Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Three - Dog Day Afternoon

On one of the hottest days of this dying season, Alex Wilson and I reunited to further our collaboration, this time in the residential environs of Knightsbridge

For thematic consistency - or due to obsessive tendencies -  I utilised another Deborah & Clare shirt (one may note a textured star design in its weave), this time with one of the duo's neckties, and a different pair of vintage Ultra eyeframes. Common sense dictated that I don an unstructured ramie Junya Watanabe Man jacket, currently the lightest wearing coat I have

Needless to say, more to come

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Beastie Boys - 'Ricky's Theme' (1994)

Design Lust Object No.4 - Charlotte Perriand et Jean Prouvé

Made from lacquered aluminium and wood, this striking piece from the pre-Tetris/pre-Jenga Fever era is an example of the distinctive 1950s "Mexique" bookcase designs created by the French designer Charlotte Perriand (1903 - 1999) at the Atelier Jean Prouvé, ostensibly the only one Perriand would work with. History has it that it was originally designed for la Maison du Mexique, a dormitory at Paris's Cité Universitaire when Perriand was tasked with designing its meeting rooms, cafeteria and forty students' rooms. She worked extensively with Sonia Delaunay, who was in charge of the coloration. Already, one is under the impression that Perriand possessed a particular sense for organisation; this creation was an example of her goal to bring a sense of idiosyncratic, attractive aesthetics to functional living

In the 1930s, Perriand was partnered with the notably more well-known Le Corbusier, as pictured above, having gained his attention with her chrome-tube furniture installation, 'Bar sous le toit' (bar under the roof), at the Salon d’automne in 1927. She devoted herself to leftist causes and healthy living, as evocatively displayed in the poster below as she defies the elements in nothing but the gloves and lower half of her ski ensemble. An exhibition on Perriand, detailed at The Hotel Corail, is now in its final weeks at the Petit Palais Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Utrecht - Phantom of Indie Boyz (2006)

   It's Tokyo time again:

"Do you know there are discos in hell, too?
Six people died at the party when we played there"

   Obscure enough to only allow me one YouTube link, there's still a lost mass appeal to this trio's output. Utrecht is something of a Neo Shibuya-Kei supergroup, with the genius-level sample manipulator Tomonori Hayashibe of whimsical, super-speed pop exemplars Plus-Tech Squeeze Box joining the more Francophiliac stop-start dance purveyors Gikyo Nakamura, a DJ better known as The Pegasuss, and Ukai, leader of COPTER4016882 and a labelmate of electro disco svengali Yasutaka Nakata, a one-time upstart in Shibuya-Kei traditions whose work ethic and guidance of the successful trio Perfume and his band Capsule have seen him obtain cottage industry prestige and Asia crossover success

   The trio's first record, New Beach, bore a label recommending them to followers of Mylo, The United States of Electronica and other such groups they are a touch more interesting than even if they paddle in the same pool. In common with the upbeat  inclinations of their previous turnout, that production was their Digital Disco of Love album; this is the synthetic, yearning, warehouse rocking-derived follow-through, suitable for a long cruise through a Mirror Universe Miami twenty five years ago. And this casual drive still faces occasional interruptions from the lightning strikes of the rock gods

   That squelch of music that one would hear at the slow push of a pause button on a tape deck impels the album as '1980' rolls around; an unspooling soundscape of synths and what is either woodwind or backwards strings proceeds in a fashion that suggest the song has ensued in reverse. This effect lasts around 30 seconds before plucked guitar notes and a mildly plaintive melody elicit two reactions - "Don Henley" and "Mature Sophomore Recording." Whilst this is built on with the unison, wistful harmonics of the trio's singing - it should be noted here that as a result of singing in broken English, Utrecht provides little intelligibility to their vocals - snares that may have been devised by turntable cutting and a fast pace, there is still enough downbeat atmosphere to ease one into the record gently
"It's not so bad to start from a wasteland
I'm the chosen

