Tag Archives: Business of Fashion
The life of a fashion designer is more fascinating (and varied) than ever. Researching and designing the collections is the creative bit but then come the extras; production, promotion, collaborations, not to mention the social media and editorial that have become such solid components of building a brand.
Harrods has decided to explore the mystique around designers and their processes by giving us a behind-the-curtain peek into four British designers and their businesses. The Inside The Studio campaign launches this week with Matthew Williamson, followed in the coming weeks by Rupert Sanderson, Antonio Berardi and Alice Temperley. I’ve partnered with Harrods, trailing the crew as they filmed in the studios of Matthew Williamson. On arrival at the industrious Queens Park atelier, I was greeted by a production crew of 11 and a groaning breakfast table overlooked by a supersized photo of Kate Moss and Jade Jagger modelling the designer’s first ever ‘Electric Angels’ collection. Ever since that 1997 debut (rising from the ashes of the 90s minimalist era), I’ve loved the Williamson colour palette, always upbeat and slightly jarring but beautifully so.
As the Harrods crew set up their interview with Matthew and his muse, artistic director Georgie MacIntyre, I busied myself nosing around the studio, pattern cutters, mood boards and just-finished SS15 collection. Outfits were hung on rails ready to be styled with the appropriate jewellery and accessories in preparation for the London Fashion Week show. If you like colour, this looks like a joyous place to work – the bookshelves are colour-coordinated, there are evocative mood boards everywhere and even something as humble as a zip or a cotton reel becomes an excuse for some psychedelic colour-play…
In the Inside The Studios film, Matthew explains that his brand “has a super-clear DNA, it’s rooted in that sense of a bohemian jet-set sensibility. That’s always the cornerstone and the anchor to every collection. The challenge for me creatively is to move that forward.” Enter Georgie, whose encapsulates the brand with the kind of nonchalance that can rock mismatched prints one minute and a chiffon gown the next. As Matthew told me, “Georgie makes what I do slightly cooler than it would be without her!”
Matthew has become as famous for his legion of famous friends and social media followers as his hyper-natural prints and embroideries. He was late to the social media game but now thrives on the immediacy of the reaction he gets on Instagram. “It’s a pure brand to customer interaction and it’s become such valuable feedback,” he says. It’s interesting to me how designers have put themselves in front of cameras so readily, whether their phone cameras on Instagram, or film cameras for projects like Inside The Studio. Clearly, we all now know the value of storytelling, hence me, Harrods and Matthew Williamson grabbing every last nugget of information and insight as a potential piece of content.
The Inside The Studio campaign continues with more interviews and films to come from Rupert Sanderson, Antonio Berardi and Alice Temperley. Head over to Harrods.com to watch the stories unfold and follow the hashtag #HarrodsInsideTheStudio to join the conversation on social media.
Words and images: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl.net
*THIS POST WAS PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HARRODS*
Luxury conferences and tech conferences are all the rage so it’s no surprise whatsoever to see Conde Nast stepping up its conference game. Continue reading
Harrods is giving a big push to its digital content, bolstering its e-commerce with rich, online editorial. This month, I’m partnering with Harrods to spread the word on its latest editorial campaign, Inside The Studio.
In the run up to the British Fashion Awards, Harrods has teamed up with Alice Temperley, Antonio Berardi, Rupert Sanderson and Matthew Williamson to show us what we really want to see… what actually goes on in the ateliers? Continue reading
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. US VOGUE.COM GETS BLOG-IFIED
The New York Times ran a story last week ahead of the revamp of Vogue.com. It pointed out that The Cut gets four million monthly unique visitors against Vogue’s 3.3 million. Cue last Wednesday’s big reveal for the newly redesigned Vogue.com. The result? It feels younger, pacier and as Manrepeller pointed out, more bloggy. Continue reading
Nope, still not bored with this year’s fashion-art love affair. Which is just as well as it’s only set to intensify. Late October sees the big reveal of the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum in Paris (above), showcasing the LVMH corporate collection of art. The 126,000 square foot ‘glass cloud’ is rumoured to be the venue for the next Vuitton womenswear show, so expect your Instagram feed to be flooded with art-fashion-architecture amazingess of the highest order… Continue reading
I noticed I’m getting a lot of blog traffic from people searching for Liberty Best Of British Open Call. This is the very popular X-Factor-esque competition that Liberty runs to find the next wave of home-produced talent. Alas, registration for this summer’s open call on 30th August is full to capacity, but if you have managed to nab a slot, then do re-read my post from a couple of years ago when I helped judge the fashion entries.
There’s an interesting shift going on in fashion right now, that Fashionista summed up quite succinctly. It’s all about those stylish women whose job descriptions you can’t quite put your finger on because they morph so readily from one thing into another. It all stems from street style though, a certain fashion insider with a certain look, who gets a following on blogs then on her own Instagram (it’s usually a ‘her’) and then… lands her own collection. Continue reading
A while ago I was invited to tea at Claridges to meet Gail Federici. Although I’ve cut down on the meet-and-greets, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grill this dynamic beauty pioneer on the rise of female entrepreneurs and the very modern culture of self-branding. Continue reading
One of my highlights of Paris Fashion Week was the Lanvin AW14 re-see. On a huge scale, this is where you get to see the commercial workings of Fashion Week at play, where buyers view the pieces they’re really going to stock, and write their orders on the spot. The vast space (a 1920s former railway depot) was a hive of activity, it even had a pop-up café to keep the buyers and clerks fed and watered while crunching those numbers.
I was guided through both the catwalk collections and the commercial collections so I could see the pieces close up and learn what sells and what doesn’t. Continue reading
What better way to spend a weekend than heading down Oxfordshire way to Bicester Village? If you do, you’ll be well rewarded, with the fifth British Fashion Council Designers’ Collective pop-up offering plentiful pickings of our celebrated womenswear talent. Curated by Yasmin Sewell, this year’s edit is the best yet (no filler!) and better still, it comes with a new art twist. The Royal Academy has jumped on board, so there are limited edition prints to buy from Royal Academians including Gary Hume and Grayson Perry. Continue reading