Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hedi Slimane Just Presented His Céline Debut Through Lady Gaga

If anyone is the master of building a brand, it is Hedi Slimane: the notoriously recalcitrant designer who understands the power of a meticulously-managed image. So, when his longtime champion Lady Gaga emerged last night, proudly brandishing his first design for Céline – a boxy black leather handbag with minimal gold hardware – we can certainly assume that it was the start of a carefully constructed strategy. While the French house has declined to comment, today she published a series of pictures starring the bag which, if you enthusiastically employ the zoom capabilities of your phone, appears printed with the house logo.

Back in 2012, Gaga was the first to wear Slimane's designs for his acclaimed reinvention of Saint Laurent – and now, by teaming his handbag first with a vintage Alaïa leather trench, then with orange bodycon, she is presenting a laser-focused vision of dominatrix-inflected glamour which marries perfectly with his renowned declaration that "fashion = music + youth + sex." That sentiment is, of course, distinctly different to Phoebe Philo's quietly instinctive vision of femininity – and Slimane's debut for the house is sure to present a radical departure from the aesthetic she established there. While his October show remains enshrouded in mystery (which is, of course, just how he likes it), we can rest assured that it will be the start of a radical new chapter for the house which, under his direction, will evolve to incorporate menswear, couture and fragrance. It's a smart move: these sorts of glimpses into its offering are the sort of thing that have his diehard devotees gagging for more.

Why You Need To Know About Net-a-Porter's Emerging Talent Platform: The Vanguard sees businesses explode overnight,” global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz tells Vogue. “This is great to see, but we have a responsibility to our brands to help them continue to grow.”

And so comes The Vanguard,’s two-tier incubator programme which formalises its commitment to fledgling brands. Tier one highlights fresh talent, while tier two homes in on three to four brands per season in its accelerator scheme. This season Les Rêveries, Martinez, RŪH and Gu_de will receive marketing, buying and business mentorship; exclusive distribution on; inclusion in the e-tailer’s most valuable promotional spots (homepage banners, on-site campaigns and emails); presence in both the showrooms, press events and lookbooks; and social media and #TheNETSET influencer campaigns. The main mission? To give fashion’s bright young things a 360-degree approach to building a successful and sustainable business that goes beyond design.

The Vanguard certainly ticks off industry buzzwords, but what sets it apart from the mentor schemes of its competitors? “This isn’t a prize or a contest, we have always been in the business of scouting and nurturing new talent,” von der Goltz asserts. “These brands haven’t just been chosen because they’re new, they’ve been selected because of the impact we believe they’re going to have on the fashion landscape.”’s customers are the driving force behind this desire to populate the “fashion landscape” with enterprising labels. “Support is clear from sales, our shoppers have an insatiable appetite for newness,” von der Goltz shares. Every time the platform launches a brand discovered at one of the fringe fashion weeks, be it Copenhagen, Tbilisi or Seoul, the customers come clicking in droves. “They love the fact that a name is unknown. They don’t just want to wear one designer head-to-toe, because it’s far more interesting to wear a mix of labels,” she continues. “We receive feedback from customers constantly telling us that they’re braver and more willing to experiment with new brands, because they trust that every piece we stock is of the highest quality.” The message has been received loud and clear: for autumn/winter 2018, 73 new brands will premiere on the site.

Only the chosen tier two labels, whose stars are firmly on the ascent, will have unprecedented access to the London-based tech hub and photo studios, and a hotline to the general manager all over the world, amongst other career-changing opportunities from the retail heavyweight. Vogue spoke exclusively to the brains behind Les Rêveries, Martinez, RŪH and Gu_de to get a glimpse into the challenges they currently face, and what sets them apart from the myriad of labels trying to break into the mainstream fashion scene.


“We are looking to build a thoughtful and lasting womenswear brand at a transitional time in the fashion industry,” Sonia Trehan of RŪH tells Vogue. “Observing our culture of perpetual public exposure and flashy marketing and hype tactics, RŪH’s challenge has been to really understand how to make a conscious departure from the noise. We want to be around in 20 years – a strategy that’s increasingly difficult to play out in today’s fashion landscape.” Real self-expression, not something simply put together for social approval, is at the core of the brand and its artisanal, elegant designs. Trehan is looking to the RŪH woman – and now – to guide the brand towards organic growth.

Souliers Martinez

Julien Martinez launched his eponymous shoe brand in 2017 after a trip to Alicante, where he was introduced to hand lacing – a technique now integral to his design process. “My brand is born from real passion,” he shares. “It is a tribute to the shoes my Spanish grandmother used to wear and her timeless Mediterranean elegance.” He has had to make versatility as central to his company as his Spanish inspiration and handcrafted Parisian techniques. “When you start a brand, you don’t have an infinite budget, so you can’t hire a lot of people. You have to be able to take care of the website, logo, photoshoots, social media and other creative aspects of the brand, while also controlling the marketing, accounting and finance, along with building relationships with clients and industry partners.” The Vanguard, he hopes, will establish a link between Martinez’s handcrafted aesthetic and an international business model.

Les Rêveries

“We want to make the best product, but reacting quickly to market demands within a small operation can be very challenging,” Wayne and Ai, the two sisters behind Les Rêveries, note. “We believe in femininity, softness, floral blooms, gardens and poetry, and, for the most part, we design all of our prints so the collections are all unique,” the duo continues. “We also select from the best sources of silks and other fabrications making the quality of a garment our highest goal”. For a brand based on love and daydreams Les Rêveries has made a splash amongst the fashion set already. They are looking forward to letting harness their imagination.


“Everything has changed very quickly in Seoul. Our domestic customers are very sensitive to trends on one hand, but are seeking something different on the other hand,” South Korea-based founder Ji Hye Koo tells Vogue. Her customers’ thirst for newness is what drives her to keep innovating, but, she asserts, “no one tells you how many things there are to consider. I was expecting to be able to just design, but there are many departments to consider such as production, creative, marketing and the business side of building a brand.” Working closely with the extensive team will help her join these dots, while staying true to the core of Gu_de, which takes its name from an antiquarian Scottish pronunciation of “good”.

Ugg's Thigh-High Boots Receive A Mythical Makeover At The Hand of Y/Project's Glenn Martens

First Y/Project brought us thigh-high Ugg boots, then thigh-high stiletto Ugg boots. Now creative director Glenn Martens has reimagined his fuzzy crotch-grazers onto classic nude artworks inspired by Alexandre Cabanel, François Boucher and Simon Vouet.

Thankfully Martens – who is known for his experimental, hybrid approach to footwear – was on hand to make sense of the autumn/winter 2018 campaign for us. “The whole idea was to celebrate an iconic shoe through iconic art,” the Belgian designer begins. “I chose 'The Birth of Venus' as the starting point, because both the painting and the collection celebrate surfing on waves, twisting the expected and triggering the eye in optical illusions.”

And so, models Betsy Teske, Tess McMillan, Jan Trojan and Sami El Haddad moonlight as Venus, Omphale, Hercules and Apollo, respectively, in Ugg's extra-long stilettos, mules, coquette slides and triple cuffs. “In an era where there are so many capsules and collaborations around, I wanted to make a statement – no, a story,” Martens shares. “I never want to marry two brands because it generates hype.”

He describes the narrative as “easy and natural” because, for him, the impact lies in the honesty of both brands. “Ugg is such a straightforward, in-your-face shoe, and Y/Project is the same. We go for it, we don’t care about trends. Before everything else there’s a fun factor, there’s celebration.”

Nothing symbolises Martens’s desire to make “opulent and versatile” fashion more than his original proposition for the thigh-hugging shoe shape. “Why only have your foot in the nice hot sheepskin when you can have your whole leg encased?,” he first asked Ugg. And Ugg, the brand that was conceived to keep surfers’ feet warm after hours in the sea, agreed. Why not?!

Martens, who had never worn Uggs before, suddenly understood the popularity of the booties and the brand’s success story built on good, honest, fun fashion, like his own. Now he’s taking Ugg on its next leg of all-out, unabashed comfort. Ancient Greek mythology and all.

The six-piece UGG x Y/Project collection is priced from £195 and will be available for purchase at select retail partners including Browns and from mid-September.

Nina Ricci Embarks On A New Chapter With Rushemy Botter And Lisi Herrebrugh As Artistic Directors

Since Guillaume Henry’s departure as creative director of Nina Ricciin March, all product has been designed by the in-house studio. Now, the French house has announced his successors: Dutch design duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh.

The pair, who most recently won the Première Vision Grand Prize at Hyères Festival and reached the final of this year’s LVMH Prize for Young Designers, were selected by Puig, Ricci’s Spanish parent company, in order to bring “a big dose of coolness” to the brand.

“We were looking for someone unique,” José Manuel Albesa, president of brands, markets and operations at Puig, told WWD. “They did some sketches to show their vision for the brand, and I was really amazed because it was not an evolution, it was a revolution.”

He went on to praise the playful way both Botter and Herrebrugh, who grew up on the islands of Curaçao and Dominican Republic respectively, draw upon their heritage. “They have this kind of Caribbean joie de vivre. It’s very appropriate for the brand, and it’s extremely appropriate for the times.”

The position of joint artistic directors is effective immediately, and the team will relocate from Antwerp to Paris in September with their menswear brand, Botter. Pre-fall 2019 will be their first official collection, and the duo will present their vision for Nina Ricci formally at Paris Fashion Week in March during the autumn/winter 2019 shows.