I can imagine vividly
Scenery seen far away
I can get everything
Luxurious dinners and a precious girlfriend"
   If Phantom of Indie Boyz bore a similar sticker to its predecessor, the reference points would most likely be the skinny jeans, indie dance heroes of five years ago it slots alongside - Justice, LCD Soundsystem and my personal favourite, Cut Copy - with the odd lashings of M83. Apparently, the scowling electro-rock song 'turntable still burning' is constructed from references to various genre tracks from that year, whilst the preceding 'morning haze' contains dream pop-like textures comparable to M83's synthesised swoons. But it is pop music that buoys Utrecht's best work, as it did on their previous record, and this is clear from the ones I love best: the eponymous and snappy neon night ride, 'phantom of indie boyz;' the aptly named second track 'stay gold,' a yearningly romantic, excellently produced and composed dance-pop number in the St. Etienne-with-low-end mould; and 'kiss me, kiss me,' a softly funky, minimal electro-disco piece that is referential to other music in a different manner to the aforementioned 'turntable...', bringing the melody and lyrics of the first album's 'first kiss' into a new setting of indelicate lyrics and very dégagé, very Japanese rapping - cut-and-paste to the core

   Sound samples are available here; lyrics are found there

Autumn Astaire

There should always be praise for Fred Astaire's mastery of playfulness and propriety, for how else could he have played the 1960s young man's game of the similar/same coloured necktie-and-shirt so well?

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Samuel Fosso Post

I borrow an identity.
In order to succeed I immerse myself in the necessary physical and mental state. It’s a way of freeing me from myself.
A solitary path.
I am a solitary man.

Samuel Fosso (born 1962 in Cameroon) as Angela Davis and Martin Luther King in his 'African Spirits' series

   Once, at the London retro-speakeasy flavoured club night Prohibition, my friend and occasional collaborator Winston Chesterfield put it to me that "there is a challenge levelled at dandies that many of them are simply playing ‘dressing up’ – the implication being that with a fashion history book open, anyone can match such a style." I've always thought this implication wide of the mark; as proved by some - but only some - of the patrons at that very night - a book or a photograph does not confer consummate mastery, never mind an instant one. Without a creative eye, mimicry is worth less than nothing. And that premise underlines my appreciation of this article's rather visually intelligent subject

   My interest in Samuel Fosso's portrait shoots began in the early days of Style Time/Mode Parade, although there were other little distractions like articles about pocket squares, flamboyant showmen and satirical pop songs written for television dramas to keep me from parsing this knowledge into content hitherto tonight. It is the particular charm and statement-making potency of his work that has lodged it in my mind, to say nothing of the labile self-presentations of the photographer himself, moving from African and Black American living/dead emblems such as Haïlé Sélassié and Malcolm X to post-colonial African hipster and neat, almost dandyish, naval recruit, bolstered by simple backgrounds whose mise-en-scene illustrates much about the lifestyles Fosso swathed himself in for his work

 Selections from 'Fosso Fashion'

   Like the genuine dandy, Fosso is a work of self-actualisation, weaving visual pleasure and social commentary from carefully constructed artifice. His portraiture is openly artful, his aesthetic sense alternately playful and ascetic (even he could not avoid the pristine allure of a white studio expanse). Most considerately, his theatrical feeling for posture yields photographic self portraiture that makes no bones about its narcissism and is all the more vibrant for it. I claim no expertise, but most professional self-shot photographs I see, these days, may as well have been taken in a photo booth or specifically for a MySpace account, for all the emphasis they place on setting and demeanour. Under such parameters, those portraits might become more interesting

Selections from 'Autoportraits des années 70'

   Fosso's myriad signifiers are elucidated in a Frieze magazine review that I filched from the eyepatch-sporting, Japanophile performing artist Momus, and may I say that it was a great help in producing this entry. It's quite a portrait of the artist where gravitas is concerned, but then it is about Samuel Fosso - a man whose narcissism is worth a thousand words:

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Gentlemen of Leisure - A Visual Aid


His moneyed languor as outdated as the utility of his white tie, this one lived in the Gilded Age of the 20th Century, adhering to any passing fancy with the steadfastness of a mayfly's lifespan. Hobbies include dabbling in thievery, pugilism and romance. Deceptively passionate, often tired. May have "a purely nasal habit" (snuff). Latter day retro-dandies carry his photograph in their wallets



