Monday 29 September 2008

Sunday Monkey Business

Nursing a hangover and all alone in the flat (because Susie is in Paris for the week) Sunday has been a lazy day for me. My time lounging on the sofa was well spent though because Film4 were showing the perfect Sunday afternoon film, Monkey Business. The film has a star studded cast including Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Coburn but more interestingly than boasting stars the film shows them in a very different light than to how the audience expects to see them.

There is no doubt that Cary Grant is one of the most stylish men ever. While most have seen Cary Grant and indeed remember him for the romance and Hitchcock films of this decade such as An Affair to Remember, To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest, Monkey Business is reminiscent of the screwball comedies of the 30's. Very funny and full of just plain silliness, this film is a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon. Although in a more comedic role than I'm used to seeing in, he's still as stylish as ever. The style on display is more than similar to Mad Men. As Valet showed us how to get the style from the show of the moment and I just had to share it with you all once again.

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 will leave you with a piece of wisdom from Grant's character - "You're old only when you forget you're young." Now I'm off to buy a pair of braces after being inspired by this film.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Why isn't Borders open 24 hours?

I've been waiting for the new issue of Fantastic Man (the issue is No. 8) for months now, thankfully the waiting is nearly over. The issue includes Fergus Henderson, a look at Chanel Menswear, Spectacles, Bowler Hats and so much more I'm sure. If only newsagents were 24 hours and stocked up on Men's Fashion/Style journalism...I'm afraid I'm going to have to sleep on it and rush to Borders in the morning before work. Sweet dreams.

Falling for Autumn

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower" Albert Camus

Both of us at Style Salvage love Autumn because for us, it's the season where men's style becomes that bit more interesting. Men can't hide behind a simple combination of t shirt, jeans and wayfarers, more thought is required and most importantly and most interestingly this also means more layers. EJ is going to post her thoughts on Autumn shortly but as I'm so excited about the prospect of crunching leaves underfoot in Hampstead Heath that I just had to share my current inspiration for the season with you.

1 - Harry Treadaway featured in VMAN wearing a Uniqlo Checked Jacket
2 - TheCablog's second han cap from Berlin
3 - In The Cut feature in VMAN
4 -Dexter Wong Slim Trench from Topman
5 - Expert layering by the master of layering The Cablog
6 - Clarks Desert Boot in brown
7 - Cranberry solid rib cardigan by American Apparel

Saturday 27 September 2008

Kanye's Pastelle Vision

Despite being out for almost a month now, only yesterday was I able to pick up the latest issue of VMan...but it is well worth the wait and it has well and truly wet my appetite for the coming season. The sun might be shining in London and it's so hot in my living room that I'm just wearing shorts as I type this (did you want that mental image on a Saturday afternoon? Perhaps not, but I've said it... there's no going back now) but all I want to think about is Autumn (more to come on this later this weekend). As the weather is against me on my quest for all things autumn, I thought it best to put my autumnal oohing and aaahing on hold for a day or so, so let's talk about Kanye's clothing line, Pastelle which was featured in VMan (despite Kanye's reported cold feet on showing the shots). I have been eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of Kanye’s (with the help of Kim Jones) design aesthetic. The preview showcased in VMan has as a star studded cast including Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco modelling pieces of the collection...there just aren't enough shots though! However, from the three looks shown, you can definitely see the influence of Kim Jones on the collection.

Kanye recently gave an interview with Complex magazine where he spoke about the line:

"Just getting the right designs. It’s a gift and a curse. You’ve got all eyes on you, so if you deliver something great, it’s gonna get held as, “Oh, it’s supposed to be great.” And even if it’s good or it’s OK or something, it’s gonna get bashed. There were phases where I could just do the bear on a Polo and it would’ve made $100 million. At a certain point. But I always say I was a designer before I was a rapper, and I really wanted to get into design. So then, trying to start designing and goin’ with my girl down to the fashion district and stuff, and looking at fabrics and stuff like that, I’m like, “Oh, shit. This is real.” I’ve learned so much about materials and fabrics and applications and sequence and shiny fabrics and fits and all type of shit…"

The line should be in stores by November and from what I've seen of it, it's going to be a solid first collection which will no doubt make Mr West a lot of money. It is certainly going to be much more than just putting a bear on a polo shirt and slapping an extortionate price tag on it.

Men Represent: Essentials mark two


- Accessories: It's not one of the most used tags on the blog for no reason. They step any outfit up a level and give you an excuse to be a bit eccentric- bow ties and buttonholes anyone?

- Photography books: I love poring over glossy photography books of any era and almost any subject. My favourite in terms of style inspiration is Cecil Beaton portraits. I love tiny details like Gary Cooper's sideburns and more obvious things like suits, poise and posture.

- A pair of killer trainers: my love of Adidas is well documented, but I can have my head turned by all sorts of trainers (and I do mean that literally... it's not uncommon for me to almost smack into people because I'm looking the other way at someone's feet!)

- Superfly hair: tousled or slicked back, I'm not too fussy and I can appreciate guys making almost any sort of effort with their hair (why do so many men just ignore or mismanage their hair??) ...though of course my favourite is a brilliant quiff.

- Galleries: not so much a style essential, but believe me when I say that I couldn't do without them. The National Gallery in London is one of my favourite places to be.


