Tag Archives: bags & shoes

Ines de la Fressange Paris’ LifeWear Uniqlo Collection.


Hot on the heels of their 2012 collaboration with French basics brand Comptoir des Cottoniers, Uniqlo has done it again. Available in Paris since November 2013; their Ines de la Fressange Paris range is set to be ‘pret-a-porter’ in London from mid March 2014.

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo (photo – Uniqlo)

An international top model since 1975, Ines became the muse for Lagerfeld, modelling regularly for Chanel from 1983 to 1990. She has been the brand ambassador for luxury shoemaker Roger Vivier for the last decade and is part of the L’Oreal “Dream Team.” Her French style guide “La Parisienne” published in 2010, became a bestseller available in 17 languages.

Carrying a Roger Vivier handbag prior to the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection shows at the Grand Palais in Paris.(photo- Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Carrying a Roger Vivier handbag prior to the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection shows at the Grand Palais in Paris. (photo- Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Parisian Chic. (photo- Ines de la Fressange)

Parisian Chic. (photo- Ines de la Fressange)

Ines says, “After many years in the fashion business I learned a few things, and my wish is to give back a part of my experience in order to help women, such as the trick to mix casual and sophisticated for instance. Everything can be mixed in an easy way and worn at the office and on the weekend.”

Ines working with Uniqlo Design Director Naoki  Takizawa (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines working with Uniqlo Design Director Naoki Takizawa (photo – Uniqlo)

Uniqlo Design Director Naoki Takizawa said, “We talked regularly with Ines and exchanged views on a number of subjects including fabrics, design and fitting. Ines’ own lifestyle and approach to fashion closely mirror Uniqlo’s LifeWear and I am very pleased to be launching the new line that we have created together.”

Ines de la Fressange's collaboration with LIfeWear UNIQLO. (photo - Uniqlo)

Ines de la Fressange’s collaboration with LifeWear UNIQLO. (photo – Uniqlo)

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LifeWear aims to promote comfort, allowing customers to create their own style. With her attitude of ‘laissez-faire’ and clearly ‘bien dans sa peau’,  Ines’ collaboration with Uniqlo brings us a fun, wearable and affordable collection. French chic is available at uniqlo.com/uk.

A French Affair


Forget the Presidential love triangle; the high street is in love with France. Bag your own bit of Gallic flair with le sac du jour – the bucket bag. Update your wardrobe with the bag created by Angele Lancel in 1925.

Lancel opened her store near the lively new Opera Garnier in Paris in 1876, selling smoking accessories. In 1925 she creates the iconic bucket bag renamed the Premier Flirt in 2006.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

In 1987 the bucket bag is rereleased under the name Elsa. It quickly charms millions of women to become an international bestseller for the house. I succumb to its charms buying two in different sizes.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d'hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d’hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne. (photo – worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo - worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Lancel reinterprets its cult bucket bag in 2006 and rechristens it the Premier Flirt.

The. Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo - Lancel)

The Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo – Lancel)

Lancel expresses its proximity to the French cultural background with collaborations with French icons Isabelle Adjani and Brigitte Bardot. The design elements of the 2012 BB bag respected the actress’s strong conservation convictions as all materials were environmentally friendly and the leather look required no animal hides.

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo - Lancel)

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo – Lancel)

For Spring/Summer 2014 the slouchy bucket bag is the perfect accessory. Topshop, Next, H&M, Zara and French Connection amongst others, all have affordable versions of the bag, allowing for a balance between casual and chic.

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo - Zara)

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo – Zara)

Hermès – The Kelly, The Birkin And Other Keepsakes.


Hermès, Paris evokes images of princesses, famous actresses and the wealthy elite. In 1837 Thierry Hermès opened his workshop making quality saddlebags,  harnesses and horse carriages in the heart of Paris.

Hermes Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. (photo – worklondonstyle)

In 1892 the prototype of the Kelly bag was used as a saddle holder. By the 1930’s it had evolved into the Sac à dépêches, a spacious travel bag. Acclaimed costume designer Edith Head, introduced Grace Kelly to the bag when she chose accessories for the actress starring in ‘To Catch A Thief .’ After her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, a photo of her with the bag appeared in Life magazine. Instantly known as the Kelly bag it was officially renamed in 1977.

Happy customer (photo -worklondonstyle)

Happy customer (photo – worklondonstyle)

Actress and singer Jane Birkin, well known for carrying her belongings in a straw bag, was the inspiration behind the Hermès Birkin created in 1984. Priced between £4,800 and £100,000, the Birkin remains a best seller of the brand.

The bag is associated with long waiting lists (up to 5 years) as depicted in the TV series ‘Sex And The City’ and the book ‘Bringing Home the Birkin: My life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag’ by Michael Tonello.

The trademark orange packaging. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The trademark orange packaging. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermès is renowned for its equestrian inspired silk scarves, bracelets, ties and watches. Last time I visited I acquired the iconic Multi-Loop Bridle bracelet.

Back at the hotel. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Back at the hotel. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermes bracelet. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermès bracelet. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermes in harmony. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès in harmony. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Model, fashion icon and blogger Olivia Palermo says, ‘Buying my first Hermès bag was like becoming one of the tribe.’

Victoria Beckham – Pretty Powerful.


Victoria Beckham has firmly established herself as one of the most powerful women in fashion in only a few short years. Named the most talked about designer on Twitter during New York Fashion Week in September 2012, she has been recognised as the most pinned celebrity for 2013 on Pinterest, according to The Telegraph.

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo - GoRunway)

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo – GoRunway)

In 2007 Beckham won two Glamour Magazine Awards, one for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for her fashion achievements and another for ‘Woman of the Year.’ Victoria was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards in November 2011.

