‘Cold Shower’ Foreword and poem by Claire L Smith.

FOREWORD: In modern day  sex is the focus of creative media, song lyrics, and other such forms of art. However, we tend to neglect those who find the very idea of it uncomfortable.

COLD SHOWER is a poem about Genophobia aka fear of sexual intimacy, not just in regards to the physical aspect of sex but also the emotional closeness aspect. The protagonist takes a ‘cold shower’ after feeling compassion and arousal for a loving man. She is afraid to push the relationship further due to an abusive past and also a deep vulnerability about her bare physic and an obvious lack of trust in others. Thank you for your consideration and time, Claire L. Smith




The heat of sugary tea filled the room, Like a haven, a safe, mother’s womb.

The warm coffee feeding the glow inside her stomach, Yet her heart swirled with a thick, hesitant soup.

He sat straight with a glowing face, His eyes a rich, alluring chocolate, His hand shimming the surface, Across to her trembling, hunched knuckles.

The table bowed as she shot upwards, The cold, ghostly hands gripping at her mind, The shame swelling in her chest, “I have to go”, she whispered.

Back in her decorated cave, She dove into the summoned waterfall of cool, Under the hard, wet pebbles, Her pink skin turned to blue.

The rocks continued to pound her, Punishing in their chill. She held herself in her shrivelled arms, Comfort disappearing from her own embrace.

Still, she thought of him, Her body breathing a wave of heat, With the image of his warm, brown eyes, A smile pinching her lips.

With another haul of chill ran down her back, His eyes growing an icy blue in her numb gaze, Her stomach hurling, her body collapsing, Trapped in her cage of ice and glass.


LOVE (?) A thoughtful thought process. Written by Shaz.




DISCLAIMER: I have literally NO EXPERIENCE of mutual love so the following text is entirely FLAWED and MISGUIDED.

I am, however, very interested and curious about love and would like to share my thoughts.

The idea of spending every waking second thinking about, or being with another human being is one of the most repulsive pursuits I could ever imagine. I’m someone who relishes privacy and enjoys being alone. I don’t live in a cave, I have friends who I respect and hugely appreciate. I could probably spend maximum a month on a desert island, solely with my most admired friends, before I’d go completely insane and probably try overdosing on coconut milk. In a way, a romantic coupling is like friendship but with some pleasant bonuses. I just don’t understand how two people could want be glued together indefinitely. Marriage to me is like saying: “I’ll trap you in my cage if you trap me in yours… forever”. Absurd. (And if you think marriage is good for having babies, you’re wrong too. The world doesn’t need more babies. It’s full.) To me, the words “I love you” really mean “I’m willing to put up with your flaws if it means I won’t be lonely”. I’ve never been in love because I don’t have a fear of loneliness. My validation comes from friends and most of all, myself. I have no shame in admitting I fear love. I’m terrified by the idea of constantly having to rely on someone, and for someone to constantly rely on me. It’s a hell of a lot of responsibility. You may think I’m just cynical but I do strongly believe that people will always let you down at some point, and you will let them down too.

Having said all this, I would like to find love one day, just to see if my ideas are true. If they are, then I’ll have the right to be smug, if I’m wrong then I’ll be in love. I hope I’m wrong.




‘ I did steal it’     An ode to a 22 year old. Eliza Lawrence.

He took me everywhere

Whilst we diddnt even have to move.


Or we moved a little




He took me through that door that

When opened wide

you see monsters kissing angels,

God spanking the devil,

MPs filling honest corners with honest truths,

Lovers and fighters playing backgammon on flying table tops

And in the lightest part,

A sly crooked old man shredding divorce papers below a chandelier that just hangs still.


I’m there hovering, watching, gripping his hand.


And we still don’t move

Or we moved a little



When I release the first moan

( I can’t help it )

All that dwells in this fantastical glittering meadow turn to face us.

Slowly they stop what their doing.


The crooked man shreds his last divorce paper.

