Saturday 29 November 2008

Picture Postcard: What a rocket scientist should look like

It is a magnificent moustache, bristling with mischief, sweeping from cheek-bone to cheekbone like a second smile

Daniel Jubb, 24, the owner of the moustache, looks like a Victorian scientist transposed to the 21st century

EJ brought this image into my life last week as it was part of her daily batch of links she sent my way and I just had to share it with you. Daniel Jubb is a rocket scientist and this is exactly how a rocket scientist should look. I just can't believe that this chap is a mere twenty four years old...I am the same age and am neither a rocket scientist or more importantly could never grow a moustache like this!

Friday 28 November 2008

Monocle Shop - A small haven from the hustle and bustle of Central London shopping

You might have noticed on previous posts that I am an avid reader of Monocle. It is the only monthly (well it can almost be classed as a monthly) that I read from cover to cover and take great delight in keeping because they are such a good resource! At the helm of the magazine is a man both myself and TheSundayBest hate to love who is constantly pushing the publication forward and in new directions. The latest direction is the Monocle Shop (located just off London’s Marylebone High Street) and I just had to brave the wet, grey London afternoon today to take a peek inside (unfortunately I took my camera but left my memory card in the laptop, so the images are provided from Monocle). The shop showcases the full Monocle range of products that have been created in partnership with leading design brands such as Comme des Garçons, Porter, Valextra, Artek and Drakes London.

At just just nine sq metres in size (it is only a touch larger than my childhood bedroom which only allowed my bed, a small television set and my sega mega drive) but it is so welcoming and feels so homely. The shop feels like a well thought out living room., summed up by prints of Alexis Armanet's Sumo Shots adorning the wall above the fireplace ..I just wish it was my living room! I was instantly greeted by a chirpy assistant who was happy to chat and show me the range of products. Upon showing me the Porter Baby Boston Bag I was so very close to sacrificing all self control and handing over my debit card to the lovely lady and asking to take one of everything! Fortunately, just before I could reach into my card wallet and begin mass purchasing everything from the array of goods, in walked Yoshitsugu Tagaki who is Production Editor of KitaKoga which pushed my excitement levels over the edge and I couldn't take any more...I paid for the latest issue and departed with a smile on my face.

Before I left, the helpful assistant informed me that the space will constantly evolve, the stock will change on a regular basis right up until the shop closes in March. This store is a safe haven away from the crowds and madness of Oxford Street...I know where I will be shopping for Christmas Gifts (for others...but mostly for myself!) and if you have a chance you should definitely pop in.

Here comes the man boy

I have been a fan of Omar Kashoura ever since I stumbled across his designs on the racks inside The Shop at Bluebird and walked away with a black cardigan which is always admired and is frequently a conversation starter. Since graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2004 Kashoura has won many more plaudits than just little old me, including the top prize at New York's Gen Art Style International Menswear Award in 2005 and working for Preen and Unconditional. Despite a great deal of attention in his brand, Kashoura decided to go back to school and complete a masters and Spring/Summer 09 sees the release of Omar Kashoura's first collection since graduating from his masters at Central Saint Martins.

This collection, as with each season, evolved from a poem written by Kashoura. The latest collection explores the ideas of the 'ManBoy' and the encapsulating poem can be read below.

CLOTHES………….introduced to conceal modesty.

… Necessary to hide defects and used to reduce everyone to a decent insignificance of physique, to improve the imaginings of the male body.

Dazzled by the confusion of knowing how to look,



From the 70/80’s super extreme to the recent heroin chic,

‘ ..Here comes the man boy.. ‘

The new man of narcissism, glowing, sweating and grinning, an exploding signifier of the so called post modern condition

He is a reaction,

a narcissist yet modest, a man, but still a boy.

A body that is perfectly formed, whilst exhibiting manliness in its strongest form.

Modern………yet historical………and futuristic all at the same time.

We are a visual and stylistic culture.

Men are visual commodities

Hair cuts,

The cut of jeans

Ways of walking and being.

Points of comparison between men, not just as aggressive competitors but as stylists in the same club.

Encourage more

Men and others, visually and as objects of consumer desire.

The body in the gaze becomes an public object, it is a surface, a shape, a volume. With the ever powering campaigns and advertising the moving body must be on display and available for inspection. Whether in visual representation or personal form.

…..He is educated

aware of his identity and thus able to move beyond the sphere of unreflecting immediacy,

to raise the question of the purpose and function he serves in human existence as a whole.

Truest manliness will be achieved by freedom rather than a slavish subservience to convention.

A raw material sculpted through clothes.


Designs used to heighten anatomical maleness + Experience pleasures around the body .

