12 posts tagged "Harvey Nichols"
To access The Vaults, an event space in the shadow of the London Eye, you must pass through an alley where graffiti artists are plotting their latest chefs d’oeuvre, seemingly indifferent to the cluster of Mercedes livery cards. It’s the type of venue that evokes the legendary shows of Alexander McQueen and, as Gareth Pugh remarked from a dank corner last night, his first presentation with Fashion East under a bridge in 2005. Which is to say, a world away from the glossy floors of Harvey Nichols.
But last night’s launch of a collaboration between the department store and Been Trill exists as proof that the blurring of fashion strata results in next-level cool when the parties involved are confronting their differences head-on.
The project, which partially debuts at Harvey Nichols today, begins with a series of T-shirts designed by Pugh, Kim Jones, Hardy Amies, Linda Farrow, A. Sauvage, Mr. Hare, and Shaun Samson. Come December, fifteen complete looks from the group will be sold in-store, solidifying Been Trill’s acceptance into the fashion establishment.
Been Trill, after all, is a challenging concept—an amorphous mash-up of music, clothes, visual branding, social media, and overall credo—for an industry that insists on attaching labels to every designer, trend, or idea.
From a harshly lit back room within The Vaults, two of Been Trill’s leads, Matthew Williams and Heron Preston, waxed on about how all of their projects, including this one, emerge as call-outs to their diverse clan of creative friends who do what they do because it’s fun. It’s not that everything else is an afterthought, only that the Trill-ness dictates the product. And now the Harvey Nichols positioning, Williams said, expands the audience from “the mall to Savile Row.” Certainly, the overall wardrobe revels in randomness. From Samson, sweaters and drawstring shorts bearing oversize prints of malachite and howlite rocks; from Amies, a jacquard tuxedo. Jones dug up pieces from his archive, including a white cropped bomber jacket. Been Trill’s influence on Linda Farrow yielded rubber and acetate square frames tipped with gold-plated titanium studs and anchored by a prominent nose bridge. Why collaborate if you’re going to play it safe?
Giddy to show off the achingly cool tableau vivant and fifteen-minute film costarring Lily McMenamy (who also stars in the lookbook shot by Brett Lloyd, which debuts exclusively here on Style.com), Williams grew even more excited upon praise from one of his idols, ShowStudio’s Nick Knight. Knight snapped a few photos of Williams wearing one of Jones’ reissued shirts from Jones’ 2011 collection for Korean brand Beanpole, and later posted an indecipherable photo to Instagram.
Shortly after posing for a group portrait with all the collaborators, Pugh said that Been Trill captures a youthful energy that stimulates fresh thinking. “It allows us to recontextualize our menswear from a different viewpoint. What we’re known for is something different than what they’re known for. But they put it together in such a way that proves to me we can do other things.”
Mr. Hare’s Marc Hare, who specially produced three styles of limited-run sneakers with a large hashtag applied in silicone injection molding atop the toe, explained that the appeal of Been Trill is its fluidity. “There’s a lot of stuff going on as far as photography and influences and inspirations—the stuff being referenced is much more interesting. And the graphical execution of what they do is fantastic.”
Together, Williams and Preston expressed satisfaction that Been Trill is growing despite having no grand plan—except, perhaps, for trademarking their signature hashtag use. They began explaining the intricacies of these uncharted intellectual property waters before being summoned away. It was time for them to DJ.
Today in Milan, a panel of judges including Style.com’s Tim Blanks, Franca Sozzani, Angelica Cheung, Frida Giannini, Colin McDowell, and Alexa Chung selected the winner of the coveted International Woolmark Prize. Competitors included the States’ Joseph Altuzarra (who will be sending us a diary chronicling his experience), the U.K.’s Sibling, Asia’s Ffixxed, Australia’s Christopher Esber, and Rahul Mishra, who represented India and the Middle East. So which talent won the judges’ affections? That would be Mishra. Having shown a lineup focused on embroidery, the designer will take home $100,000 AU in prize money, and his Woolmark collection will be stocked in such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, Harvey Nichols, and Joyce.
The intricacies of Luxup, a recently launched site that combines e-commerce with good old-fashioned store shopping, are not few. The site doesn’t obviate a visit to a bricks and mortar shop, where, paradoxically, you’ll receive merchandise not typically sold at said store. That’s because you’ve already bought it at Luxup’s Web site and downloaded its corresponding “brand pass” in order to collect it. You’ve beaten the obstacles of limited supply (from as little as four pieces to as many as 25 per item) and the clock, both for shopping (items leave the site after a designated time period) and collecting (usually a few weeks; don’t dawdle). What Luxup is essentially selling is a secret password that unlocks the hidden back room of your favorite designer store, whence you walk away with products that are either completely exclusive or available earlier than they would be at retail. After your trials, you’ve reaped reward. Phew.
And yet the reasons to do so are many. Luxup, the brainchild of two former hedge-fund managers, has already amassed a cabal of top talent, from Averyl Oates, formerly Harvey Nichols’ buying director, to run its buy, to Harriet Quick, late of British Vogue, to be its editorial director. The names it stocks are no less impressive. Belstaff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Balenciaga, and Valentino are among the initial offerings. Given that the kind of high roller who shells out for such names is often a traveler as well, Luxup works city by city: Grab an exclusive, cherry red Balenciaga biker jacket in London, or a Deco-style Marni necklace (above) in New York. Naturally, the site is an special draw for the well-heeled business-class woman who’s flying to shop—which may explain why Luxup’s site is currently offered in English and Portuguese, for the plummy Brazilian market. And it’s hard not to notice the Chinese characters lurking after the Luxup logo, and the promise that Hong Kong is the next city to come. But you don’t have to be part of China’s new class of super-spenders to dive in. Once again, then: phew.
Marni’s satin, glass, and stone necklace, $570, is currently available on Luxup.com as a world exclusive for pickup at Marni’s New York Store, 161 Mercer St., NYC.