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Ex student of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture school, Benoit Missolin earned his brownie points at Christian Lacroix (gasp!), Thierry Mugler (double gasp!) and Givenchy. His wicked sense of millinery style is tongue-in-cheek, Roxy Music meets Dynasty glamour that has any fashion fan with a penchant for vintage meets statement dressing rolling on her slanted cowboy boot heels and digging out her ‘80s Lacroix jewellery.

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Benoit’s taster for Autumn Winter ‘19 nods in part to Disney but this dame is way too grown up for schmultzy pink princess tat, preferring jewelled bow cocktail hats made from plush felt with glass and steel stones. Sign me up for pink with red stones version.

Benoit Missolin is available from Liberty, London.

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Mugler’s ‘Les Exceptions’ collection offers those with higher disposable incomes a taste of the brand’s disposition for sweetness and light perfumery with greater efficacy and oomph. The distinctive heavy-set, Art Deco inspired square bottles and serious black packaging also looks mighty statement’y pretty. This is haute perfumery, after all.

Though the house’s claim for these fine concoctions is the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘a break with tradition’, I’ve found the few that I’ve tested anything but challenging and very much in-keeping with Mugler’s Angel & Alien dynasties. This is no bad thing for fans of Mugler who know what to expect of the brand but seek an elevated and enlightened form of it. These haute perfumes raise their game within this category but retain trueness to Mugler’s core.

Where the latest release to the fold, Naughty Fruity, is concerned, I’ll get right to the point – it’s the worst name for a compelling comforting perfume that grows more appealing with wear. Anyone outside the ‘Gen Z’ age range may be challenged by the intentionally saucy name which smacks of ‘Carry On’ films and British seaside postcard humour, both of which are alien (get it?) to this generation and their aspirations for celebrity, wealth and a showy lifestyle.

Naughty Fruity is named to capture the crisp fruitiness of the thirst quenching ripeness of Mirabelle plum tinged with liquorice and honey, contrasting with the musky smooth blonde tobacco leaf accord and woody vetiver. This Jean-Christophe Herault created perfume is a great deal more sophisticated than it’s name suggests with it’s first burst of squishy sun-soaked fruit redolent of Summer in the Mediterranean which opens to a layer of sweet honeyed joy with the slow burning back-blast of a fine foreign tobacco and earthy woodiness. This is less Naughty Fruity and more Summer Hedonism.

Les Exceptions Naughty Fruity Eau de Parfum (80ml) is priced £149 and is available exclusively at Mugler.com and in store and online at Harrods and Fenwick, Newcastle.

Review written from a sample provided by the brand’s PR.

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Cody Wyant is an unusual and striking character. With his unmistakable Savile Row meets world luxury gentleman’s attire and his red, shortly trimmed beard, his bulk swathed in cashmere or paisley, throw in his Mid-West American twang and distinct gait and you have a character drawn from a hybrid of Truman Capote meets E.F Benson’s Mapp & Lucia. Something tells me he’ll either love or hate this description — but I’m sure as dollars to doughnuts that I’ll receive a Cody humouresque missive via What’s App.

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Wyant came up with the idea of offering his own brand of unique carpet shoes as so many people commented on the various carpet-come-slippers-about-town he had made-to-order and wore with swagger on his jaunts around London and Edinburgh. ‘Women are always the first to comment on them. Men just tend to look but are often too embarrassed to ask another gentleman about style,‘ says Wyant, ‘I guess, it doesn’t help that I’m often being dragged by two King Charles cavaliers!’.

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The endearing company name followed after a brainstorm with a friend when it was obvious from the start that it is always the dogs who are stars of the show, even when in his unique company. Obsessed with Scottish history, antiques and fine art, Wyant’s doctorate study influenced his taste in style and late Georgian interiors. ‘My taste is less landed gentry and more stranded gentry,’ he jests, ‘it lacks strict formality and is more representative of a bohemian hodgepodge of things or objects I’m drawn to – ones with history, substance and character.’ WallyDugCo is intended to show a lifestyle and a choice for well-made, unique pieces that are cannot be easily be replicated, that the wearer can add to his wardrobe and taper to his own style.

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As the shoes are cut and handcrafted from antique Turkish carpets, each pair is truly distinctive and one-off offering sustainability and luxury. To add to their uniqueness, each WallyDugCo shoe style is named after Edinburgh New Town streets which were originally constructed by illustrious Enlightenment architects. There’s also a few named after his and friend’s King Charles cavaliers.

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The fact that there is a trend for sustainability and re-usable pieces that are beautiful and distinctive isn’t lost on Wyant who is canny enough to plan adding to the line with satchels. Beautiful, colourful, fine-wool socks will join the WallyDugCo line in next season. British menswear has another inspired, luxury accessories line to look up to.

WallyDugCo.com sizes range from European 41-46, priced at £185 per pair.

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Despite the array of high street fashion stores and mid-range designer labels, there’s so few that fit the lifestyle and expectations of a 40-50 year old woman with a career. Too faddy, too young, too samey…so it’s brilliant when a new name creeps up that offers beautiful, vintage inspired, quality pieces that are inter-seasonal as well as divinely pretty.

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RIXO London was formed by ex London College of Fashion alumni & best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, who share a passion for vintage and bohemian beautiful prints. The design team re-work a 1970s British vintage feel with a refined, contemporary edge. The collections comprise high-quality fabrics and original hand-painted prints perfectly in-keeping with Liberty London’s heritage brand aesthetic and it’s quirky original take on contemporary designs. The latest capsule range sees Rixo reach for the moon and stars with their celestial inspired collection.

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Liberty London womenswear buyer, Alexandra Gordon says, “Rixo is the perfect fit for Liberty. It has this vintage-inspired and 70s British vibe to the collection while still remaining contemporary. The cuts are also very flattering and appealing to a wide range of customers’.

Rixo London pop-up is available in Libery London in its womenswear space on 2 and online.

 

 

 

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I first came upon Goldhart Scotland luxury candles at a Scotland Re: Designed event held in Glasgow at the end of last year. Apart form the plethora of new young designer names showing their collections, there was a lone luxury candle stall which stood out, as much for the product in this setting but also because it was effortlessly and professionally presented which clearly spelled superior product.

This was a well thought through new business venture with five distinct and appealing scents presented as differently sized candles and accompanying on-brand  product information, imagery, professional glass bell cloches for user experience, candle apparatus (candle snuffers and wick cutters all emblazoned with Goldhart) and with a easy to navigate professional website to boot.

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That’s why it surprises me that by April 2018 I haven’t seen this brand escalate in the manner that it should have. It’s certainly not down to the energy and vision of owner, Lorraine McKenna, a woman who previously worked as a head buyer for designer stores group, Cruise, and who oozes luxury and taste. Says Lorraine, “ It’s been tough-going getting the name out there. I really believe in the product I’ve produced and fought hard to achieve global standards required of a luxury brand.” Saying that, Lorraine has taken the product to New York and it’s also gone down a storm while on a recent business trip to Dubai (where the best-selling fragrance was the lush, antique rose hedonism of Wild Rose).

Following a career break to have a family and bring up her two boys, McKenna had a real urge to get back into retail and devised the Gold Hart concept in 2014.  She realized that Scotland had a global p

Brambleresence and there was an appetite for Scottish made, design-led, branded goods outwith the tartan and whisky industries synonymous with the country.

GoldHart Scotland has five Scottish landscape inspired fragrances:- Glen is a rich, rounded walk in the highlands with a an initial fresh bite of bergamot that grows to a warm country castle clove, nutmeg and amber heart and vetiver, tonka, cedar and sandalwood base. It’s redolent of coming in from a walk in the outdoors to a huge roaring fire and the welcome of a country estate. Bramble is a much sweeter affair with a ravenous berry bite and a warm gourmand fig trail while Shore is a salty, beach comb walk with sea mist drenching the skin. Wild rose is a beauteous and hedonistic over-indulgent spray of antique roses with a verdant kick while Amber (my personal favourite) is a late Summer balmy woodland of cedar and vetiver with a earthy patchouli, musk and vanilla note added for sweetness and sexiness.

