Smythson stories: how the Mara diary is made*

Making of a Smythson diary Mara midnight

“Our Featherweight paper is the same paper that’s used for bank notes. It’s extremely thin but durable enough to be written on without the ink showing through.”

I’m being taken on a personal tour of Smythson’s Hertfordshire bookbinding workshops, where its famous diaries are produced, from printed page to hand-finished leather covers. My guide is pointing out each artisanal technique while I take in the familiar sky blue paper hue that serves as a permanent presence throughout the premises. (more…)

Ask Alison: Do you speak Hermès?

Hermes launches Hermesistible microsite

Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ post from DRG retail editor, ALISON BISHOP, on how Hermès is using playful storytelling to launch an accessories e-commerce microsite

Hermès has a playful answer to the emotive question of why we shop for luxury: irresistible whimsy.

Via its engaging and fun new website, Hermèsistible, the French luxury brand says ‘just give in to life’s temptations’ and, ‘go with your irrepressible desire’ to buy to that enamel silver bracelet or buckled leather cuff. (more…)

Chanel Rouge Noir returns

Chanel Rouge Noir Limited Edition

Would it be too much of a stretch to pin the ‘fashion-isation’ of beauty onto Chanel and its major moment with the iconic ‘Vamp’ nail? This year marks two decades since Uma Thurman sported the eggplant-hued mani (renamed Rouge Noir for commercial purposes) in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, scoring never-seen-before stampedes as well as initiating an era of product placement in movies that’s since become commonplace. (more…)


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


Burberry Christmas ad campaign

I got to attend the unveiling of the new Burberry Christmas ad in the Regent Street flagship on Tuesday and as expected, it was fun, stylish and very British. And it totally made me want to see Billy Elliot. The celeb-filled event completely overshadowed the week’s other Burberry news, that the brand is consolidating all its sub-brands under one big Burberry-checked umbrella. So no more Burberry Brit, London or Prorsum – just ‘Burberry’ (which is what we all called it anyway). (more…)