PONDEREL

BE A SPORT THIS SEASON

You know that Spring has truly sprung when excited bursts of freshness (a marriage of damp lawns, newly bloomed buds, and rising temperatures) are strong enough to override the polluted Eau de Londres that is so familiar to the city’s residents, filling your lungs with a purer breath and your heart with a happier beat. Confirmed is the new season’s infancy when each day sees citizens wearing confused combinations of Winter and Summer wardrobes, as if unable to really believe that they can allow themselves to shed their coats and come out of hibernation. Lastly, the promise of a happier people in months to come is no truer than when an old man stops you while crossing the street, saying earnestly, ‘I wish the sun would shine every day’, before carrying on in his tortoise-like way… the most joyful tortoise I’ve known.

Experiencing for only the second time in my life this drastic changing of seasons (such a marked change that I feel truly enlightened about classical European composers’ compulsion to translate the emotions of nature’s annual ‘spectaculaires’ onto scores), I feel that cloaking myself in top-to-toe easy-to-reach black is almost offensive… as though not outwardly showing my appreciation for Spring’s offerings is a crime punishable by more bad weather. Goodness knows I’ll do anything to avoid that sentence.
Among the image conscious, the pilates-panic / fitness-flap / workout-worry seems to be an annual occurrence after months of smugly hiding beneath layer upon layer of knits and coats and conveniently distracting statement furs. The impending warmth marked by Spring typically provokes a semi-permanent furrowed brow on those who have supplemented their heating system at home with one too many hot chocolates. And so begins the communal drive to drag dormant trainers from beneath beds, set alarms an hour earlier and coax limbs into a state of readiness to be bravely bared in Summertime strappiness.

With this guaranteed athletic embrace, it is only too fitting that fashion seems to be recruiting a new team of sports-luxe loving members. Those who have made it through try-outs are kitting up in uniforms of a decidedly athletic nature. Never wanting to forget the team mantra of ‘aesthetics above all’, the most elite players work their gear in seamlessly among less sport-specific pieces, the key to maintaining their confident cool. From bombers to baseball caps to novelty sneakers, the ladder-topping pieces find their secret defence in fabrication, allowing satins and suedes and expertly-selected palettes to help boost them into the exclusive premier league.

And so, taking into consideration my own sense of obligation to represent Team Spring and stop warming the bench in black, I will be representing the East London A-Grade (ANTIPODIUM-Grade, that is), sporting Geoffrey J Finch’s winning ‘Game Player’ bomber jacket. A satin-sleeved tobacco-toned dream in Ponte di Roma, its level of luxe succeeds in helping me forget my fearful lycra sport-associations. Maintaining my signature tailored style, my favourite to wear my new all-rounder all-star has been to pair it with my personal team of underdogs… and by that, I refer to the pack of howling hounds appearing on ANTIPODIUM’s ‘Dog Days’ men’s shirt (a special thanks to my dear father for the loan before I reluctantly ship it to its loving new home in Australia). In a mash of multi-scoop gelato tones, the Miriam Ivanoff print is perfect for the pastel palette that looks set to reign Supreme this Summer.

So zip, button and batter up. With print play-offs being staged in the Luxury League, it’s time to get your game on for the upcoming seasons.
Mar 15

BE A SPORT THIS SEASON




You know that Spring has truly sprung when excited bursts of freshness (a marriage of damp lawns, newly bloomed buds, and rising temperatures) are strong enough to override the polluted Eau de Londres that is so familiar to the city’s residents, filling your lungs with a purer breath and your heart with a happier beat. Confirmed is the new season’s infancy when each day sees citizens wearing confused combinations of Winter and Summer wardrobes, as if unable to really believe that they can allow themselves to shed their coats and come out of hibernation. Lastly, the promise of a happier people in months to come is no truer than when an old man stops you while crossing the street, saying earnestly, ‘I wish the sun would shine every day’, before carrying on in his tortoise-like way… the most joyful tortoise I’ve known.



Experiencing for only the second time in my life this drastic changing of seasons (such a marked change that I feel truly enlightened about classical European composers’ compulsion to translate the emotions of nature’s annual ‘spectaculaires’ onto scores), I feel that cloaking myself in top-to-toe easy-to-reach black is almost offensive… as though not outwardly showing my appreciation for Spring’s offerings is a crime punishable by more bad weather. Goodness knows I’ll do anything to avoid that sentence.


