Retail report: Selfridges ramps up its luxury ready-to-wear with a nod to Dover Street Market

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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It feels like Selfridges has been tweaking its third floor Designer Galleries for ever! Finally its finished and the verdict is quite the A-Z of modern luxury fashion. In short, the Selfridges buy has been Dover Street Market-ified. (And  that sentence right there gets the award for clunkiest sentence of the year. Soz.) I still remember the third floor as it was eons ago – contemporary labels like Anglomania alongside A.P.C, Whistles and Joseph. Pffft, this is so not that. Contemporary and denim have all been shunted up to the fourth floor, leaving gleaming aisles of expensive statement-wear. Of course, I can’t actually afford any of it.

It’s a textbook exercise in taste and wealth though. At one end you have the cash cows – generous amounts of space given to Chanel, Prada, Celine, Dries Van Noten et al to set out their stalls to best demonstrate their vision. Celine’s is bright and spare, all the better to show off its pops of primary-hued handbags amongst the discreet neutrals. Dries is tactile and opulent. Louis Vuitton gets the top spot, its area is part of a dedicated three-storey fit-out complete with its own swivelling lift. Alaia, Saint Laurent and McQueen round out the offer.

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In the middle section there are the new gen giants – think Givenchy, Balenciaga, Tom Ford. And also the Brit brigade – Roksanda, Pilotto, Kane and Preen all representing. These are the brands adored by today’s luxury millennials, they’re seen as edgy and cool but unmistakably expensive. Look at those embellished sweatshirts and know that this is not your mother’s Givenchy. And the Dover Street Market factor? It’s there in those squishy Loewe pouffes and geometric handbags. And there in the Sacai hybrid outerwear. And most definitely there in that wall of Rick Owenses, not to mention the rails of J.W. Andersons and Simone Rochas. There’s not one dud piece in all that lot that I wouldn’t snap up tomorrow if I won the lottery.

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Of course, should you just want something clean and classic, you’re not neglected. The opposite end of the floor has Jil Sander, MaxMara, a ton of Chloe, plus my secret fetish – Brunello Cucinelli. If Chanel and Rick Owens are for the rich kids, I suspect this is the moms’ playground.

It’s certainly the dream retail experience for the monied international customer, with a killer buy from the important brands. It’s presented beautifully with service to match (attentive but not pushy). And increasingly, the online inventory is starting to replicate the store offer. Yes, a few brands resist; there’s no way to buy Celine short of getting your butt into a bricks & mortar store. But others I guess know that having their product on a site like Selfridges.com ups brand awareness as well as giving a better idea of the riches that await you when you visit. For starters, there’s a full complement of Dries and a fair bit of Comme. Here’s my fantasy edit…

J. Crew, it’s all good…

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Whoever is art directing and styling these J Crew pics is doing a fine job. These are my favourites…

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Shop the story HERE

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: J. Crew

Quote of the day: Helen Mirren

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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“I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I’m keen to stay that way…I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks. We are all worth it!”
Helen Mirren quoted in The Guardian, in an excellent piece by Alyson Walsh (AKA That’s Not My Age) on older women in beauty advertising

Aerin Essentials and two new fragrances

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Aerin Lauder is really getting into her stride as a flag bearer of no-brainer beauty, a slightly girlier version of Bobbi Brown if you will.

Where Bobbi is all about the everyday make-up in graphic, black packaging, AERIN does the same job but with luxe golden compacts and pastel-pink or pastel-printed boxes. The prints are a really nice (and original) touch that have become a brand signature. If you know anything about Aerin Lauder (not that I’m obsessed or anything), you’ll know she’s all about the NY-Hamptons lifestyle, with plenty of outdoorsy inspiration driving the brand aesthetic.

Product-wise, I like how sensible and practical everything is. For autumn, AERIN has launched the Essentials collection which includes a Weekday palette and a Weekend palette (£48 each). Both are well thought out, featuring neutral powder blushers, eyeshadows and multi-tasking lip-cheek colours in a decent-sized gold palette with a big mirror and brush/sponge applicator included. To be honest they’re pretty interchangeable, but the weekday one in slightly more colourful. If you’re a beauty minimalist, these shades are spot on and will get plenty of wear. There’s also two new nude lip glosses, two eyeliners and a rose-tinted lip balm. (Actually I can’t detect much colour from the lip balm and though it feels lovely on, I’m not sure I’d fork out £25 for it.)
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Aerin Weekend Palette
The fragrances have been very well received and for good reason. The packaging is stunning (those pebble lids!), the size is just right and the scents are distinctive but not overpowering (I’m so over generic fragrances). New to the collection for autumn is Waterlily Sun (actually smells like summer to me) and Iris Meadow (clean and meadow-y with a hint of musk). Both come in the famous painterly boxes and cost £85 (for 50ml eau de parfum).
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The five original fragrances now also have accompanying body creams, all in lovely printed tubes designed by Lee Jofa. They’re quite spendy at £40 but then I’m a bit of a cheapskate where body creams are concerned they’re very pretty and super gifty.

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: WOOD WOOD X DISNEY, A.P.C, LIBERTY, SHANG XIA, NIKE

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. WOOD WOOD WARPS DISNEY ICON

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Get ready for a very cool Disney collaboration with Danish brand Wood Wood coming to London. Wood Wood chose to stretch and distort classic 30s cartoons of Mickey Mouse, printing the designs on clothes and accessories for men and women. The prints are quite subversive so I’m surprised Disney gave it the go ahead – it’s known for being extremely protective of the brand’s imagery. The collection goes into Liberty, Good Hood and Mytheresa.com on 3rd November.