- Everyday bag - These come in all shapes and sizes and the choice should depend on the day's activities. My current workday bag of choice is my vintage Polaroid bag but I'm also in the hunt for the perfect tote.
- iPhone - I love this piece of technology, it just makes my life a lot easier and is beautiful at the same time.

- Moleskin notepad and any pen I can find. Simple, elegant and just the job. In a fast paced world it is essential to be able to write down an insight, otherwise it might just be lost...if there aren't any insights to be jotted, you can always doodle.

- Borders - A well stocked newsagent is a necessity and Borders is heaven for me. Whenever I have a few minutes to kill in London I head to Borders. Magazines are so important to me, if it wasn't for magazines like The Face and even GQ who knows what I'd be doing right now. I'm a magazine addict and love nothing more than flicking through a new issue of Fantastic Man, 10 Man, Monocle, Man About Town, Nylon Guys, VMan, GQ Style....

- Wallet - The home of the key to all things shiny and new. I can not understand men who don't use a wallet. Mine is a Commes Des Garcons black wallet complete with coin purse.


We forgot to mention it on the last essentials post but Gian has posted his essentials over on his blog. Go and check them out!

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Colour Challenge

Dear EJ

In the below post you challenged me to introduce more colour into my wardrobe this autumn. I must admit that looking over my wardrobe_remix shots there is indeed a lacking of variation and excitement which can be brought from flashes of colour. I'm not afraid of colour, not by any means, but for everyday wear which requires little thought neutral colours prove just too attractive in the morning when I'm a little bleary eyed and thinking of my pillow. However, over the coming weeks I will bring in colour into my attire, from simple accessories (I really want the Jack Spade for Gap x Collete) to full blocks of colour which will blow your mind...

Colour can be used in so many way, through canny accessorising...

Images from left to right: Parisian Dandy in red accessories shot by thesartorialist, Waris Ahluwalia as shot by Cafe Mode, Sasha from Hel Looks

To full blown assaults of colour (and of course everything in between)....

Images clockwise from top left: Model from aw 08 Y3 collection, of the runway shot from thesartorialist, a look from JW Anderson's recent ss 09 collection and finally two images taken from Fashion156's Colour issue

In short, I accept your challenge. Be prepared for some colour.


Tuesday 23 September 2008

Folk's SS 09 Colection

Folk's ss 09 Colection

Folk's collections are typically understated but with an attention to design and detail that makes the individual stand out. I am really liking the preview of Folk’s S/S 09 line with its great styling and use of illustrations which help to capture the carefree and classic looks typical of the brand. Like far too many good menswear labels Cathal McAteer's understated, classic and very wearable clothes used to be solely for Japan. Thankfully, there is now a shop on Lamb's Conduit Street (as featured on Monocle) which is located nice and close to my office...I will just have to spend my time and money in there during my lunchtime.

I've also recently come across the folkclothing blog which is also great and well worth a read.

I'm not sure about these pictures (a little corny for my tastes) but I do like a look of the gear (particularly the red and blue cardigan/jacket thing in the bottom right). Folk is definitely one of those brands that I look out for.

Monday 22 September 2008

Finding grey in the sunshine

The close up - Grey suede shoes from bstore, grey socks and navy wool trousers from uniqlo.

The British summer was something of a non entity and just as I was getting exciting about shopping for my autumnal look...the sun came out. The sun was so bright yesterday morning that it woke me up at 8:45, which is crazy early for me at the best of times, but on a Sunday...well that's just madness. It meant that I could enjoy the whole day but rather than reach for my shorts...I mean come on, it is mid September after I reached for different shades of grey.

Grey shirt and suede shoes from bstore, navy trousers and grey socks from uniqlo, Polaroid case bought from unsaleable

Why hello there Stevie!

Looking fly in the greys and blues. However, I have a challenge for you. Browsing your Flickr pics and thinking over your favourite outfits, I have noticed one thinking missing: colour! Other than your bright blue double breasted cardie, I rarely see you in any real amount of full-on (or even slightly muted) colour. I demand some more colourful outfits for autumn, both casual and work-wear. Consider this a challenge.


Sunday 21 September 2008

ON/OFF - Switching on to Rozalb de Mura

As promised, the early part of Sunday morning (the glorious sunshine woke me up far earlier than expected) was spent analysing the collections on However, the aim was to create a wonderful montage of my favourite London show looks...this will come, in time and will probably merge into one all conquering montage with the New York shows, but first I would like to dedicate a post to a menswear label which showed as part of On/off, Rozalb de Mura. Rozalb de Mura is not a name I've noticed previously (although I've since found out that the aw 08 collection - The Thing - was featured on mensrag last month) but I'm taking notice after the latest collection, which showed an acute understanding of fabrics and textures whilst being playful and offering something a little different to everything else seen over the last two weeks.

What makes me like this collection even more is that the label is Romanian. Rozalb de Mura’s Olah Gyarfas is working hard to change the perception of Romania from fashion slave into something of a fashion competitor, it certainly is one of the most exciting brands to come out of Eastern Europe and I just had to share it with you.

Saturday 20 September 2008

Old Curiosity Shopping

The wonderful Old Curiosity Shop captured by Dazed Digital

It was a beautiful sunny day in London today and I spent it wandering the town and visiting my favourite stores and looking in on a few new ones. The first stop on my shopping tour was the beautiful Old Curiosity Shop which was of course immortalised by the Dickens' novel of the same name and is apparently the oldest shop in London (it was built in 1567). If the history of the building wasn't enough, the store now holds BLAAK's aw 08 collection and some beautiful handcrafted footwear and accessories by some designers handpicked by the design duo to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand. With it's cottage like appearance and all together parochial feel, it seems like an odd location for cutting edge London designers to be selling their collections but this make it all the more special.

As well as selling their own A/W 08-9 collection (highlights shown above), BLAAK have selected other products to sit alongside such as Oliver Goldsmith glasses exclusively made for BLAAK or Daiko Kimura's handcrafted shoes. If you find yourself around the Holborn area (or anywhere in London for that matter) you have to visit this store, if it wasn't for the lack of funds I would've bought a number of pieces and left and extremely happy chap...Despite not being able to afford anything, the cornucopia of curiosities make it a must see.

London Fashion Week comes to a close - MAN SS09

After giving myself concussion on Wednesday, London Fashion Week passed me by in a somewhat confused and bemused state...I can't believe that it's Saturday morning already. I promise that I will go through with a fine toothed comb and will post my terms of menswear these were a little too few and far between but we expected that though, this is just the state of menswear today. Anyway, yesterday afternoon I was on the mend from my self induced affliction and most importantly fortunate enough to have a ticket to the hottest ticket in menswear all week, the MAN show. We've mentioned our admiration for this show before but it has to be applauded once again. MAN gives up-and-coming designers the opportunity to make a name for themselves (however we would like the panel to branch out a little bit more and offer new names a chance) and eventually even sell some clothes which is always a good thing for a starving, young designer. It was a strange crowd who were crammed into the NCP Car Park on Brewer Street including, Erin O'Connor, Jefferson Hack, Charlie Porter, Daniel Jenkins (who I got to meet for the first time and we discussed the state of menswear before and after the show), countless fashion students and erm, Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen...very strange indeed...Now onto the collections:
Christopher Shannon

First up was Christopher Shannon, who I knew would deliver a wearable and interesting collection and he didn't dissapoint...but then he didn't amaze either. Shannon has been given a fair bit of media atention in the week's running up to the show and rightly so (highlight being an interview with wearethemarket), since graduation from Central Saint Martin's he has worked with Kim Jones ad designed a collection for New Balance. It was a solid, marketable collection and I can see a lot of men wearing these clothes. The colour palette was fresh and I particularly liked the use of green, it was a collection which offered sort the type of imaginative sportswear that wouldn't disgrace his past mentor, Kim Jones.

In this collection Hans Madsen was playing with textures and textiles to wonderful effect. I do have one problem with it though, the clothes just looked too warm to be part of a Spring Summer show. Yes the seasons are somewhat blurring and merging but for me there still needs to be a difference in the collections and not just teaming the knitwear with shorts. That said, if we our Summers continue down the same path I would happily wear these clothes all year round.

James Long:

Unlike the previous MAN show, thankfully Long managed to keep his collection safe from the thieves. This was a step forward for Long and the highlights for me included his new slant on knitwear and in particular his use of sheer fabrics and textures.

Topman Design:

I was pleasantly surprised by the Topman Design collection, initially I was dumbstruck as model after model came out clad in neon coloured tracksuits and matching rucksacks but my eyes soon recovered and enjoyed the rest of the show. My fashion week highlights will follow...

James Franco is a Man About Town and he might just be stalking me

James Franco seems to be wherever I turn lately. It all started only recently when I watched Never Been Kissed (it was raining outside, it was on TV...I was ill, I'd not seen it before....*insert another few excuses here) and there he was (who knew he was in it???), then he fronts a Gucci perfume and then one of my favourite magazines, Man About Town puts him on the cover and dedicates a number of pages to 'A Study of the Actor.' The man is stalking me.

The cover and the highlights of the editorial

From the study within the magazine I learned quite a bit about my new stalker...he used to work at McDonalds before his acting career took off, he dropped out of UCLA in 1997 and has recently returned to finish off his undergraduate degree which is commendable but to be honest I'm not really interested. I only care care about the degree of style a would be stalker has and within these pages I like what I see. James Franco I give you my blessing to continue to stalk me. With three major films released this year including the Judd Apatow produced comedy Pineapple Express (which I might see), the weepie romance Nights in Rodanthe (which I won't see) and a biopic of former San Francisco councillor Harvey Milk called Milk which is directed by Gus Van Sant (which I probably will see), we will all be seeing a fair bit more of the actor.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Men Represent: Essential essentials

Apologies for the delay in putting up the first batch of Men Represent's Essentials, Steve managed to give himself concussion after fainting (he really needs to give this story a more masculine edge), anyway, he's on the road to recovery now and please see Men Represent: Essentials, part one...

  1. A killer item, something that you love and goes with anything - mine would be an APC peacoat

  2. An individual/daring streak that means you try and look different from the crowd, and aren't afraid to leave the house wearing something a little odd (whether that's pink shoes or a sequinned cardigan)

  3. A good sense of colour/pattern so you know what goes together and doesn't to complement the individual streak
  4. A voracious appetite for magazines, style and curious eye for detail
  5. The evening dress outfit combo (white shirt, black trousers, black tie/bow tie, smart black shoes, jacket/blazer/tux jacket and accessory (scarf/brooch/bag)

Matt Ahoy - Buckets and Spades

  1. Quality socks are a must, ususally bright coloured. Marks and Spencers is the best bet for good quality yet affordable socks.

