Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Paper Tuxedo jacket!!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Rimmon Fabrics on Pico just east of Sepulveda in West LA has a wide selection of unusual fabrics, faux furs, new and vintage buttons. Come on down and check out your costume source. Burners get a special gift with purchase !
11054 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Call to make sure we are in Usually in 8am-5pm weekdays, but you never know so call on the way.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We’ve recently noticed a number of innovative shoe companies and styles. Check out some footwear of the future:
We all have that notorious pair of shoes that, despite how rough they look or how horrible they smell, we refuse to discard, simply because their comfort is irreplaceable. Now there is a practical and stylish way to transfer that comfortable feeling from one shoe to another, therefore preventing the “skin” of either pair from wearing out too soon. This innovative footwear system consists of two interchangeable parts: an outer shell/sole known as the “skin” and a flexible inner foot form that fits into the skin known as the “bone”.
Patagonia DIY Shoe:
Eco-living practitioners long before green was a buzzword, Patagonia is making sure no resources go to waste. Their DIY shoe includes leather pieces sourced from scraps left on factory floors, along with lacing, with which the wearer uses to custom assemble the shoe to their own liking.
Like the Patagonia DIY shoe, this are also user-assembled footwear. Made from a single sheet of recycled leather, these shoes differ in that they are assembled through folding rather than stitching. The result is an origami-inspired slipper, which while it may not be street-appropriate, is perfect for wearing around the house.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Social Suicide - storytelling with men’s bespoke suitsCategory: Features, Worldwide, Fashion6 Apr 2007
PingMag met Simon Waterfall, the creative director of digital agency Poke and newly-elected D&AD deputy president, in Cape Town where he was mainly invited to talk about his digital work. Stepping closer, I was just stunned discovering a life-size AK-47 embroidered all over his suit as if it was literally hanging over his shoulder. Those who ever met Simon know that he is an extremely funny, enthusiastic, sarcastic and never-ending speaker who then swiftly switched to talk about what else he does: Social Suicide, possibly the most influential and innovative line of men’s suits - a 50/50 collaboration with Matt Grey aka Tig. Here is how their provocative suits get you talking, how they got to collaborate with the finest original tailors and pattern cutters from Tommy Nutter, and why The Queen was very pleased when she faced a Social Suicide suit for the first time in her life.
Written by Uleshka
Thanks to Design Indaba for the interview
Simon, you were formerly known in the industry for wearing the most bizarre and whacky outfits. When and why did you actually switch to wearing suits?
I have been wearing massive ball gowns for years and I didn’t wear anything else. I wore them as an anti-statement. If you do business in a ball gown with a tiara on, you are not going to get the usual business company…
One day I just couldn’t wear them anymore and so I thought: ‘What would be the worst thing I could wear after wearing such provocative clothing for so long? Suits!’
Simon Waterfall at Design Indaba showing off his AK-47 full-size embroidery over his shoulder. The ratio to make all the pieces of this suit match together perfectly is 1 out of 10 jackets.
Simon taking us down history lane: ‘In the old days, suits were nothing but altered tunics with the button cut off and the collar folded down. We introduced the button back, so if you are facing a cold Vespa ride home, you can button it back up.’
What happened then?
Of course I got bored after less than a week and I just fucked up old suits: cut them up, shot them, put holes through them, … and basically used them as a canvas. I didn’t care much about the suit itself, it was just a vehicle for making very, very quick social comments. And people thought it was interesting…
Right from the beginning, Matt Grey (aka Tig) joined in and you then began to create together a range of finely tailored suits, which each tell an individual story.
How did the two of you actually get in contact with the original tailors and pattern cutters of Savile Row legend Tommy Nutter though?
Tommy Nutter - he was the first crazy tailor. He dressed Elton John, the Beatles, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Michael Jackson, John and Yoko Ono’s white wedding suits, the first denim suit and the first horizontal pin-stripe suit that is in the V&A… Every single tailor quotes Nutter as an inspiration. The head of Hermes wears nothing else, he doesn’t wear his own.
