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Shopping Trends for Spring with Jules B: Go All Yoncé

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We can’t say we have not been swept away by Queen Bey’s latest releases. From Drunk in Love through Yoncé to the Partition video, we have been in awe of the feminine statement she puts out there. And it inspired us this quite strong hip hop inspired look shopped at Jules B, a cool store carrying some of the most trendy contemporary brands. Bear with us and get sophisticatedly nasty.

Start with this rare pick and the best deal we’ve seen so far this week. A Carven jacquard dress, with a slight animalistic trait (leopard inspired). The oversize bow hanging above cleavage is the killer detail.

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Make it city-wise, tame the beast with a very sharp sports jacket by Helmut Lang. When Kanye styles up Kim, she looks better, now trust us. We’re Kimyeing you up if you feel up to it. This jacket is safe but singular: gloss is the new bling.

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Touch it up with your street cred insurance: an Alexander Wang white IT-Bag. Pebbles on the bottom, start there and now you’re here (says Drake).

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Now the shoes and the street is yours. But hear this. Our wags love when we shop for them, but we have failed with shoe choices on a couple occasions lately so this is it. We’re a bit shy on it for a while. But you can shop great styles like this one. To go Yoncé or not. Love yo!

Post written in collaboration with Jules B.

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Shopping trends for Spring with REPERTOIRE: undergrounge and Steve McQueen

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So the fashion weeks are about to be over. As it’s always good to envision what’s going to happen at the end of the year, it’s even better to be able to shop what is now available.

Here’s a shopping bag we’ve conceived with Repertoire, a cool independent retailer who opened its first stores over 15 years ago in Southern England.

Barbour is on track with few pieces, that are tributes to Steve McQueen; he entered The Greenhorn Enduro, a rigorous 500-mile motorcycle race across California’s challenging mountains and blisteringly hot Mojave desert, in 1963. The new new man (read GQ brilliant debate) is in need of icons; deeper characters seem to be the new hype. And we’re happy with that

Patrizia Pepe is a an Italian brand founded in 1993. You don’t necessarily find it easily in the UK whereas the positioning and materials are great. With their new “Undergrounge” project, we bet that you’re  going to pay attention to this chic brand.

We like this scarf that you can find on Repertoire. A great accessory which will add a tremendous effect to your favorite knitwear.

Post written in collaboration with Repertoire.

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London Fashion Week AW14 – Under the Spotlight

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It’s the fashion event that you must pencil into your calendar – of course it’s London Fashion Week. From Somerset House to Kensington Gardens, the streets were filled with fashion bloggers, journalists, socialites and the press who were all fortunate enough to get the first peek at the latest collections – I happened to be one of those lucky few!

On Monday, I set off to the beautiful Somerset House and saw the latest line by M&S who are aiming to bring out the ‘Best of British’. The scene was a simple, minimalist background with a ladder, chair and desk – an unusual set, but it did bring out the best of its 60’s-esque bold coloured swing coats and shift dresses.

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I later went to a dim lit, carpeted car park behind Selfridges to see the latest line by Erdem, which was my favourite of the day. Erdem illustrated a mix of contrasting textures such as patent leather on crochet with subdued splashes of gold, grey and scarlet. To put it simply like The Fash Pack have quoted, it was ‘the type of collection that dreams are made of.’  With a revamped version of Heart of Glass by Blondie, the scene was buzzing with an edgy femininity. Simply amazing.

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With the spotlights shining on their scraped-back hair, David Koma was the final show of the day. His collection highlighted bold purples and dark greys, with the clothes structured in sharp cuts and finishes. Again, it was a very minimalist, bright lighted scene to emphasise what Koma had to display.

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There is nothing quite like being a part of the camera flashes and loud voices. David Koma and M&S both displayed lovely collections, but the aura was exactly how I imagined a fashion show to be, therefore I wasn’t taken aback. However, Erdem was the stand-out as its unpretentious setting was revamped into an electrifying setting – it was just a shame that it was over so quickly.

