Monday, 31 May 2010

Visvim FR swing top jacket: Closer look

Visvim released its FR line to much fanfair last year. It was a highly limited capsule collection, using the most luxurious fabrics Hiroki Nakamura could find.

Due to the limited release and the prohibitive price point, there is scant detail on these garments to be found online. All we really know is that the products were made in France.

I've now sourced the stand-out item from the line - the FR swing top.

This is essentially a Baracuta harrington style jacket, but is crafted from extremely fine shirting cotton.

It is unlined, constructed without pockets, and features a ribbed waist and elasticated cuffs.

It is also worth noting that on this occasion, the trademark Riri zipper, which is usually the best method of identifying a genuine Visvim garment, has been substituted for a premium Excella branded fastening.

Seeing as it is essentially a shirt made to look like a Baracuta, it hangs beautifully.

Whether I would ever have paid the exorbitant price this originally retailed at is another question entirely.

And because I don't live in St Tropez, I have no idea whether I will get much use out of such a light weight piece of outerwear. So I might consider sensible offers. Might.

Richardson A4 mag: You have been warned

There seems to be something about the name Richardson that brings out the sleazier side of life.

Just take Terry Richardson. The bloke has made himself famous for taking risque photos and prancing around on set with his todger out.

Now there's Andrew Richardson and his magazine of the same name. I'm guessing A4 has been preceeded by A1 to A3. I don't actually know what they contained, but judging by the link to the mag's associated website and this issue's focus on porn star Sasha Grey, they might not be the kind of thing your mum would want to see either.

So if you are prudish, are averse to porn, or are related to me in any way, I might advise you not to click this link.

There's more content on the site, but it is more or less porn, to be honest.

But from a design point of view, I like the way the website has been set out. And the magazine cover is quite striking, in an Operation Desert Shield kind of way.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Barcelona: Gaudi in the city

It's one thing to build a few buildings in a park, completely another for city planners to let you loose on an apartment block or two. But to build a cathedral? That requires friends in high places.

The trouble with having friends in extremely high places, however, is that you have to get yourself killed to meet them. Someone must have been desperate, because Antoni Gaudi didn't even get to finish the Santa Familia before his time came up.

Not that he would have lived to see it finished even of he hadn't got ran over by that tram. He was 74 at the time.

More than 120 years later, the place is still a building site.

At least he finished a couple of apartment blocks though.

I know this is yet another load of pictures from a trip you probably forgot I'd taken by now, but I reckon they're worth seeing all the same.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Will you still love me ...

... when I'm driving an invalid scooter?

Louis Vuitton: Investment pieces

I rarely find anything I want in Louis Vuitton. In fact I have only ever found two things I've ever wanted from them.

They are a pair of sunglasses I bought in New York in 2005 and a scarf I found in Florence in 2007.

Each of these have been in constant use ever since I got them.

The shades, from the Louis Vuitton Cup range, are still in production and have to be the finest sports sunglasses I have bought. They are light, indestructible and crystal clear. And they get quite a severe battering with all the running and cycling.

The scarf is just timeless. The minute I clapped my eyes on it I knew there wasn't a thing it wouldn't go with.

I have worn it to weddings, to the pub, on nippy days and sunny days, and it's there in the holdall whenever I go away.

These pieces sum up what clothes should be about. They should become a part of you, soak up your experiences so that whenever you put them back on you unlock your life.

They are a bank, a memory stick, a key to the memories.

And that is why Louis Vuitton has become the phenomenon it is. To purchase something by them is not to purchase a garment or a fashion item. It is to obtain a vessel for future memories. That makes it priceless.

But I still think they make gay t-shirts.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Loius Vuitton Maison: Do it for the Murakami

I went into a Louis Vuitton store in Barcelona, as you do. Negotiated past a few tourists buying handbags, did a lap of the menswear section, noted that it was more euro-bling than ever, and legged it.

I can't say that experience left me gagging for the opening of the Louis Vuitton Maison in New Bond Street, but I might poke my head in all the same, just so I can get a closer look at that Murakami sculpture.

Beats a pair of dodgy monogrammed trainers for a reason to visit all day long.

More images of the star-studded opening night over at EMM.

N.E.R.D photo shoot: At least Pharrell wears it well

My friend James once said that the only person who ever looked good in Billionaire Boys Club clothes was Pharrell Williams.

Never a truer word spoken if you ask me. Mind you, if N.E.R.D's outfits in this video are all BBC, it looks like they might have toned things down at last. Oversized baby pink hoodies with dollar symbols all over them were always going to have a shelf life, after all.

This stuff looks tame in comparison.

But that doesn't hide the fact that somewhere on those garments will be located a dollar sign, or a diamond, or a spaceman. Holding an ice cream. For some reason that puts me off.

Even N.E.R.D won't persuade me otherwise.

And yes, I know I used to wear a bit of Bathing Ape on occassion, which is a sister label of BBC, but that was because of James Lavelle. And besides, BBC is far worse.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Band of Outsiders for Sperry penny loafers: I say!

I have been rather impressed with the bargain Sperry Topsiders I bought a few weeks ago. Soft as you like and perfect for a sockless summer.

That's probably why I've given these penny loafers a second glance. This is Band of Outsiders' version, in a canvas not unlike the type used in Visvim's Moc Abarth Folk.

Possibly a bit pimp daddy for some tastes in that natural cream colourway, and guaranteed to draw dirt to them like a magnet but a nice release all the same from the inventor of the deck shoe. Even now I'm picturing a bar on a dock in the south of France, martini in hand, fake tan on my shins, a lady on one arm, these on my feet.

This is the latest in a series of colabs with Band of Outsiders, and the previous ones are also worth tracking down.

But it's the striped sole that makes these stand out. Nice touch.

Available at Caliroots

Via Selectism

Monday, 24 May 2010

James Lavelle: The Unkle who keeps on giving

My admiration of James Lavelle and Unkle has been well documented on this blog. I would go so far as to say the man can do no wrong in my eyes. I might even have said that before.

I still don't have his Where Did the Night Fall album - this is mainly due to apathy on my part and not getting round to clicking the 'buy' button on the Unkle site. But the three tracks I've heard from it would lead me to confidently say he is still on form. And I will be buying it.

I'm actually posting this interview because I've been told that I could be in with a chance to get into a party if I do. Seeing as I have no intention of going to this party in the East End of London somewhere, and assuming I win, I will pick a follower at random and hand the VIP access over. As long as you take a couple of photos.

Just imagine, free access to a Vice Magazine party in Shoreditch. Life. Does. Not. Get. Any. Better.

Rapha Maharam cycling cap for BESPOKE: Rare breed

Every now and then Rapha gets together with another brand on a collaboration project.

There was the Paul Smith racing cap a few years ago, which was released in such limited quantities that it is now a collectable (and pricey) item, if you can find it.

There was also the Paul Smith Grand Tour gloves, released at the end of 2009.

It's back to the hats for the latest collaboration with Maharam for the exhibition BESPOKE: The Handbuilt Bicycle, which is a pretty decent name for a shpw if you ask me.

There were only 75 of these caps produced, which is going to make them harder to catch than the camels they were made from.

As for the camel hair in the mid summer? Well if it's good enough for the desert ...

Via Selectism

Sunday, 23 May 2010

W)Taps shemagh: A bit like a soft sack

This is that W)Taps shemagh I won on Ebay just before I went to Barcelona. It's getting on a bit - I reckon it must be from the early 2000s.

But now I've washed the smell of years of storage out, I reckon it's probably got a good few more wears in it.

Nice and soft too. The jury's still out on whether it looks too much like I've wrapped a hessian sack around my neck.

Oh the dilemmas of style.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Banksy: He loves New York

Here's proof that you can't keep a good man down, especially when it's Banksy and there are still walls to decorate.

He might well have stoked the ire of the New York graffiti massive with his latest series of works, so much so that they decided to scribble all over them.

But it looks like Banksy had some unfinished business of his own, in the form of this little kid dressed up like the statue of Liberty with her finger up her nose.

A little subtle comment on the city that loves him so much perhaps? Depends on how you look at it.

The book is now open on how long this one will last.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Visvim Shaman Folk: A tale of two shoes

The last thing I expected to return from Barcelona with was another pair of shoes, less so Visvim. And to be honest after a couple of days in the city I had banished all hope of finding a store remotely connected to my tastes.

That was when we stumbled upon this trainer shop in El Born called, I think, Black is Beauty. While I was browsing the limited edition kicks including the Adidas Porter and latest Consortium Micropacer, Samy, who runs the store, clocked my Visvim jacket.

It turned out the shop is part of a group of stores owned by a chap named Ricky, who also runs a store stocking Japanese street labels called Chikahitsu.

Chikahitsu is in the middle of a move from it present basement location to a street-level store a couple of doors down the street. So the place was in a bit of a transitional phase.

But Samy wanted us to see it, all the same. So she shut up for the evening and took us to meet Ricky, who gave us a private viewing of Chikahitsu. It was an Aladdin's cave of Japanese labels, Visvim boxes stacked waist high, Original Fake, Undercover, W)Taps, Neighborhood. I was like a kid in a candy store.

It was a miracle that I left with only these Visvim Shaman Folk. THE most comfortable creations ever to grace my feet, and getting more comfortable by the day, thanks to the cork footbed that moulds to the foot and the elk suede moccassin upper. These were an instant sell out when they were released a few seasons ago and have gone down in trainer legend. You're lucky to even get to see a pair these days, let alone buy them.

Actually I left with a different pair, in a peanut colour, and after a sleepless night during which I convinced myself I'd got the wrong colour, returned to Samy the next day to exchange them for the black.

A word of warning to anyone buying these online. I am usually a US 9.5 / 10 in Visvim but these are an 11. They come up that small.

You can find the online store of Limited Editions, another brick in Ricky's empire, here.