Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Style Stalking (Snapshot)... Andrew Green

Perfectly nestled inside a railway arch just off the creative hub of Kingsland Road, Primitive is a boutique, gallery and intimate event space, stocking underground designers from London and Tokyo. from the mind of Lui Nemeth and Andrew Green, this ever surprising space strives to showcase the most innovative and original creative talent through a myriad of mediums and projects. Both Nemeth and Green lived in Tokyo in a past life and the moment you walk through their giant red threshold, you feel as though you've been transported to Aoyama or Koenji. Last weekend we popped over to have a good nose through the likes of Cassette Playa, Ambush, Cottweiler and Nadir Tejani and couldn't resist shooting Andrew because he brings the rails to life...

Andrew Green outside his arch wearing... 
cap by nukeme, sweatshirt by Cottweiler, shorts by Cassette Playa, leggings and a pair of Nike Airmax Sunsets.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Treasured Items... Ochuko Ojiri

"I have a fine head of red hair thank you very much but occasionally it is covered by a Bowler, Trilby, Panama, Beret, Plantation, Beretta, one of a whole host of wooly hats, there is a Stetson if I were to look for it and caps galore. I've pretty much got the entire gamut of head gear in the house," reeled out writer, broadcaster and hat connoisseur Robert Elms excitedly on Woman's Hour last week. As the Radio 4 programme  asked the question, 'what leads a man to wear a hat today?', it is clear that Elms is in the minority of passionate hat wearers. There have been many golden eras where a man would consider an outfit incomplete, consider himself naked even, without a hat. These sentiments have certainly dwindled but thankfully, they have not been totally lost. Pelican & Parrots' very own Ochuko Ojiri is almost, always wearing a hat. Watching over his treasure trove of curiosities, a cocktail of contemporary furniture and objects sitting alongside one off vintage pieces, Ochuko is rarely seen without a hat. The form might change according to need or fancy but whatever silhouette it takes, a hat is a constant fixture. Here, he shares his Sunday Best.

Ochuko and the Sunday best hat


"For as long as I can remember, I've worn a hat everyday. I think it goes back to growing up in the 70s and 80s and seeing these old black guys in their hats, accessorising those sharp suits. More than being under dressed, I feel undressed without a hat. People fail to recognise me if, for whatever reason, I am hat less. Hats are an important part of my look.

I've got so many hats. Every hat you can imagine. I tend to go through cycles of obsessions. I've recently been really in to tweed flat caps. This particular hat is my more formal hat, my Sunday hat and I've been wearing it on and off for the last ten years." Ochuko Ojiri.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Studio Sounds... Matthew Miller AW12

The Studio Sounds of Matthew Miller. Cover by Little Doodles.

Entitled 0.05 Expedition, Matthew Miller's AW12 collection sartorially re-purposes man made and naturally formed patterns and textures in to digitally printed garments. By taking its inspiration from the environment Miller's man conquers, from the city to the country, the blossoming design talent has created a wardrobe fit for all manner of adventure. For inspiration, Miller ventured beyond the confines of his Hackney Wick studio and explored his adopted city. Rather than merely travel from a to b and ignore his environment like so many of us do, Miller looked about him and focused in on key changes in his environment. From tree bark in Hyde Park to chip boards in Chancery Lane to well worn bill boards in Shoreditch, the entire city fell under the magnifying glass of the designer's eye, his chronicled snapshots evolved in to his AW12 collection.

We've all seen the prints and can trace the designer's footsteps across town thanks to the addition of QR codes to each garment but who accompanied Miller on his journey? As he explored, he was joined by a shuffling mix from the 80s and 90s including the slightly aloof Joy Division, the confused Kavinsky the happy to be there, one hit wonder that is Q Lazzarus. Thanks to his playlist below you can join the expedition...

DAF - Brothers 
Joy Division - New Dawn Fades 
Q Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses
Kavinsky - Nightcall 
Palais Schaumburg - Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt 
The Stone Roses - So Young 
Nirvana - Rape me (Live) 
The Pixies - Wave of Mutilation (Acoustic) 
Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter 
Mazzy Star - Into Dust

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Tools of the tade... Duffy Jewellery

"As a kid I was obsessed with comics and wanted to be an illustrator but then I spent ten years working with an antiques dealer and it changed my outlook. Whilst working in restoration and being around such precious objects, I was inspired," explains jewellery designer Duffy as he sits in the heart of his workshop in East London. Surrounded by the tools of his trade and with drawings scattered across the bench, his passion for the craftsmanship of fine jewellery is infectious. "I think I've always been drawn to the idea of someone having a skill to produce something, a craft. Today as modern technology plays such a huge part in so many things, I really like the idea that their are still a handful of people who can make something from start to finish with their own hands and it is wholly their's."

In a culture of mass production, Duffy Jewellery stands apart. Working with locally sourced materials, each handmade design evolves from doodle to finished treasure all in his Sunbury Worskshop unit. Unsurprisingly, his work bench is littered with all manner of tools. From the specialist to the customised, Duffy talks us through a few of his most used and much loved pieces of kit...

A close look at Duffy's workbench

Spirit Lamp

"This Spirit lamp has a wick that burns using traditionally meths but I use clear lamp oil as it provides a better flame for melting wax and meeting wax carving tools."

Three wax carving tools

"Each wax carving tool has been customised to create a more comfortable grip and shape of implement. One is an old dentist tool that has a new life dedicated to wax."

Piercing Saw 

"This is used for cutting metal in various ways. As its name suggests it can pierce shapes. The blades can be changed and various size of blade used for different levels of intricacy."

Rawhide Mallet

"The hammer head itself made from a strip of hide that has then been allowed to dry and harden but remains with enough give so as not to dent the metal when forming it."

Victorian ring sizer 

"This must be the oldest and most sentimental tool in the collection as it was used by my great grandfather. A number of the rings are long lost and I don't tend to use it all that much but it's a beautiful object."

Mandrel and Ring Size

"The mandrel is used for forming metal around (most commonly with the rawhide mallet) and the ring sizer is to check the size of a ring either whilst forming the metal or to check an existing rings measurement."

Bench Peg  

"It might not look like a tool because it is part of the jewellery bench but the peg itself is where most work takes place. It allows the jeweller to hold material or jewellery securely whilst filing and sawing can take place. They take on differing shapes over the years as they are worn and filed and drilled on and usually the way in which a jeweller works will effect how it wares down." Duffy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The beat of MA.STRUM

"The first time that I came in to contact with the work of Massimo Osti was in the mid 80s," explains Donrad Duncan over an early morning crackling Skype connection from his studio. It might only be nine in the morning in New York but one gets the sense that the founder and principle designer of Global Design and Innovation has been working for hours. His excitement for and knowledge of the design deity that is Osti drives our virtual conversation. "When I saw the product, I saw a spirit that I hadn't seen in any garment before. I immediately connected to it. From that, it awakened something within me and started a whole dialogue of research in to his work." Universally, men’s fashion owes Massimo a great debt and even today, thirty years on, his spirit lives on. No more so than with Duncan and John Sharp's MA.STRUM, a label that has evolved from the partnership between the designer and Massimo Osti Studio.

Few designers have had an influence quite like the 'godfather of Sportswear'. From his studio in the heart of Bologna, Osti led the industry thanks to his incessant invention, eager experimentation and depth of development. It's a testament to the man that the advancements that he was pioneering over three decades ago are still being appreciated, explored and furthered now. No more so than with MA.STRUM thanks to Duncan and his team's shared sensibilities.

Lorenzo Osti, Donrad Duncan and John Sharp

"Ever since I encountered his product, I felt as though I could communicate with this spirit. In a subconscious way, I felt that I understood what Massimo was doing. Then when I went to the archive for the first time, so much of it made sense to me, both in terms of his approach and the work itself." The MA.STRUM collection is inspired by similar principles, using innovative high-tech fabrics and technology to create quality products providing function, comfort and style.

