Archive for the ‘Best of 2009’ Category

Donnis – Gone (Music Video Premier)

Welp, I had to share this with everyone. It looks like Donnis has finally got his premier on MTV with one of my favorite tracks heard on my pick for mixtape of the year for 2009. The video was just released and is already being featured on Highsnobiety so for those of you that haven’t heeded our advice and grabbed the mixtape please let us know what you think of this track and of Donnis more broadly!

Best Streetwear Designer of 2009 – Carri Munden a.k.a. Cassette Playa

Carri Munden a.k.a. Cassette Playa

Carri has had an incredibly successful year. Following up on a breakthrough 2008 (in which, among other things, she was recognized as the “Best Fashion Designer” by Rolling Stone Magazine laregely for her 2008 S/S line, which really was the most impressive of many neon inspired lines that came out that season (as evidenced by the photo below). During that time, Carri a.k.a. Cassette Playa gained some decent press and some recognition for the work she did as stylist to the colorful M.I.A.

 Image Via: Rolling Stone

However, in 2009 Carri has been on a whole different level. After CP’s second collaboration on a pair of kicks for Nike she was asked to create a fake sports team (she opted for the Chimera’s and took on Parra’s Lovely Loners) for Nike’s rivalry collection. The bomber jacket she designed for this capsule collection, which was definitely one of the must-have pieces in every streetwear collection this year, has recently been spotted on the likes of Ciara, Lily Allen and others.


Image via: Cassette Playa’s Blog

Though there were obviously other big names in Streetwear this year (Bape and Nike continued their roles at the forefront, while other relative newcomers like Trapstar had breakout years), CP really took it. This year’s collection (and the various capsule collections she did for Nike and others) stayed true to that which made her successful in the past–simple but entertaining designs and bright colors– but was new enough (and drifted far enough from the neon) to keep it fresh rather than continue with something that was played out.

Carri also did some work this year styling some stuff for Billionaire Boy’s Club/Ice Cream and had a really nice collaboration with Present.

As if that weren’t enough, Carri got to enter the world of every neon-loving child’s favorite television show — Fraggle Rock! In addition to helping Dr. Romanelli redisgn the website, she also worked on a few collaborative t-shirts available via: Collete.

Carri is one of those designers who loves what she’s doing and really appreciates her customers. Here’s to hoping CP can keep it up in 2010 and keep bringing out more hot collections!

Biggest Sneaker Release of 2009 – Nike Air Yeezy

Ok, I’m going to write this post but I want to clear the air about a few things:

1. I am not a huge fan of Kanye West.

2. I am bitter that I spent many hours trying to camp out in the streets of Shoreditch to get a pair… and didn’t (see below photo).

3. I did not say BEST release, I said BIGGEST.

4. The results speak for themselves, try not to dismay too much about the state of humanity because MJ’s death blew both the Yeezy and Kanye out of the water!!!

 Source: Charlatan

Now, with the preamble out of the way, we all know that the Yeezy was by far the biggest release of the past year. The Yeezy had more speculation, fakes and fights than a Miss America competition.

You all know what the shoes look like, and if you don’t, you probably don’t care so I’m not going to invest any time in telling you about them style-wise (other than the fact that the glow in the dark sole was a nice touch).  What I am gonna do is try to put into perspective how big a release this was and how big a year it was in general for Kanye.

I used Google Trends to compare search terms of the past year and see just how big Kanye and his kicks were this past year… Prepare for nerdiness. I hope you enjoy.

Want to be like Mike?


Well, the yeezy may not have touched “his airness”, but this is pretty impressive when we consider what the Jordan brand means. This is an entire brand, as well as a commonly used pseudonym for the GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME.

Can I get my Yeezy’s in Carolina Blue Mike?

Year of Social Media the Yeezy


Alright, fine, Social Media may have won out in the end… but the fact is: one of the most talked about items of 2009 (especially in the business world), a phrase that embodies Twitter, Facebook, and tons of other big name platform, was outranked by the search term “air yeezy” in terms of search volume at least for a portion of the year.

