George Davies’ next move

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George Davies’ GIVe has had a fair amount of pre-launch press. Not only has it had a huge push in partnership with Grazia, but The Guardian, The Mail, The Telegraph and The Express have all given over column inches to the new brand which launches tomorrow. So what’s it all about? Continue reading

LFW ss10: What I liked from the menswear day

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Menswear isn’t usually my forte but I love to look at it to see what elements I can steal for myself. From Katy Eary I would take the furry jackets, from Martine Rose these colour-block patchwork shirts with panels of pinks, greys and black-and-white polka dots.

Casely-Hayford’s Kings of the Kingsland collection was meticulously styled and cast. His different take on tailoring with elastic hem trousers, neckscarves, Crombies, trenchcoats and lounge slippers all caught my eye.

Marc Hare from Mr Hare has one of my favourite menswear blogs and his shoe collection brought a steady stream of eager onlookers. All his shoes were original and brilliant but especially this flat slipper-like slip-on.

As I’ve said before, menswear design always seems so much more functional than womenswear. If only we could have a womenswear take on H by Harris’s quilted leather jacket with its zip-on-zip-off backpack.

[Shoe pic by Mr Hare]

London fashion week ss10: Rediscovering the twinset

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Quite often at the shows, you look for the trends you want to wear. I was desperate to see the return of the twinset after I spied a little homage to the twinset in the window of Pringle (above). After a couple of days of no-shows, the twinset finally emerged at the Clements Ribiero presentation. Success! Strictly speaking they weren’t twinsets in the trad sense as they were decidely mismatched but there were cardigans and there were sweaters and they were worn together so why split hairs? They were lovely. Cat-prints and eyes were the standout motifs, all offset with inky wingy and smoky eye make-up and scary black lips (what do we call this? Spring goth?).

The twinset also appeared at menswear label Sibling’s presentation (below). As designer Joe Bates admitted, “it’s me needing a twinset that started the whole thing off”. Actually, it’s the idea of a twinset as menswear that I really love. I’d wear one with mannish cigarette pants and my Maxmara-from-Bicester-Village brothel creepers to give it a non-prim twist.

London Fashion Week: Kitsuné pop-up shop at The Shop at Bluebird

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On Monday evening I was invited to the Kitsuné pop-up shop party at The Shop at Bluebird. While the Kitsuné shop was indeed lovely and I do have my eye on their perfect-cut shirts, I was super-excited to be able to take photos of the rest of the shop. It sells furniture, books, clothes and music but for me the excitement comes from the merchandising. An always-interesting retail space, it’s a bit far down the King’s Road but worth the trip.

LFW ss10: Burberry Prorsum

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What is there left to say about the Burberry Prorsum show? Quite a lot actually. For me it was a weird one as I was caught between the professional ‘journalist’ me and the bloggy fan-girl me. After entering what felt like a movie premiere rather than a fashion show, it was funny to find myself in the back row with fellow bloggers and the publishers of Glamour and Another Magazine – like, shouldn’t they be at the front? On one side of me I had Discotheque Confusion so we played spot the idol; “OMG there’s Carine!”, “Ooh, is that Joe McKenna?”, “Do you think Bruce Weber will let me have my photo taken with him?” while on the other side I had a big name menswear stylist so felt I’d better put my professional head on and tone down my excitement.

Anyway, to the show. Even Burberry has channeled the sculptural shoulder with practically all its trenchcoats boasting huge knotty or ruchy shoulders. The ruching and draping continued throughout the collection with swaggy folds adding interest to pastel-hued skinny trousers, tulle dresses and even bags. The Times had tweeted earlier that Victoria Beckham would be in attendance and might this be a clue that she was being courted as the face of Burberry. Please God, no, I thought but looking at the models in their silver Spandex leggings I had to concede that that might be a possibility. Yikes. I was actually more taken with the menswear than the womenswear – so many lovely quilted jackets and three-quarter length coats – although a pair of loose lemon silk pants got my vote.

