Brands

Retail safari: inside the Glossier London pop-up (updated)



Glossier retail store design

I finally made it to the Glossier London pop-up in Covent Garden. It’s been open for seven weeks and it closes on 9th Feb* at the end of the year, but I wanted to get the Christmas crowds out of the way. And the wait was worth it. Glossier is as famous for its pop-ups as its cult-like community and influential cool-luxe aesthetic. Having started out as an e-commerce brand, it has slowly built a strategy of opening pop-ups in key markets to test our products, meet its customers and build hype around the brand.

With still only 36 products in the line, the five-year-old old brand is still small, but the appeal is huge. (more…)



The culture of fashion: Grace Wales Bonner grows up



Wales Bonner AW20 by Fashion Network

Wow, when did Wales Bonner get so slick, polished and commercial? I love it! The Wales Bonner AW20 mixed-gender show for London Fashion Week Mens was inspired by London’s 70s Lovers’ Rock scene. Specifically, the photos by John Goto of teenagers at Lewisham Youth Club, personally resonant for Grace Wales Bonner as her dad worked in the area back in the day.

I love the styling – sharp boxy blazers over shin-sweeping stripy tunics, shirts layered over polonecks and all the head gear and jewellery. (more…)



The new direct-to-consumer classics



Paravel luggage - direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand

No-fashion fashion; it seems the world is catching up with the ‘gentlewoman style’ set (according to the New York Times), who covet the best version of a thing that they can wear forever. This was the premise of my book, The New Garconne, which came out in 2016. The wardrobe building blocks featured in there have held up pretty well, although silhouettes have morphed slightly over time. But classics are classics, so I think we will always need a blazer, a tailored pant, a slim-heeled shoe and a decent tote.

Interestingly, some of today’s best classics don’t come from the heritage brands but from ‘direct-to-consumer’ (aka DTC) start-ups. (more…)



All is calm



Niyya prayer mat and meditation blanket

How early is too early for the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ post?

In 2019 I surprised myself by getting with the meditation programme, but doing it totally at my own pace. And in truth, it’s meditation-lite; I use my Muse headband and app (yep, still using them) and fit it in 5-10 minute slots around whatever else I’m doing.

I supplement this with a relaxation download by Albert Smith that I love. This isn’t meditation, it’s more akin to having a fifteen minute nap, but it serves the purpose of clearing my head if I’ve had a hectic day, or prepping me for stress-inducing situations. For interviews, meetings, public speaking and the like, Albert’s my secret weapon. (Years ago, when I had the cassette version, this was also a life-saving pain management tool.)

In 2020, I want to try and meditate more and make it part of a regular routine. I know it shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but I’m flawed and can’t resist a prop or two. I love the look of these Niyya multi-functional prayer mats by Brooklyn designer Myhra Mizra (more…)