Category Archives: New Buys

Some Kind of Shangri-La

Metallics.  Iridescence.  Sheeny shinyness.  Layers.  These are the components that make up the outfit equivalent of Shangri-La for me.  The main facilitator?  A Miu Miu jacket from the current A/W 14-5 collection, looking all delicious and tempting in-stores and online, stuffed with pastels, parkas and plastic brilliance.   How did I get it?  I was very honoured to be asked to be “Girl in Miu Miu” for a few days, leading up to Miu Miu ‘s S/S 15 show in Paris, taking over their Girl in Miu Miu Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr accounts.  Francesca Burns, fashion editor of British Vogue, was the previous Girl in Miu Miu in Venice, and a definite hard act to follow.  I did my artsy-fartsy best to put up some lush Girl in Miu Miu moments.  The reward?  The jacket, which when paired with other equally shimmery things such as Marques Almeida x Topshop‘s collabo taffeta trousers (I know everyone is falling hard for the shredded denim but don’t ignore the awesome 90s silk taffy bits!) and Alexander Lewis’ Palm Springs-inspired resort mermaid tail shirt dress, then becomes my kind of outfit alchemy.  Emphasis on the “my”.  Add a bargain £40 Tao by Comme des Garcons find from Rag Tag (from her debut solo A/W 05-6 collection no less) and some belatedly bought Meadham Kirchhoff x Nicholas Kirkwood glitter wedges from that most beloved SS12 collection (from a recent Nicholas Kirkwood sample sale… ) and there you have all the things that make me beam, beam, beam.  Oh, and thinking I’ll be able to easily convert these Ek Thongprasert bejewelled silicone peach danglies from pierced earrings to clip-ons, they’ll be the final finishing touch to this overly decorated layer cake.

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0E5A9311Miu Miu A/W 14-5 metallic jacquard jacket, Alexander Lewis resort 2015 iridescent dress, Marques Almeida x Topshop taffeta trousers, vintage Tao Comme des Garcons knitted top, Meadham Kirchhoff x Nicholas Kirkwood SS12 shoes, Miu Miu sunglasses, Ek Thongprasert earrings

The past is filled with violent joys and broken toys,
Laughing girls and teasing boys.

But don’t try to touch me, don’t try to touch me
Cos that will never happen again.

Tomorrow? Well, tomorrow’s a long way off.
Maybe someday I’ll have somebody’s hand.

I referenced Shangri-La in the title of the post as a nod to the main soundtrack component of Miu Miu’s S/S 15 show.  The American girl group trio Shangri Las and their 1966 spoken word track about teenage heartbreak “Past, Present and Future”, layered over Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is one big telling clue into Miuccia’s mindset for Miu Miu’s latest collection.  As is the way she threw in other jarring sounds from Norwegian noise rock outfit Moon Relay as well as the soundtrack from John Waters’ 1974 classic Female Trouble.  How else to decipher what seemed like a medley of Miu Miu classics – remixed of course.  Cinched in plaid belts and pencil skirts, 1950s housecoats and 18th century Bucol floral silks were prim.  Ruffled lingerie-inspired crop tops, exaggerated bow mules and a drawn on brow courtesy of Pat McGrath were not.  In fact they were decidedly bad.  These ladies slash vamps stalked down the OMA-designed runway underneath misleading church-like wooden arches, with a knowing look in their eyes revelling in their “female troubles” (“They say I’m a skank but I don’t care… I’m a jerk – I like it fine!” so the song goes) The juxtaposition between the two made me think of vintage glamourous mugshots, yesteryear girl gangs and teenage rebellion of every era.  In other words, well versed tropes for Miuccia.  After the questionable faux-feminism of Chanel, seeing Miu Miu the next day was like being brought back on to more stable feminist ground.  It’s almost default for Miuccia to think about the complexities of female empowerment or on the most basic level, be cleverly empathetic to how clothing can make a woman feel.  It’s why Miu Miu and Prada collections are often loaded with subjective references, for the onlooker.    Something is always simmering beneath the surface, which is why I so enjoyed my temporary stint as a Girl in Miu Miu.  At the very least, I was within a five metre radius of the woman herself backstage at the show.  Still not said “Hi!” yet.  Maybe I never will.

Was I ever in love? I called it love…
I mean, it felt like love,
There were moments when…
Well, there were moments when.

IMG_20141006_155510Last day as Girl in Miu Miu in Paris

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IMG_20141001_125556From my stint as a Girl in Paris

0E5A0955OMA designed set of wooden arches for Miu Miu SS15

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IMG_20141002_062747Taken backstage at Miu Miu S/S 15 – thin brow action created by Pat McGrath

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1980scholagirlsHoyo Maravilla gang girls, East LA, 1983 photographed by Janett Beckman

pachucaA “Pachucha” (Mexican-American women in zoot suits) Rosie From Boyle Heights In The 1940s

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01175568.JPGWoman in a plaid skirt, 1946 photographed by Nina Leen for Life Magazine

00569797.JPGFrom an April 20, 1942, LIFE story about proper skirt-hem lengths, photographed by Nina Leen

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115019426.jpgTeenager in Tokyo, 1965 photographed by Michael Rougier for Life Magazine

hellsangelsHell’s Angels in a bar 1965 photographed by Bill Rey for Life Magazine

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teenagegirlgunsGirls with guns c. 1920s

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John Stezaker: Pair IVPair (IV) The Approach (2007) by John Stezaker

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shangrilasThe Shangri Las

Pink Fight

>> Another day, another onslaught of pink in to the wardrobe.  Search for “Pink Style Bubble” and your eyes might need a mild bout of adjustment from the blinding myriad of shades of fuschia, rose and cerise.  From my recent trip to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, what came home in the suitcase?  Why, another pink ensemble, that came together without intention or purpose.  A Nasir Mazhar cropped jacket from the Opening Ceremony sale (still one of my favourite OC spaces as it’s housed in Charlie Chaplin’s old dance studio), a vintage Ralph Lauren loud men’s shirt from Fruition Las Vegas that looks very un-Ralph Lauren and a clear neon pink skirt from downtown LA’s quirky answer to Cyber Dog, Round 2 LA.  Together, they conjure up all kinds of things that take pink out of its comfort zone of gender-tied connotations.  There’s nothing “baby” about these pinks.  Especially when you take into account all of the following: Antonio Lopez’s exuberant illustrations, TLC’s matchy-matchy-but-badbass outfits, Japanese cyber candy style (specifically derived from the brand Takuya Angel), Ukiyo-e woodblock print and paintings mixed with Miami Vice graphics as seen on my crazy Ralph Lauren shirt and five coloured-hair Sooz from that early millennial series As If – basically the more awesome predecessor to Skins.  Not sure if N15 is quite ready for this hyper strength dosage of pink…

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0E5A6062 Vintage Ralph Lauren shirt from Fruition LV, pink plastic skirt from Round 2 LA, Nasir Mazhar jacket, Dior trainers - 

Only for the Hardcore

>> Following my mammoth Port Eliot post, I thought I’d follow up with something short ‘n’ sweet.  This is basically an excuse to post Jamie xx’s new All Under One Roof Raving track, which samples Mark Leckey’s 1999 all time awesome art short Fiorucci Made me Hardcore and an excerpt from the raving episode of Spaced.  Fiorucci.  Spaced.  Jamie xx – all good things.  But obviously the subject of this video are these most excellent white leather Ashish and Topshop sliders, made by Buffalo.  Again, all good things.  The low-top trainers sold out in nano seconds but for some reason, the sliders are still available in a range of sizes, which I preferred anyway.  I reserved them in my size about a month ago and then promptly forgot about them but the lovely folks in personal shopping in Topshop Oxford Circus kept them for me until I bothered to pick them up today.  Thumbs up personal shoppers!  What makes these the utmost of ace-ness of course are the LED lights embedded into the soles.  Not just one tiresome pattern of blinking lights, but a remote control that goes through about 10 different modes of blinking rainbow lights, with the ability to control the colour selection and brightness.  I’m basically going to be making like Tyres (please watch Spaced if you haven’t done so – you won’t regret it and I can drop more gratuitous references) and bounce around my home raving it up to anything from the telephone to the screaming kids next door.

Trees and Faces

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Luke Brooks and Beth Postle are two painterly kindred spirits who have come together to take up residence at the Hackney Shop on 99 Morning Lane, shortly after friend and sister Jenny Postle and Sam Leutton’s label did the pop-up thing.  You’ll be familiar with Luke from his Central Saint Martins MA collection, making a name for himself for his homespun and hand crafted techniques.  More recently, he’s been selling “tree-shirts”, painted together with his dad, which I’ve now adopted as my default pull-on-in-hot-weather shirt.  Beth Postle is another familiar name as her breakout BA collection led her to a successful collaboration with Machine-A.

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It was a well-timed collaboration as Beth has just broken up for the  summer from her CSM MA course and she had people still hankering pieces from her now infamous “Face” BA collection, inspired by 1920s Soviet costumes and 1970s paper cut out dolls.  Postle’s faces now grace a collection of long and short sleeved oversized tees as well as some leather pouches, ensuring that her BA collection gets the third/second life it deserves.  If you don’t fancy a face on your chest than a pair of hands or a hilarious pair of hairy feet might be more your thing.  Bewarned. They’re hard to choose from.

Luke is creating accessible work to satisfy himself and, in turn others and it’s working a treat.  From the series of “tree shirts”, he’s gone on to prolifically painting more XXXL and longer line t-shirts with generously daubed-on butterflies and his take on a floral still life and other more abstracted pieces.  I love the effect of the butterfly paintings as one colour swirls into another.  When unwashed, the paint has this lacquered surface but bung it in a washing machine at 30 degrees and you’ll get a pleasingly cracked and weathered effect.  “It’s the first time i’ve made stuff simply because I like it  and people I know like it, rather than trying to do something clever,” said Luke over an email.  “It feels more humane in a way, rather than striving for, and killing myself over, achieving an attainably specific technique or visual.”  The G-O-D headpiece from Luke’s MA collection has shrunk in size and there will also be squirty flower headbands for sale too.

With summer vibes on my brain as I leave for Los Angeles today, I popped into the shop just as Luke and Beth were setting up.  The walls have been covered with Papa Brooks’ artwork and a plastic sheet with peeling flakes of acrylics paint has been hung up as a makeshift changing room curtain.  This corner unit has been transformed into a temporary joyful haven, which will soak up the rays of London’s pending heatwave and encourage people to get painterly and colour happy.   Especially when prices of everything are around the £40-£120 mark.

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Luke and Beth were reluctant to let their best pieces go before the store was officially open but I was determined to nab something that is crying out for the backdrop of Joshua Tree and Salvation Mountain (yes we’re making a baking hot drive out there).  A Beth Postle portrait tee and a pair of Luke Brooks butterfly painted shorts are ready for their time under the sun.  Not sure Virgin Atlantic lounge peeps are quite ready the combo though…

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Grass is Greener

>> I generally dislike the designated style magazine list constructs of Hot/Not, In/Out and Steal/Splurge. The first two for the obvious reasons that they’re arbitrary page fillers that are designed to make whatever you have in possession in the Not or Out categories deemed inadequate or uncool.  The last because inevitably the Steal option is so inferior or dissimilar to the Splurge that again feelings of inadequacy kick in again.  Boo to that.  However on this occasion, I turn to the oft-used Steal vs. Splurge device because I’ve been called to task by one particular commenter, regarding recent posts mainly focusing on unattainable and inaccessible fashion when I reviewed the Louis Vuitton cruise show.  I thank Alex Fury for a) coming to my defense and b) bringing up the point that accessibility is a relative thing.  What is designer after all doesn’t necessarily mean it’s prohibitive price wise, based on our respective bargain hunting experiences.

That said, I take into consideration all sound criticism.  As long as it doesn’t skew into “You’re so ugly/fat” territory.  Ain’t nothing I can do about those attributes.  When I replied to the original commenter, I said that there had to be an interesting or aesthetically pleasing aspect about the high street to compel me to write about it and that simply writing about fashion as pure product just didn’t excite me.  And so a curious terrarium of orchids constructed by Grace & Thorn, turned up last week hash-tagged with #ASOSSalon.  I’m increasingly green-fingered now that my patch of garden is due a much-needed reboot so the jar was definitely appreciated on one level.  On another, having had a quick browse of ASOS Salon’s latest collection and I was definitely delighted.  Floral magic.  Faded rose prints on organza bomber jackets and transparent layered shift dresses.  Simone Rocha-esque neon florals, if you missed out her last SS13 collection.  Cleverly spliced florals that avoid flower power cliches.  Erdem-lite florals abound for the fantasy garden parties that play out in our heads as summer comes to fruition.  Dreamer girls who have a penchant for rose bud head dresses are in severe danger here.  ASOS Salon have done some ace things in the past, collaborating with the likes of Molly Goddard for instance and this one, designed by their in-house team follows suit.  What’s great is the amount of detailing packed into the £80 or so pricing in every piece (ok, not bottom of the barrel cheap but you get what you pay for).  The dress I fell for was a lilac cutwork lace number printed with patchy florals like fading wallpaper.  It just looks and feels more expensive than it actually is.  That’s where the high street can excel if it so chooses.

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Not necessarily super similar but in the same garden party vein, I also “splurged” (taking advantage of a Dover Street Market London sale preview) on a Comme des Garcons floral dress made out of Tyvek.  Incidentally, the ASOS Salon dress has a similar paper-esque feel to it just to assert the whole Steal vs. Splurge thing.  I could have gone momentarily mad on poof sleeves and ruffles galore.  There was also a more understated floral print option.  But the pink slip with a tiered hem prevailed.  I mean I really grin grin grin when I put this on.  And not to be all mumsy but the Tyvek material makes it crease proof and suitcase-friendly.

So let’s take some prices to calculation.  The Comme dress (after discount) is about 4 times as expensive as the ASOS Salon.  In a label vs. label toss up between the steal and the splurge, Comme of course throws its weight around.  The Tyvek material contributes to a unique texture and will forever more be connected to the seminal stuffed teddy bear dress from the same collection.  In an aesthetic toss-up, is the Comme number four times as “nice” or as fun to wear?  That’s more of difficult question to answer.  It can swing either way.

What’s interesting is that the four times price differential in the ASOS Salon dress and the Comme dress is not as big a gulf as one might imagine between the high street and high end, which brings me back to Fury’s comment that accessibility is a relative thing.  Designer fashion doesn’t have to be super prohibitive depending on where/when/how we buy them and what we perceive to be low end isn’t necessarily dirt cheap either.  In other words, in an ever expanding fashion market, flooded with product, product, product and a higher pressure to sell, sell, sell, anything goes.  It’s all about choices and lots of them at that.  And what we buy shouldn’t be read just on face value.

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Oh, and whilst I was thinking how nice pink looked against overgrown grass and weeds, I realise that I like glitter and pink.  A lot.

0E5A9213Miu Miu sunglasses, Meadham Kirchhoff x Nicholas Kirkwood shoes (finally mine after some hefty discounting at his recent sample sale), Christopher Kane belt, notebook from Seoul, Versus bag

Painterly Does It

From drawn out antics by girl empowered women to the possible slow wane of digital print, all things are pointing to the “hand” again.  Or in luxury terms “les petites mains” tied up with the ideas of “savoir faire” – all of which are essential when justifying high end brands’ super high prices.  It must also have something to do with the trips back home and seeing my mother squirrelling away my sister’s final pieces from their art A-levels and GCSE’s.  Either way, I’ve been attracted to all things hand painted of late.

From a cynical point of view, hand-painted can also be attached to oft-used jargon like “one-off”, “unique” and “limited edition” that basically gives retailers and designers to add a few zeros to prices.  It’s also a prime opportunity for fashion to collude itself with the art world, elevating product with a point of difference.  From my rose-tinted vision though, to have something hand painted is to know that an item hasn’t just gone through the motions in a factory with set processes to get to you and that the designer has had a real “hand” on the physical item that you’re wearing.

At Dover Street Market in the cheeky sale preview, I bought these Comme des Garcons’ hand painted shoe covers (I did try to root out a specific artist/designer name responsible but “in-house” is about as close as I got).  They’re in part inspired by their support of Raw Vision, a journal celebrating outsider art and also by the way Rei Kawakubo played with child-like chaos in Comme’s S/S 14 collection.  With Comme des Garcons, it’s sometimes best not to ask why but to just react directly.  In the case of these shoe covers, all you need to do is look down, and your face bursts into a Sunny-D smile accompanied by a squeal of delight.  Having seen these shoe covers in all three Dover Street Market locations as well as on other people’s feet, I can attest that no two pairs are the same.  Some are heavier on the flowers and crowns, and some are more dense with the layers of brush strokes.  Selfridges and Ivo Milan are still selling them should you wish to smile with your feet.  They’re sold separately as standalone shoe covers and I’m finding they can go over some lace-up heels as well if you bend them a little.  Hours of fun await.

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0E5A8892Worn with Junya Watanabe shirt and Craig Green shorts

At Bicester Village, when I was selecting my edit of British Designer Collective, Claire Barrow‘s leather jackets were one of my top picks.  Wild imagination takes over when Barrow is painting her characters and dream like narratives on to garment.  No garment seems calculated or planned out.  Her painted leather pieces are part of Barrow’s young trademark.  I loved the collaboration she did with Matches but missed out on a jacket there so this white leather specimen has come to me in happily belated fashion.  It’s the jacket that keeps on giving, the closer you look at the figures and faces painted with a warped yet utterly believable sense of reality.  Whilst Barrow doesn’t cite specific references in her method of painting, but certainly artists like Henry Darger and Howard Finster spring to mind, or a more notable reference – the outsider art concocted for the film Junebug.  Bicester Village’s British Designer Collective still has a lovely painted black biker from her S/S 14 collection (*unless someone has prudently bought it knowing how special it is) and G&B, Negozio also has a selection too.

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Finally, at Fashion Sunday yesterday, it was wonderful to see Luke Brooks – a graduate who I have followed from BA to MA level – put paint to t-shirt with his father and come up with oversized “tree-tees” that are deliberately meant to change over time.  They’re intended to be washed, tumble-dried  and worn until the paintwork cracks even further.  Brooks and his dad dabbed at these XXXL tees to depict cherry blossom scenes with fantastical colour schemes on dip/tie-dyed backgrounds.  They’re the new gen Hypercolor t-shirts without the annoying disappointment when the Hypercolor technology fails you.  Here it’s just good old fashioned paint chipping off over time.

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Giddy Up

>> Prior to the Dubai/Chanel trip, I had a packing terror over impending 40 degrees celcius plus heat and set myself off on a vintage shopping mission to seek out “Long, floaty, white things”.  The mission was of course bound for failure.  Too easily diverted, distracted and therefore, mission derailed.  Along the Camden Passage, a longtime vintage haunt I hadn’t frequented in a while, where many long, white and floaty garments would reside (spots like Annie’s is basically a sartorial homage to Miss Havisham), I found myself in Fat Faced Cat, looking at something pink, short and not floaty at all.  I was due a curious vintage find and it perhaps doesn’t get much odder than an American horse jockey silk shirt, from the first half of the 20th century.  It comes emblazoned with hearts down the sleeves and was sold with a little black satin racing cap cover.  I must be mentally going through every potential sports/active pursuits to exploit.  70s skiwear.  Check.  Surf and skate.  Check.  Motocross.  Check.  Horse racing.  Check check.

Looser fitting than yer’ average horse racing silks with an unusual seven hearts motif (three on one side, four on the other),  the shirt definitely has a life beyond the race track and obviously gives me the opportunity to literally wear my heart on my sleeve.  Uh-huh-huh – wasn’t going to pass up that pun opportunity.  I’m also feeling the TLC satin PJ vibe of the almost too-shiny silk satin, that today is eschewed in favour of practical lycra in the horse racing world.

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0E5A8326 Worn with Ostwald Helgason skirt, Craig and Karl x Le Specs sunglasses, Raf Simons x adidas boots

Speaking of creative horse racing silks, a quick internet dig and this ye olde 2011 Central Saint Martins BA project came up where graphic design students were invited to give traditional jockeys’ racing silks a radical makeover.  Despite the fact that they’re mostly hypothetical, I love the look of a lot of these.  Despite their flamboyant appearance, the majority of horse racing silks designs have very rigorous registration and ownership processes.  These would definitely shake things up.

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silk-rrFrom Culture Compass blog

Plastic Candy

It’s pretty blatant that I procure pieces of clothing in patterns and phases.  There’s the dishevelled kimonos and dragons phase.  There’s the Africana-esque patterns phase.  There’s the anything-in-clear-PVC phase.  There’s the baroque swirls ‘n’ curls vintage Versace phase.  Without consciously thinkinga bout it, at any given point in time, my mind will naturally gravitate towards certain traits.  For the past few weeks, whilst travelling around, I’ve been on a plastic candy wave.  It’s basically pastels coated in a glycerine-sticky shiny sheen.  It’s a result of consuming too many unnatural food dyes in Japanese candy and American cereal.  It’s observing the fairy-kei/lolita and pastel-goth tribes emerge from their sub-culture beginnings in Japan to infiltrate the world of WeHeartIt and Tumblr.  It’s Anna Lomax’s set design.  It’s elements of the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu world as art directed by Steve Nakamura.  It’s looking longingly at the psychedelic work of Antipodean artists like Kate Shaw and Pip and Pop.  It’s my fervent homewares obsession at the moment through the likes of Ferm Living and being surrounded by an insane pastel bar chart wallpaper by Kirath Ghundoo in my bedroom.  It’s all of that plus my own innate predilection for pastels.  I just happen to like them to look like they’ve been dipped in plastic.  It’s not exactly like the sugar high that I was gorging on a few seasons ago.  This time round, there’s something acerbically artificial about these pastel shades and textures.

I’ve had some help along the way.  Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin from Tome somehow read my plastic candy one-track-mind and sent me a stand out lilac plastic-coated trench from their S/S 14 collection whilst I was in New York.  I managed to catch the tail end of Suno’s sample sale where I bagsied a pair of trousers and matching skirt in laser cut iridescent organza and a coated floral splattered rain jacket.  In Tokyo, Bubbles (how can I NOT visit a namesake shop?) in Harajuku continues to conjure up random pieces like a marabou-edged marble tee – an easy enough DIY if Tokyo is out of reach.  Hilary Tsui’s own fresh’n’cute in-house line Oh My God just keeps on delivering and I picked up some coated nylon pleated pastel bits when I went to visit Liger in Hong Kong.  And I’m still getting a lot of wear out of pieces from Romance was Born’s Mushroom Magic collection, the direct sartorial descendent of Pip and Pop’s sugar-coated creations.

Coining Plastic Candy Kei right now.

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0E5A6954Tome trenchcoat, Romance was Born dress, Suno trousers, Sophia Webster shoes

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'we miss you magic land!'Pip & PopInstallation processPip and Pop

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0E5A6997Emma Mulholland Bored t-shirt, Emma Mulholland x Pared sunglasses, Toga skirt, Bubbles Tokyo iridescent jacket around waist, Emma Mulholland sequin socks, Mother of Pearl slip-ons

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di_wendy_rgbRaw Color for Dutch Invertuals

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0E5A7079Sacai satin waistcoat and fringed under layer, Ryan Lo shirt, Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop PVC skirt, Tabitha Simmons shoes

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0E5A7096Rochas satin coat, Suno rain jacket, Back by Ann Sofie Back shorts, Dries van Noten shoes

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0E5A7163Oh My God jacket, Fendi leather shirt, Oh My God pleated culottes, Roger Vivier purse, Kenzo handbag, Ayame socks, Calla cap, Stella McCartney shoes

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0E5A7232Bubbles Tokyo marabou trimmed t-shirt, Romance was Born halterneck, Christopher Kane belt, Roksanda Ilincic clutch, Topshop felted skirt, Tomorrowland socks, P.A.M. glitter boots, Craig & Karl x Le Specs sunglasses

An Earful

>> I’m putting my blasted metal-allergy prone skin issues aside for the moment.  A rash can be cured but the I can’t ignore the itch for an adorned ear.  Especially when sweet Rei Shito took me to her favourite shopping bolt hole in Tokyo, aptly named Peaches and Cream – a veritable Aladdin’s mixed-up cave of sparkly things, both new and old, ensconced in an Aoyama building and open only by appointment .  Their in-house jewellery line specialises in reconfiguring bits of vintage gems and fixtures to create new pieces and their selection of clip-on earrings that would put Pat Butcher’s collection of ear spanglers to shame.  The peeps at Peaches and Cream look to the likes of Marisa Berenson in her sixties/seventies finery, Elizabeth Taylor at her most decadent and Guy Bourdin images for inspiration for their inner sanctum of treasure and trove.  Clipping different ones on and off was a joy in itself.  I finally settled on a pair that thus far haven’t given my skin any gip.  I suspect it’s the worn away nickel of the old metal fixtures and earring backs that hopefully means my ear won’t suddenly explode with pus mid-wear.  I might have to go back to Peaches and Cream for more ear-dazzlers as I’m just a little bit hooked on the whole A/W 14 one-dangly-earring thing (see Celine and Louis Vuitton for further reference), seeing as my heavy mane eclipses the sight of one ear anyway.  Thanks to Rei for the sheeny shiny tip-off!

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Bigger Fish

In my round-up on Business of Fashion about MBFWA, one of the initial run-up thoughts of trepidation surrounding the schedule was that there weren’t enough “big” names to bolster the fashion week.  One omission was particularly glaring.  Dion Lee – arguably Australia’s biggest designer success story at the moment, already showed his mainline collection in New York, where normally it would be the central headline draw of MBFWA.  It’s worth reminiscing about those heady sun-filled shows at Sydney Opera House five/four years ago when Lee was beginning to debut and really caught our attention as a red-hot one-to-watch.  He’s well on his way to becoming much more than a one-to-watch with his international ascent, an established second line, a newly launched swimline and a first notch store in Sydney (with Melbourne to come).

Therefore it was high time to give his second line, which makes up around 70% of his business, a decent show.  It certainly wasn’t a second-best or second-rate show from Lee and in fact was still a highlight of the week despite the lack of theatrics or stunning venues.  That’s because the clothes spoke directly to the audience.  It made you want to shop and wear pronto.  Simples as that.  I’m not a huge fan of immediate pre-order and tend to want instant gratification in purchases but here Lee’s pieces jumped out at your credit card.  There’s a reason why Lee doesn’t call Dion Lee II a “diffusion” line.  There’s nothing lightweight about them.  Twisted shirts, jackets with twisted elbow cut-outs, sports-striped basics and yes, even the little waistcoats done up as belts all felt solid and looked like cornerstone pieces.  Sure, it’s down to styling but it’s nonetheless persuasive.   There are little nifty design features about every piece that makes you want to wear them over and over again, as demonstrated by a blue sweater with cross-over cut-out straps in the back (currently available in black or white) from his first collection of Dion Lee II.  I’ve turned to it time and time again and I have no idea why.  That’s the sort of wear you’d want out of a twisted basic.

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A peek into his first store in Sydney’s historic Strand Arcade and it was the second line pieces that I immediately made a beeline for.  Then of course, saturated colour, sharp prints and pattern cutting detailing took over my attention span as Lee’s mainline pieces constrast starkly against the concrete, mirrored and raw wood interior, designed by Kelvin Ho of Akin Creative.  Inside the dressing room, you’ll find yourself looking and getting lost in a lit-up infinity mirror installation, created by artist Jason Sims.  If you’re trying on Lee’s architectural lines, trompe l’oeil prints and intricate pleating, then the reflections are bound to be mesmerising.  I did fully intend to sensibly stock up on will-wear-all-the-bloody-time line II pieces given that they’re somewhat harder to find in the UK (Lee is looking into ways of expanding the wholesale business of line II abroad) but neon lines got the better of me and I opted for a criss-cross grid wrapover skirt, that looks a little like a deranged printer cartridge colour test.

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0E5A3175Worn with Topshop sheer tops in blue and green, Ryan Lo pink camisole and Christopher Kane belt and sandals

Buono Bonito

>> Glitter legend has it that there’s a factory somewhere in the depths of home counties where designer shoes and bags routinely get sprayed and applied with glitter and sparkle with deft skill and supposedly specialist machinery.  I’ve yet to track it down exactly but when I do, I will demonstrate my devotion to all things glitter with a naff Powerpoint presentation tracking the various instances where I’ve been glitter-bombed – Meadham Kirchhoff’s SS10 hardened glitter t-shirts, Miu Miu’s glitter brogues and pumps, Estefania Cortes Harker’s glitter flat planes and now, finally after ogling from afar, I’ve ventured down under and returned in glittery triumphant – the P.A.M. (Perks and Mini) x Diemme Bonito boots are finally mine!  I remember copping a feel of them when the seemingly unexpected original collaboration between the Aussie cult label and traditional Italian shoe manufacturer debuted around two years ago when the Bonito desert boot came in black, silver and gold.  Ever since then, they’ve been spotted on many a pair of knowing feet causing serious glitter envy on my part.  It’s a heady combustion between the particles of flighty light refracting glitter and Diemme’s expertise in hunting, mountaineering and trekking footwear, which has resulted in their manufacturing shoes for the likes of Maison Martin Margiela, Chanel and Bottega Veneta.  A solid Vibram sole and soft-leather linining mean these boots are seriously made for walking… or hiking, biking, cycling… whatever you wish.

Good things come to those who wait though as two years after the Bonito glitter boot debut, for their current “Tierra Del Fuego” collection, the boot has now expanded to include a blue and pink colourway in addition to the original black and also, there’s the ever prevalent slip-on options too.

“In a land of finite logic where natural anomaly rules, people dance in summer snowfall and become transparent. Smoke and snow impair your vision, but movement and energy convey greater meaning anyway. Orogeny is caused by extremes in motion, against and together – rustling in the undergrowth for millions of years, lifeforms merge and divide. New entities rise from volcanic ash blanketing the shoreline.”

The vague yet evocative chunk of text above accompanying this particular footwear collaboration is dreamer stuff.  Not that you’d need it to persuade you to join this glitter-infested light side.  I’ve done some bouncing in them already in Tokyo, where I have currently landed.  Joy.  Happiness.  Nuff’ said.

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In other P.A.M. footwear news, their Rousseau sandals to accompany their new “Power Source collection, with memory foam padding are also tickling my fancy.  One half of P.A.M. duo Shauna Toohey was bouncing up and down in them quite comfortably at the P.A.M. party in Sydney last Thursday.  That alone was convincing evidence that these shoes are made for serious movement.  An apt summation for most of what P.A.M. do actually hence why my suitcase is already dangerously 3/4 full from my jaunt in Sydney.

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Philo’s the Word

“I don’t like to see women dressing for other people and dis-empowering themselves.” Phoebe Philo spoke, and women, (and men yearning for Philo-ified Céline menswear) in the audience at Vogue Festival in London, which took place last weekend, collectively swooned. Her words were measured, consciously thought-out and exacting – much like her creative output at Céline. They all made deep and solid sense. I couldn’t really tweet fast enough to keep up with the salient soundbites that she was coming out with. She spoke of clothing as empowerment, without the need to be sexualised. She spoke of doing everything without compromise. She spoke about finding the idea of mediocrity difficult.

I couldn’t relate to the lofty ideals but I could agree and nod. It was a talk where a mini epiphany came to me. Philo might doth protest about fame and the idea of putting herself out there, but by doing so at Vogue Festival, it gave me a sense of tangibility to her work at Céline. That’s how I ended up with the SS14 slip-on Love Life shoes on my feet above. Truth be told, in the very beginning of her tenure at Céline, I was a little suspicious of the mass wave of collective love. Nothing against the clothes of course – they were magnificent, if far removed from me personally in spirit (and in price). But it was the brute force declaration of minimalism by the fashion press and the way women would buy up total looks as an subscribed formula to chic, that made me a little uneasy. Perhaps I’m the sort of riff raff that Philo might hate wearing Céline. And so I’ve never bought the clothes, save for a few pieces heavily discounted on Yoox. There was a standoffish distance between my mentality and Céline, with Philo at the centre of it all, deliberately shielding herself to put that distance to a test. Call it the age where cult of personality matters, but hearing her speak in the flesh instantly made that distance dissipate. Those clothes suddenly felt warmer. There was a life in them that wasn’t just about the in-crowd of editors and rich girls declaring them to be chic. In a piece for Pop magazine, I wrote about the slubby softness of her SS13 collection which suggested that beneath that Céline polish, there was an endearing sloth of a woman. That sloth was then rejuvenated with exuberant vitality in SS14, which I deeply love, for reasons that are obvious to most. Minimalism was put aside momentarily as bold Matisse-esque brush strokes and primary colours took over.

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I got to experience this firsthand in Paris thanks to a magazine in China that deemed me worthy to style up key pieces from the SS 14 collection and am now positively haunted by that utterly perfect brushstroke knit jacquard.

23-pfw-street-style-day5-02_145436221932_162434790292Photograph by Phil Oh for Vogue.com – wearing Céline coat, Junya Watanabe jumper, J Brand jeans, Tabitha Simmons shoes, Fendi sunglasses and Céline bag

And so it is that I went forth into the new Céline store on Mount Street, buoyed by hearing Philo speak and also to physically coo at what has been my favourite Céline/Philo collection thus far. She spoke about her innate fear of fame at the talk and therefore it’s no coincidence that her rare appearance at the festival coincided with the opening of the long awaited London flagship. Not that it’s a store that needs publicity or promotion. From the outside, you wouldn’t even immediately detect it sells clothes as the entire window is obscured by a wall of dried reeds framed by dark iron wood. But the discreet logo at the door and the hustle and bustle of people walking in and out past the luminous pink resin screen with shopping bags gives the game away.

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You’ve probably heard people commenting about how floored they were by the flooring. It is utterly mesmerising. Parquet marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones made up of about 6,000 individual tiles that draw you in immediately and make you want to do a full circuit around the store. Somehow the store divides clad in grey marmorino plaster look warm and inviting because of the specially commissioned pieces such as the cast iron door handles, the chandelier and a day bed. In a space that is 600 square metres, only half of it is devoted to selling. It’s a store that can breathe and isn’t choked with product. I beelined for the one and only item I’ve singularly wanted since the SS14 shows – that being the Love Life shoes. I was told they were coming in the following week and after a helpful email convo about sizing and delivery time, I popped in again on Monday to pick them up. The shoes happen to be my first item bought full price in a Céline store. You could say I’m now a convert to the Philo-sophy.

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0E5A0214Worn with Loewe sunglasses, COS jumper, Meadham Kirchhoff slipdress, Comme des Garcons skirt, Kitty Joseph socks

Taking Liberty

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>> In this instance, LA doesn’t stand for Los Angeles as one might expect, but Liberty Acne, AKA one of the best Liberty collaborations to have emerged in recent years and without counting them up, it’s safe to say there have been many.  Some have been awesome (Nike and Dr Martens spring to mind) and some have perhaps been a bit on the forgettable side.  I don’t say that lightly, considering I’m a Liberty print afficionado with a disproportionate amount of pieces in my wardrobe covered in their signature prints.  The danger of this liberal proliferation of all things Liberty print is that the novelty wears thin after a while.  The ongoing collaboration with Nike works because they take a different angle on its vast archive of prints every season, whereas most brands tend to gravitate towards the instantly recognisable tana lawn florals to deploy with ditzy charm.  Quite literally, some people take liberties with the Liberty prints.

Acne‘s Jonny Johansson has come in though and picked out some of Liberty’s older prints to marry up with their classic lamb leather pieces.  The result?  A seriously impressive capsule collection consisting of two biker jackets, a zip-up skirt, a leather tunic, tops and tees , and one standout pair of dungarees.  A baseball cap, a pair of sunnies, a pair of slippers and a pair of leather lace-up flats round off this weighty collection.  ”“I have a personal and long history with Liberty prints, having used them as a source of inspiration in my early years as a designer. When we started exploring Liberty’s extensive heritage for this project, it almost felt like an overwhelming voyage.  We realised we had to come up with a strong contrast in order to make sense of it, so the team and I picked one favourite print each and integrated them with some of our classic leather pieces” said Johansson, of the collaboration.  The prints happen to be some of Liberty’s oldest – Jonny (coincidentally named), a paisley print, Eva, a Japanese-inspired pattern and Alma’s Bird, an Art Nouveau-ish bird print, all dating from the late 19th century, are put together in horizontal bands, in two sets of faded hues of weathered reds and browns, and classic blue.  The palette emphasises the print’s history but it’s the quality of the printed leather that really makes this collaboration sing.  The skirt, which I got this week, is especially tactile as the leather is super thin – paper-y almost – it’s like the printed end papers have been transferred to the cover of a beautifully bound leather book.  With all the respect for the old, Acne doesn’t ignore the new – biker jackets gets crystal lettering on the back in ode to the collaboration and sleeveless tops also get some basketball-inspired lettering in Swarovski crystals.  What could have been “just another” Liberty print collaboration comes up trumps.

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IMG_9807Acne x Liberty skirt worn with Cacharel jumper, Fendi leather shirt, Nike x Liberty hi-tops and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair Liberty print suitcase

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Thor Trews

>> When pressed you can grind trend predictions out of me even though I loathe the task.  Vague answers along the lines of “minimalist” or “decorative” are just about ok but when asked to pin point specific thematic strands, I wear the dunce cap of fashion magic 8 balls.  When compiling some moodboards for Toni & Guy’s Hair Meets Wardrobe, I named motocross as a potential S/S 14 trend, stemming off of the sportswear trail and on to a pursuit that wasn’t surf or skate (done and done) and inspired by graduates like Seiya Chen from RCA.  Save for a Anne Sofie Madsen collection (whose motocross inspired padded trousers I wore in The LFW Daily), some motocross nuances coming through in Nasir Mazhar (particularly in his menswear), my prediction has largely fallen flat.

