Sigmar Polke opens at Tate Modern this week. It’s amazing. But the pictures are labelled. Discuss

Sigmar Polke: Alibis opens at Tate Modern this week.

It’s the show that’s travelled from MoMA.

It opened there in time for Frieze NY.

It opens here for Frieze London.

Such is the art world calendar.

There’s one big difference between the two hangings.

In New York, there was absolutely no wall text.

None.

Whatsoever.

At the entrance was a map, which gave you all the titles, and any relevant information.

And then, you were on your own.

It was such a liberating experience.

Without wall text to fit into the overall design of the show, Polke’s work was allowed to crowd the walls, and overwhelm.

At Tate Modern, the pictures are labelled.

It’s more discreet than usual, with the labelling at the side of the wall rather than with each work, but it’s still labelling.

And each room has a overall wall text.

Inevitably, the show feels more didactic.

At MoMA you walked through the show looking at the info when needs be.

Here, where information is presented, it feels like it should be read.

Of course, all this is much of a muchness to anyone who didn’t get to see the show in New York.

Which will probably be 99.9998% of those seeing it in London.

But still, it’s interesting to be given a stark example of the impact of wall texts.

And why the experience is better without them.

Anyway.

The work is still the work.

In accordance with the MoMA stance, I barely took notice of any of the titles.

Here’s some early work, from the 1960s, a West German response to US pop.

Some shirts.

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Socks.

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Love these plastic tubs.

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He soon began working with Raster images.

As in, those made up from dots.

This work is called Family 1.

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Flying Saucers.

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The incredible incredible Doughnuts/Berliner.

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Sometimes in his work, he played with the swastika, as in Constructivist.

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With Yellow Squares.

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Stripe Painting.

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At MoMA, the Potato House was sat in the public atrium space before you entered the exhibition.

It gave the sense of the show spilling out of its prescribed rooms.

As if there was too much stuff to fit in.

Here it’s in a side room.

It feels slightly confined.

But again, is this reviewing the work, or reviewing the show?

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Polke As Drug.

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The Seventies saw things go screwy.

You know, experimental drugs, cross-dressing.

The amazing amazing Alice In Wonderland, the canvas made of kids duvet covers.

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Supermarkets.

Possibly my favourite work I’ve seen this year.

I’m obsessed with it.

It’s lovely to see it again.

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Into the 80s.

Police Pig.

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One of the Watchtower series.

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An extraordinary work made of soot on four panes of glass.

An extraordinary feat to have it transported and installed.

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As I was going round this morning, the alarms kept beeping.

Like someone was just stealing the whole show.

It was because they were still hanging one of the works.

One of my absolute favourites.

Salamander Stone.

I love seeing works being installed.

Here it is, off the wall.

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A few minutes later.

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AMAZING!

Britta’s Pigs, from 1990.

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The amazing Season’s Hottest Trends from 2003, which again I think was in the public space at MoMA.

This photo doesn’t quite give you the sense of its scale.

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Close up where those cloths join.

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Does it sound like I’m down on this show?

I’m not.

It took a while to acclimatise to the new hang, and the labelling.

I saw the MoMA show twice, so it’s stuck hard in the mind.

But walking back through it to the beginning again, the worth of the work took over from any quibbles about the hang.

A hang which is dictated by the restrictive space of Tate Modern’s current rooms.

A situation which will hopefully be improved when the new extension opens.

As I was walking back through, I saw a man with a temporary pass round his neck.

I’m nosy, and so peered to read his name.

Georg Polke.

Sigmar’s son.

Suddenly the show turned human.

About the bravery, inquisitiveness and liberation of his father’s work.

Here’s Georg, being interviewed for German radio, in front of a picture of his father as a young man.

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Go go go go see.

The show opens 9 Oct, on until 8 Feb 2015.

In January 2004, Veronique Branquinho staged a Twin Peaks tribute. Red Room et al. Amazing

Cannot cope with there being a new Twin Peaks series in 2016.

All directed by Lynch.

Not just the odd episode, as with the original.

Obviously going to need to find a way of coping.

Probably will cope by watching it over and over.

I was thinking last night – didn’t Veronique Branquinho once do a fashion show based on Twin Peaks?

