>> I have nothing but isometric cubes building up in escalated form in my head thanks to a collaboration between London prinsters Eley Kishimoto and beloved shoe brand Clarks will be available on 1st March (you can register your interest through the Notify Me button on the Clarks site).  Back in September, Eley Kishimoto showcased exactly why the duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto have such a versatile method of collaboration, with the "Living with Patterns" exhibition at The Aram Gallery in London.  From home interiors to transportation to home electricals, Eley Kishimoto have built up an exhaustive list of collaborators, often using house signatures such as the Flash pattern as their design constant, bridging all of these diverse projects together.  For their 20th anniversary, they continue to spread their print gospel with another strong collaboration that ties in with their current S/S 13 collection.  The three-style, three-print collection for Clarks gives our feet the opportunity to be adorned with the classic black Flash pattern as well two colourways of the distorted isometric cube print, entitled "Cute Boys".  Not sure how the title relates to the design of the print other than I can well imagine a room full of Cute geek-ish Boys meticulously drawing angle-perfect isometric cubes.  

I suspect the printed desert boots will be the hot cake style of the range as this design classic can't be beat for its practical nature and all purpose wearability, but sadly the links keep leading me to blank pages.  I have pedantically emailed the PR to see whether this is a glitch or whether they've already flown out of the store at super high speed.    




I'm almost tempted to buy the desert boots in both pink/red and yellow/green styles just to create an installation in front of my future chimney brest wall, covered with Studio Lile Sadi's "Dimensions" wallpaper, alongside a few crocheted isometric cushions from Paravent on Etsy.  People in my life will know that soon there will be a proper Chez Salter and Lau as we're moving to our first joint home, providing that those pesky solicitors get their arses in gear.  Therefore you're going to have to put up with some of these loosely-related house-y bits creeping on to the blog once in a while.       

Before I began going down to Australia for fashion week, one of the labels that I was semi-familiar with was the Melbourne based TV, designed by Monika Tywanek & Ingrid Verner.  It even made mighty arduous inroads into the UK when it was stocked briefly in Topshop Oxford Circus.  I remember enthusing about all things TV with another Melbournite Kat George, my ex-assistant at Dazed (now an amusing confessional writer at Vice if you're interested).  Then all things TV stopped.  Boo.

The V in TV aka Ingrid Verner has now relaunched with a solo label.  Like any good solo project, it veers away from the originating source material and Verner, by the looks of it, is decidedly more extreme and sportswear orientated in style.  This is Verner's second collection (which they're calling AW13 for the Australian seasons) and even in comparison to the first marble-print, pastel-hued Ballet Russes-inspired collection (which is available in parts at one of my favourite Melbourne spots Pet Shop Girls), it's a different style step towards an ironic take on logo laden sportswear.  A blurred out, Photoshop-heavy image of a burning house is the central print motif and appears apocalyptic on silk separates, often trimmed with wide underwear elastic, printed with the words Verner, Sleep and Work, cheekily referencing Calvin Klein undies.  Skater logo hoods, bilinear backpacks and an oversized puffa coat all point to a thorough investigation into the nuances of when sportswear meets the street, most likely inspired by nineties to present sub-street culture – skaters, chavs, football hooligans, b-boyers, BMX-ers.

Verner's website isn't yet functioning so it's early days yet but it seems Ingrid Verner is setting her sights on ambitions that go beyond building a domestic label with the aim of selling to Asia and Europe.  Given this fair city's penchant for irony-laced/celebratory takes on sportswear (see Christopher Shannon, Kim Jones and about a gazillion graduates every year that take on a similar aesthetic), let's hope Verner gets some shop support from the UK soon.


