Tommy died in 1992 of AIDS. In 2000 David Mason revived the brand and the two original pattern cutters Joe Morgan and Roy Chittleboroug still make the very best bespoke suits money can buy - but they couldn’t replace Tommy. Tommy was the pepper in the dish. That was when David approached us…
Now Joe Morgan from Nutters is the genius behind your Social Suicide patterns: the basic form, the super tight fit and the cut are all down to him. But what sets Social Suicide apart from other men’s fashion (not mentioning the quality and craftsmanship) is your creativity and what you actually do with those suits. Each of the pieces has a subversive or in-your-face message stitched, flocked, embroidered, or painted on. Your suits become tools for telling a story, making a really sharp statement.
How do you actually come up with these ideas? And how do you actually design these stories not really being a fashion designer in the first place?
For me it is just the process of finding and making comments.
Tig and I just designed a season based on animals in the work space. One day I had this idea and just text messaged Tig: “Shark!” Naturally he went: “What?”
We have lots of white “canvas suits” on dummies which we use to play around with - for “sketches”. So the next day I just drew 3 lines onto one of our canvas suits and showed it to Tig. He went “NO WAY!!!”.
Tig then came back to me three months later and showed me the first sample suit. I went “NO WAY!!!”. We then took it to Harvey Nichols and they went “NO WAY!!!” Yep! They sold every single one!
What are these ’social comments’ generally about? And why do you think they are necessary?
It’s things like going to The Palace in London with a gun printed on my pocket at the peek of the terrorist attacks for meeting Prince Phillip in his private study… He looks at me and sees ‘ARMED’ written across my back - he immediately starts talking.
‘ARMED’ suit jacket
…and matching shirt
It enables men who are extremely fucking boring and lazy to have an initial story to break the ice to start a conversation. Heritage and knowledge is already here in the suit.
What are some of your favorite ’suit stories’ then?
There is one based on one of my father’s favorite records which is about a kid stealing a porn magazine called ‘Razzle in my pocket’ by Ian Dury. So these suits have a beautifully full size rolled up Razzle magazine) embroidered on the inside of the pocket. You might not show that to everyone, but you know it is there.
‘Razzle in my pocket’ - inspired by the Ian Dury song where a boy stole a porn magazine, this jacket has a full size rolled up Razzle magazine embroidered on the inside A4 magazine pocket.
… and when the suit is closed, you cannot see anything but a finely tailored suit.
This jacket has 4 slashes over the shoulder and 4 more slashes on the waist line. When opened, these hidden zippers reveal a scarlet red inside, just like the blood gushing out when you are slashed open. The ones on the shoulder give you the pain, the ones on the side the pleasure.
When closed it looks like a respectable suit - with some interesting scars once you step closer… Only a sharp eye can tell, that there are invisible zippers embedded over the shoulder. Guess what this suit is called? ‘Vixen’!
Some more stories and suits here as a video.
You have been invited over to Buckingham Palace where the Queen was introduced to 400 of the top designers in her empire and you made a suit especially for that occasion. Can you tell us a little about that?
When I got to talk to her I said: ‘Her Majesty, I am Simon Waterfall, and I’m going to do something now that my father said I could never do - I’m going to show you my back!’
So I run away and turn around and she sees 620 buttons hand sewn onto my suit - her portrait.
The Pearly Kings and Queens are an East London tradition - where pearl buttons are hand-sewn onto the clothing to show status. They were the aristocracy of the working classes. The Queen is the Monarch of Britain, the head of the Empire, the uppermost of the upper class.
Inspired by cabbages and kings, Social Suicide used the tailoring traditions of the working class to make a suit for the monarch. Excellent! This photo was shot at Buckingham Palace. Some of the ‘Pearly Queen’ suits are available in very limited numbers at Harvey Nichols, London.
When I came back she was smiling and asked: ‘How long did it take?’
- ‘Six episodes of Neighbours!’
