It’s a bit of a retail focus on the DRG STYLE INDEX this week. Here’s the latest weekly ranking of the brands buzzing on my radar…


Kenzo X H&M collaboration launches 3rd November 2016
Thoughts on Kenzo for H&M, the latest of H&M’s collabs, launching in November? I think it’s going to be one of their better collaborations. Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are experts at retail and marketing after all, which are arguably as important as the design elements in these mega collaborations. I contributed to the H&M book, The First Ten Years (which came out in 2014), a celebration of ten years of H&M’s designer collabs. My research revealed just how huge the promotional budgets are for these things, with supermodel and super-photographer print campaigns, TV ad campaigns, extravagant launch parties and the rest. For Kenzo it’s a great move to engage the next gen Kenzo customer, although it’s interesting to see LVMH working with the high street so happily.


Not Just A Label fashion panel Maison Assouline
Loving everything about this version of experiential retail from e-com site Not Just A Label. On 31st May it’s hosting a panel discussion on ‘Authentic Radicalism’ at the fabulous Maison Assouline bookstore in Piccadilly. The line-up is great, including Fashion Revolution’s Orsola de Castro, The Future Laboratory’s Martin Raymond and fashion lawyer Hugh Devlin. So, not only is it an important debate into the creative new ways of working for the fashion industry, but it’s hosted in one of London’s most delightful retail establishments. It’s invite-only but it will be live streamed as well, meaning everyone can watch, even if they can’t be there.


Apple Union Square Store San Francisco

It’s not been terribly rosy for Apple of late, but there is some good news. The new retail concept looks and sounds freakin’ amazing. Just opened in Union Square, San Francisco, it’s the first taste of what the Apple stores of the future might look like. And where Apple leads, everyone else follows. So this could be what all bricks and mortar stores look one day.

A central feature is the ‘plaza,’ an outdoor gathering place for the community, with public Wi-Fi powered by renewable energy (which will be open 24 hours). Meanwhile, in store, creative artists – photographers, gamers, musicians, entrepreneurs – will make regular appearance to host talks and workshops to make the store a creative activity hub, not just a place to sell you stuff. As Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores says, “we are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs.”
Apple Union Square Store San Francisco designed by Foster + partners
Apple Store San Francisco designed by Foster + partners

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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Graduate Fashion Week 2016 is coming!

Graduate fashion week 2016

Graduate Fashion Week
serves as a very good bellwether of where fashion is at in any given year. I remember in the early years, the overriding influence was a Galliano-flavoured one (think deconstructed slip dresses and bias cutting), followed a few years later by McQueen-esque everything (bumster trousers and severely tailored blazers). This year, I predict it will be all very Vetements-meets-Hood-By-Air – that is, oversized puffa coats, deconstructed bombers and utility-luxe details.

What you get with GFW is a good balance of creative thinking and commercial nous. Now in its 26th year, it’s the go-to event for international brands sourcing fresh blood for their design and buying teams, and as such, there’s an effort to produce newness anchored in wearability. At Britain’s most famous design schools it’s clearly been drummed into students that designs absolutely have to sell.

From the selection of designers spotlighted by Graduate Fashion Week as stars of tomorrow, counter culture and youth culture references both retro and modern are omnipresent. From Edinburgh College of Art, Anna Madelena Currie’s collection is big on techy streetwear inspired by gang culture and historical Elizabethan dressing. Hence pieces like a tactile velvet puffa with voluminous sleeves and 3D graphic lettering that mixes casual comfort with a certain glamour (below).

Anna Madelena Currie graduate fashion week

From Manchester School of Art, Louis Trainor-Selwyn is championing the rock n roll dandy, having taken a trip to study the opulent interiors of Versailles. A stylist’s dream, his subsequent collection is colour-rich, textural, fun and energetic. And commercial to boot.

