those camera clicking city kids (part one)

as promised, more Q&As with some of the most notorious bloggers on the web. STREET STYLE BLOGS have become a bit  of an online movement (okay, that might be an understatement) and i wanted to know what these image-makers were thinking so i tracked them down and asked them a few questions. i have a lot of love for these kids behind the camera who document street fashion and capture the essence of street style in their city... just so they can share it with us. i feel the love everytime i click. 

(this boy is so on-trend it gives me goose-bumps. the 'tache, the rolled up trousers - i like, i like.)

Q&A with LIISA & SAMPO, the ladies responsible for HEL LOOKS (Helinski, Finland) - this is quite a serious one... hope you enjoy it.

Why do you take photos?

To document interesting and individually dressed people who dare to stand out and create their own style. Doing Hel Looks is fun. We get to meet lots of new people who inspire us. Also, we love clothes, fashion and photography.

How did you get into street style photography?

We’ve always been big fans of Shoichi Aoki. Hel Looks is a tribute to him.

You remember the first photo you took?

Yes - it’s actually the very first photo on our site. It was taken at Tuska – a heavy metal festival – in Kaisaniemi, Helsinki.

Where do you tend to go to take photos?

We always carry our cameras on us. Whenever we see something interesting we stop and ask to take a photo. We don’t usually go out looking for people to photograph.

What camera do you use?

Canon 5D.

How do you decide who to shoot?

We photograph the people that surprise us.

What sort of style is unique to Helinski?

I think personality and the courage to stand out. In Helsinki, we are not that interested in mainstream fashion. We like to create our own style.

The amount of fashion on the internet is rapidly increasing and Hel looks is a big contributor. How do you think your site and other similar sites are contributing to the world of fashion?

They are helping people to become more aware of what’s happening in other countries and cities. Also it stresses the importance of individuality.

questionable tan-lines.

i apologise for posting about Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes once again... but you know how some people are all about MJ bags (clickity click here >>> Bryan Boy) well i'm all about the shoes. these M by MJ s/s 09 sandals make me smile. i feel ridiculously happy just looking at them. i have a terrible weakness for strappy flats... which usually leaves me with questionable tan-lines by the end of summer.... but questionable tan-lines as a result of wearing these shoes would definitely not be a problem... no no. they are simply adorable and the ribbon! lets not even get into my obsession with ribbon.

i think a little trip to the new MJ store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong needs to be made (i'm making a mental note as i type this) even if it is just to hold them in my hands for a few seconds... possibly minutes...

who's that girl?

jetlag is keeping me awake... yes still (my body just refuses to adapt to the time zone!) and i've got a "to blog" stickie that is taking up a lot of screen space... i can no longer see the left hand side of my wallpaper... so i thought it would be good idea to do some bloggity blogging.

i'm doing a bit of backtracking... this is a blog idea that occurred to me a few days before leaving the Cape Town... but please bear with me. i promise it's worth it.

the girl i refer to is LULU. LULU, the girl who sells vintage clothes on Church Street (off Long Street) between the elderly ladies of the Church Street Antique Market and the asian dude at the end of the road selling fur coats. i'm sharing this with you because one - i've found so many great things there and surprisingly not many people know about sweet LULU and her stall and two - LULU is just such a great girl with a i-wanna-steal-all-your-clothes-sorta-style that i just couldn't resist but to kiss and tell.

LULU was actually stuck in an adorable green cotton dress when i was taking my last peek around before leaving on a jet plane. while helping her out of the dress we got chit chatting. unfortunately i wasn't able to get a snapshot of LULU - i left my camera at home. yes, i know what you thinking - bad bad irresponsible blogger (!) but i did make up for it and asked all the necessary questions. LULU is there everyday of the week except weekends (of course) and thursdays (when she is out restocking) and if you give her your digits she will kindly send you a message when she has new stock. i probably won't get that message until next year (sigh) but please pop by the stall to check out the amazing vintage clothes and don't forget to say hi for me.


team intern.

just a super quick post. it's my last day in the Cape Town so have a million people to meet, coffees to drink and places to be. i'll be in Hong Kong in less then 48 hours and in between shopping up a storm and eating too much noodles (it's just what we like to do in the east) i'll be returning to the world of interning - this time at WGSN Hong Kong. if you know who they are then you most probably work in fashion. 

i'm almost sure that my work is going to start seeping into my blog posts. so i thought it would be appropriate to give a bit of a shout out to my fellow interns whose blogs are always fun to read and a bit of a peek into the glamourous world of fashion. STYLE SPEAKS LOUDER is an intern at British ELLE and HIPSTER MAGAZINE INTERN would like the publication she is working for to remain anonymous... but i'm sure you can all figure it out. here's to coffee-making and the 20kgs of clothes we have to lug around with a smile on our face! 


lost and found.

i've spent a good few hours today rummaging through my wardrobe - trying things on, taking things off, putting things in and taking things out again in an attempt to put together the perfect traveling wardrobe - whilst keeping in mind that i will probably be working among Hong Kong's most trendy fashionistas. anywho... i found this second-hand dress in my wardrobe that i forgot i had. i bought it a couple of years ago for mere pennies. don't know why i never got around to wearing it... maybe it's cause of the odd length of the dress (mid-calf-ish) which i find kinda unflattering... but i think it would make a fab-u-lous shirt dress - roll up the sleeves, hitch up the hem and look-a-there another dress to add to the pile of dresses dying to get a spot in the delsey. discovering lost clothes is really not helping the packing process! i need help.

(apologises for the clothes that seem to be engulfing the room and just the general air of messiness... that's just how i roll when it comes to limiting my wardrobe to 20kgs... hence the scale on the floor.)


local design goodies we love.

a visit to the THE OLD BISCUI MILL was a pretty perfect start to my saturday morning. it wasn't the local food market that had me going gaga this time though. i don't know how long THE DESIGN GOODS MARKET bit has been around for exactly, cause as most will know i haven't really been around in the Cape Town... but lets just say there was some rather covetable threads hanging from the rails. i can't help but agree that local is rather lekker. there was a impressive selection of well tailored, good quality, local goodies (including my long-time favourite local brand COPPELIA). all of which got me rather excited about the local in fashion in South Africa.

i didn't get a chance to properly check out those cute strappy leather sandals close to the back of the tent though... anyone know who they are by? help a sister out cause my summer-ready feet desperately want a pair!!


i dream in fashion frames per second.

a brief note: this post has nothing to do with the the real world and has everything to do with the little imagery world that i tend to visit from time to time in my dreams.

a/w 08 still has me spinning... obviously. last night i dreamt i was working the Miu Miu a/w 2008 headgear. i was a synchronised swimmer!! (golly, it has been a stressful week.) it must be that the headgear reminds me of those head-tight swimming caps i use to wear as a child for my weekly swimming lessons. i, along with the rest of the synchronised swimming team (yes, there were others!), were head to toe in Miu Miu and nattering about Miuccia Prada's choice of colour for our headgear. who dreams about stuff like this... seriously?!


a hipster and proud.

i've recently started to dig into a few south african fashion blogs. my favourite atm is SOUTH AFRICAN STREET STYLE - it's got the perfect balance between what's happening locally and internationally.

i loved Mr Dan Pinch's recent post entitled hipsters will inherit the earth. according to the little questionnaire at the end of the post i'm a hipster... and rightly so. i do drink too much vida coffee and i do read One Small Seed, religiously. i'm a hipster and proud - and why shouldn't we be? we're fueling consumerism and keeping the economy alive... well at least that's what i'm hearing through the blogvine.  and also, this might sound a little cheesy but... it reminded me that however confused i am sometimes about where i come from (don't ever ask me where i'm from... most of the time i'm not sure myself.) a very big part of me is south african... yes, a south african hipster and proud!


missing out on Louise Goldin.

okay i admit that leaving my intern position at British ELLE  just weeks before London Fashion Week s/s 2009 was probably not one of my finest moments. my biggest regret would be missing out on the Louise Goldin show. i'm a little late on covering this, i know... but it's still deserves a post. i thought Goldin's s/s 2008 was simply fabulous but s/s 2009 just takes the whole damn chocolate cake. it might not be the fashion world's favourite collection but it's my fave by far. ahh... what i would give to have been there... 5 rows from the front, wiggling in my chair trying to get the best view of the catwalk. 

when Goldin showed her first collection everyone about town was oohing and ahhing over her fabric of choice - "i didn't know you could do that with knitwear!" she's wonderfully brilliant at creating contrast - using soft knitwear to create strong structured shapes. that contrast was created once again in this season's collection - structural futuristic shapes contrasting with soft delicate materials. the soft, pastel colours, which is quite new to Goldin, makes for a flirtier and more feminine collection. i particularly like the touch of elegance and prettiness (in a v. Stella McCartney sorta way) that the huey colours and delicate fabrics (both knit & silk) create and bring to the collection. the body suit is a winner too. i can't quite see myself wearing it but it is rather lovely, isn't it? 

hopefully... fingers crossed*... i'll make it to next season's show.


the young ones.

i was flipping through a hong kong esquire yesterday (yes, i have resorted to reading anything i can get my hands on and it just happened to be, on this occasion, a men's magazine in a language i can't quite read!) and i come across an article about a 12 year old fashion blogger. i was immediately intrigued...
apparently there's a new wave of young fashion bloggers in the US and TAVI (above mentioned blogger) author of STYLE ROOKIE has had quite a respectable amount of publicity in the past few months. i can imagine the disapproving looks and uproar she has had to experience. in her latest post she attempts to defend herself (not that she needs to) and she gives a shout out to her fellow young bloggers.

honestly, i didn't realise that there were 12 year olds that were so fashion conscious and so stylish, believe me it took me by surprise, but i think it's great that there are kids who know who Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela are. there will be no disapproving looks coming from me - i actually like the idea that there's a new generation of budding fashionistas who are choosing to express themselves creatively through fashion.