“We feel very inspired by the fresh, feminine and subtle codes that make Nina Ricci such a beautiful ode to femininity,” the designers commented. “We aim to create a new spirit, a spirit of our times, effortless yet sophisticated, strong yet positive.”

Though Guillaume Henry reportedly left the house after three-and-a-half years due to financial reasons and what he perceived as a lack of investment from Puig, the nomination marks a new business strategy for the brand.

“We see that today, the typical model is getting obsolete and things are changing in a big way, not only because of the millennials and the digital acceleration, but overall,” Albesa asserted. “When you see what the consumer is looking for today, it’s not the same as when we started in fashion.”

He urged Botter and Herrebrugh to be bold – “We have been perhaps too shy with Nina Ricci” – and to respect the history of the house while carving a new path and connecting with younger customers, which the previous revolving door of creative heads have not been able to achieve.

A Puig-implemented expansion plan for Dries Van Noten, which it acquired in June, will run in tandem with the Nina Ricci developments.

LVMH Will Offer A Rare Glimpse Into 76 Of Its Worldwide Maisons

Rome's Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana stands washed in a pinkish gold hue at sunset. It is equal parts imposing and attractive, a marble anomaly rising on the edge of the ancient city. In the stone pines that flank it, insects strum. Their chirping is the noise of summer ending.

This landmark — launched in 1935 by Benito Mussolini and regarded now as a standout example of Fascist architecture — is, as of 2015, the global headquarters of Fendi. The LVMH-owned house helped to restore the building, and the place has subsequently transformed into a fashion icon in and of itself. The palazzo, for instance, was featured heavily in 2016's Zoolander 2. It is the subject of much curiosity and Instagram opportunities, and from October 12 to 14 of this year, it will be open to the public (on a ticketed basis) in a global programme that LVMH calls Les Journées Particulières. The purpose? According to LVMH's Antoine Arnault, who came up with the idea, the activation is "designed to embody our houses' hospitality and energy."

What that means: Throughout the three aforementioned days, LVMH will unlock the doors to 76 of its maisons around the world — 39 of which have never been shown to onlookers before. (This will be the fourth, and largest, edition of Les Journées.) At each, LVMH plans on hosting workshops, holding fetes, introducing speakers, and creating podcasts to elucidate upon what makes each maison so special: the highest level of craft and the deepest level of care each brings to the table. Those who are interested are able to sign up online as to which property they'd like to visit, and the gamut runs far and beyond just the fashion-verse — wines and spirits, beauty, watches, and luggage are all part of the event.

In the US, LVMH-owned West Coast winemakers will be on display for the first time, including Chandon California, Newton Vineyard, and Colgin Cellars. In Germany, the red-hot luggage label Rimowa; in Switzerland, the watch specialists Hublot. In France? The legendary fashion fixtures Givenchy(also for the first time) and Louis Vuitton. And in Italy? Emilio Pucci, Bulgari, Fendi, and many more.

Which brings us back to the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana on a late-summer day, where LVMH is hosting a preview of what Les Journées Particulières might entail. Here, an exhibition will be set up on the first floor — things that might once have been considered ephemera, like runway props, will be shown. The activation will also include elements from Fendi's homewares line, Fendi Casa, and a showcase of the label's ultra-high-end haute fourrurecapabilities. (The exemplary workmanship in one of Fendi's haute fourrurepieces is evident even in looking through a screen — fashion fans will likely not soon forget the house's autumn/winter 2016 couture show in front of the Trevi Fountain, which Fendi also helped to restore the year before.) Up close, the Fendi-sphere becomes that much more tangible — it is a spellbinding ecosystem that now reaches from streetwear and stratospheric luxury to sofas and sneakers.

In Florence, Emilio Pucci's Palazzo Pucci will also be accessible. The palazzo — a 13th-century building — was recently renamed the Emilio Pucci Heritage Hub. Here, archival designs, home goods, and special collaborations will be presented. In true Pucci fashion, the space is kitted out in all the buoyant chroma one might expect of the brand; colours like Emilio Pink and Capri Blue fill the myriad rooms.

And, back in Rome, Bulgari will put on a host of activities at its flagship on Via dei Condotti. At LVMH's preview, editors were shown Bulgari's offices and laboratory, where a majority of its fine jewellery is produced — by hand. (An interpretation of the lab will be created at the store.) When leaving the lab, everyone must cross a special inlay in the floor that brushes the soles of your shoes, should any gold flakes or stray gems be caught in the treads. Here, master artisans hand-set diamonds into the eyes of serpents; at Bulgari's offices, one necklace in the shape of a viper glimmers with rubies and sapphires. It is around a quarter million euros at retail and destined for a jewellery show in Moscow. Everyone is confident it will sell. Bulgari's creative director, Lucia Silvestri, will be on hand at the store, as well as at Les Journées Particulières. Today, though, she is talking to a batch of emeralds that has arrived from Colombia.

"This is buono," says Silvestri, catching the sunlight through an especially lush stone. She smiles and holds up another. She shakes her head. "This is not buono," she says, wrapping it up and putting it in the send-back tray with a slight scowl. "We talk with the stones," she says. "We are not normal, right?" Exceptional is more like it.

You Can Take Serena Williams Out Of Her Catsuit But You Can’t Take Away Her Superpowers

Serena Williams returned to Grand Slam tennis at the French Open in May following the birth of her daughter wearing a black Nike catsuit. It was fabulous for two reasons. One: it made her feel like a superhero, or more accurately, a "queen from Wakanda" in Black Panther. Two: she dedicated the outfit to new mothers, because the suit had helped her cope with the blood clots that had almost cost her life giving birth.

Three months later, Williams’s empowering choice of sportswear is no longer deemed appropriate for the tennis court. “I believe we have sometimes gone too far," French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli told Tennismagazine of how the professional's clothing choice had swerved industry standards. “Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.” Though the reinstated French Open guidelines are not to be as restrictive as Wimbledon, where players are required to wear all white, the the FTF will ask manufacturers to share designs for players ahead of next year’s tournament.

A gracious Williams said that the decision was "not a big deal" and that “the Grand Slams have the right to do what they want to do… If they know that some things are for health reasons then there's no way that they wouldn't be OK with it."

It was her sartorial rhetoric that spoke louder than words, however. The 23-time Grand Slam champion returned to Flushing Meadows wearing the black one-shouldered dress with full tulle skirt from her much-hyped collaboration with Virgil Abloh. While some players might not have had a back-up plan, Williams had a full line-up of Off-White x Nike x Serena Williams to choose from. Snap.

Nike matched the powerful statement with an Instagram post of the brand ambassador wearing the contentious suit and a kick-ass caption: “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.” And like that, Serena Williams just did it again.

You Need To See Teyana Taylor Dancing For Agent Provocateur

If you’ve been lacking hypnotic dancefloor inspiration since Teyana Taylor’s mesmerising appearance in Kanye West’s “Fade” music video, you are in luck. The body-popping queen of Flashdance routines is back, and this time she’s moving with Agent Provocateur.

It’s not the first time fashion has courted Taylor. Shortly after “Fade” broke the internet, Philipp Plein, The Blonds and GCDS enlisted the performer to bring her raw athleticism and fearless attitude to their spring/summer 2018 catwalks. Accordingly, Agent Provocateur has chosen Taylor to front its autumn/winter 2018 line of lingerie that women can rule the world in, aptly titled “The Power of the Provocateur”.

“The brand came to me in search of a strong talent, one who could not only be the face of the campaign, but also be involved in creating a new approach to female empowerment,” Taylor told Vogue ahead of the launch. “I felt like it could be an opportunity for me to represent different types of women with regards to lingerie.”

Shot and directed by Charlotte Wales, with make-up by Isamaya Ffrench (the brain behind Rihanna’s skinny brows on British Vogue’s September cover) and styling by Ursina Gysi, the campaign features Taylor dancing to Exile’s “I Want To Kiss You All Over”. Unlike the "Fade" routine, which was meticulously planned, Taylor had no choreographer for this project.

“Dance wasn’t the main agenda for the campaign,” Sarah Shotton, creative director of Agent Provocateur, informed us. “The brand is all about strong women, curves and healthy bodies that are sexually liberated and free – we wanted to create something that represents the confidence our underwear gives the wearer.”

Shotton describes Taylor as a “superhero woman”, but, for Taylor herself, being strong means “knowing who you are, and not allowing external forces to influence that”. As well as taking care of her family, launching her second album, K.T.S.E, filming a TV show and touring, she takes her position as a female in the spotlight seriously. “It’s the power of every woman to provoke cultural change. It’s not only about being feminine or sexy in the traditional sense, but for every woman to be strong in her sense of self, her point of view and her sensuality.”

The new collection was born out of Shotton’s personal thought process when she noticed a shift in society's values towards women at the end of 2018. “It really made me start thinking about the brand, what we represent and where we stand with this change,” she explained. “I remembered my own first encounter with Agent Provocateur in 1999 and how my first set of lingerie changed how I felt about my body. Underwear is like armour... a secret weapon."

The overriding message of the autumn/winter 2018 moodboard was attitude and "filthy elegance", but it's Taylor's own missive that perhaps sums up Agent Provocateur's core values best: “Women are so strong, we always carry a lot on our shoulders, but we’ve got this!”

Everything We Know About The Row’s Expansion Plan

The news that cut through the British bank holiday-revelry came courtesy of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The twin sisters behind The Row are expanding their much-coveted womenswear offering to include menswear.

Deep breath, here’s what we know so far... The Olsens’ self-described "premiere menswear collection" will arrive in The Row stores and select retailers in October, but it’s been in the works for years. In fact, if you visited The Row’s Upper East Side and Los Angeles flagships over the past two years you might have come across an assortment of men’s pieces on trial.

