Saturday, 28 February 2009

A closer look inside Fashion East's MAN House - Katie Eary

Part two of my look inside Fashion East's MAN house takes in Katie Eary's sinister pig tea party. The scene inside this room made me feel as though I had been transported in to a beautifully macabre editorial...I had made it inside the pages of Another Man. Inspired by Orwell's Animal Farm this setting offers a look at the pigs after having taken over the farmhouse.

I'm not the biggest Dr Martens fan but these gold toe capped boots were really something.

DD offers some great coverage of the MAN house and grabbed Katie for a quick interview during the afternoon (I am kicking myself for not doing this but I lacked the confidence and composure to speak to her!). The below question and answer offers great insight into where this exciting designer wants to take menswear...

DD: Do you think men are more restricted in what they wear?
Katie Eary: That's because there's nothing available. I'm just pushing it. It's got to have some knock down effect eventually. If you think back to the 1600s', men were way more glamorous than women will ever be and so it's happened before, there's nothing stopping it from happening again - maybe not in my lifetime!

The men's fashion industry needs more designers like Katie Eary and Jaiden rVa James who are prepared to push their aesthetic as far as possible because in my opinion it will indeed have a knock effect on the rest of us. Here is hoping for a time where men are again as glamorous as women (if not more) some time soon, we surely wouldn't get there without such exciting young designers and the likes of MAN giving them the platform to showcase their ideas.

A closer look inside Fashion East's MAN House - Jaiden rVa James

I have to admit that there was a time on Wednesday when I became a little overcome by the hustle and bustle combined with the waiting and waiting over in the tents...thankfully there was a safe haven of creative talent close by. I only had to cross the road over to the stunning Old Embassy Building to see Fashion East’s specially curated menswear installations and I felt a whole better in doing so! A few of my favourite emerging designers were given free rein to do as they wish with their room in the house. In two posts today I want to turn your attention to the wonderful worlds created by Jaiden rVa James and Katie Eary as captured by me (I need to a camera upgrade!)

First up, Jaiden RVA James. For A/W 08, my favourite emerging design duo took a dark turn towards the character of Orphelia and conjured up many talking points with a mix of floral skirts, PVC bondage trousers and straight jackets. The collection featured marvellous collaborations with J. Smith Esquire and Schott. I loved how the design duo explored masculinity and femininity trying to push conceptions of what a man could and should wear. Why can't men wear floral skirts? They allow more freedom and movement than trousers and this collection proves that men can look great, are you brave enough to show a little more leg?

The relationship between menswear and social constructs of masculinity is such an interesting subject and one both myself and EJ are keen to discuss. The difficulty lies in the fact that social ideas of masculinity have shifted over the course of history and what was acceptable centuries ago is now frowned upon and even laughed at, but why? Jaiden RVA James have started the discussion and we will explore if further in subsequent posts. In fact, Katie Eary's aesthetic similarly explore a new kind of androgyny which is far more exciting than the usual androgyny which frequently entails women wearing suits.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Picture Postcard: Inspired by uniform

When I'm in need of some inspiration I often trawl through a selection of archives on flickr (I know ACL does to) and I'm often drawn to black and white images of men in uniform, my current favourite is airman. A particular image which EJ found last month stands out in my memory and I've even dreamt about it...I would love to integrate these style features in to a look. Then I stumbled across the above taken by Marcelo Burlon as part of Dazed Digital's Milan coverage. I'm blown away by this, I just can't stop looking at the detailing and fit...for me it is perfect and I just had to share it with you all. I would love to find something similar (to wear for my own leisure at home if nothing else) so the search begins...

Thursday, 26 February 2009

What an afternoon...highlights from LFW

Yesterday was a whole lot of fun...tiring but fun. There was just so much to take in (I think I turned on to auto pilot more than once whilst I was tweeting during the shows) and I was far from disappointed from what I saw. With the expansion of the menswear shows, the expectation levels were high but I think the chosen few designers really excelled themselves. There was something for everyone, a healthy balance between designers who created highly wearable collections and those who pushed ideas to their limits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts over on the Fashion156 blog because I was typing those when I was both excited and weary eyed. This will be the first of many posts documenting my thoughts and experiences (I still badly need to go through my photographs)...but until then, please see my highlights.

After being given her solo show, all eyes were on Carolyn Massey hungry for something special, she did not disappoint. Whilst creating one of the most wearable collections on offer all week she also threw in enough excitement and interest to leave me almost breathless (hence the slowdown on twitter during this show). Carolyn is undeniably a designer who really cares about the history of menswear and fabric research which she combined perfectly here to create timeless pieces which would add so much to any man's wardrobe (but certainly mine)!

Through his interpretation of old world masculinity J.W Anderson dragged us into a brave new world. As well as creating imaginary uniforms for old voyages Anderson played with traditional formal dress with his printed pencil cotton suit which posed a faux tuxedo and the tringular body hopsack tweed coat which was cut as a cape.

James Long surprised me most by his varied collection. In recent seasons Long has become one of the most exciting designers showing at LFW but this collection saw the designer take a giant leap forward. As the first few looks were unveiled I began to settle in a state of awe at the sight of neutral toned nomadic warriors dressed in some truly beautiful knits parade down the runway but then James Long slapped me in the face with a burst of claret which raised my state of awe to some truly dangerous levels.

