Would you buy Tom Ford’s minaudiere-friendly Lips & Boys mini lipsticks?

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Tom-Ford-Lips-and-Boys

So much hysteria over a lipstick! But you can kind of see why Tom Ford’s Lips And Boys collection of 50 minature lippies is causing a storm. Ford does make exceedingly good lipsticks and these tap into our desire for teeny trinkets while also being rather practical (yep, I totally fell for the marketing schpiel – whoops). Plus, each one is named after a man Ford has known (Alexander is named after his two-year-old son, fyi).

As Ford puts it, handbag real estate is at a premium at night time. There really is no place for a chunky lipstick in today’s micro clutch, so these fulfill the need for weeny makeup to match the weeny jewelled minaudiere. “People carry teeny-tiny little bags today, and are trying to fit their iPhone, money and a key,” he told WWD. “I think the idea of a small bag is modern, and you need to be able to fit a lipstick into that small space. It seems that there’s a trend these days to miniaturise things.”

The lipsticks arrive in the US on November 28th at 12:01am on Tomford.com. In the UK, Selfridges is first in line with a one day flash sale selling the mini-me lipsticks on 1st December. You can sign up here. But will you? If you’re not caught up in the pre-Christmas frenzy, then there’s also the chance to buy on Tom Ford counters from 26th December. (Hmmm, is Boxing day the new Christmas eve for shopaholics, I wonder?) But remember, they will be limited edition so I can’t see them hanging around for long.

If you prefer the traditional type of Tom Ford lipstick, this season sees a new matte lipstick released from his popular line of vitamin-enriched lip products (below). As expected, the colour palette is stunning, with glamorous berry and red shades as well as the default pinky nudes for the smokey-eye-pale-lip brigade. The Tom Ford Lip Color Matte collection (£37) comes in eight shades with a rich, satin-matte finish (I tried and loved Ruby Rush, a pigment-packed deep red). It’s available at Harvey Nichols, Harrods and John Lewis.

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WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Tom Ford

Buy it now: Joseph AW14

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In terms of sheer lust, Joseph is one of the shows I most look forward to at London Fashion Week. It’s the combination of easy, wearable silhouettes, plus inventive styling and perfect casting that results in a memorable show where you genuinely want to buy everything, not just admire from afar.

Joseph’s heritage lies in generously proportioned knitwear and 80s-90s layers, but modern Joseph is much more of a 90s-00s minimalist-masculine mash-up. The coats are always a standout for me – this season they’re cosy and tactile in nubby sheepskin or dark mohair plaid. (I love how this long, linear one’s layered over tailored culottes and boots, below).

Another brand that has always had a bit of the boy-girl attitude that I love, look out for its recently launched mini-collection, Iconic, a line of pieces that both men and women can wear.

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WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Studio/Joseph; London Fashion Week/Dazed & Confused

Ask Alison: How beauty brands are getting up close and personal with digitised stores

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Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP, looking at the emergence of interactive digital stores coming from the premium beauty sector

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It’s official; Covent Garden has become London’s Beauty Quarter when it comes to stores. Luxury brands Chanel, Dior and Burberry all opened mini beauty flagships here in the last couple of years while Marc Jacobs followed recently with its Tweet Shop pop-up. Now prestige beauty brands Clinique and Bobbi Brown (above) are experimenting with new, highly personal store concepts.

This cluster of beauty retail temples is a sign that luxury brands consider the sector a growing market, where millennial consumers like to experiment with new products and get personal advice. Christopher Bailey recently announced that expanding Burberry’s beauty offer is ‘on his 2015 to do list’, and judging by its digital artwork backdrop at Dior’s brand new Greene Street, New York store, we might well be in for a creative ‘phygital’ approach to beauty for Dior’s Bond Street flagship renovations. That giant floral digital display is crying out for installation in a perfume or cosmetics department, no?

So as luxury brands get in on the cosmetics act, beauty brands are finding the need to up the ante when it comes to premium stores and VIP-level customer service. Cue Clinique and Bobbi Brown, who have both launched stores in the last month that focus on one-to-one experiences at their new Covent Garden flagships.

Clinique combines data-mining and lab-style store design at its new 700 sq ft retail concept called the Great Skin Lab. Billed as a digital experience that will guide consumers through a ‘day in the life of their skin’, the store houses interactive pods and a moisturising station, where shoppers answer a series of questions on their lifestyle to determine their future skincare needs. The level of service here beats the department store scrum hands down. You can easily spend an hour investing in some serious ‘me & my skin’ time to reap rewards later.

