Sunday 31 August 2008

A conversation wirh Aitor Throup

Whenever I mention Throup, Susie never fails to mention that he's good looking.

As mentioned in my previous post I was fortunate enough to listen (and scribble notes) to a conversation with Sarah Mower and Aitor Throup at the V&A. It was an intimate setting, in room 40 of one of my favourite buildings in London (where one can wander for hours...or just go to the ornate foodhalls and have a scone or two...), just Aitor, Sarah, a laptop and 30 odd people (including the inspirational Charlie Porter) listening intently.

The sentence which sticks out from the aforementioned conversation is "Artists create problems, designers solve them", Aitor couldn't recall who had said this originally (Google didn't help me fnd the true source either but who cares really?), he has however adopted it for himself. After hearing him talk about his work you really can see how he is both an artist and designer, solving the problems his mind creates with focus and attention to detail and thirst for processes - his comic book scrawlings transform into reality for the runway (or however he so happens to choose to display them). Throup gave great insight into his design process and what he said only made me marvel at him more. Menswear for me isn't as trend led as womenswear, it needs designers like Throup who approach the design process in a different way, pushing textiles and techniques in new directions...challenging the typical and accepted way of how a jacket should be made.

Throup's comic book drawings evolve in to fashion pieces through moulding and sculptural processes.

Mower seemed desperate to discuss Throup's background whereas the man himself gave the impression (albeit extremely politely and eloquently) that he had said it all before but nevertheless went on to describe his youth and how it might have shaped his view on the world and most importantly for us, his design aesthetic. Throup was born in Argentina and lived there up to the age of seven, he then moved to Madrid with his family and stayed there for five years before moving to Burnley. Argentina and Madrid to Burnley. I've never been to Burnley myself but know that it's a northern town and it's not the best place to be when you're different. There can be little doubt that the racist tension of Burnley informed his work on some level but it was the passionate, devoted folowing of the Burnley Football Club which had the greater effect.

Burnely FC - a crowd which inspired a youthful Throup and still does today

As mentioned previously, Throup's MA collection at the RSA was titled "When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods”. It is a three-dimensional comic that communicates the story of redemption and transcendence told through fabric structures that are based on a platform of the football casual.

Phil Thornton's book on the 'Casuals' - the cover image showing one of Osti's finest designs.

Due to football hooliganism within this country during the 80's, the clothes which were adopted by 'the casuals' have had lasting associations with brands such as Stone Island and CP Company. Within this island (far greater than the rest of Europe) these brands were the labels of choice of the hooligan and have become something of a taboo. These brands have not had the respect and attention that they deserve. Throup has made me think twice about them and instilled a desire to read up on the subject. Throup left the audience with a piece of news, he has just signed up with Umbro (one of the biggest footballing brands in the UK) in a creative consultant role, I look forward to seeing his influence on a brand which was an important part of my youth. I hope he continues to both create and solve many more problems...

Aitor Throup related news:

  • I've just been informed by EJ that the Throup design for Topman's Black Trouser project have now sold old out...I was too slow. These trousers were the first Throup designed product to be released and I missed out on them. Has anyone managed to get a pair?
  • The Independent ran an interesting piece on Throup, the piece can be read here.

Men Represent: Style Icons of yore

When Steve and I first met (way back in 2002, it feels like a century ago) his style reminded me of a certain Mr David Beckham. This was no accident and it was no bad thing. David Beckham always seemed comfortable in his clothes (once he'd gotten past the overly-matching-his-wife stage) while continually looking sharp. As Steve and I got to know each other, our shared admiration for Mr B continued: we went shopping for suit jackets (to be worn with jeans, naturally- we drew the line at sarongs though), we googled for new pictures of the man and admired his love of tailoring.

The thing we loved the most was that hair. Yes, it changed a fair few times, but when it was good, DAMN it was good. The main thing that Steve learnt from DB's hair was how appealing touchable hair was (I'm not exagerrating when I say that the ladies couldn't stop themselves from stroking Steve's hair). Behold!