When I was shopping in Dog in Harajuku, Tokyo back in October though, a rail of vintage motocross trousers, mostly from the action sport’s main brand Thor (no connection to the Marvel superhero alas), caught my eye.  Well, if motocross catwalk antics weren’t getting off the ground, I may as well put my money where my mouth is.  So a pair of panelled vintage motocross trews came home with me and they neatly pair up with the patchworked flatform hybrid trainers from Y-3′s A/W 13-4 collection.  I’ll be mashing the two together in a pathetic bid to make motocross happen.  Someone will undoubetedly raise their eyebrows and say “Stop trying to make motocross happen!  It’s not going to happen!”

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IMG_7959Worn with Christopher Shannon sweatshirt and Y-3 shoes

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Felt Tip Penned

>> The feeling of putting a thick permanent black marker pen to paper and making that squeaky foam to fibre sound is a satisfying one.  I’d imagine then that Beth Postle, this year’s graduate of Central Saint Martins BA menswear design and print, had a riot with her collection of chunky black markers when coming up with her motifs for her standout collection.  There’s more than a hint of Picasso in Postle’s work, except she takes it in a pop-led and exuberant direction, but it turns out she wasn’t consciously inspired by the artist.  I personally got more Memphis and ’80s retro futuristic vibes from Postle’s printed black marker outlined portraits, which she then applied to shapes inspired by 1920’s Soviet costume and 1970s paper dolls.  On a rare trip out to the January sales (I needed a nice toilet brush and didn’t want to pay megabucks for it… needs, must.) in town, I dropped by Machine-A where slow-on-the-uptake me discovered that Postle had done an exclusive capsule collection of pieces for the store.  It’s the recognisable essence of her brilliant BA collection on neoprene trackie bottoms and long and short sleeved tees with the premise being that some of them match up to create a continuous portrait.  Not only was I slow on the uptake.  I also missed the first drop of the collection, which sold out in a flash and I was lucky enough to pick up bits from the second drop on sale.  Me thinks other people recognised the fact that ten years down the line, they can say whilst stroking their chin in a pensive manner, “I think I might still have a piece from Postle’s first collection in the attic somewhere…”  The trip to the Jan sales also yielded a Eugenia Kim knitted collar, which bucks the shirt collar norm with its resolute chunkiness and I’ve been waiting to break out these bad boy flamingo booties by Sophia Webster, from her properly-good, properly bargainous sample sale earlier in December.  I want to say they’re the BEST flamingo themed shoes I’ve ever clapped my eyes on, except come to think of it, they might be the only flamingo-themed shoes I’ve seen.

P.S. Oh HI, new background/location for taking outfit pictures.  Looks vaguely like the old gaff, no?  Ah… the standardised property developer’s style that pervades London.  A few people have been asking about interiors-related stuff in the new house on Twitter/Instagram so I’ll be detouring into interiors territory for one post only.   Apartment Therapy, I am not…

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Mauve Mistrust

>> “Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons.  It always means that they have a history." Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm not going to be to the liking of Wilde's character Lord Henry Wotton as I've ticked both boxes of being in the mood for mauve and also nearly reaching thirty and showing no signs of dislike for pink ribbons.  Still, it's as good a quote as any for a shade that has permeated this outfit first with a swathe of super soft feathers on a Louis Vuitton paisley lined stole, which I bought with some long overdue gift credit, and second with the iridescent steely grey sheen of a S/S 12 Christopher Kane organza shirt, picked up from the sample sale on Friday.  In actual fact, this is an assembled outfit of sample sale buys and new bits and bobs, which I've felt like tarting up with passing thoughts of Cottingley fairies, winter gardens, moody Deborah Turbeville and Ellen Rogers images, Ivory and Merchant films, memories of tattered Cicely Mary Barker books and more recently, being overly obsessed with Farrow & Ball paint colours and interior schemes that involve pastels tempered with big doses of grey.  

All of that just happened to manifest in one outfit with the big dose of grey courtesy of Tome's enveloping flat form grey felt cape.  It's a cape of the best sort; one that allows your arms to move and it's demonstrative of the sort of deceptively simple and yet highly charged way with fabrics that New York based Tome are becoming known for.  A visit to the surprisingly excellent and bargainous Opening Ceremony sample sale in London's Truman Brewery (sorry for not informing - I only found out on the day from my sister who happens to be interning at OC) this past weekend yielded a heavily reduced S/S 13 Toga top featuring an amazing crystallsied floral design that glints in the light, and a knotted and twisted chiffon halter dress by Argentinian label Fauna, designed by Paula Selby Avellaneda and Juan Hernandez Daels.  That's to go into the drawer in my wardrobe, which I've dubbed "Things Made Out of Tulle and other See-Through Things Too."  The other day at a Motilo cocktail, which I hosted along with Lulu Kennedy and Leigh Lezark, someone did poke fun at the fact that I was one of the few people in the world that would look at a giant swathe of tulle (in that particular case, it was the Molly Goddard x ASOS dress) and defend its wearability because it's a "useful layering piece."  I maintain my line of defense.  This Fauna dress with its halterneck shape and lack of underskirt/dress is crying out for layering.  A pair of Calla jeans and the Chrissy Kane florals under and over the dress, completes the whole wintry floral narrative.  And there's that fluffy mauve thing that Wilde would pour scorn on if he saw it today.  Futher musings on mauve can be read on this really old Guardian article by Simon Garfield.  Turns out the colour became a bit of a London fad in the 1850s-60s, as witnessed by the journal All the Year Round as mauve took over hair ribbons and crinolines, "all flying countryward, like so many migrating birds of purple paradise."  That to me is surely reason enough to keep on "mauve-ing."  Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.    

P.S. Nothing to do with Oscar Wilde hating on mauve, flowers or winter but Tabitha Simmons' colloration with Toms, otherwise known as #TabiToms, is pretty ace.  Like for like, the same cricket stripe fabrics that Simmons has used in her mainline collection have been applied to two Toms shapes (the classic slip-ons and a desert wedge ankle boot) at a fraction of the price.  I'm not one to do Crimbo gift guides but these would be a good bet and obviously has a charitable aspect to it as well with Toms' "One for One" initiative.  

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Ellenrogers_wildling_211012_2730Photography by Ellen Rodgers

Howards-end-bluebellsHowards End

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Tumblr_mgik3grVz61qbidlso1_1280"Face in the Mirror" photographed by Deborah Turbeville in New York 1984

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Cottingley_6Cottingley Fairies photograph series taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths in 1917

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Tumblr_lw1xhauoM61qa214go1_1280Karen Elson in Christian Dior Haute Couture A/W 1997 photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth 

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9780141349053L_003"Flower Fairies" illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker 

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Tumblr_mx1gm9kLiV1t3i3bco1_500Frozen flowers images from Tumblr

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Persephone-bookshop-london-thefabuloustimesPersephone Books

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PictureWallDeborah Bowness wallpaper

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Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3365Photography by Ellen Rodgers

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IMG_5734Wearing Tome grey felt cape, Toga top, Fauna tulle dress, Christopher Kane shirt, Calla jeans, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, Louis Vuitton feather stole

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Tumblr_m9olo3YrkY1qgvdcto1_1280"A Winter in Saint Petersburg" photographed by Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia July 2006

Mauve Mistrust

>> “Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons.  It always means that they have a history." Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm not going to be to the liking of Wilde's character Lord Henry Wotton as I've ticked both boxes of being in the mood for mauve and also nearly reaching thirty and showing no signs of dislike for pink ribbons.  Still, it's as good a quote as any for a shade that has permeated this outfit first with a swathe of super soft feathers on a Louis Vuitton paisley lined stole, which I bought with some long overdue gift credit, and second with the iridescent steely grey sheen of a S/S 12 Christopher Kane organza shirt, picked up from the sample sale on Friday.  In actual fact, this is an assembled outfit of sample sale buys and new bits and bobs, which I've felt like tarting up with passing thoughts of Cottingley fairies, winter gardens, moody Deborah Turbeville and Ellen Rogers images, Ivory and Merchant films, memories of tattered Cicely Mary Barker books and more recently, being overly obsessed with Farrow & Ball paint colours and interior schemes that involve pastels tempered with big doses of grey.  

All of that just happened to manifest in one outfit with the big dose of grey courtesy of Tome's enveloping flat form grey felt cape.  It's a cape of the best sort; one that allows your arms to move and it's demonstrative of the sort of deceptively simple and yet highly charged way with fabrics that New York based Tome are becoming known for.  A visit to the surprisingly excellent and bargainous Opening Ceremony sample sale in London's Truman Brewery (sorry for not informing - I only found out on the day from my sister who happens to be interning at OC) this past weekend yielded a heavily reduced S/S 13 Toga top featuring an amazing crystallsied floral design that glints in the light, and a knotted and twisted chiffon halter dress by Argentinian label Fauna, designed by Paula Selby Avellaneda and Juan Hernandez Daels.  That's to go into the drawer in my wardrobe, which I've dubbed "Things Made Out of Tulle and other See-Through Things Too."  The other day at a Motilo cocktail, which I hosted along with Lulu Kennedy and Leigh Lezark, someone did poke fun at the fact that I was one of the few people in the world that would look at a giant swathe of tulle (in that particular case, it was the Molly Goddard x ASOS dress) and defend its wearability because it's a "useful layering piece."  I maintain my line of defense.  This Fauna dress with its halterneck shape and lack of underskirt/dress is crying out for layering.  A pair of Calla jeans and the Chrissy Kane florals under and over the dress, completes the whole wintry floral narrative.  And there's that fluffy mauve thing that Wilde would pour scorn on if he saw it today.  Futher musings on mauve can be read on this really old Guardian article by Simon Garfield.  Turns out the colour became a bit of a London fad in the 1850s-60s, as witnessed by the journal All the Year Round as mauve took over hair ribbons and crinolines, "all flying countryward, like so many migrating birds of purple paradise."  That to me is surely reason enough to keep on "mauve-ing."  Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.    

P.S. Nothing to do with Oscar Wilde hating on mauve, flowers or winter but Tabitha Simmons' colloration with Toms, otherwise known as #TabiToms, is pretty ace.  Like for like, the same cricket stripe fabrics that Simmons has used in her mainline collection have been applied to two Toms shapes (the classic slip-ons and a desert wedge ankle boot) at a fraction of the price.  I'm not one to do Crimbo gift guides but these would be a good bet and obviously has a charitable aspect to it as well with Toms' "One for One" initiative.  

IMG_5657

Ellenrogers_wildling_211012_2730Photography by Ellen Rodgers

Howards-end-bluebellsHowards End

IMG_5628

Tumblr_mgik3grVz61qbidlso1_1280"Face in the Mirror" photographed by Deborah Turbeville in New York 1984

IMG_5635

Cottingley_Fairies_1_article

Cottingley-sunbath

Cottingley_6Cottingley Fairies photograph series taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths in 1917

IMG_5665

Tumblr_lw1xhauoM61qa214go1_1280Karen Elson in Christian Dior Haute Couture A/W 1997 photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth 

IMG_5674

5496172827_ce643b098c_b

9780141349053L_003"Flower Fairies" illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker 

IMG_5670

IMG_5753

Tumblr_ln1jcyaJub1qdxcf2o1_500_large

Tumblr_mkqygj23kz1ra3v66o1_500

Tumblr_mx1gm9kLiV1t3i3bco1_500Frozen flowers images from Tumblr

IMG_5692

Persephone-bookshop-london-thefabuloustimesPersephone Books

IMG_5715

Paperpotplant_1_shop_product_2Paperpotplant_2_shop_product

PictureWallDeborah Bowness wallpaper

IMG_5710

ImageHandler100270_1Images from Farrow & Ball

IMG_5738

Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3379

Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3365Photography by Ellen Rodgers

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IMG_5725

IMG_5734Wearing Tome grey felt cape, Toga top, Fauna tulle dress, Christopher Kane shirt, Calla jeans, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, Louis Vuitton feather stole

Tumblr_mfswuq8A181r5km5ro1_1280

Tumblr_m9olo3YrkY1qgvdcto1_1280"A Winter in Saint Petersburg" photographed by Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia July 2006

Mauve Mistrust

>> ‚ÄúNever trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons.  It always means that they have a history." Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm not going to be to the liking of Wilde's character Lord Henry Wotton as I've ticked both boxes of being in the mood for mauve and also nearly reaching thirty and showing no signs of dislike for pink ribbons.  Still, it's as good a quote as any for a shade that has permeated this outfit first with a swathe of super soft feathers on a Louis Vuitton paisley lined stole, which I bought with some long overdue gift credit, and second with the iridescent steely grey sheen of a S/S 12 Christopher Kane organza shirt, picked up from the sample sale on Friday.  In actual fact, this is an assembled outfit of sample sale buys and new bits and bobs, which I've felt like tarting up with passing thoughts of Cottingley fairies, winter gardens, moody Deborah Turbeville and Ellen Rogers images, Ivory and Merchant films, memories of tattered Cicely Mary Barker books and more recently, being overly obsessed with Farrow & Ball paint colours and interior schemes that involve pastels tempered with big doses of grey.  

All of that just happened to manifest in one outfit with the big dose of grey courtesy of Tome's enveloping flat form grey felt cape.  It's a cape of the best sort; one that allows your arms to move and it's demonstrative of the sort of deceptively simple and yet highly charged way with fabrics that New York based Tome are becoming known for.  A visit to the surprisingly excellent and bargainous Opening Ceremony sample sale in London's Truman Brewery (sorry for not informing – I only found out on the day from my sister who happens to be interning at OC) this past weekend yielded a heavily reduced S/S 13 Toga top featuring an amazing crystallsied floral design that glints in the light, and a knotted and twisted chiffon halter dress by Argentinian label Fauna, designed by Paula Selby Avellaneda and Juan Hernandez Daels.  That's to go into the drawer in my wardrobe, which I've dubbed "Things Made Out of Tulle and other See-Through Things Too."  The other day at a Motilo cocktail, which I hosted along with Lulu Kennedy and Leigh Lezark, someone did poke fun at the fact that I was one of the few people in the world that would look at a giant swathe of tulle (in that particular case, it was the Molly Goddard x ASOS dress) and defend its wearability because it's a "useful layering piece."  I maintain my line of defense.  This Fauna dress with its halterneck shape and lack of underskirt/dress is crying out for layering.  A pair of Calla jeans and the Chrissy Kane florals under and over the dress, completes the whole wintry floral narrative.  And there's that fluffy mauve thing that Wilde would pour scorn on if he saw it today.  Futher musings on mauve can be read on this really old Guardian article by Simon Garfield.  Turns out the colour became a bit of a London fad in the 1850s-60s, as witnessed by the journal All the Year Round as mauve took over hair ribbons and crinolines, "all flying countryward, like so many migrating birds of purple paradise."  That to me is surely reason enough to keep on "mauve-ing."  Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.    

P.S. Nothing to do with Oscar Wilde hating on mauve, flowers or winter but Tabitha Simmons' colloration with Toms, otherwise known as #TabiToms, is pretty ace.  Like for like, the same cricket stripe fabrics that Simmons has used in her mainline collection have been applied to two Toms shapes (the classic slip-ons and a desert wedge ankle boot) at a fraction of the price.  I'm not one to do Crimbo gift guides but these would be a good bet and obviously has a charitable aspect to it as well with Toms' "One for One" initiative.  

IMG_5657

Ellenrogers_wildling_211012_2730Photography by Ellen Rodgers

Howards-end-bluebellsHowards End

IMG_5628

Tumblr_mgik3grVz61qbidlso1_1280"Face in the Mirror" photographed by Deborah Turbeville in New York 1984

IMG_5635

Cottingley_Fairies_1_article

Cottingley-sunbath

Cottingley_6Cottingley Fairies photograph series taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths in 1917

IMG_5665

Tumblr_lw1xhauoM61qa214go1_1280Karen Elson in Christian Dior Haute Couture A/W 1997 photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth 

IMG_5674

5496172827_ce643b098c_b

9780141349053L_003"Flower Fairies" illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker 

IMG_5670

IMG_5753

Tumblr_ln1jcyaJub1qdxcf2o1_500_large

Tumblr_mkqygj23kz1ra3v66o1_500

Tumblr_mx1gm9kLiV1t3i3bco1_500Frozen flowers images from Tumblr

IMG_5692

Persephone-bookshop-london-thefabuloustimesPersephone Books

IMG_5715

Paperpotplant_1_shop_product_2 Paperpotplant_2_shop_product

PictureWallDeborah Bowness wallpaper

IMG_5710

ImageHandler 100270_1Images from Farrow & Ball

IMG_5738

Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3379

Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3365 Photography by Ellen Rodgers

IMG_5727

IMG_5725

IMG_5734Wearing Tome grey felt cape, Toga top, Fauna tulle dress, Christopher Kane shirt, Calla jeans, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, Louis Vuitton feather stole

Tumblr_mfswuq8A181r5km5ro1_1280

Tumblr_m9olo3YrkY1qgvdcto1_1280"A Winter in Saint Petersburg" photographed by Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia July 2006

Anatomy of Sacai

At Sacai's S/S 14 show back in September in Paris, sitting in front of me was Alexandra Shulman from British Vogue and across in the circular "bubble" formation seating, were all the American Vogue editors.  Actually, there were generally press biggies all around, which was a good indication of Sacai's ascent in the fashion industry, in addition to the massive big-up from Karl Lagerfeld earlier in the year.  From buyer's secret to editor's secret, to err... nobody's secret because judging by the amount of Sacai, one can find internationally, everybody's been bitten by the Sacai bug.  It's not just an insider love-in either.  The customer can't get enough either as both Selfridges and Dover Street Market are reportedly selling out of their stock of Sacai.  But as this enlightening Business of Fashion profile with Sacai designer Chitose Abe tells you, Sacai's success was by no means overnight.  Everyone would like to try and claim Sacai was their "little secret" and whilst I'm certainly not the first, what with my regular trips back to Hong Kong, Sacai had since my uni days long been on my radar as the Japanese brand that packs a lot of deets into their clothes without ever looking too conceptual.  At the time, they were way out of my budget but eBay or Yahoo HK auctions would sometimes yield a piece or two.  What has and still strikes me as the key to Sacai's desirability is the fact that they get their fashion sums right - adding something familiar like an Oxford shirt together with something unxpected like a metallic foil collar or a back shirt tail so that the basic Oxford shirt at xxx price suddenly becomes worth it.  It could be my Chinese mother within me speaking but gauging whether something is "worth it" is the basis of how I do pretty much all my shopping.  

