LFW

Standard or Limited Supply?

This week’s London fashion week has seen trends such as the 70s and fruity colours such as peach and plum emerge, but are people as excited as they were last season? Have we arrived at a stage where fashion is so easily available to us via live broadcasting of fashion shows such as Burberry and Vogue and Style.com posting catwalk photos and reports by the end of the day, that we’re no longer determined to find out what the latest styles are? As someone who’s studied and worked in fashion I feel compelled to find out who’s doing what this
season, but am I really in the mood to shout about it when someone could read a Bumpus report on Vogue.com instead? Why would they want to listen to the ramblings of a recent graduate over a well established magazine site or blogger? Although the price of fashion has kept many from feeling the need to watch the catwalk, having London fashion week so ubiquitous in the press and online means we can ignore it if we want.


After all, there will always be a next season and the current one will go out of fashion in no time, so should you really prioritise your time over something so fleeting? I always will as it still fascinates me how some designers always get it right and set every new trend (ahem Burberry…) and others will just create something that seems for the hell of it – did you see Giles Deacon SS 11? My apologies but having interesting models such as Abbey Clancy after her recent tabloid appearances and Kelly Brooke tells me you’re trying to distract from the clothing using make up that makes them look like drag queens…

Would having fashion less available to us like it was during war time 50s make it more covetable? Don’t we love biannual magazines and buy them every issue rather than buy the weekly one’s? Perhaps one designer should get rid of all these cruise and pre collections and create an all year collection… It may mean better quality lines and sustainable trends to say the least. Would we stock up for all year knowing there won’t be a collection for another 365 days rather than months? I think those who appreciate fashion appreciate short supply and limited edition, and designers might appreciate the break to stop and think.
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Barbie in Louboutin

The Doll And The Designer

HAVING created a pair of his classic peep-toe shoes in Barbie hot pink for Barbie’s 50th birthday at New York Fashion Week, Christian Louboutin‘s collaboration with the doll continues.
Acting as a muse to the famous footwear designer, the doll has not only inspired a series of photographs featuring her spending time with Louboutin (at his studio, in his country house and on his boat), she has also prompted the designer to customise three dolls.
Inspired by Marilyn Monroe and Nefertiti, each doll comes with four pairs of special Barbie-sized Louboutins – complete in their very own Louboutin shoe boxes and wrapped in delicate tissue paper.
Launching in December just in time for stylish stockings, a collector’s set consisting of the Christian Louboutin Barbie doll with a jewellery thief theme and a calendar will be available from NET-A-PORTER.COM.
“We are so excited to be working with Mattel and to be part of the Christian Louboutin and Barbie journey. Barbie is the ultimate dress up girl, Christian is the ultimate girl’s best friend and via NET-A-PORTER.COM their collaboration can now go global,” says Natalie Massenet, founder and chairman of NAP.
The Christian Louboutin Barbie set costs £100. Visit http://www.net-a-porter.com/barbie for further information.

Source

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Although nothing to do with the technology of fashion, I still somehow think this is relevant to my research, I’m just not sure why. Maybe it’s because I used to love Barbie, and when I didn’t like the shoes I would draw them on and create a heel out of a toothpick, but I find it so interesting how designers try to get back to their childish roots with dolls and teddy bears. Karl Lagerfeld is a prime example of a designer having toys made in his image, but with Louboutin now creating shoes for a doll, you wonder who is really going to buy it? A very bratty child that wants the most expensive Barbie around, regardless of it’s meaning to the fashion industry, a collector or Louboutin or of Barbie, or, really me. Admittedly I wouldn’t have £100 to spare, but I would love to have one, just to say I had it, and to say I owned a teeny tiny pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that there’s no way in hell I’d be able to fit into.

Free Archive…By appointment

Chez Amies

THE doors to the house of Hardy Amies are about to be opened. To coincide with the designer’s 100th birthday, the fashion house will open its extensive and largely unseen archive to the public at its newly refurbished No.14 Savile Row London premises – its home since the business was established in 1946.

Curated by Austin Mutti-Mewse, Sir Hardy Amies: A Century of Couture will pay homage to the designer, his association with royalty (he was dressmaker to HM Queen Elizabeth II from her accession to the throne until his retirement in 1989), as well as his time on Savile Row. Photographs, personal diaries, letters and sketches never seen before – of Princess Elizabeth and his costumes for 2001: A Space Odyssey – will also be on show alongside a specially commissioned documentary film with insight from those that worked with Amies.

The Hardy Amies Archive will be open at No.14 Savile Row, London, W1. Entry is free and by appointment.

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Savile Row recently established their own kitemark, and so it’s natural for them to really ascertain themselves among the current public as a historical brand. Amies has accomplished much in life, and so it’s necessary to have his past on view. By making it appointment only, it would be interesting to see who would go to the effort to see the archive. The current generation wants everything to be as easy as email, so having to call up and speak to a person on the phone is really more like the… er… buyers of Savile Row and Hardy Amies.

Techno Gucci

Gucci Technology

ABSORBING yourself into the world of Gucci has just been made easier – the luxury fashion house today launches its first iPhone/iPod Touch app – following in the virtual footsteps of NET-A-PORTER.COM, Chanel and Ralph Lauren.

With a 24-hour music channel, hotel and restaurant tips, as well as playlists and a turntable for mixing tracks by music producer Mark Ronson, the free application will also enable consumers to buy an exclusive model from the limited edition Ronson sneaker collection.

