Tuesday 25 August 2009


Just to let you know that we're taking a short blogging break. We need time to hang out on boats in short shorts, read books and relax. Back soon.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Fashion156 take us on a trip to the country

As I await the new issues of my favourite magazines there has been a distinct lack of inspirational editorials to marvel at but thankfully the online offerings have helped fill the glossy void. Once again Fashion156 have unveiled an editorial which has left me staring in awe at my work computer screen only to be snapped out of it following a quick poke from one of my colleagues. Sitting at my desk somewhere in an extremely sticky and ever so slightly smelly London I long for the great outdoors. Oh to be out there enjoying the cool late Summer breeze and luscious countryside! Thankfully, the Country issue offers an escape from the busy city centre whilst showcasing super-lux country inspired pieces and thankfully there isn't the faintest whiff of manure in the air. The editorial showcases the likes of established names with Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Maison Martin Margiela alongside emerging London talent including Omar Kashoura, Satyenkumar, James Long and Carolyn Massey whilst throwing up the freshest talent with Calum Harvey and Weronika Lesniak. There are so many pieces here which caught my eye during the AW09 shows and at GFW but I have to mention the Carolyn Massey cape, the sheepskin jacket by Omar Kashoura and the Calum Harvey oversized scarf. We couldn't resist a closer look at the editorial and who better to run through the inspirations and designer picks than the stylist himself...over to the fabulous Guy Hipwell...

Camel coat, black trousers and oversized scarf all by Calum Harvey, distressed black boots from Beyond Retro.

On the Inspiration...
"As soon as the new season shows commence I start formulating my next 6 month shoot ideas and "file" pieces from the collections in my mind for different stories. I loved the Country vibe that was all over the runways and just wanted to add a bit of humour but still keep the editorial super-luxe."
Three Piece Suit by Alexander McQueen, tan feathered headband from Topshop, shoes and metal briefcase by Weronika Lesniak

On the location...
"Can you believe I never ever knew this city park existed. It is just 5 minutes from our offices and literally a stones throw from Kings Cross rail station. Our photographer Annie told us about it and I loved the idea of urban country and it kind of fits the high-end labels. It is an amazing space and there were even rabbits and the odd fox scampering about just as the 12.10 to Doncaster thundered past!"

Grey and black jacket by Lanvin, black, velvet riding hat by James Lock and Co Hatters

On the accessories...
"The wooden "bird box" rucksack just totally blew me away at Graduate Fashion Week and I was desperate to get it in one of my shoots, the waders were a nod to the whole Prada "fishing girl" vibe and then I just styled in some feathers, hats and the odd sequin! Some of the pieces were womenswear and even though I have always used menswear on girls, I am doing this more and more the other way round- kind of bi-collection pieces!"

Sheepskin jacket by Omar Kashoura, navy trousers by Satyenkumar, woven cap by J Smith Esquire, sequinned harness by Sophie Hulme, blue shirt by Maison Martin Margiela.

On the designers...
"I am lucky to have access to some really high-end designers such as Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Burberry. But i try to make my shoots a little different so i merge brand new graduates, some newish London names and the odd piece of high street and vintage. Menswear is all the detail and even though I try to mix it up I cannot seem to ignore the cult designer brands."

Cape by Carolyn Massey, Jodhpur style trousers by James Long, brown boots by Purdey

On your favourite pieces...
I am totally crazy about recent graduate Calum Harvey. We interviewed him for this issue and I have also shot two other outfits of his for a forthcoming issue. The guy is super talented and so unbelievably down to earth and modest. He dropped his collection of at our offices the other day as was talking about some amazing plans for future collections. On the top of my "names to watch" list, but first he is off to the RCA to study for his MA! As you know I love Carolyn Massey and her cape really worked so well in the shoot. Also the James Long sheepskin and huge knit, styled down with shorts and waders - I can just see you in it Steve!

Embroidered jumper and sheepskin duffle coat both by James Long, tan suede shorts from Beyond Retro, thigh high waders from Farlows.

