Charlotte Olympia just out-kitsched herself with this immaculately realised Perspex bag for Resort 2014. Available for shipping from November, you can pre-order it now from Moda Operandi. Too quirky (surely not)? Then consider the matching heels instead. In red and black suede with fetching leaf green heels, there’s more than a hint of Guy Bourdin about them. The only catch is that this ‘trunk show’ ends on Thursday so if you want them, get in fast…
That photo above is from the Disneyrollergirl archives, AKA a pile of scrapbooks and box files containing years worth of photos, cuttings, and ephemera that I’ve held onto ‘just in case’. Yasmin Cho was a late ’90s shop on a first floor in Poland Street, an out-of-sight destination that you had to want to find in order to visit it. Run by Yasmin Sewell, it stocked a curated mix of under-radar labels like Susan Cianccolo, Carol Christian Poell, and Rick Owens. You had to press a buzzer to get in and the sign on the door was made up of coloured sticky dots. Fast forward 15 years and Yasmin Sewell’s early concept has come full circle with a Shoreditch pop-up space called Beach In the East.
Like its predecessor, this isn’t a typical shop. It’s not on a high street, or a street with any sort of retail footfall. In fact, it’s part of Sewell’s offices for her consultancy Paper Mache Tiger, so you have to press a buzzer to enter. But that all adds to the destination vibe, and once there it’s quite a lovely, chilled experience…
The two-month pop-up is in a specially built Dogtown-esque ‘swimming pool’, designed to envelope you in the overall mood of laid-back, California-style, outdoorsy living. Key to the concept is the buy which is loosely unisex and includes one-off designs from a host of new-ish international brands. From Thomas Tait there are graffiti-print tops and his Crazies sunglasses, from Frederick Maxwell Kingery (a new name for me) there are boyish, natural-dyed denim dungarees and skater shorts, and from Joe Duke, handpainted vintage Levi’s denim jackets, each one a unique piece. Sophia Webster’s sunset and palm tree motif flats sit well on the colourful graffitied trestle table.
Although the skate concept is cool (and current) and the service is informed and friendly, what makes this work is the buy. I got a deja-vu sense of early Browns Focus, where you can’t predict what you’re going to find. there’s a feeling of discovery but at a not-prohibitive price.
There are tees around the £35 mark, sunglasses around the £75 mark and the Frederick Maxwell Kingery denim falls in the £180 bracket. These aren’t brands you buy for the label (no Kenzo or Givenchy here) but for the design. There’s a tendency to think retail buying is easy, but it’s a real skill. The edit here is really strong and clearly presented – it’s not overwhelming or too sparse – and there’s a harmony between all the products.
Another savvy move is the partnership with Farfetch.com, who will sell the product online (there’s an edit below). This is a clever and logical way of sharing the Beach In The East concept beyond bricks and mortar, and of course globally. Yasmin Sewell has done a lot since the original Yasmin Cho. She has worked for Browns, Saba, Liberty, and now Beach In The East. My hunch is that this pop-up could be a tester for a more permanent retail space under her own name.
Thomas Tait Crazies sunglasses
Thomas Tait graffiti print top
Frederick Maxwell Kingery dungarees
Joe Duke jacket
Peridot London knotted shirt
Sheriff & Cherry patterned sunglasses
Beach In The East is at Paper Mache Tiger, The Lower Ground G, 123 Clifton St, EC2A 4LD. Open until 24th August 2013: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm: (0)20 7729 9620
Today sees the relaunch of London-Boutiques.com, the London-centric marketplace that does a similar job to Farfetch but on a London-wide scale. You can shop by product, store or designer, plus the editorial has been boosted with insider contributions from London tastemakers and the store owners themselves who recommend their favourite local haunts and finds.
I have kicked off the blog with a piece about biker jackets. Not just your classic black leather biker but all the newer, lightweight permutations too. The West London biker of choice is a creamy wool or khaki cotton biker shrugged over neutral cashmere and denim or a vintage faded-floral dress. You can read the whole piece here…
In line with more and more etail sites, London-Boutiques offers free returns, picked up from your address by DHL. If there’s one thing that puts me off online shopping it’s the faff of returning unsuitable items, so this is a point worth flagging up. Here are some of my favourite biker-style buys from London-Boutiques …
MY HOLY GRAIL EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER
This Tumblr blog, ‘Shit Bloggers Wear’ is cheeky – but spot on. I didn’t realise everyone was raving about La Roche-Posay, but I’ve finally found my holy grail eye make-up remover and its name is La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution. ‘Micellar’ is the magic beauty word of the hour (micellar waters contain microscopic oil spheres that gently suck dirt off the skin) and this works brilliantly. Continue reading
Ah at last, the mad but highly irresistible banana print separates from Topshop are now online. I shot the skirt (£38) a while ago on Andrea from Union Models and we all cooed over its cheeky wit. It comes in a thick denimy cotton which means it’s equally suited to black opaque tights and boots as jelly sandals and ankle socks. Continue reading
Now here’s something timely for all those agonising over what to wear for the wedding/polo/posh barbeque season. THE OUTNET.COM has just launched a pretty impressive Stella McCartney sale, featuring some of the greatest hits of recent seasons. Examples: my favourite stripes from Cruise 2012, the perfect cream silk charmeuse shirt, fabulous walkable perspex-heeled pumps and a heap of wear-everywhere tailored blazers. There’s a lot to choose from. This way please…
*prices from 40-70% off original retail price
Oh boy, I bet all those po-faced sportswear companies are sooooo glad they finally embraced the fashionisation of sportswear. Since they begrudgingly accepted that trainers and windcheaters have a place beyond the running track – ideally in the wildest and wackiest colour combos – there’s been no stopping them. Continue reading
Nice one Other Shop! Continuing its mission to nurture emerging designers, Matt and Kirk have brought a. Knackfuss to London. Alice Knackfuss’s menswear-fused womenswear mixes tailoring and classic staples with exciting prints and clever, playful details. Continue reading
Trending for spring: boyfriend shorts, sheer-panelled skirts, barely-there bandeau tops… Um, not in my world they’re not. On rotation in my wardrobe right now is the same thing I’ve been wearing since last September – an endless cycle of jumbo cardigans and polo necks, underpinned by a lifetime’s supply of Hanro vests. Where would I be without my Hanros?
My go-to Hanro is the ‘1601‘ in black or white, made famous by Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut, but otherwise worn by thousands as a pretty spaghetti-strapped vest that works under any weight or sheerness of top. I wear mine under T-shirts, jumpers, silk shirts and sheer blouses. And if it does get properly balmy, you can wear one on its own too.
The adjustable-strapped V-neck vests (and short sleeve tops, my other Hanro addiction – seen on Kate Moss, above) are made in Switzerland from mercerised cotton, wool and silk. Some are trimmed with filigree embroidery still produced in Swiss factories. They’re not cheap – the 1601 costs £29 for the cotton version – but they’re beautifully made and absolutely last. Cost-per-wear wise, they’re a very good investment.
[Images: Kate Moss by Corrine Day for Vogue]