God beckons for the devil to fall to the ground and drops the feathered whip on the flowers below.

The angel holds tightly, so that the monsters malicious movement slows.

The politicians sit next to the lovers and fighters who close up the board game with a draw.


All together they bow at us.

For they had never seen such an equal pleasure had.

This time unselfishly,

He grips her hand back.


From nowhere the meadow starts to whistle and the nectar from the soft blades of grass start to slide softly through the noses of the inhabitants.

There. In that meadow.

Standing sober beside the drugged citizens stood the king and the queen.


They diddnt move

Or moved a little





WASITGOODFORYOU is never just about sex because sex isn’t just about sex. It is about story telling. Anyway Everything’s about sex and sex translates into power and who feels more powerful than when they are wearing a suit ?  Mark Powell came from a society that was heavily influenced by sex and this society (70s) is heavily stitched into every fabric of his finery and the finery he creates for others.

So read and gorge in Melissa’s fabulous story enquiring.



Mark Powell, Carnaby street tailor and Soho face. You’ll find him sat in a high backed leather chair in his Marshall Street shop; serving respected clients or choosing fabrics for new pieces. With a glass of whiskey clasped in what he confesses as a recently manicured hand, it’s obvious that Mark takes care of his appearance and style down to every last cufflink. But it’s no surprise that Powell takes such pride in his image, with over 30 years of heritage in the tailoring business behind him, he’s put suits on the backs of gangsters, rockstars, and supermodels alike. In 2017, a time when streetwear brands are on the rise, and classic tailoring is becoming more of a reminiscence than a reality, i wanted to speak to someone who’s area of expertise lay in a style that remains timeless and enduring to the perpetual motion of the fashion industry.  

In the world of fashion, we are constantly fixated with the past and drawing from old trends. Theres a lot more care toward style, a lot more passion and political implications behind the clothes worn. There’s a much greater complacency nowadays with style tribes, maybe weve been satiated with the easy availability and more affordable clothes on the market? Or maybe we are simply stuck in a vicious cycle of stylistic nostalgia? For someone whos reached such a level of success in the fashion industry, and experienced first hand a number of pivotal moments in fashion history; what would you say is the most poignant subculture for you? 


Mark Powell: “Well.. I did grow up through a lot of the big ones… soul boys, suede heads, skinheads, they were the big street cultures. I mean I was a working class boy and that’s really where a lot of the fashion came from and started, it was a backlash against the establishment. I was a bit too young for the teddy boys, but In the 80s I did reference that style..”


he shows me a photo of himself ,on what he confesses is his glory-wall”,  of him in his early 20s donning a dogtooth suit, another a few years later wearing a 40s/50s Americanainspired get up matched with the classic oversized tie, and a later image of young Powell with the boys decked in pinstripe and a pencil-moustache.

 On this right wall of his shop he has an impressive collection of images of not only of him and his friends dressed to the 9s over the years, but the remarkable number of clients that have approached him to get their own taste of Powells’ needle and thread artwork. And it isnt just the big players in the world of television and film like George Clooney and Harrison ford who come knockingPowell has dressed icons like David Bowie, Naomi Campbell, and infamous East-End gangster Ronnie Kray…


“… so I guess it was that pre punk period, we were going to clubs and really dressing up, going to gay clubs, and cool clubs in suburbia , where they would play funk soul and jazz. But it was before punk. So I was wearing plastic trousers, mo hair jumpers, blue hair… that was about 1975 I was 15.. bit of makeup ya know.. we were doing that then. So I guess that was the period pre-punk,1975..and then when punk happened course it brought that tribe out in the open but then I’d already sort of embraced that punky look by the time it had become a mainstream thing I’d already moved on. It was then that I started to get very influenced by 40s and 50s style. People started asking me where I was getting my clothes made, i’d been going to tailors and designing stuff myself. I’d already been working in and around Saville Row. And then I thought actually I could make a living doing this… During that time you could of thought you could do it, you didn’t need as much money as you do today. I had a dodgy mate that was a bit of a face round the west end and he had an old sex shop and told me that I he could use it. I was about 22 at the time.. ..he points to a painting on the wall; Est.1984 Powell and Co. Archer Street ,his first shop, done like a “proper” gentleman’s outfitters… and thats when it all started for me really. I then started to delegate and work with tailors, designing clothes with them and then it just sort of grew from there really. By the 90s I was sort of doing everybody, the press began to get involved, I was being featured in ID magazine, the Face, and Arena.. my name and confidence had grown with the times.





