Random Fashion Coolness.

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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Monacca - Natural Japanese Design

Yanase cedar offers many design opportunities but who would have thought handbags would be one of those possibilities. At the 100% show, Monacca's stall was a wooden oasis in a dessert of new plastics. The stall was made up of raised wooden paneling, mirrored by their designs. See their design aesthetic here.

Block - Acrylic designs.

Here's another one from 100% Design...Block, designs in acrylic. My eye was drawn to their very quirky stall, see photos below (click to enlarge); their use of traditional frames, filled with modern, hazy images. Block's website showcases all their acrylic products, as well as stockists. Above is their full colour spectrum and my favourite products - their rings and bracelets. My visit to Block's stall was also my first experience of "trade snobism". At the 100% Design show, you had to wear a badge, stating whether or not you were a trade stockist or "civilian visitor". As a blogger, I was not trade and definitely treated accordingly. When asking for leaflets, stall holders would first, very blatantly check out my badge, before handing whatever was nearby. "Trade" badge holders received a very different level of care, to some extent understandably, as the economic future of the brand rests in their sales. I felt though that some stall-holders should definitely treat all visitors in the same way, as you never know what "power" the civilians may wield (I am not referring to myself here, just other well-respected bloggers in general). Small rant over ;) !

English Summer - Giant Jewels perceptive design.

This little piece of loveliness by Giant Jewels really bought a smile to my face at 100% Design. A very perceptive piece of jewellery by Angela Muldoon - especially considering the type of summer we had here in the U.K. Excuse the blurry quality of the photo, there are much better shots on the Giant Jewels website.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Mr. Jones Watches...time to live by.

Here's a little discovery from the Designer's Block - Mr. Jones Watches. These amazing timepieces not only offer hours and minutes but also a statement to live by, decision making help and an extra conscience. My favourite has to be the Mantra which alternates between, a very positive statement (e.g. you are amazing) with a very negative one (e.g. nobody likes you). Its aim is, "to make the arrogant person more humble and the humble more confident." A modern day self-esteem equaliser for your wrist! Above are my own pictures (click to enlarge) from the Designer's Block, where the watches were displayed incredibly effectively - in a darkened corridor, within huge light boxes. A note to the lovely Clarice - I think this is the very watch you are looking for.

Each piece is a unique, numbered limited edition, offering a true air of exclusivity. Below are some of my favourites from their previous LCD collection - "Remember you will die" would surely help you to Carpe Diem!

Kokon to Zai...keep an eye on the site.

Kokon to Zai, the amazingly psychedelic, eclectic shopping experience; with stores in Paris and London, is launching it's online store soon. Keep an eye on the URL...I personally can't wait to see what wonders they have in store.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

American Apparel...a disappointing online experience.

I have extolled the virtues of American Apparel from the rooftops (see my many posts here)...but I have been let down by my own retail experience with their UK online branch. I received a fab, lapis colour, zip up sweat fleece 2 weeks ago, only to realise I had been charged twice for the item. Fine, an easy mistake to make...but getting in touch with American Apparel in the UK is as easy as finding vintage Chanel in Oxfam. I have left 4 telephone messages, sent 2 emails via their online contact form and emailed the .net address they quote on their answering machine. Almost 2 weeks later and still no response! Frustrating and annoying...yes, very!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

100% Design - Takumi's brand of kitsch.

There were lots of innovative fashion finds at the Earl's Court show - one of my favourites were the hairglasses by Takumi (Headbands in the shape of sunglasses). The reason behind this choice, a personal quibble. I am not a fan of sunglasses as a headband and I cannot fully explain why. I often see people struggling to focus in the bright light, while wearing their sunglasses as a hair restraint OR the opposite, winter gloom with sunglasses on head. It's irrational, I know but inexplicably annoying. I think it stems from some stern, over-repeated advice from my childhood optician..."never wear your glasses/sunglasses upon head as it will loosen them, gradually damaging the arms." He said he'd be able to tell if I'd been misusing my eye-wear and would refuse to fix it! So here comes Takumi's design - sunglasses that are not sunglasses but hairglasses. A £10 piece of genius and a solution to my irritation.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Are they "art" or simple scarves? All I know is that they're truly beautiful.

Antoni & Alison always astound me with the originality of their product. These new scarves are no exception. An abstract creation and a still life, both reproduced on silk scarves, fill me with delight. I very rarely leave the house sans-scarf, so it is refreshing to see some unique designs, that would be equally at home around the neck or hung on a wall. Art and fashion collide with Antoni & Alison.