Those stories you choose for your men’s suits - what kind of image of men are you trying to project?
Everything around what a man should or shouldn’t do, challenging the preconceptions of what a suit is or isn’t supposed to be.
There is a suit which has a handbag embroidered on the side. That reads as: I have no problem with my sexuality, I’ll wear a handbag!
Your suits have lots of little details and special modifications. Some examples?
Being a designer I always carry lots of magazines and papers, so here is an A4 pocket which goes all the way down to the bottom. In case you drop something smaller in there, you can retrieve it from a smaller opening nearer the bottom.
Men carry lots of technology - so there is a phone pocket in the suit, not in the trousers - at the bottom where it pulls the jacket sharp and not in the front where it pulls it open. Turn the breast pocket inside out and you’ll find that it is the suit label. Stored away when not needed, it carries details on the suit, washing instructions, the URL and, most importantly, a unique manufacture number. We started at number ‘1′ and we’ll just keep going.
Suit label inside the breast pocket.
Detail, detail, detail. I can walk in anywhere and when people look at the cloth and how it’s made - that this is a suit cut by Nutters - they can’t even begin to criticize! I can put my suit up next to anything from Armani, Hugo Boss, Alexander Mc Queen - I dare you to find a fault.
Where would you place your suits then?
In fashion there are 3 layers: luxury is about the money you are wearing on your sleeve, it is the BMW key ring. Beyond that, and it can be the same brand sometimes, is exclusive. It has heritage, it has meaning, it is the ‘I know why I buy something from LVMH, I know the history of Gucci or Prada…’
Beyond exclusive is elusive, and that layer is really thin. Elusivity is the stuff that you don’t know where or how to get, you hardly know anything about it. Like Tommy Nutter - unless you knew him, you just couldn’t get a suit.
You can buy a Social Suicide jacket online at about 400 pounds - which is about the price for a normal suit. How could this be elusive then?
Social Suicide is not elusive in that sense. It is going between exclusive and elusive. We are elusive with the story. It is not about the money, it is not even about the small numbers which we do, it is about the actual understanding of the person who buys it knowing what he is buying.
I’m not trying to change men’s fashion for 2 000 pounds and sell 3 suits a year. Instead we have 300 different stories floating around.
But understanding all that heritage, a long time later we will be doing Professional Suicide. This is Social Suicide and all we are playing with now but on a hand bespoke, custom made level.
A normal Nutter suit jacket costs about 2 000 pounds. You are not going to fuck around with it too much! And certainly, not many people can afford that and have a gun embroidered on their back. Those are the most exclusive suits you can buy.
Tailor measuring and adjusting.
Details, details, details.
What is this Tat2 line of bespoke suits I heard about? Would that be Professional Suicide then?
Yes. If you are a man with a tattoo, we might arrange a photo session with you where we take a shot of your tattoo in its exact position and measure you for your suit. We then have your tattoo embroidered on your jacket. Now when you take that jacket off you have your tattoo on your shirt, and when you take that shirt off it shows on your body - in the exact same position.
These suits start from £3 600/ $6 600 dollars.
Who buys your suits then?
Crazy people, evidently! It is expressionism. We had a massive strike when gay weddings became legal in the UK. We got one suit with a huge bouquet of roses embroidered on your back. If you hold your hand on your back as if you were to hide a bouquet - it looks like that. A single rose sits on the lapel button-hole and aligns beautifully with an identical rose on the chest. It is perfect for weddings. We even got pictures sent from a couple in Sweden who based her flowers and her dress all on the flowers on his suit.
Done by computer using very delicate thread, this embroidery turns out to be really beautiful. It is very light - and takes hours!
A single rose over lapel aligning with the rose on the chest.
What other related products do you actually sell apart from the suits?
Shirts! Normal shirts are all wrong, too much material to tuck away. Our trousers are so tight, you’ve got no space to put anything. So we needed to get rid of this big tail on the shirt and cut it off, but you actually need something to tuck it away. We changed the shape so that the shirt goes down on the legs and now it looks like a big bum - but when you tuck it away it makes a perfect straight line. That’s cool!
