Friday, November 28, 2008

Afshin Feiz Likes Rumi, Hates Being Interrupted

Afshin Feiz is a thinker. Not just any designer turns mythology and Persian poetry into fashion, but maybe that gives the British style star something to talk about with rocker Bryan Adams - one of Afshin's friends who's been known to do photo shoots for his line.

Training with John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, Nina Ricci and Christian Lacroix Haute Couture has helped shape the designer's sexy but restrained line. (Fans like Elizabeth Hurley and Halle Berry seem impressed.) Here, Afshin shares his thoughts on impressing the masses in China, birdhouse dresses and what ruins his holidays.

What gets the creative process going for you?
My lastest collection was inspired by a passage I read in a book called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle - there is a passage that talks about Buddha's silent sermon. Generally, I am inspired by anything to do with love and renewal of oneself. I have been very inspired in the past by the Persian poet Rumi.

What's one of your favourite garments for the upcoming season? What type of woman do you see in these clothes?
I would say it would be my opening look for my show, the pastel green short dress with the mini ruffles and cut-outs and the embroidered chains in the ruffles. It's a confident and sexy woman, but more flirtatiously sexy than overtly.

Describe the first garment you ever made.
Oh God, it was at school and I thought I was being so avant-garde. It was a green jersey catsuit with appliqued birdhouses and actual bird looking toys sticking out of it. Quite humourous though!

Did you always know you'd be a designer? And if you couldn't do this, what would you do?
Yes, I always knew. It took a while before my father warmed up to the idea, but he supports me now fully. If I didn't do this I would always be in some creative industry - artist or photographer or filmmaker.

Could you talk a little more about your Chinese brand?
It is called Reves De Fleurs, which means Dreams of Flowers. The Chinese love cutesy names like that so it works over there, and it is high-end but more cute and wearable than directional. It has quickly been adopted by all of the major Chinese movie stars and singers and we are about to open a new boutique in Beijing.

What trend should die already?

What's one of your favourite garments from another designer?
The whole collection of autumn/winter 2004 - I think it was Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent.

Which movie character wins your best-dressed title?
There are undoubtedly many, but off the top of my head I would say Sean Young in Blade Runner.

What's your biggest vice?

Name your favourite band on your iPod.
The Kills

What's your favourite vacation spot?
Anywhere where I'm not harassed by people trying to sell me things.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little Gisele with Your Turkey?

Gisele. Photo Credit: Louisa Lampton. C.C. License.Happy Thanksgiving! Supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Cindy Crawford are getting into the holiday spirit by serving up traditional holiday fare to those less fortunate. Have you planned any festivities for the American holiday?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Save Your Eley Kash-imoto

Holiday gifts. Photo credit: Randy Son of Robert. C.C. License.Looking for a few holiday gifts? Unimpressed upon realising the VAT cut won't actually save you much cash? Eley Kishimoto are here to help.

The print-loving brand is having a sample sale this Thursday and Friday from 10.30 am to 7 pm. Show up at The Smokehouse, 44-46 St John Street, EC1M for gifts starting at £5 apiece. Credit cards and cheques are both fine.

You can get clothes, you can get accessories, you can get shoes. But the adorable Westie at left won't be included.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wake up in Kate Moss Territory

Kate Moss. Copyright LondonNet. All Rights Reserved.Please don't email us if this extensively piques your interest because it's kind of creepy, but Kate Moss' old bed is for sale, and it's already generating plenty of interest.

Granted, the supermodel hasn't slept on the recently price-tagged furniture for four years. A pre-Christmas auction tomorrow will take bids on the pine double that was in the master bedroom of a Cotswold cottage she rented from 2001 to 2004.

But a spokesman for auctioneer
Moore Allen & Innocent admitted the not-so-innocent motivations that many potential buyers have in mind. He told the Press Association: "Any hot-blooded male whose seasonal fantasy involves no more than waking up in Kate Moss' bed on Christmas morn - or any morn, for that matter - can now have that fantasy fulfilled from as little as £200."

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let the Fashion Insiders Lead You

Visiting the East End. Photo Credit: fabbio. C.C. License.When you think of London and you think of sightseeing, you might envision a double-decker bus tours with lots of people wearing backpacks snapping pictures of Big Ben. As much as we love that clock, there's more to London than that.

Enter Urban Gentry, the innovative tour company that hires culture "insiders" to show visitors and locals around the hippest parts of the city. Picture small, private groups trotting around boutiques and galleries that only the painfully in-the-know could locate.

There are special routes for curious types interested in fashion, shopping, design, art and architecture, and the company founder, Kevin Caruth, caters to specific and nontraditional requests when he can. Recently, he found an insider to introduce a couple to London's Danish furniture scene. Seriously.

May we humbly recommend the East End Hip tour, and possibly a side stop in This Shop Rocks on Brick Lane?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Erin O'Connor Still Gawks at Boy Bands

Take That. Photo Credit: Lola's Big Adventure!. C.C. License.Erin O'Connor works with Twiggy and Lily Cole, no problem. But when it comes to male costars, she gets nervous. Or so it would seem according to her Vogue blog post about the holiday M&S advert she filmed with Take That.

Erin confesses gawking when she went to the boy band's concert at age 15 (grounding was later involved), but the group had a similar stupefying effect on her a decade and a half later.

She confesses her intimidation online...
"Aside from many other varied attacks of the shys, I:
a) Kept slipping into a pseudo-Northern drawl (even though I'm from Birmingham);
b) Desperately tried not to sing one of their tunes aloud;
c) Tried not to stare intently at them without having anything to say for myself."

Wonder what she'd say if Robbie Williams and his UFO hunters starred in her next commercial.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

This Just in from Heaven

Vintage Dior at the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale. Copyright Angels. All Rights Reserved.If you find yourself needing some vintage YSL or Biba, and if you also find your bank account sufficiently malnourished, then you'll be thankful to know the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale will set you back no more than dinner and a few drinks at Pizza Express.

Europe's biggest film and theatrical costume company is clearing out more than 30,000 pieces of vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery. All of the pieces (from European or British couture houses or high-street labels) have appeared in TV or film during the past 50 years.

This is the first time in 160 years that Angels has organised a big sale. The organisation took on the BBC Resources Costumes earlier this year, leading to a bit of an overstock/duplicate-garment situation.

So you're going, right? Here are the details…

Date: 6 December

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Place: Angels Warehouse, First Floor, 3 Boundary Road, Wembley HA9 7ND

Rules: Buy a medium-sized bag (£10), super-size bag (£20) or jewellery bag (£20) and fill to your wardrobe's content. Don't worry - you can buy more than one bag.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Daisy Lowe Enjoys Catwalk Company, Shuns Photography

Catwalk Model. Photo Credit: wili_hybrid. C.C. License.A scene from the RE: Fashion Awards at Shoreditch Town Hall last night...

Event Planner Sarah: Who's walking down the catwalk with Daisy Lowe?
Jill: Her boyfriend (Will Cameron). I miss Mark Ronson.
EPS: Do you think she moaned to the organisers and said she'd quit unless they let her bring her man?
J: I don't know. But Pixie Geldof looked pretty intense, so maybe she threatened to stomp on them for her.

*Disclaimer: To avoid the risk of 'getting our a**es beaten', as it was so delicately promised, we have no actual pictures of the happy couple.

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Dazed & Confused Sees It Clearly

Dazed & Confused. Copyright Dazed & Confused, Courtesy of Property4Media. All Rights Reserved.Feeling depressed by the state of the economy, and by the extraordinarily well-to-do who sneer "Credit crunch is my breakfast cereal!" as they squeal away in their Aston Martins? Take heart in the latest issue of Dazed & Confused, the magazine here to tell you it's not all bad.

Dazed fashion editor Katie Shillingford told the Independent this week: "The creators are creating more than ever before...optimism is a must, and our outlook is multicoloured!"

Shillingford & Co pick their favourite fashion innovators for the December issue - Italian
Andrea Cammarosano, for one - plus explore the creative underground in Beijing and profile Japanese erotic photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. That, and the staff get to eat cake with electro-pop duo HeartsRevolution. Good for at least a temporary morale boost, no?

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme for H&M: Hurry Up

Comme des Garcons. Photo Credit: yusunkwon. C.C. License.The woman who designed this now wants you to shop at H&M. Immediately. Rei Kawakubo of the Japanese line Comme des Garçons has created a capsule collection for the high-street retailer, available today at 200 stores worldwide.

The 50-piece collection is heavy on black, white, navy...and polka dots. There's both women's wear and menswear in stock, plus accessories and a unisex scent. Prices peak at £200 but start as low as £15, making Rei's gothic and boundary-pushing style credit-crunch friendly.

Previous H&M collaborations (with designers including Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney) have sold out in days. Shoppers went wild when the Comme des Garçons collection debuted at the retailer's new store in Harajuku, Tokyo, on Saturday. Especially those who had been waiting outside since Tuesday.

Get to the Oxford Circus Tube stop immediately.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lindsay Lohan (and Her Wardrobe) Coming to Soho

Your chance to critique some celeb fashion is coming up this Saturday at Cafe de Paris.

Lindsay Lohan and girlfriend Sam Ronson are hosting a party at the Soho club, with Sam taking a turn at the DJ booth.

