Saturday, February 28, 2009

A closer look inside Fashion East's MAN House - Katie Eary

Part two of my look inside Fashion East's MAN house takes in Katie Eary's sinister pig tea party. The scene inside this room made me feel as though I had been transported in to a beautifully macabre editorial...I had made it inside the pages of Another Man. Inspired by Orwell's Animal Farm this setting offers a look at the pigs after having taken over the farmhouse.

I'm not the biggest Dr Martens fan but these gold toe capped boots were really something.

DD offers some great coverage of the MAN house and grabbed Katie for a quick interview during the afternoon (I am kicking myself for not doing this but I lacked the confidence and composure to speak to her!). The below question and answer offers great insight into where this exciting designer wants to take menswear...

DD: Do you think men are more restricted in what they wear?
Katie Eary: That's because there's nothing available. I'm just pushing it. It's got to have some knock down effect eventually. If you think back to the 1600s', men were way more glamorous than women will ever be and so it's happened before, there's nothing stopping it from happening again - maybe not in my lifetime!

The men's fashion industry needs more designers like Katie Eary and Jaiden rVa James who are prepared to push their aesthetic as far as possible because in my opinion it will indeed have a knock effect on the rest of us. Here is hoping for a time where men are again as glamorous as women (if not more) some time soon, we surely wouldn't get there without such exciting young designers and the likes of MAN giving them the platform to showcase their ideas.

A closer look inside Fashion East's MAN House - Jaiden rVa James

I have to admit that there was a time on Wednesday when I became a little overcome by the hustle and bustle combined with the waiting and waiting over in the tents...thankfully there was a safe haven of creative talent close by. I only had to cross the road over to the stunning Old Embassy Building to see Fashion East’s specially curated menswear installations and I felt a whole better in doing so! A few of my favourite emerging designers were given free rein to do as they wish with their room in the house. In two posts today I want to turn your attention to the wonderful worlds created by Jaiden rVa James and Katie Eary as captured by me (I need to a camera upgrade!)

First up, Jaiden RVA James. For A/W 08, my favourite emerging design duo took a dark turn towards the character of Orphelia and conjured up many talking points with a mix of floral skirts, PVC bondage trousers and straight jackets. The collection featured marvellous collaborations with J. Smith Esquire and Schott. I loved how the design duo explored masculinity and femininity trying to push conceptions of what a man could and should wear. Why can't men wear floral skirts? They allow more freedom and movement than trousers and this collection proves that men can look great, are you brave enough to show a little more leg?

The relationship between menswear and social constructs of masculinity is such an interesting subject and one both myself and EJ are keen to discuss. The difficulty lies in the fact that social ideas of masculinity have shifted over the course of history and what was acceptable centuries ago is now frowned upon and even laughed at, but why? Jaiden RVA James have started the discussion and we will explore if further in subsequent posts. In fact, Katie Eary's aesthetic similarly explore a new kind of androgyny which is far more exciting than the usual androgyny which frequently entails women wearing suits.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Picture Postcard: Inspired by uniform

When I'm in need of some inspiration I often trawl through a selection of archives on flickr (I know ACL does to) and I'm often drawn to black and white images of men in uniform, my current favourite is airman. A particular image which EJ found last month stands out in my memory and I've even dreamt about it...I would love to integrate these style features in to a look. Then I stumbled across the above taken by Marcelo Burlon as part of Dazed Digital's Milan coverage. I'm blown away by this, I just can't stop looking at the detailing and fit...for me it is perfect and I just had to share it with you all. I would love to find something similar (to wear for my own leisure at home if nothing else) so the search begins...

Awesome Sale Stuff from Stewart + Brown

Stewart + Brown, you know 'em? Makers of my favey-fave tote bag pretty much ever. Organic pioneers, they say. I believe 'em. Why not? As is my wont, I checked out their sale stuff and only their sale stuff. My findings:

Love birds tote bag, $24. Oh, hey, look at that! An awesome tote bag. Mine's in a different color and pattern but I can assure you it is a superstrong weave, nice and roomy, and has a very useful pocket, in addition to being crazy cute. Recommended!

Ruffle slip dress, $89. Love those ruffles! With a pastel cardi and some kicky sandals, J.Crew better watch its back.

Collar scoop dress, $78. You can't really see the cute notched collar on the printed version, but it's still cool. Red ain't available, sadly.

Loopy tee, $42. How freakin' awesome is this? I really can't imagine anyone NOT liking this. Unless that person's name is "anonymous."

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tophshop Suede Wrapped Stone Necklace Is Making Me EVEN MORE STOKED For Topshop To FINALLY OPEN!

