London Fashion Week: Margaret Howell SS22



Alas, no Margaret Howell SS22 show this LFW season so a showroom visit had to suffice. No great hardship there though, as the showroom is situated at the back of the beautiful Wigmore Street store. I averted my eyes from new season Shetland knits and cotton khakis to focus attention on the new collection. Recent seasons have seen Howell embracing slightly more adventurous proportions and styling cues, as well as more ‘editorial’-style photography. I love it. My top 5 takeaways…


ATHLETIC STYLING.
Athletic pieces that take influence from retro gym styling and fabrications. Particularly the dry loopback sweats that can only improve with age


BOXY MACS.
The Mackintosh short rubberised anoraks with oversized welt pockets. I love Mackintosh’s own outerwear, but these are a looser silhouette that allows for more layers to be worn underneath, an important consideration for our cold, damp spring season


TWISTED SCARVES.
Margaret Howell’s silk twill neckerchiefs are the stuff of legend. This season there’s a new twist – literally – in how they’re styled. YouTube tutorial needed…


BRIDLE LEATHER ACCESSORIES.
 
The best edit yet of SLGs (small leather goods); sturdy leather key holders, boxy camera bags and the most perfect trouser belts you’ll ever find. Plus, you’re nobody if you haven’t included a leather neck pouch or five in your collection.


VINTAGE-STYLE KNITS.
Utilitarian knits are a Margaret Howell mainstay. These are rugged and romantic with colours inspired by the natural UK landscape.

Margaret Howell SS22






WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Margaret Howell x 5; Navaz Batliwalla; Margaret Howell; Navaz Batliwalla; Margaret Howell x 2; Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Introducing my new beauty book: Face Values



Face Values - The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets Book by Navaz Batliwalla

It’s book publication day tomorrow! My second book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets is a departure from fashion, diving into the world of beauty and skin care rituals, and the identity stories that accompany them.

Without giving too much away, this is a really celebratory book, that I hope draws you into the lives (and beauty cabinets!) of some truly inspiring people. I have interviewed fragrance experts, skin care founders, therapists, make-up artists and pioneering retailers, as well as beauty trailblazers whose style and taste are both relatable and aspirational.

There’s a deep message that threads through the pages and it’s one of taking care of yourself, but not in a preachy or woo-woo way. Instead, it’s a call to action to appreciate the power of taking the time that’s rightfully ours to look after ourselves in small, manageable and enjoyable ways. It’s not strictly a how-to book, but I hope you will pick up a few tips from the simple-to-follow expert advice that doesn’t depend on expensive treatments, ‘tweakments’ or devices to follow.

Face Values book by Navaz Batliwalla featuring Linda V Wright

Writing a book during a global lockdown, along with the subsequent challenges was quite the mission! But a miracle too, in which I got to virtually ‘meet’ so many fantastic individuals and learn from them the real meaning of endurance and humility.

One small note; since our final edit, the gorgeous ‘Berlin baker’ Ruth Barry has parted ways from her business and can now be found trialling her fabulous recipes here. Fun fact: when I first approached Ruth, it was to feature in book one (The New Garconne). That time she was happy to be included apart from one small thing. “I’m moving to Berlin tomorrow, for good!” Unfortunately, that book was focused on London, Paris and New York, so I promised that if I ever wrote another book, I’d get back in touch. So, she was top of my list and her story is quite an epic tale in which baking and beauty conquer all! She also introduced me to massage therapist Ryoko ‘magic hands’ Hori (below) and the utterly joyous photographer Robert Rieger.

Face Values - The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets Book by Navaz Batliwalla featuring Ryoko Hori -

This really is a feel-good book, so I hope it fulfills its mission to be a thoughtful (but not too serious) self-care companion for the modern age. The UK publication date is officially 16th September but I’ve been told there’s a delay on US deliveries due to the global shipping crisis. This will push the US date back from 12th October to 19th October. Arghh, apologies, but some things are sadly beyond our control.

You can buy Face Values at Waterstones*, Barnes & Noble*, Walmart*, WHSmith*, Foyles*, Hatchards, Bookshops.org* and Amazon*as well as local indie book shops  – please support them! And do let me know what you think via email or Instagram (@disneyrollergirl #facevaluesbook). Obviously you’re welcome and encouraged to leave reviews on the relevant websites as well. (Thank you British Beauty Blogger for this gem…)

Face Values - The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets Book by Navaz Batliwalla - self care and anti-perfection beauty

WORDS AND IMAGES: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to pre-order my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets



Trend report: What to wear for AW21



Gabriela Hearst AW21

New season, new trends! I don’t subscribe to big changes so I tend to look for second-time-around trends that suit my personal taste. (Much more manageable that way.) We’re all a bit more conscious about how we shop now so here’s a gentle reminder that you can probably just shop your existing closet for some of these. While there’s definitely a sense of ‘going out out‘ energy in the air, I’m more focused on the everyday wardrobe. So new denim silhouettes, elevated knits, hands-free bags and the perfect boots it is – with a little wellness and beauty newness included!


