I shopping and style
Global branding of everything we eat, drink, dream and wear is nothing new, but is it time to reinstate our individuality? Words: Pablo Dale
‘I'd rather be a free man in my grave than living as a puppet or a slave.‘ Jimmy Cliff. fashion god and reggae singer.
High street fashion is in a trough. a dirty dull one. Walk through any European city and be amazed by what couture stagnation there is. Witness the holy shrine of Chino in gay Paris. the temple of the straight-legged jean in Hamburg and marvel at the shroud of the pastel-coloured round-neck T-shirt (in every conceivable shade) in . . . well. Turin. What has happened to the cut. the jib or the ostentation‘?
In a country that has managed to almost destroy every single one of its service industries through corporate greed and cheap clothes warehouse franchising. is it not time to take stock of the suuauon?
The stores at the heart of this grey fashion malaise introduced a range of awesomely dull ‘American Classics‘ to these shores in the 80s. Since then. these companies have gone from yawn to yawn. bestriding that fashion colossus. ‘safe’ streetwear. One of them specialises in big colourful musical advertisements that say absolutely nothing for the simple reason there is nothing to say except maybe. ‘60 on look as boring
l” ‘ul 4,” e‘ 2“
indulge your deepest fashion fantasies
as the next person.‘ or. ‘You too can look like a poor imitation of the early-60s American preppie but without the style.‘
Are you there yet? Good. Well. these emporiums to the clinically unimaginative have got a foothold in just about every country in the world. Fair enough. that's business. but what an effect they have had. It's like forest clearances; they have culled everything in their way. We have somehow managed to talk ourselves into a desperate uniformity worthy of Orwell's 1984.
Is it too late? No. Go to your wardrobe now and throw away all those shapeless things. If you can afford it. get yourself to a dressmaker or a bespoke tailor and indulge your deepest fashion fantasies. If you can‘t afford that. visit vintage clothing shops and see how beautifully things used to be made. Pick a look. an era. look at magazines. appropriate what makes you feel good and different. Bin anything with a sports logo. don’t be a mug. Ride through the inevitable ned abuse. You are wonderful. you are glorious. you are you and you are on this pastel-hued planet for a very short time. Enjoy your clothes for we are all but silk worms in the wind.
CULT BEAUTY Space NK Apothecary
Nicky Kinnaird, the woman who puts the 'NK’ into Space NK, must have one of the best-stocked bathroom cabinets in the world. As founder of the cult beauty boutique, she sources leading products from around the world. ’The only criteria that has to be met,’ she
says, 'is that the products are the best , ‘“”“’°"" '9 -' - \1 i u of their kind and unlike anywhere else, ~ rum} , . we stock products that have limited or 1 -- ‘I - t \a l W ‘. y u \‘f i. no availability in the ur<r 43.1 “if a «5::- \
As exclusive stockists of popular
Cult products in a minimalist settin
ranges, the store acts like a magnet to models, celebrities and industry profeSSionals, but Kinnaird took a roundabout route to becoming a beauty guru. As a chartered surveyor With a passion for shopping, Kinnaird was hired as a retail consultant for the firm developing Covent Garden. Part of the lob involved travelling to west coast USA where she became aware of the masswe cult following various skincare and make-up ranges enjoyed. Realismg these products were not represented in the
UK, she decided to create her own store. Anyone who reads fashion or beauty mags WI“ know that if an actress or model recommends a product, there’s a high chance you'll be able to find it at Space NK. 'Customers include Sharleen Spiteri who likes Stila Lip Rouge, Space NK Woman and Bumble and Bumble Sumo Hair Wax . , . the Appleton sisters from All Saints stock up on Nars Night glitter eye-shadows and Sadie Frost loves Nars Body Glow,’ says Kinnaird. Best-sellers include Eve Lom’s revered
cleanser while male customers go fOr Kiehl's Since 1851 range. As well as the 'serious’ products yOu’ll find fun items like the Jaqua Girls Beauty Parlour Night Kit, filled wrth goodies for a girls' night in. Prices aren’t low, but by shopping here you’ll be in glamorous company. (Louisa Pearson)
I Space NK Apothecary, Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, 0747 248 7937, George Street, Edinburgh, 0737 225 6377. Mai/ order enquiries 0870 769 9999.
Spend, spend, spend. . .
GLASGOW SCHOOL OF Art's annual fashion show blazes onto the catwalk next month at the Old Fruitmarket. Students from the Textiles Department are currently putting together their designs, and you can go along and view their cutting-edge ideas on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 February, tickets available on 0141 287 5511; further details on www.gsa.ac.uk/fashion
BOOTS lS OFFERING an extra service if youre getting photos developed lt'll put copies of yOur images 0n
ivww bootsohoto com which yOU can then tomato via the internet to friends, relatives Of who knows, maybe even talent agencies The On-line service comes free \vith one-hour and overnight processmg
POP STAR ENDORSEMENT can work wonders for a brand, and now that Britney Spears has been signed up for a marketing deal with hip footwear company Sketchers, fans are sure to boost sales (hopefully her recent appearance in the annual Worst Dressed List won't have an adverse effect). In the words of the company's president Michael Greenberg, 'Like our footwear, Britney is fresh, youthful and vibrant'. Rumours that Billie Piper has been signed up for Help The Aged’s latest campaign remain unsubstantiated. Further details on www.skechers.com.
LONDON FASHION WEEKEND follows the success of the week-long event last September when members of the public got to explore deSigner collections and buy at discount prices. On 23-25 February at the Natural History Museum you'll be able to take part in fashion and beauty events and shop till yOur credit card reaches its limit Tickets can be purchased in advance on 0207 413 1700.
CLOSER TO HOME, Scotland‘s answer to London Fashion Week, Intervention, has been confirmed as happening at Glasgow’s Arches on 29 May-17 June. Growing in size yet again, the event will feature catwalk shows from new and established fashion designers as well as a number of awards.
Put it in your diary - Intervention
l8 Jan—l Feb 2001 THE l.l8T 107