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Brit wits

Although I’m too over the quirky-Britness of his collections to ever buy anything, I can still appreciate the wit of Paul Smith’s aesthetic. I have been an admirer of this higgledy-piggledy picture-frame ensemble in his Selfridges womenswear department for years but never have I had the guts to photograph it – until now. Another of my favourite Brit-wits is photographer Martin Parr. The twosome have just teamed up to produce a set of pictures of Paul Smith’s new collection, photographed on the glamorous people of… Ilford. Check the pics out at www.wallpaper.com.

Mad about Max

MaxMara is one of those labels that ducks and dives below and above the radar. Its profile is lowish at the moment but you’d be a fool to ignore it. This season’s MaxMara magazine is a treat to behold. Witness Lily Donaldson resplendent in a classic camel coat, a Westwood-esque khaki outsize knit and the perfect grey slouchy trousers.

French revolution

There was a time when French fashion was all about traditional elegance – YSL, Chanel, Hermes – and was strictly for the women not the girls. How things have changed! The hottest French labels have a much more youthful aesthetic and are more appealing for it. Charles Anastase has been something of an insiders’ secret for a while but is set to go mainstream now he’s showing at London Fashion Week. Vanessa Bruno’s easy everyday basics are a favourite with the cooler LA juniors like Kirsten Dunst, while APC continues to produce its feminine take on utilitarian-slash-collegiate dressing season after season (the autumn-winter collection has just landed at www.apc.fr). My current favourite is Heimstone, a label I discovered on www.kingdomofstyle.typepad.co.uk. This label has perfected the art of girl-woman dresses – every one’s a winner (and the jackets aren’t half bad either).

Pic: Charles Anastase at www.brownsfashion.com

Another new name to learn

Marco Zanini, head womenswear designer at Versace has been appointed creative director of Halston. This is definitely a name to memorise, as the newly-resuscitated Halston is owned by Hollywood hotshot Harvey Weinstein. On board already are Tamara Mellon and Rachel Zoe so this is one revival that is almost guaranteed to succeed – with the combined connections of those three alone, they pretty much have everyone in the entire fashion and entertainment industries on side before Zanini’s even sharpened his pinking shears.

Pic: Read more about Halston, buy the book on Amazon.com