I’ve just watched a screening of the Dior and I movie, the documentary directed by Frédéric Tcheng which comes out on 27th March (in the UK). Following Raf Simons as he creates his first ever Dior collection in just eight weeks (a couture one, no less), it’s a tense and insightful look at Simons’ creative approach and process as he steps into the lead role at Paris’s most iconic fashion house.
It’s a very human and beautiful film. Raf is a sensitive guy and we see him building relationships with his atelier teams while navigating a whole new world of couture. There are creative pressures as this uncompromising designer attempts to achieve the impossible, such as reimagining a Sterling Ruby painting woven in Bucol duchesse satin. And there are PR pressures as all attention is focused on him, while this private, camera-shy designer would really rather let the work do the talking.
I’m quite surprised he agreed to do this film, considering the intimacy of the scenes, some very dramatic and extremely emotional. Those scenes are, of course, the best ones, in which we feel his anxieties and triumphs. Sharing the limelight are his right hand, Pieter Mulier and the atelier heads and seamstresses who are like a family. And cleverly threading the narrative together is a voiceover dialogue from Mr Christian Dior himself, in which his experiences and observations seem to echo Raf’s.
My favourite scene is the one where we see Raf and Dior’s PR chief talking a few moments before the couture collection is unveiled to the expectant press and photographers. I won’t spill the beans but will just say, take tissues, you’ll need them.
Words: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
Is Gucci about to have a Saint Laurent moment? Remember the brouhaha at first sighting of Hedi’s womenswear debut? It wasn’t pretty. (The reaction I mean, I liked the clothes.) The reaction was similarly confused when new Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele first showed his menswear collection in January. It was so removed from heritage Gucci, sexy Tom Ford Gucci or sophisticated Frida Giannini Gucci that lots of hands were wrung.
I think it’s promising though. To me it’s youthful-spirited, next-gen Gucci and I can’t wait to see it worn by the creative, bright young things (and bright old things) it’s meant for. Luxury isn’t what it used to be in terms of exclusivity, but in terms of craft and quality, all the elements should be there. I really want to see this close up so I can judge for myself but in the meantime, reviews have been mostly positive. Early signs suggest that this could be turnaround time for Gucci…
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
Images: WWD; Style.com
Tanya Ling is quite the lady of the moment. She has long been on my radar for her ravishing illustrations of Vuitton’s collections, she has an addictive Instagram feed and a giant assemblage of her line paintings is the sight that greets you on entering Alex Eagle’s inspiring new lifestyle store in South Kensington. Her mixed media work can also currently be seen in her exhibition Sculptures at Darbyshire Framemakers, 19-23 White Lion Street, N1.
And now the art is wearable too. Ling has joined forces with cashmere brand Queene & Belle to produce an offering of made to order knitwear pieces (from £868) featuring Ling’s signature wiggly lines all made in the Hawick factory using local yarns. I love how she couldn’t resist painting over the photo below to turn the press shot into a work of art as well….
The voluminous, boxy silhouette is hands down the defining shape for this decade. I love anything that’s oversized, masculine and luxurious but I can’t help wondering how much longer the Celine aesthetic can endure?
Whistles has managed to boil the essence down to a signature that works for its own customer; tailored trousers, walkable shoes, sleek bags and brilliant coats that are directional (but not overwhelmingly so) and practical. And warm! Here’s a taste of what we can look forward to next autumn. Yay to these mandarin ankle-swinger trousers!
And here’s my pick of the best that Whistles has to offer right now…
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
Is there anyone better at translating its brand ‘codes’ into make-up? I think not. Chanel has done it again with its new limited edition Les Intemporels de Chanel palette and nail polish, which pay homage to the classic 2.55 bag.
The five eyeshadows in the L’Intemporel De Chanel palette (£47) are embossed with the unmistakable chain motif, while the dramatic colours are an interesting choice – unapologetically intense shades of green and purple, the blackest of blacks, plus silver white and soft gold to highlight. They almost look like little jewels in a jewellery box…
For nails there’s Intemporel (£18), a molten silver designed to reflect the metal chain of the bag. To be honest, the collection suggests winter to me rather than spring, but I kind of like that Chanel goes against the grain. That said, these were the colours used for Chanel’s SS haute couture show and the effect in that was soft and pretty. I guess you can go either way – it’s all in the application.
Les Intemporels de Chanel has just arrived on counter and can be found at Chanel Covent Garden, Selfridges W1, Selfridges Manchester, Chanel Boutiques, Fenwick Newcastle and House of Fraser Glasgow.
WORDS AND PICTURES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
THE DRG STYLE INDEX: BYREDO BAGS, SOPHIA WEBSTER, RODARTE X SUPERGA, HARVEY NICHOLS’ SNEAKER CONCEPT
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. BYREDO BAGS ARE COMING
Who doesn’t love Byredo? The scents, the packaging, the whole brand concept. This Spring, founder Ben Gorham is extending the brand into its first retail store and launching leathergoods. Of the leather line, called Byredo Nécessaire de Voyage, Gorham says, “Leather kept coming up in historical contexts tied to perfume. The first people to sell perfume were gantiers, who scented the gloves they made. It makes sense to me. We’ll see how much sense it makes to other people.” The Byredo bags are being stocked at Barneys and the store will open in New York’s Wooster Street in April.
2. SOPHIA WEBSTER THE COLLABORATION QUEEN
Sophia Webster is so on point with her collaborations. At LFW, camera phones went crazy for her Coca Cola collab which themes her goodtime-girl bags and shoes in the jazzed-up Coke colourway. Meanwhile, how about this collaboration with Gooey tech cases? The iPhone and iPad mini cases have Webster’s conversational graphics emblazoned on them and are designed to stick to shiny glass and metal surfaces, leaving hands free. They’re available exclusively at Selfridges until March 15th, or from the Goo.ey site from March 16th.
3. RODARTE X SUPERGA
Rodarte + Superga = two words you wouldn’t immediately put together. But they make rather cosy companions in the latest capsule collab from Superga. With six styles, featuring a graphic lattice print mixed with denim or tweed, they’re modelled in the press pics by fellow L.A. fashionphile, Gia Coppola. At the moment it looks like they’re only available on the US Superga site, buy them here.
In other sneaker news, some are claiming we have reached ‘peak sneak’ as Fashionista reports on the waning of trainer appeal. Harvey Nichols begs to differ though. The store has invested heavily in the sports shoe craze, with the launch this week of ‘The Sneaker Concept‘, a retail space dedicated to designer kicks. Choose from over 120 of the most desirable styles from fashion and sportswear brands including Acne, Y-3, Adidas and Common Projects. Here are a few of my picks…
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
BYREDO IMAGE: Gustav Almestal/Wall Street Journal
This season’s London Fashion Week was big on straight-to-consumer ‘buy it now’ thinking. But typically, when you really need to buy it now, there’s no such tech to be seen. Ahhh I know, first world blogger probs, eh?
In these days of Insta-journalism, a fanciful theme is a gift to the time poor and attention-deficit. It helps tell the story of a collection which is what selling clothes is all about. And our young female designers are particularly adept at it.
On the first day of London Fashion Week, we saw evocative tableaux styled as an art class and a gossipy teen gathering courtesy of Molly Goddard and Le Kilt respectively. Meanwhile, Shrimps gave us beautifully vacant aliens landed on a glittery planet surrounded by stalagmites. Continue reading
Dream coats (and trousers, sweaters and dresses) at DKNY AW15. This has to be my favourite DKNY collection in years. The hair, make-up, colour palette and styling (Donna said this is for the ‘ageless working woman‘) are perfect… Continue reading