The Noughties

Final day of the decade
So during every decade there's a certain specified style that has come about, which everyone has pretty much stuck to. Not so true, however, for the 00's.

Trends have been very wish-washy, and there have been so many of them that not everyone had adopted them. There have also been many trend revivals, with boho 70s and shoulder pad 80s. Are there any defining styles to the noughties? Or have we just had so many that we have to define the decade as trendfully trendless?

There have been so many fleeting fashion trends it's difficult to realise, at this point anyway, which ones could possibly define our decade. I personally believe it's just a decade of "wear the fuck what you want, if you're young you can pull it off, if you're old you just shouldn't, and if you're in the middle, you'd better think about whether you can or not..."
Think about thigh high boots for example, some attempted, some succeeded, others just steered clear.
Then the whole skinny jeans look. It took me a while to get out of bootcut jeans and finally try on a pair, then it took a month before I actually started buying them.
But huge sunglasses (thanks to the likes of Nicole Richie) are gradually being replaced by Ray Bans thanks to their appearance in Hollywood.Are celebrities to blame? Fashion junkies like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and even to some extent Cheryl Cole have made the world that little bit more aware of fashion and designers. With the rise of ASOS and their "as seen on" items, are we really only influenced by celebrities? Can even Michelle Obama be considered a celebrity in this way? Bloggers and their style pages are one example of how it's not all about celebrities, and the popularity of magazines such as Look and Grazia among the general public over high end luxury magazines are showing that people are more interested in buying and wearing fashion than just learning about it from magazines or celebrities.
We've all been encouraged to create our own style, but the way we find it is still not as independent as it could be; we're still under influence.


Topshop Collaborations

On the Contrary
Here's a snippet from the Telegraph by Olivia Bergin:

Topshop designer collaborations for 2010

Can't face battling it out for a designer bargain on Boxing Day? Then wait for the mini-collections from London Fashion Week designers to drop in the new year

Left: Slashed jersey-dress by Ann-Sofie Back, £70. Centre: Jersey studded jacket and gold wedges, both £150, by Ashish. Right: Denim pencil skirt, £50 and cropped top, £40, by Jonathan Saunders

The turkey and stuffing might not quite be digested by the time bargain-hungry shoppers prepare to raid the sale rails this Boxing Day, but while the idea of a designer must-have selling at a knocked-down price sounds great in theory, the treacherous and busy road to sales glory is less appealing.

A clever way of buying into designer territory, though, is to hold firmly on to that stash of Christmas cash and to wait patiently for the next instalment of Topshop’s London Fashion Week designer collaborations.

Read the full article here.

What interests me is how she comments saying "while the idea of a designer must-have selling at a knocked-down price sounds great in theory..." Is the only thing bad about something like that the fact that everyone wants it so there's a queue? What about shopping online? Doesn't that make things easier?

She is intentionally attempting to persuade shoppers to not buy designer, even at a low price, and instead buy, pretty much, fake designer. It's been designed by a high end designer like Jonathan Saunders, then reproduced by a different manufacturer. The only difference is the permission. As far as I'm concerned, if you can save your money from the sales to save up for one of the Topshop designer collaboration pieces, you might as well keep saving for the real thing; the quality would last you longer.


Daft Fashion

Boxing Day Brit Billions
The Daily Star has published an article claiming that the British public are set to 'waste' £4 billion in the sales, but how is it such a waste? Apparently bargain hunters will spend up to £85 (but how much are they saving) each, but have 10% of their clothes in their wardrobes with the tags still on. Are we really so careless with our buying?

Psychologist Dr Cecilia d’Felice said: “Everyone loves a bargain, but how much do they really cost us? “Our purchases are soon discarded as it is not the items that fulfil us, it is the more complex ‘chase and kill’ that gives us the emotional adrenaline rush and endorphin high that we crave.”

The article by Gemma Wheatley has also stated that this year's sales are more popular than last year, despite the recession.

What interests me is the '10% of clothes still having tags'. Well, either I don't have many clothes or mine is more like 1%. I supposed I'm not one to waste clothes - I buy quite sensibly and only buy something I'm sure to wear.
The 'chase and kill' theory is pretty spot on with women and bargains. I'm not too sure about men, but it's definitely true with women. We want to think we've got the best deal and spent the least money and got more, regardless of how much we're still paying and regardless of the item itself. I always think to myself, if it were full price would I buy it? If the only issue about it is the full price, then I'll get it. I'm pretty tame when it comes to buying clothes, but then I don't want my wardrobe filled with clothes I'll just throw away.