“We did one menswear capsule collection many years ago, and in 2016 launched a retail menswear capsule,” Ashley Olsen said in a statement regarding the brand’s organic expansion plan. “It was imperative that we received our customers’ feedback and to approach this collection thoughtfully at our pace.”

“The Row’s womenswear began without doing any press during its conception, sold with select wholesale partners. It’s important for us to do the research,” Mary-Kate Olsen added. “We want to be able to offer the menswear market those same core foundation pieces at a luxury level.”

The premiere collection will focus on classic suiting and root back to the genesis of The Row. The 2016-born brand was named in reverence to Savile Row, and their mutual founding principles: dedication to craftsmanship, exceptional fabrics and fine tailoring. The new subdivision will “combine the refinement of a classic bespoke experience with the precise minimal masculine style of New York specific to the ’80s and the ’90s” and follow the same minimal, luxurious construction as the womenswear.

The suiting will be made to order in Japan with traditional European hand-stitched techniques. The shirting is to be produced in France, the knitwear in Italy, the denim and the T-shirts in the USA.

With fashion editors waiting nervously to see how the luxury landscape will change with Hedi Slimane’s first collection at Céline – The Row’s contemporary in the market and the other linchpin in fashion editors’ wardrobes – the Olsens’ expansion couldn’t be more welcome. The prospect of borrowing from the boys never looked better.

Why You Need To Know About This Cult Brand’s Handbag Recycling Scheme

You can spot a Danse Lente handbag from a mile off, but would you be able to scout out a recycled one? Fans of the boxy receptacles will be able to purchase revamped versions of imperfect bags from brand founder Youngwon Kim at the Danse Lente rehome event in Shoreditch from August 31-September 2nd.

“I’ve been interested in sustainability since I was a student, but I haven’t had the chance to be part of the movement,” the modest designer, who works with craftsmen, tanners and metalsmiths in the capital to keep the brand’s carbon foot print down, tells Vogue. “Since launching Danse Lente in 2015, I’ve found so many bags that can’t find a ‘home’ due to the smallest imperfections, such as a tiny dot on leather. Some brands consider these as defects, and the product gets destroyed, but I wanted to think of a better way to treat them.”

Kim is realistic about how far she has to go to achieve transparency within her company. “To be honest, this is not a perfect sustainable project, but as a small brand we're starting to make steps towards traceability,” she shares. Rather, the rehome event will build on the recent Covent Garden pop-up, which was Danse Lente’s first bricks-and-mortar presence, and give customers a better understanding of the brand identity. “Making profit wasn’t our purpose,” she enthuses. “We are just really excited for our bags to find a new home!”

To give the E2 space a special flourish – this is the young designer inspired by the archives of Picasso, Brancusi, Memphis Group and Bauhaus after all – Kim has created displays of hot water bottles with covers crafted from leftover fabric sourced from UK factory floors. After the event is over, the winter warmers will be given away to customers via a raffle and donated to charities.

Waste not want not shouldn't be an abstract brand missive, but, sadly, as fashion currently stands, it is. Find Kim breaking down wasteful industry standards at 6c Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP, from August 31-September 2nd.

Rihanna Is Bringing Savage X Fenty To New York Fashion Week

After taking a season off from New York Fashion Week, everyone’s favourite singer-turned-fashion impresario is officially returning to the #NYFW schedule. This time, Rihanna is bringing her line of lingerie and intimate accessories to the catwalk with a Savage x Fenty presentation on September 12th.

In what a press release describes as an “immersive experience,” the Savage x Fenty event will showcase Rihanna’s new collection in a see-now-buy-now format, with the autumn/winter 2018 range immediately available to shop at Pop-ups in New York, at the Mall of America, and in two as-yet-unannounced locations will follow. While few details are available about the nature of the event or the collection, you can bet that many of Rihanna’s favourite muses will be there, promoting body positivity, female sexuality, and killer style.

With a 7.30pm time slot, Rihanna’s inaugural lingerie presentation will become the unofficial closer of NYFW, following the 6.00pm Marc Jacobsshow. The exact location has not been revealed, but Rihanna is set on bringing the fashion crowd out of Manhattan. To Brooklyn! That’s one way to top the pink sand dunes and backflipping BMX riders at her Fenty x Puma spring/summer 2018 show.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Will Balenciaga's Track Trainers Reach Cult Status Like The Speed And Triple S?

If 2017 was the year of the Speed, and 2018, so far, the Triple S, could Balenciaga trump its own trainer hype with the launch of its Track model? First seen in March during the brand’s autumn/winter 2018 presentation in Paris, the Track builds on the hi-tech, turbo template of the Triple S, but puts functionality at its core.

Gone are the bouncy tri-layered soles, and in are high-performance elements associated with hiking and running gear. Think plenty of Gore-Tex, a cage construction around the heel and a complex, integrated lace system.

Four Track styles will launch exclusively at Selfridges’ Corner Shop as part of the September 3-23 Balenciaga takeover with artworks by Mark Jenkins. But don’t expect to roll down to the department store on September 3 and go home with a pair of the £550 kicks. Registration via Balenciagatrack.comfrom August 23-September 3 is essential to book a time slot to attend the launch and pre-select the desired trainers ahead of purchase.

“This service model has been in place for brand launches for a few years, and it has helped eliminate queues and customer dissatisfaction,” Sebastian Manes, Selfridges buying and merchandising director, told Vogue before the registration launch. “Balenciaga sneakers have been one of the most in-demand pieces of footwear since last year. Every time we restock the Triple S, it sells out within hours thanks to a growing waiting list. Our clients can’t wait to see what’s next from Demna Gvasalia – he has truly reinvented the house for the modern day woman and man.”

Sales predictions are high - "the popularity of the Balenciaga trainer was cemented after we opened our dedicated Sneaker Gallery earlier this year" – but does Manes predict the techie newcomer will be as covetable as its predecessors? “The Track is a unique combination of athletic and fashion elements,” he shares. “Combined with flashes of neon, it resonates with this season’s ’80s trend and will fast become another cult favourite.”

You heard it here first, register before September 3rd to reserve your pair of glorified hiking shoes. And note that you can’t even browse Selfridges' selection of Tracks without having a confirmed reservation. Snap.

Cult Brand Reformation Launches Sustainable Underwear

Cult, sustainable LA brand Reformation has launched the latest part of its extensive expansion plan. Lucky Americans (it’s only available to buy here via collaborations with global e-tailers, unless you're willing to pay international shipping and import costs) have seen denim, swimwear and plus-size pieces filter into its offering of covetable dresses over the past seasons. And now, Reformation lingerie has landed.

The limited-edition line-up of two bras and one bralette and two styles of briefs – thongs and boy shorts – are in line with the brand’s commitment to circular fashion. Each piece in the $12-$45 priced collection is made from Lenzing Tencel, recycled lace and eco mesh.

Though Reformation has recruited four “real” women to model the underwear in its social campaign imagery, its sizing is not as inclusive as the lingerie recently released by brands with similar price points. Where Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty range made inclusivity a priority, Reformation’s sizes range from S-L in bottoms and XS-L in bras.

Still, Daisy, a postdoctoral research fellow at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Rachel, the founder and CEO of Swipe Out Hunger; JoAnna, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon; and Jamie, an entertainment attorney, highlight the fact that Reformation is a female-founded company with a leadership team made up of 80 per cent women.

“In today’s culture, our self-worth is too often based on appearance, and lingerie campaigns tend to focus only on our bodies,” the brand captions the Instagram images. “While it’s arguably hard to show lingerie without getting half-naked, today we wanted to hone in on other qualities as well. Like, you know, brains and accomplishments. Because that’s hot.”

Here's hoping Browns, Net-a-Porter or any other potential collaborators make a sustainable overhaul of the underwear drawer, à la Reformation, affordable in the UK soon.

Stüssy To Open London Store Near Palace And Supreme

After setting up shop in the basement of Dover Street Market at the beginning of this year, Stüssy has announced plans for a permanent bricks-and-mortar store in Soho. It will be the first since its original London residence closed its doors in 2009, and, naturally, it’s just around the corner from its much-hyped counterparts Supreme and Palace. And no doubt the southern California label, which established a cult following of surfers and skaters shortly after its inception in the late ’80s, will enjoy the same lines of loyal fans, who queue for hours to pocket the latest drops.

If you’re not familiar with the story of the brand, Stüssy is the brainchild of Shawn Stüssy, a surfer who began screen-printing T-shirts and shorts to sell alongside the surfboards he was shaping for friends in Laguna Beach almost four decades ago. The graffiti-style Stüssy logo that is splashed across the brand’s products today is the same one he scrawled onto his handmade wares in the ’80s and early ’90s.

The secret to the brand’s growth, once he had partnered with accountant Frank Sinatra Jr in 1984, was the founder's mission to seek out collaborators that aligned with Stüssy, and not sell out to those he didn’t respect. He travelled to New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, where he found people who shared the same tastes in music, fashion and culture and, thus, Stüssy began to resonate with those subcultures. In 1991, he opened Stüssy’s first store on Prince Street in New York, with the help of James Jebbia, the future founder of Supreme. His international fanbase of musicians, skaters, DJs and artists followed him.

There have been ups and downs for the brand. Shawn resigned as the company’s president in 1996, which caused sales to fall, but the company retained his signature as the logo and its most valuable asset. And thus, Stüssy‘s identity stayed constant in the years to come when the creatives in charge of its evolution would change.

The new Wardour Street outpost, which the brand calls a “Chapter”, will see Stüssy align itself with the current streetwear success stories - and its new neighbours - that it helped pave the way for.

Why Mulberry’s AW18 Muse Is A Rebel And An Aristocrat

For autumn/winter 2018, Mulberry was inspired by a dynamic array of muses. In a suitably spirited shoot for Vogue, Greta Bellamacina plays The Runaway Muse. “Tomorrow true glamour is kindness,” the actress, filmmaker and poet says in a homage to the brand’s vibrant new collection.

Mulberry's roots may be based in British heritage, but it has been looking to a more contemporary aesthetic of late. The inspiration for autumn/winter 2018 came from the age-old adage of opposites attracting.

“This collection is an exploration of a different facet of British style. We’ve looked at the aristocrat, and the rebel – this woman is both,” says creative director Johnny Coca. “Britishness isn’t about one culture or one way of dressing. It’s about mixing elements together and creating something unique. It’s about being and looking different, about personality and self-expression.”

And here lies the art of this direction for Mulberry. The core may be familiar, but the result is surprising. Inspirations are fused to create a collection that is as bold and brilliant as the Mulberry woman herself. The juxtaposing references mean crystals accessorise daywear, chiffon accompanies spirited print, and an overall “eccentric sensibility” underpins the aesthetic.

As well as re-imaginings of classic styles such as the Amberley, expect eclectic new offerings. The Leighton, for instance, is a sleek and playful addition. The supple leather bag, with its oh-so-appealing slouch, keeps with the brand’s desire to offer “versatile femininity”, while its trio of straps allows for an instant switch up in styling.

Topshop Is Collaborating With Halpern

In December 2017, New York-born, London-based designer, Michael Halpern, won the British emerging talent gong for womenswear at the Fashion Awards. That same evening, Vogue cover star Adwoa Aboah, who was crowned model of the year, wore a glittering Halpern jumpsuit to the prestigious event. With the most influential industry figures in attendance at the most important event on the fashion calendar, the award ceremony certainly cemented the 30-year-old's status as one of the most promising designers on the scene right now.

Halpern's ascent has been rapid, graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2016 and debuting his eponymous collection at London Fashion Week in February 2017. Today, the lauded designer, adored for his modern take on '70s glamour and sequins, has been announced as Topshop's latest collaborator.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Michael; especially at such an exciting time in his career," Anthony Cuthbertson, Global Design Director of Topshop Topman enthused. "Our capsule embodies the disco spirit and signature feminine silhouettes he is renowned for; we can’t wait to bring the world of Halpern to Topshop with styles that will no doubt kick-start the partywear season for our customers.”

"I think it’s fabulous that as a younger brand we’re able to work with Topshop, making the type of clothing we do for the main Halpern collection in an accessible way so more people can really feel the glamour," Michael Halpern added. "I want the whole world to feel as glam as possible, and this type of collaboration is a fantastic way to accomplish that."

The 28-piece collection, which will drop in November, will offer a more affordable range of the disco-ready partywear worn by Halpern's celebrity fanbase including Amal Clooney, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert and Marion Cotillard. The Topshop x Halpern collection will include neon velvet separates, printed two pieces, sequin-adorned jumpsuits and iridescent camouflage print mini dresses, with prices starting at just £35.

The high-street collaboration follows on from a special Halpern capsule collection with Browns which launched earlier this year in February, called "After Midnight". Timed perfectly in the run-up to the festive season and the influx of Christmas parties, we couldn't think of a more suitable designer to inject some fun into our winter wardrobes.

The 28-piece collection will be available in selected Topshop stores globally and online at from early November 2018.

Karl Lagerfeld Unveils Kaia Gerber Capsule Collection

The news that Karl Lagerfeld had asked Kaia Gerber to create a capsule collection of ready-to-wear and accessories emerged back in January 2018, and now the fruits of the partnership have emerged.

Called simply, Karl Lagerfeld x Kaia, the day-to-night line incorporates a Paris-to-LA narrative, with Gerber responsible for breathing her West Coast style into Lagerfeld’s Parisian aesthetic. It is the company’s largest collaborative project to date.

And so, wetsuit-inspired bodysuits sit alongside logo hoodies, biker jackets and double-breasted tuxedos in the comprehensive line of largely monochrome pieces. Monogram chokers, over-the-knee socks, mini rucksacks and velvet bags, trainers and chain-embellished hats make up the accessories section, which will go on sale on and Revolve.comfor two weeks on August 30. The product will then be rolled out to other international e-tailers, followed by a a series of events in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, according to WWD.

Lagerfeld, who is a keen photographer, shot the campaign himself in his 7L studio in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. The lookbook, however, was shot in LA, immersed in Gerber’s natural habitat of palm trees, skate parks and beach fronts.

Lagerfeld, who first called upon Gerber to open the Chanel spring/summer 2018 show in October, praised his collaborator’s “youthful, independent attitude” during the Paris-LA studio time. The designer will no doubt be hoping to harness the same hype that Tommy Hilfiger garnered through his collaboration with Gigi Hadid. The debut Tommy x Gigi line generated 900 per cent increased traffic to in the 48 hours following the see-now-buy-now show in September 2016. Will Karl Lagerfeld x Kaia cause the same mania? Time will tell.

Irina Shayk And Stella Maxwell Turn Handbag Designers

Throughout the years I’ve been working as a model, I’ve gathered lots of information on the process of creating fashion without even trying,” Stella Maxwell tells Vogue. The Kooples must have sensed the inner design talent brimming inside her, and, accordingly, asked Maxwell to create a handbag to accompany the brand’s autumn/winter 2018 collection.

The New Zealand-born model jumped at the chance to take the baton from Emily Ratajkowski, who was the brand’s first celebrity collaborator in 2017. This time round, however, The Kooples was looking for a couple to align with its core concept of photographing pairs of people in its wares. When asked who she would like to share her creative license with, Maxwell could think of only one person: “Obviously Irina Shayk!”

“It was a match made in heaven, because we have very different personalities and styles, so our designs didn’t clash,” Maxwell continues. “There was no limit to the creative possibilities – The Kooples made the whole process so easy.”

The Stella by The Kooples bag taps into the Victoria's Secret Angel's inner rocker and the dark, hard-edged aesthetic of the brand. Created from studded soft-calfskin manufactured in Italy – “the quality was just as important as the look,” she asserts – the shoulder style with metallic clasp and chain strap comes in three sizes and multiple colourways. Maxwell, it appears, is all about options.

The Irina by The Kooples bag, in contrast, was not conceived with the day-to-night outfit conundrum that plagues many and has been manipulated by brand campaigns, but for a girl on the move. Encased in the soft-grained leather bowling bag shape with metallic hardware is a concealed mirror. “Every time you run out of the house you always forget your mirror,” Shayk explains of her multi-use accessory. “My bag is also soft enough that you can put it in your luggage and not worry about damaging it. I travel a lot – and I take a lot with me! – so that was important.”

Aside from the opportunity to imagine a versatile accessory she believed her fellow model community and fans will also find useful – and covetable – Shayk said yes to Maxwell, because, “the campaign is about friendship, love and celebrating life”. What more could you want from your next handbag purchase?

After the roaring success of the Emily bag, The Kooples is onto a winning formula: model mania equates to great sales. The Stella by The Kooples bag, which starts at £318, and Irina by The Kooples bag, which starts at £298, will be available in stores and on the website from September 2018.

The Numerous Questions Around The Rise Of CGI Models And Influencers

Since Lil Miquela posted her first selfie back in April 2016, debate around the ethics of CGI models and influencers has been swirling. The pixelated It girl, whose “real” name is Miquela Sousa, has since amassed 1.3 million Instagram followers, collaborated with Pradaand Pat McGrath, and, most recently, scored an editorial in Vogue’s September issue. Another 3D colleague, whose existence is relegated to the realms of virtual reality is Shudu: the black digi-supermodel, who shot to fame after Fenty reposted a picture of her wearing Rihanna’s bright orange lipstick. 137,000 followers later, plus a handful of encouraging likes and comments from Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Alicia Keys, and Shudu is not just a piece of artwork. She represents the technological advancements that fashion as an industry has to align with for fear of being left behind, and the ongoing tension between appearance and reality in the media. But what are the motives of these CGI beings, and is the industry right to be worried about the potential for 3D models to replace those in IRL?

It is not the first time Virtual Reality and fashion have collided. It has been over a decade since Alexander McQueen reintroduced a scandalised Kate Moss back into the fashion industry via a hologram on the catwalk. Riccardo Tisci gave Japanese pixel-made virtual “singer” Hatsune Miku a Givenchycouture makeover in 2016. And Nicolas Ghesquière enlisted Final Fantasy XIII character Lightning for Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2016 campaign. But development is underlined by fear of the unknown. “When drones came out we were up in arms, never mind driverless cars!” Cameron-James Wilson, the creator of Shudu, tells Vogue. “Our natural reaction to technology is to worry.”

Wilson, who worked as a fashion photographer for 10 years, stumbled across the possibilities of virtual model creation via computer programmes Daz3D and Marvelous Designer. “It’s like having access to the best studio in the world on your screen,” he says of how a stint of career soul searching turned into Shudu’s conception. The subsequent backlash he received – “How can a white man realistically realise and represent a black woman?” the media asked – means he is well placed to answer questions on how CGI can impact the industry.

