Saturday, May 22, 2010

Camillastore goes Stateside.
"who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue
amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regi-
ments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertis-
ing & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down
by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality"

It is my second day in the uber-cool San Francisco and, now I'm over the jet lag (For me, it's Tylenol Nighttime every time!), am able to finally string two lines together. Further evidence of my being bombed on the time difference emerged last night when I returned from a wander round the shops still wearing some unpaid for merchandise. A felony within 24 hours of landing. Awesome.

Anyway, today I am more coherent and with the weekend free to explore this great city. First up I headed over to the Ferry Building. A local foodie's heaven. a visiting, hotel-bound foodie's nightmare. Photos will follow, but picture row upon row of incredible produce set against the backdrop of San Francisco bay. Just spectacular. I also popped into Miette bakery. I first heard of Miette and got to know the owner, Meg, back when I worked for Rococo Chocolates. Meg wasn't around, but the Rococo was in prime position and the carrot cake cupcakes pretty special.

Next I sauntered - well, admittedly, heaved - my way up one of the infamous San Fran hills to make a pilgrimage to City Lights Bookshop. Though I may have sold my soul to branding and be more about power plates than Lucky Strikes these days, the Beat poets and writers still hold a very special place in my heart. I have always been fascinated by their courage and commitment to forging new forms of literature, of thinking even, in a time when America was vigilant against "non-conformist" behaviour. To finally set foot where founder Ferlinghetti hung out with Ginsberg, Kerouak and Cassidy realised a long-held dream of mine.

And now I'm back in my hotel room which overlooks the hot tub in a very Don Draper-esque manner and wondering whether a second burrito in as many days is pushing it slightly.

Friday, May 07, 2010

May the road come up to meet you

I know now is probably a rare opportunity to discuss the Party leaders' journey to the election, assessing brand strength, fashion choices and social networking capabilities. But two things launched this week to draw my eye from BBC News 24.

First up TopShop launched a MAKE UP RANGE! Put that in your pipe Gordon Brown! The dreamy, indie packaging makes great use of the TopShop spots, while the hand drawn element gives it an accessible-yet-aspirational feel. As someone who was beginning to feel that M.A.C's seat was in jeapardy, TopShop's range might just be the vote for change my makeup bag was looking for. And, yes, that metaphor just happened!

Secondly, and much more interestingly, Aubin and Wills are opening a CINEMA and gallery space in Shoreditch. This is lifestyle branding gone nuts. I'll happily buy a cute top and imagine myself into the A&W world vision. I'll even consider a bit of A&W homeware, because it's post-modern ironic. But is an events programme a step to far?

Thinking about it, little brother Jack Wills manages to get away with a yearly Polo fixture. But that's Jack Wills - ostentacious Sloanies love that shit. Aubin & Wills are meant to be cool, demure, subtle. People who wear A&W generally pick at their new cashmere jogging pants and say "oh this old thing!" between mouthfuls of organic porridge.

But have no fear Camillastore readers, I'll hit up the launch on 20th May and get back to you.