Why shouldn’t there be a Diana Vreeland fragrance? It makes absolute sense to me that she who understood the importance of engaging all the senses should be remembered with a line of utterly sophisticated scents. The range is the brainchild of Alexander Vreeland, the same grandson who recently released the book Diana Vreeland Memos – apparently the bigger aim is to create a luxury brand to celebrate the legacy of the former Vogue editrix.
Who knew that Mrs Vreeland scented all the exhibitions under her watch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Legend has it that during a Russian-themed Met Costume Gala, she permeated the air with Cuir de Russe pumped from the air vents. So here we have five handsome bottles filled with jewel-coloured juice, with names like Extravagance Russe, Perfectly Marvellous and Absolutely Vital. Unsurprisingly, the fragrances are heavy on sandalwoods, rose absolutes, resins and musks. They’re not light and airy but rich and extravagant, designed with a team of five haute perfumers from fragrance producers IFF.
And those stately bottles? They’re designed by Fabien Baron, recreated from a 1920s design with different coloured tassels to add a theatrical twist. The bottle caps are engraved with the famous DV signature and the labels are nicely minimalist in contrast.
Selfridges has the UK exclusive on these, they arrive 21st August in store and on Selfridges.com. Prices are £180 for 100ml and £135 for 50ml. How divine!
“I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza! I think that’s genius. It’s even better than what I do! I love the styling, I love the story… I watch the windows always, and it’s genius what they do today. They go fast, they have a great sense of styling and how to pick up what they have to pick up from designers. I’m really happy that Balmain is copied – when I did my Miami collection and we did the black and white checks, I knew they would be in Zara and H&M. But they did it in a clever way – they mixed a Céline shape with my Balmain print! Well done! I love that.”
New season Grenson shoes are starting to drop and they’re amongst the boldest incarnations of trad-looking English footwear I’ve seen lately. I love that so many of these men’s styles also come in women’s sizes.
Monk shoes are still going strong. These croc printed double monk straps (above) are lovely in cherry red which comes in both men’s and women’s versions. I also like the elegant ‘slipper’ loafer (below), a slender tassel loafer that I think looks better on girls than guys. I love this tan leather, perfect with a grey cashmere ankle sock and too-short trousers or perhaps a Sunspel kilt.
Grenson is understandably proud of its new triple welted collection – look closely and it appears as if there are three graduated ‘steps’ on the sole. These sturdy bad boys were dreamt up by the factory workers, not the design studio for a change. Having its own factory means the Grenson team can be nimble with product design and experiment with ideas. For men there’s a grained ‘Fred’ boot (below) and for women, a ‘Rose’ shoe.
My other favourite is the military boot, more rugged grained leather, with a commando sole (below). These probably take a bit of wearing in but imagine how great they look as they age. If you ever get the chance, do check out the Grenson shop in Lamb’s Conduit Street where you’ll get plied with proper coffee and can peruse the entire collection and their fab ‘Instagram’ wallpaper. Very nicely done…
Beauty bits: Diana Vreeland fragrance, The Beauty Plus, Michael Kors, professional selfies, Cire Trudon, Petra Collins, Louboutin nails, Astier de Villatte
COMING SOON: DIANA VREELAND FRAGRANCE
July is the month that the fashion and beauty brands unveil all their Christmas goodies. I try to avoid Christmas In July because I don’t work on a mag any more and frankly, it’s exhausting! But I do the odd department store press day as they usually have the best exclusives. Here’s my favourite from Selfridges: Diana Vreeland fragrance. I have more info coming but it’s the brainchild of one of Mrs Vreeland’s grandsons, it smells refined and luxe and goes on sale at Selfridges on August 21st. Watch this space for updates. P.S, how beautiful are the bottles? Those tassels!
MEET BEAUTY PLUS
THE KORS EFFECT
Here’s a look at the new Michael Kors nail shades, just in at House of Fraser. My favourite is Femme Fatale, a deep, witchy navy that goes on really well with no streaks (it’s the bottom right one and is darker than the picture). It lasted extremely well too. There are nine shades in total at £15 each.
THE SELFIE ECONOMY
Have you booked your professional portrait session yet, for all those social media profile pics? Apparently empowerment photography is a thing. If you don’t believe me, read When Selfies Won’t Do in the New York Times…
ANYONE FOR A CIRE TRUDON LEATHER CANDLE HOLDER?
crazily unpractical fabulous is this Cire Trudon candle-carrier-slash-handbag? It’s a joint collab with La Contrie, a luxe leathergoods company from Paris, who I first discovered at London Fashion Week a year ago. Coming to le Bon Marché and Cire Trudon boutiques in September.
TOP SHELF WITH PETRA COLLINS
More on selfies, I love this Into The Gloss Top Shelf discussion on teen beauty, feminism and ‘mirror face’…
LOUBOUTIN NAILS ARE HERE
Give whoever came up with Rouge Louboutin a big, fat medal. My only question is, what took you so long? This epic red nail colour (they’re not calling it a polish) launched last week and even though it sells at £36, that’s not dampened demand. I got a Rouge Louboutin mani yesterday at the launch and I can confirm that it’s a deep, true red packed with pigment that went on like a dream. I asked for my nails to be clipped short and the result was sophisticated but casual. There’s more to the the Christian Louboutin Beaute line which I’ll hopefully blog about next week, but for now, enjoy the David Lynch video on the Christian Louboutin website.
WATCH THIS: ASTIER DE VILLATTE
If you’re a fan of Astier De Villatte, don’t miss this charming video championing the people behind the brand. I love their candles (all inspired by their favourite places) and their ceramics, which are hand made in that rough-luxe way that appreciates imperfections.
Sofie D’Hoore is a new name on my radar which I discovered in Fenwick this week. It’s one of those stealth luxury lines, in the same vein as A.P.C, Studio Nicholson, Celine and Margaret Howell. I really like the understated styling. And the coats. Which I tried on (all of them) and they were perfect.
The trousers are also impeccable and those little sneakers have a 4cm concealed wedge to give you (ok, me) a discreet lift. You can find this Belgian designer in Fenwick, Bond Street or online at Farfetch (you can shop my edit below). For more info, go to Sofiedhoore.be/
Gotta love Instagram for sneak peeks. I saw this one on hairdresser Christiaan’s* Insta, it’s of Arthur Elgort with his next photo book, The Big Picture.
It’s being published by Steidl again who singlehandedly win the argument of why print is still relevant – theirs are just the best quality books in every way. The book comes out in November.
*Christiaan doesn’t need a surname, and is apparently working on his own book, fyi
A while ago I was invited to tea at Claridges to meet Gail Federici. Although I’ve cut down on the meet-and-greets, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grill this dynamic beauty pioneer on the rise of female entrepreneurs and the very modern culture of self-branding. Continue reading
Jane at The Beauty Plus (new blog! Do visit!) recently raved about the merits of a boxy tee. I wholeheartedly concur. My boxy tee of choice is from Agnes B, I have been buying these for a least 15 years and as far as I know, the design hasn’t changed. Continue reading
One of my highlights of Paris Fashion Week was the Lanvin AW14 re-see. On a huge scale, this is where you get to see the commercial workings of Fashion Week at play, where buyers view the pieces they’re really going to stock, and write their orders on the spot. The vast space (a 1920s former railway depot) was a hive of activity, it even had a pop-up café to keep the buyers and clerks fed and watered while crunching those numbers.
I was guided through both the catwalk collections and the commercial collections so I could see the pieces close up and learn what sells and what doesn’t. Continue reading