Retail report: Selfridges ramps up its luxury ready-to-wear with a nod to Dover Street Market

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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It feels like Selfridges has been tweaking its third floor Designer Galleries for ever! Finally its finished and the verdict is quite the A-Z of modern luxury fashion. In short, the Selfridges buy has been Dover Street Market-ified. (And  that sentence right there gets the award for clunkiest sentence of the year. Soz.) I still remember the third floor as it was eons ago – contemporary labels like Anglomania alongside A.P.C, Whistles and Joseph. Pffft, this is so not that. Contemporary and denim have all been shunted up to the fourth floor, leaving gleaming aisles of expensive statement-wear. Of course, I can’t actually afford any of it.

It’s a textbook exercise in taste and wealth though. At one end you have the cash cows – generous amounts of space given to Chanel, Prada, Celine, Dries Van Noten et al to set out their stalls to best demonstrate their vision. Celine’s is bright and spare, all the better to show off its pops of primary-hued handbags amongst the discreet neutrals. Dries is tactile and opulent. Louis Vuitton gets the top spot, its area is part of a dedicated three-storey fit-out complete with its own swivelling lift. Alaia, Saint Laurent and McQueen round out the offer.

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In the middle section there are the new gen giants – think Givenchy, Balenciaga, Tom Ford. And also the Brit brigade – Roksanda, Pilotto, Kane and Preen all representing. These are the brands adored by today’s luxury millennials, they’re seen as edgy and cool but unmistakably expensive. Look at those embellished sweatshirts and know that this is not your mother’s Givenchy. And the Dover Street Market factor? It’s there in those squishy Loewe pouffes and geometric handbags. And there in the Sacai hybrid outerwear. And most definitely there in that wall of Rick Owenses, not to mention the rails of J.W. Andersons and Simone Rochas. There’s not one dud piece in all that lot that I wouldn’t snap up tomorrow if I won the lottery.

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 Selfridges-designer-galleries-Rick-Owens
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Of course, should you just want something clean and classic, you’re not neglected. The opposite end of the floor has Jil Sander, MaxMara, a ton of Chloe, plus my secret fetish – Brunello Cucinelli. If Chanel and Rick Owens are for the rich kids, I suspect this is the moms’ playground.

It’s certainly the dream retail experience for the monied international customer, with a killer buy from the important brands. It’s presented beautifully with service to match (attentive but not pushy). And increasingly, the online inventory is starting to replicate the store offer. Yes, a few brands resist; there’s no way to buy Celine short of getting your butt into a bricks & mortar store. But others I guess know that having their product on a site like Selfridges.com ups brand awareness as well as giving a better idea of the riches that await you when you visit. For starters, there’s a full complement of Dries and a fair bit of Comme. Here’s my fantasy edit…

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: WOOD WOOD X DISNEY, A.P.C, LIBERTY, SHANG XIA, NIKE

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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

1. WOOD WOOD WARPS DISNEY ICON

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Get ready for a very cool Disney collaboration with Danish brand Wood Wood coming to London. Wood Wood chose to stretch and distort classic 30s cartoons of Mickey Mouse, printing the designs on clothes and accessories for men and women. The prints are quite subversive so I’m surprised Disney gave it the go ahead – it’s known for being extremely protective of the brand’s imagery. The collection goes into Liberty, Good Hood and Mytheresa.com on 3rd November.


2. A.P.C LOVES L.A

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A.P.C’s Jean Touitou is banking big on Los Angeles with a new store on Melrose and two more to come by the end of the year. As always, he’s refreshingly frank with his views – I enjoyed this interview on Style.com in which he expounds on how New York and Paris have lost their creative lustre and what he’s doing to push the A.P.C minimalist aesthetic forward. (But first, please admire the lush shiny flooring – above – made from Spanish ceramic bricks that nods to the Hispanic heritage of the area.)


3. LIBERTY’S PERSONAL BEAUTY CALL

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Liberty has just launched a bespoke beauty personal shopping service that I think will do really well. You make an appointment and get a one-to-one with a specialist who gives you unrushed, unbiased advise on Liberty beauty products. The two hour service costs £80 redeemable against purchases. It definitely feels like Liberty has noticed how consumers want trusted, user-friendly advice rather than hard sell and I’d say a lot of that has to be down to blogger influence. It reminds me of the John Gustafson service that Fenwick introduced in the 90s (so successful that the waiting list stretches to years). Read more on Liberty’s bespoke beauty here.


