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Funny Time of Year…

6 Jun

Beth Gibbons still is one of the few reasons it’s not entirely pointless to have a look at the pop-rock shelves…

Unfortunately, as it happens in more than few occasions, her huge musical talents do not really translate sartorially. It makes me kind of sad.

C’mon Beth, would it really be beneath you to sport a decent pair of shoes? Like these deliciously punkoid Jen Kao high wedged platform sneaker booties (!)

 

Punk's not quite dead. It just turned expensive.

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For no better reason…

17 May

… than sheer capriccio, I decided today had to be dedicated to the infamous Antwerp Six.

The way they were, all badass

From left to right: Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene. The guys rocked the 88 edition of the LFW, making fashion like there’s no tomorrow, and some of them still are quite the ass-kicking mavericks they once were.

Fugit irreparabile tempus

Now watch me as I arbitrarily single out those I find still alive:

Ann Demeulemeester. Taking goth up to real fashion, and it’s not even kitsch (it’s a miracle).

Patti Smith's league

She’s not that much into Spring and Summer stuff… fun and sun? I don’t think so.

As summery as it gets

But as I say, she does miracles. Like she takes a nurse’s pair of birkies (ie an abomination) and make them sexy.

Can you believe it? I can't.

Walter Van Beirendonck is so gay it hurts, but in a good way.

Papa Bear

He has a quite distinctive take on male aethetics, one I find refreshingly at odds with the mainstream.

The real guys

Dries Van Noten‘s face is not that interesting, and I’m not sure he lives up to the reputation of the six pack. Yet he’s good at fluid and effortless.

An acid drop on a restrained look

Like said: fluid and effortless

And this is precisely what you want to wear for a late afternoon smoke looking at the birds over the harbor.

Dear Friends…

9 May

I owe you all an apology. I’ve been extremely unwell, hence missing for an month and a half, without a warning. Some of you expressed concern, which touched me a lot. I won’t go into details, but I hope I’ll be fine now.

Anyway, let’s not stay on such a note, for as surprising as it may be, things happen even when I’m not around. I know, I can’t quite believe it myself. And what happened? I hear the sleepiest of you wonder.

Shoes happened! And especially this pair of Camilla Skovgaard:

Skovgaard FW 2011

The connection between the leather of the ankle strap and the upper material is not exceedingly virtuosic, yet it works in its brute way. But the sole geometry is really good. I’d love to try a pair and check whether function follows form here. And I love the rust. This is as close a shoe can be from the poetry of decaying cargo ships.

United Nude…

26 Mar

… does really good things when not trying to incorporate furniture references in their shoes. Witness, the absolute wonderfulness of the product of their collaboration with Iris van Herpen. It’s called Crystallization:

Hyperlaced

Another gem in the new collection, the Haiku:

Simplicity, geometry, bondage

I could totally wear that…

23 Mar

Henri-Francois Mulard, Portrait of a Woman, ca 1810

Notice the butter gloves. I hear you, my little shrimps, asking as one should always ask: “this is very well indeed, but what about the shoes?”

Donna Karan's cork and wood platform sandals

With just the right amount of exoticness to compliment the somewhat Hellenic spirit of the outfit.

In the Navy…

18 Mar

… is just where I’d like to be, sailing the deep blue waves, far away from this leaden sky and that never to come spring.

Or maybe I’ll just dream about the Flying Dutchman, listening to the wind in Wagner’s overture. Had I to meet with the dreaded Captain, I would wear the following.

First, a red striped marinière

Saint James

… and of course sailor pants…

Junya Watanabe

… striped shoes to match the top…

Tabitha Simmons

and a navy coat on top of that…

Burberry

 

And since I’m clad for the Fliegende Holländer, here’s a classic version of one of the greatest innamoramento scenes in the whole history of Opera. Senta meets the Dutchman, he looks for redemption, she looks for a destiny, they recognize their own fate in each other… which is as good as tragic: they will soon die together.

Hans Hotter and Birgit Nilsson are arguably some of the better Wagner interprets ever, and boy one can hear it! Try at least to reach 6″30, when the entanglement of their compassion reaches a first peak. I cannot hear it without feeling the tears rise to my eyes.

 

 

The slow and irresistible process of their falling in love, the over-present marine element in the Opera, all of this by some mental association lead me to this sublime poem by D. H. Lawrence, The Elephant is Slow to Mate.


The elephant, the huge old beast,
is slow to mate;
he finds a female, they show no haste
they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
together, without a word.

So slowly the great hot elephant hearts
grow full of desire,
and the great beasts mate in secret at last,
hiding their fire.

Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts
so they know at last
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts
for the full repast.

They do not snatch, they do not tear;
their massive blood
moves as the moon-tides, near, more near
till they touch in flood.

 

That’s it for today, my little shrimps.

Joho ho hoe!

Eccentricity

15 Mar

In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Ch. III (1859).

That Mill was English will hardly come as a surprise to anyone. Yet, he’s perfectly right. Intolerance to eccentricity is both a sign of weakness of the people’s spirits, and of tyranny in the institutions. Examples come to mind. Anyway, let us celebrate one of fashion’s true eccentrics.

Comme des Garçons. And dots.

Vintage silk scarves ruched with black ruffles. I love the material, it’s got a tremendous vibrato, and a distinctive lingerie touch which is sexy per se. Of course, Rei Kawakubo knows that a good pair of heels will redeem any kind of sartorial eccentricity, so she won’t let that happen. She won’t let you get away from the difficult with some easy heel glam.

I would, though. I’m not yet a full blown Man Repeller. (Actually, Leandra Medine is not either: look here how she shys away at the end from full MR, changing from her sleepers to her terribly sexy pair of Proenza Schouler (waaaant)).

I would pair the dots outfit with these pumps from Dries Van Noten. The severity of the strong geometric pattern gives dignity to the otherwise frivolous sequins, on perfect par with the ruffles.

Equilateral triangles paving the plane

What would be your eccentricity’s upper limit?