Author Archives: Disneyrollergirl
If you loved the glimpse of the Artist Residence Hotel I shot in recently (with Vanessa Jackman), here’s everything you need to know about it. Located in London’s genteel Pimlico, it’s the third in a trio of homely residences that feel more like a home away from home than a glam-but-impersonal hotel. The original Artist Residence was born in Brighton in 2008, followed three years later by Penzance. What they share is a mix of heritage-y reclaimed furnishings and fittings with artworks from up and coming talent and a laid back ambience.
At Artists Residence London, the ten rooms are spread throughout the five floor former pub, each one individually decorated to deliver comfort, charm and style in equal measures. We used the Grand Suite as our base, a spacious suite with high ceilings, gigantic windows and open plan bathroom (complete with claw-foot tub). The Loft Suite is smaller but I loved the cute window partition, tea crate tables and squashy velvet armchairs for sinking into. Throughout the hotel you’ll notice unique touches, from the parquet flooring reclaimed from an old schoolhouse, to Belgian work tables repurposed as desks. The young owners scoured antique shops across Europe and the UK, including DRG haunt, The Old Cinema and the excellent Retrouvius (browse their website at your peril).
To contrast with the cosy club chairs and lived-in lounge-y feel, there are modern artworks in the rooms and common areas – I spotted two by Eine, adding graphic colour to the reception area. The hotel can be private and cosy or jolly and convivial depending whether you want to hole up in your suite or hang out in the lounge or bar. The restaurant alone is proving a draw in the neighborhood, with its inviting awning and street view windows. The menu is a frequently changing one of small tasting plates serving meat, seafood and vegetarian fare (and breakfast for hotel guests).
In a vast city like London it can be hard to find smaller, characterful hotels that aren’t permanently booked. This one is slightly off the beaten track yet only five minutes from the throb of Victoria Station. Quite the perfect find then, just keep it to yourself…
ARTIST RESIDENCE LONDON, 52 CAMBRIDGE STREET, SW1 4QQ. Bedrooms from £160
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Vanessa Jackman
“I have a huge disinterest in technologies that accelerate cultural speed. Immediately, they make me uncomfortable. But I’m fascinated by what society is becoming, and its evolution. I am watching the behaviour more than the thing itself…I am more interested in mystique and romance, what’s difficult to find, aesthetics that are not in your face. There are things you immediately know are surface, and other things the opposite, and I’m more interested in the opposite. When you find everything so easily, you don’t look deeply anymore and you don’t investigate anymore. And you get bored.”
Raf Simons, Style.com
Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ guest post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP, on the new editorial ‘hub’ from ShopStyle.
It seems like the whole *social-curation/discovery-commerce/influencer-marketing (*choose your term du jour) trend has been crystalised with a new collaboration between ShopStyle and American Express. After a soft launch in November, the Style Inspiration Hub will be live for six months and hosts a range of curated content from fashion and beauty bloggers, industry insiders and online retailers. Susie Bubble leads the charge, writing about her signature eclectic style.
Of course everything is instantly shoppable and there’s new ‘style influencers’ content every week. At the press launch, ShopStyle CEO Brian Sugar told me: “There’s an evolution happening with brands that want to tell their story through content curators instead of more traditional media. Brands are looking at native advertising to target the audiences they want to reach.”
In his presentation, Sugar described ShopStyle’s four key business priorities as mobile, global, discovery and personalisation, adding that shopping via the new ShopStyle app will be a whole lot more personal and social with initiatives such as ShopStyle.it (to make Instagram shoppable) and a video technology partnership with Taggled.
ASK ALISON: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Are we looking at a new era of synergy retail where mutually beneficial partnerships like this one work in tandem to reach new audiences? Well yes, ShopStyle has identified the way that consumers ‘snack’ on visual inspiration on their mobiles and made it instantly shoppable via a network of the industry’s top style influencers. At the same time, American Express is facilitating the platform and itself reaching a new audience – the younger, notoriously picky millennials – and doing it in a credible way. The challenge is to keep the content and contributors original and fresh so they don’t get lost in a vast sea of sameness.
Last week, I donned my beauty editor hat to try out the new Google Glass makeup lesson service at YSL Beauté in Selfridges. The service launched earlier this year in the US and has worked its way to London, exclusively at Selfridges.
HOW IT WORKS
You book an appointment which costs £30 (redeemable against purchase). I had my appointment with the charming Fred Letailleur, YSL’s head of make up for northern Europe, who is not only an expert make-up artist, but is now a master Google Glass user. Which is a considerable combination that needs extreme focus. Not only does the make-up artist have to concentrate on what they’re doing to your face, but they’re also operating a tiny camera (embedded inside the ‘glasses’) with discreet movements, and engaging with the customer – answering questions, making you feel at ease etc. Continue reading
“In my heart, I would wish for young designers not to get hooked on this fascinating but dangerous game. There may be an instant buzz, but I think that a long and steady read – for example, as for Alber Elbaz at Lanvin – is the way to lasting fashion happiness.”
Suzy Menkes said it best. As Frida Giannini vacates Gucci, Menkes laments the fashion merry-go-round, Vogue.com
The coats! The coats! The Dior pre-fall 2015 pics are in and it’s all about the coats. And they’re not prissy couture coats either but outdoor-friendly(ish), utility-luxe offerings for rainy walks on the Welsh hills or motorbike rides around Tokyo. Or so we’re led to believe.
I love the storm coats in shiny Stone Island-esque materials for chucking on and off, and especially the wet-look A-line zippy affair juxtaposed with snazzy sequins (sorry, pailettes). And when the familiar Dior structured cuts come into play, they’re reimagined in a younger, streetier finish than we’re used to. Continue reading
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…
ABOVE: Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear///Necklace: Stylist’s own
Patterned sweater, Stella McCartney at Matches Fashion/// Black turtleneck (underneath), Cos/// pleated skirt, Toga /// Buckled boots (just seen), Toga Pulla /// socks, Falke /// Rings, Delphine Pariente at The Shop At Bluebird
Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear/// Sequin slashed skirt, No 21 at The Shop At Bluebird/// socks, Falke///Rings, Delphine Pariente at The Shop At Bluebird/// Faux fur coat (in background), Shrimps at Matches Fashion
Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear
Jersey animal-print dress, Rika at The Shop At Bluebird
Photography: Vanessa Jackman
Styling: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl.net
Hair: Patrick Forini using Bed head by TIGI
Make-up: Emma Broom
Model: Maddy Elmer at Storm
With thanks to the team at Artist Residence London, 52 Cambridge Street, SW1V 4QQ
SHOP THE SHOOT BELOW
Certain men are a nightmare to buy gifts for. I know, I live with one. But one of the safest things you can buy is a classic watch. They don’t have to be expensive, there are a few brands I like a lot that plug the gap between high street and luxury, are nicely designed and well made.
Uniform Wares is interesting because it has recently adapted its business model. The UK-based brand of clean, unisex timepieces is now positioned as a progressive luxury quartz brand, bridging the gap between mass market quartz brands and the quartz offerings by the likes of Tag Heuer, Cartier and Chanel. Continue reading