“It’s easy to call things ‘luxury’ now; I think that term is used very loosely. But, it is a luxury to be able to wear something that is genuinely handmade or hand-painted or hand-stitched.”
“I’m very nostalgic,” says Charlotte Olympia Dellal on her love of 1940s glamour. As is often the case, hers is a passion that began in childhood, cultivated by her mother – Brazilian model, Andrea de Magalhaes Viera – and her grandmother, with whom the young Dellal would revel in the films of old Hollywood. Twice crowned Accessories Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, and trained at Cordwainers School following a foundation at London College of Fashion, the designer celebrates retro glamour through a beautifully outré lens.
"To me, the ultimate idea of luxury is when something is perfect just for you."
Adored for her wearable, everyday approach to fine jewellery, Carolina Bucci has Italian luxury in her DNA as a fourth-generation jeweller in Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio. Surrounded by beautiful jewels as a child, she soon came to resist the restrictive traditions of design in favour of a contemporary and playful aesthetic, inspired by childhood friendship bracelets for her first collection. Yet her rejection of conventional design comes hand in hand with a deep-seated appreciation of Italian craftsmanship, championing a slow, patient and bespoke approach to craft in pursuit of perfection.
"I wanted to create an environment of functional luxury. The most valuable thing that anyone has is time."
A pioneer of today's undone yet polished look, George Northwood's hairdressing journey has soared from playing make-believe salons in his parents' loft to styling The Duchess of Sussex's wedding reception hair. Finding his niche in creating a perfectly tousled effect, Northwood's creative vision prefers impeccably cool, manageable elegance over a just-left-the-salon look — marked by his famed handiwork with Alexa Chung's game-changing textured bob. His approach to luxury is a pragmatic one, throwing out extravagance in favour of efficiency and unintimidating surroundings at his eponymous Fitzrovia salon.
“Freedom of choice is what I’m really about. You should be able to wear whatever you fancy…”
What Sarah Shotton doesn’t know about lingerie isn’t worth knowing. Creative Director at Agent Provocateur since 2010, the Central Saint Martins alumna can trace her trajectory to the brand’s helm all the way back to shop assistant in 1999. Now, Shotton is rewriting the rules of luxury lingerie – whether by utilising Leavers lace, more typically associated with couture, or introducing a nursing bra that marries ergonomic design and elegance – to, quite literally, shape the future of the female silhouette.
“I’m not interested in reproducing historic things – or in making very simple, modern-looking things... I find that terribly boring!”
Ashley Hicks’ formative years were as extraordinary as you’d expect from the son of David Nightingale Hicks – esteemed interior designer – and Lady Pamela Hicks, the younger daughter of Earl Louis Mountbatten. Luxurious and eccentric in equal measure, their influence lives on in Hicks’ own practice, from the designer’s signature totemic sculptures and opulent textiles, to his varied oeuvre of familial memoirs and photographic journals. The latest of these, Buckingham Palace: The Interiors, was published in 2018 by Rizzoli in partnership with the Royal Collection Trust.
“I don’t think I am a maximalist… The way that we design our textiles and the surface manipulation veers into maximalism, but I think the silhouettes are more purist in form. It’s always been about the balance of both.”
It wasn’t until studying under the late Professor Louise Wilson OBE that designer, Mary Katrantzou, would find her creative confidence. Now, just over a decade after presenting her seminal Central Saint Martins MA collection, Katrantzou is regarded among the leading lights of the global fashion stage – collaborating with the likes of Swarovski and Longchamp, and designing for the New York City Ballet. In 2018, the Dallas Contemporary Museum hosted Mary, Queen of Prints – a curation of 180+ looks, to coincide with her label’s 10th anniversary.