An iconic bag reinvented for 2018, haute couture inspired by the history of Saint Petersburg and the Paris of today, and a nod to ancient astronomy for the latest innovative watches – this season’s icons have been curated from a wealth of inspirations, past and present. Nothing is impossible when you realize what Winter 2018 looks like.

John Galliano’s iconic Saddle Bag has been revived and reinvented by Maria Grazia Chiuri for 2018, bringing the cult bag back to life after 18 years. First seen in Dior’s SS‘00 collection, the ‘It’ bag of the season is still inspired by the brand’s equestrian roots – evident in the gilded D – but has been firmly updated for the now. “I thought this collection would be an opportunity to revive its timeless beauty,” says Grazia Chiuri after the FW18 show, during which it was relaunched. “I consider this icon of the house’s recent history the perfect accessory to deal with this battle that is daily life.” The creative director has revisited the bag in leather, monogram canvas and embroidered patchwork versions, with her signature ethnic straps to be worn cross-body.


Lebanese couturiers Azzi & Osta have expanded on their love of the history of the Russian Empire for their FW haute couture collection, after looking to Tsar Nikolai II for inspiration. The last of the Romanov Dynasty to rule and the last Tsar of ‘All the Russias”- the leader was known for his love of art, travel and culture and so the design duo have found their inspiration in the late Russian Romantic Era. Treating each piece like a work of art, George Azzi & Assaad Osta have focused on a palette of fresh whites, icy blues, mints, silvers and golds, reminiscent of the abundance of extravagant palaces from bygone times. Luxurious silk, satin, tulle and elaborate embroideries also bring each story to life, with contoured silhouettes and conceptual volumes bringing a contemporary feel to the rich, visual tapestry.


Following on from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Zodiac Lumineux watch, launched at the beginning of the year at SIHH, the luxury Swiss brand has just introduced new feminine versions with the Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux collection. Made up of 12 exquisite timepieces, the collection is available in 12 luminous dials from the Western Zodiac – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each symbolic figure is adorned with white or yellow gold, precious stones and enamel and is reminiscent of the cosmos with a midnight, glittery-blue dial used as the setting on each timepiece. With only five of each available in the market, each precious watch has a self-winding mechanical movement with a light-on-demand module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels and a 40-hour power reserve, making them as functional as they are fantastically beautiful.


Paying homage to literary Paris and library-lovers alike for his Chanel Haute Couture FW17/18 collection, Karl Lagerfeld lined the Grand Palais with the Seine’s quayside bookshops for his show in July. Using a color palette reminiscent of autumnal Paris, the haute couture collection calls on rich fabrics, including the brand’s iconic tweed, velvet, crêpe, lace and chiffon in shades inspired by the city. There were hues of pale gray inspired by zinc rooftops, asphalts from the streets, gold and silver reflections of the moon in the Seine, as well as pale pinks, mauves and cloudy beiges inspired by fresh Parisian mornings. The iconic designer also got creative with silhouettes by adding long zips onto skirts and jackets – giving them the chance to transform – as well as pleated skirts, chiffon blouses and lace tops, all elegantly and exquisitely crafted by Chanel’s ateliers. This was Karl’s intimate love letter to Paris.


Alessandro Michele peppered his Resort 2019 show with cultural references tied-up in the storied history of the Chateau Marmont, so it only made sense that the creative director should pay direct homage to the iconic L.A. hotel, by using its gothic logo on key pieces throughout the collection. The legendary Sunset Boulevard property was built in the 1920s and is famous for its Hollywood lore, filled with scandals, glamor and gossip. It has also been home to some of the world’s most famous names in rock‘n’roll over the years, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Alessandro’s muse, Florence Welch. Our hero this season is the Jackie Bag, one of Gucci’s signature shapes designed in 1958 and inspired by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. While the hotel’s motif also appears on a t-shirt, an oversized sweatshirt and a drawstring bag modeled after the hotel’s own laundry bags.