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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Highlights from 2011

I've got so many things to be thankful for in 2011: people I've met, places I've seen and all that's in-between. When I reflect on the past 12 months, I can hardly believe that so many things have happened. After a roller-coaster of a year, I'm certainly ready for 2012!

Some highlights include:
the second birthday of Les Garçons de Glasgow, spending time with friends (old and new), seeing Blondie, Robyn and Kelis at Lovebox, visiting Daniel in Hackney (many times), the birth of my niece, Sophia, photographing Fashion Month around the world, directing my first fashion film, being nominated for a Scottish Fashion Award, travelling the UK for the Cruise Street Style Project, showing my first exhibition in Paris, meeting many new friends at Jim Haynes' Dinners, having time to paint, draw and see art, moving apartments 5 times and ending up in Paris.


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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Big Cats

This month I've kept going back to a number of things. These include, but are not limited to, strong coffee whilst filming the next installments of 'Superior Interior', trying to figure out the most interesting routes around Paris on bike and watching Lana Del Rey's Born to Die video on repeat.

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In November I visited Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes which has a small collection of exotic animals in a zoo. This, along with watching entirely too much 'Planet Earth' on the BBC, has led to a current obsession with big cats. If you've been following my Tumblr you will have seen this post coming, but it all came to a head with the help of Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid.

Being the director of the 'Born to Die' video, I'm holding Woodkid accountable for the stunning art direction, which includes the use of tigers in a cathedral setting. There is not one frame in the short film which is unnecessary, with the storyboard played out to perfection. I feel like there's more than just a love affair between the main characters on screen but also cross-culturally between France and the United States of America. Lana Del Rey is a lover of French architecture (she never shuts up about 'Chateau Marmont' in West Hollywood) and Parisian Woodkid has made it no secret of his love of America - New York is his second home and his song 'Brooklyn' clearly spells this out. Add in a couple of tigers and you've got one very happy garçon.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Spring Suspense with A.P.C.

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I've never had too much of a knowledge of A.P.C.

When traveling to Paris, its founding city, I always had a gander at the store on Rue Vieille du Temple as each time I visited I found some kind of jacket or shirt that inspired me for the rest of the season. If I consider what I liked most, it's colour that springs to mind. The range of pastels, jewel and muted tones are quite unique in menswear and it's this that has brought me back time and again.

Now we're only days away from Christmas (how did this happen?) and I now have my super red winter wool jumper, I'm actually rejecting all things winter and find myself attracted to the new. Although wearing some short shorts may be a little premature, I don't think busting out a pair of pale bleach jeans and tennis shoes would be too frowned upon...let's just hope it doesn't snow...or rain...in fact no precipitation at all, please.

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Cashmere Sweater, 250€
Clean Cut Shirt, 130€
Standard Bleach Jean, 134€
Block Backpack, 150€
Tennis Shoes, 190€

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Another Eiffel Tower Photo

The Eiffel Tower must be one of the most photographed landmarks around the world, up their with Times Square and Big Ben. For many it represents the epitome of romanticism and on the flip side, vulgarity (ask any born and bred Parisian). I've never been one to idolise city iconography, preferring the quiet unwritten and undocumented backstreets which are much more reflective of real community and culture in a place.

Although I feel reluctant to join the masses of tourists and whip out my camera when I'm in the vicinity of Paris' most recognisable structure, I made an exception this week. The West side of the left bank is an area I rarely walk but passing by the inconceivably huge mass of iron, I couldn't resist but photograph it. The air was so crisp and the sky so blue, I got a real sense of why people are overwhelmed by emotion. My lasting memories of Paris in Autumn 2011 may not be defined by the Eiffel Tower, but it'll certainly be nestled there between warm croissants and streets lined with burnt orange leaves.


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Monday, 28 November 2011

Les Garçons de Glasgow is TWO

In October 2009, two Glaswegian boys began to photograph the people and places that inspired them. We started this blog as a testament to the city and a reaction to blogs from culture capitals around the world: New York, London, Paris to name a few. Since then, Les Garçons de Glasgow has been nominated for a Scottish Fashion Awards, listed as Vogue.com's One to Watch, placed in The List's Hot 100 and received a pile of press we're very proud of.

This October Les Garçons de Glasgow reached the terrible twos. In the past year so many wonderful things have happened, mapped out by our photos of style. Although the official birthday was missed due to busy schedules, a selection of our favourite images are online here.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Inspiration: Stop Motion Video


Very rarely do I post content that's not created by me, but after seeing this video I felt truly inspired. Using stop motion to animate Google street maps, Tom Jenkins has created a cross country road trip for his desk toy. One day, I will create videos this engaging.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Superior Interior, Behind the Street Style: Imogen Roy

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Photographing street style over the past few years I've met many people who can put a good outfit together. I think the test of true style is seeing the same person on different days. If they have the ability to wear a variety of things and make them all work, you know they're not doing the 'mannequin sweep' - simply buying a complete look from one store.


After moving to Paris, it's become apparent how important style is to each person here. This stretches far beyond clothing, and of particular importance is apartments. Paris is one of the most crowded cities in Europe so many people live in 20 square meters or less. If you've only got a box to your name, you better be damned sure you've done something creative with the space and that there's a reason to keep every single item in that room.


I've been invited to some great house parties set against extravagant yet hidden backdrops. If you walked past no-one would know how incredible the space was, so I decided this must change!


Imogen Roy is my first subject for a new series of portraits 'Superior Interior: Beyond the Street Style'. I met Imogen Roy via Twitter – with the lovely coincidence that we're both Scots in Paris. She's the blogger of Eight London and I just knew she'd have a million interesting gems for me to route through. I wasn't wrong.


Living in my favourite neighbourhood in Paris, we met on a Sunday morning in the 11e arrondissement. The sun was blazing down and when I saw an elegant figure gliding towards me in blood orange and purple, I knew I was in for a treat. After a three hour shoot and chat, there were so many interesting nit-bits I wanted to share. Below is a visual document of her current wardrobe and a summary of a few of Imogen's favourite things.




On her personal style:

“People often ask me: Describe your style and I think...um...over the top? I do think I must've been a transvestite in another life. If you're going to dress up you may as well go for it. Yes I may get some funny looks when I walk down the street, but I'm enjoying myself.”

On her wardrobe:

“I mostly buy vintage clothes because you can buy things of superior materials and cut but for a fraction of the price. This orange mohair dress is 1980s from a store in Edinburgh. It's so warm, comfortable – you just couldn't buy this quality on the high street. Talking of bargains, this orange wool blazer was only 1€ from Free'P'Star in Paris. It's my favourite place to get vintage in the city.

The leather motorcycle jacket is from Mint vintage in London. I saw this tall girl with short blonde hair in the corner of my eye as I went to reach for it and we both stuck out our hand to get it. It was one of those moments. I had my hand on it first so I just went for the grab. When I went up to pay for it, the man behind the counter said “Oh you were lucky to get that before Agyness Deyn did!” I didn't even notice! I'm so glad I got it though as it's one of the warmest things ever made. I wore it in Siberia, so that truly is a test of it's capacity to protect against the elements! All I need is a bike now.”



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On the fashion industry:

“What makes me sad about the fashion industry is when it gets to the point that fashion isn't fun anymore. It's such a huge global business that drives so much money and commerce, that the pressure on the designers it unbearable. Look at John Galliano or Christophe Decarnin who's now in a psychiatric hospital. It worries me because the appreciation for beautiful, crafted things is drying up. It's all about fast fashion. I really appreciate what Tom Ford has done. He says 'I still want to design but it's going to be on my terms'. I think that's very admirable.”

On her interest in fashion:

“It's funny because fashion has never been a part of my family...or even interesting clothes when I think about it. I'm not sure where it came from. I remember being about 13 and picking through Vogue magazine constantly. I was enamoured with the images of beautiful women and the artwork - I was hooked from then on. When I was 15 my Dad won an auction to get tickets to Christopher Bailey's Burberry show for spring/summer in 2005. I was in the 2nd which is a pretty good spot and I remember wearing this Burberry coat. I thought to myself 'I must wear Burberry' when I found out we were going, so I skipped to Armstrong's Vintage in Edinburgh. The only thing, the 'classic' trench I got was awful. It was so old and really smelly – it must've been from about WWII. It completely drowned me, it was enormous. I may have gone to the show in a stinking old coat but that experience of sitting there with the iconic people around me made me think: 'I can never work in another industry. I'm going to be in fashion no matter what it takes'.”


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On Paris:

“I shop in the Lebanese market at the top of the 11e. It's all bartering and shouting. It's got a really nice multi-culturalism that makes it less intimidating. That's something I love about this city – I feel different people really integrate here well. There are three butchers on the corner out my window: one is Halal, the other Kosher and the last Arabian. Every evening many people visit to buy their meat and each of them standing to talk to the other. I feel like there's a real harmony between cultures here.”

On her favourite book:

“This book 'Blood of Others' was written by Simone de Beauvoir, the long term partner of Jean Paul Sartre. It's an English translation of an existentialist novel that I actually bought it in India, but it's a story set in Paris funnily enough. This edition is pretty special as it has an inscription of a prize given to an Indian student at university and still has her bookmark with memories written on it. I hope she meant to give it away because it's quite a sweet thing to have. I love collecting things that have some sort of memory or interest, even if it's not my family and it's someone else’s.”



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On her jewellery:

“I'm all about costume jewellery because I'm so careless, I run around and drop things and am careless so it's best I don't have things that are worth too much. The necklace I'm wearing is from H&M surprisingly. I don't usually buy high street jewellery because it's so poorly made and has little personal meaning but I think this one is quite special. I guess it's all about the impression rather than reality. As long as you stand back it looks like it could be couture!

The necklace with the large turquoise stone was a 21st birthday present from my best friend. It's got a secret compartment in the back. I travelled in India about 3 years ago and got really into ethic jewellery – solid silver and huge stones. It's nice to be able to get the opportunity to get these things from the source and talk to the vendors themselves.”



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Saturday, 12 November 2011

No Parking

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Image 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9
Brown suede tee, Jonathan Pryce
Beige Trench, DKNY
Navy Chinos, ACNE
Black boots, Raf Simons

Image 2, 6, 10
White Print Tee, Le Garçon Designs
Black MC Jacket, Salvation Army