IN THE KNOW – WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST VOL. 3

The news in the fashion world seems to be following themes every week. This week besides the squabble between the two artists – Kidult & Marc Jacobs, all the news looks financial and top management related.

Marc Jacob and Kidult..the love story continues

Marc Jacobs faced a second act of vandalism by graffiti artist Kidult, this time covering his Paris store. French graffiti artist Kidult tagged the shop windows with “$686” in neon green paint. The numbers reference when the first run-in they had when Kidult tagged the brand’s SoHo store in May last year with the word “Art” in bright pink. Jacobs printed a photograph of the work onto a line of T-shirts and sold them for $686.

Marc Jacobs Paris store tagged by Kidult

Marc Jacobs Paris store tagged by Kidult

Kidult, who has previously tagged the storefronts of both Celine and Hermes, tweeted an image of his work writing, “680? 689?…686?! How much are you going to sell this for? #kidultarmyparis #thisisnotart.” 

Once again, Marc Jacobs responded to the graffiti artist’s attack with humor, tweeting to his followers: “Come by Paris Collection for the opening night installation of the new @therealkidult. We proudly support the arts.” Later that same day, Marc Jacobs tweeted images of new T-shirts screen printed with the above image, to be sold at the store for $686 “unsigned” and $430 “signed.”

Read more: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/columns/bibby-sowray/TMG10143151/Marc-Jacobs-turns-graffiti-vandalism-into-a-tidy-profit.html

Hired: Coach appoints Stuart Vevers as creative director

Stuart Vevers has been announced to be taking over the reins from Reed Krakoff, who leaves the company after 18 years at its creative helm to focus on his namesake brand. The newly to be appointed creative director revealed his plans to revive the 72-year-old brand which includes highlighting Coach’s heritage, introducing more offerings of apparel, footwear, and watches, and elevating the label to luxury standards.

Stuart Vevers

Stuart Vevers

Vevers will adopt a similar approach to Coach as that while creative director at Loewe – fusing the label’s history with a contemporary aesthetic. “My passion is for brands with heritage. Throughout my career, every brand I’ve been drawn to has a strong heritage,” Vevers said. “I think Coach is that kind of brand. My style is to take that heritage and to play it against modern references, youth culture, references that take things to a different place and make them relevant now. That’s what I’ve always been known for in my work.”

Read more:  http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130624-908680.html

CEO of Ted Baker sells 1.2 million shares at peak price

Ray Kelvin, founder and CEO of British beloved fashion brand Ted Baker, sold 1.2 million shares (ie. 2.8 percent stake) after the company’s shares touched an all time high this week. Reportedly selling the shares for “personal reasons”, at £17 a share Kelvin made approximately £20m by off loading these shares. This reduces his stake in the business from 38.9 percent to 36 percent.

Ted BAker Store at Regent Street, London

Ted Baker Store at Regent Street, London

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10144020/Ted-Baker-founder-sells-20m-of-shares.html

Sabyasachi to do Grand Finale

After all the critical attention garnered for dressing Vidya Balan at Cannes, this is good news for Sabyasachi fans. India’s favourite designer will showcase his collection at the show after a hiatus of five years. And there is no other way to do it except as the Grand Finale designer at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabya, as people fondly call him is a LFW discovery. He debuted his first collection all the way back in 2002 at LFW and in the same year was reckoned as the future of Indian fashion by Women’s Wear Daily. He has indeed proved to be just that. Renowned both in India and abroad, Sabya’s work has earned both accolades and critical acclaim.

Read more: http://www.vogue.in/content/sabyasachi-returns-ramp-lfw-finale

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Beauty-cool Product Pick

Benefit That Gal

The name doesn’t say much, but this product is a primer. With their cutesy, bright packaging and fantastic, easy-to-use products Benefit is one of my favourite cosmetic brands. On one shopping outing I received a little tester tube of this silken, pink cream when I purchased this eye-contour kit.

benefitthatgal

I used a little bit under my foundation for a wedding and at least five people commented on the ‘glow’ of my skin as soon as they saw me. It is light, subtle and smooths out the skin, brightens it and the difference is for you to see immediately. It can just as easily be used on its own  if you are going for the fresh, dewy look (avoid wearing if you have oily skin or outdoors in humid weather). I am a fan and now own a proper full-sized tube!

When shopping is an addiction (Fuffabulous is rehab)

Interview with Radhika Dhawan, fashion entrepreneur and consultant

Founding one of India’s first fashion e-commerce portals was a gift and a curse for Radhika Dhawan. As an entrepreneur it was a dream come true, as a shopaholic it was a nightmare (OK maybe also a dream) to have so much great fashion so easily accessible to her. She eventually became one of her own best customers.

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Green crepe-silk shirt with neon and metal detailing by Rajat Tangri

“I think I have an actual shopping problem,” she acknowledges, laughing. Having sold off her company First Row a year ago, she doesn’t have as easy an access any more, but since she “almost lives” in Palladium, it isn’t too difficult either. As someone who first buys and then thinks about it, a conversation about her shopping habits is like Confessions of a Shopaholic. It doesn’t matter whether she needs it or not, if she will use it or not, if Radhika likes something it almost always ends up in her shopping bag.

SS'12 collection

SS’12 collection

“I used to be bad and then, I went to UK,” she says about her year away for a Masters where she bought clothes, accessories or shoes every day. Maintaining an exceptionally active social life only adds to her shopaholic ways. Today she owns 109 pairs of shoes, 13 plain white shirts and a wardrobe full of clothes and accessories that she may or may not have worn even once. It includes skirts and waistcoats passed on by her mum and nani, which she used to recycle in her college days.

Number of times worn: 0

Number of times worn: 0

A purging exercise that she undertakes every three months usually starts off well. But since she finds herself very emotionally attached to her things, “the next day when I re-asses the pile, I just end up keeping back most of the clothes”.

Metal and thread embroidery

Metal and thread embroidery around the collar and cuffs

A perfect candidate for the Fuffabulous project, Radhika detaches emotionally from a Rajat Tangri shirt that she bought off the runway last year while she attended the shows at Lakme Fashion Week. “If I don’t wear something I buy within a week, I don’t end up wearing it at all.” A year later, having gained a few inches it has become further impossible for her to use the shirt. The necklace is something she bought from her own merchandise at First Row. The Periwinkle neck piece, though gorgeous, has never been on any of her social outings. “Hopefully someone who loves fashion as much as me but will actually use these things will be able to buy the stuff.”

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Metal and bead necklace by Periwinkle

The fabric of the shirt is beautiful and colours striking. It is perfect for a UK size 8-10.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location: Worli seaface; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Radhika Dhawan and Rachana Nakra; Photographs: Karan Nevatia karan1981@outlook.com

Rocking the cradle, adding to cart

Interview with Meenakshi Nair, food blogger and mom

As a producer at Bloomberg TV until three years ago to now as a full-time mother Meenakshi’s shopping and dressing habits have seen a dramatic change. From haunting the malls buying skinny jeans and summer dresses as a single fashionista about town, to now shopping for Storksak at Hopscotch, she is today as much an expert at maternity wear as she is about high fashion. Meenakshi burns through fashion glossies as quickly as her 2-year-old does with the cupcakes she bakes, and with biting sarcasm and insight can discuss everything from Kim Kardashian’s red carpet choices to Chanel’s legacy.

Pernia's Pop-up Shop skirt with pearl detailing

Pernia’s Pop-up Shop skirt with pearl detailing

“I now have an entirely different wardrobe from two years ago,” she says. Besides the fact that the new wardrobe had to accommodate her post pregnancy curves, as a mom her priority is now to dress for comfort. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is her love for mixing ethnic wear into her look. “I love Anokhi and Cottons and the only time I wear prints is when I purchase clothes from these stores,” she says.

Number of times worn: 0

Purchased in 2012; Number of times worn: 0

Online shopping has been a boon for the busy mom. She loves shopping on Asos, Hopscotch, First Row (till a year ago when it closed down) and Freecultr for basics. “They have an easy to follow size chart and their return policy is also convenient,” she says. Otherwise she likes to surf the brands’ websites before heading to her favourite stores so she knows exactly what she wants and just has to quickly try it on and leave. “One thing I don’t have since motherhood is the luxury of time,” she says.

On one such virtual shopping trip to Pernia’s Pop-up Shop she fell in love with a white pencil skirt with pearl detailing around the waist. “It is a classic silhouette and I thought it would be perfect for my best friend’s pre-wedding brunch,” she says. She ordered it hoping to lose weight in time for the wedding, but the inches remained on her and the skirt stayed in the closet. “It is criminal for the beautiful skirt to just stay in my wardrobe! I hope someone else will be able to enjoy wearing it.”

Pearl detailing around the waist

Pearl detailing around the waist

The cotton skirt fits a size 8 and can be as easily worn to work as a brunch.

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location courtesy: Le 15 Patisserie, Bandra; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Morvarid K.

Shoppinguilt and wardrobe-karma

Interview with Manju Sara Rajan, magazine editor and mom

When is the one time that a brilliant writer, a confident editor and mother of two doubt her choices? When she casts a critical eye over her wardrobe and realises that many of the clothes she bought have not been used more than once. Back from work dressed in a beautiful silver grey tunic and chunky silver necklace, Manju is enjoying time with her kids while we chat sitting in front of her wardrobe. Her closet space is meticulously maintained and not wastefully vast, but “guilt” is a word dropped often. She “feels bad” about not wearing and also not being able to get rid of certain pieces in it.

Morphe by Amit Aggarwal grey dress; Number of times worn: 1

Morphe by Amit Aggarwal grey dress; Number of times worn: 1

Mostly a thoughtful shopper, she does most of her purchasing while travelling overseas. But  certain shopping choices of her own leave her baffled. “I don’t know why I bought this,” she says, picking out a Gucci jacket by the hanger. Some beautiful jackets and dresses were bought on impulse or just because they looked good, but don’t really fit into her style repertoire. Through the years her style has evolved into something that can best be described as ethnic-chic with a western touch, and clothes bought long ago don’t fit into her look any more. Also, pieces bought as occasion-wear can not be used more than a couple of times.

Burberry jacket; Number of times worn: 1

Burberry jacket; Number of times worn: 1

As someone who is not a hoarder, she gives away many of her clothes to friends and colleagues at least twice a year and keeps her wardrobe-karma light. But not surprisingly, it’s sometimes hard to give away certain things of high emotional or monetary value. For Fuffabulous, Manju takes the dry cleaning packaging off her beige Burberry jacket that she has worn only once. The gorgeous Morphe by Amit Aggarwal dress was worn for a party and never saw the front of her closet again. “The jacket is very easy to wear and the dress will look beautiful on someone taller,” she says.

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Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own

A closet under construction

Interview with Nishka Lulla, Fashion designer and stylist

Nude lace dress, Zara

Nude lace dress, Zara

As a young fashion designer, stylist and celebrity Nishka Lulla’s wardrobe cycle is like any of ours…. but on drugs. Occasion-wear is used no more than once or twice, clothes and accessories are purchased whenever there is a chance and then discarded ever so often – Nishka’s wardrobe is like under constant renovation. She is young enough to still be in the process of identifying her sense of style, and clothes are something to be played with than get attached to. “I used to like pink and girly styles earlier, but not any more,” she says.

As a stylist she is out scouring stores at least twice a week and so shopping for herself on the side is a temptation hard to resist. The advantage is that sometimes she can fish into her own wardrobe for her styling assignments. The extra clothes and accessories are, therefore, an occupational hazard. Nishka might be an impulsive buyer, but doesn’t  really regret her shopping decisions – when she gets bored or the outfits seem “out-of-style”, she gives them away to her friends or staff members.

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

For Nishka and her friends, there aren’t too many boundaries when it comes to their wardrobes and they swap clothes all the time. “I get bored really fast, so this works well for me,” she says. When I tell her about my project, without much thought, she “knows just the thing to give”. And it is love at first sight, the long nude lace dress she pulls out. She purchased the dress from Zara on a trip to Turkey. “I think it is extremely classy and feminine,” she says. Nishka wore the dress once for an evening out. It would have most likely never seen the light of day again, but for a friend who borrowed the dress before it went back into the darkness of her closet again. And now the gorgeous dress is with us to be fuffabulous!

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The dress is in perfect condition and fits a size 8. It has a beautiful back and because of its neutral colour, is very easy to wear.   

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own

Fuffabulous Project 1.0

Or: How I learnt to stop worrying and love vintage

My interest in vintage, recycling and second hand clothes was mainly piqued while at university in London last year. I attended a fantastic lecture by Elizabeth Laskar of the Ethical Fashion Forum, a UK based industry body for sustainable fashion that inspired me to learn more about the environmental impact of fast fashion.

In fact, many today are getting increasingly aware how buying a T-shirt the price of a latte or shopping a dress for a Saturday night out has other consequences, overflowing landfills only being one of them. I discovered designers who were using ‘upcycling’ as a concept to reuse discarded clothes to make completely new designs. Stores such as Marks and Spencer were buying back garments from shoppers!

Up-cycling at Junky Styling

Up-cycling at Junky Styling

I picked sustainable fashion and vintage as the topic for my final thesis and while researching I spoke to a few vintage store owners in London. My favourites – Rokit and Bang Bang. Stores such as these are putting used clothes back into the fashion cycle, selling them to vintage lovers at low prices.

Then there is the posh William Vintage on Marylebone Street (PS: there is also a little French bakery on the same street where you must eat the orange and carrot mascarpone cake). On appointment, you can browse through a collection of vintage Dior, Balenciaga, Ossie Clark and more, curated by William Banks-Blaney, dubbed the vintage king by Vogue. Of course, there is a massive difference in the approach and clientèle of these stores but the concept of reusing remains the same.

Colour coded at William Vintage

Colour coded at William Vintage

A friend from uni also took me along on his vintage shopping spree. The gorgeous Serbian had a wardrobe that sported the best labels – Gucci man bags and Hermes scarves amongst them. While a lot of it was bought full-price, much of it wasn’t. He usually had a bagful of designer clothes that he would exchange at his favourite vintage store in Soho for new designer clothes. His drug was finding that good-as-new Marc Jacobs T-shirt for 60 quid and having a completely new wardrobe every few months. And finally I found out how he managed to look so expensively dressed on a student budget.

Which brings me to my project!

Since I am currently only partly employed and unable to afford shopping, I am going to ask friends and countrywomen to lend.. or well, give me their old clothes, shoes, accessories. Clothes that are not hanging in their wardrobes but clothes they are hanging on to, for sentimental reasons, or any other justification we give ourselves to still keep that 5 year-old dress that we have worn only twice. I am asking them to let go and promising them to love their stuff like my own and put it to good use (more on that later).

The best part about this for me is interacting with women from different walks of life, and making that connection over our mutual love for fashion. I hope to meet as many women as possible and understand how they have fun with fashion, their attachment to clothes, their purging habits, their shopping habits and what they usually do with clothes they don’t use anymore.

Sound interesting?

PS: Wondering about the name of the blog yet? I hope you are. Explanations in the next post. (Hint: AdR)