...A reassertion of masculinity over femininity

Within this collection structured tailoring sits alongside figure hugging jersey and bias cut silhouettes producing a collection strong in shape, pattern, fit whilst being soft of fabric. The intricate detailed finishes and fastening put the typical Kashoura seal of approval and design into each garment, including lopped shirt collars and petersham back buttons through to some of my favourite shirt bib accessories. For me this is a collection which demonstrates that the boy Omar Kashoura is becoming a Man.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Messing around in the mirror

I know we posted images of this chap from garance doré only yesterday but the more we looked at the spread of images, the more we fell in love with this chap's style (EJ went as far as calling him her new BFF on the images alone!) and he certainly deserves additional attention. -we have been starved of interesting men's street style for sometime so lets celebrate our first piece of nourishment in weeks! The post yesterday concentrated on his glorious round tortoise shell spectacles but we just had to talk about his hair, here is a man who is not afraid to play around every morning in front of the mirror and style his hair in a way which suits his outfit that partticular day. EJ is constantly requesting that I change my hairstyle because I've been wearing it in more of less the same way for the last few years. Gio has inspired me to mix it up a little. Armed with an assortment of Bumble&Bumble styling products and a comb I decided to have a play around with an element of my style which has remained motionless as my sartorial choices have evolved. I present to you an animated gif (who needs fancy videos when you can say it all in a gif? teehee) of my hair adventures...hopefully it will inspire you to think a little more about how you will wear your hair tomorrow.

This might not look much but EJ will testify that messing with my hair (however small) takes me out of my comfort zone. I like talking about hair and hair styles, as long as it is other people's.

Are you adventurous when it comes to styling your locks? How often do you change your style?

Update: Lick of paint and upcoming posts

It must be the combination of pre-Christmas dread and excitement because the world of men's style has been relatively quiet recently...although we were both excited by the chap recently featured on garance doré (yes we posted about his glasses yesterday but his hair alone deserves a post which will be with you soon!). No matter on the quiet times on the men's style front, as part of the Men Represent DIY Challenge (talking of which we are both gathering materials, how are you getting on?) we have decided to use this time and rather than twiddle our thumbs give the blog a lick or two of paint - we might have been inspired by TheSundayBest's recent redesign. As the blog has grown older it has become somewhat cluttered (like most old homes - just think of your Grandparent's home filled with an amazing amount of antiques and tat) and we want to make the experience of reading it as easy and as aesthetically pleasing as possible so have been working on ensuring just that. First up has been to redesign the right column of the blog and to tackle the clutter we have been working on creating our very own Style Salvage Buttons (above is one example of what we have been working on). We are however interested in your opinion, so it would be great if you could let us know what you think about the aesthetics of the blog, how can we improve it (please bear in mind that blogger only allows a limited degree of creativity)?

As well as messing around in photoshop we have been plotting a number of post ideas. This is what we have coming up (in no particular order):

1) Men Represent DIY - The first round of the the 'how to' posts along with the results will be posted after the weekend. We will give you a hint about our projects...Steve's involves feathers whilst EJ's involves facial hair...intrigued and worried? well you should be!
2) Style Salvage Gift Ideas - as the festive season is fast approaching we will walk the streets and surf the web to find the best gift ideas (also, it will give you an idea if you want to send us something)
3) Advent Calender - rather than a piece of dubious chocolate we will give you a picture postcard each day
4) Best of British - inspired by acontinouslean's The American List we will unveil the very best products and brands originating and producing in this Island.
5) Magazine Review Videos - Like the true junkie that he is Steve is waiting for the next batch of men's style journalism to hit the shops, as soon as they do we will digest and review them for your viewing pleasure.

So, we are sure that you'll agree that there is lots to look forward to! It doesn't matter if you love the Christmas season or scream bah humbug at every given opportunity because we are going to ensure that December is going to be a good month.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Through the looking glass

The stylish Giovanni as captured on garance doré - which for me is now the best street style site because the shots are just beautiful!

Gone are the days where we would be embarrassed to be seen in public wearing glasses, opting for contact lenses, squinting and/or blindness (depending upon the degree of sight). There has certainly been a great deal of attention afforded to spectacles in recent months (culminating in a spread on Spectacle in the latest issue of Fantastic Man) and rightly so. The circular frames as worn by Giovanni above are something very special indeed. My list to Santa includes a pair of tortoise shell frames and I know that EJ has expressed a matching desire to own a pair as well. These are the finest pair that I've seen for some time.

The function of frames is just not merely to suspend a pair of corrective lenses before the eyes of a myopic or the hyperopic but also to serve as a statement of style. These days, glasses are not just for seeing things that little bit clearer, but for adding clarity to a chaps style. Mankind has come along way from playgrounds filled with mobs chanting 'Four Eyes' just before beating up the latest victim of bespectacled bullying. We are now beginning to see glasses as more than just a handy aid for the visually impaired, they are an object which can make the wearer more interesting, beautiful and desirable. I leave you with the wise words of Philip Crangi as featured in Fantastic Man:

"I never discriminate against the bespectacled. I think people in glasses are really sexy. Unless they're not of course."

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Designer of the Year - Honey I shrunk the suit

Unsurprisingly GQ have name Thom Browne 'Designer of the Year' in their December issue and there cannot be too many complaints out there...are there? I'm hard pushed to come up with a single other menswear designer who has created such a stir after his shows, not to mention the fact that his indicative style has been replicated throughout the world. Never before have I seen men sporting cuffed trousers complimented by no socks on the scale I have seen on the streets of London this year and this is down to the influence of one man.

