Mr. Dot is getting antsy.
He wants to go to the Tate Modern (my husband has recently decided to become a conceptual artist and damn, he's good. And I'm pleased as punch because I always thought I'd end up marrying an artist). And loathe as I am to knock Mystery Girl down a post position, that is the nature of a blog, and I want to get these Shopping Tips to you because it's 11 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, which Means that those of you in the greater London metropolitan area might be waking up, lounging around drinking your coffee & considering what you'll do today.
I have two seemingly opposite, but connected suggestions.
First: head to Topshop, Oxford Circus, lower ground floor, for the last day of the Dress Me Up charity event. I've talked this to death, if you're new to my blog, the links are on the top of my sidebar ('spotlight on'). This is Patricia, one of the delightful coordinators of the event, who you'll probably see there, in Kate Moss's Lanvin dress & Topshop booties.
Second option: in Camden Lock, in the outside part in a spot called Middle Lane (it's tricky: it's not on google map, but if you go to the market, you'll find it) is a wonderful small stall run by a guy named Derek, I believe. I wanted to photograph him as well as his clothes, but he said 'You don't need a photo of me'.
He's lovely. And his clothes are inspired, original, and... well, you just have to see them. I've seen something similar in Spitalfields Market, but each of these is one of a kind and really considering the original garment. It's like seeing a Couture collection, crammed into a little outdoor stall. These are bespoke garments, hand tailored, made with respect and whimsy from quality men's clothing. For women. And at prices ranging from £40 to £55, tops, he's practically giving it away for free.
He doesn't have a website yet, just an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, and a simple paper tag that says 'Bohema: reuse recycle'. And, because everything is connected, he reminds me of a Joni Mitchell song (just click below) and uncannily, the wonderful Photodiarist just posted something on this very idea: one image, and far less words.
I was up all night thinking about things I've read recently on Nini's blog, on recession fashionista economics, and on Jordan's ('throwaway fashion: trends into trash?'. And it's true what he said: expensive designer clothes ARE better in every way, and as I've known from the few items I've owned, or from even trying them on - as you can do today @ Topshop, and even wear one to a party - there is something indescribable about wearing designer goods, like this Herve Leger dress donated by Jourdan Dunn. Granted, a few steps from the Dress Me Up dressing room, Topshop are selling a similar concept at very affordable prices, but without Leger conceiving the idea, where would the cheaper imitations come from?
Which is why we MUST keep our designers alive. Luella's plight is a wake up call, and now Christian Lacroix.. but we all need to re-think the way we consume and discard.
Which is why I'm lumping these two posts together: because each fashion option is embracing the idea of valuing that which already exists. If that makes any sense. It's all about being wabi sabi. Which I shall talk about, I promise, another time. Mr. Dot is getting antsy, and it's time to go see some art.