Short for biodegradable textiles, this refers to materials engineered out of organic sources such as bacteria, algae, animal cells or yeast. It’s not new in material science, but real-life applications have been largely limited to prototypes with scalability and refinement still an issue. That has not stopped some of luxury’s biggest names from delving into them though and, more significantly, incorporating them into pieces that we can actually buy.
This season, Hermes – a name synonymous with exquisite leather – for example has released the Victoria (this page), a handsome duffel crafted partly out of Sylvania. Created with the Californian start-up Mycoworks that finesses materials out of mycelium (read: the root structure of mushrooms), this leather alternative is tanned and finished in the maison’s workshops in France to enhance its durability. The plan is for the label to use it alongside its existing line-up of luxurious skins.
Over at Cartier, the latest generation of the signature Tank Must (opposite) aren’t just the brand’s first solar-powered timepieces. They also debut a leather-esque strap that comprises zilch animal parts and is instead 40 per cent plant matter produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. According to the brand, this – as compared to manufacturing a traditional watch strap – helps cut down its carbon footprint by six times; water usage by up to 10 litres; and conserves energy equivalent to that needed for charging 200 smartphones.
SLGS – SMALL LIFESTYLE GOODS
With the pandemic fuelling fashion’s foray into homeware and utilitarian dressing all while not dampening handbag sales (see the surge in revenue at most of the major luxury houses in the first half of 2021), is it any surprise that we’ll see the emergence of a new accessories category that marries the two? Going beyond the common notion of SLGs (small leather goods), these products often have a specific, convenient function and have been designed to be carried easily around.
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Oyster Perpetual Explorer By Rolex Enters A New Generation
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THE MISSING LINK
Bringing new order to Fendi this season is not just debuting womenswear artistic director Kim Jones and his collection of sizzlingly sensual wardrobe staples, but also Delfina Delettrez Fendi – daughter of long-time brand matriarch Silvia Venturini Fendi as its creative director of jewellery. Gordon Ng speaks to the fashion scion on joining – and getting a new generation hooked onto – the family business.
A club might connote glitz and glamour, but for Virginie Viard – artistic director of Chanel where effortlessness has always been a cornerstone – it’s also a space that allows one to be informal and truly free. Presented at the French nightlife institution Chez Castel, the brand’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection is an ode to “cool Parisian chic” spanning the ’70s to now. Here, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its make and low-key magic.
The 1947-born Miss Dior fragrance is turning a page this year – first with an updated look and formulation; and second with the publication of a biography that tells for the first time the overlooked tale of the perfume’s namesake Catherine Dior. Author Justine Picardie gives Gordon Ng the exclusive on her place in beauty, fashion and a turbulent world.
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DAYS OF OUR LIVES
The pandemic has no doubt affected everybody, altering lifestyles and reminding us that often, what was once considered ordinary cannot be taken for granted. From a hyper-stylish content creator to a botanical designer who just uprooted to Europe, five women creatives give Keng Yang Shuen a peek into their routines to show us how they live now.
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