Louis Trainor-Selwyn menswear at gfw

Olivia Barclay from Nottingham Trent University is another breakthrough talent to look out for. Observing the importance of bedroom culture, her dreamy gauzy coats have ruching and utilitarian zips that take them straight onto the street. Looking at the styling on this one I’m seeing a Rihanna-shaped paparazzi opportunity waiting to happen…

Oliviia Barclay Nottingham Trent Yniversity

And as fashion itself has become fashionable, there’s been a growth in interest in all the ancillary fashion jobs out there. With the digital fashion revolution, it seems dozens of new job titles have emerged in fashion that didn’t exist ten years ago. I always enjoy checking out the emerging media talent at GFW and this year I’m getting to do that in an official capacity as a judge for the New Media Award.

Graduate Fashion Week is open to everyone from 5th-8th June, with shows every day, plus expert speakers in the Asos talk space. Check out the full schedule of shows and activities at and buy show tickets HERE.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

On trial: Margaret Dabbs medical pedicure

Margaret Dabbs London treatment enriched nail polish
When it comes to pedicures I feel much the same way as some do about facials. No softly-softly pussyfooting around for me. I want the full reconstructive surgery or nothing.

So it’s off to Margaret Dabbs London to sort out my neglected heels and to get some advice on how to keep the results lasting longer. Margaret Dabbs is the queen bee of luxury pedicures but for the real deal, ask for a medical pedicure. Once installed in my cushy throne-like chair in the Margaret Dabbs foot clinic at SpaceNK, Westbourne Grove, the fun begins.

This starts with a thorough going over with their signature Professional Foot File, which has replaceable compressed crystal pads. Once a week with one of these guys and Parmesan-rough hooves should bother you no more. Use it on dry skin, starting at the top of the foot and work your way to the heels. It’s extremely satisfying and you’ll be left with the softest heels and foot pads you’ve ever experienced.

Should you need it, the podiatrist will also tackle corns and calluses. I had two teeny corns removed that I didn’t realise I had. In fact, they can be caused by wearing flats all the time (who knew this was a no-no?) or by ill-fitting footwear. Off came the critters using a surgical scalpel and a podiatry drill (sounds gruesome but I didn’t feel a thing). Next, the toenails get rigorously shaped and buffed to prepare the surface for polish.

Then come the products. Margaret Dabbs has an excellent product range that uses emu oil – super moisturising, deeply penetrating and known for its anti inflammatory properties. I loved the Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil – a lemon myrtle scented dry oil that will deliver soft, hydrated feet when used a couple of times a week.

Finally, the exciting bit – the new Margaret Dabbs London treatment-enriched nail polish. There are 72 shades, all named after flowers and boosted with Vitamin E and rose botanical extract to reduce inflammation and infection. I chose Poinsettia, a deep, juicy cherry red, but there’s no shortage of hot pinks, blush roses, powdery pastels and milky neutrals, should you prefer. And I swear to god, they smell of roses! I had a manicure too and I can report the rose scent lingers all day. Stinky chemical nail polish pong, be gone…

margaret dabbs medical pedicure
Margaret Dabbs London treatment-enriched nail polish in Poinsettia
After 45 minutes of hand and foot pampering, I was sent on my way with my own special Professional Foot File, a Super Shiner Buffer, plus the firm intentions to keep up the maintenance. Downside? I can’t think of any other than the price (from £85), which is the top end of the market. But you get more than a shape and paint, so if you’re serious about foot care but like a bit of prettification too, it’s well worth considering.

The Medical Pedicure is available in Margaret Dabbs London clinics nationwide. Disneyrollergirl was a guest of Margaret Dabbs London.


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

Bella Freud x Cutler & Gross collaboration

Bella Freud X Cutler & Gross

No DRG Style Index this weekend as I’m preoccupied with Vogue Festival. But instead I’ll leave you with this fab forthcoming collab between Bella Freud and Cutler & Gross. Freud’s collaborations are always well chosen and this one is so good, featuring a unisex sunglasses style with mirrored lenses (£354). (more…)