In 2017, with our third wave of feminism and steady backlash against misogynistic views and traditions, what does a girl in a proper suit mean to you?

“With tailoring for women, for me, it always has to celebrate the androgynous look. You still want to make it look very sexy and empowered, and I do believe that I’m one of the few tailors who can do that better than most because i feel i achieve that masculine edge whilst retaining a feminine sexy look- and that’s what a lot of ladies buy into. They’ve got a better perception of shape and style. They certainly make you work for your money. We had an evening at the shop, a party about 3 months ago, which was a whole promotion of my female tailoring line….As for female icons, well.. I’ve done ‘em all really. Naomi Campbell, Bianca Jagger, Keira knightly, all great people to have dressed and represent my clothes.”


Notable is one of the paintings that Powell has had commissioned for his shop, by London based artist “Luke Francis Hasele”. The painting titled ‘VAMP’ depicts Savannah Gee Baker- a British/Jamaican boss-lady and rising star in the world of creative direction, styling and photography. Savannah is shown wearing a glamorous 70’s flared pant suit; and everything from the aloof stance to the confrontational gaze allures to the dynamic strength of women. Powell says this piece was created to “shine a light on female tailoring and deliver on the expression of power a woman can attain when wearing a suit. Like a suit of armour to a Knight; it represents the style characteristic of a modern femme fatale”… I contacted Luke so as to find out the keys exchanges between him and Mark in lead to the creation of the painting, and to hear first hand the compositional features that he included to devise such an indicative piece of art.


(Voice of Luke Francis Haseler, London based portrait artist ) I had discussed with Mark a painting that would express the versatility of character that his style embodies, visually. Now, without straying too far from the nest and creating something heavily conceptual or abstract, what I felt was missing in representation in the shop (which is by default reflective of the male dominated industry and clientele of tailoring), was a salute to the female. That being said, Mark is not without counting women among his clients, and is vocal of his inspiration for female tailoring, I believed it a matter of it being in general, too niche. So simply put I wanted to create a piece that would celebrate female tailoring. For the sexually exciting ambiguity of androgyny that gleans from the likes of Helmut Newton’s work to Tilda Swinton or Grace Jones, and that wearing a suit elegantly, anyone can attain that mythic modern visage of power.

I hoped by doing so to bring attention, shine a light (literally) on the matter and as a result more women might consider it a desirable part of their wardrobe.

The composition was chosen to emulate a mirror, as though in a tailors shop, the model was being confronted with her ferocity, suited and booted (heeled). (can you beat a good pair of trousers and heels..?)The suit was chosen for the palette i picked, purple in the background is the complimentary of yellow (colour of the shop floor), it stood out the most. With neon signs as part of the Mark Powell identity, and his love of disco funk soul, I was looking for that “fever” look. The model is a friend, Savannah Baker, I suppose I chose her as i thought she could work with what I was thinking above, half Jamaican she has a wonderful head of blonde curls that is almost afro… in general I am interested in the meeting of cultures, where we meet in the middle, and that supported the androgyny theme in part. It could almost be a self portrait, as I share such a head of hair”….



So, in light of your apparent support and advocation of “powerful” clothing for women, why do you believe that many “old school” tailors shy away from, or are less inclined to dress females?

