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Could it be magic: why store window displays mean more this Christmas

By Jess Cartner-Morley

While festive shopping is more likely to be online this year, a tour around the window displays of stores is a pandemic-friendly way of bringing sparkle in the run-up to the big day.

There will be no cosy photo op with a random stranger in a cotton-wool beard in Santa’s grotto this year. Nor any carol singers to soothe your frayed festive nerves. And even the most hardened bargain hunters are going to feel less than gung ho about bustling through crowds in search of the perfect gift. Pandemics have a way of sucking the joy out of most things – and Christmas shopping is no exception.

And yet: let there be light. All is not lost, because the Christmas store window, rich in tradition of pomp, pageantry and fever-pitch overexcitement, is making a last-minute attempt to bring some joy to the high street. Window dressing, an art form with a long and illustrious heritage that boasts Giorgio Armani, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí as alumni, is attempting to bring a happy ending for what has been an annus horribilis for retail.

On the corner of Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, Harvey Nichols’ window sells nothing more expensive than optimism. There are no products, just “BRING ON 2021” spelled out in fairground lights, alongside a disco ball and a couple of snowflakes.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/dec/04/could-it-be-magic-why-store-window-displays-mean-more-this-christmas

      

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‘It’s about the emotion’: why Chanel hired a chateau for a catwalk show with no guests

By Jess Cartner-Morley

The French fashion house took a team of 300 to a Loire castle for a blowout event this week, despite the pandemic preventing anyone from attending

How important is a catwalk show to a fashion house? Important enough, in the case of Chanel, to take a team of 300 – including the actor Kristen Stewart, the photographer Juergen Teller and a small army of models – to put on a show in one of the most magnificent chateaux in France, despite an audience capped at zero.

Chanel had hoped to welcome 200 guests to admire chic black-velvet coats, rich damask gowns with lace collars and double-ply cashmere embroidered with double-C logos on a promenade across Chateau de Chenonceau’s 60-metre ballroom, which spans the River Cher. This proved impossible, but – in contrast to May, when a planned show in Capri was replaced by a digital-only presentation – Chanel chose to go ahead with the Métiers d’Art event on Tuesday, even though it was viewed only online.

“The show is just the same as it would have been, but without an audience,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion. “We don’t see any other way to talk about the collections, other than having a show. We need to have impactful events to maintain a strong bond with our audience.”

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/dec/03/its-about-the-emotion-why-chanel-hired-a-chateau-for-a-catwalk-show-with-no-guests

      

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From Martha Washington to Melania Trump: 250 years of first lady portraiture

By Hannah Marriott

Portraits of presidents’ wives have evolved with the role, and although it remains highly gendered, a new exhibition aims to celebrate their contribution and to ‘rectify the absences of women in US history’

Bess Truman, US first lady from 1945 until 1953, has not become the sort of historical figure people quote on Instagram. “A woman’s public role is to sit beside her husband, be silent, and be sure her hat is on straight,” she said, even though, behind the scenes, she was nicknamed “the Boss” and wrote many of President Truman’s speeches.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/dec/03/from-martha-washington-to-melania-trump-250-years-of-first-lady-portraiture

      

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Christopher Wylie: 'Amazon is one of the biggest threats to the fashion industry'

By Morwenna Ferrier

The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, who now works in fashion, says luxury fashion is reaching an existential moment – and that Jeff Bezos could be the next Anna Wintour

Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who exposed the misuse of data by Cambridge Analytica in the run-up to the 2016 US election, says he believes Amazon is one of the biggest collective threats to the fashion industry and that its founder, Jeff Bezos “will be the next Anna Wintour”.

Speaking to the Guardian about the dangers of big tech giants, and in particular Amazon, muscling in on fashion retail, Wylie said that the pandemic had provided the tech giant with fertile ground to “accelerate” its e-commerce plans at an unprecedented speed to become the main player in luxury fashion.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/dec/03/christopher-wylie-amazon-is-one-of-the-biggest-threats-to-the-fashion-industry

      

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The rock star of retail: how Topshop changed the face of fashion

By Jess Cartner-Morley

With its celebrity collaborations and turbo-charged launches, Philip Green’s Topshop brought fun and drama to the once uninspiring business of clothes-shopping. We chart the rise and fall of the pandemic’s most glamorous corporate victim

“What’s this I’m reading in the paper? It’s a load of absolute shit, that’s what it is. What’s the matter with you? Are you stupid or what? I’ve never read so much rubbish in my life.”

