retail news

Chez Chanel, the rise of fine jewellery is a lucky talisman

At Chanel, the rise of fine jewellery is a lucky talisman

If you saw the 3-week exhibition Mademoiselle Privé, you’ll know that Chanel straddles the past and present exceptionally well. One of my highlights was the short film shown towards the end, written and directed by Karl Lagerfeld in which he finds himself face-to-face with Chanel’s ‘ghost’ brilliantly played by Geraldine Chaplin. “What do you think you’re doing!” she asks Karl, highly unamused. “I’m keeping you alive,” is his answer, explaining how he has reinvented the brand while keeping the house codes top of mind. The film is actually quite a hoot, but the sentiment beneath it is serious business.

Chanel is the most famous luxury fashion house in the world. Its stable of couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, fine jewellery and beauty have been coveted for decades, from the Chanel no 5 perfume worn by Marilyn Monroe to everybody’s favourite 2.55 handbag. And so, while London’s creative and curious queued in a never-ending snake for the Saatchi Gallery exhibition a few weeks ago, I was busy being treated to my own Chanel education, in a guided tour of the actual Chanel apartment in Paris, on a two-day trip hosted by Chanel. (more…)

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: BELLA FREUD, LOUIS VUITTON, THOMAS TAIT, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, PAT MCGRATH

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. PAT MCGRATH LABS – ROUND TWO
pat mcgrath labs releases phantom 002 pigment and brush set
After the fanfare around Pat Mcgrath Labs’ Gold 001 pigment, it’s time for another drop. Tues 15th December sees the release of Phantom 002 – a set of five pigments and a black liner. (more…)

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: TOPSHOP X SPOTIFY, REPOSSI, CHANEL, PIRELLI, NOT JUST A LABEL

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. THE NEW PIRELLI GIRLS
Fran Lebowitz by Annie lebowitz for Pirelli
How amazing is the new Pirelli calendar? I’d much rather be inspired by Fran Lebowitz (for the month of May) than an oiled up Gisele, and if you’re not keen on Fran, take your pick from Tavi, Patti, Yoko, and more (more…)

Factory visit: Elgin calling

 Johnstons of Elgin Factory

When a brand invites you to visit their factory, it’s a sign they’re proud of their craft and story. And one of the biggest perks of being a fashion writer and blogger, is having that access. Not just getting down to the nitty gritty of how things are made, but understanding the real history of the brand and the provenance of its products. Hence my delight at getting the chance to head up to the Johnstons Of Elgin factory and design studios near Aberdeen one September morning, where the 218-year-old Scottish brand produces woven fabrics and scarves for its own line as well as an impressive roster of luxury brands.

A 7am Heathrow call time was followed by a swift BA flight to Aberdeen, where we were met by the sprightly George, who ferried us along scenic roads of lush Scottish landscape. Despite being braced for freezing gales and gloomy skies, we arrived at the picturesque Johnstons of Elgin HQ in a blaze of autumn sunshine and brilliant cobalt sky.

 Johnstons of Elgin Factory

While Johnstons of Elgin’s coveted cashmere knitwear is made in Hawick in the Scottish borders, the Elgin factory is reserved for wovens. From here it supplies Savile Row tailors with their suiting cloth and the world’s best luxury brands with shawls and scarves, including one famous for its monogrammed check ponchos and another for its equestrian motif blankets. (more…)