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February Top 5 Consuelo Castiglioni Interview Womenswear News Menswear News Accessories News My Fashion Week Street Style The Romantics Statement Suiting Sunset Shades Modern Monochrome Stripe Out Hot Metallics Elegant Embellishment The Beauty Buzz Beauty News The Ultimate Next Issue
The trends we see
on the catwalk are born and die on the street. Blogger Susie Lau’s been toting flatforms since she first arrived on our screens, and Scandinavian blog-stars Hanneli Mustaparta and Elin Kling were practically born wearing SS13’s modern minimalist look. So see our how-to guide on getting the looks fashion’s coolest stars wear so well…
Harriet Hawksworth, Editor
The ultimate front row look...
Givenchy Leather Shark Bracelet £310Read More
The Leather Shark Bracelet is like the LBD of the jewellery world. Just as easily worn with ripped cut-offs and a bikini, we guarantee this little beaut will just get better with age as the leather strap softens and the gold details gain some knocks.Shop Now
theConsuelo Castiglioni interviewAs the mastermind behind Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni is famous for building the ultimate thinking woman’s fashion brand. Launched in 1994, the family-run label is renowned for its eclectic and original aesthetic. Harriet Hawksworth caught up with the famously shy Castiglioni as she launches the house’s first ever fragrance exclusively at Harrods.
Mrs Castiglioni, you rarely give interviews and generally avoid being the centre of attention. Why?
I prefer my work to speak for itself. Marni is designed with a special audience in mind, women with a certain sensibility. It’s not about age, or status, but it’s the will to use clothes to express feelings.
Who is the Marni woman?
A self-confident individual who dresses for herself. The Marni woman has a sophisticated approach to style, not necessarily fashion-driven, but based on a strong identity and a personal vision. She is curious and always happy experimenting.
Can you describe your creative process?
The creation of a collection generally starts with the research of a fabric or a material. I am fascinated by the way different textures, colours and prints can define or change a look. Colour, print and architectural shapes are central to my work, they highlight a form or give a new meaning to an item. I work intuitively, using my instinct as a design tool.
Are there any places that you return to for inspiration?
I spend my summers in the Balearic island of Formentera, where we have a house that is my refuge. I love the uncontaminated, dry, sunburnt landscapes. I love the mountains in winter as I am fond of skiing.
Does being a woman designer give you a different perspective?
The approach is more personal. I can try things on, and I actually do, testing items as we go along. As a woman designing for other women, I can tell what works and what doesn’t; I would never put something unwearable in the collection.
“Seduction, for me, is not something that you show off. It comes from within, as an expression of inner strength.”
How has the luxury industry changed since you first launched Marni in 1994?
It has grown on a big, blown-up scale that sometimes makes things less emotional. I have the immense freedom to work in a family-run business, which gives me the possibility to create freely in a supportive and cocoon-like environment.
What’s the best part about working with family?
My husband Gianni is the CEO, my daughter Carolina is the director of Marni.com and Giovanni, my son, works in the retail department. It is very gratifying to work all together. It’s like an open dialogue fuelled on passion and attention, with everyone adding their experience and ideas. This way creativity and business can be as one.
Why the name Marni?
That is a family thing too; it is the nickname of Marina, my husband’s sister.
How will launching a fragrance help evolve the Marni brand?
The launch of the perfume will add another element to the Marni world. This new step is organic to my vision of the brand; it is the olfactory rendition of the playfulness and the unpredictability that characterises our collections. It is at once subtle, individual and bold. A perfume changes slightly from person to person and becomes truly individual. The perfume will make the Marni message truly multi-sensorial and complete the Marni aesthetic.
What is the significance of the bottle shape?
I wanted something that was at once classic and timeless, yet a bit ‘off’. I used red for the small cap as an accent, and added dots as a screen on the bottle, like a signature Marni print. I like how all these elements interact in an object that is at once familiar and new. The name, Bambolina, with its soft shape creates a quirky contrast with the clean, archetypal line of the bottle.
What vision comes to mind when you smell the Marni fragrance?
A world of contrasts, a subtle and unexpected composition of elements. The fragrance has almost a graphic appeal and just like the clothes I design, it is unpredictably feminine. I chose rose, blonde woods and red spices to be the key notes because of the olfactory dialogue they create with one another - a counterpoint of dry peaks and feminine curves.
What is your first memory of scent?
It’s the memory of the scent my mum was wearing as I was growing up in Switzerland. I can’t locate it or name it, it is just a fading idea, but a persistent one.
What is the Marni signature, in perfume and fashion?