The "Hindmarsh Effect" just keeps on spreading.

Almost every retailer is riding the coat-tails of the "This is not a a Plastic Bag" phenomenon. They are all realising how great this can be for: a. the environment, b. their profits and c. free publicity. I do like this version by American Apparel. It is simple, personifying their style ethos but eye-catching and is, at least, the same shape as a normal plastic bag. Check out A.A.'s environmentally friendly offering here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Bangles by Jessica Ka - true objects of desire.

I have no information on Jessica Ka but I do know that I love these bangles. My favourite has to be the iconic Supercalifragilistic, etched lovingly in black. Both are available from Browns. Any details on the elusive Jessica Ka would be much appreciated.

Bertie's Fall Campaign - I'm rushing out to buy some wool tights tomorrow!

Bertie's new wintery ad campaign, coupled with the erratic British weather, have set my mind to "cold" dressing. My tights are only ever of the opaque variety but I haven't donned a pair for quite a few months now - the grey wool on show in Bertie's new ads have rekindled my love of the tight, so a pair shall be purchased soon. Bertie have also shown me the way forward in footwear. My feet have been free all summer, contained only by the narrowest pieces of flip-flop leather, so the prospect of imprisoning them again can be slightly daunting. Bertie have offered several glimmers of hope, in the form of their ankle boots. See all on offer at the Shoe Studio.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Boudicca afirms - “Art is dead, long live Fashion”

Fashion becomes a story in Boudicca's world. Their website is an unfolding story, a fairytale of fashion. Their clothes are an instrument of expression, a way of demonstrating your mood, an extension of your personality. The look is bold and bought to life by the light. The website takes you into a fantasy realm that is hard to escape from; even the links page (below) summons spirits from the beyond. Enter Boudicca's world here.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Phillip spoils us again with 3.1 for spring.

Regular readers of my blog will understand my appreciation and general fawning over 3.1 Phillip Lim. As London fashion week begins in earnest, I am now digesting the delights that were on offer during New York's semaine. Elegance, varying lengths and splashes of colour were highlight's of Lim's collection and his understated elegance continues to delight. Flashes of banana yellow could be spotted peeping out in accessories, as well as block colour dresses and blouses. I also adore his use of navy as a base colour as opposed to black, such a great compliment to the deep peaches and yellows. See Lim's complete collection at Style.com and decided whether my "fanship" is justified.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Chan Marshall, the style behind Cat Power.

I feel there has been a distinctly musical vibe to Random Fashion Coolness of late, which continues today. Cat Power or Chan (pronounced "Shaun") Marshall is as juxtaposed as her names. A fashion icon, championed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Chan seems equally comfortable in her laid back, stage uniform of jeans and shirts. High end fashion vedette to gruff, angelic voiced performer - her talents span the celebrity spectrum. She reportedly caught the attention of Lagerfeld while smoking outside a New York hotel; he approached her, saying, "Only a certain type of woman can look glamorous when smoking" and thus her model alter-ego was born. Her music delights my mind and must be listened to and as for her fashion future, watch this space. See her official website here.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Look what Marc did next...

I am a slave to the details and Marc Jacobs certainly didn't disappoint at New York fashion week. The catwalk was a true performance in every sense of the word but for me, the little quirks truly jumped out. Two of the eye-catchers were the oddly angled heals and emotive masks. Fashion should be fun and I'm glad to see Marc Jacobs putting the divertissement back on to the catwalk. See the stills of the spectacle at Style.com.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Plastiscines - Girl rock gets cooler.

I have debated whether or not to publish this post...I began writing this post yesterday and decided not to publish about a band that I wasn't musically aware of. I have spent the day listening to selected tracks, only to discover that the Sunday Times' Style section has featured a small article about them...but here's how my original post went (pre-Times!). The Plastiscines are a French Parisienne band whose fashion credentials are obvious from the first glance. Thankfully their music doesn't fail to deliver either. It is a joy to see a European girl rock group with their own, individual sense of style as opposed to some of the over-stylised pop clones that we have all become so accustomed to. See an exclusive performance for NYLON here and check out their MySpace and website.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Weave Toshi - Head Apparel Japanese Style.

Head apparel has never been displayed so intruigingly. Weave Toshi's website is a true delight with stunning photography and a innovative means of viewing their range (see right). 70% of their product is made in Japan and therefore embodies that inherent Japanese quirkiness. You can find out all about this fabulous brand here, plus discover stockists in your corner of the globe. If you love headware or not, you will find beauty in their product.