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Last chance to vote Disneyrollergirl in the Dazed/G-Star Raw blog awards. Even if you’ve voted before, you can do so again. Today is the last day… Click here to vote!

Thank you!

UPDATE: The poll is over, the votes have been counted. Congratulations to Jak & Jil for winning the biggie and to my fellow shortlistees for being nominated.

Fly girl

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I went to so many launches last week I’m surprised I managed to get anything else done. In amongst the umpteen bloggers’ events (Arcadia, Exposure, ASOS) there was also a first look at the Zakee Shariff/Roxy Heart collaboration at Beyond The Valley. I have been following Ms Shariff’s work for years and always like her colourful, poetic aesthetic. Roxy (yep, the surf label) have enlisted her skills to guest-design a collection called Fly Like An Eagle for the surfer girl who has grown up a bit. That youthful spirit is still there but the clothes are more sophisticated than sporty. THe pop-up shop will stay in situ at Beyond the Valley until 27th September – have a look if you’re in the area, Zakee has adorned the walls with her own illustrated wallpaper. The collection is also being sold at the Shop at Bluebird, Colette and No-One.

The Sartorialist – the book

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I’ve just spent the last hour savouring every page of Scott Schuman’s chunky softback tome, The Sartorialist, which was gifted to me last week by the generous Mr Gentry.

This is not a book to be flicked through. It needs to be leisurely studied, preferably sitting at a table because it’s over 500 pages thick and there is no way you can casually hold it in your hands and skim through – it’s not a copy of Look. All the greats are in there including Giovanna, Emanuelle Alt, Kate Lanphear and George Cortina (above). Cortina is my personal favourite. A stylist, his look is all about how to wear clothes rather than what he wears. The rolled up sleeves, just-worn-in-enough shoes, half-tuck tee. This is how I like to dress as avoiding ‘It’ pieces inevitably means that what you wear has longevity. Despite what Schuman says in his intro, I still maintain that his commentary helps to add value to the pictures, especially when it’s a cute story relaying how the picture came about.

The book is published in the UK on 3rd September and can be preordered on Amazon. Check out Mr Gentry’s blog here, there aren’t many mens style blogs out there, this one is worth bookmarking.


Damn hot look book alert!

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Is this the best look book ever? Topman’s AW09 look book is more like an editorial from i-D. Outstanding work by Photographer Beau Grealy and stylist Clare Richardson (and whoever art directed it of course)…

Dancing and dining

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What can I say about Monday night’s workout at the Pineapple Dance Studios, followed by dinner at the Ivy? Memorable, would be an apt description. Me and my lucky cohorts were gifted a lovely big goody bag before the event (which is always a nice touch) containing our choices from the imminent ASOS Pineapple Originals collection plus a pair of I-think-these-are-ironic legwarmers and a copy of Pineapple founder Debbie Moore’s autobiography, When a Woman Means Business.*

We were asked to arrive wearing our chosen dancewear so I obediently turning up in my leopard-print body and Pineapple-logo slouchy tee. “It won’t be a hard workout” promised the PR who I can reveal to be a dirty, rotten, low-down liar. Readers, we stretched, reached, arched, gyrated, catwalked, vogued, huffed and puffed our way through the workout. It looked a bit like this. It was brilliant actually, we totally tore it up. Even better was post-workout we tottered along the Covent Garden cobbles (by now out of our Lycra and into our heels obv) to the Ivy where we were entertained by dance teacher Louie Spence and Miss Pineapple, Debbie Moore herself. Wow, could these two tell stories (alas, not much that can be repeated here – or anywhere else for that matter).

Debbie’s story is a fascinating one though. She started off as a model before deciding to open a dance studio in an old pineapple warehouse. Don’t forget, this was the eighties, before Tamara Mellon and Natalie Massenet and Debbie had not an O’level to her name nor an iota of business experience. Not long after, she launched her clothing line and shortly after that she became the first woman to float a company on the London Stock Exchange. A few years later she bought the company back and continues to run it from the same building in Langley Street.