Fur Away

The Shame Awards
Amelia Hill of The Guardian has published an article here on the roll call of celebrities hand picked by the Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for wearing the most fur. The awards are intended to name and shame celebrities who wear too much animal skin. Catherine Zeta Jones "looks more like a serial killer than a star" according to Dan Mathews, vice-president of Peta. Naomi Campbell, who in the 90s declared she would rather go naked than wear fur, is now the face of furrier Dennis Basso.
The fur trend has really picked up recently from the catwalks and the weather, but faux fur is more common on the high street. I myself own some furs handed down from my great auntie, one of which is a controversial lamb's fur because it comes from an unborn lamb. But I wouldn't wear it because it doesn't fit and no one would believe it's real.
Origin Assured is a newly set up company that makes sure the origins of the fur in a garment are from ethical companies (if you think killing an animal for fur is ethical) but also ones that don't waste the animal. For example in France they have a minx factory that uses the carcass for animal food and the fat for biofuel. Before, fur was sorted through colour, not origin. Now however, with the protests against the forms of culling in places like China, OA has found a way of keeping the PETA off their backs. Read more here.



Bargain? Really?
The Daily Mail has published an A-Z list of Christmas Fashion Sales (Read Here) and it's made me wonder, do we really care about the price, or just the bargain?
Glitzy jacket, was £945; now £661.50, Sonia Rykiel at net-aporter.com.
Most of the items on the list are designer, and down from £1,000 to £500. Is that really a bargain to get a jacket for £500? Just because of the designer, it doesn't mean we're not able to buy a jacket for £100 instead. I'm not putting off buying designer, if I had the money I most definitely would buy all these items, but should consumers really be saying price is an issue when they're still willing to pay for much for a product, just because it's a bargain? My mum would always buy designer clothing in the sales and say to my dad, "I saved you £400 today." However, he did end up losing £500 from her purchases. So if we really want a bargain, is it just from buying cheap clothes? Or is it from getting something for less than it should be?



Drop a Plus Size
Selfridges is now under fire from the plus size women of the public after dropping label Marina Rinaldi from their stores. The plus size collection created clothing from size 14 to 26, and it was claimed they did so to make room for other collections that only went up to size 16. There have also been claims that Selfridges has decided to remove all size 18s from the rails.
So why have Selfridges made this move? They say that they attempt to rotate their brands and bring in new ones all the time, but how have they chosen to remove this brand? Perhaps because it wasn't selling as well as other collections. All that's caused the uproar is the products the brand sells.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to have plus size clothing, but is it really such a big deal that they are no longer available in Selfridges? As far as I'm concerned a size 26 is unhealthy, the same as a size zero. If people are so against size zero, why is it only health organisations and the NHS that are against a size 26? Both are equally unhealthy. If you are a size 26, perhaps it would be healthy for you to lose weight so that you can buy new clothes n a size 16. Just as well, if you are a size zero (UK size 4) and you're annoyed a size 6 doesn't fit you, then perhaps you should make sure you're eating 3 meals a day so that you can fill out your clothes? Just a suggestion. However, with Selfridges now reducing their number of customers by limiting to sizes 4-16, they are either catering to the people who actually buy in Selfridges, or are sizing up a new demographic of what size they think women should be. Is it really a problem to rule out size 26 women? According to health concerns from the government, no.


Fashion Stylists

When I grow up, I want to be a...

“My gut feeling is that fashion has stopped being so elitist. People have learnt that fashion can be a multimillion-pound business, and with that you have to have a certain approachability. That ivory tower of the designer in Paris definitely seems to have dissipated.” Katie Grand
Stylist Katie Grand
Gemma Soames's article for The Times Online talks about how the next female ambition is to be a fashion stylist. From wanting to be an air hostess, to a model, to a businesswoman, the next step is apparently being Rachel Zoe. So why is this the new goal profession based around the fashion industry? Are we suddenly so obsessed with our own fashion that we're determined to have an affect on everyone elses?
Stylist Rachel Zoe

Read the article here

Applications for styling courses have doubled, and it seems the emergence of 'TV stylists' like Gok Wan have made those little girls watching either think "I want to do that" or "I can do better". In my opinion, if you think the former, you really don't know what it entails, and if you think the latter, you're either delusional or you'll actually make it, but those already in the industry will be the ones to decide.

The emergence of online sites that let you style your own wardrobe and , and the Nintendo DS 'Style Boutique' have created a very fashion led Britain who are much more aware of what they look like and what others look like, and aren't afraid to comment on it.