Apologies for the terrible scan- yes, this photo was taken before I owned a digital camera - dark times indeed.

Saturday 30 August 2008

Style Icons - Massimo Osti

Creator of brand trademarks such as CP Company and Stone Island since the seventies, clothing designer Massimo Osti imposed himself on menswear for his abilities of invention, research and experimentation with forms and most of all materials. I was fortunate enough to listen in on the Sarah Mower conversation with Aitor Throup on Friday night at the V&A, thanks to an invite from Stephen of thenonplace. I will do a full post on this later this weekend but as some of you are chomping at the bit for more Style Icon related posts, it seemed madness not to give you one of Aitor's, Massimo Osti. Throup mentioned Osti countless times and his words revealed himself as a teenager living in Burnley once again, a time when Osti designs were so important to him and had a lasting effect on his own designs. Renzo Rosso (Diesel) described Osti's work as marking "important moments that fashion will remember” and following last nights conversation, I would have to agree.

An inventor more than a traditional fashion designer, Massimo has always emphasised the functional, technological and innovative aspect of his garments instead of simply mutating fashion tendencies. His long research led him to build an archive which includes over 30,000 garments and 55,000 fabric samples. Even if you fail to recognise the name, you will know his work. Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing. The entire textile industry has been entirely revolutionised by Osti’s research and the excited, enthusiastic Throup forced me to take notice. There can be little doubt that Massimo Osti, a reclusive Italian, was a truly unique and innovative thinker, fabric engineer and designer, that pushed menswear forward. The Chester Perry (CP Company as it's known today) name originates from a little known comic strip whose central character, Chester, was always coming up with innovative ideas to improve his work place, but went unheard. The name was shortened to CP Company as the original name was just to similar to the tennis brand of Fred Perry.

Below is one of his most recognised creations, the Mille Miglia jacket - named after an open road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty four times between 1927 and 1957. As you can see the garment features goggles built into the hood and originally had a small circular window in the sleeve enabling the wearer to see their watch. This jacket would certainly change my image.

I will end this post with a few words from the man himself...“If I find a piece of clothing interesting, I must be able to understand and define why it is interesting. The fabric used might be created using some new technological development, or the construction details are there to carry out a specific function. This is the reason why brands such as Stone Island and C.P. Company have such relevance in the future of fashion. I have no interest in trends, nor in decoration that isn’t relevant or justified.”

Thursday 28 August 2008

Oh my.

From the Tabio website: "As supplied for the character of The Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures "The Dark Knight" - Tabio's Joker Socks are part of movie history!"
£16 might be a bit steep for some people's tastes, but I'm sold. Available to pre-order here.

Monday 25 August 2008

Picture Postcard: I can see the light

Dearest EJ

I have been told that moving is one of the top three most stressful times within a lifetime...It hasn't been that bad so life must be good (touch wood). I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel...and it's not a light purchased from Ikea... hurray! The place is looking great already and the move has made me find some forgotten pieces, not to mention the fact I know have my whole wardrobe in one place... finally! Expect some more interesting outfit posts in the coming week. Anyway, enough about me, I just wanted to let you know that despite the fact I've been doing some serious hard labour...not to mention white van driving...everything will return to normal soon. In the meantime please see my good friend Gustav shot by the sartorialist, I just love the over sized safety pin brooch.

Much love

Hola Steve

Glad to hear the move has gone ok. Looking forward to seeing photos (HINT HINT) of the new place. Liking this chap a fair amount, particularly the way all the blue look together. Also like his bag, even though it looks a little cumbersome for everyday use. Not quite sure of the proportions of the outfit though. Something seems a little bit off and I can't put my finger on what it is.


p.s. I have so much less hair than you now, it's great!

Friday 22 August 2008

Men Represent: Men of wardrobe_remix

A little late, here are my favourite men's outfits submitted to wardrobe_remix in the last few weeks and a very brief summary of what I like best about each of them. Steve's will follow when he's all moved in to his new flat.
Men Represent - Day 1
Thom really set the bar for the week with this one. Hat, jacket and nonchalance are my favourite bits of this outfit.

Cozy, classy layering. Love the glasses. I'm just love hoodies too.

Hint: I'm a sucker for buffalo check. Anyone else being dragged to the new Hellboy film and praying that it's good?

This is a woman's shirt! Fear not gender labels on clothes! (also love the cuffing on the shorts)

The hair! The shades! The ability to wear white envy! (I spill) Did I mention the hair?

Great shirt, great hat, great watch.

Love the flash of stripes and the mooooon boots. I love stomping around in those moon boots almost as much as Steve does.

Gian killed me with his gloves and shoes combo... not to mention the silk flowers!

P.S. Because Steve is so busy moving all his worldly possessions to a new abode with the lovely SB, this week's Men Represent task will be extended for an extra week... keep those style icons coming!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Future Hair

This is what might be looking back you in the mirror next year...

Via the great Mensrag I stumbled across Fashionising's analysis of hair trends as seen on the s/s 09 runways and their predictions for our barnets in 2009. The post quite rightly suggests that like all trends, those within hair are cyclical, and in recent years, they have gradually modernised the looks of the 20th Century and planted them firmly in the 21st. As for my hair I will dabble between two stylings.
Firstly, the Burberry Prosoum style with textured longer fringe, with an overal light and layered feel - the 2009 incarnation of the 'Caesar cut' (to be honest it's not too far off my current look) While cut to bring hair from the temples and crown towards the forehead, the overall effect depends largely on using a matte wax or pomade to create the rugged texture and is quite akin to something sported by men in the Regency era.

This look reminds me that I really should use product in my hair.

My second look will see me dabble with more product as I attempt that classis hairstyling...the slick back. Fashionising's advice on the matter is knowing your hair and getting the right cut and then it's all down to the product. The trick with using the right product (good old-school Brylcreem is suggested) is to make sure that the side you choose to slick the hair back towards actually suits your face. This will involve me playing in front of the mirror. I will film it and put it on the blog for your pleasure and much merriment.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Men Represent - Guilty pleasure style icons

So we are already half way through the second week of Men Represent and it's really about time that we sunk our teeth into the subject of male style icons. They come in all shapes and sizes and within all walks of life I'm sure...there are more icons to be found outside the modern day clut of celebrity. I would like to start off proceedings with airing my dirty style icon laundry and staying in the realms of is my guilty pleasure style icon. We all have them I'm sure, the people who inspired us as impressionable youths and now that we have managed to grow some facial hair and have the ability to legally do the things we did before, these figures still affect us. Despite our better judgements sggesting the contrary they invoke some degree of nostalgic loyalty. What's that? You want an example...ok well I will give you one of mine, Pharrell Williams (I refuse to call him Skateboard P or any other name he might want me to). There was a time when Mr Williams who could do no wrong in my eyes. He had produced the soundtrack to many summers and was being featured in all the right places, what can I say, I was an impressionable youth. This style icon puppy love reached it's peak following the cover shoot he did for The Face. Since then I've grown older and seen many a crack in him but my lasting nostalgia lives on. Even if he is wearing the very worst kind of smart causal hybrid (he really it at his worst when he wears tuxedo and ill fitting jeans and uninspired footwear) I really don't 2002 he owned the radio.

However, I recently stumbled across the below image and it brought out the teenage girl in me. For me this is perfect smart casual wear. This look inspires me all over again and provokes a desire to go out in search of a well cut grey wool jacket - I might just do that tomorrow...who needs to work? Anyway, my guilty pleasure isn't looking that guilty here - there were plenty of example of Williams getting it wrong but the blog isn't an outlet to criticise - we leave that to the likes of gofugyourself who are far cleverer and better at it than us. Regardless go and listen to one his productions, I suggest Mystikal's 'Shake ya ass' and post your guitly pleasure style icons in the comments and I will revisit this often over looked phenomenon.

