The Catorialist

I have finally lost (nearly) all faith in The Sartorialist*. Though of course, there is always the possibility of redemption, as of the last several months I've been rather taken with this cat-focussed pisstake on his blog (the most accurate description of it would be Lolcats Meets The Sartorialist), created by a gentleman named Maxwell Krivitzky. Want evidence that it is indeed a pisstake? Have a look at the screenshot below. Better yet, go to the blog itself.
Sadly, Mr Krivitzky is a touch on the mysterious side (a google search yielded an artist's site that doesn't seem to have any artwork on it, and a request for an email interview has gone unanswered so far) and updates sporadically. But I do admire the fur in every shot, and PETA would be churlish to begrudge his subjects the wearing of it. Though the ultimate kicker, IMO, is the Feline Apparel ad on the left of the page.

*obviously, I am a nobody whose opinion is inconsequential. Also a nobody who was quite a fan of the blog for four years, bought the book, and can pick up a tabloid if she wants to see pictures of reality-TV D-listers.


Boys Should Make Passes At Girls In These Glasses

Prada A/W 2010/11
Marilyn Monroe in How To Marry A Millionaire.

I know people rushed to compare the collection to Mad Men- but honestly, could you ever picture Joan Holloway in glasses? Or Peggy Olson in these glasses? Which, by the way, I love, and always have- a good quirky accessory never fails to send a tingle down my spine.
I love Joan, Peggy and Betty too, but every set of smart late-50s/early 60s-inspired clothing out there shouldn't automatically be linked to the show, it amounts to lazy visual shorthand for an era.


Anonymity, Anon (LOTS of text here, lazy readers look away)

One solid week after the unveiling of the true identity of LibertyLondonGirl, it's a late reaction but I couldn't help thinking about anonymity and blogs in general. You see, circa 2007, LLG, Disneyrollergirl and Mrs Fashion made up a fantastic trifecta of of anonyblogging fashion insiders. By mid-2008, LLG had stopped blogging because of her job- she resumed in 2009- and Mrs Fashion set her blog to private, partly thanks to, I believe, anonymity concerns (she made it publicly viewable again in late 2009 and then went back to readers-only Blogger mode).
There are loads of professional fashion journalists and writers who blog, both anonymously and under their real names out there (Colin McDowell and Justine Picardie are just two among the many I've read and enjoyed). For those who choose to blog under nom de plumes (nom de blogs?), the reason why is obvious- being able to speak your mind without immediate and damaging consequences inflicted by a client or employer, or even without the baggage associated with your real-life professional ID, is a good thing. And frankly, I've had it up to here with anonymous people being tarred with a single, fat brush as cowards.
First off, it's kind of hard work to stay anonymous if your blog has developed something of a following.* I realised this last year after posting a package to Sasha, which she then wrote about on LLG with a link back to here- which in its turn led to a few days of minor bombardment with emails asking who she was (since sending stuff would have been impossible if I didn't have her name and address- they wanted the former). Ignoring and deleting all those mails worked. It did, however, get me thinking about what it is to be an anonymous blogger or author, and just how weird the Internet can get.
I'm small fry as far as blogs go. I update when I can be arsed to do so, haven't got a custom domain or even a url that matches the name of my blog. I'm still paranoid about not using my real name anywhere online, not because I'm afraid of the fashion police, but because my love of design and style is something that's personal and private to me. It's not to be discussed with the plebs who make up most of my 'real-world' experience. The same goes for my love of Harry Potter (yes, Twilight is trendy now, but I'm an oldie, see). Or even the rubbish I type into a locked livejournal with a miniscule friendlist.
It's mildly scary to be told that people who read your blog have figured out where exactly you live, and frankly distasteful to be linked to from the awful, shittily-written blogs of people you know in real life and despise. Sure, there's nothing I can do about the latter. But no matter how much I admire the fearlessness of people who blog as themselves, the things I love aren't things to be shared with people who don't matter to me. I don't care for them to be laid bare to the eyes of some curious c*** who sits three seats away from me and decides to amuse himself using the power of Google. They know my name. They know very little else. And if I can be so bold as to paraphrase, what's in a name- once you've dissociated a bit of yourself from it, that is? In any case, hats off to Sasha for choosing to openly claim LLG as her blog identity. Good on you, really.

*case in point: Petite Anglaise. Or even Girl With A One Track Mind.


