Tag Archives: Harrods
This post is a little late because I had so much post-LFW catching up to do.
Simone Rocha is a favourite for Londoners and has finely tuned her unique communion-chic aesthetic. I loved how the models’ heads were swathed in sheer, flower-scattered voiles. Also, those pink lace-ups…
I noticed endless Westwood influences at LFW. From Christopher Bailey’s waisted denim jackets, to J W Anderson’s oversized lapels and pinstripes, the references just kept coming. Meadham Kirchhoff held a street casting for their show earlier in the week that I would have loved to go to, just to check out who turned up. The show was full of a diverse array of models who really brought the already-interesting clothes alive and brought to mind the 1980s ‘World’s End’ shows that Westwood used to produce with Malcolm McLaren – I’ve been thinking a lot about those lately. Meadham Kirchhoff’s messaging was a big F-you to society’s intolerances. By all accounts it was an emotional outpouring which I’d like to have witnessed first hand. Alas, it was the same ‘it’s a small venue’ story as with many shows last week…
For the grand finale, Vogue and J Crew threw a very special end-of-LFW cocktail party at Winfield House, the American Ambassador’s residence in London, that’s slap bang in the middle of Regent’s Park. How did I not know this existed? I have never seen anything like it, each room as perfectly styled as a Ralph Lauren photo shoot set, with antique furniture, Degournay wallpapers, abundant floral displays, stacks of coffee table books and astonishing contemporary art at every corner. (We may have taken turns to pose at the dressing table in the ladies…)
Practicing my best Blue Steel with The Very Simon G
The final punctuation of LFW came with the Harrods Shoe Heaven party. I’ve just published my dedicated post for this epic new shoe department, but it was super-fun, not least because there were ‘civilians’ mingling with the fashiony types and mobbing the likes of Jourdan Dunn for selfies. I wore my new Charlotte Olympia Monroe 120cm heels which were identical to the ones Charlotte Dellal herself turned up in – shoe twins!
Impressed to note that Mark Ronson djs with actual vinyl
Please notice how my Charlotte Olympias come with their very own ‘Polaroid’ sticker for OCD types to affix to the front of the box…
[Catwalk images: GPS Radar/Disneyrollergirl/BFC]
Will we ever tire of buying shoes? Judging by the last few years, it would appear our appetites are bigger than ever. Each shiny new footwear department (some big enough to have their own postcode), mall and ecom site just opens up more possibility, choice and downright longing.
Harrods’ Shoe Heaven floor has become a thing of legend and it’s only just opened. With 42,000 square feet of footwear fabulosity, you name it, it’s been bought in vast quantity to satisfy our insatiable fetish for the fancy and functional. Two years in the making, Shoe Heaven has three entrances, seventeen luxury branded boutiques and no end of options. Yes there are plenty of statement heels as you’d expect from a store whose glamorous overseas clientele scoops up Loubs by the dozen. But there are also thousands of flats, from affordable Kurt Geiger utility boots to the jewelled ballerinas adored by the Asian customer who likes her beauty and novelty served with a side of comfort.
Trainers? Of course. In particular, Isabel Marant’s cult sneaker trainers have a prime spot, because even if the fashion press are over them, the paying customer it seems, is not. Clearly, we’re a nation of feet-first dressers, so this shrine to our favourite pastime would be hard pressed to fail. In fact, the only downside is there’s almost too much to take in; be warned, this is not a department to whizz in and out of. But then why would you? If I haven’t made it clear, Shoe Heaven is a one-stop shop for the shoe obsessed. And the most impressive part is undoubtedly the bedazzling boutiques, created in partnership with the world’s biggest luxury houses (Vuitton, Dior, Prada, you know the rest…).
Despite its vast size though, Shoe Heaven feels oddly intimate thanks to the exacting eye of David Collins Studio, whose old school vision of luxury marries the killer combo of spaciousness with tactile velvet sofas and hand-knotted carpets…
Many brands have worked on exclusive product and colourways but really, it’s the sight of shoes and nothing but shoes in their mono-product design temples that impresses. If you get your kicks from wall-to-wall Rockstuds or a mirrored wonderland of Saint Laurent’s disco boots, then you really will be in shoe heaven here. For me though, the real fun comes with our favourite shoe visionaries. So Manolo, Prada, Louboutin and Charlotte Olympia are worthy of a Shoe Heaven trip alone.
