of Farfetch (with investments totalling $397 million), and Richard Liu,'s founder and CEO, will join the Farfetch board. Last week, as a result of the deal, Condé Nast International chairman and CEO Jonathan Newhouse also became a board member, joining Natalie Massenet who was appointed non-executive chairman in April.

"I am humbled and honoured to have one of the internet's most legendary entrepreneurs, Richard Liu, join our board, alongside Natalie Massenet and Jonathan Newhouse," said Farfetch founder, co-chairman and CEO José Neves. "We are honoured to have the advice and guidance of China's premier e-commerce guru as part of our highly experienced team, sitting around the same table as the world's luxury online pioneer and one of the world's pre-eminent publishers."

To coincide with the news, Farfetch has also announced that it will be employing the digital marketing technology platform BlackDragon, to help it to maximise the potential that's "treasure trove of data" holds and no doubt contribute to the efficiency of its Store of the Future (which was announced in April) as it increases its presence in the Chinese market.

"China is the world's second largest luxury market, and we are delighted to have such a respected partner, known for its strict protection of IP, with whom to address Chinese luxury consumers," continued Neves. "This partnership addresses the market's challenges by combining the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese e-commerce giant. This strategic partnership will provide brands a seamless, immediate access to the luxury consumer and Chinese luxury shoppers with access to the greatest selection of luxury in the omni-channel way of life they have already fully embraced."

This latest announcement move further cements Farfetch's growing reputation of being the leading innovator in the online shopping arena. In the last two years alone it has enjoyed series E round of funding (which saw it valued at $1 billion in 2015, following investment of $86 million); bought Browns Fashion from Joan Burstein; enlisted the indomitable force that is Natalie Massenet as non-executive co-chairman; and announced its Store of the Future - an augmented retail solution that "links the online and offline worlds, using data to enhance the retail experience".

How Prabal Gurung Is Challenging The Sizing System

Prabal Gurung has revealed that news of his collection for plus-sized retailer Lane Bryant was met with mockery from certain fashion-industry insiders.

The designer, who has catered for sizes up to 22 since he started out in the industry, recalled a moment where he was approached at an art exhibition by an acquaintance who asked him "Why are you designing for fat people?". "She saw my reaction and she said, 'Oh no, I meant it as a joke!' I said to her, 'Clearly, you know it's not funny,'" he recounted to Fashionista. "I said to her, words are very powerful, they impact and affect lives. The majority of American women haven't had a voice, haven't felt like they belong in our world, and I wanted to be sure that they do. It's people like you who make statements like these - there's a reason I wanted to do this."

Gurung has long been an advocate of positive change in the industry, incorporating political issues into his shows, but he says that he was inspired to create a high-fashion collection when he realised that "the changes I wanted to see, in the industry and the world, just didn't happen by me doing a show with a few plus-size models or a diverse group of models; it needed to continue, and I felt like if lending my voice could move the conversation forward, I want to be part of it."

Despite a handful of designers catering for a wide size range, many have far to go - something which Gurung attributes to the general consensus that the luxury fashion industry is hesitant to adopt change.

"Our industry is very, very slow at change, and fearful, we are operated by fear," he said. "There are a handful of people who operate with absolute courage and guts, but the majority of us, we don't."

Kering Explains "Made In Italy" Mix-Up

Kering has denied any wrongdoing in the current case being brought against its Eyewear division by sunglasses boutique Selima Optique, which has accused the conglomerate of falsely labelling sunglasses with the prestigious “Made in Italy” stamp, when they have been - either in part, or wholly - made elsewhere.

A spokesperson today attributed the incident to a mistake made in its Veneto factory where all its luxury eyewear is made and where all its stamping is done. Eyewear from its Puma label (which is made in China and sometimes in Japan) was brought to the factory to be stamped "Made In China". While this was taking place, 19 pairs of sunglasses from Kering's luxury portfolio got mixed up and were stamped twice: Once "Made In China" and once "Made In Italy". These pairs were then sent to two wholesalers; 18 pairs to one (which the spokesperson declined to reveal) and one pair to Selima Optique. When the mistake was realised, Kering contacted both wholesalers, said the spokesperson, after which the one with the bulk of the stock is said to have understood, but Selima Optique chose to take legal action.

An official statement from the label said "Kering Eyewear denies all allegations made by Selima Optique, Inc. Kering Eyewear luxury products are made in Italy and are labelled in compliance with all applicable law."

Women's Wear Daily reports that Selima Optique argued in the lawsuit filed that: "Wholesale customers and retail consumers, who pay a premium for Italian made products especially those carrying designer labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, are falling victim to a deceitful bait-and-switch scheme by defendants, who are selling eyewear that are actually manufactured in China, while bearing the stamp 'Made in Italy'. Defendants' misleading packaging and labelling are exacerbated by an overall marketing campaign, online and in print, that mislead wholesale customers as well as the consuming public to believe that their products are made in Italy."

Kering only brought its eyewear licences in-house last year in a move that although was initially met by “curiosity and scepticism” from the industry, CEO of Kering Eyewear Roberto Vedovotto told Suzy Menkes earlier this year at the CNI Luxury Conference, “The eyewear industry has been established for many years... we were convinced it was time for a change."

Miranda Kerr Embroiled In Jewellery Scam

The jewellery Miranda Kerr received from former partner Jho Low was bought with stolen money from a Malaysian development fund, according to reports emerging from the US.

Kerr dated the Malaysian financier after separating from ex-husbandOrlando Bloom in 2013, and prior to meeting her husband, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, in 2016. From Valentine’s Day 2014, Low is said to have started gifting the model jewellery with million-pound price tags.

For his first gift to Kerr, Low looked to Lorraine Schwartz. He told the American jeweller, who supplied Kanye West with the 15 carat engagement ring he gave to Kim Kardashian in 2013, that he had $1 million to $2 million to spend, and that size mattered. Low settled on a $1.29 million, 11.72 carat heart-shaped diamond engraved with Kerr’s initials, Teen Voguereports.

In November 2014, Low spent $3.8 million on an 8.88 carat diamond pendant for his then-girlfriend. A $1.98 million pair of 11 carat diamond earrings with a matching necklace, ring and bracelet quickly followed. All of these gifts are said to have been bought with some of the $4.5 billion Low stole from a Malaysian development fund.

The US Justice Department is attempting to seize back assets, including property, art, a yacht and a jet, that are alleged to have been bought with the money. Kerr is said to currently still be in possession of her gifts, but is cooperating with the investigation.

Leonardo DiCaprio is also said to be embroiled in the incident, and is returning the $13 million art that was given to him by a Hollywood production company, Red Granite, which is connected to Low.

Fendi Pays Tribute To Carla

Carla Fendi - one of the five formidable Fendi sisters (Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla and Alda), who inherited their family's fashion house - has died in Rome, aged 79.

Paying tribute to the style stalwart, who passed away following a long illness, the Fendi company said in a statement last night that Carla "never stopped to actively contribute with unchanged passion to the success of the company that continued to be a reason to live; from the first international recognitions obtained with the help of the four sisters until her last days. She was for all of us a source of inspiration and an example of dedication, work culture and sensibility for beauty. She will accompany us forever," reports WWD.

Carla joined the family business (which was founded in the Italian capital in 1925 by her parents Adele and Edoardo) in the Fifties, taking on PR and marketing responsibilities and is widely credited with the label's success in the US. Along the way she had a strong relationship with creative director Karl Lagerfeld - who was brought on in 1966 and last year marked his 50th anniversary at the brand - as well as LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, whose company first started acquiring stakes in the label in the late Nineties and which now controls it completely. Carla's niece Silvia Venturini Fendi, daughter of her sister Anna, has co-creatively directed the label since 1994.

In addition to her work with the family fashion house, in 2007 she established the Carla Fendi Foundation, "with the aim of contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage and values from the past, and to guarantee their continuity and future growth, primarily in the art, literature, cinema, fashion, environment and social sectors", reads the organisation's website - philanthropic work which cemented her reputation as one of the fashion industry's most prominent and admired figures.

Today, social-media tributes were made by many, including Italian's governing fashion body, Camera Moda, which said: "In memory of Carla Fendi, Italian fashion pioneer and ambassador. Her work and passion for art and culture will be an example for every generation."

Brooke Shields And Calvin Klein To Reunite

Almost 40 years after Brooke Shields’s “Nothing gets between me and my Calvins” campaign, the model is teaming up with Calvin Klein again. Brand CEO Steve Shiffman revealed the plans at Time Inc’s Cannes Lions Shakers & Stirrers event overnight, stating, “We are going to be working with Brooke again very soon.”

Shields first appeared in a Calvin Klein Jeans campaign in 1980, aged 15. The ad caused a media sensation, owing to the tagline, “What gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Shields subsequently became a household name.

The upcoming partnership is the second time Calvin Klein has paid homage to the 52-year-old supermodel under the creative reign of Raf Simons. His debut autumn/winter 2017 collection featured the 1980 campaign as patches on the back of the jeans sent down the catwalk. Shields, who sat front row alongside Lauren Hutton, Christy Turlington and Millie Bobby Brown told WWD that her homecoming felt “both nostalgic and exciting - it feels like yesterday and at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago.”

Inside Shanghai's Hermès Club

Thirty hours to go until the Hermès Club opens in Shanghai, and Bali Barret is padding through the chaos of the construction site. A diminutive woman with a leonine walk, she is dressed in the unofficial Hermès employee uniform: khaki shirt, cropped white jeans, thong sandals, multiple Collier de Chien studded bracelets, (polka dot) silk scarf. She appears remarkably calm, though insists: “Inside I am not relaxed.” She has reason to fret: tomorrow night, 1,000 members of the Chinese elite are due downtown, and the Club is nowhere near complete.

The Hermès Club, a one-night-only event designed to wow the brand’s Chinese clientele, is Barret’s current fixation. But there are many others. As artistic director of the Hermès Women’s Universe, Barret has ultimate design control over the womenswear, accessories, scarves and jewellery, making her one of the most senior (not to mention busy) women at the 180-year-old house. Also in her remit are the Women’s Universe events, customer-focussed extravaganzas that began five years ago and take place across the world. This latest is a 1,000-person party that’s been six months in the making, and designed in collaboration with Jean-Paul Goude – he of the famous Grace Jones album artwork, and, latterly, the Kim Kardashian ‘break the internet’ portrait.

