The female creatives you need to know about

As the last day of September arrived, as did the end of another fashion month. This year saw a somewhat revolutionary movement for women within the house of Dior. Italian born Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first ever women to take charge as creative director, ironically, a fashion house which has always stood for femininity. Off the back of this major advance for women in the industry, here’s the lowdown on the female creatives that you need to know about.

Maria Grazia Chiuri. Fashion House: Dior

This season, as Chiuri succeeds Raf Simons as the creative director at Dior, we come to question how Dior could ever have claimed to stand for femininity without a direct female influence. The ss17 show, cited by Vogue as “a jolt to anyone who expected Chiuri to start on a romantic note”, has reconstructed traditional views of femininity within fashion and modernised it. Largely opposing last year’s floral dome in the centre of Paris, the show was hosted in a clean cut, modern and ever so slightly futuristic venue in an act that revitalised fashion week by giving Dior a new found and unexpected edge.


Rei Kawakubo. Fashion House: Comme Des Garcons

Japanese director Kawakubo has been at Comme Des Garcons since 1973, sculpting the fashion house into the brand we know and love today. Arguably the antithesis of a typical high fashion director, Kawakubo’s Avant Garde style incorporates bold colours and tongue in cheek patch work to generate a look to match its iconic advertising and sense of individualism. Such daring moves, particularly from a lesser known female creative director, stand out as an act of defiance against the industry’s double standards regarding women as commodities rather than artists.


Phoebe Philo. Fashion House: Celine

British director Phoebe Philo studied at Central St Martins and in 2014 was amongst the Time’s top 100 most influential people having taken over the role of creative director at Celine in 2008. With previous experience at Chloe as Stella McCartney’s design assistant in 1997, and succeeding her as creative director in 2001, Philo is amongst the most accomplished of British creative directors. With Celine’s recent peak in popularity, particularly regarding their bags, as sported by celebrities such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner, its arguable that the Philo effect is one which is consistently synonymous with class and timelessness.


Sarah Jane Burton OBE. Fashion House: Alexander McQueen

A true British talent, Burton is best known for her contribution to British iconography as the designer of Kate Middleton’s Royal wedding dress in 2011. Succeeding one of Britains greatest designers of all time, Alexander McQueen, upon his death in 2010 as creative director of the house, Burton was also listed in The Times’ 100 most influential people in 2011. Also a Central St Martins graduate, upon leaving the college in 1997, Burton became McQueen’s full time assistant, promoted to head of womenswear in 2000. Along with Kate Middleton, Burton is known for her design work with Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow, favoured by the celebrities and the public alike, Burton deserves her OBE like no other.


Meg Painter

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