The "Worth it!" ker-ching sounds in your head go off in explosions when you're inside Sacai's store in Aoyama in Tokyo (still the best selection of Sacai, despite its international presence).  Every piece in a Sacai show is produced and makes it to shop floor (none of that expensive show piece, didn't make it to production malarky) and there's more to boot, with Sacai Luck, its more casual line and the very excellent menswear line also there to tempt you.  Nothing feels like filler and everything has something that catches your eye and immediately gets the "Worth it!" nod.  Abe's way with hybrid-ing garments, contrasting fabrics (that Sacai has specially made for them in Japan - another key to the "specialness" of their clothes) and ensuring there are enough design details in every garment to elevate them means that you're unlikely to leave the store empty handed (oh, and the £ to Yen rate just so happened to be extra favourable at the time).  I thought I'd spell it out with a few of the pieces that are slowly accumulating in my collection of Sacai.  Sadly I couldn't include the most sentimental Sacai piece of all - a mangled paisley print skirt dripping with a knitted chain hem, which I found a few years ago - the piece that came before all the Sacai international hub-hub began.  But in Sacai's work from ten years ago, to five years ago and to the present day, nothing has really changed - it's all worth it.  

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IMG_5528Worn with Minju Kim for H&M wedges

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IMG_5603Worn with Junya Watanabe jeans and Pollini wedges

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IMG_5456Worn with Pollini wedges

Anatomy of Sacai

At Sacai's S/S 14 show back in September in Paris, sitting in front of me was Alexandra Shulman from British Vogue and across in the circular "bubble" formation seating, were all the American Vogue editors.  Actually, there were generally press biggies all around, which was a good indication of Sacai's ascent in the fashion industry, in addition to the massive big-up from Karl Lagerfeld earlier in the year.  From buyer's secret to editor's secret, to err... nobody's secret because judging by the amount of Sacai, one can find internationally, everybody's been bitten by the Sacai bug.  It's not just an insider love-in either.  The customer can't get enough either as both Selfridges and Dover Street Market are reportedly selling out of their stock of Sacai.  But as this enlightening Business of Fashion profile with Sacai designer Chitose Abe tells you, Sacai's success was by no means overnight.  Everyone would like to try and claim Sacai was their "little secret" and whilst I'm certainly not the first, what with my regular trips back to Hong Kong, Sacai had since my uni days long been on my radar as the Japanese brand that packs a lot of deets into their clothes without ever looking too conceptual.  At the time, they were way out of my budget but eBay or Yahoo HK auctions would sometimes yield a piece or two.  What has and still strikes me as the key to Sacai's desirability is the fact that they get their fashion sums right - adding something familiar like an Oxford shirt together with something unxpected like a metallic foil collar or a back shirt tail so that the basic Oxford shirt at xxx price suddenly becomes worth it.  It could be my Chinese mother within me speaking but gauging whether something is "worth it" is the basis of how I do pretty much all my shopping.  

The "Worth it!" ker-ching sounds in your head go off in explosions when you're inside Sacai's store in Aoyama in Tokyo (still the best selection of Sacai, despite its international presence).  Every piece in a Sacai show is produced and makes it to shop floor (none of that expensive show piece, didn't make it to production malarky) and there's more to boot, with Sacai Luck, its more casual line and the very excellent menswear line also there to tempt you.  Nothing feels like filler and everything has something that catches your eye and immediately gets the "Worth it!" nod.  Abe's way with hybrid-ing garments, contrasting fabrics (that Sacai has specially made for them in Japan - another key to the "specialness" of their clothes) and ensuring there are enough design details in every garment to elevate them means that you're unlikely to leave the store empty handed (oh, and the £ to Yen rate just so happened to be extra favourable at the time).  I thought I'd spell it out with a few of the pieces that are slowly accumulating in my collection of Sacai.  Sadly I couldn't include the most sentimental Sacai piece of all - a mangled paisley print skirt dripping with a knitted chain hem, which I found a few years ago - the piece that came before all the Sacai international hub-hub began.  But in Sacai's work from ten years ago, to five years ago and to the present day, nothing has really changed - it's all worth it.  

IMG_5502

IMG_5522

IMG_5553

IMG_5545

IMG_5532

IMG_5528Worn with Minju Kim for H&M wedges

IMG_5584

IMG_5579

IMG_5615

IMG_5596

IMG_5594

IMG_5600

IMG_5603Worn with Junya Watanabe jeans and Pollini wedges

IMG_5405

IMG_5482

IMG_5445

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IMG_5436

IMG_5463

IMG_5442

IMG_5456Worn with Pollini wedges

Chouette Layered

>> That 65 kg of excess luggage can really be broken down thus - 30% second hand Comme/Junya buys from the sprawl of secondhand designer stores in Tokyo, 30% miscellaneous randomness that includes things like a pscyhedelic sweatshirt with a cat on it and a mug that says "You Great" on it so that I can have an uplifting cuppa tea everyday and then finally, the remaining 40% can be attributed to a Lucky Chouette haul from Seoul, that will basically keep me cosy in days to come.  You know things are desperate when you have to go to some janky shopping mall on the day you're leaving, asking what's the cheapest bag/suitcase they've got.  If you happened to be at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 on Saturday early evening, you may have seen a Monsters Inc/Cookie Monster type creature by luggage belt 1, struggling with multiple cases and cursing out loud at its inept strength.  That would be me wearing the heaviest thing I had, being the faux fur delight of a coat by Lucky Chouette, to add to the stockpile of coats and jackets - a pale blue oversized number, a Clueless-esque primary coloured tweed jacket and a Chouette camo print lightweight jacket with a clever detachable peplum - all of which collectively pre-empts any "I need a new coat" qualms I might have.  This Lucky Chouette haul also neatly bookends the revelation of a trip I've had in Seoul that will hopefully continue on next year if I get to go again.  The short of it is that you will be clothed and clothed well on all levels of budget in Seoul.  

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IMG_4114Lucky Chouette printed tee, faux fur snood, clutch and pinstripe dress worn with J Brand jeans and Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps

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IMG_4014Lucky Chouette faux fur coat worn with Romance was Born crop top, Toga striped top, Calla jeans and Marc Jacobs shoes

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IMG_4049Lucky Chouette tweed jacket and flared skirt worn with Tsumori Chisato jumper, Meredith Wendell backpack and Raf Simons x Adidas trainers

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IMG_4031Lucky Chouette camo jacket worn with ASOS x Molly Goddard dress, Topshop floral vest underneath, Marques Almedia denim shorts, LF Unisex shoes

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Lucky Chouette coat worn with Bernstock Speirs hat, Let Kuzmus sweatshirt, Junya Watanabe jeans and Emma Cook shoes

Chouette Layered

>> That 65 kg of excess luggage can really be broken down thus - 30% second hand Comme/Junya buys from the sprawl of secondhand designer stores in Tokyo, 30% miscellaneous randomness that includes things like a pscyhedelic sweatshirt with a cat on it and a mug that says "You Great" on it so that I can have an uplifting cuppa tea everyday and then finally, the remaining 40% can be attributed to a Lucky Chouette haul from Seoul, that will basically keep me cosy in days to come.  You know things are desperate when you have to go to some janky shopping mall on the day you're leaving, asking what's the cheapest bag/suitcase they've got.  If you happened to be at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 on Saturday early evening, you may have seen a Monsters Inc/Cookie Monster type creature by luggage belt 1, struggling with multiple cases and cursing out loud at its inept strength.  That would be me wearing the heaviest thing I had, being the faux fur delight of a coat by Lucky Chouette, to add to the stockpile of coats and jackets - a pale blue oversized number, a Clueless-esque primary coloured tweed jacket and a Chouette camo print lightweight jacket with a clever detachable peplum - all of which collectively pre-empts any "I need a new coat" qualms I might have.  This Lucky Chouette haul also neatly bookends the revelation of a trip I've had in Seoul that will hopefully continue on next year if I get to go again.  The short of it is that you will be clothed and clothed well on all levels of budget in Seoul.  

IMG_4117

IMG_4119

IMG_4086

IMG_4124

IMG_4114Lucky Chouette printed tee, faux fur snood, clutch and pinstripe dress worn with J Brand jeans and Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps

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IMG_4014Lucky Chouette faux fur coat worn with Romance was Born crop top, Toga striped top, Calla jeans and Marc Jacobs shoes

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IMG_4049Lucky Chouette tweed jacket and flared skirt worn with Tsumori Chisato jumper, Meredith Wendell backpack and Raf Simons x Adidas trainers

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IMG_4031Lucky Chouette camo jacket worn with ASOS x Molly Goddard dress, Topshop floral vest underneath, Marques Almedia denim shorts, LF Unisex shoes

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Lucky Chouette coat worn with Bernstock Speirs hat, Let Kuzmus sweatshirt, Junya Watanabe jeans and Emma Cook shoes

Word Play

>> I wanted to begin to offload at least a few kilos of that excess baggage which came home with me by carrying on raving about Seoul.  A few days of roaming around the city led me to beieve that pretty much every sweatshirt and t-shirt came emblazoned with American football lettering, a slogan or a logo or were at least inflected with some sort of sportswear reference.  The Acne Beta Double Logo sweatshirt was rife both in real and counterfeit form.  All the aforementioned boutiques which I talked up in my previous post were rampant with numbers, letters and slogans.  I recently wrote a piece for Because Magazine that was published on BOF entitled the Logo Strikes Back and Seoul confirmed my suspicions that branding your chest with typographic detailing shows no sign of dying down anytime soon.  Beyond a logo, it's up and coming designers taking on the language of sportswear and streetwear to get their message across.     

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Wordplay seen around Seoul...Word-13

Juun.J is probably one of the most internationally well-known Korean designers at the moment and Jeong-Wook Jun's eponymous brand's ownership under Samsung's Fashion division has only accelerated the growth in Asia in beyond.  I went to see Juun.J's S/S 14 collection, which was presented in Paris menswear back in June but in Seoul, you got an idea of how a Juun.J shop-in-shop will look like as they prepare for their own domestic retail spots.  That's what backing from a humongous conglomerate company gets you.  The number 30 transparent nylon knit jersey which I bought back with me from Seoul was the centrepiece of the finale of Juun.J's S/S 14 collection.  Jun investigated the idea of a uniform by streamlining recognisable sportswear codes with classic tailoring.  Throw in a collaboration with Russian artist Oleg Dou on some surreal padded out sweatshirts and you have yourself the kind of visual anecdotal collection filled with distilled sportswear/street, that gets people's eyes excited and cash registers ringing.  If it's any sort of a positive indication, Rihanna has already performed in the marbled ensemble below.  

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Another Korean brand getting in on the wordplay action is relative newbie Nohant.  Their recent runaway hit has been their Lonely/Lovely sweatshirt and t-shirt now reiterated in multiple colourways.  The Seoul style set have been giving this local cult item support and with reliable well-priced wardrobe staples to back up this no-frills label, there's every chance people outside of Korea might want to get a piece of the Lovely/Lonely.  

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One of my favourite street/sports/word (sorry there's no handy catch-all word to describe what has been such a persistent trend) finds from Seoul, also happens to be pocket friendly.  That seems to be one of the strengths of Korean fashion - the ability to source local production and therefore offer maximal design at minimal prices.  Pennant is a collective that creates everyday items.  Their JIMI line of customisable footwear is named after Jimi Hendrix as the sole of these changeable sandals with seven peg units on its side and back looks like a guitar head.  The uppers can be changed with the pegs and go from being a multi-strapped sandal to a pool slider to a canvas chelsea boot.  The backs of the shoes can also be changed and if you wished, you could probably create your very own Love Life Celine S/S 14 shoe nod with the removable canvas/bandana rag ties.  Pennant's own site sells some of the styles but if you can figure out Korean shipping, this site 29cm has far more options.  I got mine at Daily Projects in Seoul, where Pennant is one of their top selling brands.  Easy to see why when you put those slightly confusing KWon prices into a currency converter.     

 

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Nothing to do with the word play theme of the post but another nifty bargain I picked up were these plastic easy-to-transport plastic netting bags by local fave Paul & Alice.  I'm always in need of solutions of carrying cameras so I can whip them out at any instance, without wading through a handbag or swinging them about on a strap and these shoppers are more than capable.  

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Word Play

>> I wanted to begin to offload at least a few kilos of that excess baggage which came home with me by carrying on raving about Seoul.  A few days of roaming around the city led me to beieve that pretty much every sweatshirt and t-shirt came emblazoned with American football lettering, a slogan or a logo or were at least inflected with some sort of sportswear reference.  The Acne Beta Double Logo sweatshirt was rife both in real and counterfeit form.  All the aforementioned boutiques which I talked up in my previous post were rampant with numbers, letters and slogans.  I recently wrote a piece for Because Magazine that was published on BOF entitled the Logo Strikes Back and Seoul confirmed my suspicions that branding your chest with typographic detailing shows no sign of dying down anytime soon.  Beyond a logo, it's up and coming designers taking on the language of sportswear and streetwear to get their message across.     

IMG_4149

IMG_4169

IMG_4162

IMG_4183

IMG_4153

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Wordplay seen around Seoul...Word-13

Juun.J is probably one of the most internationally well-known Korean designers at the moment and Jeong-Wook Jun's eponymous brand's ownership under Samsung's Fashion division has only accelerated the growth in Asia in beyond.  I went to see Juun.J's S/S 14 collection, which was presented in Paris menswear back in June but in Seoul, you got an idea of how a Juun.J shop-in-shop will look like as they prepare for their own domestic retail spots.  That's what backing from a humongous conglomerate company gets you.  The number 30 transparent nylon knit jersey which I bought back with me from Seoul was the centrepiece of the finale of Juun.J's S/S 14 collection.  Jun investigated the idea of a uniform by streamlining recognisable sportswear codes with classic tailoring.  Throw in a collaboration with Russian artist Oleg Dou on some surreal padded out sweatshirts and you have yourself the kind of visual anecdotal collection filled with distilled sportswear/street, that gets people's eyes excited and cash registers ringing.  If it's any sort of a positive indication, Rihanna has already performed in the marbled ensemble below.  

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Another Korean brand getting in on the wordplay action is relative newbie Nohant.  Their recent runaway hit has been their Lonely/Lovely sweatshirt and t-shirt now reiterated in multiple colourways.  The Seoul style set have been giving this local cult item support and with reliable well-priced wardrobe staples to back up this no-frills label, there's every chance people outside of Korea might want to get a piece of the Lovely/Lonely.  

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One of my favourite street/sports/word (sorry there's no handy catch-all word to describe what has been such a persistent trend) finds from Seoul, also happens to be pocket friendly.  That seems to be one of the strengths of Korean fashion - the ability to source local production and therefore offer maximal design at minimal prices.  Pennant is a collective that creates everyday items.  Their JIMI line of customisable footwear is named after Jimi Hendrix as the sole of these changeable sandals with seven peg units on its side and back looks like a guitar head.  The uppers can be changed with the pegs and go from being a multi-strapped sandal to a pool slider to a canvas chelsea boot.  The backs of the shoes can also be changed and if you wished, you could probably create your very own Love Life Celine S/S 14 shoe nod with the removable canvas/bandana rag ties.  Pennant's own site sells some of the styles but if you can figure out Korean shipping, this site 29cm has far more options.  I got mine at Daily Projects in Seoul, where Pennant is one of their top selling brands.  Easy to see why when you put those slightly confusing KWon prices into a currency converter.     

 

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Nothing to do with the word play theme of the post but another nifty bargain I picked up were these plastic easy-to-transport plastic netting bags by local fave Paul & Alice.  I'm always in need of solutions of carrying cameras so I can whip them out at any instance, without wading through a handbag or swinging them about on a strap and these shoppers are more than capable.  

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Tinsel Thrill

>> It's quite satisfying to know that currently, one of my favourite things that I can't stop looking at/feeling/touching and itching to wear (it's cooled down in London but not quite to jumper weather yet) is a $5 flea market find from my trip to LA.  $5 or even £5 cheap thrills just don't come as easily as they used to, compared to the ye olde days of Style Bubble when I'd swoop in and find something amazing in charity shops and rush home, giddy with excitement and accomplishment.  Excessive travelling, increased workload and admittedly, a diminishing inclination towards the "hunt" for clothes has contributed to the lack of cheap thrills.  Therefore this sweater is being hung up on the wall as a reminder that a) those thrills are still out there if you look for it and b) you can never have enough clothes that remind you of a cheap n' cheerful circa 1986 Christmas complete with dry turkey, electric knife and too many Quality Street chocolates.  I've loaded up on the Eddie Borgo x Beach in the East exclusive cone bracelets here but only incidently because I was using them for a separate shoot.  They're not part of the cheap thrill buzz but they do have a similar Crimbo spirit about them.

Speaking of cheap thrills, here's a not so subtle reminder of the £1 sale I'm having next week in my yard.  Not that you technically can't find clothes cheaper than that but you know... really, does it happen that often?   

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Tinsel Thrill

>> It's quite satisfying to know that currently, one of my favourite things that I can't stop looking at/feeling/touching and itching to wear (it's cooled down in London but not quite to jumper weather yet) is a $5 flea market find from my trip to LA.  $5 or even £5 cheap thrills just don't come as easily as they used to, compared to the ye olde days of Style Bubble when I'd swoop in and find something amazing in charity shops and rush home, giddy with excitement and accomplishment.  Excessive travelling, increased workload and admittedly, a diminishing inclination towards the "hunt" for clothes has contributed to the lack of cheap thrills.  Therefore this sweater is being hung up on the wall as a reminder that a) those thrills are still out there if you look for it and b) you can never have enough clothes that remind you of a cheap n' cheerful circa 1986 Christmas complete with dry turkey, electric knife and too many Quality Street chocolates.  I've loaded up on the Eddie Borgo x Beach in the East exclusive cone bracelets here but only incidently because I was using them for a separate shoot.  They're not part of the cheap thrill buzz but they do have a similar Crimbo spirit about them.

Speaking of cheap thrills, here's a not so subtle reminder of the £1 sale I'm having next week in my yard.  Not that you technically can't find clothes cheaper than that but you know... really, does it happen that often?   

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Dotty Denim

>> The Made in Los Angeles tag hangs off of a lot of premium denim brands.  After my immersive experience in Selfridges' all-singing, all-dancing Denim Studio department, it was interesting to then venture over to Los Angeles, land of all the denim biggies (Paige, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand to name a few makes their jeans in LA) and see a) the city's devotion to premium denim in the merchandising of their boutiques and vintage stores b) see the way denim is so pervasive on the streets, particularly when it comes to the cut-off shorts variety.  It's literally the fabric of the city.

Whilst I'm a partial denim convert thanks to seeing the advantages of dressing down a "lotta look" (as we would say in amongst friends) with some boyfriend jeans, like I said, I was never tempted to don denim L.A. style.  That is to say, reduce my day-to-day attire to a pair of shredded, patched and overdyed cut-off shorts complete with the essential poking-out pocket flaps and cotton singlet, to localise myself.  I'd rather scorch in vintage polyester and sweat in static-creating nylon.  Or better yet, do denim the only way I find comfortable - why, really go for it head-to-toe and throw in a dose of neon for good measure of course!  

