Is Gucci about to have a Saint Laurent moment? Remember the brouhaha at first sighting of Hedi’s womenswear debut? It wasn’t pretty. (The reaction I mean, I liked the clothes.) The reaction was similarly confused when new Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele first showed his menswear collection in January. It was so removed from heritage Gucci, sexy Tom Ford Gucci or sophisticated Frida Giannini Gucci that lots of hands were wrung. (more…)
“I have a huge disinterest in technologies that accelerate cultural speed. Immediately, they make me uncomfortable. But I’m fascinated by what society is becoming, and its evolution. I am watching the behaviour more than the thing itself…I am more interested in mystique and romance, what’s difficult to find, aesthetics that are not in your face. There are things you immediately know are surface, and other things the opposite, and I’m more interested in the opposite. When you find everything so easily, you don’t look deeply anymore and you don’t investigate anymore. And you get bored.” Raf Simons, 032c via Style.com
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. RALPH LAUREN’S POLO PUSH
I had no idea that there wasn’t already a Polo for women. Well, Ralph Lauren is addressing that this month with a mega launch for the brand. It’s weird, Abercrombie and the like have totally hijacked the young women’s Ralph market, but as their fortunes take a dive, this could be a good time for the Ralph Lauren reclaim. Go team Ralph!
2. UGG’S INFLUENCERS
Credit where it’s due, Ugg’s ad campaigns are pretty stunning. Its latest ‘This is UGG’ campaign, featuring off-duty influencers-of-the-moment Langley Fox Hemingway and Hanneli Mustaparta, would definitely convince me to buy if I aspired to their lifestyles. Campaigns today are no longer about selling product, but forging an emotional connection to a brand. Love or hate it, Ugg does this really well.
3 BURBERRY BANKS ON FRAGRANCE AND BEAUTY
Lots of hullabaloo this week with the launch of Burberry’s new fragrance, My Burberry. Burberry likes a multi-pronged story (and a digital one) with its launches so this one included several threads. It had supermodels (Kate ‘n’ Cara), customizable bottles (you can add your initials to the ribbon bow) and the obligatory obsession with British weather (perfumer Francis Kurkdjian’s scent evokes an English garden after autumnal rain showers). The scent itself is a very pleasant floral concoction with mainstream appeal to delight Burberry’s many fans. Which is good news because the bigger story here is Burberry’s beauty ambitions. “Our vision is to be a top ten player in luxury fragrance,” says Chief Operating Officer, John Smith.
4. RAHUL MISHRA’S SLOW FASHION MISSION
Good to see an Indian designer winning the coveted International Woolmark Prize. Having collected his prize in February, Rahul Mishra’s capsule collection of merino wool dresses is now on sale in the UK exclusively at Harvey Nichols. His handworked pieces are a testament to his slow fashion principles. “I want to slow down the process of making a garment so we can employ more and more people,” he says. “In a country of one billion people, I think of the millions of people who require jobs, they are really talented and how we can bring them to the forefront.”
5. THE CAMBRIDGE SATCHEL COMPANY GOES PUNK
It’s been interesting to watch the trajectory of The Cambridge Satchel Company. Everyone’s favourite kitchen table success story, it has chosen its collaborators well in an attempt to widen appeal beyond students and suburban mums. This week sees its latest capsule collection, created by artist-designers John Dove and Molly White whose legacies include designs for Mr Freedom, Fiorucci and all manner of 1970s pop culture icons. Known for their signature 70s animal-print (originally a protest against fur), their graphic Cambridge satchels will go on sale from Friday at retailers worldwide and at Cambridgesatchel.com.
6. CH-CH-CHANGES AT STYLE.COM
Following last week’s Vogue.com revamp, it turns out Style.com has also just had a facelift. In the fight for online eyeballs, it promises increased news coverage and opinion – a recognition that fashion is now as important a global entertainment phenomenon as music and film. And yay, Tommy Ton will be taking his zoom lens beyond Fashion Week to ‘unearth and spotlight new scenes and subcultures around the world’.
While everyone’s buttocks are clenched for Apple’s iWatch announcement next week, I care more about Samsung. Word is that the Galaxy Note 4 super-phone is due some time in October (all the deets HERE). For bloggers, the Galaxy Note 3 has everything – huge screen, long-lasting battery, plus the most excellent stylus pen (aka my favourite toy). If that can be bettered then I’m sold. Sorry Apple, it’s all about phablets from now on…
[Image credits: Style.com/Tommy Ton; Marc Newson and Jony Ive/Vanity Fair]