I loved this shirt when I saw it in an editorial and couldn't resist it at half price! Here I teamed it with the Commes Des Garcons jacket which was a steal from the DSM Market!
Monday, 30 June 2008
I loved this shirt when I saw it in an editorial and couldn't resist it at half price! Here I teamed it with the Commes Des Garcons jacket which was a steal from the DSM Market!
Sunday, 29 June 2008
To celebrate the 1 year and 9 days, we have trawled through the 210 posts and picked out some of our favourites:
- EJ still think that this guy looks good and Steve is still unsure but doesn't want to open up the treggings debate
- Surreal moment of the year (and 9 days) has to be when we interviewed one of Foals
I am sure that like me you both laugh and cringe at how the grooming industry creates a fascade of science to entice you into spending money on their producs and not on one of their many, many competitiors. However, dodgy shampoo commercials aside...maybe there really is something to it. After watching the film Perfume (I always meant to read the Patrick Süskind's 1895 novel but just haven't created the time to do so) I became more interested in the effect of different chords on a person. Of course I wanted to go out and capture the essence of virginity and douse myself in it but alas that always seemed like a troublesome and somewhat gruesome prospect. I recently smelt and fell in love with Prada Amber Pour Homme (which was first fragrance for men released by the fashion house) so I have been wearing it ever since.
For the past couple of months I have more and more frequently sniffed the incense Catholicism of the CdG scents and have been somewhat intrigued but ultimately over powered by them, besides I went to a CofE school so I could never quite understand. However, when I heard about molecule 01 which unlike most fragrances which combine 100 different components, has only just one. I was intrigued enough to go to one of the few stockists and try it out...as it was sales season I decided to go to Harvey Nichols (more on that later). The escentric website describes the scent as "It is as though the fragrance has no heart, but an enormous amount of soul" which is bizarrely, extremely accurate. As mentioned the fragrance consists of only one ingredient, known as 'Iso E Super' which on it's own is less of an aroma and more of an effect. There is a subtle velvety wood note to it, which fades and then resurfaces throughout the day but it is the fragrances effect on everyone other than the wearer which is interests me...as the fragrance is proclaimed to have pheronomic like effects. I only bought the fragrance yesterday so I will update you later and let you know how the 'testing' phase goes.
Friday, 27 June 2008
Here's a taster for you...
DD: Is there an ideal Lanvin man/muse?
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
This ramble is sparked off by several things: these articles in the Times and the Daily Mail about lift shoes and a male friend of mine who wears boots with about an inch heel. I suppose this is one of those cases of 'if it makes someone happy, well let them be happy' but honestly, I think it's making a fuss over nothing. When I discovered the slightly falsely named Tall Men Shoes I was intrigued. I read the 'How it works' page with interest, these are some very carefully designed shoes... then I got to this bit:
- Be taller, be more handsome.
- Tall people even earn more! (according to the Wall Street Journal)
- Well proven, thousands of customers worldwide. "
Overlooking the fact that the last bullet point doesn't address the question at all, do people really, truly believe that taller men are somehow magically more handsome? If you do believe this, I've got something to tell you: it's nonsense! And if you don't believe me, then you should believe 5 ft 6 inch of hotty, Gael Garcia Bernal who views being short as a blessing and not a curse
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
EDIT: I felt I might as well put the meme Thomas tagged us for here.
For it I had to:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences. (I'm skipping step 5... I don't know 5 people)
So you lucky people get something from Philip Larkin's Collected Poetry as it's sat by my computer for some reason. I'm doing lines rather than sentences too, because I'm rebellious like that.
"In foaming gulps until it smothers
Everything else up to the edge,
I lift the glass in private pledge"
I'm not sure this works as well with poetry. I suppose it is a bit of a cliffhanger though.
Monday, 23 June 2008
Ordinarily I like to leave the critiques of the shows to men.style and the quick as a flash musings on thefashionspot (their speed and insight never fails to astound me, unfortunately I am stuck at work and am always too late to involve myself) but yesterday's Burberry Prosum show has forced me to feature it. The 'Crumpled Classics' collection beautifully demonstrated how men should layer throughout the seasons. Jumpers over printed shirts, with scarves and light macs in a number of soft, light and thin fabrics were so inspiring.
I have been wanting to experiment layering cardigans ever since I saw it within a label tip off from Nylon Guys a year ago...this makes me want to do it even more!
All of the accessories were great but the shoes were breathtakingly awesome...
