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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Zine London Mixtape: I'm Alive Edition


As a great philosopher once said:
'Play, come on play that song
Play it all night long
Just turn it up and turn me on.'

Moi Je Joue - Brigitte Bardot
Pull Up To The Bumper - Grace Jones
Klapp Klapp  - Little Dragon
Lost In Music - Sister Sledge
Freeze - Moko
 London In The Rain - Variety Lab
 Jerk Ribs - Kelis
 Comment Te Dire Adieu - Françoise Hardy
 My House, My Rules, My Pleasure - Donatella Versace
 Malambo No. 1 - Yma Súmac
 Milord - Edith Piaf
 Métropolitain - Emanuel Santarromana
 Evening In Space - Daphne Guinness
 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hello Again


Francis Bacon + Fashion = Well done Shortlist.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Moko


Y'all better be ready for the ferocious talent that is Moko, because this lady is ready to take over. Emerging from the darkness on stage at Birthdays in Dalston, Moko was hypnotic. Her silhouette a pendulum swaying in time with her honey coated, soulful voice. Oh that voice. Rising and falling as if singing comes as easily as breathing. I was taken to church, baptised, married and given the last rites. Her leading track 'Summon the Strength' is intoxicating. It begins with mournful husky vocals, a woman wounded and dejected. As the track progresses the minimal backing beat rises, coaxing Moko's voice to reveal its true power.


The track is emotive and raw but Moko herself is enigmatic, an intriguing veiled figure. A fusion of soul, gospel, lounge, electronic and dance, the sound is new yet nostalgic. Moko has released two more tracks online, 'Reach High', think 90s dance with a modern beat, as well as my favourite 'Freeze', a dramatic edgy power ballad. Check out both tracks after the jump.

If you want to catch Moko live she's playing in London and Brighton soon. Click HERE for more info.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

YYY

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back! I was a carefree teenager with Fever To Tell, lived on vodka and strobe lighting with Show Your Bones and my university years were sound tracked by It's Blitz! I'm pretty excited to see where their upcoming album Mosquito will take me. So far only one single has been released and it's been stuck in my head ever since Karen O's angry ethereal voice emerged from my dilapidated MacBook. The track titled Sacrilege now has a music video featuring Lily Cole as the Jezebel of a Lynchian town. I'm already planning a drag homage to this song. I'm thinking... 80s meringue wedding dress, think Lady Di on steroids, with Miss Havisham hair and I'll pelt the crowd with condoms whilst brandishing a crucifix. Where can one rent a gospel choir?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Serving Sahara


I enjoyed Louis Vuitton's Spring collection. That being said, I must admit that the collection sticks in my mind more for the show than for the clothes. If you didn't see the show, the set comprised of four escalators which carried models that were paired and styled as twins onto a white and yellow chessboard platform. A lot of print on print and a very editorial runway presentation. The clothes themselves were pretty simple. Chessboard prints in various colours and sizes were applied to clean cut dresses, skirts and shirts. A basic concept that was elevated by a phenomenal show.

What confuses me is why these pretty simple garments are featured on the cover of so many magazines. Walk into a newsagents in Britain this month and you'll be greeted by a sea of chessboard print. The April covers of Red, Elle and Glamour as well as the lastest issue of Pop all feature Louis Vuitton. It's not uncommon for the same designer to supply clothing for a couple of covers, but it is strange all four magazines were released in the same month, to the same market, featuring the same monochrome version of the chessboard print.

Now I'm not naive. Obviously Louis Vuitton has money to burn and lord knows the magazine industry needs advertising revenue. But surely a news stand awash with the same print slightly diminishes the items supposed exclusivity. It may be worn by a host of famous faces but the seed is sown in the minds of the fashion forward that this trend has exploded, it's been done, it's over.

The chessboard print of this season reminds me of Louis Vuitton's broderie anglaise collar last spring. A £360 lace collar that dominated the pages of fashion magazines for six months. 


One could argue that the lace collar was used so frequently because it was recognisable and versatile. A stylists dream. This argument would stand were it not for the sad fact that nine times out of ten the collar was paired with yet more Louis Vuitton. The above chessboard covers required no styling. OK, to be fair to Pop magazine, Ms. Swift is holding a bag.

