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Radley supports the British Heart Foundation

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Could there be any chicer way than this to display your support for the British Heart Foundation?

Radley supports British Heart Foundation with the limited edition 'Sweetheart' range, Valentines day, fashion handbag, National Heart Month, fashion blog, Blink London

Radley supports British Heart Foundation with the limited edition ‘Sweetheart’ range

Radley have launched their ‘Sweetheart’ collection, a limited edition cross body bag and matching coin purse in perfect time for both National Heart Month (February) and of course Valentine’s Day! All profits from the sale of these two styles will be donated to BHF by Radley, so you can proudly wear your heart not quite on your sleeve, but you know what I mean.

There are over 7 million people in the UK currently living with heart and circulatory disease, and I’m one of them so obviously I think this is fabulous for oh so many reasons!

Natalie Bolton, Design Director at Radley comments “We are delighted to be partnering with the British Heart Foundation, designing these fun limited edition products that will raise funds to support its essential ongoing research in the fight against heart disease.”

James Hails, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the BHF, adds: “We’re delighted to be working with Radley again for 2016. As a charity we are reliant on the support of organisations like Radley to help us raise essential funds to continue our vital research. The designs are fantastic and we hope people will wear them with pride knowing they are helping millions of people.”

For more accessories posts, just take a look here.

Valentino’s Spring 2016 campaign, shot by the legendary Steve McCurry

Friday, January 29th, 2016

 

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Apologies for the low res images but my only recourse was screen-shooting these from the Valentino website– but I HAD to share them with you. These are from Valentino’s breathtakingly beautiful Spring Summer 2016 campaign, shot in Kenya. The collection was inspired by Africa and so this location is obviously the perfect way to highlight that- but what is more special even that the location is their choice of photographer, Steve McCurry.

I don’t believe that McCurry has ever taken on a fashion campaign before, but my goodness he was the perfect choice for this one. McCurry, who is best known for his ‘Afghan Girl’ National Geographic cover, has been working as an editorial photographer for over thirty years, travelling the world and capturing iconic images of people from diverse, deeply challenged, difficult environments, always managing to show us the subtle and striking beauty of his subjects and their surroundings.

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog
This has been taken from an article in WWD by Bridget Foley:

In describing Valentino’s African excursion, McCurry speaks not dispassionately, but with the specificity of an artist-clinician with a task at hand, while the designers invoke the language of pure idealism. “With this collection and campaign we wanted to speak about a different culture,” Chiuri says, noting that the European notions of beauty are rooted in classical Greek ideals. “We really believe that [cross-cultural understanding] improves our cultures…and with fashion it is possible to open eyes to learn something.”

Valentino, we yet again salute you. For more fashion inspiration, just click here.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Overview

Friday, January 15th, 2016
Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

Blink London’s fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond

I hope you’ve found our series of fashion forecast posts good food for thought. It’s interesting for me to see how these things that have all been percolating in my mind for some time, are now frequently popping up in many of the conversations I am having with clients. That is the kind of synergy that makes the world of fashion the exciting, reflective, forward-moving, innovative place that I adore. So to summarise this series we have one last word for you to add to your future fashion lexicon…Contemplation, Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

We end with ‘contemplation’. We encourage you to take a moment to really consider that every action has a reaction; and sometimes in ways you may previously have never imagined. For us contemplation not only represents a slowing down in thinking, but also in responding. No more knee-jerk, bandwagon-jumping speedy, throw away, careless fashion. If you add up all of our seasonal forecasting statements from this series I think you will end up with a collection that is far more significant, grounded, innovative and creative leading your customers to respect and treasure you and your products so much more. What could possibly be better than that?

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Cooperation

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

We hope you have enjoyed our previous forecasting posts looking at resilience and altruism. Today we turn our attention to cooperation.

Cooperation, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

cooperation

kəʊˌɒpəˈreɪʃ(ə)n

noun

the action or process of working together to the same end. A situation in which people work together to do something. : the actions of someone who is being helpful by doing what is wanted or asked for. Voluntarily arrangement in which two or more entities engage in a mutually beneficial exchange instead of competing.

