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The Names To Know

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Stella Jean AW15

SS16 is coming with big steps, guys! The fashion month will begin really soon. The first week of September will be all about New York’s bliss and sophistication. Then, we will all have a jet-lag in London. Have a large plate of pasta in Milan and eat breakfasts at the new Fondazione Prada. Go to the sleaziest night-clubs of Paris for fashion shows. Also, this means a constant Instagram overload, long evenings spent on writing reviews and this fabulous / exhausting feeling you have during the fashion month. As we are all still charging our batteries on these last days of summer, here is my list of designers to KNOW & WATCH during the spring-summer 2016 marathon.

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Eckhaus Latta / Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta from Los Angeles don’t care about their model’s size, age, gender. Their street casting and friend-models wear their clothes on runway as if they were having a stroll around Downtown. Raw domesticity is explored and modified, as imperfections are made beautiful and comfort found in the most unexpected of places, due to spontaneous fittings and very soft textiles.

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Rosie Assoulin / Many designer who do evening-wear think that an excessive amount of Swarovski and flesh-exposing-cuts is just it. But thankfully, Rosie Assoulin is the woman who says a loud “NO” to that. The New York-based designer creates dresses which are mostly categorised as “evening” ones, but surprisingly look as good with white sneakers as with heels. By looking at her previous, autumn-winter collection by Rosie, it’s easy to conclude, that these simply cut, boldly coloured dresses look at their best with sweatpants and yes, even with hoodies.

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Marques Almeida / They were the ones who discreetly made frayed and cut denim cool again; they made 90’s vibe strong and most noticeable this season. And there is something about their cool, ghetto attitude. The Portuguese duo rocked London just a few years ago and from the beginning smelled with success. Winning the LVMH Prize Award this year, Marques Almeida is now excepted to be really IT, after the luxury group, LVMH, takes them under their wings.

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Faustine Steinmetz / In Steinmetz’s label, each textile is solely hand-woven by one person using their traditional hand looms.
And, each piece is meticulously made by hand, with some pieces taking over a week to weave. “In our East London studio we spin, dye and weave all our own fabrics. We reproduce iconic pieces, the kind everyone has or has had in their wardrobe at one stage, except we make them all by hand.” Faustine Steinmetz creates and designs denim which isn’t really denim- it’s a new apparel vision, but on upper level. And I just can’t wait to see how her amazing vision is going to evolve.

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Stella Jean / The brightest star of Milan Fashion Week, I must admit. Stella was born in Rome, however its her Creole roots that make her fashion so unique and open-minded. From season to season, she offers her clients a mix of ethnic prints and references with a chic, Italian heritage. Although this might sound quite avant-garde, her clothes are a combination of “hand-made” tradition and European comfort – beautifully embroidered trousers evoke the warmth of India; a kimono from Tibet looks like a dream. Stella Jean should be praised not only for her breath-taking clothes, but for her idea of giving women and men around the world a chance to do their craft, work in good conditions and being paid for their talents.

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Vetements / Lately, I have written a long post about this eponymous, yet provoking label from Paris. Vetements in French means clothes – but Vetements goes far beyond the meaning of clothes in today’s fashion industry. It exaggerates clothes. It elongates the sleeves, gives volume to cowboy boots and makes floral grandma dresses look scandalous, and kind of sexy. Led by Demna Gvasalia and six other anonymous designers, who met while working as design team at Maison (Martin) Margiela, Vetements is the new force which makes fashion rules feel even more useless than ever. Even their AW15 fashion show wasn’t a typical event where clothes were celebrated in a traditional way. But don’t think it was done in a buzzy, Chanel way – oh no. The “creative network” of the brand took their guests to Le Depot, a dark sex-club, where everybody felt a mood of anti-fashion. At first sight, you might not really understand the collection – but in reality, it is not that deep in its meaning as you might think. These clothes, even though look pretty grotesque, are wearable. Gvasalia claims “as long as we can make clothes that people want to wear and they find them cool and relevant, that’s my understanding of hype”.

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Eckhaus Latta vibe. Forget the fashion rules, it says.

This is my list of designer “to watch out for” during the SS16 season. Would you add anybody else?

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Hillier Bartley

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Hillier Bartley’s advertisement campaign photographed by David Sims.

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome Hillier Bartley – a new brand coming from the British designer duo, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley. After closing the sister line of Marc Jacobs, MBMJ, these two truly unique personalities decided to open their new chapter in fashion! Firstly, in February, Hillier Bartley was quietly presented to few buyers; then, a mysterious Instagram account appeared. And now it is the time to see, what they are really up to – edgy, slightly decadent style that celebrates English tailoring with feminine twist. Warm wool coats, fringed bags, satin blouses and lady-like silk gowns – and all of that kept in a cool, quite nostalgic manner. No wonder why you can find Tracey Emin, David Bowie and Debbie Harry in the brand’s AW15 moodboard. Also, Hillier’s signature bunny motif appeared in the collection in form of adorable clutches.

The collection will be exclusively available at Matches from September 2nd.

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In September issue of Vogue US by David Sims.

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