Monday 18 August 2008

PDG 4 life

Hey Steve, I think I've found what you're going to buy from the Comme Des Garcons for H&M range...

Question is: top, shorts or both? And would you wear them at the same time? By the way, is that a polo shirt layered over a regular t shirt? Because that would be just dandy.

Despite the nod to the all powerful PDG (if you were wondering it refers to the Polka Dot Gang - myself and EJ are founding members) I was disappointed with the collaboration. I just think it looks a little dull, uninspired and the worst sin of The look chosen is definitely my favourite for obvious reasons and in answer to your question I would like the polo/tshirt ensemble (the shorts are a little too much for me)....I'm not sure it's worth queuing up for though.

Sunday 17 August 2008

Men Represent - One week on

Above documents what I've been wearing this week. I wasn't able to experiment as much as I'd hope to but it gives an honest account of what I've been wearing lately. The last few weeks have been monopolised by flat hunting and other stressful tasks which have not allowed me to do everything I planned, but that's life! I've been away this weekend so not had a chance to look at your posts on w_r but we will put up a selection of our favourite outfits over the coming days. It was great to see so many of you taking part. How was it for you?

Saturday 16 August 2008

Men Represent - Style Icons

We love discussing our style icons here at Style Salvage and would love to read about yours. As part of our Men Represent season we invite you, the readers and fellow bloggers, to post about your inspirations and how these influences might filter down to your everyday wear. There are some men that inspire many of us and there are others that might only inspire one of you in obvious or in subtle ways... we would like to hear about them all. Steve is going to start off proceedings with his style icons on Monday and then we pass the blog over to you. Just drop us an email of your thoughts and we will help out as much as we can.

Guidelines: This can be in any format you choose (you can be as creative as you want here, use any media you wish), however a basic entry would consist of:

1) Introducting your style icon - who, what, when...

2) Reasons for your choice

3) Supporting images

4) How the icon inspires your everyday dress with supporting images of yourself

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Picture Postcard: Men Represent

It is great to see so many men submitting their daily looks on w_r. I must admit that I spend far too much of my time at work exploring and commenting across the site. Despite, this time consuming and addictive exercise, I still have time in my busy day to check up on my favourites though and I came across the above image on thesartorialist, it has to be my favourite image for some time. The chap on the right looks very familiar but with this shot we have a whole new element...I wonder what they are talking about....

Monday 11 August 2008

The time to represent is now

We declare Men Represent officially open! I've just uploaded my recent outfit shots on w_r and if you've not done so it now! I think as the week goes on I will push my looks further but I thouht I would start the week off pretty safely.

To inspire us all....

I just stumbled across the above video on Kanye's blog and think we could achieve something similar over the coming week...wrinkles will appear, hair will grow and then fall out, weight will be gained and lost...we want you to document it all and share it with us. Happy Posting everyone.
Update - Hard liquor, soft holes has mentioned the Sidney Lo video in the comments section. Watch it and be strangely mesmerised and inspired.

The welcome death of Indie (both music and style) as we know it

Mixtape Necklace seen on Craftlog

Two events have sparked my desire to write on the subject of indie music and its relationship with style in recent years: firstly reading a Bethan Cole article in 10 Magazine and watching the ineresting Pitchfork documentary - A Classic Under Review, on The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead (one of the very best albums of the 1980s). During the mid 80's whe the band were in their prime, indie referred to a tangible musical genre or atleast a collection of sub-genres, a distinct sensibility, an opposition to mainstream pop. Indie was naive, retro and obsessed with authenticity. Indie kids felt like they were members of a secret cult, a world away from the mainstream of Rick Astley and Stock Aitken and Waterman. In recent years indie (as it is loosely termed today) IS the mainstream and the style is on sale at every high street store imaginable. Look around you and spot how many guys are wearing checked or plaid shirts, skinny jeans and cardigans. With this in mind we should all declare the era od faux indie truly dead and celebrate something new. Music is beginning to break out of the faux indie bubble it has been in throughout the 00's, with the likes of These New Puritans, Vampire Weekend, Maps and Santogold leaving the faux indie bands like the Pigeon Detectives and Joe Lean & the Jung Jang Jong sounding lame and unconvincing. What should certainly be left behind is the faux indie skinny silhouettes for men. Put down the waistcoast and skinny jeans and try something different. Diversity and difference make for an exciting music and fashion scape.

