I had a very naughty start to the year, choosing to bunk off LCM and go on holiday instead. Tsk indeed! I definitely recommend it though. We picked Antwerp for our city break, our flight was half empty and the three days dawdled by at a pleasantly snail-like pace. We went with no great plans other than to mooch around flea markets, eat moules and just enjoy some we-time. OK, we didn’t have much luck on the flea market front but I did discover a wealth of brocante vendors, vintage boutiques and fancy goods emporia to satisfy my shopaholic tendencies. Here then, is my DRG shopping guide to Antwerp…
I advise catching the early Friday flight from City airport so you arrive with a whole day stretched out ahead. Taxis are a bit of a faff in Antwerp so we decided to do everything on foot, taking the scenic route from our posh B&B (the beautiful BOULEVARD LEOPOLD, separate post coming soon) in the Jewish quarter. (more…)
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. (more…)
Sorry PRs but my big highlight of Paris Fashion Week wasn’t the shows or the parties but the new exhibition, Dries Van Noten: Inspirations. Showing at the Arts Decoratifs Museum until 31st August, Dries Van Noten and curator Pamela Golbin have coincidentally created an assemblage of exhibits that encompasses a number of my own favourite themes.
Downstairs is big on the foppish overlaps of masculinity and femininity, the romance of youth subcultures and a fascination with British monarchy and society. As you enter the exhibition through Azuma Makoto’s giant floral fantasia, you’re greeted by a room wallpapered with pop culture references. From camp Divine posters to Interview magazine covers, these are easily recognisable to anyone who grew up in the 80s. Dries Van Noten’s early designs from his student days at the Antwerp Royal Academy (his 1981 sun motif coat looks especially contemporary) sit alongside influential pieces by Kenzo, Mugler, Versace and Worlds End-era Westwood, culled from the museum’s own archive.
The subsequent vitrines are grouped in themes such as ‘Iconclast’, ‘Graphic’ and ‘Butterflies’ and display seemingly disparate items – a film clip, artwork or ancient textile piece – alongside examples from a chosen Dries Van Noten collection, to demonstrate his creative through process. It’s funny to think this is the first time a designer exhibition (it’s not billed as a retrospective) has been presented this way because it really makes a lot of sense in revealing the common passions and aesthetics of the brand and the man. (more…)
I’m in Paris for a few days to do some shows, some re-sees, some window shopping and hopefully to get a first look at the Dries Van Noten exhibition. To prep myself I swung by the Dries shop in Quai Malaquais. I managed to take a sneaky photo – isn’t it gorgeous? (more…)
“People get this very romantic vision of a fashion designer who in one night makes 25 sketches and in the morning throws them on the table and there are a lot of women in white aprons with the pins on the lapel and they start to grab the sketches and… It’s not like that. Forget it! It’s lists, it’s computers, it’s meetings, it’s planning, it’s organising. It’s all these things.”
Dries Van Noten, The Telegraph
I can’t wait to see Dries Van Noten: Inspiration at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris this weekend!
I mean really, what are these fab floral jackets and knits doing on the menswear rails when they should be adorning the hangers in my wardrobe? From Prada’s shirts (love these Leibowitz ad pics) to Dries’ tonal jackets, to H&M’s heavily inspired Harrington, I would happily wear any and all of these masculine florals… (more…)
THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE FASHIONISATION OF BEAUTY
In the same week that Marc Jacobs Beauty leaked a handful of its products on Sephora, (the entire range officially launches next month), the New York Times wrote a story on how fashion designers are innovating in make-up. Highlights include the influence of Chanel, Dior and Alber Elbaz. You can read the whole story here… (more…)
I’m cautious with spring shopping as I don’t like to get too optimistic about the weather. So with the Fendi sleeveless blouse there’s a Thomas Tait leather jacket and to accompany the Theory shorts, an Ostwald Helgason sweatshirt. The Dries Van Noten lace-ups are an all-year-round option, as is the Chloe ring. (P.S, you might like to know that there’s free shipping on full-price merch over £100 at Farfetch until Thursday…)
Twitter has been all aflutter this morning at the announcement by WWD of a Dries van Noten fragrance coming this month. Digging further, the fragrance is an ‘olfactory portrait’ of Dries van Noten, as opposed to a brand fragrance and is created by Frédéric Malle’s Editions de Parfums. The notes are a concoction of citron, sandalwood, guaiac wood, saffron, Spanish jasmine, tonka beans, Cashmeran/blonde woods, vanilla and musk. Something tells me it will be a bit of a unisex scent.
This is what the bottle looks like…
I think this is going to be another addition to my ‘fragrance library’, alongside the Marni, Tom Ford Noir, Chanel Jersey and Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir currently on rotation. It will be available on February 15th.
UPDATE 27th Feb: It’s been spotted in Liberty so I’ll be heading down there for a sniff. In the meantime, here’s a video of Frederic Malle and Dries van Noten talking about the collaboration…
I was so bowled over by the styling in the Dries Van Noten show, I thought I’d break it down in a blog post. Taken separately, each piece of the Dries collection is a beautiful, timeless workhorse. Weightless tea dresses, wrap jackets, sheer plaid shirts and patterned pants. Nothing new there. Put them together just so, with complementary hair, make-up and hands-in-pocket attitude and you have a bucketload of reasons why everyone (including me) will be referencing DVN this season, consciously or not. (more…)