James Long, British Fashion Awards’ Emerging Menswear Designer of the Year?

The nominations for the British Fashion Awards are out. As you’ll probably know. But do you know James Long? Nor do I, but I’d like to.

Mr Long has been nominated for Emerging Talent Award – Menswear, and his AW11 collection speaks for itself. 
Muted hues make for a typical menswear range, the kind you see in Debenhams and Burton BUT, Long’s playful approach to texture is where grey knits and scarves get a kick up the arse.
I’m quite the fan of a chunky knit, but being a ‘rake with a lollipop head’ (my mother actually said that to me) I can’t pull off the kinds of knits draped over these gent’s shoulders. Sigh.
However, this barely-there knit, as featured in Dazed, might do?
Good Luck James.


Beyonce’s House of Dereon UK launch, in pictures.

Why bore you with another blog on the latest range by Beyonce when you’re up to your eyes in Beyonce by now. 
Yes, she’s brought House of Dereon to the UK, yes it’s African inspired, yes it will fly off the Selfridges shelves despite being rather dull. We know that. Now. The launch was a whole different ball game. Brand Beyonce on speed. We heard her music, were attacked with her perfume, walked though a hologram of her face, danced to her videos and then saw her in the flesh for about 10.5 minutes in total. (no words said).
Here is a pictorial documentary of my experience, courtesy of the lovely Lynda Moyo’s camera:

Arrive at Selfridges London carpark (I know) They did it up nicely though, more digital screens than a football match and a white washed roof.

See the show.

Meet Mr H!!!

Looking rather grumpy/confused. Lynda looks hawt.


icky champers on the tinted-window-coach-to-after-party that played Beyonce’s latest album…. all the way…

After parties (where no one knows your name, or cares, and the booze is free)

At this point she thought she was Beyonce.

One of the Brummies, A Greek…. (regional press from Birmingham)

Us and another…. probably not Greek.

 Stoopid underground stopped the trains…

And then I went back to Hoxton, climbed into bed and slept. The next day I woke for an early start with the boss and hit LFW. A day in the life of a Fashion Boy.


Fashion Rambler calls Jeff Banks

This time last week I was off to London Fashion Week for my first time at the capital’s fashion catwalks. (see my LFW diary here)
En route, I was still playing journo. I had a slot to phone the one and only Jeff Banks for an interview. A phone call that would continually be cut off because of tunnels but one that unearthed some surprising results.
Allow me to elaborate.

Fashion Rambler: What are you doing in Manchester?

Jeff Banks: I’m at the People’s Catwalk at Manchester Trafford Centre and launching the new Debenhams refit.
fR: You’ve always been a keen supporter of young British design talent, setting up and sitting on the board of Graduate Fashion Week. Where do you stand on idea that today’s bloggers are tomorrow’s journalists and fashion forecasters?
I got cut off. Ring back, repeat.
JB: Actually, I think bloggers have become too egotistical and are not journalistic at all. Bloggers are not affecting trends or new design, it all tends to be very personal. If you ask me will blogs take over, I’d say no.


fR: I was not expecting that, but I do see where you’re coming from.
JB: What?
fR: Never mind, How do you envisage the future for small independent stores with big shopping centres like Manchester Trafford Centre opening and demanding too-high rents?
JB: I think it is actually a big opportunity. Big centres open up and give young designers the opportunity to get cheap rents in town. If they’ve got good product, there will be a resurgence.
Got cut off. Text PR with next question.
fR: What are your thoughts on the BIBA reincarnation? (a contemporary of Banks)
JB: If anyone should reincarnate BIBA is should have been Barbara Hulanicki.

Fashion Rambler meets James Roome of iCom

I got the chance to pick the brains of one of the Social Media boffins at iCom. So I did. Here is what James Roome has to say about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest of the Social world.

Fashion Rambler: How do you envisage Social Media platforms and their ever increasing role in eCommerce unfolding? Will we really be buying fashion in Facebook?
James Roome: Yes I think we will; in fact we already are. Massive global brands like Starbucks and big name fashion brands like ASOS are using social commerce, so I’d say it isn’t going anywhere. Facebook’s massive user base is just too tempting for retailers.
Social commerce is also handy for smaller brands that haven’t had a mobile site or shopping app built, as it helps them to tap in to the mobile market. We’re actually in the process of building an F-commerce tab for one of our fashion clients, so we’re looking forward to getting some more concrete information on how just how lucrative Facebook shopping is.  
Of course, there are hurdles for social commerce to overcome. There are usability issues with the integration of social commerce apps in Facebook such as page load times, and the inevitable security concerns. There are also issues relating to the overhead for the business in managing another distribution channel which may not generate enormous sales whilst the concept of F-commerce is still in its infancy.
FR: What dashboard do you favour? (Hootsuite, tweetdeck etc…)
JR: I use Hootsuite PRO. To be honest there’s not a great deal to separate them, I just prefer the user interface to that of Tweetdeck.
It also offers decent reporting options and I like the fact that I can schedule tweets by uploading a csv. 
FR: Following my recent post on how Scheduling lead to back-lash during the riots (see how Twitter Backfires here) Is Scheduling as convenient as retailers think or will consumers start to switch off to tweet-bots?
JR; I think consumers already switch off to tweet bots. The only fully scheduled accounts that can possibly work are those belonging to already massive brands that don’t have to do anywhere near as much work to build a following online.
Having said that, I do think scheduling has a place in a properly managed social media account. For example, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a few tweets for a weekend event. In fact, we scheduled some tweets for one of our clients over the recent Manchester Pride weekend.
As long as you ensure that you monitor your account and are ready to reply to your followers’ queries, retweet their content and generally interact, there’s no problem with setting up a few tweets in advance to bulk out your feed.
You just have to be careful that it doesn’t take over; simply setting up a Twitterfeed of vaguely relevant content and auto-publishing to your account is a big waste of time. 
Read more of this interview at The Fashion Network here.


