Fall’s Finest – London Autumn 2015
Exceptional craftsmanship takes top billing as new designers meet established makers across fashion, beauty and art.
London-based bespoke jeweller Jessica Poole creates delicate fine jewellery, specialising in the micro pave stone setting technique. Jessica works to commission, designing unique pieces for clients, and has also created four exquisite collections: Jubilee, Minuet, Gathered Gold, and Forget Me Knot, inspired by the knot as an enduring symbol of love, friendship and remembrance. Reflecting her skill as a goldsmith, Jessica has been selected to show at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Fair, London, beginning September 22nd through October 4th.
Using traditional patterns from the 19th and 20th Centuries, Mati Ventrillon makes authentic Fair Isle knitwear. Based on Fair Isle, part of the Shetland Islands of northern Scotland, she offers a bespoke service using 100% Shetland wool and makes the sweaters, cardigans and sleeveless pieces in colours from Anemone to Zodiac. The last stage of the process is the careful drying of the completed knit on a famous ‘Woollie Horse’. www.mativentrillon.co.uk
Liaison de Parfum
Artist and entrepreneur Nana de Bary has a personal approach to creating scent. Liaison de Parfum is her new collection of four unique scents, made in France, each a response ‘to one of the four seasons or stages of a life well lived’. Stay With Me, with jasmine, citrus, a slightly salty overtone and a heart of orange flower, rose and lily is for the dreamer… with a sense of unbridled adventure. No Matter What, for the inspired heart… with an unwavering strength of will, has rose, jasmine and peach at its heart, with top notes of bergamot and coriander. Resist Me, with a base of sandalwood, leather and musk, and heart of cedar, patchouli, iris and geranium is a fragrance for a woman of intelligence and a bold confidence, and I Dare You, for the individual – ‘a risk taker who doesn’t hold back’ – has a bold heart of sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver, topped with citrus and hot and cold spices. Nana de Bary’s creative use of precious essences have earned her a place as one of the world’s most exciting perfumers. Available in London at Browns.
It’s not London without TOPSHOP, and the TOPSHOP UNIQUE Resort ‘16 collection picks up the Autumn/Winter ‘15 story and takes it out to Soho for a night of decadence and dressing up – a continuation of the current season’s ‘elegantly off-kilter’ feeling. Highlights are crushed velvet pantsuits – the Mayall blazer and trouser – one pink, one black, and updated Breton stripes – the Broadwick pullover and knit dress. Available globally November ‘15.
There’s something so dashing about a kilt. Founded by Samantha McCoach in 2014, Le Kilt is inspired by a love of tartan and Samantha’s family’s heritage as kilt-makers. Traditional techniques meet modern design in the brand, which in the coming seasons will add other garments and accessories to the core range of hand-made (in Scotland), 100% wool kilts. Le Kilt shows at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer ‘16 with the ‘Stupid Girl’ presentation. Find Le Kilt in London at Dover Street Market, Harvey Nichols and Alex Eagle Shop, and online at URSA London.
Artist jeweller and gem expert Glenn Spiro has for more than 25 years been designing exclusive pieces for individuals and couture brands. G by Glenn Spiro is now available at the Fine Jewellery Room, Harrods, where the ‘I Do’ engagement ring collection was recently launched. Feeling the uniformity of available rings was undermining the unique sense of occasion of an engagement, Glenn Spiro and his son, Joseph, set out to create their first joint collection. The pieces combine bands in G’s signature metal, titanium – which can be chosen in a modern range of colours, or pave set – with a selection of classic solitaire styles and cuts. Also exclusively at Harrods is G’s ‘Reveal Collection’, pieces created with a superb central stone, around which finely made ‘petals’ turn to conceal or reveal, and the exquisite turquoise collection.
Fox Brothers & Co.
Firmly a part of luxury British design and producing the finest woolen and worsted cloth in Somerset since 1772, Fox Brothers & Co. continue to supply cloth to some of the world’s top fashion houses, alongside Savile Row tailors. The Merchant Fox uses Fox Brothers material to produce a range of beautiful products sold alongside hand-made leather, interior and decorative accessories. Fox Brothers show at Première Vision, Paris from 15th-17th September.
With an artistry-favouring approach, Paris-born Faustine Steinmetz followed studies in France with an MA at Central Saint Martins, before working for Jeremy Scott and Henrik Vibskov. At her London studio, unique but familiar wearable clothes are truly made from scratch: spinning, dyeing and weaving is done on-site, before garments are constructed by hand. Faustine Steinmetz will show her Spring/Summer ’16 collection at the ICA, London, during Fashion Week, supported by the British Fashion Council’s Newgen initiative, sponsored by TOPSHOP.
