For the first time in over 70 years, the hallowed turf of Hurlingham Park will thunder with the hooves of high-class polo ponies. Players from all over the world will battle each other in a furious display of horsemanship and polo strategy to win the ultimate polo prize - The World Polo Series.
Between the 5th-6th June 2009, the inaugural tournament of The World Polo Series will take place in Fulham, Central London.
Shall enjoy trading at this event, more my kind of people...might even wear me Ralphie!
ellesse is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the design competition CREATE TENNIS ART. Uber cool illustrator and typographer Si Scott designed the flyer and will be part of the jury; the iconic Italian sportswear brand has also collaborated with textile print superstar Kate Gibb and Greek animation genius Babis Alexiadis (check his animation here http://vimeo.com/4150738). Two great inspirations to enter the competition!
The winning designs will feature on http://www.ellesse.com/50thAnniversary/ and will be showed during the ellesse 50th anniversary party in Rome in July 2009. Eva will attend the event in Rome as part of her prize and also receive £1,500 and a fully paid 3 month design-based work placement.
You too could be part of the ellesse 50th anniversary celebrations, win €4,500 and be sent to the ellesse 50th anniversary event where your work will be on display. An opportunity you shouldn’t miss...
All you have to do is create a piece of art or design to commemorate the ellesse 50th anniversary inspired by the brand’s Italian heritage and sporting roots in tennis. The categories for the competition range from fashion and textiles, right through to fine art, sculpture, street art, graphics and digital. Deadline is May 10th and all the details and application form can be found on http://www.ellesse.com/50thAnniversary/
After being sent an email to check my van/blog the night before it was by remarkable coincidence that Nikolai, the founder of Rift Trooper should find the next day on a visit to London that I be the first thing that greeted him exiting his taxi in Marylebone. After a cup of my finest and a Portuguese pastry he told me that he is no longer doing the original and pioneering site that strove to highlight all that was good about sneakers, streetwear and general stuff but last year started doing his own blog.
With its snub nose, the resemblance of the H-van to Darth Vader is quite obvious. So why someone would want to transform a perfectly good looking vehicle to look like this is beyond me. It should be melted down into bats and the owner given a right good hiding.
In fact they do, in Hungary. After the death of the original owner who passed it on to his sons, Velosolex were bought by Yamaha who in turn closed the plant and ceased trading. The original tools, however were sold and with them, a new company, Impex has started production again now in Hungary.
Complete with 50cc's of guff this bad boy can get up to a quiff shifting 24mph! The fact that it's a motorised bicycle and not a moped doesn't mean that you can skirt around the contentious issue of insurance or having to look a plum in a helmet. Which is why, for a design classic, I think that it never really took off in the UK and probably wont on it's re-introduction.
Although marketed as virtually bullet proof the reason why the Velosolex was so popular in Europe and Scandanavia was thanks to its post-sales service. In addition to a network of servicing centres, Velosolex used workshop vans to tour towns and villages to provide free adjustments and inspections.
Having found inspiration from Gwilym Davies the recently crowned UK Barista of the year my coffee journey has led me to East London based Square Mile Roasters. Recently started by James Hoffman (himself a former UK Barista champion) and Annette Moldvaer, SMR has already made serious in-roads into becoming one of the most up-front roasters in the UK today. From his coffee tinged teeth and the fact that he was brewing on a super rare Synesso machine that is the price of a small car I could see that he was very serious about coffee. His passion oozed into his patter like a freshly brewed espresso when he explained that they operate a system whereby they produce seasonal blends rather than same one throughout the year. They've just moved in to the Spring espresso which is composed of two different lots of coffee from two different origins (80% Del Obispo from Huila, Columbia and 20% FazendaMontaAlegre from MinasGerais, Brazil). It is a very clean and sweet espresso with notes of black cherry, toasted nuts, treacle and chocolate, with a soft buttery texture.
I've just taken stock of the new blend so if you would like to try, come see me.
Although the French throw revolutions like confetti the May '68 riots really were something else. 800,000 students, teachers and workers marched through the French capital demanding the fall of government under Charles deGaulle and protesting at Police brutality during the riots. Pictured above are two demonstrators who were among the last defenders of the barricades outside the Jardindu Luxembourg. Cracking maria! Cracking macs! Cracking pins! An arrest has never looked so good. Click the link for more pics of the riots.
Ask any Welsh person and they'll tell you that their Mother or Grandmother makes the best Welsh Cakes. Unfortunately they don't, my Gran did. Having not recorded her recipe before she passed away I had to cobble it together from other family members. The result, a magnificent mouthful full of memories! Not quite the standard of my Gran's but an admiral effort that definitely merit being sold on the van. In addition I shall be doing some Teisen Lap and some Patagonian Black Welsh cake called Torta Negra Galesa.