It’s a long way from designing silks, Barret’s first role at the company, undertaken when she produced a capsule collection of scarves in 2003. “It’s like being a movie director,” she nods, as she takes me to view the site at Shanghai’s Long Museum. “I am a designer; really, my job is all about creating things. This is creation, too, but on a different scale. This is like a kind of digression for me, it’s another world.” She enlisted Goude’s expertise to add a sense of drama to the proceedings: the artist has designed the ‘Red Ballroom’, one of the rooms in the party that features a mobile of scarves blowing inside a giant cage, and directed the flamenco performance, which will take place in the music hall. He last collaborated with Hermès in 2000, for a New York store opening, but Barret has not worked with him before. She elaborates: “For me, Jean-Paul has a great sense of showmanship. I really wanted to do something that was entertaining, fun. He has a very special vision.”

The thinking behind these mega parties is three-fold. With the luxury industry stuttering the world over, it is no longer enough to simply open a store, stuff it full of collections and products first unveiled in Paris, and expect customers to come flocking. Hermès is one exception to the luxury downturn in China: in the first quarter of 2017, sales were up 16 per cent in Asia (excluding Japan). The house has strong presence here with 23 stores across China. Still, it understands the Chinese elite wants the exclusivity and excitement elicited by a catwalk show in New York, London, Milan or Paris – not to mention an opportunity to show off its Hermès Twillies and exotic Kelly bags. “[The Chinese customers] are super excited, they are in this discovery phase. Here, enthusiasm is strong,” says Barret. Secondly, the events makes good business sense: in the past, Women’s Universe events have stimulated a bounce in sales. As for the third reason? Barret shrugs. “It’s fun, non?”

The party space she has designed comprises nine rooms of custom-built set put together by Antoine Platteau. All are inspired by English gentlemen’s clubs, speakeasies, and sports societies, and function as a sort of super showroom for existing Hermès products. As we pick our way around ladders, cables and trays of pineapple (the Chinese prescriptive for soaking up the smell of paint and glue – it works), Barret calmly explains the guests’ progress: entrance via the ‘Lock Hall’, where giant barrel bolt locks (a key feature of the hit Verrou bag) on floor-to-ceiling doors open onto the ‘Chain Gallery’, filled with chain-handle handbags and a ‘Bangle Bar’, where faceless women wearing bangles will hand guests champagne.

Next: a music hall, where there will be three performances given by flamenco dancer Rocío Molina and her troupe of 20 dancers and 7 musicians, all of whom are wearing the pre-fall 2017 collection. 30-minute-long performance over, it’s on to Goude’s red ballroom, filled with red shoes, scarves and perfumes; then the member’s room stuffed with jewellery; sugary pink powder rooms filled with accessories; a billiard room; a ‘valet service’, i.e. Instagram opportunity sat in a 12m-long racing car; and the night club. As 500 workers mill around us calmly drilling and gluing and spray-painting, Barret’s only anxiety tell is a packet of cigarettes tucked away in her Constance bag for which she frequently feels.

At 7pm on the night of the Hermès Club opening it becomes clear, if it wasn’t already, that this is no ordinary party. Certainly, it is not the modern version of a international fashion brand event, which is essentially a cocktail-party-come-branding-tool in which pictures of celebrity attendees are plugged around the world and fashion editors sip prosecco in the background. There are no celebrities here. Nor are there paparazzi. This is about good old-fashioned fun: a party for clients, with beautiful handbags as both backdrop and pretext.

Barret, elegant in a sky blue silk two-piece printed with the distinctive chain print, slips in to watch the first performance in the music hall. An exceptional piece of theatre, during which the dancer Rocío Molino dances like a demon on giant orange Hermès boxes, smashes a glass, and conducts a doll-like parade of dancers wearing fluid pre-fall 2017 silk scarf dresses, the energy in the room is palpable. On one box, a Spanish guitarists serenades her, on another trumpeters provide blasts and beats, frequently clapping to create a seductive, intense rhythm in traditional flamenco style. The guests are enthralled: Molino brings the house down.

Then it’s on to try endless platters of food, highlights of which include sesame and basil ice cream, extra aged comté cheese, foie gras and quiche (the chef is French, after all), washed down with Louis Roederer and cocktails. Each room brings to mind a different movie director: guests play Mikado and cards with girls with pink wigs in the powder rooms (decced out in Wes Anderson pinks and plush velvet seating); admire the swirling scarves in the red cage (Baz Luhrmann); and pose in the giant green motor car with the silhouette of an LA skyline sparkling behind them (Sofia Coppola crossed with La La Land’s Damien Chazelle).

When they aren’t having fun, attendees clock each others’ wares: I spot five Himalayan crocodile bags, which the PR informs me are extremely rare (not to mention among the most expensive). They have resisted the urge, however, to deck themselves out in cartoonish proportions. “Chinese women are super modern, super elegant,” Pierre Hardy, the principal shoe and jewellery designer for Hermès, tells me over a cocktail. “They have excellent taste, especially in the way they like to put outfits together. There is no bling.”

