Style News

FLANNELS Five:      Five Of The Best European Designers

FLANNELS Five: Five Of The Best European Designers

North American fashion may have given us visions as diverse as Polo Ralph Lauren’s prep style, Calvin Klein’s sex appeal and Thom Browne’s androgynous tailoring, but Europe? Where do we even begin? If we were going to compare the dominance of different continents to one another (weird flex, but sure), you’d have to counter that Europe gave us Jeanne Lanvin, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada--[very deep breath] --and many, many more. It is a continent with rich fashion history, and for this week’s very topical Style News post, FLANNELS would like to highlight some of its most prominent labels.

A white, black and gold Versace bag


Italy is considered the birthplace of Baroque style, and few labels have carried that torch quite like Versace, whose dramatic take on the aesthetic mashes up mythology with contemporary extravagance. Founded by the late, great Gianni Versace and now artistically managed by his similarly iconic sister Donatella, the Milanese label revitalised a long-held European tradition and captured a global audience in return.

Shopper bag by Versace

A brown Fendi bucket bag


In Italy's capital, the Fendi clan have represented another luxurious side of European fashion for nearly a century. Initially known for their fur (fun fact: the double F monogram stands for "fun fur"!), the company has remained a family-driven business, now being creatively driven by Silvia Venturini Fendi, creator of the famous baguette bag. But we can't mention these Roman masters without mentioning their familial bond with German iconoclast Karl Lagerfeld, who joined the label as consultant designer in 1965 and stayed until his passing in 2019.

Bag by Fendi 

A Ganni leather dress


Over in the Nordics, a design boom has been growing in the zeitgeist: think hygge, flat-packed furniture, etc. Ganni is representative of this wave's next stage, crafting contemporary womenswear in Denmark since the turn of the century, operating a while away from the fashion hubs of the world. Distinctly Danish in their slow fashion approach, the brand's super-cool style translated effortlessly to social media, with the very local #GanniGirl having become a global sensation.

Leather dress by Ganni

Black Saint Laurent stilettos


Back in 1966, the Algerian-born Yves Saint Laurent presented his ready-to-wear line Rive Gauche, solidifying the idea that luxury wasn't just high couture. That same year, his Le Smoking collection dropped women's suiting on culture still resistant to women wearing trousers in public (!!). Over the years, the groundbreaking Parisian label has opened its doors to globe-trotting visionaries: Anthony Vaccarello from Belgium, Alber Elbaz from Israel and Tom Ford from the United States. There's so much to thank Saint Laurent for and so little time.

Stilettos by Saint Laurent

A Haider Ackermann hoodie


We're going to circle back to Italy with the languid style of Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini. Behind the scenes, Serafini has helped define contemporary Italian style with stints at powerhouses like Dolce & Gabbana; since 2014, he has been at the helm of Philosophy, focusing on a distinctly feminine aesthetic that feels romantic and rebellious. Made in Milan, but metropolitan enough to fit seamlessly onto Paris or Copenhagen's street style — truly European style!

Lace blouse by Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini