Tuesday, September 29, 2009

October revolution

Brilliant pictures from Tim Burton's fashion shoot for the October issue of Harper's Bazaar: above, Nina Ricci; below, Alexander McQueen. I love the way that although the clothes look absolutely weird, impossible, and unwearable, as high fashion often is, for once this is echoed by the scenario in which they are displayed and it makes them beautiful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You'd better run, you'd better take cover

Cape Road, Stanley, Hong Kong. September 23, 2009

This picture of the road leading back to the block of flats where I live was taken this morning as I stood in a slightly disheveled state at the bus stop in the sunshine, waiting in vain for the bus which I already knew I'd missed on account of having procrastinated for too long on waking. I ended up getting a taxi. The driver, Mr Chen, was playing 80s tunes on his little CD player and I asked him to turn up the volume; for the next 40 minutes the two of us happily, although perhaps a little self-consciously at first, sang along with "Tainted Love", "Don't You Want Me?", "Enola Gay", and "Let's Dance" all the way to Central (out of sympathy for Sydney, whose usually blue skies, in a reversal of fortune, were obscured by an onslaught of clouds of red dust, I refrained from singing along to "Down Under").

As we sped through the Aberdeen tunnel I looked out the window at grim-faced Porsche drivers gripping their leather-clad steering wheels thinking how supernaturally lucky I was to have happened upon this serendipitous, silly, cheerful journey to work.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dark age

I just stumbled across a really excellent feature in The Guardian called Fashion for All Ages. It's so nice to see women in their fifties and sixties wearing beautiful clothes and looking great. Isn't it extraordinary that this is such an unusual sight?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


"I am just going outside and may be some time."
The others nod, pretending not to know.
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.

He leaves them reading and begins to climb,
Goading his ghost into the howling snow;
He is just going outside and may be some time.

The tent recedes beneath its crust of rime
And frostbite is replaced by vertigo:
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.

Need we consider it some sort of crime,
This numb self-sacrifice of the weakest? No,
He is just going outside and may be some time

In fact, for ever. Solitary enzyme,
Though the night yield no glimmer there will glow,
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.

Derek Mahon

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Working wardrobe

Promenade in green: RM by Roland Mouret

Fade to grey: the deceitfully named Cheap'N' Chic by Moschino

Drapes of wrath: Diane von Furstenburg

Three very different dresses (all from Net-a-Porter) which could conceivably be worn to work. And all you need now is a great pair of shoes.
Come to heel: Rupert Sanderson from Browns Fashion

And finally a dress that could never be worn to work (but which would go nicely with the shoes; for people who like everything to match, of whom I'm not sure I'm one, that's the kind of match they like):

Hips, lips, power: William Tempest from Browns Fashion

Hat in the city

On recent visits to Sydney I've noticed a surprising number of people wearing hats. Proper hats: fedoras and panamas, cloches and gatsbys, and even what could possibly have been a homburg. My friend Davey has been photographing people in London wearing stovepipe hats. I am very fond of hats - certainly of the idea of them and, I suppose, of that romantic connection with the era when it was a social requirement to wear a hat.

Sadly, the reality of Hong Kong (not least the heat - August was the hottest on record and it's been at least 32 degrees every day) is that I am more likely to be seen wearing that most awful and unflattering form of headgear, the baseball cap, albeit only in direct connection with watersports and never, repeat never, at any other time. What I would really prefer, of course, is to be nonchalantly sporting an attractive fedora at all times, even in the canoe.

Attractive fedora from La Cerise Sur Le Chapeau at Net-a-Porter.