I must admit I haven't really followed the Kate Moss for Topshop line. Some pieces have caught my attention, some haven't. I have followed Kate Moss' career though, and her elfin looks have grown up with me so she holds a special place in my heart. I remember flicking through my sister's book of Kate Moss' photos when I was 13 and thinking it was amazing that such a strange looking girl could be so successful. Of course, nowadays, her beauty has become "the norm" and nobody would really call her strange looking... and after watching this little video made to celebrate the launch of her new collection for Topshop, I certainly wouldn't either. Miss Moss is simply beautiful and natural, having fun with her friends, playing dress up.
Well done Miss Moss, well done Toppers!
I already know and love Shanghai Tang's bags and accessories, but I had never paid much attention to their homeware selection until... yesterday morning. I am enamoured with the very particular scent of their stores - like everyone who's ever walked past one and felt instantly calmer without quite knowing why - so I was aware of their beautiful range of scented candles and interior fragrances.
Walking around the Sloane Street store, I couldn't stop touching everything, smelling candles, feeling fabrics and embroideries. The multi-sensory experience I was promised during the breakfast presentation certainly didn't disappoint.
I love anything with a story behind it, and Shanghai Tang knows how to sell products with a soul. Everything is created for a reason, everything has a history - whether it is because a certain embroidery has been made by hand by a Chinese tribe or because buying a certain tee-shirt will help reintroduce the Chinese Tiger into the wild- I love all those anecdotes.
Mademoiselle Chanel once famously said that you should look in the mirror before you leave the house and remove the last accessory you put on. Well she didn’t make menswear and anyway I only trust one Mademoiselle when it comes to fashion… I think men should do the opposite. Have a look in the mirror and think about adding something. Less isn’t always more.
Accessories are much underused by men. Indie boys have been wearing pin badges for years now and that’s a fine place to start. They can showcase your favourite band or turn plain clothes or shirts into something a bit more you. But there’s so much more to it than that. I assume a lot of men find anything other than a badge a little too feminine, or too much like a brooch. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Raf Simons makes some amazing brooches for men. Years ago, in his ongoing Peter Saville obsession he made small brushed steel reproductions of Joy Division 7 inch covers. I own a Raf Simons brooch that is starkly architectural, sharp lines, twisted steel, everything you could interpret as being masculine poured into this most feminine of accessories.
The best thing about a brooch is its usability. You can revamp every conceivable piece of clothing into something new with a choice badge. A cheap plain jumper can look instantly luxe if you put the right badge on it. I’ve had a recent fashion epiphany in the form of tweed. My normal badges don’t quite cut it. Then I discovered cameos and miniatures. It might seem a bit ‘Antiques Roadshow’ but cameos are beautiful and you can pick them up in markets and charity shops really cheap. Below is a miniature I picked up for under ten pounds. The woman pictured looks slightly pissed off which amuses me all day when I wear it. Who was she? What’s she so angry about? There are other badges and brooches specifically for men that no-one seems to know about. Knife badges with beautiful scabbards and intricate chains are truly a mans accessory.
A brief word on bows – they’re not just for girls. While the high street might have obliterated the bow-tie trend, I’m not prepared to let go just yet. Regular bow ties are too hard to fit into everyday life, you need a shirt, v-neck possibly a blazer, its too much. Loulou Loves You made me some special bows badges, in gorgeous black silk that I can put on anything…even a t-shirt.
Now that we’ve established less isn’t more, lets talk about more. When a button badge isn’t enough - go big. I have some hilariously large Star Wars badges I bought at a comic convention. Not everyone’s cup of tea but if I have Luke Skywalker on my chest I don’t care what you think. To be more esoteric Wonderleague make some amazing John Waters badges. My favourite is the Edith Massey one pictured below with some of my other favourites. Your egg delivery man will love how it looks on you….
Words and photos - Warren Beckett
Halloween is almost here, which means I am currently like a zombie in a room full of plump children. All I want is to watch horror movies while eating pumpkin based recipes and dress up every day. As usual though, my plans are being thwarted by work. This week is no exception to the norm and I am running around like a headless chicken (ooh good costume opportunity there), wondering when I will have time to put a costume together by the weekend. Dang I haven't even had time to buy and carve my pumpkin yet! I think the second half of this week has to be devoted to spooky shenanigans, or I will be a sad, sad witch.
Lack of time means I won't be able to make or look for a costume, so I have to make do with what I already own. Fortunately, a lot of my clothes lend themselves quite easily to scary pursuits.
For more Halloween ideas, you can refer to my previous posts on the subject: Halloween I, Halloween II. I also have a list of suggested films to watch here.
What are you going to be for Halloween?
After I wrote a post about Géraldine's bags, I was thinking of all the other bloggers doing wonderful things I wanted to feature here... and of course The Vamoose came to mind. I love her otherworldly jewelry and I can't get enough of her beautiful blog & tumblr. This girl seriously lives in my mind... that is if I was skilled enough to actually make things with my own hands other than strange looking animals out of felt.
