Sunday, March 17, 2013

Poison Moon

Dearest Third Cousin,

A few months ago I got a chance to interview Sarah from Poison Moon. Read on to learn about a new shopping experience. 

Where did the Urge to Create Poison Moon come from?

I think the urge to create Poison Moon came from us wanting to create a place where we'd actually shop ourselves. We felt that in Cork there are a lot of Great Vintage shops and Vintage inspired clothing but we thought there was a market for something with a more modern aesthetic. We thought a cheaper alternative was needed for purchasing on -trend clothes in the recession; as high-street stores are expensive and Vintage can sometimes be over-priced. Charity Shopping has increased in popularity greatly but not everyone has the confidence to buy items second-hand and know that they will look fashionable. We do the looking for people and try to buy creatively and find unexpected things to style in a new way. Basically we wanted to create a balance between the two; second-hand clothes that avoided the cliché vintage label to give something modern and affordable.

Can you tell us a bit about Poison Moon’s background?

Poison Moon started in October when three of us decided to put our creative energies and eye for Fashion into selling unique items of clothing.  We decided to create an online page to promote the clothes and Poison Moon’s Aesthetic.

How would you describe Poison Moon’s style/aesthetic?

The clothes we stock are more or less based on the kind of styles we wear ourselves, mostly focusing on street style and anything unusual or eclectic. We wanted to include modern pre-owned finds as well as vintage pieces to show how they could be worn together. We created a Facebook page to advertise stock but also to show how individual items could be styled. We all have different styles and aim to find clothing which will work with varied looks, not just our own. For me the name ‘Poison Moon’ evokes a kind of dark and interesting image which I think we try to reflect in the choice of clothing. Poison Moon tries to choose unique items and create looks with a bit of an edge, but not in a way that appears overly-quirky or tries too hard. We aim to choose clothes which are sophisticated but not boring. The emphasis of Vintage can sometimes be on recreating the look of a particular decade, where we like the idea of mixing and matching items to create a fresh and personal look.

Where does Poison Moon source/buy your clothing from?

All of us running Poison Moon are very much into fashion, so when we first started we sourced the majority of our stock from our own wardrobes and customised a bit, adding a new twist to previously loved clothes . More recently we've moved into purchasing stock in charity shops and a few online distributors. While we enjoy troving the Charity shops and have our eyes constantly peeled for interesting finds or hidden gems, we appreciate that not everyone might have the time or patience to do so!

What would be Poison Moon’s price range?

We aimed to make the clothes quite affordable, we feel that value is a defining factor for Poison Moon and want to emphasize the fact that you don’t have to pay a lot to have a cool or interesting look. Naturally we charge more for authentic Vintage items but it is still cheaper compared to other outlets. Poison Moon came from our experience of overpriced High street companies and shops and we'd like to keep our prices in line with how much we feel we'd pay ourselves.  Most of our stock is between 4- 25, with coats being more expensive and accessories cheaper.

What’s next for Poison Moon?

Poison Moon has been a bit quiet the past few weeks but will be starting up again this New Year with more sales and some great new stock. The first Photo-shoot we did featuring our clothing was successful, so hopefully there will be more on the horizon!  We will be at the Pavilion Bar Boot Sale  and you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive updates on our latest stock.

You can find Poison Moon Clothing @:


Friday, March 15, 2013

Shameless Webcam Selfie

Dearest Third Cousin,

I really miss doing outfit posts. I have no camera at the moment, well besides my webcam. I might do a few more like these. 

T-shirt, jeans and boots: River Island
Cardigan: Dorthy Perkins
Leather Jacket: TK Maxx
Coat: Thrifted


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kenzo's all seeing eye

Dearest Third Cousin.

Kenzo is a commercial giant. Since Humberto Leon and Carol Lim took over the brand in 2011, the duo have elevated the Kenzo brand into a commercial behemoth. They are also the founders of Opening Ceremony and have used their experience to create clothing that is not only highly wearable but ahead of the curve. By doing so they create trends that are impossible to ignore. Their Tiger face logo Jumpers have flooded street style blogs and become a retailers dream, 20,000 units have been sold with a consistent waiting list. In an industry driven by trends, beauty and sales this duo have re-created the brand as a leader in all three categories. They have created covetable, stunning and afordable-ish (they lowered the brand's price-point) clothing. 

Their recent AW '13 collection continues in this vein.  They were inspired by the Kenzo archive, specifically, grosgrain dresses from the 70's. They have produced a collection that will have a huge internet, street and editorial presence. The  eye print, like many of their prints and their collections in general, includes a reference to the brand's tradition but plays with it and presents us with something fresh, fun and covetable. Personally I think the eye print, which dominated the collection, may well be 'the print of the season'. The eye motif was adopted as a protective symbol to ward off evil spirits. I hope to see it in many editorials, it would be at the top of my list of pieces to style, if I had the opportunity. You want to wear beautiful tailoring, sumptuous sweaters, clunky heels and skinny pants anyway but add a protective and instantly recognisable print and you have a hit, or four. Simply, you want to wear Kenzo. It infiltrates your mind and filters into the high street.  

So your probably thinking, I have an 'eye' t-shirt, necklace or ring and yes they are available and have been a bit of a trend but I haven't been able to find many eye print, jackets, coats, pants or shoes. However I predict their will be an explosion of the print very soon and it wont be limited the jewellery, t-shirts or jumpers. 

This first collage is some inspiration photos that are too good to leave out. If any one knows where the necklace, or something like it, in the first collage below, is available please let me know.

There really is a huge assortment of 'eye' jewellery available on-line. All the pieces below are available from either Asos, Ebay or Romwe. I may be adding to my jewellery collection very soon. These are a few of my favorites. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Retro Response

Dearest Third Cousin,

 This article began with the idea of questioning the term Retro and like all good things evolved and led to more questions about commercial fashion and style. While researching this article I watched Sofia Hedman’s (fashion curator and exhibition designer) closet interview on and was struck by this quote: “It’s not that I’m against the commercial side of Fashion it just that I like things that make me think a little bit more”. I realised that the term Retro had made me stop and think about fashion (admittedly I think about fashion a lot) but this term has really made me question the type of clothing I choose to wear and how this has influenced my personal style. For me trend based fashion rarely makes me think and I have to ask does it really make anybody question or develop their personal style?While we have become accustomed to mass consumption of mass production is this how we should shop? And are these clothing items adding to our personal style or taking away from it? While like Sofia I have no problem with commercial or trend based fashion; I need to feel like a trend fits with my personal style.

Trends are in my opinion indicative of our culture and our need to express ourselves through Fashion. I do not see this as a negative by any means; in fact if trends can feed into and enhance your personal style I think it’s a great thing. What can be negative is when fashion and personal taste are prescribed. Freedom of expression through personal style the motto of is a great way to curate your fashion/style choices. Another interview on Stylelikeu this time with Princess Julia (DJ, writer and artist) suggested that “When you have a personal style you don’t have to follow a trend” this statement again caused me to stop and think. I shop quite often in Vintage/ Charity shops, flea markets and independent boutiques, many of these establishments incorporate retro themes in their identity? How does the term Retro and perhaps by extension Vintage fed into trend based fashion?  Are retro and vintage mutually exclusive or do they complement each other? I approached some lovely people and asked their opinion on the issue of Retro and Vintage in today’s fashion climate and asked them to respond as it pertains to them.

Mary-Joe Murphy owner of Mercury Goes Retrograde Vintage store began her response by detailing her definition of retro:

” For me, the term retro refers to any item from the recent past (ie.the 60s to the 80s). I sell some items of furniture and it is most evident in furniture the difference between antique, vintage and retro. A Georgian table, for instance, is immediately known as an antique, coming from the early 1800s. There then was a dramatic shift in design before the Second World War, the art deco and art nouveau movements of the 20s and 30s, and here, for me, is the beginning of vintage. Retro, is then the simple lines and cheaper materials of the 1960s and 70s.”

Sinead Lally owner of Cotton Face Vintage explains her idea of retro and the popular visual icons that identify retro for her:”

“My vision of retro is funky colourful, playful loud and has its own collective music beats.
Yes it's another cleverly disguised trend in a market that is already over saturated with fads but it works if it's used correctly. I only like to see the word attached to certain things like flares,  60,s dresses  , floral curtains and wallpaper , V.W beetle vans , big sunglasses and things like that , retro used anywhere else or loosely on ones tongue just to actually clarify that they mean vintage doesn't work for me either."