In the billiards room, where a raucous game of bowling billards is unfolding, Barret has climbed onto the giant billiards table, to cheers from her team. She bowls a white billiard ball, which promptly clinks into one of the giant pockets without knocking any others in en route. She throws up her hands and laughs. “Very funny,” she says, a pet phrase.

It reminds me of something she said yesterday: “What is Hermès? What is not Hermès? It is intuitive. Hermès is about unexpected things, surprises, not a dogma. There are no rules.” Except, however on the billiards table. One strike and you’re out.

Marine Serre Wins LVMH Prize

French Belgian designer Marine Serre has won the LVMH Prize for Young Designers, as announced at a ceremony today at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Handed the award by Rihanna, Serre won the €300,000 grant in addition to a year-long mentorship.

Serre, whom currently works at Balenciaga, was up against seven other finalists - including British talent Molly Goddard - all of whom presented their work to a jury including Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Loewe artistic director Jonathan Anderson, Céline’s Phoebe Philo and Kenzo designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.

New York-based label Kozaburo, helmed by Japanese designer Kozaburo Akasaka, known predominantly for his menswear designs in denim, was awarded a Special Prize, earning him a grant of €150,000 and year-long mentorship from the LVMH group.

Speaking about the verdict, Nicolas Ghesquière said it was "quite unanimous", citing her athletic aesthetic and the romanticism and femininity of her collection which he said "really speaks of this generation".

"We all agreed that Marine Serre had an element of creativity and great talent but also a vision for the development of her brand," said the Vuitton creative director. "I mean, it’s only her first season, but it was fascinating to see someone who is 25 and not only very talented but also very pragmatic - that was important for the vote this year."

Fellow judge Carol Lim made reference to Kozaburo's skill too: "the craftsmanship in his collection, his ability to infuse his Japanese heritage - the clothing really stands out."

Hubert de Givenchy Opens Eponymous Exhibition in Calais

Hubert De Givenchy  has opened a self-titled exhibition at the Calais Museum for Lace and Fashion. The show charts key moments in the couturier’s career, including a range of designs he made for muse Audrey Hepburn and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

Seventy outfits are on display, alongside couture textile swatches, archive Givenchy scents and photographs which give insight into his creative universe. Everything in the exhibition, which runs from June 15 to December 31, has been chosen and curated by de Givenchy himself.

Speaking at the opening, The Guardian reports the designer praised his clients: “They were my friends. The perfect dress can make many things happen in a woman’s life. It can bring happiness. It is so nice to give happiness to your friends.”

Remembering his first encounter with Hepburn, he said: “Audrey came into my life in an adorable way. This very thin person [came to me] with beautiful eyes, short hair, thick eyebrows, very tiny trousers, ballerina shoes, and a little T-shirt. On her head was a straw gondolier’s hat with a red ribbon around it.” De Givenchy collaborated on Hepburn’s wardrobe for 1995 film Sabrina and then “every movie after that. It became a great friendship.”

The black satin Givenchy evening dress worn by the actress as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is on display, alongside a photograph of the pair enjoying each other’s company away from the silver screen.

Touching on his work for Kennedy, de Givenchy said: “I met Jackie before she was First Lady. She was very modern, very elegant, she loved fashion, she loved our clothes, but we had to be discreet.” He “made 10 or 15 pieces for the first presidential trip, but her secretary told me that we could not tell the press”.

The LVMH Prize: Why It Matters

Ahead of the announcement of this year's winners , Vogue looks at how the LVMH Prize became one of the most important contests in fashion.

When the inevitable Karl Lagerfeld biopic is made, its narrative will peak first in 1954 — the year his extraordinary life in fashion really began. Lagerfeld, then only 21, was awarded a prize by the International Wool Secretariat for his extraordinary coat designs. The same year, a teenager by the name of Yves Saint Laurent took home the dresses category. Lagerfeld was hired as an assistant to Pierre Balmain — who sat on the prize’s jury — while Saint Laurent found work at the House of Dior. The rest is history.

Today, that competition is known as the Woolmark Prize, and it remains an important launchpad for young designers. A host of similar contests have emerged alongside it, from the ANDAM Fashion Award in Paris to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in New York City. In 2014, these were joined by the LVMH Prize, a competition sponsored by its namesake luxury conglomerate. The Prize — open to anyone under the age of 40 who has produced at least two collections — offers €300,000 to the winner plus a year of mentorship from LVMH and its network. It also offers a runner-up Special Prize that includes €150,000 and similar mentorship opportunities. Thanks to the prominence of its sponsor company and the eminence of its jurors, which include Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Lagerfeld himself, the Prize has quickly established itself as one of the – if not the – most prestigious contests for young designers working in fashion around the world today. This year, more than 3,000 designers representing 102 nationalities applied.

“Our brand actually started after winning the Special Prize,” says Tina Sutradhar, one half of the duo behind Mumbai-based womenswear label Miuniku. Tina and her sister Nikita were awarded a Special Prize in 2014, and it had an immediate impact on their fledgling brand. The influx of cash allowed them to rent studio space, produce more clothing, and stage presentations, but the sisters view the mentoring they received as equally important. “Everything was so new, and we had so many questions about how we should go about things and what our next steps should be.” The Sutradhars credit Sophie Brocart, chief executive of LVMH brand Nicholas Kirkwood, for her guidance, even beyond the one-year threshold promised by LVMH. “She still comes to meet us and see our collections every season,” says Tina. “We are still learning and have a long way to go, but we couldn't have asked for a better beginning.”