Anyway, the reason why I am posting this only today is because she just started following me on Twitter and that reminded me I wanted to write about her! I think as soon as all my invoices get paid, I will treat myself to a few of her pieces... or if anyone wants to take a hint about what I want for my birthday, now is the time. NUDGE.
All images courtesy of The Vamoose
I am participating in a little styling contest for Beaumont Organic. All I had to do was style the collar in an outfit, which was a dream as I love anything with a Peter Pan collar. You can easily imagine the joy a removable Peter Pan collar brings to my life.
Do let me know what you think in the comments!
I am wearing a vintage blouse, Topshop skirt, Oasis shoes, Beaumont Organic collar, vintage brooch (from my grandma) and KJL ring.
I went to see Jonathan Richman play for the first time in my life ten days ago. I have loved him for years, but the occasion never presented itself to actually see him perform. He played three small shows in London and I went to see him on the last date at the Tabernacle, out there in the deepest darkest Westbourne Grove area.
The show was fantastic and blew my mind into a million tiny little pieces. I kept thinking what a genius he was. From his guitar playing to his songwriting, his ever-changing interpretation of his own songs, the multilingual witticisms - too perfect, too funny, too moving, too much and at the same time so completely imperfect and touching.
I can't quite describe the intensity of this experience for me without sounding like a complete nut job, but I couldn't write about it earlier because I had to digest this almost religious experience. See? Nut job. I am not religious, but I imagine that's what it would feel like. For the first time in ages, I found myself inspired and with space to think, despite being entirely taken by the concert. This is what happens when you encounter a truly wonderful storyteller, I suppose - his stories take you places in your own mind that you didn't even know existed.
And here I leave you with a video that will also take you somewhere you didn't even know existed...
I should have written this a while ago, but work and life got in the way. I would like to let you know what is happening on this blog, what will be happening in the near future. I have gone full circle. I started this website as a hobby, as something to do while my little girl was sleeping, just something that would allow me to write regularly again... Then it developed, and it developed so fast I didn't really know what was happening and where it would take me.
It took me somewhere I could write for a living again and most importantly write for myself. Suddenly my hobby had become a job. It was part-time at first but it quickly became a full-time affair. Thanks to this blog, I have met some truly amazing people, made great friends and found work, forged a new career path and for this I am extremely grateful.
But somewhere along the way, I have lost what made me start this blog in the first place. I have lost my way a little, even if it may not have been obvious to you at all. This was supposed to be a place of self expression, somewhere on the internet where I could collect thoughts, show things I enjoyed and share the more interesting aspects of my life. While running a blog as a business, I had to compromise my initial "vision" to accommodate more commercial pursuits, to talk about current fashion affairs and open up my own personal space to brands and companies... which again I did more than happily as I am pleased to say I fully endorse all the brands and designers I have written about in the past 3 years.
Now, however, I feel it is time for me to go back to basics. I want this site to become more personal again, and I would love to take you on board for this new adventure with more of me and less of brands. Of course, there will still be the occasional post about a new launch or a new collection, regular interviews etc, but it will be only things I really, really respect and endorse. I will not give in to corporate pressure, no matter how gentle and friendly it is. This is my space and I am taking it back.
This is happening because I started writing two "corporate" blogs regularly, which gives me the freedom to focus my commercial mind onto them and rethink my own space. For this also, I am very thankful as both of these jobs have already taught me so much.
Since I am making changes, I also thought I would take on board someone dear to my heart, my friend Warren who goes by the name Monsieur Robot on this blog and who will be my official Menswear Columnist, helping me develop something I feel has been missing on here.
If you want to get in touch with Warren about menswear related issues, please do so at this address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to get in touch with me, it is still email@example.com
I hope you will enjoy the next chapter!
Hello beautiful readers! Can you see this? Able to read it ok? Well if you can that probably means you have excellent eyesight or a nice pair of glasses. I, have neither. So here it is, one man's inspirational journey to find some nice spectacles.
As some of you might know Mademoiselle Robot has really nice glasses and when I saw hers, green with jealousy, I decided to get myself some new specs. Well, that and the fact that mine were broken. Laetitia’s glasses are the ultimate accessory, not only do they radically change your face but with the right hair and outfit they can have a huge impact on your look. Who doesn’t want an accessory like that?
So let's start at the beginning. First of all you get an eye test. That bit was easy, I didn’t fail it and after this I was ready to choose my frames. The first pair I found were a gorgeous vintage pair of gold Gucci aviators. I didn’t find them in a vintage store but in an old opticians that had clearly had this pair on their shelf since the 1980’s. They were covered in a think layer of dust. I liked them because they reminded me of a certain style icon of mine – Jeffrey Dahmer. They weren’t quite right however because let's face it, only a few people would appreciate this reference and the last thing I want is to be mistaken for a serial killer.