Sunday 10 August 2008

Review - Sport Vs Fashion

As declared on Thursday I hauled myself out of bed on Saturday morning (even though the weather of London was grey, depressing and wet) all because the excited child in me wanted to get my provisions of an Americano and a Chocolate Twist from Costa and travel down to South Kensington to visit the Fashion Vs Sport exhibition. Now, here is my review:

It frustrates me to say that I left this exhibition feeling a little deflated. Perhaps I was expecting too much in return from my five pound investment...but in these so called recession times one has to look after every penny. This had nothing to do with the size of the exhibition. That was perfectly adequate and they had a number of interesting pieces - namely Aitor Throup's work. For me, it was just a room with a number of somewhat related pieces...possibly second or third cousins of each other...left on standard display with not a great deal of thought about them. The exhibition was divided into four sections, dare, display, play and desire but I challenge anyone to able to distinguish between these four elements once inside this exhibition - there was only one section with a few standout highlights. Unfortunately, these highlights were not fully explored. The element of the exhibition which I was most interested in seeing was the construction design element. This alongside the buyer as collector idea for me, is what makes sportswear so interesting and worth having an exhibition on. Function and high performance are of primary concern in the design of sportswear, with companies investing a considerable amount of time and money into researching performance-enhancing garments and footwear. The flaw of this exhibiton is that how can you really display this idea using a standard mannequin accompanied by a credit card sized note? Enough of my critical ramblings...let's leave it with...I just expected more from the V&A...the recent Couture Exhibition was so well done and this was certainly lacking an element of the imagination and attention to detail which went into that exhibition.

Now onto what I liked...

I desperately wanted to see the work of Aitor Throup in the flesh. I have slightly obsessed over his site and the images I've seen online but have never actually seen his well crafted work up close. Aitor Throup’s 2006 MA collection, “When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods”, is a three-dimensional comic that communicates the story of redemption and transcendence told through fabric structures that are based on a platform of football casual. It was the highlight of the exhibition by some way.
For the reasons behind this collection it is easiest to let the man himself explain - “The more technical fabrics provide a sense of British culture, but more specifically of the C.P. Company and Stone Island – led ‘CASUAL’ or ‘FOOTBALL HOOLIGAN’ sub-culture, specifically of the late 80s and the 90s (On which the over-all aesthetic of the collection is based). My work is generally very structured and technical (in terms of construction), to the extent of being sculptural. Using traditional wools, such as Harris Tweed, not only creates yet another unexpected contrast against the structural aspects of the pieces, it also facilitates the moulding and distortion of the fabric by using traditional (tailoring) heat application techniques.”

For his first collaborative project with Stone Island, Aitor Throup has created not only a special edition concept piece, but he has helped generate a new generic approach to garment construction. Based on his own on-going questioning of conventional garment design and manufacture techniques, Throup has defined a construction process that defies conventional pattern making and sewing methods and it is well worth seeing this up close. I just wished that they explored this further within the exhibition. Throughout the exhibition there are hints of ideas but they are never fully realised or explored which is a crying shame.

Aside from Throup, the exhibition has made me want this Visvim pea coat. I've always liked the pea-coat style, but they can be too wide and too heavy - especially if they get wet which is often the case living in London! Like the shoes and boots that they have done so well in recent years, the Visvim version cuts down on the weight, improves the performance with Gore-treatment and tweaks the style. I especially like the contrast taping on the interior (apologies that you can't see this detail in the above image).

