Lulu Guinness showed off her lovely lips in bag form at the first proper press day of the season. I’m glad to see the perspex lips clutch is back for another innings, in fact the lips have become something of a permanent fixture and ss10 will see the introduction of a clutch of neon er, clutches. For aw09 though we saw sleek patent lady-bags, black-on-black flower pot bags (to celebrate Lulu’s 20th anniversary) and the cutest kitty-shaped bag I’ve ever seen. I literally snatched it off the PR’s shoulder to take it’s picture.
(*With apologies to Alison Steadman)
I’m loving the ingenuity of this girl. A Louis Vuitton dustbag as a scarf? Why the hell not? PS, sorry the pic has come out so small. Double click for a better look or check it out on the What Katie Wore blog…
Had enough of killer heels that you can’t walk (let alone dance) in and handbags so heavy that even She-ra would have trouble lifting them? Me too. But hang in there because the totes they are a-changing. After the giant bag trend came the absurdity of the superclutch and then the even more ridiculous micro-clutch. But now designers have finally decided to give us something that we actually want: lightweight, roomy and practical bags that do a job and look good.
The luxury leathergoods-makers Valextra are keen to join the party. Valextra have softened the lines of their trademark bags and introduced the half-moon Namasté which weighs in at a featherweight 600g and can carry up to 15kg without putting your back out of whack. “We worked on it for months to balance it so the weight falls on your hip,” chairman Emanuele Carmiati Molina told the FT, “We threw away over 25 prototypes”. (The price is also less painful at under €1000, that’s cheap for Valextra.)
Not to be outdone, everyone’s favourite Marc Jacobs muse, Sofia Coppola has unveiled her capsule collection for Louis Vuitton consisting of predictably fuss-free day bags and classy clutches. She also rejected the first prototype for being too heavy, finally signing off a collection that is classic, chic and ultimately useful.
Alexander Wang, Dazed Digital, The Fashion Spot
No sooner has one caught one’s breath after the razzmatazz of fashion weeks left, right and centre does launch season begin with a zillion different shop openings, high summer previews and A/W press days. In the fortnight ahead I have another Joseph shop relaunch to attend (poor me), press days for Harvey Nichols, Paul Smith, Lulu Guinness, Swarovski, Blow PR and so on and so forth. That’s not including the flood of invitations set to arrive next week for the rest of the press days or the Fashion Business Club talk with Alexandra Shulman I’m attending on 26th March.
On Thursday night it all kicked off with the launch of the clever new pop-up shop by The Convenience Store. The Convenience Store is taking a three-week sabbatical from its home in West London (next door neighbours to Rellik vintage store to be exact) and has taken up residence in the chi-chi environs of the St Martins Lane hotel.
Everyone was networking like crazy – I have never been given so many business cards – and bemoaning the state of the industry. It was quite nice in a way as everyone is in the same boat and not bothering to hide it. There was a good flow of champagne, much gossip and laughter and a great procession of fashiony characters including Fred Butler, a rosy vision in head-to-toe pink, Pam Hogg, Steven Rellik, various mums-of-designers and handsome blogger Pelayo with the most perfect quiff ever. Topics of conversation: Blogging, men in skirts, Twilight the movie, Starlight Express the musical, soulful house clubs, street parties, press day goody bags and the price of toothpaste. You can’t buy toothpaste at The Convenience Store but you’re in for a treat if you’re after cutting edge, collectable fashion.
The Convenience Store is at the Front Room at The St Martins Lane Hotel, 45 St Martin’s Lane, WC2 from March 19th-April 9th
Oh how I love a good coincidence. When I was doing my reporter’s stint at London Fashion Week, I happened upon a jazzily outfitted dandy-type outside the mens shows. He let me take his photo and we got chatting. It turns out this tweed-attired fellow was a photographer and our paths had in fact crossed briefly before. He told me he was now dabbling in design and handed me his business card. “Dashing Tweeds?!” I exclaimed (as that was the name of his business), “No way!” My boyfriend D is a big fan of Dashing Tweeds and we’re both regular visitors to the blog, we just didn’t realise who was behind it.
Dashing Tweeds is a brilliantly innovative modern tweed company which was set up by Guy Hills (he of the dandyish attire) and RCA graduate Kirsty McDougall. Hills wanted to do something new and interesting with tweed and discovered textile designer McDougall while visiting the RCA. A keen cyclist, one of Hills’ innovations is a reflective tweed called Lumatwill that means you can cycle to work in a suit without having to grapple with reflective jackets, tabards or sashes. Another is the tweed cycling trouser that has adjustable hems and another is my favourite – the teflon-coated tweed tailored cape, as modelled below by Iris Palmer. Dashing Tweeds is starting to get a lot of recognition but Hills is extremely low key. Despite having created that purple tartan for Henry Holland last autumn and Dashing Tweeds’ suits being sold in Savile Row, there is no hint of ego or arrogance in this affable character.
“Hunt down a vintage Hermes lizard-skin Thermos flask and take fresh coffee to the office.”
UK Vogue feature on thrift chic…Hmmm, see anything wrong with this picture?
An interesting article on Scott Schuman AKA The Sartorialist in the Times magazine last Saturday. The bit I liked most? This bit:
‘To launch the Sartorialist book there will be a pop-up shop in Barneys New York (“The Sartorialust,” he says, “selling great accessories that really define a look. A great watch, great pyjamas, great suspenders…”)’ – although Fashionista points out that this hasn’t actually been confirmed yet. Still, it does tie in nicely with my retail experience fantasy of stores having specially-curated areas by guest ‘buyers’, so if it does happen at Barneys, maybe it would happen in other stores…
This is turning out to be a week of scrapbook-mania, moodboard-making and ephemera-loving! Firstly, I decided to make some fashiony moodboards for my own pleasure so have started with the fun bit – namely deciding on themes and sorting all my relevant scraps into piles. To aid the creative flow, dear D came home this evening with a Waterstones carrier bag tucked under his arm. Therein was the Satchmo book, a present for us to share which is even better than I expected. Pages and pages of cut-out photos, hand rendered type and yellowing tape artfully arranged into beautiful, personal collages that tell the story of Louis Armstrong’s life. As if that wasn’t ‘WOW’ enough, an email just pinged in my inbox from PR pal R about The Rock And Roll Public Library.
This is an exhibition that opened today featuring a lifetime’s collecting of pop culture and ephemera by West London cool dude Mick Jones (otherwise known as iconic guitarist and songwriter from The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon Silicon). Jones has collected and archived all his Clash-related videos, magazines, stage clothes, artwork and instruments as well as more personal letters and artefacts amassed in his studio over the last three (or even four) decades. The exhibition is on show for a month but Jones has longer term aims for the collection. “Ultimately I’d like to have a permanent place to exhibit the whole collection like a museum, like a library where you can come and see the stuff and maybe get a copy or sit there and read it. I also would like to bring artists there because it’s history really,” he said. It’s on until 18th April and I can’t wait to go!
When I first clocked Yang Du’s wonderfully witty knitwear I just thought, I need to know more about her. What kind of a person dreams up giant animal-shaped jumpers in shaggy fun-furry textures? As Yang doesn’t have a website, Susie Bubble gave me her email address so I made contact that way. I was hoping she would show at London Fashion Week but it wasn’t meant to be, however the next best thing is Yang sent me these new pics of her A/W 09 collection entitled “Buda and Pest”, photographed by Bella Howard. Forget bodycon dresses and eighties rehashed power-dressing, who wouldn’t want to wear a strawberry-shaped hat or knitted flowers?
I met nail artist Sophy Robson at fashion week when I tried to get a photo of her beehive. Sadly the photos were terrible but we had a nice chat about nails and nail art. Later, she agreed to be interviewed…
How did you become a nail artist?
My love of hip hop and music inspired me to be more glam…
What inspires your work?
Making nails the focus without becoming ridiculous.
Favourite photographers to work with?
Solve Sundsbo, Mert & Marcus, Matt Irwin, Alasdair McLellan. Craig McDean was cool but I only worked with him once.
Favourite photographers you would like to work with?
Terry Richardson, David Lachapelle, Juergen Teller, Steven Meisel. I also love Camilla Akrans. Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin were the kings of nail photography but obviously I realise they are no longer with us…
There have been tears, jokes, nudity! And lots and lots of waiting patiently and not so patiently involved over the years. Discussing pubic hair diamante decorations with Tom Ford is a memory I will cherish for ever. And a shoot for Harrods with David Bailey when the ring fell off the model’s finger into the pond in Regents Park. Funny afterwards but not at the time. I also worked for Rolex and was trying to do a perfect manicure in the Libyan desert on a plastic mat and a cardboard wall as my dressing room…
What nail look are you rocking right now?
I have long classic oval natural nails – I cannot wear polish when I am working every day. On my pedicure I have magenta purple.
Who makes the best nail polish?
Essie. I also love the colours of this brand Uslu Airlines but you can only buy it at Colette in Paris.
What’s your secret to a long-lasting manicure?
Prepping the nail plate and using good base and top coat – you can get away with any brand with correct application.
Should you match fingers and toes?
These days there are no rules to beauty….
Which model has the nicest nails?
Natasha Poly and Linda Evangelista.
[Pics: www.streeterslondon.com, www.sophyrobson.com]