  2. Footwear, I ususally can't stick to one type of shoes but since I bought a pair of A/W08 Kurt Geiger patent black hi tops I can't take them off. Hi tops, boots, brogues, deck shoes and loafers are my 5 essentials.

  3. I can't leave my house without a watch, I need to know the time all the time, I don't know how anyone feels about this, Whether it's weird but I just can't do it. Casio is the brand for me (until im earning a bit more).

  4. Christian Dior - Eau Sauvage

  5. Pen and note pad. These guys never leave my side. You never know what you will see or hear when leaving your house, they're a must.

Mark - Broken Closet

1. The Velvet Blazer - I couldn’t bear to see the blazer in anywhere but my top five. It would be like moving to Nepal and leaving my favourite teddy behind in my empty room. This Autumn I’m a little obsessed with velvet, so on the look out for a velvet blue blazer. I am in love with the one by Kris Van Assche last year, but I’d rather not have to sell my liver or youngest child to buy it. I just think a well fitted blazer transforms anything underneath into pure gold… like the philosophers stone, but dry clean only.

2. The Giant Knits - I was never much of a cardigan boy. I have but one, which is colossal and increased my body size threefold. Now I’m after more humungous knits, requiring a whole herd of Swedish sheep to make a single sleeve. In particular I love the turtle necks by Alessandro Dell'Acqua this Autumn… but then I have a soft spot for blissful winter jumpers.

3. The Dress Coat - Something about the dress coat this Autumn fills me with pleasurable quivers. I think it’s because for a while all the featured coats and jackets have been cropped to just below the waist and now I think it’s time to let them flow down to the knees. I'm loving Paul Smith's ones this year.

4. Hi-top Footwear - I’ve been captivated by Connies for many, many years. My feet are addicted to them, shivering in hatred at anything else. This year I’m determined to break their obsession and the return of the Hightops might just do it. Then again, I might just buy some new hightop AllStars. Ah Well.

5. Am I Allowed to Say Plaid? No? Well I will anyway. I didn’t like the idea of this at first. I prefer block colours to patterns and thought the plaid might be a bit too masculine for me. However,one fateful day in one of my online buying fits, I bought one off ASOS and it worked! I do feel quite manly in them… even though I’m sipping a Cosmo and humming a tune from Hairspray at the same time.

Jonas Fred - Journal of Style

  1. Canvas Shoes. Preferably a pair from Converse (although everyone has them)

  2. History. Because without the past there is no future.

  3. A good music system. Preferably an ipod (although everyone has them, again)

  4. The Internet. In the form of blogs, websites. It's a wonderful resource.

  5. A good read. I do enjoy reading books on great designers and a magazine but what brings great joy to me is a wonderfully written novel. (The Godfather would be my favourite)

Tuesday 16 September 2008

An eye for an eye in London - JW Anderson

Like me, I'm sure that more than quite a few are itching to see if the menswear on offer in London goes someway to fill the dull, commercial vacuum that was the majority of offerings in New York. I've been looking forward to JW Anderson's collection for some time. Partly because I'm a fan of his work and partly because the model fittings took place in my new flat's building which intrigued me greatly, as there were signs placed around the building saying somewhat creepy things like 'Boys this way'. Anyway...what better way to kick off the menswear proceedings than with Anderson taking a step forward (with more wearable offerings), the show was titled 'An Eye for an Eye.' For Robbie Spencer of DazedDigital the show was "was drenched in historical referencing, inspired by religious paraphernalia, mythical characters and societies bound in traditions" and I couldn't put it better myself, so I didn't. Anyway, here are my picks:

EJ - Check out the model in the bottom left who also featured in DazedDigital's top 7 models from New York.

From my picks above you can see that this is something of a breakthrough collection for Anderson, that had aspects of commercially viability that is sure to please buyers and customers alike whilst catering for the editorial eye. The designer says he would 'like to see Great Britain become a men's fashion country again', and I think he is certainly one of the designers who is going to make this dream a reality.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Reader's Questions: A budding designer

Just like buses here in the UK we were waiting for a Reader's Question with some trepidation and doubt...then two come at once. We recently posted about Daniel Osburn's move to London and gave him our recommendations on how best to adapt to London life. Then we received an email from Paul Hardy, a reader who, like most of us, is a little bit bored with menswear right now and is keen to push things forward and wants to take matters in his own hands. The timing of this email was perfect. As The Sunday Best's awesome comic shows, the New York Shows were far from spectacular, they demonstrated fine, wearable clothes but quite a few of us want more, Paul certainly does and we love his attitude.

Dear StyleSalvage,

I love your blog please don't stop updating it. Now onto my question. Are you in the fashion business by any chance? Do you know any designers or editors? I am aiming to be in the fashion business (right now I'm just 14). I would be extremely happy if you could get me some advice on the subject. I currently want to be in the field of menswear as its boring right now. Its the same thing over and over again. I want to add uniqueness to it, something different and innovative. Right now I am thinking of a biker jacket in tweed (your thoughts please). What I want to know how I can improve my knowledge of menswear - its designers, its fabrics, its techniques, its history (anything connected to menswear).

Thanks Steve and EJ. Keep up the good blogging.