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TOPSHOP Unique AW14: the tomboy wanting to be pretty

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Oops, Topshop did it again. Yesterday, the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall was hosting another interesting performance of the 50 years old brand. And the design of the show is very similar to the essence of TOPSHOP: few rows downstairs with happy few (including me haha) and upstairs, a crowd of fans with smartphones ready to shoot, basically on a bridge.

The collection is going to work: a mix of tailoring fabrics and mohair; a lot of street influence (MIA was attending the show) and less an attempt to copy big designers (last year, some observers mentioned the fact that the catwalk presented a collection which was not really what Topshop is about: this year, this “mistake” is not here). Tattoo motifs try to challenge flowers; and the quality of materials is definitely here.

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The soundtrack was all about female power. Beyoncé’s very own who runs the world? GIRLS  was of course buzzing (as usual). As Topshop declared, this season is all about the girl (…) the soft girl wanting to be tough, the tomboy wanting to be pretty.

Oversize clothes were not the only originality: more formal suits were in the show but with a twist of blueish motifs.

 

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#LFW AW 14: the city cowboy?

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It’s raining cats and dogs in London. A mysterious sort of #NYFW aftermath.

The agenda is pretty busy this year; unless you have a whole editorial team covering this Fashion Week, you have to miss interesting shows. I was very frustrated not to attend Barbra Kolasinski from LCF.

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What can we pick from these very first hours? Well, it’s a big pervasive mic-mac as we say in French. Let’s start with the J JS Lee Tom Boy with an attitude:

It’s the post-modern streetstyle which would have re-discovered homing and cuddling. Outfits with a sense of leisure maybe, who knows?

I was pretty happy with Bora Aksu universe; and he’s not the only one to send a sort of revival for countryside. A tribute to the history of British fashion

As usual, Haizhen Wang convinced me; a skyrocketing collection which will be highly bought and sought after…let’s make a bet!

Eudon Choi made an impression also with a collection full of soft and wearable pieces.

My god so many trends we could talk about. I’m very bad at expressing my point but it seems like there’s a sort of re-invention of the cowboy but in a more modern, female version: the woman as a street master? The rule of the wild applied to the highways and the city-life?
Well, let’s discuss about it later on

Beatrice Behlen, Curator Fashion and Decorative Arts © Museum o
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An introduction to British fashion with Beatrice Behlen (Museum of London)

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We were pretty impressed by the commitment of the Museum of London during London Collections: Men.  As if there was (finally!) a city which tries to gather the general public with the world of fashion. A statement which is confirmed by the massive involvement of the Museum of London in social media: a new role for cultural institutions seems to rise; becoming and documenting the pulse of a city which tends to consume history.

Beatrice Behlen, the Museum of London’s Senior Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts, accepted to offer us some clues on London and Great Britain fashion history…enjoy.

How do you think British fashion is positioned regarding the other main places (Paris, NY)? what makes British creation so singular through history?

I think that despite globalisation, Paris, New York and Milan still have a distinctive identity and style. British fashion is more fun, more irreverent, more influenced by the street than American and continental fashion in my belief. I think that’s been pretty much a trend since London was swinging in the 1960s. Earlier – from around the mid-19th century onwards – Britain was known for tailoring. But not just for men. Women came here to order their country tweeds and riding outfits. Even before that there were periods – particularly in the eighteenth century – when Britain and the rest of Europe were heavily influenced by French styles. But even then English fashions were different. They were more influenced by a love of nature and the countryside, rather than the urban.

Would you call Savile Row history?

I think Savile Row is very relevant at the moment. Even though few people can afford a bespoke or even a made-to-measure suit, it sets a benchmark in terms of fit and craftsmanship, but also provides something to rebel against and subvert. We live in rather conservative times and it is not surprising that the suit and Savile Row have made a comeback. Not that the suit ever went away, but it seems to be more readily adopted by a younger audience these days.

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Will the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits end up in an exhibition at the museum one day?

The outfits of the Duchess of Cambridge will certainly be displayed in the future. We would not say no if they were offered to the Museum of London! But I doubt they will come our way. The Royal Collection is all too aware of the appeal of fashion exhibitions and has staged a number of these over the past few years at Buckingham Palace – including a display of the Duchess of Cambridge’s infamous wedding dress. I think that is where we are most likely to see these garments go on show. I would almost be more interested in clothes worn by fans of the Duchess. A dress, say, that someone bought because the Duchess had worn something similar. It’s the stories behind and attached to garments and ensembles that interest me.

