Friday, 30 January 2009


All this pale high rise denim with seams is reminding me of Thelma & Louise.

High rises. Midriffs. Sleeveless shirts. Pale blue acid washes. Am I imagining a pair of very tight, very short shorts making their appearance on Darryl?


It feels so much more OK if they are originally ripped and faded, and you could have dug them out of your Dad's wardrobe, doesn't it?

I found these through ShopBop (, they're by What Goes Around Comes Around ( They're re-selling vintage Levi's, although I'm not sure if they're distressing them extra themselves for that fashion touch.

There's a great item on them on A Continuous Lean (


Knee rips at Balmain, but we probably didn't need a ready-to-wear show to let us know that ripped jeans are quite the thing at the moment.

I think this is one to grow on, especially as it means that once we d.i.y some rips in one pair of jeans, we might need to replace them, which will make the shops happy.

I can't claim to be a recession expert, but a denim designer of my acquaintance did point out that when times are hard, people want smart clean jeans they can use for a multitude of occasions, from work to going out. I wonder how this squares with the faded, trashed and
derelicte direction of a lot of denim?

Top: Balmain (
Left: Siwy (
Right middle: Current/EliotT (
Right bottom: What Goes Around Comes Around (


Some thoughts on the Balmain collection. I like the knee panelling & rise detail. The picture on the left is from Unknown Factory, which is a cool way of getting some shape into the knee of a skinny. I think women's jeans are taking more influences from men's jeans and getting more detail driven (on top of the fit/silhouette influence from premium jeans). I saw some mens jeans from Salsa denim with exactly this holster shaping on the rise, but I can't find them on their website (

Going to match all those Biker jackets the kids are wearing.
Left: Unknown Factory (
Right: Balmain (


Neil Young isn't technically a band, I know, but I thought I'd kick off with him. Always useful to have some pictures of bands in jeans in a safe place.


So this Goldsign skinny jean (the misfit motif) has an interesting fabric composition: 44% rayon/29% cotton/25% cupro/2%. Apparently this gives it 35% stretch, which is described as 'tensile' at Poplife, and the press release, I would imagine.

Sounds like an interesting yarn blend. I've only ever encountered Cupro in fine gauge knits, but it has potential in jeans I guess, as it's from the cotton plant, and appears to be eco-friendly to produce, unlike cotton.

info on Cupro


I've been trawling the sale rails with my no money, and I found this on the Built by Wendy site ( BBW is one of those brands that makes me feel like its my private discovery, as I don't think you can get it anywhere in the UK, and the two stores I have found, one in Williamsburg and one in San Francisco, I stumbled upon by accident. This makes me not only love it, but also sort of trust what they do (you know, if they can manage to put themselves in the way of my stumblings not once but twice, then they must be cool...).

All of which has made me re-think my feelings towards marbled jeans. We've been talking about them a lot for the next couple of seasons - AW09, SS10 etc. Those Jil Sander marbled suits were pretty striking, and that kind of thing tends to shift people's eyes. Also, there's nothing some people won't wear to look cool. And most importantly, after years of jeans with minimal texture, achieving some kind of texture/colour/pattern on the leg looks right. Tints & acid washes combined with shorter vertical slubs are already moving into the mainstream.

But, I think this is the first time I've seen this kind of wash and thought that I actually might like to wear it...

Thursday, 29 January 2009


I've had this picture from WAD magazine for ages ( I've been keeping it to remind me that I love the idea of having just one button showing. When I found, he'd just taken these great street shots of a guy in vintage navy pants, and the shape of the rise reminded me of the picture. A bit of volume, a low front pocket profile, a single button on the rise...


I saw the diary before Christmas, and fell in love with the idea of having one with my name on it. Didn't get it. In my search for tooled leather, I found the shoes, which aren't my size.

I've collected the pictures over the last few months, mainly to illustrate the western/gothic trend for details & accessories that feel talismanic, like a cult for shamans, trinkets and totems.

The patterns remind me of guipure embroidery and vintage lace, and it works amazingly in surprising places (like the shoes). The concept of taking a natural material and turning it into something crafted and personalised is very timely.