However, the influence of Osti is far less than that of the men in Duncan's family. "My grandfather, father and uncles have had undoubtedly influenced my understanding and knowledge of craft and of style. I couldn't say that I was conscious of their effect on meat the time, it always comes after the fact that you realise that you know. Growing up in the environment that I did, it all becomes quite natural. My grandfather did various things; he was a furniture builder, he built houses and he still fixes watches. Understanding the fundamentals of putting structures together in theory was passed on to me. I inherited his specific reasoning and working with a sense of purpose. Tailoring was also extremely influential. I grew up amongst tailors. I understood the construction of a sports jacket and trousers in my early teens. I knew that I wanted to do something within a creative field. I had imagined being an architect but that never came close to fruition but in a sense I approach everything that I do in an architectural point of view, structure. I began making my own clothing when I was in my twenties just purely for my own personal wear. People used to stop me in passing and ask me where I had got them and this type of feedback encouraged me to move to New York and further myself in the design industry."

Duncan along with MA.STRUM's joint owner and CEO John Sharp and Lorenzo Osti.

Moving to the Big Apple, the budding design talent studied fashion design at Parson’s School of Design in New York. "I knew how to construct garments before I went to Parsons. I was very craft orientated. In Parsons I explored the theory behind everything. The experience developed what I knew already and I was able to build on my practical expertise. Construction was never really a challenge whilst I was at Parsons. It grounded me in what the industry was all about. It gave me a great foundation in launching into it." And what a launch. Today, Duncan is known globally for leading the apparel industry in introducing the hybrid concept of merging technical apparel with sportswear. Confidence gained with success with the likes of Victorinox led the launch of his Global Design and Innovation and ultimately, MA.STRUM.  "It was only when I got the offer to form the design concept for Victorinox that I developed my own approach to form and function. I started to see a more distinct way of executing product for the consumer at large, understanding the importance of how a consumer thinks, how the society is structure and how we can create to facilitate to the changing environment that we had."

"Every designer that I know is working towards creating their own collection or brand and all of the roads led to this direction for me. The driving concept behind GDI is for it to have a creative collective of minds at its core. I see it more like a think tank of people who have a shared creative sense that is ready to burst out to create a new world, a new lifestyle. It's focus is to build on everything, not just apparel. It is still in its process of formulation. MA.Strum is under the umbrella of GDI and it was the first category that dealt with apparel. It was a lot of fun getting in to that aspect. When we launched it, Lorenzo (Osti) and I became close and started this whole idea. Given my hunger for function and form and how we worked in building from the fabric and sculpting from this premise, he understood the project.

I never even dreamt of working with the archive. It wasn't even a thought to me at the beginning. Access to it evolved from my talks with Lorenzo and my vision for building the collection. When he first mentioned that I could use it, I was in absolute awe." 


It surely can't be surprising that Duncan felt a heady mixture of excitement and trepidation. The thousands of swatches filed and kept by Osti in his extraordinary Archive tell us about the fashion and textile history of the last thirty years: from the most classic and timeless fabrics by top-notch textile companies to the rarest and most unusual and innovative samples, they have been assembled and reinvented to become the basic matter and primary element of his insatiable creative research. Five thousand garments, fifty thousand fabric swatches, hundreds of accessories and original sketches give precious evidence to the uncountable field works and avant-garde experimentation conducted by the design maverick in three decades of bustling innovation.

"My first impression was being overwhelmed. It contained so much. There were so many fabrics, so much development. So many trials and research went in to just one fabric. It instantly showed how meticulous he was and how determined he was in realising his vision. There was little compromise. To me, it was a monument to his great body of work and spirit. In every specific fabric development, there is scope to explore it further. Everything he worked on and started is a seed." With MA.STRUM these seeds are growing in to something truly special. Far from being overawed by Osti's shadow, Duncan's own design vision is blooming. "Being a part of the studio, it could be seen as a burden but I really don't see it that way. I'm there, I understand the history and move on."


