Selfridges, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, launches David Bowie is all, in its Concept Store in Oxford Street.
As the V&A stages the biggest-ever retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie - David Bowie is all yours at Selfridges offers the opportunity for Bowie fans and cool hunters to indulge in a shopping experience that is all about bringing the essence of Bowie's style to life. From dressing like him to being made up in one of his legendary make-up personas, Selfridges' new temporary shop in the Concept Store is a unique one-stop destination for a vibrant Bowie makeover.
The V&A is contributing bespoke David Bowie product only otherwise available at the museum, to the Selfridges temporary shop. All V&A products were inspired by the exhibition and the artist's exceptional career. T-shirts, limited-edition prints and collector's items expose Bowie's creative process and his widespread impact.
One of the highlights of David Bowie is all yours is the outstanding contribution from Decades, the cult vintage fashion emporium on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Widely considered as the world's ultimate destination for impeccable vintage fashion pieces dating from 1920s onwards, Decades has curated a special capsule collection for Selfridges' Bowie tribute drawing inspiration from the exhibition.
The collection by Decades looks to the various incarnations of Bowie with a focus on the late 1960's and 1970's. The collection is very colourful, featuring sequinned numbers from Pierre Cardin and pieces by Lanvin from the same era. Paco Rabanne is also part of the selection as are vintage Celine, Alaia, Kaisik Wong and Kansai Yamamoto.
No longer simply 'underwear', Selfridges unveils its new giant 'Bodywear' department. Basically meaning underwear, swimwear and every onesie inbetween, Selfridges says their vision is 'to offer a totally unique Bodywear destination defined chiefly by its breadth of offer, showcasing brands from entry-level price points to international designer labels'.
Left - Follow the label! - Exclusive underwear brand Under
Inclusive of underwear, swimwear, sleepwear and socks, the concept compliments the store's fashion collections - typified by their democratic offer - and ranges from pairs of socks from Happy Socks at £8 to £915 silk dressing gowns from Derek Rose.
With the department expanding by twenty per cent to 8,500 square feet on the store's first floor, the new concept sees Selfridges' capacity and investment into the category increase by over thirty per cent.
A dedicated space for pop-up initiatives, exclusive collaborations and the most exciting new brands ensures a year-round programme of retail innovation. Anita Barr, Director of Menswear at Selfridges, says "At the core of our strategy is an intent to take real ownership of specific categories - and to create spaces and experiences with real authority. In the new Bodywear concept, we're working with some of the most recognisable fashion brands in the world - which is an integral part of the Selfridges experience - but have worked hard to source some of the most exciting new labels to counteract that core offer with something more unexpected."
The focal point of the underwear space is a 28m curved wall which, holding over 9,000 units across the biggest premium luxury brands, is the longest underwear wall in Europe - with sales projections of 335 pairs to be sold every day. New brands to store for launch are contemporary brand Under (UK exclusive), Versace (department store exclusive), Dior, Scheisser, MEN and Max Holliday.
Right - Ready to rumble? Versace
New swimwear brands for SS13 include Dior, Franks, Sundek and Versace. With 350 swimwear options available at any one time and prices range from £30 (Aussiebum) to £375 (Vilebrequin).
Selfridges' nightwear offer is housed together in one easy-to-shop location for the first time. Prices range from £40 (Hugo Boss) to £915 (Derek Rose) across 250 options available at any one time. Over 550 options of socks are available too.
TheChicGeek says "This is another example of how big the men's bodywear market has become. Underwear and swimwear has become a major category in men's fashion and even if nobody sees it, guys know that nice underwear makes them feel good. The choice and options just keep growing and while men continue to become more body conscious, the rise and expansion of the bodywear market is mirroring this."
We thought we’d have a catch-up with British accessory designer, Bill Amberg, to see what he’s been up to and what exciting things he has in the pipeline.
We’ve been fans of Bill’s since our Wallpaper* reading days in the mid 90's. His honest and handsome pieces have always let the signature bridle leather speak for itself, in shapes that have become design classics.
Left – Bill in his Shepherd Market shop, Mayfair
For the past decade, Bill had become better known for his interior commissions, making suede walls for luxury residences from Highgate to Hong Kong. He made the leather floor for the men’s shoe room at Selfridges.
A few years ago, he split his business into two, one for the interior side – Bill Amberg Studio - and the other for accessories.
He now feels it’s time to push the accessories side again. His main markets are Japan and Korea, but he’s re-entering the American market this year. The online retailer, Mr Porter, has become his biggest stockist and this is because Bill’s designs are priced realistically. If they carried a different 'designer' name, they would be 2, 3 or even 4 times the price.
Right - The classic ‘Rocket’ in cordovan leather - £1800 – Majorly lusting after this one. There's even one in the V&A Museum
He makes all the prototypes of his new designs in his studio in London and is forever working on new collections and ideas. He likes to “kill” lines even if they are selling well.
