Archive for February, 2010

Geektastic Design – Wooden Computer Mouse from AlestRukov

While the space race may be over, and optical mice may not be the most cutting edge in technology, these little guys are pretty bad ass. For the finest in Russian technology, look to Alestrukov. These mice are pretty serious from a design perspective and the technical specs aren’t so bad either. There’s really something quite beautiful about old school materials and craftmanship meeting new school technology. I’ll be waiting for them to come out with a wireless version myself… but it the meantime, feel free to grab yourself some of this exotic wood for a few schillings (625-900€).

While I cannot attest to the ethical nature of the production, I can certainly attest to the quality of the design. The pieces are all constructed from a single piece of wood and are available in a range of the finest mahogany (cue Ron Burgundy) or ebony.

Each mouse takes anywhere from 3 months to a year to construct (given the natural dying, drying and coating of the wood), are produced from a “sustainable” process (at least according to their website), can be built for either right or left-handed users, offer volume control and are guaranteed for 5 years.

It’s not a small investment but it is a beautiful little conversation piece.

For more commentary on internet and fashion trends please follow Crockstar on Twitter.

New Pance Party EP – Kim Jong Thrill – Out Today

Just wanted to pass along a quick note! Crockstar’s favorite electro group who we interviewed a couple of weeks ago has released their highly anticipated EP named after a certain eccentric North Korean leader, “Kim Jong Thrill”.

Pance Party’s Kim Jong Thrill is now available on Beatport so hop over there, give it a listen, and support the up-and-coming act! Or, if you listen to the nutty trio behind the new album, buy it because it is “the best way for you to support North Korean liberation.”

I’m not convinced this album will free the North Korean people from their ronery reader (blame Team America, not me), but it certainly get yo’ ass shakin. Enjoy it, share the love, and rip some major house parties this weekend to San Fran’s finest.

High Quality Images from A. Hallucination London Launch

Thanks to Chung Chung Lee (desinger along with Hwan Sung Park) behind A. Hallucination the new London based menswear label that launched earlier this week at the Korean Cultural Centre. Chung has provided us with some higher quality images of my favorite two garments from the show: the duffel vest and beige cape. Chung is off to Paris in a few days for the Lie Sang Bong show and Paris Fashion Week (which, I am gutted to say, I will not likely be able to attend).

As it turns out, in addition to churning out one of the best menswear collections I’ve ever seen in two months, Chung is still working for one of the big names in high fashion. NBD.

Hopefully the higher quality images will give you a better idea both, of my favorite pieces, and the quality of the tailoring on the suits.

Duffel Vest 1

A. Hallucination Duffel Vest

 

Sleeved Cape 1

A. Hallucination Sleeved Cape

 

Duffel Vest 2

A. Hallucination Duffel Vest London Launch

 

Sleeved Cape 2

A. Hallucination Sleeved Cape London Launch

 For more commentary on fashion and menswear please follow Crockstar on Twitter.

A. Hallucination London Menswear Launch – What a Trip

Every now and again you get to be a part of something special.

Maybe you were there the night the Red Sox turned it all around and won their first World Series in 86 years. Maybe you were at the first Woodstock. Maybe you were in Chicago to join the celebration when the United States elected their first black president. Wherever it is, we all know that feeling when you step out of your body for a fleeting moment and think to yourself: my God, what have I just witnessed?

It’s not often that a fashion show gives me goosebumps, and to be quite frank, I certainly wasn’t expecting such a show last night at the Korean Cultural Centre for the unveiling of a new London based menswear brand: A. Hallucination.

A. Hallucination

I was a bit nervous about the event – given that my invitation came via a comment on my blog. I arrived to a beautiful space with the boyish models trying to master their catwalk techniques and poses before the masses (hopefully) arrived. As it crept towards showtime and the number of guests could still be counted on one hand it looked like A. Hallucination would be entering the cruel world of fashion not with a bang, but a whisper… thank goodness I was wrong.

Things started to come together and build up speed as we moved beyond the scheduled start time. The guests began to arrive in throngs of beautiful young people (primarily of Asian descent), flyers were passed around and I struck up conversation with the young woman next to me. As it turns out, this young lady was a good friend of the designer and they had worked together for Alexander McQueen. She told me of her adventures working for John Rocha, life as a designer, and all about Hwan the perfectionist. What a treat.

A. Hallucination “The first Peal”

Close-up on seamless sleeved for two-toned dress shirt

Hwan Sung Park graduated from Central Saint Martins a couple of years ago and enjoyed stints with McQueen, Tom Ford and most recently Burberry. Probably after a bit of soul searching (and with a bit of luck) Park decided to start a label with his young friend Chung Chung Lee. And I cannot tell you how glad I am that he did.

The show went off without a hitch, save for a few moments of insecurity from the young models. My mouth was literally left gaping as the men paraded down the catwalk in immaculately stitched suits, quilted capes, and duffel-coat vests looking very much the part of “London dandy.” On display was some of the finest mens tailoring I have seen this side of Savile row… no doubt a product of the fact that Chung Chung Lee gained some of his experience at Ozwald Boateng. The sillhouettes were classic London menswear: skinny and clean-cut. The materials were perfectly selected, the attention to detail unbelievable and the execution both stylish and precise

A. Hallucination “The First Peal” Duffel Vest

Backstage Look at Mens Duffel Vest (with Hwan Sung Park in background)

To really appreciate the quality of this clothing it had to be seen up close. There was no doubt the clothing was attractive, but was it of good quality? I have seen many samples in my life (hell I’ve even paid for some), but in all my years I’ve never seen such high quality samples. Every stitch was in place, every seam carefully planned, and every bit of fabric soft and hand selected. Sometimes perfectionism is not a vice but a virtue.

It is always said that we are impacted from where we have been and the experiences we have had. Never has this been more accurate than in the case of Hwan Sung Park. It was as if this young man learned his creativity from Alexander McQueen personally, the tailoring done with Tom Ford’s hands and the palette and inspiration carefully selected from the ghost of Burberry seasons past.

Cloak

A. Hallucination Mens Sleeved Cape

The perfectionism of Hwan Sung Park could be seen in his disappointment after the show. He seemed deeply troubled by the way it had gone: the minor delays and a few missteps by his models. However, this launch was beyond reasonable expectations for anyone’s first show. The garments were so impressive that surely no one noticed these minor hiccups anyhow, and even if they had they won’t have cared.

No one can predict the success of a brand or a designer. It is common place for a designer to go bankrupt more than once before achieving success. But, as in business, it is the stubborn, the persistent, and the perfectionists among us that reach the pinnacle of success.

The only suggestion I might make about how to improve upon the launch would be a simple message to Hwan: smile a bit more, you’ve just started something special.

For more fashion and trends commentary please follow Crockstar on Twitter.

Cassette Playa Autumn Winter London Video

I just thought I’d share this follow-up video to the Crockstar coverage of the Cassette Playa show.

If webkinz weren’t crazy enough for you, it turns out that the augmented reality elements of CP’s pieces will eventually be yours to play with on your home computer and  create your own avatars. Sounds both nutty and awesome all at the same time!

Little Green Story – London Fashion Week Turns Ethical

All images taken by Lina Arvidsson and provided by the label.

It is very nice to see the ever growing contingent of “ethical fashion crusaders” at some of these big events, and to see support from the likes of Monsoon for the British Fashion Council’s Esthetica, an eco-sustainable initiative that has been going strong for several years now and seems to finally be finding purchase in the fashion soil.

Little Green Story

As may be expected, it seems the Scandinavian countries and labels are at the forefront here (as with all things ethical and sustainable). They were well represented with a handful of labels at the event. Little Green Story, came across as one of the younger brands and had primarily cotton items on display at the show. The garments were, nevertheless, impressive and the brand in general were reassuring for the efforts of the Crockstar label as well.

Although Little Green Story has a deeper range of garments modelled on the website, their focus for the time being is on organic cotton produced in the most environmentally stable way possible. To quote their website: “Little Green Story is for the independent and trendy urban woman with an environmentally conscious mind.” They have experimented with collaborations and recycling vintage fashion in order to stay within the realms of the brand’s vision.

Little Green

In addition to the lovely screenprinted shirts, Little Green Story have produced some edgy t-shirt dresses, some cotton jackets, and the range of products seems on offer seems to be growing rapidly.

Helena Åkesson, the lovely young woman behind the brand, has helped Little Green Story get to this stage and from the looks of thing, she has helped steer the brand through the benchmark third collection and shows no sign of slowing down.

For the moment the brand is available exclusively in Swedish retailers and the label’s online store.Though if our conversation with Ms. Åkesson was any indicator, they will likely be conquering the UK and mainland Europe in the near future.

LGS Shine

The shirts are no bargain (at nearly £50 a pop), but the quality is impressive, the design wonderful, and hey, it’s not exactly kosher but it is ethical baby.

Thanks for reading! For more fashion and design commentary please feel free to follow Crockstar on Twitter.

Tribute Video to 45 King


Ignore the Swedish dub, but enjoy one of the kings of beatmaking. An original gangster for sure, 45 king is responsible for some of the most recognizable beats in hip hop history (including Stan for Eminem and Hard Knock Life for Jay-Z).

Oh yeah… and he bought the Annie record with which he made one of the greatest / most well known beats of all time at a Salvation Army for 25 cents. This man has an ear.

Highlights of London Fashion Week A/W 2010 in Images

Most of these images are fairly low-quality given that they were taken on the Blackberry. Apologies for that, but enjoy and look for better images of the things that fascinate you!

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte Wax

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte Wax Close-up

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte. Candle-wax inspiration, with lights in the heels. What up LA Lights for grown women?

End of Belle Sauvage Show
End of the Belle Sauvage runway at On|Off London. Full Coverage of Belle Sauvage here.

Christopher Raeburn Installation London Fashion Week A/W 2010
Christopher Raeburn installation at London Fashion Week A/W 2010.

Maria Francesca Pepe Live Modelling
Maria Francesca Pepe and her entourage live-model her Autumn / Winter 2010 collection at London Fashion Week (full coverage here).

