In what resulted in a slew of (half joking) "I hate you" messages, I left icy New York City for Puerto Rico last week for the launch of Escada's Born in Paradise fragrance. I was joined on the trip by a handful of other online editors including ones from Byrdie, Rouge 18, Total Beauty, Beauty Blitz and Glam and we spent three days touring San Juan, drinking cocktails (well, I stick to tea, no matter how uncool it is), and, of course, talking beauty.
Has the price of luxury finally become too much for some of us?
Seemingly it has, as Mulberry issued a profit warning today, stating that the luxury brand had suffered a great deal over the Christmas period due to rival brands starting their sales much earlier. Despite many others doing so, Mulberry did not alter its sales date from December 26 and has taken the fall for it.
Cara Delevingne as the face of Mulberry’s SS14 campaign, images: Tim Walker
A Reuters poll had previously forecasted pre-tax profits for the year ending March 31 at £26.9 million, however Mulberry’s chief executive Bruno Guillon has now said that this will only be around £19 million.
In the last few years, the Somerset based accessories house has seen a great deal of change, not least the rise and rise of the It bags and its profits under the direction of Emma Hill, who was with the brand for six years. However, since the departure of Hill in 2013, Mulberry has been resting on its name and with new collection pieces costing up to £2,000, the brand may be feeling the strain from turning British heritage design into a global luxury brand.
Mulberry has held its luxury image by aligning its name with key players of the fashion industry. Alexa Chung and Lana del Ray carry their namesake bags, Cara Delevingne graces the images of their Tim Walker shot S/S14 campaign and their front row is famous for being strewn with hand picked stars each season. However, after pulling out of this year's London Fashion Week, due to the continuing search for a new creative director, the brand may need to work a little harder to retain the image that it has built.
A veritable who’s who of the it-girl world on the FROW at Mulberry’s S/S14 show at Claridges, (L to R) Tallulah Harlech, Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, Juno Temple, Brit Marling, Lea Seydoux, Rebecca Hall, Alexa Chung, Douglas Booth and Tanya Burr. Image: GETTY
Bruno Guillon has said that they have a shortlist of potential candidates and hopes to name Emma Hill’s replacement in the next couple of months. Until then we can only continue to guess who it will be and hope that the prices may go down.
Images: Karl Lagerfeld for Harper’s Bazaar
Harper's Bazaar GL0BAL FASHUN DIREKTOR Carine Roitfeld has created her latest fashion portfolio for the international glossy, which will appear in all 29 editions of the publication's March Issue.
Photographed by Renaissance man Karl Lagerfeld (a German, he designs for Chanel & Fendi and owns kitties) and creative directed by V Magazine publisher, Stephan Gan (both men are Roitfeld's loyal, longtime friends) and starring superlative models Naomi Campbell (tense GODDESS), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (BLONDshell) and Karolina Kurkova (LEGStravaganza) as well as up-and-comers Alewya Demmisse, Kate Goodling and Sabrina Ioffreda.
[Sidenote: Apparently Kurkova and Campbell's rumored post-Face falling out is not a thing, since they apparently made it through this Bazaar shoot with no resulting battle wounds or Page Six blind items.]
The spread showcases Roitfeld's take on the Spring 2014 trends and notably includes many pieces in the pretty pale pink color which appeared as an outerwear trend this winter. See a preview below and check more of the editorial on the Harper's Bazaar website.
Image: weibo via tFS Forums
The campaign for the second H&M New Icons model-inspired collection has leaked online. We spotted it in the tFS Forums, where it was sourced to the Chinese social networking giant, Weibo. For Fall 2013, the range was created based on the street style of catwalkers Joan Smalls, Daphne Groeneveld, Lindsey Wixson and Liu Wen.
According to the available Spring campaign preview images, this season, the collection drew upon the so-called 'off-duty' looks of Andreea Diaconu, Jourdan Dunn, Nadja Bender and Sui He.
Image: weibo via tFS Forums
The Guardian just published a gloss on a recent academic paper titled, "Is it Cool to Be Fashionable? The Instabilities of Fashion and Cool," which was presented by Dr. Vanessa Brown, a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, at an academic conference in September.
The paper (which you can read here) aims to understand how two elusive pop cultural concepts, the cool and the fashionable, relate to each other. Brown argues that although "cool" is central and relevant the fashionable (and more broadly, to modern society as a whole), the idea of "cool" is antagonistic to the fashionable, and it even "depends on opposition to it." To put it more simply: fashion wants to be cool, but cool doesn't want to be fashionable.
In large part, this is related to the dynamics of fashion trends, which originate outside of the mainstream (either at the top of social hierarchy or through subcultures) before being picked up by the dominant culture. Brown writes:
"We speak of ‘slaves to fashion’ and ‘fashion victims’. Fashion magazines implore their readers to ‘steal’ celebrity ‘style’. This notion has something in common with … what is sometimes known as the ‘trickle-down effect’, which sees fashion as a manifestation of the social hierarchy, in which those ‘underneath’ copy those ‘above’, justified purely on the basis that this is the style of the class above, as opposed to any other potential criteria…This is often visualised as a simple fashion wave, where a small number of privileged innovators participate at the beginning, gradually swelling to include most of society, at which point a new wave begins.
Understanding fashion in this way makes it almost impossible for anyone but those at the very top (or leading edge, or the avant-garde) to be considered cool, for the simple reason that the rest will always be running to catch up."
Additionally, Brown notes that in the process of trickling down, the "aesthetics of cool" often become diluted, which results in the loss of their original appeal. For example, consider punk style, as it evolved from CBGBs to Hot Topic and the Met Ball — and was neutered in the process.
The Guardian also cites a 1990 paper which, in its efforts to quantify cool, suggested that it occurs "12-18 months ahead of the mainstream."
[Is it Cool to be Fashionable? The Instabilities of Fashion and Cool via The Guardian]
Lead Google Glass designer Isabelle Olsson has transformed the wearable tech. Today, the tech company introduced four new stylish perscription frames, which will be priced at $250 each. Two sunglass frames (at $150) will also be available. Google Glass is still in beta and has not yet launched to the public. [InStyle, FastCompany]
In other tech news, former Burberry CEO and current head of Apple retail, Angela Ahrendts, will be named 'Dame' by the British Empire. [Vogue UK]
Zooey Deschanel has teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger on a a capsule collection of cutesy, retro-inspired dresses. The range — called To Tommy, From Zooey — will retail at Macy's this Spring. [WWD]
Skype released the trailer for its upcoming "interactive media experience" with Victoria Beckham. Ohmygaaaah. [FabSugar]
We approve of this DIY decorated Mason jar (for storing beauty products). [BellaSugar]
If you don't support real fur, are you sending the wrong message by wearing lookalike faux? [xoJane]
NYC design label Prabal Gurung may be on the verge of launching menswear. [GQ]