Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Discover Carnaby

London is full of extraordinary shopping destinations, and sometimes it's better to avoid the crowded Oxford Street and the Westfields, so I decided to go to Carnaby Street instead today. If you haven't experienced it yet, do go. It's parallel to Regent Street but it's way more cosy and it has its own character. 

I stumbled upon the Just pop-up store with a very basic yet very strong display of stock in its basement floor: the retailer addresses an environmental issue with a simple message and design. I'm researching CSR in fashion retail as part of my studies at the moment, so that was so relevant.  

Originally, my destination there was the College Shop that was set up by London College of Fashion a couple of weeks ago in Kingly Court. This pop-up shop features works by the College's graduates and students, but hurry if you want to see it - it's only open until Thursday. 

 Have a great evening, ladies and gentlemen. Cheers from London

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The lingerie heaven

The entry of Victoria's Secret into the UK market this summer caused quite a stir. If you are in London you can still feel the aftermath of the opening of the company's first store in Westfield Stratford followed by the much anticipated flagship (and delayed) in Bond Street. Girls and women are so excited about it, and I went to check it out this Monday.

What is there to say? The flagship store with its four floors is a heaven for the weak-for-lingerie like me. Those that have been to the brand's shops in the States say that the UK stores are surprisingly darker and more gothic in a way.

I made some snaps, so enjoy. And don't miss an opportunity to see it yourself if you are in London. Only before you go make sure you do two things:
  1. Check you do have the money to afford it so you don't end up nearly in tears over a pair of the most perfect yoga pants like I did. It is more expensive than in the US.
  2. Go upstairs to the ladies' room: it's the place to take those guilty-pleasure-toilet-mirror-pictures and see the VS aesthtics that you can feel even in the store's air. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Little Black Jacket

Do you know that there is an exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld's photography in London called The Little Black Jacket? I went to the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square to see it last week with my fellow students from LCF, and it was very impressive. 

Lagerfeld's talent as a photographer is often outshadowed by his designer career, but he is an incredibly strong photographer. It was very interesting to see the different approaches to styling, since the same model of a jacket was used in every photograph, only the size varied. It was combined with biker sleeveless coats, evening dresses, sweatshirts, jeans, and the sleeves were torn off and worn separately in one photo even.

The list of models featured a whole range of celebrities: from fashion personalities to movie stars and people from show business.

One of my favourite photographs was that of Anna Wintour - she was the only one who posed with her back to the camera. A classic hiding of the face by the American Vogue's editor-in-chief. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Recession chic

Yesterday I met Michele, a girl from New York, and we got to talking about the differences in fashion mentality in the US and Ukraine. I'd say, this applies not only to the two coutries but to the developed and emerging fashion markets in general. 

If you think about it, people in Eastern Europe (and in South America, as one of my friends from Mexico said later) people with a higher income - especially women - tend to dress head-to-toe in luxury brands if they can afford it. For example, wearing a Burberry trench with Zara boots is considered bad taste, in a way.

The US, the UK and most European countries are veering towards a different approach: combining a pair of very expensive designer boots and a thrifted skirt shows that you are creative and comfortable with your status no matter what your income is. 

This clashing of luxury and high street bargains is often frowned upon by fashionistas from emerging economies. Michele used the expression recession chic, and I really liked this term to describe it. Combining the expensive with the cheap is being smart in the economically challenging times. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On critics

Following a session on reflective writing at LCF, I dug deeper into reflection today. I stumbled upon this interview with my favourite Ukrainian fashion critic Zoya Zvinyatskovskaya. Not many people know the personalities of the Ukrainian fashion scene, but locals do know her name very well. 

She once said an interesting thing about fashion critics comparing it to a psycological principle of a cockroach in a clock. The cockroach may know the clock from the inside to the smallest detail but it has no idea what time it is. The people in the fashion industry are in the same position - they may know everythung from the inside but it is the critics' job to tell them the time on the fashion clock. 

An interesting concept, isn't it?