I ask Duncan how the archive has influenced him and MA.STRUM. "The studio has a certain spirit. I walk in there and I'm immersed in that world, a creative state of mind. I would leave, travel back to New York but that fire remains. It creates a magnet, ideas just go through your mind. It often works as the ignition, a key. It's not about duplicating or even building on what's in the studio but rather, it is about growing using its spirit." Osti took function and utility and twisted it until it fit in a jacket in order to add a benefit to the wearer. Whilst at the archive, he has the advantage of seeing products in their infancy and is able to develop them with what is available today. Even though he was ahead of his time, Duncan and his team now have fabrics and technology that go even further than even Osti could have imagined.

"Going through the archive, you only see the end product and glimpses at the experiments. You can't see Osti working so you can only imagine what the process was. There are numerous paths to get there. Meticulous, steadfast determination, multiple research, numerous development, trial and error, errors that could became the masterpiece. He was on a journey and you can never know what else Massimo would have done. What if Da Vinci had only painted? Massimo's approach was so vast that I think its application was potentially limitless, it permeates much more than apparel. So how would I compare? We are certainly like minded. We both tend to start at the base, the foundation, that is the fabric but I would never feel comfortable comparing myself to him any deeper than that. He set the stage."


"One of the reasons why I started this concept. It's not about what the military means and what it does but rather, it's about how the products have a function and form, they have a purpose. With MA:Strum, I wanted something that dealt with mastering form and function. The rhythm of life. In everything that we do, if we understand the rhythm, you can never lose the beat. There's a clear direction that MA:Strum follows but as we're in a changing world, the label is free to explore its principles. People change, lifestyles change and the label has to evolve season to season but rather than coming from me, it informs us. I'm not seeking, it is free. I don't design seasons ahead. It's when I sit down, look at the products of the past and start to analyse where we are today, how we are living as individuals and what are our interests. Everything informs this process. Today, the world is becoming so much smaller and we are so transient and mobile. The key is creating products that facilitate this changing world and our changing needs. We have to take so many factors in to consideration from weight to the opportunity of multipurpose. We want to create products that can offer as much as possible whilst always striking the right balance throughout a collection. I approach it as growth. It has to evolve consistently.

For me, the learning process will never stop. I see it as growth from season to season. As long as you stay open and malleable, you can absorb as much as possible. There is definite growth for SS13. There are fabrics that we have used previously, for me it is not always about change. If you have a good thing and there's a window of improvement, then why not?"


In fashion there is always a sense of striving for new. This always disturbs me. Menswear doesn't have to be different from season to season, it should evolve. Duncan agrees. "For me, some of the best developments are a combination of old and new -  the balance often speaks to you. With having something that is already good, the question should always be, can it be better? For example, we have a parachute ripstop, it's a fabric that the military originally used and I usually highlight its strength and how lightweight it is but we've treated it so it is breathable and waterproof. The drive is to create products that are durable, lightweight, make a statement in a subtle way and at the same time give a sense of sophistication and presence. It is more about the emotion. I want to offer the same emotion that I felt when I encountered Massimo's work for the first time." To end our lengthy discussion, I ask Duncan how he'd like MA.STRUM to be remembered, without missing a beat he answers succinctly and confidently: "for offering product with form and function, product that make sense."

Friday, 16 November 2012

Details... Hands on

Rotate for function. Tender's very own William Kroll modelling his own Hands-On mechanical wristwatch. Taken from early Twentieth Century drivers' watches, the dial is rotated by 45° to make the watch easily readable without taking your hands off the wheel of a car. Genius.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Treasured Items... William Kroll

Over the last few years William Kroll has worked tirelessly to nurture an evolving family of British artisan producers to supply his needs. The result is Tender, a small clothing label that specialises in denim and making an ever growing inventory of products by hand. From a pair of wattle dyed hand linked cotton socks to a hand thrown red clay coffee mug and graphic interlock t shirts to cotton acetate sunglasses, each Tender item is is a personal and exhaustively conceived, sourced and manufactured celebration of craftsmanship. Each is a labour of love. It should come as little surprise that his most treasured item shares these values. Here, Kroll tells us the tale behind his favourite piece of knitwear...


