Archive for February, 2010

Cassette Playa Autumn / Winter 2010 – London Fashion Week Digital Presentation

 

Cassette Playa A/W 2010

More on this later… pretty sick though. First augmented reality presentation in the history of fashion. Leave it to Carri Munden a.k.a. Cassette Playa. Epic.

London Fashion Week A/W Review (Part I)

After finishing the morning rounds it is time for a quick check in on what there is to see and what is grabbing the most attention. As a first note on trending this year, leather accents are everywhere. While it seemed like this was a big trend in menswear last year it has taken root with the ladies as well. Women’s trousers with cotton fronts and leather backs (a bit bizarre but quite nice).

Maria Francesca Pepe

Maria Francesca Pepe Presentation

Another plus- people definitely seem to be pushing the ethical angle wherever possible. We all know how bad greenwashing can be for industry and it will be no better for fashion, but the fact that so many brands are trying to market themselves as ethical at least shows there is demand for the ethical clothing market (a big plus for me and for fashion in general).

Newgen is where it’s at. The exhibition portion of the show features a number of high end designers and some middle of the table “not quite there yet” brands. But the newgen section is unbelievable and the future is looking very bright for British fashion. This initiative by the British Fashion Council was a great idea and is paying huge dividends. Favorites from the newgen section include: Mary Katranztzou, KTZ, Maria Francesca Pepe, Craig Lawrence and Christopher Raeburn.

Raeburn is a class guy to talk to and in his third season he is already being featured at Liberty’s (among others). His recycled military wear is absolutely sick. He has taken some normal shapes and turned them on their head by using bright transclucent recycled parachutes and chopped up and remixed felt and leather from 50’s motorcycle jackets. Raeburn was nothing short of a gentleman and quite encouraging to me as a young part-time designer.

Comfort Station, gorgeous jewelery led by an absolute sweetheart of a designer Amy Anderson, was another highlight of the show. Her jewelry is all made in London (right over on Brick Lane) and this season was inspired by “the impossible”. In addition to great gold and wood work, she has done some pretty bad ass stuff with laser cutting and etching as well. Look out for an interview either here or on an upcoming ethical fashion blog I’ll be guest posting for (more on that later).

I will be sure to throw up some more images once I can get my hands on some high-res versions and will offer a fuller outlook on some of these brands as well.

Next stop(s): The Designer Showcase, On/Off and the Belle Sauvage runway.

Graf Mural


After watching this video of the graf mural painted at Propellernet’s new Brighton office it has been decided without doubt that once Crockstar gets some office space, we will be getting one of these done. Great video as well!

Hyperminimalism

This is kind of a cool idea that I stumbled across the other day while browsing the wonderweb. I’m not entirely sure it is for me (and I’m definitely not going to be using it all the time so fear not) but it is sort of a more educated and engaging way of Twitter-speak. If you haven’t got much time to write about  something or have a habbit of being overly verbose (like myself) this is the ticket.

Hyperminimalism might be looked at in the fashion world as the “plain white tee” look but with a flair. I supposed it would be more like making a simple (but beautiful) dress out of plain white cotton. Or by wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around you to your next party (advice from Vivienne Westwood I picked up reading Stylist on the tube this morning).

An example of hyperminimalism (as I understood it):

“I have a tattoo. You know where.”

The idea is to leave a lot of blanks for the reader to fill in but also to create a level of interest.

“Sometimes shorter really is better.”

While these are not ideas that you would want to see taken out of context, they are quite fun. For more examples of hyperminimalism by someone who actually knows what they are talking about check out the UnpublishedGuy’s blog.

We are the World 2010 for Haiti


The video to this epic gathering of celebs has been released (for those of you who were sleeping like me). Please enjoy and give what you can, Haiti may have weathered the storm but they’re nowhere near out of the woods yet. I can’t say it’s as good as the original, but it’s different and I hope it can raise as much money as the original. And Weezy and T-pain even got some autotune in there, so props to them.

There is also a nice change to the song with some hardcore rap undertones featuring Ladies Love Cool James (LL), Snoop and some other original gangsters before going back to the gospel like finish.

Willi.i.am. and Kanye also feature nicely towards the end.

All in all, a great 2010 spin on the track and for a good cause. Give your spare coin to Haiti and any others you can help.

Taylor Stitch Exclusive Interview (Part II)

Hey all, today we will get right back to our conversation with Mike Maher of Taylor Stitch who are making headway in the fashion world and making some bad-ass and well-tailored clothing out of San Francisco. In case you missed the first part of the interview check it out.

Taylor Stitch Denim

Who are some of the people you admire in the realm of fashion or online shopping?

I like people that create great brands specifically. I have had the pleasure of working with Pierrepont Hicks which is a husband and wife team from Minnesota that makes great ties and bow ties out of old dead stock fabrics. I also admire Nigel Cabourn as a designer for his passion for creating incredible product that is meant to be passed onto your grandkids.

I know you set out to try to make a place where men could buy quality tailored shirts without having to go into the shop to get them… tell me a bit about how you got things started, what some of the hiccups towards the beginning are, and what else you might do in the future to make sure your site remains a place where men can go to get nice shirts.