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GoldHart Scotland is one of those rare little gems that pop up and all too often disappear for lack of traction, which, in this case, would be a crying shame. It seems a no-brainer for the likes of Liberty, Fenwick, Space NK, Harvey Nichols or Fortnum and Mason to pick on a new, niche, British brand that is marketed and presented so well and with keen retail price points. (Travel size £15, Classic £35 & 3-wick £55). Over to you, then, keen-eyed buyers.

GoldHart Scotland is available online.

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JML English Fields Campaign Image 1

Jo Malone London has become known, amongst beauty editors and consumers alike for it’s regularly themed Limited Edition ranges which, as well as introducing new fragrance mixes to the main collection (for a limited time) in a solid seasonal theme, offer us some beautifully themed imagery that makes the perfumes come alive with feeling. It’s a clever ruse of the brand. There’s regularly something new and exciting to market combined with a ‘test the waters’ factor. If a certain perfume mix sells well and has a hit reaction, it can be re-introduced in a similar form at a later date.

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This March sees Jo Malone London’s English Fields collection come alive in a harvest of five fragrances.  Presented in beautifully matte, pastel-tonal bottles, the new releases attempt to encapsulate the dry, fresh heat of an English Summer. Wheat fields (without a skipping Theresa May, thankfully), blue skies, , dappled sunshine, straw boater hats, hope and vitality abound in this collection that contains concoctions such as Poppy & Barley, Primrose and Rye, Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet. Created by perfumer, Mathilde Bijaoui, she says, “To have cereals and grains as the main focus is a first for me.” It’s a novel approach, for sure.

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Primrose and Rye is an uplifting little beauty of a fragrance that dances around the wrist in joy.Warm, sunny bunches of primroses have dry hints of golden ears of corn. There’s a deeply soft warmth of vanilla and rye present with sweet. honey-toned, powdery facets of mimosa opening up to reveal its beauty. This acts like a burst of mid-day sunlight through an open window. It warms the soul while being light-hearted and just a bit giddy and girly. This is what every budding Glastonbury pop princess should wear rather than fake floral wreaths in their hair.

Poppy & Barley  is a much lighter, sharper mix that’s immediately fruity on application (blackcurrant) before opening up to a earthy tones of poppy, barley and bran. The fruity floral is tempered with soft, powdered musky loveliness that adds sophistication and stops this from being too runaway youthful.

These two offers have enticed me to drop by my local Jo Malone London store to sample the Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet offers. Oat & Cornflower, with its warm oats, blue cornflowers and elegant vetiver base sounds particularly appealing.

There’s depth to these releases. And imagination. The boldness to go in a whole new direction using barley, oats and rye is inspiring and brings a whole new angle to Jo Malone London’s many existing facets.

The Jo Malone London English Fields Limited Edition Collection is available from March 2018 at jomalone.co.uk and in Jo Malone London boutiques nationwide. Priced at £47 for 30ml.

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It was an idea that was forged while Mark McCall (better known to his Instagram followers as @man_branded) was zipping around the UK in his main role as Head of Regional VM for a well-known high street fashion brand. “I’d love to do my own line of classic unisex tees that can go from Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter and are ‘seasonless’…it’s the message that counts.”  A huge fan of classic brands such as Cos, Comme des Garcons, APC, Acne and Kooples, McCall wanted the tees to be worn by distinct, stylish individuals who incorporate them into their own style with flair whether minimalist or, like yours truly, with more than a dash of urban Boho maximalism, pairing them with a vintage kimono and satin boots and jeans. To this extent, bloggers and instagram individuals* (rather than the dreaded ‘influencer’ term) have been gifted with tees to show their range and depth.