Yours Truly,



Above is Paul's sketch for his tweed biker jacket, Steve would certainly wear this... Steve fell in love with a Peoples Market biker jacket in grey wool seen in TwoSee but the size gods were against fact he want to wear this right now. Paul is currently learning tailoring (something Steve has talked about for some time and needs to actually do!) and this should inspire us all. Tailoring is something of a dying art form and that is just plain wrong. Have you got any advice for Paul? Are you thinking of taking matters into your own hands and sketching your own visions for the future of menswear?

Saturday 13 September 2008

Lens hits the Topman website

So as well as launching their US site, Topman have also put their latest Lens collection up here. No sign of the plaid jacket, but the Carolyn Massey which divided opinions is available for £100 here . Sadly Steve couldn't make it to the launch so we've yet to get an eyeful of this stuff close up- have any of our readers checked this stuff out in store yet?

In case you missed it, we wrote about this collection back in July.

Friday 12 September 2008

Picture Postcard: Weekend break

This pic was taken of me last time I was at home, on the beach of Margate...all I'm missing is the ultimate tasty accessory, a 99 with a flake.

Dear EJ

As the collective fashion gaze turns towards London, I for some reason am leaving the big smoke for the weekend and returning from whence I came...the seaside. I will be sure to spread the ideas of Men Represent but I'm not too sure how receptive the boys and men of 'Planet Thanet' will be to it all.

Keep an eye on the Topman website, the autumn/winter Topman Design is now available (click here to have a look) but the Lens Collection (which we've both been looking forward to) will be available real soon - you might just get your hands on the Massey cape you've been dreaming of..
Much Love and have a great weekend


PS - Thanks for adding the Feeling Lucky feature on the right hand side, an inspired idea! Readers, you can now read a post at random to entertain yourselves.

Hey Steve!

Hope you have fun times in deepest darkest Kent. I will be keeping a close watch on the Topman website (is it me or was the US site launch kept rather quiet? It's probably just me), if just to see how quickly the Topman Design stuff sells out. Alas I cannot afford to buy myself the cape or that plaid jacket as I had hoped as I near bankrupted myself last weekend doing girl shopping (dresses!)

I'll try to keep the blog covered while your away. That is if I don't get distracted reading the archives.


Thursday 11 September 2008

Addressing the balance

Thom Browne is one of the few designers pushing menswear in a different direction whilst bringing some theatre to the show - Image taken from Dazed Digital's excellent coverage of the shows across the pond.

In modern society (as I live it anyway) there is a welcome questioning of the balance between the sexes throughout all aspects of society be that at the office in terms of promotions or sexual harassment, or in Sport, with the of the allocation of prize money or even participation itself being debated and addressed. This is a good thing. However, as the majority of men enjoy their hegemonic status, in certain arenas they simply don't. Fashion is one of these arenas where men, or atleast menswear, is shunned into the shadows. Yes, there is has been a great deal more attention afforded to it but it still perceived to be the ugly sister, both in it's treatment within the media and even (most dishearteningly) by the designers themselves. Two recent posts have forced me into writing this and I would like to continue the debate with all of you and ask for your opinions on the subject. In his recent podcast with enc (which is well worth a listen, if you've not done so already) The Sunday Best mentions how he is frustrated by a number of designers seemingly approaching their menswear lines halfheartedly, giving the example of Nicolas Ghesquière (which is a great example). The treatment and perception of menswear and womenswear is inherently different, but why? Can designers change this, would you like them to? There are few contemporary menswear designers who confront the conventions of the genre. While notable visionaries such as Rei Kawakubo, for Comme des Garçons, and Martin Margiela are revered for their radical approach to fashion, their main focus is still womenswear... the men's line is something of an afterthought.

One of the few - James Long. Graduating from the Royal College of Art with an MA in menswear and accessories, Long's signature fabrics include leather and sheepskin. He fuses them with modern materials such as netting and plastics, to create hard, graphic silhouettes.

Similarly Jaiden James wrote about his boredom of the current state of fashion, in particular menswear - "Even menswear is tiring me gone are the days of Slimane, Lang,Sander and with every designer either using colour and failing or neutral colours and boring the over used minimilistic approach to design is now making alot of designers clothes look the same." One look at the current crop of shows and one has to agree that there is a somewhat predictable theme running through the collections. Menswear rarely gets the theatre, the surprise, the forward momentum that we see frequently in womenswear. Jaiden James then goes on to describe how London has a wealth of talented designers "from Longs exo skelton harnesses, Throups conceptual designs, Mundanes neon monster pixialated world, eurlers furturistic approach to contemporary menswear, madsens sculptrual knitwear etc etc", however there s a lack of support for the new breed of designers, which needs to be nurtured and showcased. Let's look at London Fashion week and the options for menswear. The MAN Show is one of the few options available to these menswear designers and it can only support 3 a season. "All MAN is trying to say is that menswear has been grossly neglected," says Gordon Richardson (design director of Topman). Unfortunately, it still is being neglected (The Man show is now in it's seventh season), despite the growth of menswear (in terms of sales and attention) why are the powers that be so fixated on womenswear. If this element of the industry isn't prepared to change something else has to. Maybe one day Men Represent can join MAN show in supporting menswear in the way that it should be supported.

Men Represent update: The lovely Isabelle (editor of Brandish) posted about the cause today and I'm really feeling a sense of community right now. Fingers crossed we get sent lots of Essentials which we can share with you to start the ball rolling. We've already received a few and we will begin posting them soon.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Vogue Hommes Japan

Today Vogue Hommes launched in Japan and I want to get my hands on a copy of the magazine so badly. Giancinephile posted about his hugely impressive magazine hoard (I even think it surpasses Susie's) and I'm sure he, like me, wants to add this new title to his collection! Editor-in-chief Kazuhiro Saito and fashion director Nicola Formichetti rounded up some of international fashion's biggest names for the occasion, from Hedi Slimane and Kim Jones (who styled a Dunhill story to mark his appointment as the brand's creative director). Before I get my hands on the magazine I will keep pouring over the images Nicola has kindly put up on his blog.

Reader's questions: A New Yorker in London

London Calling - image from the iconic Clash's album cover.

Believe it or not, we've had our second question from a reader. It feels extremely strange that people ask us things, we are far from experts on anything. That said we can help out on this question because we both have a wealth of experience and most importantly an opinion on the matter in hand. This one's came from Daniel Osburn who moving from New York to London wants to avoid any sartorial faux pas during his sojourn in the UK. His email read as follows:

Steve and/or EJ --
First of all, let me say I've been reading your blog for some time and very much enjoy it.
Second of all, and possibly more creepy, I need some advice. I'm a native New Yorker who is moving to London tomorrow (Thursday) for a job at Conde Nast. Awfully, while I've traveled across America and Canada quite a bit, I've never made the leap overseas. I don't know what to expect at all.
I've packed a sort of capsule wardrobe -- a suit, slacks, jeans, a few shirts and tees, a couple lightweight sweaters and a few pairs of slick shoes. I understand the climate, and style (!!!), of London is going to be incredibly different from here in New York, and was wondering if you could make suggestions so that I don't look like the "typical American" bumming around your country. I want to assimilate as much as I possibly can.

Any other tips, aside from threads, for making a new life in a new city would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Daniel Osburn

Exciting times Daniel! Firstly, good luck with the move! Secondly, I hear you all cry, what is our answer? What are those pearls of wisdom you've been waiting for? For us, the answer is simple: be yourself. We're guessing you're not one of those Americans who's going to go around in a tracksuit or garish Hawaiian shirt with 2 massive cameras slung round your neck, shouting to anyone who'll listen about how terrible the UK is in comparison with the big ol' US of A while cramming your face with burgers and soft drinks (ah, stereotypes...although we do get them, they can normally be seen watching street performers in Covent Garden) so we reckon you'll fit in ok (your packing proves this!). The thing about London is that most of London isn't populated by Londoners. Or even Britons for that matter. It's such a mish mash of cultures and styles where pretty much anything goes. People will probably appreciate any quirks of dressing you bring with you - hell, you may even start some new trends. I suppose this links with what Steve wrote about hipster globalisation, but to be honest we think London's always been this way... a melting pot of style by its very many tourists and all sorts of visitors (long term and short) that they're bound to influence London's fashion sense, even being mistaken for "proper Londoners" and muddying the waters further.

All that said, if you get here and fancy doing a bit of shopping, below are a few our suggestions to get you started:

Steve's been dreaming of creating his own shop guide on the blog for some time now, simply because there just isn't enough information out there (as part of Men Represent we want to kick start the shopping guide because it's a daunting task and we need your help). That said, Timeout recently featured a top menswear list which is a worhwhile read. Steve's favourite stores include bstore, DSM and Liberty (simply the best department stores in London and so damn different), Hurwendeki, Uniqlo, Selfridges, Start and when I'm feeling brave enough, Topman. In terms of recommended areas I love strolling around the Carnaby Street area which has improved significantly over the last 6 months or so; Kingly Court is a great place to find interesting vintage pieces, 22 provides great, affordable footwear (Swear shoes), Hurwendeki, Concrete and Size are on the street or close by to name just a few highlights. To see a different London we recommend heading East, where you can shop for clothes and music (Rough Trade and Pure Groove come highly recommended), eat cheaply and take part in the most wonderful pastime (which will help you assimilate to your new home) of people watching. If you want a shopping companion just drop Steve an email and he will more than likely be up for showing you around!
Have you got any advice for a New Yorker in London?

Tuesday 9 September 2008

An eye on NYC - Hamilton's Futuristic Streetwear

Following my post yesterday where I stated that the street (as captured by the Sartorialist on can be as, if not more, inspiring than the s/s 09 collections. Well, one designer who seems to be in sync with my thoughts has delivered my favourite collection thus far. Tim Hamilton's vision for "Spring '09 is a take on futuristic street wear where boundaries are erased." My favourite looks of the collections are where Hamilton juxtaposes the grungey, punky lace up combat boots and futuristic metallic trench coats with the preppy pleated trousers made of seersucker and linen.

Apparently within this collection Hamilton learned how to edit. It's certainly a tight color palette based on black and white (with flashes of blue). The styling of the show was impressive and if we take one lesson from the show, it is the importance of layering! What makes me like the collection more is the fact that Hamilton chose to forgo the usual and somewhat tired runway show and replaced it with a cocktail party and presentation in a West Village penthouse. This is how Gossip Girl could and should be styled (not that there is too much wrong with the styling of Gossip would just be better if Tim Hamilton was involved).

All photos used within this post are from Dazed Digital and the photographer is Shawn Brackbill - these pictures make me want to be there!

