Inspiration from Oily Boy
Following an interesting article over on Valet, EJ posted a thought provoking look at the idea of having a personal unform which left such an impression on me that I'm still pondering it. I like the idea of owning and becoming one or two outfits. The clothes would come together to form a signature of sorts, a recognisable trademark. Once you've found that secret formula (if it even exists) of a great outfit the key should be to tweak as you go, accessories and colour can certainly be experimented with to breathe fresh life in to any outfit. In a relatively recent feature on WWD Thom Browne stated...“It’s the beauty in the uniformity that I find refreshing. Not having so much choice is what I find refreshing,” Indeed, Browne is well known for his regimented daily habits, which extend to the shrunken grey suits and white button-down oxford shirts he dons every morning but could this be for me?
Earlier this week Susie declared to me that when she hits a certain age she will embrace the dark colour palette and relaxed fit world of Yohji Yamamoto for her personal uniform which made me question who I would turn to as I matured. During an afternoon of procrastination I found myself discussing this very subject with John. He declared he would 'love to be a Yohji and Issey man with a sprinkling of Comme' for good measure and this certainly struck a chord with my me. John also recalled his pleasant surprise at viewing images of CdG x H&M collaboration launch and noticing a significant number of middle aged plus enthusiasts thumbing the rails. We both found this loyalty to certain brands admirable. It soon became apparent that the names we were discussing were extremely Japanese focused, including Visvim, Porter Yoshida as well as those already mentioned above). For us Japanese old man style is hard to beat and this is just one of the reasons we love Oily Boy so much. The gentlemen contained in the pages are of a certain generation who have learned how to wear their clothes not let their clothes wear them.
My personal uniform could quite easily come from Casely-Hayford's aw09 collection.
I decided to sleep on the question of who I would turn to to create my personal uniform today. My answer constantly evolves because I'm still in a stage of experimentation...I've not quite reached that age yet where I can say..I want to wear this, this is me and then stick to it. However, my current pick of designers to supply such a uniform would be Casely-Hayford. Along with Fashion156 we were offered a sneak peak at their AW09 collection long before anyone else had and I instantly fell for the mix of tailoring and sportswear. A number of labels attempt to combine a street and sport aesthetic with formal tailoring but very few truly pull it off and the father and son design duo undeniably do so. The tailoring fits perfectly with my current sartorial aesthetic as it is full of interesting features such as a dropped hem on a single breasted jacket and the ribbed cuffed trousers in tweed jersey. This is tailoring for the 21st gentleman and I would love to be that gentleman. Which designer(s) would you turn to in order to create your personal uniform?