30/11/2009

Hooray Mouret

Underpinning

Roland Mouret's Galaxy dress pioneered in 2005 as the ultimate wear for femininity. Now you can have all that perfect shape under your favourite LBD or Christmas dress with the Power Mesh Dress, available in one colour, powder, and for sale at £270.

Read the full article here.

An interesting idea from Mouret and Browns. Rather than advertising their dresses, they are trying to get people to update their wardrobe instead using the power mesh dress. So why are they? Perhaps they are realising that people who would wear the galaxy dress are less concerned with buying something new, and would prefer to have the shape applied to something they already own. It's fair to say you can't buy a Mouret dress for £270, so it is pretty much the next best thing to it, but you could also buy a Karen Millen dress that would hold the same shape and, perhaps, suit you better. But it's not for definite, there are some who would buy into this who don't want to give up their favourite dress, just want to make it something new. I'm surprised Marks & Spencers haven't done one yet.

29/11/2009

Selfridges TV

What's On


After going to Selfridges today and trying to find out more about 3rd Central (the new location for Contemporary Womenswear and the largest wall of denim in Europe), I'd found that on Selfridges.com they had Selfridges TV, a chance to see interviews and videos on all the latest news from the store. It has an interesting interview with Christopher Bailey as well as some information on 3rd Central.


I don't know why, but I seem to prefer this little video feed compared to a blog like Browns do. It seems a little bit more well thought out and less like it's been trying to copy a blog, trying to be up with the times.

28/11/2009

High Street Concessions

Concessions, Concessions, Concessions.

Sonia Rykiel's lingerie collection for H&M has been gathering press recently after the success of Jimmy Choo for H&M, but will it match up?

I missed the H&M underwear collections when they went away from my local store. Apparently they weren't selling enough due to an Ann Summers opening up. Who made that decision? I barely see anyone in Ann Summers anymore, and H&M was cheap lingerie. It was also a style and fit that would fit anyone, you just needed to pick a style, and it was better quality than the Primark lingerie that breaks in the wash.

Jimmy Choo for H&M kept the same quality by using their Europe factory as the creator to retain the quality of their usual collections. So how on earth did they keep the price down? I've asked them, and I'm waiting for their reply, but it seems as though Jimmy Choo has decided to spend money to make money. And boy did they make it. Tamara Mellon is my idol, I absolutely love her. I want to be her and look like her and have her boyfriend (Christian Slater). She was recently faced with a boardroom of businessmen who wanted to get rid of her, so she came up with a game plan and has completely changed the business around for the better. But where have the Sonia Rykiel lingerie pieces been created? With their usual factory or using H&M's?
Topshop has their Kate Moss creations made in the same factory in Monaco as the rest of Topshop's items, so how does it account to be more expensive? The quality is no better, it's just designed by a model, not even a designer. So why are so many sucked into her collections? Her first collection was a let down, yes, but her recent ones have been better. Has she created a lingerie collection to compete with Sonia Rykiel for H&M?
We all know why high street concessions are so popular; because for a little extra money we can get a little hint of designer style. But apparently, we're willing to sacrifice quality to get that style. This is true with Primark for example, you really do get what you pay for in quality, even if you're getting more for your money in style. Perhaps this is why Jimmy Choo was so popular; because they kept the quality and sold it for cheap. Maybe this is why people buy designer and know designer, but they're put off by something else.

27/11/2009

Perfume Shoppers

For that price, Might as well...

Superdrug is clever, pretty darn clever. They've decided to have a 20% off sale before Christmas. I needed to pick out a new perfume, so went into Superdrug and unfortunately they'd changed the whole set up. You used to be able to swift your way around the fragrances and test them all like you can in Boots and, sometimes, House of Fraser. Instead they are all set behind a desk like cigarettes and alcohol. This is not why Superdrug are clever, as it just makes everything seem unavailable. However, there was one woman who was taken in by the 20% off.
Two fragrances were on sale at the counter. Calvin Klein Escape for women and another equivalent for men.
Calvin Klein Escape
Now this woman picked up the Calvin Klein Escape for women for one reason alone. It had been reduced from £56.00 to £17.99. She kept sniffing and sniffing it and saying "hmmm, errr, yeah, it's growing on me now." So that was in the bag. She didn't even particularly like the smell, but bought it for the over £36 saving. This wasn't even part of the 20% off deal, it just seemed like they were trying to get rid of it on people like her. Then she picked up the mens. "Ooo, that's strong, pwoar, no way...hang on, it smells nicer now." It was for her son. Then she turned to me and asked me if I liked it. I smelt it (it was God awful) and said to be honest, no. In reality, it would put me off a guy if he were wearing it. "It's not even for me and it's nice," she said, "he likes those sweet smells." The sweet smells smelt more like dirt. "Oh go on then I'll get it, for that price, might as well." I couldn't believe it! She was taking a chance on a fragrance not knowing whether her son would like it or not! All because of the price! It's incredible how women shop; if it's a bargain, they have to have it, whether they'd ordinarily buy it anyway.
Juicy Couture Cami
Take me for example: I had an email in my inbox telling me that Koodos.com is having free delivery all weekend. Whenever I get an email like this, I go straight to the sale. However, the top I'd bought was £31.50. Granted it was originally £125 and I was saving a bomb, I could have spent that money on probably two tops in H&M that I'd really liked. However, I said to myself, it is Juicy Couture and you need to own something remotely designer. (This after I'd persuaded my parents to buy me a Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelet for my birthday). I still, to this moment, cannot believe I've bought that top. It's supposed to be Christmas and I'm buying for myself! Why can't women turn down such bargains? It's some deep psychological thing that the more we're saving the more we have to have it. It's not a crime that I just spent £32, I saved £93! Surely men don't shop like this?