I will leave you with one of the strangest things I saw. A Channel Fishing Rod. Mindbloggling priced at around thirty thousand pounds, the curious initiative was apparently Lagerfeld’s personal tribute to Coco Chanel and her love of the relaxing sport. The kit includes a Chanel rod and a set of meticulously tied, monochrome Chanel flies, (complete with the famous “double C” logo on the gossamer wings) presented in a rather fetching, quilted black leather box. Who buys things like this?

Saturday 9 August 2008

Update: call to arms

A little more padding, a little less mystery:

Men Represent came about because there still seems to be a huge gulf between women's fashion blogs and men's. Despite the recent increase in the number of menswear blogs we are still outnumbered and seemingly outgunned compared to womenwear blogs.

So what are we trying to achieve? In short: unity, innovation and awareness.

Unity - it is one of our main goals to get one and all talking to each other much more than we currently do! Comment, links and support. No man - and no blog- is an island. Hopefully this project will introduce you to and get you talking to other men's fashion bloggers. Unity is strength, after all.

Innovation - Men's fashion is often considered to be the safer and less innovative sibling compared to women's and I'm sure that people think the same of the bloggers. This is obviously not true! What we want to do is to show people that we are at least as exciting and intrepid as women's fashion bloggers, if not more so!

Awareness - the problem, as well as the benefit, of the internet is that it's just so huge. What we aim to do is to promote men's fashion blogs- there's little point in writing amazing prose if no one knows about you.

So what have we asked people to do I hear you cry!

Week one:
This is a fairly easy one, and it's all about awareness and unity. Contributors should post at least one outfit a day for a week starting 11th August to wardrobe_remix.

You may remember that we posted about wardrobe_remix back in April but for those of you that aren't familiar with it, basically it's a community on flickr where people post photos of the outfit they've worn that day.

At the end of the week we've asked the contributors to analyse their week's worth of style diary and blog about or send us across your musings.

If you're interested in taking part (and we haven't emailed you already) then send us an email and we'll send you the full details/instructions. Come on, get involved!

Keep an eye out for the contibutors on w_r next week!

Smartening Up

A scene we have all become so familiar with might be changing

"An invesigation into the average man's attitude to his clothes would fill a substantial treatise and still not be able to get the bottom of the riddle of why the so-called stronger sex is so happy to dress in ways that suggest weakness."

When the rain is beating down on the window and the wind whistles and haunts the streets outside there is little better than curling up with a nice cup of strong tea (with a suggestion of sugar) and a new magazine. I was fortunate enough to pick up the new issue of 10 Man earlier today which made up for the poor weather. As always the magazine is packed full of interesting articles and inspiring editorials. The above quote is from an article by Colin McDowell which explores the phenomena of how the average man has often refused to grow up, insisting on hanging onto to the cute little boy their mums never wanted to see grow up..but in recent times things are improving. McDowell questions whether the everyday scenes of sagging jeans, insanitary trainers and semi-exposed bums which have made up the very fabric of our streets for so long are now evolving into something smarter. Just like women's fashion, men's clothes go in cycles and it is now time for men to embrace formality. The new mood of formality is certainly their on the runway and designer presentation, seen in designers as diverse as Pilati's vision for YSL, Tom Ford, Raf Simons, Thom Browne and Junya Watanabe. Dressing formally in a perfectly laundered shirt, tie and well cut suit can enable a man to fulfil his birthright (whatever that might be)... certainly not something one can achieve in flip flops and 3/4 length shorts.

