Woo more lovely knitwear. I really really like this girls look. It's like grandpa chic (cosy brown fair isle jumper, beanie hat, old leather bag) but the jet black hair and over the knee boots add a bit of a harder edge to the ensemble. This outfit is why I love looking to street fashion for inspiration. I've been spending a while trying to figure out what to wrap myself up in this winter - and where the fash mags and high street shops have failed me, street style has come through! For A/W I think I might have to make like this girl and go for a nice slouchy fair isle jumper...
Layering is a necessity in this weather, but it's good to mix things up a bit. My fave clothing item at the moment is the monochrome graphic tee - think a well cut, soft cotton short sleeve top or vest with a distinctive print in black and white only. The 'Mono-Tee' works wonders peeking out of loads of cosy layers and goes from day to night like a treat (I just add the obligatory slick of bright lipstick and lots of necklaces). So I was rather chuffed when I discovered DOM DICK & HARRY, a kinda sex-and-drugs-and-rock-and-roll unisex t-shirt label founded by Leeds designer Dominic Al-Samarraie.
I was actually properly introduced to Dom by a friend at a house party and checked out his website www.domdickandharry.co.uk the other day... he's working on new designs at the moment so keep an eye out on his blog/site, but the stuff on there already is pretty hot. Citing 'hearts, whores and crosses' as inspiration, DOM DICK & HARRY tees feature predominantly black and white, freaky friday MS Webding motifs which fit right into my current 'Mono-Tee' obsession. I'm after the 'Play-blocks' logo print vest (pictured above) to wear with black spray on jeans or a mini pleated skirt. At 25 quid it's a bargain for a one off thing lovingly made by a guy in his Leeds studio.
Hot on the search for my A/W jumper at lunchtime today I stumbled across a young knitwear designer called Hannah Taylor. A fellow northerner hailing from Warrington (nestled somewhere between Liverpool and Manchester), Taylor is now studying for an MA at RCA London, following a much hyped show at London Graduate Fashion Week. After snooping around her blog i've become a bit of a superfan...her supersized jumpers with random animal motifs and mishmash textures are awesome. Athough she designs for men and takes inspiration from her old man (menswear is where it's at people), her collection reminds me of the kind of thing your adorably mad auntie would wear.
I'm a rather keen of the long fair isle specimen...naturally.
Pics courtesy www.hanzipan.blogspot.com
FOLLY is a huge fan of everyday fellas with the ability to mix and match modern and vintage styles. This gents outfit nods to1970's The Stranglers-esque Punk, with Harrington jacket an black and white stripy tee, but is smartened up with black leather penny loafers and brought right up to date with ankle grazing tobacco coloured slacks and foppish hair.
So have you ever looked back at Xmas family photographs and wished that your mum had kept that awesome bat-wing jumper, slinky mini-dress or those flashy stilettos? I do all the time. Sadly as the decades passed and fashion fads came and went, my mothers more outlandish items of clothing slowly wriggled free from her wardrobe, destined for the local Oxfam or landfill and never to be seen again. Sob. However, if you are anything like moi, sob ye not my dears. Possibly my favourite Liverpool vintage store, Raiders Vintage, has just opened a brand new extension filled with wonderful 'my-mum-used-to-have-something-like-this' items. After visiting the new improved Raiders, I was so excited that I asked the always fabulously dressed owner of the boutique, Kelly Reid, if I could come back and take a few pictures of her and the shop for a wee FOLLY SHOPKEEPERS feature.
For those of you who haven't been, Raiders is a vintage fashion boutique with a cosy interior decorated with antiques and old-school props (think Victorian checker tiles, silk roses and Louis XV furniture teamed with charming retro posters, shabby chic display units and postcards), selling a purse-friendly range of fun party dresses, cosy things, handbags, accessories and booties.
Following in the footsteps of her mum, who ran her own Merseyside vintage shop back in the day, Kelly (above) is an antiques fanatic and collector of all things old and pretty - including a personal vintage fashion collection spanning Chanel, Oscar De La Renta and Yves Saint Laurent. You can tell she has a real flair for what she does, not only from the lovely interior design of her store but from her personal style...when I popped in to take these pics she looked amazing with her mane of gorgeous boho hair, oversized 70's mohair cardi, mix of silver accessories and killer YSL-esque skyscraper heels. Ever so stylish!
My northern fashion folks, I must apologise wholeheartedly for the woeful lack of posts recently. I do have a valid excuse. I'm relocating to London. It will be like Englishman in New York, only instead of walking down Fifth Avenue I'll be walking down Brick Lane via the Falafel Hut. I've had a mad few weeks getting organised for my move away from this fair city, whilst noting the little nuggets of underground/alternative(ish) Liverpool fashion and shopping knowledge I have gathered over the past year so I can share it with y'all before I go. And I've been getting a few last street style pictures too, of course. I spotted this girl just down from the Met Quarter on a brisk but sunny Saturday afternoon.
These sexy stocking tights (Wolford? HH for Pretty Polly I wonder?) would last 5 minutes on me before getting ruined but I love the OTT-ness of them with this girls tiny dress, tatty FF collar and kinda too-red-for-daytime lips and cheeks. She looks a bit Nancy Spungen but less heroin skanky and more teenage vampy. And then there's the fact she was wandering around near the not-so-punk bus station and Weatherspoons in Whitechapel. I love that juxtaposition :)
Boys look good in shearling coats, it's the hardy English thing. I like this battered brown-grey version with leather buttons. Loads of character worn with traditional plaid shirt, bookish glasses, satchel and muso headphones. On the subject of leather buttons...I bought some similar ones from John Lewis a while ago to update an old blazer - try it yourself for an uber cheap way to customise a chunky cardi or last years winter coat.
