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IT’S FASHION MONTH! Keeping up with the frenetic pace of the industry has always been difficult, but just recently, the speed has amped up considerably. With another season of shows starting, fashion houses in a state of flux as creative directors depart left, right and centre, a multitude of designers switching and swapping the cities they show in, and the line between the menswear and womenswear shows growing ever more blurred, it can seem impossible to keep up with what’s going on, even when you work in the industry.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy (but by no means definitive) cheat sheet that should see you through most fash-un related chats. You’re welcome.
ALEXANDER WANG IS DITCHING NEW YORK
Since launching his eponymous label over a decade ago, Alexander Wang has basically defined what it means to be a cool New York girl about town – but his AW18 show will be his last on the city’s fashion week schedule. The designer isn’t heading to Paris or Milan though, as was initially speculated. Instead, he’ll be showing his mainline collections in July and January – a slot usually occupied by the resort and pre-fall shows.
PHOEBE’S CÉLINE IS OVER, LONG LIVE PHOEBE’S CÉLINE
Chances are you’re still reeling from the news that Phoebe Philo’s ten-year reign at Céline has come to an end, and the bad news is we’ve also already seen her last collection. The next to be presented, as part of PFW, has been designed by the French label’s in-house team, before Hedi Slimane takes up his position as artistic director later this year.
BALENCIAGA WILL DO SOMETHING WE’LL ALL BE TALKING ABOUT
Since he was appointed creative director of the house back in 2015, Demna Gvasalia has become today’s tour de force of fashion – Balenciaga’s shows are always the ones we’re talking about. The man has managed to make bumbags, dadcore, and Crocs cool, so there’s definitely going to be something to talk about after his AW18 show (his first to feature both menswear and womenswear). Mark our words, and mark your calendars.
LOUIS VUITTON’S GETTING A NEW MENSWEAR DESIGNER
It’s all change at the top, as Kim Jones announced his departure from Louis Vuitton just before his menswear show in Paris last month, before taking his final bow with a supermodel on each arm just days later. There’s no news yet (but plenty of rumours) as to where he’s heading – and who will be replacing him at LV. Expect an announcement imminently.
JW ANDERSON IS GOING CO-ED
JW Anderson is joining the likes of Gucci, Balenciaga and Vivienne Westwood and sending his menswear and womenswear collections down the runway as one this season, which begs the question; just how is he going to fit everyone into his usual tiny show venue? We’ll keep you updated.
BOTTEGA VENETA IS SWAPPING MILAN FOR THE BIG APPLE
While many designers are hot-footing it out of NY and instead opting to show in Paris, London and Milan, Bottega Veneta is doing the opposite and heading for the bright lights of the city that never sleeps. The show will take place at the American Stock Exchange this weekend, but it’s a one-off to celebrate a new store – they’ll head back to Milan next season.
CHRISTOPHER BAILEY WILL TAKE HIS LAST BOW AT BURBERRY
Keeping up? Christopher Bailey has spent the last 17 years transforming Burberry from British heritage brand into a bonafide heavyweight on the international fashion stage, but in October, he announced he was off, too. We’re still waiting to see who’s going to be stepping his (rather large) shoes and taking over the house. Phoebe? Kim? ...Gosha?! Who knows.
MARINE SERRE JOINS THE PFW LINE-UP
Having won the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2017, all eyes will be on Marine Serre as she makes her debut on the Paris Fashion Week schedule. The designer, who joined Balenciaga as a design assistant fresh out of university, is becoming known for a feminine take on streetwear-inspired silhouettes and a deft use of colour and pattern.
FASHION EAST’S CHARLOTTE KNOWLES AND SYMONDS PEARMAIN MAKE THEIR RUNWAY DEBUTS
With designers including Grace Wales Bonner, J.W.Anderson, Craig Green and Charles Jeffrey making up the alumni, it’s safe to say that Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East has become a force to be reckoned with in the 18 years since its inception. Making their runway debuts this season are Charlotte Knowles, the CSM graduate who worked closely with Shayne Oliver at Helmut Lang, and Symonds Pearmain, who cite Lily McMenamy as their muse. Definite ones-to-watch.
THE EXHIBITION WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR OPENS
By the time a season of shows comes to a close in Paris at the beginning of March, it’s likely that many of those attending fashion week – and those unwittingly caught up in the throes of it (we’re looking at you, bemused tourists) – will be in need of a little R&R. Opening on March 3rd in Paris is the long-awaited Maison Margiela retrospective, taking place at the Palais Galleria – head there for a hushed walk around its halls before heading home to SLEEP.