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McCall is a distinctive character in the Glasgow scene, popping up at every hip event that’s worthy of attending. People are drawn to this multi-tattooed force-of-nature like moths to a flame. His toned-down, hipster-cool style belying his gregarious enthusiasm, wit and humour – personality counts. And that’s key to the brand. Bring the personality & style and we’ll bring the heart-on-your-sleeve tee.

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Skip to January 2018 and BRANDED_Apparel was born. Mark McCall came up with the idea, wrote a strategic vision, teamed up with a good friend (Sarah Gingell)  to make the vision come true and boom!, the brand was launched. McCall & Gingell’s main aims were great quality and fit, foremost over cost. They wanted to create a line that wasn’t fast-fashion. The intention is to add to slogans and styles each season, with a natural drop-out of those that grow tired.

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Sourced in and around Glasgow (so they could keep their eye on the product detail and be on top of the game), McCall & Gingell came up with a range of t-shirts in two colourways (black and white) with five sayings. The poignant sayings are meant to touch the heart, hinting at past romance, new hopes and love – they’re a glimpse to the wearer’s hidden secrets, as well as just great-quality tees. “Our philosophy is a simple one,” they say. “To produce good quality products, always on trend and always fairly priced. We pride ourselves on being an ethical company. No sweatshops, no dodgy suppliers and no shortcuts.”

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Says McCall, ‘”I know that Sarah and I have come up with some heartfelt sayings but we don’t want to be down-in-the-mouth. He laughs, “We’re not angsty Millennials!  But young adults sometimes make mistakes as we go along in life, and learn to grow from these. Life’s to be enjoyed. We are party people, honest!”

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BRANDED_Apparel’s slogans range from ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Everything’ to ‘Crazy ‘bout you’ and ‘Nothing Will Ever Be The Same.’

BRANDED-Apparel tees are available online priced at £28 for short-sleeve and £30 for long-sleeve, available in small, medium and large.

*Bloggers’ instagram pics used by kind permission of @honeypopkisses and @lucyflorals

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Versace has long been a byword for glitzy, bold, baroque, fringed and studded glamour.

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It seems fitting that following the Spring’18 show at Milan’s Triennale museum as a tribute to her deceased brother Gianni’s iconic inspirations and creations (shown above), that Donatella should mark a Spring’18 perfume launch that’s equally as retro derivative with a modernist slant.

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Dylan Blue pour femme is a blue swathed, glamorous epitaph to rock the imaginations and the sway the souls of Versace’s Millennial bootcamp who know how to walk the look and make an entrance. This is a perfume for confident twenty and thirty somethings, who step out in upmarket nightclubs in a swish of Instagram, insta-fame celebrity wantonness.

The packaging is quite something in itself. Taking the backbone deep dark denim hue that Versace (Gianni in particular) used in many of his legendary collections, gold Medusa heads are embellished on the lid and curvaceous blue and gold bottle housing the perfume.

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There’s a big burst of youthful blackcurrant on first spray with a sweetly old-fashioned note of forget-me-not. The scent and the mood is quick to open up to a floral burst of Eglantine rose, jasmine and a watery cold ice peach note. It’s Dylan Blue’s die-down that is most effective with its white-tinged, woody and musky base of patchouli and styrax. Perfumer, Calice Becker worked closely with Ms Donatella Versace who says of the new work, “Dylan Blue pour femme is my tribute to femininity. So I created a strong, sensuous yet refined fragrance for a woman who knows her own power.”

The advertising campaign is (topically) shot by photographer, Bruce Weber. But that’s a whole other story…..

Versace pour femme Dylan Blue is available exclusively at Harrods from 15th January 2018 and is available nationwide from 26th February 2018. Dylan Blue pour femme is available in 30ml (£52). 50ml (£74) and 100ml (£99) bottles.

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Matthew Miller is probably the most exciting menswear designer working in London today, so it seems appropriate for his Autumn/Winter 2018 event to unofficially open this season’s London Fashion Week Men’s.

