22 January 2009

The Simurgh

(I adore this jumper)
"Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
Return and back into your Sun subside"

Writing in the latter half of the twelveth century, Persian poet Farid Ud-Din, also known simply as Attar ("pharmacist"), narrated in his poetry the story of thirty birds crossing the seven valleys in order to find the legendary Simurgh. The Simurgh, found mainly in Persian folklore, although also cropping up in artwork from India, Armenia and Byzantium, was said to be the majestic winged beast that served as a messenger between the heavens and earth. She was said to roost at the Tree of Life, set in the middle of the great sea of the world, the seeds and fruit of which could cure any illness or woe that befell mankind. His story, although on the one hand telling of the journey of these birds to find the legendary creature, was written as an analogy telling of the paths one would have to follow, were they to reach Enlightenment.

Borrowing the name of this famous poem, Andrew Holden began his brand, Conference of Birds last year with his Autumn Winter 08 collection. Although by now the collection is two seasons old, I thought I would share these photographs due to the sheer quality of the clothing. The main attraction for me were the finely cut and traditional outerwear pieces.

The rather strong shoulders and low cut arm sleeves, which lead to quite a dominant upper torso shape remind me in terms of tailoring of a British cut akin to something from the likes of Henry Poole & Co. Yet the cutting in of the waist and prominent shoulders also smack of a very French style, and as such I find that combination of influences very appealing in the overall silhouette, especially in terms of a garment that is ready-to-wear. The winter fabrics that are used for the clothing, indeed including the shirts are also a very attractive prospect.

It seems in winter one always finds oneself looking towards more casual fabrics in terms of shirts, simple because of their warm and cosy qualities, as opposed to something such as a fine combed cotton. I find the military style shirt rather appealing, and it is nice to see that the thicker fabric shirts were styled with a softer collar - minus the collar stays. Personally speaking, I always feel that collar stays should only really be worn with fine shirts and with a suit, for more casual looks, even if I am wearing a tie, I tend to find that softer collar look more appropriate.

What are your thoughts of the collection?

Currently playing: Arabesque #1 - Debussy (performed by Aldo Ciccolini)



  1. Beautiful post. I love the black and white pictures (slightly reminiscent of Hedi Slimane's photography, in particular the first one) and the occasional influence of old Russian émigrés (belted coats, braces and shirts). The clothes look genuinely good, lovely and romantic. The jumper you like is very similar to one my boyf bought a few years ago from Dries Van Noten. I love the silhouette of this look, it has a kind of energy, extremely flattering!
    I'm impressed by your interesting combination of literature references and the experience of fashion.

  2. I love the collection! I don't think there's one picture you posted that I didn't like! :D The one with the jumper is one of my favorites, too!

    The poem is beautiful, and I love how you incorporated some literature in the post, and gave some history.

    Great post!!


  3. I agree that the military shirt is quite appealing, it is the piece that stood out to me. I love the tailoring of the coats also. xx

  4. Ey! Take a look at my last shoot!

    ALLURE (Pictures of my last exhibition)
    Photographed by Michael Oats.


  5. Your blog is amazing!
    Hugs from spain!


  6. God I love your posts. You are so insightful and articulate.

  7. hey hey thanks for comment! hope you have found a cool desk!! xxxx love LM

  8. my thoughts are that you should model the collection. always.

  9. amazing pictures, love love the jacket, and the shirt with th two front pocket--of course the jumper/boots!! xoxo

  10. Once again, amazing photos. I love the sweater so much. I saw a girl the other day walking down the street in something like that and leggings! Lovely.

  11. 'cest magnifique!

    I love it. I don't know why I love men's fashion so much but I do, and this collection is great!

    I love that knit sweater in the fifth picture. It looks very warm!
    The coats are wonderful! I'm also eyeing that leather jacket...wow.
    Sometimes I wish I could wear that stuff...or that guys here would actually bother paying enough attention to fashion to dress well in America. Lol.

    Great post. I love the poem, and will probably be searching for that author on my next tri to the library. <3

  12. Great post, love the collection- the coat in particular is amazing.

    Also- not a bad idea about stringing my new coasters up!

  13. it's a very classic collection, but for me i dont think there is enough variety for it to be 'outstanding'. however i do agree that the quality looks superb, and the highlight definately is that oversized jumper. thanks for the tip off, i'll look out for the label in the future...

    (and i love the way the name was chosen- how romantic)

    thankyou for linking me, your links up on my sidebar too :)


  14. Gosh, great pictures, love your post.


  15. Absolutely gorgeous collection! The black and white photography was a fantastic choice as well.
    I do wish I could see some of the guys in my classes wearing clothing like this...unfortunately, I'm surrounded by football jerseys and sweatpants.

    And, I think your mother sounds like an incredible woman too! It must have been so difficult for her, I can't imagine!
    xo, dear.

  16. Such a rich history. Great stuff. Love the pics too.

  17. I really like it. The military style shirt with the skinny tie is my favorite in the collection. Sort of like grown-up boyscouts.

  18. i love this collection.. the jackets and that military shirt are fantastic

  19. love this collection and the way it's photographed, and your blog is looking great!

  20. Great photos (love the light in them) of a really beautiful collection. And okay, I admit it, the model ain't bad to look at either ;D

  21. I lurve this man. He kinda looks like the bourgeois hippie who lives in Williamsburg. I could see him in a coop loft with three of his artist friends. The apartment would have a view of the river, and they'd throw rooftop parties with live music and box wine. (Paradoxical luxury.)

  22. omg that jumper is amazing! i would happily wear that any day.