‘ 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

Enough.

 

 

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

Enough.

 

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.

And

They diddnt move

Or moved a little

Enough.

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The Ultimate Interview by Melissa Gardens. MARK POWELL; TAILORING IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF A WOMAN IN A SUIT.

NOTE FROM PUBLISHER-

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…

 

 

 

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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.

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LOVE AND SEX IN AN ONLINE WORLD. ‘FUCKING ON FACEBOOK’. ANONYMOUS.

Fucking [on] Facebook.

Tingles like warm champagne bubbles pour down my spine
Float along the skin of my stomach and my breasts
Craving my mouth. When they reach they draw out a sigh of longing Then burst.
Feeling your fingers tracing my flesh
Though that caress is a ghost.
For you are far from me, yet this fizzing
Bubbling Over me
is created by lustful words
Typed feverishly by you in black on white, By memory of our bodies pressed
Our skin sweat
By waiting and waiting for that minute
We touch again, hair on end.
This paradoxical block in my hand that comforts with
Your words, Your face, pulls me closer
Yet mocks how far from you I am
And pushes you further yet.
When times are more melancholy
And the longing is not for flesh
Just for the wish of a kind word
Or the hope of reassurance that never Comes
It dissolves into read, and no reply. Read, and no reply.
Saved nudes will be my virtual legacy: The girl who was so far away for so long
For whom ‘the timing was wrong’ That you couldn’t stand my nearness Or the fear of me leaving. Maybe.
Maybe Absence does make the heart grow fonder, And maybe loving you was easier when we were side by side or Separated by sea and tide and maybe no wifi made loving me easier?

Because I was sex on a screen, Soon-to-be-real dream, A queen of wit who you couldn’t see scream And cry when she needed But merely a witty reply or ‘I’m fine’ And you could believe it.

Read and don’t reply. I’m fine.

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IS SEX REALLY THAT GREAT?  A thought and opinion written by Shaz.

Now I’m not the most venereal of guys but I can’t be the only one who thinks that sex just isn’t that great. It’s bearable at best. The primitive shagging, the sweaty thrusting, the fake orgasms, the smelly genitals, the awkward post-coital chat… Can’t we just watch a New Wave French film, drink red wine and discuss Kant’s ‘Moral Theory’??

I’m being facetious.

I’m not a virgin, but also I’m no monk. From my modest sexual experiences, I’ve found that sleeping alone is far more comfortable than entangled in another’s limbs. I’ve leant that pubic hairs are a choking hazard and most of all, I really hate being naked. They say ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’, but I don’t ‘got it’ so I’d prefer not to ‘flaunt it’. I wouldn’t fuck me, so why would someone else want to… I’m the un-athletic, relatively hairy, bespectacled Jewish depressive type. Does that turn you on? No, I didn’t think so.

Fundamentally, I hate the idea of embarrassing myself. Sex, to me, is like a tight-rope walk across the fucking Niagara Falls. It’s stressful and at any moment you could plunder to the depths of shame and premature ejaculation. I’m doing just fine without it.

What I find most puzzling is the bravado culture of a group of lads who sincerely believe that fucking is the pinnacle objective of life. If a group member pulls on a night out, he is venerated like a child who’s just done his first shit in a proper toilet. There’s a weird feudal system whereby the lad that has had the most sex is held in the highest regard.

Obviously I blame the media who promote this idea. The overly sexualised ad-campaigns, the revolting ‘lads-mags’, the unnecessary plethora of sex scenes in movies… It’s all bad stuff, designed to lure you from your deepest primal desires to give other people your money. (Also don’t watch porn. Porn is not sex. Porn is porn. Big difference.)

Within university culture, there’s a lot of pressure to have sex. Everyone’s fucking, every night, everywhere. Consequently, someone like me, with a vague interest in procreation, feels out of place and assumedly A-sexual. I’m not A-sexual, I just enjoy dissecting social norms. Everything we do becomes progressively weird the more you think about it.

Perhaps I’m missing something. Perhaps I just haven’t had enough sex to understand it’s virtues. Perhaps I’m just secretly jealous. Perhaps I am a mildly A-sexual weirdo. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I am not the only one who feels this way… right???

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