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FASHION

If you ever ventured down to Portobello Road on a Friday or indeed, a Saturday, for many years you would have (hopefully) stumbled upon the world of The Vintage Showroom. A stall that was truly ahead of it’s time in the whole mens vintage game. It’s influence, and sharp eye for authentic pieces, has been instrumental in bringing to life a whole world of highly authentic Americana. The sort of stuff that dominates Tumblr blogs from New York to Tokyo and back again.

The Vintage Showroom is now fully established in Covent Garden, (with their first book hurtling into stores soon). Over on (my new favourite site) PORT Magazine. The boys behind the Showroom, Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett gives us a peek behind their vast collection and give us some of their opinions about where mens fashion is going. But what I love about this video more than it’s crystal ball predictions on fashion, is the passion and clarity the guys bring to their craft. It’s a simple message to keep at the back of our minds as creatives. Be focussed, be passionate, and always be authentic.

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I’m completely fascinated by this film. Especially from a technical perspective. The film is in support of River Island’s new capsule collection from rising British Fashion star William Tempest. River Island (a client intermittently for the sake of full disclosure),  has been going through an interesting time, most notably by creating a stir by hiring Rhianna to design and style her own collection for the Brand. Following on the heels from the mega successful collaborations from Topshop and H&M in this similar High St fashion space. This film, created for the FASH/ON Festival centered around London Fashion Week, and I’ll be honest, I’m rather surprised that a 12 minute opus such as this was not saved for the release of the Rhianna collection, but there you go.

However, what redeem’s the film from the usual pretentious fashion cliches (and make no mistake, there’s a boatload in here) is the stunning technical achievement at the heart of it. A 12 minute tracking shot, with no cuts. Director Ryan Hope here has pulled off bravura, and hypnotic visual trick, that more than compensates for some of the more grating fashion moments on display. These are just the sort of visual tricks that in the days of long form brand content, keep people hooked.

While it’s no MFCEO in the long form content stakes (and that might be a rather disingenuous comparison), it is an interesting perspective for a brand like River Island to take.

(Via @OliBeale)

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I’m a sucker for documentaries, I’m also a sucker for denim and the cult that surrounds this fabric. A love affair with it’s history and cultural power that goes back to my days of selling Vintage Levi’s in London in the early 2000’s. So I was rather excited to see the trailer for ‘Legacy Of Cool’. A documentary (with an excellent soundtrack to boot), that explores the hold that denim has over it’s devotees, and the way this quintessential American creation has become the dominant clothing piece of the western world. Added bonus – this project started on where else but Kickstarter…

(Via Selectism)

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Earlier in the month, I stumbled upon an upload of a documentary (on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network alas), of the designer/filmmaker and all round creative bod Tom Ford. I’ve always been impressed with Ford’s visual sensibilities. From the first bold Tom Ford ads (a barn storming collaboration with Terry Richardson), to the exquisite detailing and storytelling on display in ‘A Single Man’.

In this documentary (the opening titles are visual travesty I might add), we see Ford explain his methodology, we get a bit about his backstory, and the whole the story of his meteoric rise within the hallowed halls of Gucci and Dior.

But this gets really interesting when the doc digs into his creative perspective. What drives him, and also, crucially, that he doesn’t just see himself as a fashion designer. Ford understands that creativity as a skill, is universal. As he puts it:

“The clues for everything that’s going to come next are here now. And either you’re a sleuth and you’re thinking about it cerebrally or you feel it. There are no right or wrong answers – it’s intuitive”

With that sentiment, Ford nails what a creative should be about. Seeking experiences and stimuli, but also not just chasing a trend, or a fad. It’s that intuition which makes creating stuff so… good. Think about it, when you’re designing, art directing, directing, drawing or even strategising, there is a moment where the feel is right. You don’t need to over-explain, or over justify. It just feels right. This makes creativity something that really can’t be taught. It’s in the bloodstream. It’s gives you the strength of your convictions and belief in what you want to tell to the world.

