It feels like Selfridges has been tweaking its third floor Designer Galleries for ever! Finally its finished and the verdict is quite the A-Z of modern luxury fashion. In short, the Selfridges buy has been Dover Street Market-ified. (And that sentence right there gets the award for clunkiest sentence of the year. Soz.) I still remember the third floor as it was eons ago – contemporary labels like Anglomania alongside A.P.C, Whistles and Joseph. Pffft, this is so not that. Contemporary and denim have all been shunted up to the fourth floor, leaving gleaming aisles of expensive statement-wear. Of course, I can’t actually afford any of it.
It’s a textbook exercise in taste and wealth though. At one end you have the cash cows – generous amounts of space given to Chanel, Prada, Celine, Dries Van Noten et al to set out their stalls to best demonstrate their vision. Celine’s is bright and spare, all the better to show off its pops of primary-hued handbags amongst the discreet neutrals. Dries is tactile and opulent. Louis Vuitton gets the top spot, its area is part of a dedicated three-storey fit-out complete with its own swivelling lift. Alaia, Saint Laurent and McQueen round out the offer.
In the middle section there are the new gen giants – think Givenchy, Balenciaga, Tom Ford. And also the Brit brigade – Roksanda, Pilotto, Kane and Preen all representing. These are the brands adored by today’s luxury millennials, they’re seen as edgy and cool but unmistakably expensive. Look at those embellished sweatshirts and know that this is not your mother’s Givenchy. And the Dover Street Market factor? It’s there in those squishy Loewe pouffes and geometric handbags. And there in the Sacai hybrid outerwear. And most definitely there in that wall of Rick Owenses, not to mention the rails of J.W. Andersons and Simone Rochas. There’s not one dud piece in all that lot that I wouldn’t snap up tomorrow if I won the lottery.
Of course, should you just want something clean and classic, you’re not neglected. The opposite end of the floor has Jil Sander, MaxMara, a ton of Chloe, plus my secret fetish – Brunello Cucinelli. If Chanel and Rick Owens are for the rich kids, I suspect this is the moms’ playground.
It’s certainly the dream retail experience for the monied international customer, with a killer buy from the important brands. It’s presented beautifully with service to match (attentive but not pushy). And increasingly, the online inventory is starting to replicate the store offer. Yes, a few brands resist; there’s no way to buy Celine short of getting your butt into a bricks & mortar store. But others I guess know that having their product on a site like Selfridges.com ups brand awareness as well as giving a better idea of the riches that await you when you visit. For starters, there’s a full complement of Dries and a fair bit of Comme. Here’s my fantasy edit…
According to Editd.com, luxury stores have bought into more winter warmers, earlier in the season this year. Net-a-Porter alone has grown its autumn offer of outerwear by 117% compared to last year. Maybe it knows something we don’t? Colourful fake furs are key, as are oversized, slouchy shapes. I’ve noticed a lot of sophisticated-looking fake furs (as opposed to those Big Bird types from a few seasons ago) – I guess that’s the Shrimps effect. The all-enveloping poncho too is a big player, thanks to Issa’s cheery patterns and Burberry’s genius blanket wraps…
I’m still a fan of classics, so I’ve included a cape (from Saint Laurent) and a duffle (Burberry Brit) in my latest Net-a-Porter edit. And I’m trying to wean myself off the navy jumpers so I’m gravitating more towards Jonathan Saunders’ stripes and Bella Freud’s typography. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget that clocks go forward this weekend…
WORDS: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA/DISNEYROLLERGIRL
MAIN IMAGE: SAINT LAURENT AW14
Funny to think Farfetch.com has never had a Japanese store in its community of international retailers. Now it does, Tokyo based Restir is the winner of the Farfetch Superstore prize and its edit of upscale ‘indie’ brands has just gone on the site. Continue reading
The life of a fashion designer is more fascinating (and varied) than ever. Researching and designing the collections is the creative bit but then come the extras; production, promotion, collaborations, not to mention the social media and editorial that have become such solid components of building a brand.
Harrods has decided to explore the mystique around designers and their processes by giving us a behind-the-curtain peek into four British designers and their businesses. Continue reading
Who buys jewellery online? It’s a funny one because you’d think it was such a no-no… for all sorts of reasons. Sizing for one – I never know what my ring size is. And security for another, I’m not sure I’d trust a £5,000 delivery coming through the post and being left with a neighbour (or abandoned on a doorstep as some carriers are wont to do). Then there’s the whole luxe factor; isn’t fine jewellery meant to be experienced in a luxury store with all the pampering that goes with it? Continue reading
Harrods is giving a big push to its digital content, bolstering its e-commerce with rich, online editorial. This month, I’m partnering with Harrods to spread the word on its latest editorial campaign, Inside The Studio.
In the run up to the British Fashion Awards, Harrods has teamed up with Alice Temperley, Antonio Berardi, Rupert Sanderson and Matthew Williamson to show us what we really want to see… what actually goes on in the ateliers? Continue reading
The DRG Style Index: Marques’Almeida X Topshop, Louis Vuitton, J. Crew, Farfetch Discover, Shinola, Christopher Kane X NARS
The DRG STYLE INDEX has been on hiatus for a couple of weeks while Fashion Month took over. But it’s back with this week’s round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. ON YOUR MARKS FOR MARQUES’ALMEIDA X TOPSHOP
Roll on October 9th. Marques’Almeida’s 68-piece collection for Topshop is looking pretty good, with all the M’A hallmarks intact. Shredded denim, delicious true-blue washes, an overall rough-n-ready aesthetic…watch this one fly. (P.S, if you’re eyeing up the parka, be fast, it’s predicted to go first…) Continue reading
My favourite colourists and patternists, Eley Kishimoto just unveiled their first collection of hand-printed wallpapers at Decorex International. Yes, some of them are downright tripppy but they’re sooo good!
Eley Kishimoto wallpapers are screen printed to order and you can buy them HERE.
Who needs expensive glossies when you can pick up this standard of editorial excellence free from an Hermes store? The autumn-winter 2014 issues of Hermes’ magazine has a feel of The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man, both in the handsome casting and styling of its womenswear shoots (this one’s shot by Julia Hetta and styled by Camille Biddault-Waddington) and in the quiet and precise mood of its men’s accessory shoot… Continue reading
Er, hello Matchesfashion.com with your rather excellent (and free) The Style Report magazine! The retailer has stepped up its editorial considerably lately, not least with its current cover and feature on Caroline De Maigret.
Everyone’s current favourite French fancy, the interview is soooo good, she is charmingly blunt in the way that only Parisienne women seem to be able to get away with. And of course, she looks imperfectly-perfect in Boo George’s pictures (styled by Verity Parker). Here she is in Marques’Almeida (above), Preen and Isabel Marant… Continue reading