Journal

Next stop, Selfridges & Co.
So after all the research I've done, primary and secondary, qualitative and quantitative, I need to actually observe those shopping designer. What better way in this cold weather than to do it in one place under one roof: Selfridges.
From my research I've found that most shoppers of designer are not under 25. Those who do shop designer are over this age with money to spare, but is that anyone at this stage of the recession? High street stores are becoming more popular due to gaining more customers who need to spend less on clothing but still want to shop and have a full wardrobe, while designer stores suffer by having barely any customers left due to high prices. Two things I need to find out in Selfridges:
1. Who's buying?
I will look at the upper level designer stores and lower level high street brands to see what sort of customers shop where, what age, profession, style, who they're with and who's buying (be it themselves, husband or mother).
2. Does designer rank over price?
Which is more popular? The designer brands or the high street brands? Why are those buying designer buying designer? Quality? Style? Label?


I will be visiting Selfridges & Co. London on Sunday the 29th of November and I'm hoping it will be busy for my research, and not busy so I can talk to individuals (and shop in peace!). Hopefully this trip will help finalise my research and support my findings for my final project.

26/11/2009

Drapers Online

Drapers becomes Exclusive
Drapers online have just announced that from the 27th November they will only allow paying subscribers to view their online articles. This means that many will miss out on the actual beauty of Drapers, free information. I haven't looked at Drapers for a while, and haven't bought the magazine for even longer because I always knew it was online if I ever needed it.

"We believe the valuable content of Drapersonline.com should be exclusively for the benefit of our paying subscribers."
But is it just a way of getting more money? Do they not think that there will be those that would just find their information elsewhere? Surely Drapers isn't the only location for business news, even though it is popular, it now has a disadvantage against other publications.
So why would they decide to make Drapersonline.com exclusive when so many other brands are trying to get as many people interested as possible? Perhaps magazine sales are down due to so many finding their information online, and so all the work they do is becoming free. Surely they should have realised it before they set up an online site. What about Vogue.com? They have most of the information from their magazine online, but the aesthetics of the real life magazine keeps it's appeal and so they will never have to choose between online and the magazine. It seems that online isn't making print obsolete, much to the disappointment of some people who thought it might.

25/11/2009

Topshop

Dress me up, Buttercup
Topshop has created Dress Me Up, where you can borrow donated dresses from stars and designers for £40, then the dresses will be auctioned for charity.
Jayson Brundsen dress donated by Dita Von Teese

"The brand's new initiative, Dress Me Up, will allow shoppers to hire dresses owned by stars including Kate Moss, Freida Pinto, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Palermo, Jourdan Dunn, Erin O'Connor, Naomi Campbell, Sophie Dahl, Nicola Roberts and Dita Von Teese - as well as designers including Richard Nicoll, Zandra Rhodes, Meadham Kirchoff, Clements Ribeiro, Marios Schwab, Danielle Scutt, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Emma Cook - for one day only. The dresses will then be auctioned, giving you the chance to own your favourite dress forever with all proceeds from hire fee and the auction going to Topshop's chosen charities Age Concern and Help the Aged." Lauren Milligan.
Read on Vogue.com

Nicola Roberts contributed one of her bespoke Girls Aloud stage costumes.
This is actually fantastic of Topshop. They will allow many high street customers experience of the designer brands without the label. But will it be enough to get them buying into designer? They will experience it for a day for a cheap price tag but won't go back until designer is cheap again, like when Topshop has boutique collections by Kane etc. and H&M create collections designed by Jimmy Choo.
But that's not the point, the collection and initiative is intended to raise money for charity and increase the popularity of Topshop. A great idea, with little cost to the company as the dresses have been donated, but fundamentally a new concept that no other high street brand would be able to make possible.

Internet Fashion

How it all began

The Telegraph online has just published a story about how the Fashion industry first took on the Internet. It all began with photograpers of the shows having to sign a declaration preventing them from putting their photos on the Internet that could be viewed by copycats in Asia. First View was the first to break the rules. Read the Article Here
firstVIEW.com
But it's interesting how they assumed the Internet will never catch on for fashion. The reporter Marion Hume points out that "The word “exclusive” really translates as “we’re still sorting out the website”."
So how did it become so popular? Why did the fashion industry suddenly give in to allow all the copycats in the world access their images and create fakes? Personally I believe that one brand did it, and no one else wanted to be left behind. It was seen as the future, and no brand wanted the image of being stuck in the past who can't 'get with the times,' especially seeing as those brands who did have websites didn't actually change fundamentally.
Nowadays, brands are going online to access more people than before. It's proving more successful in terms of advertising than print ever was due to the number of people you could really access.
Designer brands are currently suffering as their loyal customers are, forgive me, dying out. In France, mothers would tell their girls to save up for a Chanel bag, whereas in the UK, mother's are saying, "there's a recession, go get a fake remake in Primark."
Without using the Internet to contact the new generation that's not aware of designer, many high end fashion brands and especially lower luxury brands will be lost in dust.

24/11/2009

Apple Advertising

Apple is set to enforce advertising on the iPhone

Brand Republic has announced that there are talks to go ahead with forcing Apple iPhone users to view unavoidable ads. Some will even ask the users questions to make sure they are paying attention. Read the article here.
This is not a good move by the brand. Although advertising is everywhere and it's difficult to avoid, it shouldn't be forced onto a little screen. when you get an ad on your computer, you can look at something else while it's playing, the same with the tv, but by putting it on the tiny iPhone they're not allowing any other choice. They are forcing the advertising on to them and they're not going to like being forced into anything. You shouldn't have to pay for a leisure of not watching adverts.

ASOS

As Seen On Screen

ASOS has been labeled as one of the most successful online shopping sites, but what exactly makes them so successful?
Recent Changes
ASOS had recently decided to allow those on the mailing list to have free delivery if they shopped within a 2 hour period on a certain day. The sales must have risen as even I bought something I didn't need, just because it was free delivery. It didn't matter to me that I didn't try it on, I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. So ASOS realised that delivery prices were a problem, so here's what they introduced:

Super Saver Delivery:
£1.95 to receive the item within 6 days

Nominated Day Delivery
£5.95 to choose the day you want your item to be delivered so you can be home/at work.

Same Day Delivery
£9.95 and you can get your item that evening.

But what else? ASOS have launched ASOS Life, a forum area for everyone to have their say. They have an ideas section that allows for customers to present ideas to ASOS to make it better.
They also now have ASOS Premier, which, for £24.95 per year you could have free next day and nominated day delivery and pick up returns. It's a good bargain, and they've hit on one of the main downsides to buying online: the delivery costs.

23/11/2009

British Wedding Buyers

Have just come home from a weekend wedding and thought to myself, I just spent all that money on clothes I'll probably never wear again, but it was all worth it.
The wedding dress is quite a strange concept as well; it's something you can spend hundreds, even thousands on but will only wear once. Even if you re-marry, you'll probably buy another dress because you don't want the wedding to be the same as before. So why spend so much? Are weddings really the only time you can lavish out on spending and not worry about it? The actual cost of a wedding is huge, even a small one. The best way to keep the price down is to elope!
Take my outfits for example. I had to wear something for the night before dinner and the wedding day. Bearing in mind it would be a cold winter wedding, it was hard to choose the outfits. For the first night I'd planned to wear a black dress I'd worn for my 21st as no one from the wedding had seen me in it before. so why is it that when I went shopping for a cardigan to wear with the dress, I'd bought another dress from H&M to wear instead? I only wanted to spend about £15 on the cardigan, and ended up buying a £30, with £3 earrings and an £8 cardigan, even though I'd already had my outfit sorted.
So why did I buy it? Because I looked good in it and it was Vivienne Westwood-like. But who would have known I'd looked better in this dress than my previous LBD? It didn't even fit properly, my bum was too big so it kept riding up and there was no way I'd be able to eat anything in order to fit into it. So why buy it? I'm usually so level headed with buying! Perhaps it was to seek compliments, and I'd felt I'd get more from this dress than the former. Funnily enough the only comment I'd had was from my boyfriend with a simple, you look nice.
And what about the day dress? I'd bought it about 4 months after they got engaged for goodness sake. It was the one thing to look forward to and it wasn't even my wedding. Seeing as it was a winter wedding, I wanted to be warm (which I wasn't in the end) but there were two colours to steer clear from: Black, because it's not a funeral and White, because it's the bride's colour choice not the guest's. You can imagine how disappointed I was to find people wearing these two colours. I asked one woman why she wore white, she said it's an old dress she liked, (I don't think she was very close to the happy couple) and the women wearing black said they were cold and it's smart.
It was interesting asking people what they were wearing and why. Those close to the bride and groom bought outfits especially, planned for months in advance, whereas those not so close were either borrowing clothes or wearing something old. Does that mean that shopping for clothes is meant for one reason alone; to have people you know compliment you? Possibly.

18/11/2009

Vogue Newsletter

News by Vogue


Supermodel Designs


Claudia Schiffer to design her own collections: This is a name I can really trust, she's someone who is so genuine in everything she does, plus you know how many items of clothing she's really worn, and so knows designer quality. It's not like Miley Cyrus doing a collection, it's someone who's worked in fashion all her life. Below is when she visited my uni for GFW 2009.


Show And Tell

http://www.showstudio.com/project/livestudio
Gareth Pugh will be using SHOWstudio's Bruton Place shop from Friday, but it's not open to the public, you can only watch it online. Fair enough putting it online for everyone to see, but it defeats the purpose of being available to everyone if they're going to close the shop. He's not even hand-crafting something new, it's a recreation of one of his Spring Summer 2010 collection pieces. Why not do something new? Is it really that hard? I don't think this was constructed very well, it's just being fancy for no particular reason.

Welcome Baggage

Louis Vuitton raised nearly £500,000 for the Red Cross in their auction held at Sotheby's. They collaborated with Annie Leibovitz and Damien Hurst for the designs, but why didn't they do it in aid of the British Red Cross? Although the Nigerian Red Cross for Malnutrition is a worthy cause, I don't know why I expected it to be for the British. Has it been drilled into my head during the recession that we should be helping ourselves, rather than any other country? Even X-Factor and I'm A Celebrity are donating to UK based charities, and they're the most popular form of publicity.

Nicholas Coleridge CBE

Another honour from Buckingham Palace for the fashion industry; first the founder of Net-A-Porter, now the founder of Condé-Nast, head of Vogue and others. The fashion industry is on the rise, and with it being recognised as worth while by British Royalty, does it mean all of Britain will? My dad doesn't think they deserve it, because although they're raising the economy by selling, they're not loyal to Britain - they're in it for the money, that's why they started.

Gucci Film Confirmed

Is it just me or is the fashion industry just growing out of proportion? You would expect a film about Gandhi, the Queen and even George Bush, but fashion has never really seemed to make an impact in history on anything but... well... fashion. Coco Chanel's film starring Audrey Tatou was worth while because it explained her troubles, and she's someone that's continued after changing the fashion world, but did anyone who wasn't a woman interested in fashion actually pay to see it in the cinema? The September Issue was more realistic, they knew not many people would watch it so sent it to DVD after days in the cinema. Gucci? Really? It seems even from this Vogue article that the only hype about it is the rumours of Angelina Jolie starring in it. Do they really expect that having the public know more about the brand will increase sales? Or even the customer database? By putting Jolie in it and having Ridley Scott direct they're bringing in more fans to watch the film, but it would be interesting to see whether Coco Before Chanel raised sales for the luxury company. The film grossed $4.2 billion, but what about the brand?

16/11/2009

Luella's Mis-aims

Luella's Bust

Liz Jones from the Daily Mail has claimed that the Luella fashion label has gone bust because it was unwearable snobbery
Read here
Luella Spring Summer 2010
"Does my wardrobe contain anything by Luella Bartley? One of the bags she designed for Mulberry back in 2003, perhaps? No. Too many pockets and fiddly bits. One of her own Gisele bags? No. Far too expensive. A trouser suit covered in the alphabet? Oh dear God no."
Keep in mind that she's not exactly the youngest journalist, and the clothing is considered to be for a younger audience. Does it mean that the only women buying designer are those who will only buy classic wear? I for one loved most of Luella's collection, but can't afford it. Will my taste change when I'm older and can afford it? I'm sure. So no one was buying because the age range they were aiming at were too young to purchase it? And those with money are probably daddy's girls who buy Louis Vuitton over Luella. Maybe she should have done a high street line with Topshop, who are known to have recreated many of her prints before. Shame she didn't think of it before she went bust, her customers were just a high street store away. They would have at least been loyal when they did get money...

15/11/2009

Chanel sued

Did you copy me Chanel?

Carmen Colle, head of textile enterprise World Tricot, is in persuit of suing Chanel for first rejecting one of her crocheted samples, then producing a jacket with a reproduced version. Colle's company hires immigrant workers to give them steady jobs, but since her upheaval with Chanel has had a loss of interest from large name Haute Couture companies. WWD has reported on this issue, but you can read about it here by the Telegraph.
Carmen Colle
I can see the reasons behind her standing her ground, but she must have known that Chanel would sue her company for tarnishing their name? There have been many articles about the people behind the creation of such houses, and having worked in one myself, you come to terms with the fact that the designer gets all the credit. Not anymore, however, as 'the little guy' is standing up. People these days are feeling more confident and want to be credited for creating something someone else has used. Fake reproductions is something Chanel is strongly against, so it would be surprising if the verdict on the 11th December turned out that they had admitted to stealing the crocheted fabric. If they do win, however, World Tricot will be ruined. The actions of this woman, the fashion house and the morals behind it all are so different to what would have happened 50 years ago.

14/11/2009

SHOWstudio

Going Gaga
Nick Knight, Ruth Hogben and Lady Gaga, the perfect match. Together they are asking the Lady's fans to submit Apocalypse inspired videos to be spliced together for her world tour "Monster's Ball".
It's an idea to get people more involved in what the stars are doing, proving that they're concentrating on pleasing the fans. This day and age is all about pleasing the ordinary people, the public, the average person (with money and taste). Involving them seems to be the best way to do that. The brief has just launched today, so we'll see how popular it is depending on how many people upload their videos...

12/11/2009

Mobile Shopping just got easier

The boring bit that makes mobile shopping easier



IBM has announced new software that delivers a personalized and more interactive shopping experience for the exploding population of mobile users worldwide. The software incorporates new social networking capabilities and the ability for retailers to reach consumers with personalized promotions, coupons and other content, regardless of how or where the customer chooses to shop with them.

Source

Advancements in mobile devices are reshaping the way customers interact with brands, expanding beyond mere information exchange to true online commerce. Increasingly, the beneficiaries of this growth are online retailers. According to independent research firm, Forrester Research, Inc., consumer retail sales from websites is projected to reach $211.7 billion by 2012 in the United States alone, up from $125.1 billion in 2007.*(Forrester Research, "State of Retailing Online 2009: Marketing" by Sucharita Mulpuru, June 5, 2009.)

The new software underscores IBM's commitment to the mobile space. In June, the company announced a five-year, $100 million research initiative aimed at improving mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide.

To meet this demand, IBM is introducing WebSphere Commerce 7, a new release of its industry-leading e-commerce software that enhances the shopping experience for mobile consumers. The new IBM Mobile Store solution improves the shopping experience from start to finish, enabling customers to more easily browse an online store, conduct side-by-side product comparisons, then view store locations, check inventory availability and complete the purchase.

Shoppers can even place orders online and pick up their merchandise at the closest store -- which can be automatically mapped out for them on their mobile phone. With the new IBM technology, retailers can also instantly deliver timely, relevant and personalized brand information and promotions, based on past purchases, to a customer's mobile device through text messages or e-mail. According to IBM's Institute for Business Value, the number of mobile users will grow by 191 percent from 2006 to 2011 to reach approximately one billion users worldwide. (IBM Institute of Business Value, "Go Mobile, Grow" by Christian Seider, Sean Lafferty and Dr. Sungyoul Lee, 2008.)

So they've established through research that we're shopping online, but that it's going further to shopping on our mobile phones. But why? Do we really not have time to go shopping anymore? Do we not have time to even sit at our computer anymore? Using our mobile phone for everything isn't proof that we need to have such a gadget, it more demonstrates how we accept new technology that is available to us in the current postmodern situation. People don't want to be left behind, so they're accepting something like this. But not everyone can use the application. Although almost all phones, and definitely all new models, have access to the internet, the iPhone was the first to really be proved to the public (and draw them in) that the internet can be easily accessed on your handset. Do some believe we need an iPhone in order to access the internet? What about costs? You're already paying to have the Internet at home, so why pay for it on your mobile as well? If you don't have the money, and had to choose, I'm betting home internet will be more popular. If you do have the money, you're probably busy out earning that money and so require internet on your mobile.


11/11/2009

Polyvore Amore

What is Polyvore?

Now this is a site for people with a lot of time on their hands. It lets you create styles using items for sale on the web, and lets you show those styles to anyone who clicks to buy the item from the Polyvore website. From what I can gather, Polyvore means many members (not literally, just poly and vore), and there are many people who have been using the site, so why is it unheard of? It as the same principles as Shopstyle.com, but with the ability to let people create their own looks. The more popular the looks occur, the easier it is to call it a trend.

"Polyvore is a free, easy-to-use web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. It is also a vibrant community of creative and stylish people.

Polyvore lets you create sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. After you have created a set, you can publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community.

How do I create a set?

The Polyvore editor lets you create sets using items that have been imported into Polyvore by you or other users. Think of it as a very simple collage editor. Watch a tutorial of the editor:




How do I add items to Polyvore?

You can import items from other websites using the clipper tool. Please make sure to respect copyrights when clipping items.

This is one of the sets I've created, but I don't see how much use it will be to everyone else. Yeah people can look at it, like it, use it, but how do they find it? Surely going to a style website would be much easier? Even going to a blog would be easier. It was pretty easy, no photoshopping required, and it was easy and simple. Took me all of 3 minutes. Perfect really. All you need now is the ability to upload your head and you can make little designer models of yourself.

The site has been up for at least 2 years, so why hasn't it got around? Is it really useful enough to put it up with other online fashion sites? It's worth it for the shopping, it has more variety than Shopstyle due to having the members upload the items, rather than having to get the brands to affiliate with the site itself. Hmmm... some copyright and legal laws might be broken here. The FTC might not be happy with this site, but at least the items listed are being sourced. I'll try and get in contact with them to ask why they decided to set up such a site.

10/11/2009

Tokyo demand "Fast-Fashion" over Luxury Goods

I'd read an article this morning on the Wall Street Journal website quoting Chief Executive of Forever 21, Larry Meyer saying:

"Luxury is not in vogue right now given the lack of consumer confidence. As in the U.S., in Japan there has been an underlying group of people who couldn't afford luxury and wanted trend-like fashion at a lower price—the downturn has made that market that much larger."


Read Article on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network


Although "not in vogue" is intended to be in terms of fashion, I have to point out that within Vogue I've seen many Topshop adverts and Topshop products being featured. Could the high street be taking over Vogue? They're a business that has to give people what they want, but I doubt it. People can buy Glamour magazine if they want to find something affordable, Vogue is all about getting an insight, gaining information, and using it to suit yourself. People who really read Vogue know what to do with it, they don't use it to carry to fashion school.

So back to the article, the real focus is how Japan is going crazy for new stores like Forever 21 and H&M while Versace is pulling out and LVMH "expects sales of high-end clothing, accessories, tableware, cosmetics and jewelry will drop by 10% in Japan this year."

Why the change of heart?

Christine Edman, H&M's Japan country manager and representative director said "Caring about value and quality has been in Japan for a long time, but it's more pronounced now because of the recession. The Japanese know that lower prices do not mean bad quality."

"[Office Ladies] are seeing their bonuses cut or getting no overtime pay, so they're cutting back," says Mr. Aoki from BoA-Merrill Lynch. "People are cutting back on clothes and groceries and making more fundamental lifestyle choices by spending on things like books, eating out, instruments and televisions."

Well we all know there's a recession and there's been a drop in sales, but clothes are still being bought. The question is, why is Japan, renowned for loving labels, suddenly opting for High Street? I think it's just because it's a bargain. They have their luxury goods that will last them a lifetime, now something new (and cheaper) has come along and they want in, even if it is just during the recession.

09/11/2009

Art of the Trench

It has been Launched

Wearing a trench? I guess you'd better run around the streets of London trying to find Scott Schuman to take a photo for Art of the Trench by Burberry. Either that or you can take a photo of your own trench... and pretend it's Burberry if you don't own one.
It's interesting that they've created such a site that stops anyone from being on it unless they own a Burberry trench; it's like how Facebook first started when it was only accessible using a university email address. But why, I ask, have Burberry created such an exclusive site you can only look at and comment unless you own, not an item by Burberry, but a Trench by Burberry, when they were the ones who invited us in to watch their SS10 show? I think it's because they've drawn us in as a special brand, but to really be in with the it crowd you have to buy a trench. It's no facebook or twitter, and functions more like a restricted I like my style.net but it's something to look at if you're bored. Apart from that, if you're not on it, it doesn't help you... whatsoever. How useful.

-------------------------------------

Do you know what? I bet I'd change my tune if I actually owned a Burberry Trench and I was up on the site after being photographed by the Satorialist's Scott Schuman. I'd be raving to the world, look! look! I'm up on the site! Aren't I elite! Is it worth buying a Burberry coat JUST to get on the site? Not for me, maybe for some. I'd rather buy the coat because I could afford such a luxury. Still, even if I were up there and telling my friends to find me, I'd still think, huh, this still isn't that useful.

08/11/2009

Journal

What Now?

