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…