Introducing the DRG STYLE INDEX, a ranking of the brands on my radar each week. In order of impact, these are the brands grabbing my attention right now…
1. CELINE’S RETAIL WOW FACTOR
My first foray into the Mount Street store (above). Um, wow. The smell! The flooring! The merch! The ratio of sales staff to customer (3-1 on my visit)! At the till, mulling over a two-tone luggage Tote, was a Ghanian lady in full Vlisco-print gear, including headwrap. Oh to photograph her printed skirt against the patchwork marble floor tiles… But alas no, I got the feeling it’s a No Photos kind of store…
2. HERMES’ SILK KNOTS SCARF APP
I just discovered the Hermes ‘Silk Knots’ scarf app and it’s a thing of joy. Updated regularly, it shows you a zillion ways to tie a silk square which you can then shop and share. Beautifully done. Who says luxury brands aren’t digitally savvy?
3. HARRODS’ FABERGE TAKEOVER
Harrods‘ Fabergé takeover is in full effect until 21st April with a full roster of in-store activity. There’s an exclusive Harrods Fabergé egg pendant, a pop-up Fabergé Salon exhibition, and a ‘Fabergé cinescope’ in the Harrods digital lounge which lets you virtually try on Fabergé jewels (and of course, share on your social channels). Way to put the fun in Fabergé. These co-branded store takeovers are becoming a Harrods trademark and next month sees another biggie, the Prada takeover…
4. UNIQLO’S SPRING DROP
I have always resisted Uniqlo, I dont know why. But the current collection is changing my perception. The Ines de la Fressange line was a stroke of genius, the men’s salmon pink chino shorts are everything I want a boyfriend short to be, and the UT Coke tees are a pop culture addict’s dream (thanks Nigo). Plus if you’re in the market for a classic white pocket tee, theirs are the best on the high street – think cotton, hip length and a little big square.
[Celine image: Telegraph.co.uk]
Having seen the evolution of fashion blogs over the last seven years (this blog started in 2007), I’m interested in the shift from blogs to brands. Many of the fashion blog pioneers have extended their remit, transforming their blogs into successful creative businesses.
And this approach has spread beyond the bloggersphere to the wider world, hence these days, far from simply aspiring to ‘be a celebrity’ (how 2010!), everyone wants to ‘be a brand’. This thought was crystalised last weekend at the third Vogue Festival (in association with Harrods) at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Vogue, one of the biggest publishing brands is not content with being a print publication. It wants to be a multi platform destination, an event, a lifestyle brand. And as such it has created a means to engage with its future customers, who themselves have become pretty well versed in the stepping stones of brand-building. Continue reading
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
What a surprise to see a Nigel Shafran shoot in Vogue. And styled by Joe McKenna too. Shafran’s last Vogue shoot was 21 years ago and he has brought his quiet observational style to the the UK title with this ode to consumerism (beating Karl to the punch), shot in the temples of Vuitton, Chanel and Celine on Avenue Montaigne… Continue reading
So London Fashion Week is done and dusted (Do check out my daily highlights HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) but I’m not quite finished yet. As part of my partnership with Swatch, I’m ending on this roundup of forthcoming AW14 trends. You can also head over to the Swatch Facebook page to watch the videos we filmed at Somerset House… Continue reading
And we’re off! It’s the London leg of Fashion Month and there’s a lot I’m looking forward to. Mother Of Pearl makes its London Fashion Week debut this season, Joseph returns to LFW after years and years and years and Blue Farrier is going to show us what’s up her Issa sleeve. Then there’s Hunter’s arrival on the fashion week stage. Is this another Burberry in the making?
Also new for London Fashion Week is the British Fashion Council’s official partnership with Swatch. If you happen to be around Somerset House from today to Tuesday, you’ll find the Swatch pop-up Patisserie (actually a sweet shop on wheels!) parked on the cobbles, stocked with specially created survival sweets to keep flagging fashionistas’ energies up. Among the bonbons are chamomile-infused calming sweets, Guarana-packed energy sweets and vitamin-filled beautifying sweets.
I’m also partnering with Swatch, reporting trend highlights and video footage throughout the week. All this ties in with Swatch’s latest ‘Pastry Chef’ collection of candy-inspired timepieces. Think maccaron shades and liquorice allsorts-prints – just look at these and tell me they’re not the most saccharine accessory treats you’ve seen this season…
*THIS POST IS A SPONSORED COLLABORATION WITH SWATCH
Jewelled cigarette cases, necessaires, cigarette cases, necessaires… Cartier could quite easily have staged its Cartier: Style and History exhibition at Paris’s Grand Palais around these stunning, opulent objects alone. A historic display of around 600 pieces, most from the Cartier archive, it comprises grand tiaras from the world’s royalty (both regal and Hollywood), epic jewels, and magical timepieces, alongside original sketches, plaster moulds, photos and ledgers. Continue reading
Get me to Paris and fast! Forget the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the only luxury trinkets I want to see this month are safely ensconced in the Grand Palais for the just-opened Cartier. Style and History exhibition.
Amongst the 600-odd pieces of jewellery and 300 contextual objects (paintings, dresses, archive documents – oh my!) on display at this exhibition, there’s a focus on Jeanne Toussaint. Cartier’s head of accessories and later director of jewellery, her bold and clever work has been frequently referenced by modern jewellers.
This 1944 singing uncaged bird brooch represents the liberation of France: