The Five Up-And-Coming Fashion Names You Need to Know
Ahead of the Spring 2018 season, the five on-the-verge labels to watch.
This week, a brand new slate of trends will hit the runways as designers begin to show their Spring 2018 collections during fashion week. In the next five days alone, expect new covetable pieces from the likes of Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Jason Wu, and Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim at Monse. Fashion is all about the new, which is why we’re also celebrating the up-and-coming names in fashion who will soon be the next big things in the style world. Here, your introduction to the five brands you need to know now.
Cecilie Bahnsen In just three seasons, Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen, 33, as drawn the attention of top stores like Dover Street Market London, as well as the judges for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, for which she was a finalist this year. And looking at her crisp designs, which illustrate her fascination with private school uniforms, incorporating eyelets, embroidery, quilting, and cable knits, it’s easy to see why. Bahnsen developed her taste for handwork as an haute couture intern for Dior and John Galliano, and more recently as part of the design team at Erdem. “It was interesting watching all these preppy kids on the streets of London,” says Bahnsen of the inspiration for her poetic, boy-meets-girl aesthetic. But that’s not to say she’s forsaken her homeland. “Denmark has an incredible design legacy, and that essential Danish combination of craft, attention to detail, innovation, and respect for materials is at the heart of my work.”
Victoria/Tomas Victoria Feldman, 28, was raised in Moscow; Tomas Berzins, who turned 26 in July, was born in Riga, Latvia. The two met at fashion school in Paris, and, in Feldman’s telling, it was love at first sight: “While other students were enjoying their holidays, we were at our apartment creating together.” After stints at Alexander Wang (Berzins) and Alexander McQueen (Feldman), the duo launched Victoria/Tomas in 2012. “We love to combine essential men’s clothes with feminine, and sometimes even girly, details,” says Feldman. Take their check poplin dress topped with an intarsia shark sweater, or their leather trenchcoat covered with embroidered sailor tattoos—both inspired by the goth punks and high-school jocks from Marilyn Manson’s “Tainted Love” video. She notes, “We like to make hybrid clothes, but balanced in a way that’s chic and wearable.”
Jezabelle Cormio, 26, lives in Italy’s Veneto region, in a small medieval town where, she says, people “sing and dance about seasonal produce.” It comes as no surprise then that her limited-edition eveningwear has a similarly jovial spirit. Cormio,, who is part Italian-American, part Italian-Croatian, grew up in Rome and earned her master’s degree from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts; she launched her namesake collection last season with what she describes as “a more youthful approach to evening that’s both luxurious and inclusive.” For fall, that translates into hand-painted 1930s negligees, a lab-coat dress in Chinese brocade, and a red T-shirt screen-printed with the words run devil run on the back. “I like to play in that funny area between the diva and the clown,” says Cormio, whose clothes are available at Opening Ceremony. “Dressing up and dressing down.”
The street-wise label R13 is known for its artfully destroyed Italian-made jeans. Lesser known, however, is the man responsible for them. That’s because Chris Leba, who worked for Ralph Lauren for 19 years and launched his own line in 2009, remained behind the scenes until last year, when he took a bow at New York Fashion Week. Since then, his collection—and the buzz around it—continues to grow. Fall highlights include lopsided Irish tweed jackets, sinuous satin slips, and sweaters worthy of Kurt Cobain. Leba came to the U.S. as a refugee from Vietnam, and his collection’s punk undertones stem from a wide-eyed childhood steeped in 1980s and ’90s American culture. Yet balancing that out is a sense of tradition learned from his mentor. “Ralph taught me the idea of authenticity and heritage,” he says.
Michael Halpern is giving fashion a jolt. The 29-year-old New Yorker studied at Parsons School of Design and learned all about luxury working for J. Mendel and Oscar de la Renta, but it wasn’t until he relocated to London and enrolled in the Central Saint Martins M.A. program that he realized the wealth of possibilities in high/low glamour. His latest offerings, inspired by photos of his mom dolled up to go out to Studio 54, and Cher sporting Bob Mackie gowns, offer a range of divalicious disco-wear, including sequined catsuits, satin bustiers, and big, bold furs that have already been snapped up by Bergdorf Goodman and Matchesfashion.com.
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