As we approach the festive season, we take the time to reflect and elevate on the Top Fashion brands of 2022. Brands that embody creativity, innovation, inspirational qualities to their collections/collaborations. Brands that bring out the best in the Fashion Industry, the most inspiring, trendy and electrifying to the moment you will never forget.
With so many brands to watch out for, we can never ignore the amazing talent from the established to the emerging designers presented at Fashion Week throughout the Fashion Capitals – London, Paris, New York, Milan, not to mention within our retailers and online presence.
One thing they all have in common is each one is daring, not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and present what they can do and embrace their passion for Fashion.
Here are New Wave’s Top 50:
This January, Matthew M. Williams will show his first haute couture collection for Givenchy. “It’s been drawn; we’ve just started the toiles,” he revealed during a preview for his first live show with an audience since he joined the house at the start of the pandemic. Underpinned by his couture aspirations, his third ready-to-wear collection was like a release of grandiose proportions: a massive explosion of ideas and ambitions bottled up for too long, until finally the cork popped.
2. Salvatore Ferragamo
3. Alexander McQueen
One of the main symbols of British couture, the late Alexander McQueen’s collections have been known for their creative experimentation while celebrating traditional craftsmanship. Founded by Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992 – who graduated at Central Saint Martins – and part of the Kering Group since 2001, the brand has been distinctive through unconventional designs and avant-garde fashion shows. Over the years, the House presented its collections through shows that blend fashion with art. Just think of the Spring 1999 ‘No 13’ show where model and former ballerina Shalom Harlow’s dress was spray painted by robots (which Coperni recalled in their recent iconic show in Paris last September). Or the Fall 1998 ‘Joan’ show, that saw models surrounded by fire, with reference to the Catholic martyr of Joan of Arc and the Romanov family.
From creating clothes for David Bowie’s tour in 1996 including the famous Union Jack coat to the appointment of the new Creative Director Sarah Burton after Lee’s death in 2010, the brand has inevitably changed while developing a softer, more feminine touch to the designs. However, Burton showed an intent to go back to McQueen’s original DNA in the Spring/Summer 2023 collection: while still maintaining an idea of humanity, the designer cut back on romance, by creating tighter silhouettes, expert tailoring, elaborate evening dresses and slick bodysuits. A dive in the past that also brought back one of the brand’s first big successes – the “bumster” style, with which McQueen was the kick-starter of the low-rise denim trend. Overall, a collection that also pays homage to Hieronymus Bosch – one of the main artistic inspirations for Lee, who embraced its oddity, celebration of the unusual, and macabre taste.
4. Jean Paul Gautier
In 2021, creative director Florence Tetier said that Gaultier's focus in the coming years would be based on its heritage and the brand’s 2022 projects certainly stuck to this agenda.
For 2022, JPG was all about the re-emergence and re-purposing of former prints and collections, slotting itself nicely into the current nostalgia fever that has taken over the fashion world. They released a collaboration with Y/Project, which reinvented a wide range of JPG’s legendary prints and looks into more modern silhouettes. However the focus must be on their ready to wear collection titled “Cyber” which utilised their iconic dots print and reinvented 90s archives. The collection was specifically inspired by JPG’s “Les Amazones” Fall/Winter 1995-96 collection, and their “Cyberbaba” Spring/Summer 1996 collection two of the brand’s most iconic runway collections and shows, made in the midst of JPG’s costume designing for cult classic ‘The Fifth Element’.
Many will remember the 2022 Fwrd event which celebrated the launch of Gaultier on the shopping website. Hosted by creative director Kendall Jenner, she and others such as Doja Cat and Chloe Bailey donned pieces from the Cyber collection and caused a frenzy online.
If Florence Tetier’s goal was to remind the public of JPG’s iconic fashion history then she certainly succeeded in doing so this year.
Moncler has undoubtfully been one of the main players within the industry in the last year. Originally starting off in the French locality of Monestier de Clermont in 1952 by producing technical equipment for mountaineering, the brand celebrated its 70 th anniversary in big last September. The performance (set in Milan’s city centre) comprised an entourage of 1,952 artists, all dressed in a white Moncler Maya 70 jacket – a style that Remo Ruffini, the brand’s CEO since 2003, has asked seven designers including Rick Owens and Pharrell Williams to revisit. But this creative collaboration fits in an even broader scenario that is the core of Moncler’s philosophy: Moncler Genius. Within this project, launched in 2018, the conventional figure of a single Creative Director has been abolished: Moncler Genius gives space to the creativity of different exceptional minds that, working together while still keeping their singular identity, give their own, unique expression of the brand’s DNA.
The hub celebrates a dialogue with the customer and allows Moncler to expand and reach out to a diverse audience with different demands (and styles). Among the designers, each producing their own capsule periodically on rotation, we currently find the prestigious names of Jonathan Anderson from JW Anderson, Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Od from HYKE, Craig Green, Matthew M. Williams from 1017 ALYX 9SM, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Francesco Ragazzi from Palm Angels.
