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FA S H I O N I N T E R V I E W

Trend watch: SHEARLING From understated to out-there, shearling gilets and coats are tantalisingly tactile for AW14 By LA

Bartley (left) and Hillier on the catwalk after the AW14 show in New York last February

was dynamic, irreverent, attitude-packed and, above all, fiercely original – an adrenaline shot for a diffusion brand that had, at times, been accused of diffusing too much. Style.com’s Tim Blanks called the collection sensational, and Jacobs himself (who was sitting in the front row with Sofia Coppola) was first on his feet to lead the standing ovation. “You did great – really, really great,” Jacobs later told them backstage. “Be happy.” Crucially, their designs are being received as well commercially as they are critically, which is partly due to their egalitarian price points, but also down to their wide-reaching appeal. The pieces are designed to resonate equally with the twentysomething party girls the pair were when they first met as with the successful, early-forties career women they are today. “There’s something for every age and attitude,” Hillier says. “We just want everybody to be able to buy into it, to be part of it and to love it.” Since their appointments, the pair have adopted transatlantic lifestyles, splitting their time between the label’s London and New York offices, and have adjusted to the slickness and scale of the international operation. “In the beginning [at Luella], all we were trying to do was create nice things,” Bartley says. “These days we have to have a little bit more of a strategy.” Yet both insist that the company is far from a commerce-focused corporate behemoth. “It’s very free and open, and there’s a willingness to take risks and try things that other big brands just wouldn’t, which makes us excited for the future,” Hillier says. “I’m actually really loving being part of a big company,” Bartley says. “You don’t have to carry it all on your own. And it’s so much more fun doing it together. I mean, if your day job is designing with your best friend – well, what could be better?” HMN Available from Designer Accessories, Lower Ground Floor; Designer Studio, First Floor; and harrods.com

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H A R RODS M AGA ZINE

TON

When Australian dog breeder Wally Conron set about inventing the Labradoodle in the late 1980s, he was inspired by the simple thought of combining the lowshedding coat of the Poodle with the gentleness and trainability of the Labrador. Unwittingly, Conron and his invention heralded a new velutinous age, a world of cavoodles, groodles, schnoodles and cockapoos. I take this trip down dog-breeding memory lane with you today not because autumn requires a canine accessory, but because you’ll find that wearing this season’s shearling coat has much in common with walking a Labradoodle or one of its oodly brethren. You’ll find that as you parade about town in your black shearling Isabel Marant gilet, you’ll meet with the same effervescent response: wideeyed cooing, bursts of adoration, and the hands of strangers ruffling through your woolly coat. The trick is never to let such admiration grow unruly. Sure, walking into a party in your fulllength white and black Miu Miu coat has the same effect as carrying a fuzzy young pup. But discipline starts early with outerwear. Allow three or four minutes of fussing upon arrival, and thereafter carry yourself more as Labrador than Poodle: less corkscrewed loopiness, more well-trained gentility. There are some exceptions, of course. Belstaff’s handsome shearling parka, for instance, demands a glint of something mischievous beneath its sombre-hued exterior: a raised brow, a kittenish smile – just enough to suggest the wearer might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Meanwhile, worn the wrong way, Prada’s black and red shearling jacket could have onlookers mistaking you for some kind of Art Deco market trader. Wear this coat with poise, grace and a swanlike demeanour, and on no account when selling carrots or oranges (five for £1!) around Covent Garden. Lastly, Gucci’s pink shearling coat is so thoroughly, gloriously preposterous that one should only wear it in the knowledge that, in doing so, one is performing a public service. As you float through the park, be aware that you will be regarded not as a woman bundled up in her warmest jacket but as the first hopeful glimpse of spring: a soft plume of cherry blossom, joyous against the wintry sky. Available from International Designer, First Floor. To watch a video of this feature, download the Harrods Magazine app Laura Barton is a feature writer for The Guardian. She also writes for Q, The Word, Vogue and Red

FROM TOP Isabel Marant gilet £1,750; Miu Miu coat price on request; Belstaff coat £2,925; Prada coat price on request; Gucci coat £4,070

Profile for Harrods online

Harrods Magazine October 2014  

This month, the fashion team travelled to mysterious Mongolia to shoot the bold patterns, textured fleeces and tapestry ponchos in the autum...

Harrods Magazine October 2014  

This month, the fashion team travelled to mysterious Mongolia to shoot the bold patterns, textured fleeces and tapestry ponchos in the autum...

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