>> The knitwear fixation continues. There was hesitation to include these two beauties in my Twelve Christmas Jumpers line-up and rightly so. Last night, after doing battle with a particularly juicy bird (no euphemism intended) and a pomegranate, I’m afraid these two Sonia Rykiel pieces have emerged worse for wear. Before juices went flying around though, I did manage to photograph them against my newly white walls and floors (let’s see how long that lasts…). Before Christmas, Sonia Rykiel were kind enough to send me a few things from the S/S 14 collection, the second by relatively new creative director Geraldo da Conceicao at the house. The show was another dimmed light vaguely sultry affair that is stamping de Conceicao’s subversive groove into the knitwear house. The darker proceedings began at A/W 13-4 with that memorable passage of stretch pleather trews in a clash of vamp red and powder blue paired with reinterpretation of the signature Rykiel “poor boy” sweater. For S/S 14, in a similarly dimmed surroundings, copper-hued lamé and flesh-y tones glinted and hinted. Da Conceicao’s appointment at Sonia Rykiel may not have been a shouty one but his credentials from previous positions at Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Yves Saint Laurent are definitely taking the “queen of knitwear” back to its Left Bank bourgeois “thinking girl” roots.
Admittedly some of the detailing was lost on me during the low lit show but up close, these two instances of argyle remix were certainly persuasive. Sonia Rykiel isn’t the knitwear house known for its argyle knit but for S/S 14 da Conceicao sent it down an unexpected path by mashing up pops of pale blue and lime yellow frills reminiscent of retro bed jackets with a copper lamé-flecked disrupted argyle pattern. Conveniently, the diamond lines of the argyle pattern also aid the lean lines of da Conceicao’s elongated body-skimming silhouette of the collection. Little delicate star-shaped diamante buttons down the front and sides of these loose knitted tank tops are the bit of whimsy that da Conceicao allows himself in what is a very controlled and sensual take on Sonia Rykiel codes. Da Conceicao and co. may not like it but I’ve also shed some undesired daylight on to these pieces in these pics. Afterall, they did arrive in a box stamped with “reine du tricot depuis 1968”. That sort of stature deserves a brighter and lighter spotlight.
Sonia Rykiel argyle knit pieces worn with Tsumori Chisato shirt, Julien David scribble skirt, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, My Panda shirt, Merchant Archive trousers, Sophia Webster slingbacks
>> The feeling of putting a thick permanent black marker pen to paper and making that squeaky foam to fibre sound is a satisfying one. I’d imagine then that Beth Postle, this year’s graduate of Central Saint Martins BA menswear design and print, had a riot with her collection of chunky black markers when coming up with her motifs for her standout collection. There’s more than a hint of Picasso in Postle’s work, except she takes it in a pop-led and exuberant direction, but it turns out she wasn’t consciously inspired by the artist. I personally got more Memphis and ’80s retro futuristic vibes from Postle’s printed black marker outlined portraits, which she then applied to shapes inspired by 1920’s Soviet costume and 1970s paper dolls. On a rare trip out to the January sales (I needed a nice toilet brush and didn’t want to pay megabucks for it… needs, must.) in town, I dropped by Machine-A where slow-on-the-uptake me discovered that Postle had done an exclusive capsule collection of pieces for the store. It’s the recognisable essence of her brilliant BA collection on neoprene trackie bottoms and long and short sleeved tees with the premise being that some of them match up to create a continuous portrait. Not only was I slow on the uptake. I also missed the first drop of the collection, which sold out in a flash and I was lucky enough to pick up bits from the second drop on sale. Me thinks other people recognised the fact that ten years down the line, they can say whilst stroking their chin in a pensive manner, “I think I might still have a piece from Postle’s first collection in the attic somewhere…” The trip to the Jan sales also yielded a Eugenia Kim knitted collar, which bucks the shirt collar norm with its resolute chunkiness and I’ve been waiting to break out these bad boy flamingo booties by Sophia Webster, from her properly-good, properly bargainous sample sale earlier in December. I want to say they’re the BEST flamingo themed shoes I’ve ever clapped my eyes on, except come to think of it, they might be the only flamingo-themed shoes I’ve seen.
