London Fashion Week has flown by this season, partly due to the new menswear-free, five-day format, and partly because I’ve become much more focused. I’ve traditionally done as many shows as I can at LFW, but these days a) it’s impossible to see everything and b) it’s unnecessary. There are so many other ways to see collections without the battle of 9am starts and seating politics. Instagrams, Vines, live streaming and the almost-instant images uploaded on sites like Now Fashion and the genius GPS Radar app means you can get a pretty good sense of what’s happening without leaving your screen. Continue reading
Being a catwalk model must be the best fun these days; you simply never know what you’re going to be asked to do. From Mulberry’s dogwalkers, to Matthew Williamson’s close-up Vine videos, to Topshop Unique’s model cams and Burberry’s #Beautybooth, there’s so much interactive fun to be had at the shows. Before I left for yesterday morning’s first show, I caught Topshop’s Google+ video of Cara Delevingne doing a circuit of the Topshop Unique runway with a vídeo cam stashed in her handbag. Continue reading
Like it or not, the biannual fashion weeks are becoming increasingly consumer-focused. From the sea of bloggers in the Somerset House forecourt (who can watch the shows on the giant screen outside the main tent), to those viewing and shopping via online live stream (pioneered by Burberry), the scope for interaction and calls to action is wider than ever before. The lines are blurring between brands, retailers and publishers, and all are bringing the buzz of LFW directly from the front row to their loyal customers. Continue reading
Bam! That’s the sound of London Fashion Week going off with a bang. Well it did for me, because my first show was London College of Fashion’s MA show – its first as part of LFW. The show was edited to the ten strongest collections, of which my favourite was from Na Di, a menswear graduate whose punchy printed tailoring mashed up traditional references with hiphop attitude. Continue reading
It’s only just dawned on me that headphones have become a fashion thing. Recently I’ve been bombarded with press releases about ‘designer’ headphones, why I don’t know as I have zero interest in them. I guess it taps into the wearable technology trend so maybe I should pay more attention. Continue reading
Five months ago, BON magazine commissioned me to write about 3D printing and its potential impact on the fashion industry. The best bit was researching it (with some great help from Jen Eleto). I got some incredibly generous insights from the likes of Dutch product designer Sjors Bergmans who made the first wearable 3D printed shoes, Chris Norman, CEO of 3D printing company Kraftwurx, and Peter Hill who runs the fashion digital studio at London College of Fashion. During my interview with Ron Arad, he disappeared to unearth some 3D printed earrings from the back office of his studio. They were made nine years ago – “the first 3D printed consumer accessories”, according to him.
I also spoke to legal expert Kenneth Mullen and commercial strategy consultant Ceci Guicciardi to get their views on how the ease of 3D printing in future will affect copyright laws, while LCF’s Peter Hill even let us use the LCF 3D printers to make some possible designer ‘fakes’ – with interesting results. (Conclusion: it’s early days for this technology but it’s developing fast.) The article has just been published and has had a good response. Some people are calling 3D printing the third industrial revolution, but if you still think 3D printing in fashion means creating 3D textures on a T-shirt, then maybe you need to go to 3D Printshow at The Brewery in Clerkenwell this weekend. (Admission is £19.95 and boooking is advisable. Info here.)
UPDATE: You can read an edited version of the article on Business of Fashion
Do we need any more curation in our lives? It seems the answer is yes, lot’s more. eBay has just launched its new look ‘curated’ interface in the States which will be rolled out internationally over the next three months:
Meanwhile, every other day I’m emailed a press release about a new ‘discovery commerce’-based start-up or an existing site gets a Pinterest-style layer added to it. Well why not? We love discovering new things, especially when there are ‘tastemakers’ involved. I did a bit of tastemaking for Discoveredd last month. The site launched by Oliver Walsh lets you create a profile to add your discoveries to and also has a section called Spotlight where it invites the likes of Caroline Issa, Amanda Harlech, Cozette McCreery (I just discovered she sat for Lucian Freud) and me to share our finds.
Mine are here. It’s actually quite hard to choose your favourite things at any one time (I have hundreds of favourites!) but mine included Bill Bernstein’s photography, J.W Anderson’s shirts, Dinh Van jewellery, RSVP Berlin, 1STDIBS.com and Agnes B tees.
In fact, the Agnes B tee was a rediscovery. They were my uniform in the 90s and I started wearing them religiously again this summer. Agnes B have carried on selling the same style for years. Here’s me with Corrine Day in my Agnes B tee and a funny hat…
These tees age really well. They shrink slightly so I buy them in a size bigger but even the really old ones are still wearable. But I digress. I think the best thing about sites like Discoveredd is when the curation is ‘meaningful’, i.e, the recommendations are true recommedations that the user wants to share, rather than just streams of ‘I want this’. I find it more useful and meaningful when people recommend beauty/fashion products that they actually use and swear by, or a cafe, book, shop etc that they genuinely love. What’s your view on discovery and curation sites?
Magazines swore they’d never do it. “Editorial is editorial; commerce is commerce,” they chorused. But things are different now. Harper’s Bazaar has just launched Shop.Bazaar.com in preview, a shoppable edit for the Harper’s Bazaar woman. In essence it’s a bit like Net-a-Porter in reverse. It has shoppable content curated via the pages of Harper’s Bazaar by its impeccably-pedigreed editors and is powered in partnership with retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Hirshleifers (Harper’s doesn’t hold any inventory itself; its fashion cupboards are big, but not that big), as well as mono-brands like Salvatore Ferragamo. I’ve just signed up so I’m having a play. Will report back…
Female designers are at the creative helm of some of the most successful luxury brands right now and coincidentally or not, a rather important trio of them has risen through the ranks of fashion via Chloé. Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and currently Clare Waight Keller are at the forefront of intelligent, female-friendly fashion, gifting women the multi-tasking wardrobe fundamentals that answer our everyday demands. Continue reading