Monday, 15 March 2010

The Staple - Vintage Tootal Scarf


I am a man of many scarves. I always have at least 2 upon my person at any one time. Over the years I've amassed a large collection of them; cheap, designer, charity shop, vintage, new, skinny, silk, wool, tasselled and chunky, I've no shortage of accessories for my neck. Yet, for some reason, they're the item I always end up buying when I'm not really trying to shop. On a recent Sunday cycle down to Greenwich, we happened upon a small vintage market, with lots of stalls laid out in a small square. I was having a good old rummage, didn't really find anything except this (and a few other) vintage Tootal scarves. I was about to leave and be good, but then realised that at £12, this scarf was too good to leave behind. I'm so glad I did - it's got such a lovely intricate print; almost geometric, but with an artsy, almost Liberty-esque slant. This print could have been too much, but the way that the stripes have been integrated into the design, and the winning combo of colours (red, white, a few shades of blue and a silvery-grey) make it into a subtler piece. Also, it avoids the hackneyed paisley-print Tootal scarf (although Liberty paisley is perfectly acceptable); Tootal btw: an old-school brand, mod favourite, resurrected recently etc etc. Anyway, I wore it today on the Tube (bike had ANOTHER flat tyre, grrr) and noticed several admiring glances scarfwards, which is always nice. Best thing about it though is that behind that silky (read: polyester) printed side is a 100% wool backing, which makes it warm, practical and stylish. A classic Staple. Other Staples this week:
Vintage Tootal scarves
A day trip to Paris to see Fortune perform
Fiery Jamaica ginger ale
The Juan MacLean's DJ Kicks mix CD
Finally moving to London Fields (fingers crossed)
Cadbury's Creme Eggs
Working in an office with music

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Staple - Carolyn Massey Knitwear

Sample Sale Success

It can't have escaped your notice that London Fashion Week has just been. Menswear day is going from strength to strength, and that's down to a crop of talented young designers who create wearable but directional fashion, and are developing and pushing their styling into new arenas each year. Topman's Lens project has been instrumental in this, giving the big-name support and distribution to a select crop each year. One of the current darlings of both of these forums is Carolyn Massey. Her bold knitwear and shirting is complemented with neatly tailored pleat-front trousers and coats that the London mens fashion blogs just can't get enough of. So I was rather thrilled when I checked my Twitterfeed and found out that she was having a sample sale, on the day that was to be my first day of freelancing. I decided that a quick trip over to her Mare St. studios to see if there was anything worth picking up would be a nice escape from the land of email. And boy was I right. Turns out I was the first person to arrive today, the second day of the sale, and was presented with a rack of tailoring, knitwear and woollen accessories at the kind of price point that a newly-freelance hack could get on board with. I tried on a few shorts, but eventually fell for this red cashmere number. Obviously, it's a slim-fitting red cashmere jumper, but the two strips of material sewn around the collar give it a new dimension. Kind of a feminine, pussy-bow (is there a less masculine sounding thing) vibe, but with such a basic garment in such a simple colour, it somehow achieves the opposite. Like a famous Athena poster, it somehow transcends boundaries. Having worn it all day, it now seems like the most natural thing to have on a jumper. With the great addition that my neck has been warm, but never TOO warm. Am a big fan, and I'll be storing this one much more carefully than my other pullovers that the bloody moths got - if I ever take it off! Oh yeah, best thing: Original price £240; price to the Staple £20. Only through Twitter...Other Staples this week:
Sample sale Carolyn Massey knitwear (also bagged a 'scarfaclava')
Embracing the freelance lifestyle
Resoling my shoes
Notion Magazine
Following LFW coverage via Twitter and blogs
The end of Winter
Chocolate brownies from Boradway Market