Tag Archives: technology

Samsung and Apple go head to head for the fashion pound

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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If there was any doubt that phones are now fashion accessories, last week rammed that thought home. With Apple‘s major unveiling during New York Fashion Week with key fashion press in the front row and Natalie Massenet representing (will she be selling the new Apple devices on Net-a-Porter?), the fashionisation of our everyday tech gear is indisputable.

OK the big fuss was all around the smart Watch but the general consensus among the fashion contingent is it ain’t all that (yet). Because fashion is about looks, and as Suzy Menkes said, “I would imagine that geeks would love it more than aesthetes”.

So let’s put watches aside and talk about what’s happening with phones. On that front Samsung and Apple are going head to head. On the same day that Apple announced its Apple Watch, it also revealed that the new iPhone offer will include an ‘iPhone 6 Plus’. This model will have a 5.5 inch screen, so we’ve reached the point where Apple, famed for its weeny phones, has decided it would like a bite of the ‘phablet’ market. I love my Samsung phablet (the Galaxy Note 3). With a 5.7 inch screen, it’s a huge phone but I rarely take calls on phones so thats no biggie (actually it’s perfectly comfortable as a phone, it just looks a bit odd when your phone is bigger than your whole head). But it does the job of a tablet twice its size really well, which makes it the perfect accessory for a fashion editor on the go. For bloggers and fashion people, big screens are the way forward. When you spend so much time looking at pictures and video, it’s hard to go back to a tiny phone once you’ve tried one of these.

Tuesday also saw a big reveal from Samsung. Its Samsung Galaxy Alpha (just landed in stores) is iPhone sized, features self-quantifying fitness capabilities and some great camera features. It’s also very chic-looking with its premium brushed metal surround. You know what else is great? Its power saving feature, that lets the phone run for several hours on 10% battery by switching to just the basic apps and draining all the colour out. For me, the only downside compared to the iPhone is the lack of certain apps available on Android. But it definitely has all the important social media ones for the fashion crowd – Twitter, Instagram, VSCOcam, Google+.

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THE DRG STYLE INDEX: RALPH LAUREN, UGG, BURBERRY, RAHUL MISHRA, THE CAMBRIDGE SATCHEL COMPANY, STYLE.COM, APPLE, SAMSUNG

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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

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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

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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

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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

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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/TRADEMARK 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

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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’.


7) APPLE HIRES MARC NEWSON

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Major excitement at the news that Marc Newson has joined BFF Jony Ive on Apple’s design team. Cue much speculation about his exact role and possible involvement in the already-mythical iWatch. All eyes on Apple for Tuesday’s big reveal then…


8) SAMSUNG’S GALAXY NOTE 4 CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH

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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]

Introducing the DRG STYLE INDEX: Celine, Hermes, Harrods, Uniqlo

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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

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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

Ask Alison: The Shazamification of fashion

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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This month’s column from regular DRG contributor, fashion & retail insights expert Alison Bishop explores the latest moves in how taste-making got shoppable…

Since fashion is now shared instantly across social media, it’s no wonder how we shop for it has become more instant too. From Instagram to Pinterest and Tumblr, these platforms have become a visual marketplace for fashionistas, brands and retailers. Most important are the style leaders or ‘taste-makers’ that other users follow – and they’re the ones responsible for a new Shazam-style of shopping.

Snap it, search it, buy it
Just as another season’s month-long fashion week circus kicks off, there is a raft of new apps that target the street-style set with instant-hit fashion, at the click of a photo search. I’m calling this the ‘Shazamification of shopping’, since the practice of snapping what someone is wearing, then searching, then buying it, mimics the music identifying app Shazam. Last year Shazam announced it would broaden its service by recognising content from TV shows, so that when people ‘Shazam’ a show, they can link through to buy items worn by presenters or actors. Continue reading

Nike Fuelband for the luxury millenial

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Vanessa Friedman wrote about wearables in the FT yesterday, suggesting that tech companies need to get fashion people on board if they want their wearables to look halfway decent. I’d say Nike is ahead of the curve in this sense, it’s just released its Nike FuelBand SE in a very luxe-looking black version accented with rose gold.

While it’s previous Fuelbands were neon-hued and perfect for the American Apparel-clad youth market, this understated version is more suited to sophisticated millennials and their elders. That’s a lot of boxes ticked…

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Clique’s interactive print-to-mobile magazine launches – with exclusive Katie Eary product

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Has anyone quite nailed the ‘shop-from-the-printed-page’ experience that publishers are currently obsessed with? So far we’ve seen a few attempts, with Harper’s Bazaar US and Look magazine employing Blippar technology to bring existing magazine content to life – while hopefully generating extra revenue.

New to the space is Clique, a free print magazine mailed to its target audience, with every item shoppable, sharable and watchable by smartphone. Continue reading

My Google Glass moment

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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As you can see from the major geekout face, I finally got a go on Google Glass! And how did that make me feel? Mixed. If you’re not au fait with Google Glass, here’s the deal. Continue reading

Buy it now: iPad Air is here (but selling fast)

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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My in-box is flooded with emails about the new iPad Air, which you can buy now on JohnLewis.com

I currently have an iPad 2 which I use at home and an iPad Mini for out and about – there’s no doubt that the iPad is a revolutionary piece of kit. Of course, I have now decided that what would really change my life is an iPad Mini Air. Which obviously does not exist. Ahhh, first world problems eh?! But seriously, I hardly ever need to take my laptop out of the office these days. Smart phones, tablets and phablets do all I need with the help of an app or two (hello Evernote).

You can buy the new iPad Air at John Lewis with two years guarantee, but do it quickly because I can see that half of the stock is sold out already…

Guest report: Techno Sports-luxe – a triangulated trend where streetstyle and high fashion dovetail with a sports vibe

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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A NEW COLUMN: ‘ASK ALISON’ BY DRG CONTRIBUTOR, ALISON BISHOP

Sports-luxe is back into the fashionista psyche, judging by the recent round of SS14 catwalks, but this time around it’s infused with a tech-enhanced performance.

In London, Stella McCartney showcased her new performance-fabrics focused range for Adidas ‘to inspire women to get their sweat on’. From spinning to aerial yoga, the collection integrated sustainable textiles and lightweight breathable outerwear into a more dynamic offer. Continue reading

Last Call: The Future Is Here at The Design Museum

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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Eek, I’m way behind on my exhibition reports. OK, if you have any interest in the future of product and fashion design, or even art, then scrap all weekend plans and get thee to Shad Thames. For this weekend is the last weekend for the wonderful eye-opener that is The Future Is Here at The Design Museum. Continue reading

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