The arrival of a new Fornasetti Profumi product is always a big event in my book and the latest, Giardino Segreto is no exception. Unveiled in a ‘secret garden’ bursting with roses, hydrangeas and spring foliage, it evoked the mysterious, dreamlike world of the Fornasetti garden in Milan.
The room fragrance and candles (just landed at Selfridges and Harrods) straddle both dry green notes and warm woody notes. If you like invigorating herby scents like bergamot, thyme and cedar wood, then this is one for you. It’s a fresher fragrance than the headier Otto (my go-to candle) but no less intoxicating.
And of course, when it comes to Fornasetti, it’s not just about the scent. The olfactory style and visual style of these whimsical decorative objects go hand in hand, so do stop to appreciate Piero Fornasetti’s illustrative balustrades, foliage and symbolic peekaboo owl. (Owls mean different things in different cultures but in Italy, they’re considered good-luck symbols)…
Also new from Fornasetti Proformi by the way, is the hydrangrea-inspired Flora Di Fornasetti in the Ortensia design, now in a supersized three-wick candle (£380) – surely the ultimate indulgence?
Beauty bits: Marc Jacobs Beauty, Allure Youtube, Tom Ford, Lipstick.com, contour mania, the Taviettes, Diptyque, YSL
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY COMES TO LONDON
So Marc Jacobs Beauty arrived in London a couple of weeks ago and no one knew. Not even British Beauty Blogger! I stumbled upon the entire range of it in the Marc Jacobs Mount Street store (after a quick recce of Celine – retail heaven). It’s not cheap but the colours are stunning and the lipstick packaging is right up there with Chanel’s push-click cases. The staff are super helpful and encourage you to try the products, but I haven’t yet. I definitely will soon though…
ALLURE’S (ALMOST) SHOPPABLE YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Allure has just launched its own Youtube channel with ‘shoppable video to come’, according to Womens Wear Daily. Ashley Javier’s Hair Tyrant mini-series is quite the hoot while Editor Linda Wells hopes this channel will be an authoritative couterpoint to the sea of vlogs out there. “People like to relate to the girl in her bedroom, but we can say we’re Allure, we have a more definitive look and a lot of access,” she told WWD.
TOM FORD’S LIMITED EDITION EYE AND CHEEK COMPACT
Tom Ford’s first ever eye and cheek compact got a lot of love when I first showed it on Instagram in February. It’s finally on counter (£68) and features three eye shades – in matt taupe, a shimmery oyster and a rich cobalt blue. The cheek colours are a very pretty coral and a bronzy tan and I’d call this the ultimate holiday palette (lucky you if you’re jetting off anywhere soon). It’s limited edition so unlikely to hang around for long. Buy it at Selfridges and House of Fraser.
GLAMOUR US LAUNCHES LIPSTICK.COM
Conde Nast is certainly ramping up its online beauty offer. Glamour US just launched Lipstick.com, a standalone beauty spin-off, featuring contributors including Coco Rocha and Chanel Iman. Apparently, Conde Nast bought the domain name Lipstick.com in 1999 and has been sitting on it ever since.
NARS EMBRACES CONTOUR MANIA
As part of the no-make-up-make-up generation (think Juergen Teller-esque grunge beauty and Helmut Lang minimalism), contouring has never been part of my regime. But blimey, is there a contouring explosion happening right now. I blame Kim Kardashian and the vlogging phenomenon, it’s certainly not come from the catwalk. I’m sure the beauty brands are rubbing their hands with glee though, a whole new category to exploit! Talking of which, NARS has just released three powder blush contouring duos (£30), exclusively at Selfridges. Each duo has a dark shade for defining and a lighter shade for illuminating. Choose from Paloma, Olympia (above) and Gienah.
