5 rising stars of fashion design for those bored of the big brands

Looking for the future Alber Elbaz or Raf Simons? These talented creators are tipped to be the industry’s next big things

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 November, 2015, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2015, 12:14pm

Their clothes may be gorgeous, but if you’re bored with what the big brands have to offer there are plenty of alternative high-fashion designers who’ll make sure you’re not wearing the same thing as everyone else. For those who want to be ahead of the game, we take a look at some rising stars causing a stir in the fashion world. From the romantic Latin feminity of Johanna Ortiz to the pure effortless chic of Rosetta Getty, here are five designers the industry is rooting for.

1. Charlotte Chesnais

Remember those sculptural bangles and five finger rings in Nicolas Ghesquiere’s final collection for Balenciaga? Those were designed by talented French jeweller Charlotte Chesnais, who has finally branched out on her own this season.

Chesnais may only be 30 years old but her CV is impressive – after studying at Paris’ Studio Bercot she started working in the business at the age of 19, spending a decade at Balenciaga before freelancing for other brands including Maiyet, Kenzo, Kitsune and Paco Rabanne, where she currently works. This year she also scooped the French Andam Prize for Accessories.

Her debut collection features bold and graphic pieces that are best described as wearable sculptures. Materials are kept simple and are limited to gold and silver. What’s interesting, however, are her shapes, many of which spiral around the ears, wrist and neck as seen in styles such as the futuristic Eden palm cuff. She is also known for subverting classics such as her Saturn earrings, which feature a hoop orbited by a sterling-silver circle that hovers in front of the ear.

Available at matchesfashion.com

Johanna Ortiz

Ruffled blouses, flamenco-style skirts, shots of black and red – there was a strong Latin American vibe on the spring-summer 2016 catwalks and the woman who has the trend (and much more) covered is Johanna Ortiz.

The Colombian designer studied fashion in the US at prestigious schools including Parsons School of Design before returning home to Colombia to start her eponymous label in 2001. This year, however, she has gone global and her clothes have quickly became a street-style favourite thanks to her sexy yet elegant designs and couture flourishes.

Ortiz cites the Colombian landscape as a frequent source of inspiration – cue plenty of vivid colours such as red, blue and green which add a modern twist to her structured silhouettes. The devil is in the details. Shirts feature asymmetrical necklines revealing the shoulders and come with ruffled sleeves while skirts are covered in sharp origami-style folds or feature cascades at the front bringing to mind Salsa dancers.

Available at modaoperandi.com


3. Palmer Harding

Many women will attest to the fact that finding the perfect white shirt is the holy grail of fashion. The search is finally over thanks to British designer duo Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding.

The Central Saint Martin’s graduates launched their line, Palmer Harding in 2012 specialising in the humble shirt. Since then they have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and i-D, show at London Fashion Week and were finalists of the Andam award in Paris.

The hype is well deserved – the boys are geniuses when it comes to cutting innovative patterns and other techniques such as draping. As a result the shirt is elevated from boring basic into a bonafide fashion statement. Their spring collection, for example, features mixed cottons, linens, leather, lace, woven jacquards and stripes, Swarovski crystal and brass. The shirts are constructed then deconstructed so collars are lifted from the neck and sleeves are attached to shirts with ultra-thin straps. Details include leather hand-gilded in silver foil and 3D stripes that lift away from the main fabric of the shirt.

For the upcoming season the duo are also launching a shirt series, a line of contemporary women’s wear shirts and shirt-dresses. Each style is an experiment in proportion and construction – shirts move away from the body while other parts incorporate structure into the shirting. They also feature interesting details such as belting and asymmetrical hems.

Available at matchesfashion.com

4. Rosetta Getty

Many fashion insiders say that minimalism is on its way out, but Rosetta Getty obviously doesn’t agree. The Los Angeles-based designer may have launched her eponymous label in 2013 but she has always been in the fashion spotlight. She started out modelling at the age of 15 working with luminaries such as Bruce Weber and Azzedine Alaia. At the age of 20 she decided to study the business of fashion and enrolled at Otis Parsons in Los Angeles. In the following years she launched several successful fashion labels including a high-end children’s wear collection and a couture and evening wear line that became a favourite with the Hollywood set (her husband also happens to be actor Balthazar Getty).

Getty’s brand, however, speaks to the modern woman who is looking to build a wardrobe that’s super effortless. Expect basics and evening wear that are casual yet elegant. Her autumn-winter collection for example takes its cues from photographer Slim Aarons’ post-second world war images and includes zen-like evening wear, while reconstructed tuxedos are the epitome of polished glamour.

And while Getty’s designs may appear to be no fuss on the outside, they are still uber luxurious. Much of it is constructed by hand and can be worn inside out or back to front (most are free of trims and closures). Fabrics include the finest Japanese twill, stretch-cady and cotton-poplin.

Available at farfetch.com

5. Vetements

Ever since Vetements launched in 2014, it has become a fashion insider’s brand, loved by countless editors who go out of their way to attend their biannual fashion shows in Paris. The secret, however, has finally been leaked now that lead designer, Demna Gvasalia, was appointed creative director at Balenciaga last month.

But back to Vetements, which is the reason why he got the coveted role in the first place. Vetements is the brainchild of a collective of designers – seven to be exact – all of whom have worked for major brands such as Louis Vuitton and Margiela. Gvasalia himself graduated from the famed Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and worked as head designer for women’s wear at Louis Vuitton prior to launching Vetements.

Vetements is all about an attitude, one that is inspired by the street and its subcultures, the internet and everyday life. The idea is to take familiar elements of the wardrobe – ie cargo pants, hoodies and trousers – and put them in a new context so they look fresh and modern. As such the collections are devoid of seasonal themes.

Highlights from the current autumn/winter collection include deconstructed puffer coats, formfitting sweatpants and tuxedo jackets, leather hoodies and sweater dresses with elongated bodies and sleeves for a look that is slouchy yet chic.

Available at netaporter.com and matchesfashion.com