Men's style is such an interesting and constantly evolving entity. Who would've thought just a few years ago that someone who advocated high trousers and the shrunken suit would become the toast of the sartorial town? Browne started selling the suits we have grown to love in 2001 and his collections have always been focused around the suit, building on its links to menswear from the past and how the oddity of its proportions threw its reference points into postmodern relief. Since 2001 Browne has of course received many plaudits but he has also received a great deal of negative reviews - there is a constant criticism that the designer is making clothes that look weird on anyone who isn't Thom Browne...I have however seen many Thom Browne's walking the streets this year. His designs have slowly eroded many of our beliefs on what a good suit should be, he has made us question many things about something so simple (or so we thought) as the practical, 'safe' option, the suit. He has done this to such an extent that the same people who initially laughed at the proportions of his creations are now desperate for his next line, whilst feeling self conscious if their ankles are covered. In my opinion he deserves the designer of the year accolade for this alone. Are you happy with GQ's choice?

Monday 24 November 2008

Dress as a thinker regardless of the merit of your ideas

Although University seems like a lifetime ago (and from what I remember of it, not a great deal of time was spent attending lectures or seminars) there are a few nuggets of information and strains of thought that I keep with me. The class which is most vivid in my mind today formed part of my Sociology teachings in my third year (I studied Law and Sociology art Warwick) and was titled Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Intellectuals. The role of the intellectual in the English speaking world is something of a chequered category (as opposed to continental Europe where the intellectual is treated with a great deal more respect) where there has always been a suggestion or implication than the intellectual is an ambient troublemaker and should mind his own business. Despite all this, an intellectual is surely something to aspire to and in the twenty first century it is something of an endangered species. As the ideas of intellectuals and academics might be few and far between in the modern age (are we really in a state of dumbing down?) we can atleast express a particular form of thought expression by dressing the part of someone who is a thinker. I recently wrote a letter to Hiroki of Visvim expressing my admiration for the craft of his brand and that I wanted to become a consumer. Another fantastic piece out of the Visvim Fall/Winter 2008 collection has been released for us all to salivate over.

The Academia Jacket 2L comes with a John Hanley tweed upper and a 2L Gore-Tex lining. Classic looks with up to date functionality - perfect.

The moral of my babbling above is that we can all dress as intellectuals and academics regardless of the the merit of thought and the extent of our knowlegde, all we need is the brain functioning enough to choose Visvim.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Men Represent: DIY!

I bet you thought it was over, didn't you? How wrong you were... Possibly our last request of you for this year is my favourite yet. It's time to get creative!

I've noticed that a lot of my favourite women's style blogs do some AMAZING DIY projects, but it's something you very rarely see on men's. Is it because crafts are more popular among the ladies? Do they take more pride in being able to say 'oh this? I made it myself'?

We'd love to see your DIY projects: write up how-tos, create photo guides, film how-to videos. Show the world that you're all just as innovative as the ladies (we know you are, but the world should know too).

Here are a few man-friendly DIY projects to inspire you:

A rather fantastic, if probably time consuming shredded t shirt

Knit your own Steve Zissou hat!

Slim those trousers!

Make an ascot tie out of normal ties

Your project can be as large or as small as you want: you can simply change 3 buttons on a cardigan or you can create your own range of knitwear. Just make sure you write up/film/photograph what you did and the results.

Whisky leads to a nothing to lose mentality

My first assignment for Fashion156 was to interview Rankin to discuss his latest project over a beer. The project is a collaboration with Macallan Scotch Whisky where he has produced 1000 Polaroids which were exhibited over the weekend and are being used to make one hell of a Christmas present - each unique Polaroid is encased in a black leather box together with a bottle of Macallan's Fine Oak 30 year old whisky and printed with a label to match the specific Polaroid - just don't ask how much it costs. As well as talking about whisky Rankin was happy to talk about everything and anything, ranging from the recession, Dazed & Confused and his thoughts on the fashion industry. The highlight for me was the discussion surrounding the evolution of Dazed & Confused magazine out of the last recession:

Fashion156: We are constantly bombarded with the news of the current financial crisis. As the last recession was one of the catalysts of forming Dazed&Confused, what do you see coming out of this one?

Rankin: (It is) Interesting that you said that because a lot of people don’t realise what a recession or financial crisis actually does. For me it creates potential because there is nothing to lose, which is a classic way for you to realise your potential and that’s what happened to us. Out of poverty comes great creativity. Just look at all of the great bands that have come out of having nothing because they have nothing to lose. It’s all gone a bit post-modern now though, everyone plans their success.

Hours after the interview all I could think about was what might come out of the latest recession. It inspired me to roll my creative sleeves up and do something whilst riding this 'nothing to lose mentality'. What would you like to see evolve out of this current economic crisis?

NB - The whole of the interview (split into two parts) can be read over on Fashion156's Blog.