Came to prominence during the 1970s, achieving a status in the pop cultural consciousness rivalled only by Michael Jackson and that undersized purple and green dinosaur with the undescended genitalia. His ensemble is an outward manifestation of his inner search for respectability and idiosyncratic flair. Many respect his ability to wear hats long after their commonplace usage has passed. His relationships with women tend to be highly committed, although he is compelled to juggle as many as his ever-flexible schedule will allow. His morals are questionable, yet today his lifestyle still elicits an atavistic form of envy within young white men who lack his ease with the fairer sex. As a result of his lifestyle and memetic prowess, he has myriad theme songs created by myrmidons and fanboys, of which an example is included below:


I Am Sportsman

Insufferable. Makes repeated utterances about the elixir vitae that is playing umpteen rounds of golf. Tends to meet women through the Entrepreneur above. When alone, he wonders if it were possible to find or fund a catholicon for hemorrhoids, hair loss and ennui. Members of this category can sometimes be lottery winners; as a result of extreme avariciousness and parvenu tendencies, they will slide into destitution and street work (although not of the kind advocated by the Entrepreneur) within 20 months of their windfall. Devoted to baseball caps

Friday, 26 August 2011

FRAPBOIS 2011-2012 AW Collection "EL Quijote" feat. Plus-Tech Squeeze Box

   Ahead of the next brace of Fashion Weeks, an engaging presentation from Japanese streetwear label FRAPBOIS. Since I have been making noises here and there about wanting to explore a different personal aesthetic one day, some of this might prove inspirational in time, although I draw the line at drop crotch trousers

   This is also a good reason to finally post music from the Japanese duo Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, who have produced a considerable amount of my favourite records, remixes and one-offs over the past 10 years. Paradoxically accessible yet provocatively an acquired taste, they have only given the world two albums, yet pack fifty times that amount into every piece they make. All hail the sampler:

Leather Lust Object No.11 - Hermès Walks the Dog

How many of us would have dreamt of a curio such as this - an expensive yo-yo wrapped in leather from the house of Hermès to complement one's lizard-lined bouncy ball and rocking horse with green calfskin saddle?

Verily, our dreams are all too small:

On sale now at eBay; photographs taken by the seller

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Stand-In (2011)

A short film by an old friend of some old friends, Ricky Lloyd George, presently a California-based director:

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Two

Part Deux of my recent collaboration with ace photographer Alex Wilson is upon us. This edition saw us taking to the streets of South Kensington and Chelsea for a style more familiar to followers of previous
portrait shoots

It's been quite some time since I last looked and felt so much like a post-colonial African. The Deborah & Clare shirt certainly helped to impel this deliberate styling choice towards its optimal expression

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

"I'm glad I got my suit dry-cleaned before the riots started"

Beck - 'Broken Train' (1999)

Bonus photography by Garry Winogrand, Nan Golding, Paul Strand and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, all friends of, or inspired by, Diane Arbus. Beck is pictured as a guest of Charlotte Gainsbourg
'Cause there's only rehashed faces
On the bread line tonight
Soon you'll be a figment
Of some infamous life
We're out of control
No one knows how low we'll go

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Dressing The Bond

The Six Bonds by Tozani at deviantART

   As some of my semi-regular readers may have noted, I have spent some time at Matt Spaiser's elucidatory labour of love, The Suits of James Bond, which digs deep into the filmic wardrobe of the universe's least surreptitious superspy

   One subtle thread woven through Spaiser's articles is a soft rehabilitation of Roger Moore's finery, burdened as it is by the dull witterings of clothing ascetics and loathers of the 1970s who lack either the patience or the distance to appreciate its sheer breadth, harping instead on the received wisdom of polyester, platforms and pornography moustaches that characterise many retro memories. And this re-examination may have reached its apotheosis in a recent discussion sparked by Sir Roger's Golden Gun-era safari shirt jacket, leading to this screed (and some very well reasoned follow-ups) by commenter PDGB that I, for one, feel should gain a little bit of traction in this crazy milieu of ours. I certainly encourage any interested parties to read his further responses for an excellent defence of Lazenby:
Can we get beyond the “out-of-character” argument, and just agree each to prefer our favourite Bond without making claims for his relative authenticity? The “out-of-character” argument presupposes that there is some secure basis for saying what is *in* character for Bond. If Fleming’s Bond is the benchmark, most of the material Matt has covered would have to be ruled out of court, since Bond’s tastes, so far as they can be reconstructed from the novels, are more idiosyncratically conservative than anything we've seen in the Eon Films.
In fact, it does not seem to me that claims for Fleming’s ultimate authority are the ones most often put forward in comments on this blog. Much more often, some kind of appeal is made to a nebulous notion of “Britishness” or “Englishness,” and to a notion of “proper” tailoring and taste. It might be worth bearing in mind that the lounge suit as a species of outfit is less than 150 years old, and as regular daywear for all classes above so-called blue-collar workers its pedigree is shorter still. Any talk about the “correct” width for lapels or shoulders, “correct” number of buttons on the cuff, “correct” rise for trousers, etc., or more generally for what constitutes “classic” tailoring does not refer to some dateless, platonic absolute, but to a set of conventions which has been in much more continuous flux than arbiters of taste like to admit in the short time that these conventions have been in play.