1/ WATCH BAES? IT’S TIME.
It’s taken a while, but classic women’s watches are having a moment. Recognised as timeless accessories rather than simply timekeepers, their popularity is being celebrated by watchfluencer platforms such as Hodinkee and Brynn Wallner’s Dimepiece. The secondary watch market is booming too, with The RealReal reporting high resale value for Cartier (below) and Patek Philippe.  While Gen X and Y ‘watch baes’ are often after discreet small-face styles, I predict Gen Z will fall for the retro lure of – brace yourself – the super-statement Michael Kors Chrono. (Don’t recall it? Here’s a primer from the DRG vault.)
Cartier by Tina Tyrell - Harper's Bazaar


2/ STRUCTURED DENIM.
If Hedi (the pioneer of Y2K skinny jeans) says adieu to the lean, leggy look in favour of a fuller proportion, you know it’s time to go wider. Which in my opinion looks better on most people anyway. Not extreme width though (leave that to TikTok). Hermès (below) has the perfect dark wash, rigid but curved trouser-jean with a high waist and a length that hits above the ankle bone – just right for boot season. I’m also referencing 80s Alaïa jackets (below, add gold jewellery) and Mango’s 100% cotton jumpsuit* (below).
Hermes aw21 womenswear denim
Alaia 1980s denim
Mango denim jumpsuit


3/ THE SCOUT SCARF.
I spotted these cool scarves first at Jil Sander men’s (see below), and then on producer Tony Lawrence in the Summer of Soul film. Studio Nicholson is advocating for them well into SS22. While the Jil Sander one is actually a hood-scarf hybrid, you can find more classic silk squares at Les Belles Heures and Lescarf* in clean, geometric designs. Alternatively, try good old eBay, where you can also pick up an Hermès scarf ring.
Jil Sander AW21


4/ WELLNESS-TAINMENT. Peloton
took the world by storm during lockdown, offering not only workout encouragement via its virtual classes but a whole lifestyle. Now considered a global content brand, the ‘Netflix of Wellness’ is set to open its London Peloton exercise studios and broadcast centre imminently. Expect other fitness brands to follow suit as health and wellness content becomes as essential as films, food and fashion.
Peloton opens its London studio in Covent Garden


5/ MINI VS MIDI SKIRTS.
After years in the wilderness, mini skirts return, thanks in no small part to new season Gossip Girl (below). Admittedly short skirts aren’t really my style these days but they’re all the rage for a Gen Z hot girl autumn. Instead, I’m liking the idea of midi skirts*, to wear with hip-length sweaters*, knitted polos – more on those below –and The Row’s tall leather boots*.
Gossip Girl mini skirt trend
The Row AW21 midi skirt


6/ CASH REVIVAL.
Despite a push for the ‘convenience’ of contactless transactions, some of us will not let go of our precious small leather goods. I’m wedded to my grandpa-style coin purse*, while Prada gets it too – it had miniscule coin pouches integrated on everything from jackets to gloves to belts featuring heavily in its AW21 men’s show. Meanwhile, multipurpose micro pouches continue to be popular with everyone from Joseph to Loewe*.
Prada AW21 glove purse
Joseph AW21


7/ ELEVATED POLO.
“I would like to think of myself as the Benetton of the fitted sweater,” says Natalie Joos, whose knitwear line, Joostricot* (below) boasts fitted polos that spark joy with their retro elongated collars. Elsewhere, Khaite has the best slouchy polo in muted cashmere* or argyle merino wool*. Wear them loose and open necked for the autumn months, then buttoned up layered over a superfine rollneck* for winter.
JoosTricot aw21


8/ PEER-TO-PEER RESALE.
The resale ecosystem continues to ramp up, with consumers – especially younger ones – becoming increasingly comfortable with selling on their out of favour purchases. Vestiaire Collective, one of the first marketplaces of this kind, received $216m investment from Kering earlier this year while McQueen, Gucci and Burberry have all partnered with Vestiaire or The RealReal on take-back initiatives. In the luxury resale space, 1stDibs has always been a kind of fantasy window shopping destination for heirloom furniture and jewels. But lately it’s noticing its contemporary fashion and jewellery is attracting younger customers to premium quality pieces around the $500 mark. At the lower end of the scale, Depop is the go-to place for younger pre-loved hunters (eBay who?) and recently sold to Etsy for $1.6 billion. The latest development here is keeping the take-back programme in-house. Re/Done (below) recently launched Re/Sell in the U.S, its second-hand platform that lets users upload their own descriptions, photos and price to be authenticated in-house. 80% of the final price is given to the seller as store credit to spend on more Re/Done product.
Shop Redone jeans resale second-hand marketplace


