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It was the Dazed & Confused Diesel Black Gold launch party last night which was rammed and ultimately got a little bit too hot for me as everyone was jostling around in each other’s sweat at Martin Margiela’s former studio space in Kings Cross.   I didn’t stay long but beforehand, I did get the chance to choose between various necks. 

On my Saturday shopping spree (I say spree…. in reality it just meant that I had bought something seeing as I’ve had scant time for shopping…), I bought a cream satin dress/top thingy that took the form of a cape but had sufficient slits in the front to formulate a dress from 172 Brick Lane by the designer Orphan (so up and coming are the labels that 172 stocks that most alas don’t have sufficient internet presence so I can’t even research further…).  The cape dress itself has a wonderful neckline going on with a padded edge that always makes me think of Jetsons attire and a cut out pattern.

Still for the usual complex/complicated difficulties that I like to create for myself, I couldn’t leave it alone and so lined up a neck option.  My KapowWow lilac ruff which I can’t get enough of…

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Yesterday, the zipper collar which the talented of Outi of Outsapop very kindly made me, landed on my desk wrapped up in a pretty blue Marimekko box.  It is quite possibly the best use of supposed ‘mundane’ materials I have seen in a long time and probably the most skillfully done too as the zips are sewn together in such a way that really takes advantage of the actual form of the zipper.  It’s also quite a weighty thing too.  So in the end I did have two neck options to go with even though I had intended to go with the ruff.  From sad/sweet clownish outfit avec the lilac ruff to something tougher with the change of a neck just goes to show the range of possiblities of neck pieces.

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In the end though, I decided to go with the former option.  It was a casual ‘necking Peroni’ kind of party anyway.  I also want to explore the zipper collar a bit further before wearing it out.  Plus, Clare from Enchant and Doom who first  introduced me to KapowWow was there whom I was chuffed to finally meet in person.  Plus, plus Roisin Murphy whom Clare styled in a video with KapowWow was also at the party… see it’s all symbolic and stuff…

I’m sticking in another Project Runway reference here for good measure…. or until I get my fix of the new episode online tonight and then I don’t have to vent my PR-needs here on the blog.  Anyhow, the judges often criticise the contestants for ‘overworking’ their garments, for doing too much and getting into ‘one big mess’ (how many times has a challenge ended up being ‘one big mess’…?).  Perhaps ‘overworked’ is a criticism reflective of what fashion schools also practise.  Somehow, working too hard can just be wrong wrong wrong. 

Well, Giambattista Valli toiled and toiled away at his debut collection for Moncler‘s Gamma Rouge range which I often coo over when I’m in Dover Street Market and have previously expressed an appreciation for.  This is levels of overworked-ness that is really evident and the results are highly positive.  Duchesse de soie, gazar, macram√© lace, fur and feathers (hell there are materials there that I’d be hard press to point out in a fabric warehouse…) were all used in what can only be described as embellished puffawear.   

Ok, so Moncler has been peddling the embellished puffawear thing for ages but this AW08 collection that Valli has produced really takes Moncler to a level where you are looking past the puffa jackets and just thinking ‘That is a beautiful collection….’.  Valli has pushed the sculptural boundaries of what a puffa jacket can do and has played to the volume creating strengths of the materials.  I am sweating it out here in my sans-air-con office but I can also feel the chillier days ahead when these perfectly overworked pieces would be required not as functional jackets but just as beautiful feats of work in their own right.

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I’m keeping this short because my fingers have cramped up for some reason and I’m finding it difficult to type…

Remember how I was talking about mum-pleasing labels?  I know for a fact wearing this season’s COS would please her so because a) it’s a friendly chain store that never gave her headaches a few years ago when I had to drag my mother out shopping with me (that would be you Topshop at Brent Cross Shopping Centre) and b) the clothes are at first glance achingly demure and if styled just like the lookbook here would incite comments of approval from all the ‘aunties’ saying how ‘guai’ I look…. translation being obedient/sensible and c) the price points are as such that they’re Primark-cheap raising suspicions of poor quality and they’re not extravagant either which means the mothership won’t rag on about mortgages and the like…. (she has come round to my ‘rent 4 life’ way of thinking though…)

That I’m posting this is a dire indication of my missing the mothership…

Of course my usual habit of buying COS gets wrecked by the fact that I would never style it in this lookbook way…

And yes, that was another COS related post… and yes, I have eaten my initial words with relish…lots of salt and pepper…

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I always get a little tickled pink when I see the work of somebody who I know in-person getting featured.  My Fred Butler-work stalking days just don’t want to stalk and as this set designer has now moved into the realms of accessories, it’s high time they start getting styled and revved up in editorials.  So, it made me very happy when I was reviewing these shots that Kim Howells (ex-assistant of Nicola Formichetti) styled as part of a special exhibition.  Entitled ‘An Experiment in Collaboration’, the Jerwood Space is exhibiting the results of a collaborative effort that sees six artists paired up with an array of professions – psychiatrist, architect, physicist and magazine….magazine being Dazed & Confused.

So in a collaborative effort between the artist Michael Pybus and D&C, came these paint splattered frenetic shots using Fred Butler’s accessories which work ever so well in the context.  I’m not yet over paint splattered things and whilst we’ve got this sunshine going on, paint streaked clothes benefit from the overload of light…

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