“I had a lot of internal debate, philosophically and ethically,” he recalls. “A lot of people thought she was real, and I felt uncomfortable about this. Now, I try to make it apparent that it’s me behind the account. Being honest and transparent means that I can open people’s eyes to the programmes that are out there and what they can do. The problem with images is that we’re hardwired into believing that they’re real.”

He believes that the critique “arose from concern about representation in fashion in general” rather than judgement about his artwork. “I’m glad it sparked a debate, because it led to honest conversations. A lot of people aren’t aware that there’s a real problem with diversity in 3D as well!” When creating Shudu, many of the digital assets he needed, such as those to create her hair, weren’t available.

Wilson has decided not to monetise Shudu – perhaps fearful of more jibes concerning cultural appropriation – but other developers behind 3D influencers treat social platforms as their real-life counterparts do, utilising sponsored posts and campaign images to raise their profiles and bank balances. “I, myself, am looking to generate cash flow through designing models for brands who want a digital spokesperson,” Wilson shares. “As we move into the VR space, it’s inevitable that companies will want to communicate to potential customers on these platforms.”

The technology to achieve chatbots that will revolutionise customer service is available today, but costs need to be brought down, and Wilson – along with numerous developers around the globe – is looking at ways of accomplishing this. “We’re going to see a lot of crazy stuff come out in the next few years,” he muses, before referring to The Sims as a similar parallel for what life could become.

Steps to make humans and the VR community no longer mutually exclusive are also well underway. “CGI could become a massive benefit to real-life models, because there will be the potential for them to make very detailed scans of themselves,” Wilson explains. Their avatar can then be sent on multiple jobs around the globe without the model being there in the flesh. “Once someone is scanned, they are, in a way, immortalised. A person’s career could last decades, centuries," Wilson chimes back in. "If the technology to scan and capture Marilyn Monroe had been around then, her career could very much be still going today.”

Wilson’s career trajectory has allowed him to dream on this scale, but, for the rest of us, tens of questions around the ethics of this arise. Whose intellectual property are these scans? How can an individual, who is no longer alive, protect themselves from identity theft? The human rights standards the industry is struggling to maintain now would surely go out of the window, and the problem of counterfeiting in fashion would reach new heights.

For now, though, humans, Wilson believes, have nothing to worry about. With product development will come a greater understanding of how to license data securely. And, going back to the basics, CGI beings are native to their virtual world. A 3D model can’t walk down a catwalk, or embrace a fan. And, crucially, humans crave this real emotion. “People like watching their favourite celebrity go out and get drunk – and be, well, human,” he laughs.

First and foremost, CGI “explores new realms of creativity and creates new opportunities in an industry which is inherently inclusive,” Wilson surmises. “Instead of being a certain height, or a certain this, or a certain that, what if all you needed was imagination and a basic understanding of 3D to have a shot in fashion?” Let the debate continue to swirl.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Choupette Turns 7, But She Doesn’t Look A Day Over 5, OK

Fashion’s most famous feline (sorry Hello Kitty) turned seven yesterday, and to celebrate she took to Instagram to set the record straight on some social etiquette that has been irking her. “I started my social media career before ‘influencers’ were a thing. Please refrain from using this term with moi,” the caption of Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved Birman, Choupette, read.

Well wishes poured in from her 120,000 followers (and that’s just Choupette’s Instagram) and, naturally, “daddy” threw her a lavish-yet-low-key party. A single candle placed in a plate of shrimp and a new toy cat wearing a tie were pictured on her curated feed, which Choupette clarified was not started by Lagerfeld’s team, but @choupettesocialgirl in 2012. “Please stop DMing moi for free @chanelofficial handbags. I can’t hook you up,” she jabbed. Meow.

And the catty comments did not stop there: “My annual salary and net worth are none of your business unless it’s @forbes calling to put me on their next cover. Move over @kyliejenner!” she said in response to those hounding – “unintentional dog pun... yuck!” – Choupette for details about her career.

Next up was the subject of image. Yes, her “eyes are naturally blue and no, [she doesn’t] wear colour contacts. That’s animal cruelty”. Of course, her “maids still pamper [her] every need just like they did when [she] was a kitten," and she "may be '7' but [she doesn't] look a day over 5". Oh, and stop trying to date her: "Instagram isn’t @tinder and that’s just weird.”

The rant could have been part and parcel of Choupette’s plan to score her dream job: "To write a satirical fashion commentary series" for Vogue, Elle or Harper’s Bazaar. Her application was certainly a punchy one. “Holler at your girl!” she urged prospective publications.

Laura Harrier's BlacKkKlansman Tour Wardrobe Was Inspired By '90s Naomi Campbell

BlacKkKlansman is the latest in a slew of politically motivated films smashing the stereotypes that we have come to expect from summer blockbusters. The crime drama charts the mission of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. While gathering information to take down the extremist group, Stallworth forms a relationship with Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), a student activist.

Accordingly, it has been Washington and Harrier on the promo trail for Spike Lee’s take on Stallworth’s story. And Harrier, her stylist Danielle Nachmani tells Vogue, has been channelling her inner Patrice on each tour stop. “After seeing BlacKkKlansman at Cannes, I knew I needed to honour the character,” the Hollywood dresser tells Vogue. “Patrice is so powerful in the film, so it was important to me that each of Laura’s looks emulated that. We chose pieces that were tough and sexy.”

Nachmani treated Harrier’s wardrobe “more or less like an editorial story”. Silhouettes and colours complemented or played off against each other to keep Harrier’s narrative interesting for the cameras. “We really wanted the strong shouldered, cut-out pink Louis Vuitton minidress at the New York premiere to juxtapose with the relaxed Loewe dress in muted tones in LA,” she references as an example.

Louis Vuitton was a natural choice for Harrier, Nachmani continues, because “it's important for us to work with the brands that have supported us since day one. Laura's ongoing collaboration with Nicolas [Ghesquière] is something we honour on every tour she goes on”.

The Loewe, meanwhile, was conceived out of their mutual love for Jonathan Anderson’s work. “When we saw the gown on the runway, it was the only dress we tried and fit for LA, because we both knew it was the one.” Newer brands, such as Victor Glemaud, were “invited to be a part of a tour that would mean a great deal of exposure for them.”

Leading up to the dates, the duo sent each other inspirational imagery they wanted to emulate for each “moment”, but stayed true to the personal style Nachmani is helping to bring out on each tour. “Laura’s style is definitely rooted in the past, she’s a ’90s girl at heart!” she shares. “We reference a lot of what we call ‘baby Naomi’ – ’90s Naomi Campbell looks – but at the end of the day she knows how to wear clothes and make them her own.”

Nachmani is a self-confessed micromanager when it comes to perfecting each overall look – “I like that about me!” she laughs – but Harrier’s confidence makes for a successful partnership. “Laura welcomes the opportunity to step outside the box of what she would usually go for – that makes our collaboration much more fun.”

Wait, Are Rihanna And Donald Glover Working On A Secret Project Together?

The Rihanna Navy went into overdrive last night when a photo surfaced of beloved Rih with a rapper and actor — and no, it wasn't Drake. The performer in question was a shirtless Donald Glover, with whom Rihanna posed happily in... a room? With a painting of a palm tree? Somewhere that looks pretty hot? Gleaning what we can from this one photo is like finding love in a hopeless place but, like the rest of the Internet, we’re obviously going to do it. Everyone wants to know: what are Rihanna and Donald Glover up to?

Fenty fans were quick to speculate that Rih and Glover are in Cuba, on set of a Hiro Murai movie they’re filming in Havana. (Other photos of Rihanna on set have also circulated on Twitter.) Murai last directed Glover’s critically acclaimed "This Is America" video, and has also directed the actor in episodes of TV show Atlanta. A Cuban website has also said that Black Panther’s Letitia Wright and fellow Brit Nonso Anozie are there. The title is, supposedly, Guava Island.

All we can say is that we’re ready for more Rihanna, all the time — and she could do far worse than Glover in terms of a new creative force to join up with, however temporarily — so whether it’s Guava Island, or something to do with her rumored new album, we are ready and waiting.

The Story Behind Jennifer Lopez's Juicy Couture Tracksuit In "I'm Real"

Stylists might have offered Jennifer Lopez couture looks for the video of her 2001 single “I’m Real”, but the popstar chose the couture she felt comfortable in: Juicy Couture.

Lopez revealed details of the shoot via a throwback Instagram post ahead of the Video Music Awards, which will take place on August 20 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The pop superstar is set to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and will be performing for the first time at the VMAs since 2001, when she and Ja Rule showed the world how duetting is done. If you thought Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue were the champions at flirtatious stage choreography after their 2003 Brit Awards performance, think again.

Back to those infamous velour trackies. Juicy Couture sent the singer the sweats for her “to chill and hang out in” during the second video shoot for the remixed version of the single, which “everyone went crazy” for. “The stylists brought me all this fancy couture from all the big designers,” she recalls of the wardrobe department. But Lopez was taken with the loungewear from the little-known LA-based brand, who were only four years old at the time. “I loved them so much I decided to wear [them] in the video with my throwback Adidas and my nameplate and a bun.”

What originally “shocked everyone” became a signifier of the singer quite literally keeping it real, and paved the way for the following smash hit “Jenny From The Block” in 2002. And, with one pair of pink hotpants, Lopez put Juicy Couture firmly on the map. Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan all joined Juicy’s bedazzled booty crew, as it became the Noughties streetwear du jour.

If Lopez is mulling over a Juicy 2.0 moment for her upcoming stage date, she’s in luck. Hollywood stylist Jamie Mizrahi revamped and relaunched the outmoded brand at the start of this year. Gone were The Simple Lifereferences, and in were sporty sequined jumpsuits, louche floral separates and leather dresses. Seventeen years on, the Juicy DNA has evolved along with Lopez herself: still sporty, still loaded with attitude, but confidently refined.

