Tuesday, 29 January 2013


    I knew it was time for a change-up in my curated circuit of vintage shopping when the girl at the counter of Community saluted my leave-taking with, "I'm sure we'll be seeing you again soon". Yet another indication was a third encounter (of a depreciatingly amusing kind) with the same lumpy yellow kitten sweater at USED. 

    Fortune comes, my friends, to those with no drivers license and time to kill. A casual stray from a habitual path may bring many a delight, and today it came in the form of Duchesse Vintage & Such...

    Taking an alternative A to B route found me on Columbia, where I was drawn in by a crinoline costumed window mannequin in a fencing mask. My curiosity piqued, I made my approach, only to have my intrigue further roused by the proclamation of merchandise sold: "canteens...dinosaurs...vintage playboy magazines..." I had to know. I tried the door- locked. "Back in a Flash!", it read. Steadfast in my curiosity I waited.

    Moments later I noticed, through the steamed windows of the coffee house next door, the shaggy black mass of a fur aviator cap turned my way. Emerging sniffly and tea in hand was the owner, who all whilst apologizing for her sick mien, promptly opened shop.

    What I was met with was a space to contend any fabulously dotty Aunt's dusty attic. Each wall, nook, and surface was pervaded by wistful treasures; shelves of googly-eyed toys straight out of the department store windows of "A Christmas Story", tin magazine racks replete with threadbare copies of Rupert the Bear, a case containing some daunting multi-nubbed Miracle Housewife device...


     Made warm with the soft shades of sun-faded and threadbare throw rugs, the crumbling of brick walls, and the false glow of the television set in the the installation den (complete with a stash of pop's coveted gents mags), Duchesse was a sight for nostalgic eyes. Tearing myself away from a cracked leather briefcase filled with trinkets, I inspected the interspersed racks of habillements, packed pleasantly close and overflowing with thick wools and scratchy tulle. I picked out a pair of sheer Eaton's boudoir culottes in a tropical print and made my way to the fitting room. Fingering the wispy pleats of the barely-there silk of the shorts, I pondered how to justify my purchase, the cold damp of Vancouver's indomitable winter drizzle pressing in on the front windows. I finally left the warm clutter of the shop without them, ruing the sensibility of my budget, but vowing to make Duchesse a welcome addition to my future thrifting repertoire.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

For The Boys: A Shingle Thing

    With the label's recent retail inauguration on London's favorite sartorial street, it was all Savile Row hyper-tailored tradition at McQueen this season. That is, tradition with all of the witty twists one has come to expect from Burton. Crisp button shirts boasted exaggerated collars, ancestral pinstripes were given a new lease with cleverly concocted panelling, and a fantastic stained-glass jacquard almost mocked formalities, lending culture to the creation of a bold statement print. Not to mention the presence of some rather unsettling plastic 'killers' masks'..

    True, the collection may not have been as gasp-inducing as say, J.W. Anderson's audacious micro-mini shifts, but it held true to the Alexander aesthetic: impeccable tailoring with a hint of dextrous darkness. 

    Which brings us to the perfection of the cinematic gothic glamour of the styling. Lensed back stage by Another's Alina Negoita, we get a good ogle of hair maven Guido Palau's neo-shingle and the magnetic noir of this season's maquillage... 


...of which, along with the boudoir-to-business layering of suit jacket over house robe, I am hoping, but perhaps not truly anticipating to see adopted on the street in the fall to come.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A Cure For Your Case

    Hold yer huff all ye Garfields out there, and rise up from your weekend-end woes; this Monday was a delight. Not only did it see the debut of London Collection's second season of menswear, but delectation aplenty from New York's fashion finest Pre-Fall presentations. So much goodness, the afflictions of a long and brackish day of work are all but forgotten. So be healed and behold some of today's gems... 

    According to Philo, it was "Dressing up in a romantic, traditional way," at CELINE, but I would beg to differ on that last bit. No qualms here though, because in any case it was a dime of a collection. The deliciously easy slack of a wide-legged trouser, the crisply tailored volume play of a pant-suit, the reinvented resurgence of a familiar peplum, and capacious textured coats...worth a thousand Monday wake-up calls. 

    Signature exaggerations of proportion and volume were reflections of the cumbersomely padded look of Swedish winter wares at ACNE STUDIOS. Taking inspiration from portraits of renowned Swedish artist August Strindberg, and then (true to Acne form) generally amplifying, the collection saw voluminous A-line silhouettes, the return of the vast bell sleeve, and a rather fantastic Dalmatian type printed ensemble. 

      Finishing up with the boys (because what better way to send you off to your Monday night slumbers), I bestow upon your eyeballs the wonders of MAN's CRAIG GREEN. His carpentry skills may have been a little more, shall we say, haphazard than in his house frame-working days at Saint Martins', but his collection was without a doubt the standout the show. Deriving a utilitarian aesthetic from blue-collar workwear and labour uniforms (see tough-looking fabrics, fraying knits, and boxy silhouettes), Green worked in elements of novelty through hyper-crinkle fabric and glimmer panels on shirt-fronts. Derangements of painted wooden slats shrouded faces and completed the fantastically honed deftness for DIY that the fashion crowd has come to know and love of this up-and-comer. Here's an enthusiastic YEA! for the notion that next season sees a fully eponymous Craig Green showing...

    Alas, I must end here...having your faith in the most hated day of the week restored is tiring business. More and more runway pleasures coming your way and getting you through the rest of the work week though as the Pre-Fall and Fall presentations sashay on.

Happy Monday to you!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Problems With Decomposition

     Meet L.A. based artist Sam Falls...

...his work is where photographer meets computer wizard, meets inner potato-print-making bairn...


...Sam has recently had a book published with Mörel, 'Problems With Decomposition', in which the trials and tribulations of fruit as objet d'art are explored. When not playing with produce however, he sometimes likes to paint people, and did some rather first-rate Bjork-painting for Dazed's 200th issue which you may see here.