It took me ages to find anything on it.

And then I found it.

It was her menswear presentation for Autumn/Winter 2004.

Held at Pitti.

I was at The Guardian at the time, and I think had only just started doing the menswear shows.

Or was about to start.

Either way, we never went to Pitti.

And so I’d have never seen it.

I remember hearing about it.

It sounded incredible.

She recreated The Red Room.

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The show was a presentation.

A female model there to create tension – a stand-in for Laura Palmer.

And then her men came out.

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So few images exist of it online, and the ones that do are put as copyright Alasdair McLellan.

Who must have been there, taking images.

I so remember that long, long double breasted coat.

The final line-up.

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Back then, Veronique Branquinho’s menswear was SO GOOD.

She had such control of the garments.

The slightest slight flare in the trousers.

Those jackets that are just a little bit off.

Such important work.

Video footage of the show exists Pitti’s own pages – I can’t find the code to nick it.

I’ve just posted some of it over on Instagram…

But you can see the whole thing by clicking here etcetcetc

The things you find by clicking around.

An interview with the cast on Donahue.

Look at Mike’s jacket.

James, Donna and Maddy singing Just You And I.

This song used to do me in.

I think Bob turned up pretty soon after.

I could go on.

And probably will.

The Turner Prize is previewing today. Either Ciara Phillips to win. Or James Richards

Hey so The Turner Prize is previewing today at Tate Britain.

And opens to the public tomorrow.

Either Ciara Phillips to win.

Or James Richards.

You come to James’s work first.

His film Rosebud includes censored images he found in a Tokyo library.

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Apparently the institution has a law banning any image that could cause arousal.

At one point is an image of a man lying on the ground, a boot on his head, him fully clothed except for his dick out, which has been censored.

The notes say this is a censored image by Wolfgang Tillmans.

It’s super considered and involved.

Next door are his blankets depicting those around Keith Haring.

The work is called Untitled Merchandise (Lovers and Dealers).

There are six blankets.

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The facile fashion side of my brain wants to say I love blankets.

Am I allowed to say it?

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I LOVE BLANKETS.

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He’s also showing slides from a theatrical make-up manual, titled The Slides.

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Jolly!

OMG Ciara Phillips!!!

Her room is so amazing.

A screen titled “Springtime will never be the same again”.

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The letters O and K from the Justice For Domestic Workers alphabet.

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A wooden construction called O.

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Inside is a list of New Things To Discuss.

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OMG the screen printed wallpaper!

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Out of the four artists, Ciara is the only one not to use video.

It meant that this morning, her room was refuge for all the film crews.

When I was in there, a woman from ITV kept fluffing her lines as she tried to explain screen printing.

And kept making sure she was pronouncing Ciara correctly.

(Everyone presumed it was pronounced “Cara”)

Here’s a wooden work titled K, with some of the film crews around it.

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Some of the work in the K.

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More.

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Another.

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SO GOOD.

CIARA PHILLIPS OR JAMES RICHARDS TO WIN.

You’ll notice I’ve not even mentioned the other two.

Sat here having a cuppa, I’ve just read in the catalogue that Duncan Campbell’s film in the show includes new choreography by Michael Clark.

Ohgod.

I didn’t watch it!!!

Shall I go back in?

I remember a couple of years ago almost ignoring Elizabeth Price’s film, that extraordinary work about the Woolworths fire in Manchester, which went on to win.

I’d been too giddy already in the Spartacus Chetwynd room (as Marvin Gaye was known then).

Ohgod.

I need to go back and watch the Duncan Campbell, don’t I?

Don’t I?

Hey am sure it’s a Turner Prize that’s going to be right slagged off ie it’s AMAZING.

Go see – it’s open from tomorrow till forever – next January or something.

Rob Tufnell has curated an amazing show on contemporary sculpture. Arranged on a snooker table

The amazing new show at Rob Tufnell’s gallery is a study of contemporary sculpture.

Arranged on a snooker table.

Said snooker table.

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It’s inspired by the collection of 19th century archeologist Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Pitt-Rivers, who arranged his finds on a snooker table.

As one does.

Said snooker table.

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The stuff that Rob’s put together is AMAZING.

