The second issue of b Store's eponymous publication was released earlier this week and I've been eager to get my grubby mitts on it ever since I heard the news. Just as I was about to hop on to the tube to venture in store to pick myself up a copy, I saw it peeking out of a surprisingly well curated magazine kiosk in Angel. I was able to put down my Oyster card and it was soon replaced by this interesting read. In addition to being purveyors of some of the most forward looking designers today, the brand has always offered more than mere fashion. Whie nurturing some of the best menswear design talent in the capital and beyond, the b store chaps have been merging art, fashion and a particularly British sense of humour seamlessly for a number of years now. It is great to see this spirit continue to evolve in printed form. The issue entitled Young, Fresh and New is a one hundred and forty page tome of all things b and beyond. The b magazine created by b clothing’s Creative Director Jason Hughes and Editor Dal Chodha exposes the wider b Store ethos; passion in design, integrity in individuality with a knowing nod to more sartorial affairs....
Metallic gold and green foil finishes on motocross trousers and biker jackets, deconstructed layers of spider web knits and bleached denim seen at James Long.
The issue begins with a fond glance back at the SS10 Menswear Day. The season marked a significant turning point for London menswear with an entire day of the fashion week schedule dedicated to showcasing the finest sartorial talent this city has to offer. The eclectic bunch of designers came together beautifully to showcase how diverse menswear can really be. It was truly a celebration of menswear design talent. Beginning with Massey's Boys from Dungeness and James Long's explorations with camouflage right through to the sleekly tailored highs of Tim Soar, b was there to record as the history making runway action unfolded before our eager eyes.
Katie Eary's collection had an anatomical emphasis on the human body and delved deep into the destructive relationship of the mind, body and soul altering substances in literary works penned by William Burroughs
One of the reasons I was so eager to get my hands on this issue was because I knew it contained an interview with Christophe Lemaire. Back in August last year I declared that Lemaire's AW09 collection was one of my favourites. The relaxed volume and rich natural textures demonstrated a wonderful blend of western and eastern references and thankfully this theme has continued through in to his minimalist vision for SS10. With each season, Lemaire creates a contemporary and essential wardrobe by putting together the clean and calm lines of western wardrobe and traditional eastern garments. As he talks to Dal Chodha here, Lemaire speaks about his constant examination of perfection and the words are accompanied by shots of the collection.
"I am interested in style more than fashion, timelessness more than trends, quality in simplicity. My ultimate goal is to bring sophistication across using simplicity."
In one of the most interesting features Harris Elliot, Charlotte Mann, Tim Blanks and Lulu Roper-Caldbeck all reveal their most treasured sartorial possessions in Wardrobe Stories. These include a Christopher Nemeth jacket, an APC dress, Junya Watanabe's Hawaiian shirt and a Camilla Staerk clutch. A similar topic had been penciled in as part of our In Discussion series but when the words and accompanying images are as thoughtful as they are here, it sets the bar mighty high.
Gorgeous editorials styled by Jason Hughes and shot by Willem Jaspart and Laurence Ellis provide a great deal of sartorial inspiration for the moment the sunshine decides to shake itself free from the cold north winds and unpredictable grey sky. Both White Heat White Light and We're Having Much More Fun showcase some of the finest designs from the Spring/Summer 10 season and include a number of my favourite pieces from the likes of Tim Soar, Carolyn Massey, Satyenkumar and Casely-Hayford....
Looks from White Light White Heat showcasing designs from Casely-Hayford, Topman Design, Tim Soar, Satyenkumar and Lou Dalton.
Looks from White Light White Heat showcasing designs from Tim Soar, American Apparel, Trine Guldager, Satyenkumar and Carolyn Massey.
Looks from We're Having Much More Fun showcasing designs from Peter jensen, b store, Stephen Schneider and New Power Studio.
Also in the issue, writer Simon Pommery talks music and visual culture from new wave to The Velvet Underground and stylist Sam Ranger returns, shooting an Autumn/Winter 2010-11 preview with photographer Stefan Szchernitz. After seven successful Lens collaborations and nine years of sharing music tips, Topman’s design director, Gordon Richardson talks music, shoes and business with b Store’s very own Matthew Murphy.
"Music is so important to me but also to what we do here at Topman. It has always me and music has always gone hand in hand with fashion."
A selection of portraits captured by the lens of Neil Gavin accompany the chat between these two old friends quite wonderfully.
This publication confirms that brand magazines can be far stronger and more insightful than merely a pretty advertorial for their own brand and range of products. Instead b magazine makes the most of the editorial freedom afforded by few advertising constraints and feels inventive and fresh while it explores the key facets of b's ethics and values. The team at b store seem to always be striving forward, developing the brand and pushing that bit harder with each season and I have to confess to being more than a little inspired.