Author Archives: Disneyrollergirl
Back in the day it was a sin to be seen in what we called ‘Adidas two stripe’. Trainers, trackpants, socks – anything that alluded to Adidas or Nike but was procured from Woolworths, M&S, British Homes Stores, or anywhere else not an official Nike/Adidas/insert name of ‘designer’ sports brand here outlet was the biggest fashion crime of all.
Fast forward several decades and how things have changed. Trust Isabel Marant to jump on the ‘athleisure’ trend with this faithful homage to Adidas circa 1983 in sheeny primary-hued polyester with just-slouchy-enough cut and zip pocket detail. Add to the Shit Bloggers Wear file and look out for the copies-of-a copy from Maje, Zara, Asos et al…
And check out how we rolled in 1983 (>>>FWD to 1.57)
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: La Garconne
Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ guest post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP, on last week’s experiential retail pop-up from FINERY LONDON
A good pop-up still has its place and this one blends a few retail trends at once. As a taster prior to its launch onto the ‘premium high-street’, last week online fashion site Finery London opened a week-long pop-up showroom that mixed physical creativity with digital experimentalism.
Visitors to the tiny Greek Street store could see the label’s resort collection shown on a revolving carousel, set against a backdrop displaying the creative process behind the Finery London team’s design journey, eg sketches, patterns, branding ideas. From the street, visitors could swipe through an interactive look book and find a discount code (for early bird shopping) hidden on a screen in the window using motion-sensing technology connected to their devices.
“Creating an online audience can start just as effectively with an experience in the physical world, and for an online-only fashion brand like Finery London, we wanted to make the product tangible, visible and highly desirable to Londoners,” says Thea Frost, partner at Somewhat, the digital agency responsible for the digital concept. “The interactive screen mechanic reminds visitors that Finery is a digital brand and allows them to browse as they would on the website,” she adds.
After trialing the site among early adopters in December, Finery London launches properly on February 5th. With a team comprising of Caren Downie (ex-fashion director at ASOS), Rachel Morgan (former head womenswear buyer also at ASOS) and Emma Farrow (until recently Topshop’s design director), the brand’s fashion-forward ethos is well considered. Farrow says Finery London has launched as an antidote to the current lack of femininity elsewhere on the high-street. “It’s about flattering the female form,” she says adding the brand has a London feel but is “a little bit quirky and not too serious,” according to a report on the Business of Fashion.
ASK ALISON: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This pop-up reflects the retail trend for interactive billboards that is breathing new life into the pop-up genre. Finery London’s launch onto the market is a clever mix of creative storytelling and digital experimentalism. Showrooming retail tactics blend a physical presence with digital discovery-commerce. By encouraging early adopter shopping on the site through simple rewards, the campaign is a great example of how to utilise social-commerce from the word go.
Three nights in Antwerp – where to stay? A
overpriced fancy hotel in the centre of town, a cheap but unpredictable Airbnb, or something more unique – like Boulevard Leopold?
We chose the latter on recommendation by good friends. A handsome 19th century townhouse in the Jewish quarter, it’s billed as a B&B, but it’s not your average Formica-and-nets affair. With three rooms and two apartments, it has the feel of a private upper-crust home, with breakfast served in a plant-filled atrium that looks onto a verdant garden. We stayed in early January but I imagine feasting on the breakfast hams, jams and cheeses al fresco is no bad way to start your summer daytripping here.
In the adjoining lounge the vibe is relaxed and a little dreamy with moody candlelight, bell jars and mysterious tableaux of pictures, books and curiosities decorating every nook. It’s a particular arty aesthetic, one that’s appreciated by the design and fashion guests who can’t help but become repeat visitors.
We stayed in a generously-proportioned, golden-walled room on the second floor. (Note: there’s no lift, it’s not a hyper-modern type of place and that’s all part of the charm.). From the faded-luxe décor – think marble fireplace, foxed mirrors, vintage dressing table – to the comfy velvet armchairs, this is the kind of place you definitely want to spend some time in, soaking up the atmosphere. (Side note: style bloggers I don’t have to tell you this is #OOTD heaven.) The bathroom is gorgeous too, with the same vintage appeal offered by whitewashed floorboards, original radiators and a huge clawfoot tub.
Despite the lack of lifts and hotel extras like room service and a chocolate on your pillow, Boulevard Leopold is perfectly homely with as much come-and-go ease as our London flat. That’s helped by the amiable host, Martin who will leave you in peace if you’re the anti-social type, or answer your every question about Antwerp, vintage shopping, transport and local eateries. Talking of transport, it’s very easy here because the tram stops right outside, or you can do what we did, which is walk everywhere. The location, in the midst of the traditional Jewish district is a big bonus, in keeping with the historic gentle-paced spirit of Antwerp. In short, if you want a place to stay that’s relaxed, authentic and rather special, then Boulevard Leopold awaits your call…
BOULEVARD LEOPOLD, 135 Belgielei, Antwerp. Bedrooms from €125 a night
Disclosure: Boulevard Leopold hosted us for one night of out three-night stay. (The B&B doesn’t accept credit cards – not uncommon in Antwerp – so remember to take enough cash.)
WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THE OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7
Check out my Antwerp shopping guide here
I haven’t perused LNCC for quite a while but I noticed it’s practically giving away some of its superb sale goodies at up to 80% off. I had a nose around the site and added a few non-sale bits to the mix. The books are always a good bet, as are the accessories and scents… But for cult-status labels (Rick, Raf, Yang and co), you’ll be hard pushed to find better prices than these. To get an extra 20% off the sale price, enter ‘ALTOSTRATUS’ at the checkout…
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
Crème de la Mer, the holy grail of skincare – a load of snake oil or worth the hype? Because there is a lot of hype around this brand. I’ve tried (and been converted to) The Lip Balm (£42) and The Intensive Revitalizing Mask (£105), both of which deliver excellent results. But the legendary crème had until recently evaded me… well, hello, it’s £105 for the smallest pot!
Admittedly I’ve never needed serious skincare. I’m lucky to have young-looking skin, few lines and managed to get by on the stuff in a big blue pot that my mum used. But as I’ve got older, I’ve noticed uneven skintone, a few stubborn spots and just general not-looking-its-best skin.
Enter the Crème De La Mer Discovery Collection, a trial set that’s pretty comprehensive and gives you a taster of the Crème De La Mer magic ingredient, a.k.a the Miracle Broth. (Back story: the Miracle Broth is the ferment that founder Max Huber created that blends sea kelp with a cocktail of vitamins and other nutrients. Legend is that 60 years ago, aerospace physicist Dr Huber created the concoction in a quest to prettify his own burn scars. His unique biofermentation process uses light and sound to give the ingredients their magical properties.)
In the set you get a trial-sized 1ooml foaming cleansing gel and 15ml Regenerating Serum as shown in the main picture above. You also get a 30ml pot of Moisturising Cream. (You actually get to choose which version, of which more later.) (Note: the Moisturising Cream in the pictures is a lot smaller, a 7ml sample size.) Plus you also get The Tonic (100ml) and The Eye Concentrate eye cream (5ml).
The idea is you get to try the whole regime for £230. My pics went a bit wrong but below you can see The Tonic, and the eye cream plus three mini samples of moisturiser. While there are three versions of moisturising cream available; the classic cream, a lighter ‘soft’ cream and a moisturising cream gel, you only get one in your set depending on your preference. IMPORTANT NOTE: The one you get is bigger than this – a 30ml pot, not these 7ml samples.
I went with the Moisturizing Cream as I like my creams quite rich. You use the cleansing gel on damp skin, rinse with tepid water, pat dry, then follow by the tonic and a pump of serum. Then the moisturiser goes on. With the Cream there’s a technique – you have to warm it between your fingers until it’s translucent then press (not rub) it into your skin. You do this ritual twice a day. I guess it’s a bit like the Clinique 3-step system but with a serum as well. The idea of a ritual does compel you to stick to a routine, I stuck to mine for three weeks until my mini press sample pot of Cream ran out.
The verdict? The spots on my jawline and hairline that have plagued me for months have cleared a lot and I also feel like my skin looks clearer and more even-toned overall. Is that because of these products in particular, or from just having a regular routine? Hard to say. I will say that I liked the serum and moisturiser more than the face wash and tonic. I think I just prefer more creamy or oily cleansers and I’ve never really used toner before. However, I loved the eye cream, like using sliced cucumber (with a yummy smell to match) – great for tired blogger bedtime eyes.
If I was going to spend on full size anything it would be the eye cream and the serum. Both feel luxurious to use and seemed to make a difference and with the eye cream especially, a little goes a long way. In all, a starter set like this is a good way to give a regime or brand a go and if you decide you don’t like the whole lot, you can cherry pick the elements you do like without a major wasteful spend. The discovery set came out just before Christmas (mine was a press sample) so seems to be sold out online but I’m assured it’s still available on counter at Harrods. Which for a luxury brand like Crème de la Mer is probably a good thing as you can then benefit from the knowledge and advice from the counter staff before splashing out.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated with amended size information
What to steal from the Margaret Howell menswear 2015 show? Mainly the coats – dun-coloured peacoats, a structured trench, and the single breasted mac I’ve been looking for for yonks. As always, I look for details. Such as the length of the trousers – a bit too short to show off contrast-coloured socks; the tucked in jumpers, and the fine-knit poloneck worn under a suit jacket. All elements to adopt right now…
Love the proportions of these McQ AW15 menswear pieces and the styling which to me nods to 1980s clubbers and subcultures. The MA1 and denim jacket hark back to the kids at the legendary Wag Club, while the supersized culottes layered over trousers remind me of the new romantic days of Billy’s and Taboo (“Would you let yourself in?”). Break down the styling though and you have a completely wearable, commercial collection…
I had a very naughty start to the year, choosing to bunk off LCM and go on holiday instead. Tsk indeed! I definitely recommend it though. We picked Antwerp for our city break, our flight was half empty and the three days dawdled by at a pleasantly snail-like pace. We went with no great plans other than to mooch around flea markets, eat moules and just enjoy some we-time. OK, we didn’t have much luck on the flea market front but I did discover a wealth of brocante vendors, vintage boutiques and fancy goods emporia to satisfy my shopaholic tendencies. Here then, is my DRG shopping guide to Antwerp…
I advise catching the early Friday flight from City airport so you arrive with a whole day stretched out ahead. Taxis are a bit of a faff in Antwerp so we decided to do everything on foot, taking the scenic route from our posh B&B (the beautiful BOULEVARD LEOPOLD, separate post coming soon) in the Jewish quarter. Continue reading