Fashion Revolution

SHOWstudio's studio

SHOWstudio's latest live project is 100 portraits by Nick Knight. Yesterday he was photographing Kate Moss, and today he was snapping away at the likes of Hussein Chalayan, menswear designer James Long, and next up as I type is Susie Bubble. They have been shooting since 11am, and the line up is as follows:

Nick Knight shoots 100 Portraits for i-D magazine. Todays sitters include Aitor Throup, Anna Trevelyan and Kez Glozier, Bella Freud, Bishi, Cerith Wyn Evans, Fergus Henderson, Georgia Jagger, Hanna Hanra, Hussein Chalayan, James Long, Lara Stone, Pam Hogg, Patrick Wolf, Sadie Coles, Simon Foxton, Susie Bubble, Val Garland

I should probably be shot for not knowing who some of these people are, so I'm going to find out

Aitor Throup - Menswear designer & Illustrator
Anna Trevelyan - blogger: annatrevelyan.blogspot.com/
Kez Glozier - Illustrator
Bella Freud - Fashion designer
Bishi -singer & DJ
Cerith Wyn Evans - Conceptual artist, sculptor and film-maker
Fergus Henderson - Chef
Georgia Jagger - Model
Hanna Hanra - DJ & writer
Hussein Chalayan - Designer
James Long - Menswear designer
Lara Stone - Model
Pam Hogg - Designer
Patrick Wolf - Musician
Sadie Coles - Founder: Sadie Coles Art Gallery
Simon Foxton - Stylist
Susie Bubble - Blogger: stylebubble.typepad.com/
Val Garland - Make-up artist

So the shoot is for i-D magazine, and it will be interesting to see which issue they'd be in, probably March issue, but what's more interesting is my sudden interpretation of Nick Knight. I've always loved his work, his end results, and how he's constantly working and getting involved, but for some reason I expected more from him when watching him as a photographer during the shoots. It's interesting showing him working live, because you really do get a sense of what he does, and it seems quite uninspired to be honest. His direction is a little slow to come about, as it takes a while for him to realise what he wants. Perhaps this is because he doesn't even have time to plan shoots anymore. However when he does get into it, he becomes such a perfectionist saying "move your left arm a fraction of an inch to higher, with your elbow towards me, shift your chin 2cm down and flick your hair" etc. It's incredible!


Yves Saint Laurent

On the Cutting Room Floor
Yves Saint Laurent will be presenting New Vintage II, where he creates classic silhouettes using fabrics that have been left in the fashion house as cutaways or unused pieces. It's a new way of being more environmental and sustainable, without doing the typical 'use less energy and don't pollute water.' It's a little bit extra than simply following rules and regulations set by the government, and instead lets the brand earn a bit of profit at the same time. It's an ingenious idea, and everyone seems to benefit.
Valerie Hermann, CEO of Yves Saint Laurent and Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York Fashion Director attend the Yves Saint Laurent Present 'New Vintage' Collection at Barneys New York on June 8, 2009 in New York City.

The first New Vintage was in high demand, and exclusive to Barney's in New York, yet the New Vintage II will be available in flagship stores in Paris, London and New York from mid-December 2009.
New Vintage I, Barney's New York


Barbie Obsession

Barbie - The Obsession
Am I the only one noticing how Barbie is suddenly in the news a lot more these past few months than it used to be? First with black Barbie, then Louboutin Barbie, and now Burka Barbie. It seems the famous doll can't help to be more famous, but it's mainly because she's changing.
Christian Louboutin Barbie
Christian Louboutin's Barbie which has sold out on Net-a-porter.com had her ankles slimmed down in order to fit the shoes and make them seem more appealing. Interestingly, this hasn't caused as much abuse as you might think, perhaps because those who are into fashion and so would buy this Barbie, can appreciate that you need slim ankles to wear Louboutin, rather than protest about it.

Someone I knew presented me with this image of fat Barbie that her lecturer once showed to her, and needless to say it's quite disturbing. She's an interesting conception, and probably quite an accurate one, of the types of women there are today. I believe the purpose of it is to present the ideology of beauty, and how, once turned on it's head, is perceived as unhealthy, lonely and quite sad.
When Black Barbie was first introduced, she was just white Barbie painted black. Instead this new version has wider hips and bum, as well as more full lips and permed hair. Again, by changing the perception of Barbie it has become more successful. Perhaps it was just overdue for a change.
The Burka Barbie was intended to be a new role model for Muslims, who don't necessarily want their daughters looking at a tall blond bimbo wearing short shorts and a bikini top. A human Barbie would be about 7ft tall with an 18in waist, and her tiny feet would mean that she wouldn't be able to even stand. Interesting that they wish to cover this up, despite the fact that Muslim women are covered up so that men can't see them, not little girls.

