Christopher Raeburn: The Graduate Collection

Graduate shows are upon us soon and there are shows coming up left, right and centre.  I have said before that I will be attending the Royal College of Art show on 4th June.  The highlight of the show will be Christopher Raeburn‘s graduate collection – yes, the guy who excruciatingly and unfairly got booted on Project Catwalk right before London Fashion Week.  (Is it me, or did the same thing happen to Austin in Project Runway Series 1????)  Read all about what makes him tick here.

The basis for his graduate collection:

Godspeed /gad’sp:d/ int. an expression of good wishes to a person starting a journey.                                                                                                                 A collection inspired by clothing extremes; harnessing the functional beauty of modern city-dwelling nomadic lifestyles. Layered silks, heavy military wools, unique digital prints, contoured leather accessories and laser cut sterling silver fittingscombine to provide a strong, wearable, feminine profile.

Here are a few sneak peek images – exclusive on the web I think! 

There’s a very appealing toughness to the looks he has created.  It’s urban without being cliched and there’s still a subtle femininity which is juxtaposed with edginess.  I especially love the digitally produced prints – reminds me of Jonathan Saunders A/W06 collection.

Now I’m VERY excited to see the show!  If you are in London, you can still buy tickets for the show at the RCA site or booking by phone (+44 207 590 4566)


Shop at The Shop

I have all these DIY projects brewing up in my head, so much so I’ve taken to jotting them down in my Muji notebook.  Furthermore, going to places like The Shop on Cheshire Street near Brick Lane just inspires me even more.  The non-descript name is apt for what can only be described as an Aladdin’s cave of vintage fabrics and trimmings with a mix of vintage clothes added in the mix at super cheap prices – anything goes here!  Drawers stuffed with old lace, bedlinen, placemats, buttons, gloves, and other kinds of ribbondry.  Shelves piled high with soft furnishing fabrics, vintage prints, soft knitted jumpers and handbags.  The sheer quantity of stuff they have means you have boxes lying on the floor and everything spilling over things.  In other words, a perfect rummaging ground for me!  I bought a ton of pom pom trim, lots and lots of lace and a sweet knitted skirt that I might turn into something Tao by Comme des Garcons-esque.  When you end up spending a pretty penny on materials for a DIY project, you start to wonder why you bother at all, but here, the prices are so low, it’s all the more encouraging when you’re a clothes-customising amateur such as myself.       

One for the list of must-sees for all people coming to London or living in London.

Trumpet the Strumpets

Based on the turn of the century traditional men’s footwear -spats, designer Elizabeth Melinek’s take on the item has resulted in Strumpets and Stalkers – winter boots that fit in your handbag.  Basically, they can transform any shoes, heels or flats, you’re wearing into various colours of ankle, knee, calf boots.  I love the multi-functionality and cleverness of this kind of footwear.  You could literally get through winter without buying boots and just make do with a pair of black pumps and various strumpets.  I did try these on at the London Fashion Week sale and they fitted perfectly and looked damn cool, but alas, I was a little pinched for pennies.  They aren’t cheap but are beautifully crafted out of Nappa leather and there’s just something quaintly old-fashioned about them whilst being kind of sexy too.  I’d wear them with flats or the upcoming chunky clunky shoes for A/W06.  I know it is a little odd blogging about winter legwear in the summer but I think the ankle length ones or the sweet sweet chiffon ones seen in the pics below would be great for the summer too.  (In fact, I might pop along to Strumpets new Brick Lane store to enquire of their price…hopefully within my limited budget!).  Here are Elizabeth’s seven things about Strumpets:

Seven things to love about Strumpets…
1. Winter boots that fit into your handbag.
2. Dress them up or down with heels, flats or even flip flops – turning them into gorgeous boots with a sumptuous satin lining that are an experience to put on.
3. Specially sized on the calf for superior fit – choose from three sizes: Petite, Athletic and Voluptuous. Whatever your calf size, you’ll finally be able to have knee high boots with a glove-like, made-to-measure finish.
4. Cover up pasty or ‘in between waxes’ legs without having to wear thick tights. Leave toes free to breathe in the summer sun while showing off your expensive pedicure.
5. Create your own unique look. By combining your own shoes with our 30 limited edition styles, you are very unlikely to see anyone with the same boots as you.
6. Make your feet look smaller. Because Strumpets visually shorten your feet they give them a cute, mini-mouse neatness.
7. Try letting your boyfriend peel them off at the end of the night…   

They’re kind of stocked all over the place but I think if you contact Elizabeth herself, she will custom make a pair for you and ship it out to wherever you are!

Meanwhile, I bought a pair of much cheaper spats from a lovely Swedish woman at Spitalfields market yesterday.  The colours are all kind of earthy and sludgy but just as we’re approaching summer, I’m suddenly already thinking about winter and wanting to inject a bit of murkiness into my wardrobe.  I’m going to be wearing these over black jeans, opaque tights and all sorts of clunky footwear.  These cheaper ones have sparked a new found love for spats and I will probably upgrade to Strumpets as soon as winter comes!   

Are you looking at me?

  My random pic of the day.  I had full intentions of doing a complete bubble cam session today but when I got to Brick Lane, for some reason, there were like 10 photographers there from various Japanese magazines all doing what I had intended to do (abeit with much better cameras and technique!).  So I thought I better put my amateur Casio digital away in my bag.  But I did snap this pic which I think looks kind of funny.  The girl was quite cool looking with her flat booties and cullotte type pants.  What’s funnier is her expression though – I think she spotted my secret snapping even though I was so far away – she must have had eagle eye!  What’s even more random is the guy in the front holding a coconut.  The compositions of a great shot – guy with coconut, dodgy Fiat Punto and girl with a ‘I’ve just been papped’ expression.