William Kroll and the Grandmother knitted Guernsey knit.


"This is a Guernsey sweater that my Grandmother knitted for me. One of the reasons that I love Guernsey knits in particular is the tightness of the knit pattern is and how the wool reacts to rain to help seal it. It affords you that bit more protection from the elements. Another, is how they are knitted. They have a pattern from the middle of the chest up to the neck whilst the rest, including the sleeves is left plain. They are the same front, back and inside out so you can wear them four ways which means you get extra wear from them. Also, when you get washed overboard and drowned, the pattern on the top represents your village and means you get returned to the correct place. Each village or town has their own distinct pattern and is complete with initials on one side.

I chose a relatively plain stitch because I liked the look of it in all honesty but if I were to be lost at sea, or anywhere else for that matter, I would be returned to Scarborough which is where my Grandmother used to go on holiday. My initials of W.A.K. are on the back and are a little stretched because she got the pattern a little mixed up. 

I've had it for about three years now and wear it almost every day during autumn and winter. These days, I only tend to wear things that I have designed but this is one of the few things that I didn't, yet wear regularly. It was a real labour of love because it is navy blue and she didn't find the yarn easy to see. It is packed full of interesting features. It's not completely faultless but that's one of the reasons why I like it so much. Ultimately, I love the fact that my Grandmother knitted it for me, that there is only one of them and when I first got it there were a few white hairs knitted in to it. It's just a lovely thing." William Kroll.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Autumn Favourites... Stevie Kelly

Some of you might be forging ahead with thoughts of Christmas and a new year but we still want to celebrate these mornings where we can layer, wrap and protect ourselves in an assortment of comfortable and practical fabrics. As belated fireworks light up the sky, the infamous coca cola truck streams across the television screen, crisp leaves carpet the streets and the air has an ever increasing bite to it, this evening is the perfect time to share another selection of Autumn Favourites.

Stephen Kelly (Stevie Style) is a menswear stylist, writer, model, presenter and actor who enjoys a spot of seasonal sartorial fun. Here, against a backdrop of a sleepy Shoreditch, he pair an assortment of favourites alongside recent finds...

"Autumn is my favourite season for many reasons... the ability to add layers to an outfit, the celebration of all things cosy, soups, films, books and a good Sunday pint, it's when my birthday falls and the rich hues and colours we're surrounded by in nature. The last of these influence how I dress. I think the rich tones around us should inform the colours that we wear, a sentiment I saw echoed in a post by Style Salvage's very own Steve a few years ago. I have several varieties of garments in autumnal shades. From mustards and greens to plums and browns by way of camel and red, I enjoy getting in a few nods to the season throughout my outfit. All of which I'm looking forward to dusting off and wearing anew from their Summer slumber, these include a vintage camel Crombie, Dr Marten's Cherry red boots, a brown Acne leather jacket, Topman Design Tweed Wool trousers, a Carolyn Massey wool blazer and several cosy, colourful jumpers.

On this occasion  I might not be wearing obvious autumnal hues but my brogues and dark brown socks keep me happy along with the scarf and elbow patches on my sweatshirts. During the cooler months I love a coloured sock, I think it helps lift and brighten any outfit, even a dark suit can be playful with a hit of colour. As the weather is dark and grey who wouldd want their clothes to become dark and drab also? We all need a bit of colour."

