Gallery Updates

I've been processing and sorting photos, most of which I've now added to the gallery. As I mentioned in a post written just after this went live, the gallery page displays a selection of clothes. The selection is determined by two buttons. One looks like this:

and displays all the clothes I've got photos of. These include those I own, as well as ones I've seen and photographed but not bought.

The second button looks like this:

As its caption says, it displays only the clothes that are mine.

Why do I have two buttons? The first displays a wider range of patterns and designs. For example, here's the pattern from a silk shirt by Colorpoint. The belligerent little aliens with which it's printed are fun: Colorpoint silk shirt printed with aliens But the shirt was a size too big for me, so I didn't buy it. By the way, the aliens are Marvin the Martian, a character "who was quiet and soft-spoken, but whose actions were incredibly destructive and legitimately dangerous". All credit to his creator, the excellent Chuck Jones.

A garment of quite a different kind is this brown coat, embroidered with spiky greens and golds: Brown coat embroidered with green and gold In the photo, this is a really dramatic design. But when I tried it on, too much of the pattern went round my sides, and wasn't visible from the front. So though the coat would have looked great framed on my wall as abstract art, the design lost coherence when I wore it.

I hope these will inspire those who like designing and making, and persuade you — if you need persuading — to try your nearest vintage shop. Buying vintage is a good re-use of resources. And with companies like the loathsome Burberry, reported to have destroyed £105,000,000 worth of stock in the past five years, fashion needs all the help in conserving resources that it can get.

Here's one resource I'm conserving. It's a green velvet jacket: Light green velvet jacket It must have travelled halfway around the world, because it's made, the label says, by His Lordship of Wellington, New Zealand: Label of light green velvet jacket, reading 'Exclusively styles for you by His Lordship, Wellington, New Zealand'

Here's another. This one is red velvet: Bright red velvet jacket And it's only travelled 5,960 miles, as against His Lordship's 11,703, because it's from Ravi Sehgal in Bangkok: Label of bright red velvet jacket, reading 'Ravi Sehgal, Bangkok, since 1976. www.ravisehgal.com'

This one is purple velvet: Purple velvet jacket Unlike the two above, it's actually a woman's, as revealed by the position of its buttons. But notwithstanding this, which I mention because of Grayson Perry's teenage fears about being thought effeminate for wearing buttons on the left, few people will notice or care. So you could safely wear that, or the green, or the red, and give greater chromatic pleasure to yourself and those around you than if wearing cord, leather or tweed. Showing such examples is what I wanted the "only my clothes" part of the gallery to be for.

Gallery

I've added a gallery page to this site. Technically speaking, it works by randomly choosing from my photos, using a PHP script and a list of attributes stored as YAML, and then arranging the results by running David DeSandro's masonry program. You probably didn't want to know that, though if anyone's interested, I'm happy to pass on the code. But web programming aside, the gallery shows off some of the diverse designs and patterns I've come across. If you make clothes, or are looking for something different to buy, use them for inspiration. And it has another purpose, related to my Grayson Perry quote about the buttons.

Some of the jackets are women's. This pink silk, for instance. So as is the custom, they have buttons attached on the left rather than the right. In my experience though, and in contrast to Grayson Perry's fears, most men don't notice, or at least don't care enough to comment. Some women friends have, but none of them care. Of course, the shape of the jacket has to be suitable, which rules out ones curved to fit a bust. But that still leaves a lot that a man can wear, such as this smart linen blazer by Wallis.

So that's one way of finding vivid colours and interesting designs. Clothes from outside Europe are another: see the Chinese silk tops and all my Moroccan clothes. And a third is those vintage clothes that were made for men and that do happen to be colourful or otherwise interesting, such as my Falabella velvet jacket and Oakland velvet waistcoat.

So that's why my gallery page has two buttons on it:



The second button selects only the clothes that I myself wear. And if I can carry them off, anyone can.