Wednesday, 25 January 2012

NET-A-PORTER celebrates the launch of KARL

Jenny Cossons talks about the new KARL brand at NET-A-PORTER 

On Wednesday 25 January at 13:30 in Covent Garden Market, London saw the unveiling of Karl Lagerfeld’s new line KARL. Simultaneously KARL was also launched in New York, Paris and Berlin. Sydney alas had to wait a few hours more due to the time difference. 

At the London launch, people started queuing from 12:00 to make sure they were one of the first 50 visitors and so receive a pair of iconic KARL leather gloves or a collar from the collection.

Jenny Cossons, Group Head of Brand Relations at NET-A-PORTER was available for interviews. Here is mine: 

NET-A-PORTER has four weeks exclusivity on the KARL brand – How did you achieve this?
We pride ourselves on having a fantastic relationship with all of our 400 plus brands that we work with. And I think the feeling was that we should be the exclusive partner because we’re the only global luxury online retailer featured in 170 countries and with 4.5 million visitors. So it made sense for us to be the exclusive partner for this amazing launch.

Who approached who for the collaboration?
It was the meeting of minds to be honest. When you think about of all the fashion brands we collaborate with, why not collaborate with the King of Fashion himself? It was the coming together of both parties.

How long many months did it take to co-ordinate and organise a global launch simultaneously?
It’s been a long time. Officially we started launching the brand about six months ago and then we started revealing the brand and pieces of the collection about a month and a half ago. It’s been a long process but super exciting and obviously leading up to today we are thrilled with it.

What is it like to meet Karl in person?
It has been an extraordinary experience and inspirational. He’s amazing, there’s an incredible aura when he’s in the room. He’s a legend. If you work in fashion meeting Karl Lagerfeld is the ultimate, it’s like a dream.

Who is the KARL Woman?
I think the Karl Woman is modern but with a rock and roll edge, you’ll see that in all the pieces of the collection. You’ve got everything from leather miniskirts to sequin jackets to different collars to T-Shirts, so you really do have something for everyone in the collection. Karl Woman is elegant but modern and edgy.

Are there any key pieces in the collection?
There are 70 pieces to choose from and there is also going to be five limited edition dresses which we will have exclusivity for a day. So there’s everything from £20 to £1,500 which are the limited edition dresses.

Do you have a favourite piece?
I do have a favourite piece. There’s a beautiful jersey wrap dress in a merlot wine colour with a print of Karl silhouettes. Also the beautiful sequin collars which add a bit more of an edge.

Jenny asked if I had seen the NET-A-PORTER KARL app and said: 
You’ll be able to shop and win with the app. You can take a sneak peek of the collection.
You can take a photograph of yourself and make yourself into Karl Lagerfeld which is quite good fun. If you scan the logo, different things pop up.  There’s a Find Karl maze game, and cash prizes to win and spend on the KARL collection. What’s so exciting about KARL is not only is it an amazing beautiful and luxurious product, but it is also taking technology to the next level, this is the first time a  launch that has been done in this way.  

Do you see this as the way forward for future brands?
It remains to be seen but whatever we do it will be the first of its kind just like today.

The pieces in the KARL collection mix and match easily with each other. Colour palette is predominantly black and white but with pops of bubble gum pink, silver and merlot. It is now available online at and don’t forget to watch the tongue in cheek Face to Face interview where Karl interviews himself.

Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER celebrates the launch of KARL

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Monday, 23 January 2012

South African fashion designer Alexis Barrell makes UK debut

South African born fashion designer Alexis Barrell has lived and worked in many cities around the world and her next stop is London. And to be more precise – the ultra chic Bluebird Emporium in Chelsea on the Kings Road.

Alexis love of travel shows in her collections with SS11 sailing around the Cycladic islands and AW11/12 taking in the culture of Parisian theatres.

For her SS12 collection she is talking Italian and takes inspiration from the romantic city of Naples – a love story set in the messy, chaotic town of Naples.

The colour palette is ice cream sorbet colours of mint, peach, vanilla, coffee and a touch of chocolate.

The style has a 1950’s feel with high waist full skirts and heart shaped necklines

For her print inspiration she travels north to the Venetian island of Murano and looks at the intricate designs of Murano glass especially in the 1950s era.

The sculptural forms of her hats are inspired by Italian mid-century lightening design with its simple geometric lines, cone shapes and fun space age atomic styles embellishments.

Alexis’ speciality is the construction of very light floaty and delicate fabrics which she sometimes likes to combine with the harder tougher fabric of leather.

Prices range from £120 to £600 and her collection will be available from mid February.

More images of the collection at

Alexis studied architecture in Cape Town, achieved a distinction in fashion design at the Istituto Marangoni in Paris and then perfected the art of draping with bias-cut silks and seamless forms under the guidance of couturier Marc Bouwer in New York. In 2010 she founded her own label in Greece.

Future designs will include menswear pieces and a capsule African luxury collection.

Monday, 9 January 2012

m.kenics UK debut

New to the UK, eyewear brand m.kenics would like to show off their glasses against the iconic London landmarks with you dear readers modelling them. All they ask is that you don’t mind having your photos taken and the said photos will be used as future promo material around the world!

Plus you get to keep the actual glasses you model!

m.kenics frames are not welded and have no screws, they are all designed and engineered to slot and fit together. High end materials of titanium and acetate are sourced in Japan where the frames are hand finished. The acetate frames come in a variety of colours with different finishes including glossy, translucent and frosted.

The frames are flexible and super light with the lightest weighing in at just 5g, this makes them really comfortable to wear. But it’s the clever swivel nose pad that is m.kenics USP – self adjusting so the frames fit any nose shape easily with minimal adjustment.

RRP is from £165 and they are now exclusively available from Orb Opticians London

So if you fancy a free pair of glasses and having your photo taken then just email Siu at with your mobile or email address and a recent photo.

Keep your photo look quite natural as they are looking for an everyday style to represent the face of m.kenics.

Once they have chosen the people with the right everyday look, they will contact you directly.
The photo shoots will take place within the next two weeks.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky