Monday, 27 August 2012

Treasured Items... Simon Chilvers

As we are all shown glimpses in to the future with the unveiling of the SS13 season and as AW12 product lands on to many a shop floor, it is all too easy to become muddled and confused about the present and the past. Over the last year or so we've been asking a selection of our favourite menswear personalities to 'show and tell' their most treasured items with us. The series helps us to look back as opposed to continuously leaning forward. From wedding bands to battered sneakers, airport security puzzling bracelets to lost but not forgotten t shirts, we've shared the stories behind all manner of cherished objects.

In addition to helping us change the pace of the blog, the feature asks our invited guests to question their wardrobe and how they wear their clothes. Some treasured items have revealed themselves instantly but most have required a little more searching. For stylist and journalist Simon Chilvers, it was the latter. After much thought and searching (both wardrobe and soul), here Chilvers shares the tale of a well worn Marc by Marc Jabobs t-shirt...    

Simon Chilvers and the old favourite designer t shirt


"Apparently when it comes to clothes I am a bit of a slut. When asked to dish my wardrobe’s most treasured, I looked at the wardrobe only to realise that there really isn’t much in there that has enough history to quantify the “treasured” tag. Yes, there’s a pair of old jeans that I always carry in hand luggage because I’ve invested too much time wearing them in to lose them to a cheap airline, and there are some trusty basics always on rotation, but when it comes to talking point clothes most of them feel too new.

In the end I chose this old Marc by Marc Jacobs t-shirt not because it’s the most brilliantly designed thing in the world – I’m not even that crazy about clowns or white t-shirts – but because there’s something youthful and rock ‘n’ roll about it. I love its old battered look. I rolled around the floor of a marquee in it during a particularly wild dance routine at one of my friend’s birthday parties and it has the faded stains to prove it. 

It also reminds me of being on holidays with its faint whiff of suntan lotion. Being so worn in and baggy its become ideal for wearing on the beach, which is really the only time I wear it in public these days.

I hold various affections for the Marc label too. It was one of the first designer brands I hankered after. I liked its quirky graphics, it’s 1970s references – I still wear an old Marc sweatshirt with a drawing of a girl’s head poking over the top of a wall that I persuaded my mum to buy me from Harvey Nicks. Neither of us had ever been into Harvey Nicks before that.

On my first trips to New York, before there was a Marc store in London, I always went to the shop on Bleecker Street where they sold loads of old tat with the MJ initials on it – mirrors, pens, condoms. I thought it was brilliant. I also bought a pair of dark red leather shoes from there, which I wore to complete death.

I wear a t-shirt most days. I’ll wear shirts, though I prefer short-sleeve ones - the best are from Marni because they’re cut loose - but I’m much happier and more comfortable in a t-shirt. Though as I get older I suppose that might change.

My current favourites are an oversized one from KIDDA by Christopher Shannon – it’s grey, blue and paisley. It also features Christopher’s initials CS on it, which also happen to be my initials in reverse. Then there’s the Christopher Kane printed “turbine” tee, which is busy and has a slightly higher neck line than your average crew – it’s a small detail but a nice one. It looks great with dark jeans. And lastly, a Dries Van Noten purple ikat print t-shirt from spring/summer 2010 - that one is the t-shirt equivalent of a comfort blanket." Simon Chilvers.

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