Monday 17 November 2008

Brando a threatening figure in silk pyjamas

I was fortunate enough to catch A Streetcar Named Desire at the BFI on Sunday... it was best possible way to spend a grey, Sunday afternoon in Autumn. If you have not seen this film I urge you to see it! In the rehearsals for the 1947 stage production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (it is one of the only plays that I took notice of in my A-level English class), director Elia Kazan warned that the play was becoming 'the Marlon Brando show'. With the 1951 film, Kazan's prophecy came true: this is the movie that made Brando a star. His raw, electrifying turn as Stanley Kowalski is still reckoned to be one of the greatest screen performances of all time. When people think about Marlon Brando's style, they often think of this film first and the look recalled is one of muscular physique, tight sweaty t shirt (induced from the combination of New Orleans heat and the heavy physical activity of bowling) and of course Brando's hair which is pure perfection! I can understand why this look is so iconic and it is the most common Brando look throughout the film. However, the style which left the greatest impression on me comes during the films darkest moments and sees Brando sporting stripey silk pjs (as pictured above). How do people feel about silk pyjamas? When I used to think of them my mind was instantly filled with images of Hugh Hefner but now I see them in a different light. I am a both a little attracted to them and at the same time freaked out by the very thought of them. With Christmas coming I might just try and recreate my own Brando look...

For those of you who have (somehow) not seen the film and have no idea what I'm talking about I urge you see it or at the very least watch the trailer below:

Trailers of this era are so very different to the ones today...I prefer the slow pace of yesteryear.

Sunday 16 November 2008

The Comme des Garcons x H&M Drop Crotch Trouser Challenge

So I didn't quite make it to launch day of the Comme des Garcons x H&M collaboration but by a number accounts it was not as crazy as we all thought that it might be (in the UK anyway - I'm not aware of any polka dot scarf fights) - some of you have even told us that in places the launch was extremely low key. If you have been (un)lucky (delete as appropriate) enough to snap up any of the collection, please let us know what you think of it? One of the reasons that I stayed away was my fear for the quality of the pieces and this fear seems to have been confirmed to me by comments of a number of blogs - wool on jackets wearing thin just after a day of use, buttons falling off etc. Are the accusations of poor quality grossly exaggerated? Aside from the quality issue, the other reason that I didn't venture down was sheer laziness, Susie left me at ridiculously early o'clock to cover the launch (footage of which can be seen here). Susie did pick up a pair of extreme drop crotch wool trousers for the very reasonable price of £35 (I was impressed by the quality of the finish). On her post about her new purchase Susie challenged her male readers to send in pics of themselves wearing the same trousers after seeing a number of guys snatching them off the rails. Therefore, when she wasn't looking I tried the exact same pair on...squeezing myself into them with a degree of difficulty....

The outift - Cardigan by Carola Euler (Stills Collection), white t shirt by Martin Margiela, Comme des Garcons x H&M drop crotch trousers, shiny black boots by Lanvin.

The trousers gave me an opportunity to try out one of my recent purchases...the Carola Euler cardigan and it works perfectly here. As you can see I decided to style the trousers by turning myself into the offspring of a Samurai and Obi-Wan Kenobi...I just wish I had a lightsabre. I'm not sure that I would actually wear these out...they are a little tight in the calf for my liking (I need a 12 - curse my muscular calves) but I enjoyed wearing them for this post regardless.

Were you one of those guys pilfering the womenswear rails? Please let us know if you were and send us your pics!

A letter to Visvim

The image comes courtesy of Complex, who ran an interview with the mastermind behind Visvim.

Dear Mr. Hiroki
Please accept my apologies for missing your recent talk in London. I read over on thenonplace that you were in town for a day of talks at the V&A as part of the Fashion vs Sport exhibition and my heart sank. I'm so sorry that I missed it but I just didn't know it was on - the press of the whole exhibition has been extremely poor. It's a crying shame becuase all in all it has been an impressive exhibition - I just wish more people knew about it! If I had known I would have come armed with my moleskin and pen which would have enabled my frantic and excited notes, alas it was not meant to be...the time for us to meet will surely come one day.
I recall reading your aims as a fashion designer and entrepreneur which, excuse my paraphrasing, went something like... “I want to make good products, be honest with my customers and enjoy the process.” So simple, yet so many brands lose sight of it. Thankfully, your brand has always followed this mantra. There is a level honesty to your creations and I love them so. Your approach has always been to work through collaborations and to provide your voice to as many publications as request and therefore you have shared your vision whilst competing against larger companies that are much better established in the marketplace.
Despite my fondness for you and your brand I have yet to become a customer. For that again I apologise. People might wonder how I can be so positive about you and yet do not own a single piece of your line of quality goods. I guess I'm currently just a enthusiastic voyeur but this recent miss (the talk) has made me somewhat desperate to become a consumer of your brand. My first purchase will be a pair of Hockney's which were presented to me yet again on thisisnaive.

Please keep up the good work.

Your fan


NB - For some background information on the brand a great interview with Hiroki Nakamura is available on BeingHunted and can be read here.

Saturday 15 November 2008

Self regulating wallets

With all this talk of recessions and the bloody 'credit crunch', this wallet immediately appealed to me. I'd meant to post about it a while ago and it was only when going through my ridiculously extensive bookmarks (the boyfriend was just laughing at them actually... but there's a lot of internet to try and remember!) that I was reminded of my oversight.

It's made from buttery soft kid leather, stitched with heavy duty teal thread and also available emblazoned with the words 'think twice' - either wallet might help prevent you squandering your cash on throwaway fashion... unless of course that's what you really want to do! I am aware that it's a funny kind of economy to buy something to help you to stop buying things but... shhh!

