>> Do you remember those days when a 50p scrunchie made out of some sheeny shiny lame fabric would cheer you up?  No, actually, I don't recall those days and I'm not sure many people did get much joy out of a scrunchie.  With my abundant mane, no flimsy scrunchie is going to secure a ponytail.  However, I did get SOME minor joy out of these hair contraptions, yesterday when in my local chemist (not Boots/Superdrug…an ickle chemist…the type that only sell two types of shampoo and really really old lines of L'Oreal make-up…) when I picked up these black and white heart-cut-out scrunchies for 99p and used them as a solution for keeping these Emma Cook S/S09 ruffle shoes  developed from previous seasons but used from slipping off.  I bought them at the sample sale a few weeks ago, attracted by the copper-y satin and had intended to get some elasticated grosgrain and sew them on as straps.  But then my old friend procrastination struck.  That old chestnut again… 

Oh well, I have the trip for indigestion tablets to thank for these temporary shoe straps that paired with my stripy stockings, faintly remind me of the Ascot scene in My Fair Lady.

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IMG_1257 Now it may seem like I'm treading on unknown territory here, poking around the boyfriend's turf (meant in the least sexual way possible there…) and perhaps sticking my blogging nose where it does not belong.  

But I'm writing about Casely-Hayford's S/S 10 Kings of the Kings Land on two quite important accounts; a) that it's a fooking good collection, REGARDLESS of whether it's a menswear or womenswear collection and Style Bubble readers aren't in my mind just into pretty bows and frilly tulle and b) it's nice to see that my love of Joe Casely-Hayford, the highly distinguished half of this father-son duo, nurtured back in the early noughties when I'd go DSUK sample saling comes full circle.  This Joe Casely-Hayford shirt has served me well over the years, unbuttoned and otherwise…

It goes without saying that Joe Casely-Hayford is a British fashion legend, hence why my eyes would light up when I spied his name on the sample sale racks.  He's errr…. of course gone on to bigger and better things that servicing my small-fry shopping needs.  Together with his equally distinguished (not to mention TAAAALLLL) son, Charlie, Casely-Hayford was born for S/S 09. 

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Of course you'll know all of this, if you have read the musings of the other half on Style Salvage as they have waxed lyrical MANY times about Casely-Hayford.  I'm seizing my moment though and after politely waiting until Steve put up the interview with Charlie Casely-Hayford, I can now declare my love for what I think is one of the 'freshest' collections.  By the way, that's 'fresh' as in the slightly retro mid-80s hip-hop meaning.  It's a sad affair that I'm breaking out with disused slang but one-word-collection-articulation is hard.  I wonder how Sarah Mower does it.

In the Casely-Hayford interview on Style Salvage, they explain that their S/S 10 collection is inspired by Kingsland Road (area in East London… full of Vietnamese restos and general TREND-EYE-NESS), and from this, they've termed the phrase 'Afropunk', a word that along with 'fresh' has been ringing around since I saw their S/S 10 presentation at Fashion East's Menswear installations.  This entire collection smacks of the sort of cultural appropriation that is scarily spot on.  Casely-Hayford has been trying to articulate that meeting point from 'English Heritage to British Anarchy' and I think with this 'afropunk' collection they have done that splendidly.  They saw a synergy between the spirit of London punks and that of traditional tribal wear and have very successfully fused them together, because all the injection of 'African' details have been doused in Casely-Hayford's traditional tailoring skills.  I know I'm sounding excessively complimentary here but that's only because I'm attempting several different sentences, from which hopefully ONE will successfully convey what I'm trying to get at…

It may be my wary comments about 'cultural/ethnic' appropriation in the past that made my head whirl about this collection.  That in being inspired by the raw energy of Kingsland Road, its immigrant connotations as well as its more recent 'trendiness' and combining those ideas with the physical outcome of traditional African elements richly poking out from the sturdy foundations of English tailoring…I can perhaps relate to those mixed sentiments with how I relate to my own culture.  

And on that heavy-handed, Channel4-documentary note, it's past midnight and this is no longer the forum to be discussing ideas of cultural misplacement.  Let's stick with FRESH shall we?  Or let's discuss the idea of 'hanker-sleeves' as shown in the picture below…hankerchiefs knotted up the arm forming sleeves?  Let's just forget that I ever even attempted to string an actual THOUGHT-provoking bit of prose about this collection?

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>> I've scrubbed the cooker, in the process of baking a tart and have also undertaken a beading DIY project.  I'm also looking outside my window every two seconds for a TNT van containing a spanking new iMac.  This is me playing out the role of a domestic banshee.  I only give into one-note, one-dimensional outfit posts when I'm hurried for time (i.e. during Fashion Week) but it seems I've had to give into this one whilst I'm extremely full of time yet unable to produce anything more substantial because…well… there's… the tart… the TNT van… and err… spice racks to organise… and all the rest of it.

So solitary outfit post it is.  I guess I may as well try and construct a point around it.  Remember how I talked about the plain old weather inspiring an outfit and how actually deep down in me, a pragmatic spirit is floating around, trying desperately to break free?  Well, this outfit is basically a big F*** You to this tiresome rain that threatens to drain my spirits because I am mired in a pathetic cycle of waiting for pastry to bake/TNT vans to come/torrents to download.  I have this Moschino Cheap and Chic jacket to thank for that… what the whole ensemble really wants to say to the skies is "You will NOT be able to hide this under an umbrella…" 

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(Vintage Moschino Cheap & Chic jacket, Uniqlo flannel shirt, vintage floral loose trousers from Market Publique, Irregular Choice patent brogues)

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I know that the first thing that will pop into your head after seeing this image above is Alexander McQueen's Plato's Atlantis S/S 10 collection.  I'm already anticipating the legions of comments going "Errr… that's a McQueen rip-off!".  Actually though, as it happens Candian-born, London-based shoe designer Anastasia Radevich's A/W 09-10 'Biofuture' collection was already exhibited at Carnaby Street back in June.  So let's just say that more than one designer can have their own vision of Plato's Atlantis.  If McQueen's hoof shoes are one extreme of his very specific vision of the creatures from the future that have been buried deep down under the sea, then Radevich's shoes are another extreme, albeit perhaps a touch more down to earth.  Using all of her hand-crafting might, Radevich has sculpted heels that are inspired by organic lifeforms and created lattice cut-out heels that look like decaying shells. The upper also flows along with the heel in undulating waves, like mermaids' tails and she's aptly applied an aquatic palette to the shoes too.

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I'm not of course just pulling this stuff out of my arse.  Radevich has very helpfully put up her sketchbooks where her ideas are crystal clear…. crystal under-the-sea-water clear to be exact!

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She only gives up a few images from her S/S 10 collection but she is going to be stocked at new concept store/e-store Wolf & Badger, which I've been anticipating ever since I sniffed them out.  It's been a long time coming but they're finally opening in February and if their stocking of Radevich is anything to go by, I'll be baaaack with a follow-up write-up on the Wolf & Badger's proceedings.

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