The Easter weekend saw the start of one of the high points in the ultra-marathon calendar – the sand- and sun-blasted Marathon des Sables that involves a six-day challenge across 251km of Moroccan desert. I did it myself in 2011 – the most expensive self-catering beach holiday I have ever been on, as I may [...]
It is difficult, as the general election is now full flow, to keep on top of the allotment and this blog. But I will do it, because April is the most intense month of the year and if I leave it to its own devices all my hard work would be wasted. The weeds would [...]
Even though they take up a lot of space on the allotment, I wouldn’t stop growing potatoes each year for two reasons – first, because the taste is so much better than shop-bought, and second, because they are prolific. Potatoes do need a lot of compost for earthing up, but this just takes some planning [...]
It’s really difficult to get fashion on film right – because it means so much to the people who love it, and is worthless to those who loathe it. Nothing will change those points of view – not extolling the hours of work poured into intricate clothes, not bandying about awe-inspiring figures about fashion house turnovers, not filming seamstresses weeping with emotion as their work is showcased, or possibly ripped to pieces. I personally fall into the former camp, so no matter how much you question the worth versus the cost or roll your eyes with puritan disgust at the vanity of it all, I won’t be swayed.
Yes, spring is stalling and all that warmth we had earlier this month has been replaced by chilly air. But nevertheless, when I put my soil thermometer into my beds this week it read 9.5 C – warm enough to start sowing seeds direct. Woohoo!
I spent four hours at Plot 35a on Monday, and it [...]
In Paris, food for thought at Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen and – maybe – Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane
Prada’s Miu Miu label have commissioned an ongoing series of film shorts, titled “Women’s Tales”, by leading female filmmakers. The latest is by Alice Rohrwacher. It’s number 9. The intention, Miu Miu say, in the lavish literature that’s issued out with each, is to answer a few timeless questions. “How do women appear to themselves? How do they appear to each other? Isn’t appearance also a political and intellectual issue? How should a woman be today?”
Temperatures were as high as 17C last Saturday, and – even though I was at work writing about the election TV debates – I thought of how the spring sunshine would be warming the soil on Plot 35a. When I got down there yesterday, there were signs that the warmth has, like a thermostat, clicked [...]
I thought of “The Dress” when I was watching Comme Des Garçons. Please don’t kill me, especially for the sort of viral, meme-y, pop culture moment reference I myself detest. But the social media furore over The Dress was around the viewer’s perception of the garment, and that’s always the case with Rei Kawakubo’s clothes. Her garments are often like Rorschach’s blots, both in their ambiguous, amorphous physicality, and in the fact they rely on the viewer to decipher their meaning.
Cross-dressing and climate change, Game of Thrones and seventeenth-century underwear – an audience (sort of) with Dame Vivienne Westwood
At 73, Dame Vivienne Westwood is one of the most important fashion designers in the world. Born in Tintwistle and moving to London as a teenager, her work in the seventies with Malcolm McLaren influenced both the punk and New Romantic movements, shifting fashion and popular culture. Her designs under her own label, from 1984 onwards, proved equally influential across the sphere of fashion. Since the late 1980s, she has designed collections in partnership with Andreas Kronthaler, 48, who is creative director of the four labels currently produced by the Westwood company. Westwood and Kronthaler married in 1993. Her most recent work reflects her passion for ecological issues, fusing them with historical references.
Context does a lot for fashion. I’m not just talking about the world outside the tent, or salon, or wherever designers have positioned their gilt chairs for this season, but about what other designers are showing in their salon/garage/specially-erected plexiglass cube (depends on budget). Of course, part of the dance of fashion is solipsism. Or maybe megalomania. It’s rare you see designers at each others’ shows: Tim Blanks and the team of style.com were trying to interview Joseph Altuzarra, attending the Balenciaga show designed by his friend Alexander Wang, but were constantly interrupted by well-wishers. Most said something along the lines of “I didn’t expect to see you here!”
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter