Picasso Challenge #4: Reading on the Beach

Two jackets, one on top of the other. The boxy shapes express a cubist vibe and the digital print of the top layer evokes the sea. The pants are denim chinos from Christophe Lemaire, bought on very deep discount. They are extremely baggy, even after alteration. 

I like the mix of high and low style here but I'm doubtful. Everything's playing nicely together, it feels quite edgy, but I can't help thinking I should be wearing slimmer pants.


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Picasso Challenge #3: Woman with a Mix Tape ETA: SK Riot Grrls

I actually had to think about this one. I'm a lover of colour, but I found it quite hard to combine the right ones here. In the end, I went for this vintage tapestry coat layered over a green sweater dress over red skinny pants and the new creepers which I'm Not Taking Off this week. (here's my report in case you missed it). Not as spectacular as some of the outfits I've seen, but hey, I'm happy. :)

Since I'm off to the Paradiso later to jump up and down in front of Sleater Kinney, this outfit needs to go day to evening. So I've layered it with a printed tee, some fun arm candy and, of course, the mix tape bag. I've packed a few golden '80's hits to go:

  1. Human League - Love Action
  2. Wham - Everything She Wants
  3. Hall and Oats - Kiss Is On My List
  4. ABC - The Look of Love
  5. Heaven 17 - Temptation
  6. New Order - Blue Monday
  7. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
  8. Talking Heads - Burning Down The House
  9. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
  10. Grace Jones - Slave to the Rhythm


ETA: that was incendiary! Those ladies really tore up the Paradiso.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few pics of Sleater Kinney from the pit. As you can see, Carrie is a guitar goddess, and Corin wore a dress to match my socks. 

Best. Girl. Band. Ever.


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The Creeper Report (or how I sourced a Brit classic)

Remember I posted about my travails trying to source a pair of George Cox brothel creepers? Well, I've got them now, and let me tell you they are not easy to buy. 

I've written in detail about the history and significance of this shoe on my other blog. Here's the TL;DR version: 

  • The design is an icon of British urban fashion dating back to the 1950's.
  • It was made fashionable in the 70's and 80s by McLaren and Westwood.
  • Copies of the shoe are available everywhere. And I mean, everywhere. 
  • A large brand selling mass-produced replicas is very trendy indeed.
  • The latest designer to pick the style up was Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent (see find below).
  • The original shoe is still made at the same factory by the same independent family business as it has been since 1949. 

Here's the clincher though. In terms of fashion marketing, George Cox are virtually silent. Most of their output exports to the Far East, where they're very popular among stylish ladies and gents. The only place you can buy them in the UK is a hole in the wall in Camden Town, which is where I bought mine. See below for pictures.

Honestly, I've never come across anything so far under the radar. I guess the American equivalent would be discovering that everyone in the US had forgotten about the Schott Perfecto motorcycle jacket and the only way you could buy one was from one tiny store in the East Village because they were all being exported to Berlin and Tokyo. It's hard to imagine. 

I wonder if this is a strategy to keep their independence by sticking to a sustainable business model that works for them and refusing to play the fashion game. Selling to mavens and enthusiasts has kept them in business for sixty years and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Still, I can't help thinking they could be bigger than they are.

The other thing I'm pondering are my own feelings about branding and authenticity in fashion. A major selling point for me is the story of an English bench-made shoe that resonates strongly with my London style heritage. But then there's the the nature of the brand identity. I can see why a replica from Underground or Saint Laurent would be so much more appealing to the fashion crowd than the original. 

The shoes, though, are amazing. Beautifully made. I'm delighted.


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Picasso Challenge #2: The Dream

The subject matter is easier today. To tell the truth, it feels a bit like cheating. I put this outfit together when Angie suggested citron/olive/cognac and I've been waiting for the weather to be warm enough to wear it. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture.

I made the dress myself from a 1940's pattern. The fabric is grey on one side, citron on the other. You might be able to see in the picture that all the back panels are sunny side up.

The Margiela pour H&M coat belongs to Mr Edge but it's been on my back a fair bit  this winter. Along with my '80's mix tape bag I think it somewhat resembles the curtain behind her. I added a few coloured accents with resin accessories (eyewear, bling) and it's good to go. 


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Spring Picasso Challenge #1: The Charnel House

Stark black and white is a good place to start and the very best art finds a savage beauty in the horrific. It is indeed challenging to seek out fashion inspiration in such a confronting image, but after a trip to the UK at least partly dedicated to remembrance and acceptance it feels right.

It's the perfect excuse to break out the vintage haori and layer it over a Breton style shirt (Picasso would approve) with black knee shorts from ByBrown. Finishing the look in finest art goth style are my new George Cox creepers, which I finally tracked down in London last week. They're so good, worth every penny. They probably merit a post of their own. 


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WIW: Ink out!

I got my ink out! (see what I did there?) And the weather's getting better so I'm cautiously transitioning into spring. 

I'm really enjoying my new perma-accessory. It feels just right and it makes a nice counterpoint to my watch, another piece of huge personal importance. Thanks again to everyone who commented in the original thread. It meant a great deal. 

#1 - Margiela x H&M skirt with a tunic of unknown provenance over a turtleneck wool-mix tee. I wish I could credit Angie for the inspiration, but this has been a transitional FFB for over a year now. And it's more navy than ink, but you get the idea.

The sunnies are optical quality LA Eyewear. I keep thinking I should get prescription lenses fitted. Also wearing the original snowflake, although you can't see it in the pictures. 

#2-4 Drykorn blazer, Comme(?) culottes, marble dyed cashmere tee and vintage Docs. I like the avant-garde/classic vibe of this look. And a good close-up of the ink. 

I'm sitting on a few end-of-winter looks, so I might do a couple more cold weather WIW's over the next few days before spring really kicks in. In the meantime, your constructive feedback is appreciated as always. Thanks for looking!


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