Category Archives: Featured Store

Specific brands/retailers

Footwear of the (Greek) Gods

It’s spring! Most of Team Faschionism are hibernating as the winter has been dramatically hard on us, but to tide you over while we decide how best to get the blog of fashion excellence up and running again, here’s the best sandals you will ever see in your natural life:

Odyssey by Ancient Greek Sandals
Odyssey by Ancient Greek Sandals

At nearly three hundred Euro these aren’t what you’d exactly call cheap, and even the less dramatically theatrical shorter and shinier ones are only half the price… which sounds good unless you realise that half of three hundred Euro is still a hundred and fifty Euro.

Ikaria by Ancient Greek Sandals
Ikaria by Ancient Greek Sandals

Still, what is spring for if not for fantasising about the kind of life where one can afford the kind of summery footwear that would make Hermes say “Wait, why do I need those, I have real wings?” — and here’s hoping at least one of you wins the lottery between now and the onset of really hot weather, so you can take us up on our recommendations.

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Lo-Fi Gothic: The Orphan’s Arms

I’m really feeling The Orphan’s Arms right now.

But who wants to pay £80 for a sweater? NOPE, NEITHER DO I, so praise be that there’s an outlet store! It’s way better than their official site, anyway.

They say:

RENOWNED FOR ITS ICONIC GRAPHICS, THE ORPHAN’S ARMS IS UNDERPINNED BY ITS SENSE OF PLACE, SEEKING THROUGH POIGNANT AND REACTIONARY MOTIFS TO CAPTURE A LITTLE OF THE ENGLISH SPIRIT THAT IT FEELS IS SUCCUMBING TO A GLOBAL CULTURE OF BLANKET HOMOGENEITY.

Yawn. Or: “Melancholic, wryly casual threads in statement prints for the thinking misanthrope in your life”. They should get a new copywriter and it should be me.

Anyway.

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

As a documented rabbit enthusiast I’m big into the “Follow” print they do, now available in two versions:

FollowNew_FollowAww yissss.

The pros:

  • A complete steal at £18. I’ve already got one in grey and I want more in black (so the White Rabbit can actually be white, you see).
  • Real talk, it’s a wonderful soft-touch, cosy quilted material with a bossly-flattering scoop-neck.
  • Get the more detailed design in a lighter shade, and the White Rabbit transforms into the BLACK RABBIT OF INLE, offsetting the delicate pastel hue with subtly morbid bunny vibes and gothic script.

The cons:

  • For now you can only get black pullovers in size S. I’m still waiting for the black ones to come in in size M or L because a) I am never a size S; b) when you are a hyperbuxom style monarch you want your prints to not get lost under the majestic shadow of your boobshelf; and c) COME ON, I LIKE TO LAYER IN WINTER. The nice people at the warehouse say I have to just keep checking back. I really hope there’ll be more soon. 😦
  • There are no other cons. This is the perfect statement sweater.

Moving on!

Girl Mysterious

I also recently nabbed this drop-shoulder raw-edge pullover featuring a massive and unsettling print of a Victorian girl being held up high by ghostly hands:

Mystere_drop

The pros:

  • Holy shit this print is a definite statement. It’s huge. Never a subtle creature, I’m OK with that.

I’m teaming it with flared jeans when I’m feeling lazy and a big ruffled skirt when I’m feeling effortful.

The cons:

  • One Size is a foul lie and we all know it. Shoppers of distinction, and ‘alternative culture’ types in particular, are fucking bored of it. Fuck One Size in the bin. The body of this top fits me fine, but the arms are very clingy, so the whole “drop shoulder” effect isn’t really going on for me. I still like the top, but the shape is totally different to how I visualised it – and this is the sort of shit that’s a total gamble with this brand, because they use very few model-photos, and those they do use are all wearing size S. (I’m a curvy lady, but my arms are not especially wide, either.)
  • The print on this line is rough and not as nice as it is on the ‘Follow’ quilted sweater. This is probably because they’ve got different techniques for white-on-black, but it’s noticably not as lovely.
  • Raw edges: I am on the fence about raw edges. When they roll up and need a bunch of ironing, they’re really annoying. So we’ll see how this garment ages, because as a matter of necessity I’m far too busy being fabulous to iron shit.

T-shirts, though. Let’s TALK about T-SHIRTS.

Hogwarts Schmogwarts

Let’s talk about the fabulous “London School of Sorcery” print!

Sorcery_black

The pros:

  • Longline, but fitted on the arms even in size L! Bum-covering and loose, but not a sack! Love it.
  • Soffffffft, oh so soft

The cons:

  • No real cons. Maybe they could state how longline this is, though. Some people are gonna be after something else.

ANYWAY SO HERE ARE THE RULES FOR SHOPPING ORPHAN’S ARMS

  1. Screw the main site; it’s all about Outlet.
  2. Get in quick or it’ll all sell out.
  3. Remember Outlet = Some Experimental Variation Going On.
  4. Be careful you don’t end up bankrupt. I own four things from these people already.
  5. Team these predominantly loose garments with stretch pencil skirts and an understated pair of boots. I recommend Triumph 1914s or something with a witchy chunky heel, as usual.

One last image before I close: the Tea For Two design, with unsettling backprint.

Tea-black (1)

“It wasn’t until after
I had poured the second cup
That I realised
I was alone.”

I like to think that’s because the tea companion was a ghost.

In T.O.A. gear, you actually look like you rule the night, on a practical basis. You know, getting shit done while you rule the night. Having a wry literary joke while you get on with the business of night-ruling. That’s the look here. These pieces need minimal accessor-effort, because the prints really do do most of the talking.