Stormzy Offers Scholarships For Black Students Going To Cambridge

Stormzy has today announced that he is launching The Stormzy Scholarship, which will provide financial support to four black students attending the University of Cambridge. Set up to pay for tuition fees and a maintenance grant for up to four years of an undergraduate degree, the scholarship will fund two students this year and two in 2019.

“There are so many young black kids all over the country who have the level of academic excellence to study at a university such as Cambridge - however we are still under-represented at leading universities," the rapper, who made the announcement during A-Level results day at his former school, Harris Academy in Crystal Palace, says.

"I hope this scholarship serves as a small reminder that if young black students wish to study at one of the best universities in the world, then the opportunity is yours for the taking - and if funding is one of the barriers, then we can work towards breaking that barrier down.”

Oxbridge (the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge) has recently been criticised for not admitting enough students from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. A report by the Financial Times earlier this year showed that some Cambridge colleges admitted no black British students between 2012 and 2016. The University, which enrolled 58 black undergraduate students in 2017, has committed to doing more to increase the diversity of its studentship.

Stormzy, who didn't go to university, but got six A*s, three As and three Bs at GCSE, wrote on Instagram of his new scheme, which he hopes to grow with the help of additional investors: "This is my proudest venture thus far and I look forward to seeing some young black geniuses go on to achieve at Cambridge via this scholarship".

Diesel’s Autumn/Winter 2018 Collection Sheds A New Light On 1990s Hedonism

There’s a hedonistic spirit to Diesel’s autumn/winter 2018 collection, ‘Stranger and Stronger’, which blends messages of youth and unity with references to fictional 1990s subcultures. Consider it a love letter to London’s bygone late-night scenes. Woven into the sporty silhouettes, grainy denim, and comic-book graphics are hints to the underground styling tricks that once identified British ravers in fields around the M25 orbital, or the cyber-goths who bathed in the neon glow of Electrowerkz’s Slimelight. This was where industrial metalheads collided with club culture; where late nights blurred into morning and fashion potentially offered a passport into a new nocturnal realm.

Hedonism for London’s next generation – here, creative consultant Zaina Miuccia and band manager Basti Robert - carries a powerful sentiment: the belief that shared ideas and real-time action can bring about positive change.“I started out by selling liquorice at music festivals. I now work tirelessly to create a space where musicians can be themselves.”

Miuccia’s style story has taken her to London by way of Lagos and Paris, where she is surrounded by the photographers and designers who document and design for the stars of a new underground world. Today her petite frame is swathed in ripped and repaired denim, a pair of metallic cowgirl boots hinting at mischief. She’s chatting animatedly about an upcoming trip to Jamaica, “but maybe France first”. There’s an iconoclastic edge to her fashion sense that defines a modern mood of fearlessness and freedom - a female force who generates change without necessarily being aware of it. How important is her power to move freely from city to city and project to project? “Vital,” she says, adjusting the exaggerated sleeves of an eye-popping fuchsia knit.

Both figures see their networks as central to their creative momentum: “Change starts from the people around you,” Robert adds. “I find inspiration with them to set about doing something that brings the light in.”

The Instagram Celebrating Rich, Glamorous Milanese Grandmas

When Vogue fashion features editor Ellie Pithers stumbled across Pasta Grannies – a short online film series of Italian “nonne” who make traditional pasta by hand – she sparked a social dive around the Mediterranean’s most fabulous grandmothers. If you’re not already familiar with Sciuraglam, the Instagram account profiling Milan’s glamorous older women, then be prepared to lose a significant amount of time scrolling down its feed.

“I didn’t have a real reason to start it, I just fell in love with these iconic women in Milan,” the man behind the account, Angelo, tells Vogue of what encouraged him to start capturing the city's keen fashion followers on his phone in December 2016.

Angelo, a dental student from south Italy, wishes only to disclose this small bio on himself. “Nobody knows my real identity apart from some of the women I photograph, and I would love it to stay this way,” he shares. “I didn’t start this to be famous. I want the account to be focused on the women, not me.”

At first, he showed the pictures to his friends out of shock at how different the lifestyle Milanese women enjoyed in comparison with those in his hometown. “I used to capture two women at a time, and say, ‘I wish we were them, because they are beautiful, and their lives are so much easier than ours! They go to grocery stores, dressed in Gucci or Prada, and we just go to university!’”

Fellow students admired the grandeur of Angelo’s growing community of grans, and so he started mapping out their locale. “They are always in the centre of Milan, because they are rich,” he laughs. “If I go to Bar Luce [the Wes Anderson-imagined establishment in Fondazione Prada] there are always women there having coffee.” Accordingly, the account name refers to “Scuira” meaning “rich woman” in Milanese dialect.

It’s not the Gucci logos that signal a woman out as a Scuiragram subject, but the “inner beauty” Angelo sees in them. “I really can’t describe it, beauty is beauty,” he muses. “And they have to wear something that I would wear if I was a woman.”

Angelo began to see an upwards spike in followers as the nieces and nephews of the women started finding his images of their relatives on Instagram. “In the beginning, I uploaded some without consent, but the family loved them, and we became – sort of – friends,” he continues. When Italian “influencer” and brand consultant Gilda Ambrosio found the account, journalists started contacting him in droves. “I didn’t think it could have this success,” he says sheepishly of his fan base. “I didn’t know how people would react to these women”.

Though dentistry is still a priority (he is in year four of six) he admits he’d like to branch out into photography full time. “I’d love to shoot younger people and editorials… for Vogue! I know I’m dreaming big.” With a growing 121k follower count, Sciuraglam is firmly out of hobby territory already.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Inside The V&A's Fashioned From Nature Exhibition

I think if we are going to change our mind-sets and the way we consume, we need to remind ourselves what we really value about nature,” Edwina Ehrman, the curator of the new V&A exhibition affirms at a private preview. “One very human way in which we've expressed our delight in nature, our pleasure in it, our curiosity to learn more about nature is through textiles and fashion.”

Spanning 400 years, Fashioned From Nature, opening at the Victoria and Albert museum on April 21st, explores the garments and accessories that have been inspired by nature's awesome power and beauty throughout history but also investigates fashion's impact on the natural world and the devastating effects of manufacturing on our environment. Showcasing popular styles from as far back as the 17th century up to present day, the compelling and vital exhibition includes items such as an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds – a hugely popular item sold in enormous volume at the time – and an 1860s muslin dress decorated with over 5000 iridescent green wings pulled from live jewel beetles.

As you begin to walk around the exhibition, the sound of birdsong and animals in their natural habitat is intercepted by the sounds of man’s devastating impact on the planet with the din of heavy machinery and machetes cutting down trees. Similarly, the exhibition cases also become increasingly busy to reflect man’s insatiable demands on the natural world. “It’s all about production speeding up and our population growing incrementally,” Ehrman explains. “The cases will get crowded, too crowded sometimes.”

The exhibition moves through the 18th century, looking at the principle fibres i.e. flax, cotton, silk and wool as well as man's greedy use of feathers, furs and even bones. “Whalebone was a very important material used for lots of inner structure and through featuring [a section of a whale’s skeleton] we've tried to bring home the cruelty of whale fishing. It’s quite brutal really. Richard Sabin, who is an expert on whales at the Natural History Museum, has made a video for us.”

Before the exhibition moves upstairs, there are unsettling images of mill chimneys belching out smoke whilst another area explores our fascination with all the exotic species brought from overseas through trade, exploration and the Empire, from Australian ferns to plants from Mexico.

At the top of the stairs on the first floor, the dress worn by Emma Watson to the Met Gala 2016 stands on display amongst terrariums. “In collaboration with Calvin Klein, every part of the gown was produced with sustainability in mind - from the use of Newlife (a yarn made from post-consumer plastic bottles) to the zippers fashioned from recycled materials,” Watson explains in the foreword of the book that accompanies the exhibition. “The threads of this dress were woven in a reinvented tale of our consumption. We even designed different layers so that separate components could be worn again in different ways. I am proud of this dress."

"Clothes are something that touch our lives every day, and I admire the Victoria and Albert museum for creating this exhibition and book to highlight the importance of questioning where, how and by whom our clothes are made," Watson continues. "Regardless of social or economic status, we can all dress and shop more mindfully and sustainably. It is so important and timely that we now re-conceptualise what it means to wear and consume, and what is fashionable."

On display upstairs are more contemporary designs inspired from nature, such as a 2016 Giles Deacon haute-couture dress featuring a pattern of delicate bird eggs, and a 1997 Jean Paul Gaultier leopard print gown. Importantly, the exhibition also presents a range of solutions to reducing fashion’s impact on the environment from low water denim and the use of wild rubber to more conceptual and collaborative projects. A section on fashion protest highlights seminal designs from Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett alongside posters from sustainability campaigners, Fashion Revolution and, of course, pieces from sustainable pioneer Stella McCartney.

“We've really tried to find clothes that we as a team like because you’re not going to convert anybody unless these garments are fashionable and appealing to a wide range of tastes and incomes,” Ehrman explains. “I think my aim is that one day sustainability is no longer seen as something special. When I read that sustainability is the new luxury, I often think 'I don’t like that very much'. It shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be every day, it should be absolutely hotwired right from the very, very beginning.”