House of Holland's denim is relatively bargainous at the moment with the sales and their long standing polkadotstyles caught my eye.  No point in doing a touch of polka especially when I also had a pair of neon denim n' polka combo heels courtesy of cho kawaii shoester Sophia Webster, who created them as an exclusive for Selfridges' Denim Studio takeover.  Polka dots.  Neon.  Denim.  $5 flea market night gowns in acid colours (can't get enough of them...).  It was like the easiest matchy-matchy jigsaw puzzle ever.  House of Holland does do matchy-matchy rather well and their e-shop currently has some good bits and bobs in aubergine n' orange stripes, tie-dye and oversized diamond checks if you wish to have a gander.  

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House of Holland polka dot denim jacket and jeans worn with vintage neon pink nightgown, MSGM neon lace top, COS circular pink cut-out top, Christian Dior Demoiselle sunglasses, Sophia Webster for Selfridges denim heels

Dotty Denim

>> The Made in Los Angeles tag hangs off of a lot of premium denim brands.  After my immersive experience in Selfridges' all-singing, all-dancing Denim Studio department, it was interesting to then venture over to Los Angeles, land of all the denim biggies (Paige, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand to name a few makes their jeans in LA) and see a) the city's devotion to premium denim in the merchandising of their boutiques and vintage stores b) see the way denim is so pervasive on the streets, particularly when it comes to the cut-off shorts variety.  It's literally the fabric of the city.

Whilst I'm a partial denim convert thanks to seeing the advantages of dressing down a "lotta look" (as we would say in amongst friends) with some boyfriend jeans, like I said, I was never tempted to don denim L.A. style.  That is to say, reduce my day-to-day attire to a pair of shredded, patched and overdyed cut-off shorts complete with the essential poking-out pocket flaps and cotton singlet, to localise myself.  I'd rather scorch in vintage polyester and sweat in static-creating nylon.  Or better yet, do denim the only way I find comfortable - why, really go for it head-to-toe and throw in a dose of neon for good measure of course!  

House of Holland's denim is relatively bargainous at the moment with the sales and their long standing polkadotstyles caught my eye.  No point in doing a touch of polka especially when I also had a pair of neon denim n' polka combo heels courtesy of cho kawaii shoester Sophia Webster, who created them as an exclusive for Selfridges' Denim Studio takeover.  Polka dots.  Neon.  Denim.  $5 flea market night gowns in acid colours (can't get enough of them...).  It was like the easiest matchy-matchy jigsaw puzzle ever.  House of Holland does do matchy-matchy rather well and their e-shop currently has some good bits and bobs in aubergine n' orange stripes, tie-dye and oversized diamond checks if you wish to have a gander.  

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House of Holland polka dot denim jacket and jeans worn with vintage neon pink nightgown, MSGM neon lace top, COS circular pink cut-out top, Christian Dior Demoiselle sunglasses, Sophia Webster for Selfridges denim heels

In n Out

I heart Los Angeles.  I really do.  I know it might be down to the novelty or the fact that I haven't had a proper holiday in… five years (i.e. one that wasn't a blog/work-related trip) but I've not had tingles about a new place in a while.  The sort of tingles, where thoughts of "I could possibly live here!" bubble up in the brain.  It's been far too short a trip to really think seriously about such a notion but I've seen enough to know that the exciting part is that I've only just scratched the surface of this sprawling, space-filled, open-to-all and up-for-it strange city.  That means I'll return for sure.  No empty promise there.  Steve and I will make it our annual soul-nourishing pilgrimage.  I thought I'd compile a text/pic postcard round-up of just a smattering of things I saw/did/bought/loved/ate, guided by recommendations from friends as well as Joy Yoon's 1,001 ideas book.  There was definitely more though.  In the words of California's current Governator and L.A. resident, "I'll be back." 

…It's true what they say about the light in California.  The sun beats down in ways that I've never experienced.  It's almost as though rays are constantly beamed down vertically to cast strong shadows and blind you into willing submission…  

…It's also true what they say about dreamers and chancers in this town.  We saw bellmen, bouncers and waiters/waitresses expressing their ambition to write/direct/act.  My own silly dreams (Ballerina?  Astronaut?  Concert pianist?) died a death an age ago so I'm glad people out there are willing to dream their way into adulthood…  

…Best take-home quote?  A girl called Jackie, who I met at my hotel Sunset Marquis, said to me "You're a cool bitch doing your thing."  Right on…

…The Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles is momentarily my favourite one out of their stores, just by virtue of being housed in what was once Charlie Chaplin's dance studio and I love the way it's spread out into different annexes and rooms.  Oh, and I have to thank Carol and Humberto for recommending Korean joint The Corner Place - cold vegetable broth noodles - a revelation…

Nick Metropolis prop store on La Brea (a great drag of shops in general) would be my furnishing store of choice if I did live in LA.  Who doesn't want a giant Homer Simpson statue, an Elvis-themed dollhouse or a diner booth in their house?  They have anything and everything here…  

…Speaking of furnishings there are a lot of dumped sofas in Los Angeles.  I spotted at least three along Venice Beach.  They somehow don't look out of place…

…I can see what all the fuss is about with Rene Holguin's RTH store.  It's so intrinsically rooted to California with its curious mix of tie-dyed sweaters, American West crafted jewellery, leather goods, all scented with heavy cedar.  Steve got himself some beaded safety pins and I got a giant bandana print leather-trimmed tote that I could possibly climb into if I need shelter…

…I didn't hit up every single shop on my exhaustive list but in general, I loved the boutique scene in LA.  Highlights include the very zen, very wabi-sabi New High (M)art, the selection of local LA designers at The Well and the hard-to-find roster of designers at Weltenbuerger…

…There seem to be an abundance of oh-so-cute, bordering-on-twee and well-curated lifestyle/stationery/general goods stores.  Poketo near Little Tokyo and Reform School in Silver Lake were my faves.  I discovered local jewellery label Highlow at Poketo and duly bought one of their Embrace polymer clay cuffs.    

…Ok, I didn't technically drive but driving around Mulholland Drive, the canyon roads and along the Pacific Coast Highway with The xx, Nico and Biggie respectively as a soundtrack really was a treat…

…It goes without saying that I ate well in LA.  Very well in fact.  Great tacos/Mexican food, Korean food and sushi are a given.  For particularly "me" type of food, I loved the sweet n' sour flavour combos at Baco Mercat, the insanely good lobster rolls at Son of a Gun and a meaty triumph breakfast to challenge the hardiest of carnivores (chicken fried steak slathered in sausage gravy) at Village Idiot…

…The whole reason I went to LA was because I had extended a press trip to visit shoe maestro George Esquivel, in celebration of his upcoming collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (more about that later) and they had collectively planned out a truly classic night out in LA - drinks and dinner at the legendary Chateau Marmont followed up by a session of bowling at the Spare Room at Roosevelt Hotel.  Was it a cliche?   Maybe.  Sometimes the plainly obvious works for a reason though.  The best thing about the two-lane old-fashioned bowling alley at Spare Room?  The chance to wear well-worn, beautifully crafted bowling shoes made by George Esquivel…

…How much did I love cycling along Venice Beach/Santa Monica?  This much.  Yes, I'm hopelessly goofy…

…I wasn't ready to subject Steve to the sprawl of Rose Bowl Flea so we took it easy with Melrose Trading Post flea instead, where there are definitely veritable bargains and concise opportunities for browsing.  Never though have I seen so many racks of denim cut-off shorts.  I'm afraid this is one LA-ism I just can't get onboard with.  I particularly dislike the super-short, super-ripped, pocket flap-exposing ilk of denim cut-offs.  Could that be why people instantly detected I wasn't a local (one girl in a store immediately said to me, without hearing my accent "Oh my god you look so cute... where on earth did you come from?")…   

…The Abbot Kinney stretch of shops and restaurants in Venice is so pretty to walk around.  Browsing the stores almost converts you into a cheesecloth shirt, thong sandal and hippie beaded jewellery devotee.  I liked the touches of Japanese retail here with the Stussy Livin' General Store selling Japanese lifestyle wares (they even had a Japanese wood carving workshop going on in the back yard) and Americana textiles king Kapital…

…I love a street crazy.  LA seems to have the best of them - these eccentric characters roam the streets looking like they've been there forever because nobody bats an eyelid at their crazy get-up.  I've always wanted to follow one around discreetly just to see what they get up to…

…Speaking of the weird, I loved the premise and concept of Echo Park Time Travel Mart - a storefront cooked up by 826LA, a non-profit organisation supporting creative writing in young people.  It sells an array of clever copy on clearly spoofed-up products, with anything from dinosaur eggs to bottles of bittersweet juice.  It was there that we were recommended to take a trip to Museum of Jurassic Technology, which was a whole other level of spoof.  You go in knowing what you know and come out questioning everything.  Scientific fact will never be the same again.  No wonder there was a guy high on pot, taking in this "educational" experience.  If you need to take a breather from the overload of fact/fiction fusion, go up to the tranquil rooftop and take a cup of tea…

…I will never tire of looking at palm trees.  Especially when you're driving on a freeway and you see them dotted around in rows, towering over the city…

…Ditto for the street art which looks properly ingrained into the city's landscape as opposed to randomly popping up in small enclaves…

…Ditto with the Hollywood sign.  Was especially jealous of the view of Hollywood Hills from Scott Sternberg's Band of Outsiders studio…

In-n-Out burger really is the real deal.  I'm now going to feel forever cheated when I do Meat Liquor/Market/Mission in London.  We made it our last pit-stop before going to the airport and it really hit the spot.  I rapidly demolished a 3X3 animal style (from the not-so-secret-secret menu) much to the bemusement of the table of Chinese tourists next to us... 

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IMG_7353Marc by Marc Jacobs cardigan, Topshop slip dress, Christopher Kane clutch

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IMG_7388Carven printed top and shorts, Birkenstock blue sandals

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IMG_7454Poketo tea towels

IMG_7455Highlow bracelet

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IMG_7505Sretsis blazer, Birkenstock floral sandals

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IMG_7580Tommy Hilfiger striped top, Sacai kilt skirt

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IMG_7624Subtle Luxury embroidered blouse

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IMG_7638Swash cardigan, Stella McCartney for adidas swimsuit, Kye skirt, RTH oversized tote, Karen Walker sunglasses

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Whistles swimsuit, L'Wren Scott sunglasses, Purl Harbour knitted shorts

In n Out

I heart Los Angeles.  I really do.  I know it might be down to the novelty or the fact that I haven't had a proper holiday in… five years (i.e. one that wasn't a blog/work-related trip) but I've not had tingles about a new place in a while.  The sort of tingles, where thoughts of "I could possibly live here!" bubble up in the brain.  It's been far too short a trip to really think seriously about such a notion but I've seen enough to know that the exciting part is that I've only just scratched the surface of this sprawling, space-filled, open-to-all and up-for-it strange city.  That means I'll return for sure.  No empty promise there.  Steve and I will make it our annual soul-nourishing pilgrimage.  I thought I'd compile a text/pic postcard round-up of just a smattering of things I saw/did/bought/loved/ate, guided by recommendations from friends as well as Joy Yoon's 1,001 ideas book.  There was definitely more though.  In the words of California's current Governator and L.A. resident, "I'll be back." 

…It's true what they say about the light in California.  The sun beats down in ways that I've never experienced.  It's almost as though rays are constantly beamed down vertically to cast strong shadows and blind you into willing submission…  

…It's also true what they say about dreamers and chancers in this town.  We saw bellmen, bouncers and waiters/waitresses expressing their ambition to write/direct/act.  My own silly dreams (Ballerina?  Astronaut?  Concert pianist?) died a death an age ago so I'm glad people out there are willing to dream their way into adulthood…  

…Best take-home quote?  A girl called Jackie, who I met at my hotel Sunset Marquis, said to me "You're a cool bitch doing your thing."  Right on…

…The Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles is momentarily my favourite one out of their stores, just by virtue of being housed in what was once Charlie Chaplin's dance studio and I love the way it's spread out into different annexes and rooms.  Oh, and I have to thank Carol and Humberto for recommending Korean joint The Corner Place - cold vegetable broth noodles - a revelation…

Nick Metropolis prop store on La Brea (a great drag of shops in general) would be my furnishing store of choice if I did live in LA.  Who doesn't want a giant Homer Simpson statue, an Elvis-themed dollhouse or a diner booth in their house?  They have anything and everything here…  

…Speaking of furnishings there are a lot of dumped sofas in Los Angeles.  I spotted at least three along Venice Beach.  They somehow don't look out of place…

…I can see what all the fuss is about with Rene Holguin's RTH store.  It's so intrinsically rooted to California with its curious mix of tie-dyed sweaters, American West crafted jewellery, leather goods, all scented with heavy cedar.  Steve got himself some beaded safety pins and I got a giant bandana print leather-trimmed tote that I could possibly climb into if I need shelter…

…I didn't hit up every single shop on my exhaustive list but in general, I loved the boutique scene in LA.  Highlights include the very zen, very wabi-sabi New High (M)art, the selection of local LA designers at The Well and the hard-to-find roster of designers at Weltenbuerger…

…There seem to be an abundance of oh-so-cute, bordering-on-twee and well-curated lifestyle/stationery/general goods stores.  Poketo near Little Tokyo and Reform School in Silver Lake were my faves.  I discovered local jewellery label Highlow at Poketo and duly bought one of their Embrace polymer clay cuffs.    

…Ok, I didn't technically drive but driving around Mulholland Drive, the canyon roads and along the Pacific Coast Highway with The xx, Nico and Biggie respectively as a soundtrack really was a treat…

…It goes without saying that I ate well in LA.  Very well in fact.  Great tacos/Mexican food, Korean food and sushi are a given.  For particularly "me" type of food, I loved the sweet n' sour flavour combos at Baco Mercat, the insanely good lobster rolls at Son of a Gun and a meaty triumph breakfast to challenge the hardiest of carnivores (chicken fried steak slathered in sausage gravy) at Village Idiot…

…The whole reason I went to LA was because I had extended a press trip to visit shoe maestro George Esquivel, in celebration of his upcoming collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (more about that later) and they had collectively planned out a truly classic night out in LA - drinks and dinner at the legendary Chateau Marmont followed up by a session of bowling at the Spare Room at Roosevelt Hotel.  Was it a cliche?   Maybe.  Sometimes the plainly obvious works for a reason though.  The best thing about the two-lane old-fashioned bowling alley at Spare Room?  The chance to wear well-worn, beautifully crafted bowling shoes made by George Esquivel…

…How much did I love cycling along Venice Beach/Santa Monica?  This much.  Yes, I'm hopelessly goofy…

…I wasn't ready to subject Steve to the sprawl of Rose Bowl Flea so we took it easy with Melrose Trading Post flea instead, where there are definitely veritable bargains and concise opportunities for browsing.  Never though have I seen so many racks of denim cut-off shorts.  I'm afraid this is one LA-ism I just can't get onboard with.  I particularly dislike the super-short, super-ripped, pocket flap-exposing ilk of denim cut-offs.  Could that be why people instantly detected I wasn't a local (one girl in a store immediately said to me, without hearing my accent "Oh my god you look so cute... where on earth did you come from?")…   

…The Abbot Kinney stretch of shops and restaurants in Venice is so pretty to walk around.  Browsing the stores almost converts you into a cheesecloth shirt, thong sandal and hippie beaded jewellery devotee.  I liked the touches of Japanese retail here with the Stussy Livin' General Store selling Japanese lifestyle wares (they even had a Japanese wood carving workshop going on in the back yard) and Americana textiles king Kapital…

…I love a street crazy.  LA seems to have the best of them - these eccentric characters roam the streets looking like they've been there forever because nobody bats an eyelid at their crazy get-up.  I've always wanted to follow one around discreetly just to see what they get up to…

…Speaking of the weird, I loved the premise and concept of Echo Park Time Travel Mart - a storefront cooked up by 826LA, a non-profit organisation supporting creative writing in young people.  It sells an array of clever copy on clearly spoofed-up products, with anything from dinosaur eggs to bottles of bittersweet juice.  It was there that we were recommended to take a trip to Museum of Jurassic Technology, which was a whole other level of spoof.  You go in knowing what you know and come out questioning everything.  Scientific fact will never be the same again.  No wonder there was a guy high on pot, taking in this "educational" experience.  If you need to take a breather from the overload of fact/fiction fusion, go up to the tranquil rooftop and take a cup of tea…

…I will never tire of looking at palm trees.  Especially when you're driving on a freeway and you see them dotted around in rows, towering over the city…

…Ditto for the street art which looks properly ingrained into the city's landscape as opposed to randomly popping up in small enclaves…

…Ditto with the Hollywood sign.  Was especially jealous of the view of Hollywood Hills from Scott Sternberg's Band of Outsiders studio…

In-n-Out burger really is the real deal.  I'm now going to feel forever cheated when I do Meat Liquor/Market/Mission in London.  We made it our last pit-stop before going to the airport and it really hit the spot.  I rapidly demolished a 3X3 animal style (from the not-so-secret-secret menu) much to the bemusement of the table of Chinese tourists next to us... 

IMG_7350

IMG_7353Marc by Marc Jacobs cardigan, Topshop slip dress, Christopher Kane clutch

IMG_7354

IMG_7370

IMG_7377

IMG_7378

IMG_7379

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IMG_7388Carven printed top and shorts, Birkenstock blue sandals

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IMG_7454Poketo tea towels

IMG_7455Highlow bracelet

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IMG_7486

IMG_7505Sretsis blazer, Birkenstock floral sandals

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IMG_7580Tommy Hilfiger striped top, Sacai kilt skirt

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IMG_7624Subtle Luxury embroidered blouse

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IMG_7638Swash cardigan, Stella McCartney for adidas swimsuit, Kye skirt, RTH oversized tote, Karen Walker sunglasses

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Whistles swimsuit, L'Wren Scott sunglasses, Purl Harbour knitted shorts

School’s Out

>> Last week when I went to see the exhibition of Central Saint Martins, students were filing out, laden with garment bags, portfolios and boxes.  School lockers were empty and open and nearby bins were flooded with unwanted crap.  It was the last day of school and like the sad nearly-thirty person that I am, I found myself yearning for that feeling of breaking up for the summer and that sense of relief when yet another academic year comes to a close and you can switch off for two months or so.  At our school, we got to experience a relaxed build up to that momentous last day as we basically dawdled about doing not much work for two weeks and teachers put on films in class to kill time (Amadeus and The Piano were the films of choice...).  I'm digressing and reminiscing.  