Friday 21 August 2009

Find your own style

I stumbled across the above image amongst the eye candy over on youmightyourself and it had got me thinking about my own style for the coming season. On my commute in to work today I read the depressing news that the MET Office has declared that the best of the Summer weather is now over. Yes we must have blinked and missed the season! Onwards and upwards though, lets look on the bright side it is time to look forward to dressing in rich textures and layers again. The leading image is taken from Beams' AW 2009 Look Book (as unveiled on hypebeast) which the Japanese retailer has packed full of covetable products. As interesting as the products are it is the 'Find your own style' tagline which has inspired me most. There are a number of AW09 look books which are inspiring me to reevaluate my wardrobe and rethink my style for the colder months of 2009. None more so than Casely-Hayford's which was driven by demonstrating innovation through tradition...

A number of labels attempt to combine a street and sport aesthetic with formal tailoring but very few truly pull it off. Casely-Hayford undoubtedly built on the successes demonstrated in their debut capsule collection with a fully drool inducing collection. I am still dreaming about these clothes, months after getting a sneak peak at the look book for Fashion156. As part of the feature for F156 I got the opportunity to speak to the father and son design duo and this comment still rings in my ears and inspires...

"Things have moved on since the days of the Duke of Windsor, and although he is a great inspiration and a foundation for the brand, the modern sartorialist has a different appetite. Our requirements, desires, and practical needs have been drawn towards this synergy between the formal and athletic."

The tailoring fits perfectly with my current sartorial aesthetic as it is full of interesting features such as a dropped hem on a single breasted jacket and the ribbed cuffed trousers in tweed jersey. This is tailoring for the twenty first century gentleman and I would love to be that gentleman. My favourite look of all is featured below and sees the combination of a transparent plastic coat with tartan trim worn over a quilted panel shirt. It is the combination of fabrics, both traditional and modern, throughout the collection that come together to create such great texture which excites me most.

Return of the Jedi? Two looks from Christophe Lemaire AW09 which have got me thinking...

I only recently rediscovered Christophe Lemaire's relaxed volumes and natural textures. His usual heavy figure silhouettes, interchangeable and even unisex pieces and subtle dark palettes were all so richly demonstrated in this AW09 Look book. As the sun begins to set on Summer I am longing for the time to wrap myself up in soft fabrics such as these and why not reach for a luxurious cummerbund! I love how the clothes appear extremely comfortable and fluid, how could you not want to wrap up in cotton fleece, judo fabrics, silk, linen and woolen tweed?

Which AW09 look books are still lodged deep in your brain, inspiring future shopping trips and conjuring up new looks for the fast approaching season?

Thursday 20 August 2009

Oki-Ni's New faces of Menswear

Over the course of the next few months Oki-Ni will be launching their 'New Faces of Menswear' feature which will showcase a number of emerging menswear designers as well as simply giving us the chance to buy their creations. The feature kicks off with HEDERUS and Mr Hare with the likes of (deep breath) Martine Rose, Christopher Shannon, Satyenkumar, Odeur, Lou Dalton and Kling by Kling (who looks set to awarded a spot at this year’s S.L.A.T.E. trade show in Las Vegas) to follow over the next couple of months (exhale). We often talk about the wealth of emerging design talent out there but far too often the designs are just too difficult to get hold off. With Daniel Jenkins soon to be stocking Carolyn Massey (more on that in the near future), the online offering for AW09 looks extremely bright...we're just not sure Steve's bank balance can take it!

The feature will include an in depth interview between each designer and Oki-Ni's Creative Director John Skelton detailing the designers personal experience in the industry so far. Each interview is accompanied by an intimate portrait of the designer shot in their own creative surroundings by in-house photographer Ben Benoliel. When we first heard about the feature we have to confess to being a little jealous and slapped our foreheads for not thinking of it first! Oki-Ni continue to show many other online retailers how it could and should be done. We caught up with John to get his take on the designers involved, future oki-ni projects and who he has his eye on for SS10...

The 'New Faces of Menswear' designer portraits by Ben Benoliel

Style Salvage: Talk us through the featured designers and what caught your imagine in their AW09 collections?

John Skelton: What, all of them? Haha! We’ve spent six months compiling the most in depth interviews and covered everything from inspiration of the current and previous collections to the state of the British Fashion industry today and you want me to write it all out again!! Ha, let’s just say that every single one of our pack really caught my attention for completely different reasons. There is so much talent amongst this lot and so many different angles and styles covered that I feel very proud to have met them all and to be showcasing their collections. The only thing that they all have in common is that there expression is born from a completely pure and true feeling, which is the absolute love of product. That’s why I’m subscribing myself to all of them.

