3 days queuing for Kanye's Yeezy

I've just been chatting with a small cadre of young men who have gathered outside a tiny sneaker shop in Amsterdam's Chinatown, a few blocks from my home. They've been camped out in lawn chairs since yesterday, queuing for the very limited edition Yeezy Boost sneakers designed by Kanye West for Adidas.

Apparently, 12 pairs of this highly covetable shoe have made their way to Benelux and will be for sale exclusively in Zeedijk's tiny Patta franchise. These sneaker aficionados are camped out and waiting in line to part with €350 to add these rarities to their shoe farms when they go on sale tomorrow morning. Two of them had travelled all the way from Antwerp to wait in line. They assured me the eBay resale value was at least ten times the retail.

They declined to be photographed, but I did get a picture of their little campsite with me in one of their chairs. They were clearly having a good time. 

If you thought I was extreme for going to London for a pair of George Cox creepers (which I still haven't managed) you have no idea of the lengths some people will go to get their feet into the right pair of shoes. 

I think they are committed. Mr Edge says they should be.


Reporting on the Raindress for fab cycle commuters (plus pics)

I've been absent for a while but I'm back now after a short holiday and a slightly longer flu. I'm also sitting on a backlog of pictures, so I'll probably do a couple of WIW's in the near future. 

But first, here are some pictures of the Raindress, mentioned in a previous thread, for rachylou and anybody else who rides a bicycle and doesn't want to compromise on style in wet weather. By way of full disclosure, I know the designer and was informally involved in the design process in that I assisted with a little R&D and gave suggestions and feedback on prototypes. I've no specific interest in the product beyond that, but I am maybe a little biased.

As Mr Edge pointed out when I first described it to him, the Raindress is essentially "a trendy rain poncho", but there's more to it than that. This thing is so ridiculously elegant that it goes way beyond gear. When I put it on for the first time I actually wanted it to start raining so that I could go out and bike around showing it off. To paraphrase the designer, it's all about dressing up and feeling good about heading out on your bicycle in the rain, and if that's not an argument for the transformative power of fashion then I don't know what is.

The dress pulls over the head, ties with a sash at the back and fastens under the arms, so it's loose enough to fit over a light jacket or coat. The skirt is long enough to give good coverage and the elastic loops around the legs keep it in place when you're cycling. The loose design gives sufficient freedom of movement and adequate ventilation without too much air resistance. A nice touch are the weighted hems on the skirt and cape, which keep everything from flapping about in high wind. 

The hood fastens snugly under the chin and the tucked design means that it stays put and doesn't impede visibility when you turn your head. It fits easily over a helmet (I checked!) which is an obvious requirement in environments with no bike-friendly infrastructure, which would be anywhere other than the Netherlands.

In general it performs very well in the rain. The material is impregnated poly satin with a breathable backing, all seams are taped and the edges are laser cut for a very clean finish. The whole thing folds into a built-in pocket so you can carry it around when it isn't raining.

It keeps me very dry and my only complaint I have so far is that the short hem on the cape at the back means a wet backside if I hop on the bike without first wiping water off the saddle. This is a minor quibble, as my guess is that more coverage in this area would probably compromise freedom of movement in the skirt. 

So yes. I can definitely recommend the Raindress. If you're an urban cycle commuter and you're fed up with anoraks and nylon over-trousers in bad weather then this is the product for you. 


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Walking in another man's shoes...

I just popped into Wini's, one of my favourite vintage shops, which was a good move and a bad move, depending on your point of view. I came out €75 lighter, the proud owner of an adorable cashmere sweater and a pair of boots of the kind I have been on the lookout for since Forever.

What can I say? They were just there. I've been wanting something along these lines for a while, but hadn't really seen the thing I was looking for, something black, chunky and mannish, a bit casual and a bit dressy at the same time. Laces, no zippers, no distressed leather, and hooks for the laces at the top. 

And here they are. Italian made men's boots, leather throughout, fresh Vibram soles and heels and enough space inside for woolly socks. 

This is the first time in a long while that I've bought a pair of second hand shoes. There's not too much wear on these but I have to admit it still feels a bit odd. I've always quite liked the idea of previous owners in my thrifted purchases, particularly when the quality is good, but for some reason walking in someone else's shoes is spooky. Particularly when that someone was a man.

But I do notice that I am much more prone to impulse purchases when buying second hand. I am *incredibly* picky about buying new in the high street, but put me in front of a really good pre-owned or vintage find and I will fist over the cash in seconds. I'm not sure if this instance qualifies as impulsive as this style has been on the shopping list for a while, but it certainly wasn't premeditated either.

I can think of all kinds of reasons for this, but I was wondering about your thoughts on pre-owned pieces and impulse shopping in general. Does a fabulous thrifted find thrill you onto a snap decision? Or do you take a deep breath, ask them to put it aside, and go walk around the block?