For the past few season’s the watchword has been collaboration. This has been a really important movement, but we think it has evolved in to cooperation. While collaborators of course work together, the switch from that to cooperation represents a more mutual, supportive endeavour where both parties have an equal benefit.

Within the fashion world this has given us some great innovations in retailing, enhancing the physical retail environment with space given over to pop up events from businesses that share your mission, identity, aesthetic and customer type while delivering something other to what you yourself sell. It is a collation of related beliefs while the products themselves stay separate. It enhances both parties brand identity, exposes them to new customers and shares hard won kudos.

These partnerships should be entered into with great care however. Your choice of partnership reflects who you are as a brand in a very powerful way. Oasis creating space for Rockett St George in the Argyll Street store over the Christmas trading period is a great example of clever cooperation. Rockett St George enjoyed their first physical retail venture, and in the heart of London too. Oasis gained extra ‘respec’t points, lifting them up just a touch from their very close competitors. It was a win/win.

In the year ahead we look forward to seeing more of these innovative, and also altruistic cooperative relationships showing up across the fashion map. There will be more from our fashion forecasting series tomorrow. In the meantime, for more forecasting posts, take a look here.

Top 10 stylish Christmas Stocking Fillers from Blink London

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
christmas tree, christmas lights, festive, merry christmas, lifestyle blog, Blink London

image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

You have 2 more shopping days until Christmas Day. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to share with you our top ten, super stylish stocking fillers- and these all come from actual shops so no excuses that it’s too late. It’s never too late to be fabulous darling!

1) Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara

It’s new, it comes in a waterproof formula, it’s available from Boots and it’s lush! Who doesn’t love a great mascara?

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara, beauty news, Boots

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

2) Agent Provocateur G string set

The kind of knickers you’d never buy for yourself, but are delighted to have bought for you by someone else!

Agent Provocateur Trixie knickers gift set, lingerie, christmas gift, g strings, sexy knickers, Blink London, fashion blog

Agent Provocateur Trixie knickers gift set

3) Diptyque’s 3 mini Christmas candle set

Beautifully packaged and stunningly scented. You will seem such a brilliantly stylish person with such perfect taste if you gift these.

Diptyque Holiday 3 mini candle set, scented candles, christmas gift, lifestyle blog, Blink London

Diptyque Holiday 3 mini candle set

4) Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish

The most exciting innovation in nail varnish since, well probably since nail varnish was invented!

Nails Inc Nail varnish, nail polish, beauty news, beauty blog, Blink London

Nails Inc Spray Can nail varnish

 5) Monica Vinader letter pendants

If she’s likely to forget her own name after too many festive tipples, what could be a better reminder?

Monica Vinader's letter pendants, personalised jewellery, fashion blog, Blink London

Monica Vinader’s letter pendants. ‘B’ for Blink obvs!

6) Liberty London’s colouring book

Because you know that colouring in in the new meditation.

Liberty London's colouring book

Liberty London’s colouring book

 7) Stella McCartney’s Pink Lips iphone 5 cover

Because everything you have should be as fabulous as possible, because you should always let your inner child choose your accessories, because it’ll help you find your phone in your Falabella handbag…

Stella McCartney Pink Lips iphone 5 cover, mobile phone cover, fashion accessories, fashion blog, Blink London

Stella McCartney Pink Lips iphone 5 cover

8) Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring

For many of the same reasons as that iphone case, plus the fact that Shrimps is just brilliant, faux fur rocks and you can grab this at your nearest branch of Matches.

Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring, fashion accessories, faux fur, British fashion label, fashion blog, Blink London

Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring

9) Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil

if you celebrate Christmas correctly, then the days before NYE will be spent detoxing yourself in prep for the impending second wave of celebrations. This beautiful blend looks good, smells good and does you good. You’ll find this and lots of other beautiful beauty gifts at Space NK.

Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil, aromatherapy oil, anti cellulite, beauty blog, Blink London

Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil

 10) Smythson’s Fashion Diary

Last but not least, we do love anything Smythson and this fashion diary is both a practical and incredible stylish gift for any fashionista in your life (including me!).

Smythson Fashion Diary, luxury gift, British brand, diary, lifestyle blog, fashion blog, Blink London

Smythson Fashion Diary

Now grab your eco friendly canvas shopper, sharpen your elbows and get to shopping!

All images swiped with thanks from the various brand’s websites

Fashion Forecasting for the year ahead…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

So, as 2015 draws to a close, our thoughts turn to the year ahead. We have already seen what fashion’s biggest labels think we should be wearing for Spring Summer 2016, as well as a little preview of Autumn Winter 2016 through the pre-collections which have just been shown. Elle.com shared insight in to what inspired some designer’s Spring 2016 collections which is lovely to look at against what actually hit the catwalks. The fashion forecasting houses are way past 2016 already of course, as are most fashion designers, but before we shoot too far in to the future there are some very interesting changes afoot in the world of fashion which we have been pondering…

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Where is Raf going and what is going to happen at Dior? How long can Gucci sustain their new geeky chic direction and what else does new creative director, Alessandro Michele, got up his sleeve? How will Balenciaga‘s appointment of Demna Gvasalia, formerly of Vetements, impact on the brand’s aesthetic? Will we all be 3D printing our own clothes any time soon? How will the high street compete with the growth and diversification of the online shopping experience?

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

And perhaps most importantly of all, what on earth will the Kardashians do next to in order to keep hold of our undivided attention? Well, I think their impact on the global psyche was very well reflected in the utter fashion mayhem caused by the H&M x Balmain collaboration. Crikey, that Olivier Rousteing knows how to work his celebrity smothered intagram account with supreme skill, featuring his Kardashian/West/Jenner bezzies on a regular basis. Not that long ago the general high street fashion shopping populous would most probably been totes unaware of Balmain as a brand, and now they are knocking each other to the ground for this collab collection in a mosh pit style frenzy!

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Well this leads us on to another interesting question. Who on earth can follow up that H&M collaboration? The joy of these collabs is not lost on me. I am a proud repeat wearer of several bits bought from the Stella collab, the Marant collab and the Margiela collab (although no one was injured in my purchasing of those items). I came across this interesting article putting some odds on potential designers who may or may not be under official H&M consideration. Who will you put your money on?

For more fashion inspiration to get your brains swirling just like ours, look here. If you’re after shopping news in particular, then you should look here.

Liberty London launches The Chesham Cabinet Collection

Friday, December 11th, 2015
Liberty London's Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

Liberty London’s Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

The other week we were delighted to be invited to Liberty Interiors new collection launch. The Chesham Cabinet Collection has been inspired by some of the world’s finest ‘cabinet houses’ and dolls houses.

Queen Mary's Dolls House, Windsor Castle

Queen Mary’s Dolls House, Windsor Castle

We met with some of the Liberty London designers who told us how they were so inspired by the scale play and intense detailing, craft and workmanship found in these amazing dolls houses. They translated that inspiration in to a stunning collection of new interiors textiles designs translated across velvets, linen, wallpaper and even Scottish made, luxurious woollen blankets.

It was wonderful to see the mini room sets created by the Liberty team, but my absolute highlight was being able to see the original, hand-painted artworks for these designs, painstakingly created by Liberty’s textile designers. No computerised design work here!

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection. Close up

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Thanks so much to the Liberty Interiors team who were so generous with their time. Wonderful to be able to see the whole creative journey behind these stunning new designs, and wonderful to see how such a recognisable heritage brand continues to innovate.

For more interiors inspiration, just look here.

