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up and away

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

These images are the epitome of lo-fi style done to perfection. Tommy from This is Naive's project/shop The Beautiful and The Good showcases her exquisite, thoughtful, and very special designs. This really is the antithesis to the disposable, fast-food style high-street clothing that seems to be taking over the world, and the internet (not that one can't find beauty or satisfaction at Topshop too, but it is an entirely different approach to retail). 

 This past weekend I went away to Loch Lomond for four glorious days with the bf and his bro. We hired a wooden rowboat and went island hopping, exploring ancient burial grounds and catching glimpses of deer dashing through the forest. It really was magical (except for a tick incident that brought us crashing back to reality for a few minutes and had us stripping off on the shoreline to make sure we hadn't been bitten). I can't wait to head back into the highlands in summer.

Tomorrow I'm heading down to London for five days of wandering, shopping, looking at art, listening to music and just general fun times. Feeling very indulgent taking two holidays in the space of a fortnight, especially when I am still unemployed (although job application writing sometimes feels like more hard work than the actual jobs). But anyway, going to put the guilt aside and enjoy. I won't be posting until next week, but in the meantime if anyone has any London tips or must-sees please comment and let me know! 

Have a great weekend! 

lo-fi hi-tech

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Images via: Vanessa Jackman, The Locals, Liger, Japanese Streets, Anywho,  Liger, The Locals, Japanese Streets, Liger.

So for a while now I've been thinking about Lo-Fi/Hi-Tech style. It started a few years ago when I read this post by Yui on her wonderful blog a slowboat to mediocrity. It remained in the back of my mind as something I love but wasn't sure how to incorporate it into my personal style. Lately, however, I've started thinking more seriously about it. I was going through the archives of Tommy's blog This is Naive and came across her take on the style (way back from 2007!). She describes it concisely as a mix of: 

Lo-Fi: tradition, natural fibre, rustic craft.
  High-Tech: innovation, synthetic fibre, engineered craft

I've always been drawn to Lo-Fi styles. I love the Mori-Girl aesthetic (although watered down when translated to my actual outfits), I love vintage workwear, basket bags, natural fabrics, beaten-up leather, antique lace and cotton, clothes that are worn by time and use and have faded and been patched back together. AND I'm so far over the whole masculine/feminine, designer/vintage mixing matching blaaaaa it isn't funny. Not that I don't enjoy dressing in that way, I love wearing my brogues and my lace dresses and my secondhand crap worn with higher-end stuff, but really I'm over people talking about it as if it is a revelation.

So now, years after first discovering and admiring the idea of mixing lo-fi and hi-tech, I am starting to truly appreciate it (I'm a little slow on the uptake).

These outfit suggestions by Yui are infinitely inspiring to me at the moment:

-a vintage embroidered dress with nylon spandex leggings and Nike air rifts
-a crisp Gore-tex windbreaker with a linen Isabel Marant frock and suede moccasins
-a long Society for Rational Dress cashmere cardigan with Adidas track pants and hightop sneakers
-a denim APC frock and Merrel trekking boots
-a hooded jersey Norma Kamali tanktop with a floor-length Dries Van Noten silk skirt and birkenstocks
-a thick knitted Marc Le Bihan poncho with a Y-3 backpack
-a lacy gingham Tricot Comme des Garcons dress and padded North Face skii gloves

A made a little collage to illustrate my thinking, which is still a little vague but I'm really excited about how this could develop.

From top left: Tricot CDG sandals via Yoox, J+ Uniqlo Parka, Margaret Howell linen trousers, straw cap via etsy, Anntian leather bracelet via Ooga Booga, Tom Scott sweater via Creatures of Comfort, ffixxed top via Ooga Booga, Bernhard Willhelm dress via Shop Fatal, Bless wooden watch (sold out) via Ooga Booga, Opening Ceremony Cork Jean Shorts via Ooga Booga, Nike Seismic trainers, Dries van Noten printed silk trousers via Yoox, VPL Bikini Top via Creatures of Comfort, pasta necklace via Darling, I Said, Margiela necklace via Stop It Right Now, Urbanears headphones, Acne sandals via Creatures of Comfort, Fabrics Interseason bag via Doshaburi, Bless safety pins and  Bless printed top via Stand Up Comedy, Karen Walker sunglasses and hat (sold out) via Creatures, Nike Air Wovens via ebay, Cypress socks via New High (M)art.



Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Top: Photos from So-En via Emma Cassi
Middle: Streetstyle from Fruits via kkkeiOK!
Bottom: Photos from So-En via kkkeiOK!.

