London List

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I have just arrived back to Italy after spending three days in London …. Mostly in the name of ‘market research’ … a little bit in the name of ‘catching up with long lost Australian friends’ … and a touch of ‘seeking out potential UK sales agents’. Something for everyone you might say.

My checklist was as follows;

  • *  Portobello Road - tick
  • * Selfridges / Liberty - two ticks
  • * Top shop - I can’t help it - tick
  • * South Molton Street / Regent Street / Bond Street - tick x 3
  • * Carnaby street (complete with bangers and mash feast) - tick
  • * Dover Street market - mega tick
  • * Sleeping in the smallest harry potter ‘under-the-stairs’ style hotel room in all of Great Britain - ah … TICK.    


As I travelled up the Kings road on the number 22 bus (to meet with a prospective sales agent) we passed Flood Street which was the address of my first ‘real’ career job. This was where the original offices of Net-a-porter were located (in an artist studio) and somewhere I travelled to every day from my very low-brow flat in Clapham. I really do hope I’m not sounding like a hideous name dropper by bringing up N-A-P here, because like any good early ‘fashion-y’ job there was mostly hard work involved, and next-to-no glamour. But passing by this site some 8 years on, as I’m working hard to develop my own fashion goals, I felt a little bit proud and fuzzy. That’s all.

… on another, slightly less dicky, note …. I’ve finalized the colour palette for next season. So without further ado, I bring to you ..… Drum roll please ….


THE colour palette for habbot SPRING SUMMER 2012.

The leather swatch colours have come out a bit weird in the photo, so have backed them up with the references from latest Northern Hemisphere fashion week collections that helped me make my final ‘colour’ cut.

Plus a little picture of the state of my ‘design studio-cum-hotel bed’ right now.

That's progress for sure.

Death by swatches!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I came home from the fair today with a massive pile of leather swatches to wade through and sort out for next season’s colour palate. Lots of colour wrestling to be had over the next few days!



I’m feeling a strong vibe for pastels after the recent fashion week shows I’ve been scouring on ..… but on the other hand I’m struggling to get past a brilliant melon colour that kept jumping out at me at the fair, but doesn’t necessarily work that well with my pastels … but then again Jonathan Saunders made it work so maybe I can too! Stay tuned on the colour decisions people.   



I will do a separate post on the fair (including the 'official' colour palette forecasts for next season) as there’s just too much to squeeze into one entry … but in the mean time, here’s the latest Bolognese taste test - via a very ugly photo I took. Apologies.


I was too late to secure a booking at Yarno's ‘highly recommended’ restaurant (Trattoria Gianni - rear of Via Clavature, 18 - if anyone’s interested) but found a great table for one at Bistr 18 on the same street). Thought I’d include a shot of Via Clavature by night - just to get you all in the mood.


Comments: This was a step up from the first night, and is why Bologna is known for its Bolognese. The sauce was great, and the pasta even greater!

Lobsters in my bed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hello Bologna.

As I checked into my bologna hotel ‘The Albergo Cappello Rosso’ today, Yarno - the friendly hotel manager cautioned me about the room I’d been assigned. He described it as a very special room that has been styled by an Italian designer, Mauro Tinti in the theme of Elsa Schiaparelli … and her shocking pink signature! Naturally … I couldn’t wait to see what awaited me in room 202!

… this is the result!


Some crafty scrap-booker had even put together a big pink book about Elsa and her ‘colourful’ past. I was curious about the big plastic lobsters scattered around the room - on the back of the chair even! And happy to learn (via the scrapbook) that it all makes complete sense when you consider she created the ‘lobster dress’ inspired by Salvador Dali! Handy to know that she also came up with other key fashion notions such as - shoulder pads, colour matched zippers, character buttons and the tennis skirt!


… I also noted the quote painted in reverse on the wall (so as to read correctly in the huge wall mirror)


“never fit the dress to the body …but train the body to fit the dress”  ….. hmmmph, do you think Elsa was trying to tell me something here?


I kept Elsa’s comments in mind as I began the first of my ‘Bolognese’ comparisons.




Comments: This Bolognese was better than most, but I know Bologna can do better. The sauce lacked some 'depth' in my opinion! .... Stay tuned for tomorrow’s next tasting!


Tomorrow I’m off to Lineapelle Leather fair to find materials for Spring Summer 2012  … so snapped a few colour inspiring shots before I made my way back to the hotel for a sound nights sleep with my new lobster mates.




Read all about it ...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Today we sent out our second monthly newsletter.


We commissioned the multi-talented Sarah Hankinson to create an illustration for the newsletter showing the many ways you can wear your habbot ‘careme’ lace-ups.



Following that I spilt the beans on my favourite ‘easy reading’ crime fiction series by Lee Child.


…. Included a link to a fantastic Bolognese recipe for you to enjoy (i.e. cook) whilst I’m in Bologna next week doing the same (although I will be paying someone else to do the cooking part!)


… and gave a little heads up on our clever ‘shoe sisters’ program.



See the links below for more info …. Or better still just sign up here so you receive the next version directly into your inbox. (Don’t worry they will only be once a month).


Link to purchase Jack Reacher books on-line

Link to Bolognese recipe

Link to ‘shoe sisters’ page


The Sound of Sydney ....

Monday, October 03, 2011

We’ve received a bunch of emails over the past week from people in NSW wanting to know when we’ll get some stockists in Sydney. (A lot of this feedback was due to the article that ran in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD on-line about the Melbourne pop-up shop. Read it here.)


So, although we don’t yet have a sales agent in Sydney I decided to contact a bunch a boutiques directly. Based on the emailed suggestions I chose 10 Sydney stores to approach with our Winter 2012 collection.  


This morning I gave ten look-books a motivational pep-talk, bid them so-long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu and sent them off in the post. Go get ‘em kids.


Let’s see if anything comes of it!



p.s. did I ever mention that I played the part of Louisa in the Sound of Music as a pimply thirteen year old? You betcha I did. That’s the real ‘Louisa’ second from right. (My family told me I gave her a run for her money .... but then again, they would say that wouldn't they!)