Design

Saving the scraps




A quick flick through the new Lula reveals a wee article on scrapbooking including a sneak peak at Alison Mosshart’s cuttings and pastings. It reminded me of my own three whopping great scrapbooks that I fill in fits and starts. My passion started at art college when I studied fashion illustration and collage was the medium du jour. I loved the work of Ivan Chermayeff as it had that ‘I can do that’ quality that always appeals to me. Ditto Robert Rauschenburg and Peter Blake.

These days, what tends to happen is I’m good at finding the scraps – torn typography, discarded labels, a deflated balloon – but they mount up in a pile and then get upgraded into an envelope or paper bag of some sort. The next stage, several weeks later, is coralling said envelopes and paper bags into a bigger bag or box file and then on that rare day when the mood strikes and the thought, ‘I know, I’ll do my scrapbook’ enters my head, having a mega sort-out. In fact, the sorting out seems to be the most fun bit where I remind myself of these fabulous treasures I’ve amassed over the years (‘ooh, look at these Fiorucci stickers!’ ‘Hang, on, where did this postcard come from?’ etc etc). Yet by the time the sorting’s done, all my energy’s spent! Hence I now have two groaning box files of scraps but my poor scrapbooks are no fuller than they were two years ago. Hmm, maybe I’ll start again this weekend….





















[Double click pics to enlarge]


Ferragamo Fever




When I was working in India on the launch of a new magazine, Salvatore Ferragamo was one of the international brands that kept pinging up on my radar – their spring-summer shoes were breathtaking and Ferragamo is quite big in India. On my return I proceeded to forget about them, until today. While on my round of appointments calling in for a forthcoming shoot, I came across these purple patent hotties and once home I (naturally) tried them on. Heaven! They have a slightly curved cone heel and a demi platform, yet don’t come under the ‘statement shoe’ umbrella because somehow they retain all their elegance and wearability, maybe because the uppers and ankle straps make them quite delicate. Ferragamo’s Vara bow pumps are already in the thick of a revival, with the baby sister version Varina (the flat one) now a cult hit with New York Gossip Girl wannabes and Japanese O-nee-kei girls alike.

My interest piqued, I decided to have a pootle and see what Ebay has to offer. Sadly, the beauties I’d lusted after on a weekly basis while in India were nowhere to be seen (but you can see a few here), however there were lots of affordable Varas including these AAAA ones (Ferragamos are known for being ultra-comfortable, due to their varied width fittings and going up to a more generous-than-average UK size 9), plus some sweet lace-ups from the quaintly-named Grecia’s Graciously Used Shoes.






Of course, back in the day, Salvatore Ferragamo was as hot a name as Louboutin is now, after all he did invent the wedge…

And in the ’30s and ’40s when the war made it difficult to obtain leather for shoes, he stitched together corks from wine bottles to make cork wedges. An eco early-adopter – who knew! This year is the 80th anniversary of Ferragamo and it’s all change at the house. Cristina Ortiz has taken up the baton as head designer following Graeme Black’s departure so I’m keeping a close eye on proceedings. In the meantime, I’m also keeping a close eye on these lovelies. All in the name of research you understand.



Levi’s: One for the What Took Them So Long file…



I’ve never understood how Levi’s 501s came in different cuts and fits – surely 501 is the style so shouldn’t have variations went my logic. Well, now Levi’s have decided to do a standard cut worldwide which makes perfect sense. The reason cited, according to Levi Strauss CEO John Anderson is that they believe straight-leg jeans are a global fashion trend and now is the right time to establish the 501 as an obvious choice for global consumers. I say, duh, isn’t that a bit obvious? But never mind, at least they’re doing it now. Let’s hope the fit is the same across mens and womens 501s. Please understand Mr Levi’s that some of us girls want what the boys have – a nice lazy-Sunday loose-but-not-falling-down fit.

UPDATE:
To answer my ‘why are there different fits’ question, D has kindly weighed in with the following:
Okay, so the 501 is the model of the brand. The model was then adapted as trends changed, hence the different varieties of 501 over the years, with slight changes in cut: the 1947, ’55, ’63, ’67 etc. It’s similar to the way that Ford have the Fiesta model and give it facelifts to make it more appealing to changing tastes as time passes. The ’47s are quite slim, the ’55s a wider cut, the ’63s have a higher waist and the cut is somewhere between a ’47 and ’55 and the ’67s are very slim, and have a zip fly.

That told me then.



Much ado about M&S



Being something of an outsider, I have a tendency to defend the underdog in most situations and when it comes to fashion, M&S is the underdog du jour. While recent figures show they have suffered their worst sales for three years with shares dropping by almost 25%, I say, give them another chance. (more…)