Unlike that dude in the frilly shirt with flocked bats all over it who hasn’t yet gotten over the cultural death of LiveJournal. His screenname is probably Hades1977 or something, but in gear like this? You’re the real Persephone.

Glorious Victory

We do love our fandom and interest related clothing here on Faschionism, and this post will be no different.

I found Cloud and Victory earlier this year due to my long, and continuing, search for ballet related clothing that wasn’t pink. They grabbed me with their Turn Up, Turn Out shirt (sadly now out of stock) and the only thing preventing me from getting their Jete tank is the fact that I am less skilled at them than the top might suggest.

Which is good, because I suck at them.
Jete En Lair Like You Don’t Care

At $40 for a shirt, $90 for a jumper and shipping from Singapore these aren’t cheap, but the shirts and the printing are top quality and their ethics statement goes some way to explaining the pricing.

A-England: Chivalric Nail Polish

In the internet age it’s never been more possible to try out a truly global collection of clothes, accessories, and cosmetics. Thanks to concepts like Etsy.com, it’s even the case that you don’t need to be in contact with megamonolithic corporations to buy what’s being innovated overseas – I recently bought a beautiful bracelet from a small vendor in Ankara thanks to the magic of the internet, and have barely taken it off since it arrived – leaving the fashion-conscious shopper with a wider range of choices than we’ve ever had before.

And perhaps it’s because of that that I really enjoy finding and supporting local fashion industries. Now, living in London I have no shortage of options: this city is overflowing with creative and interesting people making beautiful things and getting their brands to local and global attention, from the stall-holders in various markets to London-domiciled fashion houses of small, medium, and vast size.

One of my favourites is a-england.  Based in Wandsworth, this nail polish company currently only ships to the UK, but if you’re abroad and able to get someone to ship on to your location I’d definitely encourage you to take the risk, as their products are beautiful.

With collections themed around romantic ideals of English mythology , “Gothic Beauties” (both in the modern and in the literary sense), the works of one of my favourite artists, and quotations by famous Romantic and Arts & Crafts poets  the polishes themselves are thick, glossy, and bestowed with a real depth of colour that I’ve rarely seen in other brands.

Beauty Never Fails
Beauty Never Fails
Holy Grail
Holy Grail

I own Beauty Never Fails and Holy Grail, which in addition to having rich depths (Beauty Never Fails for example looks rather like a sepia photographic of a clear view of the Milky Way) are excellent partners for each other. a-england also sell their magnificent polishes in pairs and in three-part harmonies, meaning that if you’re not quite sure what to wear with what, you’re in good hands already.

Featured Store: Black Mirror Design

High waisted, high-collared, high ruffles and big buttons: Black Mirror Design have an aesthetic, and they stick to it.

They’re not cheap, and their standard sizing falls well outside anything that would fit the larger person, but if you’re fortunate enough to be in the money, and small of size, they’re worth checking out:

 

This military jacket is of the standard issue that you might find in any shop on Camden High Street, but things begin to improve almost right away:

As you can see, this brand knows the value of contrast, and of the value of buttons as a decorative device. Occasionally they take this to some creative extremes:

 

A guaranteed unusual look. It looks like it would fill in well some of the scoop-necked tops prominent in classic Victorian gothic outfits.

Happily for those of us who’ve left our monochrome days behind but still love the formality of pre-War tailoring, it’s not all black all the time, as this gorgeous selection demonstrates:

 

Black Mirror Design are a UK business, specialising in steampunk and pin-up clothing, and trading on Etsy.

 

Moon Raven Designs

Moon Raven Designs is possibly my favourite shop on Etsy, and definitely the one I’ve given most money to directly or indirectly. They do handmade jewellery in solid cast metals and specialise in all things anatomy and animals.

Image

The name makes the shop sound like it’s run by a middle aged hippy couple, and judging by the picture in their Etsy profile, it is! Which is charming, considering how on-trend and fashion-forward they are.

Being fond of all things Dead I have been sold on this shop since before I’d made my first purchase (a raven claw in bronze which I bough my own chain for separately because I like my necklaces/pendants absurdly long), which, while not cheap, is something that I have worn at least weekly for years since I got it. I am in love with bronze for jewellery and accessories, and happily this shop specialises in bronze (and silver, which is my second go-to for jewellery).

Image

(Here is Some Celebrity I Guess wearing the same bird claw that has been my favourite for ages).

Also, can I talk about how long I’ve wanted their awesome, 3D anatomical heart pendant?

Image

(Pictured is the white bronze, which I wasn’t aware was a thing until recently. Very shiny).

Street Etiquette

Street Etiquette is a men’s lifestyle site run by Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs which I recently discovered through Tumblr and fell in love with. I wanted to shoe horn it into my post on street style somehow but it didn’t quite fit so I thought it deserved a post of its own. I’m a big fan of sites which allow me to ogle ridiculously well dressed and good looking people and this site fits the bill with that. It also showcases some gorgeous photography from around the world. an excellent tumblr. I can thoroughly recommend looking at both that and the main site if you’ve got time to kill but recently what’s stood out for me are the images from their trip to London, which they partnered with Topman for. I’m not generally a big fan of Topman but the overall look of the photographs from the shoot they produced I do enjoy (along with the jumper in the first image, which I’d quite happily buy). I’ll resist posting all of the images here and limit myself to these two, which are my favourites and hopefully show a little bit of the excellence of the site generally.

Street Etiquette x Topman

Street Etiquette x Topman

You can see the rest of the images on Nordstrom’s men’s fashion blog here.