An Alexis Mabille design blends chicness and a fun-loving spark—and, always, a distinctly Parisian elegance. He does contemporary evening wear at the highest level, lending new definition to the phrase “French twist.”
Nonchalantly elegant and slightly bohemian, the Alberta Ferretti girl is an individualist—but with popular appeal. She’s the Anna Kendrick or the Alessandra Ambrosio of the cocktail party; fun, but fiercely unique, and unafraid to dance in the moonlight.
Brandon Maxwell is that rare designer who appeals to more daring tastes (like Lady Gaga—he’s also her stylist), while still inciting longing amongst women who prefer their dresses in a bit more of a traditional realm. Case in point: Maxwell’s stunning, sexy and structured pieces have major star power.
Canadian Chris Gelinas, a one-time finalist in the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, makes intelligent sportswear with a feminine edge. Envisioning a sharp mix of smart tailoring, pretty prints and fresh silhouettes, he is one to watch.
Christopher Kane—the Scottish-born, London-based wunderkind—is a fashion force of nature. His repertoire spans from the natural (industry watchers will recall his famous monkey-print dresses from Spring 2009) to the scientific and the brainy. Recent lineups have featured homages to mad science, to ancestry, to mercurial petals and much, much more. Kane is one of those rare creators that makes you think—usually long and hard—about what fashion can embody and represent beyond the runway.
Emilio Pucci—most people usually just say 'Pucci'—is Italian jet-set luxury at its most retro-fabulous. But that’s not to say it isn’t relevant for the now—the house is under new leadership by the designer Massimo Giorgetti. He’s adding a quirky sensibility, without sacrificing any of the kaleidoscopic color for which Pucci is so beloved.
Daringly fresh is the name of Esteban Cortazar’s game. The Miami-raised designer knows a thing or two about sexiness, but without going overboard. Instead, he renders form in a way that pushes the envelope, with outré shapes, razor-sharp cuts and double take-worthy silhouettes.
Think: paisleys with panache. Golden-era Italian glamour. Smoking-section charm. In essence, Etro is bold, bright and unbeatable, from rich fabrics to lustrous prints and most everything in between. Plus, with the label’s penchant for interesting color combos, the Etro girl is also a pacesetter—and uncompromising in her tastes.
Figue, the lifestyle line launched by Stephanie von Watzdorf in 2012, simmers with covetable, beachy nomadism. With its colorful caftans and cover-ups, you'll feel compelled to leave the big city in your dust as you head out to soak-up the sun.
Genevieve Jones’ jewelry designs are fun and fresh—and the perfect embodiments of the girl-about-town’s dynamic (and not to mention, durable) style. Says Jones: “I want my collections to have meanings, to tell a story—but the story doesn’t have to be literal.”
Haider Ackermann’s designs are ultra-rarefied, and, in turn, über-sophisticated. He’s known for his sumptuous color-play and laid-back, sometimes pajama-like silhouettes—though he’s also not afraid of a skintight trouser and an exposed swath of skin. Think these two words: pure decadence.
Haney, from Mary Alice Haney, is all about red carpet glam. The designer, who also works as a celebrity stylist and fashion editor, knows Hollywood’s in’s-and-out’s better than most. It is a perfect wellspring for her sexily luxurious and gorgeously confident signatures. Step and repeat!
Isolda's pieces flutter and entice with the pizzazz of a Brazilian samba party, but they're also sharp and grown-up. Think: versatile garments for wearing from Leblon to Lafayette Street and back again.
Jason Wu has become a New York staple. The designer, who just celebrated ten years in business, is known for his pristine uptown polish albeit with dashes of downtown edge. Think: high glamor, with urbane grit.
Known for its American elegance (usually with a fur on top), J. Mendel is an uptown home run with an increasingly downtown edge. All in all, it’s very, very New York. Think: ageless and glam and even a bit sporty, at times.
The first true American luxury brand, Judith Leiber is a name synonymous with elegance, style, and sophistication. For more than fifty years, Judith Leiber’s incomparable evening bags and crystal minaudières have been recognized worldwide for their meticulous attention to detail and flawless handcraftsmanship.
All you need to know is this: the young designer Katie Ermilio is the granddaughter of Grace Kelly’s personal clothier. The woman has style in her genes. Her aesthetic is clean-lined and highly tailored, but also feminine and, sometimes, fanciful.
Khirma Eliazov launched Khirma New York, her accessories label, in 2010. Over the past seven years, the brand has become known for its mixtures of luxury finishes (from high grade leathers to exotic skins) and, subsequently, its statement making results. Eliazov's designs are exactly the right combo of polished-meets-punchy.
Kris Goyri's ready-to-wear designs are a bold blend of urbane sophistication and romantic impulse. This Mexico City native is considered one of his hometown's standout talents, and is inspired by art, illustration and color.
LaDoubleJ is a Milanese retail venture founded by the journalist J.J. Martin. It sells exclusive and top-notch vintage clothing and accessories (the company calls its selection a “rigorous edit”). By special agreement with Armarium, a sampling of LaDoubleJ's treasure trove is available exclusively for you to borrow—from Missoni to Renato Balestra. There are only three words to describe it: pretty. damn. fabulous.
Julia Haart's La Perla is majorly sexy, and its not afraid to make a statement. Haart has also cleverly evolved the idea of underwear as everyday wear; many of her pieces are lingerie-inspired. Starlets across the world can't get enough of her designs (Kendall Jenner included).
Poetry, art and nature inspire designer Luisa Beccaria. No doubt, you can see all three in the brand’s beautiful, dream-like gowns—from romantic frills to regal volumes to floral prints. Also, worth noting: Beccaria is the go-to designer for when European nobility types need dresses for the summertime wedding circuit!