Mostly I just want something with my name on.

the blue tooled leather:
the samurai wallet:

the shoes:

the diary:

the vintage rose handbag:
roses pattern:

bird (artist, Frieda Gosset):


Last thing from the Kapital SS09 collection, which reminded me of the pictures on the ebayLE blog ( Very back to basics; I love the idea of lining pockets & waistbands with old lumberjack style check.


How nice to have an interiors magazine with slightly younger people featured. Looks like a perfect bookend to my World of Interiors fantasies.


Would you forgive me for describing these images as a 1950's Japanese version of Lady Chatterley? The contrast between his destroyed, roll-in-the-hay jeans and that stiff powerloom chino creating an Englishwoman's riding skirt. Too far?



Looking at the SS09 Kapital collection reminds me how much I loved last year's images and ideas.



My friend Hiro told me about Kapital about 6 months ago, a glaring hole in my denim knowledge which I have been trying to fill ever since by mooning through all their collections (and avoiding figuring out the exchange rate between sterling and yen). I love the Navajo-style elements of their SS09 collection.

We've been talking a lot in the studio about various American artisan textiles & techniques making a comeback. My colleagues are bored to death with me naming my concepts Puritan. But from Amish needlework and quiltmaking, Chicken scratch embroidery and bobbin laces to the Western through to New Mexican blankets, patterns, turquoise and beading, it's definitely feeling right.

Chalk Farm market with my Mum in the mid-1980's almost did suede fringing for me for good, but moccasins are everywhere in London, and suede fringed bags just feel like something the cooler older girl at school had when you were young.



And the pictures...


Wrangler is one of my favourite brands. Broken twill is the best. That Wrangler blue. The leather patch on the back pocket. I know exactly what it is and what it should be.

I loved these ads for AW08. Not sure about the idea of repositioning through 'instinct and emotion'; how about repositioning by being kick ass? But these pictures are supercool. I can't claim credit for realising what it was about them that struck me - thank you Kate - but they are totally like Ryan McGinley's pictures.

They weren't shot by him, they were done by a French agency, FFL Paris. Pretty sure they knew what they were doing. Even the we are animals tagline sounds inspired by the nests that McGinley, Colen & Snow build in New York galleries. But hey, getting down with the kids and all that.

I also can't claim to have discovered Ryan McGinley way back when. I read this brilliant article about him and Dash Snow and Dan Colen in 2007 and it's one of those things that's immediately and intensely compelling. I mean, you pretty much hate them. Cool. Creating a movement. Not a million miles away from unbelievably pretentious. Talented in a way that just digs into your imagination. So, jealous of course.

Wrangler campaign info:


I re-read The Outsiders at Christmas which made me want to find some pictures.

It was hard picking out the best ones/the ones where there wasn't something weird going on with Tom Cruise's lip.

I forgot how much the film was all about the denim. Each character has their own denim outfit, Ponyboy has the western denim jacket & jeans, Tom Cruise has that insane denim gilet & jeans, Patrick Swayze's in the chambray muscle shirt & jeans, and the leg lengths look super cool. The aesthetic of 1960's denim done in the 1980's is so great.

Stay gold, Pony.

I'm going to hunt out some denim gilet fashion images and see if I can put something together.

Pictures from The,


I love spy films and have just discovered my local library, where DVDs rent for the princely sum of £1 a week. First film out the gate was 3 days of the Condor, and... the jeans, the jeans.
I found myself mentally scanning my wardrobe and deciding that Robert Redford's capsule wardrobe of grey tweed jacket, denim shirt, high rise tight bright blue flares, aviators, pea coat, contained everything I might need.
Although I also spent some time wondering how the running and fighting worked in the tight jeans. They're tight. And high.

Sadly, I couldn't find a full body shot of the denim shirt, tight denim flares combo that Robert Redford sports for the second half of the film. It looks great though. An unironic denim shirt that's properly blue, and tight flared jeans that manage to look really cool on a man. I really like the mid blues as an antidote to all the raw darks in mens jeans, and it was good to see how they could be worn without looking too self-consciously vintage.

As for my own 3 days of the Condor capsule wardrobe jean, I have a great pair of high waisted 18th Amendment jeans which require some planning to get into, but which I've been inspired to wear with a shirt & a navy round neck jumper.
I also have a pea coat, a men's Schott with the great anchor buttons, which I was smugly pleased about finding and paying very little for.
It was, as always, great to find out that I was treading a well worn path of being a dick.

Pictures from the film from: