The Genteel
October 18, 2017
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Grace Carter

Despite maintaining an indomitable presence on the British high street for the past 128 years, Marks & Spencer has traversed troubled waters over the last decade. Whilst the tough economic climate and global recession have undoubtedly had a certain level of influence on falling profits, can Marks & Spencer be accused of being the architect of its own downfall?

By Grace Carter

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Grace Carter

London UK

Grace is Associate Editor at The Genteel and a contributing writer from London, where she has recently graduated with a First-Class degree in English from Loughborough University. After spending her second year of university on exchange at the National University of Singapore, Grace realised print journalism was her perfect career. She has since interned at various international and domestic publications and more recently, has accepted a full-fee scholarship to study for her Masters in English. When she isn’t rummaging around in second-hand bookshops or planning her next overseas adventure, Grace likes to hunt out the tastiest new restaurants in town. You can follow Grace on Twitter, @thelondonintern. 

Singaporeans love the humble flip-flop. But why is it the footwear of choice in a country that is, in every other way, a chic and stylish metropolis? Grace Carter explores what Singapore's collective footwear preference reveals about its culture and national psyche.

Thanks to London Fashion Week, this year's Olympic host city was brought to life once more. Submerged in a cacophony of floral patterns, eccentric prints and bursts of neon yellow accessories, the elite fashion troupe descended on the cultural hub and filled the otherwise sallow streets of London with vibrant confidence, colourful sophistication and creative panache. Grace Carter reports from London.

Last month, Brazilian-based modelling agency, Star Models, launched a controversial eating disorder awareness campaign which draws attention to the unrealistic proportions of models in many fashion sketches. Grace Carter examines the role played by such advertisements.

After substantial global debate spanning two decades, the European Union will finally impose a full ban on the sale, marketing and import of all cosmetics tested on animals - for both finished products and their ingredients - effective March 11, 2013.

June Kenton, owner of Rigby & Peller and holder of the prestigious Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II, claims 85 per cent of women wear the wrong bra. Grace Carter has a personal encounter with the brand that has been masterminding change across the globe.

The BRANDAID Project has been working hard to give talented Haitian artisans access to bustling global markets. But make no mistake; with attention-grabbing tag lines such as "Poverty Needs Marketing" and a recent collection launch at Selfridges, the project is firmly a for-profit initiative. 

There is something quietly enchanting about Alexander Lewis. Fluent in design, creativity and passion is built into his every word and, spoken in his softly measured tone, one cannot help but listen. Grace Carter caught up with him on Day One of London Fashion Week.

Demand for low-cost clothing has seen many developing countries experience poor working conditions, low wages, cowboy operators, corrupt governments and a catalogue of catastrophes. Yet it has also given jobs to millions of workers. Grace Carter asks what price is really being paid.

Athena Procopiou's beautiful and delicate printed scarves are stocked by the likes of Harvey NicholsLiberty London and Net-a-Porter; however, little is known about Procopiou herself. Grace Carter finds out more about the designer who spins fairytales into fashion.

When faced with the prospect of a proposal, Grace Carter had one question on her mind: why are only women expected to wear an engagement ring? The answers she found were fascinating.

The traditional "press day" has played an integral role in fashion communication over the years and  even seems to be weathering the digital storm. Despite the rise of digital showrooms, Grace Carter makes a case for the press day and its importance in fashion journalism.

Artisans d'Angkor have spent the past 14 years re-building the local arts and crafts scene in Cambodia. The organisation has been training young Cambodians from rural villages in various artistic skills after the country was destroyed by the horrors inflicted by the Khmer Rouge regime during the 1970s.

As Singapore kicks off its haute couture week, Grace Carter explores the eclectic selection of designers on show. From Singapore to France to Mongolia, the week promises to be a dynamic step for Singaporean fashion consciousness.

Anna Piaggi, an iconic fashion journalist and style icon once referred to as "the world's last great authority on frocks" by Manolo Blahnik, died in her Milan home today, aged 81. With her passing, the fashion industry has irretrievably lost a great deal of colour.

Ever fancied a career in fashion - mentored and certified by Vogue? Classes began at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design on April 15, with students applying from 43 countries to be part of the first intake. But it doesn't come cheap. Grace Carter asks: is it really worth it?

London Fashion Week is fighting back. After a five-day push of theatrical shows, directional trends, luxurious venues and after parties in abundance, 2013 seems to be the year that LFW can finally shake its tail feathers in triumph. Grace Carter reports from LFW.

For the first time ever, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Met Gala was live-streamed across the net and the digital component unquestionably contributed to its success. But is "mass entertainment" the future direction of an increasingly progressive fashion industry?

The Attendant, a contemporary cafe situated in the centre of London, seems like your regular destination for enjoying a cup of coffee and light lunch with city colleagues. Yet back in the nineteenth century, it once existed as a gent's public toilet. Intrigued to find out more, The Genteel sat down with co-founder Pete Tomlinson for this week's five x five interview series.

For the past year, Porter - the first print publication from online luxury retail giant Net-a-Porter.com - has been causing ripples across the industry. The glossy consumer publication finally hit British newsstands last week. Grace Carter wonders whether anything new is really being offered to readers within its pages

Grace Carter speaks with Tena Strok, founder of recently opened East London "alternative luxury store" Celestine Eleven, to find out about "a new breed of holistic retail experience."

It's that time of year again when the mulled wine is brewing on the stove, the house is filled with the heady smell of pine needles and one family member or another is sporting a colourful Christmas hat. As The Genteel team is both global and diverse, we thought we would ask our contributors how they will be celebrating this seasonal holiday - along with if any unusual family traditions will be upheld.

After the announcement that Angela Ahrendts will be stepping down from her highly acclaimed helm as chief executive officer of Burberry, stock turmoil ensued almost as soon as the change was announced. As such, the question should be raised as to who or what consumers and shareholders trust the most – the boss or the business.

Although fashion week arguably provides more spectacle than Cirque du Soleil, many collections remain forgettable. This season, however, Miuccia Prada kick started the design revolution the industry has been crying out for.

Since launching their brand, Fyodor Golan, in 2010, Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman have had an epigrammatic road to success, and went on to receive the prestigious Fashion Fringe Award in 2011. Get to know these creative characters as they speak to The Genteel about who wears the trousers and where they like to hide out after Fashion Week has ended. 

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