Midway through the afternoon I escaped the tents and found time to grab a drink and a breather at the Fashion East/MAN House. As well quenching my physical thirst I quenched my ever present thirst to be challenged and to marvel at exciting clothing. In the basement of the house, Jaiden rVa James presented a glimpse into a rabble collection of the insane, institutionalised for their various acts of perversion and clothed in straight jackets and bondage trousers to floral printed kilts and shirts. Exposed zips played a significant part in a number of key looks which only heightened the exploration in to the darkest facets of sexual desire. By delving into a collection of damaged minds and uncovering some dark secrets along the way they have created one of the highlights of LFW. I for one would love to see more men experiment with such a playful exploration of masculinity, I'm certainly attracted to their kilts and floral print shirts which were contrasted with pleated panels which played with texture and colour. Katie Eary was in the dining room of the House and created the most sinister tea party imaginable as she went all out in her biggest commission to date. She literally nailed her love of all things macabre to the walls in the form of abattoir-esque meat hooks and farmer's tools which helped display her collection which contained gold pig skins, human sized dutch caps, knitwear looking crystal and gaffa tape trousers and fur pieces. Many pictures of both of these collections will be posted in the next few days.

In summary, I was surprised by the extent and consistency of leaving impressed show after show, so much so that I craved a lie down after a second visit to the MAN house on Cromwell Road. Lets hope that next season at LFW menswear is given an even bigger platform to showcase the talented designers out there because this afternoon although leaving me tired, left me wanting more.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The wait is almost over

Looks from JW Anderson's SS09 Lookbook...just one of the many designers keeping me awake at night.

I've been gearing up to be dazzled by the bright lights on offer at the menswear afternoon during the twilight of London Fashion Week for weeks now...the wait is almost over. These past few days I've been as restless as any child on Christmas eve...just let me at those gift under the tree. I will be covering all of the shows tomorrow for both the blog and Fashion156... watch out for my twitter updates as well!

Picture postcard: Stand and Deliver!

Dear Steve

Not so much a picture postcard as a video one this time around. The skies are grey here in Manchester and my February of no work is quickly coming to a close. It has taken a bit of classic 80s pop to shake me out of my sleepy state, berating me with lyrics likening me to a pensioner. Cheers Adam!

But really though, I've been lingering over thoughts of 'serious' fashion for too long... It's time to break free of the safe and the easy, if just in my own home for the rest of the week. I'll be twittering in eveningwear tomorrow! It's time for you to do the same. No, not the eveningwear but no more buying blue for at least 3 months! And make actually wear those feathers you bought in Liverpool. Hop to it!

In the meantime, enjoy Adam's literal and rather funny intrepretations of the lyrics. Stand and deliver!



This post is a look into the future...all postcards will be video messages! I assure that I will wear my feathers this week, I've already had a play around with them and am actually excited by the prospect of fashioning a pretty lapel accessory.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Mr Hare

Mr Hare is a shoeist. His passion for shoes- as documented on his own blog- has made him a firm favourite on our blogroll. He has recently taken this passion a step further than most and designed his own range of shoes. The range has already had a mention in this month's Monocle (pg 140) and left Thomas Calvocoressi swooning at the fact that it aims to put elegance and craft back into an industry which in many instances has sacrificed quality for gimmicks. It is these distinctly old fashioned values and approach which should be applauded by all and adopted by the men's fashion industry on a whole. His debut collection is called "Purest Form" and his passion for fine shoes is even more obvious in this collection than on his blog. We caught up with him in his weekend off between presenting at Compass in Las Vegas and London this week....

The complete collection - Oh how we want you all...

Style Salvage: We've long been admirers and readers of your blog because your passion for fine shoes is infectious! when did your passion first ignite? Was there a particular pair of shoes you saw/owned which started it all off?
Mr. Hare: My Mum liked to buy me nice shoes as a kid. I had School Shoes, Play Shoes and Good Shoes. I still buy my shoes in those categories. In my early teenage years my dad handed me down an amazing pair of Chelsea boots with heavy welted soles and this brown aged leather that had been polished to a horse chestnut hew and I was fascinated by how well made they were. When I was eighteen I saved up for a pair of black suede Gucci Loafers with the gold bit. I marched down to Gucci Bond street with £130 cash in my pocket back in '88 and skipped home elated. I had a date that night and I believe the shoes swung it.

SS: You mention feeling let down by the shoe industry, was it this feeling as a let down consumer which led to you launching your own shoe firm?

MH: I think it was a greater calling than that. When people ask me what I do I always wanted to have a really short uncomplicated answer. "I make shoes" has only three syllables. I used to have to say " I work for a marketing company freelance and we do mainly work for fashion, sport or street companies" or " I am head of marketing at J.Lindeberg". 'I make shoes' just sounds so much better. One day i will be able to just say "I'm Mr. Hare!" It's an extra syllable but how dope does it sound?

SS: What makes Mr Hare different from others in the industry and how would you like to see the industry change as a whole?
MH: Don't get me wrong, I would be happy for the industry to stay exactly the way it is. There is a big hole for me to operate in and now I am operating, my whole outlook has shifted. Mr. Hare is all about that feeling you get when you put on a pair of shoes you know are truly bad-ass. You know that feeling? They are the kind of shoes people can't fail to notice. They are not brash or aggressive or over designed, they are elegant, beautiful and romantic. To the wearer they are luxurious and tactile. How many other shoe companies can use those five words in one sentence?

The Black Shoe indentity parade...

SS: How did you get started designing shoes? Did you undertake specific training or was most of your training 'on the job'?
MH: Design is an ongoing process. You start somewhere and by constantly re examining that start point or imagining new start points you end up somewhere else. I have no formal design training in any field but I know what I don't like. Undoubtedly my best stuff is yet to come, but my first collection 'Purest Form' is definitely all the shoes I haven't been able to buy anywhere else in the last twenty years.

SS: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to launch their own range of shoes?
MH: Don't bite my shit! Make sure what you do is better than anyone else's and don't be afraid to ask for favours.