Montreal, Canada-based Lysa Lash Furs is a "fabulous fur fashionista." Her family has sold furs for four generations; Lash's spin is that she offers contemporary and casual—but just as luxe—iterations. Winter is coming, so check out (and reserve) her designs now!
Wearing a Marchesa dress is almost as good as winning the Oscar itself; designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig's gowns radiate with red carpet glamour. Fame, fortune, fabulousness—the Marchesa girl runs the show.
Marc Jacobs is one of New York's brightest (and boldest) names. A keystone of American fashion, he is known for his trend-launching instincts, mixing grunge influences with a quirky, contemporary design aesthetic. There's a reason he's a favorite amongst stylists and buyers alike; there's always a conversation to be had around a Marc Jacobs piece.
There are few things as lovely, lounge-y and laid-back as a Missoni knit (just picture Margherita Missoni chilling seaside with her friends at the Pellicano in Porto Ercole, zig-zagged to the nines). With one of the most recognizable motifs out there, the house—and all of its colorful kick—is for the girl who is confident in a cool way, and nostalgic with a modern edge.
Adored by celebrities and the social set alike, Monique Lhuillier has attained a cult fan base for her extravagant and beautiful eveningwear designs (her gowns, for lack of a better word, are knockouts). She’s famous for bridal, but there’s much more to Monique’s magic…
At their MUGLER revival, David Koma and Virginie Courtin-Clarins know a thing or two about modern sensibility: their clothes retain the eighties spectacle of Thierry’s fabulous shapes, but are streamlined and exactingly cut—perfect for power-players and party people, alike. Pure chic, with a razor’s edge.
Osman designer Osman Yousefzada calls his aesthetic “architectural-elegant.” It’s an effective combo; orderly lines and simple shapes flatter the body, while rich colors and a statuesque presence are red-carpet ready-to-rock.
PASKAL, by Julie Paskal, was born out of a love for building. Paskal founded her eponymous line in 2013 upon graduation from architecture school. Ever since, she has blueprinted a distinct wardrobe aesthetic of minimalist forms and feminine silhouettes. The result is something that's somehow both ethereal, yet linear.
Peter Pilotto—the kaleidoscopically alluring ready-to-wear label from Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos—makes clothes for street-style starlets on the rise. There’s just something about the label’s patterns, color-combos, embellishments and flourishes. Think: look-at-me, but in all the right ways.
Prabal Gurung’s girls love a party. However, they’re not partiers. Sporty and sensible (but with a toe-dip in the red carpet glamour pool), Gurung’s designs are for the young lady who lights up a room. “Who was that?” they’ll whisper, likely with envy.
Ranjana Khan's eclectic jewelry is inspired by her innate sense of style. Her designs are bold statement pieces, handcrafted using the most rare and unusual materials. Vintage beads, semi precious stones, feathers, burnt crystals, vintage coins, snake skin - anything and everything comes together to create each exceptional piece of Ranjana Khan jewelry.
The Roberto Cavalli label is known for its over-the-top glamour and its kaleidoscopic riots of color, print, splash and sparkle. From animal prints to ruffles and everything in between, Cavalli is a fantastical fashion dream come to life!
Rochas, which is currently helmed by the designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua, rather perfectly synthesizes the stylistic insouciance of Paris with the exactitude of an Italian eye. These are grown-up clothes, with a streak of playful novelty and a lean towards generous drapes and unapologetic layering.
With an emphasis on quality build, flattering shape, and ultra-chic minimalism, Roland Mouret is, in a way, the ideal dressmaker. This French designer’s pieces are perfect for being both cleanly versatile and Best Dressed-list worthy.
Rosantica jewelry—by designer Michela Panero—captures the splendor and the elegance of the Roman empire but entirely in 2016-appropriate shapes. Think: pearls, vines, filigrees and decadence yet in chicly sparse forms.
Sachin & Babi is a ready-to-wear line founded in 2009 by Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia. The duo's aesthetic combines elegance and easiness. They label it as: "tasteful," "modern," and "wearable." We agree.
Bringing Italian heritage with clean-lined and contemporary updates, Salvatore Ferragamo makes clothes and accessories for the girl with a busy day; polo ground by morning, beach club during the afternoon, and party (in another country) come nighttime.
Under new direction from the designer Julie de Libran, Sonia Rykiel’s lineup is stylish without trying too hard, a touch on the quirky side, and, ultimately, deliriously covetable. The absolute pinnacle in French girl chic.
Vera Wang is a New York fixture. Her clothes are supremely nighttime, and often loaded with an edgy spark. Yet, too, Wang's designs are also elegant and regal. Call her a perfect blend of all the city's stylistic inclinations.
Vika Gazinskaya collections are internationally renowned and rooted in the highly personal aesthetics of its creator. Vika was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. During her time studying fashion design, she won a contest awarding her an internship at L'Officiel Russia, where she developed a deep knowledge of the fashion industry.
Vionnet—the storied French house founded in 1912 by Madame Madeleine Vionnet (the designer who, fun fact, brought the bias-cut to the mainstream)—recently underwent a revival thanks to Goga Ashkenazi. The clothes are still architectural, and will no doubt leave a regal impression at the step-and-repeat.
Call it the fashion thunder from down under: Australia's Zimmermann is a powerhouse. From sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, this label is known for its ornately stylish dresses that mix rococo flair with English daintiness and a bit of Australian kick. The result? Ultra-wearable, ultra-feminine, and ultra-pretty clothes.
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