On the grapevine…

Is Anna Piaggi really designing a range of shoes? Now that’s a ‘celebrity’ range I’d be most interested in… The launch party is at the Crillon in Paris tomorrow night – oh to be able to watch the freaks-n-weirdos fest in the inevitable queue twice around the block…

Update: So, nearly a week after reporting this gem of info which was mentioned as an aside on Style.com’s blog, I haven’t read a murmur of it anywhere else! So, what is the deal with this real or imaginary range? Anyone know?

A link-up to love

After a year of celebrity-designer mash-ups, designers are now collaborating with…other designers! We’ve had the Comme and Speedo love-in, the Fred-Perry-Jessica-Ogden link ups and the New Look and Giles castastophe. The latest hook-ups include Fred Perry with Raf Simons, Philip Lim with Birkenstock and Henry Holland with Levi’s (I know!).

But the only one I can really get worked up about is Baracuta with Margaret Howell. I’m a classics girl at heart and even though I never buy it (cannae afford it, natch) I’ve always lusted after Howell’s just-boyish-enough collections. Her take on Baracuta’s iconic Harrington jacket (as worn by Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, countless cute indie boys etc etc) is to slim it down and crop it to the waist. Just the thing to wear with ankle-length cigarette pants and my beat-up Bass Weejuns.

New name to know

Gabrielle Greiss has taken up the reins as creative director at Sonia Rykiel. The ex-St Martins graduate has been Sonia Rykiel’s chief assistant since 2002 after stints at Martine Sitbon and Lanvin and cutting her teeth as a stylist at Another magazine and Dazed.

I predict a younger vibe, still heavy on the stripes with a cooler ‘French Vogue Intern’* sensibility. Please let me be right!

*TM www.discothequechic.blogspot.com

Shop At Maison Bertaux needs your help

An email from madame@shopatmaisonb.com… They are dithering over whether they should order these Repettos for the store. For those who don’t know, Shop At Maison Bertaux (27 Greek Street, Basement Premises, W1) is the shop in London where all the Parisian-cool girls go. They stock APC, Sonial Rykiel Bijoux, Eley Kishimoto, etc etc etc. What say ye all? I love these check ones but I do find Repetto trop cher.

Thoughts? Add them here or email madame directly on the email above…


Quote of the day

“I’m totally confused. I don’t even know what taste is any more. Frankly, I can’t bear to buy magazines. I just get so upset.”
Manolo Blahnik freaks out at the Vanity Fair Hollywood cover

Dr Green’s retail remedy

An interesting article on TopShop and Philip Green in last week’s IHT*. The first noteworthy nugget is that he already has a Broadway store in his clutches so TopShop’s New York debut really is imminent. The next morsel of good news is that India is next in his sights. Take it from me, Green could make a killing in India, the high street offering here is pretty damn uninspiring. Although they have Levi’s, Pepe, Benetton and Esprit, the stuff they sell to the Indian market is nothing like what you get in the UK. Think bad graphics, market-stall over-embellishment and an abundance of pockets, toggles and straps exploding from every seam. Denim brand Gas is about the only ‘high street’ label I’ve seen that bears a resemblance to what’s on sale elsewhere in the world. If Green can get the design right and the price right he will have India’s youth market firmly grasped in the palm of his hand.

Green also spouts opinion on where he thinks retails is heading. “It’s going to be now about special products, good people, good customer service, innovating, doing things that are new,” Green said. “And my belief is that, if you look at the market, everybody is running to price – and I am actually running away from price. I am running to special. And that’s what I think is going to see who wins and who loses.” This is what TopShop has always done well – the experience of fashion. (Shame he can’t do something about the experience of Bhs.) If you look at the other UK retail success stories – Apple, Dover Street Market, Selfridges – it proves his point. In this age of instant gratification, we’re all looking for the next unique experience. I’m definitely ready for a new wave of good customer service so let’s see how this pans out. Bring it on and fast Mr Green!

*Read the article here: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/13/style/Rtop.php

Pic: www.topshop.com

Hooray for Halston

The general consensus of the Ossie Clark and Halston revivals seems to be a big fat negative. Just why do these revivals for which we all had high hopes never seem to hit the mark? My theory is that Biba, Halston and Ossie Clark are about more than just crepe hotpants, disco jumpsuits and puff-sleeve gowns. Their names are synonymous with a nostalgic era, they encompass the free love, hedonistic spirit and creative energy of their age, not to mention the glamour of the celebs who wore them. (How can the likes of Nicole Richie, Peaches Geldof and Sienna Miller possibly compete with Diana Ross, Veruschka and Bianca Jagger?) While it’s a shame that the Ossie Clark and Halston shows have been poorly recieved, can anyone be surprised given the hype and sky-high expectations they elicited? At the same time, I’m secretly pleased that the press haven’t gone bananas over Halston. Why? Because I loved it. Not that I can afford it, but I totally feel like slinking around Kensal Green in those voluminous cape-dresses, cloud-coloured chiffon gowns and too-sexy suede boots. So let them keep their Balenciaga, Burberry and Dior (three revivals that have been successful. I’ll happily have Halston all to myself.

Pic: www.portfolio.com


Yesterday was my first blogday and I completely forgot! I had no idea all those months ago that I’d still be blogging a year later, and getting comments – woo hoo, thank you guys!

This is a good time to thank Jen at www.mahalofashion.blogspot.com for organising the FBAs (Fashion Blogger Awards) – I was a runner up for Best Fashion insiders’ Blog! (OK, I know there aren’t that many fashion insiders’ blogs but still…) I didn’t get a chance to vote because my computer has been acting funny – I’ve not been able to post comments for a couple of weeks…so frustrating. Anyway, that reminds me, my blog buddy LibertyLondonGirl at www.libertylondongirl.blogspot.com has given me a Blogs That Make My Day Award. If only I knew how to display these accolades on my page. One day I’ll learn but first I need to update my links, baby steps, right?

Now I just need to find a picture of a giant birthday cake to illustrate this post. Anyone got any links?*

*Ah…Blue Floppy Hat has sent me this one – thank you!