Sunday, August 31, 2008

Calvin Klein's Secret Obsession: Not So Secret, Actually When You Spray It Like Ten Times In A Row. Oops.

The friendly folks in charge of Calvin Klein's fragrance PR sent me over an advance of the new Secret Obsession fragrance -- the one Eva Mendes went nudie for and then the pilgrims over at FCC Puritan HQ got all Victorian on us and banned that commercial, probs because it reminded them of the sex they weren't having.

Anyway, Secret Obsession is STRONG, people. Because a lot of the fragrances I prefer tend to be sorta weak, I tend to spritz more than a few times. Bad idea. I nearly suffocated myself and my houseguests after I sprayed this one like six or seven times. This is a seriously musky, mysterious (hence "SECRET") fragrance, so be forewarned: just a dab'll do ya, kay?

It evokes a very glam, old Hollywood, sorta Cheetah Club, late-1950's feeling (I've been watching a ton of Mad Men -- think Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway). Very musky and erotic, with very strong notes of orange, jasmine and mucho tuberose, very seductive, nighttime fragrance. Don't wear this to high holiday services, okay, or else you'll have lots more repenting to do.

Check out Mimi Mimi Frou Frou's highly sophisticado review of the fragrance.

It's available in 1 oz, 1.7 oz and 3.4 oz sizes, and honestly, I'd probably recommend the smallest size because a little goes a LONG way here, ladies.

A conversation wirh Aitor Throup

Whenever I mention Throup, Susie never fails to mention that he's good looking.

As mentioned in my previous post I was fortunate enough to listen (and scribble notes) to a conversation with Sarah Mower and Aitor Throup at the V&A. It was an intimate setting, in room 40 of one of my favourite buildings in London (where one can wander for hours...or just go to the ornate foodhalls and have a scone or two...), just Aitor, Sarah, a laptop and 30 odd people (including the inspirational Charlie Porter) listening intently.

The sentence which sticks out from the aforementioned conversation is "Artists create problems, designers solve them", Aitor couldn't recall who had said this originally (Google didn't help me fnd the true source either but who cares really?), he has however adopted it for himself. After hearing him talk about his work you really can see how he is both an artist and designer, solving the problems his mind creates with focus and attention to detail and thirst for processes - his comic book scrawlings transform into reality for the runway (or however he so happens to choose to display them). Throup gave great insight into his design process and what he said only made me marvel at him more. Menswear for me isn't as trend led as womenswear, it needs designers like Throup who approach the design process in a different way, pushing textiles and techniques in new directions...challenging the typical and accepted way of how a jacket should be made.

Throup's comic book drawings evolve in to fashion pieces through moulding and sculptural processes.

Mower seemed desperate to discuss Throup's background whereas the man himself gave the impression (albeit extremely politely and eloquently) that he had said it all before but nevertheless went on to describe his youth and how it might have shaped his view on the world and most importantly for us, his design aesthetic. Throup was born in Argentina and lived there up to the age of seven, he then moved to Madrid with his family and stayed there for five years before moving to Burnley. Argentina and Madrid to Burnley. I've never been to Burnley myself but know that it's a northern town and it's not the best place to be when you're different. There can be little doubt that the racist tension of Burnley informed his work on some level but it was the passionate, devoted folowing of the Burnley Football Club which had the greater effect.

Burnely FC - a crowd which inspired a youthful Throup and still does today

As mentioned previously, Throup's MA collection at the RSA was titled "When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods”. It is a three-dimensional comic that communicates the story of redemption and transcendence told through fabric structures that are based on a platform of the football casual.

Phil Thornton's book on the 'Casuals' - the cover image showing one of Osti's finest designs.

