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Maximal or minimal: two schools of thought, only one wardrobe

You can’t argue with the eco credentials here. This is the Ardmore Jacket. They’re one-of-a-kinds, made from vintage blankets by LA makers Carleen.

Simple shape: check. Clashing tones: check. Then you’ve got that pleasing sense that these disparate, pre-loved pieces of cloth have come together to create something unique and fiercely of-the-moment. It’s all good.

That said, I find garments like these really illuminate my current sartorial duality. On the one hand I’m probably most comfortable in all-navy-everything. On the other I find myself wanting to dress like an attendee of Woodstock 69, via De La Soul and The Wicker Man.

Just to be clear, when I say all-navy-everything, I don’t actually mean all-navy-everything. It’s really just ‘predominantly navy’, or navy-heavy if you like. Usually a dark blue blazer (unstructured, loose-fit) some kind of oversized blue trouser (the two blues need to be different enough so it can’t be mistaken for a suit) and a casual-ish shoe or non-grubby sneaker (never Converse). It’s a sort of disheveled-smart. The way I see it, you can either spot Homme Deux at thirty paces or you can’t.

But then there’s Story MFG and Kapital. Online Ceramics and Post-Imperial. Camp High, Supervsn Studios, Afield Out, Heresy, etc, etc, etc… and now Carleen.

Colour by the splodge-load, pattern, graphics, tie-dye, peace signs, smiley faces, witches, warlocks, runes, tors, crystal balls, old fucking windmills and heavy metal typography; everything is welcome  — from (cough) horoscopic foresight to the (even coughier) healing power of semi-precious stones.

Perhaps it’s a little unfair of me to lump all these brands together under the glow of the same lava lamp. Philosophy-wise they’re all quite different. For example Post-Imperial are flying the flag for Nigerian fashion, while Story MFG’s conscious ideologies are fundamental to their world view. But you can’t deny the aesthetic similarity. Folk fashion, nouveau-hippy, acid-apparel, whatever you want to call it — it turns vintage into mintage, by tie-dying, kaleidoscopic colour and probably a Stonehenge graphic.

Anyway, anyway, anyway… My point is I do like the look. But I’ve realised I’m starting to build two distinct wardrobes. One full of navy crinkly Comme jackets, the other full of garments with mushrooms on them. And I’m not entirely sure they gel?

I don’t know if you have this problem? And I probably should have said at the outset, I have no solution. Some bits cross the aisle and work together, much does not. It’s two vibes. I’m a living dichotomy. I currently smell of Comme des Garçons Copper, but I’m increasingly seduced by the pong of the joss stick.

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