Among the image conscious, the pilates-panic / fitness-flap / workout-worry seems to be an annual occurrence after months of smugly hiding beneath layer upon layer of knits and coats and conveniently distracting statement furs. The impending warmth marked by Spring typically provokes a semi-permanent furrowed brow on those who have supplemented their heating system at home with one too many hot chocolates. And so begins the communal drive to drag dormant trainers from beneath beds, set alarms an hour earlier and coax limbs into a state of readiness to be bravely bared in Summertime strappiness.



With this guaranteed athletic embrace, it is only too fitting that fashion seems to be recruiting a new team of sports-luxe loving members. Those who have made it through try-outs are kitting up in uniforms of a decidedly athletic nature. Never wanting to forget the team mantra of ‘aesthetics above all’, the most elite players work their gear in seamlessly among less sport-specific pieces, the key to maintaining their confident cool. From bombers to baseball caps to novelty sneakers, the ladder-topping pieces find their secret defence in fabrication, allowing satins and suedes and expertly-selected palettes to help boost them into the exclusive premier league.



And so, taking into consideration my own sense of obligation to represent Team Spring and stop warming the bench in black, I will be representing the East London A-Grade (ANTIPODIUM-Grade, that is), sporting Geoffrey J Finch’s winning ‘Game Player’ bomber jacket. A satin-sleeved tobacco-toned dream in Ponte di Roma, its level of luxe succeeds in helping me forget my fearful lycra sport-associations. Maintaining my signature tailored style, my favourite to wear my new all-rounder all-star has been to pair it with my personal team of underdogs… and by that, I refer to the pack of howling hounds appearing on ANTIPODIUM’s ‘Dog Days’ men’s shirt (a special thanks to my dear father for the loan before I reluctantly ship it to its loving new home in Australia). In a mash of multi-scoop gelato tones, the Miriam Ivanoff print is perfect for the pastel palette that looks set to reign Supreme this Summer.



So zip, button and batter up. With print play-offs being staged in the Luxury League, it’s time to get your game on for the upcoming seasons.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS… WELL, SILVER
There are certain animal species known for their unrestrainable obsession with any object or surface that glimmers, glints, gleams or glitters. If one believes in reincarnation, then it would be a justified suspicion that I may very well have been a magpie… or a racoon, in a past life. Actually, even as I write this, the accusation seems increasingly plausible: after all, my tendency to sport a white shirt collar paired with plenty of black and the occasional cameo by Mr. Grey befits the uniform of these monochromatic creatures rather well. The real communal Achilles’ heel here is the innate attraction to anything capable of sparkling. Easily bedazzled, we are. And this said bedazzling is overwhelmingly Opioid in effect. Inducing an overruling transfixion that numbs the ability to focus anywhere outside the direct view of said brilliant object, this obsession is puzzling in the strength of its power.
It is a curious thing, my own severe case of glitterlust. Incurable, I suspect, however admittedly the prognosis is not bothersome to me. It is, however, at odds with my otherwise somewhat restrained aesthetic. Paradoxical is my hallucinogenic adoration of the dizzyingly ditzy and bling-worthy. I am happy, in my pared-down tailored calm, to step into Glitterland at the slightest hint of an invitation. Heck, forget an invitation, I’ll be turning up whether my name is on the list or not! This gravitation towards the girlishly glittery is not entirely out of character for me, despite the immediate assumption made based on my outward signature style, that is void of anything flirtishly frilly or feminine. Delving into my history, one will easily find evidence of a long-running penchant for all things a girl is traditionally expected to covet. A tragic love affair I did once have with pink: my darling and generous mother has told me of how, against all better sartorial judgement, she would allow the 4-year-old me to grace the streets in carefully self-selected getups of top-to-toe pick-n-mix pinks: apparently I was a fan of the intentional clash from a much earlier age than I thought. And yes, the official count of my private Barbie collection is probably too obnoxious to publish. When it came to girlishness, I would have given Suri Cruise a run for her money – though upsettingly my oversized feet (still the case) ruled out those vampish plastic play-heels that I always lusted after so desperately. I think I still have not managed to recover from the trauma.
In any case, as the years progressed and physically I began to increasingly resemble the lady that I so wished to imitate as a child, my want to dress like one diminished at a parallel rate. Was it a resulting reaction to overkill? Had it been too much too soon too early? Admittedly I don’t believe the psychology of the matter runs too deeply, however undeniably, a few traces of my former self still linger irremovably beneath my androgynous guise.
This child-like weakness for silver sparkle I have come to accept, and even embrace. So how could I possibly resist when recently I came across a glitter plastic pencil case – a smug steal at £3.99 – that I knew would serve perfectly as my long sought-after make-up bag? With eyes widened and knees weakened upon sighting, I needed no further proof that my feelings are not to be fought. Call it garish or glamorous, anything that glitters, gleams, glimmers, glints, shines, shimmers, sparkles or refracts light in an ostentatious manner is almost guaranteed to find its fancy way into my heart. Who knows, perhaps a cumulative collection will result in the gradual formation of my own personal Glitterland… now wouldn’t that be grand?
Pictured left: Aggressive Ring, LUSASUL; Passing Bracelet, GALA CURIOUS; Stud Ring and Stud Bracelet, MARIA FRANCESCA PEPE; Jumbo Bling Chain, HOUSE OF BAULCH; Sunglasses, VICTORIA BECKHAM; Pencil Case, AJAX STATIONERS (Old Street, London)
Mar 28