Tortoise Candleholder Variations by Aaron Angell.

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Radical Facial Jewellery by Laura Aldridge.

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That’s a gum shield it’s attached to.

Hence the facial jewellery.

Two of Richard Healy’s AMAZING Albert Goldman’s Martini Pitchers.

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A coin from the future by Ryan Gander.

It’s from 2032.

Official title is We Never Had A Lot Of $ Around Here.

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Some bronze M&Ms by David Adamo.

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Pessimism Of The Intellect by Andy Holden.

(It’s a bowl made from a melted old 78).

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An untitled massive steel belt by Jim Lambie.

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AMAZING!!!

Such a good show.

Go see.

Rob’s on Page Street, round the back and then a bit of a wiggle from Tate Britain.

I mean, Googlemaps.

Click here etcetc.

The end.

Berlin round-up: Agnes Martin, The Cockettes, Daniel Buren, Mike Bouchet, Ryan Trecartin etc

I spent the weekend in Berlin.

So today I am a man of few words.

Luckily I am a man of pictures.

Here’s some stuff from a few of the shows I saw there.

First up, the extraordinary Pictures, Before and After – An Exhibition for Douglas Crimp, at Galerie Buchholz.

It honours the life of Douglas Crimp, an American art historian, curator and activist who is celebrating his 70th birthday.

The show brings together art and artefacts of those he has touched.

A lithograph by Agnes Martin.

Crimp curated a show my Martin in the 1970s.

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In the same room, TII-338 by Daniel Buren.

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Crimp was working at the Guggenheim in NYC when Buren’s monumental Peinture-Sculpture was removed from the central atrium, before the opening of a show titled Guggenheim International Exhibition, in which it was meant to be included.

Some installation views of Peinture-Sculpture.

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Crimp worked with Charles James.

The show includes two of the sketches by Antonio Lopez of Charles James’s work.

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They are called Ribbon Cape Drawing 1 and 2 from 1974 – I can’t remember which is which.

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In the next room, a monitor is playing Trisha’s Wedding by The Cockettes.

The opening titles.

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And then…

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Amazing!

It’s a 30-odd minute long reenactment of the wedding of Tricia Nixon from 1971.

Among the guests are HRH Queen Elizabeth.

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Prince Charles copping off with Mick Jagger.

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Eartha Kitt was a special guest.

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The Kennedy Sisters performed a special number.

That’s Jackie in the white in the middle.

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The service is a joy.

Then Eartha Kitt goes and puts something in the punch before the party.

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Oooops.

So amazing.

I watched it all the way through.

Before me, some other guy had done the same.

Half an hour in headphones stood by a screen.

Here’s a trailer.

Amazing.

On a screen nearby, film of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.

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In a vitrine nearby, bound Ellsworth Kelly lithographs.

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And so it continues.

Alvin Baltrop’s photo of Pier 52 – Gordon Matta Clark’s Days End building, with a naked man just visible in the doorway.

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Another work by Alvin Baltrop.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Whitney Museum’s performance series Articulate Muscle: The Male Body in Art, from 1976.

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So much more stuff.

The show is incredible.

It’s on until 31 October – go go go if you happen to be in Berlin, click here for more etcetc.

Douglas Crimp has a memoir out next year too – super exciting.

Let’s move on.

A new show by Mike Bouchet has just opened at Peres Projects.

It’s titled Power Lunch.

This one’s Uptown 2.

Obsessed.

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World Legend 2.

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Diana Pickle.

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WarHorse Orgy.

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Teachers and Students.

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Kim K. Jacuzzi.

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SO AMAZING.

The show’s on till 1 November, click here etcetc

Then over at KW, there’s an insanely unbelievable new work by Ryan Trecartin made with his longterm collaborator Lizzie Fitch.

IT’S SO GOOD.

There’s a main film over a few different screens in a cinema room with the seats taken out.

In their place are camper beds and the like.

My camper bed was really comfy.

The film seems to be about them not believing they’re able to roam in this building at night, that they should get in the elevator, where the snacks are, and then whether you call shit “poop”.

As well as three million other things.

Some pics from during the film.

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At one point they were in a room of tents.

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Another.

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Ohgod.

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Site Visit is on until 11 January 2015.

OMG only a week or so till Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin open at the Zabludowicz collection in London.

One more show.

Colourbox: Music of the group (1982-1987).

It’s at Wolfgang Tillmans gallery Between Bridges.

The first in a series of exhibitions giving a dedicated space to the playback of recorded music.

As in, you go into a room, sit in a chair, and listen to music on super high spec equipment.

In this instance, the work of Colourbox.

It was so amazing.

I never listened to Colourbox as a kid.

I only went as far as Pixies on 4AD.

But it’s the sort of music that probably sounds better as an adult anyway.

Posting YouTube clips of the songs played would kind of defeat the object.

There are three songs on a loop.

looks like we’re shy one horse/shoot out; sleepwalker; just give ‘em whisky.

The show is on until 25 October – go if you can.

Wolfgang has also put together and designed a CD of sixteen tracks only available at the show.

I saw him later that night.

He said he chose three tracks for the show rather than play the whole 16 to make the experience easier.

Or at least I think that’s what he said.

It was very late at night.

Here’s the CD.

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I’m listening to it now.

Back home.

Thank you, Berlin.

Close-up with the amazing Prada women’s SS15 collection. Backstage. And alone

After last night’s extraordinary Prada show, I went backstage to say hello to Mrs Prada.

I was sat far from backstage, so was near the back of the queue.

There was already a throng waiting for her impromptu press conference, where she says a few words about the collection that had just been seen.

I said hello, then went to explore.

Here’s the throng, just as Mrs Prada was starting to talk.

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I left them to it.

Through a couple of doors, round the corner, was the room where many of the models get dressed.

It was almost empty, the detritus of a show all around.

The first dress I saw.

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It pretty much sums up the collection for me.

The indulgence of the fabrics.

Indulgence here a very good thing.

The richness of the raw edges.

Backstage, the clothes are arranged ready for models on rails.

And so if the clothes are together here, they were worn together on the catwalk.

On a rail nearby, a dirndl skirt with diagonal trim, worn with the topstitch jacket behind it.

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I loved this leather coat.

And can you just see the green of that sweater behind it?

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Another leather coat, with raw-edged trim.

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The platform clogs, bagged up.

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By this point, I was pretty much alone in this room.

Here’s a rail with two looks.

Look at the breadth of ideas.

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Let’s separate out that look at the back.

That dress is so eloquent.

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On the front of each rail, a card detailing the look for the dressers who help the models.

The richness of this look.

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I need to check about this stitching – I remember at menswear being told there was a difference between the men’s and women’s.

Basically, the women’s is more serious.

Maybe it’s the the stitching is more decorative, more thick?

I’ll check.

Those cloths, those clogs.

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A top-stitched coat.

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Close-up with that stitching.

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More clogs, this time a boot.

I loved the perversity of these heels in this season of supposed flatness.

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Another amazing raw-trimmed dress, with cloth of colours that vibrate.

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A cute top.

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A little leather jacket, the show playing on a loop on a screen behind.

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Backstage, alone with Prada.

It was time for me to go.

I had a plane to catch.

To go home.

Meadham Kirchhoff had some amazing menswear in their show. The looks. Upside-down

At their show yesterday, Meadham Kirchhoff sent out ten menswear looks.

I wasn’t at the show – I was on my way to Milan – but they deserve closer inspection.

Here’s the first look.

!!!!UPSIDE-DOWN PICTURE ALERT!!!!

+++AS WITH ALL CATWALK PHOTOGRAPHY, I TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN+++

***SO YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THE RECOGNISABLE IMAGE TO SEE THE CLOTHES THEMSELVES***

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(Pic is a shonky screengrab from style.com btw)

Some words on that vest.

Fag. Arse bandit. Queer. Batty boy.

Many are obscured by the central figure, but you can see “Lifter”, probably with “Shirt” before it, “Fudge”, probably with “Packer” after it.

Next look.

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I mean amazing.

just to see a pair of specs on the catwalk.

He looks so chic, and then you see what he has on is so sheer.

Obsessed with those cut-out holes.

Next look.

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It’s lovely to see the Meadham Kirchhoff menswear as a companion to its women’s, a part of its defiant whole.

Ben and Ed live near me.