Not impressed? Thought this was a streetwear blog? Ok, fine… let’s focus in on the month of April.

Bape vs. Yeezy

For those of you uninterested by streetwear, BAPE is probably the most successful (AND most exclusive) streetwear line in the entire game. People queue up for every opening of the store (in fact the only reason I was able to get the Nike Futura Flom Dunk this summer was because a lot of sneaker heads had camped out to meet Nigo and Pharell at Bape London instead of at the Nike 1948 store). However, the Yeezy’s clearly dominated search traffic for Bape over the course of the entire month of April.

Let’s stick with April for a moment and put this in perspective for people who own fewer than 15 pairs of sneakers/trainers…

Air Yeezy vs. Nelson Mandela


Surely this is a joke… NELSON MANDELA (yes, the Nelson Mandela) was barely even able to compete for search results in April when Yeezy fever hit its pitch. Authors note: I was going to show you how the Yeezy’s compared to Martin Luther King Jr. in 2009 but it made me too sad (click if you must).

This is all a bit depressing to me especially given that in this instance we are talking about the shoe… not even the designer behind the shoe. So I thought, just for laughs (because I needed one), I would try to see how popular the man behind the sneaker was in 2009 (at least insofar as Google Search can be used as a metric for these things) and the findings left me… speechless.


And the landslide for search volume over the whole year was even more depressing (results here).

Yeezy, FTW!


Best Album of 2009 – Mumford & Sons and Jay-Z

While Jay-Z bounced back with another classic album, he has gotten a great deal of attention for this release and sold his records. I’m proud of the man and it was a great album (and very heavily anticipated) so nothing to take away from him but I’m going to focus on the Mumford and Sons album “Sigh No More” produced by Markus Dravs.

Mumford & Sons are a relatively new band and have only been playing together since 2007. With the help of Dravs (who previously has worked with the Arcade Fire and Bjork to name a couple) the four young men from West London got together to record this, their debut, album.”Sigh No More” is captivating from start to finish. Every single track is extraordinarily enjoyable and it may well be the only album I heard this year that I could listen to all the way through without picking a favorite track or tiring of the album all together. It is rare that you can find an album that can be enjoyed as an album and is not just a collection of hit singles. In trying to sum up the sound, perhaps it is best to leave the description to them: “They create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men” (

If I were personally to try to articulate their sound it would go something like this: Mumford & Sons combine the soulfullness and depth of vocals of the likes of Bon Iver or Ray Lamontagne while combining the depth of a large group like the Arcade Fire, down-home sailors anthems that rival Great Big Sea, bluegrass beats accompanied by chilling harmonies, and rhytmic crescendo’s that feel a bit like a massive musical orgasm.

Mumford & Sons produces a sound that may not be everyone’s cup of tea (and is unlikely to be incredibly popular among the demographic most likely to enjoy this blog), however, the album absolutely warrants a listen if you haven’t yet heard it and as AN ALBUM I would even give it the edge on the Jigga’s impressive collection of club bangers and chart toppers.

We are talking about different genre’s here, but with “Sigh No More” Mumford & Sons have produced as good a “blueprint” for future generations of musicians as Jay-Z has released since 2001.

Check out Mumford & Sons website and enjoy the hits. Let’s hope 2010 provides an equally successful and exciting year for both Mumford & Sons and the Frank Sinatra of Rap.

2009 Best Runway – Jeremy Scott Flinstones

(London Fashion Week S/S 2010)

Now, there was admittedly a bit of bias that went in to my selection of Jeremy Scott for the runway show of the year. One, it was the show that generated the most show at London Fashion Week and two, I  may have been influenced by some of Scott’s other work this year (particulary Jeremy Scott’s work on the Adidas orignals line). The entire show can be seen on the LFW website.