Dusting off Men Represent - Change you can believe in

We have had a number of comments in recent weeks asking us about the status of Men Represent. It got off to a solid start with the w_r posting which EJ recently highlighted and we managed to reach out and create a dialogue with a number of new bloggers. Since then however, Men Represent has lost its way somewhat and we would like to get back on track with it all as we have not fulfilled our promise. As I sat at my desk at work today (while I should have been working) I had grand notions of writing a speech inspired by Obama but then decided against it. I will however remind you of the aims of the movement; it was one of change, of creating a better world. In short, with Men Represent we aim for unity, innovation and awareness. After the first few weeks, it has been clear that there has been interest. The issue has been galvanising this interest into something tangible, something productive. We have grand notions as to where Men Represent can go but ultimately we want to instill a greater sense of community amongst menswear bloggers. With this in mind we would like to introduce the blogs who have already expressed an interest in taking part.

The Sunday Best - Thom is an interesting chap with a lot of things to say on the world of fashion, a lot of it amusing. His interests include fashion, writing, photography, sketches of hats, food, bourbon, stories, films involving dance routines...With him on side we are confident of success and so should you. We are currently loving his One leg a time comic and cursing the fact that we didn't do something similar first.

The Journal Of Style - Written by Jonas Fred. Jonas started the blog to spread his knowledge of fashion and help increase his own knowledge on the subject. The Journal Of Style is aimed at more casual styles than formal (although there is a bit on formal dressing). It's a new blog - less than 2 months old.

Buckets and Spades - Written by Matt Ahoy who lives by the seaside and who studies Fashion Promotion at UCLan, drinks cocktails and eats cakes.

The Staple - Written by a consummate consumer blessed with an aesthetic eye yet no tangible artistic talent - reporting from the urban metropolis with the latest in ephemeral goodies. This was one of the first blogs that Steve read online and it's a constant read...he just wishes XS updated it more.

The life and times of a problem child - Gian documents the days and loves of a jeune homme who calls himself a fashion voyeur and a cinephile at the same time.

Kyle Feel Good - Follow the life of a 20-year-old pretentious fool (his words!) whose fluctuating interests jump from fashion to biking to travels. Throw into the mix some rambling about university life and the occasional drunken night in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

Iluwfashion - This blog needs no introduction as I'm sure you're all regular readers... a Swedish gent in London who has a taste for luxury goods.

Style Flavors - This is a guide to fashion, accessories, living, travel and things others might associate with superficiality.

Daniel Jenkins - A shop owner rather than a blogger but we all know that he has a lot of interesting things to say on menswear so let's listen up!

We are in conversation with Gert Jonkers, Jop Van Bennekom, Tyler Brule, Charlie Porter and the usual crowd but to be honest we would rather keep it between the key bloggers. You have to concede that we have a strong lineup of bloggers on board already, why not join the party and comment or drop us an email. In terms of the subject matter we would like the cause to explore, the options are endless and we would like your involvement as much as possible. We want Men Represent to become a forum of ideas, something which can allow us to evolve men's style blogging and create something interesting. We are far from aimless however and have a number of ideas which we would like to explore under the guise of Men Represent, these include; modification projects (you just don't see enough of this within men's style blogs), a shop guide (beginning with a write up of your favourite shop we will map out the stores of choice and creating a valuable resource), interpreting/applying fashion week to your wardrobe - from runway to your bedroom, to name just a few ideas.

Where would you like Men Represent to go? As a nice re-introduction to the campaign and to introduce us all to one another it would be great if everyone interested in taking part emailed their own 5 Essentials (idea stolen from I will leave the concluding sentence to Obama..."Fellow men's style bloggers, we are better than these last few years. We are better bloggers than this."

Monday 8 September 2008

The street is more interesting than the runway

Granted it is early days into the s/s 09 shows but I'm finding it extremely difficult to get excited by what I'm seeing. Similarly to The Sunday Best's early observations my favourite collections thus far include the tour of music style which was Rag&Bone and the romantic looks seen at Robert Geller but I've not been overly impressed or inspired by anything Ive seen on the runway as yet. What has been much more interesting to me is the Sartorialist's blog over at (which if I'm honest is a great deal more to my taste than his recent posts over at his blog proper). Below are a selection of my favourites thus far. I'm sure there will be more to talk about around the street style shots posted here rather than standard fodder displayed on the catwalk.

Dress Up: Playing with age

After reading Luke Leitch's article How to get dressed: what is your outfit age? it made me want to mix things up and play with my age a little (plus it gave me a chance to play dress up and there just aren't enough opportunities to do so!). In general, men, especially when at leisure, rarely consider the effect their sartorial choices might have on their perceived age. Not too long ago I mentioned my desire for a smartening up across the land and although I could never be found guilty of dressing like a prepubescent (unlike many other men who should know better) I certainly don't like dressing a set age, I find the very idea of this quite absurd. Is there anyone who dresses in perfect correlation with their sartorial age? Does even a thing exist? If so, I put my name forward to mirror those reading helpers who used to help quantify a child's reading age at school and set forth and quantify one and all with sartorial age, it sounds like an interesting project. Regardless of whether this can be measured, we all need to be aware of our age when dressing ourselves in the morning and most importantly our limits which extend way beyond age. One thing is for sure, you can get away with a lot more when you have youth on your side, if nothing more you can blame naivety.

