This post is a little late because I had so much post-LFW catching up to do.
Simone Rocha is a favourite for Londoners and has finely tuned her unique communion-chic aesthetic. I loved how the models’ heads were swathed in sheer, flower-scattered voiles. Also, those pink lace-ups…
I noticed endless Westwood influences at LFW. From Christopher Bailey’s waisted denim jackets, to J W Anderson’s oversized lapels and pinstripes, the references just kept coming. Meadham Kirchhoff held a street casting for their show earlier in the week that I would have loved to go to, just to check out who turned up. The show was full of a diverse array of models who really brought the already-interesting clothes alive and brought to mind the 1980s ‘World’s End’ shows that Westwood used to produce with Malcolm McLaren – I’ve been thinking a lot about those lately. Meadham Kirchhoff’s messaging was a big F-you to society’s intolerances. By all accounts it was an emotional outpouring which I’d like to have witnessed first hand. Alas, it was the same ‘it’s a small venue’ story as with many shows last week…
For the grand finale, Vogue and J Crew threw a very special end-of-LFW cocktail party at Winfield House, the American Ambassador’s residence in London, that’s slap bang in the middle of Regent’s Park. How did I not know this existed? I have never seen anything like it, each room as perfectly styled as a Ralph Lauren photo shoot set, with antique furniture, Degournay wallpapers, abundant floral displays, stacks of coffee table books and astonishing contemporary art at every corner. (We may have taken turns to pose at the dressing table in the ladies…)
Practicing my best Blue Steel with The Very Simon G
The final punctuation of LFW came with the Harrods Shoe Heaven party. I’ve just published my dedicated post for this epic new shoe department, but it was super-fun, not least because there were ‘civilians’ mingling with the fashiony types and mobbing the likes of Jourdan Dunn for selfies. I wore my new Charlotte Olympia Monroe 120cm heels which were identical to the ones Charlotte Dellal herself turned up in – shoe twins!
Impressed to note that Mark Ronson djs with actual vinyl
Please notice how my Charlotte Olympias come with their very own ‘Polaroid’ sticker for OCD types to affix to the front of the box…
[Catwalk images: GPS Radar/Disneyrollergirl/BFC]
Will we ever tire of buying shoes? Judging by the last few years, it would appear our appetites are bigger than ever. Each shiny new footwear department (some big enough to have their own postcode), mall and ecom site just opens up more possibility, choice and downright longing.
Harrods’ Shoe Heaven floor has become a thing of legend and it’s only just opened. With 42,000 square feet of footwear fabulosity, you name it, it’s been bought in vast quantity to satisfy our insatiable fetish for the fancy and functional. Two years in the making, Shoe Heaven has three entrances, seventeen luxury branded boutiques and no end of options. Yes there are plenty of statement heels as you’d expect from a store whose glamorous overseas clientele scoops up Loubs by the dozen. But there are also thousands of flats, from affordable Kurt Geiger utility boots to the jewelled ballerinas adored by the Asian customer who likes her beauty and novelty served with a side of comfort.
Trainers? Of course. In particular, Isabel Marant’s cult sneaker trainers have a prime spot, because even if the fashion press are over them, the paying customer it seems, is not. Clearly, we’re a nation of feet-first dressers, so this shrine to our favourite pastime would be hard pressed to fail. In fact, the only downside is there’s almost too much to take in; be warned, this is not a department to whizz in and out of. But then why would you? If I haven’t made it clear, Shoe Heaven is a one-stop shop for the shoe obsessed. And the most impressive part is undoubtedly the bedazzling boutiques, created in partnership with the world’s biggest luxury houses (Vuitton, Dior, Prada, you know the rest…).
Despite its vast size though, Shoe Heaven feels oddly intimate thanks to the exacting eye of David Collins Studio, whose old school vision of luxury marries the killer combo of spaciousness with tactile velvet sofas and hand-knotted carpets…
Many brands have worked on exclusive product and colourways but really, it’s the sight of shoes and nothing but shoes in their mono-product design temples that impresses. If you get your kicks from wall-to-wall Rockstuds or a mirrored wonderland of Saint Laurent’s disco boots, then you really will be in shoe heaven here. For me though, the real fun comes with our favourite shoe visionaries. So Manolo, Prada, Louboutin and Charlotte Olympia are worthy of a Shoe Heaven trip alone.
