“Blink” Pattern Inspiration: Celia Birtwell x Valentino

As a preview to a post that is coming up very soon, we wanted to share this lovely video with you. One of my longest standing fashion love affairs has been with the work of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. And if you’re an avid Blink London blog reader, you’ll know that I have a newer, and seasonally increasing fashion passion for Valentino (check our post about the recent Valentino couture collection). Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Valentino was working with Celia to create the print and pattern for their pre-Fall 2015 collection!

The collaboration has continued and Celia’s work can be seen in the Valentino collections right up to SS’16 menswear as well as Resort ’16 womenswear. Watch out for more on this on the blog in the upcoming week.

“Blink” Retail: Fur(k) Off

Today’s issue of the Business of Fashion just dropped into my inbox and this is it’s lead story…

image from the Business of Fashion emailed newsletter, PETA, fur in fashion, fur farming, fashion ethics

image from the Business of Fashion emailed newsletter

It’s a well researched and fact filled article about whether Fur has a place in Fashion (just click on that link to read the full article). If you are a long standing Blink reader, then you’ll know our uncompromising view on this subject and it’s a firm absolutely no thanks to fur from us. No fur, no thanks, on no occasion. Seriously that left hand image just sums the whole argument up for me. How could you possibly wear real fur (yes, that includes you Canada Gooseys and your coyote trimmed hoods, all of you with those rotten fur poms on your hats or handbags, and you wearing that vintage fur coat) if you have any conscience at all? It is simply unacceptable on every level.

Yes you may eat meat (I don’t by the way), but I bet you like to ensure your meat, eggs, fish, milk has come from a happy animal that experienced some quality of like during it’s short time on this earth. Well, most (but not all by any stretch) of the leather and sheepskin that we wear comes from animals that have been farmed for more than just their skins but have also been part of our food chain. Well, that is never ever ever the case with animals who are farmed or trapped purely for their pelts. It’s a miserable existence and often a shockingly disgusting death.

So, we thank the wonderful British Vogue, Selfridges, Liberty, Arcadia group et al for turning their backs on this material choice- and are they any less fabulous for doing so? Nope, we think it makes then super, extra, totally and additionally fabulous actually.

You can check out our previous rants on this matter here and also here. For more fashion retail news, just click here.

“Blink” Retail: Heidi Klein x Selfridges, just for you

Heidi Klein has teamed up with wonderfully creative embroiderer Laura Lees to offer Selfridges shoppers the chance to personalize their HK product in a very luxurious way. You can have your initials embroidered in gold thread on swimwear and accessory purchases this Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of May from 12-8pm both days.

Heidi Klein x Laura Lees x Selfridges personalization service. #embroidery. #Espadrilles, #Blink London

Heidi Klein x Laura Lees x Selfridges personalization service

We wanted to offer the Selfridges shopper something personal this summer.  Having your initials sewn on to your bikini or espadrilles by Laura Lees is a luxurious touch we hope shoppers will enjoy. It’s great for gifting and our new girls collection,” says co-founder Penny Klein.

I wonder if I can twist Laura’s arm and have her embroider “Blink” on a bikini for me? For more retail news, just look here.

“Blink” Retail: O’Dell’s

Tom, founder of O'Dell's store on Calvert Avenue, East London

Tom, founder of O’Dell’s store on Calvert Avenue, East London

You have to hit East London up on a regular basis as the speed of change with shopping and social options will make your head spin. On one such foray we came across O’Dell’s. This wee gem of a store is conjoined with Luna and Curious (another Blink fav) on Calvert Avenue (running between Arnold Circus and Shoreditch High Street). This compact space is filled with beautifully crafted, unique and innovative products that have been selected with care by owner, Tom O’Dell (yes,yes).

O’Dell’s taste seems to be for the natural, functional and honest- along with a large serving of good design and refined finishing. Much of the product is UK made by small producers, like the beautiful wool rug hanging in the shot above. Although not exclusively for the boys, if you are stuck with what to buy for a fella in your life, then this is a great place to head. Here are some of our favourites that are available in-store and in the O’Dell’s online shop

From O'Dell's: Made in London copper planter by Pikku Potin

From O’Dell’s: Made in London copper planter by Pikku Potin

From O'Dell's: Honest - Yuzu candle

From O’Dell’s: Honest – Yuzu candle

From O'Dell's: Outpost Large Leather Key Ring

From O’Dell’s: Outpost Large Leather Key Ring

From O'Dell's: Rough Diamond Cage - Old Gold

From O’Dell’s: Rough Diamond Cage – Old Gold

For more retail news, have a look here.


“Blink” Retail: Heidi Klein Pre-Resort

When you live the rather fabulous life that Heidi Klein caters for, you not only need a ‘Resort’ collection for those Winter sun escapes, but you also need a ‘pre-Resort’ collection for your pre-holiday holiday. With swimwear and chic beach dressing like this, why wouldn’t you take every opportunity to show it off? Here are some of our favourite looks from this offer that dropped on the 15th October.

This first look is named ‘Bimini’ after the island in the Bahamas. Clean lines and linear shapes look understatedly fabulous in minky neutral and black.

Bimini from Heidi Klein's Pre-Resort

Bimini from Heidi Klein’s Pre-Resort collection

Bimini jumpsuit from Heidi Klein's Pre-Resort collection

Bimini jumpsuit from Heidi Klein’s Pre-Resort collection

If you love a more classic French Riviera style look, then take a look at the lovely Corelli collection, blending a fine navy and white stripe on a textural base, detailed with a rope style trim. The team have created this super soft, slub jersey tee shirt dress style cover up, which I think is possibly one of the most flexible styles in their collection.

Corelli from Heidi Klein's Pre-Resort collection

Corelli from Heidi Klein’s Pre-Resort collection

Corelli from Heidi Klein's Pre-Resort collection

Corelli from Heidi Klein’s Pre-Resort collection

For more from Heidi Klein, just take a look at their website. For more retail news, just look here.

“Blink” Retail: H&M x Alexander Wang

On November 6th H&M will launch their latest designer collaboration. Alexander Wang x H&M Collection will hit around 250 stores worldwide and online. Be ready boys and girls.

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

“I am honoured to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations. The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle,” Alexander Wang said.

With menswear and womenswear, this collection features original designs created by Wang specifically for H&M. There is plenty of his signature sporty style, and in fact much of the collection is actual performance wear which is exciting for all of us conscious gym bunnies! There’s also lots and lots of branding with the Wang name plastered all over the collection is quite a 90’s kinda feel. From what I’ve seen, I think this will be a really exciting and quite authentic feeling collaboration, but I don’t think I’ll be elbowing anyone out of the way for the swimming goggles…

“Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today. He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that’s infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year,” said Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative advisor.

Oh, and the ad campaign is pretty darn gorgeous too, featuring some big name girls (including the ever gorgeous Joan Smalls and Natasha Poly) as well as some actual athletes (soccer player Andy Carroll and kickboxer Rivaldino dos Santos).

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

Alexander Wang x H&M

Exciting times! For more retail news, just take a look here.

“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” Retail: Victoria Beckham opens on Dover Street

The hoardings have been up on 36 Dover Street for some time and we’ve been wondering what the first Victoria Beckham store that was being created behind them will look like. Well, now we know. Just as the label has proven to be a wonderful surprise of chic upon chic, so the very first Victoria Beckham store is too.

The multi-award-winning London-based architect Farshid Moussavi has designed a space that is in equal parts elegant and also innovative. With miles of polished concrete, the latticed ceiling, high shine stainless steel panels and sharply cut diagonal lines this is an imposingly graphic interior.

Victoria Beckham in her first own label store,  36 Dover Street

Victoria Beckham in her first own label store, 36 Dover Street

Victoria Beckham store interior, 36 Dover Street

Victoria Beckham store interior, 36 Dover Street

Victoria Beckham store interior, 36 Dover Street

Victoria Beckham store interior, 36 Dover Street

Beckham herself selected the pieces of the collection for the stores launch, some of which are unique to Dover Street. Here you’ll also see the first small leather goods collection, crafted from ultra soft calf leather.

Huge congratulations to Beckham and her team. This is a world-class addition to London’s fashion retail experience. Perhaps next she’ll decide to show in London Fashion Week too? We can only hope.

For more retail news, just look here.