Meanwhile, Bobbi Brown’s new Studio flagship store, her fourth in the UK, is just next door. Studio stores are designed to help foster a type of cosmetics community, encouraging customers to think out loud about their favourite looks, what works for them and what doesn’t. The staff then brings those problems or scenarios to life via learning-led tutorials, making everyone a pro – a service at the heart of the Bobbi Brown philosophy.

The interior style is SoHo loft, with a central artistry table where playful testing is encouraged. One wall uses an LED display to show pages from Bobbi’s sketchbook and concept diary. Called The Inspiration Wall, it gives a snapshot into the world of Bobbi Brown, as well as a closer look at some of her best selling products. New at the Covent Garden store is the DIY shopping experience where visitors can browse iPads showing content from a designated skincare apothecary and follow up with experts in-store to discuss routines and cosmetic choices from the artistry table. There is a whole suite dedicated to Bobbi Brown’s updated menu of make-up lessons.

All we need now is for subscription box beauty product specialist Birchbox to follow its data-driven New York store with one here in beauty-central Covent Garden. #YesPlease. And surely it’s just a matter of time before BeautyMART sets up shop here too?

ASK ALISON: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
For luxury brands, beauty represents a new frontier that allows younger customers to experiment with aspirational products at affordable price points. Destination stores are everything and are increasingly trumping the beauty industry’s traditional department store counter culture. With the allure of personalisation plus retail theatre to engage customers, premium beauty brands are joining the fray where dedicated flagships allow brands to gain market share and a bigger, stronger fan base.

Follow ALISON BISHOP on Twitter, read her previous guest posts on Disneyrollergirl and read more of her retail insights on her blog, The Retail Planner.

Crème de la Mer Intensive Revitalising Mask – a hangover cure for your face

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Creme-De-La-Mer-Intensive-Revitalising-Mask

Autumn skin is a bitch isn’t it?

The combo of weird weather, cranked-up central heating, comfort eating, over-drinking and under-exercising all add up to – in my case – bumpy, greige and generally knackered-looking skin. My usual solution is to slap on a bit more make-up and carry on eating cake. I don’t generally indulge in pricy skin treatments or creams, I have a fear that I’ll get hooked and won’t be able to keep up the habit. But Crème de la Mer asked me if I’d like to try its new Intensive Revitalising Mask and in a post-LFW break-out haze, I thought well, why not?

Billed as an eight-minute spa-like ritual, it deploys Crème de la Mer’s famous ‘miracle broth’ (a unique blend of antioxidants and skin boosting marine algae) in a lightweight, easily-absorbed cream. It comes in a 75ml tube and you’re advised to apply a generous layer to face and neck. As you press it into your skin, you inhale the aromatherapeutic scent of grapefruit, mint and helichrysum, designed to reduce stress and soothe your mood. I tried mine at night as I’m a recent convert to the night-time wind-down of a muslin-clothed, double-cleansing routine. As an aromatherapy fan, the inhaling and massaging is the bit I loved. It feels a bit meditative and reinforces the idea of taking time out for yourself, especially as the mask gives a comforting warming effect as it sinks in.

The instructions say to leave for eight minutes. After that you can either tissue off or leave it on for an intensive overnight mask. Well, there was no way I was going to tissue it off and in fact, most had already absorbed by the eighth minute. I didn’t feel the need for a moisturiser on top, so fast forward to next morning and I did notice significantly brighter, plump-looking skin and a uniform skintone.

Although Crème de la Mer The Intensive Revitalising Mask can be used every day, at £105 that feels extravagant. So what works for me is using it a couple of times a week during hectic times when I’m neglecting my skin a bit. I see it as much as a feel-good pampering treat as a skin-booster. I also prefer to a use penny sized amount than a generous dollop, thus making my tube go twice as far. Yes, this is an expensive indulgence but for those who can splash out, it yields impressive results – especially at this time of year when it makes a great hangover cure for your face. (Footnote: guys can use it too.)

You can buy Crème de la Mer The Intensive Revitalising Mask here and here. Alternatively, if you want to try it first, buy the full size from Cremedelamer.co.uk which comes with a free 5ml sample. If you don’t like it, you can send the unopened full size tube back.