>> There's been a bit of a quiet campaign in progress for the launch of H&M's new brand & Other Stories.  We've not been inundated with lookbook imagery and the exact aesthetic of & Other Stories has been shrouded in mystery with the imagery and video being drip fed slowly but surely.  The official blurb is this…

& Other Stories is a fashion brand offering women a wide range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty and ready-to-wear to create their personal style, or story. Their creative ateliers in Paris and Stockholm design diversified fashion collections with great attention to detail and quality at an affordable price.

Us lucky Europe folk are already more than familiar with the quietly assured and smart design offerings from H&M's other stablemate COS.  I personally can't imagine doing a high street haul that doesn't include something from COS as they synthesise the noise of trends to a refined rail of pieces that doesn't scrimp on design detailing, quality and functionality.  In fact, when the launch of & Other Stories was announced, I was struggling to see how they could differentiate from COS.  Then I chided myself.  What a misplaced complaint!  There is nothing wrong with a COS-esque womens only store coming our way.  H&M recognised the missing gap for fast fashion to appear slowed down, intelligently thought out and giving more bang for your buck.  It seems that & Other Stories is of that similar vein of thinking and frankly, a diverse choice of offerings in that H&M/COS price range is no bad thing at all.  


As it turns out, as I've been browsing the beautifully laid out & Other Stories Tumblr page and checking out the series of short & Other Stories videos, the aesthetic is definitely distinct from COS.  The fact that it's womenswear only already adds a slightly more effeminate (but not overly so) undertone to the imagery.  The idea seems to be about integrating pieces from the & Other Stories collection into your daily life.  The look feels specific, nuanced and dare I say, expensive.  If glimpses of sculptural heels, matte black jewellery and marble print separates are anything to go by, this addition to Regent Street will be welcomed with open arms.  Well, at least my open arms.  

Similar to the way COS has launched though, sadly & Other Stories is for Europe only for the time being.  Physical stores are opening in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Milan and Barcelona and the accompanying online store will ship onto to selected countries in Europe.  Boo.  Still, another reason to lure fashion loving shoppers to our supposedly ailing high street is definitely a plus point.    

& Other Stories has given Style Bubble an exclusive peek at their latest video which centres around lingerie.  Other than a fetching fleur de lis flocked bodysuit and a sensual multi-strapped balconette bra, they're hardly giving anything away although I am already wondering why I don't own anything with the magnficient fleur de lis pattern on it.  No worries.  & Other Stories will soon be upon us so that I can rectify that lacking.    

>> Google Wanda Nylon and you'll come up with a brilliant blog written by a transvestite who is a big fan of dear old Queen Elizabeth's handbags and then you get to Wanda Nylon, a Paris-based label that specifically focuses on creating directional rainwear that goes above and beyond yer' average pack-a-mac. I'll go to Mrs Wanda Nylon for a few giggles but Johanna Senyk and Peter Hornstein's joint label Wanda Nylon definitely ticks all the boxes when it comes to satisfying my fetish for all materials shiny, water-resistant and very often transparent.  Weirdly I remember Peter Hornstein (formerly known as Peter Bertsch) when he was a contestant at the Festival for Fashion and Photography in Hy√®res and he was creating all kinds of Georgia O'Keeffe esque floral shapes in moulded PVC and other synthetic materials.  Hornstein and Senyk met there and so began their inevitable path towards creating a rainswear specific label.  Whilst this design classic pops up as statement pieces in fashion shows (most notably in Burberry's A/W 11 snowfall finale), Seynk noticed nobody created a transparent raincoat as a speciality.  A quote from Miuccia Prada only affirmed the purpose of this maligned garment: "The space of the body and then also this other space outside the clothes; it changes the relationship between what‚Äôs inside and outside." 

What's even more interesting is that Wanda Nylon aims to be ecological and sustainable in their sourcing of materials.  Eschewing commercially available PVC's and PU's, they chose to manufacture all their fabrics in Europe and almost all of them are recyclable with the end goal of producting a 100% recyclable collection.  

