Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A glorious day.

On Monday Kirsty and I wandered the city streets in the sunshine the next day popping into vintage shops and charity shops en route from the West end to the centre. 

What interests me is that charity shops these days have picked up on the idea of selling "vintage clothing" and often create a small boutique like area within their shop floor to display vintage product at its best. The thing is I always wondered why more charity shops don't do this to make them more "sexy" and appealing to a younger audience.

In Oxfam on Byres Road, antique furniture and floral patterned wallpaper (of course, no vintage look is complete without it) is utilised along with an old lampshade which acts as an earring stand. I particularly liked this 70s style top on the high-level bust. 

Around the corner, down Dowanside Lane, is an old Glasweigen vintage haunt 'Starry, Starry Nights' which in the wake of vintage fashion over the last 5 years or so, still hasn't lost its 'gypsy caravan' charm.
On Great Western Road, we popped into 'Watermelon'. I saw a saffron cardigan I was tempted to buy but decided it wasn't worth it. 
My only purchases of the day were this scarf from the Salvation Army at 99p and this matching necklace and earrings for just £3.95. Amazing bargains.

Monday, May 25, 2009

There's no place like Hollywood.

A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz have been sold at auction for £412,000. The size 4.5 (UK) were bought by a private collector who owns a memorabilia shop in Hollywood. 

Made from red satin and covered in red sequins, they are one of only four surviving pairs from the eight Garland had made for her role as Dorothy in the 1939 classic.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

M&S Penny Bazaar.

During the week, British retail giant Marks and Spencer celebrated their 125th anniversary by launching a 3-day 'Penny Bazaar' in all of its stores.

M&S started as a simple Victorian marketstall in Leeds, and Sir Stuart Rose - ever conscious of the company's heritage - decided to launch the event where a number of items would be on sale for just one penny each. Items included cuff links, mugs, pants and purses. 

On average, 60 items were sold per second with a many stores selling out of the stock in just one hour.

At the flagship store in Marble Arch, many customers had been queuing outside from as early as 5am. My local store saw a queue outside right along the high street. 

Despite the tickets declaring 'When it's gone, it's gone', many customers were left disgruntled at the product on offer and it selling out so fast. I have to say, what did they expect when one of Britain's pricier shops sells items at 1p? Many customers were completely satisfied and what is always noticable about the M&S approach (an additional to Plan A perhaps) was that all money raised was going to charity. Another triumph for Stuart Rose! Of course some people are never happy. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Fred Perry!

The British tennis superstar Frederick John Perry was born 100 years ago in Stockport near Manchester. The Fred Perry brand began in the late 40s when Perry was approached by Tibby Wegner who had invented an anti-perspirant device worn around the waist. With Wegner's permission, Perry altered the design, making it suitable for the wrists and head, thereby inventing the sweatband. Their next idea was to produce sports shirts made from white knitted cotton pique with short sleeves and buttons down the front.  This was launched at Wimbledon in 1952 to immediate success. The Laurel logo stitched into the material on the left breast, soon became a symbol of the Fred Perry brand. 

Up until the late 50s, the polo shirt was only available in white until the early mods of the 50s adopted them and demanded more choice. Since then, many youth cultures of the UK have adorned the Fred Perry logo, including the skinheads and the Northern Soul scene (with the likes of The Specials being largely responsible for its popularity). 
I got my first Fred Perry top when I was 15 and wore it to gym class. It still fits so whenever I get the notion, I decide to sport it again. The polo shirts have become particularly popular again in the last few years as today's "indie" bands adopt the same approach the mods and skinheads did before them. 
Fred Perry currently have a limited edition 100th birthday collection available with the laurel logo also including '100' underneath. 

Textiles Design in Dundee.

Congratulations to all the art, design and architecture students (including my lovely Aury whose architectural designs were stunning) at Duncan of Jordanson Art College in Dundee who had their recent degree show. Mine was last year and I remember the nervous anticipation as if it were yesterday.