I like to call it silent elegance.
From the catwalk to the front row, Fashion Week is here
It's all about the Shoulder
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour shoulder robing*! We admit it, we didn’t coin the term, but we can affirm that this season’s front row wouldn’t be seen dead with their arms in their jackets. Firstly, they haven't got time, and secondly, who needs arms when you have a driver?Shop Just In Jackets
*Wearing your jacket/coat as a cape.
Victoria, Victoria Beckham Lands
Posh, VB, Mrs David Beckham - the lady has many names. Victoria Beckham can also add stockist at harrods.com to her signature now that her ‘younger sister’ line, Victoria, Victoria Beckham has landed. We’re talking graphic tunics and printed minis imbued with a modern 60s vibe. We love the striped jacquard number Anne Hathaway teamed with her pixie crop at the BAFTA Tea Party - posh indeed!
GettyimagesShop Victoria, Victoria Beckham
It's Fashion Month!
The snow almost halted our flight to New York. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and we made it just in time to bring you reviews from the front rows of Tibi, DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs to name but three. London saw the style- set out in force while we went backstage to discover the hair and beauty trends from the likes of Burberry and Paul Smith. Next up, Milan.
catwalking.comSee our coverage
Take your pick from our new season get-up trends
The London Olympics have more than left their mark on the fashion world. However for SS13, sporting style takes a retro turn. Think fresh white hi-tops from Adidas Originals, grey marl sweats from Thom Browne and logo knits from Diesel. Top the lot off with an Armani Jeans backpack and you’ll have the trend nailed without even breaking a sweat.Shop Sports Retro
Brace yourselves. Print is big this season. We’re talking loud, proud, bold-as-you-dare big. Ok, so we don’t expect you to emulate Etro’s head-to-toe motifs. However, one of their signature paisley print shirts isn’t a bad place to start. Paul Smith designs a lovely floral while Alexander McQueen’s skulls will appeal to your masculine side. Just don’t stand too near any patterned wallpaper.Shop Prints
You don’t need to step foot in the desert, or even come into contact with sand to look super Safari cool this season. Khaki works with everything as a smart alternative for denim (you can even wear it in the office). Wear it in the form of minimal bombers and slim line chinos – but whatever you do, don’t wear combats – they died with the 90s.
Backstage images by Jason Lloyd EvansShop Modern Safari
This month, it's all about the bag
In The Frame
Much like the stiletto heel, nothing says, “I have a driver” like a tiny clutch. And the coolest clutch to carry right now is a frame clutch. All hard edges, this little guy looks like a jewellery box (see Lanvin’s version above) - heavier than your average and certainly not for everyday, but a great way to add edge to floaty evening ensembles.Shop Lanvin
Bag yourself a Mulberry
It is officially time to pep-up your accessories closet, and Mulberry is the only way to go this Spring. From summery spearmint greens, to funky metallics and barely-there nudes, Mulberry’s SS13 handbags are to die for. We think the Bayswater in Pistachio Glossy Goat will create the longest waiting list yet (our name's already down).Shop Mulberry
Any designer who can make a chip fork luxe (gild it and turn it into a charm) is OK by us, so we were super-excited when Sophie Hulme’s innovative accessories landed online. From toys to door handles, Hulme takes inspiration from a wide range of everyday objects. We particularly love her ultra-collectable SS13 shoppers with gold hardware.Shop Sophie Hulme
We Love VB
Despite initial reticence, we are total and utter Victoria Beckham converts, and we mean the fashion brand of course. Available in light, refreshing tones such as grey and soft blush, the SS13 line is perfect for Spring.Shop Victoria Beckham
You seem really calm - do you get nervous before a show?
Everyone says we’re the calmest show. I’m really serene until the last moment and then I have been known to get a little stressed, but I do like to keep a lid on things most of the time!
How important is model casting to a collection? Can the right girl make or break the show?
Sometimes I will have really big fights with my Casting Director because he really wants me to use the hottest girls, as in, the girls everyone is using. In reality, sometimes I just don’t feel they fit with the brand. At the moment I am totally in love with Sara Blomqvist (1), she’s opening the AW13 show and to me she embodies the Tibi spirit – she just looks so cool!
What was your first ever show like?
Well, I remember it was super early in the morning – a crazy call time. You learn lessons. I was so eager to make an impression that I think I packed the show with dramatic evening looks. I quickly realised that’s not what the brand is.
What outfits will you be sporting during fashion week?