withdrawal symptoms.

my ideal sunday morning involves a hot cup of tea and a good glossy magazine - simple isn't it? however my lack of reading material on this v. lovely sunday morning has got me experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.  and the fact that the november 2008 magazine issues are being splashed all over the internet is really not helping the situation. i want, i want, i want! i neeeeed! you see... a trip to the magazine section of a book shop is like a trip to the candy shop for me. in london i had borders (oh how much i miss it) and here in cape town i have exclusive books - also a candy shop of some sort but where the candy is imported and unfortunately v. dear... sometimes i just can't help myself though and i find myself leaving the shop with lots of over-priced candy - naughty i know. 

how can i resist though? these big guys are doing fantastical stuff. i-D always has amazing covers which has me drooling - quite literally. ELLE is great for catwalk fashion/trends and recently their fashion spreads have been right up there with Vogue and their covers are just spot on - clean, slick and so stylish. the articles in Vogue are always written beautifully - "wow wee" writing.  i-D and Dazed have more edgy and innovative fashion spreads which is always a breath of fresh air and which i love love love. i just can't seem to do without them.


An interview with Mr Steve Salter.

here's another interview with one of my favourite bloggers. STEVE is author of STYLE SALVAGE and i was lucky enough to ask him a few questions. Back in May, STEVE told me he was currently really interested in unearthing unlikely icons (his most recent: Steve Zissou from Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic) which got me rather giddy - my head was racing with all the possibilities. here's what else the blogging addict had to say.

What sort of topics do you choose to cover in your blog?
I personally like to cover as varied topics as possible just because I am interested in so many within menswear. Music and art are often overlooked by many blogs but there influence on menswear and vice versa is undeniable. I read other blogs and all the magazines I can afford for inspiration.

What sort of things inspire you to write?
Other blogs inspire me to write. When we started the blog last June (2007) there really wasn’t that many blogs dedicated to menswear. We thought this was a crying shame and we knew that there was a demand for it so embarked on a mission to cover this area in our own way. Since we started more and more menswear blogs have started and now we all push each other to write about this topic as well as possible.

What do you love about blogging?
Blogging is a bit of an addiction really. I both love and hate the fact that it is hard to step away from the computer. It takes over your life to a certain extent because there is always something new and interesting to look at. At the moment I just can’t get enough and actually want to increase my blogging levels but one day it could get all get too much and I’ll need to check into blogging rehab.

Any perks?
People actually reading my rambled musings. Of course there are the invitations to events which are always welcomed. I would be uncomfortable with any greater perks than the odd invitation and goody bag though.

Anything you don't love so much?
Negativity. But at the moment we have been very lucky. The readers we have are great.

What do you think men's relationship is to fashion on the internet?
I recently read that more men (56%) are now choosing to shop online than on the high street which seems crazy to me and of course this stat will only increase. Men are coming round to the idea that there are more uses to the Internet than watching porn and shows like Family Guy. Also, not a week goes by now without some new men’s fashion blog coming to our attention. High profile blogs like the Sartorialist's and Kanye West’s have helped create a dialogue around men's fashion which was previously unseen.

Your favourite fashion sites or sites that you think are doing something interesting/different?
So many have popped up recently including Mensrag, Getkempt, Kanyeuniversity. My blog roll is already pretty intimidating and ever growing. The obsessively detailed eye of The Sartorialist is well known and rightly so. However sites like Hel-Looks and Breach of Style all give men across the globe something to think about

How many hours a day to you dedicate to blogging?
Currently not as much as I’d like as my laptop is being repaired…otherwise around 2 hours blogging…the rest of the day I think about it.

Your favourite spots in London?
I’m fortunate enough to live in central London so there is so much to do right on my doorstep. My new favourite place is in and around Carnaby Street as there are so many good stores there, including Shop22, Hurwendeki, Concrete, Beyond the Valley and the stores within Kingly Court and of course if I get hungry Cha Cha Moon is right there as well. In terms of going out I tend to gravitate East.

Favourite item of clothing?
My YMC hi tops which have changeable uppers.

Fashion icon?
Fred Astaire,

Your dream job?
Owner of my own acclaimed menswear store in London.

Other men on the web that you think should be recognised?
I'm inspired by Thomas Mahon of the English Cut because I dream of being a tailor one day.

Any thoughts on the future of fashion on the internet?
I personally want to see more magazines come online and do something interesting, generating great editorials and spreads online!


lovely lady lace.

a/w 2008 has once again proven that lace is timeless - a fabric that awakens feelings of nostalgia but which also has the ability to be really young and modern at the same time. i decided to take a little advice from Miuccia Prada and invested in some lovely lady lace. i actually found this dress on my birthday in a little treasure trove on the coast of Cape Town known as Kalk Bay. the colour of the fabric makes the sexiness of the dress, usually associated with lace, quite understated and more lady-like. i like the idea of the lace dress peeking out from under other garments - toning down the full-on lace by layering and also at the same time creating pretty puffy textures - my favourite.

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