SS: What are the pieces you are most excited to be stocking next season? What might find its way in to your own wardrobe?
John Skelton: Its really difficult for me to single any of them out as I think they are all fantastic and I would love pretty much all of it for my wardrobe. I just cant do it. they are all exceptional in their own way as pieces and collections. Sorry!

Lou Dalton and HEDERUS

SS: To be honest with you, we are a little jealous of the feature and wish we had done it first! It includes in depth interviews and intimate portraits of the designers in their own environments to provide previously unseen insights in to the designers and their collections. How did you find the experience of the interviews? Who did you have the most fun chatting to?
John Skelton: Thanks for your kind words, we are very proud and pleased with this project and how it has worked out. I really enjoyed the whole experience and got a lot personally from it as well as for the site. I cant really say I enjoyed talking to any of them more than another as they are all so different that they all give me something extremely interesting and important in their own very unique way. A bit like all of their collections really. What I have realized over the past year or so is that there is no such thing as the best. What I mean is that there is no way in the world in the creative field that someone can be the best. Whether that is the best designer,dj , writer or whatever it might be when you get to the pinnacle of something there are a certain few who are doing something to such an amazing standard but in such a unique way that they can not even be compared. It would be wrong to say that one is better than another as they are so different in their approach and execution but are loosely seen to be doing the same thing. I find it completely fascinating how original and unique people really are. That’s what I find inspiring about these guys.

SS: The site provides much more than the basic shopping framework and is becoming something of an online resource of men's fashion. Do you have plans to develop this further?
John Skelton: Yeah, that’s something that we are totally committed to as a team and as a brand. I don’t want oki-ni to be seen as just a place where you can go and buy clothing. I really want to develop our information and resource material so we can be a guide and a port of call for anyone who is genuinely interested in and wants to learn more about the products and concepts that we are pushing and love ourselves.

Martine Rose and Odeur

SS: We asked you back in April to tell us your favourite emerging designers and you mentioned both Satyenkumar and Hederus so it must be so satisfying to be stocking them for the AW09! How straightforward is the buying process with emerging talent?
John Skelton: Its pretty straight forward to be honest. If we love it, want to wear it and believe in it then we will have a go at it. I honestly believe that in a worldwide community that there is a customer for any kind of product or brand. For us its not about whether the product will sell its just a question of can we find the customer that would buy it.

SS: Finally, who have you got your eye on next for SS10?
John Skelton: Phil Manzanera and Junichi Abe

Tuesday 18 August 2009

The dream about the hare and four swans becomes reality

The pretty box contained such treasures...

My love for Mr. Hare's debut collection is well documented on the blog. His passion for fine shoes is infectious and for all to see over on his blog but it is even more apparent in his debut collection. Ever since I first met up with Mr. Hare to marvel at the beauty of the 'Purest Form' in person I have been imagining my feet in his leather creations. One pair in particular has been a recurrent fixture in my style daydream fantasies. I included the Stingray Orwell in my 'Items worth saving up for' post back in March and my desire to have them grace my feet never relented. Now my friends, the waiting is over! I met up with Mr. Hare last night to have a few beers and to have a sneak peak at the first shots of his SS10 collection (more on this later but I will say...wow!) and he used the occasion to hand deliver a pair. When I clocked the shoe box as I sat down with the first round my heart missed more than a few beats. I wiped my excited/sweaty palms on my trousers took hold of the beautiful branded box and peaked inside...(warning...you are about to view some serious amateur shoe porn...kids, look away now!)

The Orwell Stingray is an apron Derby shoe in patent leather with stingray built on a Blake construction. “When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room. Accept no substitutes.” This sentence uttered by Ordell Robbie in ‘Jackie Brown’ was the only sentence that came into Mr Hare's head every time he looked at the Orwell and I can certainly see why.

A close up! Stingray skin is so tough it was originally used as a protection against sword slashes and is believed to have been worn by Attila the Hun...oh yes!

Back in February when we interviewed Mr Hare he declared that the "Orwell is an apron derby that has all the attitude of 60s Kray run London and the joie de vivre of Sammy Davis jnr. I just received the Stingray version which is sick." After wearing them for only a few moments my feet felt as though they were dancing around town in a bygone era...