 I've been a huge fan of Japanese designers, streetstyle and of course magazines such as So-En for years. They are a constant source of inspiration, and one of the things I miss most about Melbourne is my monthly trip to Kanga Kanga to pick up the latest issue of So-En and browse other favourites like Fudge. 

The recent events in Japan have been horrifying to say the least, and while the coverage has been heartbreaking it has been uplifting to watch so many bloggers and other creative people supporting Japan through direct donations to the Red Cross, auctions and donating profits from the sale of cakes, t-shirts, zines and more. Claire from Lola is Beauty and Siri from Ringo, have a banana have both posted some really great ways to donate. There are also lots of great products on Pay for Japan with some or all profits going to the cause.

morning rituals

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I really loved the 'Good Morning' article in the latest issue of The Gentlewomen, featuring the early morning rituals of fourteen women. It reminded me of the wonderful website Daily Routines which reveals the way interesting folk begin their days. My personal morning routine is rather mundane. I wake up around 7:30am, make a pot of tea which I then drink in bed before eating porridge or muesli with honey, check emails and job sites so I can plan my day, then go for a morning jog through the park next to my flat (rain, hail or snow!). Not quite as exciting or inspiring as some of those in The Gentlewoman, but I guess the beauty of all rituals are that they are common, everyday things that everyone can relate to in some way. Besides being curious, I really love refining my own routines based on those that other, much wiser and more successful people, have developed (like listening to Big Band and eating a piece of dark chocoate), while also discovering the similarities. So with that in mind here are a few of my favourites from 'Good Morning'.



Ann Daniels (polar explorer, Devon) has differing routines depending on whether she's at home in Devon or in a tent on a polar ice pack.... When she's in her tent on an ice pack at 40 degrees below, her first concerns are food and location. "I kickstart the day with hot porridge and tea," she says, "and then in great anticipation I turn on the GPS to see how far the ice pack has drifted overnight. If it's a drift in the right direction, it's a fantastic way to start the day. Miles travelled north while lying in my sleeping bag are a great boost."


Julie Verhoeven (artist, London) tricks herself in the morning by setting her alarm clock 30 minutes forward. "I call it the Greenwich Mean Time con," she says. "With it, I gain fake extra morning minutes. It makes you feel spoilt for time, if a tad confused." (I do this too)


Sadie Stein (editor, New York) relies on big band recordings to start her morning. "Nothing gets you out of bed like 'In the Mood'," she says, referring to the recording by Glenn Miller. 


Margaret Howell (designer, London/Suffolk) swims before breakfast. "When in Suffolk, I swim in the chill and sometimes choppy North Sea. Drying off on the beach, I plan my day with a coffee in hand, surrounded by the sound of waves." In London, her preferred swim location is under threat. "I support my local swimming pool, Ladywell in Lewisham. I enjoy its 1960s architecture, with light streaming through the windows," she says. "If it's demolished, I shall live by the North Sea permanently." 


Johanna Chemnitz (yoga teacher, Berlin) "takes time before anything else to remember the last fragments of my dreams from the night before, and then let my thoughts wander around to just wherever." To aid this, she has a "cup of rice-milk coffee with freshly ground cardamom in it, along with a piece of fine dark chocolate". 


Images: Margaret Howell S/S 11 Campaign

Finally, being the curious cat that I am, what are you morning rituals, past, present or future?

on my mind

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Amazing layering at Paris Fashion Week via The Sartorialist, Karen Walker Eyewear, Topshop sandals, Louise Goldin jumper via RA13, Two-tone, repainted, chipped nails via Darling I Said, Midori's apartment in Norwegian Wood, Karen Walker hat from a few seasons ago that I wish I had bought before it sold out, pasta necklace via Darling I Said, more amazing layering and Henrik Vibskov hat that I wish I had bought before it sold out (theme here) via The Locals.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bless N°43, A/W 11.12 via Bless website and The Fashion Spot

I love the mundane, domestic vibes of the latest Bless presentation. Only Bless could turn the most mediocre of items into amazing design (see rug/mop shoes) and the tailoring and knitwear are standouts as always. 

The collection was presented in Paris in a life-drawing set up. Art and fashion students were placed around the models and drew the collection during the presentation. In a clever reversal of the design process, the resulting images will be used in all Bless N°43 publications.

Bless are also collaborating with Weekday on a collection due to be released this month, and in the lead up answered some questions over at the Weekday website. Here are a few of their answers that give a glimpse into their process and reveal why Bless are one of the most interesting, innovative and intelligent brands around.


