Harvey Nichols was really lacklustre, though (apart from the Shu Uemura counter which was buzzing as always, mainly due to the enthusiastic, talented girls who run it). The store’s fashion edit increasingly seems to focus on the big bucks rather than cutting-edge style, and it’s looking a bit tired – and more than a bit bling. So instead of introducing current hot labels – Acne, perhaps, or Erdem, or Basso & Brooke, or Rick Owens – a new ‘Beyond MediSpa’ has appeared on the Womenswear floor, so you can buy a new face along with your Lanvin. Just another case of trying to make Botox and other injectables seem like a normal, everyday thing to do.
Other new additions to Womenswear include Project D, the line fronted by Dannii Minogue. Is it just me who finds this depressing? All those struggling, exciting, genuinely talented young labels trying to get a foot in the door – and yet something like this gets hype and prominence in the media (such as a front-page story in the Times fashion supplement) and in stores like HN simply because someone off the telly has put their name to it. It can only be a matter of time before Peter Andre’s jaunty menswear line hits the store, or perhaps Katie Price’s jeans line. It’s a slippery slope, and cheapens all the work, training, skills and toil that designers put in. There’s always bound to be some crossover in our celebrity-obsessed times, but something seems wrong when a store like Harvey Nichols stocks clothes purely because of who’s behind them.
Rant over. I was cheered up slightly by a few rails of Alexander Wang, but irritated by the glitzy Burberry Brit rather than Burberry proper – surely the classic trench coats sell everywhere, as would the peacoats? I do think this is where Net-a-porter is cleaning up: the range of labels on offer is so much more appealing and comprehensive than this tiny, limited, rather patronizing offering. No surprise that, just like the Dublin store, it was dead quiet in here on a Saturday afternoon… while, I'm quite sure, Net-a-porter’s tills were ringing.