Due to football hooliganism within this country during the 80's, the clothes which were adopted by 'the casuals' have had lasting associations with brands such as Stone Island and CP Company. Within this island (far greater than the rest of Europe) these brands were the labels of choice of the hooligan and have become something of a taboo. These brands have not had the respect and attention that they deserve. Throup has made me think twice about them and instilled a desire to read up on the subject. Throup left the audience with a piece of news, he has just signed up with Umbro (one of the biggest footballing brands in the UK) in a creative consultant role, I look forward to seeing his influence on a brand which was an important part of my youth. I hope he continues to both create and solve many more problems...

Aitor Throup related news:

  • I've just been informed by EJ that the Throup design for Topman's Black Trouser project have now sold old out...I was too slow. These trousers were the first Throup designed product to be released and I missed out on them. Has anyone managed to get a pair?
  • The Independent ran an interesting piece on Throup, the piece can be read here.

Men Represent: Style Icons of yore

When Steve and I first met (way back in 2002, it feels like a century ago) his style reminded me of a certain Mr David Beckham. This was no accident and it was no bad thing. David Beckham always seemed comfortable in his clothes (once he'd gotten past the overly-matching-his-wife stage) while continually looking sharp. As Steve and I got to know each other, our shared admiration for Mr B continued: we went shopping for suit jackets (to be worn with jeans, naturally- we drew the line at sarongs though), we googled for new pictures of the man and admired his love of tailoring.

The thing we loved the most was that hair. Yes, it changed a fair few times, but when it was good, DAMN it was good. The main thing that Steve learnt from DB's hair was how appealing touchable hair was (I'm not exagerrating when I say that the ladies couldn't stop themselves from stroking Steve's hair). Behold!

Apologies for the terrible scan- yes, this photo was taken before I owned a digital camera - dark times indeed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Sale: 20% Off Everything At Active Endeavors

Yay! Everything is 20% off at Active Endeavors with promo code "Laborday20."

Which means those Loeffler Randall boots just went from $695 to $556!

Extricating Dudes From T-Shirt Hell

Not too long ago, while on the train, I had the extreme misfortune of seeing a guy (obviously) wearing this t-shirt:

Yes, that says "thousands of my potential children died on your daughter's face last night." Now I have a feeling that the type of guy who'd actually wear a shirt like that is NOT the type of guy who really sees much action at all. But still. Guys, that's not cool. And I even LIKE potty humor. But that's just bad. And grammatically incorrect -- it doesn't even end with any punctuation!

Anyway, here are some men's t-shirts that express much better taste and don't offend or involve sperm.

($17.95, Fuzzy Ink)
Love this guy. He's the sheriff of 'stache town, and with coupon code "Stache," you get 10% off. I got this shirt, designed by Craig Watkins, for my boyfriend and he wears it on the regs.

($26, Alphanumeric,
Gas prices = le suck.

($30, Jay McCarroll)
Designed by the inimitable Jay McCarroll, and $5 go to Alex's Lemonade Stand, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. (Shirts available in women's sizes too, y'all!)

($35, Wonderful Design, 2K By Gingham)
2K By Gingham, a Japanese company, aggregates lots of sick designers and sells their t-shirts in both men's and women's sizes. Sorta like Threadless. Love the funny bear above (hee -- he's got pwivate parts!) and two below:

($35, James Joyce, 2K By Gingham)
For the armchair DJ.

($48, Davis, 2K By Gingham)
Comfy-cute soft for dudes.

Victoria la lansarea Signature

Lansarea noului duo de parfumuri Beckham a avut loc la Harvey Nichols in Manchester, pe 29 august. Beckham Signature for her este fructat floriental si include note de orhidee, paciuli, vanilie, ambra, mosc, mar copt, iar Beckham Signature for him este un parfum fresh lemnos oriental cu note de mandarina, pepene, ambra alba.
Vizioneaza reclama parfumurilor Beckham here
Victoria a purtat o rochie alba cu blana la spate, care, privita din fata, arata ca ar avea aripi de inger.
Un nou duo de parfumuri de la David si Victoria Beckham

