On the Highstreet: What We Spotted

The chic pieces on our fashion radar this spring

The new labels to watch for SS15: Finery London (www.finerylondon.com), Raey (www.matchesfashion.com’s in-house label) and Catherine Quin (www.catherinequin.com) are all serving that in-between, “looks expensive but isn’t” bracket. All three focus on clean, minimal pieces with an androgynous edge.

This story appears in the April issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Thursday May 7

How to wear denim this season

Denim is back and bigger than ever. The once humble material has become the fashion pack’s favourite – here’s how to wear the blue stuff

Scanning the crowd at all four fashion weeks this year, it was clear that one trend had taken hold more than any other. Denim, the humble former worker’s uniform – worn best in classic blue – was as much a front row staple as Anna Wintour or Alexa Chung. But shedding its utilitarian roots, this season’s denim was elevated to something altogether more luxurious. With the right styling, the fashion week glitterati proved, denim can look as polished and pulled together as cashmere or silk. The good news for us mere mortals? The traditional French denim brands are still the best, so whether you’re splashing out or on a budget, it’s still easy to look great in this versatile fabric. This season, wear it in classic blue jeans (reinvented for 2015) and fresh-feeling dresses and skirts.

The Skirt

The denim skirt has a kind of gallic charm, reminiscient of mid-century chanteuses like Françoise Hardy. No wonder Alexa Chung (who cites Hardy as a style icon) reinvented it for her recent collaboration with AG Jeans, then. On the catwalk, the denim skirt was full-on 1970s – worn floor-length and split up the front at Chloé – but knee-length styles can offer a more wearable alternative. Make sure your skirt sits on the waist, not the hips, while buttons down the front feel very of-the-moment.

This story appears in the April issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Thursday May 7


The History of Tiffany Time

For a watchmaker, being let loose in the archive of Tiffany & Co in New York for two solid weeks, is akin to a fledgling fashion designer left to hang hang out at Chanel’s atelier at 31 rue Cambon, or a fashion nut unleashed in the legendary Vogue “fashion cupboard”. “Let loose” perhaps does not best describe the likely behaviour of elegant Swiss/Italian watchmaker Nicola Andreatta, who was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Tiffany & Co Swiss Watches two years ago, and came with the experience of a watchmaking family, several years with various Swiss watch brands and the creation of his own very successful watch brand. His brief? To reinstate the Tiffany watchmaking tradition which began with a partnership with Patek Philippe in 1854 and a shared workshop in Geneva, where a number of of innovations were pioneered. (The Tiffany Timer, an early stopwatch, was invented in 1868, the company received patents of advances in watch movements and settings, even patenting a luminescent green paint for numerals and hands). And to build, literally from the ground up, a watchmaking operation rivalling those of other iconic Swiss watch brands, with a design team  producing top-notch watches overseen by Tiffany’s design director, Francesca Amphitheatrof, who was appointed last year. “We needed to go back to our roots, to the DNA of Tiffany, to blend the tradition of watchmaking and fine jewellery, craftsmanship and attention to detail,” says Andreatta, whose ability to explain watchmaking in plain English, is refreshing and frankly unusual in this industry. It was also about re-establishing credibility among “watch connoisseurs”,  a notoriously tough crowd, whose exacting standards demand precision in the watch’s movement and exquisite detail in the case and dial, as well as ergonomic wearability. “It’s an adventure,” says Andreatta, “to take a strategic approach, with a horizon of maybe ten years, developing the technological side, as well as what we call metiers d’arts – the fine jewellery finishing methods that define Tiffany.”

The fortnight in the archive gave Andreatta time to absorb the details of the company’s history of watchmaking and to reflect on the fact that at many important events in American history Tiffany timepieces were present. Among them, when American president Franklin D Roosevelt (already a client) wore a Tiffany watch (a birthday present) to the Yalta Conference at which the Allies made plans for the changed post-war world. This watch, acquired  by Tiffany at a Christies auction, and now nestle in Andreatta’s hand, was to become the jumping-off point for a whole new chapter in the company’s watch history.

This story appears in the April issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Thursday May 7