Been catching up on the last few WGSN daily newsletters. What to make of this?!

Music industry veteran Simon Fuller and Sojin Lee, formerly of Net-A-Porter, are to launch a new non-retail fashion website fashionair.com later this year, hosting style-focused entertainment, education, and news content plus a social-networking function.

Fashionair will feature a weekly live news and pop culture show including behind-the-scenes footage, spotlighting the best-selling fashion products and include one-on-one interviews with designers, photographers and make-up artists.

A styling show hosted by industry names will also help viewers “master and adapt” the latest trends to their own wardrobes. Site users will be given the chance to interact with the experts, submitting their own personal video style diaries for potential airing on the site.

It will also offer the opportunity to create personal profiles with mood boards, wish and gift lists, and other fashion files with content from the site.

The company said that rather than sell merchandise, “the goal is to drive users to 500+ e-tailers from around the world through fashion-specific trend content, style information, and brand integration”.

Most of the merchandise discussed in the style segments will be showcased on the site with photos and other detailed information, including where users can find the items, as well as suggestions on the luxury and budget versions of each item.

Bits and pieces

On my way out of the Paul Smith press day, I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the Paul Smith HQ reception (above and below). Behind the reception desk is a cabinet of curiosities and opposite it is a wall of framed pictures.
Earlier in the week I’d taken a photo of the b Store window (below) which is showing the work of multi-media artist BEST ONE. There’s something about a collection of objects or images that always stops me in my tracks but more so at the moment as I’m working on a mood board project. I’m always being reminded of ways to place or layer the pictures and different elements to add.

AW 09-10 trend report: Paul Smith press day

If you’re a fan of the Paul Smith ethos – attention to detail, witty touches, clever merchandising, you’d have enjoyed the Paul Smith AW09 press day. The highlights:

1) Unisex plaid raw-edges scarves

2) My favourite khaki-and-red colour combination

3) Details: Epaulettes, piping, plastic chain necklaces

4) Bags: Plastic chain handles, florals, flat suede handbags

5) Vintage chairs – these are French 1040s garden chairs, £400 for a pair

6) Flask – if you can’t afford a vintage Hermes flask, get this map one instead

As you’d expect, the styling of the venue and outfits were spot on. I loved the Paul Smith vintage-look cameras, dapper bow-ties and necklaces as epaulettes. And don’t miss the gilt chairs with Paul Smith-print seat pads. When you’re attending twenty-odd press shows a day for the best part of a month, you need things to stand out in order to remember them. Otherwise, however beautiful the individual pieces, all the statement shoulders, print dresses and crazy-heeled shoes start merging into one. By making the press day experience a unique one, the collection as a whole is more likely to stand out.

Earl Grey and Architecture

To say Thursday was a whirlwind of activity would be an understatement of preposterous proportions. As well as press days, the Alexandra Shulman FBC talk, a whizz across town to a digital lab and an ICA charity gala dinner, I somehow managed to cram in tea at the RIBA. The Royal Institute of British Architects is a building I have passed dozens of times but never had time to venture inside. Big mistake. Aside from its elegant interior and charming cafe (where we had tea and brownies surrounded by textbook architects complete with Mac laptops and Moleskin notebooks) we browsed the Le Corbusier exhibits which comprised various classic chairs, tables and sofas from the Cassina I Maestri collection.

On the first floor was a reconstruction of the famous Le Corbusier Cabanon. The architect designed and built this sexy little hut in 1952 as a holiday home for him and his wife Yvonne in Cap-Martin. The outside is pretty basic and anonymous while the interior is widely recognised as a superb example of micro architecture. (Did I impress you with my knowledge there? Don’t be fooled, I totally read that in the notes. However, I’m determined to sneak the phrase ‘micro architecture’ into everyday speech…) After donning the comedy showercap-chic shoe covers, we explored inside the Cabanon and took a few sneaky snaps. You would never think to look at this now, that it was designed over half a century ago. All its nifty nooks and crannies and built-in storage ideas are now commonplace in day-to-day living but were the height of innovation 50 years ago. The building itself is not that big (15 square metres) but you really get a sense of space and function. This Le Corbusier mini-exhibition is on until 28th April so if you like a bit of culture with your elevenses, I highly recommend the RIBA (and the bookshop is rather tasty too).