Fashion has always thrived on change, inspirations, fantasy and individuality. And this issue of STYLE pays tribute to all things en vogue this season. Taking a global cue, we visit Beijing, London, Los Angeles, Madrid and New York to capture the best of what this season has to offer.
First stop, Beijing: to check out the hottest faces on China's modelling circuit. Shot by photographer Feng Hai, our cover girls this issue, Dai Xiao Yi, Lu Yan and Zhou Bin, exude individual spirit, strength and unrivalled professionalism (we shot in Beijing's sub-zero conditions) and reflect our changing attitudes towards what constitutes Asian beauty.
In London, writer Stephen Doig meets shoemaker Manolo Blahnik. Part artist, part designer, Blahnik's exquisite shoes exude creative whimsy. After more than 35 years in the industry, the maestro's work remains resolutely relevant in the fickle world of fashion and his brand has become a byword for elegance, sex appeal and sophistication. He talks about his remarkable career built on handcrafted indulgences.
Staying in London, we also interview one of fashion's most promising entrepreneurs, Net-a-porter.com founder Natalie Massenet. Known for her business acumen and her sharp eye for fashion, Massenet opens up her photo album and talks about how her style has evolved over the years.
Over in Los Angeles, we catch up with uber-stylist Rachel Zoe, whose style cred has skyrocketed in recent years. As the woman responsible for dressing the likes of Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner, Zoe is the epitome of glamour. Here, she catches her breath between red-carpet fittings to talk to STYLE about being Tinseltown's most sought-after stylist.
Speaking of all things glamorous, we investigate the phenomenon of extreme luxury in which extravagance takes on a whole new meaning. Forget about handbags with five-figure price tags - they are small fry compared to what STYLE has unearthed.
Photographers Richard Ramos, Ian Tong and JC capture the hottest looks of the season in Madrid, New York and Hong Kong respectively. And last but not least, our Hit List is packed with the must-have accessories, It bags and beachgear to see you through summer.