So how does this affect Barbie as a business? Mattell Inc must have realised, after 50 years, that their image of beauty is not the same as what others find beautiful, or even fair. Changing the image of Barbie has occurred very slowly over the past fifty years, but suddenly new models are being made, and although some are jokes, others are for religion, it's an alteration to a new beauty. Perhaps being politically correct is the best way forward for dolls, but it's still something to be argued within the fashion industry.


Young Consumer Spending

Rumour Has It
I heard today on the radio, and my usual news search, that young shoppers are going to spend more this Christmas. One girl commented on how she thinks everyone's had a bad 2009, and so it should make the end of a bad year. I really has been a black year for everyone. I personally want to buy all of my friends little gifts for how great they really are, regardless of my lack of Christmas spirit.
ASOS.com email snippet showing possible gifts to buy for girls. I wonder how online spending will factor with the youth.
The habit I'm really digging at is that young spenders are the ones who are planning on spending more. Is it because they have the money, or do they really just want to spend their money on someone else now? Have they even been spending money up until this point? And then now they have a reason to spend they'll be going all out. Consumer habits in spending is very important to my project especially when considering younger consumers who will become the next middle-aged consumers, and the ones that will have to bring us fully out of the recession if they get jobs. If their habits of spending include spending on others as an excuse, perhaps they really will be shopaholics in the future. Will they ever change their spending habits? Will they ever buy ethically and sensibly? Only time will tell, and you can bet the economy will have an affect.


Make do & Mend Christmas

A Recessive Christmas
It seems that regardless of people believing we're heading out of the recession and average christmas gift shopping is at £358 according to a recent report, the items being bought show that people are still making and mending.
Tesco sewing machine for £68.27.
Tesco's sale of sewing machines is at an all time high, so they're either being bought to make presents or be given as presents for the new hobbies that are coming about. I've always thought it was nicer to make people presents as it seemed like it came from the heart more. Even sales of shoulder pads has risen, with John Lewis selling out of their £1.35 for a pair packs. Jo Hooper, head of womenswear buying, says, ‘Women stack multiple pairs in anything from cashmere sweaters to jackets. Extreme shoulders can take up to four pads each side.’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1232401/Fashion-life-Make-pretend-Balmain.html#ixzz0ZaMcVucP


Brands on Facebook

Are you a fan?

Brand Republic have recently done a few street interviews on how brands put up pages on Facebook for social networkers to become fans. Here are their results:

So Facebook fan pages aren't really key for many members, unless it's maybe music. Knowing that this is only a select few people and so cannot be completely definitive, it's interesting to think that brands believe the next step is to get involved with social networking sites, but are there really people interested? It could be said that being a fan of something on Facebook doesn't necessarily get you anything. All it does is say to your friends what drink you like to have, what brand you like but don't even necessarily own. Are people beginning to get fed up with all the extra applications on Facebook? I for one get annoyed when I see all these silly farm, blackjack and aquarium things that, really, mean nothing in life except "I have too much free time on my hands."


Lara Stone

Did You Hear?

Lara stone is fast becoming a well known name in the fashion industry, and how now replaced Madonna as the face of Louis Vuitton. It's always a nightmare to be replaced by someone younger, especially since Madonna attempts to uphold her young facade. But Lara Stone, I believe, is the new answer to the size zero debate. He weight is not a health issue, and that's why she's so popular. She's not the average size, but she is healthy. Hopefully she won't do a Sophie Dahl and become a size 6 soon.
Whenever designers try to tackle the size zero debate, they do a Jean Paul Gaultier and put a size 20 on the catwalk, almost to make a mockery of what people are actually protesting about. Then there's Mark Fast, who's Canadian stylist walked out from being unable to cope with normal sized women. He, obviously, found it a mockery. And then Lara Stone comes along. Not size zero, not size 20, but instead a healthy size 8-10. She even has a very averaged sized gap tooth. She's been loved by Vogue and Prada, and Marc Jacobs, friend of Madonna, has hand picked her for the latest Spring Summer 2010 campaign.


