Thursday, 30 December 2010


Code G454WW9CE6VE


Picture and text by Vogue France
Some of you will know the picture but I am again and again fascinated by it. OK, this year was the year of the transsexual in fashion circles. As you might remember, Tisci used Lea T in his AW10 add campaign, Acne developed in conjunction with Candy magazine a shirt collection all modelled by transsexuals, the androgynous star male model Andrej Pejic whose angelic feature brought him to walk women shows as well as men shows.and asked what he feels about it he answered: '... Every man wants to wear a dress once in a while...' but I really admire and being stunned by the honesty and beauty of this picture above and and the bravery of the French Vogue to put a picture like this into a polished luxury magazine. But this honesty and bravery which I credit to the unfortunately meanwhile 'former' editor in chief Carine Roitfeld and her team in Paris. This picture, with its vulnerability, shows that nature has so many beautiful different facets and that beauty can not be defined by sex instead by the magic aura of an individual being like Lea T. I really want to see more of her in the future and hopefully our fascination with transsexual and its discussion and depiction of  it in an honest and non- judging way will not be just a fad but bringing more tolerance to the ones who are considered as different and often excluded from the rest of society. Looking forward to 2011 and I wish you all

                      A HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2011- CHEEEERS!!!


 I bought this shirt from H&M years ago and decided to throw it away. But as I was posting a month ago I will try not to throw away the clothes I am not wearing anymore and I will make an effort avoiding to support our buy- wear- chuck- away- half- a- year- later society. I got really nice silk fabric from work which I also rescued from the dust bin. The silk were sample materials for ties. I will comment on the steps in order to cover the collar of the old shirt and give the shirt a new lease of life again. I hope I can inspire you also to throw away less and re-use your old clothes.
Step 1: Here you can see the fabric and the shirt. Step 2: I did not make a photo of it. Actually you take a piece of paper ( can be baking paper which is quite strong and slightly see through). You put the paper on the collar and draw the shape of the collar. After you have done that you can make the outline more neat by re-drawing the line with a ruler. Than you also draw the seam allowance which is 1.5 cm or half an inch.
 Step 3: Pin the collar pattern to the fabric and cut it out.
 Step 4: Pin the cut out fabric to the collar and be careful the there is an equal amount of seam allowance all around the shirt collar.
 Step 5: This is now the tricky bit- sewing the cut out fabric on to the collar. You can use a sewing machine but like for most of us, it takes less experience to sew it on by hand. Since you have a good amount of seam allowance you can fold the fabric over at the edges which will avoid that the fabric edges are going to fray while wearing and washing the shirt.. Below you can see the half stitched- on collar.
Step 6: After you finished the sewing, you can iron and  press the collar carefully with a low temperated iron and a bit of steam.  Below again you can see the finished shirt worn with a cream coloured, mohair jumper with by H&M's TREND LABEL.
I hope this exercise has not been too difficult to follow and do it yourself. I think just that we should be more aware about the waste we are producing and 'every little helps' to rescue our planet which is being destroyed by a society which throws away everything without a blink of the eye even if the goods are not broken. I hope you will enjoy it and as a last little advice invite a friend ( nothing against our sex but a female friend who can sew will help a lot) and do it together which is really fun than. 

Love and good luck - The Fashion Philosopher 

P.S. Before I forget it since the shirt is cotton and the collar brocade silk in this exercise you might wonder how to wash it. I have never brought my silk clothes to a dry cleaner. Always wash your silks, cashmeres and wools with a decent amount of shampoo (yes, shampoo, a mild product with e.g. chamomile it good enough) and the cold hand wash level is switched on your washing machine. I have had never any problems with shrinkage but again it is important that the water temperature is cold and the washing machine is on hand washing mode.


It is my favourite time of they year-guess Christmas?- no WINTER SAALLEEEESSS!!!!!- since you might remember I just quit my job to start freelancing in fashion as stylist and designer. Since I just started out, money of course is really short! But there is always a little bit put aside for some bargains. So, have a look what I snapped up in the sales. Here the first one now-  Beige roll neck- Shades of Grey by Mica Cohen ( Topman )

Again- Beige roll neck by Shades of Grey by Mica Cohen ( Topman ). Since the winters in London are getting colder I decided I need a couple more roll neck jumpers. This jumper from Shades of Grey is actually quite simple it has just the row of buttons at the collar, which I find quite handy if you come into the warm and cosy inside and you can simply open up the roll neck. The material is woven as if  layered which also gives an interesting effect as well as the rough edges. This jumper is a really good basic and it will keep warm when temperatures are plummeting.
1. Beige roll neck- Shades of Grey by Mica Cohen ( Topman )