The details: doors open at 10pm, entry is £15 before midnight, and it's £20 after.

The benefits: you can see if your outfit is better than that of a former Mean Girl.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dior Homme's Plans Fall to Pieces

Johnny Borrell. Photo Credit: Daniel Morrison. C.C. License.Johnny Borrell reportedly turned down the chance to star in the next Dior Homme adverts because he worried it would compromise his music career.

According to British Vogue, the Razorlight frontman impressed fashion execs with his look in the video for new single Wire to Wire. Johnny's New Romantic blouson and earring must have seemed a perfect fit for the Dior Homme Girl with a Pearl Earring-influenced campaign.

Old Skinny-Jeans Johnny had no problem gracing the cover of British Vogue with model Natalia Vodianova in May 2007, making himself one of just a few men to ever nab a cover shot for the magazine.

Maybe the singer, known for his tendency to strip off his shirt, was really just concerned that someone else would be able to tell him when to keep his top on.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Gareth Pugh Gets into the Spirit

Gareth Pugh Design. Photo Credit: Rebecca Cotton. C.C. License.Does it seem ironic that the man who created this is playing Father Christmas for Westfield London? Designer Gareth Pugh has created a custom Christmas tree for Topshop's new location in the shopping centre, and as can be expected, it's anything but ordinary.

The 2.8-metre tall tree uses 60 white neon bulbs to mimic branches, and there's no green or red in sight. "This neon tree is my interpretation of the traditional Christmas tree shape, putting a super-slick and modern edge to it," Gareth told Vogue.

"I think the simple melding of tradition and modernity aptly suits the mood at the moment; we are all looking to a brighter future."

Gareth's Christmas tree will also be displayed at Topshop's Oxford Circus flagship. And no, this doesn't mean that he'll let you sit on his knee and tell him your wish list.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Walk in Twiggy's Shoes

Mary Portas' donation to the Barnardo's charity vintage shop. Copyright Barnardo's, courtesy of Property4Media. All right reserved.Literally. The iconic '60s model is just one celeb who's donated footwear to a pop-up vintage shop for the children's charity Barnardo's.

Open for the month of November only, the shop near Carnaby Street is crammed with retro shoes, handbags and accessories from top designers. A bit of bargain-priced Mary Quant or Vuitton, anyone?

Besides Twiggy, donors include the likes of Rosamund Pike, Peaches Geldof, Trudie Styler and Dame Helen Mirren. Geri Halliwell pitched in heels from the Spice Girls reunion tour, Christian Louboutin handed over some blue sequined stilettos, and Queen of Shops Mary Portas donated autographed Stuart Weitzmans.

The Barnardo's store is at 69 Broadwick Street, so get that holiday shopping started. Everyone on your gift list should be happy to know their presents are helping more than 100,000 children fight poverty and inequality.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Viva Obama!

Jean Charles de Castelbajac's Katy Perry has a new president, and she likes it. The American songstress best known for girl-snogging anthems plans to get political at the MTV European Music awards tomorrow night.

Katy has voted to wear French designer and artist Jean Charles de Castelbajac's "I Have a Dream" dress to the Liverpool ceremony. The LYD (little yellow dress) features Barack Obama's face in sequins, and we assume his big fat grin comes from sweeping the election yesterday.

Little K is presenting the event, and Castelbajac (whose fans include Mick Jagger and Tara Palmer Tomkinson, and who designed Farrah Fawcett's Charlie's Angels looks) is set to attend.

Perhaps the frock will get a standing ovation, like it did on the runway. Dress for change!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Enjoy in Moderation

Emma Bell's Vault for Vauxhall. Copyright Emma Bell for Vauxhall. All Rights Reserved.Sometimes fashion can be sweet. Sometimes it can rot your teeth. Just ask designer Emma Bell, who teamed up with Vauxhall Motors to make the most sugar-filled fashion party this side of Candy Land.

Emma Bell's Vault for Vauxhall party on 17 November promises "candy-striped stalls overflowing with penny sweets galore while stilt walkers mingle amongst candy-floss cars, glittering sugar-coated palms and paparazzi light bulbs flashing against a life-sized disco ball car." Phew. Oh, and don't forget the candy-covered car.

Jodie Harsh is lined up to DJ at the event in the London Bridge Vaults, with it-boy Scottee performing and Charlie le Mindu (hairstylist to Jodie, Bloc Party and LCD Soundsystem) working his magic at an in-car salon.

Emma's made a name for herself by sending a mish-mash of knitted food, plastic and glitter down the catwalk at London Fashion Week. If you come straight from the office, do yourself a favour and ditch the business casual.

Grab your tickets here, and be sure to schedule a dentist appointment for maintenance later.

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