T-shirt Drawings

May 25th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949)

March 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Fashion & Fancy-dress in the Future (Rerestalgics)

October 17th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

In the future, fashion* will be able to precisely and accurately replicate the minutae of historical clothing. Thanks to decades of photo-sharing, by billions of people, living and dead, it will be possible to recreate exact copies of clothing from specific moments and places in historical-time – Rerestalgics (Retrospective Recreative Nostalgic fashion). The advent of social media from the early 2000’s will mean that the most accurate refashioning will be from that time onwards, but thanks to the desire to share nostalgic pre-social media images of childhood and family, there will be a smaller database from the dawn of photography to the end of the 20th century.

The hipsters of the day will be able to have either an exact replica of ‘factory-workers shirt from Highland Park Ford Plan, 1913‘. Or, they may wish for an averaged-out approximation of ‘fat white male shirt from Ontario between February 1973 and March 1988‘. These ‘averaged out’ creations will in themselves create a type of rerestalgic which will not previously have existed, and will also in the future be subject to rerestalgia (eg ‘rerestalgic shirt worn by females over 1.8m tall from June – August 2064‘ – this will, inevitably, lead to the same kind of ‘browning out’ that occurs when children mix too many different colours of poster paint together). ‘Browning out‘ will become slang, variously negative and positive, depending on the circumstances, and the speaker/writer/thinker.


Some people will desire clothing from periods which did not already look to replicate previous fashions for inspiration, this is ‘AvantRere’ – not so popular among the everyday person, as even in the future, wearing something too distinctively different will draw unwanted attention for some. What these high-end AvantRere’s will fail to notice as that it is the averaged-out rerestaligic clothing which will be last truly cutting edge fashion style. Others may wish to mix and match different specifics, to create a rerecollage. This will be frowned upon by purists, but others will be excited about the possibilities, such as creating a mash up of ‘poor Turkish gastarbeiter shirt (off duty) Cologne 1973‘ with ‘Polish NHS workers mens jogging bottoms (off duty) Nottingham 2014′.


There will be hyper-specialists who look to recreate recreations, such as ‘male checked shirt from early 1990’s, which in itself was a recreation of a shirt from 1983, which was a recreation of a shirt from 1965’. Snob’s will know the difference between time periods, even if the black and white checked shirt looks the same through each era.

Another branch of rerestaligic clothing will be created by requesting clothing to be conglomerated from another historico-cultural subset. For example, Etruscan pots from 500 – 450 BC. The risk with this kind of request is that (depending on the quality/expense of your hardware) you may end up with clothing that resembles an Etruscan pot, instead of being ‘inspired’ by the pots). However, these accidents will potentially be fashions’ only hope…

What will the difference between ‘fashion’ and ‘fancy-dress’ be? A fancy dress party will be an attempt to coral existing fashions into a more specific parameter, as current day halloween costumes do. Outfits often consist of clothing that would also be appropriate for non-halloween occasions – for example fishnet stockings, pointed hats, ripped shirts… but there still remains a general ‘halloween aesthetic’.


A prospective party-thrower may request that revelers attend in ‘girls clothing (under 16 years of age) from northeast Fife underage ‘raves’ from Winter 1992‘. Party-goers can then access the database (or request an app do it for them) which filters photography from the period, suggesting appropriate clothing. It is this mutually agreed specificity which will draw the line between fashion and fancy. The line will constantly be blurred by the young (under 14) who choose to dress like one-another, and they will be reprimanded by their elders for ‘going about in fancy-dress’.


Production of clothing – this will largely be done by computers digitally-knitting mixed organic and plastic fibres on demand. Depending on ones income, this bespoke service could include exact replicas of fabrics, as well as designs. Those with (digital) cash to (digitally) splash could sweat their night away in genuine April 22nd 1978 100% polyester shirt from the suburbs of Rome. If you have powerful rerestalgic replication hardware, you may even be able to access 100% natural fibres from the correct species of sheep used to hand-knit an ‘islanders knitted waistcoat from St Kilda Wednesday February 10th, 1897′. This may be dependent on highly expensive genetic knitting, if the aforementioned sheep is no longer in circulation. Those from the 0.1% will be able to hire genuine-replica sweatshop workers with Bangladeshi heritage (complete with required DNA certification) to reproduce early 21st century fashions ‘with real sweat’.


*fashion meaning ‘everyday’ fashion. Haute couture etc will still exist, but only be accessible to the ‘0.1%’ who can afford it. The very poor will likely have to make do with the clothes other people throw away (and be subject to trends themselves, such as ‘Starving Yemeni female child wearing donated clothing from Barnardo’s charity shops (north of Hull) circa Autumn/Winter 2016‘)

Dance/theatre review – “Ahnen” (Pina Bausch) Tanztheater Wuppertal at Sadler’s Wells

April 24th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


It’s not possible to really explain what happens in this performance, it makes more sense as a list.

One body becomes two

Two bodies become one

Brick walls are built

Water falls on tarpaulin

A man jumps through a hoop into a wall (repeatedly)

A fully clothed woman lies in a perspex bath full of water

A lady climbs a ladder and gives painting instructions

A blind woman fires a gun

There’s a remote control helicopter (might be a reference to Vietnam?)