You work somewhere between art, product design and fashion. Do you think this is a correct description?
We just create products for every day application and use.

There is something unconditional about your design, but at the same time it’s always playful. Do you agree, and where does this mix between hardness and humour come form?
– We agree. We like to emphasize the relativeness of ourselves, our work and life in general. There is no right or wrong, so why take it all too serious. One aspect of your work that seems to distinguish it from that of other conceptual designers is that it is rooted in fashion.
We are just rooted in fashion in the sense that this is what we happened to study.
Nowadays, we don’t feel so close to fashion anymore, at least not in the way it is perceived from the majority of people: trend related. i.e. we can’t answer the famous question that people tend to first ask you when they hear you are a fashion designer: “so, what’s the colour for next spring”.

Could you tell us more about your design process?
Most ideas are born in 5 minutes between e-mails and phone calls, mainly on airports and foreign exhibition locations, and, if we are very lucky, a few come up at home around a nice cup of tea or coffee. The tricky side to design is the long development path that can be unpleasantly eternal. In extreme cases a few years even, until a product comes alive.

You’ve managed to continue to challenge the conventions of the commercial fashion and design systems. How do you do it?
We really don’t know. The most honest answer is probably that we can’t do anything else better.

Read more here


Monday, 14 March 2011

See by Chloe banana print tee - image via ebay

I've never been into wearing the colour yellow. It looks really wonderful on others, in particular Miss Chloe Sevigny and of course Stevie from Discotheque Confusion (see prime example here), but I've always felt that it just makes me look ill. However since reading Stevie's wonderful posts about fruit prints and banana accessories , and with Prada and Kate Moss on my mind, I recently decided to do an ebay search for any old Chloe banana print items at decent prices. Lo and behold my wish was answered in the form of this tee which is wonderfully printed on the back as well as the front (pet peeve: prints only placed on the front of garments). So I'm putting my aversion to yellow aside, and am going to wear this tee all summer while drinking banana smoothies in the sun. Although considering it snowed in Glasgow on the weekend that seems a while off, so I think I'll wear it as soon as it arrives in the hopes of calling the sun out from wherever it is hiding.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Y-3 F/W 11-12
Really love everything here - the pieces all look interesting and practical, and the styling is perfect in a relaxed yet thoughtful way.

There has been lots of Yohji love around here lately. I was very excited to discover a retrospective of his work opened at the V&A yesterday and I'm already planning my trip down to London to see it. In the meantime I've been checking out the curator's blog by Ligaya Salazar, which is a sneak peek behind the scenes of the exhibition - very interesting if you are at all interested in museums/galleries/curating. The man himself will even be there in person on June 26, interviewed by Frances Corner, but unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) the tickets have already sold out. 

In My Dear Bomb, Yohji (yep we are on a first-name basis) talked about how when his company filed for bankruptcy and was subsequently 'saved' by a new investor it felt like a new beginning, a new (and final) chapter. From an outsider's perspective, it really feels that way, like he is opening up despite his aversion to fashion exhibitions and museums, which he describes in his autobiography as "where fashion goes to die". While he once declared that he would have no part in retrospectives, and I can understand what he means in that clothes are made to be worn, to live and age rather than be frozen in time, it is so wonderful that he agreed to this exhibition so that plebs like me can see his work in the flesh.

recent favourites

Friday, 11 March 2011

Vintage Burberry trench, A.P.C sweatshirt, Margaret Howell scarf, J.W Anderson jumper, Bless boots.

These are some of my most loved items at the moment. 
All are comfortable and practical (except the boots which aren't too great in the rain), and just feel right when I put them on. They are also things that I can see myself wearing for years, things that instantly turn an old pair of trousers and a tee into something more special, and things which will just get better with age. I really enjoy when my clothes start to show signs of wear and tear, when they mould to my body and become like a second skin.

silvia bergomi

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I really love these photos by Silvia Bergomi (who also has a great blog Plastic Choko). They look like a brilliant mash of my great grandmother's house, garage sales and Italy all at once.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Inspirational layering for the in-between months and some things I'd love to add to my spring wardrobe

Vintage top (sold) via omavintage on etsy, vintage ink blot top via lethilogica on etsy, pineapple print top via Topshop, trench via Weekday, silk top via Topshop Boutique, streetstyle pic from Anne Bernecker, vintage strappy stop via asecretshop on etsy, white dress via Topshop Boutique, vintage hiking boots via etsy, vintage Stephane Kelian boots via etsy, dress via Topshop Boutique, bag via New High (M)art

On a side note, the other day I joined the Twitter cult. I'm still getting the hang of it, but you can follow me here if you are so inclined.

my dear bomb

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Yohji Yamamoto on visiting Rome for the first time: 
"Any building found on any alley leading off any major avenue had a story behind it, an anecdote connected to it, or some sort of meaning associated with it. It made it impossible to relax and simply take in the sights. The entire city was itself a sort of museum, and it made me sick to my stomach."

