Brands

On my radar: anti-leather bags



Rue de Verneuil

I used a tote bag for the first time in months last week. Like practically everyone else, I’ve not commuted since March, so I’ve been getting by with pockets for my daily walkabout, or a compact J&M Davidson camera bag if I’m going further than the coffee shop at the end of my road.

But last week I went to meet up with a friend and needed a bigger bag for the mask-brolly-sweater gubbins I had to carry with me. And a leather tote was too heavy for the 90 minute round trip (I’m still not doing public transport). So out came my trusty canvas tote; lightweight, a decent size, and automatically imbued with a summer city-break vibe.

I put the canvas tote in the same bracket as straw totes for summer. They always signify a kind of Jane Birkin barefoot energy, especially with accompanying sunnies and stripy Mariniere. Canvas and straw bags also happen to chime with an overarching movement towards non-leather bags. Or minimal leather at least. Every luxury bag label of note seems to have a variation of a leather-trimmed canvas cross-body bag, for example, while the best totes I’ve seen are mostly canvas with a leather patch detail or pocket, or a pair of handsome handles made of tan leather.

Saint Laurent definitely got the cross-body bag* memo, while Valextra* and Loewe* tick the tote boxes. And Rue de Verneuil (above) is my latest canvas tote obsession, with dozens of varieties in style and size.

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

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Rue de Verneuil
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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The culture of fashion: Dior SS21 menswear ‘portrait of an artist’



Dior SS21 men Amoako Boafo

Some more menswear SS21 highlights. On the maximalist craft tip, Dior hit the top notes again with a fab collab with Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo. (See the collection video here.)

Dior’s creative director Kim Jones first met him last year during Art Basel Miami. Boafo was the artist in residence of the new Rubell Museum, opposite Dior’s fall show venue. As Jones’ artist collaborations are now a mainstay of his collections (tying in nicely with Mr Dior’s gallerist past), it made perfect sense for the two to collaborate. Jones already has a connection to Africa having grown up in the continent, while Boafo has a connection to fashion, with his fantastically wardrobed portrait sitters always dressed in attention-grabbing prints and colour combinations. (more…)



On digital fashion weeks, craft and context



Loewe SS21 menswear

I’m catching up on the ss21 menswear collections that designers have been producing during lockdown.

An early trend is for three-dimensional or heavily crafted pieces and those with intricate surface decoration. Collaborations with artisans are another ‘thread’ to a brand story that designers can weave, showing support for their craft, or putting the spotlight on their own pattern makers.

Two standout videos I’ve enjoyed – Berluti and Loewe. Both feature their designers discussing the thought and making process of their collections. Berluti SS21 especially comes to life with Kris van Assche talking to ceramic artist Brian Rochefort about colour, patina and design. It really makes you appreciate true luxury. (Watch it here.)

Below: Berluti SS21

Berluti ss21
Berluti ss21


Berluti ss21

Meanwhile, Jonathan Anderson sent out miniature ‘shows in a box’ to the press who were watching the ‘shows’ from home. This is what they do with influencers. Send visual toys for them to dutifully display on their Instagram. The press obediently followed suit, promping followers to go to the website and view.

Anderson’s Loewe men’s SS21 collection is beautiful without the ‘noise’ of show-biz. He flagged basket craft, shibori techniques and tapestry, which have been translated into architectural shapes that were displayed on mannequins in a quiet studio setting. It works well, but better for having the accompanying explanation. The trench coats and shibori pieces are my favourites, along with the bags. I actually thought this was the women’s pre-collection rather than men’s, which goes to show that gendered clothing is kinda pointless. (Watch the video here.)


Below: Loewe SS21 menswear

Loewe SS21 menswear




Loewe SS21 menswear
Loewe SS21 menswear

I wonder if it was a huge anti-climax for the designers pressing the go-live button on their content compared to the headlines and air kisses of Fashion Week? Or if they did it on a Zoom call with their team?!

Another question is how trends will translate to the consumer. As we’ve seen before, when designers design clothes to be viewed by a screen, they go for bright colours and statement makers. But as shoppers have less money to spend and fewer places to go in the coming months, will they want these bold pieces, or functional classics? Perhaps by spring When All This Is Over, we’ll be gagging for colour and excitement again. For now, my guess is we’ll see a similar pattern as before; statement pieces for ‘runway’, and the more wearable versions for retail.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Berluti; SS21 Loewe men’s 2021
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



The Noah Noodle Shop, Osaka



Noah Noodle Shop Osaka

I stumbled upon these snaps on Instagram. The preppy-street brand Noah just opened the Noah Noodle Shop in Osaka, Japan and isn’t it a beauty!

It’s a mighty tough time for physical retail in the world and Lord knows Japan has had its problems this year (don’t mention the Olympics), but this is a little slice of optimism in all the doom. (more…)