A taste of Tim

I love reading Fred Butler’s blog about her fab jewellery n prop making and zhuzhy creative life. This photo* was sent to her from a friend who was working on a Tim Walker Vogue shoot in Suffolk (gotta be for the Christmas issue, no?). Wouldn’t you just love to be a fly on the chandelier?

(*To get a better view, go to Fred’s blog and click on the pic there to enlarge)

Daisy, Camille, Ines, oh my!

The new US Gap pics are out and of course, they’re looking better than ever. Lovely to see Gap continuing its use of non-celebs like The Sartorialist. The European pics are equally stunning featuring the likes of Daisy de Villeneuve, Ines de la Fressange and Camille Bidault Waddington alongside Giles Deacon and Clemence Poesy (wot, no Susie Bubble?). Whether this will get us buying more Gap, who can say? As much as I love a chino and a bit of grey marl, I haven’t seen the new collection to decide. Let’s hope it’s a goodie.

[Pics: Top to bottom]
Camille Bidault Waddington
Daisy de Villeneuve
Clemence Poesy
Giles Deacon

Oh Domenico and Stefano, what have you started?

I know I’ve been going on about autumn’s silk headscarf look for weeks but the trend is just getting out of control and it’s not even September yet. Only this weekend I saw a muslim girl in Oxford Street rocking some sort of Amy Winehouse-derived beehive shrouded in a logo Fendi scarf and oh my gosh, it looked scorchio! Maybe it was the flawless skin and Sharpie-style eyeliner flicks but the fact can’t be ignored, this silk scarf thang has a mind of its own.

Latest news on the silk square front is from Hermès. It has hooked up with the Josef Albers estate to create a limited edition (read: highly collectable) range of scarves* based on his famous Homage to the Square series of abstract paintings. Each scarf is printed in an edition of 200, numbered and sold in a special presentation box. They arrive in the UK this week but brace yourself, they cost £1,600 each!

[*Clarification: The pics above are examples of Josepf Albers’ paintings, not the scarves themselves…]

Pics: Google Images

Let’s hear it for good service!

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s bad service. Whether it’s in shops, restaurants, banks or the local council, if you’re dealing with the public I think you should enjoy being helpful, otherwise don’t do it. In my student days I had a Saturday job selling ‘ladies separates’ at Debenhams and I was very good at it. It wasn’t always fun, sometimes it was grindingly boring but I would make the most of it and go out of my way to be helpful – after all, that’s what I was paid for! Customer looking for their size? I would make a great show of checking in the fitting room and even in the stock room several floors down, just so they felt they were being looked after. Customer wanting another department? Nothing’s too much trouble madam! I would escort them so I knew they’d got there safely, rather than waving vaguely in the general direction. Not only was it helpful to them, it made my job less dull and of course, customers appreciated it.

Today I experienced two separate incidents of excellent service. The first was in Paul Smith, a shop with such a sterling reputation for service, I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff are trained by Mr Smith himself. Unbeknown to me, my dear D had been trying to track down this Paul Smith T-shirt for me after I’d expressed an interest. The poor soul had tried both the London branches, online and a branch in Nottingham all to no avail. Luckily, this being Paul Smith, his contact, Ebony wasn’t from the ‘if it’s not there we haven’t got it’ school of salesmanship. No, she did some investigating and managed to pin down the elusive tee, forwarding it to our local branch in Portobello. Result? Two very satisfied customers.

A hop and a skip from Paul Smith, we ambled past Alice’s Antiques, but doubled back after a set of junky canvas chairs (ex-Wimbledon!) caught our eye. £5 each and perfect for our impending barbeque. This shop has been around forever but I don’t think I’ve even been inside. It’s knick-knack heaven! While I eyed up the old hat stands, piles of canvas suitcases, vintage tennis racquets and gently-ravaged Union Jack flags, D went off to enquire about the chairs. By the time he came back two minutes later, we’d got ourselves a deal of seven chairs and a galvanised metal tub for the garden and a lift home in the owner’s van there and then. How can you top that? When it comes to good service it’s really not difficult, it’s all about showing an interest in the customer and the reward is that customer will not only come back, but tell all their mates. Which is why I’m telling you. So now your turn…who’s delighted you with good service this week?