It’s not often I find myself in the Fulham end of town but London is full of so many great pop ups right now that it’s worth travelling to find the good stuff, especially goodies ahead of the festive period and especially when they’re young designers just emerging on fashions radar.
A V A N T – S H O P was created by Stephanie Johnson, originally started as a creative agency to help young talents branch out into the London scene. Building a brand is a difficult task, with universities often not providing enough help outside of the creative fundamentals, you either learn on the job or are lucky enough to find help from agencies such as Stephanies’. Now they’re helping brands further on the sales side with this three month pop up, just two steps from Fulham Broadway underground.
One of the brands that stuck out for me was Hellen Van Rees, using an interesting mix of materials; mostly self created, such as silicone bonded silks, giving a heavy unexpected latex feeling, and ‘Rugging’ – a process of bonding together strands of heavy cotton and pulled apart materials. These two fabrics come together in the amazing white and almost purple pleated and rugged skirt you see above. Then you have Tiaber, another brand who’s cut and minimal aesthetic stood out for me. That beautiful stand up collar with concealed button placket followed by a bubbled top that was almost bubble wrap in fabric form.
For the accessories I immediately recognised modern scandi-cool Italian brand, Ross & Brown, seen on favourite Vanessa of The Haute Pursuit. They have every kind of textured frame imaginable, even denim covered frames, to match your double denim jacket and jean combo no doubt.. I instantly fell in love with Anna Maga Visconti; using fine gold and silver to encase salt particles in triangles and circles (the salt is apparently to be worn for good luck).
A V A N T – S H O P will be open until the end of January with womenswear, menswear and accessories, so make sure you pop by to uncover all the amazing young talent they have there.
In collaboration with A V A N T – S H O P
Last week I had the pleasure of being whisked away to Sussex for the day to test drive a Rolls-Royce of my choosing and, oh, you know, have a look at the factory while we were at it. I couldn’t believe when the email came into my inbox to be honest, as a driver who has only ever pootled along in a tiny Renault Clio, this was certainly a dream come true. Living in London I really miss driving, not that there’s anywhere to go even if I did have my car with me, but this trip has certainly left me with dangerous life aspirations. The Wraith we were driving has stolen my heart. I’m no petrol-head and don’t pretend to understand things like brake horsepower but I do know that it was a dream to drive and be driven in. Time to start saving then.. what pension?
With the success of their channel 4 documentary (if you haven’t seen it, you must stop what you’re doing right now and go-), Rolls-Royce are launching the ‘Inside Rolls-Royce‘ exhibition this week at the Saatchi Gallery, open for just four days, it promises to be a multi-sensory experience of what the famous great British brand is all about; an insight into the extraordinary lengths required to make the worlds most luxurious car.
The exhibition launches on the 13th November – 16th at the Saatchi Gallery on The Kings Road, London.
Photos in collaboration with Rolls-Royce and The Communication Store
Finally, I can share with you this exciting project I’ve been working on with Harrods and Rupert Sanderson for their
Inside the Studio campaign – live today!
Naturally I love getting the chance to poke around other designers studios and Rupert has been one of my favourite shoe designers since I moved to London and discovered his boutique off Bruton Place. As well as filming in the boutique itself I got to explore his offices on the top floor, which is just as beautiful as the store itself. I found out that every shoe is named after a variety of Daffodil, and there are over 2000 different varieties written in that little green book alone.
I got to be a fly on the wall during filming of the video, with Rupert’s muse, Jade Parfitt who explained why she’s such a fan of the brand – “They’re modern classics. Shoes I can wear for the next 30 years, I love that he picks up on things that are going on elsewhere in fashion but he still has his own path.” I couldn’t agree more!
To see the full film and see more behind the scenes, visit Harrods for Inside the Studio.
In collaboration with Harrods
I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you guys a sneak peek of the project I’ve been working on with Harrods for ‘Inside the Studio’ of Rupert Sanderson. Before fashion month even began I got to be a fly on the wall of one of my favourite iconic shoe designers based here in London, and my lips have been sealed tight, until now..
A series of four exclusive films capture the essence inside the studios of London’s most iconic designers, Rupert Sanderson, Matthew Williamson, Antonio Berardi and Alice Temperley. Revealing the intricate journeys of each designers’ collection accompanied by their muses. Full feature coming soon…
In collaboration with Harrods
Just your average Monday morning hanging out with a giant McQ manga bunny rabbit..! McQ has collaborated with Selfridges to house a giant rabbit – inspired by the man himself, Lee McQueen when he famously came out at the end of his 2008 show wearing a giant rabbit costume (I think I need to try this for my next show)!
This collaboration was created by Japanese artist Yoshiyasu Tamura and you can find him on the third floor of Selfridges. In fact, McQ and Selfridges are encouraging you to take a selfie with the rabbit, and upload it onto your social channels hashtagging ‘McQBunny’ and @ing McQ and theofficialselfridges, to be in with a chance of winning £1000 to spend in store on McQ and their new Manga inspired collection. There’s also an exclusive in store, the hand painted leather biker jacket, with only three in the whole world existing and painted by the artists own hand. Also, the grey flocked sweatshirt with a limited edition of 200 pieces. SO now you have no reason to not head to Selfridges to shop and snap your pictures. Remember to be as creative as possible to win – they will literally let you climb on him so the possibilities are endless!!
When I came across the new LN-CC SS14 web campaign, shot in a marble quarry in Carrara, Tuscany; it’s needless to say, my mind was blown. Possibly the most incredible backdrop of all time (and a little jealous it never crossed my mind first tbh)! I need to book the next flight out, that’s for sure..