The exposure that LVMH Prize nominees enjoy can be impactful, as well. Tina notes that even semi-finalists for the Prize are given an opportunity to introduce the jury to their work and enjoy the resulting media coverage. Greg Rosborough, one half of the New York-based menswear brand Abasi Rosborough, agrees. The label was shortlisted for this year’s Prize, and though it didn’t advance to the final round, Rosborough still views the experience as invaluable. “To be nominated was a strong point of validation for our work, process and story,” Rosborough says. “We had deep design discussions with Linda Loppa, Cathy Horyn, Tim Blanks and Nicolas Ghesquière, who intellectualised our work and gave us great insights, comparisons and thoughts.” It had concrete benefits, too — since its nomination the brand has noticed an uptick in press and growth in its e-commerce business. “With other competitions, once it’s over, there isn't much more that can happen,” Rosborough continues. “But with LVMH and all of the labels under their umbrella, the networking and opportunities are astounding. It is an incredible support framework to bring new designers into a global light. It’s also the most brilliant way imaginable for a company like LVMH to meet all the best emerging design talent in the world each year.”

Recognition from the LVMH Prize is no golden ticket to a stable business, though. Even winning the Prize does not guarantee it — Thomas Tait and Hood By Air, both winners in 2014, are no longer producing collections. “It’s not a long-term platform,” explains Ana Andjelic a luxury brand strategist. “It emulates the accelerator programs found in the tech industry, but the mentors are from the traditional fashion industry.” At the end of the day, though, the responsibility rests on the designers themselves. Steven Kolb, chief executive of the CFDA, puts it succinctly: “Their business decisions are their own, regardless of advice and support they are getting.”
This year, more than 3,000 designers representing 102 nationalities applied

When the winners of the 2017 edition of the LVMH Prize are announced on June 16, another pair of young designers will be granted an incredible opportunity, bestowed partly by Lagerfeld more than 60 years after he met his mentor in Balmain. There may never be another designer like Karl, but someone will have to take the reins at Chanel one day — and perhaps through the LVMH Prize he’s already met his successor.

Gucci's Alessandro Michele To Takeover Harrods

Alessandro Michele is putting his stamp on Harrods this summer, quite literally, launching a new DIY service in a garden-themed takeover.

Dressing the Knightsbridge store's windows, display areas and digital channels with his signature blend of flamboyant florals, butterfly and snake motifs, the month-long partnership will begin on July 31 and run through the month of August.

Beyond the visual, there will also be a collection of limited-edition bags, shoes, sneakers, and ready-to-wear for men and women designed by Gucci’s creative director on sale.

DIY areas at the store will allow shoppers to put their personal stamp on Michele's designs, adding decorative patches - including a Harrods exclusive butterfly patch - in a variety of colours, styles and sizes, bringing the "complete Gucci DIY offering" to the UK for the first time.

In another first, Harrods will also play host to the debut of Michele's debut fragrance for women, Gucci Bloom, a heady blend of jasmine, tuberose and Rangoon creeper.

Vogue Releases New Books On Calvin Klein And Jean Paul Gauliter

The latest designers to be featured in Vogue's On Designers books series are Calvin Klein and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Penned by esteemed fashion editor Carolyn Asome, Vogue on Jean Paul Gaultier explores how the French designer's illustrious "bad boy" reputation earned him a loyal following amongst fashion's most prominent figures. From designing bespoke corsets for Madonna's world tour to crafting bespoke haute couture to launching a fragrance line, Gaultier's accolades have been nothing short of revolutionary. The book follows the designer's unrivalled trajectory from his very first show in Paris in 1976 to his role as creative director at Hermès to launching an eponymous line. Asome's intelligent commentary provides a detailed analysis of Gaultier's timeless influence as exhibited through stunning photography by the likes of Mario Testino as seen in the pages of Vogue.

Vogue on Calvin Klein by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni follows the esteemed fashion journalist's first Vogue On book featuring Yves Saint Laurent, published in 2015. The author's latest literary offering delves into the minimalistic glamour of one of America's most esteemed fashion designers. Calvin Klein's all-American aesthetic has been extensively documented in Vogue through the years by some of the world's most-celebrated photographers including Lord Snowdon, Terry Donovan and Nick Knight. From that famous campaign featuring Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg to the perennial wave of #MyCalvins post on social media, Klein's influence continues to reverberate through the industry, as Fraser-Cavassoni illustrates.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How To Dress For A Music Festival

There are a whole load of awful things you could experience at a music festival, but - for other people - your eyebrow-raising outfit choices shouldn't be one of them. Before you set off for Glastonbury, Primavera or any of the brilliant outdoor music spectaculars happening across the globe this summer, put down the fluoro mankini and take note of the items your should avoid wearing at a music festival (plus the pieces you should pack instead). Keep cool, look cool with our guide to what to wear to a music festival.

DON'T: wear low cut T-shirts

Even if you've got a chest to rival Hugh Jackman, there's no way of getting around the fact you'll just look like you're in some terrible early Naughties boyband (or considering purchasing a jumbo bottle of vodka at an overpriced club in Piccadilly Circus).