‘The History of Modern Fashion’ on Blink London’s Christmas Wish List

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
The History of Modern Fashion by Daniel James Cole and Nancy Deihl, published by Laurence King

The History of Modern Fashion by Daniel James Cole and Nancy Deihl, published by Laurence King

Did you catch our review of David Downton’s newest book? If you are still after more Christmas gift inspiration for the fashion obsessive in your life, then this is the perfect addition to your shopping list. ‘The History of Modern Fashion’ is another recently published title from Laurence King, and so you have every chance that your giftee won’t already own it!

Now this is a beautiful book visually, gorgeously glossy and reassuringly hefty, with wonderfully inspirational images on every page, making it an engaging coffee table number- but if your fashion friend is serious about their chosen subject this is sure to satisfy their enquiring mind. Starting with the period that the authors call ‘The Dawn of Modern Clothing’ between 1850 to 1890, this book then takes you on a thoroughly researched and deeply informative journey, decade by decade, right up to the 2000’s.

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1920s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1920s

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1960s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1960s

'The History of Modern Fashion', the 1990s

‘The History of Modern Fashion’, the 1990s

As a fashion history geek, I can honestly say that I haven’t come across such a thorough and yet accessible look at this subject in a very long time. Fabulous work Daniel James Cole (History of Fashion teacher at FIT and New York University) and Nancy Deihl (Director of the MA program in Costume Studies at New York University).

For more Christmas gift ideas, and more besides, take a look at our ‘retail’ category.

meet Lucy Favell, founder of URSA London

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

URSA LONDON, online fashion boutique, new designers showcase, British fashion website, Blink London, Lucy Williams

To help celebrate their 5th birthday, we are posting about URSA London today, sharing this exclusive interview with founder Lucy Favell. Now incase you haven’t encountered URSA London (where have you been?!?) here’s a quick intro to this luxury online boutique, and to Lucy herself…

A personal love of discovering new designers inspired Lucy to create URSA, providing a platform of support for the new wave of emerging talent from the UK and Europe. URSA is now globally renowned for being the online destination to discover unique, fresh and exciting luxury fashion & jewellery (which is why we LOVE it), and over the past 5 years they have showcased some new designers who have now become huge fashion names. Another reason why we think URSA is so fabulous is that they support and promote sustainable manufacturing methods with over half of their featured designers manufacturing in the UK or Europe using traditional techniques. We are fascinated by the story behind URSA London and so we put some questions to Lucy Favell.

Lucy Favell, URSA London's founder

Lucy Favell, URSA London’s founder

Blink: I love the background behind your name. How did you come to that decision?

Lucy Favell: I’ve always been obsessed with the stars and constellations. I loved the strength of the name Ursa. It’s powerful, enlightening and inspirational, all at the same time. Also the fact that it is synonymous with the Great Bear, home to some of the brightest new stars in the hemisphere. URSA is home to some of the brightest new stars of fashion. It was the perfect fit!

Blink: What is your proudest URSA moment?

Lucy Favell: I am proud of everything that the team have achieved over the past 5 years. One thing that fills me with pride is the growing fan-base we have across the world, and all of the amazing feedback we get from both customers and designers.

Blink: Could you name some designers that you backed at the outset of their careers who have now become big names?

Lucy Favell: I am not afraid to take risks with my buying, and i am proud to see designers URSA supported first enjoying great success. Labels such as Soulland, E Tautz, Charlie May, J JS Lee, Imogen Belfield are all on the ascendant which is such a joy to see.

e tautz SS16

E Tautz SS16

Blink: What has been your biggest surprise at URSA over the past 5 years?

Lucy Favell: My biggest surprise in launching a UK online store is since the onset we attracted a global customer, in fact most of our customers are in the USA and Asia. We are excited to be getting more UK customers now as consumer confidence returns.

Blink: You are celebrating your 5th birthday today. Are you where you planned to be as a business by year 5?

Lucy Favell: I would be lying if i said 100% yes, however what we have achieved since launch is incredible considering we are still a wholly independent business. Running a start-up retail/tech business, everything is constantly evolving, and you have to keep evolving with it. I am incredibly ambitious and have exciting plans for URSA with more exclusive collaborations and new label launches in the months and years ahead.

Blink: What saying best sums up your approach at URSA?

Lucy Favell: always look ahead to the future.

Blink: How are you planning to celebrate your 5th birthday?

Lucy Favell: Our 5th birthday is such a milestone for us and to celebrate over the next 12 months we are launching a series of exclusive pieces created by our incredible designers. Starting this December with a unique diamond pendant created by Imogen Belfield.

Blink: What does sustainable fashion mean to you? 

Lucy Favell: URSA is the antithesis of fast mass-produced fashion from the high street. All of our designers work in a sustainable way, for every garment or piece we are able to trace where it was produced down to the fabric or materials. Over half of our labels manufacture in the UK, which we really support and want this to eventually become the norm in luxury fashion. Our discerning customers do not mind paying more for luxury fashion if it has been made to exceptional standards and will last. I love seeing pieces bought from URSA five years ago still being worn and still looking brand new. 

Blink: What styles do you find yourself repeatedly drawn to, season after season?

Lucy Favell: All of our designers have a distinctive signature, this is what makes them special, so I aim to capture this each season, mixing it with some fresh styles. The key for me is not to follow trends as this ensures that all of our styles will be investment pieces to be treasured for years to come.

V Jewellery Baguette and Hollow lobe earrings from URSA London

V Jewellery Baguette and Hollow lobe earrings from URSA London

Blink: What makes Ursa so different to all of the other online luxe fashion retailers?

Lucy Favell: Our curation of designers is what makes us so different, and as we are often first with new notable designers, customers are guaranteed to find something sartorially fresh and unique.URSA London screen shot

Blink: What from Ursa’s current offer would you most like to find wrapped up under your Christmas tree?

Lucy Favell: I love diamonds, so i am coveting our exclusive Imogen Belfield Diamond Star pendant to commemorate our 5th birthday! I am dropping plenty of hints!

Blink: Who is the designer that you are currently most excited about?

Lucy Favell: I am excited by all of the labels on URSA, all of our designers are consistent in creating pioneering collections each season, which keeps us one step ahead.  We have many new labels about to launch in the months ahead, I am very excited about that!

URSA London, the luxury online boutique

URSA London, the luxury online boutique

Thank you so much for the time you gave to us Lucy and happy birthday URSA! For more of our interviews with brilliant creatives, just click here. For more great posts about retail news, then look here.

Art Rookie share their Christmas gift ideas

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Do you know about Art Rookie? If not, then let us introduce you to a wonderful source of brilliantly creative products that is about to transform your Christmas shopping angst into Christmas shopping ease. Art Rookie is a brilliant online shop that is dedicated to supporting British artists and designers.

Liz and Jodie, founders of Art Rookie

Liz and Jodie, founders of Art Rookie

Created by Liz Bush and Jodie Prince, young artist and designers themselves, Art Rookie’s USP is that the designer or artist is given the opportunity to apply their artwork to a selection of products, showcased on the Art Rookie website. This is where the artist can then get back to being an artist, and all the rest (from production to shipping) is all handled by Art Rookie. It’s a brilliantly supportive way for designers to get their work out there in a consistently high quality way, all made to order in Britain, with the benefits of being part of a bigger concern whilst retaining their independence.

The Art Rookie team are in a unique position of being to oversee a multitude of artists and see trends in the work that’s being created. We asked them to share the biggest stories with us so you can be as inspired as possible with buying gifts for the design driven people in your life. There are three big trends: surrealist, monochrome and bringing the outside in.

All of these products can be found on the Art Rookie site and while you’re looking for your favourites from these moodboards, I feel sure you’ll discover many more irresistible designs.

Art Rookie, the monochrome trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the monochrome trend

Art Rookie, the surrealist trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the surrealist trend

Art Rookie, the outside inside trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the outside inside trend

Happy shopping! For more retail news, just click here.