Is Connery’s Bond sartorially closest to Fleming’s? Yes. Is his tailoring the most conservative seen on screen, in terms of its reliance on the conventions of British tailoring? Again, yes – notwithstanding “concessions” to contemporary trends that tend to be overlooked more often than Moore’s, Lazenby’s or Craig’s. But this doesn’t make Connery the most in-character of the Bonds unless, again, Fleming is taken as the benchmark. Nor am I sure that the best defence of Moore’s “in-character-ness” is any supposed lineage his clothes may have in British domestic or colonial sartorial traditions (though I'll come back to this, apropos the specific topic of the original post). The best way to judge him, surely, is in terms of how the franchise worked during the 1970s. Seventies Bond is a post-Flint, post-Steed, post-Solo Bond – a figure dancing the line between the straight and the parodic. Moore has remarked on the absurdity of the fact that everyone seems to know who Bond is, even though he’s a secret agent. Given this baseline absurdity, why would Bond need to dress inconspicuously? And given the overtones of spoof, which begin in earnest with Diamonds Are Forever, we can expect the odd double-edged sartorial joke, partly at Bond’s expense, such as Connery’s ludicrously out-of-place white dinner jacket in the early casino scenes in DAF.
Screen Bond has always been exponentially more of a fantasy figure than Literary Bond—and that’s saying something—but the nature of the fantasy has altered over time. It has tended to change with lead actor, and has generally entailed some sartorial shift, whatever continuity there may be between performers. If there’s a Screen Bond who’s out of character with the other Screen Bonds in sartorial terms it’s surely Dalton, purely because of the abrupt move away from bespoke. But every Bond has worn clothing which can be dated in some way to the moment of production, and in my view the character's dress is none the worse for that.
Finally, one point about Moore’s “safari shirts” and jackets in particular. If we want to talk about being “in character,” then I think this kind of epauletted garment maintains an entirely reasonable aesthetic link with Bond’s military past.


   Danielle Meder invited me on Thursday to attend an art exhibition launch within the East Bowel of London with her; specifically the Robert Crumb-esque cheek and Golden Age of Animation-stylings of French illustrator McBess, which is presented under the title The Folding Knife and housed at hip young person's - and, as it turned out, hip young family - venue, The Book Club

This August, highly regarded French illustrator, McBess (aka Matthieu Bessudo) will be exhibiting previously unseen canvas work, prints and 3D objects at The Book Club. His fascinatingly intricate work provides snapshots of his own experiences and is a contemplative diary of illustrative creations. The Folding Knife contemplates both current and childhood memories from which the title of the exhibition was born. A folding knife was a childhood keepsake of Matthieu’s and also reflects the detailed nature of his work. Don’t Panic commented on McBess ‘he’s so wonderfully French that he can make what would otherwise be freaky cartoon porn seem lovely and whimsical’.
A collection of his art from the last three years will be published this July by Nobrow and The Book Club will be lucky enough to have the original cover design adorning the walls. Having shown previously at galleries across the globe such as Issue in Paris and Nucleus in LA as well as having his art on the cover of Design Week this month, this French gentleman certainly has an exciting buzz around him.
   Whilst the venue cleverly stiffed Danielle on her previously advertised complimentary drink by way of a vital and missing horseshoe stamp - not too Draconian to require approval for a freebie on opening night, I'm sure - I found time to be photographed in my current heatwave mode and stood in front of a McBess piece for The Book Club's Flickr page:

