Paris fashion house remix

Wednesday, 26 February 2014
As Paris Fashion Week gets underway, the murmer on everyone's lips is the Louis Vuitton show on closing day, which will be the first collection by Nicolas Ghesquire since the well-documented departure of Marc Jacobs. Ghesquire, who was at the helm of Balenciaga for 15 years, is expected to do great things for the house. But his show is not the only show in Paris with a new creative director.

There is also the debut ready-to-wear Schiaparelli collection designed by Marco Zanini. Schiaparelli, which is now part of the Tod's empire, first showed a couture collection in January, however this will be its first Paris fashion week show.

Zanini, who was previously the creative director at Rochas, has seen his former position filled by Italian designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua, who will also debut at Paris this week.

Similarly, Hussein Chalayan will show his first ready-to-wear collection for the revamped house of Vionnet. The UK-based designer previously debuted the couture collection in January to mild acclaim.

Yiqing Yin, a designer born in Beijing but raised in France, will be showing her first collection for Leonard. The designer won the 2011 First Collections Award at the prestigious Andam competition in France for her own line, which will be presented in Paris this week.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Anderson, better known as J.W. Anderson, will debut his first collection for Loewe later this year.

Ann Demeulemeester, who earlier this year stepped down from her own label, will see her design team take the bow at the end of its runway show this season.

New designers not likely to overshadow brands

But for all the remixing happening at the esteemed fashion houses, the new designers are not likely to overshadow brand identity. The brand itself must remain paramount as Suzie Menkes wrote: "Apart from protecting brand identity, there is another reason why designers are no longer given the same prominence as, for example, the Tom-at-Gucci years. With overseas developments and interseason clothes, one designer can no longer do it all, as in the days of Valentino Garavani or Yves Saint Laurent and their respective partners."

Men's and womenswear are almost always done by different designers and different teams, like Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver at Lanvin, or Christopher Lemaire and Veronique Nichanian at Hermes. With so many collections to turn out everyone season, it's no longer a one man or woman show.

Image: Nicolas Ghesquire

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