Tuesday, March 19, 2013

...2TONE inspiration....!

The first time I can remember hearing "ska" and it having an impact on me wasn't from a sweet record playing at a club, or discovering it playing from the bedroom of my crush's older brother.....it was my older brother standing above me sleeping (on my waterbed....I kid you not) and blaring the starting trombone riff of The Specials "A Message To You Rudy"......and the boy could not play (yet. he would later go on to rule that 'bone). I was fuming...."I hate SKA....SKA sucks and so do you!! GET. OUT. OF. MY. ROOOOOM"!  Quite the outrage for my 13 year old self.  But as my brother continued to practice the trombone that day almost 25 years ago, I found myself loving the band he was trying to imitate.  Their jumpy, happy, funny and odd lyrics were intoxicating and I soon found myself sneaking into his room to play his tapes while he was out and about...The Specials catapulted me into the second wave, ska fueled fever that would end up shaping my musical tastes and creative outlets for the rest of my life.  This music would take me down paths filled with best friends to this day, my love of scooters and many, many concerts....

That year my brother went through this dramatic fashion transformation....shaved head, fur collar parka, Dr. Marten boots, pegged pants which my mom would help him sew on her machine, tennis shirts (Fred Perry's), what the heck I wondered?!  But then the friends started coming over.  Pulling up on their smoky scooters, my mom again pegging their pants....listening to all types of ska now, including the rock steady sounds of the 50's and 60's Jamaican originals...the Skatalites, Desmond Dekker, Toots and The Maytals, Stranger Cole early Bob Marley and The Wailers....and I. was. hooked.  His friends were cute, I liked their sharp looks, I loved their scooters, and I loved that they would actually dance to this music..."skanking"....swoon.

Fast forward to present day and guess what?  I am FINALLY seeing The Specials LIVE....I couldn't be more excited..!  I am busting out my old flight jacket, riding to the show and am completely prepared to revert to nerdy 14 year old Janel who will probably cry with excitement when that first chord echos out over the crowd...

While the black and white (two toned) checkerboard is the official pattern of this musical genre, I put together a few other two tone items that are inspiring me this week as I cruise down memory lane and prepare to have my mind blown....enjoy (yourself)!

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1. Vivienne Westwood's "Tartan" wallpaper for Cole and Son.
2. how chic and mod is this "x shaped" 1940's magazine holder?!
3. the Murano glass lamps from the 1970's are TOO HOT!
4. I'm a RUDE GIRL...how 'bout you?!
5. A cute little dress to skank the night away in....from Modcloth.
6. The Merced Pillow from favorite Trina Turk packs a two tone graphic punch!
7. Ben Sherman pays tribute to the evolution of British menswear and the music that influenced the fashions in this great new book - 50 Years of British Style Culture.
8. Confession.  I bought these.  I returned these.  I still think they are cute, but this girl needs to reign in the spending these days...checkered cuties from Aldo.

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9. So my fav dude Jonathan Adler is now making accessories....and he starts off with this adorbs scooter wallet....oh, Jonathan, we love you!!
10. A fun, vintage chair that adds some graphic interest in any room!
11. Can also be used for flour...or dried....um, pasta?
12. I still have my steel-toed versions of these Dr. Martens.
13. circa 1955 beautiful silver and obsidian cufflinks by Antonio Pineda.
14. take it even ruder with these Sally Hansen nail polish strips...!
15. 1960's Stopsol checkered sunnies - love these!!
16. With their oversized knobs, these black and white nightstands are two-toned 80's centric...!

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17. black and white crystal ball stud earrings
18. I can't find this Givenchy bag anywhere online to link you to it.....which is maybe a good thing, because I am obsessed with it.  
19. this 1970's French black and white lacquered armoire could possibly be the most stylish piece of furniture to house all your vinyl!
20. Made in Italy from Verbano for Roberto Manzoni Ravenna.....this Hollywood Pork Pie Hat is rude boy delicious!
21. va-va-voooom!!  This little dress can also double as a game table after hours?!
22. a one of a kind John Keal for Brown Saltman coffee table...love it.
23. The sexy SX200 Lambretta....I love the folks at Jet 200 Performance/Casa Lambretta for all things Lambretta and Bar Italia Classics for Vespas......if you have never ridden a vintage Italian scooter, you're missing out. 

My flight jacket I have had since for over 25 years now.....it is one of my favorite treasures.

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Lucky for checkerboard loving fans such as myself, fashion designers are using this jumpy pattern lately....like the Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 collection designed by Marc Jacobs and we are already seeing this collection inspire other designers and more affordable options are becoming available.

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Soundtrack is my favorite rude boys from England - THE SPECIALS...and it's lead singer Terry Hall's birthday today!

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  1. juicy post!! i love everything about it - everything!! mems to the MAX!!
    and your jacket!! if it could talk ;)

    the train's going friday...

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