Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpkin curiosities

Happy Halloween from ShopCurious!

If you’re celebrating on the East Coast of the USA, I hope you’re not inundated with water, or without power  - in which case a pumpkin may prove to be a useful candle holder.

I saw pumpkins masquerading as lots of things in American shops – everything from cooking pots and punch bowls to candles, plates and creatively carved decorative table centre pieces.

Thankfully, there was also the real thing in the form of these wonderfully misshapen gourds. 

And at Sonoma’s Cline Cellars, pumpkins lined the driveway, right up the steps…

… to this curious fellow.

But we Brits are catching up in the pumpkin presentation stakes, as I discovered on a recent visit to Elizabeth King’s delicatessen in Parsons Green (see below).

Not sure this was meant for Halloween, but I love this pumpkin coloured lampshade sculpture (photographed at London's Design Junction) too.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Halloween curiosities in San Francisco

I’ve never seen so many skeletons and so much spooky stuff as on my recent visit to San Francisco. The lengths people have gone to in decorating their homes and shops for Halloween is most impressive, let alone some of the outfits I saw  - like this frightening fellow at Fisherman’s Wharf (above).

Cobwebs and coffins are in abundance, along with spiders and other creepy crawlies. Mendel’s Far Out Fabrics and Art Supplies shop encourages visitors to make their own costumes – with some curious examples on show (below).

ShopCurious might have expected to see skulls and bones in the window of Haight Street curiosity shop, Loved to Death...

... but not inside Sausalito pilot houses.

By the way, Sonoma’s Sebastiani Theatre is showing a Witchy Poo Halloween Extraganza this weekend, which promises to be curiously camp as well as creepy.  If you’re in the area, do check it out.

PS For a tourist trip that will seriously spook you out: ShopCurious visits Alcatraz in our latest post at The Dabbler.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Vintage fashion catalogues giveaway

In advance of Kerry Taylor’s forthcoming vintage fashion auction, I visited the auctioneer’s new premises in London’s Bermondsey. Kerry was in the process of cataloguing and photographing hundreds of items for the sale on Tuesday 16th October.

The auction includes everything from 1930s tea dresses and 1950s ballgowns to 1980s Mugler suits and antique Chinese robes. Two of the items - a 1970s tiered John Bates dress, and a 1960s Courreges jacket are pictured below.

Kerry kindly gave ShopCurious a couple of catalogues from previous sales – including one containing photographs of a collection of clothing belonging to Audrey Hepburn. 

These are being offered as a giveaway to one of our readers. Simply leave a comment below before 22nd October in order to be included in the draw for the catalogues.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Supersize staging for Superstar...

The thought of spending Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena seeing a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at London’s O2 Arena didn’t exactly fill me with joy. But I was pleasantly surprised by the updated version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s world famous ‘70s musical. The grungy costumes weren’t particularly noteworthy, but the reworking of the show is inspired, set as it is in modern day Britain at the time of the riots – and featuring graffiti-daubed flyovers, CCTV cameras and what look to be the steps of St Paul’s.

The original music was belted out at a decibel level high enough to force our host to wear earplugs. The only respite was when Mel C (as Mary Magdalene) sang I Don’t Know How To Love Him. Tim Minchin, as Judas Iscariot, has a monumental stage presence and Ben Forster plays JC like a seasoned pro - though Alex Hanson, as Pontius Pilate, has the gravitas of someone in rather a different league. In any case, it was Chris Moyles, as gaudily dressed game show host King Herod, whose character, singing voice and red suit stole the show.

At the time of writing there are still tickets available for Wembley Arena on Wednesday 17th October, plus the production is also touring the UK. If you don’t get a chance to catch it, see ShopCurious’s video of the show’s final moments here:

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Curiously poptastic!

Pop! Design Culture Fashion at London’s Fashion and Textiles Museum is still showing (until 27th October).  Fashionholics are advised not to miss this exhibition featuring 300 items from the 1950s through to the 1970s.  Showcasing the impact of music, art and celebrity on fashion from rock ‘n’ roll to punk, there are vintage album covers, retro posters, popular consumer goods and, of course, stylish clothes and unique accessories from the likes of Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood. 

Some of ShopCurious’s favourites are the 1960s Mondrian style vinyl coat (above) and Harry Gordon’s disposable paper Eye Dress, below. 

I’m curious to know why wearing paper dresses never caught on - even in warm countries…

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Fashionably busy? Bring back the past...

“I do hope you'll offer some commentary on LFW. I feel somehow so out of the fashion week spirit this time around! I need a jolt of inspiration,” was Style Porn’s comment on my previous blog post. 

That was a few weeks ago. Since then I’m sure there’s been tons of coverage on every fashion week everywhere. I can’t quite manage to keep up. In the past few weeks I’ve been to countless fashion and design events in London and Europe, whilst continuing to follow what’s happening elsewhere in the world online.

Anyway, after a lecture earlier this week by Kerry Taylor (of whom more later) on 1960s style at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, I was inspired to take an online trip down memory lane.

Can’t repeat the past? But of course you can (see simple geometric prints and styles by MaxJenny above - and video below). 


And we should expect to see much more of then past, as the present becomes curiously complicated... and the future a little too worrying to contemplate.  Read our latest Curious Trends post for a taster of what's to come.

Will you?

To be continued...