Thursday, March 29, 2007

CARMEN GET IT!

Manolo BlahnikBAGGING the latest It-accessory just isn't enough anymore: this season is all about the limited edition shoe. As well as planning the April opening of his new store on Hans Street, Knightsbridge, Rupert Sanderson has created Carmen. Sanderson joins Manolo Blahnik, who is currently designing two unique shoes for his new Kuwait boutique (for more details, click here); Christian Louboutin, who has made Activa, a midnight blue stiletto, exclusively for Harvey Nichols, and Burberry, who got in on the act with an ostrich-trim slingback for Matches. The king of elegant heels, Sanderson decided on a gold leather sandal knotted at the toe for Carmen. "My inspiration can come from anywhere from the most mundane to the most luxurious and rarefied," says Sanderson. "In the case of the Carmen 'knot shoe' my imagination was sparked by the knot of a Judo suit - the rows of stitching in this instance used to add strength to a garment worn in one of the world's most physical sports translated into a striking detail on a luxurious evening shoe. Limited edition shoes work as promotional tool both in a design and retail sense. There is a strong demand for exclusivity, customers want to feel that they have something special - something that isn't available in unlimited quantities."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

COCO RIBBON shop!

COCO RIBBON is launching Coco Ribbon Neutral next month, a COCO RIBBONveritable swap-shop where customers can bring their unwanted designer clothes to the Notting Hill store and will be given shopping vouchers to spend in the boutique instead. "We came up with the idea ourselves," says founder Alison Chow. "Sophie [Oliver, Alison's co-founder] and I were chatting about the state of the environment and how quickly things need to change - and we came up with this fun and rewarding way for people to shop and recycle at the same time. As a company, our philosophy is indulgent, but we also feel that everyone - no matter what area of life they work in - needs to think of different ways to do their bit for the environment. Whether it is recycling at home, in the office and just doing a small bit, the fashion industry needs to follow too. People like Anya Hindmarch have already started with her eco-friendly handbag and I admire her for being such a good role model and pioneer." Garments will be sold by the store online and 50 per cent of profits will be given back to the customer in Coco Ribbon pounds. If your clothes are incredibly fabulous, however, the boutique will give you an extra Ј10 on the spot. "Our girls have been trained to know what will sell and what won't, and the goods need to be freshly dry-cleaned and in mint condition" says Alison. "The best selling designers include Chloe, Prada, Miu Miu, Missoni and Roland Mouret, but we don't accept trousers or jeans."

Monday, March 19, 2007

MIU MIU AUTUMN/WINTER 2007-8

MIU MIU
With Miu Miu in last place on the schedule, there was no danger of Fashion Month going out without a bang and Miuccia Prada gave us all something to think about and discuss at length at our post-show dinners last night.

MIU MIUFirst question: will you pull your coral nylon tights over your waistband and tuck your cardigan into them next winter? "I loved it!" said stylist Charlotte Stockdale. "The tights were fabulous and the shoes were rocking. There was a sort of strange Fifties futurism about it as if the models were perfectly beautiful aliens. And I loved the really full skirts. If you're going to wear something that full and attention-grabbing, I think you should really go all the way." Matt nude and peachy pink lipsticks gave the models' faces a blankness that let us imagine they were alien - perhaps that's why they committed such fashion faux pas as no slips inder pink and orange gauzy skirts or blouses and the aforementioned tights - though in fact the band of nylon at the waist gave a clever slash of coral to nude and camel-coloured Fifties skirt-and-cardie combos. Miuccia Prada simply has a knack of making must-have what, for anyone else, would seem geeky at best. The "rocking" shoes (they are always a hit - nine pairs of the current season's double-strapped Mary Janes were spotted in one row alone), had brogue detailing, clusters of crystals up the heel or leather frills facing up the foot - and were all worn with fawn school socks. Cashmere suits in grey and camel had pinched waists, exaggerated hips and stiff, full skirts. No little sister to Prada this, the Miu Miu girl is cutting edge and confidently experimental - a glittering lame tweed for a stunning dark blue coat, leather suits that matched the models' lips and twinsets and full skirts of sheer, translucent, stiff nylon, that showed a ghostly x-ray impression of their limbs inside. The delicate colour palette of vanilla, tan, grey, peach, coral and baby pink gave this collection a Stepford Wives femininity, while Last Of The Summer Wine padded nylon housecoats added old lady kookiness that only a Miu Miu chick can pull off. It brought Fashion Month to an end, but as usual with Miuccia, it felt like this was just the beginning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gucci autumn/winter 2007-8!

GUCCI'S NEW BLACK
GUCCI's chief executive Robert Polet has silenced his critics by announcing impressive sales figures for the label during 2006. "It's hugely satisfying when you have achieved things others thought could not be done," he told the Financial Times - referring to his appointment in 2004 that many found incongruous with his previous role, as head of Unilever's ice-cream and frozen foods division, with some even nicknaming him "an ice-cream seller". But a 44 per cent rise in profits, which far exceeded analysts' expectations, has been put down, in part, to e-commerce. "I think it's the most exciting new territory and will become the most profitable and fastest-growing store for each brand," he said. Polet also revealed that Gucci Group stablemates Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen are on track to meet their financial targets for the year. The only label to make a loss was YSL Rive Gauche - though Polet pointed out that the house had at least improved its financial situation compared to the previous year, 2005, and further improvements can be expected considering the rave reviews that creative director Stefano Pilati's latest collection received.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Fashion news 2007

Paris fashion week
Paris Fashion is coming to a close which means another season's shows are over and all the tired fashion editors can go home. Celebrity sightings have been a little bit thin on the ground, although Mischa Barton turned up to watch Dior, the Olsen twins are in town and, our personal favourite, Barry from Eastenders put in an appearance at Hussein Chalayan. Aside from that, everyone's talking about the fact that Nicolas Ghesqiere has abandoned his sci-fi influences in favour of a thoroughly wearable ethnic/preppy look (our shopping list is compiled already), and the way that Viktor and Rolf tested their models to the limits by rigging them up with lights and speakers. Still yet to come are Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Lanvin and Chlo, as well as the Olivier Theyskens' debut collection for Nina Ricci, hotly anticipated since Reece Witherpoon stepped onto the red carpet in one of his creations this week at the Oscars.