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.