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…
Whoever is art directing and styling these J Crew pics is doing a fine job. These are my favourites…
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WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: J. Crew
Aerin Lauder is really getting into her stride as a flag bearer of no-brainer beauty, a slightly girlier version of Bobbi Brown if you will.
Where Bobbi is all about the everyday make-up in graphic, black packaging, AERIN does the same job but with luxe golden compacts and pastel-pink or pastel-printed boxes. The prints are a really nice (and original) touch that have become a brand signature. If you know anything about Aerin Lauder (not that I’m obsessed or anything), you’ll know she’s all about the NY-Hamptons lifestyle, with plenty of outdoorsy inspiration driving the brand aesthetic.
Product-wise, I like how sensible and practical everything is. For autumn, AERIN has launched the Essentials collection which includes a Weekday palette and a Weekend palette (£48 each). Both are well thought out, featuring neutral powder blushers, eyeshadows and multi-tasking lip-cheek colours in a decent-sized gold palette with a big mirror and brush/sponge applicator included. To be honest they’re pretty interchangeable, but the weekday one in slightly more colourful. If you’re a beauty minimalist, these shades are spot on and will get plenty of wear. There’s also two new nude lip glosses, two eyeliners and a rose-tinted lip balm. (Actually I can’t detect much colour from the lip balm and though it feels lovely on, I’m not sure I’d fork out £25 for it.)
The fragrances have been very well received and for good reason. The packaging is stunning (those pebble lids!), the size is just right and the scents are distinctive but not overpowering (I’m so over generic fragrances). New to the collection for autumn is Waterlily Sun (actually smells like summer to me) and Iris Meadow (clean and meadow-y with a hint of musk). Both come in the famous painterly boxes and cost £85 (for 50ml eau de parfum).
The five original fragrances now also have accompanying body creams, all in lovely printed tubes designed by Lee Jofa. They’re quite spendy at £40 but then
I’m a bit of a cheapskate where body creams are concerned they’re very pretty and super gifty.
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
Seriously loving Topman’s current coat campaign. This winter its focus is on classic men’s coats that have their roots in menswear tailoring heritage. The updated navy mac (£90) and houndstooth single breasted number (£90, above) are my favourites, and the camel overcoat (just don’t call it a Crombie) would be perfect if it was a bit longer. Note that Topman sizes start at an XXS (just saying). Continue reading
Much as I love the Burberry poncho, the silk map foulard is a more realistic proposition. I saw it IRL in Harrods last week (do head up to the new 6th floor Salon De Parfum by the way, it’s the ultimate olfactory experience) in the men’s department as it is indeed part of the Burberry Prorsum men’s AW14 collection.
At the show it was loosely tied over both shoulders, but what I like about this scarf is how thin and therefore malleable, it is. Continue reading
This week is all about sharing the love for my fellow bloggers. I mentioned a while ago that Jane Cunningham from British Beauty Blogger has teamed up with M&S to launch a make-up range. It finally landed on counter last week. 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
Quick heads-up to say, if you’re Stateside and an Estée Lauder fan, do hunt down this special hot pink solid perfume compact of Modern Muse. I love a solid fragrance and this one has been specially created for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with 100% of the retail price ($49.50) going to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Continue reading
What could cheer up the prospect of autumn more than the arrival of new-season Chinti & Parker? Not much. The ethically-produced cashmeres and woollens are now routinely joined by dresses, skirts and blouses (not to mention easy-to-steal menswear). Feast your eyes… Continue reading