I haven't had a school's out moment in years and haven't really had a chance to take a proper no-emails, no-blogging longer-than-a-week summer break since... well, since the blog began.  I'll be trying to make amends though with my upcoming trip to Los Angeles and Portland in July, which no doubt you'll hear more about when I start banging on about it here to fish for shopping/eating/doing tips.  Until then, I've got my own summer uniform of sorts, which sort of harks back to the puff-sleeved, round-collared checkered dresses most British girls wear at primary school during the summer months.  Remember Julien David's "Les Enfants Gates" (the spoiled child) S/S 12 collection?  I ordered a few pieces and belatedly received them in time for UK's rubbish washout summer when short sleeves are still somewhat questionable.  Similar pieces from the collection are currently well on their way to the sale rail on Far Fetch, Matches Fashion and the like, but the childish French scrawl in beginner's cursive writing and toy print made up of David's memories of playing with objects like a Buckingham Palace guard, a dinosaur, a rubber duck and a Mickey Mouse glove will long be relevant past the summer months.  I've yet to feel the joys of running around carefree and bare-legged in a crino-lined egg-shaped skirt (David's version is becoming something of a signature shape for him) and a broderie anglaise Peter Pan collared blouse so the timing is ace.  

Coupled with the summer school vibes of the Julien David's ensemble is my very first Olympia Le-Tan accessory - THAT Barney Bubbles designed cover for The Damned on a 7inch record box bag.  It was a delightful surprise in the mail that also came with the longest postcard written by Ms. Le-Tan herself, explaining the ins and outs of what makes an Olympia Le-Tan clutch/bag cost the price it warrants.  There will be a follow-up investigation to this when I head off to Paris next week for couture shows.  Suffice to say though, having carried around this beaut of a record bag around, I'm feeling its worth already with every touch and every click of the brass clasp, as satisfying as the sound my Rainbow Brite lunchbox used to make.  God, I really need to snap out of it.  Peter Pan syndrome isn't really becoming on me.  

Other scholastic accoutrements include a beautiful pale blue mesh lace tie by Marwood London.  Steve doesn't really wear ties so his hang forlornly in the wardrobe.  Took me a while to get back in the school tie swing of things though.  After all the last thing you want is a knot that resembles that of a cheesy estate agent's.  On the feet are a pair of Milan-based brand L'F Unisex tongue-less slip on brogues from the new S/S 13 collection for the forever-child who doesn't want to fiddle around with shoelaces.  Not that I'm troubled by tying shoelaces or anything but it IS super handy to just slip on a pair of brogues with swift ease when you need to leg it down the fire exit stairs to catch the postman.  

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School’s Out

>> Last week when I went to see the exhibition of Central Saint Martins, students were filing out, laden with garment bags, portfolios and boxes.  School lockers were empty and open and nearby bins were flooded with unwanted crap.  It was the last day of school and like the sad nearly-thirty person that I am, I found myself yearning for that feeling of breaking up for the summer and that sense of relief when yet another academic year comes to a close and you can switch off for two months or so.  At our school, we got to experience a relaxed build up to that momentous last day as we basically dawdled about doing not much work for two weeks and teachers put on films in class to kill time (Amadeus and The Piano were the films of choice...).  I'm digressing and reminiscing.  

I haven't had a school's out moment in years and haven't really had a chance to take a proper no-emails, no-blogging longer-than-a-week summer break since... well, since the blog began.  I'll be trying to make amends though with my upcoming trip to Los Angeles and Portland in July, which no doubt you'll hear more about when I start banging on about it here to fish for shopping/eating/doing tips.  Until then, I've got my own summer uniform of sorts, which sort of harks back to the puff-sleeved, round-collared checkered dresses most British girls wear at primary school during the summer months.  Remember Julien David's "Les Enfants Gates" (the spoiled child) S/S 12 collection?  I ordered a few pieces and belatedly received them in time for UK's rubbish washout summer when short sleeves are still somewhat questionable.  Similar pieces from the collection are currently well on their way to the sale rail on Far Fetch, Matches Fashion and the like, but the childish French scrawl in beginner's cursive writing and toy print made up of David's memories of playing with objects like a Buckingham Palace guard, a dinosaur, a rubber duck and a Mickey Mouse glove will long be relevant past the summer months.  I've yet to feel the joys of running around carefree and bare-legged in a crino-lined egg-shaped skirt (David's version is becoming something of a signature shape for him) and a broderie anglaise Peter Pan collared blouse so the timing is ace.  

Coupled with the summer school vibes of the Julien David's ensemble is my very first Olympia Le-Tan accessory - THAT Barney Bubbles designed cover for The Damned on a 7inch record box bag.  It was a delightful surprise in the mail that also came with the longest postcard written by Ms. Le-Tan herself, explaining the ins and outs of what makes an Olympia Le-Tan clutch/bag cost the price it warrants.  There will be a follow-up investigation to this when I head off to Paris next week for couture shows.  Suffice to say though, having carried around this beaut of a record bag around, I'm feeling its worth already with every touch and every click of the brass clasp, as satisfying as the sound my Rainbow Brite lunchbox used to make.  God, I really need to snap out of it.  Peter Pan syndrome isn't really becoming on me.  

Other scholastic accoutrements include a beautiful pale blue mesh lace tie by Marwood London.  Steve doesn't really wear ties so his hang forlornly in the wardrobe.  Took me a while to get back in the school tie swing of things though.  After all the last thing you want is a knot that resembles that of a cheesy estate agent's.  On the feet are a pair of Milan-based brand L'F Unisex tongue-less slip on brogues from the new S/S 13 collection for the forever-child who doesn't want to fiddle around with shoelaces.  Not that I'm troubled by tying shoelaces or anything but it IS super handy to just slip on a pair of brogues with swift ease when you need to leg it down the fire exit stairs to catch the postman.  

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What wo/man would wear this?

Following on from my dour-noted menswear/LC:M/fashion/life rant, I thought I'd make amends with something more chirpy.  The point I was really trying to make re: all the "What man would wear this?" type comments, which dominate mainstream menswear discussions (especially on newspapers), is how joyless and patronising they are.  Is it physically/spritiually getting in the way of your day that these designers are creating these collections?  Can you be 100% sure that there is no man in the entire world that would wear this? Is it not much better that someone is out there creating such clothes so that elusive "man" does have the option to wear halterneck tops/lace onesies/floral tracksuit bottoms should he choose to do so.   

I'm oddly beginning my LC:Menswear round-up with two pairs of shoes - one is a pair of Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals pair of men's penny loafers and the other a pair of Topman Design trainers.  Both were intended as menswear but luckily bought in small enough sizes so that I could get in on the action too.  The conservative folk might ask that key question: "What man would wear them?"  Well plenty as it happens with sizes purportedly sold out.  So let's just renounce that question as pointless and redundant shall we and shelve it away, shall we?   

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LC:M was a hotbed of designers, who also threw that question right out of the window,  to design not as the market dictates but as they saw fit.  And quite rightly so.   As a first time goer, I can only echo other menswear regulars' thoughts and say that the energy was throbbing and from my perspective, because I didn't quite know what to expect from some of the designers who are just starting out or cementing their aesthetic, it was genuinely exciting to watch.  And even though it's besides the point, you can definitely count on this wo/man here to get onboard with pretty much everything you see in this post.  It may not be a designer's intention but once it's off the rail and paid for, these are clothes ready to be "borrowed" by women should it take their fancy.  They're options, choices and fashion in general is made all the better because they exist.

Astrid Andersen - Florals + Basketball + Sweat = One sexy summer where the court could fry an egg and the boys shooting ball are staking claim on a visceral looking floral.   

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Agi & Sam - Ahh…. a reference to the wonderful buses of London and their myriad of bad taste/amazing textiles.  Give it up for Agi & Sam, who have toned down the twee and upped their game in terms of designing a fully rounded collection.  The prints haven't gone away entirely though.  They're familiar in a good way.  You might have sat on them on the number 43.  If anyone does buy into these prints, PLEASE do me a favour, find a bus that matches the print and take a pic.  HEAVEN.

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J.W. Anderson - What hasn't been said about yet another collection that has been banally portrayed as an act of heinous gender provocation.  I doubt J. Dubs minds though.  He's glad he's provoking.  And he's certainly glad that it divides opinion.  The whole collection was "bent" (no, not in that way…) by way of geometric altercations.  He's really growing into that asymmetry, which really took shape in the A/W 13-4 womenswear collection and is getting lots of people hot and bothered because of it.  More please…

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Sibling - Jolly.  Upbeat.  All smiles.  Sibling's East Side Story boys came out coiffed and buffed in Bruce Davidson-tinged Americana meets British zane.  I definitely liked the zane.  Especially in the collaboration with artist Richard "woodgrain" Wood and the loose plastic friendship bracelet yarn knits, inspired by Ndebele tribe decoration. 

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Shaun Samson - There's no doubting that Samson is from Southern California.  The medley of West Coast rap made sure of that.  The hip hop vibes were made sensual and tactile through Samson's fascination with felting seen here where grey wool segues into silver foiling.  It's still a great signature style calling card to play, evident by the fact that half the room were wearing something by Samson.  

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The Fashion East menswear installations provided another bonanza of concentrated newness.  It's where I bounced around the happiest, from one world to another to get up close and personal with the clothes.  

Joseph Turvey - From the dalmatian spots of last season Turvey turns to the legendary female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley and her female influence on a sportswear-infused collection.  Hand drawn florals meet Rothko-esque colour blocking in a convincing way.  Spray painted hair optional  

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Liam Hodges - Morris Dancers meets Metal.  I liked the sentiment of this mixing pot of a presentation.  Hodges mixes up his own version of the band tee with patchwork folksy elements as well as paint-tinged workwear for those that graft hard and drink hard.  

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Kit Neale - Whammy!  That's exactly what I felt when I walked into the presentation and that's exactly what Neale called his collection.  Son of Rambow meets Lord of the Flies meets Peckham and Love Shack.  That's quite the cacophony and it works!  Behold, the intricacies of the genius "Peckham Riviera" print or the neon hues inspired by that B52 video.  I'm busting to get pretty much everything in this collection.  Neale thankfully doesn't mind.

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Craig Green - It was brilliant to resee the beautiful paint-slicked cardboard explosions which adorned Green's models at the MAN show.  They make sense by themselves and in situ with the clothes (which are all beautifully made and entirely wearable in spite of media protestations).  It was also a chance to see Green's collaboration with Purified footwear as it resulted in a set of slip-on trainers with unique silicon straps.  

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10378331037828Photography by Quentin De Wispelaere for Dazed DIgital

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Marques Almeida- It was inevitable that Marques Almeida would give some love to the guys who wore their ripped, distressed and thread-bare womenswear.  It is but a small capsule collection for Opening Ceremony but it's ever evocative with denim camouflage carried over into oversized tees and a patchwork ponyskin biker jacket that is definitely a stand out piece.  

And some others which I didn't see but wanted to HURRAH anyway.  HURRAH for Richard Nicoll getting together with artist Linder Sterling again for a triumphantly beautiful menswear collection, his best yet.  I hear there's more Nicoll/Sterling pieces on the way for womenswear too, which I'm obvs excited about. 

009_London_FashionWeek_Men2014_Richard_Nicoll_day_1Photography by Arnolt Smead for Wallpaper

Hurrah for Jonathan Saunders turning up sensual heat on city slickers.  

1037938Photography by Quentin De Wispelaere for Dazed Digital

And HURRAH for Christopher Shannon and his youthful rave of a collection complete with this stunner of a biker jacket using a medley of Liberty tana lawn fabrics.  

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Photography by Piczo for i-D Online

... which will be luv-ver-ly with my newly arrived Liberty x Nike ID Air Maxes.  Trying hard to keep these pristine... 

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What wo/man would wear this?

Following on from my dour-noted menswear/LC:M/fashion/life rant, I thought I'd make amends with something more chirpy.  The point I was really trying to make re: all the "What man would wear this?" type comments, which dominate mainstream menswear discussions (especially on newspapers), is how joyless and patronising they are.  Is it physically/spritiually getting in the way of your day that these designers are creating these collections?  Can you be 100% sure that there is no man in the entire world that would wear this? Is it not much better that someone is out there creating such clothes so that elusive "man" does have the option to wear halterneck tops/lace onesies/floral tracksuit bottoms should he choose to do so.   

I'm oddly beginning my LC:Menswear round-up with two pairs of shoes - one is a pair of Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals pair of men's penny loafers and the other a pair of Topman Design trainers.  Both were intended as menswear but luckily bought in small enough sizes so that I could get in on the action too.  The conservative folk might ask that key question: "What man would wear them?"  Well plenty as it happens with sizes purportedly sold out.  So let's just renounce that question as pointless and redundant shall we and shelve it away, shall we?   

IMG_5621

IMG_5625

LC:M was a hotbed of designers, who also threw that question right out of the window,  to design not as the market dictates but as they saw fit.  And quite rightly so.   As a first time goer, I can only echo other menswear regulars' thoughts and say that the energy was throbbing and from my perspective, because I didn't quite know what to expect from some of the designers who are just starting out or cementing their aesthetic, it was genuinely exciting to watch.  And even though it's besides the point, you can definitely count on this wo/man here to get onboard with pretty much everything you see in this post.  It may not be a designer's intention but once it's off the rail and paid for, these are clothes ready to be "borrowed" by women should it take their fancy.  They're options, choices and fashion in general is made all the better because they exist.

Astrid Andersen - Florals + Basketball + Sweat = One sexy summer where the court could fry an egg and the boys shooting ball are staking claim on a visceral looking floral.   

IMG_5377

IMG_5382

Agi & Sam - Ahh…. a reference to the wonderful buses of London and their myriad of bad taste/amazing textiles.  Give it up for Agi & Sam, who have toned down the twee and upped their game in terms of designing a fully rounded collection.  The prints haven't gone away entirely though.  They're familiar in a good way.  You might have sat on them on the number 43.  If anyone does buy into these prints, PLEASE do me a favour, find a bus that matches the print and take a pic.  HEAVEN.

IMG_5401

IMG_5407

IMG_5416

J.W. Anderson - What hasn't been said about yet another collection that has been banally portrayed as an act of heinous gender provocation.  I doubt J. Dubs minds though.  He's glad he's provoking.  And he's certainly glad that it divides opinion.  The whole collection was "bent" (no, not in that way…) by way of geometric altercations.  He's really growing into that asymmetry, which really took shape in the A/W 13-4 womenswear collection and is getting lots of people hot and bothered because of it.  More please…

DSC_0059

DSC_0075

DSC_0081

DSC_0069

Sibling - Jolly.  Upbeat.  All smiles.  Sibling's East Side Story boys came out coiffed and buffed in Bruce Davidson-tinged Americana meets British zane.  I definitely liked the zane.  Especially in the collaboration with artist Richard "woodgrain" Wood and the loose plastic friendship bracelet yarn knits, inspired by Ndebele tribe decoration. 

DSC_0104

DSC_0121DSC_0119

DSC_0123

Shaun Samson - There's no doubting that Samson is from Southern California.  The medley of West Coast rap made sure of that.  The hip hop vibes were made sensual and tactile through Samson's fascination with felting seen here where grey wool segues into silver foiling.  It's still a great signature style calling card to play, evident by the fact that half the room were wearing something by Samson.  

DSC_0153

DSC_0145DSC_0148

DSC_0138

The Fashion East menswear installations provided another bonanza of concentrated newness.  It's where I bounced around the happiest, from one world to another to get up close and personal with the clothes.  

Joseph Turvey - From the dalmatian spots of last season Turvey turns to the legendary female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley and her female influence on a sportswear-infused collection.  Hand drawn florals meet Rothko-esque colour blocking in a convincing way.  Spray painted hair optional  

IMG_5473

IMG_5446

IMG_5449

Liam Hodges - Morris Dancers meets Metal.  I liked the sentiment of this mixing pot of a presentation.  Hodges mixes up his own version of the band tee with patchwork folksy elements as well as paint-tinged workwear for those that graft hard and drink hard.  

IMG_5441

IMG_5440

IMG_5443

Kit Neale - Whammy!  That's exactly what I felt when I walked into the presentation and that's exactly what Neale called his collection.  Son of Rambow meets Lord of the Flies meets Peckham and Love Shack.  That's quite the cacophony and it works!  Behold, the intricacies of the genius "Peckham Riviera" print or the neon hues inspired by that B52 video.  I'm busting to get pretty much everything in this collection.  Neale thankfully doesn't mind.

IMG_5504

IMG_5467

IMG_5456

IMG_5453

IMG_5457

Craig Green - It was brilliant to resee the beautiful paint-slicked cardboard explosions which adorned Green's models at the MAN show.  They make sense by themselves and in situ with the clothes (which are all beautifully made and entirely wearable in spite of media protestations).  It was also a chance to see Green's collaboration with Purified footwear as it resulted in a set of slip-on trainers with unique silicon straps.  

IMG_5470IMG_5475

10378331037828Photography by Quentin De Wispelaere for Dazed DIgital

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Marques Almeida- It was inevitable that Marques Almeida would give some love to the guys who wore their ripped, distressed and thread-bare womenswear.  It is but a small capsule collection for Opening Ceremony but it's ever evocative with denim camouflage carried over into oversized tees and a patchwork ponyskin biker jacket that is definitely a stand out piece.  

And some others which I didn't see but wanted to HURRAH anyway.  HURRAH for Richard Nicoll getting together with artist Linder Sterling again for a triumphantly beautiful menswear collection, his best yet.  I hear there's more Nicoll/Sterling pieces on the way for womenswear too, which I'm obvs excited about. 

009_London_FashionWeek_Men2014_Richard_Nicoll_day_1Photography by Arnolt Smead for Wallpaper

Hurrah for Jonathan Saunders turning up sensual heat on city slickers.  

1037938Photography by Quentin De Wispelaere for Dazed Digital

And HURRAH for Christopher Shannon and his youthful rave of a collection complete with this stunner of a biker jacket using a medley of Liberty tana lawn fabrics.  

MG_8655
Photography by Piczo for i-D Online

... which will be luv-ver-ly with my newly arrived Liberty x Nike ID Air Maxes.  Trying hard to keep these pristine... 

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Deciphering Dries Denim

>> My weekend was supposed to be about devoting time to being the me of yesteryear, in a single state, plodding around London watching films at the BFI, trawling through charity shops and TK Maxx and trying to cram in five meals in a day so I can sample little bites all over town.  My Saturday did comprise mainly of that agenda (the normally very-rubbish TK Maxx on Charing Cross Road finally came up trumps for me - scored a S/S 11 Versus number for £120) but on the way, there was a deliberate detour into Harvey Nichols, where they're having some 20% off promo (just register on their site and the discount is valid for the Bank Holiday Weekend) to check out what was looking tasty from current S/S 12 collection, before it all goes on sale in a month or so.  