I remembered these photos I shot of the London store at the end of last year, when AW was still on the shelves. The insanely beautiful London store space acts as an ever changing platform of creative ideas – you can see this perfectly through their Vimeo film; as you can see there’s even a club inside the space that resides on East London’s Shacklewell Lane, which is actually how I came to see the space for the first time. I’m proud to say that such an awesome boutique resides in my neighbourhood, and if you’re visiting London I’m telling you to make an appointment :) They’re closed at the moment until September but no worries if you’re not London bound or living as they’re online too.
Growing up in Devon the only magazine I would save up to buy would be POP; it’s been my favourite since can remember. I remember the blogger collaboration they pioneered back in 2009, just a year after I had started my blog and was avidly reading other blogs online. It felt like a really exciting turning point that I was desperate to be involved in; so you can imagine how ridiculously excited I was to be approached by POP a few months back, to help pioneer the launch of their new online site The POP along with YOOX.
The new segment, coined #POPSHOPPING see’s bloggers styling their top picks from YOOX for the new Pop site, shooting on film using Fuji Films Instax. It was across digital platforms including Pinterest, newsletters and instagram, as well as appearing in the brand new issue of Pop magazine itself (squeel!). Thank you so much to Stephanie for making the whole experience a blast, and to POP and YOOX!
See my interview with Pop on Yoox and make sure you go out and buy the new issue!
Last week, before I fled for Paris, I took part in a Never Underdressed shoot to choose the créme de la créme of coats on offer this Winter. It was pretty dangerous as I now has at least 3 or 4 added to my wish list, but really fun to choose the best from what must have been about a thousand coats!
I had seen this Stills coat from their look book a few months ago so I had to say I was a little bias, but what a beautiful, perfect coat! It comes in pink as well as a super dusky blue and both need to be owned by me very soon indeed; followed closely by the Sandro shearling biker that I fell head over heels for as soon as it was tried on – so warm and perfect for cold winter ahead! On a more fashion front I fell for the racing stripe neon Thu Thu coat tried on by Never Underdressed’s editor, Elin, and her very own pony hair Kurt Geiger heels.
The feature with the full run down of the coats and a video will be appearing on their site next week, I’ll be shouting about it as soon as it’s live.. No doubt it will mainly show us all strutting around in our pink coats, how could we resist?
Thank you to the Never Underdressed team and my fellow bloggers for such a fun day!
I’ve been obsessed with Dr Martens since I can remember, their iconic design appeals to multiple generations the world over and I always knew that if there was ever a factory I could visit in the UK, it would be theirs. This all started from the competition I posted on here a month ago, where my lucky winner Lucie won £500 worth of Dr Martens! Unfortunately she wan’t available to come up to Northampton with us on the day (we missed you!) but bloggers and winners made up our group to visit the place where the iconic boot was born.
I think the most fascinating part for me was to see the leather gradually turning into a 3D object as we went around the floor. The factory was divided into two halfs, one with rows of sewings machines to stitch the multiple leathers together, and the other with machines for buffing, melting, sticking, and moulding. The smell of leather and whirring machinery was thick in the air a we walked around the floor, being guided through each step of the making process. It was all just totally ingenious and awe inspiring for each individual machine to have it’s own job – my favourite was the flame blade; kept at a constant 700 degrees centigrade to melt the soles firmly onto the bottom of the shoes. Also if you can notice in the pictures, every employee at the factory has to wear a pair of brand new shoes or boots for a few weeks, to test their durability! Genius multi tasking! I had no idea that so much work went into one pair of boots and I think I’ll be looking at my DM collection a little differently in the future. I’d recommend checking out the Art of Industrial Manufacture video to see the factory in motion!
A huge thank you to Amy from Dr Martens for organising the trip!
It’s so exciting for me to poke around a busy factory of such an established brand as Tusting; marvelling at all the different machines and jobs to complete one bag, making mental notes of the machine parts that I should be ordering for my studio; it all reassures me that I’m heading in the right direction for my own brand and excitingly, that I’ll have a factory of my own to poke around in one day. Don’t you love that each workspace had it’s own cheesy calendar? Anyway, getting a little off the point, Tusting is the second largest manufacturer in the UK, based in the small town of Bedfordshire, the workers even walk to work from the nearby village! They started their company by importing leather from india in the 1870′s and selling shoe soles to companies like Church’s -which they still do today; now they have been manufacturing bags for over 130 years, giving them a timeless quality and heritage.
They’re even involved with the young British design scene, helping Richard Nicoll design his bags for AW12, with Vodafone. I went to the breakfast launch just under a year ago to hear them talking about ‘an exciting new accessory’ to be debuted on the runway, so it was fun to see it come around full swing. The bags on the runway were all white and have a battery pack in the botton that can charge various devices, a pretty nifty idea in theory.
After we’d seen the factory, we went for lunch in the village pub where Tusting brought along some bags and leathers and we got to choose our own! I’m excited to show you the finished result when it arrives. We also got to discuss manufacturing in the UK and debate why it’s obviously so important for brands to start bringing their factories back. Ella told me that Burberry were planning on returning their factories to England, which would be amazing! Tusting’s largest export is Japan, where they go crazy for traditional Western products therefore they must be made in England; I would think this must fall on Burberry as well; when you sell your brand as heritage I think you subconsciously expect these products to be made in the original country, it’s time we all realised how much this isn’t happening and start bringing our brands back home.