Monday, April 12, 2010

"It's better to be a flamboyant failure than a benign success"

Top to bottom -  Westwood and McLaren, SEX Kings Road shop, God Save the Queen #1 in 1977, McLaren fifth from left with Sex Pistols 1976. 

Malcolm McLaren lived by motto "It's better to be a flamboyant failure than a benign success". I first read about him in Vivienne Westwood's biography, and like Westwood, I have been fascinated by him ever since. The two of them started the 'SEX' shop on The Kings Road in London and dressed the Sex Pistols in bondage gear which would go on to shape British punk culture. Johnny Rotten is credited in being the first British punk to rip his shirt, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Viscous as the first to use safety pins. Details about McLaren's career in music are detailed by the BBC here

McLaren passed away last week at the age of 64. I'm looking forward to reading more about his life and legacies and watch his family continue to influence popular culture. McLaren and Westwood's son, Joe Corre, co-founded Agent Provocateur and has recently moved into menswear with a 'Child of the Jago' in Shoreditch, London. I visited the store before I left London and it definitely has a mysterious, unconventional vibe. It hasn't become hugely successful yet, but I'm sure it will take off sooner than later. The family has a knack for trend spotting, creating unconventional businesses with cult followings, and turning them into a commercial success. And they always seem to achieve it in a mischievous, flamboyant manner.  

Friday, April 2, 2010

Playing Horse

This is Maiga riding Marina. I've had a restrained love for horses ever since I was little. In my key-and-lock diary from when I was little I wrote a "what I want to be when I'm older" list. It reads - photographer, fashion designer or horse back riding instructor. I think the 'instructor' part was me trying to be practical. So a job playing with horses was naturally an instructor.

I rode for a while when I was young but broke my arm falling off and never really got back into it. Over the years I've made feeble attempts of riding again with the odd lesson or trail ride here and there. But mostly I fantasize about riding horses through the outback and almost drive off the road every time I drive past horses in a field. But that's it.

So I jumped at the opportunity when Maiga invited me along to hang out with her and Marina. Or actually maybe I invited myself. Anyways, she was sweet enough to let me tag along on her morning ride.  I had no idea there were stables right in Vancouver! But there are a whole bunch of barns and a large riding community right off SW Marine Drive!

It was so fun just being there. The smell of hay, horse and leather...the mud and cold air....and all  passionate riders at the stables. I took a picture of Marina's saddle. It's just so gorgeous with the worn layers of stained leather. Oh and the boots. Real riding boots. I want some to ride in...and to wear everyday. Stylish and practical? Yes. Hygienic. No.

I'm going to try to fit in some lessons in in the near future! I can't wait to play horse some more. Thank you Maiga!