4 posts tagged "Royal Baby"
“Retail kismet” was how creative director Simon Kneen described the timing of the Banana Republic Issa London Collection, which debuted yesterday with an event at the retailer’s Soho flagship. The launch comes just two weeks after the world’s royal fever was reignited with the birth of Prince George. Kate Middleton put Issa on the map in 2010, when she announced her engagement to Prince William while wearing a teal wrap dress by the London label. Her frock, of course, sold out straight away. A similar style is featured in the collaborative capsule, and Kneen was happy to report that the BR version, too, sold out almost immediately. (Compared to Kate’s original, which went for over $500, the BR version will only set customers back $130.) That look wasn’t the only highlight in the new lineup, which included a range of easy day dresses in playful prints and bright colors, as well as statement-making costume jewelry, envelope clutches, and T-strap sandals. “The thing that drew us to Issa is its iconic silhouette, which works so beautifully on so many different body types. It’s clingy in all the right places and soft where you want it to be,” said Kneen, who pointed out other favorites, like an intarsia-knit shift and a kimono-sleeve number with an allover pop-art zebra pattern. “I call it ‘human camouflage,’” he said. The red telephone box and classically clad Beefeaters stationed outside of the store got shoppers in the U.K. spirit.
Gieves & Hawkes—the centuries-old British tailor that holds three royal warrants and owns a prestigious “corner office” at No. 1 Savile Row—is getting a facelift. In January, the brand hired Boston-born Jason Basmajian to take the creative helm. Basmajian’s new role will require him to carry on the tradition of dressing Prince Charles and his kin (baby George can’t be too far away from his first suit, can he?), as well as military, political, and regal grandees, which, over the years, have included Winston Churchill, J.P. Morgan, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. Basmajian’s mission? To dust off the formidable patina of the brand and turn it into gold dust—English-style. Here, Basmajian talks to Style.com about preserving Gieves & Hawkes’ storied past (so storied, in fact, that the brand employs a full-time archivist to this day), while pushing it into the twenty-first century.
You are American-born and developed your design chops in New York, Paris, and Milan with Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Brioni, and so on. What can you bring to such a traditional British brand?
Funnily enough, that is why I think I was chosen—because I brought an international style perspective to the table. Gieves & Hawkes comes out of a military/equestrian background, which is the anchor of Savile Row. But we also have a loyal clientele in Asia and America where that military and formal tradition isn’t as richly stepped. It weighs heavily on a brand, how to carry that tradition through, but I think my role is to celebrate the brand and move it forward to what today’s man wants, which is a lot of personality and not just body cover. Continue Reading “A New History: Jason Basmajian Talks Gieves & Hawkes” »