Friday, 21 March 2008

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


In truth, I've yet to be impressed by the long-standing collaboration that is Kim Jones for Umbro. I've always enjoyed KJ's futuristic chav-wear for his own label however his watered down, over branded, over-logoed efforts for old school football brand umbro have always flattered to deceive-Promising much and delivering little. But glimpsing at SS08 primed for release on Shotgun, things might just be looking up. A few, nice (uncharacteristically grown-up) accessories and the introduction of some new prints for the shoe range...perhaps KJ has finally found his groove in the world of Umbro.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

>>> OLD for NEW <<<

Shopping wise, I thought I had all bases covered. Like a tube map of obsessive purchasing, my brain is home to a well-ordered London guide; vintage, high-street, regular sample sales, carboots, markets...hitting them with military precision on a weekly basis. I'm sure I should be attending some sort of therapy group, although those monthly credit card bills should be deterrent enough. What with ebay as well as an endless list of online boutiques, my choice of NY resolution should be obvious. However, it's November, I'm not ready yet. Especially after rediscovering The clothing exchange.

The MVE (Music video exchange) group has been a London staple since I can remember, as a skint teenager it was my second home, swapshop come to life, a new purchase and not a penny would leave my purse. However, for some reason I rarely visited their clothing exchange (Retro Man/Retro Woman) in Notting Hill and after stumbling upon it a few weeks ago I'm now hooked. A tenner for a gorgeous muted tartan Daks blazer, a tailored winter coat for a fiver...vintage designer, menswear, bargain basements and more shoes than you can shake a stick at, their 5 fashion focused locations (4 in west London, 1 in Soho) understandably do a roaring trade. Keeping prices low is the key however the real selling point is the voucher system. Take in your unwanted garms and receive cash OR get double the value in coupons which can be spent in any of their stores, be it on books, CDs or a new cashmere cardi. As an impulse shopper and subscriber to whim-buyer's weekly i always have surplus of unwanted clothes. Some go to the charity shop, some on ebay with the rest now being reserved for swap action.

A similar setup over at BANGBANG in Berwick and Gower street are def worth a visit. Personally, their womenswear doesn't really do it for me, a little old-fashioned and Nicole Farhi heavy. However the mens shop is an absolute gem and is currently feeding my over-sized knit addiction nicely. Plenty of Dries, Raf, Marni, Demeulemeester...a mish-mash of vintage and designer, priced much more reasonably than their women's store. It remains to be seen if these new discoveries will become my own personal recycling revolution or just another outlet for my compulsive shopping...

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Thursday, 22 November 2007

xoxo EDWIGE xoxo


Edwige Belmore got a mention in a previous post about the uniquely brilliant GLU magazine and after stumbling upon her blog it seemed as good a time as any to take a close look at this punk legend. Any attempt to describe her seemed weak in comparison to her self-penned bio so I'll let the lady speak for (albeit in the third person) herself....

1977.PARIS IS PUNK... The scene explodes, the bands go wild. Edwige throws herself into the fray, briefly joining LUV, the legendary girl group. That same year, she marries Jean Louis Jorge, Dominican filmmaker, She is crowned "Queen of Punks" after appearing on the cover of Façade with Andy Warhol, "The Pope of Pop," with whom she makes her first trip to New York. He mentions her in his Diaries, photographs her, takes her to Studio 54 and the Mudd Club where she meets the elite of the NY underground: Maripol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, the punk and No Wave groups.

Edwige & Maripol (NYC 1978)
On Edwige’s return to Paris, Fabrice Aymer offered her the door at the Palace for its opening in '78. Edwige was photographed by Helmut Newton, Mondino, Pierre and Gilles, among others; she walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler. In 1979, Claude Arto approached her and together they formed "Mathématiques Modernes." Their single "Disco Rough," produced by Jacno, came out in 1980 and was NME's "single of the week." Album art was by Pierre & Gilles. The album "Visiteurs du Soir" followed in 1982
She appeared in various movies, most fun she says was Phillipe Gautier's "La marque du destin" with pascal Gregory. Throughout the 80s Edwige was back-and forth from New York to Paris. In NY she sang with Robert Arron and promoted several nights at Area, Danceteria, and the Palladium. She had her own nights, "the beat cocktail lounge," and "the Lazy Lounge." In Paris she continued to record and sing at the Bains with yet another group "Jungle Geisha" (she sang and played sax.) She played in Eric Mitchell's "the way it is" with Vince Gallo, and starred in "Because the Dawn" a short film by Amy Goldstein, which received a prize at the SF Film Fest.

In 1987 the night darkened... Edwige left for a Hindu ashram for several years. Back in force in the 90s she began to sing again She returned to nightlife with parties at Tunnel and Life, and she sang at Bard'O with the legendary Joey Arias. With Erich Conrad she started the famous party Beige, which is still going strong. Edwige Belmore doesn't work in nightclubs anymore, sings occasionally, works on set decors (TV, music videos, commercials and special events) and lives happily in Brooklyn.

