>> I've been re-watching a ton of old episodes of Smack the Pony, an all-female sketch show that ran from 1999 to 2003 poking fun at all the hysterical tendancies of women and their relationships with men, that are as true today as they were back then.  Watch this medley of sketches on the theme of competition between women and you'll see what I mean.  The show elicits a nervous sort of laughter as it dawns on you that you too have fallen prey to some of the things that are being made fun of.  The one that I've posted here was particularly relevant back when I watched it.  Patterned tights.  All fun and games until the punchline hits you in the crotch.  They don't suit legs.  I remember bellowing with laughter with my sister when we saw this and then realised we indeed had a box of patterned tights that were fun for first time novelty wear but quickly became entangled into a pile of bunched up hoisery rejects.  I really do think that sketch has contributed to the diminishing presence of patterened tights in my life as weird as that sounds.  Yes, it's just a sketch but the niggling thought at the back of my mind has lingered – that patterned tights are cheesy signposts to say to the world "Hey, I'm a raving quirkster and I want my legs to show you that!"  Oh, and they may not suit legs.  Not that, body conscious suitability has ever really been a prevailing factor in my wardrobing decisions.

Tokyo has broken my patterned tights drought though.  Cute n' kawaii label mercibeaucoup has come up with some beautifully gradiated tights (not available outside of Japan alas) in a geometric pattern that seems to have everything from a sunset, twilight sky and the sparkling sea floating around in the colour palette and they're far more complex than a pair of yer average polka dot/striped/printed tights.  Seductive colours win for now and thoughts of that Smack the Pony sketch are shelved for the moment.

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On another Japan-related hoisery note, the latest issue of SO-EN, one of my favourite Japanese magazines has a ten page feature on antique stockings in their vintage issue.  Ten pages dedicated to bygone stockings.  That's the sort of editorial whimsicality that wouldn't cut the mustard in most mainstream mags in the West these days.  Then again, we are also talking about a country that can get beautifully printed books published about topics as specific as airline meals, embroidery from South East Asia and stationery from France in the pre-war period so I suppose a ten page gorgefest on 18th century clocked stockings, patriotic legs at the French Revolution and mid-20th century nylons shouldn't be all that surprising.  As with much of SO-EN's content, it's certainly a refreshing break from the usual advertiser news pieces and name drops.  
 
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>> You, me and the rest of the world has probably already seen this geniously cute video made by The Coveteur in honour of the relaunch of their site but seeing as I have such fond memories of the Coveteur trio invading my home a few months ago, I thought I'd give add to the viral effect.  Three immediate observations about the poor child playing "mini me" – a) she's much cuter than I was as a child (and contrary to popular belief, I wasn't in fact born with a top knot on my head), b) she's alas not British but on the up side c) they did get the rapport spot on between myself Bryan Boy and Man Repeller – I would in reality always be the last one to tweet/instagram anything because I'm a bone fide social media slow-mo.  It's no surprise that the video has racked up a ton of views in about a day or so.  Fashion videos are in desperate need for spoofing or be knocked off its po-faced perch with a spot of piss-taking every now and again.  It also helps that the presence of cute kids is sure to produce cries of "Adorbs!" and "AWWWWWW"s from all around the internetz.  Mini me and mahussive me approve.    

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>> I'm still in Tokyo full throttle mode – i.e. cramming in as much as possible in each day from breakfast to karaoke or surreal robot shows at night – so apologies for the blog slow down.  I missed Tokyo Fashion Week that just happened last week but fortunately Style.com had proper coverage for the first time with hopefully the goal being that whenever I do drop names like Phenomenon, mintdesigns and Anrealage, they won't be completely unknown to the majority.  To make up for missing the shows, I checked out some of the designer "exhibitions" – otherwise known as press/buyer showrooms and a chance to see the clothes up close in person.  Facetasm's Hiromichi Ochiai has a penchant for fusing the street with the high end, taking elements such as hip hop bandana paisley or plaid shirts around the waist and exaggerating them until you end up with something that is far removed from its inspiration source.  Seeing the S/S 13 collection entitled "Flavor", the thing that resonated the most with me was his use of coloured laces embroidered with a specially commissioned graffiti rendition of the word Facetasm.  The graphics were created by New York artist NU-W and from afar, the irregularly curved lettering might as well be other decorative elements – florals, paisleys or any other random pattern.  It's only up close that the contrast between the brash graffiti and the pretty lace really comes alive.  Graffiti can look like a giant ball of 80s cliche when not employed with intelligence especially in the streetwear-influenced menswear and womenswear field, which Facetasm operates in.  Judging by the other exhibitions that I saw, Tokyo once again comes up trumps when it comes to thoughtful choice of textures and fabrications and Facetasm's graffiti lace definitely falls into that category.  

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>> It's that time again when I'm flitting about parts of the world for seemingly no apparent reason except that it will become apparent in months to come, which conveniently explains my inhospitably timed posting.  I've dropped into Tokyo for a few days for something work-related but primarily to fuel the growing dominance of Japanese brands in my wardrobe.  Meadham Kirchhoff shouts out for the Brits in this outfit (although their clothes seem to fit right into Tokyo's stylescape anyway) with this polka dot silk shirt from their A/W 12-3 disco-glam collection.  It's something that has become something of a signature fabric for the duo to use as it pops up in practically every collection – ruched, edged with lace or in a colour blocked shirt like this featuring a sole heart-shaped plastic button just to remind you that Meadham Kirchhoff are the types that are really into stickers, hearts and flowers.  As for the rest of this Tokyoite ensemble, it's Japan all the way, beginning with a blue lurex cap-benie combo hat from the A/W 12-3 Ganryu by Comme des Garcons collection.  The former Junya Watanabe pattern-maker Fumito Ganryu's menswear line (which is housed under the Comme umbrella) is scarcely found outside of Japan but both myself and Steve are constantly drawn to it whenever we're in Tokyo.  The trenchcoat is a Junya Watanabe find from the newish mahussive Rag Tag store in Harajuku.  I've extolled the virtues of designer consignment shopping in Tokyo.  Make Rag Tag (the Harajuku and Shibuya branches are best) your first destination and ye shall not be disappointed.  The collegiate shorts are by Facetasm, another label gaining momentum in the West with the likes of LN-CC showing support for this mens and womens label that cuts up sportswear, streetwear and uniform codes and splices them into strangely appealing combos.  The Japanese contingent in the wardrobe continues to grow as I've also been sneaking in a few personal orders here and there with designers such as Toga and Sacai that make my heart go ba-dump-ba-dump.  If my wardrobe was in an United Nations meeting scenario, there would be some UK vs. Japan issues to resolve.

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Worn with Rag & Bone Pilot bag and Opening Ceremony x Forfex boots