Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Coleman Street, Singapore. A whole "fox" tail, with a texture suspiciously like real fur, dyed in the style pretentiously known as "ombre", attached to a bag by means of a little gold hook, and all for no apparent reason and to slightly disturbing effect.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It was a day peculiar to this piece of the planet,
when larks rose on long thin strings of singing
and the air shifted with the shimmer of actual angels.
Greenness entered the body. The grasses
shivered with presences, and sunlight
stayed like a halo on hair and heather and hills.
Walking into town, I saw, in a radiant raincoat,
the woman from the fish-shop. 'What a day it is!'
cried I, like a sunstruck madman.
And what did she have to say for it?
Her brow grew bleak, her ancestors raged in their graves
as she spoke with their ancient misery:
'We'll pay for it, we'll pay for it, we'll pay for it!'

Alastair Reid

Monday, July 19, 2010

Go with the flow

Beautiful, and possibly unwearable, unless you happen to be entirely lacking the key characteristics of the female form (curves, dimples, cellulite). Roksanda Ilincic, from Net-a-Porter.

Monday, July 05, 2010

By the neck

In a shop in Stamford Place, an old building in Singapore (which hosts the hilariously outdated Singapore Walk of Fame which boasts, amongst other where-are-they-nows, Debbie Gibson's handprints on a concrete plaque), I saw an amazing jewellery collection by local Singaporean designers Vice and Vanity. There's a handful of little shops running along one side of the building, with old-fashioned grey-painted exteriors: interesting-looking, one-off boutiques, a nice contrast to the shopping centre Raffles the Plaza opposite, with its worldwide identikit stores (Ralph Lauren et al) and perpetual sales. On my recent trip, caught in a heavy downpour, I sought the shop out again but it had closed - I'd been thinking about their striking necklaces ever since and wishing I'd bought one. I didn't even know the name of the designers, but their style is so unmistakable that when I saw a necklace by Vice & Vanity in a copy of Singapore ELLE, I knew it was by the same designers.

What I like about these necklaces, aside from the fact that they're so incredibly striking and unusual, is this combination of industrial design with iconography that seems almost primitive (the ancient Egyptians spring to mind), but is actually very modern both in its execution and in its materials (perspex, spage age lightweight metals, and plastic).

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Saying stop your sericulture

Male silkworm moth, picture by Kevin Wanner, an entomologist at the University of Illinois.

China accounts for 70% of global silk production, but according to the Financial Times the price of silk has doubled since the start of 2009 and now stands at its highest level in more than 15 years. The China Cocoon and Silk Exchange said that the price of silk cocoons reached RMB92,700(US$13,570) per tonne in mid-April. Those poor little silkworms only eat mulberry leaves, and the breakneck urbanisation of the key silk-producing region around Shanghai has reduced available land for mulberry trees.

Output has declined 15% to 84,000 tonnes last year, and the drought that began in late 2009 has exacerbated a slide in production. Prices are forecast to rise further, but it's also suspected that Chinese investors are squeezing the market by hoarding silk in the hope of increasing demand and therefore price.

Lanvin green silk draped dress. What an amazing creature is the silkworm!