Post-show we could see that it would take some time to exit the building so what did we do? Pick over the seat cards of course! Discotheque Confusion pocketed Carine Roitfeld and Coco’s Tea Party nabbed Mary-Kate Olsen while I was happy with Michael Roberts and er, Lorraine Kelly.

Onto the party! After a short walk to Burberry’s HQ and a five minute queue on the carpeted pavement, we headed to the online room where computers had been set up for live social networking. I did manage a sly tweet or two but was far too interested in the bar and canapes to spend an hour on Blogger. But I did manage to grab the PR to get the lowdown on the live-streaming initiative. As it turns out, there wasn’t a social media expert behind the curtain pulling the strings, this was simply the idea of Christopher Bailey and CEO Angela Ahrendts. Impressive. Designer whizz, interiors pro, art director extraordinaire, online embracer, the nicest man in fashion… is there anything Christopher Bailey can’t do?

London Fashion Week ss10: Lethal weapons

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If you thought jewellery was big now, you’d better wait til next season. Jewellery is bigger, heavier and more fantastical than ever. At the LFW stands, I was scared to pick up Mary Katrantzou’s glass bracelets for fear of dropping them, so chunky and unwieldy they were. Fred Butler’s rainbow creations (above) were part jewellery-part art pieces with her trademark rainbow palette making them seem larger than life. Maria Francesca Pepe also showed gigantic 3-D sculptural jewels as did House of Flora with colossal hunks of clear perspex while Burberry Prorsum gave its approval with oversized perspex bangles. Why the big jewels now? House of Flora designer Flora McLean explained the theory to me, “it’s quite simple really, it’s all to do with the recession. People wear bigger jewellery when they’re feeling insecure. It’s a proven fact.”
[Fred Butler pic by Fashion156]

London Fashion week ss10 – the round-up

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I think we can agree that this season’s London Fashion Week was a huge eff-off success. We got the name designers, we got the Americans, we even got a pretty good helping of blog-loving as me, Discotheque Confusion, Coco’s Tea Party and I Luw Fashion all received the golden ticket to the gates of the Burberry show and after-party.

In terms of trends, it’s not easy to make bold proclamations quite yet, but filtering through are Dorothy-from-Kansas checks (at Christopher Kane and Peter Jensen – above), metallics and sequins (on the fashion press mostly but also at Sass & Bide and Ashish – duh), lots of white (at Eun Jeong and Osman) and more digital prints than you can shake a USB stick at. ‘Sculptural’ was a word I wrote down at nearly every show whether that came from undulating frills and pleats or a harder-edged aesthetic as seen on robo jackets and jutting-out heels at Basso & Brooke.

Commercial polish is something that our designers have pushed for several seasons now, each with their own funny little quirk but it’s safe to say I don’t think I can face another season of body-con minidresses and hobble-tastic plat-heels – change the record please now designers! Maybe we could see some casualwear next time?
There was a big collage-y, DIY story coming through from Louise Gray’s homemade shoes and spray-painted collection to the cut & paste aesthetic of Michael Van der Ham. It also made its presence felt in a couple of fashion films that were shown on menswear day at Sibling and E. Tautz. Quentin Jones who illustrated the E.Tautz film is a name to watch if you love collage and illustration.



I liked the ‘modern British’ trend emerging at Aquascutum and Paul Smith. Aquascutum’s Michael Herz told me that he was inspired by taking multicultural elements of Britishness and playing with them so a sari border was blown up into an oversized print and African beading was used as a trim. He was also influenced by the photographs of Malick Sidibé whose work I absolutely love, I was so glad when he told me that. I didn’t see the Paul Smith show – I was too busy ogling Scott Schuman and Garance Dore signing books at Liberty – but the pictures (below) showed a similar celebration of international Britishness with masculine shirting, African prints and layered dresses.