On accessories: 
"I wonder how in the world people can bear to have those things around their necks and on their wrists, the reasons for it evade me. The display of ornaments and decorations in Europe seem to me nothing more than a frivolous game played with the cultural heritage that one race has looted from another."

"I avoid people who wear large earring with modern geometric designs. 
Please taken them off, then we can sit down for a chat."

On insiders: 

"They ignore the all-important process, and for them it becomes all about the parties."

"If we compare life to the theatre, the insiders are the audience. 
Have they ever experienced a penniless destitution, or the clash of two human beings? 
They read this book, or see that movies, and hold forth on them, pretending that they really know something. Their insights, however, are based on nothing more than a virtual experience of the world. They hold no deeply rooted doubts about the world. They have been domesticated by the world and, utterly accustomed to being fully at peace, their consciousness is not much different from that of a pig."

On vision:
"Endless reptition and the study of the classics. 
After that one may topple the establishment."

On creating:
"Rather than prattle on endlessly about art and concept, one is better served by living. Embrace both the bitter and the sweet that come with working from the heart, working with one's very life on the line."

 "What I have longed to create, what I believe in, what I have dedicated my life to is that formless something floating in the mist. That mysterious something can be intuited only through the miraculous sensibilities with which humans have been endowed. It is pre-lingual, it can only be labelled an intangible asset."
"It is meaningless to construct something and place it as an ornament. Things must be alive, they must be vibrant and in motion."

On living:
"Having tasted  chilled champagne in a hotel suite is fine, 
but one should also have enjoyed a tasty glass of beer bought with one's last few coins while down and out."


Yesterday I read (or more accurately devoured) Yohji Yamamoto's autobiography My Dear Bomb cover to cover over the course of a train trip to Edinburgh and back. It is one of the few books I have ever felt the urge to re-read as soon as I have finished. I really loved the structure; divided into two chapters titled "A Man" and "An Artist" and told as a series of memories and thoughts. There was much to ponder and question, some comments seemed to concisely illuminate ideas that had been lurking in the depths of my own mind, while others seemed alien and far from my own perceptions. This of course is what makes a good read, combining those moments of "ahhh I know that feeling" with ideas that challenge, frustrate and even offend.

Phoography by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Model: Maggie Rizer
Scans by Alien SF

what i wish i was wearing this summer

Friday, 4 March 2011

Tao for Comme des Garcons S/S 08

I'd forgotten just how perfect this collection is. I miss Tao already. 
I really want to track down those sandals one day. Actually, make that everything from this collection.

near and far

Thursday, 3 March 2011

From top L-R: Vanessa Bruno Athe top via Urban Outfitters, Beautiful sandals via Iko Iko, Photograph taken in Namibia by Yu Ogata and Ichiro Ogata Ono, Paris map by French artist Arelle Caron, Rachel Comey, iphone snap from the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, great trousers+grey top+blazer combo worn by Jesse Kamm on Closet Visit, iphone snap of fishing nets on Great Cumbrae Island, hiding in a turtleneck photo by Jordi Huisman, Lauren Soloff on Closet Visit, Photograph taken in China by Yu Ogata and Ichiro Ogata Ono, photo of Hong Kong from Where They Create, Rachel Comey, Michelle Phillips wearing pastels, iphone snap from inside the 'Killer Plants' room at the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, photo inside Anrealage studio in Japan from Where They Create, Lauren Soloff on Closet Visit.


misu a barbe

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Misu a Barbe is a new label from Seoul-born, Paris-based designer Misu Kim, who has worked for some of my all-time faves Margiela, Bless and Bernhard Willhelm. The influence of her time spent with each really shines through in her work, so of course I love it. Focusing on knitwear, Kim uses colour, print and oversized shapes to create very wearable, but slightly off-kilter pieces that look like something your granny would make after one too many whiskeys. Misu a Barbe has been exhibited at RA 13 in Antwerp and is being showcased in Paris this week for anyone lucky enough to be there.  



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