4 posts tagged "Louise Trotter"
Twenty-five years after the opening of its flagship on London’s Fulham Road, Joseph is finally staging its first runway presentation on London Fashion Week’s official schedule. Next week’s presentation just one component of the quarter-century birthday celebration—another crucial part is the launch of a capsule collection that fetes all things Joseph. With contributions from six designers, the range will be available at the Fulham Road store starting February 15.
Balmain, Jil Sander, Giles Deacon, Jonathan Saunders, Rupert Sanderson, and Joseph creative director Louise Trotter all hit the drawing board to create limited-edition pieces, which debut exclusively here. “We wanted to focus on designers both past and present that reflect the Joseph ethos,” Trotter said, explaining how the company whittled down the list to six, she included. “Everyone was thrilled to be asked, and thankfully most people could make the time!”
The designers also fell into line when it came to conveying the ethos of the brand. “The guiding spirit behind each piece came from the Joseph DNA: black and white. My idea of the leather tote began with one of our most iconic pieces—the stripe carrier bag,” explained Trotter. Also included in the mix are a black-and-white dress from Jonathan Saunders, a crisp white clutch from Jil Sander, and a roaring lion’s head from Balmain.
Fashion is a notoriously unforgiving business—consider each fashion year like a dog year, so for Joseph to hit twenty-five is a watershed moment that few retailers have achieved. How does Trotter account for the popularity, never mind longevity, of the brand, given the crowded retail market? “Joseph [Ettedgui, the founder] himself was a curator of new talent. His taste and spirit are still evident in the combination of designers we offer and the unique way we buy and showcase our collections,” she said of the vision of the charismatic Ettedgui, who died in 2010. “The basic principles that Joseph set out from the beginning, which are the perfect wardrobe essentials translated into luxury fabrics, is still as relevant today as when he started. We have tried to stay true to his philosophy whilst looking forward.”
Joseph turned 25 this year (check out the famed Fulham Road store’s celebratory Michael Roberts-designed windows, which went up in September, if you missed them). To mark the quarter-century milestone, the brand will hold its first runway show on London fashion week’s official schedule this February. And for a special twist, Joseph, which was founded by the late, and much adored Joseph Ettedgui (left) has asked its creative director, Louise Trotter, as well as brands like Jil Sander, Balmain, and Giles, to design exclusive pieces, all of which will be on sale the very same day they head down the catwalk. We have to say this is our favorite type of birthday—the kind where everyone can get a present.
For Louise Trotter, creative director of Joseph, releasing a handbag collection was always a matter of “when,” not “if.” With a little technical help from accessories designer Katie Hillier, Trotter has now made her vision a reality. The bags, which hit stores on Monday, are composed of a single piece of bonded cowhide mixed with side panels made from butter-soft napa leather. Devoid of any visible stitching, each bag appears seamless and malleable. “When I design for Joseph, I always look at how much I can take off,” Trotter told Style.com.
Trotter’s focus has been on ready-to-wear since joining the London-based brand four years ago. And, with the exception of a playful zebra print and a few splashes of color, the bags mirror the tailored sensibility and neutral palette of Joseph’s Fall ’13 line. “The bags aren’t really a diversion, as much as an extension of what I’ve been working on [in ready-to-wear],” said Trotter.
The collection features totes, shoulder bags, clutches, and handbags, all in soft-edged square shapes. Retailing for between $265 and $1,695, there’s no doubt the bags will appeal to Joseph devotees seeking luxury essentials. As for her style of choice, Trotter opts for the shoulder bag, which she likes to wear as a clutch with the strap dangling down. “It’s how you carry it, and your attitude, that changes it from day to evening,” she said.
London girls have always known about Joseph—since the seventies, it’s been the brand they’ve raided their mothers’ closets for, poaching the great fur accessories, slouchy knits, and signature form-fitting trousers. The label—and its attendant store, founded by retail legend Joseph Ettedgui, which also stocks sharp picks from Alexander Wang, Alaïa, Proenza Schouler, and Givenchy—has maintained a steady client base over the years but fallen largely off the radar of the young and acquisitive. With new owners (the Japanese retail giant Onward Kashiyama, which also owns Jil Sander) and the guiding direction of artistic director Alain Snege (formerly a buyer for Colette and mastermind behind of-the-moment collaborations with the likes of Seven for All Mankind and LD Tuttle), Joseph is gaining traction anew. Longstanding clients Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson, and Liz Hurley—meet Alison Mosshart and Poppy Delevingne.
The Joseph look—designed by Louise Trotter, with input from Snege—includes a few girly party dresses (Gwyneth Paltrow recently snapped up a lacy gold frock), but for Fall, it’s got more than a little of the hard-edged, hell-bent-for-leather look popularized by Carine Roitfeld. (No surprise, a friend of Snege’s.) And in keeping with tradition, the fur accents are still liberally dispensed. U.S. fans can find the label at Intermix, Net-a-Porter, and Shopbop, as well as at the label’s Madison Avenue flagship store.