Outfit 1 - My most youthful look; Hurwendeki Biker Jacket, Hooded Plaid Shirt by Scotch, Red Skinny Jeans from Uniqlo, battered old converse.

Outfit 2 - Somewhat daring/getting too old for this look; American Apparel bowling jacket, TV t-shirt from Urban Outfitters, Skinny jeans from Uniqlo, Adidas tennis shoe.

Outfit 3 - Everyday casual look (Mid twenties); Purple wool sweater from Uniqlo, Lanvin shirt, apc jeans, suede shoes by bstore.

Outfit 4 - Now; Navy wool jumper from M&S, stripey polo from Hurwendeki, trousers by Peoples Market, shoes by b store.

Outfit 5 - Age defying?; Polka dot umbrella (found on train), apc jacket, polka dot pocket square (Haberdashery find), grey shirt by b, apc jeans, blue shoes by swear.

Here I've set my age spectrum quite narrow but even within the teenager-to-mid-twenties-to-late-twenties there is still a lot to think about. Perhaps tomorrow I will take this further but I need more props. In the meantime...what's your dress age?

Update: It almost slipped my mind but this post looks at themes explored within a previous post where I looked at the style of Nicky Haslam who dresses in High Street attire even though he is 67 years young. This example shows that we really shouldn't discriminate by age, we should only judge a person's style on whether it suits them as an individual, a case by case basis.

Sunday 7 September 2008

The Global Scenester - the end of individuality?

"There always used to be a particular city that was the centre of cool at a particular point in time. But now there's no longer a place where it's 'at'; there's no longer any centre of the world's popular cultural universe. For a time it seemed it would be a simple matter of shifting from London to Tokyo. But instead, street style is everywhere and in places you'd never have guessed it would be."

Ted Polhemus, style anthropologist and author of Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk.

The Internet is full of interesting articles but sometimes there's just too much to find. Unfortunately I've not got the scan reading ability of Raymond (Dustin Hoffman's character in Rainman) or Susie for that matter but no matter I don't have to do it on my own, I do get the odd interesting article forwarded to me (that's an open invitation for you to do it as well, thank you very much). Our good friend Daniel Jenkins sent us Meet the global scenester which was featured in The Independent, which examines the seemingly decline of individuality or at least the 'spread of cool' as guys from across the globe (from Helsinki to Hull) buy into the same brands and lifestyle.

America Apparel's shades for Autumn will no doubt be worn in a city near you and far from you

So which brand's supply this new global order? Uniqlo is certainly one example. Uniqlo has something close to 800 stores worldwide, including outlets in the UK (a ridiculous number on just Oxford Street), US and France. Kashiwa Sato (the chap who turned the outlet from a perceived chap and nasty brand, into how we see it today) wanted "the ultra-contemporary cool aspect of Japan, its pop culture rather than something traditional and Japanese-y." He'd tapped into the global scene. For some reason I decided to brave the crowds of Oxford Street and ventured inside one of the many stores there, it was packed with men buying all kinds of basics (I left with a purple merino wool sweater and a pair of skinny jeans). Uniqlo is great, however, there is a much better example of a brand supplying this 'global scenster', American Apparel. The further the brand casts it's global net (which is damn far, as I type this they've probably opened at least one more store), the more easily the company can study and copy street style, which it then repackages and sells it back to the originators of that style and the masses alike.

Nathan Barley - a product of Brooker and Morris’ warped and wonderful imagination. It might be old but it's not dated. A hilarious look at the life of a scenester. Rather than being confined to areas like Hoxton has Nathan Barley spread, have you seen him in Helsinki and Hull alike?

A few years back now there was a comedy which highlights a number of the points within the article. Nathan Barley. Nathan Barley is 26. He is a webmaster, guerrilla filmmaker, screenwriter, DJ and in his own words, a "self-facilitating media node". He is convinced he is the epitome of urban cool and therefore secretly terrified he might not be, which is why he reads Sugar Ape Magazine - his bible of cool - which strikes a canny resemblance to Vice. EJ recently forced Thom Wong to watch and now he's a fan; the man, has great and so do we, so if you've not watched it go and do so now.

The rise and rise of the internet has been a key factor in the globalisation of hip. The world is certainly a smaller place with the internet (Nathan Barley himself ran a website – or "urban culture dispatch" – called Through mailouts and blogs, the tropes of eclectic style tribes the world over are quickly integrated into a single street style aesthetic. The widespread "borrowing and referencing" takes place not just in capitals of cool like London but on an international scale, via the Internet, the result is that the same brand of individuality (or something highly similar) is sold, worn and celebrated the world over. As I've followed Facehunter's search for eye candy I've become tired of similar ensembles the world over. Is it just his photography style that is somewhat tiresome or is there an element of truth to the above article? Has the world indeed become a much smaller place? Where previously there was a set look representative of a city, has cultural globalisation evolved this into a look representing a global scene?

As it's the weekend, let's play a game. It's simple, all you have to do is match the Facehunter's street style shots above with their respective city of origin. Go clockwise from the top left and select the city you think is represented in the shot.


a) London
b) New York
c) Copenhagen
d) Stockholm
e) Helsinki
f) Berlin

Please note that there might just be two images from the same city. You decide. No cheating please. Answers on a postcard to PO Box Stylesalvage...alternatively please comment.


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