"Coat is from Fred Perry - I love this coat, despite being a just a dark wool coat I love the football buttons, penny collar, the fit of it and the hidden polka dot lining. It can go from casual through to a more smarter look. Highly versatile.
Shirt is by Libertine Libertine - a brand I recently discovered and am a big fan of.
Jumper by Suit - a sweatshirt is a great transitional piece from summer to winter to keep out the cold before turning to the knitwear, all men should have one in grey, it's a key wardrobe staple.
Scarf was picked up  from somewhere in Scotland, not entirely sure where. My Nan got it me for Christmas a few years ago, but it has great colours and it's super soft cashmere so keeps me warm as the temperature drops.
My jeans are from Edwin - these are relatively new to my wardrobe but I love them, the colour and cut are just what I've been after and their quality will see me through many seasons to come.
The brown socks are from Uniqlo
The shoes are by Grenson - I've had these for years and I love them. They desperately need to be resoled but I'm struggling to part with them for the time that it would take!" Stevie Style.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Four swans and a hare conquer the web


"Mr. Hare started on the Internet. I believe that is how we met Steve?" enquires Marc Hare. Of course, the shoe designer knows the answer already but it reminds me just how long we've known each other and how important the web has been in transforming his dream in to a reality and in helping him dream bigger.  Mr. Hare has always a been a work in progress and we've all watched on in excitement. Over the course of three whirlwind years we've all been captivated by the tale of Mr. Hare and now the label opens a new chapter as it dips its toe in to retail. What started as one man's selfish pursuit of great shoes has delighted and treated the feet of man. Yesterday afternoon, four swans and a hare returned claimed the Internet with the launch of MrHare.com.

Following the opening of his first boutique in London’s Mayfair last month, Mr. Hare had returned home. "I started with the blog and had no money to advertise. The Internet feels more like home to Mr. Hare than Mayfair in a way. I also built our first website on iWeb, the free software you get with all macs, because of that fact the site was always a bit rubbish. I never thought being super slick was that important if the content was honest. I think a lot of people liked that because you could tell the person who made the shoes had just as much to do with the website. In the same way I was learning how to make shoes I was learning how to communicate on the web."

Of course each collection induced us with lust but most of us fell in love with the brand thanks to the honesty of his site. He was one of us. We've always loved how your blog captures the personality of both the man and the brand. From what he's been listening to, collections he's loved, exhibitions that blew his mind and anything else that inspired him. It was something that Hare was conscious of keeping. "If it ain't broke don't fix it bro!!  It says Mr. Hare on the URL and it's still Mr. Hare choosing the content and making the shoes and playing the hits. Now of course, it is fully integrated between Magento and Retail Pro with a Global facilitation partner but I will still be trying to work in a Doom quote to every blog post. I'm still going to be showcasing other people's shoes I like and I am still going to be using all our media tools to show off when Arsenal win big games."

Despite it's countless advancements, it still feels like Mr. Hare. Nothing has been lost in the upgrade but rather, features long loved or new, only enhance our connection with the brand. StudioSmall nailed it. 
"When we were briefing StudioSmall, the most important consideration was that I didn't suddenly want to be all slick and fancy like Mr. Porter. Mr. Hare had to still maintain an element of rubbishness like it always had been.  Imagine being a really fancy, serious, cutting edge, respected design company like StudioSmall and being told you have to make a site that's a bit rubbish. I think they interpreted the brief very well." I think he should replace any reference of rubbish with character.

The Stafford Street store marked a confident step forward in to standalone retail and the site includes e-commerce functionality and will be the only other place to buy Mr Hare shoes in every style, colour and size. This thought thrills the inner shoeist and undoubtedly excites the man himself. "Wholesaling your designs means you have little control over how they are then presented. Also, no-one ever buys the whole collection. Having our own shop means we can see how it all looks together. We can merchandise. We get feedback from customers. We get to see all the colours. It makes a world of difference. Commercially you suddenly have a much greater level of independence. I believe the technical term is revenue streams. I prefer Mr. Lamar's description 'money trees is the perfect place for shading.'"

Building on this greater level of independence, the site also provide the opportunity to buy Mr Rare’s, past favourites from the archives, short runs and exclusive collaborations. Looking back over the archive, I enquire which styles are his personal favourites. "Personally, the entire "Idolescent' collection marked a real turning point in understanding what I was doing. That collection as you know was me making all the shoes I had obsessed over as a teenager but couldn't afford back then. Say what you like about poverty, but it has always been there for me!! It was very indulgent and personal and it got a lot out of my system. However, my favourite shoes will always be the next ones, because if I am not excited about the next hits, I might as well give up." We can't imagine his excitement ever waning.

