Business of fashion

Miss Selfridge introduces the three-way collab

Another day, another seen-it-before high street collaboration, or so I thought. But when I rocked up to the Hed Kandi for Miss Selfridge launch I got a pleasant surprise. There in front of me was a new idea! I kid you not, Miss Selfridge has embraced an original take on the collab theme – hooking up two brands that genuinely have the same audience via an illustrator rather than yet another celebrity-in-inverted-commas. The three-way hook-up, it’s the future I tell you!

Do I sound jaded? I guess I’m just a little bit over the bandwagon-jumping of the ‘Fearne Cotton/Peaches Geldof/insert any other name here designs exclusive collection’ ilk, complete with predictable interview quote of ‘I couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear so I designed my own’. Snore. Instead, we have the creator of Hed Kandi’s iconic club babes (you know the ones, their almond eyes and lithe figures are all over the London Underground) designing a collection with the Miss Selfridge team inspired by the girls on the record CD covers. 

Not only are the ten dresses suitably sexy and body-con – perfect for the target Ibiza-loving audience – but the prints are all inspired by the graphics on various Hed Kandi compilations so everything ties very nicely together. The Hed Kandi girls are almost a story in themselves. Illustrator Jason Brooks has been sketching these long-limbed lovelies since 1999 and over the years has managed to keep up with fashion yet transcend it at the same time – no mean feat. Apart from anything else, I’m a massive fan of fashion illustration but beyond that, I love a clever marketing concept and this one is genius. Pats on backs all round…

It’s here! When You’re a Boy…(spoiler alert!)

Apologies for the protracted absence, I’ve been flat out working 15 hour days on a shampoo commercial coinciding with a run of ‘Christmas-in-July’ press days. I’m pooped!

Anyway, Simon Foxton’s much anticipated exhibition, When You’re a Boy was finally unveiled yesterday at The Photographers’ Gallery. The menswear stylist has worked with Penny Martin to create an insightful exhibition which shows the different sides of his arresting work. What attracts me to Foxton’s work? I think it’s the always-human element present in his styling. Much of it is portraity and the work that isn’t will have a humorous or playful element or be somehow more than about just the clothes and more about the character. I guess I like his street casting a whole lot too.

My favourite Foxton i-D shoot, ‘Strictly,’ featuring a boyish Edward Enninful poses ‘questions about ethnicity, Englishness and masculinity’ and looks as fresh today as it did when it was first published in 1991.

The wall of framed portraits by a range of different photographers provides a genius personal touch – I love the one of the boy in double denim with his back pockets overflowing with colourful bandanas (no close-up unfortunately, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise).

In the centre of the room is a long glass cabinet housing Foxton’s precious scrapbooks which I decided to save til last. Ever the scrapbook fiend, this for me is a crucial part of an exhibition like this and I’m glad Penny Martin as curator decided the scrapbooks were worthy of inclusion. As with photographer Tim Walker’s scrapbooks and sketchbooks, it shows something of the artist’s inspiration and creative thought process. Apart from this, it’s fascinating to be reminded of long-lost male faces from the 80s fashion scene and rather sweet to see Foxton’s ballet ticket stubs and 80s club flyers so neatly archived.

For those interested, there is a programme of accompanying events. Check on The Photographers’ Gallery website for info.



Canape-watch at the Beth Ditto for Evans party

You can’t fail to have noticed that Beth Ditto has designed a range for Evans. It lauches next week but the PR machine kicked in last week with an unveiling to press and bloggers, followed by last night’s fash bash at Sketch. A fabulous feast was laid on, comprising bowls of rich risotto, plentiful chicken skewers and my favourite, the super-sized posh burgers. Forget what you’ve heard about fashion people not eating, these went down a storm. As did the vodka Russians. Oh, the clothes were nice too, sported by a bevvy of Beth-esque beauties.

I didn’t manage to clap eyes on the Ditto or the Moss as they were mostly hiding in the VIP room but I did get quite close to Sir Philip Green – if only because his people turfed me and my buddies off our chaise so he could sit there. I don’t know if the rumour’s true that he regularly throws samples out of Arcadia’s windows in a fit of pique but I can quite believe it.

Get ready for ASOS Ltd 100

Tomorrow is the third and London College of Fashion hook-up, where 100 LCF graduates have designed pieces to be sold in an online frenzy at The sale starts at 1pm sharp and last year everything sold out in a matter of seconds, resulting in cries of “FIX!” from disgruntles slow-coaches all over the country.

You can check out Markus Lupfer’s favourite ten pieces here – Lupfer was one of the selection committee ( who knew ‘committee’ had so many double letters!) – and my favourites below. Hmmm, how to choose between Tian Wang’s jacket (£250), Rie Bromley’s necklace (£50) and Ekaterina Demidova’s madly brilliant star-shaped bag (£80)?