MEET THE TAVIETTES
Loved this piece in the New York Times on Tavi’s fashion feminist crew. Especially interesting was Arabelle Sicardi‘s (above) quote on wearing makeup as protection. “All my work operates around feminism, queer theory and makeup — that’s everything I live for,” she said. “To treat makeup as a way to look better for other people is damaging. But I approach it as a way of resistance. I hate getting catcalled, and I used to get catcalled all the time by twerps [‘twerps’!]. But then I started approaching makeup as a weapon, and I would wear it in a way that would freak them out. Then I felt safer in my body.”
DIPTYQUE’S SKINCARE LAUNCHES
So there’s more to Diptyque than natural plant-based fragrances and chic candles. Newly launched is L’Art Du Soin, its equally beautiful skincare line based around ancient rituals and beautiful textures. There’s the rose-scented Infused Facial Water, the Nourishing Cleansing Balm (which doubles as a mask), a Japanese-inspired Radiance Boosting Powder, an Exfoliating Clay and a vitamin-packed Protective Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 (samples shown above). Prices from £35, available from Liberty and the usual Diptyque outlets.
YSL BABY DOLL KISS & BLUSH
Baby Doll Kiss & Blush (£27) is a clever new dual purpose product from YSL Beauty. It’s a foam tipped ‘hidden bead’ applicator that delivers a soft, air-whipped mousse to lips and cheeks. The best bit is the colour palette, an array of highly flattering shades in the pinky-red spectrum. As a fan of cream blushes I love it for the cheeks, especially the deeper Rouge Effrontee shade (below) that can be intense on the lips, but delicate on the cheeks (blend with a feather-light touch)…
[Taviettes image by Danny Ghitis for the New York Times]
Introducing the DRG STYLE INDEX, a ranking of the brands on my radar each week. In order of impact, these are the brands grabbing my attention right now…
1. CELINE’S RETAIL WOW FACTOR
My first foray into the Mount Street store (above). Um, wow. The smell! The flooring! The merch! The ratio of sales staff to customer (3-1 on my visit)! At the till, mulling over a two-tone luggage Tote, was a Ghanian lady in full Vlisco-print gear, including headwrap. Oh to photograph her printed skirt against the patchwork marble floor tiles… But alas no, I got the feeling it’s a No Photos kind of store…
2. HERMES’ SILK KNOTS SCARF APP
I just discovered the Hermes ‘Silk Knots’ scarf app and it’s a thing of joy. Updated regularly, it shows you a zillion ways to tie a silk square which you can then shop and share. Beautifully done. Who says luxury brands aren’t digitally savvy?
3. HARRODS’ FABERGE TAKEOVER
Harrods‘ Fabergé takeover is in full effect until 21st April with a full roster of in-store activity. There’s an exclusive Harrods Fabergé egg pendant, a pop-up Fabergé Salon exhibition, and a ‘Fabergé cinescope’ in the Harrods digital lounge which lets you virtually try on Fabergé jewels (and of course, share on your social channels). Way to put the fun in Fabergé. These co-branded store takeovers are becoming a Harrods trademark and next month sees another biggie, the Prada takeover…
4. UNIQLO’S SPRING DROP
I have always resisted Uniqlo, I dont know why. But the current collection is changing my perception. The Ines de la Fressange line was a stroke of genius, the men’s salmon pink chino shorts are everything I want a boyfriend short to be, and the UT Coke tees are a pop culture addict’s dream (thanks Nigo). Plus if you’re in the market for a classic white pocket tee, theirs are the best on the high street – think cotton, hip length and a little big square.
[Celine image: Telegraph.co.uk]
There’s just no stopping Nike. Or Liberty. And as for the Nike X Liberty collaboration, it’s now in its 9th season and going stronger than ever. At a special presentation in the Liberty store, I was told that managing the demand is quite a feat, a fine balance between creating interest for the product and over hyping it. (I guess they need to try harder, the collection was almost sold out within three days of hitting the shop floor.)
