And the UK’s favourite designer of 2012 is …
Forty thousand British women were quizzed about their preferred designer clothing label. Both Chanel and Joseph were named the UK’s favourite designer fashion brands by the website Dressipi. Nine per cent of votes were jointly given to Chanel and Joseph, with DKNY not far behind with 8% and Alexander McQueen with 5%.
However, it was high-street fashion brands that topped the chart. An extraordinary 33% of women chose Zara as their favourite British brand, followed by H&M with 25%, Topshop with 21% and River Island with 20%.
Dressipi co-founder Donna Kelly explained: “When it comes to designer brands, it’s interesting that the same women who love the high street for fast fashion also lust after products from more established classic designers, such as Chanel or Joseph. This implies that savvy shoppers are heeding stylists’ advice to look to the high street for a quick fashion fix, but splash out on designer clothes when they want to make a statement or buy a wardrobe classic.”
Both Coco Chanel and Joseph revolutionised fashion trends in their own ways. Both defied the standard cliché collections that haute couture was producing.
Gabrielle “Coco” Bonheur Chanel began her visionary designs in 1909, and continued until her death in 1971. Chanel is renowned for liberating women from the “corseted silhouette” by focusing on the sportive, casual chic trend as the feminine model in the post-World War I era. As a fertile fashion creator, Chanel’s influence extended beyond couture clothing, launching into jewellery, handbags and fragrances. Her signature scent, Chanel No.5, is an iconic product that defines the House of Chanel.
Coco’s signature Little Black Dress and her iconic two-toned, tailored suits have made a notable impact upon fashion. Karl Lagerfeld has contributed to the collections since 1983.
Joseph Ettedgui, on the other hand, came to England and fell in love with the fashion and style around him. He started up Joseph in the late 1960s, and became a hit with all young women in London before being discovered in cities such as Leeds and Manchester. He is noted to have said: “I like to dress people, not to make them fashionable.”
Haute couture traditionally meant women had to be a specific figure or weight, but Joseph invented the low-cut, narrow-legged Joseph trousers that women immediately craved, because Joseph knew that trousers were one of the hardest pieces to find for different shapes and sizes. He said: “I decided I would try to offer every shape in every fabric and size, to try to make it easier.” And so he did.
With Joseph’s recent passing away, creative director Louise Trotter has continued the legacy by keeping the contemporary classic fusion of Joseph. The pre-collection for spring/summer 2013 mixes different and often opposing stories that create a mix that is unique to Joseph: nautical is paired with military, camouflage with couture, and preppy with street.