OK, so how freaking amazing is this girls look. She almost makes me want to buy some chunky hoop earrings from St. Johns market and give myself a choir boy bowl undercut. I spotted her a while back in Liverpool whilst she was queuing for a cash machine, listening to her iPod so loudly I could hear it as I walked past. I'm coveting just about everything in this look, from the double breasted camel and black vintage coat (80's Hobbs - she bought it on Ebay) straight down to the sheer spotty tights and scuffed desert boots...you don't see girls in these shoes very often, I NEED to get my hands on some, perhaps in black or grey). Style crush alert!
Over the past 12 months the merchandising folks at J. Barbour and Sons must have been scratching their heads wondering why sales of their Sloaney outerwear have suddenly gone through the roof after being snapped up by drainpipe jeans wearing indie kids. Since I first saw guys and girls rocking vintage Barbour coats last year I thought it was a good trend revival, kinda harking back to that messy brit-pop pride of the 90's - I'm thinking Damien Hirst and Graham Coxon running around with pigs on a giant board game in the music video for 'Country House'. Barbour coats tick all the boxes for me - English made, the connotations of flat caps and grandpa's, and endorsement by none other than her maj the queen (I think this love of heritage fashion is slowly turning me into a Royalist) . This weekend I saw a couple of boys around town doing the urban-Barbour thing and took a few snaps.
Classic Beaufort coat worn with turn-ups and brilliant camel coloured desert boots. I love these shoes, I'm thinking I might invest in some myself in exchange for the dainty lace-up ankle boots I was wearing throughout 2009.
Teeny tiny matchstick legs, shiny tasseled loafers, burgundy check scarf and mono-tee with padded Eskdale Barbour coat.
I recently read about Luis Lopez-Smith, the 25 year old Manchester Met and RCA graduate who has just been drafted in as design consultant for Manchester sports brand UMBRO, in an attempt to make it as appealing to fashion conscious sportswear kids as other established labels who have cashed in on their 'retro-cool' credentials. I'll admit I was instantly intrigued by the idea of the footie fans' favourite, renowned for those polyester gym shorts and flammable fleeces, drafting in some hip young sportswear prodigy to breathe some life into the brand. Sadly theres nothing in the way of a collection yet, but here are a few pics from Lopez-Smith's mental MA show 'Hahabangbang'. Nintendo cartoon psychedelia, mindbending detail and trippy prints all the way.
Here are some bits from a recent shoot for Vice Magazine where they teamed chav UMBRO pieces with some of the tamer bits from Lopez-Smith's 'Hahabangbang' collection. I'm curious to see what comes out of this merger. Not sure what the UMBRO lads down the estate will think though...
Photography: Elizabeth Johnson,
Pics courtesy Vice Magazine
I've never quite been sure about Hareem pants. It's the badly cut high-street versions which really get on my nerves. However, every now and then I come across someone who works a tricky item with good styling.
tailored peg-top Hareems
unstructured micro animal print tanktop
mini-tux with strong shoulders and 3/4 sleeves
windswept wavy locks, strong eyebrows and long fluttery lashes
Remember Sarah from my 'Venus in Faux Furs' post back in Autumn 09? well, she's a bit af a gal pal of mine and she has the most amazing selection of vintage and vintage-style frocks. She acquired this beautiful specimen from Quiggins in Liverpool a few years back - made by department store C&A, which was big back in the 80's. I have vague recollections of my mum buying my school shirts from there. I love the longer length of the jersey ra-ra frilled skirt and (not too crazy/scary/sculptural) shoulder pads. What a great find.
When I saw this long black 'Gestapo' trench and skinny jeans ensemble I couldn't help but think of Carlos D from Interpol, whose slightly severe 1940's/Gothic-chic phase I always thought was pretty cool. There's something 'secret agent-esque' about this immaculate vintage coat, buttoned all the way up with slick hair and leather gloves.
I love how the whole of Liverpool has gone into shutdown after the snow. I was trying to spend some xmas vouchers on the Chanel counter at Debenhams when the orange lady was like "we're closing in 5 minutes becuase of the weather". Funny. Anyway I didn't mind too much becuase there was a really nice tranquil atmosphere in the city centre and I had a mill about in the unmarked snow. I saw this threesome down the side of Bold Street and they looked like a sweet bunch, all huddled under one umbrella, so I asked to take their picture.
The girl in the middle really stands out. Obviously she's very gorgeous but it was the tan and navy burberry-esque bucket bag caught my eye initially...it's got that 'middle-class country classic' thing I'm into a lot right now.
I took this picture before xmas and thought it would be a perfect pic to see in 2010. Happy new year folks :)
I spotted this cute girl in Quiggins (Liverpool) and thought her supersized 'face' sweatshirt-dress, featuring black and white panels of jersey with red sequined 'lipstick' was amazing. I love how this slouchy look, featuring not much more than a tassled black leather waistcoat and thigh high boots is cheeky but totally low maintenance. Just goes to show how an original statement piece can really speak volumes (and a good example of how sequins can work in the daytime...shocker!)