This is a great find but the people who need it might need a stronger phrased question to make them think twice about any purchase. I've been really good recently, I've not bought anything, I'm saving up for a few things; Christmas, a new laptop, a bespoke suit...I just can't decide what I need most (I guess I don't have much choice when it comes to Christmas). Your favourites list is a frightening thing, you have half the internet on it!

A frustrating search ends in creativity for Mr Brûlé

In his weekly column for the the Financial Times (I assure you that I only read this one feature of this publication - I try to bury my head when it comes to the economy), Tyler Brûlé (I know that you love the accents Mr. Wong), the editor of Monocle has revealed his search for the perfect man bag. He suggests that luxury firms should focus their attentions on to their male customers rather than focusing on the female market and this will surely improve their results in these challenging economic times. Unfortunately I do not quite have the same jet set lifestyle that the editor in chief has but I can certainly sympathise with the fact that there is a gap within the market and he has searched for the perfect bags for some time now. To relieve his and others frustrations he has been recommending Tokyo-based brand Porter and has sent people to their shops in Marunouchi, Daikanyama and Omotesando to find their perfect combination of webbing, wheels, handles and secret compartments...but now he has taken matters into his own hands

I’ve been having clandestine meetings with Porter’s creative director, and with this help I think I’ve finally designed the perfect bag for overnight trips to Geneva, long weekends in Liguria and even seven-day tours around Asia. I know you’re asking how the same bag can work for all these trips but I’m of the opinion that hotel laundry services are there to be used – therefore my packing for a two-day trip looks about the same as for a two-week haul.

There have of course been a number of collaborations between Monocle and Porter which are already available online but my favourite is the Porter Shorthauler...I just wish I flew more!

My complex love/hate relationship with Mr Brûlé continues (the fact that he has received both the British Society of Magazine Editors’ Lifetime Achievement Award and a listing among London’s most annoying residents says it all). Whichever side of the fence you fall on, there can be little doubt that he is damn inspiring and in all honesty my dislike towards him is more than likely the result of the green eyed monster.

EJ - Nice bag, hate Mr Brule. Did you ever read Wallpaper*?

Steve - It was never a regular read of mine but I always flicked through it at the newsagents. The price of Wallpaper was off putting...Now I wished I had bought more copies.

Is there something missing in menswear or men's accessories that makes you want to do something about it? I know TheSundayBest has always called for mid-priced accessories for men and I would love to partner with him one day...but how about the rest of you? Also, which side of the fence are you when it comes to
Mr Brûlé?

Friday 14 November 2008

Topman reveals my insanity

Dearest EJ

Sorry I've been quiet this week but I've been feeling a little under the weather.

I tagged along to the Spring Summer 2009 Arcadia Collections and it was nice to catch a glimpse into the world of next season. Even though I love this time of year a part of me cries out for the sunshine. It feels like a lifetime ago when I saw the MAN show in a Car Park in Soho and to be honest with you I couldn't recall the Topman Design collection aside from the neon outfits complete with matching backpacks. After seeing the garments up close this week I came away wanting a number of items but the highlight for me was...

...a navy soft leather, zip up shirt. It takes a lot to type these words but my brain is screaming out, why, what and why agin and again. I like a zip up, leather shirt. Either my tastes are changing or I have been taking crazy pills. Other highlights include Topman's version of the classic desert boot and those colourful backpacks.



I think you've been taking the crazy pills. Short sleeved and leather? So the tops of your arms can be terribly sweaty while your forearms stay cool? Perhaps it looks nicer in person, but in that picture... no. The colourful backpacks are alright, especially the blue one, so long as they're not going to try charging 80 quid for them. The desert boots just aren't as nice as the Clarks ones. If they're significantly cheaper they might be an acceptable substitute, but they're just not cutting it for me at the moment.

Wow, this is a very disagreeable saturday morning for me so far!


Wednesday 12 November 2008

Bits and bobs

Prepare for a mixed bag of a post. We had a late sketcher who we felt we should share with you, as well as a few links.

First, the sketches. These come from JP of cantilevered style. Goddamn it, is everyone taking secret drawing lessons??

Now, the links:

How much do I want these bad boys? Answer: a lot. I think I'd switch the white laces for black ones, but otherwise they'd be good to go for the winter party season (I refuse to talk about the C word yet).

How's your mustache coming along for Movember? If you are in need of inspiration, look no further than these mustache-themed wedding photos (thank Jennine for the heads-up!)

Finally, do you ever fling your shoes over power lines? (don't we all? Wait, no we don't, I love my trainers too much to chuck them even when they're veyr very dead). Read this interview as these guys would like to hear from you!

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Magazine Musings

Last week we received an email from a Graphic Design student at Staffordshire University, who is writing a Design Report Project on Men's Lifestyle Magazines, asking for our thoughts. It is well documented that I am something of a magazine addict, I often take great pleasure in re-reading through the piles of magazines dotted throughout the flat and I spend far too much time and money in Borders on Charing Cross Road. Anyway, below are my responses and it would be great if you could let us know what you think as well.

