Réjane Clutch, a personal favourite

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Moynat, journey to London

Réjane

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Cabotin, insipred by the Moynat English trunk

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Suitcase designed to fit exactly on top of the roof of an automobile.

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Quattro

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Virage coin wallet

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Moynat, 112 Mount Street, W1

Two things I love and respect: craftsmanship and history. And Mexican food. Three things. What’s certain is that you put those things together and something fantastic comes out of it – heck, add the Mexican food in as well, one should never say no to a fiesta. We live in an age so catered to fast-consumerism, landfills, and butt-grazingly short concentration span – I should know, I spent nine hours writing this copy because I’m apparently giving equal attention to 19 other tabs (hold on while I check out this cat taking a bath) – somewhere in the middle, true quality is lost. This is where brands like Moynat come in – founded in 1849 by Pauline Moynat who designed and built made-to-measure trunks for horse carriages and many of the first automobiles. The brand is all about craftsmanship and finest levels of quality, the handbags are made by skilled artisans in an atelier stone-throw away from the Paris Rue Saint-Honoré flagship, and each bag takes about 20 hours to complete. The bags are flawless in construction with a design detail very characteristic to Moynat: the curve of the classic trunk. All models hint on a sense of travel, an adventure, which I found rather romantic given such attention to structure and form. I visited the beautiful new boutique on Mount Street two days before it opened, (and 20 minutes after Pharrell had visited, apparently) (curse you, traffic), which was my first encounter with Moynat, but for some reason I don’t think it’ll be my last. 

Many thanks to Guillaume Davin (Director of Moynat) for the tour and Starworks Group for introductions.

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Behind the scenes: Bally AW’14 Lookbook shoot

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The ‘Bloom’ bag, where sides that open out like petals

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Supple nappa leather plimsolls

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Each boot is formed with single piece of leather with a single-seam up the back leg curve

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The ‘Gentlewoman’ bag, with corner indent

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Who do I want to be when I grow up? Bally AW14. A fire-fighter too, but I’m allergic to cats and they seem to get stuck on trees a lot so sadly I think I’ll need to give up on that dream. This season Bally is a sister from another mister that I’d secretly have a massive girl crush on – the one that throws a suede bomber jacket over dishevelled bed hair when picking up morning coffee, wears tailored trousers and maintains blade-sharp line down the legs all day, and her sweater – cashmere, and not a bobble in sight. She’s also quick to laugh and loves karaoke – but I may be reading in too much on this one. I had the privilege to be a fly on the wall at the AW14 lookbook photoshoot two Saturdays ago, where I spent three hours buzzing from one room to another fondling this and that from the new collection, sneaking a peek in the mirror with one or two when I thought no one was looking. Particularly loved the detail of the box-shaped bag levelled on one corner (inspired by the ‘gentleman’s corner’, a levelled corner in the heels of men’s brogues started by Bally) a design feature which I later spotted on many other pieces including belt buckles and labels. How neatly sneaky. Sneakily neat?

The crew – nimble-footed and efficient – composed each look, followed by the studio lighting up in bursts of flash, and not five minutes later the next look was called. In the meantime, Tao Okamoto snoozed in a large sofa, and in the big hall the sun sunk behind the table of shoes; I left with reluctance just as Look 13 was wrapping up.

A big thank you to Bally for the wonderful experience!  Discover more at Bally.com.

Special thanks to the Bally Design Director Pablo Coppola, and his team; photographer Paul Wetherell; models: Emma Balfour, Kirsten Owens, Langley Fox Hemingway, Tao Okamoto, Harmony Boucher, Natasa Vojnovic, Amber Anderson and Spring Studios, London.

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London Fashion Week AW14

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Eudon Choi AW14

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Marios Schwab AW14

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Whistles AW14

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Burberry AW14

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Harry Styles in the house, yo

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Outfit 1 (Camel coat): Coat - Club Monaco, Muff - Topshop. Bag - Mansur Gavriel (available for pre-order!). Jeans - James Jeans. Shoes - Church’s. Lipstick - Estee Lauder.
Outfit 2 (Houndstooth coat):  Coat – Selected Femme (via ASOS). Trousers – Zara (similar here). Shoes – ASOS. Muff – Topshop. Bag – Kurt Geiger Britton bowler

Well that just whizzed by, didn’t it. Considering how every season in the past I hobbled home like a war hero, full of stories to tell the grandchildren, dangling off crutches constructed of empty Vitamin Water bottles, this season LFW just felt MUCH less eventful. In fact, it felt like I’d gone to war, hid in the bushes and waited till it was over. I suppose technically this was true, as Hyundai had been so generous to sponsor a car and I spent 70% of the time in there with the awesome driver called Arthur, who’d instantly appear with the Santa Fe from around the corner when I shone a thumbs-up emoji signal into the dark clouds. Thumbs up for ‘I’m done here, let’s get stuck in traffic and talk about motorbikes‘. Coincidentally, I got more work done in that car than a week’s worth of working from home as well, which only confirms that I only work efficiently with impending deadlines (e.g GPS announcing we’re approaching destination). I also started a new relationship with a new phone at the beginning of the week – the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (via Carphone Warehouse) – and spent the five days in honeymoon bliss, poring over improved functionalities (I’m upgrading from the Note 2) and panicked when it took two minutes, not six, to put up an Instagram photo. What does one do with extra four minutes in life?

It was a good season, and for the first time ever I felt like I saw the few shows I really wanted to see (except Mary Katrantzou, that ticket will be my Oscar). Do look out for more updates in the next few weeks. Plus, I didn’t shorten my lifespan by about twenty years by having to haul three camera lenses and a laptop the whole week. I may have grandchildren, after all!

Many thanks to Hyundai UK and Carphone Warehouse again for the extra twenty years, plus four minutes. Also, a cheeky shout-out  to Lulu Guinness and Vita Coco for the survival kits that made the car known as the ‘party car’ by my peers.

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Front-facing catwalk images from Fashion GPS via Topshop, all others by Park & Cube

Aside from the usual stack of multi-coloured foodstuff/beetroot juices (all made by elves, I swear) inhaled by fashion-folk as their first meal of the day at 2pm, and Arya Stark looking all kinds of fierce/cute in the corner, Topshop had a slightly different take on things this time round. This was the second season- while not consecutive – they’d set up camp at the Tate Modern, and instead of the usual fenced-off/dungeon venue broadcast via narrow fire optics and blurry inta-sight by attendees, whoever that happened to be visiting the Tate that oddly sunny Sunday held, in essence, one of the most highly coveted tickets of LFW. The mezzanine offered a vantage point over the entire catwalk and FROWers, and while show goers did the tennis-ball chase with our respective devices, eyeballs, what have you, over the catwalk, the public saw the collection from the privileged Style.com point of view. While I suspect it wouldn’t have made much sense to a lot of the people that watched (‘can you buy those clothes tomorrow?‘ I heard a girl ask) it was admirable of Topshop to embrace such a straightforward approach to ‘public relations’ that suits a brand that is, at the end of the day, an accessible, high-street brand loved by girls across the UK. 

On a separate note, watch me skin a giant teddy bear next fall and wear that over rebellious schoolgirl garbs.

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Three ways I wear Nike LunarElite Sky Hi

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Look 1: Lace dress – Zara. Sweatshirt – Nike. Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi. Clutch – Chanel. Sunglasses – Mango.
Look 2: Coat – Nanushka. Sweater – COS. Skirt – ASOS. Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi
Look 3: Cardigan & skirt – Peter Pilotto for Target (via Net-a-porter). Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi. Bag – JinYoo103684. Bag – Kurt Geiger. Turtleneck – Uniqlo. Puffer Vest – Gap.

I don’t know what it is about my late twenties but boy am I working up a collection of trainers, each bought with the same reasoning technique that accounts for the thirty bags of jumbo peanuts in our pantry: THIS MUST BE HANDY DURING THE APOCALYPSE. It’s odd because 1) I am a hamburger when it comes to exercise (i.e I do not put the ‘train’ in ‘trainer’), and 2) I held a crusade against flats

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all throughout my teenage years and stuffed tissues, not only in my bra, but in my trainers as well for the wedge effect. So I came across these Nike LunarElite Sky Hi‘s, I reasoned that yes I needed another pair of trainers because APOCALYPSE, but also revelled at the fact that it was my teenage crusade manifested (Waterbra? check), in perforated neoprene and all the essential lightweight, cushioning technology of a classic Nike running model. Plus, neon yellow because I’m biologically hazardous like that.