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.

London Fashion Week

If there’s one thing I loved about LFW this season it’s the psychedelic prints that came about. I’ve always said that if you have a print on a garment, the pattern should be plain, and luckily Basso and Brooke kept this in mind, pairing prints with fur and simple shaped clothing. However, if you have very structured pieces the fabric should be plain to best show it off. Otherwise you’re just going to Alexander McQueen wear which can really only be worn on the likes of Lady Gaga in Bad Romance or Naomi Campbell at the Fashion Relief for Haiti show. Richard Nicoll gave an understated but beautifully crafted collection, creating a certain style you can’t really put your finger on, but you love all of it put together. Iris Van Herpen joined together elements of McQueen and Pugh as well as Kane to produce a costume style suitable for a Luc Besson film.

Basso & Brooke AW 10/11

Richard Nicoll AW10/11

Iris Van Herpen AW10/11
Images from style.com and fashion156.com

LFW Digital Schedule

Online Fashion Week
Just when I was worried that I’d be in New York during London Fashion Week, the BFC announce that they will have a list of shows from Somerset House streaming live online.
‘The Digital Schedule will launch Friday 19th February at London Fashion Week. This new initiative will bring together live streamed fashion shows and a selection of digitally presented fashion films created by some of London’s most innovative designers.’

It will be interesting to see how many New York Fashion Week shows will be live streamed so that when I’m in London I’ll live stream NY and when in NY I’ll live stream London!

You can catch it all here.

Burberry Rising

Burberry enjoys a sales rise

Luxury goods brand’s transformation has been a success as its profit forecasts are marked up by analysts

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 October 2009 19.00 BST Julia Finch

Three weeks after Burberry‘s triumphant return to London Fashion Week, the luxury goods label has unveiled a recession-defying trading update. The designer label, which pulled in celebrity names including Victoria Beckham, Twiggy, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samantha Cameron to its London catwalk show and party in September, posted much better-than-expected second quarter sales of £343m, some 5% higher than the same period last year.

The shares, which are now in the FTSE 100 and have doubled this year, rose 28.5p to close at 565.5p as analysts marked up their full-year profit forecasts. Stacey Cartwright, the Burberry finance director, suggested that the “upper end” of the City’s £160m-£190m range was most likely.

Most luxury goods firms have been hit by the recession, but Burberry took swift action to cut costs and jobs. The 150-year-old brand, which is known for its trademark beige plaid and trenchcoats, has been resurrected as a high fashion label. It has also been boosted by new Asian stores and weak sterling.

The sales improvement has been boosted by Burberry’s handbags, such as its totes, which range from a small nylon version for £150 to a large black alligator tote, trimmed with a barbed wire chain, for £12,250. Snoods – pull-on scarf-cum-hoods which Burberry is selling for £150-£195 – have also been big sellers.

Retail sales, which account for more than 50% of group sales, were up 14% in the first half – or 27% taking into account the boost from the pound/dollar exchange rate – with most growth coming from new store space and the buoyant Middle East market. Nine new stores have been opened in the last six months, including new outlets in Singapore and Tokyo. Six stores were closed. Europe and Asia, led by Britain and South Korea, remain the best-performing markets with the US and Spain – traditionally a big market for the brand – recording large falls.

Wholesale sales were down an underlying 23% as customers cut back their orders to reduce stocks. Nearly half the decline, however, was the result of Burberry’s own actions, such as shutting down the younger Thomas Burberry brand and changing Middle East outlets from wholesale to retail. Nine new franchised stores opened, including seven in China. Burberry now has 44 outlets in China, including a specialist children’s store in Beijing.


Could the rise in sales be due to allowing the participation of potential customers to view the show online? By getting a sneak peak at what’s on offer, then finding out that you can get one of those bags for £150, it must have boosted sales. By making Burberry more of an available brand, having kid’s and now adult’s favourite Emma Watson as the head of their campaigns, and bringing back the Burberry print (but not on a cap or scarf) has increased their popularity, as well as careful business decisions to disable Thomas Burberry and changing wholesale stores in the Middle East to retail, are all causes for an increase in sales. Let’s just hope they continue to show in the UK and don’t move to New York or Paris. After all, it’s a traditionally British brand and so should stay that way.