Interactive installations ‘Fashion Now’ and ‘Fashion Futures 2030’ have been curated by Professor Dilys Williams, an advisor to the whole exhibition and the Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. “Doing the exhibition has been a big learning curve for me and I've learnt a huge amount. I'm technically a 19th century specialist, so I knew a lot about pollution but it’s been a real eye opener,” Ehrman confesses. “I think there’s a lot to surprise people [in this exhibition]. There’s so much interdisciplinary research going on between designers, technicians, scientists and a lot more sharing of information than I think we've had in the past. What we want is to inspire debate and discussion and to encourage people to find out more.”

This Sunday, the day after the exhibition officially opens to the public, the world celebrates Earth Day and then Monday 23rd April marks the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which killed and injured thousands of garment workers in 2013. The V&A’s essential exhibition couldn’t come at a better time when we should all be challenging brands and industry leaders to create clothes that are both beautiful and sustainable and striving to make more socially conscious decisions in terms of our wardrobes. Fashioned From Nature isn't just a captivating exhibition to get lost in for a few hours, but an urgent call to action to us all to readdress the way we think about fashion and more importantly our precious planet.

This Summer, Jonathan Anderson Wants You To Read The Classics

When the guests arrived at Loewe’s autumn/winter 2018 fashion show, upon each of our seats was perched a bound novel covered in a Steven Meisel-photographed bookjacket. It was a fairly intimidating welcome gift – the premise of reading 600-something pages of Don Quixote in its original language in the middle of fashion month is faintly terrifying – but warmly received nonetheless: after all, who doesn’t want a Meisel-bound Madame Bovary? “You don't have to run away from classicism; you can change the cover and make it relevant for today,” creative director Jonathan Anderson explained backstage of his new publishing endeavour, a sentiment which clearly relates to his vision for the heritage Spanish brand. “For me that's what Loewe is about, incorporating classicism into our work and making it relevant for today's generation.”

He has certainly managed to update Loewe with a profound finesse: in five years the brand has grown with incredible strength, establishing its leather goods as some of the most covetable around and introducing a remarkably appealing ready-to-wear collection. Now, Anderson is adding yet another string to his bow: the series of books he introduced back in February are going on sale at and at the Mount Street flagship. The line-up – featuring Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, Heart of Darkness, Madame Bovary (in French) and a doorstopper Don Quixote (in Spanish) – present the perfect opportunity to glam up your bookshelves (shelfies are still a thing) as well, of course, as revisit the great literary classics.

If you’re going to choose one to start with, Anderson feels that Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray holds a contemporary resonance: “It’s an amazing idea of the idea of vanity and how it relates to today’s world,” he explains (so maybe the shelfie idea is ill-advised). “I have a crazy respect for Oscar Wilde; he was a man with incredible wit and, if we think about celebrity today, he was a celebrity in his period. Also, bottom line, he was Irish.”

But why choose his versions, enshrouded in Meisel’s archive, rather than go for an audiobook or Kindle? “Reading gets into your memory better and I feel, especially when we live in such a digital age, by reading you find things that may not exist on the internet.” That being said, as he sets off on holiday, he is not taking anything with him: Anderson is industrious enough in his working life to require some down time. “I'm planning not to read anything, I'm trying to do as little as physically possible,” he says. Fair play; it is August, after all. The rest of us will channel Stella, revise our Spanish and settle down with Cervante's epic. Such endeavours have clearly paid dividends for him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What To Wear To A Wedding

1. Personal Best

Stick to your own style: there's no need to succumb to the peculiar form of wedding panic that dictates overblown florals and cupcake colours. If you always wear black, go ahead, just make sure your accessories are zingy. And if you do decide to wear florals, toughen them up with metallic jewellery or a fierce pair of shoes.

2. Beyond The Pale

Don't set out to steal the bride's thunder: never wear white. If you must wear pale colours — or are eyeing up flirtatiously revealing necklines — clear it with your host first, preferably with an accompanying visual sent via WhatsApp.

3. Something New

For ultimate style kudos? Name-drop a brand that's reassuringly niche: the Vampire's Wife, Brock Collection, Kitri and Sea NY are the names to know for British weddings; if you're on the Continent, the chicest guests wear Johanna Ortiz, Ulla Johnson and Cult Gaia.

4. Head Turners

Avoid fascinators at all costs — they only ever look half-hearted. Take your cue from Simone Rocha and opt for crystal-frosted hair clips, or try Emily London for quietly spectacular pillbox hats.

5. Matchless Chic

Remember the matchy-matchy rule: never coordinate your bags, shoes and belt — unless they're Chanel, of course.

6. Come Clean

Forgo the fake tan. No one wants to be the well-wisher who smears Ginger Nut orange on the bride's dazzling gown.

7. Warmer, Warmer

A cardigan is no longer off-limits: pin it at the throat with an heirloom brooch, a la Erdem, and let the arms fly for an instant update. Or invest in a cocktail coat — it will come into its own in the British wedding season. Alternatively, an oversized blazer over a pretty dress looks modern.

8. Style Trips

Take note of the terrain: stilettos won't hack it on gravel, cobbles or grass. Choose platforms or wedges instead, and pack a pair of jewel-tone satin Le Monde Beryl flats for when ankle-ache sets in (do not, under any circumstances, take off your shoes on the dancefloor). Never wear boots — they always look matronly.

9. To Have And To Hold

Clutch bags, begone! A dinky strap-handle bag from Bienen-Davis, Dolce & Gabbana or Marni is an instant ice-breaker, and will nestle in your elbow as you negotiate champagne.

10. Renew Your Wows

Yes, you can re-wear a dress to multiple nuptials, as long as you switch up the statement Alessandra Rich or Rebecca de Ravenel earrings.

Fashioning Frida: Inside The V&A's Frida Kahlo Retrospective

This is the first time a lot of these objects have left Mexico,” Circe Henestrosa tells Vogue of Frida Kahlo’s belongings, which, until 2004, had been locked away for 50 years. Upon the artist’s death in 1954, her muralist husband, Diego Rivera, shut her belongings in a room in their home – the Blue House on the outskirts of Mexico City – out of respect and understanding of how Kahlo's legacy would grow. It took four years for historians to catalogue the some 6,000 photographs, 12,000 documents and 300 items found. And now, many of these personal artefacts and clothes are housed in the V&A as part of its summer exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up.

“It is the first time a museum has paired her dresses directly with her paintings, and established the really intimate relationship between the two. Her style is as integral to her myth as her art,” Henestrosa explains of the curation. From her Tehuana dresses and striking headpieces, to the corsets and prosthetics that masked her physical impairments, her entire being was an extension of her work.

The exhibition opens with an introduction to Kahlo’s early life with her German father and Mexican mother, and highlights two key events that defined her identity early on: her contraction of polio at the age of six, and her near-fatal accident at 18. The latter “marked the beginning of her career as an amazing artist, but also the real deterioration of her body,” acknowledges Henestrosa.

This sense of duality is the central theme of the retrospective, and directly alluded to by the "two Fridas" that seemingly greet guests at the end of the opening passage. As a German-Mexican citizen she felt her family’s roots were in Mexico, but her married life took her to America. Emotionally, there was a chasm between the charismatic “celebrity” that the cameras loved versus the loneliness she felt, and her artistic interpretation of herself juxtaposed with her true self. “I think she felt very torn,” co-curator Claire Wilcox notes, before Henestrosa adds: “It is her construction of identity through her ethnicity, her disability, her political beliefs and her art that makes her such a compelling and relevant icon today.”

A series of self-portraits of her father is shown early on to highlight his direct influence on her own style of self portraiture. The retrospective then opens into a room of curiosity cases and cabinets, which are housed in wooden structures mimicking beds. Kahlo’s sick bed functioned as both refuge and stage, as her mother secured a mirror onto the canopy, so that her daughter could draw her reflection. In lieu of her easel, the plaster of her immobilising corsets became her 3D canvas. “She would cover herself in life, but she would uncover herself in art,” Henestrosa says. Kahlo’s prosthetic leg with the embroidered and bell-embellished boot that she decorated “as if it were a second skin” is also on display amongst the cosmetics and accessories that populate the displays.

Kahlo’s relationship with fashion plays out alongside her political ideology during a time when the country was rediscovering its pre-Columbian roots. “When she first met Diego Rivera she was wearing communist red shirts, trousers and simple skirts,” Wilcox asserts. “The first image we see of her wearing a full-length dress is her wedding portrait... I think it was in the freedom of America [the couple married in 1929 and lived in the United States between 1930-1934] that meant she was able to craft her unique identity.”

Yet her distinctive wardrobe that bore no resemblance to her peers is entrenched in Tehuana. She was attracted to the way the extraordinary women in Oaxaca’s matriarchal societies dressed because, Wilcox says, “these were proud women who had a certain dignity.” Her dedication to channelling her Mexican heritage is shown through the wear on her clothing. Darns, cigarette burns and stains are present on the pieces, as well as paint and pigment splashes. Archive discoveries, such as a pre-Columbian jade beaded necklace with a tiny dab of green paint, where Kahlo had tried to meticulously match her artist’s materials to her necklace, have brought art historians and fashion historians together to try and uncover the symbolism behind her public persona.

The crescendo of colourful, joyful outfits that we see at the end of the exhibition is the amalgam of Tehuana fashion with pieces from Europe, American beauty products and vintage jewellery that were all utilised by Kahlo to draw the eye upwards and away from her leg brace. “Look at the sophistication of her construction,” Wilcox notes of her wardrobe. “In some ways, it has taken until the discovery of her belongings in 2004 for us to be able to unpick and understand the different components.”

