Monday, 19 October 2009

In amongst the fallen leaves

Despite frequent online procrastination spent looking for street style inspiration from all of the obvious and some not so obvious places, few looks have had such a powerful cerebral effect than Fantastic Man's Look for October. Ever since my eyes first encountered the combination of autumnal hues and the comforting and playful layering (some of you declared it ''Layering on Crack' ha!) I wanted to reproduce something similar to truly celebrate the season of dropped leaves. During the marvelous month of October, we are treated to a feast of colours. The look from Fantastic Man demonstrates that, although numerous they can all be worn at once, creating a marvellous harvest festival of an outfit which left me drooling over my keyboard. In my recent picture postcard post, I mentioned that I couldn't decide what it made me want to do more, sing kumbayah or just to throw myself in a big pile of crispy fallen leaves...Well...I gave it some thought and the voices in my heads were unanimous, it was a landslide victory for the latter....

Playing in the leaves...Carolyn Massey for Topman navy scarf coat, green jumper by Maison Martin Margiela, scarf from COS, wine corduroy shirt and purple jeans both from Uniqlo and mittens by Carolyn Massey.

As I began to assess my Autumn wardrobe, bolstered by the recent purchase of colourful Uniqlo basics (corduroy shirts and socks), I was inspired to recreate an artistic challenge from one of my childhood favourite shows. Despite having little, tangible artistic talent I used to race home after school to watch Neil Buchanan's Art Attack on CITV. Of course I used to try to replicate what I saw on the screen but generally made a mess on the paper and of myself. One of shows most memorable facets was the Big Art Attacks. For those not familiar with the show, were pieces of art created by Buchanan on a huge scale, often on a playing field, tarmac ground and similar. I recall the master turning his hand (and whatever he could get his hands on) to creating a large scale forest scene so surely I could make an Autumn park scene. So, I packed my brown vintage rucksack full of Autumn colour and headed to my favourite green space in London, Hampstead Heath. London has plenty of pretty parks but when I want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, I head to the Heath and it is at its most beautiful during these few months.

Clockwise from bottom left, purple corduroy shirt from Uniqlo, plum socks from Uniqlo, mustard scarf from COS, green corduroy shirt from Uniqlo, brown socks from Uniqlo, red scarf by Universal Works, green jumper by Maison Martin Margiela and orange socks from Uniqlo.

As you can see from the above shot, my 'Big Art Attack' was less of an impressive, large scale piece of art and more of a pile of clothes. Having found a suitably secluded, leafy spot on the Heath, I soon realised that in addition to lacking Neil Buchanan's artistic vision, my rucksack of clothes didn't quite cut it on the amount of raw materials needed to create anything close to being classed as 'Big.' Neil Buchanan I failed you. However, the pile was a celebration of Autumn...of sorts.

Green jumper by Maison Martin Margiela, scarf from COS, wine corduroy shirt and purple jeans both from Uniqlo, trainers by Converse and a vintage leather backpack.

After failing miserable at my art challenge, the only thing that could cheer me up was playing about in the dead leaves in my suitably Autumn outfit. I was always better at making a mess as opposed to a pretty picture. Oh to be eight again! Dressed head to toe in various autumnal hues, it is difficult not to have a little fun standing in a pile of crisp leaves. Am I slightly mad for wanting to dress like a fallen leaf? The answer is of course a resounding yes but do I care? Not a jot. Dressing each morning should be fun! As mentioned above, I injected a much needed shot of colour in to my wardrobe's jugular after a number of recent trips to Uniqlo. I have mentioned the 'Uniqlo effect' at least once before on the blog and the Japanese retailing power house is still having an effect on the colours hanging on my wardrobe rail and I've had a a great deal of fun experimenting with the various hues. Walk in to any Uniqlo store and you are instantly hit with an almost overwhelming number of colour variations. These colour variations confuse the mind initially but ultimately inspire. The brand's colour range has helped seduce me and many other men away from more muted tones. Due to my recent colour experimentation I've discovered that there are a number of colours that actually suit my natural colouring and tones. Colours that I would have previously steered well clear of now grace my back and wrap around my neck. Even if some colours don't work together, it is fun trying.

I first stumbled across Uniqlo's range of corduroy shirts at the beginning of September and since then I have been steadily increasing my investment in this wardrobe staple. My wardrobe now boasts a collection of four out of the six colour variants; purple, wine, olive and blue. However, as much as I adore the corduroy shirt, there is one staple from Uniqlo that I love more than any other, the sock! I find it impossible to leave a Uniqlo store without topping up the latest colour additions and now my sock drawer looks like a rainbow (every time I open it, I have expect to see a leprechaun sitting in amongst the cottons). The latest additions are perfect for autumn...


Mat said...

totally rocking post! i'm with you all the way on the amount of colour choice and well certain coloures work together and look well thought out and some how grown up (american apparel do this but the look turns out much more immature looking).

And i have all those socks, ever since i visited the shop the first time, over two years ago i have grown my sock collection, and they are now the only socks worth wearing. for comfort, shades and how well they wear.

Spring is here!

Anonymous said...

you've done it. You've done it. You've taken decent pics of yourself.

Hurrah and also i think you should check out the royal hospital chelsea and its parkland which is amazing and nobody goes to it. YOu might also like the chelsea physic garden which has amazing displays of plants all year round.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mat: Thanks! I knew you'd be right behind me on this one. We are both disciples of this great high street store. Surely you mean Autumn is here though?
Anonymous: I can't take any credit for the pics, as always Susie was the photographer so she deserves the pat on the back! I've not yet mastered the art of self portraiture you see. Thanks for the tip, I've not ventured down to the Royal Hospital Chelsea but I like a quiet green space.

Mat said...


Make Do Style said...

Ah a great art attack of clothes.
I'm much impresses by the background setting and at ease posing.
The socks are clearly the winners!

Daniel Jenkins said...

Thought might amuse!

georgeface said...

Gosh I miss Art Attack!!!

Cutting dash said...

Look up in the sky it's a bird it's a plane.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mat: Ha, no worries!
Make Do Style: Thanks...not quite a Neil Buchanan but it was fun. I agree that the setting really is something but I fear the posing requires some more work. I am wearing two pairs of the socks at the moment, it is cold today!
Daniel Jenkins: Thanks so much for the link, I will never listen to anything else. How about we go and see them on tour?
Georgeface: Me too!
Cutting is leaf man.

thischicksgotstyle said...

Hahah love the socks!
The colors of your outfit remind me of this winter's collection of Dries van Noten!

Barima said...

Art Attack. Good times

I actually think the look works better without the coat. It's a strong ensemble - the best I've seen from you, in fact


Mens casual jackets said...

I like your look -and all the different colour combinations!bought a similar pair of purple jeans the other day!

Blank Label said...

autumn is undoubtedly the most beautiful season of them all. i love how much fun you're having with the photoshoot. what a way to enjoy the season and fashion! great stuff steve


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