My week at Harrods

So this week (and for the next two weeks) I am working at Harrods magazine, where I am covering someone who is heading off to get married.  I thought her position was Fashion Editor. Turns out I was wrong. The cover is for a prop stylist/production job and has resulted in one of the most random weeks of my life. Today’s post is a tribute to my crazy first week at Harrods Publishing.

Day 1 – Hoovering fake snow from a giant toy lion. You have to see it to believe it…

Harrods Day 1 - hoovering a lion

Day 2 – I had to oversee a shoot for The Ultimate page in the mag.  This meant watching as 2 grown men created a model of Harrods. Out of tiny magnetic ball bearings.  Seriously!  They’re called Nanadots – http://www.thenanodots.uk.com/ – and they’re the next big thing in tiny construction.  Think Lego, but with ball bearings.  They have a cult following apparently.  I made a cute little necklace as they built a mini Harrods.

Harrods Day 2 - Nanodot tastic

Harrods nanodots

The magnetic field in the balls is super strong

Harrods nanodots 2

Harrods nanodots 3

2 grown men + 2 hours + 52,000 tiny magnetic balls = £58k sculpture of Harrods

Day 3 – based in the office.  Today I had to find a disused airfield to use as a location for a photoshoot.  Within the M25.  No mean feat especially with a limited editorial budget.  Whilst researching online I stumbled across this amazing old airbase in Germany.  I want to do a fashion shoot here one day.  The colours are awesome.

Harrods Day 3 wittstock-airbase

Wittstock Airbase in Germany

(taken from http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2010/11/abandoned-aircraft-airfields-airbases-airport-terminals/)

Day 4 – a day of prop sourcing, which varied from searching for 20 orange traffic cones and a chequerboard flag for a car shoot, to sourcing vintage theatre lights and old lanterns for a Home Theatre backdrop for a kids shoot.  Where to start?  Prop houses (companies that lend props for a fee) are the answer. There are plenty of these, but on Friday I used www.themetraders.com for the car shoot props and www.stockyard.tv & www.farley.co.uk for the lanterns and lighting.  Take a look.  You can find almost anything.

Harrods Day 4bHarrods Day 4

Images taken from www.stockyard.tv

This has literally been the most random week ever. On Monday I have an induction in the store – all staff have this, even if you are not employed on the shop floor.  I have been informed that this day is a tour of Harrods that includes grooming guides (I kid you not, there is a grooming area near the staff entrance complete with mirrors and strong lighting) and a history of the store. I will let you know what next week brings…

Main holding image courtesy of Harrods Publishing http://www.harrodsmagazine.com featuring the cover of the current/September 2013 issue.

One for the kids

If you have children, or nieces and nephews that you love to buy clothes for, then you’ll be excited to hear today’s news. One of my fave stores Uniqlo – the Japanese brand that has been bringing us staples such as merino wool jumpers in a Pantone style range of colours for several years – is launching a range of kids wear. I am a huge fan of Uniqlo, and have long extolled its virtues – their jumpers and flannel check shirts are 100% cotton and a snip at just under £20. So it’s safe to say I am very excited about today’s store launch.

Small Uniqlo cut-6_023+

The collection includes adult favourites such as their poly filled down parkas and colourful skinny jeans being downsized for kids up to 12 years old. Jackets come with name labels sewn into the interior so you can ensure your mini-me returns home with their new duffle coat (a clever touch considering these pieces will be the envy of the playground). Many trousers also come with adjustable waistbands for ultimate comfort and reinforced seam pockets to reduce tears.

Small Uniqlo 01112F007A-119-074455-15ASmall Uniqlo 01142F010D-148-075031-66A-1211

Furthermore, next Saturday (31st Aug), three key Uniqlo stores will host a special event to celebrate. Head to Uniqlo in Bluewater, or Westfield Stratford or White City and enjoy an interactive photo experience and if you’re lucky, a free kids goody bag (available to the first 100 customers to purchase from the collection on the day). If you’re not near London, you can still get your hands on the lovely range as all items are available online. Ready, steady, shop…

Small Uniqlo cut-5_012

Kids wear collection launches in store today. Or shop online at http://www.uniqlo.com/uk

All images provided by Uniqlo

London Letters

Well, what a busy and inspiring 10 days I have had. As well as filming the last Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew of series 3, I have also just styled a 4 day online street style campaign for Gap. This featured real people and the casting was superb – a truly unique & creative group. My blogs over the next few weeks will be a testament to all the new things I have seen or heard about recently.