($85, Topshop)
Seriously? This is Topshop? The rough-hewn wrapped stones remind me so much of Alexis Bittar! I'm in. By the way, the much-delayed New York Topshop is (allegedly) opening APRIL 2! Start lining up yesterday.

What an afternoon...highlights from LFW

Yesterday was a whole lot of fun...tiring but fun. There was just so much to take in (I think I turned on to auto pilot more than once whilst I was tweeting during the shows) and I was far from disappointed from what I saw. With the expansion of the menswear shows, the expectation levels were high but I think the chosen few designers really excelled themselves. There was something for everyone, a healthy balance between designers who created highly wearable collections and those who pushed ideas to their limits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts over on the Fashion156 blog because I was typing those when I was both excited and weary eyed. This will be the first of many posts documenting my thoughts and experiences (I still badly need to go through my photographs)...but until then, please see my highlights.

After being given her solo show, all eyes were on Carolyn Massey hungry for something special, she did not disappoint. Whilst creating one of the most wearable collections on offer all week she also threw in enough excitement and interest to leave me almost breathless (hence the slowdown on twitter during this show). Carolyn is undeniably a designer who really cares about the history of menswear and fabric research which she combined perfectly here to create timeless pieces which would add so much to any man's wardrobe (but certainly mine)!

Through his interpretation of old world masculinity J.W Anderson dragged us into a brave new world. As well as creating imaginary uniforms for old voyages Anderson played with traditional formal dress with his printed pencil cotton suit which posed a faux tuxedo and the tringular body hopsack tweed coat which was cut as a cape.

James Long surprised me most by his varied collection. In recent seasons Long has become one of the most exciting designers showing at LFW but this collection saw the designer take a giant leap forward. As the first few looks were unveiled I began to settle in a state of awe at the sight of neutral toned nomadic warriors dressed in some truly beautiful knits parade down the runway but then James Long slapped me in the face with a burst of claret which raised my state of awe to some truly dangerous levels.

Midway through the afternoon I escaped the tents and found time to grab a drink and a breather at the Fashion East/MAN House. As well quenching my physical thirst I quenched my ever present thirst to be challenged and to marvel at exciting clothing. In the basement of the house, Jaiden rVa James presented a glimpse into a rabble collection of the insane, institutionalised for their various acts of perversion and clothed in straight jackets and bondage trousers to floral printed kilts and shirts. Exposed zips played a significant part in a number of key looks which only heightened the exploration in to the darkest facets of sexual desire. By delving into a collection of damaged minds and uncovering some dark secrets along the way they have created one of the highlights of LFW. I for one would love to see more men experiment with such a playful exploration of masculinity, I'm certainly attracted to their kilts and floral print shirts which were contrasted with pleated panels which played with texture and colour. Katie Eary was in the dining room of the House and created the most sinister tea party imaginable as she went all out in her biggest commission to date. She literally nailed her love of all things macabre to the walls in the form of abattoir-esque meat hooks and farmer's tools which helped display her collection which contained gold pig skins, human sized dutch caps, knitwear looking crystal and gaffa tape trousers and fur pieces. Many pictures of both of these collections will be posted in the next few days.

In summary, I was surprised by the extent and consistency of leaving impressed show after show, so much so that I craved a lie down after a second visit to the MAN house on Cromwell Road. Lets hope that next season at LFW menswear is given an even bigger platform to showcase the talented designers out there because this afternoon although leaving me tired, left me wanting more.

Unattainable Yet Enviable: Kate Bosworth's Mulberry Jenah Bag

I didn't personally see Kate Bosworth or her Mulberry Jenah bag at Fashion Week, but both looked gorgeous. You can't be Kate Bosworth, but if you've got $1,150 to drop, that Jenah bag can be yours!

It also comes in silver, white, and gold on the Mulberry site (ew, sorry, no metallics this time around!) and turquoise, which I'm not loving quite as much -- the black is so on point.

($1,195, Mulberry, Shopbop)

Steve Madden Revenu Shooties!

($129.95, Steve Madden, Nordstrom)
'Sup, stud? True, these Steve Madden Revenu heels are CRAZY high, but I like the gradient effect and the possible homage to studded heels past by, I'm guessing, Giuseppe Zanotti, Fendi, or Balmain. WANTS!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CRAZY WACK Hayden-Harnett Sale At Luna Boston!

Remember how I was chasing after that Hayden-Harnett Jinhee patent tote for a minute, and then it sold out RIGHT as I was about to buy it? Yeah?

Well this Hayden-Harnett Ibiza tote is on SUPER sale at Luna Boston, and it sorta reminds me of the Jinhee tote a wee bit. Anyway, seriously, it's a STEAL for a Hayden-Harnett bag.
($135, Hayden-Harnett,
It's also massive, which is a plus. You know, because especially in this economy, more is... more!

And speaking of more, more Hayden-Harnett? Check out photos from the Hayden-Harnett Fall/ Winter 2009 presentation at the Chelsea Hotel, and get a 20% discount (for, not with promo code "muse"!

Marni Suede Platform Slingbacks

($770, Marni,
Marni? Hey girl. Damn girl. You lookin' good as HELL with some fly-ass purple two-tone suede uppers and wood cone heel. DAMN girl. Call me.

In Less Depressing News: FashionBinge Is TWITTERING!

Peer pressure, dude. FashionBinge is Twittering/ Tweeting/ Twexting, whatever. Be fashion friends w/ FashionBinge, 'kay, because we don't wanna eat lunch all by ourselves at the loser table.

Follow FashionBinge on Twitter. ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT!

Fashion Interrupted For Some Sad Pet-Related News

You guys. FashionBinge co-founder Catherine's kitty Xena took the red eye to kitty heaven this morning. Rest in peace, little lady. You and I may have had our disagreements (like, every time your ferocious claws met the thin skin on the back of my hand, which was every time I ever tried to pet you ever), but it was sad to see you go. I'm sorry for the times I shouted at you when we lived together (even though you basically deserved it because you weren't the friendliest kitty, but maybe that was your opposite-day way of expressing your love. And maybe every day of your 12 years was opposite day.) In kitty heaven (should you make it there), all hands are scratching posts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CB2 Gives Mad Men's Don Draper His Own Couch!

($799, CB2)
Naming a couch (two couches, actually) after the hottest man on TV? Well played, CB2. All that's missing is a cigarette and beautiful, beautiful Jon Hamm. Speaking of Jon Hamm, I wouldn't mind nerding it up and engaging in some fan-fic role playing wherein I get to "be Joan Holloway," and get gangsta 10 ways from Sunday with Don Draper on said "Draper" couch. If ah may be so bold.

The wait is almost over

Looks from JW Anderson's SS09 Lookbook...just one of the many designers keeping me awake at night.

I've been gearing up to be dazzled by the bright lights on offer at the menswear afternoon during the twilight of London Fashion Week for weeks now...the wait is almost over. These past few days I've been as restless as any child on Christmas eve...just let me at those gift under the tree. I will be covering all of the shows tomorrow for both the blog and Fashion156... watch out for my twitter updates as well!

Two Brand-New Isabella Oliver 365 Jersey Maxi Dresses

British brand Isabella Oliver -- known for their upscale maternity pieces -- just unveiled their 365 Collection of everyday women's clothes. My two favorite pieces are the jersey tank maxi dresses. Observe:

($290, Isabella Oliver 365)
I love the black-and-white stripes of alternating sizes, and I'm not crazy over ties worn as a scarf, but I AM crazy for it worn obi-style like in the shot above. AND it's got pockets for extra comf factor/ spare change! It's pricey, but I could see myself living in a dress like this over the summer. Plus, think of all of the fun shoe and accessory options!

($270, Isabella Oliver 365)
Similar to the dress above, but asymmetrical and slightly ruched on the side.

And, bridal sorts, while I have you here, check out Isabella Oliver Parisienne dresses that'd make perfectly lovely bridesmaid dresses:
($325, Isabella Oliver 365)
These satin-and-chiffon dresses with separate wrap belts are not inexpensive, but absolutely wear-after-the-wedding-able, and not in that "no-seriously-I-SOOOOO-will" way that people say but rarely mean.

Picture postcard: Stand and Deliver!

Dear Steve

Not so much a picture postcard as a video one this time around. The skies are grey here in Manchester and my February of no work is quickly coming to a close. It has taken a bit of classic 80s pop to shake me out of my sleepy state, berating me with lyrics likening me to a pensioner. Cheers Adam!

But really though, I've been lingering over thoughts of 'serious' fashion for too long... It's time to break free of the safe and the easy, if just in my own home for the rest of the week. I'll be twittering in eveningwear tomorrow! It's time for you to do the same. No, not the eveningwear but no more buying blue for at least 3 months! And make actually wear those feathers you bought in Liverpool. Hop to it!

In the meantime, enjoy Adam's literal and rather funny intrepretations of the lyrics. Stand and deliver!



This post is a look into the future...all postcards will be video messages! I assure that I will wear my feathers this week, I've already had a play around with them and am actually excited by the prospect of fashioning a pretty lapel accessory.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hayden-Harnett Fall/Winter 2009 Presentation & Lookbook

Tons of shots of Hayden-Harnett's Fall/ Winter 2009 Presentation & Lookbook, with some Spring 2009 in there too. Plus, get 20% off with promo code "muse" through March 1, 2009.