Special delivery: the most ingenious invitations from the A/W 2015 women’s season

A layer of sparkling silver foil
3.1 Phillip Lim: Conceal and reveal was the name of the game with Phillip Lim, who sent a black scratch-and-win of an invitation covered in a layer of sparkling silver foil, with a lucky cent coin glimmering in the top right corner
(Image credit: Phillip Lim)

A folded poster

Givenchy: From Givenchy came a folded poster, as subversive as it was sumptuous. The floral romanticism of the sheet's pinks and maroons was overlaid with a florid line drawing of a sensuous (if surreal) nude, hinting at a collection with more than a touch of darkness

(Image credit: Givenchy)

Little black book came

Saint Laurent: From Hedi Slimane another little black book came. Inside the deceptively calm covers of textured black with a sharp white deboss was a world of comic book mayhem and angst, the subversive sketches and kitsch collages coming courtesy of Jim Shaw

(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

A catwalk model

(Image credit: Rick Owens)

Rick Owens: Everyone at fashion week has seen a fringe or two in their time, whether it's sported by a catwalk model, famous face or even a handbag. But an invitation? That's novel, even to us. Rick Owens is to thank for this one, sending a suede-covered, embossed board coated in deep tan and mouse grey suede, fringed by - you guessed it - a trim of luscious locks. Bonkers and brilliant in equal measure

A wooden board

Floral trend: This year, it was all about gilding the lily (in the best way). Floral offerings from Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Gucci's were all fresh as daisies, ranging from the delicate embossing of Balenciaga's magnolia white card (with bevelled black edges) to the slightly sinister still life by David Sims for McQueen, printed in gloss on a dark wooden board

(Image credit: Floral trend)

Elegant black script

Burberry Prorsum: From Burberry came a gilt-edged card with elegant black script. Rambling like a rose across the duplex, gold-edged board, it gave just a tantalising suggestion of the feminine folkiness and bohemian flower power that Christopher Bailey had in store 

(Image credit: Burberry Prorsum)

Softly textured board

Christopher Kane:  Mr Kane duped us all. Keeping it simple, the dusky rose, softly textured board gave nothing away about the thunderbolt collection that was to come, with its disco lamé and souped-up velvet

(Image credit: Christopher Kane)

The poster's sunshine yellow backing

Acne Studios: Acne sent a folded, graphic poster in primary blue and dusty greys, shouting its name loud and clear in black print emblazoned across the front. Equally forthright - and just as fun - was the poster's sunshine yellow backing 

(Image credit: Acne Studios)

A pair of shutter shades

Stella McCartney: We can always rely on Stella McCartney's invitation to inject a bit of fun into the mayhem of fashion week. This year's did not disappoint. Attached to a laser-etched Perspex board was a pair of shutter shades that, with a typically McCartney Midas touch, twinkled and flashed when the lights went down

(Image credit: Stella McCartney)

Own playbook

Tommy Hilfiger: The all-American brand brought its A-game for its New York invitation, sending us a ticket for kickoff on the big day. Embossed and watermarked monograms, sports insignia and our very own playbook on a referee's clipboard left us in no doubt of the fun and (ball) games ahead

(Image credit: Tommy Hilfiger)

The runway in clean lines and pop of colour

Jil Sander: Jil Sander channelled a traditionally minimalist vibe for this season's invitation. The feel was echoed on the runway in clean lines and pop of colour

(Image credit: Jil Sander)

Patent leather and wintery

Rag & Bone: Vacuum-packed in an industrial-looking textured plastic envelope came a keyring from Rag & Bone. Dangling strips of patent leather and wintery, grey woollen felt gave us an inkling of what we might expect…

(Image credit: Rag & Bone)

Pastel sketch

Chanel: Announcing the launch of Brasserie Gabrielle, Chanel suggested we might care to join for a spot of petit dejeuner. We didn't take much persuading, not least given the invitation's belle époque pastel sketch on sumptuously thick white card

(Image credit: Chanel)

The sportif collection

Tod's: A tessellated front, the colour of nude leather, came from Tod's, its gold edges lending just a hint of opulence to the luxury leather brand's invitation. The pattern itself - a kind of geometric argyle - was whipped straight from the sportif collection

(Image credit: Tod's)