DO: wear a 'brand merch' T-shirt

It's not just musicians who have upped their merch game over the past year (see: Justin Bieber's Purpose tour or Kanye West's Yeezy line), but more brands than ever before have launched bold new logo T-shirts. Instead of going for one of those ubiquitous Rolling Stones or Smiths shirts, proclaim your brand fandom with something graphic from Gucci, Palace, Supreme or Tommy Hilfiger.

DON'T: wear wooden beads

Because you're in a field with 50,000 other urban media types in their late twenties, not cresting some gnarly waves on your gap year.

DO: wear something subtle and silver

Instead, make like Ryan Gosling (every man's go-to summer style icon) and choose a necklace that's sleek, slim, silver and has something subtly eye-catching hanging from it. They're trending hard right now so whether you've got a budget that stretches to precious metal or something more humble and plated, there's a necklace for you out there-

DON'T: wear Kanye West shutter shades

DO: invest in a great pair of sunglasses

You'll wear them all year round, so why not use a summer festival as your excuse to upgrade your shades? Our tip: go for something lightweight with a metal frame - not only will these be more comfortable if you;re wearing them all day long, but heavier acetate will tend to slip down your face if you break a sweat in the sun.

DON'T: wear comedy fancy dress

Before you pack anything themed, take a step back. You're a grown man now; leave the fancy dress for the school leavers. Plus think how much you'll sweat in that full-length Scooby Doo costume you've been eyeing.

DO: go seriously Seventies

The disco decade is right on trend right now, so if you've been tempted to try out flared trousers, silk shirts or short-shorts, now's the time to set your inner David Bowie or Jimi Hendrix free. It's also the perfect excuse to grow out your moustache and sideburns while your out of the office - just be sure to pack a small tin of moustache wax to keep them under control.

DON'T: wear board shorts or a mankini

We know you want to cool off by getting your legs out, but neither of these items are the right course of action: board shorts will result in an awkward tan line midway down your calf (and make anyone who's not a ripped basketball player look approximately 2 feet shorter than they really are) and a mankini - well, do we really need to go into that?

DO: wear a pair of smart swim shorts

Made from quick-drying, breathable material, swim shorts will not only keep you cool all day long, but a pair that hits mid-thigh will also be very flattering on all body types shapes. As opposed to board shorts that cut off at the knee (which only serve to emphasise the thinner part of your legs from there down), a shorter length cuts across your thigh at its most muscular section making them look as impressive as possible.

DON'T: wear a bad hat

Trilbys, cowboys, the branded straw hats Carlsberg are handing out at the site entrance: none of these are acceptable.

DO: wear a baseball hat

There's a landslide of smart, minimal baseball caps on the market right now - so you can stay brand loyal and keep your head protected at the same time.

DON'T: get naked

Perhaps acceptable at Burning Man (at a push), but - trust us - no-one wants to see your junk at Reading.

DO: go shirtless the right way

While getting all your kit off isn't something we would encourage, we can understand how a man who's baking hot might want to cool off by removing his top layer. However, we'd advise that instead of going to full hog and taking your top fully off, keep a suitably summery, shirt-sleeve shirt on but unbutton it. This will not only look superb in photos, but will also mean your shoulders don't get fried when you forget to apply sun lotion - which, let's face it, you will - and you'll protect any other festival-goers from your unprotected armpits too.

DON'T: wear flip-flops

Flip-flops are great for the beach, but, as they don't have any form of support or shaping in the sole, your feet and calves will be killing you by the end of the day. Plus, you could quite easily kick 'em off and never be able to find them in the crowds.

DO: wear sandals

Instead, go for a pair of sandals like the Birkentock Arizona EVA. Not only is the formed foam of the shoe itself perfectly moulded to cradle and support your foot, but it's also super lightweight and totally washable should you get them covered in dirt.

DON'T: wear a backpack

We get it, you want to keep your valuables on you, but don't want to pack out your pockets - but no-one wants to get an upper-cut from the bag on your back as you jump up when the beat drops.

DO: wear a bumbag

Keep your phone, card and other all-day accoutrements in something a little more portable like a bum bag. And before you start to get Eighties flashbacks, you don't have to wear it around your waist: clip it diagonally across your body for maximum accessibility (and security).

Anita Pallenberg Has Died

Anita Pallenberg  - the Italian-German actress and model, Rolling Stones muse, Sixties style pin-up and It girl - has died aged 73. The cause of death is unknown at this stage.

The news was announced by Pallenberg's close friend Stella Schnabel, who paid tribute to the star on her Instagram account. "I have never met a woman quite like you Anita," Schnabel wrote, reports Rolling Stone magazine. "I don't think there is anybody in this universe like you. No one has ever understood me so well. You showed me about life and myself and how to grow and become and exist with it all... Thank you for the most important lessons – because they are ever changing and definitive. Like you. We are all singing for you, how you liked it."

Pallenberg was well known for her inimitable sense of style, which captured the energy and aesthetic of the rock'n'roll scene of the Sixties and Seventies, as well as her high-profile relationships with Keith Richards and Brian Jones. She had three children with Richards during their 12-year partnership, Marlon, Angela and Tara, although Tara sadly passed away at 10 weeks old.