The Moncler x Palm Angels and Tod’s collection is only the last example of this fruitful project. An iconic campaign shot in Venice Beach and starring Naomi Cambell where Ragazzi leaves his mark by creating vintage-inspired, post-preppy designs including lamé tracksuits and puffer jackets, flame-covered coats, glittering trousers and branded waistbands.
Founded in 2018 by designer Priya Ahluwalia, fashion label Ahluwalia is regarded the “intersection between the near and far, past and present”. The brand distinctly draws on elements from Priya’s Indian-Nigerian heritage – combined with her London roots.
The element of repurposing vintage materials is central to the brand – Ahluwalia is committed to giving materials a new life and ensuring that the women creating the label’s garments are paid fairly. In 2020, Priya Ahluwalia made the Forbes 30 under 30 ‘Art & Culture’ Europe list, solidifying her role as a trailblazer positively impacting the future of fashion and the arts.
This year, Ahluwalia's AW22 collection was launched – a stunning tribute to Priya’s love for Bollywood and Nollywood and a reflection on the impact that both film industries had on her youth. Debuted at London Fashion Week, From Nollywood to Bollywood marked the brand's first collection to hit the runway. Its release was accompanied by Beloved, a film directed by Priya exploring these cultural themes and the topic of love in everyday life.
The Ahluwalia x The Woolmore Agency collection was launched later in the year - also heavily inspired by the cinematography of Nollywood and Bollywood. The label’s SS23 Africa is Limitless similarly brings Africa to the forefront by celebrating its culture, creativity and diversity.
In 2022, Ahluwalia also released their second collaboration with Danish luxury label Ganni. With a focus on denim, the collection utilises upcycled materials to create standout pieces such as a cut-out dress, trench coats, a suit and a chic beret. Ahluwalia’s designs have recently been donned by stars such as Keke Palmer, Michaela Coel and Kehlani.
7. Nensi Dojaka
If you are looking for a selection of clothing that displays a statement and shows off the incredible form of the female body, then London-based brand Nensi Dojaka ticks all of the boxes. The Albanian womenswear designer knows how to dress a woman with confidence. In 2020, Dojaka successfully graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins and has flourished from strength to strength by achieving the opportunity of presenting at creative agency Fashion East.
Her first S/S 22 rendition, she made sure her eponymous line makes a powerful statement expressing the female form amongst her strong signature styling of cut out panels within her variety of designs such as the beautiful sultry dresses and appealing separates.
With her striking execution to womenswear, Dojaka successfully accomplished multiple wins along her career journey and still today is thriving as a raising star, her past wins includes the British Fashion Council prize and her well-received 2021 LVMH trophy for emerging talent. Not to mention, gaining recognition from renowned retailers Ssense, MatchesFashion, Selfridges, My Theresa for her popular graduate collection which consist of enticing experimentation with layers and numerous variety of sheer fabrics that makes up Dojaka’s strong identity within her design concepts.
As well as retailers catching Dojaka’s memorising talents, her eponymous label has been seen around town sporting on renowned celebrities such as Iris Law, Bella Hadid, Carey Mulligan, and Sophie Turner etc. Influenced by the magazines from the early 90’s era, Dojaka’s ethos is bringing women together and embracing the social acceptance of body positivity and encouraging women to be bold and confident in their own skin. Design concepts revealing sections of cut-out panels, sheer/mesh panelling, strapless backs, minimal thin straps to show engaging bare shoulders in order to execute a fresh modern take to womenswear fashion.
8. Craig Green
Daring London designer Craig Green never ceases to amaze people by exploring avenues of creativity, starting from multiple levels of craftsmanship, utility, uniform, voluminous textual silhouettes that is out of this world. Presenting gender statement pieces that reveals Green’s best work has made him a household name to watch.
Throughout the seasons, Green’s work has manifested into melting pot of innovation that has inspired future young designers to explore every avenue and create what they inspire to create but at the same time this creator has become an industry-wide figure to watch out for as you don’t know what he could come out with next. I have no doubt, it will be something creative, exciting and explosive.
Craig Green is a fashion moment to remember and never forget. Editor-At-Large Tim Blanks stated “Craig Green is fearless in his idealism. His clothes are grand gestures, but they're poetic and romantic too. People sobbed at his London Fashion Week Mens spring 2015 show. Fashion craves that emotion.”
Scooping up numerous amount of attention from not only the press but from acclaimed retailers such as Comme des Garcons, luxury online presence Farfetch, and Selfridges. Known for his flamboyant colour range in his collections, his design concepts scream unique, amazing and wearable but more importantly a distinctive statement piece to wear such as inflatable accessories to match with outfits paired with vast amounts of textures to play with.
In his 2022 A/W season, he stepped into another realm of innovation by instructing his models down the catwalk with inflatable toys, beach lilos, sheets of latex, bringing together a sense of transformation, newness and the approach to wearing clothes that doesn’t have to be one thing but a collection of items that is put together to make one whole outfit, achieving a top to bottom/head-to-toe look.