LVMH Prize juror, Karl Lagerfeld meets the designers from Meadham Kirchhoff (Getty)
Last night the likes of Anna Wintour, Raf Simons and Carine Roitfeld gathered in Paris to inspect the wares of the thirty designers shortlisted for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.
The award, set up by Delphine Arnault, a member on the board of LVMH and Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton will grant 300,000 euros its winner and they will also gain a year’s worth of business support from the luxury fashion power house. Open to designers under 40 years old and who have created at least two women’s or men’s ready-to-wear collections, the LVMH prize will become an annual award.
Inspecting The Shortlist: Carine Roitfeld, Nicolas Ghesquiere and the award's founder, Delphine Arnault (Getty)
Tasked with whittling down the short list to just ten and ultimately naming the winner is one seriously stylish jury, which includes Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo. The X factor juding panel as nothing on that fash-tastic line up, Cheryl Cole who?!
The first ever winner will come from a list of the most exciting young talents working in the industry today. Below we have cherry picked the five designers we think are the front runners for what is to be the most sort after prize in the fashion industry, clothing claws at the ready…
1. Simone Rocha
From Left: Simone Rocha with model at the LVMH Prize showcase and two designs from her Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection (Getty/Catwalking)
Who: The daughter of the fashion designer, John Rocha, who proudly watched his offspring’s latest collection at the Topshop show space inside the Tate Modern, made her London fashion week debut amongst the Fashion East showcases in 2011. Part of the Central St. Martins MA alumni, Simone Rocha was awarded the Emerging Womenswear Designer award at the British Fashion awards just last year so this girl knows a thing or two about winning. Perhaps she should start making space on her mantel piece for the LVMH award now!
Style Summary: Simone re-works feminine fashion with her keen eye for Japanese inspired tailoring and a wealth of historical references. The best way to describe her latest collection would be to liken it to what Anne Boleyn would have looked like if she was in the Sex Pistols. That’s right, it was punky Tudor.
Odds For The LVMH Prize: 2/1 favourite
2. Ostwald Helgason
From Left: The designers pose with a model and two looks from their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection (Getty)
Who: The brand was founded in 2008 by Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason. Susanne learnt her clothing craft at the art college, Burg Giebichenstein in Halle whilst her co-designer, Ingvar honed his talent at Central St Martins. Ostwald Helgason showcase their collections during the New York fashion week schedule.
Style summary: Modern silhouettes are the corner stone of the Ostwald Helgason look. This mixed with a penchant for prints and a subversive use of colour tops off their ready-to-wear recipe.
Where to buy: www.ostwaldhegason.com
Odds For The LVMH Prize: 7/1
3. Thomas Tait
From Left: Thomas Tait at the LVMH event with juror Riccardo Tisci, a look from Tait's Autumn/Winter 2014 colletion and a look from Spring/Summer 2014 (@markalizart/Catwalking)
Who: Thomas Tait is a London based designer who was born in Canada and made his London fashion week debut in the autumn of 2010.
Style Summary: Tait’s collections are littered by sportswear inspired separates with bold flashes of colour. Tait shows a taste for re-evaluating the typical expectations of certain fabrics in his quest to create an ultra modern, partly architectural, look.
Where To Buy: Matches Fashion
Odds For The LVMH Prize : 10/1
4. Meadham Kirchhoff
From Left: The pair pose with a model and Kanye West at the showcase and two looks from their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection (Getty/Catwalking)
Who: Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff, the designers behind the aptly named Meadham Kirchhoff are the third double act on our list. Edward originates from our own fair island whilst his partner, Benjamin comes from the south of France. Their first fashion furore was setting up a menswear label named Benjamin Kirchhoff after they graduated from Central St. Martins. The pair have recently designed a highly successful Topshop diffusion line.
Style Summary: The pair never tells the same style story twice and each collection is a monument to their varying inspirations. It’s all about telling a story via fashion, naming them the J.K. Rowling of the fashion world would be a good way to describe the pair, its fantastical fashion fun every single time.
Where To buy: www.meadhamkirchhoff.com
Odds For The LVMH Prize: 12/1
5. Maques' Almeida
From Left: The designer duo at the LVMH Prize showcase and a look from their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection (Getty/Catwalking)
Who: Another two piece from London who show that multiple designers can be better than one, Marques Almeida was founded in 2009 when the brand’s designers, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida started working as a duo during their Central St. Martins MA course. Before hitting the aesthetic accelerator with their own brand, Marta gained experience designing under Vivienne Westwood and Paulo played around at Preen.
Style Summary: Reworked street-wear with distressed details and a heavy dose of denim.
Where To Buy: www.marquesalmeida.com
Odds For The LVMH Prize: 16/1