No doubt about it, 2012 is Great Britain's year. From Kate Middleton to the Olympics, all things UK are having a moment. Now it's Louise Gray's turn to sparkle, as the Scottish designer launches a clothing and beauty collection for Topshop. Rich with pastels, sequins, and pops of neon, the makeup is as bright and fun-filled as her London runway shows. And while few may interpret the campaign's blue eyebrows literally, there's plenty of imagery to inspire your own take on Gray.
Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- Louis Vuitton has been named the world's most valuable luxury brand for the seventh consecutive year by the Millward Brown Optimor's 2012 BrandZ study. Vuitton is worth an estimated $25.9 billion, followed closely by Hermés at $19.1 billion and Rolex at $7.2 billion. [Fashion Etc.]
- Anna Sui's "genius box" — a collection of magazine clippings and inspiration pages from books and other sources that fills a whole closet — has spilled onto the Internet in the form of a newly minted Pinterest page. "Now, I can do this on my desktop!" Sui said in a statement. [Fashionologie Inbox]
- Louise Gray will design a clothing and cosmetics collaboration for Topshop that will go on sale at the end of August. "My idea behind the collaboration was to design for the Topshop girl a range that was young and fun, similar to both the fashion and make up I wear already," Gray said. [The Daily Telegraph]
- How do imitations of high-fashion runway looks end up on sale at mass-market retailers mere months after Fashion Week? The process involves almost everyone in the industry, including bloggers, magazine editors, buyers, retailers, and manufacturers. [Refinery29]
- Elsa Peretti, whose jewelry designs have made up 10 percent of Tiffany's net sales over the past three years, plans to retire. The company has worked with Peretti since the early '70s and is trying to acquire her intellectual property rights so that they can continue to produce products under her name. [The Cut]
- Uniqlo has named Novak Djokovic, currently the number one-ranked men's tennis player in the world, as its new brand ambassador. Djokovic will wear the brand's clothing on and off the court for the next five years, starting this Sunday when he plays in the French Open tournament. [WWD]
London Fashion Week is like New York's eccentric, cheeky older sister, and the designers take risks that would make some fashionistas on this side of the pond blush. This year was even more daring than usual, with nude models, antlers, wild wigs, and face paint galore. I've put together 10 of the most jaw-dropping moments from the runway, so be sure to check out what the Brits have been up to right now.
>> Budget cuts brought fewer European retailers to New York Fashion Week and fewer US retailers to London Fashion Week — Julie Gilhart of Barneys, for one — so instead, designers are meeting them at the one Fashion Week they all can't miss: Paris.
Those from New York heading across the seas to meet with potential buyers and hopefully secure sales are Brian Reyes, Alexander Wang, and Victoria Bartlett of VPL, who are all sharing a space, plus Elise Overland, Jason Wu, Erin Fetherston, and Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry. Diane von Furstenberg and Philip Crangi have already been spotted together at Tuileries, but The Ritz Paris is said to be the unofficial headquarters of retailer-designer-meet-and-greet activity.
The British Fashion Council is also investing itself in a trip to Paris — starting Friday, designers such as House of Holland, Osman Yousefzada, Felder Felder and Louise Gray will reside at the JTM Gallery on Rue de Richelieu, where international fashion press and buyers will have a second chance to peruse the collections; the hope, of course, is to increase investment in London designers.
We're not sure if the feeling is universal but we can't get enough of bra-tops for Spring. Pair them with high waisted trousers or layer them a la Louise Gray Fall 2009, and you're set. Speaking of Gray, her newest collection is full of her colorful, powerbabe pieces but, as she told WWD, paired with more substantial offerings as well. In this case, substantial translates to wearable, less-noticeable outerwear and lean trousers. All we can say is, Go Gray!
This young designer has been praised by everyone from Jefferson Hack to Diane Von Furstenburg and has been referenced as the embodiment of London fashion right now. Louise Gray, for her Spring 2009 collection, showed pop art-inspired garments and amazing chain pieces that walked the line between jewelry and clothing item. Gray is trained as a hand embroiderer and she earned her MA at Central Saint Martins. Immediately following her graduation the designer was tapped to participate in the Fashion East program, backed by Topshop, and she has gone on two show all three of her collections through this venue--something which no other designer has accomplished to date. Check out our video of her Spring 2009 collection right here, the runway gallery right here, and the showroom photos, below.
Bright colored silks and heavy chains sound like a brilliant combination to us, and so the vision of Louise Gray Spring 09 was quite spectacular. This was a very sexy collection, models showed of the small of their back, the side of their breast, their legs, their stomach but not all at once. It was ninety-degree, slick back your hair and wear only mascara-kind of fashion sense and this is always appreciated. Because sometimes that’s just the reality of the situation and it’s nice not to have to live in your cut-offs. (Pardon the 'stage left' video footage. In London the pit is more valuable than row two (asinine, we know!) and when a gal's running all over town--apparently--these are her options. If you're an optimist you'll see the garments as an example of how fabulous you'll look when you catch your reflection in a shop window).
London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2009.