Peroni Collaborazioni update. We have just eight days until hand-in, My esteemed collaborator Shaun Samson is currently out of town juggling other commitments, and I have a jam-packed week ahead. Oh and then there’s the small matter of how are we going to display our final piece at the showcase event on November 3rd? Ha, no pressure then. Continue reading
Last week I got sent the first gripping ‘episode’ of Peroni Collaborazioni, the fashion project I’m working on with Shaun Samson. Together we’re creating a piece that defines Italian style which will be showcased in November. So what is Italian style? I started off thinking about knitwear (spurred by Shaun’s graduate collection that melded knits, plaids and denim so expertly together) which took me back to the golden age of Benetton’s rainbow coloured vision and Missoni’s iconic zig zags. Then I got hooked on the idea of the eccentrics: Schiaparelli, Anna Piaggi, Moschino, because I love wit and humour in fashion. Then the classic luxe heritage of Italian style as personified by Armani, Gucci and Fendi’s fabulous furs took hold. But in the end, after much debate, we arrived at a different place.
Shaun’s work so far has been very much about textile innovation; he’s an experimentor who loves to play around and let the magic happen of its own accord. I love the way the modern-day eccentrics like Prada and Marni play with textiles, juxtaposing mad combinations together, demonstrated so beautifully this season in Prada’s pailette-fake-fur-snakeskin-lurex texture-clash. Having access to our super-knowledgable Italian fashion consultant Anna Battista has also been quite the eye opener. In one of our email exchanges, she sent me the following:
“People usually think it’s the designer who is the genius, but in Italy it was often the case that the unassuming textile designer was the real genius behind a fashion collection, especially in the heyday of Italian fashion. Many textile manufacturers in the Prato area (who closed their business after the crisis) were actually as skilled and talented as the fashion designers themselves and came up with amazing fabrics. I think in Italy you have fashion designers who are great fabric connoisseurs such as Valentino and Giorgio Armani, but also fashion designers who experimented with fabrics in great ways such as Roberto Capucci or Walter Albini.
“Emilio Pucci who’s more known for his kaleidosopic prints even patented his own fabric called Emilioform, while accessory designers such as Salvatore Ferragamo pushed things further, experimenting with materials as varied as invisible thread, candy wrappings, cork and even gold in his shoes. In more recent years we have seen interesting surface elaborations at Fendi (well they have great knowledge there about leather and fur…) that merged Burri’s burnt paintings with fashion. Gianni Versace also mixed plastic/PVC and silk to obtain lurid effects (that some critics deemed as rather kitsch) and patented the oroton, a sort of metal mesh fabric imitating chain mail that could be draped, dyed or printed.”
Hello, who knew Versace invented that chain mail fabric (that is quite prominent in the forthcoming Versace X H&M collab by the way)? Certainly not me! So we have gone in the direction of labour-intensive fabric experimentation, which is obviously Shaun’s forte. And we have gone for the sensible option of creating a simple piece which will let the fabric do the talking. There are only a few weeks left to complete the project so time is of the essence. For now, let me leave you with this wee write-up of the project in The Guardian…
Mondays aren’t known as a key day for launches and events in the fashion world. Fridays and Mondays are usually event-free to give us weary fashion folk the chance of a long weekend without the worry that we might be missing something major. But with so much to fit in before Fashion Month, including Fashion’s Night Out, last Monday was stacked with appointments. Boy am I glad I wasn’t out of town for the preview of the astonishing Chanel X Harrods takeover. Continue reading
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were in town last week to celebrate their arrival on Netaporter and Mr Porter. I attended the party with my mysterious date (you might spot me in this video if you’re really eagle eyed) and caught up with all my blog buddies at what had to be one of the best fash bashes of the year.
My personal highlight was spotting Queen Latifah looking so cool, classic and fierce (sorry, no other word will do), although gassing with Stefano Gabbana (the taller one – yay, I now know which one’s which) about Notting Hill eateries (he frequents The Electric) and David Gandy about how to fold a pocket square was really no hardship…
The interview I did with Sasha Wilkins AKA Liberty London Girl is now up on the Fashion Business Club site and you can also read the review here. Sasha shares her remarkable blogging journey and tips for the next generation of fashion bloggers while also giving pointers to brands wanting to work with bloggers or launch blogs of their own.
A couple of weekends ago I was invited to be part of Liberty’s excellent initiative, the Best of British Open Call. Sitting alongside associate womenswear buyer Stephanie Jones, I was on hand to give instant feedback to fashion designers who were chasing their dream of being stocked in Liberty. Continue reading
My Apple/Vogue ‘Fashion & Digital’ Q&A with Robin Derrick is now available to watch on iTunes. It’s a fantastic insight into Robin Derrick’s thoughts on the role of the creative director in the digital age, brands and social media, magazine iPad apps and our views on the merging of content and commerce.
Robin is pretty frank so it’s quite an honest discussion and definitely a must-watch for anyone with a keen interest in where fashion and technology are going…
[Image: The Women's Room]
Back in September, bag designers Chris&Tibor asked me to help them make a mini documentary about their SS11 campaign shoot. I did all the interviews and am super-happy with the results. I was particularly nervous excited about interviewing photographer Kai Z Feng whose work I admire and who has already achieved an impressive level of success. I loved his attitude and insights into how he works (in a nutshell: go with the flow).
Chris&Tibor are a really exciting emerging brand who are big on collaborations (remember the Walter van Bierendonck Rocketman backpack?). For SS11 they have collaborated on a womenswear line with artist Stuart Semple – check it out on the new website. Oh, and let me know what you think of the vid…