Brands You May Have Missed

I've recently gone back to this season's runway shows to see any I may have missed or to check out brands I've never heard of before. First of these brands is by German-born American designer Robert Geller. His menswear debuted at New York Fashion Week three years ago and it seems he gone from strength to strength and is starting to find his voice. I love the shades of deep red used in the above looks and the silky sheen of the shorts (which move amazingly by the way, they flow and bounce and look so effortlessly slung on). The coat in the same deep red is also a favourite item of mine, and definitely a colour I'll be looking for this season.

The leather gilet was also a stand-out piece for me, as was the men's jumpsuit, a daring, risky garment but the Geller shows how it can be worn correctly and stylishly whilst still retaining a masculine edge and not looking like a unitard.

Another interesting detail of the collection was the use of crumpled-effect leather cummerbunds. In a range of colours these add an extra detail and some extra interest to an outfit and is an interesting take on the everyday belt. I would like one in a dark grey please!

Loden Dager (above) was another brand I came across, again it featured a leather gilet which is even more evidence that I should have one in my wardrobe (or more temptation for me to get one at least). I also liked the mixed greens in the look above right, designer Oliver Helden commented that the tailoring this season were in "Ice cream colours" , I assume the look above would be pistachio? I adore the long, well-fitted jacket and the short shorts, and the colour scheme adds and extra unexpected flair to the outfit, I'm all for a coloured blazer.

The final brand I considered worth mentioning was Band of Outsiders. The looks above were my favourites from the Fall 2010 collection. I fell instantly in love with the shearling jacket, complete with an enormous head-encompassing hood...cosy. I also enjoyed the laid-back slouchy feeling I got from the collection. It looked effortlessly cool and unpretentious. It was a new, refreshing take on preppy, college and/or resort wear. Their womenswear is also definitely worth looking at, and although I felt the mens Spring/Summer 2011 collection wasn't quite as good as the collection that preceded it, I predict that this brand's commercial success is imminent.


On Wednesday October 20th my friend Robyn and I ventured to Camden town to see Jay Brannan live in concert. Ever since stumbling upon his youtube videos 2 years ago I have been an avid fan and was determined to see him on his UK tour since I missed him the last time he was here.

The gig was wonderful. Jay played all the songs I wanted him to, (including his goosebump-creating cover of 'Zombie' originally recorded by The Crannberries) especially 'Can't Have It All' being possibly one of my favourite songs of all time and inspired the very name of this blog -

"If these walls could talk they'd probably cry out for mercy,
until I'm outlined in chalk I'll be romantically thirsty"

And of course he couldn't have had a gig without performing his most well-known song 'Soda Shop' which can be found on the soundtrack of the movie Shortbus in which he also stars. I must also mention that Jay was supported by singer/songwriter Chris Pureka who was so endearing, warm and charismatic, her songs were acoustic and emotional works of beauty!

I also had the honour of meeting the man himself before and after he performed (I didn't get a picture with him before he performed so simply had to approach him afterwards). He was grateful, somewhat shy, soft spoken and so friendly. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

The most surprising thing for me was that, before the gig I assumed hearing him live would be pretty much the same as listening to him on my iPod, turns out that when you're within six feet of Jay Brannan, sat with his guitar singing his heart out, you really get to hear his lyrics, you develop a new understanding of them and some songs that you simply enjoyed, now have resonance with you that they never would have had if you had not seen him live. One song in particular with a new-found resonance is 'Half Boyfriend' (lyrics below).

So the moral of this story is that if you're not familiar with Jay Brannan - you should be. Google him, check out his music on itunes, follow him on Twitter, 'Like' him on Facebook and subscribe to his youtube channel which he regularly updates with news, original songs, newly written material and spellbinding covers.

'Half Boyfriend' from the album 'Goddamned'

I don't know where we're going
But I know we've gone too far
And I hope it isn't showing,
But I think I love you
And I can't believe you're leaving
Just when I let you in
And when you had me believing
I could feel again

I could give a million reasons
Why we should not be friends
Our moods change like the seasons
My mood ends your mood begins
And you're a tease, you're a cockblocker
You're a loud mouth bitch and a big talker,
But that's okay.
You'll grow up someday.

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you

I've shown up for you in ways that boy never would
But I know you'll go back to him and maybe you should
But I hope you don't go backwards
‘Cause I'm going on ahead
And one day you'll wish that you had stuck with me instead

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you

As I wander through Union Square
I remember when you followed me there
You were the stalker I kind of wanted to have
Being your half-boyfriend was only half bad

You're the pill I never wanted to take.
An anti-misanthrope
Mine was the heart I never thought you would be break
My one hope was that I'd survive you.

Must we all be chameleons?

In relationships, sacrifices must be made, some compromises need to be reached. Perhaps a slight tweak of your music taste, a certain shirt that your other half considers to be particularly hideous might never see the light of day again (at least when they're not around) but should anyone really change themselves to make a relationship work?
We've all heard the line from a less than ideal partner when things aren't going very well, "I'll change!" well, what makes you think I want you to? So you change, we get together and then what? You resent me for making you lose touch with your former self? No thanks. Of course there are some relationships that will change you for the better, but we've all seen those God-awful dominating women, thinking they can shape their man into the type of person that they want them to be. Honey, it never works.
Some people are easily blinded by love. They see an imperfect person, perfectly, looking pass the flaws and letting the love become unconditional. As romantic as that may sound to some of you, it really is not healthy. It can sometimes be dangerous for a person (like me) who isn't entirely certain of their personal identity or a person who considers themselves to be a "chameleon" to enter a relationship, whether it be plutonic or romantic. I often find myself mimicking the way someone dresses, stealing a few songs from their itunes and even adopting similar eating patterns, perhaps in an attempt to impress the other person, to feign common ground or perhaps to prove to myself how adaptable I can be. I'm not saying I change my opinions or my personality, I'm talking about minor tweaks I have been known to make in the past. Having said that, I must also say that there have been a good few people who I've felt completely at ease with, wholly comfortable to be who I want and say what I want.
So do we have to change to make a relationship work? Yes, but only slightly.
Of course someone should love you for who you are, but it is only natural when welcoming someone else into your life that you must adapt and/or compromise certain parts of your personality (as should the other person). Some adjustments are necessary, just as long as we never, ever lose our sense of self. We don't want to become a clone of our other half, plus, agreeing on everything is quite frankly, mind-numbingly boring, and God forbid you become one of those couples that speak about themselves as though they are one entity "We love that restaurant", "We hate that film" I despair! Please remember that you are still two independent individuals and not two halves of a whole!
Embrace the change, be open-minded, be willing, be adaptable, be accessible and understanding, but always stay true to yourself, don't let anyone take that away, you've worked far too hard to shape who you are for someone else to come and break it down. Just be it, and you'll eventually find someone willing to do the same, someone worthy of having you.

The Turtleneck and the Facial Hair

Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Herm├Ęs

So this season GQ is telling us men to don a turtleneck, it appears it is the must-have knitwear of the season. That's right, the chest-broadening, neck-shortening, double chin-creating turtleneck is apparently trying to make a comeback. Please someone stop this madness.
Fearful that the lightweight turtlenecks above aren't to your taste? Don't panic, how about some heavier turtlenecks to swamp you head even more?

Dolce and Gabbana, Jil Sander

Even the models look awkward.

Perhaps I'm missing the mark here and there is something "European old school cool" about a turtleneck. But all I can think of is tacky 1970s men in flares and corduroy blazers with gold chains around the outside of their turtlenecks, signet rings, thick moustaches and mutton chops, oh and let's not forget - a cigar. In short, a 70s porn star.

Not that I'm stereotyping an entire breed of man that wears this type of attire, I would actually love for someone to prove me wrong, but when wearing a turtleneck, I would instantly feel the need to acquire all the things I listed above, and perhaps to point and wink at all the lovely ladies that walk pass me as I strut down the street .

But for now I think I'll leave this trend for someone else to attempt to pull off, for I am not David Starsky, I am not Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson, and let's be honest,

no one is as cool as Ron Burgundy.

Holy Hi-tops Batman!

For some reason, unknown even to me, I want these.
Not a matching pair you understand,
Batman on one foot, Robin on the other.
Of course.

Blogger's Block

"I'm a connoisseur of roads.
I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end.
It probably goes all around the world."

Now I know I haven't blogged in a long while, to be quite honest this has merely been because I haven't had much to say. Between looking for a house, looking for a job, starting my second year at university and just downright enjoying myself, my life hasn't really been that eventful of late and I therefore haven't had much to report or comment on.
I often get like this. I consider myself to be rather introverted, always in my head, always thinking and yet now and then my fountain of creativity can temporarily dry up. Instead of posting meaningless crap and just generally cluttering up my blog, I would much rather wait until something comes to me, something of substance, something actually worth blogging about, rather than blogging for the sake of blogging (which far too many people are guilty of).

A very good friend of mine gave me some of the best advice I've had recently "You can go to all the parties and know all these fabulous people, but it doesn't pay the bills". Sane, simple, sound advice. Another acquaintance of mine mused "Go out as much as you can, meet as many people as you can and just work on getting yourself out there. These girls that go home every weekend to be with their boyfriends will get nowhere." Two very different pieces of advice, both of which I have to agree with. The message here is, that although making contacts and social events are vital, it is important to stay grounded, don't get too wrapped up in it all. Keep your priorities right - party your ass off, meet important people, but remember you have bills to pay and probably a mountain of other responsibilities.

Although I am a very sociable person, and consider myself fairly easy to get along with, I have often struggled to create really strong affinities with people. With huge age gaps between my sisters and I, I felt very much like an only child and spent a lot of my childhood either alone or with my parents (I've been called a "mummy's boy" far too many times to count). I consider this to be why I find it difficult to spend too much time with the same person/people. I've been mistaken for a social butterfly, a social climber, but in reality it's not that I'm flitting between friendship groups, I'm merely trying to find my way in the world, trying to figure out where (if anywhere) I fit in and in what kind of tribe of people I belong. Which to be honest, I'm really enjoying, I've met some incredible people and made some amazing friends along the way.

At twenty years of age I am still constantly learning about myself. Getting older is a constant education. I truly envy people who are so sure within themselves, they know exactly who they are, what they want and where they're going. I've always had a rough idea, but have never pinned down any specifics. Perhaps this has saved me from being even more overly-ambitious and setting myself up for disappointment, who knows?
There's plenty of things I'm not too sure about, but one thing I do know is that any day now, I'll know exactly who I am, what I want and where I'm heading. But right now, I'm just enjoying the ride.