Libertine inventor Johnson Hartig (for inventor’s the only true word to describe him) has created a world of his own, a mythical, magical world where Lord Byron references live side by side with pirate hats and Uncle Sam stovepipes. The California-based designer of menswear and womenswear — itself a distinguished feat — has been around the fashion block a time or two, having launched his eponymous line in 2000 and Libertine in 2010, but he’s marched around that block to the beat of a drummer that he alone can hear. He’s like some mad pied piper, except his emperor is most definitely wearing clothes. Wild, madcap clothes pulled from the Wonderland dress-up box, or so it seems at first glance, but if you look past Hartig’s inventive styling, you’ll find wearable statement pieces that, when mixed with your more subdued clothes, will mark you as a forward thinker who’s ready and angling to take over the world. And any world being taken over by the dames and lads who don Hartig’s clothes and the Hartigean spirit is a world I’m ready to live in.
Stella McCartney may have been the obvious choice to design Team Great Britain and Paralympics Great Britain’s uniforms (or “kit”) for the 2012 London Olympics. After all, her Adidas by Stella McCartney line has more than proved her athletic-wear bona fides, but her ascendancy to the luxury-brand fashion throne was anything but “written in the stone”. McCartney’s come a long way from her childhood on the organic farm, where she was raised by a hippie-era rock star dad and photographer mum (dad is Paul McCartney, mum is the late photographer, musician and animal rights activist Linda McCartney) — and also no distance at all. The values that have driven her brand from the start — a decision to abstain from the use of leather and fur (at a time and in an industry where this could have sunk the ship before it sailed), a commitment to making clothing in an ever more sustainable way — were there at the start.