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenburg and Donatella Versace. (photo - Rex Features)

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenberg and Donatella Versace. (photo – Rex Features)

Known for popularising Roland Mouret’s fitted dresses, Victoria launched her own collection at New York Fashion Week at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2008.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel's home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercedes Bench Fashion week.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel’s home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercede-Benz Fashion Week.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week  in New York September 2013.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, September 2013. (photo – Reuters)

Simple monochrome designs featured heavily in her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection. Victoria looked crisp in a white shirt, tucked into cropped black trousers worn with heels.

Victoria's signature smokey-eye make up.

Victoria’s signature smokey-eye make up.

January 2014 will see VB collaborating with Skype to give us an inside look into her business. The Skype team said, “From the spark that launched her business, the innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurialism and her embracing of technology to empower creativity and to run her business from around the globe, the story of the Victoria Beckham label will be told in a previously unseen way.”

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo - Rex Features)

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo – Rex Features)

Mulberry – The Delevingne Factor


British handbag and clothing brand Mulberry has set its sights on international expansion. Established by Roger Saul in Somerset in the south west of England in 1971, Mulberry has built a reputation on its dedication to craftsmanship and tradition. This balanced with a nose for high fashion and practicality has ensured it cult status when it launched the now iconic Bayswater in 2002. Named after the leafy West London neighbourhood, it was originally available in Oak, Chocolate and Black. Its success has seen new colours and finishes sent down the catwalk year on year.

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo – worklondonstyle)

With 123 stores and a market cap of £604m The Rookery, Mulberry’s original factory, could not meet demand. The second factory in Somerset has been completed and will run to full capacity by mid 2014. The Rookery has been the only leather goods factory of its size in the UK.

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

Bags are designed in the London studio. The entire process from pattern making and prototyping to fine tuning can take up to 28 weeks. Considering material qualities, it takes one skin to make one handbag. The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. All off-cuts are used in smaller projects and recycled. Bags are handmade. Cutting, skiving, handle making, splitting, spraying, inking, ironing, stitching and folding are overseen by largely locally sourced and trained craftspeople.

The launch of the Alexa, named after British model, TV presenter and style icon, Alexa Chung, drew A-list stars to Mulberry’s catwalk shows. The design is derived from the Elkington, Mulberry’s Classic men’s briefcase.

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

American singer Lana Del Rey inspired the Del Rey bag featured in the 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign. Cara Delevingne, British model of the year for 2012 is the current face of the brand.

Mulberry launched the Cara Delevingne range at Claridge’s in London on 16 February 2014. It is hoping to revive it’s flagging bag sales; drawing on the model’s millions of international followers.

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo - Mulberry)

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo – Mulberry)

Chief executive Bruno Guillon has said plans to open 15 new stores were on track. A flagship store is set to open on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honore in 2014.

Guillon has repositioned Mulberry from an affordable to a luxury brand, with 36% of sales derived from bags priced over £1000 compared to 4% in 2012. Creative director, Emma Hill’s departure has left room for new direction.

Vintage Mulberry - The Roxanne. ( photo - worklondonstyle)

Vintage Mulberry – The Roxanne. ( photo – worklondonstyle)

Investment in prominent tourist destinations such as Asia and North America saw pre-tax profits down by 28% to £7.2 million, in the six months to 30 September. Revenues were up 2.1% to £78.1m with like-for-like growth of 4%. International retail sales were up 29%.

Research has shown that Asia Pacific is posed to be the biggest market for luxury goods by 2018. In readiness for the harvest, now is the time to invest. It is a costly process, but with the local market close to saturation, the promise of rich pickings may well justify investment in multinational expansion.

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

J Crew – Michelle Obama’s Click To Chic Hits London


Jenna Lyons, president and creative director of J Crew is the force behind the rapid sales rise at the North American brand. Rising through the ranks since graduating at age 21 from Parson’s School of Design in New York, the 44 year old is a high profile woman in consumer fashion; one of only three on Time Magazine’s 2013 top 100 most influential people list.

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Five years ago on Monday, October 27, 2008 Michelle Obama appeared on The Tonight Show in a complete J Crew outfit. Drawn on her shopping habits she replied,”When you don’t have time, you’ve got to click.”

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The tonight Show with Jo Leno.

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

On April 1, 2009 Michelle wore J Crew’s Crystal constellation cardigan and the Dazzling-dots pencil skirt in mint green whilst joining Sarah Brown for a meeting at Charing Cross in London.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009. (image Getty)

The 30 year old brand started out as a mail order specialist and runs 249 stores in North America. The long awaited opening of the Regent street store brings the mismatched, masculine meets feminine style of Lyons to central London. Expect to pay up to 40% more than in North America. Layering is key to the J Crew look with oversized statement necklaces and bejewelled cuffs to finish off an outfit.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Jenna has been in the press for her relationship with girlfriend Courtney Crangi after a very public divorce from husband, Vincent Mazeau. Her style is central to the brand’s transformation and success.

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012,

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012.

J Crew opened a menswear store at 38 Lamb’s Conduit on 10th October 2013. The Flagship store opens at 165, Regent Street, W1 on Friday. J Crew’s Chairman and CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, called it “an important flagship location on arguably one of the most important streets in one of the most important locations in the world”.

Kate Moss Joins British Vogue As Contributing Editor


British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, today confirmed that Kate Moss has accepted a position of contributing editor at Vogue. Shulman praised her “undoubtedly brilliant sense of style, depth of fashion knowledge, and understanding of what makes a wonderful image.” In 2005 Kate guest edited an edition of French Vogue.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss

Kate has graced the cover of British Vogue 33 times.

Kate on the cover of Vogue

Kate on the cover of Vogue

Last week Topshop CEO Sir Phillip Green announced that Kate would collaborate on a new collection available in April 2014.