Their studio is not that far away.

We’re in an area where gentrification bring with it a certain anodyne look.

All around, blocks of flats are being built, clad in billboards displaying the prospective anodyne lifestyle of its future gentrifying inhabitants.

It’s a look of niceness and acceptability that is too all too prevalent at London Fashion Week.

The work at Meadham Kirchhoff seemed in gleeful defiance of this.

Defiant with the rude power of individuality.

Another look.

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Just glorious.

That coat.

And the circular gather on those trousers.

Another look.

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Simple but also not.

The cut of the vest.

The lingerie clasps.

THOSE BOOTS.

I’m running out of time.

Another look.

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Cute skirt.

More.

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That coat.

That wonky shirt, looks like two different cloths.

That underwear!

More.

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Those tension causing straps on the trench.

Those trousers!

Aaargh I’m late.

Quick.

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AMAZING.

Fairly sure that’s an open-fronted body.

One more.

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The end.

NEW STUFF TUESDAY: It the Fashion East show today. Here’s new stuff by their alumni!

Hey so it’s NEW STUFF TUESDAY.

As in it’s a Tuesday.

And you can buy some new stuff.

If you wanted.

OMG in like no seconds at all it’s the FASHION EAST show!

(It’s on at 1pm UK time, and you can watch it if you click here etcetc)

Let’s look at some NEW STUFF! You can buy from their alumni! On a Tuesday! Or any other day!

(Obviously by their alumni, I’m talking about those that have been part of it’s MAN show with Topman, or the Fashion East Installations. Obvs)

Their current crop first.

!!!LIAM HODGES!!!

This is the stuff that was in his Fashion East Installations presentation back in January.

The one with Stonehenge made from a stack of speakers.

And gaffer tape on the floor.

A knit hoodie.

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It’s £405 at Primitive London, click here etcetc.

Or his “stoned circle” baseball top.

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It’s £175, click here etcetc.

!!!!NICOMEDE TALAVERA!!!

Again, his work from the Fashion East Installations back  in January (he made his MAN debut with SS15 in June).

This is a wool zip-up with leather applique.

Super gorge.

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It’s £690 over at LN-CC, click here etcetc.

!!!!!BOBBY ABLEY!!!!!

He who had the most extraordinary season with his SS15 stuff.

As in, the Ursula sweatshirt that everyone wants.

Everyone.

Here’s a sweatshirt from his AW14 collection, over at Wildstyle in LA.

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It’s $720, click here etcetc

ALUMNI!!!!

!!!!!AAAASSTTTRIDDDDD ANDDEERRRRSEEEEENNNN!!!!!!

Obviously her lace T-shirt.

Which I have already.

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You can get it at £294 at Luisa Via Roma.

(Obvs you can go get Astrid’s stuff at Machine A in London, but they don’t sell stuff online).

!!!!!JAMES LONG!!!!!!

Here’s one of his bubble front sweatshirts.

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It’s £330 at the glamorous Browns, click here etcetcetc

!!!!!AGI & SAM!!!!

Their AW14 collection was so amazing.

Here’s the Watu-Nguvu sweatshirt.

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It’s only £120, click here etcetcetc

!!!!CRAIG GREEN!!!

Here’s one of his hand-painted T-shirts.

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It’s £270, click here etcetc

!!!!!!CHRISTOPHER SHANNON!!!!!!

I mean obviously the already much-worn and much-loved fag packet sweater.

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You can get it at VFiles for $430 which is about £265, click here etcetc.

OK THAT’S IT.

GOTTA GO.

GOOD LUCK FASHION EAST PEOPLE!

What happens when a garment goes from being admired to worn? Case in point: Craig Green

When it comes to fashion shows, I have a general rule: if I don’t need to be there, I don’t go.

Occasionally I’ll break it, but it’s an attempt at retaining some form of sanity and distance.

If you go to too many without purpose, just to spectate, you can begin to feel its your birthright.

It’s not.

So while there’s newness at the womenswear catwalks, I’ve been thinking about clothing that is already worn.

The life of garments long after they appear at shows.

As the weather has turned, I’ve been grabbing jackets, pretty much without thinking.

