No sooner did we hear the thrilling news that PPR had sealed the deal with Christopher Kane than we started asking the obvious question: Who's next? Because we hear the fashion behemoth is interested in acquiring more talent in the coming days and months.
So, let's have some fun with a spot of fashion top trumps! We've narrowed down London Fashion Week's biggest, baddest, and greatest talents who are more than ready to take things to the next level. Take a look at our short list and let us know if you think we got it right. Have we missed anyone?
Who: Jonathan Saunders
Backstory: Raised in industrial Glasgow, he studied at the city's School of Art in 1999 to gain a B.A. in printed textiles, before studying for an M.A. at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2002.
Mentors: One of his earliest gigs was designing prints for Alexander McQueen (spring/summer '03's bird-of-paradise design, if you must know).
Weapons of choice: Saturated hues coupled with truly innovative prints. These are combined with sporty touches, ultra-feminine silhouettes and just a hint of country-club primness.
Special power: It has to be the kaleidoscopic use of colour, with an insane ability to make the most improbable combinations look utterly awesome.
A-list army: His fan base is nothing if not eclectic: From Samantha Cameron, Kate Middleton, and Princess Beatrice to Ronnie Wood, Pixie Geldof, and even Dita Von Teese, this man fans transcend the usual stereotypes.
Awards and accolades: Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year at the Scottish Style Awards in 2005 and British Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards in 2008. To top is all off he was named 2012 BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund winner.
Got the goods? Clearly in for the long-haul, Saunders has slowly and steadily built a pretty impressive fashion empire. Last year, he added a menswear line, and he's also introduced pre-fall and resort to his repertoire. This designer has also shown that he can expand his reach thanks to collaborations with the likes of Debenhams, Target, and Topshop. Honestly, if this résumé doesn't impress François-Henri Pinault, we don't know what will.
Photos: Courtesy of Jonathan Saunders
Who: Mary Katrantzou
Backstory: Originally from Greece, Mary started out studying architecture at Rhode Island School of Design in the States before switching to fashion textiles at Central Saint Martins.
Mentors: She worked with Sophia Kokosalaki and Bill Blass before going it alone.
Weapons of choice: Intricate trompe l'oeil prints based on real life that are expertly mapped around the figure. Plus, her collections always have a strong and liberated spirit.
Special power: Prints, prints, prints! Did we mention the mind-blowing prints?
A-list army: RiRi, ScarJo, Kylie Minogue, January Jones, Keira Knightley, Alexa Chung. And that's just off the top of our heads.
Awards and accolades: She won the Swiss Textile Award and was named British Fashion Council Awards Emerging Talent winner in 2011. She scooped Elle Style Awards Young Designer in 2012.
Got the goods? Defo. Mary's hyper-real aesthetic goes from strong to stronger each season, and we can only imagine how much room her awards cabinet takes up. Her talent as a designer is apparent in everything from intricate couture-like creations to the more laid-back cool options, as demonstrated by her Current/Elliott collab. And if the verging-on-hysteria reaction to Katrantzou's Topshop collection is anything to go by, she's clearly got the knack for creating what women really want. We reckon it's just a matter of time before the investors come knocking.
Photos: Courtesy of Mary Katrantzou
Who: Thomas Tait
Backstory: Originally from Montreal, Canada, Tait is part of the new batch of Central Saint Martins super talents: The M.A. class of 2010, which also produced Simone Rocha, J JS Lee, and Tze Goh.
Weapons of choice: It's almost easier to talk about his clean and minimalist style in of negatives: They are neither loud nor attention-grabbing. They are quietly captivating.
Special power: An obsession with construction that leads to apparently effortless simplicity.
A-list army Alexa Chung and Susie Lau are Team Tait's poster girls.
Awards and accolades: In 2010 he won the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize — an award judged by a panel including Giles Deacon, Manolo Blahnik, Daphne Guinness, and Stephen Jones.
Got the goods? Yes...but give it time. Tait is a relative newbie compared to the rest of the talents in our line-up, but he's doing something different and he's doing it brilliantly. True, he's not on the cusp of global domination just yet, but trust us, it's only a matter of time before his quiet revolution takes hold.
Photos: Courtesy of Thomas Tait
Who: Erdem Moralioğlu
Backstory: Also from Montreal, Moralioğlu got his B.A. in fashion from Ryerson University in Toronto and received a Masters from London's Royal College of Art in 2003.
Mentors: He interned for Vivienne Westwood and worked for a spell in New York with Diane Von Furstenberg after graduating.
Weapons of choice: Unexpected texture combinations and an innovative use of pattern.
Special power: An ability to combine feminine silhouettes and ladylike sophistication with jarring fabric choices — we're talking PVC, leather cut-outs, and neon lace — with the results always thoroughly modern and very desirable indeed.
Awards and accolades: Loads. In 2005, his first collection earned him the Fashion Fringe prize, and he scooped Swarovski British Fashion Council Fashion Enterprise Award in 2007. He won the British Fashion Council and Vogue's first Fashion Fund award, and last year he won the New Establishment Award at the British Fashion Awards.
A-list army: So many high-rolling fashion plates it hurts us a little. Gwyneth Paltrow, Keira Knightley and Anne Hathaway good enough for you? No? Okay, how about Sam Cam, Michelle Obama, and Kate Middleton, too?
Got the goods? Absolutely. Erdem's success in reinventing and strengthening his brand identity each season proves that he's anything but a one-trick pony. His ability to design edgy creations that work in real women's wardrobes is a rare talent and his creations have a recognisable stamp that is his alone.
Photos: Courtesy of Erdem
Who: Jonathan William Anderson, a.k.a. J.W. Anderson
Backstory: Born into an Irish farming family with a professional rugby player for a dad, Jonathan started off studying drama before he discovered an obsession with stage costume. He then went on to study menswear at the London College of Fashion and showed his debut collection at London Fashion Week in 2007, before adding womenswear to the Anderson mix in 2010.
Weapons of choice: A very British take on androgyny, and expert tailoring peppered with hints of school uniform.
Special power: We're fairly certain this guy owns some kind of hipster super-magnet.
A-list army: La Chung, Azealia Banks, Pixie Geldof, and Daisy Lowe, to name a few. Even Cheryl Cole's been known to dabble.
Awards and accolades: J.W. Anderson won the Emerging Talent Award - Ready-to-Wear at the British Fashion Awards 2012.
Got the goods? Well he's already stepped into Christopher Kane's shoes at Versus, so that's got to be a good sign, right? As well as designing four collections a year and working with Donatella, Jonathan's line for Topshop has been one of the brand's most successful designer collaborations to date. And not just because it was created by one of London’s hotter-than-now names — but because it offered women clothes that are wearable, affordable and, most importantly, feel completely new.
Photos: Courtesy of J.W. Anderson