The final manufacturing of the bags and leather goods are then split 50/50 between the UK and Spain. There are certain shapes that the UK can no longer do and he says “they have a certain touch and feel and skills in Spain” that he requires for his more difficult designs like his classic doctor's shape the 'Rocket' (pictured).
Bill originally worked on an oil rig, "travelled a bit" and then did an apprenticeship in leather goods in Australia. Now 52, he started his business in 1984 because “bags seemed the most simplistic way of making money with my skills”.
He was picked up by Paul Smith and made bags, under both their names, for 10 years. He says he feels “much more confident” now on the accessories side of the business and always designs for himself. I ask him how he would feel if he got a call from Marks & Spencer, would he be interested? “I would love to do a line for M&S” he says.
His current collaborations include a bag for Mr Hare for SS14 and the Japanese technical label Nanamica. I ask him whether he would like to do any clothing? “I’d definitely like to do coats; a couple of shearlings and a couple of leather jackets,” he says. He says he’d also like to see where these collaborations lead in terms of shoes.
Left - The new 'Raleigh' bag from Bill's new AW 13 collection - £385. The designer of this bag went on to work for Phoebe Philo at Celine. Spot the difference!
His current store is in the quiet and villagey environs of Shepherd Market, just off the main drag of Piccadilly. He did open in the blinging Westfield White City shopping centre, when it first opened, which he calls a ‘disaster’. His simple and subtle accessories didn’t speak to the great unwashed, looking for their next fix from Louis Vuitton or Tiffany.
He says he will be doing something, hopefully, for the forthcoming London Collections:Men in June.
TheChicGeek says "Bill Amberg isn't heavily branded, which allows the shapes and quality leather to speak for themselves. He appeals to people who like design and would rather buy into quality form and function than shiny status symbol trophies."
Bill Amberg, 9 Shepherd Market, W1
More images below
Reece Crisp, Designerwear Buyer for Selfridges
“The camo trend’s going nowhere, and my favourite interpretation of it was at Dries – the use of panelling to break up the prints, as seen in this jacket, was a clever take on the look. There’s a nice sense of heritage prints versus structured shapes throughout the collection.”
Dries Van Noten - Camouflage Lined Jacket - £765
“The use of print and texture in this coat is incredible. Givenchy’s prints keep getting better and better I’m sure the religious iconography tees are going to be a huge commercial hit.”
Givenchy - Printed Coat - £2325
“I was lucky enough to catch up with Jil in the showroom when making our edit and it’s safe to say she’s really back this season. It’s a hugely bold collection but retains wearability – there’s a sense of good, honest basics. This tee is one my real must-buys for SS13, it’s all about layering over longer sleeves as per Jil’s catwalk styling.”
Jil Sander - Graphic T-Shirt - £350
“The shirt from this look sums up the amazing work this designer’s doing with colour, and a brilliant sense of fun and playfulness in design. We need more of that in menswear! We’re really excited to be introducing Jonathan to our designerwear offer for Spring.”
Jonathan Saunders - Shirt - £190
“It feels like Kenzo is everyone’s favourite label right now and it’s with good reason. Great placement, inspired use of animal prints, love the sports references – it’s a hugely relevant, vibrant label.”
Kenzo - Tiger Sweater - £270
A film-maker, photographer, publicist and stylist, Marcelo Burlon is a creative force in the fashion and arts industries having collaborated on projects with Givenchy, Prada, Jil Sander and Alexander McQueen.
His latest venture is a line of graphic men’s T-shirts. Multicultural references including Argentinean bird feathers, Patagonian crosses and esoteric symbols feature in the Marcelo Burlon: County of Milan collection. Graphic designer Giorgio di Salvo has collaborated with Marcelo to bring his vision of reinvention and revolution to life in the prints, which are placed on bold black and white backgrounds. Marcelo’s background as a DJ and event organiser influences visual nods to rave culture which wouldn’t look out of place on album covers.
Reece Crisp, Menswear Buyer at Selfridges, comments, “Marcelo’s hugely impressive career – across a staggering number of fields – means he’s really well known to those in the fashion industry, and it’s exciting to be able to offer a platform to showcase his work to a wider audience. From a commercial perspective we’re expecting the collection to be a big hit – it’s incredibly wearable.”
One for the dot.com millionaires. Hermès has launched a video installation by artist Miguel Chevalier to highlight its new '8 Ties' collection.
Situated in Selfridges menswear department, the computer symbols such as the USB symbol, the On/Off symbol and the cable jacket, all taken from the ties, are projected on to an eight metre long wall. Inspired by the artist's 'Binary Wave' artwork, visitors' movements activate music composed by Jacopo Baboni Schilingi and animate patterns of 'USB', 'Key Board' or 'Binary' tie designs on the wall.
The 8 designs of Hermès ties are sold on walls either side of the artwork.
Until December 2nd 2012
Images of the ties below
You just know this is going to be good. After seeing the women's Shoe Galleries, which is like a hotel that sells shoes, it's finally our turn. Selfridges have opened the largest men's shoe department in the world. Over 10,000 square feet and featuring over 250 brands, it has 72,000 pairs of shoes in stock and 3,200 styles available at any one time. There are over 80 new brands this season and 120 exclusive styles.