I like to stick to clean lines in dark colours, and most of all I like to be comfortable! [See Amy’s fashion week outfits (2)]
What can’t you make it through fashion week without?
It sounds like a total cliché but it really is my family, they really keep me grounded. [Halfway through our chat Smilovic’s son runs up to check whether his teacher has arrived to watch the show].
Who do you love to see wearing your clothes?
For me, right now it’s all about the bloggers, I love Elin Kling (3) [Elin styled the Tibi SS12 show (4)] and Hanneli Mustaparta (5); Scandinavians always have such natural, innate style.
What has been your most memorable fashion week moment?
I can honestly say getting snowed in this season was a very memorable moment for me. I live in Greenwich, Connecticut and the snow was so heavy this morning that I literally had to dig my way out. The police were advising people not to travel unless absolutely necessary – so we just dug our way out and drove towards the border. It’s a miracle I’m even here.
What do you do straight after a show?
I go for a big dinner with friends and family. It’s the best way to relax and unwind after all the stress.
And how do you start the process of designing another collection?
My team and I travel to Paris. We go to all the fabric shows and check out materials. We talk a lot about what we’re wearing and what we’re wearing it with. So, like, we’re loving trainers but we don’t want to put trainers in the show so, maybe we’ll have a boot with a rubber sole. We chat like that and we hang out, have a drink; it’s a fun process.
What can we expect from the AW13 show?
This is one of my favourite pieces from the collection, [motions towards a grass green pant suit (6)] it’s woven neoprene. The sports luxe thing is such a good reflection of what the brand’s about. This season, there are loads of detachable transeasonal pieces. I’ve designed the collection so it’s totally wearable as the seasons change.
All street style photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.
Harrods top treatments tested by our resident beauty buff sarah rose edwards
the nail loft
Nails are having a bit of a moment, so where better to launch our first Beauty Buzz than the Nail Loft? Stationed above Urban Retreat on Harrods’ Fifth Floor, this salon has an impressive manicure menu, so we threw ourselves into the trial with some velvet nail art and the Everlasting Manicure, both in Spring/Summer’s hottest colour trend - pink of course!
Fragrance gets a fashionable makeover
Show me the Marni
We love the idea of wearing our favourite label every single day, and now we can. Step forward the new Marni fragrance (exclusive to Harrods), and the unexpected combination of spice, raw woods and rose is the beauty equivalent of the clean lines and masculine undertones we see on the runway. This, along with its well-dressed dotty bottle, makes it the ultimate accessory for SS13, kind of like a Marni clutch, in olfactory form.Shop Marni Fragrance
Look now, look again
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but contrary to Shakespeare’s heroine’s lament "what’s in a name?", sometimes there is something in a name. See by Chloé (available on Monday 25th February) for example. As soon as we heard that the brand was set to launch a fragrance we predicted a cool, modern scent with buckets of Parisian elegance. And we were right; the combination of apple blossom, jasmine and vanilla make this an effortlessly fresh girly perfume. Sorry Juliet.Shop Chloé Beauty
Technically Spring is here, but the Great British weather hasn’t yet caught up with our fashion seasons. SS13 skies have stopped us donning our favourite floral tea dress, but luckily Harrods fragrance counters are abloom with fresh new fragrances. Get your flower power from energising Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin, or if you prefer a lighter, breezy scent Givenchy Dahlia Noir L’eau is just the ticket. For evening try Bottega Veneta Eau Legere, a dark musk and leather blend.Shop Just In Fragrance
For the men
And we haven’t forgotten the men. Whilst he might not be keen to don Versace menswear’s sheer mesh boxers or sequin embellished tunics (SS13 - what a season!), the brands’ new fragrances for men have all the style credentials but are a tad more wearable day-to-day. Choose from oriental Versace Eros or dark and moody Oud Noir (both exclusive to Harrods). Prefer a fresher approach? Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau Male is laced with cooling lavender and mint, fashion-forward yet masculine.Shop Men's Fragrance
The Ultimate Foot Fetish
Is it possible to fall in love with an inanimate object?
We are so excited about these shoes because they make everything in our wardrobes look ‘now’. Alright, don’t hold the front page, it’s not rocket science – we just love the idea of teaming them with some perfect boyfriend denims (preferably ripped) and a tight, jet black body top matched with a killer tailored blazer.
But on the flipside they’d look just as magic with an LBD, or shorts for that matter. What we love most about these shoes is that they look like the kind of pair Erin Brockovich would wear to work – remember readers, “good taste” isn’t always sexy.
Why do some women have 'it'? We find out in the Timeless issue - out on Friday 22nd March