Brands

Menswear, womenswear and the fine dividing line



I have written about the blurring of boundaries in menswear and womenswear before. Not being a curvy girl, I tend to prefer the cut and style of menswear – unfussy details, minimal surface decoration, utilitarian fabrics and military shapes are all what I gravitate towards. (I then get my girly kicks from Margiela dog-shaped handbags and mimsy charm jewels).

I’m noticing bolder steps being take with the unisexualisation of fashion. In the same week, I’ve been alerted to the new Pringle campaign (thanks 00o00) and the LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Cafe) concept store.

Pringle has used Tilda Swinton to front both its womenswear and menswear campaigns for AW10. If anyone can rock a mens suit it’s definitely Tilda so there’s no denying she looks wonderful in the clothes, but would a man want to buy them? Pringle has already shown itself to be an innovative brand by utilising both Swinton and art-photographer Ryan McGinley in its campaigns. This latest experiment with androgyny suggests Pringle is yet again giving us something to think about and discuss.

This week has also seen the PR campaign wheels turning for concept store LN-CC. Launching its East London space in October, the store will be a mixed bag of fashion, music and *licks lips* art books curated by book dealer Conor Donlon. Co owner John Skelton told Dazed Digital, “LN-CC was created just to please ourselves. We have been looking to progress and develop our feeling and concept for such a long time so this just felt like the natural thing to do. The concept is not just focused around a store, it’s more an overall feeling and lifestyle that we live and wanted to share with anyone who might be interested. This feeling has been spread over a number of different platforms from our product and e-commerce through to parties, exhibitions and installations.”

I love that they are thinking beyond product and making the retail experience more of an event. But I’m also loving that LN-CC will stock clothes based around a concept of unisex styling. As well as menswear lines from Rick Owens, Sasquatch and Unused, there will be forays into womenswear by menswear designers who scale down their ranges exclusively for LN-CC. As Skelton says, “I really wanted to offer the more turned on girls something in our more masculine flavour as opposed to the high heels and handbags that seem to dominate the premium end of womenswear.”

While the physical store doesn’t open for a couple of months, its online arm will launch later this month. I’ll report back…



Jaime Mon Carre – Hermes does street style



Hermes has launches a street style site and it’s a perfect lesson in how heritage luxury brands can engage with younger consumers. Fun, informative, interactive, engaging and beautiful, J’aime Mon Carre (‘I love my scarf’) uses jolie young things to demonstrate that an Hermes scarf is a versatile piece to stamp your style on.

Strictly speaking, it’s only ‘street style’ in look, as the models have been styled by Fran Burns (although I’m sure they only needed the odd tweak). No matter, the point is that the project changes the perception of the Hermes scarf and the Hermes brand itself. I hope they develop it further.




Pics: Matt Irwin/Hermes
UPDATE 21/Aug/10
Some of the comments on Cathy Horyn’s review of Jaime Mon Carre bemoaned the lack of older people on the site. To them I say, check out these snaps I took of an Hermes window display back in April. Equally charming I think…




Cerruti concept store



As a fan of bricks and mortar shopping, I like to see brands doing things differently and Cerruti has done something bold with its newly relaunched Paris flagship boutique. Embracing brands with a similar sensibility, it now sells Philip Treacy hats, Frédéric Malle home fragrances and Pinel & Pinel trunks alongside its luxury tailoring. This sort of curated concept store only works if the mix is perfectly realised. Too many obviously similar brands and the result is blah and even damaging, but a clever, unexpected mix can increase footfall and create a buzz.

Cerutti isn’t a brand I take notice of but I’d make a trip to the store just to check out how they’ve selected and merchandised the complementary brands. In fact, any store selling old-school, luxury luggage would get me through the door, particularly when it’s as fancy as this


Haul vloggers: the next target for fashion brands?




Is it me or is anyone else obsessed with haul videos? What’s a haul video? It’s a vlogging phenomenon whereby (mostly) teenagers shop at the mall then go home and video themselves talking through what they bought. And, er…that’s it. But this simple concept is taking America by storm. (more…)