You arrive at the Manolo Blahnik store up a flight of stairs (yep, an actual stairway to heaven) to find yourself in Manolo Nirvana. Louboutin is also jaw-slacking in its size and breadth. And Charlotte Olympia’s shelves (top and below) are a brilliant expression of Charlotte Dellal’s creative verve and attention to detail. Marvel at her Chinoiserie wedges inlaid with mother of pearl, cult kitty flats and ornate heels carved with dramatic dragons. And don’t think it’s only about the eccentric statements because Ms Dellal caters very well for those who like a walkable stiletto pump too. (Although admittedly she does win the prize for highest heels in the store – hers top out at 145mm).
What has Harrods got in store for the launch? Well nothing short of 37 specially made shoes under the umbrella of the Silver Lining Collection. There’s an exclusive pale silver version of the Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats, a high top sneaker from Chanel, Prada’s silver space-age studded wedge and Louboutin’s sexy metallic spikes. It all reeks of the extravagance, indulgence and a just-for-you attention to service that Harrods is renowned for. With increasing competition from other retailers and etailers, this idea of shoe heaven in a serious statement of intent to get the shoe obsessed stampeding through its hallowed halls.
This summer, I noticed a trend emerging that I couldn’t wait to hit the high street. All the skater boys were wearing too-short jeans, an inch or so above their battered Vans and it’s a look I’ve always loved.
The skinny jeans obsession has peaked so we’re after something new. and as it coincides with Normcore, I’m just going to say it – welcome back Levi’s 501, I’ve missed you.
How I’d like to wear too-short 501s? Exactly like this. If your 501s aren’t this length when you buy them, you can get them altered at the Levi’s store, fast and free (I think mine were done in a day). And the walkable heels showing just a bit of skin are a refreshing change from Tribute-style ankle-breakers (RIP).
[Main pic: Tommy ton/Style.com]
The answer to the question “why do we still need fashion shows?” was answered succinctly on Monday with Thomas Tait’s powerpacked, techno-soundtracked stomper of a show. Fashion shows need emotion, energy and feeling in order to express something these days, the clothes are only part of the story. And so Tait created tension and anticipation in his concrete box of a location, with walls painted in collaboration with artist Georges Rousse setting an intriguing scene. Continue reading
If there was any doubt that phones are now fashion accessories, last week rammed that thought home. With Apple‘s major unveiling during New York Fashion Week with key fashion press in the front row and Natalie Massenet representing (will she be selling the new Apple devices on Net-a-Porter?), the fashionisation of our everyday tech gear is indisputable.
OK the big fuss was all around the smart Watch but the general consensus among the fashion contingent is it ain’t all that (yet). Continue reading
London designers are known for their youthful experimentation but they’ve becoming equally adept at delivering polished wearability. Day two’s highlights included Lucas Nascimento’s sheer, precision-cut layers (above and below), Joseph’s serene sportswear and Whistles’ luxe leather separates.
Even J.W Anderson surprised with extreme commerciality on his catwalk (combined with clever creativity of course), giving us that spring perennial ‘nautical chic’ his way, involving strategic cut-outs and rope details all accessorised with fetishy floppy leather hats. Continue reading
London Fashion Week kicked off with two buzzy new names. Faustine Steinmetz showed as part of New Gen with her first presentation, a clever exploration of couture and branding, set in the suitably arty ICA.
I’m so impressed by this young designer, whose obsession for hands-on labour and figuring things out results in mind boggling textile experiments. On display were denim-look jackets of polyester styled out like Shibori (“It’s not Shibori at all! I actually handpainted it, I just like that look,” Steinmetz told me), and a jeans-n-jacket combo made from unravelled layers of upcycled denim creating a tufty fringe effect. Continue reading
Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP who unpacks her physical-meets-digital findings so far from the SS15 fashion show season…
The fashion show is dead. Long live the interactive, digital brand experience now taking place during New York and London fashion weeks, where consumers, influencers and their collective social media clout are the preferred global audience. Continue reading
Shinola klaxon! Yummy new Shinola watches have just landed at Net-a-Porter. The Detroit-based brand is getting a lot of attention at the mo for its leather goods, paper goods, watches and own-brand cola (called Shinola Cola obvs).
I like the classic understatement of these. They’re just masculine enough, without looking overly butch. I like the size too. I have tiny wrists so I can’t get away with those gigantic dinner plate watches that everyone loves. You can buy them HERE.
Mr DRG is quite the trainer connoisseur, having spent far too much time and money on them during the first wave of sneaker-freakery back in the day. Here’s his guest post on his latest Nike fixation…
I love the way that Nike has been updating classics from its archives over the last few years. Not such a stange statement you might think, but this comes from someone whose mantra is a fixed, ‘don’t mess with a classic, it’s classic for a reason’. Yet Nike is pulling it off, time and time again. Continue reading