It also helps you keep a clear course, when others haven’t seen, or disagree with your view. His aesthetic, his point of view, his perfectionism cross creative boundaries. But they are all bound by intuition. Which is really why watching this doesn’t just feel like a throwaway bit fashion fluff. This is a true craftsman at work.

The lovely Camilla wrote a post about this same doc. I would say she was copying my thinking, but that would be rude ;). Her words are much more jazzy than mine, (‘rock-hard Branding’, brilliant) and brilliantly bring to life whay Tom Ford’s Brand is so seriously on target. (Desire and attention to detail). But you should take the two blogposts combined might as a clear signal that this video is well worth your time.

You can read her post here.

 

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I Just recently came back from second trip to New York in the last three months. Each trip has been memorable for many things, but this one really was truly magical. Apart from being privelidged to go and see LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden, I also got to see some fabulous films, art and culture, that, certianly in regards to the latter, was as qunitessential to the New York experience as you could imagine.

Of the films I saw, one stood out above all others. A documentary recommended to me on the life, career, and unique New York character that is Bill Cunningham.

In Bill Cunningham; New York We discover the world of the man who, for more than 30 odd years, has worked for the New York Times as the photographer of ‘On The Street’. His weekly round-up of what the ordinary and extraordinary New Yorkers are wearing. The page these days is considered the template for the huge growth of street photography embodied by The Sartorialist, Jak & Jil, Facehunter and many more. His style, quick snatched imagery (while roaming the streets on his 28th bike – the other 27 stolen over the course of that career) has captured a city in constant style evolution. His eye for detail, honed through a career in fashion dating back to the 1950’s, is egalitarian, but treasured by the ultimate power brokers of fashion. So much so that in fact, that he is awarded the highest cultural honor in France (the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in the final third of the film.

He was responsible for almost all the photography in the upstart DETAILS Magazine, which chronicled the off kilter styles of the 1980’s Downtown scene in glorious detail. Yet, he is also the photographer of choice for the uptown party scene, (His ‘Evening Hours’ page in the New York Times) and the mail deluge of invites to fundraisers from the moneyed doyens of Park Avenue and Republican high fliers never ceases.

This chameleon like nature, only deepened once the film exposed Bill’s lifestyle beyond the camera. If you could call it that, as such was the dedication to capturing fashion in all it’s myriad forms that it had consumed him, and as the viewer, you are left with this confusing sense of whether this is how he wanted it to be, or how it was forced upon him by outside influences that he felt beyond his control (the religious aspect of his character seems to point to this way for me)

The climatic scenes of the documentary are amazingly raw and touching. I won’t spoil it, because if there is one documentary that you should try and see this year, then this would be it.

As far as I know, it doesn’t have a UK release date (it does feel like a film made by New Yorkers for New Yorkers to be fair) but keep checking, as it’s worth the effort.

Trailer below.

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Beautifully low key film from Intel profiling The Sartorialist (Aka Scott Schuman) on the streets of New York. The film (wonderfully shot by director Tyler Manson) is both a fascinating behind the scenes of Scott at work, as well as study in observation and dedication, and a mood that captures both the city and the idea perfectly. It’s also quite understated from Intel’s point of view. Will be following this one with interest if the rest of the films are of similar quality.

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A superb idea from Footlocker. (If of course, you ignore Crooked Tongues, Sneaker Freak et al) A community of sneaker heads are being invited to become the Beta team for a new initiative in cataloging and archiving the dense world of Sneakerdom. Sneakerpedia. The video gives you all the deets, what’s really interesting is the search capabilities, getting right into the details that make sneaker fandom a true subculture, while making the platform easier for the masses to engage with the community. It will also be interesting to see if the backing of Footlocker will attract the hardcore sneaker cognoscenti that will power this platform, or repel them. It sure is an interesting experiment. Follow this.

via Made By Many &  Never Get Out Of The Boat

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