Signature for her

Rochia Victoriei este din colectia de toamna/iarna 08/09 Giambattista Valli

Style Icons - Massimo Osti

Creator of brand trademarks such as CP Company and Stone Island since the seventies, clothing designer Massimo Osti imposed himself on menswear for his abilities of invention, research and experimentation with forms and most of all materials. I was fortunate enough to listen in on the Sarah Mower conversation with Aitor Throup on Friday night at the V&A, thanks to an invite from Stephen of thenonplace. I will do a full post on this later this weekend but as some of you are chomping at the bit for more Style Icon related posts, it seemed madness not to give you one of Aitor's, Massimo Osti. Throup mentioned Osti countless times and his words revealed himself as a teenager living in Burnley once again, a time when Osti designs were so important to him and had a lasting effect on his own designs. Renzo Rosso (Diesel) described Osti's work as marking "important moments that fashion will remember” and following last nights conversation, I would have to agree.

An inventor more than a traditional fashion designer, Massimo has always emphasised the functional, technological and innovative aspect of his garments instead of simply mutating fashion tendencies. His long research led him to build an archive which includes over 30,000 garments and 55,000 fabric samples. Even if you fail to recognise the name, you will know his work. Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing. The entire textile industry has been entirely revolutionised by Osti’s research and the excited, enthusiastic Throup forced me to take notice. There can be little doubt that Massimo Osti, a reclusive Italian, was a truly unique and innovative thinker, fabric engineer and designer, that pushed menswear forward. The Chester Perry (CP Company as it's known today) name originates from a little known comic strip whose central character, Chester, was always coming up with innovative ideas to improve his work place, but went unheard. The name was shortened to CP Company as the original name was just to similar to the tennis brand of Fred Perry.

Below is one of his most recognised creations, the Mille Miglia jacket - named after an open road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty four times between 1927 and 1957. As you can see the garment features goggles built into the hood and originally had a small circular window in the sleeve enabling the wearer to see their watch. This jacket would certainly change my image.

I will end this post with a few words from the man himself...“If I find a piece of clothing interesting, I must be able to understand and define why it is interesting. The fabric used might be created using some new technological development, or the construction details are there to carry out a specific function. This is the reason why brands such as Stone Island and C.P. Company have such relevance in the future of fashion. I have no interest in trends, nor in decoration that isn’t relevant or justified.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kate Moss a.k.a. Golden Girl

Kate Moss has been touched by Midas and she turned into gold!A 110-pound (50-kg) gold statue of supermodel Kate Moss was unveiled by Marc Quinn, a British sculptor. The nearly $2.8 million statue entitled "Siren" will go on display at the Nereid Gallery of the British Museum on October 4 until January 25.

In 2006, Quinn previously created a bronze sculpture of Kate Moss in a yoga pose, which was painted white and entitled Sphinx.


Oh my.

From the Tabio website: "As supplied for the character of The Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures "The Dark Knight" - Tabio's Joker Socks are part of movie history!"
£16 might be a bit steep for some people's tastes, but I'm sold. Available to pre-order here.

Doutzen Kroes: The Newest Victoria's Secret Angel

Just recently, Victoria's Secret introduced a new obsession called "Supermodel Obsession". It is a collection of the must-have items for this season. Inspired by the hottest Fall trends, Supermodel Obsessions is the most sophisticated, ultra-feminine collection of lingerie and loungewear.

Browsing it, you'll find Adriana Lima and Doutzen Kroes posing in lingerie. Who's Doutzen Kroes? Victoria's Secret recently confirmed to People Magazine that Doutzen is the newest Victoria's Secret Angel. Born in Oostermeer in the Netherlands, 23-year-old and 5′10″ stunner was gracing ads for everyone from Calvin Klein to Dolce & Gabbana.

Fall Trend Alert: A Little Lace Goes A Long Way

This Fall, lace works its black magic on intricately detailed dressing for after dark. Frilly, yet fearless...mysterious, feminine and tough.

Did you know that a little lace can go a long way? With a lace, you can achieve a sophisticated and classy look or you can opt for dainty and innocent one. There were many different shades of lace, from classic black to metallic golds to baby blues to vibrant orange. The cuts were quite modest, with high necklines, low hemlines and demure silhouettes.

The "Lace" trend have infiltrated the collection of Prada and other designers. It has been published/posted to (online) magazines.

Thanks to My It Things , we can easily get fall's fascination with fine cut lace by starting with these picks:

Fashion Advice: A long transparent skirt looks chic when paired with a snug leather jacket. Show off lace ankle boots with a simple shift dress. Team dramatic black lace with alabaster skin for a gothic.

Sources: 1, 2

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Loeffler Randall Boots Continue To Inspire Brokeback-Levels of Lust In Me...

Ugh. Usually I'm not too into flat boots, but I keep seeing the Loeffler Randall Matilde flat boot from their Fall 2008 collection, and I could just make love to it like Enis and Jack Twist after a hard day o' ropin' steer.


($695, Loeffler Randall,
Perfectly pretty.

($695, Loeffler Randall, Active Endeavors)
The LBD of... flat black boots.

($795, Loeffler Randall,
More expensive = more desirable!!!

($775, Loeffler Randall,
Snakeskin = the most desirable of all.

* An aside: Has anyone actually purchased anything from Singer22? The site looks like it's held together by ASCII and dental floss. Did they just blow their load on advertising or something? It's no Net-a-porter! If I'm gonna spend THAT much (and I'm not, but I'm speaking theoretically here), they'd better shell out for a little Flash, you know? Control Your Parameters!

I Am Seriously So Mad At Myself Right Now...

For not having the foresight to set a Google alert to inform me of the existence of this amazing blow dryer dress, which is now ALL FREAKING SOLD OUT at ModCloth. Why? Because God hates me:
Is it super lame that because I'm on book three of the Twilight series, I wish I had Alice Cullen's psychic abilities to help me out in CRUCIAL situations like this? Also, who else is reading Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse/Breaking Dawn? CONFESS AND DISCUSS!

Oh yeah, to console myself, I'm gonna buy this quasi keffiyeh. Sniff!
($19, ModCloth)

Get Bombed: Eddie Bauer Bomber Jacket!

I'm not much of an Eddie Bauer consumer, but I do love me a nice, ruggedly handsome leather bomber jacket:
($349, Eddie Bauer)
It's designed for men, but like Tila Tequila, I'm sure it could easily go either way.

Relevant video:

Hayden-Harnett $500 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

I will be completely honest here. I want ME to win this. Not YOU. ME ME ME! But if I don't win, I really want you to, 'kay? And if you do win, I'll totally look at you with one of those fake Miss America "I'm so happy for you but so not really!" smiles.

So enter to win the Hayden-Harnett $500 gift certificate giveaway. Yes, you have to opt-in to receive their emails and catalog, but it's well worth it if you win this bag, no? And even MORE worth it if I win!

Gucci Fall 08/09 Ad Campaign: Brings Out Every Woman's Bohemian Wild Side

For Fall 08/09 collection, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini explored the glamorous world of Bohemia. The collection is a combination of luxury with a bit of rock n’ roll.

Ornate embroidery with gold thread, metal disks, gold tassels and small beading touches everything from the sleeves of floaty silk dresses to the waists of cropped shearling jackets. Glittering metal or jeweled accents cover shoulders and hems, while sphere-like gold studs decorate the surface of bags, shoe booties and cropped leather jackets. The pants for this season is: narrow, low-waisted and with built-in stirrup closures. With grosgrain or passementerie piping, the pants are paired with soft embroidered shirts, heavy wool jackets covered in rich detail, and are tucked in to over-the-knee, fringed boots. Skirts, meanwhile are short, heavily decorated and paired with cropped hip-height jackets.

Check out Gucci's campaign ads for this collection and agreed with me that it brings out every woman's bohemian wild side.

Photo Source