Yesterday was Easter Sunday and what a glorious sunny Sunday it was. I headed to Spitalfields to check out my new neighbourhood and yikes, how busy?!!! After a pit stop at Leon we made our way to Columbia Road market followed by Brick Lane. That area really is where the action is when it comes to vintage furniture and clothing. Caravan and Elemental in Lamb Street are top browsing haunts for homesy bits, while Rokit, Beyond Retro and Grand OFR always turn up rich vintage clothing pickings. I hit the jackpot at Grand OFR (91 Brick Lane/18 Hanbury Street) with a pair of vintage Made In USA (read: Hard To Find) high top Converse. These have the pointier toe that you don’t get any more and oh joy! They were in my size. £25 – yes please!! Added bonus – nice, helpful staff, not too busy and a shit hot book/magazine section.
I also finally made it to Labour & Wait (18 Cheshire Street, E2), the fabulous old school shop that sells olde worlde brooms, pots and pans, balls of string and suchlike. Things you already have but when you see them here, you just have to have them. It’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays so more an *inconvenience store* than a convenience store but, hey, totally worth it.
Last Thursday saw the obsessively anticipated opening of the Primark Oxford Street store with much queueing, crushing and general hysteria going on. I arrived to view the spectacle at 10.05am and must have just missed the first wave of madness as I slipped in with no trouble. Oh boy, the place was heaving. But try as I might, I couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Where was all the good stuff? All I could see was cheaply finished casual tat you can find in any market. I’ve never *got* Primark. Yes, it’s cheap but it’s not made to last so what’s the point? And hearing stories of shoppers so caught up in the frenzy they would buy ten things, only to queue for an hour for a refund the next day made me think, yes they saved money, but at the expense of precious time. Does this signify a new lifestyle phenomenon? Now we have more money at our disposal it’s time that becomes the rare comodity. As well as value for money, shouldn’t we appreciate value for time?
I’ve spent the last two weeks looking at new a/w collections. I’m a sucker for small leathergoods and pouches so these two caught my eye. The leather envelope pouches are from Armand Basi and great for my travelcard and suchlike as I can loop them round my belt loop and whip them out when needed (no matter that I already have a similar wallet from Gap that does the exact same job). The other purses are by Aussie surf label Insight. Cute, cute, cute!
I’m seriously worried. Word is that autumn/winter is going to be the season of the big shoulder. It’s been a while coming – Lord knows the eighties revival has been bubbling at a steady pace – but so far ‘Eighties’ has been more about youthful jersey, Lycra and dayglo than Dallas-Dynasty silhouettes. Well forget all that. Preen’s show had a severely defined shoulder and Margiela is already touting the tailored shoulder as the way forward. Which begs the question, what kind of bag does one wear? An oversized slouch of the type we have all grown accustomed to simply will not do. Its chunky heaviness will slice a shoulder pad in two so a sharper, structured look is what’s needed. I’m liking this look by relative newcomer Michael Teperson. This bag has already been snapped up by Natalia Vodianova and it’s a handheld affair which won’t interfere with the sacred shoulder. An oversized clutch is another option already getting a certain amount of exposure for spring. Whichever it is, it’s all about a blade-sharp chic look so don’t fight it, embrace it.