David Walker-Smith, Selfridges’ Director of Menswear, says “The new space is one of the cornerstones of our Menswear Masterplan – the ongoing development of men’s fashion at Selfridges. Our chief consideration when curating the space has been the idea of shopping by category. This is something we've observed our male clients doing more and more, so it feels like a natural progression to build the department around accomodating that shopping pattern. Our aim is to truly amaze our customers, and take ownership of core categories within our business by offering the very best international brands within bespoke retail environments.”
Kurt Geiger will oversee the department’s edit of casual and luxury shoes, and sneaker giant Offspring will select the trainers. From customised sneakers to bespoke Prada brogues, the diversity and breadth of the range will be unlike any other department store. Prices will range from £25 for Havaianas flip-flops to over £10,000 for made-to-order Tom Ford boots.
New brands to Selfridges include Kenzo, McQ, Visvim, Junya Watanabe, Opening Ceremony, Yuketen, Oliver Spencer, Damir Doma, Ann Demeuleemester, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Barbour.
Designed by Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen, the space is heavily inspired by the concept of residential interiors. Wooden parquet floors, dramatic oak panels, natural stone cladding and treated walls in a warm bone shade will form the visual framework of the department, whilst each individual area has its own unique handwriting. Unique design details such as a stunning leather carpet in the central space contribute to an entirely unique retail environment. Five of the store’s windows are being opened up, filling the space with light.
The department features two new salons: one dedicated entirely to driving shoes, and a new suite to house a unique luxury service for made-to-order footwear. Currently Selfridges' best performing men's shoe category, driving shoes are housed in a dedicated space, the interior of which is inspired by the bodywork of vintage Ferraris and features chrome detailing, leather seating and circular fixtures throughout to echo wheels. Brands available in the salon include Tod’s, Gucci, Carshoe, Bottega Veneta and Prada. A unique made-to-order salon allows shoppers to create their own bespoke styles including selecting the leather and skin, the colour, the sole type and the stitching. The service is available across brands including: Church’s, Tods, Tom Ford, Ferragamo, Grenson, Kurt Geiger London, Stemar and Prada. The interior design concept looks to oriental living rooms for inspiration and uses low, relaxed seating layouts and partial screening to create intimacy for private clients.
Ever the ones to try something new, Selfridges have enlisted fashion photographer Bruce Weber to capture the store in all its glory in the run-up to Christmas.
Featuring various characters in the London store's Beauty Department, Weber adds his usual dose of timeless sexuality. (More images below)
You can see the campaign come to life with a special film in a Pop-Up cinema, which allows four to eight visitors at one time, that will travel to Selfridges stores across the UK.
You can get your own piece of Bruce Weber's magic by purchasing a T-shirt from Selfridges to support Kids Company, an organisation that works with vulnerable children and young people. It features an exclusive Christmas tree design hand drawn by Bruce Weber bearing the slogan ‘Give something to somebody that has never had a Christmas’.
Available from the Concept Store, 100% of profits will go to the charity. Kids Company operates through two street level centres, as well as conducting therapeutic and social work services in over 40 schools.
T-Shirt - £20
After much shuffling around, Selfridges London unveils the ultimate designer menswear destination with a new concept featuring thirteen international labels and a re-imagined space designed by Alex Cochrane.
Located on the London store's first floor entirely dedicated to men - the 300 square-metre space is a new high-fashion destination which has been in planning for over 10 months.
Alex Cochrane says "From the start we challenged the conventional approaches towards retail design, luxury and display. Our vision for the new Selfridges designer menswear space was to opt against familiarity preferring to invent a series of display elements that would tick the right boxes in terms of their functionality and purpose. We developed these elements to be dynamic in their form, execution and materiality so as to welcome and inspire the visitor. In essence, our approach was sculpture park meets retail."
The space features international labels such as Lanvin, Dries van Noten, Gareth Pugh and Givenchy by Ricardo Tisci.
British underwear brand Bonsoir brings its Somerset made underwear and pyjamas to London's Selfridges with a 10 day pop-up. Established in 1926, the company sells a wide selection of items including dressing gowns, pyjamas, nightshirts, slippers, boxers, pyjama trousers and other gifts and accessories. All the nightwear is made from the highest quality cottons, cashmere and wool available.
Bonsoir offers a monogramming service for select items that are made bespoke in their Somerset factory, including silk and two-fold cotton and cashmere & lambswool dressing gowns. Committed to British manufacturing, they source their suede & lambswool slippers from Glastonbury, wool woven in Yorkshire, sumptuous cashmere from the Scottish Borders and soft wool blankets from Ireland. The elegant silk and retro boxer short designs are printed specially for Bonsoir in a little mill at the edge of the Peak District.
Did you know? French President Charles De Gaulle used to wear Bonsoir pyjamas.
7th - 17th June 2012
Above - Boxer Shorts - £22