9/ OLD MONEY OUTERWEAR.
Well-worn trench coats, padded ponchos, quilted gilets, and all manner of country estate outerwear are being unearthed from the garages and lofts of Home Counties parents. Blame the #oldmoneyaesthetic trend and the imminent release of Kirsten Stewart’s ‘Spencer’ film. I’ve got my eye on Lemaire’s raglan raincoat* and am hoping for a reprise in his Uniqlo U collection.
Old Money Aesthetic by Style du Monde
Princess Diana casual old money aesthetic
Refinery 29


10/ TAKING TIME FOR TEA
. I’m a major coffee head but increasingly seduced by the tranquil promise of tea. While matcha is crazily popular at the moment for its energy-boosting properties without the caffeine crash (Jenki is taking over East London), there’s a parallel movement towards slow, ritualistic tea culture. In Milan, the Xing Cha Chinese tea room has a tea café in the back and a shop in the front, which hosts tea ceremonies, tastings and ceramic exhibitions. And I must confess to a little envy of this tea-making nook (below) spotted on interior designer Rose Uniacke’s Instagram.
Rose Uniacke tea cupboard


11/ DIY NAILS.
Hand care is back in the spotlight. The Spate beauty newsletter reports that searches for nail foils are up 64% as people get playful with manicures again. For old school nail polish fans, I love J.Hannah’s wonderful deep neutral lacquers, such as Compost* (below), an earthy shade that founder Jess Hannah describes as ‘refined filth’ for colour-shy make-up lovers. But the big mani news this season is from Hermès and its hand care and nail colour line, Les Mains Hermès (below). Launching on October 15th, it comprises 25 nail colours, a nourishing oil, nail files, and hand cream.
J Hannah nails
Hermes nail colour


NOW CLICK BELOW TO SHOP THE POST (I MAY EARN A COMMISSION ON THE BASKET VALUE OF ITEMS BOUGHT*)…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: credits t/c
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets



Shop the post: Grace Wales Bonner on a multiplicity vision



Wales Bonner The Innovators Programme at MATCHESFASHION

Fashion month has kicked off and it feels like it’s properly back. Quite rightly there’s a concurrent spotlight on newer talent and younger businesses, who will need extra help in reorienting themselves after the ravages of the pandemic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many mentoring projects!

The 8th LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers just took place, with the main prize won by Nensi Dojaka and three designers sharing the Karl Lagerfeld Prize of €150K each (congrats to my fave, Lukhanyo Mdingi). While prize money is great, it’s not everything. (Remember Thomas Tait’s experience?) So alongside the cash, the LVMH Prize offers access to LVMH’s top tier of luxury business experts, helping designers to bolster their businesses and develop their brands.

Matchesfashion* is also committed to nurturing on-the-rise talent. In its second year, its annual Innovators Programme focuses on championing emerging global designers, with practical support including marketing and preferential business terms. While Matchesfashion can certainly help on the retail front, it’s also doubling down on the editorial. This week it kicks off a series of interviews pairing up newer designers with more experienced ‘mentors’. I love a Q&A format between equally interesting people and this conversation* between Grace Wales Bonner and Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier is a great fit.

Wales Bonner The Innovators Programme at MATCHESFASHION

There are similarities and differences in their design approaches. Wales Bonner has always interested me for the way she uses fashion as a communication tool to express a vision beyond clothes – through publications, exhibitions, ‘sound experience’, and her amazing films. This season’s collection expresses the identities of 1980s Black British Oxbridge scholars, in tailored denim*, slim retro track pants* and patterned knits*. “I’m really interested in fashion as a means of communication,” she says. “I like to create different strands that can express different ideas – but they’re all part of one expression. Fashion feels like the most direct medium I have.”

Wales Bonner The Innovators Programme at MATCHESFASHION

Lucie and Luke Meier are a design couple I very much admire for what they’re doing with Jil Sander. It’s a good marriage of the founder’s tailored rigour with their own warmer and more personal street-rooted vibe. This season’s Bauhaus-inspired knits* gel well with their utility-luxe trousers* and outerwear*. But while Wales Bonner and the Meiers share an intellectual and narrative approach to their labels, they diverge on what that narrative should be. Luke Meier praises the consistency of OG Jil Sander, while Wales Bonner can’t commit. “The most important ideas I am interested in are duality and multiplicity. I don’t want to present a singular narrative.”

Wales Bonner The Innovators Programme at MATCHESFASHION

Read the full conversation here* and look out for the rest of the Innovators conversations* including Nensi Dojaka with Christopher Kane, and Charles Jeffrey with Sir Paul Smith.

NOW CLICK BELOW TO SHOP THE POST (I MAY EARN A COMMISSION ON THE BASKET VALUE OF ITEMS BOUGHT*)…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Wales Bonner menswear / Matchesfashion
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare Secrets