After having started his namesake brand only 2 years ago, self taught designer Simon Porte Jacquemus has quickly become one of the most in demand fashion designers to come out of Paris in a very long time. Hailing from the South of France, Jacquemus has managed to reinvent what Parisian design is. With a knack for theatrics, Simon manages to do what thousands of designers around the world find almost impossible: telling a story through a collection. This season, the Jacquemus show began with a cacophony of music that other designers wouldn’t dare allow their models to walk to, but that was all a part of the charm for Jacquemus. His story was one of a woman who walked to the beat of her own drum, she lives life with a joie de vivre that only the French seem to have. Jacquemus’s woman refuses to be stopped even if her dresses are sometimes too short, her buttons mismatched, or her shoulders too broad; she walks through life with her own sense of freedom and that’s one of the reasons the Jacquemus show has become such a highlight. Since his humble beginnings, Jacquemus has raised the bar for himself, with greater expectations coming from his audience and clientele. This fall seems no different which reflects his love of Southern French ease, impeccable tailoring, and just the right amount of whimsy. Jacquemus has created a brand that not only epitomizes the high fashion standards European demands, while giving his audience new ideas to feast their eyes on, rather than regurgitating trends every season.
As relative newcomers to the New York fashion scene, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s brand Monse has already made waves with only two collections under their belt. Both Kim and Garcia seem to understand what women in New York want from the fashion industry. Monse’s last show, which impeccably mixes fluidity, softness, and a carefree sex appeal, embodies the unconventionality that New York is all about. By mixing luxurious fabrics with a fluid manipulation of their designs, Monse transcends the realm of trendy contemporary clothing and solidifies itself as a modern fashion powerhouse. After last season’s successful collection, Monse now has the notoriety and credibility to really showcase how far they can take their soft and creamy designs for fall.
Hailing from one of the lesser known fashion capitals of the world, Sao Paolo, Animale is the brainchild of siblings Roberto, Claudia, and Gisella Jatahy. While not being as relatively new as the other brands on this list, Animale has finally had its big international debut with their Fall 2016 collection, having been noticed by fashion magazines around the world. The first thing any would-be buyer and fashion lover will notice about the siblings’ designs is the sheer sex appeal. However, Animale does not solely rely on daring silhouettes and underlying sexiness to sell their vision. Animale fuses the raw sex appeal of South America with the chic delicacy of European high fashion. One striking feature that Animale put forward in their last collection was a sumptuous mix of dyed leathers, python skins, velvet, and soft translucent fabrics, creating the image of a woman who understands her body –she is not ashamed of it– and is willing to showcase the beauty of her femininity to the world. It’s this simple mix of soft femininity and exotic dominance, topped off with the warm colour palette of pastels set against bright citrus and neutral leathers, that create the perfect tropical high fashion image that one can wear well into the fall season.
Tuomas Merikoski’s brand, Aalto, may hail all the way from Finland, but it’s managed to land a lucrative spot during Paris Fashion Week, which is a feat in and of itself. But the real triumph of the brand comes not from the reward of being granted a spot during the most exclusive fashion week in the world, but from the praise given to Merikoski for simply making exceptional clothing. Following the tradition of Scandinavian minimalism, Aalto paints the picture of a woman, strong and endearing, set amidst the harsh yet beautiful Finnish winter. She’s the queen of her domain, her lines are simple and clean, she knows what she wants and she doesn’t have to rely on anyone to get it. Now minimalism may sometimes translate as overly masculine when integrated into womenswear, but Merikoski manages to perfectly incorporate soft feminine touches into his Scandinavian queen’s wardrobe. Some of the standout pieces in Aalto’s last collection are a bubblegum pink knit dress, a mustard trench coat that comes complete with a relaxed fit and dropped waist, and a set of three plaid outfits in a shade of deep plum paired with beautiful shocks of royal blue. It’s these simple touches, paired with exceptional design, that have Aalto well on it’s way to becoming the next big thing in Paris.
Having only started his brand last year, it’s amazing to think that Moto Guo has done what may take a young designer years to do, especially in a city that isn’t used to hosting shows that push boundaries, but here he is. Hailing all the way from Malaysia, Moto Guo lit a spark during Milan Menswear week, a feat very few have managed to do due to Milan’s knack of favouring traditional menswear as opposed avant garde design. Moto Guo’s collection was either praised, or looked past for the same reason, but there is no doubt that he raised an interesting question. Should menswear cling to it’s hyper-masculine traditions or should designers start creating collections that blend what would be deemed traditionally feminine into menswear? Simply put, the answer is yes. In a world where gender lines and sexuality are slowly being blurred, why shouldn’t we blur the lines of fashion as well? Guo certainly understands this. If he has the confidence to send his models, both male and female, down the runway in what some may deem “cartoonish” outfits, why can’t other designers do the same? The beauty of Guo’s designs come from the freedom they give the wearer. Yes, they may seem a tad bit gimmicky at first, but who doesn’t secretly want to wear fun gingham patterned shorts, over sized button down shirts topped off with ruffled collars, or blazers with happy faces placed right on the front? It’s clear Moto Guo is designing clothes, not for the sake of making clothes, but rather for the sake of creating a dream and making it come to life. That, in itself, is a beautiful thing.