“Apps are the new virtual accessory, so I approached the design of Gucci’s first app in the same way I do with a bag or shoe from my collections,” Gucci creative director Frida Giannini explains. “I looked to provide the essence of the Gucci lifestyle experience in a way that takes full advantage of the technological capabilities of the revolutionary iPhone and iPod touch. Of course Mark Ronson’s contribution ensures that the Gucci App is truly unique.”

The collaboration with Apple also coincides with the opening of the Gucci’s travelling sneaker store, which opens in New York on Saturday and comes hot on the heels of the launch of Gucci’s new social networking micro-site, Gucci Eyeweb, to promote its new collection of sunglasses.

Meanwhile, Gucci is keeping itself busy in the real world, too, having designed a scarf in recognition of its title sponsorship role at this year’s Gucci Masters. The design features the bold and iconic interlocking GGs.

For further information regarding Gucci’s new sunglasses, visit http://www.guccieyeweb.com.

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I tried this iPhone application as it was free, and I was pleasantly surprised! The Mark Ronson gadget was quite fun, it had different sounds you can mix and match (much like Garageband) and then you can record your own compilation. Also available were views of collections, new products and information about their Gucci pop up store, Gucci Icon-Temporary selling sneakers made by Frida Giannini (Creative Director of Gucci) and Mark Ronson. The store will pop up around the world with 18 styles, (16 for men, 2 for women) and will also have one pair of sneakers only available to those with the iPhone application. The store will begin in New York and stay there for two weeks, then move on to Miami in December. Looking forward to it coming to London, but they’d better have all the men convinced.

Louis Up

Vuitton Up

HAVING set its sights on expanding in Lebanon and Mongolia, Louis Vuitton has yet more good news: parent group LVMH has announced a double digit rise in Louis Vuitton sales over the nine months to September 30.

According to DRAPERSONLINE.COM, LVMH said like-for-like sales dropped 3 per cent in the past three months to September 30 – with total sales of £10.9bn – as brands like Celine suffered from poor wholesale performance, but Louis Vuitton’s success contributed to a boost in its overall performance.

The opening of stores in China and the launch of the first Louis Vuitton fine jewellery collection were cited as contributing factors as well as the performance of LVMH’s fashion and leather goods sector, which achieved like-for-like revenue growth of one per cent for the first nine months of the year.

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Interesting that as soon as Burberry and Louis Vuitton make their brand more available by showing their collections online, they both receive an increase in sales. Whether it be a publicity stunt, a form of marketing or an opportunity for the designer to show off their performance art, it seems that showing collections online is a way of improving the identity of the brand as well as their awareness. I think many designer labels will attempt to follow, and then the lower luxury and high street brands will follow suit, not to increase sales, but just so that they won’t be left behind and left old-fashioned. There must be another way to appeal to the online audience?

Invites you probably didn’t get

Collector’s Lot

THE shows might now be over but we’ll always have the memories – in the shape of the invites which, not only a badge of sartorial rank and front row politics, are collector’s items too – and now the subject of a new exhibition in Milan from the Design Library, RSVP. Thousand Fashion, Art and Design Invites.

A project by Ines Paolucci and Patrizia Scarzella in collaboration with Silvia Motta, the exhibition – as the name might suggest – showcases 1000 invites from presentations and fashion shows from Milan’s Design and Fashion Weeks with an entire section dedicated to Moschino, which has become known for its quirky and collectible invites.

“The invite for a Moschino show is an introduction. A foreword to a story that the fashion show will tell. I think since the beginning of our history the invite has been a short explanation that puts the guest at ease: it is like when you invite somebody to dinner, it hints at what is to come. It is in this way that the invite is very important, because it gives in advance details that will be unveiled during the fashion show as part of the collection itself,” explains Moschino creative director Rosella Jardini.

A book will also be published showcasing the invites that have been selected.

RSVP. Thousand Fashion, Art and Design Invites runs October 21 to 28 at Design Library Milan, Via Savona 11.

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Wow it’s annoying that this is in Milan. Guess we’ll all have to buy the £50 coffee table book, unless we saved all the invites from all those fashion weeks we were invited to….


The invitations are an insight to what some will never be able to see, plus they’re a great insight into the creative marketing that goes on around Fashion Week. Really wish I could have seen them, the ideas would be a great insight.

Tour of the Clemens en August

Clemens In Town

PACKING its sartorial suitcases Clemens en August has once again hit the road to showcase its autumn/winter 2009-10 collection as part of its international touring concept, which returns to the UK from today, for three days only, until October 17.

Located at 36 Great Titchfield Street, the men’s and women’s collection will be on sale from 11am to 8pm daily and, this season, have a touch of Gallic elegance about them. Think fine silk wools, soft jerseys in gentle and muted shades, delicate prints, cocktail frocks, blouses and underwear as outerwear – a strong trend to note for spring/summer 2010 too.

And, new to the Clemens en August wardrobe for autumn/winter comes the Coco Jacket, boasting shapely shoulders and contrasting satin detail.

The Clemens en August tour travels to 11 cities including New York, Tokyo, Berlin and Zurich.

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I think it’s a great idea to have a traveling clothing line that’s global. It saves on overhead costs as well as bringing a sense of fragility that you have to be quick to capture, kind of like a bubble. It’s not around for long, so you have to get there fast and first, then you’ll definitely buy something knowing that there is no way in hell you’d be able to have time to think about it.

By doing a tour it also means that it’s making itself globally aware, bringing a very easy form of publicity and a hint of limited availability, which attracts shoppers better than a dog to a bone.