In the Dries Van Noten corner was this lonesome intricately embroidered denim skirt.  Having stalked Dries all around town and in Paris, I've never spotted this piece.  It wasn't part of the S/S 12 main show yet the amount of lavish text and emblem embroidery on it suggests this is no mundane commercial piece.  Van Noten is no stranger to interesting interpretations of denim - his S/S 11 true blue denim fading into bleached white lingers vividly in memory.  Here though, a mid-calf faded blue denim skirt is the recipient of numerous emo fuelled ramblings spelled out painstakingly in hundreds of gunmetal bugle beads, fitting in neatly with the incredibly nuanced and perfectly judged remixed grunge vibes of the S/S 12 collection.  You can well imagine the design team at Dries throwing phrases and slogans around the room to make up the embroidery design of this skirt, some of which is frankly illegible, even after staring at it for a good while and inspecting the lining to trace the embroidery threads.  Some of it deliberately riffs off of metal/grunge cliches - "Death Rage", "Eclipse" and "Oracle" in heavy goth-hued font, "Clash till dawn" and "Things Get Worse" in emo scrawl.  Other phrases are a little nonsensical - "When the ocean is wounded, it takes the whale." - is in a similar vein to slogan tees I remember seeing in Hong Kong where the English would be broken and odd, expressing sentiments such as "Love Peace Power Pretty Girl".  Flanking this RAAAWK verbage are the tried and tested power-ridden beasts - an eagle and a tiger - I'd expect nothing less from this seemingly irreverant and poke-fun piece.  From a distant, all of this text blurs into what appears to be an abstract pattern of obscure lines, showcasing what is a fine bit of Indian embroidery.    

Combined with memories of writing in Tippex over backpacks and exercise books and innane scribblings in my "journal" (I re-read mine from time to time and find myself curled up in a ball of toe-curling embarrassment) and the unexpected discount, I convinced myself that this skirt was an "investment".  Even if it is a size too big.  Blame it on the concept of Future Vintage lingering in my head.  So long as the bugle beading doesn't unravel somewhere (I'll be lowering myself down on buses/restaurant seats/benches with painfully slow movement when I'm wearing this skirt), hopefully someone fifty years down the line will appreciate it for its deliberate poor-taste zane and as yet another fine example of Van Noten's genre and style mixology skills.  

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Deciphering Dries Denim

>> My weekend was supposed to be about devoting time to being the me of yesteryear, in a single state, plodding around London watching films at the BFI, trawling through charity shops and TK Maxx and trying to cram in five meals in a day so I can sample little bites all over town.  My Saturday did comprise mainly of that agenda (the normally very-rubbish TK Maxx on Charing Cross Road finally came up trumps for me - scored a S/S 11 Versus number for £120) but on the way, there was a deliberate detour into Harvey Nichols, where they're having some 20% off promo (just register on their site and the discount is valid for the Bank Holiday Weekend) to check out what was looking tasty from current S/S 12 collection, before it all goes on sale in a month or so.  

In the Dries Van Noten corner was this lonesome intricately embroidered denim skirt.  Having stalked Dries all around town and in Paris, I've never spotted this piece.  It wasn't part of the S/S 12 main show yet the amount of lavish text and emblem embroidery on it suggests this is no mundane commercial piece.  Van Noten is no stranger to interesting interpretations of denim - his S/S 11 true blue denim fading into bleached white lingers vividly in memory.  Here though, a mid-calf faded blue denim skirt is the recipient of numerous emo fuelled ramblings spelled out painstakingly in hundreds of gunmetal bugle beads, fitting in neatly with the incredibly nuanced and perfectly judged remixed grunge vibes of the S/S 12 collection.  You can well imagine the design team at Dries throwing phrases and slogans around the room to make up the embroidery design of this skirt, some of which is frankly illegible, even after staring at it for a good while and inspecting the lining to trace the embroidery threads.  Some of it deliberately riffs off of metal/grunge cliches - "Death Rage", "Eclipse" and "Oracle" in heavy goth-hued font, "Clash till dawn" and "Things Get Worse" in emo scrawl.  Other phrases are a little nonsensical - "When the ocean is wounded, it takes the whale." - is in a similar vein to slogan tees I remember seeing in Hong Kong where the English would be broken and odd, expressing sentiments such as "Love Peace Power Pretty Girl".  Flanking this RAAAWK verbage are the tried and tested power-ridden beasts - an eagle and a tiger - I'd expect nothing less from this seemingly irreverant and poke-fun piece.  From a distant, all of this text blurs into what appears to be an abstract pattern of obscure lines, showcasing what is a fine bit of Indian embroidery.    

Combined with memories of writing in Tippex over backpacks and exercise books and innane scribblings in my "journal" (I re-read mine from time to time and find myself curled up in a ball of toe-curling embarrassment) and the unexpected discount, I convinced myself that this skirt was an "investment".  Even if it is a size too big.  Blame it on the concept of Future Vintage lingering in my head.  So long as the bugle beading doesn't unravel somewhere (I'll be lowering myself down on buses/restaurant seats/benches with painfully slow movement when I'm wearing this skirt), hopefully someone fifty years down the line will appreciate it for its deliberate poor-taste zane and as yet another fine example of Van Noten's genre and style mixology skills.  

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Kente

A-Sauvage

I'm switching blog reading genre allegiences for a while.  Instead of all the fash-y spots that I normally peruse, I'm instead finding myself engrossed with Decor8, Emmas Design Blog and Tapeten Agentur, aka a place where you can lose two hours looking at wallpaper designs.  Choosing fantasy interior options from the Ikea catalogue when I was 16 was fun but choosing light fixtures, kitchen cabinet handles and paint colours for REALZ is about a thousand times better.  Tapenten Agentur, as German and efficient as they come, is currently where I've honed in on wallpaper choices for the living room (for one wall only of course - don't want to walk into a migraine) and unsurprisingly they're all looking sort of similar and reminding me of the Kente woven silk fabric that graces these A. Sauvage x Dr Martens shoes.

You won't have heard me talk up A. Sauvage as creative director/founder Adrien Victor Sauvage, a former pro basketball player and lifestyle consultant, primarily offers menswear.  You can get the blurb and gist of it all via Style Salvage Steve.  A. Sauvage has recently expanded by creating a line of womenswear, which is rooted in the idea of "Menswear for Women".  It's his collaboration with Dr. Martens though that will have piqued interest from both sexes, especially when these silk Kente Steed shoes are plentiful in womens sizing online.  Sauvage explored his Ghanian roots with a nod to the royal and sacred Kente cloth, crafted by the indigenous Akan people of Ghana.  The geometric triangular formations and woven stripes are muted to shades of grey, black and white in this instance and runs as a motif throughout A. Sauvage's A/W 12 collection.  

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(Worn with Ksubi shirt, Dagmar fluffy cardigan, Ayame tights)

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EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Note of Disclosure: Pictures above taken with the new Canon EOS M (available on Amazon) using the black and white grainy filter.  

The pattern is transferred across to womenswear which A. Sauvage is beginning to dip into.  

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A. Sauvage runs a slick operation, everything from art direction, branding to store fit (which stopped me in my tracks when I passed the A. Sauvage store on Maddox Street in London) and he has also called on some interesting collaborators to work with, including the actor Craig Roberts (you might remember him as the charming oddball Oliver in the Richard Ayoade film Submarine).  Roberts starred in this engaging short The Student, which introduces the concept of DE - Dress Easy with 1950s-tinged narration.  The film focuses on all the shoes (note the way the narrator says "praline patent leather" - he makes it sound delicious), ending with the Kente woven silk Dr Martens shoes.  "Has the student found a shoe that speaks for him?", the narrator asks.  Why, YES.  I do believe he has!

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Kente

A-Sauvage

I'm switching blog reading genre allegiences for a while.  Instead of all the fash-y spots that I normally peruse, I'm instead finding myself engrossed with Decor8, Emmas Design Blog and Tapeten Agentur, aka a place where you can lose two hours looking at wallpaper designs.  Choosing fantasy interior options from the Ikea catalogue when I was 16 was fun but choosing light fixtures, kitchen cabinet handles and paint colours for REALZ is about a thousand times better.  Tapenten Agentur, as German and efficient as they come, is currently where I've honed in on wallpaper choices for the living room (for one wall only of course - don't want to walk into a migraine) and unsurprisingly they're all looking sort of similar and reminding me of the Kente woven silk fabric that graces these A. Sauvage x Dr Martens shoes.

You won't have heard me talk up A. Sauvage as creative director/founder Adrien Victor Sauvage, a former pro basketball player and lifestyle consultant, primarily offers menswear.  You can get the blurb and gist of it all via Style Salvage Steve.  A. Sauvage has recently expanded by creating a line of womenswear, which is rooted in the idea of "Menswear for Women".  It's his collaboration with Dr. Martens though that will have piqued interest from both sexes, especially when these silk Kente Steed shoes are plentiful in womens sizing online.  Sauvage explored his Ghanian roots with a nod to the royal and sacred Kente cloth, crafted by the indigenous Akan people of Ghana.  The geometric triangular formations and woven stripes are muted to shades of grey, black and white in this instance and runs as a motif throughout A. Sauvage's A/W 12 collection.  

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(Worn with Ksubi shirt, Dagmar fluffy cardigan, Ayame tights)

IMG_0587

IMG_0589

IMG_0546

EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Note of Disclosure: Pictures above taken with the new Canon EOS M (available on Amazon) using the black and white grainy filter.  

The pattern is transferred across to womenswear which A. Sauvage is beginning to dip into.  

A.sauvage_womens_aw12_000-4A.sauvage_womens_aw12_000-8

A.sauvage_womens_aw12_000-12A.sauvage_womens_aw12_000-13

A. Sauvage runs a slick operation, everything from art direction, branding to store fit (which stopped me in my tracks when I passed the A. Sauvage store on Maddox Street in London) and he has also called on some interesting collaborators to work with, including the actor Craig Roberts (you might remember him as the charming oddball Oliver in the Richard Ayoade film Submarine).  Roberts starred in this engaging short The Student, which introduces the concept of DE - Dress Easy with 1950s-tinged narration.  The film focuses on all the shoes (note the way the narrator says "praline patent leather" - he makes it sound delicious), ending with the Kente woven silk Dr Martens shoes.  "Has the student found a shoe that speaks for him?", the narrator asks.  Why, YES.  I do believe he has!

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My Sunday Hat

>> Following my short piece in last week's Stylist magazine (a stellar example of free publishing) extolling my love for all period dramas (although controversially except for Downton), I went on a House of Eliott marathon binge over the weekend.  In my head, I'm in fact stroking my imaginary beard and agreeing earnestly with all of the issues that this BBC period drama quite pertinently  brought up.  Such as commercial viability versus creative expression, designer knock-offs on the high street, silver spoon privileges and connections getting you places in this industry and loss of quality through mass production - it's funny how a fluffy lightweight period drama series set in 1920s London, covered all of that, touching upon issues that no BBC documentary has even bothered to seriously analyse.  It's also funny how those storylines are still very much applicable today.  

In my heart though, I know I'm in fact gorging on sixteen DVDs all in one go because I get to look at all manners of hats, hear Louise Lombard squeal over silk shot velvet and imagine saying phrases like "Yes, this is quite the thing!" if I should ever pay custom to a couturier.  Back to the hats though - cloches, turbans and toques - everyone's newly short bobbed, shingled or Eton cropped head in House of Eliott gets to wear a vast variety of hats.  Even the lowly paid seamstresses.  I've been getting a lot of hat action lately, acquiring all six of these in the last three months.  Save for my feathered fez, I doubt any of these would be welcome at a House of Eliott soirée.  It's ludicrous thoughts like that, which prove exactly how mushy my brain has become from period drama mara fever.  

Hexue feathered fez - A feathered fez is the last thing I'd expect to buy in Shanghai, in a vintage shop no less (Lolo Love Vintage to be precise), especially when vintage is still a relative rarity over there.  Still, I was enamoured enough to bring this hat all the way back from Asia, careful not to squash it in my sardine-packed suitcase.  There clearly aren't enough feathered fezes (yes, I checked that is in fact the plural) in my life.  I'm sorry I don't have more information about the label as my Chinese searching/Weibo skills still aren't great.   

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Joseph Nigoghossian bucket/cap/trapper hat - I've been bang into my hat hybrids and this one is a less extreme version of the J.W. Anderson A/W 12-3 current season hat, taking elements of a bucket/porkpie hat with a cap and some trapper back flaps.  Primitive London in Hackney is selling this Joseph Nigoghossianhat in navy foam mesh.  More of that 3D spacer stuff that I've been getting into.  

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Miu Miu Patent Souwester - Many an hour has been wiled away on Yoox, searching for every thing under the sun (my top search terms at the moment are "metallic", "patent, "silver shoes" and "Balenciaga" obvs),  A few months ago, I bought this lonesome patent Miu Miu hat on Yoox.  Lonesome because it bears a very very old Miu Miu label so it comes from a randomly old collection.  Sheepishly, it did however catch the eye of Cathy Horyn when I wore this in Paris.  Suffice to say that I now face celestial downpours with glee.     IMG_0251

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Ganryu blue lurex deerhunter/beanie/cap - I've already talked about this hat when I bought it in Tokyo.  Like I said before, it's my very own tribute to East 17's Brian Harvey, albeit with an extra cap clap at the back and rendered in sheeny shiny blue lurex.  The rest of the current A/W 12-3 Ganryu Comme des Garcons collection makes me wish this jocular streetwear-orientated menswear part of the Comme empire was more readily available here.  

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J.W. Anderson A/W 12-3 quilted bucket/trapper/fisherman's hat - First on my list when going to the over subscribed J.W. Anderson sample sale a few weeks ago was this hat from the current A/W 12-3 collection.  This is about three or four hats packaged into one quilted nylon head warmer.  I'm literally locked in my own head when I put this on.  With a pair of headphones, I'm quite unaware of everything that's going on around me which makes it perfect for trampling across the park, crushing frost and puffing out little breath trails.  Right about now then.    

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My Sunday Hat

>> Following my short piece in last week's Stylist magazine (a stellar example of free publishing) extolling my love for all period dramas (although controversially except for Downton), I went on a House of Eliott marathon binge over the weekend.  In my head, I'm in fact stroking my imaginary beard and agreeing earnestly with all of the issues that this BBC period drama quite pertinently  brought up.  Such as commercial viability versus creative expression, designer knock-offs on the high street, silver spoon privileges and connections getting you places in this industry and loss of quality through mass production - it's funny how a fluffy lightweight period drama series set in 1920s London, covered all of that, touching upon issues that no BBC documentary has even bothered to seriously analyse.  It's also funny how those storylines are still very much applicable today.  

In my heart though, I know I'm in fact gorging on sixteen DVDs all in one go because I get to look at all manners of hats, hear Louise Lombard squeal over silk shot velvet and imagine saying phrases like "Yes, this is quite the thing!" if I should ever pay custom to a couturier.  Back to the hats though - cloches, turbans and toques - everyone's newly short bobbed, shingled or Eton cropped head in House of Eliott gets to wear a vast variety of hats.  Even the lowly paid seamstresses.  I've been getting a lot of hat action lately, acquiring all six of these in the last three months.  Save for my feathered fez, I doubt any of these would be welcome at a House of Eliott soirée.  It's ludicrous thoughts like that, which prove exactly how mushy my brain has become from period drama mara fever.  

Hexue feathered fez - A feathered fez is the last thing I'd expect to buy in Shanghai, in a vintage shop no less (Lolo Love Vintage to be precise), especially when vintage is still a relative rarity over there.  Still, I was enamoured enough to bring this hat all the way back from Asia, careful not to squash it in my sardine-packed suitcase.  There clearly aren't enough feathered fezes (yes, I checked that is in fact the plural) in my life.  I'm sorry I don't have more information about the label as my Chinese searching/Weibo skills still aren't great.   

IMG_0218

IMG_0214

Joseph Nigoghossian bucket/cap/trapper hat - I've been bang into my hat hybrids and this one is a less extreme version of the J.W. Anderson A/W 12-3 current season hat, taking elements of a bucket/porkpie hat with a cap and some trapper back flaps.  Primitive London in Hackney is selling this Joseph Nigoghossianhat in navy foam mesh.  More of that 3D spacer stuff that I've been getting into.  

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Miu Miu Patent Souwester - Many an hour has been wiled away on Yoox, searching for every thing under the sun (my top search terms at the moment are "metallic", "patent, "silver shoes" and "Balenciaga" obvs),  A few months ago, I bought this lonesome patent Miu Miu hat on Yoox.  Lonesome because it bears a very very old Miu Miu label so it comes from a randomly old collection.  Sheepishly, it did however catch the eye of Cathy Horyn when I wore this in Paris.  Suffice to say that I now face celestial downpours with glee.     IMG_0251

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Ganryu blue lurex deerhunter/beanie/cap - I've already talked about this hat when I bought it in Tokyo.  Like I said before, it's my very own tribute to East 17's Brian Harvey, albeit with an extra cap clap at the back and rendered in sheeny shiny blue lurex.  The rest of the current A/W 12-3 Ganryu Comme des Garcons collection makes me wish this jocular streetwear-orientated menswear part of the Comme empire was more readily available here.  

IMG_0225

IMG_0228

J.W. Anderson A/W 12-3 quilted bucket/trapper/fisherman's hat - First on my list when going to the over subscribed J.W. Anderson sample sale a few weeks ago was this hat from the current A/W 12-3 collection.  This is about three or four hats packaged into one quilted nylon head warmer.  I'm literally locked in my own head when I put this on.  With a pair of headphones, I'm quite unaware of everything that's going on around me which makes it perfect for trampling across the park, crushing frost and puffing out little breath trails.  Right about now then.    

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Swash Attack

>> I've written about Swash so many times that I'm running out of ways to play with their name.  The Swash posts will keep on coming though so long as I keep instantly squealing as soon as I see a new Swash lookbook has come out.  The way Sarah Swash and Toshio Yamanaka render flora, fauna curiosities and animalia in delicate watercolours and arranged them into a print portfolio that is seemingly endless will never cease to amaze me.  Yesterday, because I had to go to Antwerp for the day, I dispatched Steve to their sample sale (apologies for not notifying you guys beforehand - not getting enough time notice on these sample sale happenings) to pick up a few things which will tide me over on my Swash fix until I get hungry for more.  The huge pillow that I'm holding is in indication of where my next Swash purchase will lie.  You might have seen on Twitter that Steve and I have been busy house hunting and have plunged into the task of *gulp* buying our own place.  We're well on our way now to acquiring a hovel and Swash will definitely come into play when it comes to soft furnishings of our new above.  There lies the flexibility of being a deft-handed print master.  Cushions, upholstering a sofa bed, curtains, possibly even a laminate dining table surface - the ideas are running rampant in my head as to how I can shamelessly get Swash into my house.  

Of course, their primary offerings of clothes, scarves and accessories (you can find Swash specimens online on FarFetch and 39-39) are still my main priority.  Steve did a commendable job of spending my blank cheque in my absence by picking out a beautiful reversible silk bomber jacket, an illustrated cardigan and a printed body with a contrast collar.  That will add to my growing Swash stash quite nicely.  Swash are in the process of moving studios and I'm hoping to visit their new digs to sit down properly and talk about their illustrated world very soon so bewarned, I'll have to unleash another Swash-y post title.    