Tributes have already begun on social media for the model, who maintained her ties to the fashion industry throughout her life, gaining a fashion design degree from Central Saint Martins in the Nineties and remaining a popular figure on the London Fashion Week scene - just last September she walked in the Pam Hogg show.

Designer Cozette McCreary was one of many well-known names to fondly remember Pallenberg in an Instagram post this morning, posting a recent picture of the late star with the caption: "Beaming beauty busy making drinks and chatting up my boyfriend, letting him take this picture in her kitchen as we snapped Bella's look book. We'd chat about archeology and gardening. Always digging: sites, allotments, scenes."

Sienna Miller Joins Instagram

Sienna Miller has publicly joined Instagram. The self-confessed social media luddite, who is notoriously private about her personal life, launched her account @siennathing with a profile description that reads "Marlowe’s mama" on June 12. Overnight it amassed some 5,000 followers, and at the time of writing has already reached over 60,000.

For her Instagram debut, Miller posted a black-and-white photograph of herself wearing Dior’s spring/summer 2017 catwalk hit, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s "We Should All Be Feminists" slogan T-shirt. The 35-year-old actress holds up her hands in a Star Trek-inspired salute, with the word "greetings" scrawled across her palms. The caption reads: "Hello World Wide Web #givin #peerpressure #luddite."

Miller’s second Instagram post was a poster for her upcoming theatre production, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which opens at London’s Apollo Theatre on July 13 for a 12-week stint. Her third, a selfie of herself and friend Cara Delevingne, captioned with an in-joke, "There's only one Shnoyster".

Though Miller has private social-media accounts for friends and family, @siennathing is the first time the Vogue cover girl has openly invited the public to share insights into her life.

Miller has already been active following other Instagram users, such as Barrack and Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders, as well as ex-partner Jude Law’s former wife Sadie Frost, and his two eldest children Rafferty Law and Iris Law. It’s only a matter of time before that blue tick – the holy verification badge – appears on @siennathing’s profile.

Mario Testino Awarded The Légion D'Honneur

Mario Testino  has been awarded Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. The ceremony took place last night at the French residences in Lima, capital of Testino's native Peru and was witnessed by close friends and family.

The famous photographer, whose work frequently appears in the pages of British Vogue, was awarded France's prestigious honour for his services to culture during his career (which has spanned over 40 years) as well as his philanthropic work through his cultural foundation in Peru.

"France is happy to show its recognition today to a person who, despite living under the brightness and the warmth of the planet, contributes to the development of young Peruvians as well as to the appreciation of the art and cultural heritage of their nation," said France’s ambassador to Peru, Fabrice Mauriès.

No stranger to awards and accolades, the fashion favourite was recently awarded the Fashion & Beauty Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Clio Awards.

"It's important for all of us to receive accolades because the children in us never leave us," he told us at the time. "As a child, if you do something that you're told is good, then you want a prize, and accolades are like our prizes. It's the way that we feel that something is recognised, that we've done something right and I think all of us like that."

Edward Enninful Names New British Vogue Fashion Director

Incoming British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful announced this morning that he has appointed Venetia Scott as fashion director of the publication. Effective from July 10, Scott replaces Lucinda Chambers, who departs the title later this month.

“Visionary, influential and inspiring are overused terms, but in this case appropriate to describe Venetia’s work," said Enninful today. "Venetia will continue the legacy of creativity and innovation for which British Vogue is known, positioning it for its next century."

Scott began her career at British Vogue working under then fashion director Grace Coddington, before moving on to work at publications including Vogue Italia, AnOther Magazine, Self Service, The Face, Arena, i-D and Nova - the latter of which she was fashion director. In the mid Noughties, Scott started a successful career as a fashion photographer, which has seen her images appear in British Vogue, American Vogue, Vogue Paris, W, Self Service, AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, POP, i-D, Document Journal, and Purple.

Scott's appointment is Enninful's first hire since he was made editor-in-chief back in April, replacing Alexandra Shulman. He will formally take up the position on August 1st. Discontinues, Redirects To is to discontinue operations and moving forward will redirect to The announcement concerning the e-commerce website - which was launched by Condé Nast last year - was made this morning.

"Today Farfetch, the leading global platform for the fashion industry, and Condé Nast, the preeminent content provider, announced a strategic partnership to connect Condé Nast’s global editorial portfolio with Farfetch’s e-commerce, technology and logistics platform," read a statement from the company, adding that, "The partnership will offer readers the unique ability to browse and shop Condé Nast’s inspirational editorial content on a global scale, further commercialising the editorial portfolio."

“As an early investor in Farfetch, this partnership is the next step in our evolving business relationship," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International and newly appointed board member of Farfetch, said this morning. "It further unites two leaders in their respective sectors, combining best-in-class content with the world’s leading online luxury shopping destination. This is an industry defining collaboration, and I am very pleased to be joining the Board of Farfetch. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire team for their dedication, energy and commitment.” was acquired by Condé Nast in April 2015 and marked the company's first solo venture into e-commerce. Its initial focus was to "sell merchandise to consumers, including readers and users of its magazines and websites such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, targeting fashion brands as well as upmarket brands from other sectors such as beauty, travel services and technology", read a release at the time. Its new venture with Farfetch - founded by José Neves - which it already owns a large stake in, marks a consolidation of all its online-shopping interests.