The textile and jewellery design students put on a fashion show to officially open the degree show. And none other than the elegant supermodel Erin O'Connor turned up to show support (I wish this had happened last year). 
Not only that but immediately after the show, Erin ran back stage to place an order for a jacket designed by textile student Hayley Scanlan, describing it as "brilliant and bonkers". Congratulations to Hayley who said she was "blown away" by the prestigious sale of her white leather, studded biker jacket. 
I went up to visit the Degree show and was very impressed with this year's textile graduates. In particular this display of men's knitwear by graduate Angela McBride. I loved how she displayed her designs on simple black and white screen prints of models. Very affective, very topman. 

Gucci Flora by Chris Cunningham

I have always been a fan of Chris Cunningham's music videos for Aphex Twin and Bjork and I also have a soft spot for Gucci adverts of late. So Cunningham directing the new Gucci Flora advert was the perfect marriage in my eyes if not somewhat unexpected.  

Though still in the beautiful tradition of the Italian fashion house, the footage was distinctly Cunningham with a mesmerizing display synced to an updated version of Donna Summer's 'I feel love'. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Andy Hillman - 3-D designer.

I have recently become quite fascinated by the work of  3-Dimensional designer Andy Hillman. I first discovered his work through his collaborations with Tim Walker where he creates elaborate sets worthy of Walker's fantasy land approach to photography. 

I often saw his work in British Vogue as well as the beautiful Lula magazine.
Hillman has also done advertising for the likes of Givenchy, Paul Smith, Selfridges and Liberty's, creating stunning props, costumes and sets. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Model's Muse.

This Vogue video is basically an unbelievable who's who of the fashion world - Intimate interviews with all the A-list guests who attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art's gala celebrating 'The Model as Muse' exhibition. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Waist Down.

Miuccia Prada's latest project, 'Prada Transformer' is an outstanding structure designed to accomodate a series of events in Seoul, South Korea. The tetrahedron has four different configurations, which can simply be switched by rotating the structure with construction cranes.  The 'Transformer' is designed so floors can become walls and walls become ceilings in just one hour.
Currently in the form of a hexagon, it is hosting a reprise exhibition 'Waist Down - Skirts by Miuccia Prada.' 

"Being eccentric from top-to-toe is too much, but you can do eccentric with a skirt. Put a simple shirt or top with an eccentric skirt and it isn't a big deal. There is so much more room tp play with." - Miuccia Prada
With cardboard cut-out models lining the transformer's skeletal interior, skirt clad mannequins dotted around, and individual pieces suspended from the ceilings - Miuccia's eclectic exhibition is a graceful compliment to the sweeping mechanics of the Prada pavilion.

Happy Birthday Selfridges!

Selfridges - the Oxford Street department store that made shopping sexy - marks it's 100th year this year. 
On previous occasions when I've had time to kill in London, I have found myself wandering from floor to floor perusing the gorgeous collections on display.  I love seeing when you approach the store, the hoards of people carrying bright yellow (109 pantone to be precise) shopping bags; a massive marketing ploy screaming "Come shop inside."

When you walk into the store - as with Harrods and Libertys - you are always conscious of the history behind the brand. 

Above, an image of a roof garden fashion show during the 1920s, demonstrates Selfridges' fondness for fashion luxury. The image below shows people peering through the famous Selfridges windows at a dress on display just as clothes rationing was began in 1941. 
Selfridges is celebrating it's birthday by calling on a host of designer friends to create limited edition pieces all in the signature Selfridges yellow. 

For this entire month, designers such as Paul Smith, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs and Mulberry will have their designed items on sale exclusively in Selfridges. 

One of the most hyped up pieces is a patent leather dress by Giles Deacon (costing £1500) which many staff members will be sporting throughout May. 

The store has also commissioned British designers Dame Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon and Paul Smith to design them some limited edition carrier bags. I am tempted to fly down to London just to experience the celebrations - yellow oragami aeroplanes will decor the store and DJ sets from Henry Holland are also on the cards. And perhaps I could get one of those carrier bags - a certain future collector's piece.