1. The designer: Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton
The biggest fashion transfer of the season was Marc Jacobs out, Nicolas Ghesquière in at Louis Vuitton. Disappointingly for those hoping for a bitchfest, Jacobs was deeply diplomatic about his replacement after 16 years at the brand. “I’m really glad someone I respect, admire and think is a really great talent is there.” Ghesquière, responsible for turning a decidedly musty Balenciaga into one of the most innovative brands of the past decade (to wit: Lego-constructed shoes, armoured jackets, scuba mini dresses), has big boots to fill at Vuitton. He’ll have to design things that sell (rumours abound that Balenciaga wasn’t wildly profitable under his tenure), but he’ll have Darren Spaziani, the accessories maestro responsible for Proenza Schouler’s cult PS2 handbag, by his side to help turn luggage into lucre.
15 fashionable things to look out for in 2014
Watch the Yves Saint Laurent film trailer
Tory Burch and her new beauty collection
2. The film: Saint Laurent
Now that every director under the sun has seen fit to immortalise Coco Chanel on screen, it’s the turn of Yves Saint Laurent. 2014 will see the release of two films dedicated to the most flamboyant of French fashion designers – and the French house (or rather, Pierre Bergé, the late designer’s right-hand man and business partner) has got its knickers in a twist about it. Saint Laurent, a film directed by Bertrand Bonello, received the green light from Kering, Saint Laurent’s owner. Yves Saint Laurent, directed by Jalil Lespert, has the blessing of Bergé. “Two films on YSL? I hold the moral rights over YSL’s work, his image and mine and have only authorised Jalil Lespert. A trial on the cards?” Bergé fumed on Twitter. Lespert’s effort is out this month – word is that leading actor Pierre Niney is a dead ringer for Yves – but we’re equally interested in those potentially pending lawsuits.
WATCH the Yves Saint Laurent film trailer
3. The model: Malaika Firth
Modelling’s equivalent of a laurel wreath? A Prada campaign. Malaika Firth, 19, is this year’s victor, having been cast in her first campaign for Prada, for autumn/winter 2013. Did we mention that the Kenyan-born, London-based model is the first black face to star for the house since Naomi Campbell in 1994? And, like Campbell, she’s opinionated. “I’m proud that I’m the second black [Prada] model, but also I’m mixed. I’m biracial,” she corrected a recent interviewer. “I find it really good that I’m not black and I’m not white.” Last season she opened Valentino; walked in shows for Miu Miu, Proenza Schouler and Topshop Unique; and even won a coveted pair of Victoria’s Secret wings in the November show. Next up: pastel-encased Malaika in Burberry’s spring/summer 2014 ads.
4. The young Brit designer: Ashley Williams
All aspiring fashion designers know It Girl patronage is a prerequisite for success, so kudos to young Brit Ashley Williams who’s managed to nab herself three. Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe are all Team Ashley – Chung named her “the next big thing” when we accosted her at the British Fashion Awards last month – and her punchy prints in splashy colours will decorate myriad street-style blogs next season. We’re rather taken with the plush shark bags she sent down her spring/summer 2014 catwalk.
READ: 15 Fashionable things to look out for in 2014
5. The magazine: Porter
For the uninitiated, Net-a-Porter.com is an online retail behemoth selling luxury fashion. February 2014 marks the release of its first print magazine, Porter. This is deeply troubling for the fashion nobs, for a handful of reasons: a) Net-a-Porter has pioneered the notion of a digital, shoppable magazine with The Edit , its current offering; its return to old media is akin to Mark Zuckerberg announcing that he will write all his correspondence by hand from now on; b) Porter will feature product not stocked on the Net-a-Porter website, which would appear to be a business boo boo; c) Porter will also contain advertising – which has traditional glossy publishers quaking in their heels. Confused? Enter editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans: “Net-a-Porter does the shopping element so well. Having something interesting to read is just another element to the proposition and print allows us to go deeper into that. The main point is inspiration.” Long live the printed word.
Pixie Geldof wearing a dress by Ashley Williams; Desert boots, £89, Clarks; clarks.co.uk Photo: REX
6. The three best high street collaborations
High street and designer hook-ups are now so frequent that Paddy Power is taking bets on potential future liaisons. Following the scrum for Isabel Marant’s collaboration with H&M in November, the bookie is offering 5/1 on Miuccia Prada being next in line. More exciting, though, are the confirmed unions. Our top three for 2014 are as follows:
Kate Moss for Topshop Back after a three-year gap, Moss’s 40-piece collection will hit stores in April. Based on her current wardrobe predilections, we’re anticipating stripes and (faux) fur.
Sophia Webster for J Crew We’ve previewed the cut-out stiletto sandals and bright printed courts, although J Crew have yet to confirm a drop date.
Patternity for Clarks Cult pattern-design company Patternity have pimped out the classic Clarks desert boot with their signature geometric prints, hitting stores in January.
Victoria Beckham pulls off culottes; sporty sandals, £26, Next; next.co.uk
7. The trend: Culottes
Five words to strike fear into your heart: culottes are big for spring. Huge, in fact: loose, slightly flared, and falling in that horribly un-erogenous zone of mid-calf. Nothing screams “of the moment” quite like a change in proportion, but to avoid a Nineties costume drama, make like Victoria Beckham and wear them with a crisp white shirt and a heel. Better still, a heeled knee-high boot – very Seventies, which is also a key throwback.
8. The shoe: Sporty sandals
It is a source of endless fascination to the fashion desk that no matter how intrinsically unfashionable sandals are, every season they rear their horribly flimsy heads. We’ve done gladiator sandals, orthopaedic sandals and pool-slide sandals. This year, it’s the turn of the sporty sandal. What makes a sandal sporty, you ask? A foamy base and a rubbery-looking strap, of course, as seen on the catwalk at Prada, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs. If that sounds terrifying, try a slimmed-down sole and leather strap, courtesy of Chloé and Next. And if you’re aiming for the truly avant-garde, our sources in east London report that Teva sandals – a foam-soled sandal with Navajo-patterned straps, beloved of unemployed surfers and technology consultants on trekking holidays – are hot to trot. If this comes to pass, we weep for the future.
One of Olivia Bee’s photographs for Hermès. Photo: Olivia Bee
9. The photographer: Olivia Bee
Olivia Bee has a teenager’s mastery of the selfie. The difference is that this 19-year-old American’s pictures are commissioned by Hermès: in September 2012 they gave her a pile of silk scarves and she photographed herself and her friends wearing them for the Hermès magazine. She has also snapped images for Converse (they hassled her for months – she’d been ignoring their emails, thinking they were spam), Fiat, Levi’s, Nike and The New York Times . For her latest trick, she’s photographed Miroslava Duma in the Roger Vivier spring/summer 2014 campaign (main image).
10. The beauty launches
Nothing embodies the promise of a new year quite like a newly minted, unopened beauty product. With that in mind, here are three launches to look forward to in 2014.