Brand Highlights from 2018

It’s been quite a year for fashion. There’s been dramatic TV series, cyborg runway shows and futuristic collections that are changing the shape of fashion. We’ve put together the highlights from 2018 for each of our favourite brands.

Gucci’s Brand of the Year Award and Cyborg Show

Gucci AW18 - Instagram
Gucci AW18 – Instagram

After the 2018 they’ve had, it’s unsurprising that Gucci won Brand of the Year. Their creative campaigns have been outstanding and each collection has been quirky and colourful. Creative Director Alessandro Michele stepped up to  accept the award in a gold leaf crown which symbolises their position at the top throughout the year. Most noticeably, Gucci’s AW18 show still has everyone talking. Alessandro Michele pulled together an extraordinary show that involved the models carrying life-sized replicas of their own heads. Each head took six months to create in a production centre in Rome specialising in physical and special effects. The superhuman, futuristic theme of the show was contrasted masterfully with the eccentric, decadent and classical style of the clothes. It’s a show that will go down in history. In addition, Gucci’s most recent eyewear campaign, inspired by the press conferences of the 70s blew us away (See cover photo).

Saint Laurent’s Infinity Pool Runway

Saint Laurent Paris Fashion Week - Instagram
Saint Laurent Paris Fashion Week – Instagram

Saint Laurent’s Eiffel Tower backdrop for their SS19 show was unforgettable. Models walked through water, in the glittery reflection of Paris’s landmark that was lined with stretches of warm weather palm trees on either side. The infinity pool gave the illusion of the models floating on water. Plus, for the first time, on the public side of the the Trocadéro plaza, hundreds of guests came from all over to enjoy the show for free. They sat with their legs dangling from the wall and took in a show normally reserved for the rich or famous.

All Saint Laurent eyewear campaigns are infused with Parisian chic. Check out this top style from them…

SL 213 Lily Sunglasses in Red
SL 213 Lily Sunglasses in Red

The LILY frames are from Saint Laurent’s collection, The New Femininity: the first appearance of an extremely feminine and modernised cat-eye frames. The acetate frames are defined by retro glamour and Parisian attitude. The colour choices, a bold red and sleek black, are sophisticated and striking. The exaggerated cat-eye is a favourite style for many stylish celebs this year and we know they’re going to be ruling the eyewear trends this summer.

Valentino’s Pierpaolo Picciolo Won Designer of the Year Award

Pierpaolo Piccioli Designer of the Year Award - Instagram
Pierpaolo Piccioli Designer of the Year Award – Instagram

The annual Fashion Awards were held in London’s Royal Albert Hall last week and, as usual, they saw big wins for Italian designers and fashion houses. But it was Pierpaolo Picciolo for Valentino who came out with the impressive Designer of the Year award for his incredible forward-thinking work this year. Since 2008, Valentino has taken over as sole Creative Director, when Maria Grazia Chiuri, the other half of his design duo left the fashion house. Since then, Valentino’s vision of fantastical beauty, light aesthetics and romantic textures has taken over the collections. Speaking to Vogue, Piccioli said: “When you work with someone else, your emotions become thoughts; everything is more rational because you have to talk, you have to share your vision. Being solo, everything changes. You become more aware of yourself. Today I don’t have to understand why I love something, it’s about intuition.” His work has delivered collection after collection that has everyone talking and all the biggest models wanting to work with Valentino.

Versace’s Legacy

Assassination of Gianni Versace
Assassination of Gianni Versace

Following the tragic murder of her brother in 1997, Donatella Versace took over the fashion house and has worked to continue his legacy. At the prestigious CDFA Awards this year, Donatella was presented with the International Award, by actress Lupita Nyong’o, for her contributions to the industry and her transformative work following such a tragedy. Gianni’s death was paid tribute to in the hit US series, The Assassination of Gainni Versace: American Crime Story, created by Glee’s Ryan Murphy, that was released earlier this year. The drama follows the tragic murder of of Gianni by serial killer Andrew Cunanan and the legacy he left behind.Starring in the series are Edgar Ramirez (Versace), Penélope Cruz, Darren Criss and Ricky Martin. It’s sparked controversy in the media, with Versace’s former partner Antonio D’Amico and Versace’s family criticising the work for bearing little resemblance to reality. Having said that, it’s a stunningly aesthetic series that enchants and captivates the you throughout and exemplifies the decadence and intelligence of the man behind one of the world’s biggest fashion houses.

Versace eyewear is opulent and glamorous. Here’s one of our favourite pieces…

Signature Pilot Sunglasses in Bronze
Signature Pilot Sunglasses in Bronze

Versace transform the classic pilot silhouette into a glamorous piece, by adding a bold metal bridge detailing. The pair are striking, complete with cut-out metal arms adorned with the iconic Medusa logo for an extra stamp of style. Brown gold mirror lenses complete the look, offering total UV protection, as well as added flare. These contemporary sunnies are perfect for those who love to dare with fashion.

Alexander McQueen’s Biopic

McQueen Biopic
McQueen Biopic

Another tragic death in the industry was Alexander McQueen’s suicide in 2010. This year, a new documentary was released and it’s a moving and a powerful visual exploration of his life and work that were  inextricably linked from the very beginning. It’s incredibly honest; through archival footage of his shows and personal life, as well as interviews with his closest friends, family and collaborators, the film explores the legend and genius McQueen and all the myths surrounding him. Since his death, Sarah Burton has headed the brand as Creative Director and continues to be successful and original.