Another aspect of the Retro/Vintage debate is that of “retro style” and “vintage-style” products, which are common in today’s fashion environment. Sinead explains:

“I think with vintage now a day’s people are far more aware of it and know the real deal - most people want the real deal rather than a vintage inspired "copy" from a high street store for nearly double the price!  Everything in the stores right now is vintage inspired and are total copies but really good copies! There are a couple of stores at the moment that have amazing pieces to offer but the price tags are a little high. I buy a lot of vintage being a vintage buyer and I look at their tare and wear before I buy and the craftsmanship that has gone into them is amazing.”

Mary-Joe explains further about this issue:

“My problem lies with the terms "retro style" and "vintage style". Vintage and retro clothing are not only examples of the fashions of particular eras, but they are, more often than not, made of better quality materials than modern clothing and finished better, often being lined and hand sewn. By dressing in vintage and retro clothing one is also not supporting modern day sweat factories or child labour or all of the other abuses that take place in both our social and physical environments in pursuit of money and the latest trends. "Retro Style" is merely an item with a similar neckline or hemline as an original, but with none of the integrity of the original.”
So when Vintage clothing offers so much integrity and quality why do we opt for “Vintage inspired” or “retro style clothing”?
Personal Shopper and Stylist Nastasha Crowley Offers this simple explanation that “ people can still be a bit funny about trying out vintage shops, I think its pre-loved but they just think its pre-worn!”

Sinead also describes how many of the Vintage styles she comes across “are amazing. They had sooo much fun making and designing clothes back then - I mean the stuff I come across is crazy and they used to wear it without a second thought with huge hair!!” Perhaps we just aren’t as adventurous are we used to be? Are we afraid to wear something too “out-there”?
 Natasha I think exemplifies how many women incorporate vintage into their wardrobes she “wouldn’t generally wear head to toe vintage, I might pair a dress from the 60's with a pair of boots from Topshop. I think everyone these days is striving for individuality in the era of fast fashion but then that vintage look can become a uniform. From a personal shopping aspect clients will tell me they like the 50's, 60’s etc. but will want me to recreate that for them on the high street.”
Again we are all striving for individuality but as Sinead describes many of us choose not buy the real deal “some choose not to buy actual vintage because they don't like the thought of wearing second hand or "smelly clothes" I heard this a lot and would opt for the high street version “vintage inspired” instead, that to me is fine and each to their own. I suppose that's where the high street have tapped into, maybe unbeknownst to themselves”
As Natasha said Vintage and high street clothing can be used to create an individual look where does retro fit into this conversation or should it have a place at all?
Freelance writer and Blogger ( Sarah Waldron explains that:” A retro something isn't a genuine artefact, it is bland, impersonal impersonation and pastiche. The word itself leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  It's the kind of word that, if used unironically, will cause the user to squirm with embarrassment at a later date, like reading back in a diary and realising that you really overused the word 'groovy'.  'Retro' and all the ersatz things that it implies will eventually be consigned to the dustbin of outdated buzzwords and, ironically, only then will it become vintage!”

So if retro will become the new vintage, what exactly will be the 2010’s defining style feature be? “Vintage has come in, in a huge way and brought back mostly every era imaginable I don't know if we can look back and think of what style we were wearing in 2010, I’ve often thought of that point, and I don't think 2010 will have an impact like the "retro" years”. I have to agree with Sinead owner of Cotton face vintage. I think our obsession with personal style has led to a break away from one prescribed design style and therefore we may not be able to associate the 2010’s with a particular dress cut (i.e 1950’s swing skirt) or trousers shape(i.e 1970’s flare).
Whichever side of the debate you find yourself on I think we are moving towards an era of conscious consumption and vintage and retro clothing are a part of this. Nastasha brilliantly explains the joy of discovering a great vintage piece “For me vintage is all about the excitement of the rummage, of never knowing what gems you might uncover I once found a stripey blazer in a vintage shop in London with two german pfennings in the pocket. It’s the loveliness of these little finds that attracts me to vintage”.  If rummaging isn't your thing don’t be put off as most vintage stores, in my experience, are small and very easy to navigate. Another great thing about the vintage shopping experience is how personal it is, Mary-Joe (Mercury Goes Retrograde can be found on Drawbridge St right at the back of Dunnes on Patrick street) is always on hand to offer advice to her novice and seasoned customers and online gems such as Cotton face Vintage which can be found on Facebook offer are never but a comment away and the delivery is super-fast too! Other Cork institutions include Miss Daisy Blue which by the time of print should have moved to a new and bigger unit right across the way from its old home and  Turquoise Flamingo always has loads of treats in it's new online store!


Images via: