Summer is when I get (a little bit) more adventurous with colour so I’m well into all the primary brights we’re seeing popping up everywhere. Rich royal blue is an easy choice for the colour-shy as it’s almost a neutral so I’d wear that in a bomber jacket or rain mac (I’m currently looking for the perfect single-breasted mac). My manicure of the moment is Estee Lauder’s Pure Colour in Impassioned, a candy apple red that can skew either formal or casual. I also can’t get enough of Kelly green, especially in a fun print (hello Mother Of Pearl shorts), while a sunny shade of yellow lends itself beautifully to accents – this jolly Fendi key fob for example. Finally, thank you Keep It Chic for alerting me to Thomas Maier’s Cruise 15 collection. You can’t buy it now but as inspiration for a relaxed red suit, it serves very nicely…
My weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranks the brand stories that have most resonated with me, in order of interest. This week, Céline goes east and Grazia goes into etail…
1. CELINE’S BEIJING STRATEGY
So the small, discreet, exclusivity rule doesn’t count when it comes to China. Hello Céline fashion show in Beijing! Céline staged a big-ass fashion show in a celeb-packed venue in Beijing’s art district last week to showcase its AW14 collection. The likes of pop star Faye Wong (above) arrived properly attired the Céline way with mannish coat robed over the shoulders. Why the fanfare from this usually reserved brand? Continue reading
When it comes to immersive, experiential retail, you can’t really beat Harrods and its epic store takeovers. Chanel and Dior have had their turn and this month saw the unveiling of Pradasphere, a fusion of shop windows (40 in total), pop-up shop, cafe and exhibition.
The exhibition on the fourth floor is the big draw. It starts with glass cabinets telling the story of the beginnings of the 101-year-old brand. Originally purveyors of leathergoods, we’re shown vitrines of ancient paper packaging, handbag frames and luxurious vanity sets for the travelling classes. All give an air of revered Milanese shopkeeper to the proceedings, nicely bringing us back to retail. Continue reading
So best dressed from last night’s Met Gala? Gotta be Tabitha Simmons in Dolce & Gabbana and Hamish Bowles and his outstanding cape-work, no? Plus a shoutout is in order for Hamish Bowles’ top notch pap work on Instagram…
The DRG Style Index has a bit of an art theme running through it this week. Here’s my ranking of the brand stories that grabbed my attention…
1. GAP IS PARTNERING WITH FRIEZE ART FAIR
This year, Gap has partnered with Frieze New York (opening May 9th) and Frieze London to produce exclusive merchandise in a ‘white cube’ setting that will double as a café. A joint effort with Visionaire, the US collab will produce limited edition tees from the likes of Alex Katz (above), Richard Phillips and Peter Lindbergh. Continue reading
DROP EVERYTHING! Can we please take a moment to admire the beauty that is this Proenza Schouler X MAC collection? The packaging is as lovely as the products with a psychedelic yet sophisticated degrade effect on the boxes, pencils and brushes, as well as on the blusher compact itself. This little lot just landed at Selfridges…
Did I mention my love of outlet shopping? Not just any old outlet but one with a good mix of the classic brands that I wear on a regular basis. Like, you know, Gap,Lacoste, Joseph, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren… And oh look, here they all are at Cheshire Oaks! AKA one of the vast McArthurGlen designer outlets and one I’ve never been to – until now.
McArthurGlen invited me up one sunny Saturday to discover the outlet and work on a video edit of my seasonal fashion picks. Continue reading
Who doesn’t love a bit of Net-a-Porter newness? New to the site is Sacai (above) and Studio Nicholson. If you’re not au fait with Studio Nicholson, read up on the brand in this post from 2012. It’s rooted in a menswear sensibility with easy pieces for fuss-free living. Cultish Japanese brand Sacai is known for its subverted classics; think deconstructed biker jackets, frill-edged shirts and bomber jacket-dresses. And if you’re just looking for a spring colour injection, you’ll find it at Smythson, Sophie Hulme and Stella McCartney, new in at Net-a-Porter.
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Sorry PRs but my big highlight of Paris Fashion Week wasn’t the shows or the parties but the new exhibition, Dries Van Noten: Inspirations. Showing at the Arts Decoratifs Museum until 31st August, Dries Van Noten and curator Pamela Golbin have coincidentally created an assemblage of exhibits that encompasses a number of my own favourite themes.
Downstairs is big on the foppish overlaps of masculinity and femininity, the romance of youth subcultures and a fascination with British monarchy and society. As you enter the exhibition through Azuma Makoto’s giant floral fantasia, you’re greeted by a room wallpapered with pop culture references. From camp Divine posters to Interview magazine covers, these are easily recognisable to anyone who grew up in the 80s. Dries Van Noten’s early designs from his student days at the Antwerp Royal Academy (his 1981 sun motif coat looks especially contemporary) sit alongside influential pieces by Kenzo, Mugler, Versace and Worlds End-era Westwood, culled from the museum’s own archive.
The subsequent vitrines are grouped in themes such as ‘Iconclast’, ‘Graphic’ and ‘Butterflies’ and display seemingly disparate items – a film clip, artwork or ancient textile piece – alongside examples from a chosen Dries Van Noten collection, to demonstrate his creative through process. It’s funny to think this is the first time a designer exhibition (it’s not billed as a retrospective) has been presented this way because it really makes a lot of sense in revealing the common passions and aesthetics of the brand and the man. Continue reading