Blink Retail: Bright Lights, Big City

If I fancy a bit of high end retail therapy I have a special route that fulfills all of my desires. My journey takes me from Liberty, cutting through Hanover Square across to Bond Street, then into Bruton Street, a flit across Berkeley Square and into Mount Street, then a stroll up South Audley Street and the final destination is Selfridges. Its a walk past some of the highlights of international fashion, incorporating some of my favourite names. You can say hello to Martin, Stella, Marc and Matthew as you decide whether you are thinking new shoes, frock or handbag- or perhaps all three?

This week I used the excuse of avoiding Oxford Street and headed on my therapeutic route. When I reached Mount Street, I was struck by the store windows. Some of the brightest and boldest that I had seen- and a joy that they were bereft of ‘final price slash sale bonanza’ signs. Grand scale and lots of wattage seemed to be the order of the day.

Lanvin

Christian Louboutin

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Blink Events: 20 years of Maison Martin Margiela

Somerset House plays host to another fantastic fashion moment. We headed along for a late night opening of the Maison Martin Margiela exhibition. This is more than just a simplistic retrospective. This is a celebration of the methodology, handwriting and design exploration from one of the most creative and unique contemporary fashion houses.

As a fashion student, I was absolutely enthralled by the innovative vanguard of European designers emerging in the very early 80’s. Margiela was arguably the most influential and creative of all, driving fashion forward into the exciting new territory of deconstruction; as well as behaving more like a reclusive artist instead of a showy, press courting designer/ celebrity. The team who have curated and collated the exhibition have reflected the brand perfectly.

The exhibition space feels more like a work in progress, with paint pots, bags and archive style boxes stacked around the space. This just adds to the feeling that you are peeking in on something that perhaps you shouldn’t be seeing. You enter through a heavy curtain which shows a picture of the space before if was filed with the exhibition- an absolute genius introduction that also makes you aware of the beauty of the space itself.

The exhibition is arranged by quite in-depth rules and arrangements which you can become involved with, learning all the detail of the Margiela ethos and design process; or you can just revel in the beauty of the product, the mood and the display methods. It was an incredibly inspirational evening, and an absolute must (we think) for anyone who is interested in the more unique, inspirational and creative end of fashion.

We had chosen an evening when Somerset House were also hosting the ‘Late Studio: White Elephant’ event, complementing the Margiela exhibition and embracing the brands methods of recycling and remaking, as well as their strong use of white. This had been created by Sarah Mann (assistant curator of the Embankment Galleries) and Annette Richardson (Learning Coordinator for Somerset House). They had worked really hard to create a super creative environment where everyone could work on ‘something white’ that they had bought with them, or swap it with the pieces that they had provided. We spoke with some London College of Fashion students there who were making stunning things, but there was a real mixture of ages and skill levels all enjoying the experience. We would encourage you to get down there for the next one which is on 7th July. Tweet us or email us pictures of your creations and we’d be delighted to add them to this post!

Click here for more “Blink” events…

Maison Margiela '20'. The beautiful entrance to the exhibition

Maison Margiela '20' @ Somerset House

The signature Margiela 'Tabi' shoe

Maison Margiela variations on the classic trench coat

'White Elephant' creativity @ Somerset House

'White Elephant' creativity @ Somerset House