As we left Hare to settle in to his virtual home and before he asked his neighbours for a cup of sugar, we asked him to reveal a few of his current digital favourites digital suggestions. From the music that's pounding his speakers, to the fellow sites that he feels are killing it. Conquer the web: 

"JJJJJJound is still the blog fundamentalists blog of choice. That 8track thing you did the other day is still blowing my mind. Streets of Beige mixtapes are a treasure to behold. Delia's recipes are a must. I am tripping off these mixes by Knxwledge. I get a thrill anytime I book a holiday on either Virgin, Expedia or BA.com 101Great Goals if I miss a game. The White Cube shop if I want to look at more affordable art I still can't afford. The Label Line and in particular Nadine Peters' boiled wool jumpers  and my favourite is 1st Dibs for stuff I really can't afford."

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Weekend Reading... Fourth & Main Issue 2


At the start of the year we were introduced to the creative world of Fourth & Main. The brainchild of Nikhil Adwalpalkar and James Wright, the brand entered the market as a capsule menswear collection and a bi-annual arts and culture publication. The debut issue of its Journal read alongside the considered collection of wardrobe staples was a fine introduction. Now, as the brand settles into its Newburgh Street home, we are treated to the second issue and an AW12 collection that extends their philosophy of fine tailoring with a contemporary twist. 

Sanguinely sidestepping sophomore album syndrome, the creative team closely followed the common thread that bound together their featured artists and their subjects. With a cupped hand held behind the collective ear, they have sought out a spectrum of creatives who march to the beat of their own drum. Whether actors, artists, directors, musicians or writers, the second issue is a celebration of those who tell the stories that are largely untold and help turn our imagination on to a world we crave to know. We hear from Ben Whishaw - one of the most sensitive and gifted artists of his generation, look closely at the work of director Steve James, marvel at Turkish Photographer Pinar Yolacan's latest series and get a little closer to the enigmatic talent of Money...

A few pages that caught my eye.

Picking up where the debut issue left us, issue two of Fourth & Main's Journal is a considered curation of the voices that should be heard, ideas that should be explored and tales that are all too easy to get lost it.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Studio Sounds: Mr. Hare AW12

Cover image by Little Doodles

"I wanted to make some shoes that could deal with everything that could possibly be thrown at them on a good night and also deal with a long, cold and wet winter," explained Mr. Hare as he sipped on red wine one afternoon in August. The haze of wine and spirits acted as the perfect backdrop for the shoe designer to reacquaint me with the carefully crafted, leather characters that make up his 'At Large' collection. "It is a consolidation of everything that we had before it in a winter Mr. Hare collection made in to something that was ultimately practical in enabling people to do what they do, which is going out to Soho on a Thursday night without worrying about trashing your shoes." Now, the beautiful coming together of sexy and functional is rare but thanks to a soundtrack of Gaz's Rockin Blues mixed and the memories of some of Soho's great characters washed down with rum, sees the two opposites unite in a series of increasingly passionate embraces in a dark corner.

Every time I visit the designer at his Rochelle School studio my ears are treated to the sounds of the  speakers. Music is the pulse of the studio that makes shoes that demand to be danced in. From Billy Fury to Kendrik Lamar, The Specials to BJ the Chicago Kid, here are the audio inspirations of 'At Large'. Turn it up loud..

The Specials - Nite Klub 
Robbin Ray - Baby Baby Take a Look 
Louis Prima - Just a Gigolo 
John Holt - Ali Baba 
Billy Fury - Last Night was Made for Love 
BJ the Chicago kid - Sex X Money x Sneakers. 
Frank Ocean -Whip Appeal 
Kendrick Lamar - Money Trees 
El-P - The Full Retard 
Friends - Friend Crush

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Details... Leather collage

Whilst bouncing from store to store on her recent jaunt to Tokyo, Susie hopped in to the sidecar of the Blackmeans bike. As she whizzed through the bustling city she became transfixed on the Japanese label's very own Yujiro Komatsu's outfit and snapped a few detail shots of this fast moving collage of leather...


