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January 2010

Estate Agent Provocateur

I’m attempting to buy a modest property in Hackney E5. Lower E5. I missed the boat on E8. I’ve been looking for about a year, but at different levels. Realised my level now. It’s not that high frankly. Spent too much on suits, shoes and cabs in the past perhaps. 



The borough of Hackney. In red.

Mainly dealing with joke estate agents. One has to build up a relationship in order to get offered places before they go on the website. Fell out with ‘Hovels Are Us’ on a point of punctuality the other week, aggravated by them only having one email account for an entire office. Perhaps they give them out in the morning like paper post. I’ve also strained an association with a big firm having placed multiple offers on different places. Put in dead low offer in order to rule a place out that not 100% over, which they duly accepted,  and simultaneously on another place pending advice from best pal. They took it too, but pal didn’t approve. There was talk of a place in Down’s Road I really fancied, and enquired about putting an offer/option in before they’d shown anyone, or got the tenants out.  You can’t do that it seems. (Wondered about going round to view it posing as undercover police with my mate. Could get the first offer in then perhaps). Got a call from the main woman to ask what my intensions were, as she had two vendors with offers and there was me asking about a third. It’s apparently not the done thing.  It transpires you’re only supposed to make offers when actually prepared to buy the place. I’ve been treating offers more like a firm enquiries, or like an option on a model you’re considering for a shoot. You can do that as much as you like and no one moans. That particular firm have gone quiet on me.  

I almost bought Noddy’s town house in the autumn.








Meanwhile one of my ‘strongest’ relationships is with Shafiq. He suffers from what I think must be estate agent Tourettes.  He’s compelled to blurt out words like ‘mezzanine’ or ‘sash windows’ at entirely in appropriate moments. He proudly declared a garden north facing this week as a positive. Any positive he repeats many times as we leave the property, as if to sum up and somehow hypnotise me. He wears a suit with shoes that turn upwards. His Kangol flat cap is so big his ears fit inside it, and he has a girls bum. When I follow him to properties he drives his Mini as if we’re in a race. Like a child might. Shafiq’s my main man at the moment.   I think I might try prayer too. 

SIHH watch salon -Geneva

Like you just stepped out of a Salon.

This is hidden. will reveal when finished.


milan to geneva by train





Milan Menswear Show Day IV

(Blogging a dead Horse)

I’ve not told anyone about this  blog affair yet. Is that necessary, or is it ok just between you and me?  Is that blogging a dead horse?

(More equestrian action later as I cross the border). 


D Squared

Not risen for D Square for years. The nine O’Clock slot I find prohibitive. New sober Milan persona and my new colleague made it all so do-able today however. 

The Canadian Brothers Grin showed a simple blend of agro ice hockey kit, muscle bar garb, black tie and blood fetish. Some odd Italian Marilyn Manson style soap/pop star decked out like a bondage crow was escorted down the runway by Dan and Dean dressed as surgeons at the banging house finale. All that before 10am. They do a nice little tux, even if it’s on the same teeny weenie scale as Mr.Browne. Is a new collective of miniature North American designers poised to take over? The Midget Moda of USA. 


             Other scaling down comes as presentations become more relevant post credit crunch. Pieces not whole looks count and press like to cop a feel to  hype effectively.  Tom Ford and Brioni always do static. Others now reject runway gigs and go for intimate, tactile ‘pressies’. Trussadi, Moschino and Marni all used this M.O. 



             Accessory specialists Valextra only do pressies. I visited Valextra, low key luxury brand extraordinaire. Est. in Milan in 1937, they’ve been making celestially conceived and executed luggage for the jet set ever since. Blimey their stuff is lovely, making Goyard and maybe even Hermes look obvious by comparison.  

              Their ‘Costa’ piping appearing on the ‘sharp’ cut edges of pieces is all there to tell you who you’re dealing with. The Havana colour in vegetable dye, trimmed and stitched in green was extraordinarily covetable. 




Blow me  if Giorgio Armani didn’t stage a beret extravaganza, taking us through the full gamut of possible deployment. More Sicilian references, (see Dolce), but here more like the burly farm workers ‘sensitive’, arty brother. Evening stances that verged on silly, and a military cadet look worked modern special forces-esque caban jackets with belted waists, in a palatable matt navy tech fabric and action boots.

Giorgio himself finally came out, bereted up and tossed one off into the audience. It was quite a moment.  





Talking of moments, my Sergio Rossi riding boots made their Italian debut today, along with Hermes poncho and three piece Paul Smith suit.

It dropped ok. I garnered as many photo ops as the scintillating Esther, possible on a comedy level. I was aiming at Lord Gilbert Hartlip (Edward Fox in The Shooting Party), meets the man with no name, (Clint Eastwood), in ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’. But I achieved Rodney Trotter in To The Manor Born/The Good Life. Enjoyed it all the same. 

I get blanked by The Sartorialist these days. He used to shoot me, but interfered with his select one too many times, and now all I get is a butt slap when he’s moving me out the way to shoot other people. Such is life. 



Dressing as something you’re not can be what its all about. Iceberg devised a sort of Romany gypsy inspired contrivance, with loose stringy mohair knits under rugged tailoring and, Silk scarves, bowler hats and boots, making the whole thing most free spirited . The sheer luxury knit history of the house ensure a harmonious and desirable vista. I bloody loved it. 

I’m gonna sum up with Stubbs’s Now That’s What I Call Milan AW 2010/11, but am gonna do it on the plane, and broadcast live from the upper atmosphere. Well, the runway in Geneva at least.


Stubbs OUT

milan menswear shows day III

(Sleeping is no mean art:  for its sake one must stay awake all day.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche)

Allow me to quote The Heartless Crew with a view to my blogging pace.

 “Gal dem call me the master blaster, I start off slow and I get faster”.

That’s the plan at least. Blogging is killing my social life and saving my liver



The doom and Gloom of fashions futility is erased by the David Shrigley film  shown before the Pringle show.  Hilarity prevailed, slaying the fasho’s in the isles. Or is it the runways?. 


A far cry from pre CWK Pringle runway efforts half a decade ago that were more reminiscent of the cartoon characters in the film.

                                                              Pringle AW 2010 – Bauhaus fan club meets Black Adder I.


Pringle’s creative director Clare Waight Keller speaks to S&E. Despite zero sleep she looks and sounds sparkling. 



A warm reception at the house of Ford is always nice. It helps to put the gezza on your cover, but still.  No photos of film allowed due to Tom’s desires for the collection to exist in as non-fashion-seasonally evolving manifestation. Bloody marvellous if you ask me. Fords signature shoulder line, luxury fabrics and rarefied approach to all aspects of a mans wardrobe is unlike almost any other. Its attitude is turned up to 11, and it works. I’m particularly keen on the shirts that come with a tie bar. Those plus the shoulder-line, are more than a little bit Edward Sexton/Tommy Nutter, The Godfathers of imposing grace and timeless suave.


SELF PORTRAIT. I got left on the street for five minutes before Gucci and had time to reflect, quite literally.


Next to Tom’s old gaff Gucci. A bevy of neat sculpted camel tailored jackets and coats, teamed well with navy and chocolate roll necks. A look I favour on a very personal level. There were Gabicci Rude Boy-suede/knit cardies, quilted jackets all with jeans or narrow stone pants and plenty of snaffle loafers.

I’ve a penchant for snaffles that will bang on about at length when given the chance, ever since I spunked my student poverty loan on a pair in 1989. I’m having a large snaffle carved as my gravestone. Gucci was marvellous, flash Milanese verve at its best. This is what am hear for. I’ve heard detractors say it looks like Top Man. Bollocks fat boys, you’re only saying that cause you cant wear it.





Talking of flash,  ahem,  Versace loves a celeb. Their front row was graced by three Internazionale footballers. I sneakily filmed one and got screw face from Mario Balotelli for my trouble. <see pic> his pals Francesco Toldo and Sulley Ali Muntari didn’t catch me.

                                   Asked my Inter mad driver Federico his thoughts on the boys. 
If you want flash cocktail suits to posture about in a surly manner, then Versace often do them. Best if you are a Serie A star wearing one. Maybe this is where to go. 

                                                                                     MONCLER GAMME BLUE

I’ve caned Moncler a bit of late, mainly that wet look joker nonsense. The Gamme Blue collection with Thom Browne, (New York’s own manufacturer of tiny suits and part time Twiddle Dum impersonator), is also a cause for concern. They’re devaluing a decent sports heritage brand. They did put on a bit of a show tonight mind. A whole barracks of young cadets slept in military symmetry in camp beds, until the show began.

Commandant type figures in Thom Browne trimmed regalia trouped in and played Reveille- the wake up bugle call-. They jumped up and donned daft ski/snow board gear designed by old shrinky dink. There were actually some good pieces, but the whole affair had something rather Hitler Youth about it, with the Austrian boy scout uniformed men inspecting each outfit before it did its lap of honour. You tell me if its sinister.




                                                                                                                                                                                     From the sleep deprived of Pringle to the dormitory of  Moncler’s bizarre ski academy in one day, now I’m sleep needy too. I cant even face going out again after this blogging palaver. Milan fashion week is no country for old men. I’m staying in my hopeless style hotel room.


 Tom Stubbs


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