Thursday, 19 June 2008
My favourite piece is the Xavier Leather jacket above as I just love the contrasting detailing...so much so that the zip detail is worth a closer look.
I have to admit though...I wanted to prefer Xavier's solely because I was hoping that I wore it it might empower me to grow a moustache as cool as his. I agree with The Sunday Best that the jeans are better value but there is a certain something which makes all men want to own a kick ass leather jacket (which currently I don't have) and it might just hark all the way back to Brando in 'The Wild One'.
The next collaboration which I'm looking forward to is Topman's Black Trouser Project...moving on from the White Shirt Project a new set of designers are tasked with tackling the menswear staple which is the black trouser... most notably Aitor Throup.
Remember what I was saying about daringly open shirts?
Slicked back hair, boys: it's the way forward. Or should that be backwards?
It should be backwards. No question. I agree that these certainly were good old days. My personal favourite is in the top right hand corner of the third image. It is definitely time for men to put down their Bed Head wax and replace it with some Dax Short and Neat! These are great images and hopefully Rob lets me look through it while I'm up in Manchester this weekend!
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Like Elliot James Sainsbury we all have a pile of either forgotten, worn out or plain outright bad clothes in a plethora of pale shades so why not breathe some life into them and have fun in the process by playing with some paint. To me no man should wear white jeans... if you have a pair and feel like I do then why not salvage them with a few paint splashes? I particularly want to get my hands dirty and inject some colour into dull accessories. We saw Pilatti use paint to great effect during his s/s 08 collection, I particularly liked his painted brogues...but if that is a little too much why not try turning a pale scarf into a scarf which packs a colourful punch just like the Peckham Rye offering above.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
So, you can imagine how pleased we were after receiving the following email...
If you can't read the above screengrab...here it is...
ps - the entry about Modern Gentlemen. LOOOL. i'll start typing comments soon."
The email sits in nicely with our 'Save the tie' campaign. The word foulard comes from the French world for silk handkerchief and to be honest with you I didn't know that much else about them other than Fred Astaire used to buy 50 a time from Brooks Brothers. if you want to learn more about them, I found this information courtesy of wisegeek. When men are wearing ties these days most like me are drawn to the skinny tie but why not opt for some traditional style?
Julian mentions within his email one of the best examples of a modern day foulard wearer: Stefano Pilati. When it comes to fashion, Stefano Pilati (see his feature on men.style) is certainly not afraid to lead by example. He embodies the louche elegance of YSL and of course the foulard is a key accessory for doing so. Pilati identifies with the forgotten glamour of tuxedos and scarves, a era where the foulard can complete an outfit...so why not revisit it today? It is all about style with a natural and relaxed elegance and looking back further than Pilati we of course have the wonderful Fred Astaire - "Astaire had the talent to construct a new model for men based on the democratic ideal of the classless aristocrat. He was a hero whose weapon was style, and that style was a distinctive casualness" (Quote from thesartorialist)
Here is Julian modelling the foulard extremely well - does he even need our advice?
Of course there is a danger of looking over dressed with any neck wear. I recently came across this informative article on asuitablewardrobe which offers some great advice. We suggest wearing the foulard with relaxed finishes - the folded cuff, the unbuttoned collar, Of course there is always the Fred Astaire way... teaming it up with a casual tweed jacket and wearing the foulard as a belt - again, effortless style. We suggest a great deal of experimentation. The above image demonstrates that Julian knows how to wear the foulard well already - he's just showing of to us all. I have tried searching for 'how to tie' instructions but to no avail. If Julian lived in the UK, he probably wouldn't be wearing shorts, instead I would suggest relaxed suit trousers. Jeans should be avoided but that's only my opinion. I recently found Lucas Ossendrijver's 10 rules of style and true style is all about making the clothes your own and ultimately dressing should be fun! Our main suggestion to Julian is build your confidence with the foulard by wearing it with a white shirt, as you become more comfortable you can be more adventurous...and of course you can always wear it as a belt!
Can you help Julian out better than we can? Are you an expert when it comes to everything foulard? Let us and Julian know your suggestions.
Monday, 16 June 2008
- If there would ever be a celebrity endorsment that's going to encourage me to buy your clothes, telling me that freaking Batman wears them will definitely do the trick. (To give you an idea of how excited I am about this film, this year my birthday is known simply as 'Batman day' as it's the release date)
- Why is it that as soon as it gets towards summer I start longing to wear my winter clothes again? This post by Kempt has reminded me of the loveliness of trench coats, scarves and extraordinarily handsome models.