(Mark Powell) “Well i think they don’t feel comfortable in doing women’s tailoring and are a bit out of their depth. I think Saville row is sort of stuck in that male-centric, slightly repressed, and old fashioned mindset. It’s only really been the more maverick type tailors like Tommy Nutter that have celebrated good female tailoring in the past. Edward Sexton who’s still around- he was an original cutter who used to work for Tommy, so he helped create that look.. but there’s very few tailors really.

(Nutter and Sexton were distinguished British tailors who pioneered the idea of putting women in the Row’s suits back in the 60s)..



You were a renowned name in your field decades before the use of social media was born and used to promote businesses. When you did decide to use platforms like Facebook and Instagram, did you identify any acceleration or change to your business?

I’ve got to say, as a businessman, you suddenly felt like you had to do it. I was quite late with using Facebook, but when we did around 2010 we notably started having more people coming into the shop. With Instagram I’ve got a guy who does it for me, he knows when and what images to put out to represent the business as best as could- he helped me grow my media following as I would be unable to do it myself. I regularly send him the images that I want to portray Mark Powell tailoring best – photos that i’ve taken; clients who’ve come into the shop you know? .It has become an extremely useful tool to the modern business because you can upload current content but you can also put some good bits of history there too. Instagram’s probably the best way to boost your business nowadays, much better than Facebook. You can get negative side-effects with it though.. say I “liked” a cufflink link makers post from Mexico, they might turn up at the shop saying things like “ah you like my pictures, do you wanna do business?” I think that’s quite sad actually… Designers will come in as if they know me, greet me as an old friend and i’ll just be thinking “who the f*ck are you mate?” It’s because you’re going out to such a mad number of people I guess, such a big audience- which is definitely a positive too of course.


Whilst Powell’s business does use social media, it lacks the superficial edge that many brands and designers are habitual of exhibiting on their accounts. We see images of aesthetic details of his ready to wear range, closeup shots of the elegant fabrics and materials used, and compositional creations of Mark’s various pieces.What I personally found to be a unique and endearing element of Marks shop, was his aforementioned ‘glory-wall’. In the modern world of fashion, where designers flaunt their work on online platforms seen by thousands ,or justify their celebrity clients and connections with an Instagram post, hashtag or tweet- there is something remarkably humble about the simplicity of Marks wall of pictorial history .Whilst it not only showcases his own personal transgression of style through the ages, it also shows the genuine friendships forged with his distinguished clientele. If their’s something that modern designers can take from the likes of Powells’ work, it’s his avant-garde attitude towards female tailoring, and his successful balance between exaggeration, subtle details and style -but with the old school panache that can only be obtained with experience and historical referencing. So to new designers I say, you might have thousands of Instagram followers, or modern “influential” figures like Jordan Vickors, Skepta or Cara Delevigne posting a photo wearing a piece from your new t-shirt startup.. you might have top of the top PR and marketing, you might be “family friends” with all the right people… but heritage, experience and artful adaption to the times is a truly inimitable skill and one that should be respected and remembered by old and young alike…





Space. ‘In the Nest’. A poem written by Imogen Rose Philips.

I don’t feel nice when I wake up in the morning next to him
He is too deeply in his sleep, and I too coldly out of mine
I convince myself he doesn’t want to wake up and smell the coffee
The smell of me and my nest.

Remember this, small bean, when you pine for him just from the sight of his scrape-shaved neck
Remember this, darling bud, when you wait to see where he goes and how he acts when the evenings close and the bars shut up
Remember these 12:30 thoughts my love, as he leaves your room and almost calls you Jess.

There’s red on my knee, like the dried trail of baked beans but it’s bright as a fire on my arm
I’m not crying, my face is dry, but my chest heaves and out comes a mewing sound.

Waiting for a buzz and a sting from my arm or from my little black phone on the floor
Then in they come
I’m surrounded by softly padded trainers and genuine smiles
I love these boys, and the way they dab my cuts and stroke my nails.

He lies with me, we are curled as two Cs, and the warmth makes me forget the pain
I will cry, so will he, but laid knee-to-knee we are fine until the alarm tone rings.