LFW – Day three

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Another day of running around and hitting the shows to ‘hoover up’ stories for The Daily. Betty Jackson was first where I snapped some cute little almost-flat shoes with fabric pompoms and tried not to stare at Peter Blake and Tracey Emin (two of my favourite artists). Mulberry at Claridges was a very classy affair but tempered with candy-coloured balloons to make it less formal and more fun. Clothes-wise is was very commercial. I’d say it’s all about those fringy boots…

Topshop Unique was also uber-commercial and very derivative. I saw shades of early Luella crossed with Bananarma and Courtney Love. There were so many ideas there though – XXXXL oversize mens shirts with the sleeves sliced off and fluoro spray paint as a print. And still the mega high heels continue. At Jasmine de Milo, I liked the simplicity of a long, eau de nil long-sleeved gown and the leather cocktail dresses with pockets. Why can’t all dresses have pockets? Tomorrow, the Americans arrive (by which I mostly mean, Anna W), although one American is here already. I made friends with Britt from Fashionista, who was also filing copy for The Daily. Britt loves London, having interned for Stella McCartney back in the day. I also caught up with a record number of bloggers including Frassy, Bish Shops, Magazine Machine, That’s Not My Age, Torfrocks. Wee Birdy, Aindrea, Susie Bubble, Rebekah Roy and Discotheque Confusion. Did I forget anyone? Crikey, no wonder I’m so zonked out and my eyes are closing as I type.

Front row fix

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It’s day two of LFW and I’m already dead beat. Someone get me a stamina sandwich please! The good news is that there is a fantastic optimistic atmosphere. Whether it’s due to the weather or the new venue, everyone is in upbeat mode! Day one saw Joan Collins pitching up bright and early, obviously loving all the shoulder pad action going down in the collections. I was thrilled to see Yang Du (below) finally show on a catwalk – her cartoon stripy T-shirt dresses and knitted tiger bags were so graphic and poppy. I must say, it was bloody hard watching shows, getting designer quotes and filing copy for The Daily (practically all at the same time) but I managed to pull it off by the skin of my teeth.

Today was an easier ride beginning at Mark Fast. I’d heard a rumour that he would be sending out (gasp!) plus size models and he did. Opinion was divided on whether this was a good move. His original stylist refused to work with ‘big girls’ so he had to cast at the last minute. Unforch, size 14 models aren’t usual catwalk material so his girls weren’t brilliant at mastering the catwalk strut. Hey ho. That aside, the collection was brilliant and OMG, the suede ruffles were beauties.
Mary Katrantzou showed back-to-back with Mark. More cleverly thought-out shapes plus Mary had developed her glass bottle prints into something slightly more abstract and freeform. I loved the painterly eye make-up too.

The Kinder Aggugini show was the big WOW. I earwigged on a post-show conversation with Hilary Alexander and set-designer Michael Howells as they each took turns to say an exclamatory line.
“He’d be perfect for Ungaro!”
“Haute couture!”
“If he’s not snapped up within the year…”
“…you’ll eat your cigarette!”
I can never quite decide about Kinder (OK, I didn’t like it) but I loved the Louise Gray presentation. There was collagy layering and art-school patchwork, hot pinks and blues, more colourful crayon make-up and DIY accessories fashioned by Judy Blame. And the DIY aesthetic extended to the decoration of the space – fluoro spray paint (a la Madonna’s Borderline video), gaffer-taped signage and even Louise’s own grafitti’ed laptop.

Ashish as usual was a riot of sequins and colour, this time with a holiday theme. Nike tick sequin tees, flamingo motifs and the Beach boys all added up to vacation, vacation, vacation.

Back in 5 minutes days

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The Week Of Fashion has arrived (ish) and from tomorrow I may be blogging sporadically here but you are more likely to find me guest blogging for The Daily and The Daily Rubbish as well as penning the odd report for London Fashion Week’s official newspaper, The Daily.

You will also find my mumblings and grumblings on Twitter. Come and join the conversation!