WORDS AND PICTURE: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl

Could Farfetch click & collect be an ecommerce game changer?

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Oooh here’s a clever move from Farfetch. It’s just rolled out a new Click & Collect service, whereby you can order from one of its international indie retailers but instead of having your order sent to your home or office, you can pick up from another of its retailers located more conveniently to you. With over 100 boutiques currently taking part globally, this could potentially be a real game changer. It’s of particular interest to me because I’m one of those people who doesn’t work in an office and I’m not always home for deliveries. If I could get my package from say, The Webster shipped to Start or Celestine Eleven (pictured top) instead of to my house, well, that would be so much more convenient.

There’s a benefit to the stores involved too – namely extra footfall. Because of course if I’m popping in to pick up a package, I’ll have a browse at their merch as well. The delivery issue has been a real barrier to me for online shopping and I doubt I’m the only one. If more etailers upped their customer service to adapt to our needs, it could only have positive results.

What I also like about this Farfetch initiative is how it neatly aligns the online service with the benefits of bricks and mortar. I’m a B&M shopper at heart, but I do a lot of research online. This marries the two very nicely and seamlessly. Of course, it’s very early days for the service and I’m sure there will be teething problems. But if it works, it’s surely a model that could be replicated by others.

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WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL
MAIN IMAGE: CELESTINE ELEVEN/FARFETCH

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: OSMAN X AMAZON FASHION, JOHN LOBB, H&M, SIMONE ROCHA X J BRAND, KURT GEIGER

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Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. OSMAN FOR AMAZON FASHION

Osman-Amazon-Christmas-jumper

Someone is giving Osman an almighty great push on the PR and marketing front as he seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment. I just noticed this Osman collection on Amazon.co.uk
and surprisingly, it looks really luxe and beautiful. Amazon has tried hard to sell high end brands on its site but it never quite achieves the Net-a-Porter aesthetic that I’m guessing it’s aiming for. Until now. I never thought I’d say this, but there’s even a Christmas jumper that looks cool, a unisex one at that, and it’s a (comparative) steal at £95. See more here.


2. FIRST LOOK AT PAULA GERBASE FOR JOHN LOBB

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I’m more of a Church’s girl myself but I was interested to know that John Lobb has a small clientele of female customers for its classic shoes. Paula Gerbase’s artistic direction debut will appear at LCM in January – here’s a little insight from the New York Times of what we might expect (contrary to my expectaction, it doesn’t involve clothing).


3. H&M COLLABORATIONS – THE BOOK

H&M The First 10 Years book

What could define the millennial’s high-low approach to fashion better than H&M’s legendary designer collabs? This month sees the launch of a brick-like coffee table book that unpacks each and every collaboration, from the first Karl Lagerfeld one in 2004, to the most recent sport-luxe offer from Alexander Wang. It’s beautifully produced and packaged (indeed, to me it looks, smells and feels exactly like Self Service) and serves as an extended essay on the last ten years of fashion itself as well as a celebratory pat on the back for H&M. Alongside contributions from Alex Fury, Jessica Michault, Melanie Rickey and Charlie Porter is my piece on Matthew Wiliamson. You can find it in selected H&M stores at €9.90 with 25% of proceeds going to UNICEF.


4. SIMONE ROCHA FOR J BRAND

Simone-Rocha-J-Brand

Just in at Dover Street Market is Simone Rocha’s denim collab with J Brand. Simone Rocha isn’t an obvious denim fit but that’s what’s good about this mini collection. It marries her romantic ruffles with stiff utilitarian shapes, all in a perfect palette of red, blush pink and black. From December 1st it will also be available at Selfridges, Net-A-Porter and Browns.


5. KURT GEIGER’S SAFFIANO SUCCESS

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Sales are up, way up at Kurt Geiger, with handbag sales increasing 50% so far this year. Why? Mainly due to the popularity of its Saffiano leather bags. These hardwearing, textured bags (you know, like these) are the great levellers of the handbag world, putting in appearances at Kurt Geiger, Michael Kors and Prada alike. There’s even more good retail news for Kurt Geiger handbag lovers – the brand is opening its Oxford Street flagship store early next year.

WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL
IMAGES: AMAZON, NEW YORK TIMES, DISNEYROLLERGIRL, J BRAND, KURT GEIGER

Who are you? Louis Vuitton’s celebration of monogram

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Rei-Kawakubo-Louis-Vuitton

So here’s something I never knew: Karl Lagerfeld was once a boxer! Hence his monogrammed Louis Vuitton boxing gloves and punchbag as his contribution to the latest Louis Vuitton collaboration, Celebrating Monogram. It’s a pretty great project, not just because of the breadth of talent that was called upon to take part (Cindy Sherman! Rei Kawakubo! Frank Gehry!), but for the end results as well.

Quick recap: To mark its 160th anniversary, Louis Vutton asked its favourite creatives to reimagine its classic monogram in a bag or accessory of their choice. Being Vuitton of course, there were no limits. Sherman wins the prize for most spectacular – she produced an astonishing dress-up trunk with drawers for various costume props, a light-up mirror, a detachable case and a messenger bag. Gehry’s offering was a ‘Twisted Box’, like his buildings it’s beautifully wonky but utterly elegant. And Louboutin’s ‘Classic Caddy’, the campest of shopping trollies is arguably the most fun and commercial.

For me, this motley assortment of monogrammed treasures amounts to a study of identity. For what else do monograms stand for but a representation of who we are? And in this case, how we see ourselves. It also sums up where we are in the world right now – doesn’t everything come back to identity? And it’s interesting to see these designers and brands looking at themselves through the products of another brand. “It was like going to school. You have a sort of duty: You have to marry your own identity with a strong identity, which is Louis Vuitton’s. That was the homework,” Christian Louboutin told the New York Times. I noticed too that a lot of these special creations come with a mirror, should you want to regard your reflection and ponder ‘who am I?’ (Or simply reapply your lipstick in the most fabulous way.)

Of all the bags, the one I’m determined to get my hands on is the Rei Kawakubo. With its cut-out holes (that look a bit like a screamy face), it’s  a perfect union of Comme idiosyncracy with the most classic of Vuitton ‘Sac Plat’ totes. And making the dust bag part of the design is typical Comme topsy-turvy, back-to-front thinking…

REI KAWAKUBO’S BAG WITH HOLES
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FRANK GEHRY’S TWISTED BOX
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CINDY SHERMAN’S STUDIO IN A TRUNK
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CHRISTIAN LOUBUTIN CLASSIC CADDY
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KARL LAGERFELD’S PUNCHING BAG
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MARC NEWSON’S FLEECE BACKPACK
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WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Louis Vuitton

Borrowed from the boys: Paul Smith AW14

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It seems everyone is jumping on the unisex/androgyny/ambi-sex bandwagon lately, but one of the brands that does it best is Paul Smith. Perhaps it’s not immediately obvious, I just think his menswear – the colours, shapes, prints – swings both ways. I always check out his menswear shows for clues of what I’ll want to wear for the coming season. In particular his knitwear is consistently strong – great colours and patterns in classic shapes. (If you ever go to the Albemarle Street store, be sure to seek out the plain crew necks in every colour under the sun.) Then there are the coats and shoes – again, classic at heart but contemporary in their all-important details.

Happily, some of the knits come up small enough to work as an oversized piece on a woman (hello houndstooth sweater) or are replicated in the womenswear collection. I have a thing about musical notes and this season’s Paul Smith is full of them, on knitwear, coats and scarves. Look out for next season’s shoes too, when Paul Smith promises a properly unisex line of identical shoes for men and women
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WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Paul Smith; Disneyrollergirl

DRG Edit: Jo Malone London Christmas treats (going fast…)

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JO MALONE LONDON always crack out the best beauty gifts and novelties for Christmas. They revealed all to the press back in July, as most brands do with their ‘Christmas In July’ showcases. (These are a real treat – M&S pulled out the stops, wheeling in a host of food suppliers to ply us with chocolates, hams, every type of tangerine and satsuma, I won’t go on….) This year we got a mini ice rink and every permutation of Jo Malone London favourites you could hope for.

And now is the time to buy as it has all arrived on counter and some things are already selling out. Continue reading

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: MARC JACOBS BEAUTY, BALENCIAGA, DIOR, LEVI’s, SELFRIDGES, MATCHES FASHION

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Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. MARC JACOBS’ INSTAGRAM SHOP

Marc Jacobs Beauty shoppable Instagram

Oh the bane of not being able to shop from Instagram! Marc Jacobs Beauty couldn’t stand it any longer and has set up a tool just for Insta-shoppers. It’s a bit like LikeToKNOW.it, and thus, slightly clunky. Continue reading

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