So I've been researching for months now, and what's on here isn't the half of it. But where has it got me? Really, by researching everything, I felt there were so many directions to go in, and every day I had a new idea of what I wanted to focus on. But I've done enough research now, I need to develop and experiment.
I know now after all this research that I want to look into technology and how it's supposed to help us, or at least make us believe it's helping us, and how the fashion industry uses this tool. I've watched all the online shows and felt a part of the process, (even though the shows are now playing on ftv), but it was the fact it was live that has helped me to focus my research. I've contacted some other bloggers who reviewed the Burberry and Louis Vuitton shows (the most likely ones to have seen) and I've asked whether they watched the shows online and if they own any products by the brand. This will help me to understand who's really interested in fashion using technology. Two people I'd asked had attended the Burberry show, and so I changed to question to, if you had a choice, would you go or watch it online. It's pretty obvious what the answer will be, but I want to know whether these are real customers of Burberry or consumers. By consumers I mean someone who's interested in the brand and consumes their identity but don't buy from the product line mainly due to the price of high end luxury.
I need to find out who to aim technology and fashion to by finding out who's really interested. What's their age range? What brands do they like? How often they buy technology and fashion and how often they're interested in it without purchasing anything.
I'll have to try to develop a concept at this point, so although I'll keep putting research up here, there will be some development of ideas on it too. As well as a journal of how stressful third year actually is.

07/11/2009

Text if you want it

Runway to Heaven


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What interested me about this show was how they were being fashion forward with their use of technology.

"Austin is known for it’s creativity and technology. We’ve decided to incorporate the latest technology into the show to make things even more interesting.

Ripped from the Runway: Do you go to fashion shows wishing you could walk out knowing you would have the “must-have” look in your closet? Texture Marketing, an Austin-based company, will provide everyone the ability to use their cell phones for instant fashion gratification. If you see what you like on the runway, you’ll be able to text a 3 digit code letting us know you’d like to buy it! To support the charities, 15% of all purchases that night will be donated to The Austin Children’s Shelter and the Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas.

LIVE Virtual Comments Light up the Austonian: We are teaming with several bloggers to write about Runway to Heaven fashion as the models are strutting down the catwalk. Their words will be sketched in lasers on the raw facades of the Austonian."


It's a very forward concept, but the problem is that it will distract from the runway itself. It's good to get the viewers involved, and to have the show delivered in the name of charity, which was the original concept of fashion shows in the 40s and 50s, as well as to get bloggers involved. The small town of Austin is attempting to be like the technology and fashion forward brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton, so will other luxury brands do the same? Or is it just a passing fad?

05/11/2009

Get Shirty

Prada Made To Measure Shirts

I just had an email in my inbox from Prada telling me about made to measure shirts for men, offering over one million possibilities. The changes can be made in the collar, cuffs and fit, but more importantly the fabric. In order to cater for all types of men, Prada are diving into their archive of fabrics, including cashmere twill and micro chevron. The 'Vintage' collection they'd brought out from 2001 to 2008 will also be available, and you can even get initials embroidered.
I've heard the process takes four weeks after you've chosen your style, and it costs between £240 and £1,000. For Prada, that's pretty good value. For a shirt... maybe not. It'd be easier for the high street buyer to shop around until they find their perfect shirt. It still won't have the Prada label though. Definitely a service for dedicated fans of the brand, as well as those who have too much money (and 4 weeks) on their hands.

Vogue online shoot

Online Shoot
View Online Now Here



The shoot was quite interesting, it was a lot more complex than with the previous shoots on SHOWstudio live, mainly because it's for Vogue so they needed to step up their game. The tree in the background looks beautiful, when it moves it looks spectacular. It's a shame that everyone, including Vogue, loves crisp clean photographs (when you hear them talking in the live online feed they keep saying sharp, clean cut branches) because it would have been such a sight to have a still model with the branches blurred in motion around her.
The clothing reminds me of the kind of clothing they wear in Nepal and Russia with fur gloves, but the Mohawk hair gives it a more modern edge. All the outfits have been customised by leading fashion designers (it would have been nice to know which ones during the live feed, all I heard was Givenchy) and will be later sold on auction to benefit "The Naked Heart Foundation," a charity that builds and runs playgrounds for disadvantaged children.


Knight's commentary throughout the shoot with the model is quite average for such a notable photographer: "Yes, good, ok, move that light that way, yes, that's good, hold it, move that branch there are weird shadows, good, hold it, yes."

After the first outfit shoot
Finally! Just as I'm typing this I hear Nick Knight saying, do a profile shot (above), it's exactly what I wanted to see as soon as I saw the Mohawk. It's predictable, and obvious to do a profile, but with the tree alight behind it gives such a creative glow behind her.
They should allow comments below like they did for Burberry, with someone looking to see if anyone can contribute.
One thing that is a little annoying about the shoot is that it's the same background, same poses, just different clothes. If it's supposed to be a fairytale fantasy, they should have used the tree much better, why not have her sitting beneath it? It every shot she's in the middle of it. Where's the creative variation? I guess we'll have to see in Vogue when it comes out, what issue will they be working on now? December should have already been done, January? February? It's good publicity really; everyone watching is boosting the website visits on SHOWstudio.com, and all the people watching will then buy Vogue to see what the end result is to the process. They should put all the photos they took online and let the public choose which ones they like best to put in the issue. Then people would really feel like they've been a part of the process.

04/11/2009

SHOWstudio

SHOWstudio LIVEstudio
Nick Knight for Vogue, 5-6 Nov


Allowing the public a unique insight into the workings of the photographic studio, this Live Studio space will be used each week by world-renowned fashion image-makers, including Jason Evans, Shona Heath and Simon Foxton, to shoot fashion editorial, portraits and film. The ultimate in tantalising voyeurism, a two-way mirror allows the audience to observe unseen from the exhibition space, while the action is also simultaneously broadcast live on SHOWstudio.com

Included in the live programe of shoots is 100 Portraits, a special project initiated by Nick Knight. Between 1-20 December 2009, Knight will photograph 100 of London's Beau Monde—including models, actors, musicians, and artists. The portraits from each session will be displayed in a gallery adjacent to the Live Studio and in an upcoming issue of i-D magazine.

Follow us on Twitter for news and updates of the live studio and events programme.