2. Blue Brothel Creepers by Asos Collection ( Asos )- a great bargain. I got them for £ 13.00, compared to £ 80.00 at Topman. OK, they are not the originals but I do not care. I have never had Brothel Creepers. I just started to love them. You know, sometimes when you see a clothing item very often and you never are interested in the item and suddenly- BANG!!- after years you stop and think-' Hmm, actually I think I've got to get them'! I do not know what to wear with them and how to style them right now but clothing items like that have often helped me to broaden my style and have given  a fresh breath into my wardrobe. I really love them and the price was brilliant

3. 'Degas' heavy knit cardigan by All Saints (All Saints)- All Saints- my old time favourite of all the high street premium brands. I must confess I always find something at All Saints. OK, SS10 was a weak season but AW10 you could get your hands on some of the nicest authentic Nordic Fairisle jumpers around and I also found one of the nicest sheep- skin- sort of- aviator jackets which looked much better than most of the other 'affordable' versions on the high street. The 'Degas' cardigan is really warm and I got used to wear it more and more often instead of my winter coats or jackets. Just layer  a chunky, long and heavy cardigan with a jeans shirt and nice jumper underneath and a cool snood and you are warm enough to face the cold. By the way this was a 'good- bye' present in form of a voucher from my colleges at Hackett, my former employer. Thanks a lot guys. Will never think of you again ( ha ha ha).

4. Black top by Sparks ( Behave). Unfortunately, you can not see the materials and the cut properly ( After I loose my Christmas pounds I will model it). Actually, the top is quite boxy and long (almost to my knees).  It is also really black. The material is making the top interesting- it is a sort towelling material but somehow not as soft as the normal towelling of which towels are made of. But it gives the black a certain texture. I really love the brand Sparks. They design and produce the brand in the UK ( not China!) but keep the prices rather low. I bought the top above for £ 30.00 in the sales but usually the prices range from £ 25.00 to £ 60.00 for a jumpers or shirts to £ 80.00 for really brilliantly cut a pair of trousers. I already bought a shirt and a pair of trousers form Sparks at Behave. I will post properly about  the brand and the shop soon.

While I was copying the photos for this post I stumbled across this picture. I would like to  introduce you, please - HERR PAULI ( Mr Paul). The second love of my live. He is the cutest cat in the world. He loves fashion as much as I do and here you can watch him modelling his favourite New Years smoking by 'Catlavin'. He is quite avantgardistic cat, as you can see, he is wearing the silk smoking without the famous brightly coloured over- sized  bow ties, favoured by 'Catlavin' designer 'Catber Elbas', as we all know,  but with a simple white cashmere roll neck by 'Cat Sander'. And for a dramatic entrance he decided to put on green optical lenses. I think he looks so stunning and elegant but still simple and graceful. I just adore him.......!!!!! and hope you do it too.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


On the 17th of December a new life is starting for me. I used to work in the Wholesale department  for the luxury mens fashion retailer Hackett London.  I decided recently to quit my job and embark on a 'creative' fashion career. Ok, admittedly, I learned a lot during my time working in admin, too. I think to know the whole process of  fashion production and distribution might proove to be quite helpful  in future. But I want to close this chapter and open a new one. Above you can have a glimpse what my mornings will look like when I start being self - employed ( I wish...).

Inspired by the book 'ECCENTRIC GLAMOUR' by Simon Doonan - creative director of Barney's and and more time on my hands for my blog- I will start presenting  to you, the people - past or present - who I consider to have had brilliant fashion-taste, fashion-elegance or fashion-eccentricity, with loads of money or no money at all... they just need to have one point in common - a great sense for fashion. I will call these presentations: FASHION ECCENTRICS.
I will start with the Empress of all Fashion Eccentrics the Hon. Miss Edith Sitwell DBE - poet, writer, aristocrat and fashion icon par excellence. She had a terrible childhood, not least because her father made her undertake a "cure" for her supposed spinal deformation, that apparently involved locking her into an iron frame. Together with her two brothers she belonged to the avantgarde of literature in the 20's and 30's of the last century. I think she is just the kind of person I admire!

