And so, we’ve made it to the end of another year – another highly eventful year in fashion. The British Fashion Awards just behind us and Michael Halpern of new label Halpern a spotlight name to know next year (he won the award for British Emerging Talent, Womenswear); JW Anderson is solid as a rock with two more accolades to add to his now no doubt growing awards mantelpiece (he scooped Accessories Designer of the Year for Loewe and British Designer of the Year, Womenswear, for his own label); plus the news just in this week that there will be a new creative director at Mugler in Paris with Casey Cadwallader succeeding David Koma in the role; there’s plenty to look forward to as 2018 looms. Fashion never stops. And menswear is a month away (just don’t say that too loud standing next to a designer).
But we’ve decided to hit the pause button and stop a moment to ask some of fashion’s favourite designers and important names to share with us what their most memorable highlights of 2017 have been. Because among the big stories – Lanvin and Givenchy undoubtedly headline-hoggers this year – and the industry shake-ups, there are also the personal celebrations to be had and to be heard. First catwalk shows; first exhibitions; new ideas and the realisation finally of projects and collaborations. Because sometimes it’s easy to blink and miss them, or let them pass you by entirely while you wait for the next show, or presentation to start. Let’s take a festive break.
Matty Bovan, Portrait, Courtesy of PR.
"The real highlight of this past year for me was seeing all my girls from my Spring/Summer 2018 show storming the finale – they just looked so cool and tough and seeing all the work manifest itself was incredible. I am so lucky to work with such a great team who really help me achieve this vision both behind the scenes and on the catwalk."
Marques’Almeida, Marta and Paulo
Marques Almeida, Portrait, Courtesy of PR.
“Welcoming our daughter Maria and building more on our will to make fashion more inclusive and diverse with our ever-growing casting of empowered M'A girls."
Quoï Alexander, Portrait, Courtesy of PR.
“The best part of my year was feeling so much support from so many different people; the Federation, my amazing team – because it’s so many people who help me continue to do what I do. And I am really appreciative of their support. As my work evolves naturally, I’m really happy to see where it goes. Every season there are more and more opportunities!”
Richard Malone, Portrait, Courtesy of Pascal Gambarte.
“It's been an incredibly busy year, but very rewarding. The shows are a massive highlight for me but seeing the special commission I did for the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) go on show; seeing a piece you've worked so hard on appreciated in that context was incredible.”
Phoebe English, Portrait, Courtesy of Julia Grassi.
"Having the opportunity to show our work at the Victoria & Albert museum's Fashion in Motion catwalk series. The V&A is such an incredible building and I have loved it since I was a young teenager when I would get the train from the Midlands to come and bask in its mighty halls of incredible design. It was such a magical day; the Raphael Gallery is a really big space and I had been so worried that our small intricate textile details would get lost in such a massive room, but we showed all the looks in small-scale on puppets and somehow by making the work even smaller it gave it more magnitude. The puppets had such a presence in the gallery when all the models had left; it was very surreal. The show was a few days after we turned six years old as a company and standing in that huge room looking at six years of my work all at once was one of the most amazing feelings. I don't think I had ever sat down and contemplated how much we have achieved as a studio across the years; it was a really special day. I won't ever forget it.”
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council
“2017 has been an important year for the BFC and the wider community we represent. Our industry has come together and further established London’s global reputation for creativity, innovation, and diversity, of which we are very proud. London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Men’s represented British and international excellence alike and underlined the strength of our industry in times of Brexit uncertainty. Additionally, our Positive Fashion initiative, a platform designed to create collaboration and lead global positive change, includes the launch of our SWITCH to Green energy campaign with Dame Vivienne Westwood and the mayor of London and the appointment of Adwoa Aboah as our Positive Fashion Ambassador for Model Health and Diversity, appointed to inspire future generations.”
Faustine Steinmetz, Portrait, Courtesy of PR.
“Hosting my first runway show at London Fashion Week this season. I decided it was time for a change and time to move away from presentations. This was a very emotional moment for me and probably the most intense day of my life. Another big and rewarding moment has been winning the Swarovski award and being nominated to this year’s British Fashion Awards as best British Emerging Talent.”
And what of 2018, which will be filtering into our wardrobes very soon? “Continuing to develop sustainable fabrics that support local communities and make their craft come to life is also hugely important to me. I really believe things are slowly changing for our industry and that's something to be really optimistic about,” divulged Richard Malone about his agenda for the upcoming year, while for the MA duo, it’s their empire: “We think it's all going to continue to change at an impressively fast pace, but we can't predict where or how so we just have to keep going with our guts and listening to the girls around us and what’s still important to them.”
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!