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This, I will look forward to, as long as it doesn't shut down after 20 seconds because everyone is watching it...ahem...McQueen. It was first pointed out to me by Leah, who was upset she couldn't go because she wasn't in London. Ah the power of the Internet, how it will make life easier. Now the entire shoot can be watched from home. It was nice seeing it in The September Issue, and I have been watching the Live shoots taking place on SHOWstudio.com, but what do we love about it? Is it the fact that whenever we do view this 'behind the scenes' photoshoot preview is something many of us will never see? If you think about the people who are interested in viewing the behind the scenes photoshoot, most of them will have already seen it all before. Patrick Demarchelier is a photographer that you love to watch work, because he has many extraordinary on the spot creative ideas. Nick Knight, we will see.

Vogue Newsletter


Latest Fashion news from Vogue Newsletter, November 4th:

Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker, among others, have been given the task to bring attention to education, cultural diplomacy and economical development through the arts alongside President Obama
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A great idea, why not make it global? What about the UK's latest efforts made by The British Fashion Council and Vogue to support Britiain's young design talent? They always help the fashion designers, not us marketers. They, along with Central Saint Martins, have had enough help, help out the little guys! In every other subject they do, maths, English etc, they all help out the little guy who's struggling. What happened to equality?

Henry Holland is a designer for Debenhams
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It doesn't really seem like his sort of style. I think this is a ploy by Debenhams to bring in a younger crowd to their stores. It will be like when H&M have guest designers, everyone will go in for it, but won't shop around.

GUCCI Group is joining forces with Rainforest Action Network to implement an Indonesian rainforest-saving paper policy. (Jessica Bumpus)
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They're trying bless'em, they want to do anything they can to stand out, and it's really great trying to make themselves better in terms of carbon footprint, mainly because all brands will try to follow, creating a better future for the children (who will hopefully buy Gucci), but it's a marketing ploy, obviously. They barely use paper, especially since they're making everything digital with their iPhone applications and social networking site. I guess it just means the paper price tag will be made from metal, and another thing you'll have to pay for. Oh well, at least the amount you spent will be a constant, engraved reminder.

Macmillan Cancer Care has asked for shoes from Cindy Crawford, Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart and Maria Grachvogel for an Auction this November to help the charity.
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It's been done before hasn't it? It was more exciting when Coleen Rooney gave all her clothes to Oxfam.

03/11/2009

Yearn to possess or have

Covet.com

So I've been looking into fashion websites that offer more than just a product to sell, especially since viewing Miss Selfridge's new website. After looking at news articles on what's new I've found Covet.com. Ok it's an American site and only offers American products with high shipping costs to the UK, but it's a grand idea.

The website starts by asking you to choose between two images as to which one is more like your style. Once you click, it just keeps asking you to pick which one you like best. As you pick it will gather what you like and what you don't, and so will work out your style. You then click what size shoe, dress, top and trouser you are, and create an account for free. It will then tell you what your style is and will send you an email (you can choose how often) as to what you can buy that will suit your style.
This is a really innovative idea that Shopstyle.com should have thought up by now. Although Shopstyle.com is a very handy site (and you can select UK) it doesn't know your style. If you're looking for something specific like a pink cardigan between £0-£25, easy as pie, but if you want something new and don't know what's out there that will suit you, that's where Covet.com comes in. Don't worry, I've not been contacted to promote their website, I just think it's nice.

Source

What does Technology mean to you?

Please click below to take a 5 minute survey with only 5 questions. It will really benefit my work

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The Future Consumers

19 out of 20 young women 'would change bodies'

By Kevin Rawlinson, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Angelina Jolie age 16 as a swimwear model, Daily Mail online.
Girls as young as seven would like to change something about their appearance and half of 16 to 21-year-olds would consider surgery to achieve their perfect body, a study has revealed.The research, carried out by Girlguiding UK, shows that 95 per cent of 16 to 21-year-olds would change their bodies, with 33 per cent saying they wanted to be thinner and around a quarter of 16 to 21-year-olds said they would consider resorting to cosmetic surgery. “We all compare ourselves to our peers, whoever they may be and for girls and young women, their peers are usually other young women,” said Dr Kerry O’Brien, a Psychologist at the University of Manchester. “For them, as with others it is about finding their place in the world and wanting to compare favourably. Unfortunately, considering the approach of the media, that is often not the case. “Many girls try to measure up to an image which is not a true reflection and can feel that they are coming up short,” he added. A further 12 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds would consider having a gastric band or plastic surgery and five per cent would think about Botox to achieve the body image they wanted. Weight is less of an issue for younger girls, with only five per cent of seven to nine-year-olds wanting to get slimmer. But the figure rose to 12 per cent of 10 to 11-year-olds, and 27 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds. Among 7 to 11-year-olds, 72 per cent said they would change something about themselves, the most common complaint being their teeth. Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, whose party wants to ban airbrushing pictures, blamed the pressure young girls find themselves under on an “unrealistic idea of what is beautiful means.”

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These young girls are the future consumers in the fashion industry, and they're not happy with themselves. Will these girls be the same when they grow up? Will they continue to have their insecurities? I believe yes, it will continue to be a problem. But the answer isn't to have size 16 models on the catwalk or have Gok Wan tell unhealthy people they're beautiful, the issue is security. The brands of the future need to tell these women that it's ok how they look, and they look fabulous as long as they're healthy. These are the types of women that wouldn't want to disclose their sizes to anyone unless it were private. If you could send a fashion brand your measurements and have them (realistically) tell you if you are healthy by calculating your BMI, you'd be much happier with buying from them since you're getting more information. If you pre-ordered a dress in a size 8 but you're currently a size ten, the brand could tell you how much weight you'd need to lose and (again realistically) whether it's healthy for you to do so. It's over a 6 month period, and they can keep in touch telling you whether you're going to fit when it arrives or not. To add an extra goal in being more healthy, they could say that if you won't fit they won't give it to you until you do.