She stood 6' ( 1,83 m) and looked a bit like Queen Elizabeth I. She was in the conventions of the Edwardians, actually conceived as 'ugly'. But instead of hiding herself, she embraced her unusual features and emphasized them with all this beautifully crafted jewelery with gowns of brocade or velvet with gold turbans and a plethora of rings. Her beautiful hands were covered by rings - one more unusual than the other with huge stones and again unusually cut stones and unconventionally designed mounts.
Although from an aristocratic back ground - she always struggled financially since her father did not leave her a lot and she never married within her social circles. But she made the best of the her situation and kept the most important aspect of an artist - her freedom. I just love her- she was always interesting to look at and the archetype of a great 'FASHION ECCENTRIC'. I hope I have made you interested in her. At a time when 'indivdualty' has gone lost in a sea of chain stores and globalisation, which gives you three Uniqlo's within 300 meters on even the same road side of Regent Street (London, UK) just sparated by two more H&M's. I think we should learn from these people and take them as a role model.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Illustration- Jamie Bochert by The Fashion Philosopher


Just lovely, isn't it? 


 On Friday 26th of November I attended a talk with Mr Hare with Steve from The Style Salvage at Liberty's shoe department. First I must say I found Mr Hare a really sympathetic guy who just happened to look a gear smoking Reggae DJ from Brixton but actually he is the men shoes designer of the moment. It was really interesting to hear him talking how he produces the shoes and how he is developing an holiday idea into a international successful business. The guy is just loving shoes and this translates into the most beautiful shoes around at the moment. Also Steve showed his talent by leading the interview in a really interesting and informed manner. While I was sipping my Elderflower- Whiskey on ice, it was really enjoyable to listen to two shoe fanatics talking about shoes. Mr Hare's passion for his product has really persuaded me to invest next season in a pair of his SS11 collection.
 Two examples of his summer collection 2011.
Mr Hare is also venturing into shoe accessories. Here he shoes his designed luxury shoe tongue. Beautifully made by a jewelery maker which name I forgot unfortunately ( I just started attending these talks and next time I will put it down, promised). A really stylish present for the gentlemen who has got everything already.
PS: I just would like to tell you the tips how to keep shoes in good condition by Mr Hare: Use just simple bee wax or a good suede brush to keep the shoes clean and shiny and last but not least use a shoe tongue - that's all to keep your shoes in a good state for years.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


I just had to post these pictures. Tom Ford appeared as guest editor for the December issue of Vogue France, thanks to our always brilliant Carine Roitfeld . This is a little taste of what is to expect: Tom Ford at his best. The models are dressed in Tom's first women collection since he left Gucci. And again the clothes are brilliant, sexy, sleek- just Tom Ford. I have not seen much of his secretive SS11 women collection yet but it looks that these designs are more elegant and opulent, less sexy and revealing as during his Gucci heydays but I mean that in good sense. The six years break did him good. I am really looking forward to see more of the December issue ( to be honest it excites me even more than the Lavin collection for H& M) . Hey, is there anyone in Paris who can send it to me? Please enjoy the images, by the way,the photos were styled by by Camilla Nickerson and photographed by Steven Meisel.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Cabaret, David Bowie, East and West, communsim and capitalism, beautiful and ugly, hated and loved - Berlin, the German capital is a place of contradictions. I must confess I have a weakness for Berlin, ever since my Granny told me stories about her time in the big city in the 1920's. I was brought up in Germany but lived in Munich; which I personally have always found to be a very uninspiring place. Berlin is not really beautiful, but interesting and also the last of the western captials where living is not rididcoulsly expensive and you can still get a 200 sqm!!!! flat for around, yes it is true, £ 800.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Like the mayor of Berlin once said: ' Berlin is not beautiful but sexy!' I am always suprised how much space the ' Berliner' has compared to us, the Londoner. Unfortunately, there is no money in Berlin and I reckon two thirds of the 3.5 million inhabitants are either artists, musicians, writers or students which makes for quite a heady mix of people. The other side of the coin, is the fact that Berlin is bancrupt. Big money is somewhere else but to be honest if I could earn my living somewhere else and live where ever I wanted - I would go to Berlin, preferably living in a house like this.

The 'Artists Village Stralau' has been designed by the architect bureau Bayer& Schubert Berlin in the 'Rummelsburger Bucht' which is situated about 15 mins from Berlin city center by underground. The area used to belong to the communist East of Berlin and used to be part run down industrial no-man's land and part ruinous late Vicorian ( in German:' Gruenderzeit' ) prison complex which now is also renovated and re-developed into flats.

