Trends

Bringing back the backpack




Adorning the shoulders of everyone from Kanye to Style Salvage Steve and Susie Bubble, there’s no doubt the backpack is making a comeback. Well that’s what I decided the minute I happened upon the new Eley Kishimoto x Eastpak range which is jollying up the Eastpak Carnaby Street store and window display right now. After an intensive trying-on sesh and grilling the poor (but extremely accomodating) shop staff for a good ten minutes I gleaned the following. The backpacks are printed in the now-iconic flash print (I have the flash print upholstered chair and am still gutted that I never bought the flash print Globetrotter suitcase) and cost a very reasonable £60. Each product is a limited edition of 1000 (I’m guessing that means 1000 in each colour – red, blue, black?) and comes with a special edition Eley Kishimoto Eastpak enamel pin.

Now what do you do if you don’t like backpacks? Well there’s a whole host of other flash-y stuff. There are messenger bags and small shoulder bags as well as pencil cases and wallets (although they are a bit ‘ouch’ at £50 each). There are also three skateboards retailing at £350.

I’m going back for mine on Saturday and will be rocking it all through fashion week as it will be perfect for my LG laptop and inevitable gathering of press packs, passes and general paraphernalia that tend to mount up throughout the days. Well done Eley Kishimoto and Eastpak, I think this is a perfect partnership.






What do you do with your eco bags?



Strand Book Store tote



The LFW tents were awash with eco cotton totes and quite honestly, I think I’ve had enough. I’ve been using my own eco tote (OK, it’s not organic but it gets lots of use) all week – not out of concern for my carbon footprint but because I genuinely love this well-worn bag, bought on my first trip to NYC fourteen years ago at The Strand Book Store. I love the colour, the font, the fact that it holds memories and the fact that it’s a great size and looks better the shabbier it gets.

In the last year or so I’ve lost count of how many cotton totes I’ve been given at various press days, shop launches and fashion shows. What does one do with them? I’ve never got this thing about using them for groceries because my grocery shopping involves several big bags, not the odd baguette and a newspaper, and I don’t have enough shoulders to carry my weekly shop in those canvas totes. Plus, I know it’s not PC but I need those plastic Sainsburys carriers – I re-use them for my rubbish! What does everyone else do with these eco totes? Are you using them all?



A short conversation with Liz and Terry de Havilland



Shoemaker Terry de Havilland surely needs no introduction. From helping his father with the family cobbler business in the 1950s, to shodding London’s counter culture in the ’60s and Primrose Hill’s finest in the noughties, he’s still doing a roaring trade in sky-high wedges. Now he’s on a mission with his wife and sidekick Liz, to get his teeth into the men’s footwear market.

DRG: How did we get to the point of 6 and 7 inch skyscraper heels?
TERRY: I think this has come about because fashion has declared that women are allowed to wear really high heels without being accused of looking like hookers. The fuss Gwyneth Paltrow caused when she uncharacteristically stepped out in all those high heels a couple of months back was pure genius in terms of publicity.

DRG: What’s the appeal of heels?
TERRY: Once you get used to wearing heels it’s very difficult to give up the height that comes with them. Being taller is very empowering. The Venetian courtesans back in the day used to wear chopines that were up to 24″ tall. They were a sign of wealth because the women couldn’t venture out in them unless they had two footmen to support them.

DRG: What’s your take on all these revivals – wedges, platforms, etc?
TERRY: I’ve been designing shoes for almost 50 years now and I’ve seen heel height fashions come and go. This era is very reminiscent of the 70s. I made some ridiculously high wedges back then which were about 9″ high with a 6″ platform. I put a government health warning label in them. I made them just because I could. I never expected anyone to buy them, but they did! At the moment the most popular shoes from my bespoke range have a 7″ heel with a 2″ platform. Now I’m on a mission to get the boys back into cuban heels.

DRG: Ah, the Archie Eyebrows line. That’s the mens boots I saw that you’re also scaling down to women’s sizes…?
LIZ: Yes, we’ve got two heel heights in them now. The ladies ones are nearly ready, I just wanted to make sure that the last was nice and comfortable before I made them.

DRG: Are you still doing my Alison Mosshart gold look-alikes then?
LIZ: Of course we’ll be doing the ladies cubans in gold. The beauty of it is that we’ll be getting the components in so that we can make the specials here in London. In other words, you’ll be able to come down to the studio and pick your style and your fabrics in much the same way as we make our custom made Terrys at the moment.

DRG: Where are you selling the Archies?
Liz: Archie Eyebrows is much more backstreet than high street. We’ve just set up a shop within a shop selling the line at Sir Tom Baker, 4 D’Arblay St, Soho . You’ll love the shop, Sir Tom Baker is a total nutter and a brilliant tailor. Check out his website. We also stock Stephen Jones hats. It’s a modern slant on a classic gentleman’s outfitters, or as our lawyer calls it “an out man’s gentle fitters”…
Terry de Havilland shoes