Hands down, one of the biggest menswear trends for AW13 is all things traditional, homespun and British. So think Harris tweeds, Scottish cashmeres and Savile Row-style tailoring using textiles from our oldest mills. Nicely timed then, is Made In Great Britain from Marks & Spencer, its heritage line that will be launching in selected stores in the autumn. Continue reading
Like the music industry, the publishing industry has become about selling product as well as content. So brand extensions are flourishing like nothing before. But what Vogue has is quite unique – its content is its brand extensions. It uses its incredible archive of photography, illustration and editorials to produce all manner of products, from books to beach towels. Continue reading
Five months ago, BON magazine commissioned me to write about 3D printing and its potential impact on the fashion industry. The best bit was researching it (with some great help from Jen Eleto). I got some incredibly generous insights from the likes of Dutch product designer Sjors Bergmans who made the first wearable 3D printed shoes, Chris Norman, CEO of 3D printing company Kraftwurx, and Peter Hill who runs the fashion digital studio at London College of Fashion. During my interview with Ron Arad, he disappeared to unearth some 3D printed earrings from the back office of his studio. They were made nine years ago – “the first 3D printed consumer accessories”, according to him.
I also spoke to legal expert Kenneth Mullen and commercial strategy consultant Ceci Guicciardi to get their views on how the ease of 3D printing in future will affect copyright laws, while LCF’s Peter Hill even let us use the LCF 3D printers to make some possible designer ‘fakes’ – with interesting results. (Conclusion: it’s early days for this technology but it’s developing fast.) The article has just been published and has had a good response. Some people are calling 3D printing the third industrial revolution, but if you still think 3D printing in fashion means creating 3D textures on a T-shirt, then maybe you need to go to 3D Printshow at The Brewery in Clerkenwell this weekend. (Admission is £19.95 and boooking is advisable. Info here.)
Sixties, sixties, sixties, sixties. Sick of them yet? Well get used to it, because it’s all you’ll be hearing about from now until eternity. The ’60s is the big fashion story for ss13 (ref Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Prada and Moschino for starters) and there’s already a rich well of original inspiration to draw from in the new books, films and exhibitions launching right now … Continue reading
As you may have noticed, I’m quite fascinated by the growing commercialisation of Fashion Week. More than anyone, Topshop has been instrumental in making Fashion Week accessible to all, via its sponsorships and collabs with LFW designers, it’s unsurpassed social media LFW coverage, its just announced Facebook hook-up and most recently, its pop-up shops at the LFW sites. Continue reading
Here’s a little backstage beauty nugget I found out recently. See that backstage beauty station? See those hairspray-like cans wrapped in parcel tape? That’s a little known secret of fashion shows. When big beauty brands sponsor shows, they want their and only their branding in the backstage shots. So MAC doesn’t want a stray Lancome mascara wand in view at a MAC-sponsored show and Toni & Guy doesn’t want a can of Elnett upstaging its products if it’s paying for exclusive endorsement. All well and good, but it seems there’s an understanding that sometimes X product is the only one that will do for X star hairdresser. So the solution is to cover it in gaffer tape to disguise the branding. In fact, some say that Toni & Guy’s black-clad Label M product packaging was so designed to mimic the gaffer-tape look I just described. Who knew?
[Image: Grazia Daily/BaByLiss]
Last season Topshop took the chance to turn London Fashion Week into a shopping opportunity. This season, Ebay is jumping in with an online pop-up shop to support Henry Holland. As part of the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Forward initiative, Ebay is supporting Mary Katrantzou, Louise Gray and House of Holland with sponsorship, as well as live-streaming their SS13 shows on its Style Collective blog (where – ahem – you can also read some of my fashion musings). As a logical tie-in, it’s also selling an edited selection of House of Holland AW12 on Ebay.co.uk from today until 18th September, with each purchase sent out with a pair of Henry Holland’s phenomenally popular tights.
Gotta say it, this is a great example of 360° thinking; a neat way to bring the buzz of LFW directly to fashion-hungry shoppers while driving sales to Ebay and House of Holland. OK, you can’t buy the SS13 collection straight off the runway (to my knowledge) but maybe we’ll get that by next season.
Will you be buying?
Latest in the rebranding of Covent Garden is Chanel’s new standalone beauty pop-up, a make-up mecca that will be in situ between now and the end of the year. It’s the first of its kind for Chanel in Europe and suggests they’re trialling the concept for a more permanent set-up. Why Covent Garden? “It’s a light-hearted, fun destination,” I was told, although being positioned slap bang at the entrance of the Piazza and also along the same drag as Apple, Burberry Brit, Rugby Ralph Lauren and Opening Ceremony on King Street (AKA, London’s new shopping destination) sounds much more strategic than that. Continue reading