Christopher Bailey Designer of the Year

The year of Bailey
Did you ever think that the designer of Burberry would be designer of the year about a year ago? Not while it was being made fake and worn by chavs. But you really have to respect Christopher Bailey for turning Burberry completely on it's head.
The Chief Creative Officer has even managed to turn Burberry into the winner of Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. He is responsible for so much with the brand, the design of all Burberry collections and products, as well as all advertising, corporate art direction, architectural design, multi-media content and overall brand image for Burberry. I think it's incredible what he's done, and he's definitely deserving of the award! However can we really expect any more from him? After all he's done is there anything left that he can do? He saved what could be considered a previously dying brand, is there anything he can't do? He even has an MBE now!


Why are you looking at me like that?

So I have now proposed my concept, and I was a little disappointed with the result. Those who presented before me gave long lists on what they have researched, and it was all conceptual and beautiful, whereas I'd cut all that out and I was only adding what was relevant to my project in my research. But was I conceptual enough? I haven't really been inspired yet, but until I'd systematically created a brief for myself I'd found there wasn't much point yet. Maybe that's just the way I work, all business like then get creative in the process. I'm excited about getting my project off to a start, but I won't really be inspired artistically until I get started. I thought this was a research project anyway!


BFC Power 25

Power to the Unknown
Yesterday the British Fashion Council decided on fashion's most powerful figures today, and some results are predictable in relation to the BFC Awards, but the fact that there are many unknown names demonstrates British fashion today. Being famous for fashion is not what get's you to be the most powerful. Many names on the list were people who are powerful behind the scenes, making other designers famous and getting designs on pop stars. Lulu Kennedy, director of Fashion East, appears on the list not due to being someone who is creating powerful fashion, but because she has the power to give opportunity to fashion, managing to make Henry Holland's t-shirt a mainstream trend.
What's great about this list is it really does show who's powerful, and how just because they're not in the spotlight it doesn't mean they don't affect fashion. If this list were made in Paris it would be as predictable as if the public chose it, whereas the British understand how it takes everyone to create powerful fashion, not just a head held high.

Alexander McQueen – designer

Anna Whiting & Sam Gainsbury – fashion show and shoot producers

Anya Hindmarch – designer

Christopher Bailey – chief creative officer, Burberry

Dame Vivienne Westwooddesigner

David Bailey – photographer

Erin O'Connor – model and industry figurehead

Guido Palau – hairdresser

Harold Tillman – BFC chairman

Hilary Riva – ex CEO and BFC member

Hussein Chalayan – designer

Joan Burstein – owner of Browns boutique

John Galliano – designer

Kate Mossmodel and Topshop designer

Louise Wilson – head of MA fashion at Central Saint Martins

Lulu Kennedy – director of Fashion East

Mandi Lennard – PR

Naomi Campbell – model

Nick Knight – photographer

Pat McGrath – makeup artist

Russell Marsh – casting director

Sir Paul Smith – designer

Sir Philip Greenowner, Arcadia

Sir Stuart Roseexecutive chairman, Marks & Spencer

Stephen Jones – milliner


The Online Fashion Agency

Web Experts

Find new places to shop, learn ways to save money, see where celebrities shop and go behind the scenes of online fashion stores.
"The Online Fashion Agency is the UK’s expert resource on fashion websites, founded by online fashion retail consultant Leon Bailey-Green. We provide industry news and consumer shopping tips, alongside consultancy services to businesses operating in online fashion. Our launch partners are Amethyst Group (providers of warehousing, logistics and e-fulfilment to fashion companies) and specialists in media and retail law, Olswang. We’re also supported by Fashshot.com, the UK’s largest fashion e-commerce photography company."
The reason why this online agency seems a little different is due to it having business information as well as consumer information. The Shopper's Counsel section seems to be very similar to something a lifestyle magazine would put on their website, with tips on how to save money, places to shop, celebrity shopping habits and behind the scenes looks. It then also has pages dedicated to the fashion talented, with interviews made by the founder Leon Bailey-Green. It then takes a page out of Draper's site and has industry news and information for businesses. Are they stretching themselves too thin attempting to have a site appealing to so many? I think not. They believe in equals, and so it doesn't matter who you are or how high up in the chain you are, you can come to this website for information. It seems they have only begun in November 2009, yet they have enough information free flowing, and it will be interesting to see how often they update. I wonder what their customer demographic is like? It seems their news stories are similar to mine and similar to http://www.leonbaileygreen.com


Beta Burlesque

Better Beta
Garry Lace, an advertising executive, teamed up on 1 May with Robert Campbell, a co-founder of WPP-owned RKCR/Y&R. Together they have created the ad agency (Beta).
Yesterday they brought out some Christmas cheer by locking up three burlesque dancers, two women one man, in glass boxes above Carnaby Street. I've walked past these boxes before, and have always thought they were unique and needed something to Jazz them up, and Beta's Burlesque was that thing. The dancers were accompanied by a brass band and the public were served minced pies. Watch the video below and you'll see how many stopped to watch the sexy dancers!

