With Easter coming up (doesn’t it always creep up on you?!), now is the time to plan and book tickets for some must-see events. Apologies if some of the following suggestions are already oversubscribed, I honestly don’t know where the time is going….
BATH IN FASHION 21ST-29TH MARCH
This starts on Saturday and sees nine days of fashion goings-on in one of Britain’s most stylish towns. Now in its sixth year, the Bath In Fashion programme includes Grazia’s Susannah Frankel in conversation with Style.com’s Tim Blanks discussing the V&A’s Savage Beauty exhibition; friend of DRG, Alyson Walsh (A.K.A That’s Not My Age) giving a talk on generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond) and signing copies of her book Style Forever; a button making workshop at Anthropologie, plus Susie Lau co-hosting a fashion careers forum. That’s just a tiny taster of a quite dizzying array of diverse activity. Book tickets for Bath In Fashion here.
PIERO FORNASETTI: LA FOLIE PRATIQUE UNTIL 14TH JUNE
In Paris, a brand new exhibition has just opened at Musée des Arts Décoratifs celebrating the astonishing output of Piero Fornasetti. This looks incredible. However much you think you know of the prolific artist and designer, there’s so so much more. As always, it’s the sketchy, scrappy ephemera and contextual stuff that fascinates me and it looks like this exhibition delivers all that in spades. Luckily it’s on til June 14th so there’s a good chance I’ll get to see it. Book tickets here.
STAYING POWER: PHOTOGRAPHS OF BLACK BRITISH EXPERIENCE 1950s-1990s UNTIL 24TH MAY
Closer to home, obviously there’s Savage Beauty at the V&A (pictured top) which has been extended to 2nd August. If you’re going to that (and even if you’re not), don’t forget to check into Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s. This free exhibition looks at black British culture explored through expressions of fashion and style. Everything in it is great but I particularly homed in on Raphael Albert’s reportage photos of black beauty pageants in the 60s and 70s, and Neil Kenlock’s 1970s portraits of Caribbean Londoners at home. The details are evocative and quite nostalgia inducing. To accompany the photography, there are headphones to listen to oral histories of the photographers and subjects – don’t miss these!
NICK WAPLINGTON/ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: WORKING PROCESS UNTIL 17TH MAY
Coinciding with Savage Beauty is this, totally different, look at the work of Alexander McQueen which has just opened at Tate Britain. McQueen commissioned his friend Waplington to document the making of his Horn Of Plenty collection (one of his last) and the results are gobsmacking. You really feel like you’re in the studio with the team, witnessing the magical moments of creation. I’ve only seen the photos in the exhibition’s accompanying book so I’m looking forward to seeing them larger than life. There’s a very good video of Waplington talking about his work here. Buy tickets here.
VOGUE FESTIVAL AT THE RCA 25TH-26TH APRIL
Vogue Festival (in association with Harrods) has come round again, a little later this year on 25th-26th April. It’s at a different venue too at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Geographical Society nearby. How on earth do they keep finding new ‘wow’ speakers year on year? Well this year has John Galliano, Stella Tennant, Tim Walker (for the second time) and Quentin Jones on the roster – I’m pretty happy with that. This year’s Vogue Festival will also host ‘How To Be’ career master classes , offering the opportunity for one-on-one face time with leading industry heavyweights giving insights into becoming a fashion journalist, fashion editor, photographer or editor. Book tickets here.
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
Main photo: Al Vandenberg/V&A Staying Power exhibition
It’s all about the tech this week with updates from Google, Apple, Westfield and Farfetch. Read on for my latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, rounding up the brands buzzing on my radar…
1. WESTFIELD TO LAUNCH FUTURE FASHION EVENT
Westfield is always forward thinking when it comes to experiential retail. Coming soon is its London Future Fashion event, bringing the SS15 trends to life using virtual reality and ‘interactive fashion avatars’ (above). Future Fashion arrives at Westfield London from 27-29th March and Westfield Stratford from 2-4th April and for eight weeks around the event, Westfield will create unique immersive experiences in collaboration with fashion brands in-centre and online.
2. DEPARTMENT STORES GET FIRST DIBS ON APPLE WATCH
Looks like Apple is also banking on experiential retail to help position its Apple Watch as a fashion must have. The watch, which starts shipping on April 24th, is being previewed at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London where bespoke installations will be set up featuring special lighting and animations. Of course, with Angela Ahrendts heading up its retail operations, it’s unsurprising she’s bringing some of her luxury retail magic dust to the proceedings. The special previews will be taking place on April 10th so I’ll be heading down to Selfridges for a nose.
3. GOOGLE OPENS BRICKS AND MORTAR STORE IN LONDON
Everyone really does want a bite of Apple’s share of the tech market. Finally other tech brands like Samsung and Google are realising the value of hands-on, face-to-face service in a bricks and mortar store. Google’s first bricks and mortar store opened in Tottenham Court Road as a shop in shop in Currys PC World last week, promising us a ‘play, experiment and learn’ environment.
4. FARFTCH SENT ME A SELFIE STICK
Why the hell did Farfetch send me a selfie stick last week? Ah, to promote its clever new Unfollowers campaign. I feel a bit sorry for brands having to constantly reinvent the ‘be yourself, you’re an individual’ message, but Farfetch have done it well. The idea is to step away from selfie culture by taking a backwards selfie (hashtagged #unfollowers) and sharing why you see yourself as a leader, not a follower. Check the site for their profiles and videos of creative innovators and rule breakers doing their own style thing.
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
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 AW15, 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
Fashion shows may get all the Fashion Week media love but there’s a whole other side that people don’t see. They’re the less glamorous workhorses of the fashion calendar; the showrooms, re-sees and trade shows. While the menswear shows took all the Paris glory last month, I spent three days in a parallel universe with the team from Who’s Next and Premiere Classe, getting an insider’s look at the biannual trade show, with a few added leisure activities thrown in. Continue reading
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. TEN YEARS OF GARETH PUGH
Was it really ten years ago that Gareth Pugh first showed in London? It certainly was, and he’s marking the occasion by returning to show on the LFW schedule. There’s also a retrospective exhibition, showing at the Galleria Melissa store in Covent Garden from February 11th until May. Continue reading
This month I’m looking forward to a second viewing of The Heart Of Bruno Wizard, a truly heartwarming documentary about one of London’s unsung creative spirits. 64-year-old Bruno Wizard is a one off and his story is a colourful one. (The story of how the film came about is pretty cool too, you can read it here.)
Bruno was a resident of the legendary Warren Street squat (look out for fellow squatters, Stephen Jones and Marilyn in the film) whose bands The Rejects and The Homosexuals performed perfect three minute punk songs and never sold out – unlike some of their contemporaries. Bruno seems to have umpteen lives as the film narrates his many ups and downs throughout the decades. We arrive at the present day in which his spirit is unbroken, his mind as lucid as ever and his character charming but always unpredictable.
Two exhibitions I want to see this year…
The first one’s in Paris and is only on for the blink of an eye (January 20 – February 7 2015) so this is wishful thinking really. ‘Jean Cocteau, une donation américaine – Robert Rubin‘ sees forty works from the collection of American art historian Robert Rubin (including collage work and portraits by the likes of Cecil Beaton) shown together at the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. Continue reading