Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I have had the pleasure of working with the collectively know Fauxtales twice. I am in two minds about posting this blog as part of me wants to keep them a relative secret. However they are already a staple on the LA fashion scene and deserve as much praise as possible for their creations, which are inspired by their animal muses, and are truly breath-taking. I spoke briefly with the pair about my own love of animals, both dead and alive, and a morbid fascination with taxidermy, despite the fact that I loath hunting and blood-sports in general, which leads me to a moral dilemma. Partly why I like Fauxtale so much, is that their beautiful collections are made from left-over treasures and remnants from the animal kingdom, that would otherwise be discarded, forgotten or ignored.

I first met Kate Thompson a couple of months ago. Kate is one half of Fauxtale. She casually wafts around her downtown studio, like a wayward maiden, in a transparent nightdress,with white billowy ruffled sleeves, bare-feet and a large glass of red wine in hand. She lives with what appears to be a large friendly wolf, and several other people and animals in a loft, which also houses all her creations in a small concealed studio. She is delightfully eccentric. I liked her instantly.

The second time I pulled accessories from Fauxtale, I briefly met the other half of the team, Toree Arntz, who I believe is a profession exotic animal trainer, and was sprawled across the concrete floor, wild curly hair escaping from pony-tail, busily dealing with the business side of the company, whilst enthusiastically answering my many questions. I gathered from the pair that they began designer for circus acts, which makes perfect sense, given the nomadic and often opulent designs that they are capable of creating.

Surrounded by boxes and boxes of feathers, taxidermy, mink skulls and fabrics, sitting on the floor are both Kate and Toree, against walls that are draped with dozens of beautifully detailed and colorful head-dresses, earrings, necklaces, and their newest Spring/Summer collection of clothes, laced with horse-hair. To my amazement they were able to make custom pieces then and there on the spot. Neither were fazed in the slightest about my requests and was enthusiastic about being involved, despite having to work into the night and juggle important meetings the next day...

A big Thank-you to Fauxtale. Look out for their new Spring/Summer clothes line

Images taken from a recent shoot I styled for Style-ology magazine, all head-dresses/pieces from Fauxtale.

Below are some inspirational images that I have kept on the subject.

Alexis Bittar store display

source unknown

Native American ceremonial head-dress

Guinea pig hair clip

unknown source

Hybrid taxidermy goat/fish/eagle

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dear Granny

My grandmother, Beryl became delightfully demented in her last year, and has started to carry cooked fish around in her hand-bag. I'm not sure what the thing is with wrapping battered fish in newspaper. It's not important anyhow , it's just something that English people do with fish and chips. All I know is that she would put in there for safe keeping, along with her check-book and medicine, then forget about it and dithers around for the next week washing herself fastidiously, trying to wash away the smell of rotting fish.

I miss her.

The day before she died, on a horrible Winters day, we took her out to a village in Devon at the bottom of a hill. As we drove along she said one of my favorite sayings.

"Oh it looks like we're descending into Hell. We might see Gran-dad down here"

Unknown images and Jessica Stam for Glasse magazine

Stereotypical Granny accessories are big, particularly in Scandinavia — this is not a new trend. To be honest I thought it might have died out, but perhaps part of the draw is that it is relativity easy to source vintage finds on the cheap. You basically pile on tones of old smelly shit that you find at thrift stores, like furry hats, a pleated ankle length skirt, a bit of tweed, a pearl necklace, and some irrelevant things like umbrellas, gloves and a brown capes. This trend is kept simple by wearing dresses and skirts topped off with some weird, out-of-place boots the individual bought from a flee market.

For me, the key to this look is to wear really dirty fur, preferably those heartbreaking ones with the little emptied animal heads and paws still on...which is great but I think I'd feel strange with a foxes arse-hole lingering over my shoulder.

The point is that this is not how I envisioned my late grandmother, who until her very last day, was full of wit, obliquely assertive, authentic and highly creative. So, for what it's worth, I wanted to dedicate this to older women and men, who embody all of lifes experience, creativity, humor, pride and wisdom. You don't need to be old to dress old, and vice versa.

Take a look at the wonderful blog, which captures alternative views of beauty and age. It is wonderfully uplifting.

The idiosyncratic fashionistas, Valerie and Jean. Words cannot describe how much I like these two women.

Photos all from www.advancedstyle.blogspot. com