Friday, 30 July 2010
Sunday, 25 July 2010
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.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
I’m moving house in a few weeks, so in classic head-in-the-sand mode I’m going to the cinema as many nights as I can, leaving the drudgery of packing to the last possible minute. After Breathless (see below) and Greenberg (so dull), I saw Heartbreaker, a French comedy starring Vanessa Paradis. As escapism goes, it doesn’t get much better than this: glamorous locations, fabulous clothes, Dirty Dancing and a truckload of Gallic charm. It’s hard to tell which is the bigger star – Paradis or her Hermès handbag... it’s certainly a close-run thing. Chanel and Celine clothes also co-star (though a Paul Smith suit doesn’t come out of it well – along with Andrew Lincoln as the buttoned-up Brit). Roman Duris is flamboyant and artfully dishevelled, Paradis a tiny, gap-toothed mannequin, and the comedy is wonderfully slapstick. Great fun.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Friday, 9 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
I love being given recommendations for books, so I thought I'd do a post on some I've read recently in case they appeal to you:
The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker. Don’t let the cover picture – a couple of cows – put you off: I’m not sure why anyone would pick up a book with this cover (luckily it had a Dublin IMPAC Award Winner sticker on the front, which made it stand out). Subtle, strange and oddly addictive, this quirky read is a study in loneliness yet very, very funny. Loved it.
One Day by David Nicholls. A fun, easy read tracing a ‘Harry met Sally’-type relationship from its beginnings in the 1980s through the decades. But why’s the main character called Dexter? Despite the irritating bits and the moments where the characters don’t ring true, the book's packed with funny scenes (which are just waiting to be made into a film, like Nicholls’ previous novel, Starter for Ten) and plenty of tenderness, very well handled. Will particularly appeal to those who listened to Tracey Chapman in the 1980s and hung out in Soho in the 1990s.
The Hidden by Tobias Hill. Ambitious and smart, this book grows darker with every page you turn. The characters remain remote and cold, and I found them hard to relate to or empathise with, but it's a good read, with hints of The Secret History and Lord of the Flies, and a nervy, fast-paced finale.
To Reach The Clouds by Philippe Petit, a personal account of his magnificent death-defying tightrope walk between the Twin Towers.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
* DWS have always been some of London’s very best designer sales. The next sales start on September 17 in a new location near Holloway Rd/Finsbury Park tube, with womenswear and then menswear (including names like Paul Smith, Phillip Treacy and Hamnett) at huge discounts. It was always a trek to get there, but always worth it.