Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Shopping: Lanvin & Prada

Earlier this month I made a few -ahem- purchases. The first was a Lanvin hat, and I'm not going to lie but the decision was more than in part influenced by the spectacular blue box in which it came. Still, I've always been fascinated by how hats can really take outfits to another level, and make them really stylish as opposed to just stylish, and honestly I don't think I can pull it off yet, but I'm working on it.

Jeanne Lanvin actually started out as a hat maker in the 1890s, so Lanvin has a real heritage in millinery, which is now mostly restricted to the men's side of things though. Unfortunately the Lanvin men's shop had sold out of all their hats (they are apparently very popular) so I had to buy this from Harvey Nichols. The service in the men's department there is appalling, I would never recommend shopping there, and inded I will never do so again myself.

I also bought another pair of Prada shoes, which was really bad considering post the studded Pradas I vowed no more shoes (in fact, I think it was no more shopping at all)...

I'm really loving the FW09 Prada men's shoes.. these are basically really good quality traditional lace-ups with a removable trainer/sneaker tongue. Combining formal shoes with a sportswear element is very characteristic of Prada and I like the idiosyncrasy of it. I also love the rounded toe, because personally I dislike pointed toe shoes, and shoes with a blunter toe shape are surprisingly difficult to find.. I must have tried on every pair of black 'designer' shoes in London (actually looking for something cheaper than Prada, because I was originally just after a pair of black shoes to pass off as formal on a few occasions) but I couldn't find anything, until I realised what I really wanted was a version of my studded Pradas, minus the studs, and these come pretty close. There are a couple of other Prada shoes I love at the moment (there are some cool pairs with very heavy, Dr Martens type rubber roles) but there is absolutely no way I can buy more before the sales (or indeed, even with 50% off).

The Prada store tried to under-charge me by £80, and when I told the sales assistant (as it happened only because I wanted to be sure I was getting the pair I actually wanted, not another pair which I had tried on which did cost £80 less) his response was not 'thank you' but rather 'if I were you I wouldn't have said anything.' I honestly do not know what is wrong with retail staff in London.

One shop in London though, perhaps the only shop, were they really understand the value of good service is Harrods. From the sales assistants in the men's Prada store-in-store (would have bought the shoes there if they hadn't sold out - natch), to the man in the YSL women's concession, to the Food Hall staff, they are all friendly, helpful and polite.

Case in point is that I went to the Acqua di Parma counter to buy just two bar soaps (basically the cheapest thing they sell) and the woman was just so nice (she elaborately wrapped everything in Acqua di Parma tissue paper, spritzed the paper with the fragrance, put it in a yellow Acqua di Parma bag, thew in a load of samples and invited me to join the Acqua di Parma VIP Club [!]) that it honestly made my day, and I will definitely go back there... just goes to show how these little things really can make a difference.


  1. i'm still jealous about the studded ones, but these are magnificant as well. what a relaxed pair of lace-ups!

  2. :o

    where did you get this hat? may I ask how expensive it was?

  3. Ohh, lucky boy!
    I've been eying some Prada sneakers for ages, but I cant justify them right now, sigh, some day soon, when I'm shooting for Vogue:) and can just sneak some off the set with a lovely pair.
    The Fake Sartorialist Blog

  4. @ Pascal Grob

    I got the hat from Harvey Nichols in London. There are similar ones online here-

    Mine was a bit cheaper.

  5. yours was cheaper because it's from the cheaper diffusion line "15 faubourg"

    all mainline men's Lanvin items just say lanvin on the tag. for men, there is:

    - Lanvin (main)
    - Lanvin 15 Faubourg (diffusion)
    - Lanvin en bleu (for japan)

  6. Hello Anonymous,

    15 Faubourg is not actually a diffusion line (as in a cheaper line with watered down design), rather it is the line of non-runway classic tailoring.

    My hat was about £10 cheaper than the ones in that link, not because they're from the runway line and mine is not - the runway line only has hats in any given season if they have been shown as part of the runway collection (obviously), so this season the runway hats are sort of felt caps and all other hats are from 'classic Lanvin' i.e. 15 Faubourg.

    Alber Elbaz has been asked numerous times if he will do a diffusion line, and the answer is always no.

  7. the hat in the Aloharag link is also 15 Faubourg. you can see it in one of the pictures.

    Alber Elbaz is only the overseer, Ossendrijver is the designer. they call it their classic line, but you should know better. especially per your definition, it IS a diffusion line, as it is cheaper in cost and is pretty watered down design.

    Luisaviaroma stocks some 15 Faubourg. they don't always label it in the details, but you can tell by the design and the difference in price point. a good example is in their sale section|CallType=ListOfProd&des=297&cat=&season=sale&gender=men&group=&style=