Maria Nila offers exceptional colour-care hair products made entirely in Sweden. The Care range consists of five different lines that each incorporate a shampoo, conditioner and treatment product and use specific natural ingredients to target different concerns: True Soft uses argan oil to revitalise; Luminous Colour has pomegranate for colour and shine; Structure Repair is formulated with algae to strengthen; Pure Volume uses Pro Vitamin B5; and Sheer Silver, for blond, grey and silver hair knocks out yellow tones and stops fading. To play with colour try the fantastic Colour Refresh products – nourishing hair masques with colour pigment – In a range of subtle and fashionable colours: strong brights if you want the latest trends and a more understated selection to refresh natural tones. 100% vegan, and sulphate and paraben free, the ranges are available in salons in the UK and online through Sally Express.
Loxley England’s handbags, small leather accessories and womenswear (launching Spring Summer ‘16) provide a masterclass in combining the classic and current. The leather handbags and accessories, from the bestselling Devonshire Tote to the elegant Regent Shopper, come in timeless colours: navy, black, red and racing green, alongside limited edition modern colour pops: blocks of blue, yellow and grey. The beautiful Mini Gloucester Rucksack in black, navy or either colour with a Liberty Print lining is the ultimate chic backpack. The brand’s superior production is evident – all design is completed in the south of England.
Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal
Visionary designer Yves Saint Laurent created his own fashion house in the early 1960s, with partner Pierre Bergé, who for forty years managed the business while Saint Laurent focused on the creative aspects. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent opened the first ready-to-wear boutique to bear a couturier’s name: SAINT LAURENT rive gauche. ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal’ is his famous maxim, explored in the first UK exhibition to show a wide-ranging display of the French designer’s work and life. Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal is presented at The Bowes Museum, one of the UK’s most unique spaces, a French château in the north of England that houses an internationally renowned collection of European fine and decorative arts. The exhibition investigates many of Yves Saint Laurent’s varied influences, through themes including art, transparency, women’s emancipation and Masculin/Féminin, and features iconic pieces from the Russian Collection, the Mondrian dress and the Tuxedo. Until October 25th.
Sophie la Girafe Cosmetics
New parents know all about the iconic Sophie la Girafe toy – now meet the soon to be iconic Sophie la Girafe Cosmetics. After years of working as a training manager at Parfums Givenchy and Parfums Christian Dior, and as a beauty editor at magazines including Elle, mother-of-two Jonna Jalkanen was aware of what the best skincare products should be like but couldn’t find anything available that matched her knowledge. Cue the founding of Sophie la Girafe Cosmetics, and their first collection, a range of natural, certified organic, dermatologically tested, paediatrician-approved skincare products for babies. The range includes a face cream, protection cream, body lotion, bubble bath, hair and body wash and oil. All ingredients are listed on the company’s website and all packaging is recyclable. And the best thing about them? They’re perfect for sensitive adult skin too, or for those who prefer a luxury product free from synthetics, parabens and animal ingredients. Available in the UK from Boots, Selfridges and Harrods and globally, online, from Selfridges.
Open for just a year, The Beaumont is one of the best places to stay in London: Chris Corbin and Jeremy King’s elegant first hotel lies just north of Grosvenor Square, on a quiet garden square in Mayfair. The hotel includes the popular Colony Grill Room and a Spa with Hammam. Unusually, guests can book to stay in ROOM, a monumental work of public art and inhabitable sculpture by artist Antony Gormley – the interior of which houses a bedroom, which extends to one of The Beaumont’s suites – a unique part of the hotel’s façade. www.thebeaumont.com
Frieze London is one of the world’s top art fairs, showing a selection of the leading contemporary art galleries working today. This year Frieze London will, alongside the main section, feature two curated gallery sections: Live and Focus, plus the annual Frieze Projects programme curated by Nicola Lees. Highlights of Focus include Shanghai gallery Antenna Space, exhibiting at Frieze for the first time, and a solo presentation from London-based artist Samara Scott (The Sunday Painter). Established in 2003 by the founders of frieze magazine, Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, Frieze London 2015 runs from October 14th-17th in the Regent’s Park, London. www.friezelondon.com/visitors/tickets
Clare Carlin is a London-based writer and contributing editor. @clare.carlin