   Being introduced to the work of McBess for the first time, I found some of his tics redolent of other latter-day illustrators of a cartoonish, surrealist bent such as Kaws and Pete Fowler; always crafting worlds of humour, fantasy and neuroses in a way that suggests persistent trouble from waking dreams (which would not be so unusual to me - these clearly explain much of the work and unique humour of self-confessed sufferer Joe Kelly, co-creator of Ben 10 and Marvel/DC stalwart). Fun and gifted, he certainly is, but one suspects McBess, with his penchant for isometric layouts (which he shares in common with the talented and engaging pixel fiends, eBoy), music sideline and memorable creativity, is one hipster touchstone away from licensing collectible vinyl figurines made in his image(s). I am therefore unsurprised that Kidrobot already made an overture towards him; six years ago, I would likely have been first in line:

Dunny and Mega Munny figures by McBess, seen in the second photograph


'The Perfect Saturday Afternoon' 

'The Desk (My Desk)'

  We had a decent perusal (at least when we were able to avoid the throng), an amusing moment involving those curvy hairpins that, according to a young fellow on a date that we encountered, are never far from a woman's head (including Danielle's) and it did indeed pique my interest to revisit it at a more opportune time. But in truth, this was all a prelude to our flight to Dalston an hour later to squeeze ourselves through two over packed dancefloors and indulge ourselves in the company of topless, dancing lesbians

   The Folding Knife will conclude on the 18th September, 2011


Thursday, 4 August 2011

White Suit Addendum

Here's one I missed from my favourites: fashion designer Christopher McDonnell, as featured in The Telegraph Magazine in 1973, via Flickr. It strikes me that the magazine seemed to attract more cream-of-the-crop fashion coverage and photography than did its closest competitors, judging by the references I've seen in recent tomes like the indispensable Day of the Peacock, published this year by the V&A

McDonnell's ensemble is extremely well considered, dynamically cut and well-fitting. His judiciousness is particularly borne out by the thinking man's approach to boldly printed neckties - leave much of it to the imagination - and he crowns this by balancing this bombast with the ready-made ostentation of the suit, achieving this through the complementary hue of the shirt

I'd replicate this outfit in a heartbeat. I'd certainly appreciate the model

Air - 'Alpha Beta Gaga' (2004)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Not Only For Southern Boys

   I want a white suit

  Yes, that's correct. I want to look like a plantation owner. Actually, I want to own a plantation. That's exactly why I want a white suit. My superiority complex must be indulged in the face of racial sensitivity, the stares of children and dry cleaning bills

   Speaking of children, for a great many of us growing up in Britain of the 1980s and early 1990s, this venerable institution below was our initiation into the intractable allure that a white suit holds. I write of course, of The Man From Del Monte, a tastemaker so prepotent that he could even subjugate Doctor Who 's definitive leading man into performing his narration:

   Of course, I'm quite willing to settle for off white or that light shade of beige that old people favour for upholstery

   Now, I've thought about styling one in a variety of forms. I've even considered ensembles in a Tony Montana or Miami Vice-like vein; utterly germane when matching the large quantities of Bolivian Marching Powder that line one's drawing room. And therein lies a decent line of approach - pastel shirting is an easy gateway to the fun of sporting white suiting - The King of Pop, for one, wrung an enduring image out of royal blue silk and barely-noticeable pinstripes. I do, however, recommend practically any colour other than darker purple - it's a touch too hard on the eyes, really:

Frankly, Mr. Jagger, this is not one of my favourites. But then, Mr. Watts has been consistently putting you to shame since the 1970s hit their middle period

   Nevertheless, Jagger has hit on another interesting aspect - bold shirts and white suits do not necessarily require neckwear; the tropical mode the look connotes makes for a particularly dégagé air; nothing speaks of summer's bright delights like a shirt that brings to mind the concentrated colouring of a particularly punchy cocktail. It's the dressing incarnation of optimism

