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Fast forward: the five people who will influence how we dress in 2018

From Virgil Abloh to Natacha Ramsay-Levi, their names might not be household yet. But it’s only a matter of time


Fashion

Fast forward: the five people who will influence how we dress in 2018

Virgil Abloh and Natacha Ramsay-Levi might not be household names yet. But it’s only a matter of time

Lauren Cochrane

Thu 28 Dec 2017 08.01 GMTLast modified on Fri 5 Jan 2018 10.16 GMT

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Wardrobe influencers: Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert and Virgil AblohComposite: Getty Images & Rex Features

The urge to have a new look in a new year rises, like the regret over that extra roast potato you had with your turkey, with the lull between Christmas and New Year. But don’t agonise over what to wear. Instead, let the experts do the thinking for you. Follow these five people now and you’ll be on the quickest route to what looks great in 2018. You’re welcome.

Venetia Scott in September 2017. Photograph: Nandez/BFA/Rex/Shutterstock

Venetia Scott

For fashion insiders, the name Venetia Scott has been spoken with reverence for ages. That’s a result of the stylist – and sometime photographer – having the knack for images that mix a sort of playful girlishness with a sense of colour and cool. Expect that combination to trickle down to everyone’s wardrobe this year: Scott is now fashion director of British Vogue. When announcing the appointment, Vogue’s editor, Edward Enninful, said: “Visionary, influential and inspiring are overused terms, but in this case appropriate to describe Venetia’s work.” High praise, but deserved. Scott’s personal style is also worth a steal. Expect hair ribbons on a low ponytail to become irresistible in 2018.

Abloh with Naomi Campbell after the SS18 Off White show. Photograph: Getty Images

Virgil Abloh

Abloh’s label, Off White, is only three years old and he didn’t even train in fashion. That doesn’t stop him being 2018’s answer to Demna Gvasalia – or, in fashion terms, a Really Big Deal. Abloh started out as an architect and worked as Kanye West’s creative director. He launched Off White as streetwear and it still does a swift trade on the hypebeast scene. However, with spring/summer 18, it went next-level. Naomi Campbell opened the show, the clothes were a tribute to Princess Diana and he made cycling shorts happen. Abloh has been rumoured to take over at Versace.

Hägglund, right, with Topshop CEO Paul Price, in September 2017. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for TOP

David Hägglund

Sure, the likes of Boohoo and Missguided form the glitzy Insta end of fast fashion now, but a new designer at Topshop and Topman is still huge news for most of our wardrobes. David Hägglund, working across both brands since September, is masterminding 2018’s take on style for the stores as we speak. It has been suggested that the Swedish Creative Director, who previously worked for H&M, will bring more of a Scandi look to the British high-street stalwart. We predict rock’n’roll jeans, minimal separates and just a pinch of kook. It’s a formula we can get behind.

Natacha Ramsay-Levi after the SS18 Chloe show in Paris. Photograph: Pixelformu/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Natacha Ramsay-Levi

Chloé as a brand is known for a frilly kind of girlishness; one that comes soft-focus, with 70s references. Natacha Ramsay-Levi, its new designer, worked with the creative director at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière – so she doesn’t really do pretty-pretty. Instead, she brought her first collection for Chloé into the world with a scowl and an eye roll. The models looked a bit stroppy and the clothes had a slightly odd quality: never picture perfect. They were, however, still very desirable: slinky suiting, floral frocks with biker boots and biker jackets over white sweatshirts. Expect quirks like this to become very appealing in 2018. We should also study her bow outfit. High waisted cropped mid-blue jeans and snakeskin printed shirt is a look I, for one, want to be friends with.

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert in October 2017. Photograph: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert

You know how red is a thing? That is partly thanks to Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert. The senior fashion editor at Vogue Japan is a longtime favourite of street style photographers for her ability to look like Audrey Hepburn while wearing an outfit borrowed from Big Bird. This most recent round of shows saw Battaglia Engelbert take it up a notch. There were leopard-print, feathers, arty sunglasses and smiles, always smiles. It was the red dress with red scarf, red “LIFE” clutch and red fluffy sandals that clinched it. This is the essence of the red trend. Watch how it dissipates to those without a “feather” section in their wardrobe – ie, you – any moment now.

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