Other parts of the area has been re-developed by the city planning department of Berlin. The Artist's village Stralau consists of 2 rows of houses espcially designed for artists with this amazing room you can see above which can be used as studio or just as an open living space.

More and more Londonders are discovering Berlin. I remember my college tried to organize a week in Berlin. This must have been around 1999 and they had to cancel it because no one was interested to go there but since then, word about this extraordinary place has got around. I don't need to tell anyone nowadays about the excellent clubbing, one of the world's best underground music scenes, the energetic art scene and a vibrant, up-and coming fashion scene. Everytime I think of Berlin, the famous song by Marlene Dietrich comes to my mind: ' Ich habe immer noch ein Koffer in Berlin', which means ' I still have a suitcase in Berlin'. And yes, I definately will always have a suitcase in this city of extremes which '... is a city condemned forever to becoming and never to being...' (Karl Scheffler, German author).  Please enjoy the beautiful architecture of this Berlin Blog and the devine Marlene and if you are looking for a fun weekend in Europe - go to Berlin! I am sure you will have a good time!

Thursday, 18 November 2010


 With his spring/summer 2011 collection 'Home Sweet Home', Umit Benan obviously set a gold-standard in the genre of avantgarde fashion and proved once again his intrinsic safety. His summer collection is a cultural and musical clash: A quintessential mixture of the Mods-movement and Kreuzberg–style – but surprisingly luxurious.
Home Sweet Home is flavored with a breezy archaicness at first sight. But a closer look clearly supplies a particular sense for softness and femininity, strongly underlined by floating fabrics, marvelous knitwear in natural materials, high-waisted multi-pleated trousers and immaculately tailored blazers.
 The mixture of colors works on the spectator as if looking at a landscape: Different earth tones, sun-bleached stone grey and a melange of nuances in green and orange emulate nature. Summed up this is Nature meeting Luxury in its purest form.
 Always been keen on on creating characters using older role models, Benan has shot his lookbook with the great musician Burhan Ocal who has already recorded with Stars like Miles Davis, Sting, Steve Swallow and Pharrel Williams among others. The multi-cultural character with Turkish roots had his striking success when he won the Who's On Next competition, which was by the way, the first men's edition of the contest.
 I love how  Umit mixes classic tailored pieces like the formal jackets with the fluid and drapery lines of the harem trousers or almost knee long breezy shirts. Definitely you can feel his Turkish background in his use of Nero collared wide shirts which also would not be a very unusual sight on Turkish peasants but he never looses a laid back luxury in his design. This luxury is supported by using wool instead of cotton for the Harem trousers for example.
Umit Benan is definitely filling a gab for wearable masculine avangarde fashion for men. Unfortunately he can just be bought online at in the UK. I hope that will change and shops like B store and Hostem will pick up Umit Benan soon.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

ITV's Desptaches: Fashion's Dirty Secret

I just would like to talk about yesterday's ITV's dispatches series with the title ' Fashion's Dirty Secret'. We, I mean the main part of fashion bloggers and fashion fanatics, should not forget that fashion is a global business and as much as we would like to wear haute couture and the newest little avantgard label,  most of our wardrobes consists of  a basic stable of clothes from Topshop/ Topman, Gab, H& M, New Look...etc, etc... and we all can' t wait for Lanvin's outing for H&M at the end of the month. But honestly who of us thinks how the clothes are produced and by who, under what conditions? Honestly, I was shocked b the fact that you do not need to go to India or China to find sweat shops. No- they are here in the UK too. ITV had reporters secretly filming working in a clothes factory in Leicester. The conditions under which the people where working are horrendous:

* “dangerous, pressurised sweatshop conditions”;
* workers exhorted to work faster under threat of the sack;
* cramped and over-heated conditions with unsanitary toilets and at least one blocked fire exit;
Workers’ identity and legality was also not checked, according to the programme.

 And all this for £ 2.50 an hour while the minimum wage by law is £ 5.93. If you want to read more about it and to see the information I used partly in this blog go to and

The reaction of the companies was mostly a surprised short answer from their PR teams saying that they need to investigate more. Why investigating more. I think companies should have a department which especially monitors there contractors in regards to theses sweat shops. Most companies mentioned in yesterday's screening and the articles are part of the ' Ethical Trading Initiative which '... is a ground-breaking alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations. they work in partnership to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods - everything from tea to T-shirts, from flowers to footballs ( )'. But here again the companies are victims of their own chaotic globalisation in which you have sub- contractor after sup- contractor, so in many cases the companies have difficulties to be aware of these ' hidden' sweat shops.

