“Blink” Retail: Are you sure Chanel?

I may be about to commit fashion suicide and send myself forever to persona-non-grata-ville. Well, frankly I don’t give a damn, to paraphrase Rhett Butler. I just think it’s time someone spoke up about this crime against reason that is taking place under the glaring spotlight of the fashion world’s adoration.

Let me make things clearer about what has gotten my goat quite so severely. Look at this holey, icky pink crop top and leggings combo. Forget the caption. Do you genuinely think that is a good look? Classy? Innovative? Saying something new? Deserving of a very, very, very large price tag? Be honest now!

Chanel AW'14

Chanel AW’14

I think it’s just awful, and I would think it was awful even if it was £4.99 hanging on a wonky rail in Camden Market (where it would probably look quite at home). And what about these? Day-glo plush and big chains and padlocks and lumpy trims and fabric that looks like it could be from a really ugly sofa and be labelled ‘draylon’. That’s just my opinion about these looks from the AW’14 Chanel collection, but if you have eyes I don’t really see how you can disagree.

Chanel AW'14

Chanel AW’14

Just to back up the point I am rather circuitously making, these are some looks from the Chanel SS’15 show that just happened Paris. As usual, the fashion world appears to be doing backflips of joy, combusting with excitement at how amazing this collection is and feting it’s creator, the forever monochrome Kaiser Karl.

Chanel SS'15 (images from style.com with thanks)

Chanel SS’15 (images from style.com with thanks)

These are just a few looks selected pretty randomly from this show. Can you honestly say that this is beautiful? Does this really sit with the tradition and heritage of Chanel? I get ‘Ugly’ Fashion, really I do, but this is something else. This is ugly in a whole new way. Like just really rotten ugly.

I actually think that Karl Lagerfeld may be pulling fashion’s leg, just seeing how awful he can make the collections look and still get away with it. It’s an elaborate prank, a joke, a ruse. What else could this possibly be? And the fashion world’s taste-makers have all fallen for it. I think Karl must go home every evening and stifle the noise of his hysterical laughter by stuffing his mush into Choupette’s furry tum.

Okay, I have said it. I’m out and proud! Who’s with me? Or am I really all alone in fashion Coventry? Ooh, it’s gone awfully quite round here…

“Blink” Travels: Karl Lagerfeld in Paris

I kind of have a love/ hate thing with Karl Lagerfeld. I get a bit rankled by how deeply affected he appears, just adding to the myth that you have to be mental to be a grand force in fashion. I’m not a huge fan of his own label, and yet I adore what he has achieved season upon season at Chanel, and I also am a huge fan of Fendi. I’m also more enamored of him due to his love for his cat, Choupette (though slightly worried by his apparent desire to marry said cat…). Another huge point in the ‘love’ list is the he seems to have a rather good sense of humour. How else would Kaiser Karl have sanctioned this hilariously cute mini version of himself?

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

We spotted this in the Karl Lagerfeld store in Le Marais, Paris. So in balance, we do love you Karl, but would love you even more if you busted a bit of colour and left the gloves at home occasionally…

For more retail news, click here. For more from our travels, have a look here.

“Blink” Retail: Paper on Sloane Street

We were out on the hunt for new season stock yesterday, amongst all the sale rails and final mark down banners. One place that was blissfully free of discount promotions was Sloane Street. There were some really lovely new season windows to be inspired by. Chanel‘s was particularly beautiful. However, there were a couple of windows with no ‘real’ product in that really looked the most interesting. Gucci and Louis Vuitton had both filled their windows with beautiful paper sculptures of their pieces. Both minimal and impactful. Gucci goes for a window filling, huge scale version of two iconic handbags. LV delicately sculpts a pair of paper shoes as well as creating layers of beautifully folded paper shirts and blouses.

Gucci bag made of recycled paper

Gucci bag made of recycled paper

Gucci bag made of recycled paper

Gucci bag made of recycled paper

Louis Vuitton paper shoes and broderie collar blouses

Louis Vuitton paper shoes and broderie collar blouses

Louis Vuitton crisply folded paper shirts

Louis Vuitton crisply folded paper shirts

For more retail news, click here. For more inspirational store windows, click here.

“Blink” retail: SS’12 Chanel

If it weren’t for the amazingly extreme styling, this tailoring could be so ‘lavender and old lace’, however, the magic fashion fairy dust of Karl Lagerfeld and his super styling team at Chanel have instead transformed it into a somewhat challenging look. The lavender tailoring is quite nice alone, but by teaming it with camellia embellished knickers, its elevated into something far more intriguing. We also love the beach appropriate, velour looking variation on the classic Chanel jacket and those stunning fingerless leather gloves. Only the ever chic house of Chanel could make this work.

Chanel Spring 2012

Chanel Spring 2012

Chanel Spring 2012

Chanel Spring 2012

For more posts on fashion retail, click here. For more store windows, click here.

Enjoy! Lucy

“Blink” Print: Spot On

You know things must be tough out there when the mid season sales seem to start before the season has even got under way, and the stores are rolling out Christmas windows before we’ve even had Halloween. At times like this, its a comfort to have elements in your collection that are ‘safe bets’. As a shopper, these will provide you with a bit of an extended fashion moment, so no need to panic that you’ll be over it before you’ve got some wear out of your purchase. One of the ‘safe bets’ that we absolutely love is the spotted print look. We were tired of seeing a sea of stripes (another super safe commercial option) and so this has provided us with a much needed distraction. Working from the catwalk interpretations from inspirational brands like Stella McCartney, right down the fashion food chain to the good old high street. If you’re not dotty about a simple polka dot, you can swap in stellar stars or why not go kitsch and quirky, replacing your spots with mini motifs like hearts or even animals?

Chanel

Gucci

Topshop

Gucci

Whistles

Topshop

Oxford Circus

If you’d like to see more pattern inspiration, just click here. Enjoy!

Blink Events: London Fashion Week, why don’t you…?

Its the run up to London Fashion Week. The excitement is building, as are my wardrobe choices for the event…

I was just reading about Diana Vreeland in the recent US edition of Harpers Bazaar and it inspired me to give you all a bit of a ‘Why Don’t You…?’ list of things you could do in London during LFW. It won’t perhaps be as extravagant as some of Vreeland’s suggestions would have been, but we’ll give it our best shot!

Why don’t you…

have high tea, cocktails or dinner at the stunningly renovated St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

head to Harrods to enjoy the celebration of Chanel, including ‘Une Promenade’ on the 3rd floor- a collection of room sets which all represent different aspects of the brand, its founder and its current creative tour de force, Karl Largerfeld.

Chanel's 'Une Promenade' at Harrods

if you’re attending one of the shows being held at Waterloo’s old Eurostar terminal, why not take a moment to take a walk along the Southbank afterwards, to enjoy some of the best views of London alongside the Thames.

experience the newest retail space in London and head East to the enormous and amazing Westfield Stratford City. You’ll not only be shopping the newest shop fits and retail concepts, you’ll also be within glancing distance of the Olympic Village.

if you don’t have any shows planned for Friday morning, then why not take a step away from London Fashion Week, but also a step towards London Fashion by getting an early shot of inspiration at Portobello Market. Still a key location for vintage, and this is the best day to see it. When you’ve done the market, you can always walk up to Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road to enjoy a more sedate retail experience in the world class boutiques lining these streets.

fill your boots in Topshop‘s flagship store at Oxford Circus. I know its gone global, but I do believe that there are still some lines that are produced for this store alone, so you can still find something fabulously unique that’s guaranteed not to break the bank either.

have a truly wonderful tea break. You know you deserve one. Yumchaa is our recommendation for tea that is an experience. From choosing from the diverse and eclectic flavours, to which cake you’ll have, to the moment you take your first sip- its all a delight.

have flowers delivered to you at home, your office or your hotel room. Scarlet and Violet is the only name that you need to know. Well, if this florist is good enough for Lily Allen and Kate Moss’s nuptials…

Scarlet and Violet

Accessories: Metallic

Add a little sparkle into your life with these babies. Yes, its more from our Autumn ‘Accessories’ report today, and we have decided to feature metallic and metal trimmed looks. This is a really strong direction, and one that has been developing for some time. Starting with all of those studded bags and now diversified right through the whole accessories offer. Its ‘bling’, but in a very cool and sophisticated new way. From some very subtle, low sheen looks to full on, bold statement pieces. Whether its a small touch of sparkle, or a totally smothered twinkle-fest, there’s some fabulous options to appeal to the magpie in you.

More accessories tomorrow? Well, we do have about 400 shots in the Autumn report to choose from, so why not! If you’d like to see more from our brilliantly inspirational and informative reports, then why not have a click here. Enjoy!

Chanel

Miu Miu

Spitalfields, East London

Prada

Sonia Rykiel

Sergio Rossi

Valentino

Blink Retail: Baby, its (not) cold outside

According to fashion, Summer is history and Autumn is where it’s at…

Yes, we are in that frantic seasonal change over that leaves you feeling slightly out of step with reality. The stores are almost sold out of Summer sale stock and the shelves are rapidly being replenished with the first deliveries of Autumn. In many cases, these deliveries are not really what we in fashion fondly term ‘Buy now, wear now’. If they were there would be more summer dresses and a some gorgeous bikinis for the optimists amongst us who hope that July, August and even September might be scorching. These new season deliveries are in fact full of chunky knits, long sleeves, heavier weights, tweedy textiles and even the odd fur trim. If, like us, you are rather suggestible, you’ll actually be considering investing in that fabulously cabled, angora blend, long sleeved, high necked sweater- even though it could induce heat stroke if you wore it now- because it might just be sold out by the time you may actually really need it in, say, October.

Here are some of the gorgeous new season looks that we shot in store windows over the past week…

Alberta Ferretti

Bottega Veneta

Chanel

Louis Vuitton

Balenciaga at Selfridges

If you’d like to see more retail inspiration, just click here. Enjoy!

Blink Inspiration: I should Coco!

As you saw from yesterday’s post, its all about Christmas out there in fashion retail land, but some brands have decided not to take the sparkly lights and tinsel approach.

At Chanel, Karl seems to have decided that, after all the fun of super shaggy fur, he was on to more of a naive and crafty direction. I’m not so sure what Madame Coco herself would think of these, but we just love these mini Chanel dollies. The likeness is just perfect and the detailing is divine. These petite Coco’s are tucked in and around the mannequins in the Sloane Street store, adding a very appealing ‘tongue in cheek’ touch to their Christmas scheme. Who knew that the House of Chanel had such a sense of humour! Actually, we do remember the Kaiser Karl teddy bears of not that long ago, made by Steiff, so I suppose that a Coco dolly doesn’t seem such a crazy idea. When you are so rarefied and wonderful, what could be more appropriate than poking a little fun at yourself- but obviously in a terribly stylish way?!

Coco Chanel recreated in knit!

Blink Wardrobes: Eastside Story

We style spotted Katy Brown on her way into the 1234 festival and she featured as the lead in shot for our ‘Shoreditch Shorts’ post. We then struck up an email conversation and were delighted when Katy agreed to get involved with the ‘Blink” blog. Katy is a Fashion PR working for a seriously fashiontastic London store, so we thought that she would be the perfect candidate for the revival of our ‘Wardrobes’ feature. Katy sent us over some recent shots, giving us a virtual sneak peek into her closet. We love her unique take on black and denim with a dash of goth and retro rock chick thrown into the mix. Katy’s also just launched her own very cool fashion blog too.

Most worn from Summer 2010? Vintage Levi’s shorts, fur trimmed leather jackets, MAC ‘Girl About Town’ lipstick and enough jewelery to set off every metal detector in a 5 mile radius.

What will be your biggest investment for Autumn 2010? I’m waiting for the highest bidder on my vital organs so I can splash out on the original and best Burberry aviator jacket and/or a Mulberry Alexa. Be still, my beating heart…

Your personal style is:
Glamorous goth, everything sequined or sparkled, inappropriately dressed for any occasion and/or climate, and anything your Mum swears she wore the first time round. And always kohl-rimmed and pink lipped, naturally.

Your current style icon is:
I have a serious girl crush on VV from The Kills and Karen O still reigns supreme. I have a new found affinity for Joan Jett’s wardrobe after watching The Runaways.

If money was no object and practicality went out of the window, you would wear:
Cocktail dresses at all times. A lot of Balmain. Any leopard print pieces by Dolce and Gabbana. Arm-candy to be provided by Mulberry for day and Chanel for night, please.

Most used fashion phrase?
Trashtastic.

Photo 1

Photo 1: As photographed by “Blink”! Taken at the Shoreditch 1234 Festival, this is a typical festival ensemble for me. From top to toe, that’s a sheer-panel leotard from Ebay, a vintage leather jacket I customized myself with gold studs, a vintage pocket-watch necklace, my treasured ‘Katy’ nameplate necklace courtesy of Ebay, vintage Levis shorts I’ve ripped to pieces, Marks and Spencers sheer spotted tights, a Harvey Nichols Timex watch, a vintage Chanel bag courtesy of Rokit and my most worn item: a hair bow made from half a metre of chiffon from the John Lewis haberdashery department.

Photo 2

Photo 2: Snapped at the incredible Maison Martin Margiela exhibition at Somerset House. That’s a sheer leopard print blouse I cut the collar off and turned back to front from a charity shop, teamed with a fringed leather waistcoat from Miss Selfridge that I LOVED for the ‘Almost Famous’ vibe. There’s my glorious Mulberry again, alongside my Ray Ban Wayfarers and a pair of New Look cage shoes. I swear by their footwear…

Photo 3

Photo 3: Evidently posing as the Mayoress of Mile End! That’s an Ebay dress I turned back to front so the fringing sat at the front rather than at the back. I’ve protected my modesty with an 80’s Beyond Retro acid wash jacket which has the most amazing/horrific diamante and stud detailing. That’s another hair bow made from a Tie Rack scarf and that vintage Chanel handbag was an incredibly generous birthday gift from my best friend. Lucky, huh?

Photo 4

Photo 4: This is one of my all time favourite finds – it’s a vintage lace dress courtesy of the vintage store ‘Cow’ in Birmingham. It has the most amazing bodice detail. I’ve teamed it with a vintage black and gold belt, a vintage leopard print scarf tied as a hairbow, yet another vintage quilted bag and a squillion bracelets I’ve picked up and collected from various markets over the years.

Photo 5 from the Vogue website

Photo 5: Snapped at Notting Hill Carnival by Vogue, I’ve managed to perfectly co-ordinate my cocktail, my lipstick and my nail-varnish. Score! That’s an ASOS t-shirt dress with my studded leather jacket, teamed with Marks and Spencer sheer polka dot tights, New Look cage shoes and a shedload of vintage jewelery including my pride and joy charm from Chanel. The glasses are the Wayfarers again- a very kind gift from their Press Office.