SS: Which fellow designers/labels do you admire?
MH: I am YSL obsessed at present as I am no skinny waif boy and Mr. Pilati keeps throwing up shapes that I can rock and not have to be precious about. I have been a Margiela/Raf/Dries devotee for all time just because they are intellectual in their approaches and they make clothes in size 54. I also wish i could afford enough Rick Owens to rock the look but I am not there yet. Shoes wise I really admire Michel Perry. The recent collection he did for J.M.Weston, as I have relentlessly detailed on my blog is exquisite in understated and sculptural detail. I just met Hiroki from Visvim who gave me a personal presentation of the latest collection in Paris and I have to say "I am not worthy". That guy is a walking genius.

Despite some media reports this debut collection is not filled purely by black shoes...The Miller proves this beautifully.

SS: Is there a Mr Hare man/muse?
MH: Good question! I have been playing this little game for about ten years where I ask people to think of a man alive today who has his own incredible style a la Bowie/Ferry/Hendrix. Someone who doesn't employ a stylist and buys their own clothes. Some one who really cuts a dash and always looks incredible. To this day, no one has actually come up with someone. The day someone comes up with someone, that guy will be my muse. As for the Mr. Hare man - It's anyone who believes there is more to life than money, sexual conquests and vanity for vanity's sake.

SS: From the pictures we've seen of the premier collection, the shoes you design seem very smart. Do you think you'd ever want to design trainers?
MH: My next collection is all about how to be 'Elegant/Beautiful/Romantic/Luxurious/Tactile' under summer conditions. As a basis I am taking LA as my inspiration. I am planning a range of shoes that will work everywhere from the red carpet to Melrose to Fairfax to Malibu. Mr. Hare is a surfer and likes nothing more than slipping into flip flops from may through to September so for me this is a challenge I am virtually E rushing to get my teeth into. Shoe stores at present are infested with high tops from every label and their dogs. Mr. Hare has no intention of jumping straight into that quagmire (love that word), I will, however, come at the market with a totally fresh perspective. Watch this space!

SS: You've recently returned from showing at Compass in Las Vegas, how was the reaction to the collection?
MH: I was in Vegas more for research purposes. Mr. Hare is a collection that can only sit in stores with a similar ambition and level of quality to my own. I know who those stores are and they know who they are too. I will not be showing at a tradeshow anytime soon. Compass was a really good show though for casual shoes and sneakers with no time wasters. Every buyer was there to do business so I would really recommend Compass to anyone with dope kicks. The British Shoe Federation will also give you a grant to show there and all you have to do is fill in a questionnaire. Some friends of mine who have just launched a collection called Skive (check them out) showed there and picked up loads of orders.

A glimpse at all of Mr Hare's boots...

SS: In the face of the recession we are seeing the well deserved rise of labels which advocate quality and craftsmanship leaving you well placed. Can you tell about some of the processes which come together to make a pair of your shoes?
MH: I am a great believer in products marketing themselves. You can have the best marketing and advertising in the world but if you pick up the actual product or take the product out of the washing machine and your illusions are shattered then that shit doesn't deserve to live. The credit crunch is actually helping to cleanse the market of such activities. I believe this is why the handcrafted, quality aspect is so prevalent right now. People want to trust the thing they have just parted with cash for. My first collection is made in Italy in a small shoe atelier just outside Florence. I chose Italy because Italians make something beautiful before the bottom line is considered. The city of Florence is a fine example due to the Medicis and what other country in the world could have come up with Ferraris or Osso Bucco. The shoes in the 'Purest Form' collection are made with a blaked construction which involves splicing the leather sole while wet and sewing it directly to the upper. When the leather dries it closes up over the stitching to leave a perfectly clean sole. It's almost as strong as more British, heavy welted construction but obviously more perfect for the southern European climate where everyday rain doesn't have to be a consideration. Explaining all the little intricacies would take up a few pages so I will stop there for now.

SS: Have you got any favourites in your shoe collection?
MH: There really isn't a pair of shoes in my collection that I am not in love with but each for different reasons. The Orwell is an apron derby that has all the attitude of 60s Kray run London and the joie de vivre of Sammy Davis jnr. I just received the Stingray version which is sick. Then there is the Kerouac which was an experiment in how far I could stretch the classic oxford last of an elegant evening shoe to incorporate some new romanticism swashbuckle and be able to deal with outdoor rural considerations. This is a totally new boot execution and it looks hot. My new 'all day, e'ry day!' will definitely be the Miller. It's a fine calf oxford with a tonal patent toe cap and comes in black, dark chocolate and winter grey. I think my favourite pair of non Mr. Hare shoes are my Black and White Alfred Sargent Wing-tips. When I put them on I feel like Gatsby and dance like the Nicholas Brothers.

Genet (My lady of the flowers)

SS: Describe your personal style for us. Who (if anyone) has influenced it most?
MH: Understated with remarkable attention to detail. My influences are David Bowie, Fred Astaire and Flava Flav.
SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
MH: The only thing I wanted to achieve in 2009 was to be interviewed on Style Salvage. Beyond I intend to introduce luggage and accessories to the Mr. Hare range.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
MH: JJJJound, Queens Park farmers market and the incredible Guinness and chocolate cake you can buy there. Rough Trade record shop in W11 - keep music real! Gaz's Rocking Blues, the only club to visit in London on a Thursday since 1981. The new Botero restaurant at the new Encore hotel in Vegas - the best steak in town and they have real Botero sculptures. Sibling Jumpers - they are weird and wonderful and I love them. Glasvegas - a band channeling Phil Spector through the eyes of Glasgow's notorious underbelly. Dirty Stop Out - the name of Joe Corre of Agent Provocateur's monthly night and new band. The Hotel Amour in Paris - How all hotels should be. Rockabilly music. And finally romance - It's so much better than getting drunk and trying to get a shag.

