A conscious effort to finally put the nail in the coffin of the term ‘nu-rave’?  Perhaps.  The band, Klaxons that have unfortunately been tagged as the mascot of this style/music/social phase have said they themselves are perplexed that NME have promulgated the term and have described it as a ‘joke that got out of hand’. 

So out with their neons, pixelated prints and cartoon clothes. 

In with something darker, a bit of leather, some glitz and a lot more complexity as shown here at their recent Manchester gig.  As well as saying goodbye to the aforementioned tag that they seem to despite now, they’re also making nods towards the current season with their new stage get-ups.   

The person responsible for this image change?  Christian Joy, who is based in New York and is best known for being the favoured designer of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s has branched out and is now designing Klaxons’ stage costumes.  I had bags of fun with a Pratt Institute student who has been working as first assistant to Christian Joy and it was great to find out about the amount of work it takes to make Miss Karen O look as fantastically awesome as she does on stage.  (Pssst…if you loved the first Christian Joy for Topshop collection, there’s another one on its way very soon!).

It’s hard to tell from the gig pictures but it seems to me that it’s a shame that Christian Joy isn’t applying this sort of flamboyance to her ready to wear pieces (though I do love the simplicity of her SS08 collection…).  Though the term ‘nu-rave’ is not as odious to me as to others, it just strikes me as a little hilarious that it came and went so quickly.  Or maybe it never actually existed and it was a figment of a lot of people’s imaginations?  Anyhow, let’s not get into the existentials of it all.  The bottom line is Klaxons + Christian Joy = quite spectacular and a much welcome image-change.   

Publicity wise, Gap hasn’t gone bonkers with Katie Grand’s curated collection of (Product) RED clothing and accessories for World AIDS Day with the full range only unveiled in the latest issue of Pop magazine.  I in turn haven’t really gone bonkers for it either.  Yes, whilst it is a worthy cause with 50% of the profits will go towards the Global Fund to fight AIDs in Africa, the products are discreet and very apt for Gap, though not worth queuing up for or anything.  These include some notably designed t-shirts; a ‘Mouse’ graphic Giles tee, a Proenza Schouler grey and black ink blot tee, some House of Holland slogan tees (quelle surprise… though the slogans are a touch more meaningful…’Be Incredible, Not Forgettable’, ‘Be Ado(red), Not Flawed’).  Katie Hillier has done an inside out navy sweatshirt bag with red ribbon deailing and Pierre Hardy has done a red satin classic flat shoe (his capsule collection was quite the disappointment, felt more so when I visited his Palais Royal store in Paris and pondered the VAST difference between his own label shoes and what he did for Gap….).

However, the item that will get ppl wagging, or probably even WAGS wagging is the re-worked Mulberry Roxanne bag that will come in red or grey jersey versions and will be priced at a modest sum of ¬£85.  There’s a reason why ‘IT’ bags don’t feature that heavily on Style Bubble and reason being I have an almost stone cold lack of affection towards bags.  I treat em’ mean and don’t keep them clean.  If they’re functional, I’ll use them.  Passing admiration for beautiful bags is one thing but I’ve never been one to swoon excessively over them.  I have a rather non-plussed ‘shrug shrug’ attitude towards designer bags so whilst the words ‘Mulberry Roxanne’ may have some people going ker-azy over it, I’m struggling to remember what the bag looks like exactly. 

The one thing that I can say, without having too much prior knowledge of its leather predecessor, is that this Gap reworked version is far more appealing to me.  It doesn’t look like it will weigh a ton.  It’s not precious-looking and looks like you can bang it about a bit more and probably put it through the washing machine.  I have an affinity with grey jersey in a way that everytime I see it be it in the form of t-shirt/dress/skirt, I do end up stroking it and invariably buying it and so seeing as I haven’t yet come across a perfect grey jersey bag, I may have to put down my anti-IT bag shield and go forth.

The final plus is, these Katie Grand-curated Gap (Product) RED items will hits stores this Saturday (1st December) at the London and Paris flagship stores as well as Colette in Paris and Dover Street Market in London (sadly, this is restricted to London/Paris only…).  As it happens, I will be in Paris in the wee hours of the 1st so I shall toodle off to Colette to hopefully snap up what is in my eyes a functional grey jersey bag with some design interest as opposed to exclaiming ‘Oh-my-god-it’s-a-cheap-Mulberry-must-get-there-b4-the-other-bitches-do!’.

**EDIT** – I managed to find an image of the grey jersey version which has sealed it for me… off to Colette I go…       

Gapredbag3        

At the Fashion East sample sale, there was a rather dubious lonesome rail of clothing that had no particular affiliation with any one designer but upon closer inspection, the randomness of the clothes and shoes was certainly engaging!  Two season old YSL red velvet shoes, Miu Miu boots, random Topshop Unique pieces, a Giles Deacon shirt, a beautiful Sophia Kokosalaki pleated strapless dress, some trend-led vintage pieces including a velvet off-shoulder Christopher Kane dress were some of the things that I remember from this rail that seemed to change every 5 minutes.  I’ve dubbed it the ‘fashion insider cast-off rail’ as I suspect this a clean-out courtesy of Fashion East ppl (Lulu Kennedy perhaps?).

I picked up some of the random Topshop Unique items but the real find was this Jean Colonna leather skirt that bears some resemblance to that Topshop PE swing skirt (sold out now…) that I’ve spotted on about 20 people in the last week (odd that PE has caught on so rapidly!).  The ruching around the waist is more paper bag and the leather is luxuriously soft with a less skater skirt shape.  Jean Colonna was once nicknamed the King of Gallic Grungewear and is someone who is quite underrated and I really must investigate as to his whereabouts as he is a bit of a forefather for people that I admire like Jean Pierre Braganza, Jens Laugesen etc. I will report back on what I have sniffed out…

(Excuse crap hair and dull light… taken in the wee hours of the morning…)

Back to ‘fashion insider cast-off rails’ (FICOR…..I too can come up with ridiculous acronyms!) though.  I stumble upon eBay sellers who have quite clearly blagged too many fashion freebies or are stylists getting rid of their wares, and yes, it is quite exciting but these are once in a blue moon occurences.  I therefore must propose that rails like these become a regular thing as I’m sure all over the world, there are plenty of fashion junkies/insiders/pros just heaving with a lot of gems to get rid of and allow us less fortunate fashion folk to rummage through.  Hmmm… a venture that has certainly got my mind cogitating…. 

There’s a whole lot of plastique going on here but it’s not the luscious patent shoes or oversized bag my attention is drawn towards.  It’s the Paule Ka skirt which seems to be made out of a transparent latex and is a bit of a stunner.  A reader very kindly sent me this image and informed me that in fact, the material is silicone compound, similar to what boob implants are made out of I suspect.  This type of rubbery material reminds me of those brown rubber mouldsthat I used to pour plaster of paris into to hopefully make a perfect twee rabbit/cottage/horse figurine (it would always come out chipped…).  It certainly puts a new spin on the various strands of fetishwear that have infiltrated fashion.  Though a rubbery material like this might have textural affiliation with say black pvc/latex, the colour doesn’t suggest anything risque or raunchy.  I’d definitely like to see more of this kind of play on rubber garments.  Afterall, it is just another material and depending on the way you wear it, there is that ability to blend it in seamlessly with more conventional materials.   

Image from ‘Sur la terre Z√ºrich’ (Thank you Tamar for sending through the scan!)