It was February 2010, and I was at my desk in the Guardian office. Philip Green didn’t need to introduce himself. His habit of bellowing down the phone was unmistakable, and I had just written an article about how I was falling out of love with Topshop after a decade being in thrall to its shop floor. Green never did take kindly to criticism of the golden child of his Arcadia empire.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/dec/03/the-rock-star-of-retail-how-topshop-changed-the-face-of-fashion

      

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Debenhams: the rise and fall of a British retail institution

By Rupert Neate

Founded in 1778 as a high-end draper, the retail chain prospered for more than two centuries

Founded in 1778, Debenhams was one of the largest and most historic department store chains in the world.

The business was formed by William Clark as a single high end drapers store at 44 Wigmore Street in London’s West End. It rose to become one of the biggest retailers in the UK with, at one point, more than 200 large stores across 18 countries and exclusive partnerships with some of the world’s best-known designers including Jasper Conran and Julien Macdonald.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/01/debenhams-the-rise-and-fall-of-a-british-retail-institution

      

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From fashion forward to slightly awkward: the mixed bag of Philip Green brands

By Priya Elan

Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridge and more helped to define the high street down the years

Arcadia has gone into administration, completing Sir Philip Green’s fall from the king of the high street. Here we look at the tycoon’s brands from a fashion perspective:

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/dec/01/from-fashion-forward-to-slightly-awkward-the-mixed-bag-of-philip-green-brands

      

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TV style icons of 2020: Michael Jordan's sartorial slam dunk

By Jess Cartner-Morley

Gripping Netflix series The Last Dance was more like a Marvel movie than a sports documentary, putting Jordan – the man, the myth and his power dressing – front and centre

The Last Dance, the Netflix show about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, scored 24 million viewers around the world within a month of its April release. An audience held captive by lockdown almost certainly drove those numbers up, but still, that is a lot of eyeballs for a documentary about basketball games that happened 23 years ago.

Which makes sense when you realise that The Last Dance isn’t really a sports documentary at all, but a blockbuster superhero movie, spun out over 10 instalments, just like Marvel do them. The Last Dance turned Jordan from a sports icon into a superhero, and it did it in part by rebooting his pre-athleisure 90s look as a costume.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/nov/30/tv-style-icons-of-2020-michael-jordan-netflix-the-last-dance

      

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'I stopped trying to control my body': the women who gave up grooming in 2020

By Sirin Kale

From shaving to threading to dyeing to painting, the little touches that used to seem so important have been squeezed out by the pandemic. And many Britons are all the happier for it

During the first lockdown Afsaneh Parvizi-Wayne, a 55-year-old entrepreneur, went for a drive around London. “I remember looking in the rear-view mirror,” she says, “and I noticed all these little hairs coming out of my chin. That was a bit of a shock. Like, bloody hell, I’ve really been growing these out.”

Parvizi-Wayne is of Iranian heritage, and hair removal is a big part of her culture. “Grooming, for Iranian women, it’s essential,” she says. For her entire life, from puberty onwards, Parvizi-Wayne had scrupulously removed her facial hair. “It was like a jack-in-the-box reaction,” she says. “If I saw a hair, I’d go to the salon.” If she failed to do so, a relative or family friend would take care of it for her. “Iranian aunties literally pin you down if they see a stray chin hair,” she laughs. “They pull out a piece of string to thread you then and there.”

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/nov/29/i-stopped-trying-to-control-my-body-the-women-who-gave-up-grooming-in-2020

      

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How to get that fresh look | Funmi Fetto

By Funmi Fetto

A light touch on the cheeks and lips balanced by strong eyes will ensure you look full of zest

Fresh. It’s a word that makes me roll my eyes because in beauty it’s overused to the point of meaninglessness. This Moschino SS21 look, however, is properly, beautifully fresh. And, thanks to the winged eye, grown-up. You’ll need a high-quality foundation, one that gives you a “best skin ever” finish. Also essential is an easy-to-use liquid eyeliner that delivers punchy pigment and won’t lose its vigour. Make sure your blush goes on the apples of your cheeks, and, for lips, start with a balm then follow with a teeny stain of lipstick. The result? Fresh.

1. Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette in Rose Gold £36, dior.com
2. Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick £19, cultbeauty.co.uk
3. Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation £39, cultbeauty.co.uk
4. Benefit Microfilling Eyebrow Pen £22.50, benefitscosmetics.com
5. Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen £47, johnlewis.com

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/29/how-to-get-that-fresh-look

      

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Fendi’s magic touch: the woman behind the world’s most famous handbag

By Scarlett Conlon

Artisans from every corner of Italy are putting their spin on Fendi’s iconic Baguette bag. Its designer, Silvia Venturini Fendi, explains why

Last year, Silvia Venturini Fendi was on holiday with her girlfriends in Palermo when she came across a small bottega run by a middle-aged artisan and his father. Enchanted by the beautiful handmade homewares on display, she spent all morning in the store-meets-workshop buying up pieces for her Roman home. A passionate preserver of Italian artisanship, she asked where the third generation was? The man’s daughter, despite knowing how to make everything, was only interested in becoming a fashion model, he said. “What a pity,” Venturini Fendi replied. “She should come here and continue all these incredible things you’re doing. Sometimes you look far when you don’t see great things happening under your eyes.”

The man implored her to convince his daughter and, in classic spontaneous Italian style, it wasn’t long before Venturini Fendi was on the phone sharing her own enthusiasm for family businesses. “The way you learn is by watching people working,” she tells me. “There’s no instruction manual – artisans have to pass on and show their creativity.”

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/nov/28/fendi-baguette-handbag-artisan-project

      

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Critics attack Pretty Little Thing's 8p Black Friday dress deal

By Molly Blackall

Deep discounts spark outrage on Twitter as campaigners highlight environmental cost

Clothing retailers have come under fire for selling dresses from just 8p on Black Friday, with critics accusing them of encouraging “fast fashion” and unsustainable consumption.

Related: Boohoo hires Sir Brian Leveson to oversee supply chain overhaul

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/27/critics-slam-pretty-little-things-8p-black-friday-dress-deal

      

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Launch of celebrity candles lights up – and cashes in – on lockdown gloom

By Priya Elan

It started with Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina candle; now Alicia Keys, Anthony Hopkins and Drake have joined the trend

Forget the It bag, the latest must have is the It candle. Gwyneth Paltrow began this year by selling out of a candle simply called This Smells Like My Vagina on Goop. In September, Alicia Keys launched her skincare brand, Keys Soulcare, and its first product was a sage and oatmilk candle. And last month Anthony Hopkins launched a fragrance collection that included candles in Amber Noir, Gardenia Tuberose and Sandalwood (but not, sadly, chianti).

Now it is the turn of the rapper Drake, who cryptically announced the launch of his candle range, Better World Fragrance House, on Instagram Stories with a picture of four blue candles with names such as Sweeter Tings and Williamsburg Sleepover.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/nov/27/launch-of-celebrity-candles-lights-up-and-cashes-in-on-lockdown-gloom

      

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Dior sticks by Johnny Depp in defiance of 'wife beater' ruling

By Priya Elan

Fans pledge to buy cologne still advertised by actor after court finds he abused ex-wife

Evidence suggests defiant Johnny Depp fans have been buying Dior’s Sauvage fragrance in support of the actor, who continues to be the face of the cologne despite a high court judge finding that he violently abused his ex-wife during their relationship.

Depp has been the face of the aftershave since it launched in 2015 with an advertising campaign that was criticised for its racist portrayal of Native Americans. But many were surprised to see an advert for the fragrance, featuring Depp playing a guitar, being shown on TV during The Great British Bake Off this week.

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/nov/27/dior-sticks-by-johnny-depp-in-defiance-of-wife-beater-ruling

      

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Zandra Rhodes reveals lockdown cancer diagnosis

By Hannah Marriott

British fashion designer, who is in remission, urges others not to delay seeing doctor

The British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has disclosed that she was diagnosed with cancer during lockdown.

“A close friend came to visit and was going to do a restorative yoga class. He asked us to take deep breaths and relax … and I realise that my stomach feels as if it’s full,” the British designer told ITV News London. “I phoned my doctor. He said: ‘Yes it does feel like it’s full.’ He organised X-rays and that was when they discovered that I had a tumour.”

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/nov/26/zandra-rhodes-reveals-lockdown-cancer-diagnosis

      

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Going for green: how to shop more ethically on Black Friday – in pictures

By Melanie Wilkinson and Morwenna Ferrier

From donating to charity, choosing sustainability over discounts or sidestepping the sales altogether, these labels are part of a burgeoning movement rethinking the consumer event

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Via:: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/gallery/2020/nov/26/going-for-green-how-to-shop-more-ethically-on-black-friday-in-pictures

      

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