Temperly Zoetrope


Temperley London Circus Zoetrope from LEGS on Vimeo.

Zoetrope by Temperly

To showcase her spring/summer 2010 Temperley London collection, Alice Temperley created a zoetrope installation inspired by the circus theme of her collection. Watch as a contortionist, ballet dancers and models show off the designs.

After watching the video of how this moves and how huge it really is, I thought it absolutely beautiful and ingenious to reflect the brand. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect with Twenty8Twelve’s first ever collection. The idea of brands incorporating technology is basically fast, fast, fast, advanced, advanced, advanced. This is something that used to be the pinpoint of technology and a highlight in the moving picture industry, and it’s been brought back with finesse. It was shown at first at New York Fashion Week and then was moved to London Fashion Week. It has been made through a collaboration with Legs.

Costs of Fashion Week

Designers rein in costs at London Fashion Week

Budgetary constraints loomed larger than ever before at London Fashion Week this season, as many designers plumped for less expensive ways than usual to showcase their spring 10 offerings.

While Burberry Prorsum, Matthew Williamson and Christopher Kane predictably seized the catwalk spotlight, presentations, self-funded catwalk shows and the off-schedule supporting initiatives from On|Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scout were equally important for inquisitive buyers.

Quintessentially British brand Aquascutum made use of the new Somerset House presentation space. The label’s recent troubles and change of ownership –it was bought by Jaeger owner Harold Tillman last month – may explain why it wasn’t in a position to show a full-scale catwalk collection for spring 10.


Considering the high costs of putting on a fashion show, I’m not surprised at Gareth Pugh’s move last year of just putting on a video for the attendees of the show as well as those watching online. It was a bit of a disappointment, considering those who were invited viewed the exact same thing as those watching from home.

Is the internet the new wave of catwalks? Why have all brands skipped out on TV? There’s fashion tv, which shows all the different collections, but not live. Is it maybe because they never really start on time, so it would be a constant delay to see it live.

British Barbour Buy

Barbour’s first Heritage store opens in London

Barbour, famous for its iconic waxed cotton outerwear, and the one garment most associated with the British countryside, has opened its first Heritage store in London .

By Natasha Cowan, Senior Fashion Assistant
Published: 6:05PM BST 23 Sep 2009

The quintessence of British style, Helen Barbour (daughter of Dame Margaret Barbour) with Bill Nighy on a vintage Triumph motorbike at the London Barbour shop opening on Tuesday this week, during London fashion Week

Barbour, famous for its iconic waxed cotton outerwear, and the one garment most associated with the British countryside, has opened its first Heritage store in London .

The classic British brand, founded in 1894, has settled upon trendy Carnaby Street, W1, made famous in the 1960’s by The Beatles, for its store. The shop is set over two floors with a total selling area of 74 sqm. The store features memorabilia and images from Barbour’s archive. The men’s and ladies ‘Heritage’ clothing range is inspired by catalogues dating back to 1908.

Barbour has a history of producing the essential ‘capsule wardrobe’ for the countryside and the iconic waxed jacket is the item it is most recognised for. J Barbour & Sons Ltd, is a 4th generation, family-owned business based in South Shields, which sells to 40 countries worldwide.

Ian Beattie, UK Sales and Marketing Director, Barbour said “As an authentic heritage brand, we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a focused collection to a fashion savvy consumer who is interested in wearing contemporary garments that have been developed from the brand’s history and heritage. Barbour has been producing quality clothing, fit for purpose, since 1894 and customers recognise that our craftsmanship and tradition make a Barbour jacket unique.”

The Barbour Heritage store is at 29 Fouberts Place, Off Carnaby Street, London, W1F 7QF. Tel 0207 434 3209; www.barbour.com

Opening times are Mon – Sat 10am – 7pm. Sun 12 – 6pm


It seems Heritage is still on the cards for many brands during the current economical climate. Isn’t anyone getting sick of it yet? All these brands and shops saying “I’ve been here for years, looking after you and your family, now look after me.” The style of advertising is getting quite sick as well. Hovis did it well, so should anyone else bother? Start bringing me something new already, like a new Barbour clothing range for the trendy, still using that waxed, horrid when wet smelling fabric.