I try to commute to the office by bike everyday although I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather cyclist. Especially with the British weather system’s ability to change at the drop of a hat, it’s very easy to be lured into riding your bike in the dry and then get caught out with heavy showers five minutes into your ride. However with my latest purchase, I’m hoping that I’ll be a bit more flexible if the weather isn’t great.
Produced by a design collective based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Ass Saver is a fantastically simple new mud/spray guard which protects you from receiving a case of dreaded wet bottom. Made from leftover sheets of polypropylene from the printing industry, Ass Savers offer a lightweight, recyclable solution, which mounts by clicking onto the rails of your saddle in an instant. When not in use, you can fold it in half and hide it away underneath your saddle, meaning that in theory, you should never forget to take it out with you! Obviously it won’t offer the level of protection that a full coverage mudguard would but as an emergency alternative it’s ideal.
Typically, I soon as I bought one, the sun came out and I haven’t got to test it much yet but I know that it’ll be there when I need it. For more info, check out their website here.
Coming back from holiday in the Philippines recently, I returned with the disappointment of not coming back on large container ship. Why? Well, mainly because I’d still be at sea (and technically still on holiday) but really because the country is a hot bed of un-tapped stuff. Stuff that would look good on you and in your homes in an ethnic and non hippyish sort of way. Like, Narra wood furniture – solid, stylish and sleek with nods to traditional Spanish designs (Colonisers up until the mid 1800). Ethnic pots, glassware, weaved rugs, mother of pearl and gold jewellery, threaded and designed by the all- female Muslim artisans of Mindoro, are sold in the numerous Manila malls – some a mile in length.
Best of all, though, are the clothes. Traditional formal wear, normally saved for weddings and christenings, is made with ‘Pina’ fabric – thread spun of stripped palm leaves and coconut, and therefore fully sustainable. Batik techniques and ‘duster’ patterns normally worn by Filipino grandmas are awash with vibrant colours and floral patterns perfect to run side by side those found in SS12 and upcoming SS13 print trends.
With a contemporary band of Filipino designers bringing them to ready-to-wear status, fortunately said stuff is starting to make it’s way over to the UK. The London based, Bamboo District, is just one of those offering traditional wear and accessories tailored for the UK Summer market (www.thebamboodistrict.weebly.com). For those with a spare pound looking for the next Lombok, check out Kenneth Cobonpue for Filipino furniture building techniques merged with contemporary design (www.kennethcobonpue.com).
Last week I managed to get to the cinema to watch Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom. Being a fan of Anderson’s other works including ‘The Royal Tennenbaums’, ‘Rushmore’ and ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, I was desperate to see the film as soon as I caught the trailer a few months before. The film didn’t disappoint and what I saw was one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen in a long time.
The film, set on the fictional New England island of New Penzance in 1965, tells the story of two smart but unpopular 12 year olds who fall in love and run away to be pursued by parents, the local policeman and the boy’s Khaki Scout troop. The film has tonnes of style to it with sets, costume and soundtrack all blending seamlessly to create something that is amazing to look at but it also has substance and a great cast, including Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and long time collaborator Bill Murray to back it up.
As I previously mentioned, the costume and styling on the film, as with most of Anderson’s previous films, was incredibly well done. As the film was set in 1965, the looks were really retro but also had a very current feel to them with the resurgence of heritage-inspired clothing that we have seen over the last few years. The narrator’s outfit of fisherman’s beanie, red wool coat, chinos and Duck shoes gave that authentic New England style that people are lapping up at the minute. I’ll be searching for a pair of duck boots at this weekend’s Shoreditch Vintage Fair.
If you’re a fan of Anderson’s other films, it’s a must see and if you weren’t sure about his previous efforts, this could be the film that changes your mind. This is one of my films of 2012.
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