We basically started with the idea of making tailoring less pretentious. A lot of guys can’t afford to go in and buy 5 tailored shirts at $150 a pop. being online is great and it is phenomenal for getting your word out there but it is also hard to get people to go measure themselves. Most of our shirt sales have come from people directly interacting with us at pop up markets or mini shows or contacting us directly to have a home or office fitting done.

We are definitely focused on our manufacturing and improving those relationships whenever possible. Taylor Stitch is going to really take a step back and focus on our shirts. We have another side project going called the Durable Goods Concern that just put a 3 day pop up market together in San Francisco that will probably end up taking over the representing of other brands so we can focus on the shirts with TS.

What are your big goals for 2010? You had a pretty successful 2009, what would you like to improve upon this year?

Big things are to develop the following of both TS and the DGC. We are going to put one very limited run highly engineered piece out for the DGC come summer time. Once we are happy with our fits for off the rack shirts and have them all dialed in we are going to start doing short runs of shirts under the TS label too and getting the word out a little bit better. Letting people come into contact with our product in a little easier of a way than custom.

I take a lot of inspiration just from watching people and reading too many blogs. Where do you go to get style tips?

I read blogs, watch old movies, try and look at old pictures. I think there is a lot to say about what men used to dress like and how they used to act that is finally coming full circle. How to be a gentleman and how to be capable of everyday things like cutting wood and cooking dinner. It’s rather sad how many people lack these simple abilities. That being said I think there needs to be technology mixed in with all of that. I love to read blogs like the selvedge yard or I look at port authority or the impossible cool. Those sort of classic things get me excited. Then I just talk to people and look for inspiration that way. I’ve had the chance to meet people that geek out over details on things and love to talk about it which is so cool to see!

What was it that made you decide to do this as a career rather than a hobby?

I have nothing to lose but a little money. I figured why not give it a shot and see what happens.

Taylor Stitch Navigation

If you could get your clothes to one person who would it be and why?

I am pretty happy with putting it on normal guys right now that are doing cool things. Our local furniture producers, wine makers, shop owners. They are the ones that really create the community that I like and care where things are coming from.

All right, fair enough, but who is the most likely celebrity or internet personality you might catch rocking your duds?

Fine. Steve McQueen or Paul Newman.

As the line is all about being true to yourself: I’ve got to self plug while I’ve got a chance… what does it mean to you to be a ‘Crockstar’?

It is all about producing great product at fairly reasonable prices that will last. I also really enjoy knowing the people that made the clothes for me. It is a much more real story than “Made in China…”

In 2009 bomber jackets were big, elbow pads came back on tweed jackets and skinny jeans took over the world. What’s going to be the “big item” this next year in your opinion?

I’m hoping men just keep pushing themselves towards dressing like a grown up in things that fit. Custom fitted shirts are a great start but there is so much more to that. People need to first understand fit before they understand style because you could be wearing the coolest piece in the world but if it doesn’t fit you just look foolish.

That’ll do it for us, check back soon and for the latest and greates be sure to follow Crockstar and to follow Taylor Stitch on Twitter.

Rest in Peace Alexander McQueen – A Terrible Start to London Fashion Week

 Rest in Peace Alexander McQueen

McQueen’s Website Has Been Taken Down for the Time Being

Today the United Kingdom has lost one of their most promising talents. Alexander McQueen has committed suicide, it is reported by the Daily Mail. McQueen was best known for his skull designs, over-the-top color choices, and unbelievable tailoring. His cuts were unriavled, and the amount he has brought to the UK fashion scene if not the global fashion scene, will be sorely missed.

According to the report, McQueen lost his mother just days ago and was thought to be coping with the loss with a great deal of grief.

This year’s London Fashion Week is sure to be a dreadfully more somber event and McQueen was an inspiration to all young aspiring British talent.

My sincerest  condolences to his family and friends. Our hopes and prayers are with you.

A retrospective of his recent work will be posted over the next few days.

Taylor Stitch – Exclusive Interview Part I

Today, we sit down with another one of our favorite designers: Mike Maher of Taylor Stitch. The boys over at Taylor Stitch have been on a mission to make men look good and wear clothes that fit… and they have been successful. Taking on an attitude of “I have nothing to lose but a little bit of money” the gang jumped in full bore and have been in the custom shirtmaking business for over a year now.

The Guys at Taylor Stitch - Mike Maher (Center)

Mike and the gang have worked hard on collaborating with some of their peers and make clothes designed for everyman. After hosting a recently hugely successful event in San Francisco called “Man Up!” with Durable Goods Concern. Mike sat down to answer our questions about what the goals of Taylor Stitch are for the upcoming year and big trends in menswear to be looking out for in 2010.

Twitter Sized Biography

We live in San Francisco, enjoy nice things, the great outdoors and being friendly.

What got you started doing this?

My business partner Barrett and I could never find shirts that fit us. We are what we think to be rather standard sized guys at 5’9″ 165 lbs. We wanted interesting details and incredible construction so we started seeking that out. Whether it is the fabrics or the subtle intricacies that make it a great shirt, we just became quickly obsessed over how great it is to have something that is so nice fit you so well.

 How long have you been doing what you do?

We have been doing it for a year or so developing our manufacturing relationships and making sure we are producing garments of the highest possible quality. It took us a little while to find people we were happy to have manufacturing our goods in the U.S.A.

Made in Uh-Merica

-Rapid Fire Section-

 If you could do a collaboration with anyone who would it be?

Beckel Canvas because I am already doing an undercover project with Pierrepont Hicks. I’d also like to do something with Monocle because they put out the best magazine in the world right now.

Biggest accomplishment thus far?

Putting together one hell of a Man Up SF event with the Durable Goods Concern because it really slingshotted TS along with it

Favorite flavour of ice cream?

Ben and Jerry’s Limited Edition Key Lime Pie. I hope they keep it around for a while.

Song of the moment?

I can’t begin to name one song. Discovery – Osake Loop Line is playing in the background right now. Does that work?

Favorite musician of the moment?

I’m plugging my boys Assembly of Dust for Reid’s nasaly voice and great lyrics.

Check part II for the rest of the Taylor Stitch Exclusive interview as Mike tackles questions about his favorite designers, where he takes his inspiration from and what to be on the lookout for in 2010. In the meantime follow Taylor Stitch on Twitter.

Aleksandra Korejwo – Carmen Torrero (Because Sharing is Caring)


By far one of the greatest/least appreciated forms of art you are likely ever to see. This short was made by Aleksandra Korejwo in 1996. Korejwo attended film school in Poland. Her massive list of awards can be seen at Korejwo’s Website. Korejwo’s ability to create animation using colored sand is unbeleivable and has been used in advertisments for United Airlines, though nothing compares (IMO) to the short Carmen Torrero for which I first became enamored of her work.

For anyone with a love for Spain, it is criminal not to have seen this piece of art.

In Reference To (And Defense Of) The New Design of the Site

A.K.A. How I Learned to Defend Hipsters

While some of the feedback about a certain design on a certain frontpage may or may not resemble a certain design made famous by another company (confusing enough) I was reminded of a great quote that I saw over at the GoodHood website. Goodhood is both a great/friendly streetwear store and their blog seems to produce some interesting food for thought. To quote Jean-Luc Godard:

It’s not where you take things from -it’s where you take them to.

Now, I for one understand the importance of intellectual property rights as evidenced by a lengthy legal disclaimer on this very site. However, there is no reason to limit the bounds of creativity by merely drawing inspiration from elsewhere. This has been one of the most resounding and repeated criticisms of hipster: here these people are, “feigning nostalgia for a decade they don’t remember.” Or, “the problem with hipsters is that they only know how to consume, they do not create anything.”

I think this issue has not been properly argued. I will, for the sake of brevity (and for want of understanding) lay out just the most basic argument about borrowing from the past and borrowing from others:

Argument 1: The Hipster Argument

Absolutely, there are so-called “hipsters” who merely consume the latest “next-big-thing” (which often draws inspiration from the past), but there is also grounds to suggest that those on the front edge of hipsterdom do create… and they influence. And they take some serious risks. I don’t care if it was cool in the ’40s, you tell me it doesn’t take balls to be the first one in your neighborhood to leave your house looking like this:

Hipster Stache

 Image Via: Misslasti

It doesn’t matter whether or not you think that’s cool… it’s definitely daring.

Argument 2: The Shepard Fairey Argument

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this image:

AP Photo

No? Don’t recognize it? Look a bit closer. Ahhhh, yes… there it is, the picture that won Barack Obama the election. Now, this picture… in its original form… is a nice photo (kudos to the AP!). The first instance, or piece of art, is fine. It serves its purpose, it documents a moment in time, may sit on the cover of a book or magazine alright, but I sincerely doubt it has the power to evoke the same response as a red and blue hand-rendered image based on this one does. When I look at this picture, I don’t think “HOPE” I think, “boring.”

Thank you Shepard Fairey for fighting for the right to be inspired and for posting the above image from the AP. Perhaps equally interesting, was the AP’s later use of PICTURES OF Mr. Fairey’s image for their own personal gain prior to filing suit against him for copyright infringement.

Argument 3: The Girl Talk Argument

Ok, so anyone familiar with Gregg Gillis (a.k.a Girl Talk) knows that intellectual property rights and the law have followed the man a great deal. His music consists of mashing-up other people’s music, but is certainly his own. While the criticism has come hot and heavy, Gillis also suggests that the act of cutting up and playing with other people’s music is neither objectionable, nor is it anything new. Gillis relates the process of making a mash-up to creating any other song and playing with the chords of others.

While I understand that this is a slightly objectionable look at things, it is also worth noting that legal or not, the creative world is better as a result of what Gillis does. It is art and should be treated as such. No example better exemplifies the importance of where we take things to, rather than where we take things from.

Conclusion

None of this is to suggest that Crockstar is in favor of infringing any sort of copyright, not is it to suggest that Crockstar should be compared with the likes of Fairey or Gillis. It is, however, important to consider the importance of the freedom of art and the freedom to build upon the work of others.

Return top

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.