Some of our most beloved ICONS come from the diffusion lines of luxury fashion houses and designers. More accessible, but still encapsulating the spirit of the ready-to-wear collections, these are the brands to know.
There are a couple of reasons to love designer diffusion lines. The most obvious is that you get to walk around in a dress from a luxury brand with a much smaller hole blown through your wallet. True, the designs are often less intricate and fabrics a little more basic, but the advantage is that designers can also express a more playful and modern aesthetic than their grown-up collections will allow. So everyone has a little more fun, for less.
SEE BY CHLOÉ
We may lust after this luxury French fashion label from afar, but we love and wear every single piece of See by Chloé that we own. The aesthetic still riffs off the main collection, with soft, floaty, feminine silhouettes, but the diffusion line has a contemporary spin that works for daytime dressing. Investment-worthy pieces – perfectly on-point for a smart work wardrobe – include covetable shoulder bags, all-occasion dresses and elegant blouses.
ISABEL MARANT ÉTOILE
For a masterclass in effortless, cool-girl style, look no further than French designer Isabel Marant. The more casual and relatable Étoile is a uniform for off-duty models, actresses and fashion editors. The vibe is relaxed, tousled and a little bohemian. With pieces that instantly add a Parisienne edge, like artisinal blouses, jackets trimmed with studs and the perfect skinny trousers, the clothes are perfectly pitched for everything from festivals to creative workplaces.
The contemporary line for Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Preen Line, has the same asymmetric, feminine signature as the ready-to-wear collection – but with an everyday, modern sensibility. Since its launch in 2008, Preen Line has been a runaway success, and it’s not hard to see why. The pieces, which are beautiful and instantly wearable, have a timeless quality that makes them a pleasure to wear season after season.
Here’s something you may not know: the RED stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress. Is it any wonder we love this collection so much, which captures the spirit of grown-up Valentino, but with a more youthful edge? The house’s delicate workmanship, though, is evident in the designs. Every season the line-up of cool daytime staples, alongside dresses with a touch of tulle, lace, embroidery, ruffles and beautiful prints, make our heads spin (and our credit cards yelp).
PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI
Lorenzo Serafini designs day-to-night clothes with a playful, modern aesthetic for the spin-off line to Alberta Ferretti. We love the dreamy, flowing dresses and classic tailored pieces that form part of his collection most seasons, always inspired by a muse of his choice. And with a price point that’s similar to Étoile Isabel Marant, these forever pieces aren’t insanely out of reach.
VICTORIA VICTORIA BECKHAM
Victoria Beckham shows off her more free-spirited side with VVB, experimenting with colour and pattern. And with a lifestyle that makes her one of the most famous frequent fliers in the world, it’s no surprise that the silhouettes tend to be slouchy, relaxed and super-cool. Here, Victoria is designing clothes for her busy life. We love that she really wears the clothes, putting pieces through their paces before they can make the cut.
MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS
A style ambassador for modern, laid-back luxury, Michael Kors’ DNA is dressing the glossy jet-set crowd. With designs intended to suit a busy, urban lifestyle, diffusion line Michael Michael Kors offers a kind of smart-city take with more wearable pieces. There’s often a luxe sportswear feel, too. This season’s designs combine eye-catching patterns and fabrics with easy silhouettes and sharp, tailored separates.
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