All Images & Text:

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

{{{{{ American Apparel: CALI-RAGS-A-GO-GO }}}}}

I've never really had the urge to make a visit to L.A, perhaps it's my long-standing NYcentric attitude and constantly hearing that mantra of 'well, you have to DRIVE everywhere' that's put me off or Maybe it's just the shiny, sunny, Lohan-ness of it all, who knows. But, the more i hear about the vast vintage opportunities on offer, the more I start to reconsider my small-mindedness. Well, looks like things just got a little more interesting with the addition of CALIFORNIA VINTAGE. A new concept from the ever evolving ideas factory that is American Apparel. Said to feature "hand-picked vintage clothing from the 1950's through the 1990's alongside American Apparel pieces that you might not find at our regular stores..." two additional stores in Berlin and Cologne opened their doors in Oct with residents of Mexico enjoying their new vintage emporium since last June.

(Berlin Alte Schönhauser Straße 41)
The company's media mogul Mathew Swenson and creative director Iris Alonso describe how the crossover came about;

"We had amassed so much vintage clothes, which we used for inspiration, that we realized we could open a store if we wanted to. It seemed like a natural progression for us. They (customer) don't want to wear head-to-toe American Apparel or vintage, but a mix of the two works really nicely. We set up relationships with rag houses and vintage collectors and we've hired vintage buyers to keep product flowing in. Vintage garments will be sourced domestically and overseas, and trends will change from month to month, versus season to season. Right now we're into trench coats; next month it could be cocktail dresses and patent shoes. The store will act as a testing ground for American Apparel, selling reworked, printed and modified staples, It could be torn up and patched T-shirts or long dresses that we've made into minis. We think it's a place we can get a little more creative and offer something unique, something we couldn't do with American Apparel..."

With the UK once again suffering from last-in-queue syndrome, I'll reserve judgement until I've managed to experience AA second-hand, well, first-hand, with more stores being proposed for 2008. However, if they get the pricing and selection right, the companies track record suggests the beginning of another mini empire. With the heart-breaking (literal) destruction of Camden's Stables market (to make way for, oh! another topshop), London could do with a fresh injection of retro clothing goodness.

(L.A Echo Park, 2111 West Sunset Blvd)

Sunday, 18 November 2007

***Oh my tiny Barbour***

My tiny navy blue Barbour wax jacket is my pride and joy. An ebay bargain at 20quid, in perfect condition and as it turns out, previously owned by a 10yr old kid; its proportions are absolutely perfect, the adult versions just can't compare. The sleeves are a little short, showing off those ribbed wool cuffs and the hem hits just below the waist, taking away that bulkiness and toning down the day out in the country feel. I remember seeing Alexa Chung (who, on occasion, pulls off some really interesting outfits) wearing a gigantic green barbour over a pretty floral dress. Whilst it was all a bit 'Elle guide to Glastonbury chic' /Cath Kidson wellies, it still worked a charm. However, for my own personal inspiration I turned to the Sartorialist and this exquisitely turned out fella.

Yeah, I know, nothing special right? But the combination of the crinkled chinos with the turn-ups, the two-tone work boots and that British classic, the wax jacket-in particular the slightly off-kilter proportions with it obviously being a couple of sizes too short-created an image that stuck in my mind from first look. Understated but by no means accidental, I'd guess a lot of thought has gone into this look. It paid off. My little Barbour has become my fail-safe, chuck it on top of anything, jeans, a skirt, whatever, and it just seems to go. I love utility wear and I'm not going to lie, there's something slightly addictive about the smell of the waxed fabric. In truth, It's about as close as I'll ever get to 'Country Living' but that's close enough for me.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Friday, 16 November 2007

(((((KEITH vs. GRACE)))))

Grace Jones and Keith Haring, a match made in heaven. KH seems to swing in and out of 'fashion' but my absolute adoration for his tribal series has been always been unwavering. I have to admit feeling a little uneasy with the choice of Grace Jones as 'primitive' model-however there's something undeniably striking about those Mapplethorpe portraits. Perhaps that's why I'm still obsessing over a certain Givenchy Print from SS07. I've made it my mission to find those tights and channel some of that Jones VS Haring goodness...


Tuesday, 13 November 2007


There's something about the coupling of the short wool duffle coat and slick patent black 'jeans' that just works perfectly.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Saturday, 10 November 2007


Siv's SS08 collection, presented as a video presentation and art installation back in September got a mention here a some time ago. As fantastic as both were, I was still dying to get a proper look at what Siv did next. Well, I'm still waiting, BUT, finally, some consolation in the form of DazedDigital who've wetted my appetite further by posting the video i first clapped my eyes on at sparkly, spangly SKETCH during LFW. Look see.....