Beta Christmas Burlesque from Malcolm Green on Vimeo.

Apparently the entire streetcame to a halt to watch the dancers, so it's a great publicity stunt, my only concern is the reasons behind it. I had to try and search what (Beta) was after finding out about it, and it was a bit harder than it should be. Although I understand that they are new, beta is a very common word that means a lot, so you basically had to be there to know about the brand. Perhaps this agency should have put something online at the same time, their website hasn't even been set up yet. This means that those who watched the Burlesque show, who wanted to continue contact with the brand, couldn't.


Starbucks & Facebook - World Takeover

Christmas Sing Along
From tomorrow Facebook members in 16 countries including the UK and US will be served ads for a Starbucks (RED) charity singalong of The Beatles 'All You Need Is Love' when they log in. Read the article on Brand Republic.

To celebrate the Starbucks partnership with (RED), the charity fighting Aids in Africa, they will create the largest global ad campaign on Facebook to date. The intention is to raise awareness, but you couldn't be blamed for buying one of those new Christmas coffees they will be selling after seeing the Starbucks logo.
Musicians from all over the world will perform the song simultaneously, which will be streamed to the website. They could have taken a page out of Louis Vuitton's book and live streamed a performance onto the Facebook site, rather than individual filming, but then I assume it's hard to get so many musicians together in the same room for charity unless it's for Live Aid...
They are still attempting to get the audience involved, which at this time is a must have for any campaign, by allowing anyone with access to the site and a video camera, which is pretty much everyone in this day and age, to contribute their own version of the song. How many will be willing? Many students and wannabe singers I'm sure, it's not very easy for people to be embarrassed these days, and if you think they should be, they're probably joking.
At the end of the campaign, Starbucks will make a donation to the Global Fund.
Starbucks (RED) website.

To also aid the fund, Starbucks will be selling new products branded with the (RED) campaign, but their contribution is very much like a stingy global company.
The Starbucks (RED) range:
(STARBUCKS) RED Blend Coffee by Starbucks Coffee, $11.95, $1 donated to (RED)
(STARBUCKS) RED Double Walled Stainless Steel Water Bottle by Starbucks Coffee, $19.95, $1 donated to (RED)
(STARBUCKS) RED Soft Touch Tumbler by Starbucks Coffee, $15.95, $1 donated to (RED).

I wonder how many people buy these products, and whether the price has been put up just to add a donation. For the price of the products, which you could buy for less than $5 elsewhere, really aren't donating much at all. Let's hope their final donation to the Global Fund will be significantly larger than the profits they would make from selling the above products.

They do have a little deal on their loyalty card, where every time you spend using your card, a 5¢ US contribution will be made until the end of December next year. Over time, I believe this is where they will gain their largest contribution, and so they should, if they really have the intentions of the charity behind this publicity, promote the loyalty card to Facebook fans.

It's interesting to see how they promote themselves for a charity, and how they are using the same applications becoming more commonly used with the younger public, for example Facebook and something similar to YouTube.


Chanel Pre Fall Collection

Paris Shanghai, A Fantasy

Chanel's Pre-fall 2010 collection was a joining of East and West, held on a barge in Shanghai. A beautiful collection, and finally something in the news about fashion again. As a prelude to the show, Karl Lagerfeld produced a short, 20 minute film called Paris Shanghai, A Fantasy. It seems to take on the issues of Coco Chanel with Shanghai, showing a sweet little drama about creating a collection in Shanghai. The first part of the video is below, from YouTube.com:

Part 2

Part 3

The idea of creating a little film is very typical of a luxury brand. The last high street brand I saw creating a video was for a television advert. Creating such a long film, with no particular purpose except to raise awareness, is Chanel's new form of advertising, and it's a pretentious one at that, even though brilliant. Chanel has been creating little promotional movies for a while now, like Lady Dior starring Marion Cottillard, but they have been their own unique form of advertising aimed at the customers, and admirers. But would it be enough to interest people in the brand at this time? It seems to be projecting exclusivity again, rejecting any forms of having the public communicate back unless it's put on YouTube.


