Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Birds Dress Agency is a vintage clothing shop on Malpas Road in Brockley. It opens from Wednesday to Saturday and looking through the windows the other day I caught sight of McQueen and Prada shoes sitting elegantly near the door.

While I was looking at the shop yesterday Paul the hairdressers whose shop is next door came out and had a chat with me. Apparently Birds has been open steadily since 1965, you can see from the shot of the window that a range of hats are also available. The name of the shop speaks to me, there's something very between-the-wars about the word agency when applied to a shop, it's quite exciting. It's clear that I'm going to have to go inside at some point but I think I'll need to take a more experienced vintage shopper with me in case I don't want to buy anything.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I have just finished watching Imagine Annie Leibovitz: Life through a lens on BBC1. The programme covered a lot of the personal moments in her life and the photos that she took, photos of her partner Susan Sontag and her father after they had died. She had taken photos before of corpses in Sarajevo and while it didn't really scratch the surface of her response or the way that she experiences the world, it was interesting and really showed off the body of her work and her skill at creating a narrative with her photos. It was also interesting to watch her claim that she does not capture personality through photographs, if anything Annie Leibovitz constructs a more melodramatic existence for her subjects through her work and I got the impression that she really understands that in a way that her audience doesn't grasp. That more than anything gives us an impression of her brilliance as a photographer because few people can construct a whole story from a single image and moment.

The Sartorialist has some beautiful photographs of a jazz age lawn party on his site at the moment. This is my favourite, as it really speaks about the link between female independence and the cut of those dresses that really broke a barrier between male and female attire.

Fashion Hire allows people to hire designer handbags. Primarily this site seems to have been built for people with very specific lifestyles, primarily women who attend events and want to match their accessories to a dress or outfit. It is also a site for people who want to try handbags out before they purchase them and in that sense it's a useful service because these items are incredibly expensive. I'm sure that there is a market for it but I'm unclear as to how large that market is, I have always assumed that a need for handbags, shoes and other accessories was a need that existed mainly for people who like to hoard and keep consumer goods close to them. While handbags of different shapes and sizes are appealing they are not something I've allowed myself to indulge in too thoroughly but part of the reason for that is obvious to me from the website: most designer handbags strike me as ugly and overcomplicated.