Portmanteau Diary: Daisy Dares You to wear an album with Music Tee in Selfridges

Yesterday evening Selfridges hosted a Daisy Dares You concert in line with the UK Music Tee launch. Providing a great way to change the conceptual visualisation and distribution of Music through fashion, the Music Tee is literally an album in T-shirt form. At the front you have the art work, at the back a list of the included songs and inside - well inside is music! No, I don't mean your body, I mean there's a url and a unique code, which allows you to download the music that you bought with the album - I mean Tee. I saw most of the Tee versions they have on offer and the Daisy Dares You Music Tee is my favourite - it may be because of the black and white chrome, her expression or the fact that she is in a pose so sexy, it should be only fitting to Kate Moss. 16 may sound young to us, but she doesn't act it, and if you think about it - that's the age at which Bob Dylan first moved to New York. You can see the parallels in the presence of their facial baby fat. However, you may not all share my view, so in addition to the Daisy Dares You Music Tee, Selfridges will also be stocking The Music Tees for The Plasticines, Devenrda Banhart, Monsters of Folk, Perez Hilton and Sliimy, all of which have created their own art work for the Tee in collaboration with Invisible DJ Records. At Selfridges the Music Tee prices start at £55, but remember that you're actually buying both an exclusive music artist made artworked t-shirt as well as the album!

Considering Daisy Dares You is from Essex, it seemed only fitting that I was traveling in from Essex myself today. Once I arrived at Selfridges on behalf of Stylecartel with Jema the photographer, we were welcomed by the fabulous Mercedes, the most relaxed and therefore nicest PR person I've ever come across.

I had a twenty minute interview with Jeremy Wineberg of Invisible DJ Records, the brainchild of the Music Tee concept. Clearly chewed through and bored by numerous interviews throughout the last year after the project started, Jeremy, an avid talker, needed only five very short questions (great!) to have answers ready that were five minutes long and hit the general area of the question yet made sure to include as much name dropping as possible (I only remember "Juicy Couture"), where we discussed how information is essentially the format being sold, the factors and steps that were included in him actually getting to establish the great idea of selling music in relevant concrete form that appeals to many people (FASHION!) and most importantly, his aim to want to re-intodruce the experience of a whole album, including its art and visuals, which is lost with the downloading experience.

Being more of a business chap rather than the creative enthusiastic and passionate defender of his idea that I expected him to be following research I'd done, the interview felt a bit like I was sitting in a voluntary salesman booth. I love the idea (hence voluntary), and it's a great new way of marketing music although I do think there's a lot of scope for this to be pushed to which he doesn't seem to want to do, but it was being sold to me as if I was an approving committee rather than talked about with passion - at least that's how it came across to me in the interview. Luckily, the project itself beams with passion - that of the artists, and their art work, which is exclusive to Music Tee. I guess every success story needs a business brain behind it!

Despite his funky studded-pocket trousers (I wonder if sitting hurts) and red unbound boat shoes, he called T-shirts high fashion because they are stocked alongside high fashion. Not really the same thing, dear! When I asked Jeremy if he'd be interested in doing a full blown fashion line he reminded me that the essential idea is the form of the Tee, but that the aim is to leave out all the bad connotations in the past. So, no more geekyness (in a bad, stalking way) and blunt visual images, often with pretty bad artwork, but a crisp, innovative, stylish Music Tee. The good news is that they're going to be introducing different formats such as possibly a dress Tee, which I'd buy up in a minute - in fact, I'll probably take things into my own hands and will create Tee dresses out of the shirts I got!

At another point of the interview I brought up the subject of QR coding, which I am looking into myself for a dress for The Clothes Whisperer at the moment, and inquired whether that would be something he might consider since the idea behind the T-shirts is to combine technology, fashion, music and a new form of distribution of information (music, in this case). He, however ventured that requesting someone to input a Url and a code was enough technology that people were apparently still struggling to accept. Maybe in America, but I don't really see the struggle here. Well, I kept schtum of course, it was not my place to interfere as the interviewer and he was already talking about other projects and concepts.

Here's an audio clip of half the interview (before my camera ran out of memory), enjoy!


Mercedes then pressed a couple of goody bags into our hands (two Music Tees each, wheee!!) and the real show began! The unbelievably nimble and punky girl that is the front singer of a band so stylised, young and cool they seemed to have jumped from a Hollywood teenage film, gave off an array of images and impressions. She looked and performed like a mix of a young Courtney Love and Duffy, but her voice singing her own lyrics was real pop.

She truly let herself go and was immersed in her music despite the strange surroundings of high street retailers and their stoic black-clad salespeople, which was captivating to watch and listen. Somewhat distracting yet endearing was the presence of what I later discovered to be half her family, especially when coupled with the fierce rock chick persona Daisy brings across on stage. The family included three pregnant women and most prominently, a young boy (ten or so) who looked her spitting image, singing with her from afar, knowing all the lyrics, and even stamping up and down in the exact same rhythm. The boy took my crisps (after I offered him some. SOME!) and pointed out all members of the family, then returned the empty crisps package and said "My gift to you!" Cheeky bugger.

I enjoyed the set so much that it felt short. In the most bizarre PR stunt suddenly there were about ten long haired, long legged blond student-y girls wearing the Daisy Dares You Music Tee, jeans skirts and shorts in all varieties and black shoes ranging from espadrilles to faux ankle boots to actual heels (to me meaning actual shoes) with massive headphones on their heads, dancing away in what to the outsider seemed like silence. For ten minutes. Of course a photography opportunity, and not a very subtle one at that, but truly taking every camera's attention to give Daisy a breather. Switching from "diggin' that" to feeling very cringe-y, I still take my hats off to whoever organised that weird intervention, whether because I was so warm that it reminded me of Samatha's hot flashes in the desert, or respect is up for you to decide.

After the concert it was all about hugging family and acknowledging friends and slowly we made our way out of the halls of high fashion, held our noses whilst walking through the cloud of perfume near the entrance and said "Goodbye for now, yellow bag lovers, we shall return!".

Pictures in this post were taken by Jema Austin (and some from my mobile – you can tell the difference in the quality! Mine are crap... but necessary!)

This article was also posted on the blog stylecartel.com go have a look! :)