Following on from the last post - it seems that the H van wasn't just used in the Tour de France as a 'broom waggon' but also as company promotional vehicles. Taking advantage of the millions of roadside spectators many companies used the race as a massive rolling advertising carnival to generate public awareness. With them seemingly giving the coach builders 'carte blanche' to achieve advertising thaumaturgy the results are quite surreal if not bizarre. Rolled out only for the two week window the race is on, it's surprising that any of these vehicles have survived. But Bonhams‘ auction at Rétromobile in February suggests that at least some of them hang around, because they sold seven of them from the late Fifties and early Sixties. Although without the livery the H van pictured above and below is believed to be the work of coachbuilders Le Bastard (no relation to Alan). Check the Merc headlights!
One of the Rapha boys swung by the van a few weeks back and over a coffee explained that they have an H van which they not only sell/display their line of cycling clothing and accessories from but also use as an official team 'broom waggon'. This is the affectionate name for the vehicle that follows a cycle road race picking up stragglers (or sweeping them up) who are unable to make it to the finish within the time permitted. In the Tour De France the vehicle used was traditionally a Citroen H Van. The expression broom waggon is a translation of the French, voiture balai, and it was seen first at the Tour de France 1910. The broom waggon of the Tour de France did indeed once carry a broom fixed above the driver's cab - except in the years that it was sponsored by a vacuum-cleaner company.
Although not until August Bank Holiday weekend (28th-31st) I'm particularly looking forward to trading at this festival. They've just announced that Grace Jones will be headlining but the rest of the line up also looks spot on! Particular resonance for me will be Grandmaster Flash. 'White Lines' is one of only two tracks that I've ever learned the words to ('Baggy Trousers' being the other). Will also be nice to see the Furries again. Last time I saw them live was in the Afan Lido, Port Talbot in 2005. After a grand stage entrance on a golf cart to the A-Team soundtrack, they proceeded with a mellifluous concert that culminated in the anthemic 'Don't Give A F*%k that sent the 3000 seater arena into madness! Which leads me nicely to the last artist that I'll be dusting off the weejuns for, Prince Buster. One of the original ska, rock steady pioneers Prince Buster will no doubt get all the old rude boys skanking in their birkenstocks.
A few years back I used to do a clothing label and was invited to do the TBC show in New York. Time out from the show I managed to have a look about the city. Aside from the general buzz (the food, the shops, the bars etc) for me, what set it aside as a city were the buildings and architecture. I could have quite happily walked about staring skyward the whole time. But what often made these buildings so noteworthy were the fading adverts that still clung to them. So it was which much beatitude that I ran across phototographer Frank H. Jump's Fading Ad blog. Flicking through the images and I came across this one of an old Citroen garage in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Over the years he has taken hundreds of photos of ads many of which have now been covered up, vandalised or destroyed. Heinous really because in my opinion these ads make NYC, NYC!
Searching for some parts for the van and I came across a wicked little French website that is dedicated to the H van. Almost Colette-like with its animated based design the website not only has a wide variety of vans for sale but it has an amazing gallery of assorted pictures. I found this one in the Les photos d'epoque. I don't know about you but I always thought Spar was British. But no, apparently it's Dutch. 'De Spar': 'Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig' which translates into 'We all benefit from joint cooperation'....and I'll have ten Bensons as well please!
Came across this the other day. It seems that beautiful vehicles were not the only thing that Citroen excelled at designing. Check the cover designs for these vintage car brochures. They're all good but these ones from the seventies are tres sweet!
Sunday 29th March will once again see me trading at the Midcentury Modern Show. Set in the light and bright 60’s concrete and glass Christison-designed refectory and the South Cloisters at Dulwich College, Midcentury is fast establishing itself as the number one destination for sourcing the antiques of the future without the huge retail mark-up.
Nice bit of press recently. Okay, it was done back in Novemenber but I've never been one to shy away from a modicum of belated pomp. After a phonecall to them to try and generate a bit of exposure it turned out the relevant contact had seen the van and sampled one of fine cappuccinos the day before. To see the whole article.
Just been confirmed that I will be trading at this years Lovebox weekender. Rolling deep in my Michelins with the Sourced Market alliance, I will be part of an ensemble of the finest vendors taken from the likes of Borough Market.
More events/festivals will be posted when confirmed.
Sidle past the DVD sellers avoiding the glare of the Hi-Vis vests and every Sunday you'll find me on Cheshire St, E2. Quite often throughout the day people will ask if they can take a picture of the van but it came as complete surprise when an old friend emailed to say that there was small gallery of pics on Flickr. Having had a look through them I thought this one summed up the market nicely.
Having spent the last 10 years in the fashion game as co-owner of Drooghi in 2007 I decided that I needed a change in vocation. After clapping eyes on and falling in love with the Citroen H van I decided that what I was to do would be centred around owning one. A passion for coffee made the option as to what to sell from it an easy one. So after six months of waiting for the work to be carried out on restoration and refurbishment, Cwtch Coffee was born. Cwtch is a Welsh word that literally translated means a cuddle or a hug. Cwtch Coffee...a cuddle in a cup!