So apparently some of you got the email from Urban Outfitters with me parading a lot of tights in my new hovel.  Despite the blood/sweat/tears (I still can’t quite get over the fact that I actually shed those exact three things in the course of moving… it’s just too neatly cliched for words…), I did find time to delve into a bag of tights that Urban Outfitters very kindly sent me to outfit-test (much better than road-testing seeing as I don’t have a license…).   Yes, there it is, I do take freebies in the name of the blog.  Please condemn me to the pile of sell-outs.  But rather than taking their tights and saying ‘Ta very much’ and unsubtly/subtly working it into outfits on this blog here, they have done a mini-project on their own UO site (is it me or have they had a site redesign…?) and presented my various UO-tighted up outfits along with a Q&A.  A different project from the normal ‘Please send a high-res press pic of yourself’ (I ask you…what blogger has their own press pack?!?).   I am now having to work out some sort of an ingenious storage system whereby I SEE all of my tights (UO merely added to the mammoth collection that I have gathered…)… some sort of a climbing frame device perhaps?

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Last night, having felt like I've been majorly culture-deprived, I went to the ICA to catch Face Addict, having missed the UK premiere last week and after reading some words by the director Edo Bertoglio, I was determined not to let this one slip by me.  Edo Bertoglio arrived in New York in 1976 and stayed there until 1990, living the New York 'downtown' years to the max, the glory period being 1978-1982.  He became the photographer for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine and subsequently fell into the whole Factory crowd.  'Fell' being the operative word as Bertolgio fell hard into a destructive heroin addiction that made him leave New York and go back to his hometown Lugano, Switzerland.  A few years ago, he decided to return to New York, to open up his photographic archive and look at those faces that he shot, many of them now dead, swept up in AIDS and ODs in the mid-80's.  The film itself revisits his recollection of New York, that no longer exists and the 'survivors' of the scene who are now much changed.  The film recounts and reminisces through Bergtoglio and other survivors such as French fashion stylist/designer/photographer Maripol, Bertoglio's ex-girlfriend, the hilarious Glenn O'Brien who has done everything from fashion advertising and journalism to stand-up comedy and poetry and Debbie Harry also puts in a few words too. There's a bit of a disconnect between the people these survivors have evolved into and the young wild things of the New York no wave scene that repeatedly get shown through Bertoglio's photographs.  The disconnect though is a good thing seeing as those that still insisted on partying to death quite literally drove themselves into a graveyard.

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Bertoglio may have found it hard to open up those archives and look at those faces once again but as an outside spectator, somebody who was born just after that New York heyday era, selfishly I look upon the effort, and the blatant desire to look special taken upon these characters (and that's how they are portrayed…) in the pictures. The sharp angles and dramatic shapes that both men and women sought to create in their clothes and their make-up and the complete unbashed abandon people had towards the way they lookedc.  Looking at this set of images that Bertoglio took on his rooftop of the underground 'IT' girls (too derivative a name as they were all pretty much involved in their own random creative endeavours)… there's a latent sense of danger as they stand strong and beautiful and it's unknown whether they will survive or not.  Underneath the immaculate make-up, the carefully chosen pieces that always look 'sharp', lies something even sharper, something self-destructive…

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Maripol who styled Madonna at various points in her career, most notably the 'Like a Virgin' wedding look, also took pictures, mainly polaroids on a camera given to her by Bertoglio.  Again there's a violent burst of energy in these that is still very relevant now as we look ahead to a season of strong shapes and self-determined attitude.

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I never got to see Downtown 81, the film directed by Bertoglio, produced by Maripol and co-written by Glenn O'Brien, starring the legendary American artist Jean Michel Basquiat and featuring a cast full of those New York things but I'll attempt to pick it up to immerse myself in a time and place that is ever so close to my time but comes off as entirely strange and alien. 

I was absolutely gutted that I simply ran out of time to write for the 2nd year anniversaty issue of Fashion 156. Guy Hipwell the editor, was the first to spot the blog very early on a few months after the blog started and I’ve written in every issue since…except the current one!  Gutted actually doesn’t quite describe the feeling…..

It is just as well that I’m losing out on time because of course there are plenty of people who are more than capable of writing a Fashion Spy column and for this issue Simran Kaur has taken on the job and looking at her recent blog entries on the Fashion 156 blog, it seems ingenious DIY is in her blood.  I was floored by her beautiful face-lace pieces that she attached with eyelash glue.  Why shouldn’t the face be adorned in the same way as the rest of the body?  I’m thinking eyelash glue is probably more comfortable on the face than it is on actual eyelashes too.  Well Simran, I’m not quite letting go of the baton yet as I’m determined that I still get into the Fashion156 pie but thank you for giving a different twist to lace for this season because lord knows we need it what with the lace onslaught I feel we’re going to be bombarded with. 

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On an unrelated note I really am turning into an old battle axe who is feeling her blogging 2 and a half years… my newcomers and upstarts list has grown beyond ridiculous and they just keep on coming… to the ‘older’ generation of the fashion blogging world out there, do you ever get a bit overwhelmed by it all?  Let’s sit on a porch, sip some iced-Ovaltine and have a chat about it shall we?

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It’s handy that work has given me a bit more inspiration as to what to do with the white walls I have and the Ikea furniture to decorate (there’s something very sterile about flatpack furniture that I have to immediately clutter and mess up lest I kid myself thinking I’m in that annoying showroom area of Ikea where it’s impossible to escape from….).  The September moodboard that Nicola Formichetti and co and have come up with for the new issue of Dazed are blindingly everything….. it’s about "all things extreme, the bold and beautiful, vivid colour, outlandish designers, eccentric characters, photo distortion, superheroes, eclectism, and nostalgia"…. thus breaking the three-adjectives-in-a-sentence-rule.  Of course in true Dazed-style, nothing is really overly excessive and the actual editorials are quite slick.  Still, their moodboard suggests otherwise and I’ll gladly nick those adjectives and apply them to my own walls…. all in blue tak/pinboard fashion of course seeing as I’m not into displeasing landlords a week after moving in. 

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