Friday, 25 July 2014

Top Dog

The Scottish terrier is the dog of the moment after stealing the show at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on Wednesday night. Remember, people, that a dog is for life, not just for a season - so if you fancy tapping into this trend, pop to Radley where you can purchase your very own Scottie dog without the lifelong commitment. Unless you're ready to commit - in which case, you simply must have both.
 
Radley is synonymous with the Scottie dog and the super cute (and super trendy) 
Heritage Dog range is now availbale to buy in store and online at www.radley.co.uk
 
 
 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

British Fashion Council: BFC Contemporary


 
The British Fashion Council continuously supports British design talent and today, in association with eBay, the BFC announced the launch of yet another exciting new initiative: BFC Contemporary, sponsored by eBay.
BFC Contemporary is basically a mentorship programme for fashion designers who need guidance and advice on the business aspect of their labels. It’s welcome news, considering many designers struggle to balance the creative side of designing with the business side. Unless they establish their label with a strategically-minded partner who can deal with the “paperwork” aspect of running a business (think PR, marketing, branding, budgets, online and offline growth and consumer experience), new fashion labels, sadly, can fail simply due to lack of planning. When working creatively it’s difficult for young designers to find the time to plan ahead, and yet it’s a pivotal part of setting up shop: with strategies and vision comes revenue - without it, a creative business relies purely on luck. It seems like an easy answer – simply hire a business manager - however, not many young designers have someone they can depend on, who understands their concept and their customer so well that they can trust with them with the future of their “baby”.
That’s where the British Fashion Council comes in. BFC Contemporary will fill that “business manager” gap by providing fashion designers with a programme that delivers mentorship and offers strategic commercial opportunities. In association with eBay, the BFC will work closely with selected designers to support and build their strategies, and these mentoring sessions will be tailored to the needs of each designer, including access to pro-bono expertise from industry specialists – fashion gold dust.
Caroline Rush, CEO British Fashion Council (and a really, really nice person) commented: “We are delighted to support and help accelerate the growth of these very viable fashion businesses. Each of the inaugural BFC Contemporary designers possess incredible creativity and strong brand concepts. With invaluable support from eBay, these designers mark a new wave in British contemporary design, the rise of which we aim to fuel with this new initiative.”
BFC Contemporary has been created in response to increasing demand for worldwide contemporary fashion and the initiative aims to support designers in their ready-to-wear and accessories collections in an attempt to deliver more contemporary British fashion. To promote the initiative, each designer will create a limited edition item to celebrate London Fashion Week this September, which will be sold on the first ever BFC Contemporary shop on eBay.co.uk.
 
This year’s BFC Contemporary participants were selected for their creative excellence, commercial potential and originality. They are:
Alexis Barrell
Georgia Hardinge
Paper London
Prism
Zoe Jordan
Because 2014 is the inaugural year, the recipients of the BFC Contemporary were invited to apply by the British Fashion Council, so no one else was given the opportunity to apply. However, if you're a designer who is interested in receiving support from BFC Contemporary, the official applications will be open to all designers next year (2015).
Image, left to right: Anna Laub (PRISM), Alexis Barrell (Alexis Barrell), Caroline Rush (BFC), Melanie Smallwood (eBay), Philippa Thackeray (PAPER London), Lea Carreno (PAPER London), Georgia Hardinge (Georgia Hardinge)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bringing Fashion Home

Did you know that Glasgow’s fashion heritage store, House of Fraser, was originally a drapery shop? Located on the prime corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, Fraser’s - as it's fondly referred to by the locals - was opened in 1849 by James Arthur and Sir Hugh Fraser. A huge success with a loyal customer base (the store employs almost 7000 staff and boasts annual sales of £1.2 billion), Fraser’s later became the launch pad for a national brand that now boasts 60 stores. Not only does the Glasgow store have a huge selection of top global brands, it regularly supports local up-and-coming designers. To celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014, Fraser’s has teamed up with five established Scottish designers to host pop-up shops featuring products designed exclusively for the store.
 
The Bringing Scotland Home designers
The Bringing Fashion Home designers include fashion designer Rebecca Torres and the fabulous jeweller Georgia Wiseman (their first collaborative work, which includes t-shirts and sweaters with each of their signatures styles) and luxury handbag and accessory label Strathberry of Scotland (the salmon pink bag is to die for). Artisanal menswear brand ten30 is also involved and the label's designer, Alan Moore is adding to his made-to-order gentlemen’s attire with a collectable t-shirt. Moore says of the project, “This is a fantastic opportunity and I’m delighted to be involved. The emphasis on heritage and homecoming Scotland is so relevant and important to me and the ten30 brand. It’s great to see House of Fraser embrace that.” 
 
Alan Moore
One of my favourite pieces is the exclusive scarf by designer Karen Mabon, which maps out famous Glasgow landmarks such as Kelvingrove Park, the Duke of Wellington statue and even the Glasgow football teams. A well-considered and perfectly executed tribute to Glasgow, Mabon’s scarf is a great souvenir for anyone visiting the city this summer, whether for the upcoming Commonwealth Games or just as a city break.
 
Or if you just fancy a wee treat.
 
 Karen Mabon and the celebratory Glasgow tribute scarf
 
Karen Mabon x House of Fraser scarf
Bringing Fashion Home designers will be available exclusively at Glasgow’s House of Fraser until 4th August.