Friday, 9 November 2007


AiBrooklyn's Ai cites Siouxsie Sioux and 70's Bohemia as influences for her latest collection. That's an A+ right there already but Luckily it turns out that her latest collection avoids a flatter to deceive situation by working these references beautifully and, if the latest Borderline editorial is anything to go by, it clearly doesn't hurt to throw in some impressive photography (courtesy of Jeremy Williams) and spot-on styling. Formerly designing the denim collection over at Ralph Lauren and now going it alone, the American Classics theme has been dropped in favour of something much darker and far more delicious...


Thursday, 8 November 2007


When I move to Paris for my 'Eating nothing but cheese and bread' year abroad, this is pretty much how I'm gonna dress everyday.



Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Ebay's Finest >>> VAGABOND NYC

I doubt anyone with a liking for online auctions has failed to come across these ebay legends, Vagabond NYC, run by a stylist and editor both of whom posses an incredible eye for vintage designer clobber. YSL, 80's/90's Herve Leger, Alaia, Dries VN, Jil Sander, Westwood, Ungaro...I'm currently 'watching' about 11 items and if it wasn't for the rather 'challenging' (but not, in relative terms, extortionate) prices, I'd be snapping up those 'buy it now' pieces left right and centre. The key is the styling, this isn't your usual 'throw it across the sofa and snap away' ebay effort. These girls know how to make even the most awkward vintage designs look fresh and completely wearable. Current faves...

Cacharel High-waist Skirt
Gaultier Half shirt
Azzedine Alaia Bodysuit

Saturday, 3 November 2007


Franz Gertsch's series 'At Luciano's House' (1973) is brilliant for a whole heap of reasons but what I've always loved and what first caught my eye were, well, the outfits. Ok, I guess I should be praising his mastery of photo-realism or talking up his ability to create depth on the canvas etc etc. All that goes without saying. But still, I come back to the young girl in her 1950's leather flight jacket, lurid makeup, slick back hair and faded Wranglers and just think - what a look. I've been pretty much obsessed with these G1 leather jackets for some time, of course finding a vintage girls size is near impossible, the search continues as does my obsession with the 50s in general. Anyway, it's a beautiful set and feature's as part of the Hayward's 'The Painting of Modern Life' exhibit running until 30 Dec. More to follow, as well as a little Patti Smith (1978)....



Friday, 2 November 2007


FLICKR *Gold Star*


This guy has an amazing eye for detail. Turning everyday objects into something beautiful isn't easy but when you can make a cup of coffee feel like a work of art you're onto something good. It's nice to see someone experiment with a range of cameras and from a Leica to an SX70, he manages to infuse atmosphere and weight into the simplest of setups.

Images: Historicist



Wednesday, 31 October 2007

(boys) CORPUS (girls)


As may or may not have become apparent, I'm a menswear-as-womenswear addict. I love a good dress and a well cut skirt but my own style, without even realising it, seems to have become increasingly Andro. These days I head up to Topman before I head down to Topshop. I can't say I've completely given into either side, it's become more of a balancing act between Masculine and Feminine but the two questions I ask myself most seem to be 'Is this too girly?' and 'Too much Arthur rather than Martha?'. Then it's just a case of finding a good place in the middle.

All this considered, for me, L.A brand Corpus, (Keith Richardson and Jarrod Cornish), have it right on all levels. Their AW07 Lookbook made me want to run to the nearest forest, skulk about in a hat then row off into the sunset with my check shirt. Why, they even managed to stop me disliking Trilbies for 10minutes, that's no mean feat. The photography is beautiful, not particularly avant-garde or groundbreaking, but simple and atmospheric-The attempt to tell a story and that filmic quality that immediately reminded me of Michael Pitt wandering around the woods in Last Days. Beautiful. No surprise to hear then that the boys came from a movie background, their costume and visual effects skills used to full effect here.

So Aesthetics-check. Now the clothes? Simple cuts in both women's and menswear. A touch of femininity in places but the overriding 'new American classics' theme leaves everything feeling boyish and stark, which works perfectly for me. Even the way the lone female model is styled and shot; one of the boys as opposed to eye-candy of the piece (still thoroughly gorgeous of course), reflects the kind of interchangeable boy/girl thing that they do so well.

SS07 was just as impressive. A seersucker suit, the pairing of a salmon shirt with red trousers, Margaret Howell style tailoring, 'denim' leggings, a unisex short black mac etc etc. All gorgeous, all with that andro sensibility. Yes, on first look it may remind you of the ubiquitous 'boy in the band' look, but these are the heights that Pete and Mr Winehouse are reaching for but never quite make. The inclusion off old school workwear/prep/tailoring/grunge, even modernist references and their ability to mix and match them all is what sets them apart in a saturated market.

Now, enough fawning, time to look and see....some clips from AW07 and FW07, as well as a peek at SS08 and their beautiful Flaunt story (in all its subtle gender-ambiguous glory on their myspace page)

A CLICK FOR BIG situation...






New Hormones (1982)