- Important question time: do I actually like this jacket? I can't tell if it's too much, or just enough.
- I definitely like the chap above courtesy of - who else? - the Sartorialist
Oh, and happy belated birthday Thomas. That's one fine moustache you're growing there.
Oh EJ...I definitely had that Monday morning feeling which continued to stalk me the rest of the day, curses! As EJ and I tinker with the site I keep asking myself why can't I do this more, and work less? I wish. Anyway, back to reality. I have to say that I like Chris Martin's jacket, he certainly has a lot going on but it all worked and it's nice to see him in a bit of colour! The rest of the band (can anyone name another member of Coldplay...anyone?) weren't as fortunate in the styling stakes though.
It might be the Great British weather but I am quite bored of summer right now. All thoughts are on Autumn winter so the getkempt post was most welcome. Last week I was however tempted by a pair of shorts in bstore but realised that I will never get the chance to wear them unless I leave this island!
Congratulations to The Sunday Best's moustache...I wish I could grow one and not look absolutely ridiculous...maybe one day.
Sunday, 15 June 2008
The hi tops from bstore worn with APC jeans, striped t shirt from American Apparel and People's Market DJ.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Whilst reading history at Liverpool University I worked at a number of stores including, for the longest time, ‘Cricket’. I was heavily involved in the Club scene in the North West and the a+r of the music industry. So many of the people I saw dressed as if they had a mirror reflecting only one part of their body at a time. I was sure that the resultant disjuncture was unintentional. After all, no man would willingly allow himself to be insulted by his tailor. The Street maybe cluttered by rude boy nonsense but it is inherently honest. Catwalk fashion for men lacks energy and far from being innovative is merely desperate to appear so. There are honourable exceptions. Designers who maintained a style and quality of manufacture, who employed interesting material interestingly. Satyenkumar being superb.
Men throughout the U.K., not just Wales, are rejecting the shoddy, generic tat that the High Street has pumped out for years. They have grown weary of the “like it or lump it” attitude whereby the chain stores patronise them. They do not want “in your face clothes” as an alternative. They want comfort that comes from fit and the careful manufacture of good materials into a recognisable style which is personal and reflective of the whole image of themselves they wish to put out there. When they want to be emphatic they still do not want to be theatrical. Clothes not costumes.
There is no national dress. There is no regional dress. Yes, ratcatchers tie their corduroys below the knee and scallys wear track suits. A vocational or tribal homogeneity exists both horizontally and vertically in a stratified society. Any retailer who focuses so narrowly soon finds his constituency has become a pressure group. Thinking globally, acting locally, in the internet age is not a geographic conceit. The locality is the interface between designer and customer, me. Your vision should make itself manifest after sufficient contemplation. Mine did and can be read by any competent interpreter of dress in the clothes I have chosen to sell.
You should never be pleased with yourself. That is why I am constantly adding to and subtracting from. Next season will see the addition of Siv Stovald, Saviour and Fred Perry by Raf Simons.
Monmouth may not be ready for this. It is an edgy introspective place which has seen people come and go. It does not give its heart easily. Achingly beautiful, aloof and with the self sufficiency of Kenneth Graham’s badger. I love it.
(The rest of the interview followed the more obvious interview format)
Wales certainly isn't known for its menswear... or shopping in general for that matter, so what made you choose Monmouth (with a population of 8407); was it to begin a sartorial revolution or did you just fall in love with the Grade II listed building?
Where else would a clothes obsessed Welsh historian of limited means open? The shop is Grade II listed and small enough for me not to need staff. I live above it. Although our website increases its sales month by month, I have no doubt the shop reassures people I exist. I am there. The Internet will expand only as long as customers trust it.
Have you got any plans up your sleeve for expansion? Would you love to see branches of your shop on every high street or do you prefer the one-off boutique way of doing things?
Will I ever leave Monmouth? I will always want a base here. I do not want a chain of shops but I shall open a small store in Paris, Rome and New York where I will sell British manufactured menswear by the designers who share my vision. They will be staffed by cheerful people who know what they are talking about and who do not want to score points off their customers. It will not happen next week. I come back to it. It is always about the clothes.
Who are your style icons?