And then we thought, if you put a bum on the back, you gotta put a cock on the front. So we made the fly slightly longer and it’s got an extra button hole down there. Yes! So now you wear that shirt over your jeans with all those details and people think ‘That’s really wrong!’
Also the French cuffs, when you turn them over they have an invisible pocket where you can stick in your Oyster card for the subway. So every time you use the subway you just need to wave.
Then we do Viagra cufflinks and Collar Stiffeners. The stiffeners are 65mm long and they slip into a special pocket on the underside of a shirt collar. Although the shirt has to be specially made for them it is not an unusual feature on any quality collar. When you wear these you feel like a million dollars, but nobody can see it!
Double Ended Ties!
Tig on the left and Simon on the right at their studio in London.
Double ended ties which come with two fat ends in different colors, so you have two ties in one. If you do it up one way it is white or the other way it will be black - so we made it twice as expensive. ‘Why has nobody else done that?’ I don’t know!? But we can!
What will your next season be about?
We will do suits and shorts - matching and pin-stripes! Awesome!
Thank you for your enthusiasm and the great stories in the suits.
I highly recommend to find a Social Suicide shop near you to actually look at the suits and touch them to get an idea of the quality (There’s none in Japan yet, unfortunately, but maybe someone like Celux could be tempted?). If you can’t find one near you, try the Social Suicide website instead.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
If you've seen AdBuster magazine, a totally cool Canadian zine that tries to provide alternatives to corporate consumerism, you've probably run into the Black Spot sneaker. The idea is to manufacture a needed item in a sustainable way (no sweatshops, eco-friendly and unbranded). Cool concept, cool shoe. Most importantly, it addresses an important issue--how do we brand our work. We want to indentify things we make so that if people like what we do, they can find more like it..but, do we want to force them to be walking billboards for us when they wear them? Corporate marketers would say YES, but that's self serving and a question to be addressed. For more info about Black Spots, check out the site:
Friday, January 27, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
On view December 9, 2005–March 26, 2006
Organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute, Fashion in Colors explores color as a design element through 300 years of Western fashion. Check it out at: http://ndm.si.edu/EXHIBITIONS/fashion_in_colors/
Thursday, January 12, 2006
The LA Summer Fashion market opens tomorrow at the California Market Center. Showrooms are open 9-6 and this could be an interesting field trip option to get ideas. If you want to go, contact Clay at 805-453-5246
Find it here. Discover thousands of new and established showrooms and exhibitors for Summer '06. Find it all under one roof only at the California Market Center, the premier marketplace in California for fashion, accessories, gift & home resources.FEATURED SHOWROOMSWomen's wear. Hundreds of women's apparel resources on Floors 2A, and 3A&3B.Contemporary. Directional and young designer women's & men's resources ON 5.Street Couture. Edgy & directional women's & men's resources on Floor 11B.Urban. Women's & men's urban sportswear on Floor 4C.LA Kid's Market. Floor 6A is home to kids and tweens. Accessories & Intimate Apparel. Floor 10A&B have all the perfect accents for the season. Visit Floors 7C-13C for additional accessories, gifts & decor.Accessories to go. Floor 9A&B features accessories & leather goods available for immediate delivery.TEMPORARY EXHIBITORSBrighte Companies by ENK. Contemporary & directional women's & men's resources in the Main Lobby Fashion Theater. Friday - Monday only.Accessories & Intimate Apparel Salon. Fresh, new fashion accessories and intimate apparel exhibitors in Suite B1086. Friday - Monday only.LA Fashion Exhibitors by PCT. Women's updated apparel exhibitors on Floor 3C.LA Shoe Show. Hundreds of footwear lines on Floor 13B. Sunday & Monday only.RETAILERSRegister in the Main Lobby, bring a business card, Resale Tax I.D., and personal I.D.