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Off the Record: 2 October 2015

Days and nights at the museum, Drapers gets dizzy for a good cause, female retail stars and more party news

The Fabric of India awaits

This huge summer cotton carpet from the Indian province of Madhya Pradesh dates from around 1650 and makes a stunning starting point for the V&A’s latest show, The Fabric of India. Examples of extraordinary work from 2,000 years ago to the present day will keep textile designers and anyone interested in craft and art very contented. The show runs until 10 January 2016.

The Fabric of India

The Fabric of India

Drapers’ dizzy rascals

Dizzy Goal challenge

Drapers team takes part in Dizzy Goals challenge for charity

The Drapers editorial and commercial teams joined forces last week to tackle the Dizzy Goals challenge in support of the UN Global Goals campaign, which is aimed at improving issues such as poverty, global warming and social equality by 2030. The challenge involved five staff members spinning themselves at speed 13 times around a football before attempting to kick the ball into a goal – with varying degrees of success. To watch a comical video of the team’s efforts click here.

2015’s Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Ambassadors

2015’s Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Ambassadors

Sisters in retail

Hundreds of retailers from across the industry gathered at Claridge’s in London to sip champagne and celebrate the success of 12 women named as 2015’s Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Ambassadors. Scooping the top award for Retail Ambassador of the Year was Negar Bagherzadeh, senior manager for business applications at Gap. Another fashion sector ambassador is Natasha Leith-Smith, founder and designer of Allumer Jewellery London.

Werth the wait for W1 opening

Peter Werth tapped into its London roots to celebrate the launch of its second standalone store on London’s Eastcastle Street (sharing the building with its design studio and showroom). Promoting a new direction for the 40-year-old menswear brand is a nationwide cinema campaign in conjunction with east London bruiser flick Legend. Sadly, Peter Werth creative director Phil Jones (pictured) didn’t make it into the film as the Krays’ friendlier sibling.




An ace night

A strong celebrity contingent was out in force at the European launch party for Canadian casualwear retailer Kit & Ace, founded by the Wilson family who own yoga brand Lululemon. JJ Wilson saw TV presenter George Lamb DJ as the young Shoreditch set partied and sipped espresso martinis among the cashmere T-shirts in the Redchurch Street store.

Future footwear?

Designing footwear and 3-D printing were among topics for discussion as Rem D Koolhaas, co-founder of contemporary shoe brand United Nude, interviewed celebrated product designers Ross Lovegrove and Michael Young at its Covent Garden shop. The pair were among five designers who each had created a pair of 3-D printed shoes. Lovegrove’s Ilabo style in turquoise nylon and rubber was typical of the extreme approach. It has been produced in a limited edition of 50 pairs.

Rem D Koolhaas and the Ilabo 3D printed shoe by Ross Lovegrove

Rem D Koolhaas and the Ilabo 3D printed shoe by Ross Lovegrove


The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

London’s property pile

Hard to miss in the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries of the V&A Museum is a 6 metre-high installation by artist Barnaby Barford celebrating – if that is the word – London’s retail experience. Specially created for the Museum, The Tower of Babel is made up of 3,000 individual bone china buildings, each depicting an actual London shop photographed by the artist.

At the base are derelict shops and pound stores, while at the pinnacle are the capital’s exclusive boutiques and galleries. Made in Stoke-on-Trent by 1882 Ltd, each miniature shop is individually signed by the artist and is for sale exclusively through the V&A, costing between £95 and £6,000, depending on where they sit on the tower. The Tower of Babel will be on display until 1 November.


Maxi exposure for Minnie

Georgia May Jagger, Minnie Mouse and Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council

Georgia May Jagger, Minnie Mouse and Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council

Who is the most influential female fashion icon of the last 75 years? Obviously it’s Minnie Mouse. Which is why the British Fashion Council dedicated an exhibition at Blacks Club in Soho featuring model Georgia May Jagger and other celebrities to the diminutive Disney rodent during London Fashion Week. Although sporting neither polka dots nor a bow in her hair, BFC chief executive Caroline Rush confessed to being a “huge fan” as she introduced the “original supermodel”, who, like all the best supers, maintained an enigmatic silence.

In Strictly’s footsteps

Debs dancing

Debs dancing

Debenhams rolled out the stars of the celebrity ballroom contest Strictly Come Dancing to show us how it’sdone at its annual charity event at Grosvenor House in Mayfair. Although we didn’t spot chief executive Michael Sharp doing the cha-cha later on that evening, Freight Brokers managing director Charles Keisner – pictured here in between Drapers senior news reporter Tara Hounslea and Freight Brokers sales director Ben Keisner – certainly threw a few shapes to Olly Murs later on.

Like a bull in a … shopping centre

The Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham has unveiled a 15ft light installation affectionately named as the Disco Bull Head, which will come to light every evening for two weeks until October 8. Shoppers can snap a selfie with the bull, created by Josh Harker who was behind the Shogyo Mujo Skull at last year’s Burning Man Festival, to be in chance with winning a cash voucher each day.


Artist Josh Harker’s Disco Bull Head comes to life at Bullring Birmingham - © Claire Mackintosh / Clickers Photography Ltd


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