But how can we change this? The articles and Desptaches suggests of course ' retailers need to take respnsiblity' or even better ' the government should take a closer look at the factories'.

I would like to ask you all, my dear fellow fashion bloggers and fashion fanatics, what can  we do? Maybe I am a dreamer and too idealistic but  I think we all can change something.

Firstly I will start getting more information ( you can find links on the ITV website for example). Also we must change our buying habits. I decided again to use more second hand/ vintage for my autumn wardrobe. Additionally I will start buying my basics in shops like American Apparel and Bassike, brands who make you aware about how they produce their garments in an ethical way. Also the good old customizing is a excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint. For example  I just rescued an old grey H& M shirt from throwing it away. I got some really nice silk from work and covered the collar with it  but this actually leads into another blog.
I think that small steps can bring on a big jump. I do not know how you are feeling, but I'm sometimes overwhelmed by all these injustices in the world. I keep thinking what can I do to change things- everything is buying, consuming, throwing away and buying again. But I believe, the key for us is: buy more consciously. We need to show the big fashion retail companies that we do not like the way the produce their clothes. If we avoiding buying the really cheap clothes,  companies will quickly see that something is not right on their balance sheet. I will just start with little things as listed above and believe the change will come. The worst that we all can do, is ignoring what the big companies are doing with us. These companies are not only there' .. to  devour young souls alive, with their globalized production methods...'- but they do need to develop social responsibility.
I am really looking forward to comments. So please my beloved fashion bloggers and fashion addicts- let's start a discussion and I waiting for further suggestions how we can bring the big companies to become more socially aware.

Friday, 5 November 2010


I must say the first AAA collection from TOPMAN did not exite me at all. The typical TOPMAN skinny jacket- skinny trousers with loads of shinny and glitzy tops. Actually it looked exactly what you expect if TOPMAN wants to do a ' rock star ' collection. This time round I find the pieces far more edgy and clean. They use still " glitz and shine" but in a more sophisticated and subtle way by using for example the sheen effect of linen in the knit wear . The clothes are more for the grown- up rockstar less for the 16-years  fancy dress rockstar.  Especially the leather trousers a great. Ever since I saw the famous leather trousers designed by Isabel Marant for her AW10 collection ( the red ones were on every fashion editor's must have list this season apparently) I was looking for an nice pair for men. But a pair of  leather trousers which won't let me feel like a cheesy 1980's heavy metal fan. But I think I found them now. AAA,  I must say, is really rocking this time and will sell also to people who can not sing. 

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Etat Libre d'Orange- createur de perfumes

UFA film studios, Berlin; Paramount – Hollywood and Paris…the glamorous gleam of black & white, luminous blue cigarette smoke filtering through the glare of the klieg lights, the scent of jasmine on warm white skin. An addictive scent, a dangerous scent, the perfume of the great femmes fatale, women who claim sensuality as their right as well as their pleasure; that gesture of flicking a speck of tobacco from the tongue…
Absolute of jasmine, hay, tobacco, cedar, amber, abricot and musc – thoughts of Brigitte Helm, Garbo, Marlene, Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithful: a perfume of yesterday, today and forever.
Rudolph Valentino in “Blood and Sand”, the heat and dust of “Death in the Afternoon”– the ritual combat of Man versus Beast; not to kill but subdue, like Beauty and the Beast.
This daring scent takes the most virile of scents – musc, animalics, leather, pepper, vetiver – and tames them at a glance by use of fragrant waxen tuberose and ylang-ylang which permeate and soften, caress and captivate the rampant machismo. All done by kindness.
I will also try to include my developing craze of finding unusal perfumes in my blog. I found both perfumes above from the perfume boutique ' Les Senteurs ' in Belgravia. The perfume company is called ' Etat Libre dOrange'. I love their motto ' Perfume is Dead! Long Live Perfume '. You can read more of their manifesto on . Other perfumes they created are called ' Tom of Finland ', ' Fat Electrician ' and many more very unusual names. I ordered two samples for ' Jasmine et Cigarettes' and ' Je suis un homme '. I will let you know what they smell like and if they are really perfumes for the ' individualistic mind '.