I originally caught wind of this show and what was in store for it while speaking with some of the folks from Linda Farrow about some of the collaborative sunglasses they had worked on for the season. Though I liked the Mickey Mouse take (below) my favorite of the collection was the Flinstones inspired television set glasses (covered earlier this year).

Image: Diane Pernet

After speaking to the folks from Linda Farrow I got the tip that the Scott show (along with the House of Holland shows) were not to be missed. Unfortunately, due to prior engagements… I missed both and have been kicking myself ever since. The “costumes” (obviously these were more press pieces than they were proper designs) were perfect down to the bones in the hair and over-the-top make-up. For Scott’s first showing at LFW (in large part thanks to it being the 25th anniversary of the event) he pulled out all the stops and though I would argue that less than 5% of the clothing that he showed has any value other than for the purpose of humor and for press…  it was perfectly executed and will not soon be forgotten. And, hey, when you’re as big as Jeremy Scott, and you’ve had the year he’s had in which nothing he did seemed serious (Adidas kicks with three tongues? Giant wings?), why not?


Praise for the Show:
“Jeremy Scott literally killed it” – Livin Cool

“Best hair ‘n makeup ever” – Daisy Lowe (Model)

Image: GuestofaGuest

“If you’re not an acid bright caveman next season life is hardly worth living, is it?” – Jonno Ovans

“Love.It.” – Vogue

Here’s to hoping Jeremy Scott is equally successful (and equally crazy) in 2010!


Images via: Livin Cool (unless otherwise specified)

2009 Best Menswear Collection – Junya Watanabe MAN

Now, a lot of arguments can be made here about the choice of a collection RELEASED in 2009 as opposed to showed in 2009 and some might argue that MAN for Comme des Garcons should only count as a capsule collection, but, to do so is to discredit from what in my opinion was far and away the best collection of the year, if not of the decade.

Junya broke every last rule in the book with his current season collection (A/W 2009). While Crockstar Limited originally covered Watanabe’s rulebreaking collection in August I have had the opportunity to think back on the collection with a bit of hindsight and with the benefit of comparison to other collections. In addition to combining blue, black and brown/natural leather (ill advised really) as well as fire orange and red (unheard of). Junya took outdoor chic and made it trendy for city and streetwear. Watanabe’s collection basically takes some classic hints from the likes of L.L. Bean and mashes them up with the typical “cut and paste” flair preferred by Comme des Garcons making good use of a bit of streetwear edge.

The cuts were almost a full season ahead of what might have been expected and Watanabe’s foresight is what gives him the credibility to be sold both in the basement at Dover Street Market and a prominent feature in GQ magazine, a spot on the coveted menswear racks of Liberty of London and a number of features in Highsnobiety. Watanabe toes the line between art and functionality and between edgy streetwear and classic menswear.

The colorways were quite obviously inspired by traditional autumn and winter colors as were the materials, his use and combination of these “traditional” motifs however are what separates this collection from others like it and what separate Watanabe from the rest. A collection that truly must be seen and -perhaps more importantly- felt, the combination of fabrics warrants every painstaking pound that a piece of this collection will set you back (close to a grand for many fo the jackets). Clasically trained by the same teachers as Yohji Yamamoto and heavily influenced by CdG creator founder Rei Kawakubo it is no wonder that Watanabe combined classic with experimental, past with future and threw down the best collection this year.

A great way to end a decade which saw a number of trends and a general lack of a full on style that embodied the era… I would not be shocked if this collection defines what is meant by fashion design in the “noughties”.

Watanabe’s attention to detail is unmatched. 10 out of 10.

All Images: GQ Magazine from Paris A/W 2009

Best Sneaker Release – Nike

This was an extremely tough call for me to make, especially being a bit of a sneakerhead myself. Yes I queued up the day before to try to get a pair of Air Yeezy’s (the black and pink ones), and no I still didn’t get a pair. And though I like the feel and will hands down give the Yeezy’s the nod for BIGGEST release of the year (more on that later) I cannot in good conscience give them the nod for best release of the year. This may be partially influenced by Kanye’s stage-stealing, partially by a bit of bitterness at not having a pair myself and partially by my reluctance to admit that Kanye has serious style (I’m sorry people… despite some of the terrible trends he has started… he does). HOWEVER, despite the success of all of the Yeezy releases, the freshest, best looking pair of kicks from this year were both inspired by films and both released by Nike (I will freely admit my bias).