Utilising the experience of Japan's finest leather craftsmen, Blackmeans takes great pleasure in reinterpreting historic, ethnic cloth-cutting techniques in an innovative way that has kept it at the forefront of the 'New Tokyo' movement since its inception in 2008. Unsurprisingly, Yujiro Komatsu wears it well.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Trine Lindegaard SS13

"I make clothes that are bright and have some aspects of playfulness to them" purrs Trine Lindegaard in her soft Danish accent as she stands in in her East London studio and introduces me to her SS13 offering. "I love working with colour and generally like to have fun when I develop a collection." Her words only echo the findings of my eyes as they dart between the frolicsome fabrics. Ever since Lindegaard first came to our attention following her accomplished MA graduate show from the RCA, we've fallen for her sartorial charms thanks to her dynamic palette and light hearted, joyful approach to menswear. SS13 makes us fall that bit deeper.

For SS13, Lindegaard has focused on what she does best; exploring new techniques and textile developments. Lindegaard simply explains the collection as "a colourful collection that celebrates the traditional craftsmanship of Ghanaian fabric weavers whilst adding some sporty elements and of course, the odd bit of embellishment." The collection quickly evolved from an approach from an West African based charity and an introduction to the wonders of their local weavers. Ultimately, the Danish born design talent celebrates their great textile tradition whilst breathing fresh life in their work by mixing it with Western hi-tech materials to achieve a wearable and modern collection.

"It is great to work with in terms of its colour and texture," she explains as she thumbs a sweatshirt. "I try to keep to their traditional patterns but I tweak it a bit in terms of colour combinations and of course using them in an entirely different way." Traditionally hand woven by the Akan tribes in West Africa, the Kenta has a distinctive identity that comes not only from its rich quality, pattern and colour but also its cultural and historical significance. It is an icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Akan Kente is identified by its dazzling, intricate, multicoloured mix of bright hues, geometric shapes, and bold designs. The material is entirely handmade, from the picking of the cotton to the dying of the yarn and ultimately, through to the weaving of the fabrics. Lindegaard worked closely with the Ghanaian fabric weavers for S/S13 in hope to support and raise awareness of this amazing but unfortunately fading craft. "The collection is rooted in these African fabrics. I wanted to take them away from their traditional use, the wraparound dresses and headpieces, and their links to social status. I wanted to make them more accessible but still keep the traditional influences. I've used a lot of technical fabrics and dying throughout to keep it fresh."

On a grey November morning the sight of this collection was just what we needed. We were transported to a different world. It left the pulses of our eyes racing and our enthusiasm was reignited with the recent delivery of the Ivona Chrzastek shot look book. Feast on the vivid visuals of the look book and get drunk from our own detail shots....

Look book credits: Shot by Ivona Chrzastek with styling by Naz Di Nicola & Kusi Kub

Dazzled all over again. Given the timing of my visit, Trine Lindegaard's mind was caught between the production of this collection and designing AW13. A designer has to be a multi tasker and with various projects in the works, this Lindegaard is a fine plate spinner. I'll leave you with a glimpse in to the future thanks to the excited words from the designer herself. 

"I'm taking elements of this season forward to next and I've also been working with a charity called Fine Cell Work. They train prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework which is undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells. They've been around for fifteen years or so, they do amazing cross stitching with prisoners. All of the guys are young and tough, as you'd expect, but they hand embroider cushions, it's so strange. I'm working on product development with them. It's great working with them and I'm excited to see how it all develops." Her enthusiasm for textile development is infectious. We share Lindegaard's excitement and can't wait to see this design talent continue to develop before our wanting eyes.


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