“We have long felt that inspirational content is a natural part of any luxury shopping experience," said Neves this morning. "In the same way as we empower the fashion industry and connect consumers with the world’s best brands and boutiques, we want to connect them with outstanding content. This global partnership with Condé Nast will significantly augment the retail experience for our customers, and we see it as a natural step in Farfetch’s approach to commerce and our strategic vision to connect those who create fashion, curate fashion and develop fashion content. Farfetch’s DNA is about partnering with those who are the best in their fields, and Condé Nast is one of the world’s best content providers. I am also thrilled that Jonathan Newhouse will be joining our Board of Directors."

The announcement is the latest big development to come from Farfetch this year. In February, Natalie Massenet announced that she was joining the company as non-executive co-chairman, ending industry speculation about her next move after her exit from Net-a-Porter, which she founded in 2000, following its merger with Yoox.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Condé Nast," said Massenet today. "Since 1999 I have believed in the importance of combining content and commerce in order to elevate the digital shopping experience. Content educates, entertains, and inspires purchases which is crucial in the customer journey of discovery. We have long admired the depth, breadth and sophistication of Condé Nast’s international reach and are excited for Farfetch to partner closely with Condé Nast. 

For the consumer this will be a joy to move from inspiration to transaction at any time and any place. And for the brands and international boutiques that have always partnered with Condé Nast this will further enhance their presence in Condé Nast’s media. It will be thrilling to develop the next evolution of content and commerce with Anna Wintour and all the brilliant talented minds at Condé Nast.”

Wintour, who as well as being editor-in-chief at American Vogue is also artistic director of Condé Nast, compounded Massenet's point. “I’ve always believed that what sets Condé Nast apart is our voice and our vision. Partnering with Farfetch only enhances that, and brings a new dimension to all that we offer the world.”

To The Sea: Bianca Balti Unveils Debut Swimwear Collection

From concept to creation, Bianca Balti's debut swimwear label - which launches on Yoox tomorrow - may be be one of the fastest turnarounds to date. But, as the model told us of her eponymous line, when you have a strong design aesthetic and idea of what you want to achieve, the rest comes easy.

Of course the support from the Italian e-commerce giant helps; the brand's founder and CEO, Federico Marchetti, personally invited Balti to design the collection - an offer she could not refuse, she told us - which, three months later, hits the virtual shelves. It is however, despite the speed of its creation, more than just a vanity project. Italian Balti has incorporated flattering silhouettes and shapes for sizes ranging from six to 20, bucking the barely-there trend, and is intent that comfort lies at its core.

How does it feel to be launching your label?

"As you can understand, everything has been rushed in the last three months, from the first meeting in March during Fashion Week through to the campaign. In my head, it’s like if it has already been launched. At this point, I really hope for the appreciation of our customers!"

What makes your eponymous brand stand out beside other swimwear labels?

"I wanted to create a line that would make women feel comfortable at the beach. The trend now is mini bikinis and, of course, I decided to go in the opposite direction; not everybody feels good exposing a lot of skin."

What was your inspiration?

"The inspiration was the Pirelli calendar, shot by Harry Peccinotti in 1968. It shows the beaches in California, the girls playing volleyball, with their blonde hair and those beautiful bikinis they wore in the Sixties."

What were the main things that you wanted to achieve?

"I wanted to have some pieces that not only would be high-waisted to contain, but also covering the B-side - aka butt cheeks - but also being cool and fashionable. To me it’s all about the details and the quality that were used in the past. Which I never want to lose."

The one-piece swimsuit is seeing a resurgence in popularity - why do you think that is?

"Because you just wear a pair of shorts and you’re ready to go to lunch, then you slip a pair of heels on and you can go to dinner. It’s multipurpose and it reflects the need of a modern woman to be ready to jump into every situation that life brings to her. Not everybody feels good exposing too much skin. That’s why this collection has so many pieces that cover strategically the belly and the thighs."

You are one of a growing number of models to turn designer – what do you think your experiences in the industry bring to the table?

"Well, I’ve seen a whole lot of bathing suits in my career, but also many great designs in general; I think that is the reason why I wanted products that feel more like clothes than bathing suits."

How involved are you in the business side of your business?

"I’m a control freak, so I’m very involved, especially in the design and creativity. I know what I want and it’s hard to delegate."

The size range is from six to 20 so very inclusive – why did you decide on this and why is it important to you as a designer?

"Because my friends and family are real people and they wear all sizes; I couldn’t imagine designing something that my loved ones could not wear."

Bikini or costume: in which one do you feel better?

"It depends; Usually I’d wear a bikini as I like to tan my belly, but after my pregnancy I definitely preferred to be more covered up with a one piece."

How do you plan to promote the brand?

"My dream is for the collection to speak for itself; I would love ladies in their fifties to talk at the beach about the good quality of my swimwear and teenagers about how the cool design is. So I really hope for word of mouth to be effective."

Do you see further categories being added at a later point?

"I totally have something else I’m already working on, something that has been my dream for the last 10 years. But as it is still a dream, I can’t reveal it yet! I can just anticipate that it will be something unexpected."