Mr. Hare will be showing the premier collection 'Purest Form' from 20-25 Feb 2009 at 7 Garrett Street London, EC1Y 0TY. Steve is sure to pop down after work this week and will document his trip in a future post.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Style Salvage Goes Beyond... Topman Trends Shoot

It is our aim to cover as many elements of men's style and fashion as possible, so when Topman asked us if we'd like to go behind the scenes while they shot their Spring Break trend video we jumped at the chance. Fingers crossed that this will be the first of many outings where we cover something that ordinarily isn't covered because this was a lot of fun!

Model Jake and Co-Director Millie in wouldn't guess that it was January!

When I hear Spring Break I instantly think of Saved By the Bell (The College Years) and the hijinks that Zack and the gang got up to so I was intrigued to see what was in store for me at the video shoot, given the fact that the filming was taking place in the middle of winter. Fortunately, the weather on the day of the shoot could not have been better (well, it could have been a lot warmer I suppose!) but the sky was startlingly blue and the sun was bright. By the time I got to the secret location, the team were shooting their second look and model Jake was jumping off ledges and into puddles in sandals.

Time for an outfit change...

Thankfully, Topman's vision of Spring Break Style was a lot stronger than just recreating AC Slater's long board shorts as they took inspiration from childhood holidays. Colours were bold and bright with an overriding relaxed preppy feel. This whole shoot made me wish that it was Spring already...I'm tired of winter dressing, time for a seasonal change.

During the shoot there was time for a little Q&A around the shoot with model Louie and directors, Millie and Jack.

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?
Millie Harvey: Super 8, nostalgia...the sea.

What does Spring break mean to you?
Millie Harvey: The Cornish coast...clear skies and a bright sun.
Jack Dixon: Easter Holidays.
Louie Mirer: Good times.

What would be your dream Spring break?
Millie Harvey: Norway to see the Northern Lights.
Jack Dixon: Mine would be in the heart of winter and I would wear as little as possible.

The latest Trend video is now available for your viewing pleasure over on the Topman site.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Style Stalking... Elliott James Sainsbury (Part Two)

Considering Part One of Elliott's Style Stalking made most of us drool all over our keyboards we should warn you guys to get a towel at the ready because here comes part two. Photos, once again, by Holly Falconer.

Day five:
Coat- Mjolk for Topman. Vintage shirt- charity shop. V-neck- Costume National. Jeans- Cheap Monday. Shoes- Church's. Bag- Battersea Car Boot Sale.


Day six:
Vintage blazer- East End Thrift Store. Shirt, scarf and bag- Battersea Car Boot Sale. Customised trousers- Topman. Shoes- Lanvin.


Day seven
Vintage denim jacket- Barnardo's. Shirt- Uniqlo. Cardigan- Miu Miu. Jeans- H&M. Scarf- Siv Stoldal. Customised boots- Meadham/Kirchoff for Topman. (Dan Jenkins pointed out to us via twitter that Elliott appears to be hovering in this pic)


It is clear from this week of style that Elliott has a keen eye and can beauitfully mix designer, vintage and high street to create some stunning looks. So, as well as a week's worth of Elliott style we asked him to offer a few shop recommendations:

Battersea Car Boot sale is what my Sundays now revolve around. It's so amazingly sociable, just pottering round looking through other people's likes and dislikes, and brain-achingly good value for money. Everything I buy from there adds richness to my wardrobe. The red plaid shirt I'm wearing above and the bag with the writing across it cost £3.50 for both. Legendary.

Dover Street Market is my favourite shop, ever. That it manages to exist- with labels you can't buy anywhere else, constant surprises popping up and the best design of any 'department store', ever- is a miracle. It's like a fashion museum and cannot be recommended highly enough.

Lanvin, Savile Row: If you're going to buy Lanvin I recommend from here. The exterior is beautiful with those kind of Alber-like tableaux showing off the clothes on dummies. Inside the staff are sharp, the selection is awesome and the changing rooms make you feel like you're actually in Paris. Expensive, but they do a great sale and it always makes me excited like a kid again.

Browns Labels For Less: I'm a big fan of Browns but last week was led in here. It doesn't look like much from the outside but inside they have great recent stuff hidden away with tons of Raf, Lanvin, Dries. It's the real deal.

Salvation Army, Wandsworth High Street: To my mind the best charity shop in London. Half my wardrobe comes from there, and my bedroom- they have great suitcases and Victorian mirrors every time I visit, for some reason, for a fiver each. I've got countless shoes from here, scarves, brooches, they have amazing books and really cheap furniture. A prince amongst charity shops but no religious affiliation should be gleaned from this.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Burberry The Beat Giveaway: We have a Winner

Last week we launched The Burberry Giveway and after sifting through the entries it is time to announce a winner...Drum rolls please...

The winning entry came from J who submitted an amusing little story...

Though not wanting to be known as the Margate murderer, Steve’s sartorial standing demanded that he defend his honor. The spectators of the duel gathered around the fallen Steve as a magenta spot on his grazed gluteus maximus oozed through his knee shorts taking its place among the pastel polka dots. The same pastel polka dots that gave rise to this trivial altercation with the toothless codger whom he happened upon in the corridor of a Piccadilly pub.

Congratulations J, you will soon be able to douse himself in Burberry's new scent, Burberry The Beat.

