Gotta love Matchesfashion.com at this time of year. You get the big-ass Matches glossy magazine through the post, plus all the shiny new SS15 deliveries. Among them are a couple of noteworthy new womenswear lines.
I’m excited about Kolor womenswear (the designer of Kolor happens to be Mr Sacai) and Matchesfashion.com’s just-launched own label, RAEY. RAEY is right on target with the clean-lined, boyish silhouettes that have dominated the 2010s, livened up with pops of pink and primrose yellow.
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…
I’ve wanted to shoot with Vanessa Jackman for yonks. We met on a funny bloggers’ trip to Paris a few years ago and generally catch up twice a year on the fashion week circuit where she shoots street style (her blog is shortlisted for a Bloglovin’ award – go vote!) and I research the shows.
Finally we carved some time this summer to shoot the charming and creative Claudia Gould, who epitomises the new breed of multi-pronged model with attitude. Our friends at MIH Jeans gave us the run of their West London showroom and a rail of AW14 samples. The Phoebe Slim is already something of a cult jean, while we all cooed over the men’s Jean Machine chunky navy sweater, one of those wear-anywhere-and-everywhere staples. I also loved the inky indigo raw-edged straight skirt, styled here with a Post-It pink bra from & Other Stories.
The theme for the shoot was loosely denim-based. We wanted to evoke a laid back but bittersweet mood that expresses the melancholy of late summer-early autumn. So I added to the mix Rejina Pyo’s ruched red skirt, Dusan’s luxurious poncho and a double-layered jacket from 3.1 Phillip Lim, all newly arrived at The Shop At Bluebird. To shop the shoot, just click on the pictures or the embedded links below…
I can’t say I’d ever get bored of the plain white shirt, but if I did, I know how I’d switch it up. Thanks to the team at MiH Jeans, I got the chance to try my hand at shibori, the ancient Japanese art of folding, pleating and twisting fabric to achieve mind boggling effects with indigo dye. Our teacher was the patient and all-round wonderful Niki Livingston, an artist who experiments with shibori from her studio in Los Angeles. (more…)
Woah, why is everyone in fashion obsessed with Normcore and Acting Basic? These anti-fashion trends could be a reaction to the street-style/overdressing circus, or maybe we’re just tired of agonising over how we look. Plus, sometimes basic Gap tees and Fruit Of The Loom sweats can look as good as clean, serene Celine (well, almost). (more…)
More on the denim personalisation front. Last weekend I spent a happy hour at Selfridges playing with denim swatches, buttons, rivets and zips to build my own version of 3×1 boyfriend jeans. The New York-based denim brand owned by Scott Morrison (founder of Paper, Denim Cloth and Earnest Sewn) sells its RTW jeans at Selfridges’ Denim Studio (which you can read all about here), but for three days only was also offering its custom service to London denim heads.
I chose my favourite cut of jeans, then configured the best denim, thread colour, pocket style, rivets, buttons and zips to make them up in. It was a truly indulgent experience. (My jeans should arrive in three weeks from the 3×1 denim factory in New York).
Not quite as intensive but still a fun self-branding service is the monogramming that’s being offered by MIH jeans and Mother Jeans. Both use traditional hand monogramming to stitch initials onto a new pair of jeans.
For your monogrammed Mother denim, head to Selfridges Oxford Street’s Denim Studio this weekend only, where you chosen Mother jeans will be embroidered free of charge while you wait (roughly 30-40 minutes depending what you have done). For your MIH Hawthorne & Heaney embroidered jeans, order the ones you want online and follow the instructions. Your monogrammed jeans should be delivered in two weeks. Watch the film below to see how it’s done…
Denim brand MiH has been going since 2005 and I love how it has slowly but consistently grown from a denim-only brand to incorporate other beautiful-but-useful basics. Its Bretons frequently sell out, the oversized shirts are tweaked and repeated season-on-season and every so often you get something simple yet brilliant, like this spring’s washed-out jade boilersuit (above).
Another bonus: this utterly dreamy, Super-8 film. It was shot by the equally super Blue Farrier (you may have come across her blog, JackyBlue. If not, do take a look). Watch below or on Youtube (best viewed in 480p quality mode)…
Sometimes, after endless appointments of full-on fashion-fashion, you need a palate-cleanser at the press days. Enter MIH‘s new Shepherd’s Bush HQ; all white walls, high ceilings, pristine denim and utility-luxe separates with a London-meets-Paris twist. I got a tour of the studio and a glimpse of the new mens Jean Machine line too… (more…)