Icon perhaps isn’t the right word. There are certainly people I look up to and admire. These change regularly ranging from Stefano Pilati, Paul Smith – I think I was probably the only 10 year old with a working knowledge of his work, my father – little did I know it but his ability to mix bespoke with wearing early stone island with other cutting edge labels (they were at the time!) influenced me greatly. Others include Iain Richardson in House of Cards, the stiffness of the suit. James Dean in Rebel without a cause, Steve McQueen in Thomas Crown Affair, Mad Men’s Roger Sterling. I expect you catch my drift.
Have you noticed any major trends this year?
Trends are usually a waste of time. Most men don’t pick up on them until a couple of years down the line. We are still all slavishly sticking to the ‘rock star/faux indie look’ whilst apparently we are supposed to have moved on. I am seeing a slight move towards being a bit more preppy. Men are slowly losing the overly baggy shorts and wearing things that are slightly more tapered with clean lines. This is also linked in with current economic crisis. Men are buying more big ticket items but not touching more disposable fare. We always dress better during recession. Especially given that the High Street for men has so far to go to be a palatable option. Cleaner lines are easier to wear now and in a years time and several classic pieces are great to come back to as long as the quality is there. It’s paramount to our buying that everything we stock is made well and in good materials. Otherwise it’s just disposable art.
What items of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
I’d love to see men throw off the shackles and be a little bit more experimental. I find that the majority of guys want to but don’t know how to. We are very poorly served in this country – well once you leave the clutches of the M25 behind. Stores believe that men all want to wear the same label. This is seriously at odds with out sartorial history. Pretty much every shift in how men dress has come from the UK. If we all wear Lyle and Scott and Gstar it’ll never happen. The problem with this is we consume a lot of fairly high priced clothes but sacrifice the individuality. It’s criminal to my mind that Satyenkumar and and-i - according to the press, two of Britain's brightest talents - are impossible to get hold of. Satyen makes items for us in such small numbers if would be silly to put series number on them. And-i have a thriving label outside of the UK. All the major world stores carry it. UK non-existent.
Do you believe that the way men and women shop really is fundamentally different- i.e. men are 'hunter-gatherers' and more focussed on what they want while women accumulate and adapt?
As you know, I have very recently started to stock womenswear. You probably have the London Fashion Week “Newsflash” to hand. Open it and count the photographs: 85 womenswear and 6 menswear. Women are no better served by the chains than men. They are not convinced that a surfeit necessarily increases choice. It just hides that needle in a bigger haystack. They like a wander round the shops. Well, so do I. But women are more optimistic. A man knows he will be bored rigid and will not find anything he wants in his size. So he browses the net. It is as focussing mechanism. Do women just assimilate and adapt? Do they buy an item only to work on it later? Hardly. Both images are stereotypes which a wise man passes on tip toe.
Finally, Steve has dreams of opening his own menswear store one day: what advice would you give anyone aspiring to do what you have done?
You want your own store? Stay sober and keep the batteries of your bullshit detector charged.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
What made me fall in love with this story even more was the fact that all of he books are bound in a way which is so distinctive and personal to his uncle, they are covered in the same coloured ale fabric of his summer suits. Brandelli then goes on to describe his most vivid memories of his uncle, how in summer he would wear crisp linen with a silver cane and silk handkerchiefs within his 400 year old Townhouse which was littered was heavy furniture... but there his uncle would be in finely pressed suits. Not only did these words inspire me to ensure that I pass on something as equally special but it also made me want that Kilgour suit even more - as even theoretical children are lightyears away I guess I should concentrate on accumulating the funds to invent in one of Brandelli's masterpeices.
Other people featured included Pierre-Louis Vuitton who- unsurprisingly- inherited a bag... not just any bag though, it was the first Keepall which was designed by his great-grandfather. People forget that during the 30s people travelled with trunks and hard suitcase; there wasn't really a suitable fabric until this soft Keepall, which was personalised with the Gaston V logo and the interlaced blue, white and red design Gaston Vuitton used on all of his designs (a far cry from the Murakami monogramouflage Keepalls. He certainly inherited a legacy bag... I think this has set the bar for The Sunday Best.
I certainly will never inherit anything as stylish as the valued possessions described above but there is hope for my theoretical offspring... although I might just want to take it with me- or maybe I will just live forever...
I love the idea of Steve being buried, Pharoah-like, with all of his worldly belongings when he goes. I also love the idea of clothing inheritance; being clothed in the same material which once covered a loved one is such an appealing idea to me. Vintage luggage is always classier than those little bags on wheels that inevitably break and jam (or do if you buy them cheap, Steve!).
It all makes sense to me really. If you are going to pay for one they might as well be dressed well. The shoe and tongue comment did make me chuckle though. I guess this shows that I'm easily amused over the weekend.