You arrive at the Manolo Blahnik store up a flight of stairs (yep, an actual stairway to heaven) to find yourself in Manolo Nirvana. Louboutin is also jaw-slacking in its size and breadth. And Charlotte Olympia’s shelves (top and below) are a brilliant expression of Charlotte Dellal’s creative verve and attention to detail. Marvel at her Chinoiserie wedges inlaid with mother of pearl, cult kitty flats and ornate heels carved with dramatic dragons. And don’t think it’s only about the eccentric statements because Ms Dellal caters very well for those who like a walkable stiletto pump too. (Although admittedly she does win the prize for highest heels in the store – hers top out at 145mm).
What has Harrods got in store for the launch? Well nothing short of 37 specially made shoes under the umbrella of the Silver Lining Collection. There’s an exclusive pale silver version of the Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats, a high top sneaker from Chanel, Prada’s silver space-age studded wedge and Louboutin’s sexy metallic spikes. It all reeks of the extravagance, indulgence and a just-for-you attention to service that Harrods is renowned for. With increasing competition from other retailers and etailers, this idea of shoe heaven in a serious statement of intent to get the shoe obsessed stampeding through its hallowed halls.
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. HERMES LAUNCHES LE BAIN
So here you have the ultimate bathtime experience. Can you think of anything posher than Hermes hand wash or shampoo? Continue reading
When it comes to immersive, experiential retail, you can’t really beat Harrods and its epic store takeovers. Chanel and Dior have had their turn and this month saw the unveiling of Pradasphere, a fusion of shop windows (40 in total), pop-up shop, cafe and exhibition.
The exhibition on the fourth floor is the big draw. It starts with glass cabinets telling the story of the beginnings of the 101-year-old brand. Originally purveyors of leathergoods, we’re shown vitrines of ancient paper packaging, handbag frames and luxurious vanity sets for the travelling classes. All give an air of revered Milanese shopkeeper to the proceedings, nicely bringing us back to retail. Continue reading
Introducing the DRG STYLE INDEX, a ranking of the brands on my radar each week. In order of impact, these are the brands grabbing my attention right now…
1. CELINE’S RETAIL WOW FACTOR
My first foray into the Mount Street store (above). Um, wow. The smell! The flooring! The merch! The ratio of sales staff to customer (3-1 on my visit)! At the till, mulling over a two-tone luggage Tote, was a Ghanian lady in full Vlisco-print gear, including headwrap. Oh to photograph her printed skirt against the patchwork marble floor tiles… But alas no, I got the feeling it’s a No Photos kind of store… Continue reading
Having seen the evolution of fashion blogs over the last seven years (this blog started in 2007), I’m interested in the shift from blogs to brands. Many of the fashion blog pioneers have extended their remit, transforming their blogs into successful creative businesses.
And this approach has spread beyond the bloggersphere to the wider world, hence these days, far from simply aspiring to ‘be a celebrity’ (how 2010!), everyone wants to ‘be a brand’. This thought was crystalised last weekend at the third Vogue Festival (in association with Harrods) at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Vogue, one of the biggest publishing brands is not content with being a print publication. It wants to be a multi platform destination, an event, a lifestyle brand. And as such it has created a means to engage with its future customers, who themselves have become pretty well versed in the stepping stones of brand-building. Continue reading
What a surprise to see a Nigel Shafran shoot in Vogue. And styled by Joe McKenna too. Shafran’s last Vogue shoot was 21 years ago and he has brought his quiet observational style to the the UK title with this ode to consumerism (beating Karl to the punch), shot in the temples of Vuitton, Chanel and Celine on Avenue Montaigne… Continue reading
This week is all about couture but did you know that alongside the gowns, there’s also the haute joaillerie to be wowed by? Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Boucheron, Chanel and the rest all showcase their top-tier diamonds, pearls and rubies; quite frankly, the frocks are small fry compared to this finery. Continue reading
Playful luxe is the trend that just won’t die and for Christmas, Fendi has gone for it in a major way. Enter its Bag Bugs, which first made their appearance on the AW13 runway in all their funny-faced, Muppets-esque furry glory.
This month, Harrods has the exclusive on Fendi’s Bag Bugs capsule collection. Continue reading