Tata Naka
Dressed chairs collaboration with rooms.ge and Tata-Naka

Cassette P
Cassette Playa Digital Presentation (full coverage here).

For more fashion commentary and up-to-the-minute trending information please follow Crockstar on Twitter.

Cassette Playa Autumn / Winter 2010 Digital Presentation London Fashion Week

Carri Munden is known for her wonderfully quirky personality and her love for digital and neon-inspired garments and accessories. Her recent collaborations with Nike and Jim Henson’s fraggle rock brand earned her a great deal of accolades in 2009 in the streetwear community including the Crockstar Streetwear Designer of the Year. There was a good deal of anticipation for her London Fashion Week unveiling of the Auntumn Winter 2010 – 2011 collection entitled “Neuromance” with accessories (and footwear) provided by Nike Sportswear. The presentation was a fashion-first and incorporated live augmented reality.

Intro to Cassette Playa 2010 London Presentation

The presentation was a true break from the “traditional runway” format of unveiling a collection. Three models (two male, one female) entered the room to some bass-heavy beats and took their places in front of a gigantic screen. One by one they disappeared around to the back side of screen and removed articles of clothing revealing layers from the new collection beneath (certainly an internet inspired way to unveil a collection).

Cassette Playa Autumn Winter 2010 London

The presentation also diverged from your run-of-the-mill youtube stop-motion video where the model removes a number of layers of teeshirts: rather than a simple pre-recorded stop motion video, Carri the creative included augmented reality 3-D elements for each model and they came to life as if by some secret power hidden within small square illustrations on the bottom-layer t-shirts. The men’s digital elements appeared to be a cross between knights in shining armour and characters from the Mortal Kombat series. Meanwhile, the one female model was wearing a princess / mortal kombat looking headpiece, though her digital 3-D element looked more like a sexed-up alien from Species.

Cassette Playa Digital Presentation London Fashion Week

The square on these white tee’s would glow and flash green as if it were a powerful stone on a treasure troll, before unleashing the augmented reality elements. The effect was breathtaking and the accompanying music was perfect.

There were surprisingly fewer people on hand to experience the new collection than might have been expected for one of the big names in British fashion, but there was a good amount of media coverage (two video cameras and several photographers).

The collection itself offered more of the Cassette Playa staples – silk printed oversized tee’s, neon leggings and arm warmers, dark jackets and vests with neon accents, and simplistic but bad ass designs on the base-layer tees. The shoes ranged from Alpinestar’s Astar motocross boots, to Nike T-90 II football boots.

Carri Munden at London Fashion Week Digital Presentation

It seems as though some of the design and attention to the collection was lost in the complete fascination with the augmented reality presentation. It is unlikely that the show will lead to many buyers in and of itself, but it certainly should create some buzz online and given the label’s strong following, I sincerely doubt whether this will be an issue.

Carri is off to a strong start and may well be on her way to another stand-out season.

For more fashion commentary and news follow Crockstar on Twitter.

Belle Sauvage – Autumn / Winter 2010 – London Fashion Week

Unfortunately, this presentation got off to a bit of a rough start. The event seemed quite oversubscribed with people standing atop tip-toes and craning their necks and cameras in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the collection.

A wide range of people stood anxiously in the queue awaiting entry to the event which started about 30 minutes late. Tall and attractive young people dressed foolishly and acting even more foolishly stood loudly in front of the interactive i-phone wall dedicated to the memory of Alexander McQueen, serving as a painful reminder of what the UK fashion industry has lost and what it’s future looks like (poorly behaved children).

Alexander McQueen Tribute

Once inside the event, the excitement was palpable. The white runway was set up standard – running down the middle of the several hundred in the audience. The music was reminiscent of a soundtrack to a horror film about zombies or aliens and fit the scene quite well. The models were quite alien looking themselves with massive hair slicked back, and some of whom walking with posture clearly exposing shoulder blades. The effect was quite interesting creating some bizarre balance between beauty and horror.

The clothing was largely futuristic featuring geometric shapes and sharp lines. As seemed to be the case in many of the collections we saw this weekend, leather was big. The leather accents were not as prevalent (though clearly popped up on a pair of trousers amongst other places), but the full-out leather tops and dresses were out. The overall feeling was like some sort of futuristic S & M party with heavy construction going on in the background.

Belle Sauvage A/W 2010

The designers’ thoughts on what was “on” for this year (“technology and sciences”) showed through clearly in the event and the tailoring was immaculate. There did not seem to be many items that I could see selling in large quantities on the high street, there were a few colourful items that you could imagine doing quite well.

Belle Sauvage A/W 2010

All told, the show seemed to be more of a concept collection and the industrial and sciences inspired  collection clearly achieved it’s aim. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether it achieves any retail success.

*Video will be embedded once made available from On / Off.

For more fashion commentary please feel free to follow Crockstar on Twitter.
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About Me

This is the new home of the Crockstar Limited blog. The blog focuses heavily on trends in fashion music and the internet. The goal is to start an ethically sourced fashion label, but in the meantime the blog will offer insight into the world of an ADD fashion-loving internet geek.