Just got sent this V V Brown rain poncho pic. I love a rain poncho. I still can’t bring myself to chuck my plastic flamingo-adorned one which holds many a fond memory – in particular a spectacular New Order gig in Hyde Park a few summers ago. Then, more recently, there’s the Marc by Marc silver one that is so big it’s more like a rain kaftan that a poncho. It’s coming everywhere with me this summer if today’s ridic weather is anything to go by (what is this, the monsoon season?).
The V V Brown one is a collaboration with Orange (duh!) who will dole out a free poncho to the first 100 punters who request one from their Chill ‘n’ Charge tent (free mobile phone charging, internet access and V V Brown gig – oh my!) on the Saturday of this year’s Glastonbury festival.
Oh, how I’m loving the monogramming trend bubbling under. First it was Pringle, then Globetrotter, now Louis Vuitton at Selfridges is offering its Mon Monogram service on Speedy bags bought from its pop-up concept store between now and 25th June. More low-tech is embroiderer Helen Perks who offers a monogramming service from her studio at 23 Noel Street, W1 (020 7439 4230). I’m thinking 24-point initials on a T-shirt, cardigan or boxer shorts – discreet and sweet.
Fancy some festival fun? I posted this a year ago but it hasn’t dated much…
Dos and Don’ts For Festival Dressing
A delightfully British spread was laid on for guests at the announcement of the BFC NEWGEN sponsorship winners at Somerset House. A proper cream tea feast awaited us on a table groaning with crustless cucumber sandwiches, home-made lemonade and a particularly fine mini scone.
NEWGEN sponsor TopShop is collaborating with ‘a renowned image-maker’ on a short fashion film!
Louise Gray’s laptop is as arty as her dresses!
Feathers PR Violaine has a new haircut!
Henry Holland’s flight was delayed meaning a no-show for Henry!
One of the designers had a mini-strop!
For the serious NEWGEN news, go here
[Pics top to bottom:
Walter Steiger/Jak & Jil
Marjan Pejoski/Jak & Jil
Nina Ricci/NY Mag]
I’m just as excited as everyone else at the unveiling of the new Celine resort collection as imagined by Phoebe Philo. The mannish camel coat, the sky blue tuxedo pants, the ankle-freezer khakis, they all have my name on. I’m keen to see more of the bags though. Is it a coincidence that the camel coat boasts exactly the same shade of Rich Tea biscuit as the vintage Celine bag I bought from Rellik a couple of years ago? Just call me an early adopter…
Fashion bloggers, these days it seems everyone is obsessed with them, including me. Which is why I schlepped to the Design Museum (when is it moving west? Not soon enough) yesterday to listen in on the Why and What Next in London Fashion debate, hosted by Let Them Eat Cake. I thought I’d heard all there was to hear about fashion blogging but what was discussed was thought-prodding indeed and aside from the well-articulated opinions of the bloggers* on the panel, it was also nice to hear their personal stories. A lot of the debate zigzagged around the magazines-versus-online issue. Most bloggers are deeply passionate about magazines but it was agreed that those magazines falling by the wayside are doing so for a reason – they’re not relevant any more. As Steve Salter succinctly put it, “the magazines we grew up with are dying while online zines aren’t quite there yet. There’s a void to be filled, we’re in a transitional phase.”
When musing on the differences between online and offline publications, the point was made that good blogs take longer to find and a lot of bloggers skim-read and don’t want to read meaty, lengthy articles online. Certain magazines on the other hand are being cherished and referred back to over and over. The magazines that survive will be the ‘special’ ones, the ones with quality content and a unique point of view that are kept almost as collectables. I found this interesting as on the face of it, magazines are ephemeral (they’re made of paper after all) while online is permanent, yet looking at it this way, it’s the magazines that become permanent and the online that becomes old news, quickly replaced by the next blog post in our online quest for newer and faster information.
One of my favourite opinions of the debate and an issue that has been niggling me lately was Alex Fury’s take on the obsession with ‘new’. While blogs may be considered the ideal platform to help promote new and young talent, Alex Fury from SHOWstudio also flagged up the importance of forgotten talent. “People see SHOWstudio as an educational tool. I like to champion older designers, those forgotten names like Antony Price. Why? Because online isn’t about selling or satisfying an advertiser, therefore we can be more personal in what we choose to write about.” High five Alex! In case you hadn’t noticed me banging on about it, I’m rather excited about the upcoming Simon Foxton exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery and was chuffed to find an interview on SHOWstudio (albeit from a few years ago). Stylist Foxton has been steadily working since the 80s but doesn’t get fawned over as much as the Dazed/Love/V set. And the same goes for god knows how many other influential, yet largely un-bigged-up talents out there. I love that bloggers aren’t dictated to and can cover whatever they want and I think having an interesting, personal take on something is more valuable to readers than simply being first on the discovery trail – after all it’s not a race (although I do get that huffy feeling when Ms Bubble posts about a ‘find’ hours before me, in which case what can I say, I’ve just contradicted myself!).
Actually, another key message that came through was the chummy community spirit of fashion blogging. Susie Bubble was knocked out when she received over 400 supportive comments in relation to Hog-gate and it was unanimously agreed that bloggers are a generous lot who don’t mind having their posts referenced by other bloggers (but hey, a credit is always nice). Although bitchery in the fash-mag industry was a divisive issue (Jeannie Annan-Lewin had experienced, it, Rebekah Roy hadn’t), when it comes to online, we’re all on the same team. Now isn’t that nice to know?
Pic: Harper’s Bazaar
London’s social scenesters were out in all their finery last night to celebrate Lulu Guinness’s 20th anniversary in the courtyard of the V&A. Blimey, it was like falling into the party pages of ES magazine – Jo Wood, check, Jade Parfitt, check, Sophie Ellis Bextor, check, Daisy de Villeneuve, check… you get the idea. There was also a whole brace of hot-right-now music girls – Little Boots, Florence from Florence & The Machine and Katy Perry although I didn’t recognise a single one of them, oops.
As expected, the place was teeming with Lulu Guinness handbags, both real ones – lips, flower baskets, cupcakes – and pretend. Check out all the genius inflatables in the pond, alas too big (and wet) to steal.
Lulu looked doll-like in her cartoon Giles dress and gave a heartfelt speech about ‘giving back’ to the industry with her London College of Fashion Cordwainers scholarship. Finally, we marvelled at the unveiling of the world’s first fully automated handbag – yes the wee bird moves!
Burning question: are nail blogs the new fashion blogs? Lately I’m getting all my style updates from nail artist Sophy Robson’s blog and Twitter feeds. Latest heads-up is that of WAH Magazine (Women Ain’t Hoes) created by fashion-all-rounder Sharmadean Reid. The zine is an excellent read and online community (sorry guys, it’s ladies only) but I got distracted by Sharmadean’s own blog. As if being a fashion girl-about-town isn’t time consuming enough, Reid is opening a nail salon in Dalston. Read her progress reports here…
[Pics: Sharmadean's blog]