P.S. Oh HI, new background/location for taking outfit pictures. Looks vaguely like the old gaff, no? Ah… the standardised property developer’s style that pervades London. A few people have been asking about interiors-related stuff in the new house on Twitter/Instagram so I’ll be detouring into interiors territory for one post only. Apartment Therapy, I am not…
Beth Postle pictures from 1 Granary
>> It’s a whole load of firsts this year. For the first time in all of my thirty years, we didn’t do Christmas at my grandma’s house in Dollis Hill with our annual gathering of four different kinds of roast meats (our family is big enough that goose, duck, beef AND turkey are all on offer). Instead, we shrunk the Christmas get together down to my mum, my three sisters, my uncle and Steve and christened the new house with the smell of a 10kg forerib of beef (still ploughing through leftovers). I made gravlax from scratch. Steve and I prepped the veg the night before. We used a digital meat thermometer for the first time. We were basically following a combination of Delia Smith and Mary Berry’s instructions verbatim. Thoroughly grown-up stuff. On the day though, I thought I’d establish a tradition that is entirely my own doing. The Christmas jumper apparently shows no signs of abating. Whilst I manage to avoid cartoonish robins and gigantic christmas puddings on my jumpers, it is a time of year when an assortment of sweaters and jumpers either come through the post as pressies or on my Christmas shopping trips, I misguidedly think I “deserve” a gift to myself. And so from about 9am in the morning until 12 midnight of Christmas day this year, not quite on the hour every hour, I rotated through my twelve jumpers/sweaters/sweatshirts (there’s a clear distinction between the three but for ease, I’ll call them all Christmas jumpers) much to the bemusement of my family. I have some vaguely convincing practical reasons why twelve jumpers on Christmas day works – less chance of one jumper being overly permeated with the smell of roasting meats and veg or some such nonsense – but the real reason is just the pure indulgence of changing your top twelve times in about five seconds in your own house, in your own wardrobe cubby room because you’re the one who’s hosting the Christmas festivities and you don’t have to leave the house. With my trusty red leather H&M trousers (the only pair of leather trousers I would call comfy enough to eat a Christmas meal in) as my accomplice, I hereby give you my twelve jumpers of Christmas Day. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Boxing Day. Normal posting duties that don’t revolve around roasting meat or alcohol to resume soon.
Chinti & Parker sweater
Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, MiH knitted socks
Tsumori Chisato jumper
Mary Katrantzou sweatshirt
Chanel limited edition X’Mas 2013 sweatshirt
Ostwald Helgason short sleeved sweater and matching skirt, Christopher Kane scarf
Christopher Kane cable jumper
Vintage tinsel jumper
Comme des Garcons Homme jumper
Leutton Postle jumper
Let Kuzmus sweatshirt, EDE England Big Scarf
>> I’m still mining the process of packing/unpacking for posts. Plus, we’re nearing that Christmas downtime when all that matters is meat, chocolate and shit TV as opposed to catching up on blogs. I’m also not straying too far from that overwhelming feeling of looking back to look forward. Attempting to pack and unpack your entire “life” in material possessions piled up high in front of you is certainly one surefire way to go on a never-ending reminiscing journey. Today, it was time to sift through the jewellery boxes. In my head, I had myself pegged as a non-committed-jewellery person. Not that I don’t wear, love and admire the stuff, but that I’m not someone who needs to wear jewellery on a daily basis and has something shiny attached to their persons at all times. I had also deluded myself into thinking that I don’t have a lot of jewellery. In comparison to the mountains of clothes, these three boxes seem paltry. That said, once I had tipped out the contents from the boxes I found myself “styling” jewellery as opposed to shoving random bits and bobs on whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously worn arm/ring or neck parties but it’s pretty amusing working out the different combos these gathering of jewels. Can you tell that I’m happily housebound at the moment?