DRG’s diary dates: April and May 2012

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Smythsons at the ready, here are a few events I think you should know about…


Extended until 28th April 2012: Paolo Roversi at the Wapping Project Bankside
Situated five minutes from Tate Modern, the photography outpost of The Wapping Project hosts Roversi’s first UK solo exhibition. It’s not big but there are enough pictures of Guinevere and ‘portraits’ of Roversi’s lights, tripod and blanket backdrop to satisfy you if you’re a fan of his poetic, minimalist aesthetic. Continue reading

Diane Von Furstenburg’s Manhattan penthouse

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Just when you thought Diane von Furstenberg (so impressed I can spell that without looking it up) couldn’t get any more fabulous, her Manhattan penthouse appears in Architectural Digest. And suddenly I want a wooden bathtub, animal-print carpet and a table in the shape of a tree. Cue a Pinterest frenzy…

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Must see: David Hockney ‘A Bigger Picture’

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David Hockney is one of our national treasures, hence mile long queues at his Royal Academy ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition due to all advance tickets selling out. I went at 9am on Monday morning and found fifty people in the line already; by 930am it was easily 300. But the exhibition is huge so although some areas were busy, the bigger rooms had more than enough space to view the large-scale works.

Hockney mulls over the passing of time in his new East Yorkshire landscapes that were painted especially for this exhibition, but there are plenty of older works on display too. As always, Hockney likes to get us thinking about ways of seeing, which this time he does with a film display, arranged in a grid of 18 screens to show the changing Yorkshire landscape from one season to the next. Also impressive was the room of iPad art featuring a series of iPad ‘paintings’ created over the course of a month that vary from intricate studies with Hockney’s recognisable wiggly ‘brushstrokes’ to more obviously digital renderings.

I’m really kicking myself for not getting an audio headset as these feature snippets of Hockney’s own commentary but I made up for it by lingering over the sketchbooks. If you haven’t seen this exhibition yet I’d strongly advise you to clear a morning from your diary and get down there sharpish.

‘A Bigger Picture’ ends on 9th April and hours are extended to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays between now and then, and for the final week of the exhibition (2nd-5th April). For the final weekend (6th-9th April) it will be open until 10pm.

Beauty Buy: Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge now comes in a mirrored compact

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Just in time for the first day of spring, a new launch from Bobbi Brown arrived in the weekend post. Personally packaged adorned with my own bunting (you know I’m a sucker for personalisation), the cult Pot Rouge has been reimagined in a small compact, complete with mirror. What a great example of a seemingly simple tweak making a huge difference. I’m a big fan of Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral; I use it every day, blending it on my cheeks with my fingers and dabbing whatever’s left onto the bridge of my nose. (You can use it on lips as well but I find it a bit too matte for that.)

As well as the existing six shades, four new ones have been added. I tried Rose which is more muted than Calypso Coral but still completely wearable, as is everything Bobbi Brown does. The press release touts the compact for ‘the festival season’ but really it’s just a brilliant, hard working product for wherever and whenever. Buy it now from Selfridges, £18.

Trend report: Liberty AW12 press day highlights

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Liberty‘s press day is one of the highlights of the whole 2-month-long press day circuit. There’s always something new going on with the store (this year it’s the extension of the accessories hall into a space that will reach back to Kingly Street opening on May 1st) and the buyers are on hand to chat through their choices. Womenswear buyer Stephanie Jones, who I first met doing the Liberty Best Of British Open Call last year, gave me a wee tour… Continue reading

Breakfast at Bicester Village for the British Designers Collective

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The third and best yet incarnation of the BFC’s British Designers Collective pop-up shop has finally arrived at Bicester Village. A gaggle of press and bloggers got the 9.07 from Marylebone, arriving at a country-house-with-a-twist store stuffed with the best of contemporary British fashion. Following speeches by Value Retail’s Desiree Bollier, British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman and British Designer Collective spokesperson Alexa Chung (in Bella Freud’s classic Je T’aime Jane sweater), we were let loose on the rails of Preen power dresses and Jonathan Saunders knits. Continue reading

House of Holland launches pre-tail

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Roland Mouret in 2007, Burberry in 2010, Moda Operandi in 2011. Is 2012 the year that pre-tail goes mainstream? Henry Holland has just launched pre-tail for the first time with selected AW12 looks available for pre-order directly from his House of Holland website. Customers pay 50% up front with the balance payable just before delivery a few months later. The thinking goes that by asking customers to pay in advance, designers get a heads-up on which pieces will sell best thus avoiding wasteful over-production (not to mention easing cashflow). While Moda Operandi doesn’t give refunds if you receive your item and decide it’s a nonstarter (you can only get ‘store’ credit on the site – a bit jammy, non?), Holland operates the same 28 day refund policy as for his other online sales.

Buy it now: new in this week

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ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT:
TOP: Dries Van Noten shirt, £305; Chloe necklace, £444; Acne sweater, £160
MIDDLE: Mother of Pearl sweater, £290; Smythson bag, £695; Carven shorts, £204
BOTTOM: Balenciaga leather bag, £1,045; Karlheinz Weinberger book, £37.50; Grenson shoes, coming soon

On Gap’s virtual stylist and Topshop’s ‘Spotted’ feature

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Some may say that Gap is widely missing the mark with its Styld-by site but I think it’s rather inspired. Enlisting the individual style of its media partners Lookbook.nu, Refinery29, Rue, Who What Wear and MOG, it features outfits styled on non-models using Gap mixed with their own clothes. Continue reading

Affordable luxury: Raoul and Club Monaco

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Is there such a thing as affordable luxury? You decide. Singapore brand Raoul has been on my radar for a while and I keep gravitating towards its bags. Continue reading

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