2. A.P.C LOVES L.A

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A.P.C’s Jean Touitou is banking big on Los Angeles with a new store on Melrose and two more to come by the end of the year. As always, he’s refreshingly frank with his views – I enjoyed this interview on Style.com in which he expounds on how New York and Paris have lost their creative lustre and what he’s doing to push the A.P.C minimalist aesthetic forward. (But first, please admire the lush shiny flooring – above – made from Spanish ceramic bricks that nods to the Hispanic heritage of the area.)


3. LIBERTY’S PERSONAL BEAUTY CALL

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Liberty has just launched a bespoke beauty personal shopping service that I think will do really well. You make an appointment and get a one-to-one with a specialist who gives you unrushed, unbiased advise on Liberty beauty products. The two hour service costs £80 redeemable against purchases. It definitely feels like Liberty has noticed how consumers want trusted, user-friendly advice rather than hard sell and I’d say a lot of that has to be down to blogger influence. It reminds me of the John Gustafson service that Fenwick introduced in the 90s (so successful that the waiting list stretches to years). Read more on Liberty’s bespoke beauty here.


4. SHANG XIA IN SHANGHAI

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“What is precious in life? Space is precious, time is precious, love is precious.” I love this quote from Shang Xia’s founder, CEO and artistic director Jiang Qiong’er. The Hermes-owned Chinese brand is in expansion mode, and following Paris and Beijing, this month opened its third store in Shanghai. Its main premise is to draw on Chinese craft and heritage to create a high quality brand for the modern Chinese luxury customer. The quote is from this article in Time Out Shanghai.


5. NIKE UPS THE FASHION ANTE WITH SUPERMODEL CAMPAIGN

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Clever Nike is embracing the fashion crowd as never before. Its forthcoming collaboration with Pedro Lourenço was launched with much fanfare last week, starring as it does Karlie Kloss in the campaign shots. As with everything, authenticity is at its core. The product is highly fashionable but function has to come first. But it clearly doesn’t hurt to have Karlie (and a chunk of her million+ Instagram following) endorsing the brand…

WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL

Winter picks from Net-a-Porter

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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According to Editd.com, luxury stores have bought into more winter warmers, earlier in the season this year. Net-a-Porter alone has grown its autumn offer of outerwear by 117% compared to last year. Maybe it knows something we don’t? Colourful fake furs are key, as are oversized, slouchy shapes. I’ve noticed a lot of sophisticated-looking fake furs (as opposed to those Big Bird types from a few seasons ago) – I guess that’s the Shrimps effect. The all-enveloping poncho too is a big player, thanks to Issa’s cheery patterns and Burberry’s genius blanket wraps…

I’m still a fan of classics, so I’ve included a cape (from Saint Laurent) and a duffle (Burberry Brit) in my latest Net-a-Porter edit. And I’m trying to wean myself off the navy jumpers so I’m gravitating more towards Jonathan Saunders’ stripes and Bella Freud’s typography. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget that clocks go forward this weekend…

WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL
MAIN IMAGE: SAINT LAURENT AW14

The British Fashion Awards 2014 – place your bets!

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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This year’s British Fashion Awards is set to be the most exciting yet, for me anyway.

Anyone want to place bets on the following?

Emerging Womenswear Designer.
Aargh, how can I choose between Marques and Tait? I’ll go for Tait though in light of his LVMH prize:
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Thomas Tait Continue reading

Buy it now: Topman’s top coats

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Seriously loving Topman’s current coat campaign. This winter its focus is on classic men’s coats that have their roots in menswear tailoring heritage. The updated navy mac (£90) and houndstooth single breasted number (£90, above) are my favourites, and the camel overcoat (just don’t call it a Crombie) would be perfect if it was a bit longer. Note that Topman sizes start at an XXS (just saying). Continue reading

agnès b – how to forget autumn?

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Autumn – ugh, hate it! A precursor to winter, I can’t join the brigade who wax lyrical about their love of layers and wet weather wear. Sorry, no. I’m in denial and much prefer to ignore the entire season. It turns out agnès b is a fellow autumn refusenik and she’s so obsessed she has initiated a whole Instagram campaign around it. To take part, upload a photo that shows how you forget autumn, and tag it #agnesbautumn @agnesb_officiel.

To entice you, there’s the promise of a Polaroid X agnès b camera, which will be won by the 5 most-liked Instagrams every week. Find out more on the How To Forget Autumn microsite.

So, how do I forget autumn? By dreaming of my next escape with a little beach photography (via Massimo Vitali’s brilliant book) and some motivational reading. Head over to Instagram and show us your #agnesbautumn…

WORDS AND IMAGE: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl

*THIS POST WAS PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AGNES B*

It’s all about the Burberry map scarf…

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Much as I love the Burberry poncho, the silk map foulard is a more realistic proposition. I saw it IRL in Harrods last week (do head up to the new 6th floor Salon De Parfum by the way, it’s the ultimate olfactory experience) in the men’s department as it is indeed part of the Burberry Prorsum men’s AW14 collection.

At the show it was loosely tied over both shoulders, but what I like about this scarf is how thin and therefore malleable, it is. Continue reading

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