Sisters are Doin’ It For Themselves might have fallen out of fashion as a karaoke classic (it was released in 1985, after all), but as a sentiment, it has never rung more true – particularly with reference to the fashion world. The commercial success and influence of designers such as Phoebe Philo, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda Llincic, Sara Burton, Anya Hindmarch Victoria Beckham, and Simone Rocha is well documented, and those are just the British names.
Mrs Prada wow’s season after season with her unusual colour clashes, eye popping prints and ‘wear me!’ footwear for both her namesake label (the brand was started in 1913 by her grandfather) and it’s diffusion line Miu Miu which launched in 1993. This season, she blew us away at Prada with neoprene trouser suits and baby doll dress in delicious pastel shades and ‘scuba’ boots.
McCartney was appointed creative director of Chloe in 1997, a mere two years after graduating from Central Saint Martins. Her friends Naomi Campbell, Yasmin LeBon and Kate Moss modelled in her degree show. That, combined with her famous das, would certainly have helped with her profile, but don’t underestimate her talent (as Karl Lagerfeld once did). Time and gain, woman gush about how much they adore her clothing for the cut and fit, and how that subsequently makes them feel.
The daughter of designer John Rocha didn’t take long to make her mark in her own right, and has been a favourite on the London Fashion Week schedule ever since she showed her first collection back in 2010. Rocha is known for her floral prints with dark gothic undertones and chunky footwear designs as well as a penchant for pearls.
The creative director of Cline started out as Stella McCartney’s assistant at Chloe in 1997, before becoming creative director herself when McCartney left to start her own label in 2001. She took the helm at Celine in 2008 and is a firm favourite with fashion editors, her often-minimalist collections receiving critical acclaim season after season. It’s no understatement to say that her designs shape the direction of your own wardrobe and those of most of the people around you: Philo has a huge influence on what ends up on the high street. She’s also a style icon herself, her footwear in particular sparking off mini trends of their own – Adidas, Stan Smith became popular and enjoyed a renaissance last year shortly after Philo was pictured wearing them.
Sharp tailoring, zing colours and minimal designs are Beckham’s DNA. Back in the day’s of Spice Up Your Life, we never would have seen this coming. Not only did Mrs David Beckham turn her hand to designing clothes in 2008, but it turned out she was good at it. She won the first fashion press from her very first collection, and her eponymous label is now one of the most hotly anticipated shows at New York Fashion Week.
Katrantzou, who is originally from Athens, Greece, graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 2008 and by 2011 had won the British Fashion Award for emerging talent. Her designs always focus on texture (she once made a pencil skirt out of actual pencils) but are surprisingly wearable: just look at her embellished parkas and dresses for AW15 as proof.