No-one does the high street better than the Brits, except possibly the Swedes! Well, H&M in particular. Launching today is H&M’s new brand, & Other Stories. Here’s the verdict from guest contributor, LSN Global retail editor, ALISON BISHOP
So, the new retail concept & Other Stories by H&M has finally launched (in London first, natch), and it seems there is room for another fashion retail concept on the high street. & Other Stories lives up to its premium product pitch in terms of ‘style over fast-fashion’. Continue reading
Fashion Month seems to have reached an interesting sweet spot of industry and consumer focus. The public has proved just how much it loves to be part of the LFW experience – not just watching the live streams, but actively commenting, sharing and shopping. This we know, but I felt it more keenly than ever this season, due to bigger efforts made to share via technology (hello Topshop ‘be the buyer’ app, Burberry Beauty Booth and Matthew Williamson Vine videos). Continue reading
Something new for London Fashion Week this season: the addition of the London College of Fashion MA show. I usually have an aversion to student shows (they just end up being soooo long), but in this case, a concise edit of ten graduates was speedily delivered. Continue reading
Being a catwalk model must be the best fun these days; you simply never know what you’re going to be asked to do. From Mulberry’s dogwalkers, to Matthew Williamson’s close-up Vine videos, to Topshop Unique’s model cams and Burberry’s #Beautybooth, there’s so much interactive fun to be had at the shows. Before I left for yesterday morning’s first show, I caught Topshop’s Google+ video of Cara Delevingne doing a circuit of the Topshop Unique runway with a vídeo cam stashed in her handbag. Continue reading
Today I truly experienced the luxury and convenience of a concierge service. I’ve been working with Amex to experience all they have to offer this Fashion Week, which in reality means I’ve had cars booked to ferry me from show to show, my on-the-go catering needs seen to, plus all manner of other requests – small and large – dealt with. Amex asked me what my ‘pain points’ were during Fashion Week and I said transport issues, wi-fi issues and just general juggling of everything. Continue reading
Like it or not, the biannual fashion weeks are becoming increasingly consumer-focused. From the sea of bloggers in the Somerset House forecourt (who can watch the shows on the giant screen outside the main tent), to those viewing and shopping via online live stream (pioneered by Burberry), the scope for interaction and calls to action is wider than ever before. The lines are blurring between brands, retailers and publishers, and all are bringing the buzz of LFW directly from the front row to their loyal customers. Continue reading
As LFW becomes ever busier, with shows, presentations, retail events and launches at Somerset House and beyond, sometimes help is needed to navigate the never-ending schedule. This season I’m working with Amex to experience all they have to offer at Fashion Week, which is where Amex Insiders come in. Continue reading
Bam! That’s the sound of London Fashion Week going off with a bang. Well it did for me, because my first show was London College of Fashion’s MA show – its first as part of LFW. The show was edited to the ten strongest collections, of which my favourite was from Na Di, a menswear graduate whose punchy printed tailoring mashed up traditional references with hiphop attitude. Continue reading
It might be Fashion Month but life isn’t all about Marni-esque print and wacko Celine ‘fur-kenstocks’. Sometimes you want a palate-cleanser, a just-so silk shirt with double cuffs for example, or a high quality trench that will travel with you from spring to winter without the Rue Saint-Honore price tag. Continue reading
Well who’d have thunk it? Six years ago today, I started a fashion blog. This very one, in fact, albeit on a Blogspot platform with a slightly clunky white-text-on-black-background layout. If you scroll back far enough, you can see my early posts; embarrassing though they are, I’ve not deleted them as it’s good to remember the journey.
My six year anniversary coincides with a pithy New York Times T Magazine story by Suzy Menkes lamenting the blog mob and the changes in fashion media and critiquing. Do read it, it’s certainly thought provoking. Alas, Menkes does come across as slightly jaded in her disapproval. Flagging up the common practice of ‘bloggers’ (read: the Fashion Week style blogger elite) who get photographed in next season’s looks, often gifted by designers in exchange for coverage, she reminds us that real reporters don’t play the gifting game (or ‘bribery’ as she puts it). It’s a funny one I admit. On the one hand, why not help give young designers exposure by wearing their clothes, if it will give them a leg-up and boost your visual presence as well? On the other hand, when the pre- and post-show peacocking starts to get more attention than the shows themselves, then that clearly signals a change in how things are working. Is it dumbing down though? or is it just an evolution in how fashion is seen and consumed now?
Six years ago, no-one even considered any of this stuff. As a phenomenon, it simply didn’t exist yet. Instagram didn’t exist, Vine didn’t exist, Twitter was in its infancy and Anna Dello Russo was just another jobbing fashion editor. How would fashion have weathered the recessions were it not for fashion blogs, Fashion Week street style and the powerful role they played in opening up the fashion industry to the masses? More pertinent still; where will fashion, blogging and the street style strutters be in another six years time? I guess that’s for us to witness, while documenting the process…
Thanks for the last six years of support!
Image: Stefania Yarhi/Textstyles – NYT