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS… WELL, SILVER



There are certain animal species known for their unrestrainable obsession with any object or surface that glimmers, glints, gleams or glitters. If one believes in reincarnation, then it would be a justified suspicion that I may very well have been a magpie… or a racoon, in a past life. Actually, even as I write this, the accusation seems increasingly plausible: after all, my tendency to sport a white shirt collar paired with plenty of black and the occasional cameo by Mr. Grey befits the uniform of these monochromatic creatures rather well. The real communal Achilles’ heel here is the innate attraction to anything capable of sparkling. Easily bedazzled, we are. And this said bedazzling is overwhelmingly Opioid in effect. Inducing an overruling transfixion that numbs the ability to focus anywhere outside the direct view of said brilliant object, this obsession is puzzling in the strength of its power.


It is a curious thing, my own severe case of glitterlust. Incurable, I suspect, however admittedly the prognosis is not bothersome to me. It is, however, at odds with my otherwise somewhat restrained aesthetic. Paradoxical is my hallucinogenic adoration of the dizzyingly ditzy and bling-worthy. I am happy, in my pared-down tailored calm, to step into Glitterland at the slightest hint of an invitation. Heck, forget an invitation, I’ll be turning up whether my name is on the list or not! This gravitation towards the girlishly glittery is not entirely out of character for me, despite the immediate assumption made based on my outward signature style, that is void of anything flirtishly frilly or feminine. Delving into my history, one will easily find evidence of a long-running penchant for all things a girl is traditionally expected to covet. A tragic love affair I did once have with pink: my darling and generous mother has told me of how, against all better sartorial judgement, she would allow the 4-year-old me to grace the streets in carefully self-selected getups of top-to-toe pick-n-mix pinks: apparently I was a fan of the intentional clash from a much earlier age than I thought. And yes, the official count of my private Barbie collection is probably too obnoxious to publish. When it came to girlishness, I would have given Suri Cruise a run for her money – though upsettingly my oversized feet (still the case) ruled out those vampish plastic play-heels that I always lusted after so desperately. I think I still have not managed to recover from the trauma.


In any case, as the years progressed and physically I began to increasingly resemble the lady that I so wished to imitate as a child, my want to dress like one diminished at a parallel rate. Was it a resulting reaction to overkill? Had it been too much too soon too early? Admittedly I don’t believe the psychology of the matter runs too deeply, however undeniably, a few traces of my former self still linger irremovably beneath my androgynous guise.


This child-like weakness for silver sparkle I have come to accept, and even embrace. So how could I possibly resist when recently I came across a glitter plastic pencil case – a smug steal at £3.99 – that I knew would serve perfectly as my long sought-after make-up bag? With eyes widened and knees weakened upon sighting, I needed no further proof that my feelings are not to be fought. Call it garish or glamorous, anything that glitters, gleams, glimmers, glints, shines, shimmers, sparkles or refracts light in an ostentatious manner is almost guaranteed to find its fancy way into my heart. Who knows, perhaps a cumulative collection will result in the gradual formation of my own personal Glitterland… now wouldn’t that be grand?


Pictured left: Aggressive Ring, LUSASUL; Passing Bracelet, GALA CURIOUS; Stud Ring and Stud Bracelet, MARIA FRANCESCA PEPE; Jumbo Bling Chain, HOUSE OF BAULCH; Sunglasses, VICTORIA BECKHAM; Pencil Case, AJAX STATIONERS (Old Street, London)

B-COS I LOVE YOU
My memory of my first real store crush is so clear in my mind that it may as well be tattooed intricately on the interior of my cranium. It was the European Summer of 2009, and I found myself on a family pilgrimage to Deutschland, a journey to unfurl the deeply rooted origins of my Grandparents and their ancestors before them. Before delving into the payment of family homage, a blissful week was spent discovering Berlin’s loveable Mitte neighbourhood. The modern city struck me like the type of kid in school who is irresistibly oblivious to their own level of cool, yet unwittingly draws people, fascinated and transfixed, into their realm. So genuinely unaffected by the perception of others, are the afore-mentioned genius cool kids, that they have the liberty of channeling all their energies towards exceeding their own level of amazingness: and Berlin seemed to function in exactly the same way. In any case, I had a lot to learn from Berlin, the heart of a country whose shame-kissed past had fertilized new generations of people of strength and resilience, resourcefulness and ingenuity, logic and practicality. 
It was on a day dedicated to pavement-pounding in my new temporary neighbourhood that I encountered COS, first intrigued by their statement SALE sign: a skeletal structure boasting an eye-catching pattern of wooden vertebrae mixed in with solid, grained, knotty panels. My well-trained eye, ever hyper-aware of the tell-tale signs of quality, was immediately on alert upon entering through the doors of the chicly minimalist retail space. I am a strong believer in stores beaming an aura detectable immediately upon finding oneself within its walls – this aura, if off-putting, can easily make for a very short shopping trip. Luckily, COS was a shining example of an environment where there seemed to be an obvious respect for quality and clever curation. I still remember gliding past the racks in a dream-like haze, sighting considered palettes of pure pigments, noting unique silhouettes and subtly daring details that would usually denote a price-point high enough to crush my dreams of exiting the store laden with bags. I was convinced that I had had the simultaneous fortune and misfortune of wandering into the flagship of one of those sleek Scandi brands that I am always prone to falling for… I told myself that MAYBE I would be lucky enough to exit the premises as the new owner of one single, carefully selected wardrobe addition. I believe it was as my fingers wandered over a pair of beautiful Nubuck flats, turning them over in my hands, that I was jolted into a completely different reality. Yes, I had sighted the price sticker – and YES, it was practically breath-takingly affordable. It was almost disconcerting to experience a change in environment so dramatic as this was. Naturally, a rush of adrenaline and an excitement-induced high ensued. I still remember the pure ecstasy.
It was after leaving the store that I was desperate to learn more about the Raison d’être of this new find, and how it came to be. Who was responsible for treating me to items of such aesthetic, fabrication and manufacturing quality, at a fraction of the price that I would be cruelly cornered into forking out on my own Australian home soil? This was truly a dream I thought to be impossible… so who was the facilitator?
Ever insatiably curious, it was not long before I began to uncover the story behind this mysterious cult-worthy COS. My discoveries left me with a mind more blown than ever, learning that my new fast-made favourite was not quite the independent boutique start-up brand I had presumptuously taken it for, but rather, an offspring of a much bigger corporation. Yes, COS was a baby (a very trendy one, at that) of mass megapower H&M, the infamous European fast-fashion engine. Having been so struck by the strong simplicity, the modern minimalism and clean confidence of COS, I struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was a byproduct of the company whose  stores I associated with an overwhelmingly maddened fashion frenzy.
Started in 2007, COS was a project focused on creating a line of clothing that would be dedicated to a consistent vow to quality on all levels: aesthetic, cut, fabrications, make and finish – all things that would carry through to the retail experience. Reading interviews with COS’ heads of design, Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson, the company’s commitment to creating a brand with a personal touch at all stages of the process is clear – as is their insistence on independence in approach and conception. Gustafsson was recently quoted as diplomatically explaining that while logically they as a team are obliged to take note of apparent trends, “the work of other designers is never the starting point for (their) work”. Instead, it is evident that within their own frame of a focus on quality, originality, and a willingness to challenge convention shine through, most commonly through the plethora of re-imagined classics that so often fill the racks of COS’ 40+ Europe-scattered stores. Each season, the collections prove themselves to be geared towards a woman who places great importance on self-presentation, and who values her wardrobe reflecting her own ambitious characteristics. Always with a cheeky smirk of unconvention, COS delivers unfailingly, and by today in 2012, the brand boasts a league of loyal followers, who return time and time again knowing that they will be rewarded with boldly designed, body-considerate pieces at mass-comparable prices (something which is accommodated only through COS’ ties to H&M).
COS speaks volumes about what the future of high street fashion needs to be. Despite its youth, its burgeoning popularity could barely be any more demonstrative of the market’s hunger for the exact type of garment that COS so successfully serves up. It is really all about the identification of the fashion-appreciative client whose likes to feel as though the importance that he or she places on cleverly-conceived, consistently-detailed, high-quality clothing is met with continuously refreshing seasons of sartorial offerings.
And so three years on, with COS as my go-to haven in London for any clothing crisis, and my passion and adoration strong as it was on that fateful day in Berlin, it is only fair to say that perhaps in this case, I may just believe in love at first sight.
 
CREDITS:  tm-digital.de
 
Apr 14

B-COS I LOVE YOU




My memory of my first real store crush is so clear in my mind that it may as well be tattooed intricately on the interior of my cranium. It was the European Summer of 2009, and I found myself on a family pilgrimage to Deutschland, a journey to unfurl the deeply rooted origins of my Grandparents and their ancestors before them. Before delving into the payment of family homage, a blissful week was spent discovering Berlin’s loveable Mitte neighbourhood. The modern city struck me like the type of kid in school who is irresistibly oblivious to their own level of cool, yet unwittingly draws people, fascinated and transfixed, into their realm. So genuinely unaffected by the perception of others, are the afore-mentioned genius cool kids, that they have the liberty of channeling all their energies towards exceeding their own level of amazingness: and Berlin seemed to function in exactly the same way. In any case, I had a lot to learn from Berlin, the heart of a country whose shame-kissed past had fertilized new generations of people of strength and resilience, resourcefulness and ingenuity, logic and practicality.
 

It was on a day dedicated to pavement-pounding in my new temporary neighbourhood that I encountered COS, first intrigued by their statement SALE sign: a skeletal structure boasting an eye-catching pattern of wooden vertebrae mixed in with solid, grained, knotty panels. My well-trained eye, ever hyper-aware of the tell-tale signs of quality, was immediately on alert upon entering through the doors of the chicly minimalist retail space. I am a strong believer in stores beaming an aura detectable immediately upon finding oneself within its walls – this aura, if off-putting, can easily make for a very short shopping trip. Luckily, COS was a shining example of an environment where there seemed to be an obvious respect for quality and clever curation. I still remember gliding past the racks in a dream-like haze, sighting considered palettes of pure pigments, noting unique silhouettes and subtly daring details that would usually denote a price-point high enough to crush my dreams of exiting the store laden with bags. I was convinced that I had had the simultaneous fortune and misfortune of wandering into the flagship of one of those sleek Scandi brands that I am always prone to falling for… I told myself that MAYBE I would be lucky enough to exit the premises as the new owner of one single, carefully selected wardrobe addition. I believe it was as my fingers wandered over a pair of beautiful Nubuck flats, turning them over in my hands, that I was jolted into a completely different reality. Yes, I had sighted the price sticker – and YES, it was practically breath-takingly affordable. It was almost disconcerting to experience a change in environment so dramatic as this was. Naturally, a rush of adrenaline and an excitement-induced high ensued. I still remember the pure ecstasy.


It was after leaving the store that I was desperate to learn more about the Raison d’être of this new find, and how it came to be. Who was responsible for treating me to items of such aesthetic, fabrication and manufacturing quality, at a fraction of the price that I would be cruelly cornered into forking out on my own Australian home soil? This was truly a dream I thought to be impossible… so who was the facilitator?

Ever insatiably curious, it was not long before I began to uncover the story behind this mysterious cult-worthy COS. My discoveries left me with a mind more blown than ever, learning that my new fast-made favourite was not quite the independent boutique start-up brand I had presumptuously taken it for, but rather, an offspring of a much bigger corporation. Yes, COS was a baby (a very trendy one, at that) of mass megapower H&M, the infamous European fast-fashion engine. Having been so struck by the strong simplicity, the modern minimalism and clean confidence of COS, I struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was a byproduct of the company whose  stores I associated with an overwhelmingly maddened fashion frenzy.

Started in 2007, COS was a project focused on creating a line of clothing that would be dedicated to a consistent vow to quality on all levels: aesthetic, cut, fabrications, make and finish – all things that would carry through to the retail experience. Reading interviews with COS’ heads of design, Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson, the company’s commitment to creating a brand with a personal touch at all stages of the process is clear – as is their insistence on independence in approach and conception. Gustafsson was recently quoted as diplomatically explaining that while logically they as a team are obliged to take note of apparent trends, “the work of other designers is never the starting point for (their) work”. Instead, it is evident that within their own frame of a focus on quality, originality, and a willingness to challenge convention shine through, most commonly through the plethora of re-imagined classics that so often fill the racks of COS’ 40+ Europe-scattered stores. Each season, the collections prove themselves to be geared towards a woman who places great importance on self-presentation, and who values her wardrobe reflecting her own ambitious characteristics. Always with a cheeky smirk of unconvention, COS delivers unfailingly, and by today in 2012, the brand boasts a league of loyal followers, who return time and time again knowing that they will be rewarded with boldly designed, body-considerate pieces at mass-comparable prices (something which is accommodated only through COS’ ties to H&M).

COS speaks volumes about what the future of high street fashion needs to be. Despite its youth, its burgeoning popularity could barely be any more demonstrative of the market’s hunger for the exact type of garment that COS so successfully serves up. It is really all about the identification of the fashion-appreciative client whose likes to feel as though the importance that he or she places on cleverly-conceived, consistently-detailed, high-quality clothing is met with continuously refreshing seasons of sartorial offerings.

And so three years on, with COS as my go-to haven in London for any clothing crisis, and my passion and adoration strong as it was on that fateful day in Berlin, it is only fair to say that perhaps in this case, I may just believe in love at first sight.

 


CREDITS:  tm-digital.de

 

CAFFEINE COSTUMES 
London is truly a highly international city. Any ordinary day guarantees the opportunity to encounter a plethora of different tongues, evidencing that the millions upon millions of people populating the city, its apartments and its streets, have crawled from innumerable pockets of the Earth. It is always interesting to see where people will gather: despite differences in culture, there always exists places of communal interest, towards which the masses will gravitate. London’s current cafe boom (inarguably catering to the demanding palates of the copious amounts of Australian and New Zealander imports) is creating multiple hot-spots for anyone even remotely caffeine-inclined to get their single-origin fix, whether they like it from Ethiopia, El Salvador or Guatemala; be it cold-dripped, siphoned or given the magic touch of a Synesso or a La Marzocco machine.
Possibly the most interesting thing about the wafts of freshly roasted and ground beans, and the chicly cool, carefully designed interiors in which hundreds of cups are expertly poured daily, are the crowds that they draw. And to be more specific, the most curious thing (among the younger gabble of 20-something males) is the undeniable uniform that seems to be globally sported. Anyone who didn’t know better may assume that the world boasts its own generous wardrobe department, and that anybody who has been cast as one of these afore-mentioned ‘20-something coffee-enthusiasts’ has been assigned a specific aesthetic, with which they must comply daily.
For the boys of the espresso world, the essential canvas of the look centres around basic casual-wear. Skinny jeans and dull-coloured chinos are a common occurrence, and Swedish brands certainly among the favoured source of a twill weave. Continuing the simplistic theme of fuss-free basics: the old faithful t-shirt; preferred fit being tight enough not to grate against the lightly tailored look, yet loose enough to turn up the nose of a deeply-bronzed, rollerblading Miami resident. When it comes to cloth, denim is undeniably the people’s choice, sported dark, light, neat, worn, pressed, tattered, doubled or alone. For the individuals who favour formality – at least a whisper of it – a button-down shirt is not out of place: long or short sleeved (season-dependent), and most commonly rolled. In text-book cases, said turned cuff or hem will sneakily reveal a smattering of illustrative inking, exposing a hint of the inner being beneath. And let’s not be forgetting: adornment and accessories are a critical component of the success of the achievement of authenticity. Rain, hail or shine, facial jewellery is always a wearable element (rings for the nose, brow or tongue), echoing the tattoos in their strategy to contrast the cleanly presented exterior created by the blocked basics being worn. The old faithful beanie is another additive that seems to disregard seasonal appropriateness, finding its way atop the craniums of blondes, brunettes and hairless boys no matter the weather. The finishing-touch footwear is forever a mix of leather and canvas, depending on the leaning of the wearer: Mr. Long Black in the corner may likely live out his dirty rocker dreams through his friends the pointed toe and the Cuban Heel, whereas young student Mr. Flat White on the communal table may be tapping the toe of his Vans to the tune of the indie band that is undoubtedly echoing through the space.
Appropriately, it is most often the baristas of said cafes that lead the pack and represent this cloth-and-coffee driven lifestyle from top to toe. You can find this one (pictured left) along with clusters of other male caff-fiends at Workshop Coffee Co. (formerly St. Ali) in Clerkenwell, London.
May 5

CAFFEINE COSTUMES

 

London is truly a highly international city. Any ordinary day guarantees the opportunity to encounter a plethora of different tongues, evidencing that the millions upon millions of people populating the city, its apartments and its streets, have crawled from innumerable pockets of the Earth. It is always interesting to see where people will gather: despite differences in culture, there always exists places of communal interest, towards which the masses will gravitate. London’s current cafe boom (inarguably catering to the demanding palates of the copious amounts of Australian and New Zealander imports) is creating multiple hot-spots for anyone even remotely caffeine-inclined to get their single-origin fix, whether they like it from Ethiopia, El Salvador or Guatemala; be it cold-dripped, siphoned or given the magic touch of a Synesso or a La Marzocco machine.


