Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Staple - Grace Jones Live

I couldn't leave for the day without recounting last night's epic gig at the Roundhouse. I bought the tickets the minute they came out after Ms. Jone's phenomenal surprise performance at Bestival. My love for her is well-documented, but seeing her last night without the festival 'haze' was an absolute highlight, and I'd go so far as to say it's in my top 3 Best Gigs of All Time. She is a complete Goddess; Who else could look that good at the age of 62? Who else would perform an entire song whilst hoola-hooping? Who else would change into a different, ever more outrageous costume (and custome-made Philip Treacy hat) between EACH song? Who else would put on a mirror-ball encrusted hat and have a laser shine down so that their head became like a star in the process of going supernova? Who else would have their own indoor ticker-tape parade for 'Pull Up to My Bumper'? No-one. In the surprisingly intimate Camden venue, Grace rocked the house, had everyone dancing from the first bars of 'Nightclubbing' to the last beats of 'Hurricane'. She's there for the next two nights, so if you can, go. Absolute joy, and a Staple par excellence.

Staple London #1: Sam Smith's

(with Thanks to The Crown)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


So it's been over 6 years since I moved to London, and it has to be said that very little has remained constant. I no longer wear flared brown cords, share a bathroom with 13 other people, drink a bottle of cheap white wine before going out, watch Neighbours twice a day, or go the Trash/Durrr on a Monday (well, since last Monday; the End's closed). I think that, friends aside, the constants of living in London have all either metamorphosed into more mature habits, or disappeared altogether. But there are two institutions which I still visit regularly; Icco's and Sam Smith's pubs.
Sam Smith's is a Tadcaster-based brewery which owns some 32 pubs in London, mostly in Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and Soho. They serve only Sam Smith's branded drinks, play no music and despite being linked by their brewery, each pub has it's own selling point. The Angel in the Fields on Marylebone High Street has amazing stained glass walls; The Princess Louise on High Holborn has individual panelled booths; The Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street was a literary haunt (and is also ultra-handy for the aforementioned Icco's); The Champion on Wells Street has stained glass images of champions and The Crown is nicely situated on New Oxford Street. I could go on, but there are 32 across town and apparently more outside of London. I had planned to do a Sam Smith's map and pubcrawl together, but it seems that I have been beaten to it; nonetheless, this is a useful site detailing all the centrally-located pubs. As with Claudia Schiffer and Elnett, for me, they're the best pubs in the world, and where I am likely to be found at least once a week, out with mates and dates and friends.

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Staple - Birthday Outfit

It's been a fantastic week this week, but also the busy-ness of work and outsidewise means I've barely had time to stop'n'blog. Here's a photo from my birthday demonstrating one of last week's Staples; the Liberty shirt, mixed with what would have been one of this week's; the velvet bow tie. It's always important to have a fantastic birthday outfit, and I try to dress up every year to lend the evening an extra sense of occasion. The party itself was fantastic, as evidenced by the lovely grins on my Mum's and my faces, the DJing was successful and the birthday itself was a riot of shopping and fabulous food. Big love and thanks to everyone who made it so special. More Stapling next week, including Sam Smiths pubs, my new obsession with hats, a bstore bargain and what I wore to the Valkyrie premiere...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Staple - Sale Bargains

Low Cos(t)

After work yesterday, I made a quick trip to the shops to find something to wear for my birthday party(s). This meant Liberty, where I wasn't seriously expecting to find anything in the sale, as it was just the dregs remaining, but as it turned out, the insect-printed Liberty shirts were reduced from a (slightly overprice IMO) £110 to £27 each. Cheaper than Topman and much more interesting. There's still a few left, and despite a larg-ish collar size, they're very slimfit, making them perfect for smart occasions. I'm gonna wear them with my black velvet bow tie. Photos after the weekend, I guess. Anyway, a secondary focus of the expedition was to find some more scoopneck tshirts like last week's Acne. As much as I covet these, they really are quite expensive, and the rest of the colours are a little dull. However, next door at Cos, they had the pair pictured, which matched the cut of the Acne one pretty closely, and had the added advantage of being reduced to £4.40 each. £4.40?! Yes, I kid you not. It seems the end of sale bargains still exist, and there are still a few things left in a normal size (ie not XXXL). It's worth a browse if you get a minute, especially in somewhere like Cos, where the clothes are plain, simple, well-made and well-cut. And not expensive to begin with. At 70% off everything, I even contemplated a tuxedo jacket reduced from £150 to £45, but then realised I have a couple of smart black jackets already. Ah well. I definitely recommend a root around before the weekend, you might be surprised at what's left. The rest of this week's Staples, then:
End-of-sale bargains; and Cos' scooped tshirts especially
Ecco's in Pimlico
Elaste compilations CDs (I'm feeling very Italodisco at the mo)
Size Nine's brilliant gig at the Water Rats last weekend
Marjane Satrapi's Graphic Novel 'Persepolis'
The Southwark Tavern in London Bridge
Getting excited about Festivals; The Breeders' ATP!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Stapler's Choice

A few choice links from this week:

The moustache is still alive. (NY Times>Kempt)

If only I'd not bought a new laptop case from Paperchase last week. (Vogue>Geeksugar>SavoirvivreNY)

RD Franks has relocated. Though the Reiss people had no idea where to. Thanks the lord for London Unlike.

Alfred Shaheen has died. His shirts live on.

These are cool; I guess the parents wouldn't be too thrilled though...And of course, I don't have a licence.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tonal Eclipse

Recently, I've worn quite a lot of the colour purple. I was in Liberty (of course) doing some Xmas shopping and had a sneaky look at the sale; just to see if there was anything for my brother or Dad...or something. Anyway, the only thing worth buying/affordable was the Acne collection - simple, well-cut and quality clothes at a reasonable price. Untangling myself from my 15 layers of wristwarmers, scarves, and headphones, I loved the softness of this cotton t-shirt and the cut of the neckline, much wider than all my other tshirts. Yes, all. I stopped buying v-neck tshirts years ago as they just seem wrong for some reason; with this, the scoop neck is less showy, more comfortable, and pretty sexy too. Oddly enough. Anyway, much has been said about the Acne label of late, and if these tshirts and the fine-gauge cardigans they have in Liberty are anything to go by (not to mention the denim; I'm rather sad about missing out on a pair of these in my size in the Daniel Jenkins sale - 33"s too big?) this label will be pretty popular over here when it's more widely stocked. I reckon Urban Outfitters would make a killing on it. In a good way. Anyway, added to this tshirt/cardigan (from Uniqlo, £20) combo I bought this gorgeous cashmere/angora mix hat in the Reiss sale at the weekend for the princely sum of £17. And it's so warm and lovely. More to come soon on my new hat obsession. It's all down to my Dad(!). The mix of purples is a little clashing, but surprisingly good when it's on. And it all feels so comfy and wintry, the tones are warm and the knitwear is cosy. It's just something I'm trying out. Anyway, on to the Staples:
Tonal dressing (in purple for winter)
Gossip Girl on DVD
George Orwell's 'Books v. Cigarettes'
Champagne truffles lasting from Xmas
HMV's dance record section (stocking the brilliant Metro Area)
Acne scoop-necked tshirts
The Kitsune Blog (see Staples d'autrefois)

UPDATE: Like everyone else, I love the Acne v. Lanvin collection. But, just like everyone else, I can't afford to buy it. Way to go guys. Can we please stop swooning over £800 shorts now...?