Monday, 17 August 2009

The Skin Game: Summer Furs...Summer Blog-off with Bitching and Junkfood Continues

The Story so far…

Since last week ManAboutWorld and Bitching and Junkfood have been hanging out and chewing the fat in our not-so dusty archives. We’ve pulled together key images from London’s underground club scene, this year’s graduation catwalks and the coolest streets in the capital and we’re producing a run-down of the hot trends we’ve been seeing on our travels. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s posts and blog-backs on Men’s Makeup and Post-Apocalyptic style.

Above and below: the inimitable and highly creative Zack Holland at Disco Demolition last Saturday with his trademark suspended short/leiderhosen/skirt; this time in colourful real fur.


While I was hunting and gathering shots for last week’s Armageddon post I realised that within that trend I had enough shots to warrant a whole post on one part of the trend which is particularly hot (in all senses) right now: summer fur. As with the blanket/layering/shawl trend and most other fashions which emerge at the opposite time of year from when it would normally be expected, the popularity of fur’s likely go through the roof once it’s natural season of Autumn/Winter starts in earnest.

Above: Fake fur luxe jacket outside Slave to Fashion
Below: This combination of bare chest and quilted bag suggest the post apocalyptic and luxe feel of fur both in the same look

As a politicised vegetarian for 17 years of my life, fur isn’t something I’ve had a great deal of personal experience with. I’m fascinated with the fact that it symbolises both the ultimate in luxury, after all where else in fashion apart from jewellery and haute couture will you find standard items costing tens of thousands of dollars? Yet at the same time it takes us back to our caveman roots, pointing to a time both before the existence of Selfridges, Bloomingdales etc as well as a post-apocalyptic future when all things civilised have been wiped from the planet. As such it walks a difficult tightrope between high sophistication and simple subsistence.

Above: Another party goer at Disco Demolition
Below: Fur collar at a Film Noir's June Dalston Superstore party

These extremes are mirrored in the way fur is branded by the industry which reminds us that it’s the material of choice for the high culture of opera goers and aristocrats versus the anti fur campaigners who remind us of the barbarism of the production of the skins. Personally I feel more comfortable buying second hand as I believe it’s a way of using the fur that’s already out there without really supporting the industry in any negligible way. One thing’s for sure, with so many designers from Alexander McQueen to Ann Demeulmeester offering fur this winter we should be ready to see much more of it as soon as the thermometer starts to head south.

Above: Jason Mui Graduation Show (Nottingham Trent University School of Art and design)
Below: Holly Russell Graduation Show (Manchester Metropolitan University/Manchester School of Art)

Above: Nathaniel Parchment shows fur after a night at Vogue Fabrics
Below: My £3 fur collar from an unofficial trader at the Brick Lane street market

If you’re interested in reading more about how the fur reaches the racks, take a look at the propaganda-heavy Campaign to Abolish the Fur Trade website or this article in the Independent which appears to give a more balanced account.

Club credits:

Disco Demolition, hosted by Dan Lismore and Henry Conway, every Friday at 24, Kingly Street

Slave to Fashion, every Saturday at Beach Blanket Babylon

Film Noir, occasionally at Dalston Superstore and every 4th Friday of the month at Ghetto, Old Street

Punk, various parties. Check out for the best ones

Vogue Fabrics, occasional parties. 666 Stoke Newington High Street, Dalston


Thursday, 13 August 2009

The End of the World...Armageddon Style. A Blog-back to M from Bitching and Junkfood:

Bitching and Junkfood's latest post has got me all het up about the end of the world in 2012 and to be honest I'm rather looking forward to it! For me it just seems like yet another excuse to get dressed up... And one thing's for sure: if Armageddon really is coming, I want to make sure I'm wearing the right gear. From the graduate catwalks to East End clubs and streets I've been noticing a huge trend in looks with a Armageddon/Apocalypse theme. These are some of the looks I reckon we should all be rocking when the big meteorite says 'ta-ta' to style-kind as we know it...

Above: Simon Shilton, RCA Graduate collection

Protection: hard as nails...

Psychologically speaking this is the denial stage of Armageddon chic. Instead of facing up to certain doom, people are trying to save themselves with protective gear: spikes, armour, anything they can to fight back against the threat of annihilation. Offence is the best form of defence!