Possibly the most interesting thing about the wafts of freshly roasted and ground beans, and the chicly cool, carefully designed interiors in which hundreds of cups are expertly poured daily, are the crowds that they draw. And to be more specific, the most curious thing (among the younger gabble of 20-something males) is the undeniable uniform that seems to be globally sported. Anyone who didn’t know better may assume that the world boasts its own generous wardrobe department, and that anybody who has been cast as one of these afore-mentioned ‘20-something coffee-enthusiasts’ has been assigned a specific aesthetic, with which they must comply daily.


For the boys of the espresso world, the essential canvas of the look centres around basic casual-wear. Skinny jeans and dull-coloured chinos are a common occurrence, and Swedish brands certainly among the favoured source of a twill weave. Continuing the simplistic theme of fuss-free basics: the old faithful t-shirt; preferred fit being tight enough not to grate against the lightly tailored look, yet loose enough to turn up the nose of a deeply-bronzed, rollerblading Miami resident. When it comes to cloth, denim is undeniably the people’s choice, sported dark, light, neat, worn, pressed, tattered, doubled or alone. For the individuals who favour formality – at least a whisper of it – a button-down shirt is not out of place: long or short sleeved (season-dependent), and most commonly rolled. In text-book cases, said turned cuff or hem will sneakily reveal a smattering of illustrative inking, exposing a hint of the inner being beneath. And let’s not be forgetting: adornment and accessories are a critical component of the success of the achievement of authenticity. Rain, hail or shine, facial jewellery is always a wearable element (rings for the nose, brow or tongue), echoing the tattoos in their strategy to contrast the cleanly presented exterior created by the blocked basics being worn. The old faithful beanie is another additive that seems to disregard seasonal appropriateness, finding its way atop the craniums of blondes, brunettes and hairless boys no matter the weather. The finishing-touch footwear is forever a mix of leather and canvas, depending on the leaning of the wearer: Mr. Long Black in the corner may likely live out his dirty rocker dreams through his friends the pointed toe and the Cuban Heel, whereas young student Mr. Flat White on the communal table may be tapping the toe of his Vans to the tune of the indie band that is undoubtedly echoing through the space.


Appropriately, it is most often the baristas of said cafes that lead the pack and represent this cloth-and-coffee driven lifestyle from top to toe. You can find this one (pictured left) along with clusters of other male caff-fiends at Workshop Coffee Co. (formerly St. Ali) in Clerkenwell, London.

INSANE MANES: HIGHLIGHTER HAIR
By now, even those least observant among us should be well-aware of the ever-increasing passion for pastel that has become common among those seeking a means of breaking the mould in a way that extends beyond the bounds of sartorial adventurousness. Having had quite an extended time to develop, the past couple of years have allowed the embrace of mint, peach, lilac and fairy floss locks to become more and more widely embraced, and at times one would be forgiven for mistaking their surrounds for a My Little Pony paddock. While the array of colour-kissed locks have provided a refreshing point of interest atop the heads of the more daring, all things must reach their eventual grave, and anyone who has been aware of the accelerating trend from its point of conception would naturally be pondering its imminent expiry date. It is only to be expected then, to experience an insatiable curiosity about what the natural progression onward and upward may be. Certainly as I have continued to spot the baby-strength colours bobbing around the streets of London, I have wondered what will eventually become of them… should the trend die a sudden death, will the streets be rapidly flooded with rivers of watercolour pastels as a dark stormy cloud of over-dyes rolls in, washing away what was a peaceful pastel period?
About a month ago, my questions were answered, and one could say that it came as rather a shock…  shocking pink, that is. Yes, I was met with a full, vibrant head of pink, orange and yellow territories that could only be described as HIGHLIGHTER tones: neon, almost to the point of glowing. It became quickly apparent that this look, so much bolder and brighter, was set to be the replacement. How silly of me to have thought even for a fleeting moment that the adv-hair-nturous would even be satisfied returning to platitudinous natural tones so quickly!
Following the first sighting, I have felt rather like the David Attenborough (if we’re talking hair, shall we settle on David Plait-enborough?) of the hair world, spotting a growing number of highlighter root-to-tip tones on hipster heads… admittedly I’ve been carrying out the role with perhaps more enthusiasm than is publicly acceptable, with stealthy attempts to snap photographs to shoot through to friends whom I’ve been trying to convince of the trend’s legitimacy. Living in East London, I am in the natural grazing grounds of the creatures, so I could not be more perfectly placed to carry out my field study.
Thinking about the practicality of the craze, I feel like its initiators have been quite timely in terms of the ability to use electric locks to enhance the present day’s fashion trends. When creating a top-to-toe look, the highlighter hair has the capacity to make for some incredible pairings with the currently popular double-pattern ensembles that seem to be popping up left, right and centre. And where pastel hair combined with the myriad pastel garments that are filling the racks of every High Street store could become a little monotonously same-same, a vibrant highlighter tone in its forceful contrast may have the power to create an image that is instead admirably daring in its atypical abstractness.
In a world where fashions are notoriously recycled, it is undeniably refreshing to witness fashionistas wading into previously unchartered waters, at least where daywear legitimacy is concerned. Certainly one could not say that fluorescent hair has never before been worn, however it is encouraging to observe such a degree of boldness being explored as an external-to-editorial look.
Just as traditionally designed, these highlighters are set to draw some serious attention this season.
Jun 12

INSANE MANES: HIGHLIGHTER HAIR



By now, even those least observant among us should be well-aware of the ever-increasing passion for pastel that has become common among those seeking a means of breaking the mould in a way that extends beyond the bounds of sartorial adventurousness. Having had quite an extended time to develop, the past couple of years have allowed the embrace of mint, peach, lilac and fairy floss locks to become more and more widely embraced, and at times one would be forgiven for mistaking their surrounds for a My Little Pony paddock. While the array of colour-kissed locks have provided a refreshing point of interest atop the heads of the more daring, all things must reach their eventual grave, and anyone who has been aware of the accelerating trend from its point of conception would naturally be pondering its imminent expiry date. It is only to be expected then, to experience an insatiable curiosity about what the natural progression onward and upward may be. Certainly as I have continued to spot the baby-strength colours bobbing around the streets of London, I have wondered what will eventually become of them… should the trend die a sudden death, will the streets be rapidly flooded with rivers of watercolour pastels as a dark stormy cloud of over-dyes rolls in, washing away what was a peaceful pastel period?


About a month ago, my questions were answered, and one could say that it came as rather a shock…  shocking pink, that is. Yes, I was met with a full, vibrant head of pink, orange and yellow territories that could only be described as HIGHLIGHTER tones: neon, almost to the point of glowing. It became quickly apparent that this look, so much bolder and brighter, was set to be the replacement. How silly of me to have thought even for a fleeting moment that the adv-hair-nturous would even be satisfied returning to platitudinous natural tones so quickly!


Following the first sighting, I have felt rather like the David Attenborough (if we’re talking hair, shall we settle on David Plait-enborough?) of the hair world, spotting a growing number of highlighter root-to-tip tones on hipster heads… admittedly I’ve been carrying out the role with perhaps more enthusiasm than is publicly acceptable, with stealthy attempts to snap photographs to shoot through to friends whom I’ve been trying to convince of the trend’s legitimacy. Living in East London, I am in the natural grazing grounds of the creatures, so I could not be more perfectly placed to carry out my field study.


Thinking about the practicality of the craze, I feel like its initiators have been quite timely in terms of the ability to use electric locks to enhance the present day’s fashion trends. When creating a top-to-toe look, the highlighter hair has the capacity to make for some incredible pairings with the currently popular double-pattern ensembles that seem to be popping up left, right and centre. And where pastel hair combined with the myriad pastel garments that are filling the racks of every High Street store could become a little monotonously same-same, a vibrant highlighter tone in its forceful contrast may have the power to create an image that is instead admirably daring in its atypical abstractness.


In a world where fashions are notoriously recycled, it is undeniably refreshing to witness fashionistas wading into previously unchartered waters, at least where daywear legitimacy is concerned. Certainly one could not say that fluorescent hair has never before been worn, however it is encouraging to observe such a degree of boldness being explored as an external-to-editorial look.


Just as traditionally designed, these highlighters are set to draw some serious attention this season.