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Swash bomber jacket, cardigan, bodysuit and socks worn with Dagmar knit skirt and Emma Cook heels

EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Note of Disclosure: Pictures above taken with the new Canon EOS M.  I'm categorically saying that this is a game-changing camera that will reduce my visits to a chiropractor (DSLRs and heavy tote bags weighting down one shoulder makes for a seriously wacked out back).

Swash Attack

>> I've written about Swash so many times that I'm running out of ways to play with their name.  The Swash posts will keep on coming though so long as I keep instantly squealing as soon as I see a new Swash lookbook has come out.  The way Sarah Swash and Toshio Yamanaka render flora, fauna curiosities and animalia in delicate watercolours and arranged them into a print portfolio that is seemingly endless will never cease to amaze me.  Yesterday, because I had to go to Antwerp for the day, I dispatched Steve to their sample sale (apologies for not notifying you guys beforehand - not getting enough time notice on these sample sale happenings) to pick up a few things which will tide me over on my Swash fix until I get hungry for more.  The huge pillow that I'm holding is in indication of where my next Swash purchase will lie.  You might have seen on Twitter that Steve and I have been busy house hunting and have plunged into the task of *gulp* buying our own place.  We're well on our way now to acquiring a hovel and Swash will definitely come into play when it comes to soft furnishings of our new above.  There lies the flexibility of being a deft-handed print master.  Cushions, upholstering a sofa bed, curtains, possibly even a laminate dining table surface - the ideas are running rampant in my head as to how I can shamelessly get Swash into my house.  

Of course, their primary offerings of clothes, scarves and accessories (you can find Swash specimens online on FarFetch and 39-39) are still my main priority.  Steve did a commendable job of spending my blank cheque in my absence by picking out a beautiful reversible silk bomber jacket, an illustrated cardigan and a printed body with a contrast collar.  That will add to my growing Swash stash quite nicely.  Swash are in the process of moving studios and I'm hoping to visit their new digs to sit down properly and talk about their illustrated world very soon so bewarned, I'll have to unleash another Swash-y post title.    

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Swash bomber jacket, cardigan, bodysuit and socks worn with Dagmar knit skirt and Emma Cook heels

EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Note of Disclosure: Pictures above taken with the new Canon EOS M.  I'm categorically saying that this is a game-changing camera that will reduce my visits to a chiropractor (DSLRs and heavy tote bags weighting down one shoulder makes for a seriously wacked out back).

Lemme hear you say O:!

>> When I last rounded up the Digi Antics of the S/S 13 season, one of my favourite "digi" discoveries was the redesign of O: by Tank (and Tank magazine) coupled with the accompanying Because Fashion Scan app, which seamlessly integrates creative and fun animated video content with print.  The technology behind the app isn't anything new per se but Tank have taken the time to develop their own pattern recognition app so that when you hover your device over the page, the video content pretty much pops up instantaneously.  What is fundamental is that when you're holding the magazine in one hand, and have your iPad in the other, it doesn't feel unnatural or forced.  This makes even more sense with the new iPad mini's and of course the many various sizedtablet and smartphone devices on the market.  

The new Christmas issue of O: by Tank just came out this weekend and is available with today's Guardian if you want to rush out and grab a paper from the newsagent.  There are over 100 videos packed into the issue with every page offering up "visual finger food" (as Masoud Golsorkhi, publisher of Tank termed it) for you to peruse.  Most clips are no longer than 30 seconds and basically bring the product to life.  Because Magazine has long been producing 30 second clips of fashion loving fun fun fun, often giving a perspective to the product that you wouldn't be able to do with a still photograph and now these videos are properly integrated with the pages of a magazine.  Caroline Issa, editor in chief of Tank and O: by Tank has done a stellar job of cherry picking covetable items, and giving a humorous spin on anything from Tom Ford lipsticks flying on a rocket to this season's IT bags carried by a real human Cousin It.  The animation and editing is purposely not slick or pretentious and instead, you get easy to digest bite sized chunks that don't alienate the viewer.  I quite like how the fashion film editorial films have been broken down into little trippy snippets instead of what could have been an overly long and indulgent vanity film project.        

The focus is shamelessly product-based, which could easily have read like any of those boring shopping pages that are being thrown at us, as Christmas shopping advice really ramps up in the coming weeks.  The Fashion Scan app however really sells the product in a way that is engaging and makes me think that product or market pages that mainstream fashion media so loves could all do with this sort of accompanying video content.  What's even more interesting is that every advert also links through to bespoke video content.  For example, the inside cover Chanel advert brings up an edited version of the Chanel Cruise 2013 show held at Versailles, which gives reason to linger longer on an ad that you would have otherwise skipped.  It's added value for the luxury brand advertiser and I think it will call into question the validity of static ads on a printed page, which will no doubt dwindle over the coming years.  Aren't we constantly asking about what's the future of fashion publishing?  This may not be the finite answer but it certainly is at least an attempt at responding to that question.   

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I thought I might bung in a closer look at this Dharma Taylor holographic shirt, which I bought from the awesome bolthole store Primitive London, whilst we're on the subject of mind bending visuals.  Everytime I've worn it, people have wanted to either touch it or look at it closely, because of its holographic properties.  I'm properly into fabrics that have these strange lenticular/holographic qualities so much so that I might try sourcing fabric of my own and getting a dress or a jacket made up, preferably in silver or a heinous shade of orange or green to match my Christmas wrapping paper scheme.  

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Lemme hear you say O:!

>> When I last rounded up the Digi Antics of the S/S 13 season, one of my favourite "digi" discoveries was the redesign of O: by Tank (and Tank magazine) coupled with the accompanying Because Fashion Scan app, which seamlessly integrates creative and fun animated video content with print.  The technology behind the app isn't anything new per se but Tank have taken the time to develop their own pattern recognition app so that when you hover your device over the page, the video content pretty much pops up instantaneously.  What is fundamental is that when you're holding the magazine in one hand, and have your iPad in the other, it doesn't feel unnatural or forced.  This makes even more sense with the new iPad mini's and of course the many various sizedtablet and smartphone devices on the market.  

The new Christmas issue of O: by Tank just came out this weekend and is available with today's Guardian if you want to rush out and grab a paper from the newsagent.  There are over 100 videos packed into the issue with every page offering up "visual finger food" (as Masoud Golsorkhi, publisher of Tank termed it) for you to peruse.  Most clips are no longer than 30 seconds and basically bring the product to life.  Because Magazine has long been producing 30 second clips of fashion loving fun fun fun, often giving a perspective to the product that you wouldn't be able to do with a still photograph and now these videos are properly integrated with the pages of a magazine.  Caroline Issa, editor in chief of Tank and O: by Tank has done a stellar job of cherry picking covetable items, and giving a humorous spin on anything from Tom Ford lipsticks flying on a rocket to this season's IT bags carried by a real human Cousin It.  The animation and editing is purposely not slick or pretentious and instead, you get easy to digest bite sized chunks that don't alienate the viewer.  I quite like how the fashion film editorial films have been broken down into little trippy snippets instead of what could have been an overly long and indulgent vanity film project.        

The focus is shamelessly product-based, which could easily have read like any of those boring shopping pages that are being thrown at us, as Christmas shopping advice really ramps up in the coming weeks.  The Fashion Scan app however really sells the product in a way that is engaging and makes me think that product or market pages that mainstream fashion media so loves could all do with this sort of accompanying video content.  What's even more interesting is that every advert also links through to bespoke video content.  For example, the inside cover Chanel advert brings up an edited version of the Chanel Cruise 2013 show held at Versailles, which gives reason to linger longer on an ad that you would have otherwise skipped.  It's added value for the luxury brand advertiser and I think it will call into question the validity of static ads on a printed page, which will no doubt dwindle over the coming years.  Aren't we constantly asking about what's the future of fashion publishing?  This may not be the finite answer but it certainly is at least an attempt at responding to that question.   

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I thought I might bung in a closer look at this Dharma Taylor holographic shirt, which I bought from the awesome bolthole store Primitive London, whilst we're on the subject of mind bending visuals.  Everytime I've worn it, people have wanted to either touch it or look at it closely, because of its holographic properties.  I'm properly into fabrics that have these strange lenticular/holographic qualities so much so that I might try sourcing fabric of my own and getting a dress or a jacket made up, preferably in silver or a heinous shade of orange or green to match my Christmas wrapping paper scheme.  

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Think Pink Again!

>> Judging by the number of times I've peppered my titles with "Pink!", I could almost justify having a "Think Pink!" post run on Style Bubble on a monthly basis.  Kay Thompson's voice clearly pops into my head every now and again as I indulge in a panic state of buying up anything that is pink in my line of sight.  This new pink purchase occurred at Biotop, the wonderful treehouse slash cafe slash boutique slash garden centre nestled into Tokyo's Ebisu.  In an incongruous mix that could only occur at Biotop, a vintage basketweave textured coat from the 1960s stood out amongst pieces of Celine and Stella McCartney.  It's a curious texture that I've never seen before as the polyester has been gathered together to create an intricate basket weave debossed effect that is a tactile texture fiend's wet dream.    

Oh, and I like the little International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union label stitched into it.  Apparently there was a little jingle to promote ILGWU-labelled garments in 1970, which seems pertinent today considering USA-made garments are once again being promoted and championed.  Sing it with me...

 

Look for the union label
When you are buying a coat, dress, or blouse,
Remember somewhere our union's sewing,
Our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,
We work hard, but who's complaining?
Thanks to the ILG, we're paying our way,
So always look for the union label,
It says we're able to make it in the USA!

 

Trust the prolific and smart Japanese vintage sourcers to find this gem of a coat that comes with a USA textiles history lesson.  Therefore, I consider it £150 well spent to add to the growing clusters of pink that grow in my wardrobe.  

Joining it is a vaguely naff but ever-lovable piece of vintage Valentino lurex jumper from the reliable Pelicans and Parrots in London and a few pieces of painterly turquoise and candy pink Suno from their resort 2013 collection.  

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EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Pictures taken with Canon EOS M whilst overusing the Miniature effect on the Creative Filter options.  The leopard print Christopher Kane clutch above is indeed all I've been carrying around because the camera is that dinky.

Think Pink Again!

>> Judging by the number of times I've peppered my titles with "Pink!", I could almost justify having a "Think Pink!" post run on Style Bubble on a monthly basis.  Kay Thompson's voice clearly pops into my head every now and again as I indulge in a panic state of buying up anything that is pink in my line of sight.  This new pink purchase occurred at Biotop, the wonderful treehouse slash cafe slash boutique slash garden centre nestled into Tokyo's Ebisu.  In an incongruous mix that could only occur at Biotop, a vintage basketweave textured coat from the 1960s stood out amongst pieces of Celine and Stella McCartney.  It's a curious texture that I've never seen before as the polyester has been gathered together to create an intricate basket weave debossed effect that is a tactile texture fiend's wet dream.    

Oh, and I like the little International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union label stitched into it.  Apparently there was a little jingle to promote ILGWU-labelled garments in 1970, which seems pertinent today considering USA-made garments are once again being promoted and championed.  Sing it with me...

 

Look for the union label
When you are buying a coat, dress, or blouse,
Remember somewhere our union's sewing,
Our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,
We work hard, but who's complaining?
Thanks to the ILG, we're paying our way,
So always look for the union label,
It says we're able to make it in the USA!

 

Trust the prolific and smart Japanese vintage sourcers to find this gem of a coat that comes with a USA textiles history lesson.  Therefore, I consider it £150 well spent to add to the growing clusters of pink that grow in my wardrobe.  

Joining it is a vaguely naff but ever-lovable piece of vintage Valentino lurex jumper from the reliable Pelicans and Parrots in London and a few pieces of painterly turquoise and candy pink Suno from their resort 2013 collection.  

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EOS_M_Default_tcm14-945146Pictures taken with Canon EOS M whilst overusing the Miniature effect on the Creative Filter options.  The leopard print Christopher Kane clutch above is indeed all I've been carrying around because the camera is that dinky.

Comme as You Are

"Sold out, sold out, sold out..." intoned the serene shop assistant at the Comme des Garçons store in Aoyama, Tokyo, as she flipped through the A/W 12-3 lookbook, indicating what had already run out in stock.  I was there with one singular mission, one which had been planted in my head as soon as the second or third silhouette stepped down the runway in complete silence back at the Comme des Garçons "flat collection" show - and that was to buy at least one piece from what is now widely agreed to be a seminal Comme collection.  Actually, scratch that.  It was a seminal collection in general.  What seemed ludicrous and almost cartoonishly exaggerated on the runway back in March this year had mysteriously filtered into many of the S/S 13 collections where graphic flatness and 2-D planes were more often than not the central themes.  Call it the "comme down" effect if you will.

What's even more pleasantly surprising is how popular the collection has been in reality.  You probably saw more than a few of the A/W 12-3 pieces in action at fashion week - Lynn Yaeger, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Anna dello Russo were just a few of the devotees who showed their love for the big idea at Comme.  I also heard the collection was a big hit at Frieze art fair in London.  Sure, Comme devotees come in their droves in the art crowd but it's interesting to see what a collection with perceived difficulty of wear, embraced with such enthusiasm.  It's as though something clicked with this collection and collectively, a wide variety of people "got" Kawakubo's vision, as there was reason to buy into this collection beyond surface aesthetic fulfillment.  

I did the sensible thing and waited until my trip to Tokyo where it is marginally less expensive to fulfill my mission.  Whilst many of the pieces were indeed sold out, the sales assistant at the store was most helpful in showing me every single option there was left.  I opted for the rose-printed shorts and a camoflage/scribble print felt jacket, which predictably plays into my penchant for prints.  The plain felt pieces were tempting but I went with my gut instinct of wanting to plaster my body with huge roses and graffiti scribbles.  Thanks to Tommy Ton and his beady eyes, I lucked out at the designer consignment store Kind in Shibuya, Tokyo where for some reason, a pair of the curved floral-print trousers from the current Comme collection was for sale for a fraction of the original price.  Someone had literally bought it brand new a few months ago and resold it at the store at a loss.  Oh well, their loss is fortunately my gain.  The trousers were a veritable bargain and proves why designer consignment shopping in Tokyo really can't be bested by anywhere else.   

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(Worn with Acne leather jacket, vintage Comme des Garcons Robe de Chambre knitted top, 3.1 Phillip Lim oxford shoes)

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(Worn with Kaal E Suktae sweater, Jen Brill & Olivia x Cole Haan shoes)

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**EDIT** Comme des Garcons jacket on Ivo Milan, one of the few online stockists of this season's CdG worn with Mary Katrantzou knit dress and Nike Flyknit Trainer+ - thanks to Soili for pointing it out

Comme as You Are

"Sold out, sold out, sold out..." intoned the serene shop assistant at the Comme des Garçons store in Aoyama, Tokyo, as she flipped through the A/W 12-3 lookbook, indicating what had already run out in stock.  I was there with one singular mission, one which had been planted in my head as soon as the second or third silhouette stepped down the runway in complete silence back at the Comme des Garçons "flat collection" show - and that was to buy at least one piece from what is now widely agreed to be a seminal Comme collection.  Actually, scratch that.  It was a seminal collection in general.  What seemed ludicrous and almost cartoonishly exaggerated on the runway back in March this year had mysteriously filtered into many of the S/S 13 collections where graphic flatness and 2-D planes were more often than not the central themes.  Call it the "comme down" effect if you will.

What's even more pleasantly surprising is how popular the collection has been in reality.  You probably saw more than a few of the A/W 12-3 pieces in action at fashion week - Lynn Yaeger, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Anna dello Russo were just a few of the devotees who showed their love for the big idea at Comme.  I also heard the collection was a big hit at Frieze art fair in London.  Sure, Comme devotees come in their droves in the art crowd but it's interesting to see what a collection with perceived difficulty of wear, embraced with such enthusiasm.  It's as though something clicked with this collection and collectively, a wide variety of people "got" Kawakubo's vision, as there was reason to buy into this collection beyond surface aesthetic fulfillment.  

I did the sensible thing and waited until my trip to Tokyo where it is marginally less expensive to fulfill my mission.  Whilst many of the pieces were indeed sold out, the sales assistant at the store was most helpful in showing me every single option there was left.  I opted for the rose-printed shorts and a camoflage/scribble print felt jacket, which predictably plays into my penchant for prints.  The plain felt pieces were tempting but I went with my gut instinct of wanting to plaster my body with huge roses and graffiti scribbles.  Thanks to Tommy Ton and his beady eyes, I lucked out at the designer consignment store Kind in Shibuya, Tokyo where for some reason, a pair of the curved floral-print trousers from the current Comme collection was for sale for a fraction of the original price.  Someone had literally bought it brand new a few months ago and resold it at the store at a loss.  Oh well, their loss is fortunately my gain.  The trousers were a veritable bargain and proves why designer consignment shopping in Tokyo really can't be bested by anywhere else.   

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(Worn with Acne leather jacket, vintage Comme des Garcons Robe de Chambre knitted top, 3.1 Phillip Lim oxford shoes)

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(Worn with Kaal E Suktae sweater, Jen Brill & Olivia x Cole Haan shoes)

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**EDIT** Comme des Garcons jacket on Ivo Milan, one of the few online stockists of this season's CdG worn with Mary Katrantzou knit dress and Nike Flyknit Trainer+ - thanks to Soili for pointing it out

Happy Camper

>> I'm still a little bit occupied by girly paraphernalia that bring out my worse hoarding tendancies but this time I have something to put on my back.  Romance was Born's embroidered denim jacket (also on sale on The Grand Social) from their A/W 12 Happy Campers collection arrived in belated fashion (given that down under, they're making way for all things summer) but closely packed stem stitches of sunrays, stars, clouds and what appears to be a UFO is appropriate any time of the year.  At the very least, it's one surefire way of coaxing me into wearing denim, a nemesis fabric of sorts.  I keep expecting the jacket to suddenly burst into a trippy happy-go-lucky animation befitting of its seventies Girl Guides/Scouts roots, one of the influences of this collection.  I never had the fortune of learning how to recognise knots or do flower pressing sessions but I'm trying my best to get my "Embroidery Appreciation" badge pinned on to this jacket.  

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(Worn with Julien David skirt)

Happy Camper

>> I'm still a little bit occupied by girly paraphernalia that bring out my worse hoarding tendancies but this time I have something to put on my back.  Romance was Born's embroidered denim jacket (also on sale on The Grand Social) from their A/W 12 Happy Campers collection arrived in belated fashion (given that down under, they're making way for all things summer) but closely packed stem stitches of sunrays, stars, clouds and what appears to be a UFO is appropriate any time of the year.  At the very least, it's one surefire way of coaxing me into wearing denim, a nemesis fabric of sorts.  I keep expecting the jacket to suddenly burst into a trippy happy-go-lucky animation befitting of its seventies Girl Guides/Scouts roots, one of the influences of this collection.  I never had the fortune of learning how to recognise knots or do flower pressing sessions but I'm trying my best to get my "Embroidery Appreciation" badge pinned on to this jacket.  

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(Worn with Julien David skirt)