Now don’t think for a second that we are trying to limit the fashion needs of you discerning ladies, but as has become our tradition we have filtered the main trends into a few key ultimate pieces. These are the things you mustn’t go without.
Photographer: Tom Fraud
Photographer’s assistant: Joseph Fordham
Stylist: Michael Miller
Stylist’s assistant: Tabby Richards
Hair: Diego Miranda
Make-up: Olivia Newman-Young
Model: Sara Raouf at Elite
Location: Factory 311 Studio, London
Ultimate Shoes – Christian Louboutin
There’s a reason why Christian Louboutin is on the mark season after season and that’s because he is able to offer shoes that are as enchanting as they are up-to-date. Take these 895 USD, Galata pumps, which fit in beautifully with the peep trend. Say what? Essentially, designers are looking to bare skin in unexpected places and these heels do just that. Yet, they’re also playful, functional and sophisticated. What more would you need?
Ultimate Handbag – Saint Laurent
Designed by creative director Hedi Slimane to be a key piece in the refreshed brand’s Permanent Collection, the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour comes in three sizes – a 3,490 USD Classic Large, a 2,750 USD Classic Small and a 2,590 USD Classic Baby. It’s sometimes compared to the Hermès Birkin because they’re both totes with belted closures, gusseting and clochettes but the similarities end there. Clean, simple, roomy and delicately branded, the Sac de Jour is our kind of handbag.
Ultimate Swimwear - Agent Provocateur
The Mazzy has been one of Agent Provocateur’s most successful swimwear models and for Spring Summer 2015 they’ve reworked its palette to combine vibrant shades of bubbly pink, zesty orange and contrast turquoise. Admittedly, it may not be the most practical costume – we’ve got tan lines to prove it – but if you’re looking to make an impression, then the Mazzy is priceless. Speaking of which, the triangle top costs 220 USD and low-slung hipster briefs 170 USD, and they’re sold separately so you can find the perfect fit.
Ultimate Watch - Rolex
When it comes to watch sizes, gender-benders might still be cool but slightly smaller and more feminine dials of 31mm (not 26mm, mind) are timelessly elegant. Our choice would be this 29,500 USD Datejust in yellow gold, with a domed bezel and rarefied president bracelet. It’s something you can hand down generation to generation. On the other hand, if you’re looking to go big or go home, then the Datejust 36mm, in Everose with diamonds (on the bezel and dial) will be just your ticket.
Ultimate Sunglasses – Dior
It’s been a few years – Ray Ban’s Aviators being the last – since a brand’s line of sunglasses has gained a global cult following but Dior has now done it with its range of ‘So Reals’. Thanks to a deconstructed panto shape that mixes some very modern architectural lines with eye-catching fashion flair, these 505 USD shades boast two unique qualities: they’re versatile enough to work with any outfit and they suit almost everyone. No wonder they’re so hot.
Ultimate Fashion Jewellery – Tiffany & Co.
The Tiffany T is a clean, strong and modern collection that has been spearheaded by the jeweller’s new design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof. Our favourite piece is the T Square Bracelet, available in 18-karat rose gold (5,000 USD), 18-karat yellow gold (5,000 USD) or sterling silver (950 USD). We think it looks best when you combine two or three of them, à la Love Bracelet and it’s why we can see the T Square eating into Cartier’s sales. That’s a huge compliment, of course.
Ultimate Jacket – Nour Hammour
Rather like the Little Black Dress, a great leather jacket should be one of your timeless staples. But even the classics need an update from time to time. Enter Nour Hammour. The cool, contemporary Parisian brand combines clean and flattering cuts with some tasteful embellishments, including metal rivets, gleaming Swarovski crystals and lush and decadent furs. This particular butter- soft jacket costs 2,135 USD and, trust us on this, it feels as good as it looks.
Ultimate Dress – Victoria Beckham
Nine seasons may not be much but no can deny that Victoria Beckham has become a highly regarded designer in this time - she even opened her own boutique in London last September. But there was something very different about the Spring Summer 2015 ready-to-wear show and it’s perfectly encapsulated by this 2,470 USD dress. Mature and beautifully executed it may be, it also demonstrates that Beckham is capable of handling much more sophisticated tailoring and still come out a winner.
Ultimate Fur - Elie Saab
Elie Saab’s Autumn/Winter ready-to-wear collection featured a wide palette of minks and foxes that we’d literally kill for. There were jackets, coats, shawls and collars, some in solids, others degradés, but all domonstrated exactly why Saab is so revered in the fashion industry. Our pick of the bunch is this superb 8,850 USD fox fur jacket in rich forest-green, which looks downright irresistible, especially when matched with Elie Saab’s 1,375 USD, slinky lace top.
Ultimate Trend Piece - Fendi
The verdict is in and the freshest cover-up right now is the cape. Everyone, from Burberry to Lanvin is doing them but as always, there’s nothing quite like Fendi. With Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi at the helm, you have a marriage of extremes: minimalism versus opulence, street versus banquet hall. It all seems to mesh beautifully and form a playful urban chic. This particular belted cape from Fendi features a rabbit fur collar and costs 5,445 USD.
Ultimate Collection - Temperley London
Launched only in 2000, Temperley London has fast gained a loyal following here in our region. Alice Temperley’s love of caftans doesn’t hurt, nor does her seemingly endless press coverage thanks to having the Duchess of Cambridge as a customer. But as she showed when she decided to merge her two labels – Alice by Temperley and Temperley London – during Resort 2015, she places the customer first and that is something we really do admire. This Temperley London dress costs 1,795 USD and the coat, 2,595 USD.
Ultimate High Jewellery - Chopard
Haute Joaillerie is a world that brings a masterful level of artistry and creative design to jewellery. The pieces may well only grace the fortunate few who can afford them but they’ll at least last forever in the annals of history. One such unique creation by Chopard, comprises a 499,500 USD necklace and a pair of 84,500 USD earrings, set with rose-cut black and white diamonds as well as grey Tahiti pearls. It’s so breathtaking, it literally left us speechless.