   If one is particularly insensible or talented, a print shirt, worn in the Tynan fashion, is a step in a similar direction, and these are widely available, from H&M and Topman to Holliday & Brown, Gucci and Prada. The neckwear possibilities for these are a little looser than their pastel cousins - where the latter works best with plain or subtly patterned neckties and bow ties in both contrasting and similar shades, the former allows one to fool around with clashing prints or adventurous textures like raised ribbing and dupioni (both types may also support a neckscarf, where bravery permits). Worn at a function, it's an aesthetic that suggests one has brought all of the fun pills to the party. In the best potential interpretation of that hypothesis, of course

   So, how about a fellow who dons them habitually? Someone who did not earn the word "iconic" by making himself unavoidable via Jersey Shore, perhaps. A fellow who has been renowned for almost 40 years, who has designed garments of exquisite grace and idiosyncrasy, who challenges the Beastie Boys' Mike D for the sobriquet, "Man of Leather"

   Behold, The Last Emperor himself, Valentino Garavani:

   In contrast to rock'n'roll theatricality and dandyish offhandedness, Signor Garavani hews to the side of propriety and age-appropriate formality through simple, sedate accessorising to go with his uniquely Continental manner of quiet authority. Soporific to write about this may be, but for some, the mere act of donning a white suit is a statement in itself. Indeed, this approach makes the suit particularly safe for the city, whereas the playful version has a wider, wilder adaptability. Do not ever let it be said that I cannot cater for more conservative approaches

   Seemingly every neo-haberdashery, designer shop and department store proffer white suits each spring and summer, be it Banana Republic, Hackett, Zara or Ralph Lauren. The choice is very much the preserve of the buyer; my tastes are fairly easygoing and also dependent on fabrics,with one or two caveats - some enticing takes by Tom Ford in his Gucci days aside, I would preferably wear a double breasted version if it were silk. And in the discussion of linen vs. cotton, I'm with cotton - with less of a propensity to wrinkle heavily, it tends to suit three buttons and three pieces more neatly

   Did I mention that they go very well with Panama hats? In this case, I do recommend any hatband colour for one's straw, as long as it is not black

   Here are my three favourite white/light suit examples:

Barry Sainsbury, former director of the iconic Mr. Fish design boutique, in a summer ensemble complete with Fish's signature same fabric shirt and tie

James Salter, novelist and writer, posing for Jill Krementz. Imagine, if you will, that his shirt is either a leafy green, a rich tan or a pale orange and it still would tastefully complement his paradoxically stern yet relaxed demeanour

Speaking of the 1990s, being a Britisher, my first introduction to the American basketball legend Walt 'Clyde' Frazier came from a line in 1992's Beastie Boys song, 'Pass The Mic.' Here, he models a combination that, due to the red shirt and the high contrast, is potentially overpowering on much lighter complexions. The off white colouring is certainly a wiser choice over the purer shade; it prevents Mr. Frazier from resembling a European flag, for one thing

Those who would not chance a pair of correspondent shoes can still rely on stalwart footwear accoutrements in brown, black, tan and blue (thought those two may be best in suede) and oxblood. We cannot all be Clydes

   If a summer stand-out is required, backless chaps and string vests aside, I can think of few better aesthetic responses to the brilliance that this season brings. As long as one doesn't rub up against any surfaces

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Inside Maurice Sedwell

Mr. Ramroop has the floor:

Also of interest is the edifying and interesting blog (English Cut for the non-fogey?) authored by Sedwell's head cutter and former assistant to Edward Sexton, Davide Taub, whose appreciable versatility and idiosyncratic detailing nevertheless deserves as wide an audience as possible. This sort of adventurousness seems to be on par with the European operations with venerated names like Camps de Luca and Cifonelli

Monday, 1 August 2011

"You thought that was Jerry Lewis?"

   What a treat it was to watch the Steve Buscemi written, directed and lead Trees Lounge (1996) once more on BBC Two last night; a throwback to the teenage times when that channel and Channel 4 were my leading outlets for independent and global cinema. It's no mean feat making an inveterate screw-up into a compelling screen character, but by God does Mr. Buscemi bring a particular wit and élan to this superficially sleepy small-town universe and its cornucopia of characters who move through it by ignoring or reacting against as many of their burdens as possible. And whilst this is an illicit admission in the context of the story, Chloë Sevigny has rarely been more fetching

   Indeed, what is more topical in these recession days of 2011 than the daily grind of a drink sodden, unemployed life? Idle hands, people, idle hands