As there were a number of entries which made us chuckle we'd like to award a few runners up places. Unfortunately, these win nothing but a virtual pat on the back and our warm thanks...but well done to you all.

Agy Deyn's Winky...

Thom Wong:
What is it?" "I think it might, but I can't be sure." "I'm scared." "We're all scared Colin. I say we just burn it." "Agreed."
and we also liked another one of his efforts:
The midget formerly known as Karl Lagerfeld.

Eloise Chen:
"Guys, I want you all to look in here. It's empty. Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?!....Don't give me those faces."

Thanks so much for all of your entries, hopefully there will be another giveaway soon.

Style Salvage Speaks to... Fashion156's Guy Hipwell

We thought that it would be impossible to come across a person who puts more blood, sweat, tears and passion into the obsession that is fashion than Susie but Fashion156's founding editor and creative director, Guy Hipwell, might just be that person. For us, there is nothing online half as good as the editorials showcased (every fifteen days or so) in this online magazine. Guy always showcases some of the best emerging design talent alongside more established names. We are regularly amazed at the quality of Fashion156, so we were thrilled to ask the man behind it all a few questions. Alongside the interview we just could not resist including a selection of shots from the latest issue which previews AW09 looks from some of LFW's hottest design talent...

Complete look by Katie Eary, from AW09/10 collection and shoes by bstore

Style Salvage: Describe Fashion156 in your own words...
Guy: I used to work as a stylist and one day I was on a very, very well paid job, fluffing up wedding dresses. I thought "Oh WTF, this pays the rent, but where is my life taking me!" Editorials never pay and although I still styled one or two a month, I had all these ideas I wanted to shoot and no outlet for them, so the idea of came about - a platform to promote brand new graduates/designers/writers/bloggers/photographers; and established designers (as I also love some of the super brands) and the old school (me!). I see as slightly directional but not trying to be sooooo cool it hurts.

SS: We're constantly impressed by the high standards throughout Fashion156, especially the editorials... How do you do it with such a small team?
Guy: Basically I work 16 - 20 hr days, 7 days a week. Fashion156 is a one-man-band with support from some amazing interns and contributors, and for me unless my editorials have the similar feel of what you see in the really high-end magazines then I would have failed. So that is what drives me and gives me a benchmark to try to aspire to.

SS: We are mere days away from LFW, where we will see the first dedicated afternoon to menswear. These are certainly exciting times for menswear in the capital but which shows are you most excited about seeing?
Guy: I have seen some of the new collections are there are going to be some surprises (watch Jaiden rVa James go from shirting to bondage for example!) The whole menswear showcase sums up what inspires me and makes London so great. I want to see all the shows as they include some of my all time favourite designers such as Carolyn Massey, Tim Soar, James Long and newer names such as Katie Eary and Sibling.

Shirt by Martine Rose, from AW09/10 collection

SS: We love how Fasion156 showcases emerging design talent alongside more established labels- who are your favourite recent finds?
Guy: Just shot some amazing suits by Rohan Kale, a recent LCF graduate; love what Lou Dalton has produced for SS09; and blown away by Sibling and their 3D sweaters.

SS: What is your favourite fashion moment from your career so far?
Guy: Starting up has been one manic ride, but I have gained so much experience from it. Like a hyper-active child fashion156 demands all my attention; sometimes I love it and other times I want to drop it from a 20 storey building!

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
Guy: Either the 60s - I would wear amazing narrow suits every single day; or to be a working in fashion in New York when Studio 54 opened.

Complete look by Carolyn Massey, from AW09/10 collection

SS: What (if any) films/books/TV-programs/moments and stories currently inspire your work at the moment?
Guy: I love watching movies, they inspire me the most. Seeing all the vibrant colours and sun weathered fabrics in Slum Dog Millionaire for example will shape one of our summer issues. Although we will probably only be able to afford to fly to Spain not India! I also watch millions of short clips on YouTube for research.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
Guy: Start in Hoxton have some great own-label suits, just purchased a beautiful 3-piece from them. Buy direct: email new emerging designers, it is amazing to wear their collections before everyone else gets to hear about them, and they often offer bespoke to order, which is much cheaper than in the shops. I love to hold my meetings in Candid Cafe in Angel, N1 . It is smashed up and a little dilapidated but serves great "cheap and cheerful" food and drinks.

SS: We have been writing about men's style on the blog for eighteen months or so now and in that time we have seen a number of other men's style blogs come and go... do you read blogs and, if so, which are on your blogroll?
Guy: I scan literally hundreds of blogs per week, talking scroll down and stop when an image grabs me. All the street/club/industry/the glossy magazine blogs. Plus I have to keep on top of it with womenswear too.Basically I try to see them all! Hint, Coolhunter, Dazed, The Business of Fashion and of course Style Salvage! And no, I am not just saying it, as this is how I found out about Steve and asked him to write for fashion156!

SS: If you could style anyone, who would it be and what would you put them in?
Guy: Older men. My best shoot ever was a amazing group of domino playing black guys (in their late 50s, 60s & 70s) we discovered in a pub in Brixton. I styled them in Savile Row tailoring with lots of cufflinks, signet rings, chains and hats and we shot the story in black and white! All they asked for was free beer all day long, but by the end we nearly had a riot on our hands as they wanted to keep all the sharp suits I had loaned and dressed them in. I am thinking of recreating this story for fashion156.

Hat by J Smith Esquire, from AW09/10 collection

SS: What is inspiring your own personal style at the moment? Do you have any style icons (long or short term)?
Guy: I normally dress like a tramp who sleeps on a park bench and I do not have time to care. When I need to make an effort, I like to wear three-piece suits or just a simple pair of jeans and a jacket. I am in my 40s now, and even men can look like mutton dressed as lamb, so I try to keep that in mind! My style icons are the Kray Twins - without the violence - and anyone (City gent to teenager in his first suit) who looks awesome in a well cut tailoring.