My point is, in an industry that is supposedly facing tough times, many magazines don't seem to be trying very hard to stand out from the crowd. As my addiction requires me to spend at least £10 a week on magazines that are generally two thirds advertisements, I expect my remaining third of content to be somewhat original and distinguishable from the stack of glossy paper I have already purchased that month. Shoot some new designers, stop relying on black and white photography and stop paying fusty aristocrats to write articles about how they butter their toast. You are a fashion magazine. Serve me fashion. I am tired of this desert of creativity.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Flash


When I think of Clarks, I don't think of fashion. I envision screaming children in foot measuring devices that resemble office guillotines. I see cream walls, 80s carpet, ceiling tiles and unforgiving strip bulb lighting. Tired mothers and OAPs investing in orthopedic shoes. Clarks was a place fashion had abandoned. Even a fake Chanel handbag would quiver when taken onto the premises.

Don't get me wrong, Clarks has a lot going for it. It's a household name, it's reliable and the brand is synonymous with good quality shoes. It's just not a shop I would personally visit. Someone at Clarks is clearly hoping to change that, and what better way to eliminate the fusty elements of the brand than with a collaboration with hit print makers Eley Kishimoto. The above monochrome flash print may seem familiar as it has been instrumental to Eley Kishimoto's success. From Eastpak backpacks to Ipad cases touted by Susie Bubble, the print is no stranger to style blogs. Within the collaboration the print is available in Clarks' signature desert boot, a mid heel and a 90s wedge. All of the shoes in the collection are between £70 - £90 which is a steal if you love the print as a pair of Flash high-tops from Eley Kishimoto's webstore will set you back £168. There are also two different colour combinations of a geometric print in the collection which work particularly well in the wedge style. I love the shoes in this collaboration but I wish they'd done more with it. A few shoes for men wouldn't have been a bad idea, the Flash print is unisex and would look fantastic on a boot or embossed on a leather shoe. I also think another women's shoe with a larger heel would have caught the attention of the fashion crowd. Although flash is monochrome, it is a statement print, and I don't know many girls that make a statement with a kitten heel. 

Putting my moodiness aside at not being able to buy any of these shoes, the collaboration is a hit. It also whets the appetite for future collaborations. Could we be seeing Tabitha Simmons x Clarks? What about Liberty x Clarks? Dare I say... Ferragamo x Clarks? We can dream.

The collection is due to go on sale in March. To see it in it's entirety click here.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monster Mash


Christopher Kane knows how to sell clothes. A company that has 26 employees and is worth an estimated 20 million euros seems like a pretty solid investment. It is not surprising then to hear that PPR the French multinational that owns Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci have just bought a majority stake in Christopher Kane. PPR have a habit of acquiring British labels like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. These acquisitions allow brands to expand with increased distribution, large advertising budgets, a wider variety of product range and the opening of shops. Soon you will not just wear Christopher Kane, you will also smell of Christopher Kane, and will have Christopher Kane on your face.

So how did Kane stand out amongst the sea of British talent? His latest collection of menswear is a good example of Kane's business sense. Fashion obsessives may experience deja vu when looking at the above designs. Frankenstein's monster made an appearance in Kane's Spring 2013 womenswear collection and the Creature from the Blue Lagoon, Dracula and leopard print featured in his latest Pre-Fall collection.


Kane noticed that men were buying monster t-shirts from his womenswear range, so he capitalised off their success by giving men a range of their own. Risky but clever. It is the shape and size of a garment that genders a print. Take for example Prada's Fall 2012 optical prints. A defining womenswear trend for Fall 2012, Johnathan Saunders offered his own optical prints, but in his spectacular Fall 2012 menswear collection. It makes you wonder, as menswear is gaining prominence in fashion, will it soon share the runway with it's female equivalent? After all, it would save houses money as well as creating a harmonious brand identity. 

Kane's latest menswear offering shares the hallmarks of streetwear. Brands like Rogue Status and Mishka perfected and popularised the pop culture, high resolution, digital print tee. Kane pairs these statement prints with gothic details. He borrows from classic goth with sharp shirt collars and a black coat cut to look like Dracula's cape. A muted leopard print is used on coats, tops and shorts. I imagine the print as a sophisticated reincarnation of the leopard print found on creepers, worn by 90s goths that wrote bad poetry, and revived by the Tumblr generations 90s nostalgia. Slim velvet trousers and embroidered velvet slippers continue the upmarket homage to 90s goth and contribute to my image of our 90s goth. His name is Viktor (real name Steve). He frequents a bar in which the air is thick with clove cigarette smoke and candles reflect in goblets of red wine. He writes poetry about blood stained kittens and broken mirrors... 

Kane is clearly switched on to what the Tumblr kids are obsessing over and what London new media types will buy. By reusing old designs he risks being seen as overly commercial yet he is at the vanguard of British designers experimenting with menswear, closing the gap between what women and men wear. The collection is inoffensive yet interesting. Men who fear fashion can be comfortable in Kane's clothes. The only thing I fear is sickly sweet couples in matching Dracula t-shirts.