Thursday 7 August 2008

Fashion vs Sport

Sportswear meets fashion

Firstly, apologies for being so quiet the last week or so but I've been hanging out with the guys above (I wish, I've actually been in the process of flat hunting...a difficult and stressful time at the best of time, made worse by the fact that it is taking place in London). I will be taking a well deserved break from the antics of flat hunting over the weekend and as things return to normal top of my agenda is a write up on the recently opened “Fashion Vs. Sport” exhibition at the V&A. Fashion and sport might not have always gone hand in hand (I can recall many poorly dressed sportsman over the years and digusting sportswear) but there are so many designers working to improve this poor relationship, even the sport stars themselves have been challenging this idea aswell.
Y3 a/w 08/09 - Fashion hits the streets

From the creation of Y-3 by avant-garde die- hard Yohji Yamamoto to the fashionable appeal of Nike Dunks (an item only previously seen on the court, sportswear and fashion have created this great amalgamation of high/low and casual/formal) and this exhibition is delving deeper into this interesting relationship. What does sportswear offer fashion I hear you question? Well the curator, Ligaya Salazar, mentions one of the main reasons - "Technological innovation allows designers the freedom of new shapes and fall. There are so many new man-made fibres in sportswear. For designers, it opens doors." Which is certainly true, I recently saw a Lucas Ossendrijver interview where he discussed the evolution of his fabrics over the seasons; how at Lanvin the choice of fabric has changed from purely natural fabrics like cotton and silk are increasingly looking at methods of fabric creation. I recently talked about my respect and admiration towards Aitor Throup and look forward to seeing his work up close. Sportswear has become an essential part of the modern wardrobe. Trainers and tracksuits are often more readily worn than suits, and high performance textiles developed for competition are being integrated into high-end fashion.

Unfortunately the exhibition doesn't allow photography so when I do the full write up you will have to make do with my crazed and excited ramblings. If you are interested the exhibition runs from August 4 – January 4, 2009 which gives one and all plenty of time to go and see it.

Monday 4 August 2008

I miss my beautiful friend

A little while ago Steve expressed his surprise that I hadn't written about Jeff Buckley sooner. I think part of the reason is because I'm such a fan that I worry that I'll just end up rambling... I'll try to restrain myself.

I think in a lot of pictures and videos that I've seen of him, Mr Buckley manages to capture a lot of my favourite looks all at once, and he has probably had more of an

Tousled, touchable hair? Check:

The perfect white shirt (in t shirt form, at least)? Check!

And copious amounts of plaid? (God, I forgot how brilliant some parts of the 90s were) Check!

I may just have to make Jeff my Autumn style inspiration.

Mad (Men) Confession

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with someone (I forget who but they know who they are) about how there is a lack of stylish men on TV. For me stylish men are few and far between on TV shows, there were cast members of Josh Schwartz's creations who dressed well but there is no comparison with their female counterparts. However, it seems I have overlooked one show...I have a confession that might shock you all. I've never actually seen Mad Men. Over the past few months I have noticed countless articles on the series (a continuous lean has a mad men section for goodness sake!) but somehow managed to not read any of them...until now. The pick of the coverage comes from Valet who recently proclaimed "It is for men, what Sex and The City was for women—smartly written dialogue and extreme characters we secretly wish to be, all wrapped up in a super stylized package." The woman behind the slick Eisenhower-era styling is Janie Bryant (award-winning costume designer) who outfits the cast in both custom costumes and tailored vintage finds. For Bryant the days explored by the series "were such elegant times for America, when men came to the office in these gorgeous slim-cut suits. You know, that's a good look for a guy." My favourite quote from Bryant is this: "It was the attention to detail that made the era so iconic in terms of style". This for me is what makes menswear so exciting, why I write about it.
Valet offers the below pieces to help one and all get the look:

1.) Sterling silver tie bar by David Donahue, $40 at Nordstrom. 2.) Lemtosh frames, $169 (without prescription) at Moscot. 3.) Sidecar gunmetal briefcase by Dunhill, $1,240 at Dunhill, 212.753.9292. 4.) Bow tie by Band of Outsiders, $92 at Blue Bee. 5-7.) Ties, (from left) Mike & Chris, $83, Ralph Lauren, $125 and Shipley & Halmos, $92, all available at Blue Bee. 8.) Suit by John Varvatos Star USA, $795 at Nordstrom. Shirt by Theory, $125, at Nordstrom. Tie by Hickey, $115 at 9.) Wool hat by Rod Keenan, $360 at Barneys New York stores. 10.) Cotton handkerchiefs, $25 for a pack of seven, at Brooks Brothers.