Environmental responsibility aside, the main take home point is that Wanda Nylon's niche is one that I've always honed in on in any number of designers.  I think of my Lover smoke grey pvc cape, a Michael Angel latex coat and a Maison Michel x Opening Ceremony hat and how much textural joy I get out of them.  Wanda Nylon hits all of those high notes and more.  The SS13 collection traverses between style aesthetics, mixing up the darker and slightly festishistic undertones of black PVC, the precision of grey matte PU, the playfulness of polka dot printed transparent PVC and the kitsch sportiness of iridescent dichroic foil fabric.  









Their latest pre-fall collection sees the label expanding into traditional wovens, whilst larging sticking to their remit of weather-appropriate rainwear.  In addition to being water resistant, a lot of the outerwear pieces also give a bit of warmth with aviator jackets and wool mix coats adding a bit of oomph to the collection.  The turtle print PU and the bordeaux coloured PVC adds a warming richness to an overall aesthetic that can feel quite sterile with all the shine, black and precise lines.  Wanda Nylon is making its SS13 debut at Opening Ceremony and Browns in London and it seems like an e-shop is on its way too.  Dressing to get wet in the rain has never seemed so exciting.  






>> Everyone is walking around with an eerie smudged vaseline look, from the white matte glow of snow reflecting on to their faces.  For somebody who is anti-shine (bronzers, moonshines and sparkly liquids for the face be gone‚Ķ) and would prefer going through life with the complexion of chalky matteness, this weather is heavenly.  The jibber jabber of constant transport updates from the media may be making the snowfall louder than it should be but being holed up for a day or so at home watching your surroundings blur into a white blanket is pretty awesome.  As I type right now, I'm speeding (albeit slower than normal) down to Paris on the Eurostar and looking outside on the horizon which meets the sky in one indistinguishable haze.  

Apologies if I'm going overboard on the poetics here.  What else to type to accompany what is in effect, an impractical but ever so dramatic snow-grazing outfit .  It's partly a mini shout of huzzah over John Galliano's semi-return to fashion, into the unexpected welcoming folds of Oscar de la Renta's atelier for a three week residency.  I received this John Galliano jacket as a gift from Marianne, my Comme-mad fashion heroine, who happens to be my agent (not the awful, eyes-on-the-prize, grabby grabby type of agent but someone who reminds me that I need to be less of an unambitious lemon).  Every time we meet up (she lives in Dublin), she always has a tale to tell about her fashionable exploits in the eighties slash nineties when she was a fashion buyer.  She picked up this jacket in a now defunct Coco boutique in Dublin shortly after Browns snapped up Galliano's infamous graduate Les Incroyables collection in 1984.  I can't date it precisely but it's most probably from the subsequent A/W 85-6 The Ludic Game or S/S 86 The Fallen Angels collections, with both displaying traits of the deconstructed historically-charged tailoring that bought Galliano to prominence.  It's my one and only piece of John Galliano, and treasured precisely for its early origins before Galliano developed a more excessive design vernacular as well as other excesses in his private life.  You know where I stand on the whole debacle and whilst this isn't a "I wear you therefore all is forgiven" gesture, I think we can all agree that his mark on the fashion world shouldn't be buried and erased.  

Along the lines of the style of the Incroyables and Merveilleuses, is a pair of impossibly voluminous silk gazar navy trousers with fold upon fold of fabric hidden in its trail.  They're Louis Vuitton (even harder to discern the originating collection to be honest‚Ķ) and were a bargain find in New York secondhand designer store Tokio 7.  I've dubbed them my samurai trousers and should I want to take revenge against those that have dishonoured my family, I shall be unsuccessfully welding a sword in Crouching Blogger, Hidden Talent mode.  








Worn with Emma Cook shirt and a pair of Prada espadrille brogues, also donated to me from the magical wardrobe of Marianne.  She claims she can't walk in them.  I say she didn't try hard enough but then again, I do have the advantage of my ankles being fully adjusted to the dizzying flatform heights of creeper shoes.