Next stop Tom Ford! Tom Ford's glasses are stunning, the men in the ads wear his beautiful suits, with cravats and silk handkerchiefs in their pockets. Their glasses are statement pieces and fade into the background of the luscious fashion photography and immaculately coiffeured hairstyles they sport. On me however they just look stupid. Firstly my hair is a huge barrier when trying on glasses if my hair looks bad then I can't even think about whether or not the glasses are nice. I think I might have hair dysmorphia - that must be a real illness right? Secondly I don’t look like a Tom Ford model (note from MR - YES HE DOES). The glasses just don’t work.
Next up are the Ray Bans, the Wayfarer doesn’t really suit me as sunglasses so for reading glasses it’s the same problem. There are some Dior Homme aviators which are pretty nice but I look too much like a cheap Giles Deacon lookalike in them. A similar but more sympathetic style come from a French designer called Bruno Chaussignand. The store that stocks this designer has cute little hand mirrors that you use to see yourself in the frames. Holding the mirror up I like what I see, they suit me, they’re not too plain, theyre not too fancy. My partner is laughing though, I ask why – on the back of the hand mirror is a picture of Nana Mouskouri. A cruel joke. So that’s where it ends. I still have no glasses, I still can't see. Hell, this might not even be a blog post, with my eyesight, it might be an email to my Mum…
Words by Warren Beckett aka Monsieur Robot
It was a real family affair when Nina, Claire, Jaja and I met in a beautiful house on Crooms Hill in Greenwich to take some photos featuring Nina's latest collection. It was like being in a witches coven, living the dream in a richly decorated house where each room has its own - slightly creepy - atmosphere.
Nina and I also made a little Super 8 film featuring an overly affectionate feline that I will hopefully show you very soon!
All photos by Jaja Hargreaves.
All photos by Jaja Hargreaves.
On the photos, we are wearing the Darling dress in black and floral, Siren Song dress, Le Mépris tunic.
Flower headband by Loulou Loves You, Nina's rings by Circe and my Octopus ring is by Kenneth Jay Lane courtesy of QVC.
It is not a secret, you all know now that I love women doing it for themselves. So much in fact that I am going to start sounding like a Eurythmics song. Last week, I was invited to the Sanderson to meet with wonder designer Rebecca Minkoff and she kindly talked me through her upcoming collection, her inspirations and more generally her life story.
What was your inspiration for Spring/Summer?
For the clothing line I was very heavily influenced by the 70s - Bianca Jagger, Vagabond. I also travel a lot for work, and all the different places I see inspire me. Then of course I also design with what I want to wear when it is hot out in mind! This season, it is long dresses, flowy sophisticated looks.
What is your relationship with bloggers?
As soon as I started the brand, we were interfacing with people. I was always on blogs and forums to the point that people were shocked to find out it was actually me! They thought I was an imposter. It has been a main focus of ours, to be involved with consumers and bloggers. We did a blogger tea party recently which was really fun as I got to meet a lot of the bloggers I read!
How did you start?
It was my little girl dream to be a designer, my uncle had predicted it would become a career!
I started making dresses when I was 8. I went to a Performing Arts high school where I could carry on designing and sewing. When I moved to New-York I was making dresses and selling them to small boutiques. Then I came up with "the Morning After Bag", which is one of my main designs. A website wrote about it and it sold out. I stopped the clothing for a while and focused on bags... That was 5 years ago. We just relaunched clothing this year. And now we do men's as well under the name Ben Minkoff. I figured men probably wouldn't want to say "oh yeah my bag is Rebecca Minkoff".
Who would you love to dress?
I have a whole long list!
Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Aggy was on the list but she wears my stuff now, Angelina Jolie, Florence Welch
One of the outfits Florence wore at Coachella actually inspired a little caplet I made for this collection.
Are there designers you look up to?
Alexander McQueen - he took art and made it into fashion, everything he touched was so beautiful. I am slightly obsessed with him.
A lot of established designers are over 40 and men. There is a need for younger female designers to break in the industry. I love all the couture stuff you can't really wear, but realistically speaking you want something you can wear and look good in. As a woman that's how I want clothes to make me feel.
Where do you normally find inspiration?
Each category has a different inspiration. For bags it is always about a treatment, different interesting details. A combat boot I saw in a vintage store inspired one of my bags, a couch quilted pattern inspired another one.
For the clothes it is more about what you want to look and feel great in. Wearable but not basic.
For the shoes, it is also a little about treatment. Take a classic and twist it up a notch.
I am wearing a skirt c/o Topshop, Uniqlo cardigan, Castelbajac top and ASOS shoes. Bag c/o Rebecca Minkoff.
Stay tuned for an interview with the lovely Rebecca and photos from SS collection...
I saw Jonathan Richman last night and I have to tell you all about it this week as he was amazing.
I am wearing a top by Heimstone (courtesy of Shop Je Ne Sais Quoi), vintage shorts, socks from ASOS and Swedish Hasbeens clogs. The collar is from Beaumont Organic.
I am taking part in a styling contest for Beaumont Organic, but this is not me styling the collar, I was simply trying it on!