Tag Archives: fashion

Marni x H&M 2012

Amen.

Spectre/Spectator

These bow-tie-bedecked two-tone wingtips by Comme des Garcons have me slouching all over the show, exhaling theatrical sighs and swoons (not kidding, that’s how I roll when it comes to tuxedo-inspired attire, in particular where accessories are concerned).

Someone recently told me I shouldn’t be so concerned with fashion. I had a private Miranda-in-Devil-Wears-Prada moment, as I took in the accusee’s fashion-conscious chambray and straight-cuts. I get so tired of hearing it, honestly. It is possible to be completely fashion befok and still not be a vapid, shallow creature that blinks, glassy-eyed at the mention of more authentic concerns like the environment, world peace and the economy. I’ll Murakami and Greenpop your ass back to self-righteousville, I will.

AND back to my swoon. Those sleek-stepping Comme des Garcons beauties remind me of this video:

Dia de los Muertos

Today marks the traditional Mexican celebration, Dia de los Muertos, or ‘Day of the Dead’. The Mexicans believe in honoring the dead and find beauty in the macabre – the ornate Mexican sugar skull is the most well known symbol of the tradition. These bright, flora and heart-festooned totems have become popular symbols of otherness in Western pop culture over time, and are more and more frequently incorporated into everything from textiles, to tattoos, art and fashion. This weekend I actually¬† attended the opening of the Wildfire exhibit at Yours Truly, and fell in love with an engraved wooden skull, one of two, which were the first ones to be marked with red ‘sold’ stickers. My own house has been sharing space with skulls for some time already, and the increasing popularity of the skull motif has done nothing to abate my obsession.

A couple of weeks ago my very own Mexican death skull participated in a Dia de los Muertos shoot for Dossier, and I have the privilege of publishing a sneak preview of it today. Photographed by Antonia Steyn, the shoot was styled and art directed by my dear friend Crystal Birch (with the help of stylist Chloe Andrea), and serves as a visual compendium of local queen of print play Maya Prass‘ work over the last decade. One of Maya’s first interns back in the day, Crystal raided Maya’s Woodstock studio for the purposes of the shoot, and I really think that Maya’s surreal ruffles, neon-on-neon prints and textured boleros give the Dia de los Muertos theme a dose of lusty femininity.

Crystal accessorised each look with insane Ida Elsje jewellery and head pieces (I’m a huge fan – do yourselves a favour and go check out her Church Street studio!), which were recently shown at both the Africa and New York Fashion Weeks. Frida Kahlo-esque braids and matte neon eyes by One League make-up artist Nandi Fourie play up the bewitching symmetry of 16 year old model Katryn Kruger‘s delicate features.

Keep an eye out for the full shoot in Dossier soon – let me just say that Crystal created an epic tiered ball gown of a dress from a mass of Maya Prass ruffled skirts and it is a sight to behold.

Velvet Crush

Topshop’s Velvet Crush boutique is currently killing me softly. I’m always a sucker for a lush slick of velveteen, and the Deco-meets-grunge undertone of the collection is oh so Stevie Nicks (Lord knows I have a considerable thing for Fleetwood Mac,too).

Midnight blue velvet brothel creepers, velvet short shorts and ruby red lace ups? My very own Gypsy-era dream.

Mary Katrantzou x Topshop

I spied this epic collaboration between high street honey Topshop and the inimitable high priestess of print play, Mary Katrantzou, on Style Bubble this weekend and it was like a little hit of adrenalin.

The collection will consist of 10 pieces and will be released in February 2012, with frocks like this tulip-shaped belle retailing for £350 Рpretty much as close as us civilians will ever come to caressing a Katrantzou.

Start stockpiling those pennies, ladies!

Gilded.

Desirable new beauties by local jewellery designer Oh Dear Megan. I like the balance between the delicate chain and the chunkier geometric pieces, as well as the play on symmetry and assymmetry. Available in silver and gold from Mungo & Jemima.

Mooi.

Teddy Girl.

My penchant for mixing masculine and feminine styling recently led me to the so-called Teddy Boys; a subculture of rebellious young Britons that emerged in London in the 1950s as a form of post-war expression. The Teddy Boys or Teds, as they are sometimes referred to, married the stylistic dandyisms of the Edwardian period with strong ties to American rock ‘n roll. The Teds became the first group of youngsters in the history of England to differentiate themselves in this way, and as the movement gained popularity, it gave way to a lifestyle characterised by rival gangsterism, sharp dressing and music culture.

The Teddy Boy getup centered around the iconic drape jacket, often bedecked with velvet collars and pocket detailing, drainpipe trousers, exposed socks and skinny ties paired with gleaming Oxfords, chunky brogues or suede brothel creepers – the exact kind beloved by fashion forward culprits like Susie Bubble today. The Ted coif – the iconic duck’s tail – was another hallmark of the era, and this symbol of rock ‘n roll attitude remains the choice of dapper modern gentlemen today.

The girls, of course, were not to be left out. Teddy Girls, or Judies, as they are also known, worked the look in drape jackets, sleek pencil skirts, cuffed jeans, cameos, espadrilles and jaunty clutches. Their style later evolved to incorporate the American influence of full circle Pink Lady-style skirts, sassy ponytails and toreador trousers. Typically of working class descent, the Teddy Girls were factory workers who spent their time making their trademark clothes and rejecting the conventions set out for them by the time.

In the 70s, and again in the 80s, rockabilly music and a resurgence of Teddy Boy styles was fueled by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, who added a little more glam rock to the look. Ted revivalists continue to pay homage to the original trappings of the 1950s style, in some cases driving 1950s cars, wearing only 1950s clothes, and stockpiling 50s-era collectibles.

I find the Teddy Girl style particularly alluring. I love the unapologetic stylisation of the look, and the confident statement that the women that wore it were making. I find myself incorporating various aspects of the Teddy Girl and later rockabilly styles into my look – a letterman jacket here, a neck tie there, and of course, my perennial devotion to rockabilly staples: red lips and cat’s eyes.

Over the past year or so the influence of the Ted movement on street style has been marked – duck tail coifs, drainpipe pants, wingtips, creepers, neck ties and dandy styling are all visibly popular, from Seattle to Seoul.

As blogger Cartoon Heart observes in her Resort 2012 round up below, the Teddy Boy style holds as much influence over the masculine as it does over the feminine. With unisex footwear and clothing on the rise, and the irreverent mixing of traditionally gender-specific clothing items, it seems the Teddy Boy androgyny was way ahead of its time.

Fascinating to novelists, musicians and filmmakers since the movement first came about in the 1950s, Teddy Girls are still inspiring styling today. I love this aptly titled editorial, Teddy Girls, which was shot by Liz Ham and styled by Jolyon Mason for Oyster Magazine in 2010.

It’s modern and old all at once.

All vintage Teddy Girl images by Ken Russell