ASOS’s womenswear buying director, Caren Downie had the idea for a Pineapple collab ages ago when she was buying director of Topshop but it has taken a while to get off the ground due to various manufacturing issues. For example, Debbie was adamant that she didn’t want to whack out any old collection and slap the Pineapple logo on the front, she wanted it to properly channel the original ethos, design and fabric quality. But as the years have passed, many of her suppliers have shut up shop and the new ones didn’t necessarily get why she was so fussy about the cut of her leggings or the ‘handle’ of her grey marl sweatshirting. I found this interesting as it was the first thing I’d noticed when my outfit had arrived. Not only were my pieces well cut but the quality was a thousand times better than I’d expected (sorry ASOS). This being a capsule collection, it’s small and focussed but the mix is spot on with simple basics (loose logo tees and a lovely blue loungy all-in-one) mixed with more racy pieces (leopard-print leggings that lace up the back). It’s not strictly a dance workout collection either but designed to be worn post-workout as well as out clubbing (hello leopard-print body) as loungewear buyer Hayley Moore pointed out. Kind of like American Apparel but less hipstery. I like that they have used the exact same leopard-print as the eighties originals and that ASOS is as inspired today by Pineapple’s dancers as Debbie Moore was when she first created the Pineapple range thirty-odd years ago. The original collection was based on dancers and the way they layered their tights and tees in their own unique way and things have now come full circle as all those styling touches are now being reinterpreted by a new generation.

The collection launches next month so you will be able to judge for yourself but here is a sneak peak for now…

*Reading it already. It’s excellent.


I’m not one to boast but…

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Carnival time

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Rocking read – the Johnsons story

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Back in my dim and distant schooldays, we used to hang out every day a fair bit at Kensington Market at the tail end of Kensington High Street. This legendary place had everything a neurotic fashion outsider could want – record shops, army surplus, James Dean postcards (my teen obsession), punk T-shirts and Johnsons. I didn’t hang out at Johnsons but I used to have the odd snoop. Johnsons was the first port of call for visiting pop stars (proper pop stars wot we had in them days) staying at the Royal Garden Hotel across the road and was wall-to-wall leather jackets, Americana and biker boots. God it was cool (and expensive).

The Look has alerted me to a brilliant new book that has been published about Johnson’s and its label La Rocka! I’m especially loving the pages of airbrushed leather biker jackets making me think, hmmm, surely ripe for revival, no? The book also contains pictures of Robot shoes, another long-lost eighties London landmark and the go-to shop for a natty new pair of brothel creepers. Aside from anything else, it’s great to know there are people who have documented and archived all this amazingly important fashion ephemera and information. The book isn’t available in this country but if you’re based in Japan, you can buy it here.

Canape-watch at Arcadia’s online drinks soiree

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Ooh get a load of these sexy little puddings at the Arcadia online press day! Mmm, don’t they look delightful? These sweet and sticky meringue-cream-strawberry-and-kirsch deserts were served up alongside rails and rails of new season collections from Topshop, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Topman and Miss Selfridge. Online press mingled with independent bloggers to try on the Evans disco dazzler sequin bootees, Topman suits (Isabelle O’C had to be wrestled out of hers) and already-legendary Ashish for Topshop boots.

Not only did we get a chance to legitimately photograph some shit hot Topshop clothing and upload it in real time (without being told off), but photographer Alistair Guy was on hand to document our styling attempts, although a white background had to suffice – no wistful Lula-esques fields to hand unfortunately. But what a great chance to social network face to face as well as grilling the Arcadia PRs. Pressing questions of the night? When will the new Topman floor be unveiled and what exactly is this new thing called Tinker?

OMG – check out Topshop Tweeter Zoe’s Bernhard Willhelm boots…
Shoutouts to Magazine Machine, Discotheque Confusion, Style Bubble, Fabfrocks, Randomfashioncoolness, Young Shields, Mademoiselle Robot, Cate from Bitchbuzz, Kila and Mantern from Rubbishmag. Er, did I miss anyone?


I heart art

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Oh goody, I finally hauled my ass out east to the Elizabeth Peyton Live Forever exhibition at The Whitechapel Gallery and it’s fast becoming my favourite art hangout. Why?
1) The Koenig art bookshop
2) The chocolate brownies in the cafe
3) A Sophie Calle retrospective arrives on 16th October.

How many more reasons do you need?