A deep maroon card

Roksanda: A deep maroon card, printed by Smythson, was the summons to Roksanda's pulsating show. The collection's abstract psychedelia found an echo in the screen-printed Klein blue spot on the front, while burnt orange foil details on the back hinted at a season of painterly colour and subtle textures

(Image credit: Roksanda)

Louis Vuitton combined textured leather

Louis Vuitton: Never knowingly understated, Louis Vuitton combined textured leather, supple suede and acid orange in one - a standout calling card for a standout show

(Image credit: Louis Vuitton)

The Hunter show

Hunter Originals: At the sight of Hunter's industrial orange envelope, you'd be forgiven for thinking the fashion house had lost its outdoorsy edge. Inside, however, the great British countryside was given an urban twist, with an embroidered badge stapled to a steely grey card - a premonition of the manmade waterfalls and wedged Wellingtons that stole the Hunter show 

(Image credit: Hunter Originals)

A pared-back triplex board

Paul Smith: Paul Smith tickled us pink with a pared-back triplex board, perfectly in keeping with the low-key palette and simple lines of its A/W collection. Details were printed in matte black foil set within a sketchy box

(Image credit: Paul Smith)

A tablet of purest white

Haider Ackermann: A tablet of purest white came from the Colombian designer. So far, so simple, so Haider Ackermann. But while most details were embossed into the card, part of the date was scrawled across the front in dripping black, in a statement of punkish defiance. The message for the future was clear: revolution lay ahead

(Image credit: Haider Ackermann)

Watery teals, soft greys and rosy blushes

Giorgio Armani: Giorgio Armani went soft-focus ahead of its Milan show. Watery teals, soft greys and rosy blushes were swathed across the painterly, folded coloured card, which had the house's name printed simply in silver foil on the front

(Image credit: Giorgio Armani)

Cut-out invitation

1205: Staged in London's Barbican Centre, 1205's brutal yet beautiful show came as lovely surprise after Paula Gerbase's cut-out invitation

(Image credit: 1205)

A folded board

Boss: Jason Wu made use of the dark grey wool used in his collection for this season's invitation, wrapping it around a folded board. Inside, a smaller grey card opened to reveal a sneak peek of what lay ahead, with a sketch suggesting clean lines and architectural folds were the order of the season

(Image credit: Boss)

A miniature textured leather road

(Image credit: Anya Hindmarch)

Anya Hindmarch: The doyenne of tongue-in-cheek, Hindmarch sent a miniature textured leather road sign attached to a spot-varnished card, warning us of the dressed-up diversions that lay ahead. It seems she may have tempted fate; the show indeed held London's fashion crowd up, though the eventual M25-inspired runway-meets-motorway (and Little Chef breakfast) more than made up for it

The theme

Moncler Grenoble: Moncler staged a love-in for its Valentine's Day show, for which the theme was, of course, the 'Love Factory'. The summons came in the form of a printed lab-coat, sealed in a watertight bag - a nod to the technical fabrics that were to be on the runway (and the fact that many made it to the presentation by boat, across the Hudson River)

(Image credit: Moncler Grenoble)

Snow-white buckram board

Delpozo: On the back a satisfyingly solid, snow-white buckram board, Delpozo sent summons to its New York show. Details were printed in icy blue foil, while the front was faced with an embossed logo and a laser-cut, frosty-looking forest of all angles and layers

(Image credit: Delpozo)

The back in irregular columns of screen-printed font

Proenza Schouler: Proenza Schouler's invitation, a mountboard rectangle fronted with felt, was stamped so gently with a repeated row of lines it was almost impossible to see what they were. Like an Anish Kapoor sculpture, the pulsing blue made the eyes swim, its texture like a trompe l'oeil. Details were on the back in irregular columns of screen-printed font

(Image credit: Proenza Schouler)

Watercolour paper

Fendi: Two round, colour-blocked discs of watercolour paper came from Fendi, in abstract homage to the 'monster' bugs that dangled off handbags in this season's Milan catwalk show. Peach, plum and purple, scarlet and fuchsia were the colours of choice, looking ahead to the 1970s-style palette of the collection

(Image credit: Fendi)

Clear tip-off in biker black

Philipp Plein: The German designer sent a loud and clear tip-off in biker black and gloss that this season's show was not for the faint-hearted. Forewarned is forearmed; the collection's python, croc and look-at-me furs took us on the ride of our lives. Rollercoaster included

(Image credit: Philipp Plein)