First up: the White Men Can’t Jump inspired Nike Air Flight Lite High. These caught their fair share of both ups and disses, and the comment made by Nice Kicks contributor Matt Halfhill about the fact that he cannot remember Billy Hoyle wearing these bad boys at any point in the film is a valid point. However, the key here is the inspiration rather than the historical validity, and the inspiration created by Billy Hoyle’s “chump” style is well worth exploring. While this is arguably one of the greatest films of the early 90s (if not the entire decade) it should be notice that these are about as true to Hoyle’s persona and style as might be expected or wished for.

 Fresh’uns From Billy’s Closet (Nice Kicks)

This is not an argument to say that a shoe based upon Sidney Deane’s sense of style would not have been even hotter, HOWEVER, that said… this sneaker inspired by Billy boy is true to form and well executed. The selection of the Air Flight high’s and their colorway is perfect for the mishmash style (tie-dye hat, work shorts, tube socks… come on) of Billy.

Billy Hoyle Driving on Sidney Deane (Uncoached)

Obviously, I would have been equally excited to see them bring back the Air Command’s initially worn by Billy, but for a new and fresh film-inspired kick I couldn’t possibly ask for more.

The next choice are the Nike Hypermax McFly (NFW)… another movie inspired sneaker and about as filthy a colorway as you will ever see (gray, white, pink, blue). This particular release is one of my favorites as well because it does more than simply make use of a nice colorway and the name of a film. Drawing inspiration from the ill shoes sported by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II (with a self-locking system and some serious light-ups) Nike took their hypermax and stripped the flywire out of them

McFly on His Hoverboard (Sneaker Hunt)

This is a cool decision to have made for two reasons: one flywire is a bit notorious for ripping despite it’s lightweight and implied strength, TWO (and perhaps more importantly) it is a cool and literal approach to taking “back to the future” and bringing it to life a la Nike. Nike took one of their most technologically advanced sneakers (well known for its use of flywire technology) and flipped it old school by giving it a plain gray flat nylon/satin upper. The combination of the past and the future comes together nicely and a nice hit of glow-in-the-dark on the soles does nothing but make the drop even fresher. Argue if you like about the Hypermax NFW and the Hyperdunk McFly (from 2008), but they are both fresh as any sneaker I saw this past year.

Nike McFly Hypermax NFW 2009 (Highsnobiety)

The Best of 2009

As we are getting towards the end of an entire decade I thought I would announce a schedule for a recap/highlights of 2009. These will be looked at individually and in depth over the next few weeks but the winners are…

Best Sneaker Release: This one is a draw… both movie inspired, both redic releases. Nike McFly Hypermax NFW, Nike Air Flight Light

Biggest Sneaker Release: Nike Air Yeezy’s

Best Menswear Collection: Junya Watanabe MAN for Comme des Garcon

Best Runway: Jeremy Scott Flinstones (S/S 2010, LFW)

Best Designer (Streetwear): Carri Munden, Cassette Playa

Best Accessory/Line (Men): Dita 2009

Best Gadget: iPhone (I hate to do it, and I know it’s not new… but it’s true)

Best Mixtape: 10Deep Presents: Donnis – Diary of an ATL Brave

Best Update: Windows 7

Best Album: Draw… Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More & Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3…
Honorable Mention: The Temper Trap – Conditions.


Image Credits (in order): Highsnobiety, Hypebeast, Nike, Hypebeast, London 

Fashion Week, Cassette Playa, Gear Culture, Apple, 10Deep, Complex Magazine, 7Digital

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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.