My opinion on health is this: everything is good for you, it's too much of something that's bad. If you have butter on your toast, fine, if you have butter on everything, not fine. Thinking about what you're eating is a great way to lose weight. If you look at a chocolate bar and think, and apple would be healthier, do it! Eat an apple! And why are models skinny? Because they're judging their bodies on what the other models look like.

02/11/2009

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 www.net-a-porter.com/barbie for further information.



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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.

US TOPSHOP SALES DROP

Kate Moss No Guarantee Topshop Beats U.S. Curse on U.K. Chains


By Richard Tomlinson

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Philip Green has a problem with four purple crushed-velvet dresses hanging from a display stand.

“Here’s one of my pet hates: too many garments on a rack,” Green says, thrusting the frocks at Becky Bateman, manager of U.K. fashion chain Topshop’s flagship London store.

It’s a Thursday morning in early October, and Green, 57, has strolled down London’s Oxford Street from the head office of Arcadia Group Ltd., his privately held retail clothing company, for a store inspection.

That’s the kind of attention Green has also lavished on Topshop’s first U.S. outlet. In April, he flew supermodel Kate Moss to New York to open the 25,000-square-foot (2,323-square- meter) emporium in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood that he says cost $25 million to prepare.

The British billionaire is rolling out Topshop at a time when Americans are holding tightly onto their wallets. Total U.S. apparel sales dropped 7 percent in the first six months of 2009 to $85 billion compared with the same period last year, according to NPD Group Inc., a New York-based industry research firm.

Green has the cash to back the expansion in a country that has been a graveyard for British retailers. Since 2000, his family has taken about 1.8 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) in dividends from Arcadia and Bhs Ltd., his privately held U.K. department store chain. Green owns Arcadia through Taveta Ltd., a holding company registered in the British offshore tax haven of Jersey in the Channel Islands, and his personal fortune is estimated by the Sunday Times of London to be 3.83 billion pounds.

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Topshop in New York is old news, we all knew it was happening and the problems of opening due to January sales, but the news that Phillip Green still wants to expand within the US marketing could prove difficult. There's a reason why Topshop is so successful in the UK, it's young British fashion to the nines. It's not Gap, American Apparel or Abercrombie, it has it's own style that cannot be transferred across borders. The "US citizens" may realise that the British are becoming more fashionable, but that doesn't mean that all of them are willing to dress like us. I have a cousin in America, and our tastes in fashion are so different, mainly because she buys into brands like Ugg that although popular here, every American girl has one. I wouldn't wear what she wears and I don't think she'd wear what I wear, because we'd both get dirty looks from out peers and thoughts of "what the hell is she wearing?"

Some brands have managed to bridge the Atlantic Ocean gap, both ways, but because Topshop has such a specific customer database, it may not be possible to transfer everything here to the States. They would need to have new designers, new researchers and new collections to appeal to them. A costly experience.

Oxford Street Crossroad

It's finally here!


The Oxford street crossroad has arrived! Opened by Boris Johnson, the £5 million deal is proof that although it costs a lot, common sense is useful, as well as looking at how the other side of the world do it. We'll see how traffic fairs after this, and whether it will encourage more people to go to Oxford Street. I don't know about you, but I prefer shopping elsewhere unless I have to, only because of how busy that junction is at the weekend. With people having to move right the way around to get anywhere, hopefully with the crossroads it will make it much easier to breathe, let alone move, with pedestrians spread out rather than circling.

Buying in Style

Miss Selfridge Christmas Collection


Just found a great new flash site from Miss Selfridge promoting their Christmas Collection. I remember a while ago answering a survey they had created to get a discount, and it basically asked which online stores do I shop on and why. I chose ASOS.com, and said it was because of being able to see the clothes on models, not just on a mannequin or a hanger. Being able to see how it moved as well was important. So they have now picked themselves up and created something more for the online world.


The site shows you a catwalk preview of the item, a video of the close up details which plays once the mouse rolls over, as well as the simple view of the item, as well as what to wear with it. Ok, so it's pretty much ASOS.com, but it seems like it's carried out much better. The catwalk image looks like a still painting that suddenly moves, which is kind of shocking at first sight, but then you realise it's like it's being paraded infront of you as if you're a buyer for Browns choosing the next selection of clothes. You can even instruct the model to walk up and down again or tell her to turn around. It's great for giving power to the buyer, it makes them feel part of it.
Admittedly the video window seems a little naff in the way it's been put together; it seems more like an after-thought with it's plain box and grey background behind the model. It would have been nicer to see something different, like have it a more artistic video with fading detail images, or something more like the cameramen backstage at catwalk shows with fast zooms etc.

When you click on the ordinary view of the item, it takes you back to the original website to do your ecommerce, and it's the same with the 'what to wear with it' boots. When 'Shop the Look' is clicked it goes to the shopping site again but shows the entire collection, rather than the look you're looking at.
When it comes to looking at a Christmas item that's not in stock yet, you can click to 'Register your interest.' It doesn't seem to say 'I'll tell you when this item is specifically in stock' it seems more like: 'I'm going to send you lots of emails letting you know when EVERY item is in stock, then you'll get fed up with me and not buy anything and unsubscribe.' Brands should realise that we all have specific tastes. Just because we're interested in one item doesn't mean we want everything else. I don't know anyone that's gone into Topshop and said "I want one of everything," even Phillip Green's daughter wouldn't.
Although there are a few kinks in the overall design according to my tastes, it's still an innovative site, especially due to the catwalk model you can boss about.



Click to View Miss Selfridge site