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish men wore more?

Guy: I am very envious that women get access to so many amazing shoes. I wish men had more choice when it comes to footwear. I need new shoes desperately and have been (half) looking for two months, most are boring, over priced or just look cheap, and some make you feet look the size of a child's. If there was more choice I would love to see more men wearing smarter footwear.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
Guy: To launch our video channel, get a full time assistant and then publish the fashion156 book. A few more hours sleep would also be great, as I need to remind myself it is fashion not a cure for cancer I am obsessing over.

SS: Finally, what's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer? (and what is the answer)
Guy: Question: We would like to advertise on fashion156, is it possible? Answer: Yes, it is possible!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A look inside my wardrobe

Organised chaos...the keep pile of tshirts, jumpers and trousers.

Last week EJ came to town to celebrate my birthday but whilst lavishing gifts on me she also used this time to carry out her threat of sorting through my wardrobe. Every item of clothing I own (we saved shoes for another time) was removed from my drawers, wardrobe, the back of chairs and even the laundry basket and we sorted through them. One by one we judged each item and categorised them into three piles...keep, charity shop, mend. I had been dreading this task because I feared that I would not be ruthless enough to sort through my clothing in this manner but I surprised myself. In fact I actually enjoyed myself. I could post in great length about the experience but rather than bore you with it all in one post, I will break it up to provide little snippets...after all, building a wardrobe is an art and I have only just started on my canvass.

The art of wardrobe building is not fast or haphazard; instead it is developed and nurtured over time. A mans wardrobe may rather eloquently tell the story of his life less ordinary. E. Tautz

As well as organising and demonstrating our sartorial ruthlessness we also took a colour inventory. The above picture of the inside of my wardrobe brings a certain Death Cab For Cutie song to mind...a lack of colour. When things calm down with my new job and all of this fashion week hoo-ha is behind us, I might even treat you to the odd pie chart or two (I know Thom will appreciate this) but until then I can say that 30% of my wardrobe is grey, 30% is navy/blue, 30% is brown (a surprising revelation for I even wear brown?) and the final 10% is built up of only a few more additional colours. I need to urgently acquaint my wardrobe with the spectrum of colour on offer and as soon as they become friends, I will let you know. In the meantime, how is your it time for an early Spring clean? If you can't face it alone I'm sure EJ will be more than happy to visit your wardrobe and bring out your own sartorial ruthless streak .

Style Stalking... Buck's Elliot James Sainsbury (Part 1)

What better way to learn about a person's style than to style stalk them for a week? Elliott James Sainsbury is a chap who we first came across on the t'internet back when he was blogging but when we met him in person we just had to style stalk him... We could not think of anyone better to kickstart this new feature. Needless to say, after viewing the first few days of images (beautifully shot by Holly Falconer ) we became green with envy... Elliott, we want to steal your wardrobe! Please sit back and become a voyeur as we are let in to the first four days in his shoes. The rest of the week's outfits with be accompanied by his shop recommendations later this week.

Day one:
Blazer, tie and sneakers- Lanvin. Vintage silk scarf. Sweater- Dior Homme. Jeans- Cheap Monday. Shirt- Hurwundeki. Spectacles- Oliver Peoples. Briefcase- Battersea car boot sale. Trenchcoat on chair- Topman.


Day two:
Vintage coat, blazer and scarf- The East End Thrift Store. Jeans- Cheap Monday. Shoes- Church's. Top- Uniqlo. Spectacles- SUPER. Briefcase- Battersea car boot sale.


Day three:
Purple blazer and scarf- The East End Thrift Store. Shirt- Uniqlo. Vintage trousers- charity shop. Socks- Happy Socks. Shoes- Church's. Bow tie- H&M.


Day four:
White shirt- Miu Miu. Vintage trousers- charity shop. Cape- Carolyn Massey for Topman. Bag- Jil Sander. (Note from Elliot- ack, this pic is really over contemplative! I don't normally do this face at work!)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Sporting Rewind

As most of your eyes are transfixed on the goings on in New York, I will leave the runway commentary (for now - a full catch up will come before the weekend) to the likes of thesundaybest and thefashionisto because I must admit that I am finding it difficult concetrating on the happenings across the Atlantic because I am just to darn excited about next week. here in London. In this spirit, I'd like shout in true Craig David styleee 're-e-wind' and divert your gaze to Georgy Baratashvili, a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins (thanks to the fashion156 blog for bringing him to my attention). Baratashvilli has already including collaborated with Puma and the Jamaican Olympic team (makes me just think of Cool Runnings) and it is clear that his work marries sportswear with a dark romantic aesthetic.

His AW09 collection, inspired by British youth culture, takes the everyday street uniform of hoodies and tracksuits and overlays them with elements from Baratashvili’s dance background to create a tough but much sensual look than we might normally see at a town centre near you. For years, Baratashvili was a professional dancer in his native Russia, so it really is no wonder that movement inspired his collection of soft, draped trousers and tops.

The only trouble is... with intricately draped jersey, layered wool and washed leather in a soft nude and grey palette, I just know that if I did get my hands on any of this collection, I would have to keep it under lock and key away from Susie's thieving hands...

Monday, 16 February 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Jaiden rVa James

These are exciting times right now for menswear in London. To celebrate the fact that we are just over a week away from an afternoon dedicated to showcase some of our favourite designers we will be talking to a few of the reasons why we have every right to be excited. First up are Jaiden rVa James, a design duo (Rasharn de Vera Agyemang and Jaiden James) who aim to deliver cutting edge but always wearable designs whilst respecting and explore the male anatomy. Their SS09 collection (a selection if images provided below) saw them celebrate gingham with the colours of the English summer making us dream of an actual summer this year. On February 25th, Jaiden rVa James will take their place alongside Sibling (who will be providing a screening), Katie Eary and Martine Rose and we just cannot wait to see their installation... in the meantime here is our little chat with the guys.

Rasharn de Vera Agyemang and Jaiden James make up Jaiden rVa James

Style Salvage: How would you describe your work?
Jaiden rVa James: Experimental & Exploitative

SS: Tell us a little history about your beginnings and how the partnership evolved...
JrVaJ: We have known each other for a while now, around 4 years as we used to live in the same apartment complex, share mutual friends and had the same interests. Jaiden rVa James developed simply out of love for fashion and as a way of expressing ourselves.

SS: Have you got a set design process? Do you use inspiration boards?
JrVaJ: No we usually develop a story and that story becomes a theme and we kind of work within that theme

Pastels and gingham... a SS09 look showcased in Fashion156

SS: These are exciting times for menswear in London...How does it feel to be part of the first menswear afternoon at LFW?
JrVaJ: We have watched menswear rise in London, not that it has not always been here from Savile Row to John Richmond to Kim Jones etc. Man has really helped alot and we have a huge respect for Gordon, his team and Topman for supporting London's menswear and an even huger admiration for Lulu as I can't even imagine where British- furthermore fashion in general- would be without Fashion East.

SS: What can we expect to see from your aw 09/10 collection?

JrVaJ: Pyschosexuality, hats by the amazing Justin Smith, jackets by Schott

SS: Which fellow designers are you most excited about seeing in London?
JrVaJ: Luella, Louise Goldin, House of Holland, Nasir Mazhar, Justin Smith, Katie Eary, Sibling, James Long, Chris Shannon, JW Anderson, Topman Design, Basso & Brooke, The Whole menswear day.

Two more SS09 looks seen in Fashion156

SS: Is there a Jaiden rVa James man/muse?

JrVaJ: Charlie Porter is the embodiment, a man unafraid of fashion and who has a huge passion for it, his love for his job stretches beyond just his job and clothes but he genuinely cares about the landscape of fashion especially menswear.

SS: What is inspiring your own personal styles at the moment? Do you have any style icons (long or short term)?
JrVaJ: Our style is experimental in many ways and we rather dress the way we feel and treat dressing as an art form as it is always how we express ourselves but we rather dress the way we see fit rather then be influenced by another person.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
JrVaJ: Produce a catwalk show for MAN, do some collabs to deliver the label to a wider audience and hopefully work with a sports label on a more long term partnership.

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
JrVaJ: Hedi Slimane's first and last show for Dior.

Image from their SS09 lookbook, shot by Bret Llod and styled by Raph Castelmezzano

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
JrVaJ: A skirt or kilt. I think men should have worn skirts in the first place i don't know why it became unfashionable as it makes more sense then trousers; a skirt is less restricting more fluid and allows us men more freedom.

SS: If you could dress anyone, who would it be and what would you put them in?

JrVaJ: I would say any man that appreciates the design is good enough for us, having someone buy into what your creating is beautiful enough in itself.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
JrVaJ: Justin Smith Esquire for Hats. Tate Modern & Southbank - for culture. Joiners Arms- for a drink. Schott Perfecto Jackets. House of Harlot- Amazing with rubber. Bang Bang- For Vintage. Regulation- for leather they know how to work with leather amazing

SS:Finally, what's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer? (and what is the answer)
JrVaJ: Now that would be telling.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Hitting 25...feeling good, feeling spoiled.

Stylish presents for a spoiled, twenty five year old man.

I hope you all had a lovely Valentines Day. Despite the fact that my special one is currently across the Atlantic Ocean covering New York Fashion for Dazed... my day was still special because I hit the quarter of a century mark. Upon hitting this seemingly landmark age, a number of my friends became a little freaked out but after observing them consumed with a heady cocktail of drink mixed with feelings of nerves, excitement and desperation, it was a whole lot simpler for me. Friday evening saw me eat and drink far too much but I fell asleep hitting the big Two Five with a smile on my face and the feeling continued as I shopped, ate the most gorgeous (but sickly) chocolate cake from Maison Bertaux and vegged out in front of the TV with EJ and her aptly named cat, Valentine (we watched The Next Karate Kid). Of course, the best thing about any birthday is the present part (shallow, superficial, me...ha!)....

As Susie escaped to New York on Friday afternoon my birthday shenanigans began a day early and what a way to start proceedings! The present came in a bag decorated with Menswear Show Invites (my favourite being Moschino’s simple cardboard invitation adorned with an etching of dark shades and a protruding, furry moustache) and what was inside truly made me feel spoiled and special. You all know that I love hi tops a little too much but one of the reasons for my love has been the styling of recent Lanvin shows. Top of my footwear lust list has been this pair of Lanvin Hi tops...Susie knows me so well and this is the best present ever! I will be wearing them out for the first time today as I am being taken out to lunch by my sister and her fiance.

On to the day itself and EJ ensured that I had a great day on the present front. First up, a great vintage find and the perfect day bag that I've been searching for for some, the search is over thanks to her! Inside the bag (wrapped in Christmas Penguin paper) was the perfect posing day/night gown which would not look out of place on a relaxed Don Draper reading the morning paper. Whenever I am at home, I'll be donning this robe.

The stylish birthday presents continued with a trip to the shops to spend some of that birthday money which was burning a hole in my pocket. After thoroughly exploring the offerings on the High Street I succumbed to a fitted navy shirt from COS....the shopping will continue once a couple of cheques clear...