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Friday, 6 June 2008
All this was a bit psychically spooky, however, as just the day before I had been pondering David James and, in particular, his hair.
Even more specifically, I was thinking of the hair style above. Described by press at the time as being akin to Superman's, I just think it's great that a sportsman smartened himself up so much with a classic 30s 'do for a match. This photo may be fairly ancient, but top marks Mr James!
Getkempt recently ran a piece on this somewhat underrated footwear featuring designs from Journal Standard. These shoes offer a perfect example of a good summer shoe. Best worn sock less, they are the ideal summer shoe, so much better than the sandal (which is think are just plain wrong!). I am on the search for the perfect pair, I posted about the BBC Ice creams in March but they weren't quite right for me...I saw an awesome pair of hi top deck shoes but forgot to take note of the make (possibly Visvim) and have even forgot the shop in which I saw them in (damn my memory and shopping too much...if only I had been carrying a bag like this housing my notepad and pen!). Anyhow, I never thought I would be putting deck shoes onto my shopping list but my pencil is my hand ready...
As I'm away for the weekend I will leave you with a bizaare link for wuchess - the first online community which mixes hip hop with the game of chess brought to you by members of Wu Tang.
Thursday, 5 June 2008
While you are off at your trendy party, some of us are watching the launch of series 15,000 of Big Brother (2 of the boys had silver shoes, hmm) and slouching about the house in ridiculously oversized and out of date 'Stop the War' hoodies. Some of us being me. Slobbing about with vague thoughts of summer whirling around my head is probably what drew me to this picture of someone called Karl on Stockholm Street Style. Those darn Swedes! So trendy!
While I'm sure that quite a few people won't like this pic, I do. It reminds me of a scene from An American in Paris where Gene Kelly is dancing around and annoying his piano-playing friend by singing about his new found love for the extremely toothy Leslie Caron... all loose and laid back trousers with a tight fitting vest. While I desperately want to reach into this picture and either roll his trousers up properly or unroll them fully and while I'm not so enamoured of his hair, I love his belt, watch and sunglasses so much that I'll forgive him. Oh, and I really love how his trainers and trousers match and I don't know why!
Anyhows, hope you don't have a bad head in the morning.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Ok, back to work where I will continue to hum my favourite George Harrison's contribution to songwriting and drive the rest of the people in my office mad.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
The pile consisted of copies of Fantastic Man, Monocle, GQ, Esquire, Nylon Guys, Dazed&Confused, Vogue Hommes International, 10 Man and a few copies of music magazines for good measure including Artrocker and Dummy. I decided that there were some magazines that should be left intact, including 08 Monocle's (I thought I'd start a proper collection). Using my trusty Craft Knife (I am totally inept at tearing out pages neatly with my just my bare hands) I analysed page after page of adverts, editorials and articles and carefully selected the pages to spare - putting them in two neat piles - reference articles and pretty pictures.
I have to admit, I absolutely loved thumbing these pages again. When I get a new magazine I turn the pages far too quickly, accelerating even as I go (pretending that I'm Rainman but alas I lack the brain capacity). I'm a product of the modern age, used to dealing with a wealth of information but not really appreciating it. Therefore it was nice to take some time and look through a magazine with a different mindset. Now, I was looking for inspiration and pretty artwork and I found a fair bit. I will visit Paperchase during the week and start my Scrapbook which I will share with you. In the meantime I suggest you pick up those old magazines (if you keep them like I do) and look through them once again with a different eye and be inspired.
I should warn you in advance that you might be seeing a few old articles from your favourites magazines reborn over the pages of the blog.
Like many of his better ideas, Steve has ripped this one shamelessly off of me. Aside from helping to fill my spare time and get some good use out of my Pritt Stick I've all this cutting and sticking rather useful for working out what I do and don't like about magazines, editorials and clothes. A real life Polyvore! Behold my rather lacklustre first attempt (and apols for the poor quality of the photo)... Still, the only way is up, eh?
Monday, 2 June 2008
On a menswear note I loved his personal style..those glasses, the way he combined textures and patterns but unfortunately there just aren't enough images of him. I will continue my search and will do a follow up post.
Sunday, 1 June 2008
When the weather cools down I might even take this further and appease any remaining Taboo holders by wearing colourful socks, in a similar way to this chap featured some time ago on the Sartorialist and the thrifty Elliot Sainsbury featured on the fashion156 blog.