If you were to create a men's style magazine, what features and topics would you include?
Wow, what a thought. I would like it to examine everything that inspires and excites me. So many men's style magazines have an extremely narrow point of view, covering topics, styling and designers in a cyclical, formulaic way and I would want to keep people guessing. I admire the ACNE Paper's openness to anything and everything. You really don't know what to expect from page to page. In terms of features it would have to roughly follow the following structure; editors letter including an inspiration mood board, the features section - news, an eye on an upcoming designer, interviews, style icons, culture overview, a buyer's and shop guide, fashion editorials - which would make up at least a quarter of the magazine and would mix designers, reader's style questions, how-to-tips (styling, modification and grooming).

What is the best men's style magazine out at the moment?
I have many favourites but the clear winner is Fantastic Man. It has changed the landscape of men's style magazines for the better, with so many of its competitors and blogs taking inspiration from it. Monocle deserves a mention because it the most interesting and all consuming magazines available. I have a terrible habit of buying and then rapidly flicking through the crisp pages before discarding the recently bought magazine for a later read through (sometimes I forget all about it) but this is impossible with issues of Monocle. You have to take time and actually read the content confined within that small package.

Is the editorial design important to you as a consumer?
I expect every, single aspect of a magazine to be well thought out and work - the editorial design plays an important role and should not be overlooked. I personally like a mix of editorial designs within a single magazine and unfortunately none (that I've found/read anyway) manage to pull this off or maybe they just don't want to. I like simple and clean design (as seen in Fantastic Man) alongside the more varied and frantic design layouts more akin to Japanese Street Mags.

What importance do men's style magazines have to today's man?
Men's style magazines certainly have a role to play in the lives of the majority of style conscious men. They have evolved (certainly for the better) as I have grown up with them. I am quite sure that there is at least one magazine for us all. I am certainly not alone in my addiction/obsession but there are a number of stylish men out there (the Cablog is a prime example) who take no notice of them at all.

Monday 10 November 2008

Style Salvage (Steve) Needs You

Is the queuing worth it? I don't think so...but maybe you do!?

Judging by previous high street and designer collaboration launches, not to mention the above pictures from the Tokyo launch, the queue for the much talked about Comme des Garcon collection for H&M will be knee tremblingly long along Oxford Street on November 13th. What frightens me more is that the fight to the best items will be a hard one...the chances of an elbow to the face or a kick to the shin will be extremely high (there will be some die hard, blood thirsty collectors amongst the hungry hoards). This is where I need one plucky volunteer. If you haven't noticed already, I am quite a lazy individual and as I'm being honest with you all, somewhat indifferent to the Comme des Garcon collection for H&M (that said, I would still like to get my hands on a few of the pieces (namely the polka dot items).

So I am looking for plucky volunteers who are eager to stand in line for me. To save time, I've started an imaginary conversation with you...

Me: Who would like to stand in line for me?

You: What's in it for me? I mean the wait will be long and knowing London it will certainly be raining...

Me: You want a reward other than my admiration and appreciation?

You: Um...Yes...

Me: about a Kinder Egg?

The ball, or rather the Kinder Egg is in your court. Upon reading this post EJ has suggested two smarter options but I find them just too sneaky but for those interest in the cunning workings of her mind, they were:

1) call H&M and see where else (other than the flagship store) the collection will be available and therefore bypass the crowds

2) Use Susie's power and influence to see if she can locate the polka dot pieces for me without going near a physical store.

Picture Postcard: Kanye West and Patrick Bateman

Dearest EJ

Have you heard any tracks off Kanye's new album?

There are a number of Kanye West fans out there who are somewhat puzzled by his latest musical offerings which by now are all over the internet before the album's (808s and Heartbreak) release date at the end of the month. His new muse is loneliness and the songs that I've heard are full of introspection, frosty synths and autotune. I only recently read about another one of his recent inspirations. MTV News reported earlier this month that Kanye was inspired by the movie version of American Psycho. “On this album, I kind of embody Patrick Bateman from ‘American Psycho. You know at the end of the movie [that] he didn’t really kill anyone. [I just liked] the clean aesthetic and the way he was all about labels. I wanted to express all of that in the video.” Despite only watching the film, Kanye was able to decipher the main moral of the piece...there's more to life than buying stuff, even cool Japanese stuff you can post on your blog. Kanye then added, "I had all these ideas and I just needed to get it out as an artistic vision. I don't have a rapper's name, (but) I have really good taste and anyone who likes it probably has really good taste too."

So even though West might have been inpsired by a shallow ’80s banker with an antisocial personality disorder and homicidal has to beat the generic inspirations and codes that most rappers live by. Whatever you think about the man and the music, you have to appreciate his sense of style and that he doesn't fit into the genre's stereotypes. Just look at him in the above press shot!

Thursday 6 November 2008

Readers Question - Affordable Bespoke

Hello Style Salvage,

I hope you are well. Love everything about the blog, a real refreshing (and adult) take on men's fashion. Just had a quick question which I was hoping you may be able to help me out with. I'm looking to get hold of a bespoke suit (a penchant of yours I know), but am looking to get one a little cheaper than the £2,000 price mark. Have been doing some serious reading on the
askandy forum which has proved quite informative, with a few places coming highly recommended for a price of £1,000. My only slight concern is that they probably tailor for the professional classes and my 2-piece isn't for work (I work in TV so would prob be a little toooo much) but for lounging and wearing to dinner etc. Just wondered if you had any recommendations for places around the London area that may do a reasonable bespoke number, with a young-outlook. Plus, I'm tall and skinny, so any where you think they may be able to cater to that would be great. Anyway, any help you could offer would be gratefully received, even if it's just pointing me in another blog direction.



We love receiving readers questions here at Style Salvage (we still can't believe that people actually value our sartorial opinion) and the most recent question is my favourite thus far. I say this only because it is something that I have been questioning myself, where can I find an affordable bespoke suit without taking a trip to the Far East? I'm quite sure that there is nothing quite like dressing in bespoke. The comfort that comes from the perfect fit combined with the pleasure from owning a piece of true craftsmanship finished off by the quiet confidence you gain from knowing that there is nobody in the room better dressed. A bespoke suit is certainly worth the investment but it is taking that first leap which is quite daunting...I should know because I'm still standing on the edge of the board myself. However, receiving this question has reignited my desire to jump in to the wonderful world of bespoke myself. So as well as researching the options for Thomas I will be looking for myself as well. Over the course of the next week I will scour London and beyond for the best, affordable bespoke (and the best of the rest) solutions available which will presented to you in daily segments. There is a wealth of information out there but it is difficult to find and presented poorly at times and therefore we would like to present the ultimate guide to buying bespoke over the course of next week. In the meantime The English Cut has this great advice on picking a bespoke tailor which will hopefully wet your appetite.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Picture Postcard - We are the mods

Ville was recently showcased on Hel Looks - "Two words describe my style best: mod and dandy. Tonight I'm wearing a Finnish vintage jacket from the 60's, Merc London trousers and Chelsea boots by Jeffery West. The 60's rules my style. I get inspired by music, movies and escapism."

Dear EJ

Instead of the manly pursuit of watching the Champions League football (the real game is tonight's anyway) I chose to watch the final instalment of British Style Genius. The show looked at a number of key street style movements which occurred in the aftermath world war two, beginning with Teddy Boys and ending with chavs (are chavs really the last bastion of Great British street style? I really hope not). My favourite of the looks featured were the mods. The Mod look was one of cool, streamlined, smart suits and the amount of care and thought which went into getting the look really appeals to me. There was a definite sense of aspiration, these youths didn't want to live the lives of their parents, they wanted to break away from tradition and created something special. There were a number of catalysts which helped this street style movement grow but one of closest ones to my heart (because I was a spoilt youth myself) is the fact that teenagers had greater disposable income than ever before. They relished their leisure time, going to nightclubs, listening to music and collecting records - I would be content in life as a Mod.

Which street style do you admire most and why?


Hola Steve!

I am clearly more manly than you (should I be admitting that?) as I was enjoying watching Chelsea lose (forza Roma!). I've managed to miss this entire series actually so hopefully they'll repeat it on BBC4 sometime.

The men of Manchester... wait, I'll start that again. The clothes orientated men of Manchester all seem to tend towards a mod-inspired look. Sharp haircuts and a particular type of tailoring are popular... a look carefully balanced between smart and casual. I love it!

I've always been drawn to people who favour tailoring, but done their own way. This doesn't seem to be so much a style tribe though, rather a certain type of male who you meet from time to time. Someone who manages to find that elusive vein of men's vintage... someone who was wearing waistcoats and bow ties before you'd even learnt how to tie a regular tie.

As for so-called chavs, I have to say I've been noticing more and more darn stylish ones lately, albeit stylish in a different way to how I normally like. A lot of them seem to be into the limited edition trainers I covet myself (I actually sought out and bought my current favourite trainers after seeing them on some lad's feet outside the Arndale) and some quality casualwear.

Ok, that's enough from me for now. I'll see you and Princess Anne tomorrow



Monday 3 November 2008

Celebrities to go uggly?

This is the most provocative headline I've read for some time which is saying something given that there have been some ridiculous ones in recent weeks what with the US Election and the Brand/Ross BBC saga. For me there is a great deal of room for men to interpret the world of fashion and style and interpret them to fit them as an individual. I dislike the very idea of following rules in all aspects of life but in particular with regards to personal style. I do have one rule/commandment though:

Men shall not wear ridiculous bear feet monstrosities instead of actual shoes/boots.

Is there anything to salvage from di Caprio's outfit?

I appreciate the fact that these boots have some appeal; they are supposedly very comfortable and warm but no self respecting man should be wearing them outside the confines of his own home and question marks can even be raised when he's wearing them in the safety of his own abode. These are comfortable slippers nothing more. They should only be worn when the the central heating packs up or if you have circulation trouble. At £140 these are far from cheap as well and there must be more affordable and better looking options out there for those who suffer from cold toes. Male celebrities should certainly know better! Sadly, once again this is a case of a celebrity having more money than (fashion and style) sense. You have let us all down Mr Di Caprio but most of all you have let yourself down. How can we take your ideas on politics seriously when you wear such ridiculous boots and combine them with that purple velour tracksuit?

My favourite part of the article was the final paragraph where an unnamed editor of a men's magazine (Dylan Jones perhaps?) told the newspaper:

"They are a monstrosity. They are like glorified slippers. You may as well shuffle down the street in your pyjamas and a pair of incontinence pants."