I will work my presents into my next batch of outfit shots will be posted later this week. So far being 25 is great!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Picture Postcard - Dressing in monochrome

Seeing double...The two covers of VMAN's Spring Issue

Dearest EJ

Thanks to the Fashionisto I just can't wait for next weeks trip to Borders where I will happily feed my magazine addiction but before I can, I came across the above images. The cover of the Spring issue of VMAN reminded me of your declaration in yesterday's window shopping outing that you wanted to wear a one colour outfit (with purple of course being your favourite choice from the spectrum). VMAN's cover story is dedicated to the second VMAN/FORD Male Model Search. This time the contest was too tight to call, so it was declared a tie. The result are two covers for VMAN’s spring 2009 issue. Dressed in coral, CJ Hancock wears the latest from Calvin Klein, while Jake Madden wears Givenchy. We should both give monochromatic dressing a try for Spring, I am game if you are (of course we'll choose better colours than the ones above)!

Much love


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Makin Jan Ma

We first came across Makin Jan Ma designs over on Style Bubble where the Central St Martins graphics grad who saw Spike Jonze and Wong Kar Wai as his contemporaries had taken an odd route by evolving the characters of his future films and creating fashion for them. Film, photography, fashion, illustration, poetry are intertwined as Makin uses all of these mediums to express the ideas overflowing from his mind. With his SS09 Collection "You are my milky way" the Japanese London-based designer takes us on an intergalactic journey with wearable spaceship and outer space prints. We caught up with the creative chap and he offered the below insight into the workings of his mind...

Two characters from 'You are my milky way'

Style Salvage: Tell us a little history about your beginnings…

Makin Jan Ma: I wanted to make film and so I tried to start. I started writing stories and scripts 3 years ago. And then I started making props and clothes for my stories and characters as part of the process of my brainstorming. And once some Japanese buyers saw my clothes and they told me they liked it and agreed to try to sell for me. Since then I start making collections. I started from not knowing a thing about fashion collection nor any idea of making clothes. And for these 3 years I slowly feel that I am finishing my foundation course and going into a degree course of making clothes. I feel a long journey of learning just starting now again. Very exciting.

SS: Confusingly for some, your design work provides costumes for your characters, describe your work in your own words...
MJM: I write stories and scripts and I make clothes for my characters. Whenever I have a chance I push myself to make films of my stories. And creating stories and thinking about clothes becoming a very mixed up process in my head. Sometime the story come first, and sometime the clothes. I stop worrying what come first or second. I just keep working towards the film. For the moment I feel that I am actually practicing a big research project for my future film. By keep creating and collecting ideas, I feel confident to move on slightly everyday.

SS: When can we expect the finished film?
MJM: The film I am going to make which I will be very fan of myself... I think that will come maybe in 5 or 10 years time... I don't know yet. But I will keep making shorts and experiment films to enlarge my vision and experience. Film making for me is a life long process. All the directors that I respect they spend a life time to develop. And I am very glad that I have started my route. It is a serious thing for me. But when I start seeing more people wearing my clothes in their daily life I start to think the film is already starting in a different form. They are like being carried to life of reality in a different aspect. Running my film project so far gives me the freedom to observe, collect and create different ideas everyday. I enjoy the process and I am not looking at it to reach an end yet. I will keep working hard on it which is what I can promise for now.

SS: Talk us through your favourite character thus far?
MJM: I have a character named Guts. He is a sentimental guy who like to think about little things in life. There is always confusions and contractions in his mind. Love is an important thing in his life and he chase for the true feeling of time.

SS: Have you got a set design process? Do you use inspiration boards?
MJM: I don't have a set design process but I am collecting ideas from my surroundings every moment. I work very spontaneously. I would like to allow myself freedom in my process of creation.

SS: What films/books/tv-programs/moments and stories currently inspire your design?
MJM: Japanese Actress/Singer Chara singing MY WAY in the film called Swallowtail Butterfly, is a 1996 movie by Japanese film director Shunji Iwai.

SS: What were some of the elements that influenced the spring/summer collection?
MJM: Milky Way... The endless space of unknown which surround you when you first catch a sight of love.

SS: Do you see directors or designers as your main contemporaries?
MJM: Directors give me hopes and designers bring me drives.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
MJM: A meditation trip, a pretty long one

SS: What's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer?
MJM: Would you like to act too?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Desire to recreate Take Ivy

Scanned images from Take Ivy courtesy of ACL.

During the late sixties, a Japanese photographer traveled across the northeastern United States stopping at each of the Ivy League schools to document the style of the era. The resulting book, titled Take Ivy, is inspiring. This beautiful photo book is practically impossible to get hold of (it was out of print until a few years ago when a small run was re-released, only to immediately sell out) but thankfully scans exist online. I first came across the book via Thenonplace who managed to scoop a first edition of the book and then he duly put his copy of the 2006 reprint on ebay (it sold for £410 demonstrating the demand for this limited edition book). A Continuous Lean has dedicated a number of posts to this preppy style bible and it is thanks to Michael Williams that I've been able to see inside this world.

Scanned images from Take Ivy courtesy of ACL.

Although these scans are of a time and a place I will never know and are of a sartorial style that is not my preferred aesthetic, there is no denying that they are truly wonderful. shots These images have instilled a desire to embark on my own exploration of a specific style, all I have to do is decide who to focus my lens on for my photographic style documentary. I sense a summer road trip, who wants to ride shotgun?

P.S. It is my birthday on Saturday...if anyone has a spare copy of Take Ivy and would like to send me something special please do...


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