What’s the role of a museum in the British fashion industry: is it a promoter or is it a curator?

Museums can be both promoters and curators of fashion. We want to be able to tell the story of the development of fashion, but also more generally, every day wear. As such, some of our work involves making sure we collect and preserve the right objects. Obviously, putting contemporary design on display also promotes it. The jewellery designers in our Made in London: Jewellery Now exhibition are also represented in our museum shop. But when planning for the design of the exhibition, we were adamant that it should not look like a jewellery shop display. We wanted to create mini-installations allowing visitors to step inside the mind-set and creative worlds of these seven young London designers. There is a slight danger in being too involved in what’s going on at present. You don’t want to lose your critical distance.

What has changed in the way you curate fashion?

There is more emphasis on contemporary fashion now. Especially over the last twenty years. It is shame that there are not as many exhibitions about nineteenth century dress, or indeed dress from earlier periods in London. This is something that seems to be more prevalent in France and Germany for example. There seems to be a view that visitors will not be interested in clothes they cannot relate to now. Yet I’m not sure I entirely agree. The use of moving images is another big change. I realise that it seems so natural now, but even twenty years ago the technology was too clunky to achieve this easily or to a large scale. I really like that you can now see clothes moving next to the actual object. That’s always been a big problem with fashion: you have to display it on a static mannequin. The challenge is how to overcome the restrictions that this can place on the dynamism of display.

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Adidas x Who ??

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Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott, Mark McNairy, Kazuki Kuraishi, Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim from Opening Ceremony/Kenzo… This never-ending list is not the next Fashion Week schedule but the list of designers who collaborate with Adidas. The Adidas roster which now also includes the designer Tom Dixon and Kanye West, will probably welcome Pharrell Williams as well, who has almost confirmed the rumor by wearing a red Adidas Track Jacket during the last Grammy Awards. adidas-x-Kanye-West (1) Thus, Adidas which has just stolen Kanye West from Nike, acts unlike his famous rival by accumulating partnerships. These collaborations are not fleeting as well as they are not only related to a specific product. In this way, for most of them, they have become side product-lines developed through several years.

At the first sight, these collaborations seem to be a brilliant idea. Indeed, the fashion world keen on Hypebeast or HighSnobiety loves the announcements such as a top-designer like Raf Simons who teams up with Adidas. Thus, this kind of collaboration generates an immediate buzz. Nevertheless, in order for a partnership to be convincing, it is above all a matter of mutual passion and universes. For instance, even if the Kanye West recruitment looks like great news for Adidas, but currently Kanye West particularly matched Nike in people’s mind thanks to the most innovative and striking sneakers launches. Whereas Nike and Kanye West collaborated sporadically on a single product and distributed theirs sneakers only in a few selected retailers that created huge expectations for sneakerheads, Adidas x Kanye West, according to both of them, would be a larger collaboration on a range of unlimited products like Adidas x Opening Ceremony or Adidas x Jeremy Scott. Furthermore, at least regarding their impact on US mainstream culture, Nike and West seem to share more than the American artist and the German brand.

That is why except if they are concealing an amazing launch, a new innovative technology or a groundbreaker design, the coming collaborations between Adidas and West or Pharrell would be not relevant. Even if at the time these side lines are quite commercially successful, because of the proliferation of collaborations (and I will not tackle subjects such as one-shot partnerships with retailers like WoodWood or brands like Clot, or the integrated lines like Porsche Design or late-SLVR), because of the choice of retailers as well as the lack of coherency in the choice of designers, these partnerships do not look “honest”.

The trendsetters do not any longer rush for Y-3 and they have never done it for Adidas x Opening Ceremony (editor note: except for VQ who recently bought a fluo leopard tee from them). For a brand, the choice of the right interpreter may be difficult. It could be an artist (Adidas x Lee Quinones), a fashion designer (Adidas x Raf Simons), a sportsman (Nike x Jordan), an architect (Melissa x Zaha Hadid), or a designer (Puma x Starck)…  However, the success of a collaboration does not only rely on the fame of the interpreter, no more than in the product itself. For instance, the designer Michael Graves teamed up with Alessi and then with Target. He created almost the same kettles. Nevertheless, they sold much more Alessi one than Target one while the Alessi kettle was much more expensive. Indeed, the partnership between Alessi and Graves was approved by Alessi customers as well as Graves lovers while Graves lovers was not interested in Target and Target customers did not care about Graves.

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About this point, Nike used to act in an opposite way. Nike does not complete a lot of partnerships and the collaborations are temporary and limited. Of course, Nike teams up with Jordan on a wide range but nowadays, the Jordan brand image is quite separated from the Nike brand image and the Jumpman logo is almost as famous as the Swoosh logo. Nike is collaborating with Riccardo Tisci but only on a product that linked them through basket-ball: the Air Force One. Finally, Nike x Undercover is the only collaboration which is not limited both in time and range, however this line is related to SPORT. Whereas Dior and Chanel have created Haute-Couture sneakers for the last Haute-Couture week, Adidas creates sport products only with Stella McCartney. Adidas continues to believe in the so 00’s “retro” field: for Adidas, the most important launch of the year must be the Stan Smith come-back. Adidas does not believe in sport while it supports more athletes in more sports. Adidas creates more technologies than Nike but not the dream ones: Air vs. Adiprene, Flyknit vs. Primeknit, Lunarlon vs. Boost,… More than an umpteenth Adidas Forum customized by Jeremy Scott, we would prefer an uncrowded roster and a back to innovation and creation which it may be heralded by the Adidas x Rick Owens Tech Runner.

Less is more… rick-owens-for-adidas-2014-fallwinter-tech-runner-1  The « Interpreter » concept is taken from « Design Driven Innovation » (Roberto Verganti, Harvard Business Press).

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Unleash the power of StyleChi

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When StyleChi contacted us, we were pretty intrigued by the name…is it a yoga trend? Is it an Asian brand?

Well, not really but still: StyleChi brings some money spirituality to our fashion wallet. The idea is quiet simple: the more you discover, browse and add to shopping bag your favorite pieces, the more you earn points then the more you can save money. You increase your Chi so to say!

That’s a very interesting move: the shopping experience is becoming more and more subtle; brands will reward our social relationships and the attention we “give” to specific channels.

Let’s see if the Chi will be enough to compete against other online retailers blockbusters!

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Maje for K-Way: fashionably correct

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We’ve followed the reboot of K-Way brand for the last couple of months. And it’s seriously interesting; what used to be the nylon windbreaker that every sporty-daddy had to wear during week-end adventures has suddenly become a fashionable and must-have piece.

Judith Milgrom, the founder of Maje created four new designs available in gray or leopard print. The limited edition capsule collection will go on sale in February.

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“First created in 1965 by Léon-Claude Duhamel, a French manufacturer of pants, the nylon windbreaker quickly became one of K-Way‘s iconic pieces, thanks to its lightweight, compactable design. Following collaborations with A.P.C. in 2009 and Versus Versace last September, K-Way is now joining up with womenswear label Maje on a limited edition range of windbreakers. The capsule collection, available from February, is made up of four styles in polyester knit or nylon, bringing a modern edge to a wet weather classic. Oversized or fitted, each K-Way is available in four different colors: pale gray, black leopard print, gray leopard print and dark gray”.

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David Beckham-ing for H&M SuperBowl- #Covered or #Uncovered?

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We’re not necessarily the biggest fans of David Beckham; he might represent a certain idea of manhood that we’re not very keen to promote.

Nonetheless, things have changed and David Beckham added a cool stuff to his most wanted body language: humor and second degree.

So H&M asks us to choose the David Beckham for H&M campaign film for Super Bowl, by voting for our favourite version here: http://voteforbeckham.hm.com. Will he be #covered or #uncovered?

It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s mainstream thus. And it adds some personality to a guy who’s probably far more interesting than his physics only.