Disclaimer: If I've offended anyone by posting about my distaste for this particular choice of footwear, I apologise (for your bad taste, mwahaha). In all seriousness thought, if you think you wear these boots wear then let us know, you can even send us images and who knows you might be able to change my mind.

Oh god, this is really testing my salvaging skills... um, um... like the purple, just not on Mr DiCaprio? At least he's adding colour to his wardrobe? Maybe there's something tasty in that plastic bag?? Oh, I give up. Perhaps this is just his fancy dress costume for Halloween... and he's dressing as JLo from about 8 years ago... Someone please tell me this is a belated April Fools joke!

Buck Magazine Review - The tea party

Dearest EJ

The first issue of BUCK came out last week and I managed to pick it up from the smallest of newsagents come tuck shops just outside of my workplace - if I can get it there it must be widely available because ordinarily they have none of my usual reads. Have you had a chance to flick through it yet at the newstands? To celebrate the launch of this men's lifestyle magazine aimed at twenty somethings we had to do something special and what could be more special than throwing a tea party where I could discuss the issue with one Susie Bubble. We were inspired by a recent documentary which we caught on BBC4 the other night on David Oglivy (the first and real Mad Man - I recommend the documentary if you've not seen it already) who without fail had tea at 4:30. Who knows maybe we can make this a regular feature and throw tea parties across the land where one and all can discuss the goings on within menswear over a cup of tea and a biscuit. The world would be a better place if everything shut down at tea time and practiced this great tradition.

As a first issue this is really promising, the aesthetics of each page are impressive and they are filled with varied content, everything from recipes to home furnishings to how to tie a bow tie. For me this publication fills a gap within the men's style magazine market. For too long the focus has been on aspirational men's lifestyle magazines for middle aged men and as the menswear market has developed in recent years it is great to see the magazine market grow and support it. There are a number of exciting menswear designers - J.W Anderson, Siv Stodal, Carola Euler, SOAR, Bjork & McElligott to name just a few (a number are featured in this issue) and it is great to see a magazine give such designers a platform and voice rather than merely showcasing the usual suspects. My only concern would be it's appeal outside of London and I fear that it will be your main criticsim as well. However, there are so many anglophiles interested in the London scene that this magazine will have a solid readership from the off. What more, the second issue is the New York issue - so a variety of location focus looks to be a key facet of the publication and it should be able to keep everyone happy! I am keen to see how they approach the New York issue, I hope it manages to keep the insider feel and that it unearths some interesting finds.

I have to admit that I was a little unsure about the title of the magazine when I first heard it and we did talk about this when we first heard about the magazine but the Editor's (Steve Doyle) letter helped to change my mind:
"I needed a name that conjured up this man - young, independent, a man who doesn't want to be instructed to buy a lifestyle but wishes to see what's new and inspiring from across the globe. A man who does his own thing regardless. In the great tradition of the English eccentric, a modern renaissance man; a young Buck."

We invite you into our strange little world...would you care for a coffee and walnut cake? This video makes me realise the degree to which I am Susie's little bit of rough though, I need to take classes in annunciation!

Sunday 2 November 2008

Tell us more!

Hello all!

Just to let you know that we've put up a little poll on the sidebar. We're curious to know a bit more about our readers, so starting with the basics- are you manly men or foxy ladies? We've been surprised by the number of women reading the blog (you're all welcome, of course!) and wanted to find out exactly what the ratio of men to women is. If you could take a second to let us know, we'll be very grateful. The poll's going to be open for 2 weeks.

Many thanks

Steve and EJ

Recycled Winter Warrior

As posted on Thursday my plan for the weekend was to shop because I felt that my wardrobe was lacking important components which would help guarantee a comfortable and enjoyable winter. I had been inspired by James Long's aw08 collection and my shopping list included chunky knit accessories, leather gloves (which I have bought and subsequently lost for the past few years), an umbrella complete with shoulder strap from muji and most importantly a new winter coat. Yesterday was an awful, wet day made worse by the fact Susie was suffering the effects of her San Francisco trip combined with flu, so my shopping trip was postponed as we decided to turn up the heating and watch DVDs all day instead. Rather than traipsing the streets of London in the rain in search of the items which would help me achieve my 'Winter Warrior' look I raided the forgotten storage boxes on top of the wardrobes and although the look lacks the chunky knit accessories which I crave, the overall look was pleasing, here is the recycled warrior.

The recycled warrior look dissected with details...

1 - Unconditional bibbed white t shirt - this has been a spring/ summer staple of mine for the last two years which has been used as an undergarment here.
2 - Zipped poket detailed sweater by Minority - bought whilst in New York from about Glamour
3 - Unconditional wrap trousers - simply the most comfortable trousers I own which are destined to be my favourite trousers this season.
4 - Boots by Lanvin - a Parisan sample sale find. These aren't for the faint hearted and at first I was a little nervous wearing them but they have already protected my feet from the elements four times over the last week.
5 - Patent belt from Topman - I wish this came in a variety of colours.
6 - Coat by Zara - this is two years old but still looks pretty good.

On a different note, I signed up for Movember yesterday and if I'm brave enough to take part with my dubious facial hair then so can you! Let us know if you would like to join our group which was kindly set up by the one and only Thom Wong.


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