Always a step ahead of the pack, Miller eschewed the traditional catwalk show to present his latest collection as part of a three-hander music gig, featuring performers cast from digital platforms YouTube and Spotify.

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Like Calvin Klein creative director Raf Simons, Miller has always been fascinated by youth subcultures but, unlike Simons, the designer has always focused on the now, rather than youth and artistic movements of the past, by the creative energy fuelled by the rage against the corporate machine, and the sense of despair and nihilism felt by younger generations who are inheriting a world in which their place is repay the financial, environmental and political debts accrued by their parents and grandparents.

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Miller’s work has always been politically-charged but, this season, there is a palpable sense of anger. These are uniforms for urban warfare, with militaristic overtones, not just in palette but also in the utilitarian details. Silhouettes are sharper, cut close to the body. These are stealth clothes, their quiet precision deafening.

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Oversized scarves featuring the word ‘CONSENT’ drive the message home – we didn’t ask for this, how could you neglect this situation, is this the legacy we deserve? Tempers are rising, and this rightfully feels like Matthew Miller’s time.

Written by Lee Clatworthy exclusively for katiechutzpah.com

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Jonathan Anderson has grown up in the fashion industry’s eye, from wunderkind to seasoned veteran in just a decade. Possibly one of the most avant-garde designers working in London today, Anderson sees his men’s and women’s clothes as interchangeable, which usually means some challenging menswear looks, including co-ordinating strapless tops and frilled shorts, and jumpsuits with awkward 1980’s proportions, seemingly fashioned out of old bedspreads. This is probably why, along with many other brands, Anderson has chosen to swerve this season’s menswear showcase and merge his men’s and women’s catwalk shows in February.

Much has been made of Anderson’s working practices, pulling together collections via mood boards, possibly containing old Bernard Willhelm catwalk shows, Lulu’s home shopping collections, and swatches from Hobbycraft. The synthesis of these disparate ideas is usually a fully-formed separate entity in itself, rather than just being an assortment of other people’s ideas (although I shouldn’t knock that, Victoria Beckham’s made a lot of money out of it).

Anderson’s label has garnered a lot of attention over the last decade, and in 2013 received an investment from LVMH in exchange for the designer’s revisioning of Loewe, a storied Spanish leather house in dire need of currency. Loewe’s turnaround has been nothing short of phenomenal, with Anderson winning the Accessories Designer of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards, but how does Anderson manage the upward trajectory of his own business? How does a label which is, essentially, quite a leftfield proposition, grow into a household name?

In the mid-1990’s, Gucci Group (as it was then known) gave its new acquisitions Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney an ultimatum – they basically had to start turning a profit. This led to McQueen’s collaborations with Puma and Samsonite, and Stella McCartney’s ongoing partnership with Adidas, and the launch of her first perfume. These collaborations allowed the designers greater exposure, and another revenue stream, whilst essentially capturing the ethos of the brand. For instance, McQueen’s luggage featured moulded ribcages and animal skin. Anderson is no stranger to collaboration, having worked with Steven Meisel and Larry Clark in the past, but this season sees an unprecedented amount of gateway Anderson product, from his second collection for Japanese high street chain Uniqlo, and some sparkly trainers and logoed Chuck Taylors for Converse.

Another rewarding association has been Anderson’s hook-up with iD photographer Alasdair McLellan as part of his Workshops project; McLellan’s nude portraits of striking young bucks and cloudscapes printed up on T-shirts, mugs, posters, keyrings, and most probably a cock-a-day desk calendar. Strikingly reminiscent of the late 1980’s range of Body Rap t-shirts photographed by Johnny Rozsa, these are all strictly limited, affordable and accessible. And who doesn’t love a bit of gratuitous nudity? Launched during London Fashion Week Men’s, everything is selling out fast, so get down to Anderson’s Shoreditch store or visit online, ASAP.

Written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) exclusively for katiechutzpah.com

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