Sunday, 27 February 2011

A Child to the Jago show, London Fashion Week A/W 2011/12

Something of a torrent of postings this week, as I attempt to clear the blog backlog. A lot has happened in the past few weeks. Slept not a wink on the night flight back to London, never good for nerves nor temper, to find that the refurb we were expecting to be completed had not actually been started. Our antiques dealer mate Josephine delivered a marvellously a propos bashed up desk on Saturday morning, as was supposed to be the finishing touch, but as yet the surroundings did not match it. The desk wasn't the only precious thing delivered. Mark's mummy Diane flew over from France with his youngest son Ocean, set to stay with us for half-term. He liked the NYPD road incident car set with which we presented him and happily staged pile-ups with Uma, Josephine's beautiful little girl, while the grown-ups stood around surveying the refit-disaster scene. Then Mark's mum went to use the loo and the ceiling fell in. Let's not even contemplate the injuries that could have been sustained in such circumstances and give thanks for her lightening reactions and pragmatic "Well I picked it all up" response. Before we left for New York I had pointed out that there was definitely something going on with the ceiling, that the lids of paint pots stored in the littlest room were covered in standing water, ergo the drip suggested more of the same on the flat roof above. So I got properly grotty at this point. It's funny that, contrary, perhaps, to expectations, it's me that does Bad Cop, goes all D.I Regan on their ass, while Mark turns his feet out and channels Dixon of Dock Green. This is, he claims, because if it kicks-off, he's the one who has to square up. Hence he does all he can to avoid escalating aggro.

We went to Sainsburys to find comfort and stock up on dinosaur comics, mint Aero puddings and mini Scotch Eggs, Ocean's favourite. Barnzley called and asked Mark if he would model in his show the next day. It was a tired and unglamorous moment in the vegetable aisle and Mark said no, he didn't think so. In the car home he said his belly was more sticky outy than last year and he expected none of the other models would talk to him during the hours they have to wait around. "We think your belly is beautiful and you are the most handsome man on the planet. Aside from which Barnzley has done so much for us lately."
"Yes, you are very handsome daddy. I love you to the moon and I will do it with you. Can I have a Scotch Egg now?" said Ocean.
So Mark rang Barnzley back and said, "Um, ok, what time do you need me?"

Still, the next day, Daddy still wasn't feeling too comfy in his skin and a sense of unease emanated from our favourite pin-up. We were almost ready to set off to deliver him to hair and make-up when Barnzley called and said he was terribly sorry but they had booked so many models they'd be hard pressed to use them all. Would Mark prefer to come as a guest and just enjoy the show? Whaddya reckon?!
"But am I still in the show?" asked Ocean.
"Huh? Oh, um, well, ah, we will all dress up and then it will be like we are!"
"But ME, I am IN the show?"
"Only if we get your outfit together," I said, rummaging for a natty black and white snakeskin belt from my childhood flares that I have been keeping for such an occasion, "and then we will see!"

Going for a received character look rather than brave new styling - we'd leave that to Joe and Barnzley - I draped my Portobello bullet belt over his little shoulders and tied my silk leopard spot scarf over his nose. New Clarks shoes stayed on sensibly. "There! El Grande Bandido, Miguel the Magnifico! Magnificent and reaaaaaaaaally scary! Olé!"

In the car Ocean practised saying his character name in his "Batman Returns" gravelly basso profundo and, slightly to my consternation, rattled the bullet belt at people in buses that drew up next to us.
"Perhaps we shouldn't do that sweetheart?" I suggested, not least as we had to pass the police check point on London Bridge.
I had wanted a while ago to buy my godson Marcello a fab bullet belt from my friend Nikki's store in LA - - and was deterred by the tutting, eye-rolling and chorus of "NO!"'s the idea induced. Marcello is the same age as Ocean and I guess he would have been four at the time. But I don't see the difference between dressing-up box cowboy-renegade accoutrements from toy guns and soldiers?

Well here's Big Poppa and El Poco Bandido outside the Child of the Jago shop:
The Earl and El Poco Bandido
Barnzley came out with our tickets. He looked somewhat occupied as you can imagine but I asked anyway if they needed any baby bandits as extras. He said sorry, but they didn't have anything in small. Some of his full-sized cast were having a smoke meanwhile on the sidewalk:
A smoke AND a beer?! They walk intoxicated?!

We walked round the corner to the most excellent venue, "Village Underground", and were relived to get inside as it had turned wintery cold again. I had hastily put on my Antony Price trouser suit such as we designed together, in a fluo silk check, and we passed unhumiliated by Philip Salon who was there, as ever, to vet "boring dressers". I hadn't found the necklace I wanted, but grabbed a chunky rocked piece that turned to ice cubes round my neck, having failed to grab a scarf or coat or gloves or hat. The invitation said "Wear your best fancy duds, and don't forget your dancing shoes." I thought Ocean could shoot his fingers at the floor to get gringo feet flying. But after Phil Dirtbox recited the opening homily, feet were presently parading along the raised catwalk.
Phil Dirtbox, portrait by Ocean

Sam Bully kindly let Ocean stand up on the front row form next to him and we enjoyed an untrammelled view:

My favourite look of the show

Half way along the models paused on an outcrop before they re-emerged to trip along the stage together, heralding the appearance of Joe Corré and Barnzley to take their bows. En masse I got a sense of passengers on a stage coach heading for Pioneer Town with a representative from the Pinkerton Detective Agency (the black demi-cape look above) riding inside with the young East Coast gentlemen out to make their fortunes while those sharing whiskey and looking out for angry injuns, who had already lost theirs at the card tables, clung on the roof with the belted trunks, hats battered by the sun. Which of course is all wrong as it's meant to be Ripper-esque London, but that was the story I imposed upon it and fashion should free you to reinvent, not dictate. Eh? And I think a little Mexican jumping bean fits rather well with that story-board.

Child of the Jago team Joe Corré and Barnzley Armitage
"Is it my turn now?" asked a bright voice suddenly.
"Yes darling, quick, now!"
And before you could say "Sticky out tummies are the new shrug", Ocean was up the little flight of steps and striding down the catwalk so fast that I couldn't even get my shutter open. So you will have to take my word for it that he did walk at the Jago show, even if it was some five minutes after the official end and most people were looking the other way. He then jumped down to mingle and shuffle.

We particularly loved Caroline the milliner who used to work at BOY and write for NME:

Bobby Gillespie was sitting along from us and greeted Barnzley when he entered the throng, as did our own Mr Wesley who had a hug for his old chum:
Bobby G and Barnzley
Barnz & Wez, just like old times when they worked the music halls

Miles of room between those tummies

Then suddenly a space cleared in the middle of the floor and photographers and camera men swarmed to get a picture of the newest star of London Fashion Week:
Ocean strikes a pose

Then Daddy came to the rescue, before we kissed him goodnight and gave him a long leash to stay and hob nob while we went home for chocolate digestives and milk:

While Joe's mummy Dame Vivienne Westwood was admiring Mr Wesley's suit and asking who had made it (*PRIDE*), for me and El Poco Bandido, it was definitely time to call it a night. I let him take the camera to record our journey home and buckled him in the back of the car. Man, I was plum tuckered. I have never been more ready to trade photo-ops for pillows, but there was one more ambush still to come before lights out:

Portrait of a Punk by Ocean (as are all the following shots)

View of the road home from the back seat by Ocean aged 6

We had Fire Flies for outriders

SO happy to be in bed! (as recorded by Ocean)

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