Someone is buried under hay

A women relentlessly polishes some sort of white chopping board

Bits of food are placed around the stage

A man dressed as a sort of hobo-native american chief sits at a microphone but doesn’t use it

And so on and so forth…

I liked this. There is no narrative that I can grasp, but the show is full of little pleasing bits and pieces. The music throughout is great; varied, interesting and well used. The first half is pretty frantic, lots of arm movements and running across stage, there’s a lot of running when a wind machine blows paper across the stage. The second half is quieter, slower and has more spoken elements and ‘conventional’ dancing. For me, its just a bit too long. It starts to become tiring and uncomfortable (maybe that’s the point! etc) and personally I wouldn’t mind a wee bit of narrative.


Photo by Tristram Kenton (Guardian)

Generally it appears to celebrate everyday movements, moments and props. Lots of things happen at the same time, so you can choose what to devote attention to. It is farcical and slapstick and absurd, though at times I thought it wasn’t funny enough (it’s no House of Fools) but as I was thinking this, the funniest bit happened. A man and woman take turns to mime acts of cartoon violence on each other, and its funny. I’m guessing they are a couple of long-standing and long-endured irritation. There did seem to be a lot of what I will call ‘over-laughter’ from the audience “ oh ha ha ha, that is sooo funny, a woman flashed her pants”. There was another good bit where a man translates a famous operatic tune (? I think…) from German to English.


Photo by Ursula Kaufmann

I liked the intro when a guy in leather jacket, ray bans and a kilt brought on some of the ‘characters’ to the stage with a satisfying strut. For me, some of the best bits were just the highlighting of movements that can occur everyday. The way the kilt swayed as the man swaggered. There was a point when a mid-50’s (?) woman in tight skirt and high heels ran round in a circle on the stage and I noticed the way her body was constricted, the way she had to totter on the heels to turn a corner, all of these little details are only ever possible if a mid-50’s woman in high heels, with large hips and a tight skirt runs in a circle. As pure movement it is satisfying and precarious.


Photo: Ursula Kaufmann

There are three moments of intimacy that I liked, one where a seated man has one hand stuck out in the air (“like an Egyptian”) and a woman approaches slowly, bends slightly, then quickly sucks his hand. A woman dusted a chair with a fur jacket thing. A man breathes into his slow-dance partner’s ear.

Generally, there was a feeling of childishness, repetition, aimlessness and movement for its own sake. There was also quite a lot of female anger and male impotence/uselessness.


Photo by Tristram Kenton (Guardian)

As the piece seemed to be nearing an end, the fire curtain came down on stage and made everything feel slightly claustrophobic. The kilt man came on and hung from a metal bar acting like a monkey, eating apples and spitting them out. Then another guy came on with a big rubber walrus. He tried to make it climb a cactus (the stage is strewn in huge cacti), then proceeded to climb into the walrus suit thing. Once inside he told two terrible jokes and clapped his flippers together. He got out, and looked at the fire curtain. He looked a bit bewildered. Two men joined the stage and started sweeping. The walrus guy didn’t know what to do. We thought this was part of the show. He left the stage, then came back on and said “the curtain is meant to go up, I don’t know what’s wrong”. We still thought it was part of the show. He came back and said “no, really, the curtain should go up, I’m sorry we will have to break for 20 minutes”. It should really have been the end, regardless. So, we left at that point, it seemed appropriate. Left on stage were two cacti and a rubber walrus. We didn’t get the chance to give them a round of applause, but it was a satisfyingly ridiculous ending nonetheless. Here is my round of applause.

Valentino spring/summer 2015

April 16th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink













Shuho Yamakawa

February 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Marcello Dudovich

August 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Posters by Italian artist Marcello Dudovich. (Biographical PDF available here)


Mara Hoffman Swimsuit

May 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

If I was a woman, had £250, and Scotland was more reliably sunny I would be wearing this today.

Forest Pitch Strip Design Winners

February 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Earlier this week we announced the winners of the Forest Pitch primary schools’ strip design competition at Hampden Stadium by Shona Robison MSP. Loads of the 30 shortlisted children came with teachers and parents, and it was a great day, the kids (and me) getting to go out into the stadium for photos. Here are images of the winning designs, plus some photo’s for the day. There were 4 winners, whose designs will be made into actual strips for our Forest Pitch players to wear, and there was also a special commendation which we hope to make into the goalkeepers jerseys – see www.forestpitch.org to see the full shortlist and for more details. All photographs courtesy of Christopher James.

Kerr Carlyle - Dalmilling Primary School (Winner)


Anah Dodds - Letham Primary School (Winner)


Mia Gordon - Edinburgh Academy (Winner)


Amelia Purkis - Lilliesleaf Primary School (Winner)


Ben Logan - Maxwellton Primary School (Special Commendation)




My New Shirt

April 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Today I became the proud owner of what I believe to be the best shirt in northern Europe. I got the fabric from an african textiles shop in Dusseldorf nearly 3 years ago and finally got around to taking it to a tailors. So, from Dutch Wax for West Africa via West Germany to a little old Italian man in Tollcross finally for a German born Scotsman to wear. Grazie Claudia Santacroce…..

The discs say “Centenaire D’Amou-Oblo 1907-2007” Amou Oblo is a small town of 5000 people in Togo, but I can’t be sure if it commemorates that town or not. Amou Oblo does have a cocoa co-operative, which would explain the cocoa bean design. I think more towns in Scotland should have their own fabrics.

On the back, thanks to the excellent tailoring, you can see the disc again, and also the open bible which says “Que ce livre… Josue 1:8” (This book…Joshua 1:8) and that verse in Joshua is

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Book and Beans

Again, the excellence of the tailoring is evident, in the detail of the pages of the open book set centrally in the collar of the shirt and mimicking the shape of the shoulders.

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