books

The Margiela AIDS tee



Margiela AIDS tee

“[Sontag’s 1989 book] ‘AIDS and Its Metaphors’ was such an important work. It shoved us along in our grudging recognition and understanding of H.I.V. and the isolation it brings. It is numbing how that virus has tricked, mutated and infiltrated. We always feared it would become a pandemic, yet who in 1987 could have predicted the desolation and devastation it would reap in Africa?” Martin Margiela, T Magazine, 2005

It’s 25 years since Martin Margiela designed his cult AIDS T-shirt, a crudely stencilled screen printed tee with an important message. “There is more action to be done to fight AIDS than wear this T-shirt but it’s a good start”, is a classic example of the power of fashion in social commentary. (more…)



What’s on your reading list?



The World of Apartamento book
Continuing on last week’s #namastayinbed theme, we’ve reached peak hygge time of year, aka annual book-buying season. December and January are the only months of the year I get time to properly absorb myself in books, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Michelle Obama’s Becoming. No spoilers please!

The rest of the year, I just accept I don’t have the attention span for deep absorption books. Instead I go for dip-in-able non-fiction stuff, which is probably why I like oral histories and diaries. I’m late to Tina Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries but it’s on my Christmas list, as is Uncovered: Revolutionary Magazine Covers – The Inside Stories Told by the People Who Made Them  (more…)



A walking portrait of my hood



Folk Navaz Batliwalla

My Facebook feeds are currently full of friends waxing lyrical about the joys of coastal living, having fled London for the simple life. Me? I’m not quite there yet. London’s where I was born and grew up and as a West Londoner I’ve not strayed far from my childhood stomping ground.

In particular I’m passionate about the pocket of London where Portobello meets Golborne Road. This little local stretch is relatively unknown by the masses. You won’t find hordes of tourists and bloggers descending here for their selfies and outfit posts, but you will find a genuine melting pot of character and style.

You can people watch in the flea market, pick up an antique mirror from Les Couilles du Chien, delight in the curiosities of Kokon To Zai, and make a pilgrimage to Rellik, the famous vintage store that specialises in collectable Westwood, Galliano and Comme. Foodies can enjoy a Palestinian feast at Maramia, fish & chips at George’s or queue up for a pastel de nata at Lisboa, the Portuguese coffee shop that’s a local institution.

I gave the folks at Folk a little local walking tour of my hood a few weeks ago (more…)



Deep cuts



cuts book Steve Brooks Gimme 5

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind month for CUTS, my hairdresser and London landmark of sorts. It’s a kind of ‘if you know, you know’ thing; it’s been around forever but was never treated as a ‘brand’, rather a word of mouth hangout that does very good hair. (Side note: they came out with the phrase ‘You Look Good’ long before anyone else.)

CUTS started in Kensington Market during the post-punk years, then progressed to Kensington Church Street (I would pass it on the way to school) and ended up in Soho where it’s been for a couple of decades. It’s where I went when I decided to go short in the early 90s. (more…)