I've since read how canny eBay sellers are now marketing their vintage clothes as "Mad Men-style", while on message boards ideas are swapped as to what to serve at a Mad Men has this retro revival passed me by until now. Still, it's not just the thrill of retro, the "Mad Men effect" is apparently increasing the sales of everything...from tortoise shell glasses to fedoras, while the stars of the show skip from the pages of Vanity Fair to GQ to Vogue. The rest of my week will be spent catching up on this show and seeing if it has substance as well as style.

Sunday 3 August 2008

Platonic love for your fellow man

Gert Jonkers tries to read the morning paper whilst he's unimpressed by your man crush

According to the latest issue of Observer Woman Magazine every straight man needs a man crush. It is a love that has only recently found a slight murmur, barely able to speak its own name (surely there has to be a beter name for it than man crush???) : platonic, heterosexual man on man adoration. Apparently "the man crush can happen between two straights, two gays, a straight and a gay - any two's based on admiration and charisma more than sexuality" (Michael Musto, Village Voice). I very much dislike the term 'man crush' but strongly believe that such a thing exists, just looks at some of the posts on this and many of your blogs and you have to concede that there are other men we admire. For GQ's editor Dylan Jones "as a British men's magazine it is incumbent on us to have a new man crush every five minutes...Our crushes go with the zeitgeist and don't last long. Men can be cruel like that." I would like to think that my affections are longer lasting that those described by Dylan Jones. Some of my own longer lasting admirations include Lucas Ossendrijver, Kanye West, Christopher Bailey, Charlie Porter, Daft Punk, Gert Jonkers...the list is somewhat embarrassingly long and includes the odd person who I enjoy a complex love hate relationship with like Pharrell Williams. Be rest assured that my notebooks aren't filled with 'I love...' but there is nothing wrong with an admission of same sex adoration, is there? From a young age we have all had heroes and posters of star's on our walls so why relinquish this when we get that little bit older? The full article by Simon Mills can be read here.

Bat hair

During my second viewing of The Dark Knight (at the Imax this time, MAN that's a big screen) I became slowly but increasingly obsessed by one thing. It wasn't an obsession with the Joker's make up this time, though I daily have to stop myself buying face paint now, or with Jim Gordon (best Gordon ever) but with Bruce Wayne's hair.

It changes slightly in every scene, but keeps a similar style: slight side parting, swept but not really slicked back using what seems to be gel (hair gel! Does anyone use that any more in this age of hair wax?). It's quite 80s, functional but slightly feminine somehow... believable for a man who needs to be able to wear a armoured cowl at any moment, but who's also a businessman and playboy.

I know this post is all a bit 'fangirl' but just be glad that I'm not telling you how to apply the perfect Joker-style warpaint. I'll save that for another post...

Oh man, I'm jealous that you've seen it again, it is on my to do list. I like the simplicity of the hairstyle. I would assume that Mr Wayne would not use hair gel died a death in 1998, when boys the world over took a hard look at themselves in the mirror and realised they looked quite ridiculous. My prediction is that Bruce would use a hair grooming creme, my favourite is by Bumble and Bumble. The style element which has left a lasting impression on me is The Joker's getup which has a remarkable attention to detail, summed up best by the colourful patchwork socks. However, the complete look of blue patterned shirt, blue pinstripe trousers, olive green waistcoat with faded gold and black tie stylishly screams crazed super villain. My particular favourite element of the look is the fitted purple trench-coat with contrasting red lining which is awesome.


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