Calvin Klein’s Woman Campaign

Calvin Klein Woman - Instagram
Calvin Klein Woman – Instagram

Calvin Klein deliver incredible campaign after incredible campaign. It’s difficult to choose just one. However, our favourite campaign of Klein’s this year is the Calvin Klein Women fragrance ad, celebrating the young icons of Hollywood and women of the past who are inspiring the next generation. Actresses Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan front the campaign in a series of videos and photographs. Anne Collier directed the shoot, and appearing alongside the actresses are “icons of feminitity that have shaped their identities, as creatives, and as women”, who are personally selected by the stars. Nyong’o has chosen singer Eartha Kitt and actress Katharine Hepburn, whilst Ronan has selected actress Sissey Spacek and singer and civil-rights activist Nina Simone. The campaign is authentic, stripped back, and progressive; all attributes Klein is known for. “With this fragrance, we wanted to put the concept of plurality centre stage. The campaign is an exploration of femininity – a group of women bonded by a common thread; the desire to have the power to create their own identity, and to support and lead the way for those that come after them,” Raf Simons said.

Moncler’s Capsule Collection

Moncler Capsule Chapter 2 - Instagram
Moncler Capsule Chapter 2 – Instagram

At Milan Fashion Week, Moncler made an innovative transformation to the way we think about fashion. After much anticipation and mystery, Moncler opened their Genius Building- a conceptual space built to house the new collections. The space was packed with celebrities and fashionistas from across the world. The Genius Building was filled with huge tent-like constructions of different sizes. Each one was covered with silver fabric and surrounded by smoke. Spotlights shone into the pods. The traditional runway space was thrown out by Moncler this year, not only in the staging but also in the collections. Moncler didn’t limit themselves to showcase one collection, no, they wowed their audience with eight collections. The clothing was draped on mannequins, hung from the ceiling and projected onto mirrors. The futuristic space matched the modernity of the concept. Remo Ruffini, Moncler’s Creative Director, said: “The concept of the catwalk show doesn’t exist anymore for us, it’s a new way of working from now on.”There’s already been a Chapter 2, with collaborations from huge designers like Simone Rocha.

Ralph Lauren’s 50th Anniversary Show

Ralph Lauren - Instagram
Ralph Lauren – Instagram

Ralph Lauren put on a spectacular show, combining women’s, men’s and children’s wear at NYFW to celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary. In a press release, Lauren explained, “For my 50th anniversary, I wanted to create and share a runway experience that was deeply personal and a summation of the style I’ve always believed in: personal, authentic, and forever, in a place so quintessentially New York and so special to me—Central Park.” The dazzling show was put on at Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace and the guest list was more than impressive. Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Steven Spielberg, Robert DeNiro, Tony Bennett, Anne Hathaway, Martha Stewart, Blake Lively, Chance the Rapper, Priyanka Chopra, and Nick Jonas, were only some of the famous guests in attendance. After an endless stream of amazing designs worn by the industry’s biggest models, Ralph Lauren came out and received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Marc Jacobs Reissues the Famous Grunge Collection

Marc Jacobs Grunge - Instagram
Marc Jacobs Grunge – Instagram

Fashion nostalgia hit hard with Marc Jacobs’s new Grunge Collection. 25 years after his Grunge Collection rocketed him to stardom, Marc Jacobs is bringing it back with a new Resort 2019 collection filled with the same Beetlejuice stripes and beanies. Just as the most iconic models of 93’, Kate and Naomi, modelled his collection back then, non-other than Gigi and Kaia are the faces of 2018. Jacobs feels the same sense of Teen Spirit in the atmosphere today as he did back then, and he nods back to the past right down to each detail of the collection. Jacobs has remade 26 looks from the original Perry Ellis line, including striped suits, silk slips, and checked skirts. His team trawled through vintage stores and sources to find the original pieces to model the new collection on. They even consulted Perry Ellis for historical assets and visited the mills that produced the original prints. The new collection, Redux Grunge, is as fitting today as it was in 1993.

Stella McCartney’s Continuing Activism

Stella McCartney Eyewear - Instagram
Stella McCartney Eyewear – Instagram

Stella McCartney is one of the biggest activists in the industry. All of her eyewear collections are made from sustainable materials. This year McCartney was speaking out again after the Labour party in the U.K. demanded a total fur ban in the country. This lead to another fur debate in Westminster and McCartney wrote an open letter persuading the consideration to ban fur. In her letter she wrote: “Over the past few years countless brands and designers have woken up to the unequivocal cruelty of the fur industry and have subsequently stopped using fur in their collections. More than 80 percent of British people believe it is unacceptable to buy or sell any animal fur. The world is moving in a more positive direction and it is time for the UK to take the vital next step.” A petition signed by 400,000 members of the public in support of the fur ban was also presented to parliament.  What’s more, the designer introduced the new platform design to work through all her philanthropic ventures in one channel: Stella McCartney Cares. As part of its first Breast Cancer Awareness initiative, the designer will donate 1,000 of the brand’s Louise Listening post-operative mastectomy compression bras to women undergoing breast cancer treatment. The designer also hopes to encourage communication around breast cancer, and we’re delighted to say Idris Elba is set to front a new short film entitled All is Love.

Here’s a top pick from Stella McCartney’s sustainable eyewear range…

Swarovski Crystals Flat Top Sunglasses in Black Gold
Swarovski Crystals Flat Top Sunglasses in Black Gold

Stella McCartney never loses anything by being eco-conscious with her designs. These glamorous and bold sunglasses speak for themselves; the way to dress up this season is with Swarovski Crystals.