I always have to blush and cower a little when people say that I don't follow trends with the implication that I'm a trendstarter.  Not true at all.  The honest truth is more often than not I am an avid trend watcher and a lot will wind up in my outfits in some twisted way or another.  I'm certainly not some sort of renegade creature who is up in the clouds somewhere "marching to the beat of my own drum" (I doubt even the most eccentric mavericks are marching to any kind of beat…).  I'm especially sheep-like with this particular post as I have succumbed to the charms of Peeps.Org, an affordable label designed by New York based Mia Lindquist who I gather is still a student.   I had read about the label on several blogs but it was the lace-up floral skirt that Selina at Flying Saucer had bought that really caught my eye.  Sheep alert!  I went and bought a few items straight away. 

There were some postage mishaps along the way but finally my Peeps Package arrived and in it contained the skirt, a nude mesh hands top, a black studded simple tank and then a white studded bikini for wearing over things.  Haven't had a chance to style them up hence this head-to-toe look that demonstrates I sometimes am just too lazy to think of clever combinations and actually I'm fairly happy with being a lazy outfit bum. 

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Mia's creations have no grand concept and are just plain fun.  They're trend-led but with her own twist and above all affordable.  I should think that were people like Mia around when I was about 15, I'd be throwing all my Chinese New Year, birthday and Christmas money (my only source of income at the time) in her direction.  One peep at her site today and already she's dropped some new items… I feel another Peeps.org package ordeal coming on… 

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I'm touching on the point of irrelevance here but I'll go at it anyway because it's been a grey rainy day which has led me down paths of whimsical and unfocused browsing on the internet.  Louise Richardson, I repeat, isn't a designer but an artist based in Norwich who is exhibiting her work at the King of Hearts Centre, Norwich from 16th May. 

“I am currently looking at the
idea of memory and identity, bringing universal messages to the viewer
through the portrayal of objects in my own memory.”

The objects that Louise remembers from her memory clearly involve a lot of dresses.  Little girl princess dresses that have been worn to death and then grow dusty and weathered and butterflies congregate on them over time.  Or photographs from years gone by get scattered and interwoven in the muslin fabric.  I don't exactly know what tale Louise is trying to tell with each of her garments but it's both a personal one and one with themes that resonate universally.  I'm not suggesting for a minute that Louise takes these ideas to wearable clothing form because a fleeting glance at these images already make the eyes well up at a certain scratchy lemon tulle dress that I hated wearing but loved to look at and other garments of the same ilk. 

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You've heard me bang on about the fact that so-called wardrobe staples that people spout off time and time again (the 'essential' Breton-striped tee is the silliest of them all…) are a load of bollocks when really each person has their own essentials that fits their persona, daily routine and personal style.  The perfect black jacket/blazer though is a different kettle of fish that I didn't subscribe to until I got my Lanvin tuxedo jacket.  A large drycleaning bill solely dedicated to that jacket is testament to how much wear it has gotten.  

So Vietnam-born, Berlin-educated, Parisian-based, designer T√î Long-Nam swoops in and comes up with a first proper selling collection (he was a competitor at Hyeres in 2006, the same year that my friend Anthony Vaccarello won…).  A mixed experience of assisting Patti Wilson, working in Lanvin menswear and Valentino as well as currently working on Superfine London points me towards tell tale clues that Long-Nam's work goes deeper than this initial A/W 09 collection of jackets and that all will be properly revealed during S/S 10.  

Still, from the point of view of a perfect black jacket (PBJ..!  Best worn whilst eating the OTHER PBJ….), Long-Nam has come up trumps with this collection of signature jackets, all stemming from the shapes of muscles of the human body.  Yes, another collection based on body anatomy.  When will it end you ask?  In an all black palette however, the muscle fibre shape resulting in curved seams, round finishings and contrast of textures, can only be subtly detected and instead come across as a proper design motif in its own right.  Reeling off the fabrics is a tactile mind fest in itself; perforated silk satin, cashmere, wool garbadine and lacqued crepe de chine.  Added to Long-Nam's consideration for perfect ergonomics in the jackets and matching trousers and skirt, he's set out a versatile number of PBJ's that I'd gladly name as a wardrobe essential should anybody want to conduct that done-to-death question.  

TÔ Long-Nam_ADV FW 2009-1
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TÔ Long-Nam_EBOOK FW 2009S-3

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I've been a bit sun lucky in the past few days, getting supremely good weather in Antwerp and then coming back to find the sky to still be blue.  Downside is that the mosquito/knat type things seem to be loving my sweet sweet blood and I have a swollen arm dotted with bites.  Upside is that any remotely strong colour looks even more saturated and vivid in this bright white light we're getting.  I got a whiff of summer on Friday when my Nike x Liberty print trainers arrived and I also got a wee surprise from Cooperative Designs in the form of this S/S 09 knitted stripe dress…

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(Dries Van Noten jacket, Cooperative Designs dress, Uniqlo nude t-shirt, Marni heels, vintage white swimming cap)

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With these new arrivals, suddenly I was picturing my own awkward summers of yesteryear, wearing nothing but trainers and pretty dresses/skirts.  I regressed a little back to that time on my short break away but more important than the return to trainer wearing is the colours that match the strength of the white light that we've been lucky to get.  If my comforting layers are to be shed, then I'll compensate by trying to blind people instead with felt tip shades…

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(Louise Gray denim and chiffon shirt dress, Uniqlo grey vest, vintage turquoise leather shorts, Miu Miu shoes)

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(Vintage blue straw hat, vintage fuschia pleated top/tunic, vintage floral dress underneath, Nike x Liberty trainers)

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(COS dress, Fred Butler necklace, Topshop neon necklaces, Basso & Brooke shoes)

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(Steve J & Yoni P jacket, vintage fuschia silk t-shirt, Marios tracksuit bottoms, Melissa x Vivienne Westwood flats)

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(Vintage Rodier teal jacket, vintage draped pink top, Emilio de la Morena Swarovski shorts, H&M cycling shorts, Rupert Sanderson shoes, Urban Outiftters belt)