For Summer 14 there are six trainer styles including the Dunk Sky Hi, the Nike Roche Run, and the Air Max 1 (the latter is the most popular Nike X Liberty shoe). Part of the enduring appeal of this collab is the synergy between tradition and modernity. Nike’s silhouettes are often reissues of past successes. The 1987 Air Max 1 was originally a running shoe while the Internationalist was designed for running marathons. Both are now considered ‘lifestyle’ shoes, since the technology for performance shoes is so much more advanced now.
As with the trainers, the fabrics also borrowed heavily from the archive. Liberty prints are intrinsic to the Liberty brand, with the first print works housed in South London in 1904. Over the years there have been various fashions in Liberty print, from 1910s art nouveau to 1930s Tana Lawn (the ditsy sprig we now know as Tana Lawn is said to derive from the cotton used in the 1930s that was ‘quite creasy’, the floral print came in handy for disguising this) and 1970s paisleys and geometrics.
For this collection, muted, seaside-y blues set the tone across all the shoes. Some are a combo of three different prints patchworked together: a reworked William Morris-eqsue floral based on a 70s design, a 1930s blossom print and a paisley based on an early 20th century print. Somehow these seemingly disparate prints sing harmoniously together. That skill is down to Nike’s Magnhild Disington (footwear designer, materials) and her team, whose challenge is adapting each material to each shoe, taking scale and proportion into consideration. But if patchwork isn’t your bag, there are options of a single all-over print too.
Whether you actually get your hand on a pair is the real challenge of course. They’re exclusive to Liberty for the moment but hold out til 7th May and you can buy globally from retailers including Office, Nike.com and Nike Town London.
A GUEST POST FROM MR DRG…
DRG was recently gifted a rather fine Kaweco AL Sport fountain pen, ownership of which has rapidly transferred to me…
How I wasn’t aware of these pens I’ve no idea. They’re a design classic that has remained pretty much unchanged since the 1930s and are the absolute embodiment of the minimalist, utilitarian German industrial design that I love. Continue reading
I spent last week doing the AW14 press day rounds and my early highlights include all the art-fashion collections emerging. Each X Other is an interesting collective of artists, musicians, designers and other creatives who translate their work into something wearable, beautiful and often poetic, the idea being that art is always around you. For AW14, they have teamed up with New York artist Maripol to produce these simple pieces printed with her recognisable Polaroids and club flyers…
Having seen the evolution of fashion blogs over the last seven years (this blog started in 2007), I’m interested in the shift from blogs to brands. Many of the fashion blog pioneers have extended their remit, transforming their blogs into successful creative businesses.
And this approach has spread beyond the bloggersphere to the wider world, hence these days, far from simply aspiring to ‘be a celebrity’ (how 2010!), everyone wants to ‘be a brand’. This thought was crystalised last weekend at the third Vogue Festival (in association with Harrods) at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Vogue, one of the biggest publishing brands is not content with being a print publication. It wants to be a multi platform destination, an event, a lifestyle brand. And as such it has created a means to engage with its future customers, who themselves have become pretty well versed in the stepping stones of brand-building. Continue reading
Question: what do sexy-shoe designers do when footwear fashions shift from £600 super-stilettos to £100 trainers? Well I guess they switch focus to bags. Is this the reason for Charlotte Olympia’s forthcoming business-friendly line? The new line of work-appropriate leather handbags launches for AW14, focusing on structured top handles, totes and clutch bags. (I love this ruby red ‘Bogart’ top handle, above.)
But shoes aren’t totally neglected. There’s an accompanying ‘Nine To Five’ line of lower-heeled pumps that nod to Dellal-style whimsy (think leopard print and peekaboo details). Served up in a briefcase-style box, complete with matching stockings, look out for them in June on Charlotteolympia.com and Net-a-Porter.com.
What a surprise to see a Nigel Shafran shoot in Vogue. And styled by Joe McKenna too. Shafran’s last Vogue shoot was 21 years ago and he has brought his quiet observational style to the the UK title with this ode to consumerism (beating Karl to the punch), shot in the temples of Vuitton, Chanel and Celine on Avenue Montaigne… Continue reading