books

Carnival vibes



Converse Notting Hill Carnival trainers

I might have to put aside my allegiance to plain off white All Star high tops, in deference to these Carnival tribute Chucks from Converse. Aren’t they jaunty? Converse has released these exclusive limited editions today on Converse.com (£70) along with two customised styles by British music artists Lady Leshurr and Clara Amfo.

I have a love-hate relationship with Carnival. I love the food and the vibes (I live on the fringes so we can get jerk chicken literally on our doorstep) but the crowds get worse every year as the route is inclined to pen people into certain streets. It was all so much chiller back in the day.

If you’re interested in the origins of Carnival, try to get your hands on the book, Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival by Ishmahil Blagrove Jr and Margaret Busby that came out a couple of years ago. The photography and storytelling are incredibly evocative, not to mention a wonderful history lesson.  (There’s a good piece on it here.) It looks like it might be out of print as it’s showing unavailable everywhere, but keep your eyes peeled…

A great book about Notting Hill Carnival by Allan Capitan Thornhill

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Converse, Allan Capitan Thornhill
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The Isaac Mizrahi Pictures by Nick Waplington



Isaac Mizrahi Pictures by Nick Waplington

I finally saw Nick Waplington’s latest gem of a book, The Isaac Mizrahi Pictures, which gives us a glimpse of nineties New York fabulosity. As with Alexander McQueen: Working Process, Waplington juxtaposes two different habitats, the design studio of one of the 90s’ most celebrated designers and the raucous dancefloor of NYC nightlife.

But of course, the funnest part is looking at the models, the clothes, the details and nuances of 90s style that in some ways (i.e. in my head) don’t seem that long ago, but in others, feel like a lifetime away. Scroll below to see what I mean… (more…)



Muhammad Ali Fighter’s Heaven 1974



Muhammad Ali by Peter Angelo Simon from the book Fighter's Heaven

Peter Angelo Simon’s photos of Muhammad Ali are especially poignant today after news broke of Ali’s passing. These pictures of Ali training at his retreat ‘Fighter’s Heaven’ have just finished showing at the Serena Morton Gallery, and the accompanying book, ‘Muhammad Ali Fighter’s Heaven 1974’ is due in August (available to pre-order now).

Fighter’s Heaven was Ali’s Pennsylvania retreat, where he would mentally and physically prepare himself for his fights. (more…)



The sidewalk cinema of Saul Leiter



Saul Leiter photography

If you watched the film Carol, and enjoyed Cate Blanchett’s red swishy coats, poised gestures and stolen glances through rain-streaked windows, then you might like to know where the inspiration came from. Saul Leiter was one of the great American street photographers, capturing cinematic scenes from the sidewalks of New York in delicious Kodachrome, back when colour photography was the height of unfashionability. (more…)