4. SHANG XIA IN SHANGHAI

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“What is precious in life? Space is precious, time is precious, love is precious.” I love this quote from Shang Xia’s founder, CEO and artistic director Jiang Qiong’er. The Hermes-owned Chinese brand is in expansion mode, and following Paris and Beijing, this month opened its third store in Shanghai. Its main premise is to draw on Chinese craft and heritage to create a high quality brand for the modern Chinese luxury customer. The quote is from this article in Time Out Shanghai.


5. NIKE UPS THE FASHION ANTE WITH SUPERMODEL CAMPAIGN

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Clever Nike is embracing the fashion crowd as never before. Its forthcoming collaboration with Pedro Lourenço was launched with much fanfare last week, starring as it does Karlie Kloss in the campaign shots. As with everything, authenticity is at its core. The product is highly fashionable but function has to come first. But it clearly doesn’t hurt to have Karlie (and a chunk of her million+ Instagram following) endorsing the brand…

WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL

Winter picks from Net-a-Porter

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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According to Editd.com, luxury stores have bought into more winter warmers, earlier in the season this year. Net-a-Porter alone has grown its autumn offer of outerwear by 117% compared to last year. Maybe it knows something we don’t? Colourful fake furs are key, as are oversized, slouchy shapes. I’ve noticed a lot of sophisticated-looking fake furs (as opposed to those Big Bird types from a few seasons ago) – I guess that’s the Shrimps effect. The all-enveloping poncho too is a big player, thanks to Issa’s cheery patterns and Burberry’s genius blanket wraps…

I’m still a fan of classics, so I’ve included a cape (from Saint Laurent) and a duffle (Burberry Brit) in my latest Net-a-Porter edit. And I’m trying to wean myself off the navy jumpers so I’m gravitating more towards Jonathan Saunders’ stripes and Bella Freud’s typography. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget that clocks go forward this weekend…

WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL
MAIN IMAGE: SAINT LAURENT AW14

The British Fashion Awards 2014 – place your bets!

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Raf-Simons-

This year’s British Fashion Awards is set to be the most exciting yet, for me anyway.

Anyone want to place bets on the following?

Emerging Womenswear Designer.
Aargh, how can I choose between Marques and Tait? I’ll go for Tait though in light of his LVMH prize:
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Marques’Almeida
Thomas Tait Continue reading

Farfetch looks east with Restir

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

1 Farfetch-Restir

Funny to think Farfetch.com has never had a Japanese store in its community of international retailers. Now it does, Tokyo based Restir is the winner of the Farfetch Superstore prize and its edit of upscale ‘indie’ brands has just gone on the site. Continue reading

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: NORDSTROM, GAP, MULBERRY, COACH

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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

1. NORDSTROM’S SECRET WEAPON

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I keep reading about Nordstrom doing original things with digital and experiential retail and now I know why. Its director of creative projects is one Olivia Kim, formerly of Opening Ceremony, AKA queen of the clever collab and someone who just knows how to make retail exciting. Continue reading

Watch this: Harrods Inside The Studio with Matthew Williamson

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

The life of a fashion designer is more fascinating (and varied) than ever. Researching and designing the collections is the creative bit but then come the extras; production, promotion, collaborations, not to mention the social media and editorial that have become such solid components of building a brand.

Harrods has decided to explore the mystique around designers and their processes by giving us a behind-the-curtain peek into four British designers and their businesses. Continue reading

What to expect from WIRED RETAIL 2015

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Wired Retail

Luxury conferences and tech conferences are all the rage so it’s no surprise whatsoever to see Conde Nast stepping up its conference game. Continue reading

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: HELMUT LANG PERFUME, LONGCHAMP THE BOOK, GALLIANO THE CONCEPTUALIST

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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


1. HELMUT LANG PERFUME RETURNS

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Woah, big story of the week for me is this one. Helmut Lang the original fragrance is back! And with the proto-minimalist packaging intact too. Not sure where we can buy it in the UK, but it’s being sold on the Helmut Lang US site right now. Continue reading

Who buys designer jewellery online?

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

Who buys jewellery online? It’s a funny one because you’d think it was such a no-no… for all sorts of reasons. Sizing for one – I never know what my ring size is. And security for another, I’m not sure I’d trust a £5,000 delivery coming through the post and being left with a neighbour (or abandoned on a doorstep as some carriers are wont to do). Then there’s the whole luxe factor; isn’t fine jewellery meant to be experienced in a luxury store with all the pampering that goes with it? Continue reading

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