To my surprise, and pleasure, the jacket I’ve been grabbing most is this hand-painted canvas piece by Craig Green.

It’s from the current autumn/winter 15 season, which means we first saw it a long, long time ago – back in January.

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It’s such a spectacle, I hadn’t considered what it would be like to wear it.

Or how I would even feel about wearing it in the first place.

Now I just throw it on.

It doesn’t happen with all the pieces I’ve bought from him.

But there’s usually at least one a season that crosses over into perpetual wear – last season it was the tie-dye jumper.

Right now, it’s this canvas jacket.

Here’s me the other weekend presenting my Iron Age pasta necklace (actually a buttonhole) to the Discerning Eye at the filming of Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s forthcoming work at Studio Voltaire.

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That evening, I ended up having an accidental night out in Clapham.

Outside Kaz-Bar, some young lad was saying he’d never be able to get away with something like that.

So I got him to try it on.

He was pleased as punch.

I’ll cover his face – he said he had a girlfriend.

(I didn’t cop off with him or anything, but you know).

(That’s the pasta buttonhole hanging off the jacket, btw).

(And the blacked out eye teddies are from Undercover’s Madstamp app).

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A couple of days later I wore the jacket to The Gentlewoman launch at the Cafe Royal.

I went along with Princess Julia.

Here we are as coverstars.

(She’s in head-to-toe Sibling).

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(pic is by George Harvey btw)

A couple of days after I was wearing it for meetings.

It has gone beyond a-piece-I-need-to-think-about-wearing to that-piece-I-know-I’ll-love-to-have-on.

Not necessarily an easy leap.

It joins a couple of other jackets I’ve been enjoying wearing these past couple of weeks.

If it looks like rain, I’ll put on this Prada zip-up I got at DSM NY earlier in the year.

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(I’ve actually got no idea if it’s waterproof or not, but still).

And also this old denim parka from Cosmic Wonder.

It needs a wash, sorry.

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The last time I wore it was on 30th August 2011.

I know this because I found in its pocket the minutes for the meeting at the British Fashion Council, where it was discussed whether to launch a separate menswear schedule – what became known as London Collections: Men.

Its back.

The picture hasn’t flipped – the words are back-to-front.

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I like it when I get into cycles of clothing.

It helps when the weather is like a holding pattern, always the same.

I’m wearing those Carhartt denim shorts again today, the ones I wrote about last week.

I just pick them up and put them on.

A sweater, like that John Smedley, or a Christopher Shannon sweatshirt.

One of these jackets.

And on my feet, my very nicely aged Prada trainers, the ones I’ve been wearing non-stop since March.

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What it means to wear clothing is often illusive.

If a garment is worn often, and becomes part of our own narrative about ourselves, then some meaning can come.

Here, the meaning of the Craig Green may just be how decoration can become a normality.

I’m popping out now.

Craig Green jacket on.

The amazing James Davison is illustrating the shows for me. First up: Marc By Marc Jacobs

James Davison is an amazing, amazing illustrative artist.

His work has pout and poise and clarity. His characters are pumped up and idealised. His line is bold and gleeful.

For the next month or so, he’s going to be doing illustrations from the Spring/Summer 2015 womenswear shows for me, as and when.

Making them into his own world.

First up, a couple from Marc By Marc Jacobs.

I do believe this is Look 3.

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Gorge!

Here’s that look in real life.

!!!!UPSIDE DOWN PHOTO ALERT!!!

****AS ALWAYS, I TURN CATWALK IMAGES UPSIDE DOWN***

+++SO YOU CAN LOOK THROUGH THE RECOGNISABLE IMAGE TO SEE THE CLOTHES THEMSELVES+++

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And Look 4…

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Major…

Upside down reality…

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AMAZING!

James will be doing more as the days go on.

And TONIGHT, i.e. Thursday September 11th 2014, James is hosting late supper at Hoi Polloi.

He’s created their first new monthly menu.

He’s called it CLOBBER.

A fashion magazine with a difference.

James describes it as “Vogue meets Viz with a touch of the Daily Sport”.

JOLLY!

Tonight from 10pm, click here for the fancy Facebook page thingy…

SO EXCITED FOR THE NEXT MONTH OF JAMES DAVISON-NESS…