ONE WEEK TO GO, I REPEAT, THERE IS JUST ONE WEEK TO GO. I’m obviously still spending my time listing things I want, rather than buying things for people that are actually expecting presents. If I can’t get all my Christmas shopping done in an hour this Saturday, then it’s not happening. Sorry guys, IOU’s are still a thing, right?
Marc by Marc (by Marc, by Marc, by Marc..) leather backpack, Mr Porter
I’ve always got time for a backpack. I got into ~handbags~ fairly late at 18, prior to this I had a very organised “If I can’t carry it, it stays home”/”stuff everything in my boyfriend’s pockets” approach to life. Since I’ve been cycling I’ve come to re-appreciate the need for some hands-free bag action, and this spicy leather bad-boy is large enough to use for a weekend without looking like a body-bag.
Drawn In: A Peek into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, and Cartoonists, Amazon
As a very ~artistic~ child, I’m still very much into ~the arts~, even if the extent of my creativity lately has been making covers for my mother’s mixtapes (which did go down a storm, just saying). Anyway, I get a real kick out of other people’s sketchbooks/notebooks etc so this is pretty much perfect.
Tartan shorts, Topshop
Tartan has got my office in a choke-hold. At least six people on my floor have the somewhat ubiquitous Zara grey check scarf, and I don’t think there’s been a day over the past few weeks where I’ve been in a meeting without at least one Rupert the Bear doppleganger. That said, ever the shorts fan, I’m really into these. Tonally they’re not overly aggressive and as they’re shorts (ie, there’s not a lot to them) they’re not going to dominate the outfit as a whole.
Fake pony clutch, ASOS
I’d like a real pony, or a Givenchy ponyskin Pandora, but failing both of these, this clutch isn’t a bad third choice. I’m finally at that stage of life (23) where I feel like I can actually be responsible enough to own a bag without straps. And at £35 I’m not going to cry TOO hard if this trust in myself is misplaced and I lose another possession to the great God of nightbus.
Commes des Garcons wallet, Dover Street Market
I hate wallets. I hate carrying cash. I hate never being able to find anything in my bag more, though. Commes wallets come in roughly 677 varieties, but this one is my favourite. I love the unisex shape, the understated detailing of the stitching and it’s obviously in my favourite colour.
In recognition of Christmas, a time where I can ease off on buying myself presents for being amazing and let other people do it, here’s part one of 25 things it’s a crying shame that I don’t own yet. Hint hint.
World Champion dress by Pero, from Primitive
Is there actually anything better than a sport-luxe maxi dress, conveniently oversized allowing for maximum Christmas-binge potential without having to resort to the boxing day elasticated waist of shame? No? Thought not.
As Seen in Blitz: Fashioning 80s Style, from Amazon
My first and most enduring fashion-era obsession, I bloody love a bit of 80s clubkid fashion history. I found this first in Paperchase, randomly, but it’s a seriously dense, well written and beautifully illustrated book. I’m usually a bit wary of fashion-era compendiums as I find they’re ususally thin on actual fashion theory/history and more ‘Wikipedia page illustrated by Tumblr’-esque, but this is definitely worth a read, and another, and another.
Banging parka, ASOS
I love a parka! However I’m not sure parkas love me. I’m half German, and instead of the Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer flavour of genes, I got the other flavour: short* with a torso about four inches long, and no waist. I’m definitely more rugby player than runway. Anyway, body hang-ups aside [CRYING], this parka actually looks pretty good on. It makes the most of my legs, is ridiculously warm and a bit Rick Owens-esque (never a bad thing), and at £100 is definitely not bad for a winter coat that will actually last.
*(though still average height in 27 countries, according to Wikipedia, just saying)
Nasir Mazhar jumper from Primitive
Ugh. I bloody love a spicy jumper. Great neckline, multi-textured, really pleasing colour combinations, quilting. Obsessed. Also, #anecdote, I’ve met Nasir and he was literally one of the nicest, babest people ever, which definitely does actually make me feel better about handing over £300 odd quid.
RuPaul! from Bristol based babe African Apparel
I’m a bigger fan of RuPaul than I am of Beyonce, but I’m an even bigger fan of a spicy black and white t-shirt. This has the added benefit of NOT being sold in Topman, UO or any other menswear-by-numbers-slogan-tshirt chain store, which means you’re not going to see 10,000 of them across the dancefloor over the festive period, which is a Christmas miracle in itself.
When I was a kid, Clarks meant school shoes. The dreaded trip to have my feet measured for school shoes by a one-armed woman, who spent half an hour wrestling my tiny, twitchy feet into whatever nasty clodhoppers my mother had picked out was never going to be one of my happier memories.
But in Jamaica, Clarks are cool, coveted, and even rapped about. ‘Clarks in Jamaica’, a new book by DJ Al Fingers (born the rather less exciting Al Newman) chronicles Jamaica’s love affair with the Somerset based shoe company. Including photographs and stories from Jamaican musicians who sing and rap about Clarks like American artists rap about Louis Vuitton, including Vybz Kartel, who released the simply titled paean ‘Clarks’ in 2010.
Fingers, says of the book, “Being from England, I have always been intrigued by the Jamaican fascination with Clark’s shoes and the way they are referenced within Jamaican music. Whilst Vybz Kartel’s ‘Clarks’ brought the phenomenon to many people’s attention in 2010, the relationship goes back way further, and in compiling this book I wanted to bring attention to that, highlighting the work of artists such as Dillinger and Little John who had sung about Clarks many years before.
(available from triads.co.uk)
“It is kind of niche,” says Fingers, with some understatement. “But I thought – it’s such a colourful story, it’s about time someone documented this. I wanted to focus on the music and the Jamaican musicians who have sung about Clarks. Reggae and dancehall stars Dillinger, Trinity, Ranking Joe, Scorcher, Little John, Super Cat and countless others had sung about Clarks in the past. So I went there just over a year ago to interview and photograph musicians, as well as other people on the street wearing the shoes.”
Fingers quotes a report in 1967 from the head of Clarks’ West Indies distribution: “Our stockist, La Parisienne in Kingston, sold out a consignment of 400 pairs in five days. Although our boots are priced the highest, the young boys insist on Clarks.” Jamaican producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee goes one further, stating “From ever since, Clarks is a number one shoe inna Jamaica. Not just now, I’m talking from the Fifties come right up… Clarks stand the test of time inna Jamaica. All the other shoes come and bow right down at Clarks’ Foot.”
Written and compiled by Al Fingers, featuring new photographs by Mark Read, ‘Clarks in Jamaica’ is available fromt www.onelovebooks.com. Published by One Love Books.