It’s been a long while coming but at last Swatch has woken up to the fact that we want the designer collabs back. Swatch has just unveiled 6 Manish Arora watches, all in his signature upbeat, colourful style but all entirely different from each other.
[Creaky old-person voice alert:] I remember stampedes for the Westwood versions and still cherish my velvet-strapped orb POP Swatch (actually….where is it?) from back in the nineties. Maybe the recession has brought Swatch to their senses. After all, as we all know, you may not be able to afford a designer dress/bag/jacket but you can splash out on a Swatch. Prices start at £65 and go up to £235 and they launch on May 1st.
I wasn’t sold on Selfridges’ Pantone-shade-109 yellow collab with various designers to commemorate their centenary. A yellow Mulberry Bayswater? Um, no thanks. But this I like…
Selfridges has enlisted Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney to each design a limited edition carrier bag to help with their celebrations. The bags will launch in Selfridges’ stores nationwide on May 1st, available to customers in fashion and accessories and are set to become overnight
Ebay sellouts collector’s items. My favourites are the Giles and Vivienne Westwood bags. Only problem is I’m on a spending diet at the mo – does a copy of Grazia count as a fashion accessory?
I’m on a bit of a tennis tip at the mo. Something to do with wanting to do a table-tennis shoot (no clue where that one came from) and being invited to the Fred Perry 100th anniversary
piss-up celebrations at Wimbledon next month. So this email from the peeps at Ellesse came at just the right time:
Ellesse is marking its 50th anniversary with the design competition CREATE TENNIS ART and with uber cool illustrator and typographer Si Scott as part of the jury. The deadline to enter the competition is May 10th. All you have to do is create a piece of art or design to commemorate the Ellesse 50th anniversary inspired by the brand’s Italian heritage and sporting roots in tennis. You could win €4,500 and be sent to the Ellesse 50th anniversary event this summer in Rome where your work will be on display. The categories for the competition range from fashion and textiles, right through to fine art, sculpture, street art, graphics and digital. More info here.
[Double click image to enlarge]
I have been waiting for the right moment to mention photographer Koto Bolofo’s fashion collection and now seems a good time. Inspired by and utilising found objects, clothing and textiles, I discovered it on the Wonderland blog and love his description of it here:
“IT HAS A LOT OF RELEVANCE TO NOW IN THE SENSE THAT IN THIS “MODERN” WORLD ONE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE REALLY GOING FORWARD, BUT GOING FORWARD IN CREATING DISPOSABLE ART AND ITEMS, HERE TODAY GONE TODAY. I FEEL SOCIETY IS LED INTO NOT TAKING THEIR TIME IN LOOKING AT WHAT IS REALLY GOOD, BUT RUSHED INTO WHAT IS SO CALLED “NEXT”.
Check out these pictures:
Pics above: Wonderland
Lookbook images below via Chewing The Cud
Today has been a day of vintage treasure hunting. It started off with the discovery of Merchant Archive where I had to pick up some Bordelle bras, sunglasses and and a vintage burlesque outfit for a shoot. I knew the shop was local as I recognised the address or at least I thought I did. But when I started down the road, I realised I’d got it wrong and it was in completely the opposite direction. Anyway, after what I expected to be a five minute stroll turned into a twenty minute power-walk, I finally arrived at the shop. It was totally worth the workout. Merchant Archive stocks a beautifully-merchandised selection of vintage clothes (and accessories and homewares), mostly Victoriana to the 1940s. Sitting alongside the definitely-not-musty bias-cut gowns and theatrical beaded headpieces are contemporary collections by under-the-radar labels such as Zambesi, AM Eyewear and Tracy Neuls which, as owner Sophie Merchant points out, is important as mixing the love-worn with the new is how she and her customers dress these days. I made sure I had a proper nose round the shop – an elegant, light-filled space – while Merchant gave me her backstory and packed up my goodies. I loved her display of sunglasses atop an old library filing system and got particularly excited when I clapped eyes on a pair of honey-framed Paloma Picassos. I talked myself out of a purchase but may give them another whirl when I go back on Wednesday.
My questionable time-management meant that I was late for my next appointment at Cassie Mercantile’s vintage showroom. No matter, owner Graham Cassie was in a happy-go-lucky mood so after a capuccino and chit-chat at the next door coffee-house, he took me to his lock-up to see if there was anything worth picking out from there. Wow! Who knew there were all these precious gladrags behind those anonymous wooden doors? After picking out a Yoko Ono logo T-shirt and a woollen military hat, I pointed to a mini-mountain of denim shirts in the middle of the floor. “What’s that, an installation?” I quizzed, only half-joking. “Och no, that’s just a pile of washing!” came the reply. Jeez, even his laundry looks chic.
It’s been non-stop this week so pardon my scrappy blogging. Highlights have been plentiful though, including the Calvin Klein classics collection sunglasses launch (yeah, I know it’s not really AW, but I like to be contrary). The nineties are officially the next decade to be plundered – these shades revisit designs that originally came out in 1992 according to the press release.
I’m all for it. Classic beatnik-esque sunglasses are a welcome break from bug-eyes and Ray-Ban wannabes as far as I”m concerned. We were also invited to pick a pair we liked which is always jolly nice. I chose these:
The goody bag was ultra-generous too – a CK tote brimming over with flip flops, bikini and CK One fragrance. (Shame they couldn’t have thrown in a wee holiday as well…)
Matches was brilliant and interesting as ever. I spotted a real-fur-that-looks-fake Helmut Lang gilet but don’t think the buyer much liked my observation which came across as ‘why buy a cheap fake when you can buy an expensive one?’. Oops.
Then there was a real fur that looked real, on the collar of an Elizabeth & James jacket.
This is essentially a classic wool blazer with a detachable fur collar/lining. Whether you like fur or not is immaterial, you can’t deny that this is functional, problem-solving design. I only wish more fashion could be as practical – I’m still waiting for someone to invent an evening dress that adjusts to your temperature (note to self: find out if Stone Island does evening dresses). Goody bag was a chocolate shoe with a £50 Matches voucher and the new Matches magazine which I always love. What I learnt: 1) Matches has a new shoe label called Mechante of London. J’adore these boots…
(Er, you can’t see them very well. Double click to enlarge – they have a sexy gold zip at the back.)
Lots of loveliness as to be expected at Hermes. Quizzed the PR about the booming popularity of mens scarves and she showed me some that are exclusive shapes for men that are easier to tie. Loved the pack of how-to-tie-your-scarf cards that were nestling in the goody bag.
I know it’s naughty but I haven’t been to the Hussein Chalayan exhibition at the Design Museum yet. Is that really bad? Oh well. On Friday that might change as the Design Museum hosts Eureka Night, an evening of creative fun and idea-sharing. I’m particularly looking forward to the accessories workshop with Fred Butler and Piers Atkinson. Tickets are a mere £5 in advance which I think is well cheap for 4 hours of entertainment.
On the subject of the Design Museum, I’m itching to know more about the rumour that the Design Museum is moving to the Commonwealth Institute. Anyone know anything? I’m hoping it’s true as it’s closer to home than Shad Thames and I have a particular soft spot for the building. Not really because of the architecture (OK, I like that too) but I spent many lunchtimes in my teens hanging out there as it was at the bottom of the hill from my school. Once me and my friend Tara spent a week raiding chocolate from a faulty vending machine. Well, wouldn’t you do the same if your 20p kept coming back out of the slot with the Curly Wurly/Twix/Kit Kat? Oh, that reminds me, if the Design Museum does move west, will the Konditor and Cook cafe move too? These are the questions I will be seeking answers to on Friday…