Above right: clubber at kinbaku event in Bethnal Green's Resistance Gallery.

Taking cover

So, you've worn your spikes and you've put up a good fight. But now the end of the world is getting ever nearer and there's no point in struggling...What do you do? If you can't beat 'em: hide! Here, the threat of imminent apocalypse has people heading for the covers: blankets, shawls and layered coats. It ties in with another of my favourite looks of now: homeless chic. Colours are generally muted: naturals, greys and blacks and materials are usually natural too: wool, leather sometimes mixed with metallics. This is the part of the apocalypse trend that fashion forecasters WGSN have been focusing on with their Earthbound trend report...

Above: Jasper Sinchai Chadrapajong's RCA Graduate Collection

Below: Jason Mui, Nottingham Trent University Graduate Collection

Above left: old Indian guy on bus takes cover under his shawl.

Above left: Protester at G20 Bank demonstration
Above right: Clubber at Caligula 1st night

Dreadlocks: Cave Life takes it's toll

With the world's salons flattened and Aveda haircare all but a distant memory we'll be embracing dreadlocks as the low-maintenance hair style of the future. As M pointed out in her post it's not just the Hackney Wickers who already sporting dreads in preparation. I spotted these hot cavegirls around Brick Lane daytime and nighttime over the last few weeks...

Creative Scavenging - sticks and stones and animals

These looks street looks I saw recently also hit the Armageddon trend. This is about scavenging anything we need which can help us in the post apocalyptic world: crystals, bits of computers, tools and animals...

Where are the animals? I reckon fur and feathers is such an important part of this trend, I'll be doing a separate post on this tomorrow. Check then for more Mad Max looks with just a little lux coming through...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

MAW Vs Bitching and Junkfood Blog off: No bare faced cheek! Men in makeup

Part 1 of a bitch-fest-blog-off with M of Bitching and Junkfood...Starting today M and I are blogging on the keys trends emerging from London's highly directional underground club scene. These guys don't follow fashion, they tell it where to go and they make it happen. Let the bitching commence...

Above: Alexandra Moon-Age (left): 'Dem Bitches stole my facepaint!' to LCF student buddies.

Men in makeup: hardly a new thing...back in the post-disco daze queens were kitting themselves out in face colour and straight guys were borrowing the ladeez makeup whether the women liked it or not.

Above: Claudio Claystl and mates get creative and just a little deranged with their colourful box of tricks. The face colour feeds through to their outfits which mix textures, patterns and colours.

But in recent years blokes, especially straight-ish ones pretty much forgot about makeup and despite market developments like Gaultier launching his own range specifically for men, a quick trackback of the celluloid archives of Boombox et al shows us that colourful faces were the exception rather than the norm...until now.

Above: tireless DJ and sometimes accessories designer Jun Shimbo with his signature liner. The success of Jun's look has inspired me to steal this lately but I struggle to achieve his subtlety...

Below: These two LCF student have been sporting mind blowing face adornments over recent weeks. Their ability to create such drama while restricting themselves so often to a monochrome pallet shows just how inventive these guys are...

With the huge early 80s - early 90s revival, especially new romanticism, and the more gender-bending lens we've slapped onto nu-disco this year, makeup, facepaint and full-on facial accessories have become just another expected part of the look rather than a focus in themselves. From Jon Shimbo's trademark subtle black eye liner to these dramatic examples of facial art, the most directional individuals will rarely venture out with barefaced cheek...

Above: Love this look though I prefer even darker and more defined around the eyes so it really looks like a mask. A poster on the wall in the old Ghetto inspired me to try it a couple of years ago and I've gone back to it recently. It's fairly easy to achieve with masking tape. For a non-run effect apply Screenface's Luxe Creme Liner with a wet brush.

Above/below: Don't leave home without it....Men's makeup ain't the drama it once was. It's just as much an ordinary part of the outfit as the boots on yer feet.

Above/below (Andrew Carbery-Row): glam Dan Lismore's night, Slave to Fashion every Saturday at Beach Blanket Babylon, Shoreditch.

Camp Vamps at Dalston Superstore (above) and Slave to Fashion (below - Alejandro Gocast)

Above: another subtle look
Below: Gage...awesome.


On ManAboutWorld's side of the MAW Vs Bitching and Junkfood slate...