Christopher Kane on Blogs

I think it will die down

“It’s a bit mad, isn’t it? It feels like it’s happened all of a sudden and at some shows this season the front row was just all bloggers. I think it will die down though, and people know what they are doing. No one who wants to read a serious review of a show is going to look at what a 14-year-old thinks. But it has become more critical; people can say what they want about anyone on a blog without consequences and that’s quite scary. There are real repercussions for a designer if a photo of something is leaked by a blog; it can be copied in a fortnight and that can really harm a business. You have to be much more careful now.”
Speaking to Vogue.com, Lauren Milligan

If bloggers could hear this, they would definitely be very angry at Mr. Kane. The popularity of blogs may die down if something else comes along, but right now it's still something that's fresh and a new form of communicating fashion. Yes, there are consequences for having designer products on a blog, but most of them either take the picture and put it up or use a current internet photo. If they're not putting it on their blog, copy cats will find it elsewhere. Just because it's more available doesn't mean getting rid of blogs will stop it happening. I think Kane's main worries are how bloggers are very free minded, and so if their opinions are becoming much more valued (which they actually are) he risks the chance of having everything he's worked for being slated on a blog. The public no longer has to rely on what editors say about fashion, they can have their own opinions and tell the world about it.


Loewe Quotes

Loewe Launches Online

Quotes from Stuart Vevers on Vogue.com

"When I joined Loewe my aim was to take the best from the 163 years of the heritage and skills and to make it relevant for today.That's still my focus and an online Loewe experience is consistent with that message. Online shopping is a great way to give another service to our customers and I hope to introduce ourselves to new ones."
"We plan to make the experience exciting and create a prestigious online atmosphere and it will be a great way to present limited editions and special collaborations and projects."

"We will be able to tell the stories of our signatures and icons as part of the project. I hope it will encourage people to investigate the house and we present all the latest collections, advertising images and the history of Loewe alongside the store."

Internet or Store?

Are we Embarrassed?

Interesting question, (with feedback much appreciated):

Are we embarrassed to go into designer stores?

I was having a conversation with a fashion journalist student asking her whether she owns anything designer, and asked her which would she prefer; to buy online or in store when buying designer. He first answer was, it depends on how much I'd be saving, then I realised something: the UK is so different from the rest of the world.

The latest 'designer' item i'd bought was online at koodos.com, and it was a juicy couture top. It had me thinking, surely I would prefer to go into Juicy Couture in Selfridges and buy it myself in person? But it's not the case anymore. I think it's reached a point where people are embarrassed when they can't afford anything. Unless you really buy into the lifestyle, you are treated as the one who can't afford 90% of the store's products and you're only in a designer store for your graduation present. It's a strange attitude you get when you're in a store where you can't afford anything. You get some really confident people who don't care what other people (who know they can't afford) think, because they can't do anything about it. Then you get people like me who will pick up something they really like, look at the price, then just chuck it down like it's suddenly the worst thing in my hand, and then those that are too shy to bother going somewhere they know has things they can't afford. They either walk in, see the assistants and think, no, I don't belong, or you get those who think, there's really no point in me wasting my time. Are there any other attitudes from those who can't afford?

Image of Rome's Gucci store interior from EclecticAvenue

Rome: Prada store & Gucci store - I was trying on everything, with no money to buy, and loved everything. I wore a pink t-shirt and ripped shorts, aged 14 I think.

Venice: Wearing, again, ripped shorts and almost see-through top, walked straight into Gucci with my mum and tried on more shoes. No intention to buy, I was 19 I think.

London: David and Victoria Beckham are in Chanel, so the security guards are out. Have a little gander, walk away.

And this is why I buy online: I can look at the price without having to fish for the label and pretend to still be interested for 10 more seconds to make it seem like it wasn't the price that put me off. I can actually sort it to show price ascending so I can look at what's realistically in my price range, and I can actually buy something without having to worry about the fact that it's the cheapest thing available and that's why I'm buying it, and no one will ever know.

But is it only our generation?
Are we so stuck in keeping ourselves behind a keyboard and computer screen that it's a preference? Do we really want to keep ourselves hidden away in a place where we can control what other people are seeing about ourselves, to avoid real life disappointment and shame?

I would also like to point out the amazingly ignorant, arrogance that designer labels have whenever you try and talk to them. If only I spoke fluent French I could ask the France offices, who I'm sure would be more willing.


Vogue Newsletter

Lacroix Goes Under

Christian Lacroix has finally gone under due to not being able to find a buyer. It's such a shame that they will not be able to create Haute Couture next season, and also the loss of more than 100 jobs. It's the current attitude towards designer that's letting such highly stated, prominent companies become dust in the wind. It's a shame that fashion is all down to money these days, rather than an expression. Lacroix is now unable to fulfill his life's work, and it's heartbreaking knowing it's ended.

Roland's Rainbow

Roland Mouret has also created RM Rainbow for Net-A-Porter.com, as well as his collection mentioned in an earlier post for 5 main London shops including Harrods and Selfridges. The dresses in the collection each come in two colours, but are at a retail price of £850 - £1700 and are only for sale at Net-A-Porter.com. Although cheaper than some, it's a high price for a high designer, so it's not an attempt to reach more customers, only an attempt to get more sales from his current consumers.

Target At Liberty

Target is the second largest discount retailer behind Walmart, and a little unknown in the UK. Despite this, they will create a collection using London based Liberty prints and designer Zac Posen. An interesting concept to attempt to merge intercontinental companies, hopefully making Liberty prints more popular in the US and Target more popular here, with the collection being available to buy on Target.com as well as in Liberty following the launch in March.

Louboutin Song

"Jennifer told me about the song back in January, and I was extremely flattered. I know the song by heart now," confesses the designer. "Because the brilliant part of the single is that it's not about me. It's about a girl and her shoe. When something is so in mass culture and you have almost nothing to do with it, it's kind of cool. It's weird but not disagreeable. But it got me thinking: I've been around for a while!"

A really great song for my current situation, but also perfect for some free publicity for Christian Louboutin and his fabulous shoes.

Deck The Dior Halls

"Claridge's and Christian Dior celebrated the unveiling of their John Galliano-designed Christmas tree to an exhibition of vintage Dior outfits and a chorus of carol singers last night"

"Paul Smith, Lulu Guinness, Stephen Jones, Henry Holland, Ben Grimes and Bianca Jagger were among those that gathered around the John Galliano-designed tree in the ornate surrounds of the Art Deco hotel."

Although promotional, it's still set to the guests of Claridges and high public figures, and so can still be seen as a form of making the public jealous of what they can't really see, but get them interested in wanting to see it.

Mini Market

Dover Street Market has set up a mini shop at St Martins Lane hotel open until January 7th. Selected pieces include the Dover Street Market Label and PLAY, as well as Comme des Garcons' perfume and a selection of jewellery. It's an interesting concept, but not quite enough to fully grab attention. It is interesting how some fashion brands are using the hotel industry for publicity, perhaps for tourists and the new shoppers arriving from abroad to take advantage of our current economy.
Dover Street Market Xtra Small at St Martins Lane is open daily from 12pm to 8pm.



Word of the year: TWITTER

The word of the year has been voted, according to the Marie Claire article published today. Texas-based algorithms company the Global Language Monitor (GLM) crowned Twitter the winner, with Barack Obama coming second and H1N1 coming third, the chemical formula for Swine Flu.
"Paul JJ Payack, president of the firm, said that it shows ‘how big Twitter is globally'. The site has been at the centre of several debates in the past year, including acting as a rallying point for protests against the Iranian election results and the controversial Daily Mail article by Jan Moir.

Marie Claire.com

So how has it become so popular? I rarely use it because I don't follow many people, but there are plenty of news stories about celebrities using it and even the President having an account. The result is surprising considering the death of Michael Jackson and the popularity of Twilight & True Blood putting Vampire at 5th. I have to say I really didn't think it would become more popular than Facebook considering it is only a status update to the fb world. Perhaps Facebook is too much hassle for the Twitterers? At least I'm not the only one surprised.


Ever heard of Yoox?

Yoox is based in Bolonga and is an online retail site selling designer clothing worldwide. I'd noticed it a few times when I used Shopstyle.co.uk but I've never really bought from them. Forbes.com has published an article on the price of public shares, stating that they have risen today for the first time since the economic downturn. This shows that online sites dedicated to designer fashion are becoming more popular during the new Christmas period, despite the continuing popularity of sites such as ASOS.com.


Perhaps it's the retail therapy during this time of year. There are plenty of reasons to justify buying at this time, for example when a relationship ends and you want to get back on your feet again, when it's so cold you have to buy that cashmere jumper or merino wool cardigan, or you just want to treat yourself to your own Christmas present. Whatever the reason, buying online is catching on, even for designer. Could it be that buying designer online feels better since you can be anyone and wear anything while doing it? Is the hospitality of those designer store shopping assistants so patronising and depressing, people just want to skip it now and buy designer?