Richard Crutchley 5

The first I would like to mention is a great company called London Letters that I stumbled across in Old Street tube station early last week. Being both creative and interested in words this really caught my eye. The concept is naturally occurring unique letters on the streets of London, be it buildings, graffiti, railings, doors – you name it, owner Richard has shot it. He has even been known to spot an O in a pile of litter…

Richard Crutchley 9

Richard Crutchley 17

With a background in architecture you could say Richard has always had an acute eye for detail, however it was after an inspiring trip to Chicago in 2011 that he decided to start the London Letters project. The images can be purchased as individual letters on cards or postcards (cards £2 each, postcards £1) or as A4 or A3 prints, with London area names such as Brixton and Wood Green currently available. Richard also happily takes commissions & letters can be spliced together to create personalized messages or prints, making a fabulous present for that difficult-to-please friend who has everything.

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The top letters are those featuring bold colour or a strong graphic shape – check out the R above – but the key is that all of these can be found around London and there is no editing or rotating of images. Each comes with a distinctive tag with the company logo and the location of the letter, so you can go and see it for yourself in situ. Buy some to give as birthday cards or go for a full set of A-Z and use them to teach your child the alphabet. As you can see I have created my own version of my blog name using the letters. So much fun!

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Richard Crutchley 113

For more info and to buy online go to London Letters www.london-letters.co.uk

Magical mending

This week I was on a shoot and the lovely Assistant Editor Ellie mentioned an amazing company that (I am embarrassed to admit) I had never heard of. As a stylist I am often asked about my top fashion tips and tricks and I have to say this one rates very highly.

Invisible Mending 1Invisible Mending 5Invisible Mending 6Invisible Mending 7Invisible mending 2Invisible Mending 8

The painstaking process

The company is called British Invisible Mending Service Ltd http://www.invisiblemending.co.uk. I know it’s not the sexiest title or the trendiest name, but it does explain exactly what it does ie. invisible mending. What this means is that if you have a jacket, trousers, coat or a cashmere jumper (in fact any woven or knitted garment) that has been torn, tarnished by a cigarette burn or eaten by moths this amazing company will fix it. As new! I kid you not. The pictures on the site are astounding. With nearly a century’s experience this business employs clever and highly skilled technicians who remove threads from the inside hidden seams, and hand-weave these back into the damaged garment to fill any holes or tears.

Invisible Mending 3

Before

Invisible Mending 4

After

It comes highly recommended by Ellie who once used it to fix a huge tear in a vintage velvet maxidress, and from looking at the website most of the fashion, TV and film industries are also huge fans. Even Sir Alan Sugar has paid a visit (or one of his assistants has on his behalf). They also offer alterations and a made-to-measure suit service in their London store, or you can send your repairs to their head office in Wales should you not live in London. The repairs aren’t cheap, but they do look fantastic and are well worth the money if you have a favourite designer piece that has been damaged. Thanks for the recommendation Ellie.

For the London store call 0207 4874292.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Saturday 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.

For Head Office contact 01443 433344

Further information at http://www.invisiblemending.co.uk

All pictures are copyrighted to British Invisible Mending Service Ltd

Urban florals

This week I have been very busy with two big jobs. One is a street style international online campaign for Gap, and the other is styling for the final episode of series 3 of Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew (Sky 1). We started filming this series as far back as March, but had to have a 2 month break whilst Ashley and the Diversity boys filmed another show.

One of the options for our final group (which consists of 6 lovely ladies) is a floral bomber jacket. Unfortunately, I can’t divulge whether we are going with this look but it has inspired a street style blog about said jackets. I hope you like them…

Inspiration image - Floral bomber look 7

Inspiration image - Floral bomber look 6

Inspiration image - Floral bomber look 2

Inspiration image - Floral bomber look 1

If you like the look and are after something similar then Dorothy Perkins has some fab options in the sale.  Buy a size too big and team with shorts for summer and trousers for winter.  A black and white tee also looks good (as seen in the above images) whether it be linear or graffiti text.  Heels or high tops are my preferred footwear for this look.

dorothy-perkins-jackets-grey-floral-bomber-jacket

dorothy-perkins-jackets-floral-bomber-jacket

DP monochrome dot and flower bomber jacket

All the above jackets are from www.dorothyperkins.com and are in the sale so you better be quick…

On another floral note, I also found this rather cute floral baseball cap by a brand called T.W.O Face – an independent urban clothing label from London.  Check out their other styles here http://theworldsoriginalface.bigcartel.com/

two face london - world's original face floral cap

Baseball cap by T.W.O Face London