Not so long ago, the fashion industry was almost split between brands who created the same trusted classics season upon season and those who specialised in switching up the look with a visual 180 every six months. Perhaps owed to the recession, a few years back the merging of these two strategies started to spread across the design spectrum as a normal practice.
There have, of course, been many other developments—like the introduction of these in-between drops called pre-fall and resort, or the fact that designers are looking to become entirely trans-seasonal—but from high-street stalwarts to high-fashion whizz kids, it became okay to not bring out a radically new handbag once summer segued into autumn. That doesn't mean there isn't still constant newness on offer—the world would surely stop turning—but it does mean that if you still like something you bought a year or five ago, it's refreshingly okay to keep wearing it. You won't look dated, brows won't furrow on the FROW and hurrah, your wallet may reward you with permission to make another wise investment elsewhere.
So once upon a time the below five items—that you will most likely covet—were but a mere twinkle in a designer's eye. Little did their createurs realise just what kind of retail smash-hits they were starting, but fortunately, the big cheeses were savvy enough to notice that one round wasn't enough to sate their stylish audiences. And if something ain't broke, as they say, don't fix it... just tweak it slightly in different colourways and make it reflect the season's trends without veering away from the elements that give it longevity.
These items are not obvious or boring or classic in the most classical sense, but they do stand the test of time and keep us coming back for more. Scroll down for the one-off designs that impressively became continued must-haves…
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On Linda Tol: Jimmy Choo sunglasses; 4040 Coat; Ganni top and trousers; Stella McCartney bag; Paula Cademartori shoes.
Stella McCartney's Falabella bag—recognisable by its sack shape and braided chain trim—was first introduced in 2010. Since then it has been restyled in myriad ways; this season's incarnations include embroidered florals on denim, studded and fringed black faux leather and appliquéd metallic stars in large tote sizes all the way through to pochettes and wallets.
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On May Buranasiri: Tibi skirt; Prada bag; Valentino shoes.
Valentino's strappy, studded pointed-toe court shoes—the catchily named Rockstuds—were also introduced in 2010 and proved that the iconic couture house could do something tough as successfully as they could do beautiful gowns and cascading ruffles. The high-heeled version was still easy enough to dash about in, but the inclusion of lower kitten heels was just the start of an expanding Rockstud line. You can now find sunglasses and bags to match, not to mention a rainbow of colours each season.
On Sara Donaldson: Tibi top; Dion Lee skirt; Givenchy shoes.
Tibi's street styled favourite, the Neo off-the-shoulder top, ticked off more than a few trends when it hit the scene last year. It sold out at a crazy pace, even after being restocked. Now it still remains as a pillar in this contemporary brand's armoury, arriving in varying shades and fabrics.
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On Helena Bordon: Dior earrings.
Dior's Tribale earrings were first designed as a double pearl bauble under Raf Simon's tenure at the Parisian fashion house; most commonly worn singularly, we had never heard—and still haven't heard—of another waiting list so long for a piece of jewellery. Spawning a thousand-and-one copies across the globe, Dior continues to experiment with this successful twist on a classic idea. Some of these are our new season favourites, but it is hard to choose one...
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On Nadja Bender: Acne Studios jacket.
First came the cult jeans, then came the biker jackets, then the ankle boots, then another leather jacket. Acne Studios' first biker jacket boom came courtesy of a shorter, tighter cut, but since the More moto debuted, fashion types including off-duty-models and stars like Rihanna have slipped in and rocked out in droves this year. It's now available in shearling for the colder months, and it's roomy enough to layer like you've never layered before.