Business of Fashion

Shang Xia SS22 delivers super-luxe fashion for a future generation



Shang Xia SS22 PFW

An invigorating, palate-cleansing debut from Yang Li at Shang Xia SS22 yesterday.

The Beijing-born, Australia-raised designer showed his futuristic luxury vision for gen-2050 in a quest to put Chinese design centre stage. “It’s like imagining an empty chair at a round table of luxury fashion brands that should be for a Chinese representative. What a great mission to embark on. We’re going to give it our best go,” Li told Vogue.

As a breather from the maximalist showbiz of Fashion Month so far, we saw 90s-flavoured unlined leather coats and flat-front pants with signature Yang Li cape-detail dresses in fabrics that look deceptively simple from afar but I’m sure are ravishing when seen – and felt – in the flesh. Offsetting the sleek black separates were pops of neon orange and yellow on waistbands, box bags and surprisingly wearable trousers. The cool-girl casting and minimalist styling added to the appeal for me, not least as Joe McKenna was styling the show. (more…)



Everyone’s talking about Balenciaga couture



Balenciaga Couture Fall 21

The highlight of couture week has been Balenciaga couture Fall 21. A tribute to the absolute essence of Balenciaga, it was both austere and grandiose, and I think it’s fair to say, surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Having kind of tuned out recent Balenciaga ready-to-wear collections (too hype-y, too meme-y!), I was enthralled by this first Balenciaga couture collection in 53 years. The minimalist silhouettes, (what a fab trench!), the space-age headgear, the jeans and tee treatment and the baublicious jewels. What looked like a crocodile skin skirt and trousers were in fact made from tiny pieced-together squares of leather. There were shades of Margiela (one of Demna Gvasalia’s most respected designers), McQueen and – to my eye – Raf’s Dior. (more…)



Would you shop at a Sotheby’s ‘buy it now’ store?



Sotheby's retail store in New York

Gotta love the millennialisation of auction houses. From online speed auctions to hosting sales of rare Nikes to courting hype curators, the likes of Sotheby’s and Christies are pacing ahead in attracting younger demographics.

The latest initiative is a Sotheby’s boutique. Just opened at Sotheby’s‘ flagship on York Avenue in New York, the bricks-and-mortar store will rely on guest tastemakers to curate pop-up sales that hopefully mimic the adrenaline rush of scoring a hard-to-get grail item from one of its auctions. (more…)



Would you buy Charvet, L’Uniform, Charlotte Chesnais on Amazon?



L'Uniform bag at Amazon Luxury Stores

We have been debating the ‘can Amazon work as a luxury retailer’ question for almost as long as the ecom behemoth has been around. Funny really, because that’s about the the same length of time as Net-a-Porter and we now don’t question the idea of buying say, a £113,000 Cartier watch online. And yet Amazon has struggled with its high fashion offer despite numerous iterations.

Could things be changing?

The latest attempt is Amazon Luxury Stores*, an in-app experience (U.S only) that recently offered two mini edits by former Colette retail whisperer Sarah Andelman. The ‘pop-up’ edits included products from L’Uniform (above), Charvet, La Bouche Rouge and Charlotte Chesnais. (more…)