Her performative identity – “she’d insist on dressing for her friends even when she was sick” – is made all the more powerful when we consider her as a spirited, liberated woman operating in a man's world. “Success didn't come to her in her lifetime, but she didn’t chase success through her painting,” Wilcox concludes. "She once said, 'I paint myself because I'm so often alone'. Yet, she was a somebody. In her lifetime she was regarded as a charismatic, unusual and incredibly fascinating creature.” One we are still getting to know now.

Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier At The Design Museum

On May 10th, Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, the first exhibition to be shown in the UK on the legendary designer, opens to the public at the Design Museum. Conceived and co-curated by Azzedine Alaïa himself, prior to his death in November 2017, the exhibition explores his extraordinary work, spanning his prolific career from the early ‘80s to his very last masterpieces towards the end of 2017. Over 60 rare garments (including his trademark zipped dress, the bandage dress, the corset belt, the stretch body, perforated leather) are displayed in the exhibition co-curated by Mark Wilson, Chief Curator of the Groninger Museum, alongside a series of specially commissioned architectural screens by Alaïa’s close friends, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson, Kris Ruhs and Alaïa’s partner of many years, Christoph von Weyhe. Inspired by and complementing the garments on display, the commissioned works are the perfect backdrop to Alaïa’s exceptional creations which have shaped the course of fashion history over the past few decades.

Last week, as the finishing touches were being made to the exhibition, Voguespoke with Mark Wilson, who has previously worked on a series of exhibitions with the designer, all around the world. “I've known Azzedine for pretty much 22 years,” Wilson explained over the phone from Amsterdam on how the show came to be. “It just happened that Maison Alaïa were opening the store in London and they were approached by the Design Museum and I'd been talking to them too, so it was just this synergy that happened. When Azzedine and I went to see the space to talk about it, we realised that it's not really large enough to do a massive retrospective so to speak. I told him that I didn't really want to build walls in the space because I didn't want it to feel closed off. Since it was the Design Museum I thought it was a great opportunity to have screens made so I asked him to select artists; the screens sort of work as backdrops for many of the outfits. It's really the show he wanted to do. I really kept it that way.”

Working closely together for months on the exhibition, Alaïa’s sudden death in November 2017 might have meant the end of show, however, Wilson and Maison Alaïa decided to go ahead, especially upon discovering the vast amount of work Alaïa had been masterfully labouring on. “I have to say I was really kind of surprised because after he passed... about two weeks later we decided to continue with the show and I went to the atelier and he had really been working on so many outfits for the show,” Wilson continues. “For part of the exhibitions we do, he remakes all the outfits. They're elongated and custom-fit to the mannequins. He'd been working on so much so the selection is pretty much 90 percent of what he and I originally discussed."

Having worked together previously on exhibitions from Rome to the Netherlands, the exhibition at the Design Museum offers viewers rare access into Alaïa’s most recent couture creations. “The last show we did together was the gallery at Borghese in 2015, so we wanted to include groupings of outfits since that exhibition, so that's specifically the stuff he had the atelier working on. They've done an amazing job because they've of course continued since he passed and finished all of the outfits to his specification.”

Clearly an almost impossible question to ask both a close friend of Alaïa and someone so close to the project, but does Wilson have a highlight of the exhibition? “I can't really say a favourite piece but the Marc Newson screen is just incredible. Just beautiful. It's 10 metres long by 3.5 metres high so it is monumental. In front of that, in the openings of the show, we are showing the black chiffon outfits with the rivets from Azzedine's last couture show. Naomi Campbell wore the one with the velvet. It's seven pieces. They look amazing. I saw him working on them before the show and it's all the variations of that. And again, that was what he and I discussed. That was what was going to open the show, with Marc Newson's screen behind.”

As someone who was privileged enough to know Azzedine both professionally and personally, through a friendship that spanned a few decades, what does Mark adore most about The Couturier, Azzedine Alaïa and hope that people will take away from the exhibition? “You can't time his clothes. That's what I think is amazing and we kind of downplay that. I don't think dates are so important. You look at his clothes and they could have been made in the future or the past. I think that's what makes him so special. Timeless. I mean I cannot tell you how much I loved that man. When we were in Rome for about 10 days to do the whole installation of the exhibition in 2015 we just had a blast. We had so much fun. So much fun. I can't explain how or why but he changed my life. I love doing shows – this is what I do as a a curator – but really I did it to hang out with him because I love him so much… He was incredible.”

Have We Reached Peak Merch?

Yesterday, Supreme fans were not lining the sidewalks around its New York SoHo flagship for the streetwear brand’s latest “drop”, but newspaper kiosks around the city. By 9.30am, rush-hour commuters who had not secured the latest output from the hype machine – a special-edition cover wrap on the New York Post – had to relinquish hope, and turn to online sellers charging between $7 and $20 for the daily edition. The brand had once again stamped its influence by turning a tabloid news source into a sold-out commodity through the unlikeliest of collaborations: Supreme x Rupert Murdoch.

The redesign, which was published in conjunction with Supreme’s autumn/winter 2018 lookbook, was the first time the publication had dedicated a full wraparound cover to a brand. “We knew that this would be a collector’s item,” New York Post publisher, Jesse Angelo, said of the striking red-and-white design. “Supreme is such a cool brand and we have so much affinity, to the design kinship of the logos, to being bold, and never shy, and New York-based.”

The secret to Supreme’s success is, in part, down to these limited-edition collaborations, and the booming second-hand market the in-demand products generate. Previous fashion tie-ups include Louis Vuitton, Rimowa, Nike and Levi’s, while Kate Moss, Lou Reed and Wu-Tang Clan have taken turns as label ambassadors. Given its partnership with MetroCards last year, the New York Post collab might not seem offbeat for the 1994-founded skateboarding shop – until you consider the polarising politics behind the union. The New York Post has taken a supportive stance on Donald Trump’s policies in the past, whereas Supreme donated a percentage of T-shirt sales to help families affected by the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies.

Yes, Supreme is having the last laugh by turning a piece of US press into a coveted commercial entity – and perhaps nodding to the president's own business acumen – but are we reaching peak "merch"? And when will the hype juggernaut start to slow down?

Rihanna Enlists Issa Rae And Childish Gambino For Her Latest Project

British Vogue’s September cover star has called upon Issa Rae and Childish Gambino to host and perform at her fourth annual Diamond Ball, the fundraising gala benefitting the Clara Lionel Foundation.

Rihanna announced her collaborators via Instagram on a glittering slide befitting the black-tie event, which will take place on September 13 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

The gala has become a significant date in New York’s social calendar, often coinciding with the city’s fashion show schedule. Last year’s guest list indicates the pulling power of the Bajan pop-icon-turned-beauty-entrepreneur. Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio attended the Dave Chappelle-hosted event, while Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris provided the night’s musical interludes.

The inaugural Diamond Ball in 2015 raised over $3 million according to, and it is estimated that last year’s gala amassed over $5 million in donations. Rihanna launched the foundation in 2012 in honour of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite, and with the intent of improving the quality of life of young people around the world through health, education and the promotion of arts and culture.

Current programmes that the foundation is working on include a global scholarship scheme, a centre for oncology and nuclear medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and the Barbados micro grants initiative. At the September 13 event, the foundation will also honour the work of fellow human rights campaigner, Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans, who is set to receive the 2018 Diamond Ball Award from Rihanna, herself.

'90s Nostalgia Reaches A New High With Mimi Wade X Polly Pocket Capsule

Did you know that Polly Pocket is relaunching? You might have missed the memo were it not for Mimi Wade’s collaboration with the micro-doll.

Launching exclusively in Selfridges on August 17, the union was born out of toy manufacturer Mattel's mission to tap into the trend zeitgeist ahead of Polly Pocket's relaunch later this year. Wade couldn’t resist a trip down memory lane and said yes to the brand, which made its compacts comprising miniature worlds available to the UK in 1989.

“I remember owning a fairy in a toadstool house, a cowgirl in her stables, a mermaid in a shell, a waitress in her own diner…” Wade recalls of her '90s playroom favourites. “I was always designing my fantasy home based on the different compacts Polly lived in. Being able to carry around a pastel dream world in your pocket still remains a charming concept."

Wade has reimagined Polly for now with an adult clothing capsule collection, which includes a graphic slip dress, babydoll dress and lace-trim T-shirts, and a jewellery line created with help from Vicki Sarge. “The garments are printed with my own drawings of a reinterpreted Polly Pocket in different scenarios,” the Central Saint Martins graduate, who presented her first collection in February 2016 with Fashion East, explained. Each piece of jewellery is unique, and has been designed to look almost edible, despite its construction from fresh water and baroque pearls, Swarovski crystals, heavy silk satin, velvet ribbon and lace. “I wanted them to look like the plastic jewellery you wore as a kid, and the ‘grown up’ jewellery you secretly tried on in your granny’s bedroom.”

Wade hopes “the collection will be bought by adventurous women who have remained young at heart,” and doesn't believe that the industry has a particular proclivity with nostalgia. “Fashion always references the historical to create the new. No matter how progressive and exciting fashion is, there's always a nod to something that came before it, and it's naïve not to recognise that,” she justifies.

“When creating the collection, I was thinking about films from the same era that play with perspective, like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Taste of Tea, The Borrowers and Thumbelina," Wade elaborates. "There’s something about being tiny and seeing the world from a whole new angle that has always really captured my imagination. I like putting the emphasis on character and bravery over physical stature."

A collaboration for girls with big ideas? Suddenly Mimi Wade x Polly Pocket doesn't seem so random at all.