(Excuse the title incorporating a very un-Susie word – ‘awesome’.  I’ve clearly been in Miami for too long…)

‘Marry new, old, basic and kitsch’

Placing things out of context is what AKA (Anastasia Kolos Accessories) is all about.  Scrunchies, holographic wrapping paper, mens’ watches all don’t sound like things that should be in the same collection but then again, Kolos’ collection debut is aptly called ‘Fragmented Memories’.  There is a naivety to the bags and jewellery that really works.  Kolos has had a varied background moving about from her hometown in Minsk, Belarus to Toronto and then to Paris where she designed accessories for Martine Sitbon, Givenchy and Lanvin (phew…what a CV….!).  Now, she will be launching her own collection for SS08 that quite nicely coincides with my newfound love for a conical handbag…

Here’s hoping for many a new stockist for Anastasia for her perfect balance of the familiar and well-designed accessories.  It’s just as well that AKA happens to be my most oft-used word (I’m a fan of abbreviations…)….as opposed to ‘AWESOME’…. (seriously…. the SHEER number of times that the word is used here!)

The jewellery is delicate enough not to veer too far into ‘ironic tacky’ territory.

I’m not sure about you, but when you see a cover like this, don’t you just want to engross yourself in it pronto?  The December 2007 issue of i-D features an almost unrecognisable Cate Blanchett save for that steely lazy eye glazed look.  I can’t say anything more interesting than the cover itself other than it’s a visual delicacy that I can’t wait to delve into. 

Cateblanchid

Note to self: Really must get therapy to deal with my equating food with fashion…

I must confess; whilst they were still in publication, I bought every issue of Ellegirl (both UK and US) editions and I still do succumb to Teen Vogue every month.  Flawed as Teen Vogue is with its excessive advertising, skewed portrayal of the young privileged American teenager and overly sacharrine/energetic posing (a lot of laughing and jumping), I also appreciate that the fashion aspirations it presents for its target audience is varied, in-depth and fun/cute in a way that most of the time doesn’t seem trite or forced.  For people who are way past their teen-dom like myself, I like to take something from that teen mag stash.  In fact the price-points of the designers they feature, if anything are more suited to people who have stable post-uni jobs really (I got confused when I first started buying this Americana teen stash when I was 17 and the whole mag was filled with Marc Jacobs and Luella wondering whether every American teenager was decked out in this stuff…).

When Elle Girl folded in both the US and the UK, I did think it was a shame especially since the UK now REALLY lacks a magazine that speaks truly to that 13-19yr old age group on a fashion level.  Yes, there were some really cringingly poor moments in the magazine but the present state of teen-mag barrenness is not preferrable I don’t think.  It may be that youngsters have turned their backs on print media and instead focus on the web (forums, blogs) but I’ve seen them squirrelling away their pocket money on Nylon and Teen Vogue (hence why they’re stocked at practically every newsagent in London and not just big bookstores) and I can’t help but lament the lack of a UK-based teen mag when it seems to me that teens here are SO energetic and enthusiastic when it comes to pursuing fashion. 

Anyway, rant/rave over.  I’m heading over to New Malden (known as Korea Town in London) where I can hopefully find Vogue Girl Korea (which Fashion is Spinach loves so much…) and Elle Girl Korea, which both have impressively fashion forward editorials that are not alarmingly edgy but does push the boat out to healthily encourage a good ‘mix’ in one’s style.  My guilty pleasure teen stash just got a whole lot more expensive…

From Elle Girl Korea Oct 2007

From Vogue Girl Korea Sept 2007

All from TFS

I’m feeling a little like Louis Theroux (documentarian who throws into odd/bizarre situations and is constantly perplexed) during my stay in Miami.  Culture shock would be an understatement.  I’ve seen a whole new meaning to the term ‘dressed-up’ and alas, there’s not image evidence but let’s just say that going out in Miami involves a lot of hardship outfit-wise… 

Which got me thinking that if a normal night out has corsets, hotpants, feathers, sequins and 8-inch platform shoes going on then what will Halloween entail?  Passing by Ricky’s Costumes on Lincoln Road, this Marie Antoinette display caught my eye.  In the UK, putting on a rubber mask and maybe a bedsheet with a headhole cut out, are considered making an effort but it seems people here are far more geared up to don a full-on costume.  I’ve always secretly wanted to participate in an 18th century-style masquerade ball.  Since Halloween is a on a much bigger scale here than anywhere else, I’m wondering who is hosting a Coppola-esque 18th century party complete with Siouxsie and the Banshees/Bow Wow Wow soundtrack and decadent over-styled costumes…  and could I possibly live out my costume ball fantasy?