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17th October 2022



Like everyone with an interest in fashion, we look to designers and the catwalks to see what fresh style tricks they have up their tailored sleeves.

Having watched all of the major four Fashion Weeks which ended fittingly in Paris, a lot of what we saw was fun, imaginative and, to be quite frank, a little bit unwearable if you are over twenty, a size eight and under 5 feet 10 inches tall.

And then two shows in particular came along and showed us who meant business. The first, by Anthony Vaccerello at Saint Laurent, brought us a strong, highly-tailored, new form of power dressing. Chanel, by Virginie Viard, was far softer, with a prettier colour palette, with all of the details we come to expect from the most famous couture house in Paris. Can you love both? Absolutely. Were the accessories pieces which we will all covet? Without a doubt. So to give you a flavour of what’s to come, and also pick out some fantastic new YSL and Chanel eyewear at Blankstone, read on.

If there is one thing we love at Saint Laurent shows, the designer isn’t scared of showing off eyewear: more than half of the models sported next-season YSL sunglasses, which is great news for trend-spotters. The show itself was exquisite, and gave a nod to triumphs of the label’s original founder, Yves. Is that a shoulder pad we spotted? It certainly was. Between the beautifully tailored coats, which were super-long, and draped dresses and jumpsuits, it was certainly dramatic. And yet these are looks which, when you separate them out, are full of wearable elements.

Our favourite coat from all four Fashion Weeks. And the eyewear is striking, that’s for sure…

Slave to the rythmn but not to trends – a Saint Laurent nod to Grace Jones

It’s all about the draping

Leather drama, a hint of sheer, and the return of the statement shoulder

FROW Fabulous – Hailey Bieber adds some glamour

And so to Chanel. Since she took over at Chanel, Virginie Viard has not put a toe-capped boot wrong. She simply knows what women want to wear, rather than sending our headline-grabbers which end up consigned to history. The suiting was soft, and Viard sent out signature monochrome looks, ice-cream shades as well crisp, white cotton. The devil, as always, was in the accessory detailing. And the star of the show was the all-new Mary Jane shoes, complete with patent bows and sheer legs. If you don’t watch a Chanel show live on Instagram, then go off and check you have entered the Euro Millions, well, you certainly can’t be in the Chanel coterie.

Dotty for black and white, and our bag of the season

The allure of the Chanel suit is eternal – and matching mini-bag? Yes please

An ivory silk printed double ‘C’ trouser suit is perfection

Beautiful white plus those signature Chanel chain detailing

The Mary Jane brought into a new era

Front Row Fashion Royalty – Naomi does Chanel with elegance

With all these fresh new trends around, I wanted to check the new eyewear collections at Blankstone, and so firstly I checked in with Gill, who took me through everything that’s new to YSL. Her own personal optical favourites, The Havana, (YSL SLM97) have that exaggerated cat’s eye shape, that suit every face shape and have that classy, chic logo.

When it comes to Chanel, as an exclusive stockist we were able to send our fabulous duo Emma and Christine off to Chanel Bond Street for the day, to check out their very latest eyewear drops. While Chanel allows photographers and us all to view their catwalk collections, eyewear is something they still drape in mystery. So our stylish twosome had to switch their smartphones off, as they learned more about the brand, its history, its signature style and its optical and sunglasses reveal. Let’s just say they were super-impressed.

In Emma’s own words: ‘It was such a fantastic and exciting day for us both, to see the inside of this beautiful flagship boutique, as well as checking out Bond Street itself, which really is like walking down a red carpet.

We were made to feel so welcome, and enjoyed learning more about what the house of Chanel is all about. As for the eyewear, it was classy and elegant, and we can’t wait to share it with you all. Put it this way, when their people tell our people, we are good to go!’ With luxury goodie bags in hand, our girls came home full of enthusiasm.

And our fresh-in Chanel collections are a reflection of all of the beautiful pieces to come.

The Chanel 5475Q – the ultimate in luxury sunglasses, with that signature calfskin quilting

The Chanel 3429Q – beautifully square with ultimate Chanel chain feature arms

It is lovely to feel included in both of these magnificent fashion labels, and having worn both in the past, and in the present, when it comes to eyewear I have optical and sunglasses that go back three decades. Made to the highest standards, with design details that mark them out, I have found that because I look after my eyewear, it could possibly last longer than I ever do! Sometimes styles do change, but I also found that if you give certain models a rest, they always come back to see another sunny day.

An investment in style is worth every penny. And if, like me, you wear vari-focals and get your eyes tested regularly, absolutely essential, too.

I can’t choose between these two labels, though. That is an impossible task.

You can view the full Blankstone Saint Laurent Blankstone eyewear collection here:

You can check out the full Chanel Blankstone eyewear collection here:

Additional catwalk images courtesy of Vogue Catwalk

This month’s Blankstone Blog is brought to you by our resident style reporter, Nancy Buckland Kirk.