London Fashion Week: A Snap Shot

I. Am. Exhausted. BUT I have had an amazing time. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected fR but I’ve been updating blackwhitedenim.com’s LFW adventure diaries, video, twitter and facebook. So, forgive me?
I will need to sleep, and see the Boyf, before I can really tell you about what has happened but here is a tiny snap shot of everything that has happened.
Registration, Exhibits, NEWGEN. Drinks on the Terrace at Tom’s Bar, Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Fashion Mode. James Hillman. (see interview here) Amazing. (front row).
Beyonce’s House of Dereon. Nightmare Queue. Celeb bomb. Chipmunk. Rachel Stevens. Paloma Faith. Rosario Dawson (who?), Rita (who, more), BEYONCE, Selfridges, Papz, MR HUDSON, YES, I had a picture with him.
After party. Redicks, see Lynda Moyo’s article. She’s my girl. Day 2 Richard Nicoll, chiffon-fabulous. Hilary Alexander (the first of many times I saw her), Henry Holland: pissed, Jonathan Saunders: kind, Jo Davies: networker and muse (and founder of blackwhitedenim.com who sponsored by trip, aww)
BFC VIP Lounge, helps to have connections (Thanks Nathalie), Holly Fulton (see my interview here), unbelievable – convinced BWD to stock her, Unconditional (see my interview with Designer Philip here), sexy, club kid heaven, JLS boy (who), Jodie Harsh, Pete Burns, Sarah Curran (I know, shocker. See the blog about me meeting her here)
Liberty’s (first time) fell in love. Riding House Cafe for dinner (love), met Chiara Feragni! YES, Blonde Salad, ACNE Show, unbelievable… fab shapes and textures.
Met Mary Portas, I’m such a wannabe Queen of Shops, Notting Hill drinks, met founder of Bloglovin’ AND Carolina from fashionsquad! Drinks (and nuts) in Hoxton at the Hoxton Hotel. Day 3 buying apt. at McQ by McQueen (I love buying!) fab collection, the BWD edit is (honestly) the best of it all.
Clear Agency apt, boys (and Amber) are lovely + refreshing. Harrods (first time) like a dream. Chanel exhibit, moving. £4m to put on and it ends THIS SATURDAY! May Fair Hotel, to treat boss to cupcakes and cocktails for bringing me to London. Mark Fast Show, loved the knitwear, model nearly fainted (and she was one of the +size girls!), Eliza Dolittle wore a BWD exclusive Mark Fast piece.
Met Deirdre Morrisey, BFC Warehouse Exhib, Euston 1st lounge. Blogging to you now.
I hope you understand some of that.

Harvey Nichols Autumn/Winter (A/W’11) Catwalk Show

It’s that time of year again. Just as London Fashion Week kicks off, Manchester punches first. Harvey Nichols hosted its biannual fashion catwalk show to launch the upcoming commercial season. This time the shindig was held at the Victorian-Gothic Manchester City Hall at Albert’s Square. 
The cars? Oh yeah. Landrover sponsored the do.
The building, eliminated in pink, looked fabulous, as did the event attendees who flocked for not one but TWO shows this year as past shows have always been sold-out and full to capacity. Let the fashion commence. Whilst the ladies wear offer was amazing I was (as usual) very interested in the menswear! The Harvey Nichols styling team did a fantastic job and the attention to detail was inspired, (I know I always say that, but it is true).

Pictures? First off, ‘Canadian Commando’ – a take on last year’s Scandinavian obsession. Layer last year’s Reindeer knits with this year’s lumberjack shirts.

The models get ready….
The model walks.
Paul Smith Hat – £180.00
Nudie Jeans Denim Jacket – £155
Markus Lupfer Tee – £110
J.Lindeberg Shirt – £115
Polo Ralph Lauren Scarves – £70
Redwing Shoes – £159
‘Football Fashion’…. I wasn’t so convinced (not least because I don’t remember seeing football players in boxing gloves). HOWEVER, if we’re allowed to wear boxing gloves with vests now, I am totally willing to give it a try.

Dolce & Gabbana Vest – £125
Dolce and Gabbana Gym Pants – £275
D&G Rucksack – £340
 Dolce & Gabbana – £180
Prada Shades – £184
G-Shock Watch – £110
Can’t do hats. Can do leather, ‘Dark Twisted Fantasy‘ is a reincarnation of last year’s Rock look. Save the glitter Tees and add a new leather number (as a treat)

Paul Smith Hat – £130
Markus Lupfer Jumper – £280
Dsquared2 Jeans – £380
Galliano Jacket – £965

 Now. for more fashion than you can handle, watch this video (courtesy of Tunafish Media) of the night. ALSO, watch out for my cameo speaking about the evening. 😀


BAGGED: Another post of purchases

A while back a posted a post about things I had bought, inspired by the blog BAGGED by Kenny. I’m about to do it again (albeit on a smaller scale)

Gots me a bargain in a vintage shop today. My first pair of gloves for AW11. Not only are they gloves, they’re leather. Yes. Navy leather. AND they’re lined. AND THEY WERE £5!

Navy leather gloves, Pop Boutique, £5.00.
I have begun styling them already (despite the weather not quite being cold enough) but HEY, let’s get into the spirit of things!

Earmuffs, New York City Xmas Markets, US$5.00

Sweater, Nautic @ Macy’s New York, US$30.00

Jeans, Vegas by Wrangler, Gift

Boots, Hudson @ Schuh, £35.00

Bring on Autumn/Winter