Parallel Worlds

installation at Ji Lee's home
closeup of installation at Ji Lee's home

Ji Lee's latest project, Parallel Worlds, was born out of the observation that modern-day ceilings are 'dead space'- undecorated and neglected, in contrast to their treatment in past centuries (eg. the Sistine Chapel, for a start) or even the care taken with the decoration of interior walls and floors today. The results- miniature installations made to scale, created in the image of things in a room, and fastened to ceilings- are amazing, and not only because of the unexpected quality of their scale and placement. I suggest going over and having more of a look- here.
Rhino Meets R2D2
Rhino meets R2D2- detail shot

images from pleaseenjoy.com



.. this is what I would dearly love to do.

copyright of Ronald Searle


RIP Alexander McQueen

It's been just over twelve hours since a friend in London texted the news over, and it's just beyond me. The idea of suicide- the apparent cause of his death- is an unbelievably sad one. But much as I will miss having my mind blown as it so frequently was by his work , it's not a choice I want to judge anyone for making. I don't know what else to say, really. RIP.


"The whole streetstyle thing these days is like a job, it's all planned and thought up in advance..."

"....it's not as though you just 'happen' to run into one another."

Anna Dello Russo, telling us something that isn't exactly a surprise: fashion editors- and probably other streestyle photog favourites too- don't exactly throw on whatever's on the nearest shelf of their wardrobes and walk blithely out of their houses/hotels (whichever is applicable to Fashion Week attendees).

It's not as if this hasn't been discussed before- many of the Sartorialist's commenters have been grousing for years that he primarily shoots people who work in fashion and therefore, have more access to it. And I've never been under the illusion that streetsyle photography is purely 100% spontaneously born at the moment when well-dressed people run into a person on the street holding a DSLR camera.
In fact, it's no secret that even the fabled streestyle shots of Tokyo aren't a chronicle of the outfits of well-dressed ordinary (i.e. non-fashion) people- I can't post this without linking to this post by Néojaponisme which talks about just how many of the people we see in FRUiTS etc* are, in fact, fashion professionals in one capacity or other. Not that there's anything wrong with that- it's probably only natural that people whose professional lives are lived in the fashion industry will keep a sharp eye on the way they dress.
Ultimately, it's not as if I have a beef with the planned-ness of streestyle, besides the fact that - unlike most fashion magazines- it presents itself, however inadvertently, as something born of a single moment and the snap decision before it to put on whatever walked out the door on your body. I know perfectly well that's not always the case, and it's good for fashion eds and stylists to show off their skills on themselves and get the exposure. But when up to six months of planning and calculation for camera-friendliness goes into the making of whatever ends up on a streestyle homepage, the magnitude of it all leaves me just a tiny bit more disillusioned even if I do appreciate her honesty in coming out and saying it. 

photograph by Feri Lucas from guardian.co.uk

Here Be Dragons

Katsushika Hokusai, The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mount Fuji (I don't really have words for how much I've always loved the way the dragon looks almost invisible against the smoke)
makes my mind take the straight road these days to thinking of
Temeraire, by Naomi Novik
I'd been looking for something to fill the post-Harry Potter void in my soul for almost two years last August when I saw this and its sequels sitting in the sci-fi/fantasy corner of my local bookstore (the exact same corner that used to house Twilight, god help us). The name was the thing that first caught my attention- I was a pubescent Turner fangirl, and The Fighting Temeraire inspired some of my most fervent fangirlisms. Deciding to have a crack at browsing it, I picked the first book (pic above) off the shelf, sat down on the nearest stool, and what happened was as follows- with thoughts in italics:
*reads one chapter*
hmmm, this sounds good...Napoleonic-era ship deck?
*reads a bit more*
Napoleonic-era sailors and dragons? I'd better finish the chapter, then I'll put it away and leave.
*reads still more- well beyond the promised chapter limit*
Oh my goodness. The dragon is a character. A living, breathing, funny character. Not some shitty, Eragon-type derivative. I'll just finish this chapter with the dragon....
*is glued to the book by now*
oh, fuck it. It's almost closing time, and I don't want to stop reading. I want to read about the other dragons, too. I'm taking the book- and while I'm at it, I'll take the sequel along with this.
*heads to sale counter with two books - after coming in with the express intention of buying nothing*
I still can't believe pap like Twilight (sorry to anyone who is a fan) gets such massive hype when books as amazing as this go practically unnoticed- ok maybe not so unnoticed, since Peter Jackson was planning to make a movie based on the series. But I gobbled up all five books in the series within two weeks, and am now starting to get rather impatient waiting for the sixth (out this summer!!). And if anyone is reading this: try the books. Really. You won't regret it.


Flaunt This

It's not every day that I get sent magazine spreads featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg, and this one, from Flaunt magazine's Art issue, has a muted, relaxed quality to it that isn't entirely unlike Charlotte's music (which I love. Heaven Can Wait is officially my favourite song of 2010 so far).

Also, it must be said- I love the cover image (a white peacock! Who'd have thought?).


Sweep Away

Maybe it's just my childhood fascination with long dresses coming back, but I do adore the contrast between the potential scruffiness of the jacket and the almost old-fashioned charm in the way the model holds up her skirt.
Image from Marie Claire Japan December 2006

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.