Marnisale What sort of mindset was I experiencing to battle the first weekend of London summer sales yesterday?  In all honesty, shopping on a Saturday in the West End is hell on earth and I try to avoid it all costs.  Still, I felt like a Saturday challenge and I knew that this was the one weekend that I’d have free to swan around the shops before the sales end so off I went, along with about a gazillion people who seemed to be shopping like it would be their last time in their life.  Heaving numerous bags, sweaty disgruntled men, bruised legs (that would be the sharp corners of cardboard bags jabbing into calves…) and general kerching-kerching going on everywhere. 

As usual, for me, there was a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing…as opposed to going mental at a 50% off sign.  Would I get it cheaper in a sample sale?  What might eBay throw up?  Would they be further discounted later on?  All questions that I had to bear in mind.  In the end, I ended up with quite a conservative ‘textbook’ fashion combo that together makes me feel like one of those ‘talking heads’ on TV programmes about fashion where they have this forced-chic outfit on… actually that’s too negative because it does all grudgingly work… COS black dress ¬£40 (down from ¬£80) and Marni sandals ¬£147 (down from ¬£300)…

Salebuy1

Of course it is in my nature to ruin it a little with some holey tights that I’m painfully and slowly ripping up by hand over some white ones and by taking the dress up a bit, it becomes a little Christopher Kane AW07-6 esque…

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No more sales sweating for a while me thinks… only until those 90% off discounts start rolling in….

Shorts over leggings?  Nothing new for girls albeit it has been somewhat abused with the footless tights and denim shorts combos.  It is a useful tool when tights under shorts feel too much and you do want to purposely stump your body with some Japanese-streetstyle layering techniques such as wearing ruched leggings under baggy shorts… ok, just a few then who don’t mind stumping their body.  

In the slew of menswear SS09 shows in Paris, this layering trick has been adopted by a few designers… Givenchy, Number (N)ine (a looser shorts over trousers way of layering…) and Kiminori Morishita.  The boyf said no in an instant.  What say you, 5% of Style Bubble readers who are men (or has that percentage increased…)?  Or just any two cents on shorts over leggings… come on, it’s a Saturday… don’t be shy… I’m off to battle the sales like a warrior and I want relief reading when I get back…

Shortsovershorts

Whitchar2 I’ve been quite lucky with work locations thus far in terms of Chances for Lunchtime Shopping Sessions.  I had the lovely Lamb’s Conduit Street seconds away and it only took a wee bus ride to get to Topshop Oxford Circus and I must grudgingly admit that that has served me well on the occasional emergency outfit situations.  Now however, in my new location, whilst I’m not stranded on a desert island, it’s not exactly a bustling hub-hub either.  Though, I am in foodie heaven being right next to Whitecross Street that smells of yummy chorizo sandwiches, Thai curry and all artisinal baked goods.  The fashion fodder emerged though, first with the magazine market stall where it sells three issues of one-month old fashion magazines for two quid and then the charity shop.

This one isn’t discreet about its wares either with rails, boxes and bags all displayed outside the shop.  I did sheepishly think that being so close to quite a few London fashion publications, there might be some insane cast-offs in there.  Alas, it wasn’t to be BUT it did pass my charity shop litmus test which was to get great value out of a tenner.  For my tenner yesterday, I got a distressed leather skirt for ¬£3.  Now, distressed and leather does sound pretty unpleasant and the skirt will probably remind a lot of people of bad denim effects.  For some reason, I’m really into it and it’s also surprisingly soft.  A pair of nubby/sparkly/wooly Giorgio Armani black skinny trousers for a ¬£7 was a bit of a score too and I do love a quick and cheap trew buy seeing as the thought of trying on trouser in department stores makes me want to cry…

Whitchar

So, bye-bye quick Topshop fixes and hello to weekly/daily trawls  at Whitecross Street charity shop and lovely crusty olive bread…

P.S. Excuse the wretched look… a little hungover and bloated from excessive post-alcohol greasy food…hmm…

Fashion history video sequences such as the Mode en France one I posted a while back seem to be mighty popular with the clip having garnered over 50,000 views.  So, I wonder what will people make of this short film ‘The Phenomenology of the Body’, directed by Daphne Guinness which premiered on NYTimes T Magazine today and will also be presented during Paris Couture Fashion Week at the Hotel Crillon.   It features 13 historical female figures/roles, including Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette (played by Guinness herself), the flapper, the commissar, the housewife all spinning on a turn table in the dark to an LCD Soundsystem soundtrack and finally ends with a veiled woman stripping of her red burka.    "It’s about the body and the soul, concealing and revealing, empowerment; clothing has always been so political," said Guinness.

It’s a somewhat evasive piece but as Guinness says herself,

"Really, the piece is a revolving passage, a voyage of the female form canceling or revealing. Is it a birth, a death, an arrival, a departure? I don’t really know."

Then the message isn’t entirely clear but for me, it’s interesting that a peak and trough cycle develops in the film as womens’ attire becomes more and more shackled with weight and heaviness and then that slowly ebbs away until we are hit with a striking image of a completely veiled woman.  It’s a commentary on East-West divisions as well as development with time. 

In relation to Guinness herself who was told by a journalist "You are no longer a person; you are a concept!", whilst she presents these historical feminine identities that are heavily defined by the way they dress, does she see herself in the same way, defined by the way she dresses or does she embody the spirit of freedom seen in the last few second of the film, the freedom to dress as she pleases, wear two different coloured shoes, silver armour on her hands and don haute couture like no other?  Again hard to say…

Phembod