As I made my way back home with them, smiling like a maniac and unnerving my fellow bus riders, my excitement levels were unparalleled. I called everyone in my phonebook who I thought might be vaguely interested in my news and was met with a variety of responses, some I can't type here but lets just say they were a little green. For those of you who I called last night I apologise for my rambled mutterings but I've literally not been that excited since waking up one Christmas morning to find a Scalextric set up in my living room. Some of you might have noticed that I excitedly tweeted “I have a pair of Stingray Orwells in my bag...cannot wait to get home to try them on!” Well, the tweet proved too much for our favourite despot who countered with a bunny boiler post. The combination of Imelda Matt's threats with Susie's thieving mitts mean I will just have to sleep with one eye open from now...that and I just won't take them off! I'll certainly sleep well tonight though knowing that my dream about the hare and the four swans came true...

Monday 17 August 2009

A wardrobe staple reimagined...

After a quiet weekend enjoying the sunshine by the coast I have spent the morning procrastinating slightly by catching up on all of the things I've missed on the t'internet. After a few quick scans of my favourite sites and blogs I was stopped in my tracks by a post on Fashion156's daily blog. Images from the T-Shirt Issue project made me do a double take at the screen as I saw one of my favourite wardrobe staples transformed in to art. For the T-Shirt Issue, Berlin based Linda Kostowski and Mashallah Design experimented and manipulated grey jersey sweatshirts to create three digital portraits.

I am a devoted, borderline obsessive, disciple of grey jersey but I have never seen this comfortable, safe and reliable staple used in such an architectural and imagination capturing way before. Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of Aitor Throup and this project certainly bears some resemblance to his design process. Here, three people are portrayed digitally by scanning their bodies to create a 3D file, which resolution is defined by the number of polygons depicted. The 3D data is turned into 2D sewing patterns by the use of the unfolding function (a common tool in industrial design process to make paper models with) with the help of a laser cutter. Making a clothes pattern in this way changes the aesthetics of the garment fundamentally and frees the designers imagination. A little research has shown that this project was shown at Create Berlin in September 2008 which I missed out on but it is currently on show in California at WoW. Below is a closer look at the designs along with quotes from the individuals involved...

"She changed my life from the first moment I was fitting her, when she slipped through my drapery purring. The sounds she made, unerring and self-confident. She fills my design with ease, making me believe in her more then ever."

"After hearing a story about a boy brought up by a wolf i wanted this more than anything else. The wolf would have accompanied my nocturnal wanderings, would have eagerly shared my reconnaissances and sometimes my thunderous sighs."

"When I was small and just about to learn swimming I was petrified that my swimmies would leak. I squeezed them constantly to check the air level. Surprisingly the swimmies had a different effect outside the water, they gave me tremendous self assurance. In default of that I just left them on all the time."

Friday 14 August 2009

Unfamiliar Vintage: A look at Garbstore

A look at Garbstore's AW09 offering, image courtesy of Dazed Digital.

Having founded One True Saxon, and helmed R. Newbold and Red Ear in the Paul Smith empire, Ian Paley’s reputation speaks for itself. His most recent venture, Garbstore enters its second year with the unveiling of 'General Public' for AW09. Now, I have heard a number of positive whisperings about the label but have not yet visited the store or really investigated the label at all aside from the odd forgotten mental note. Having seen the images for the latest collection over on Dazed Digital I have to plan a little trip to Portobello and will certainly not forget this label anytime soon!

Garbstore aspires to be and draws its influence from what they have coined 'Unfamiliar Vintage'. The brand aims to create familiar garments, not outlandish pieces, garments with a foot in the past and look to the future, nodding at a couple of things along the way. "The whole idea is to recreate that idea of dead-stock altogether.” For their fifth own-brand Garbstore collection, they pay tribute to those that take pride in helping one's community, hence the name 'General Public'.

Garbstore's use of original fabrics, US talon zips, five needle double neck tees, three hole button detailing and plantation Indigo denim pays homage to the craftsmanship tailoring of days gone by and this has to be applauded. I will leave you to marvel over the look book images for SS09 which I have only just stumbled across following a little label research.

Picture Postcard: Smartening Up

Dearest EJ

Before I escape the hot, humid, hustle and bustle of London for yet another quiet weekend by the seaside, I have a confession. Over the course of the last few months, I've been throwing together increasingly casual ensembles for work. As you know, my office has one of the most laissez faire attitudes to work attire possible. As long as we are not meeting clients we can where practically anything we desire (flips flops, vest tops...pretty much everything that should be discouraged during the warmer months are more or less encouraged in my work environment. Disclaimer: I do not wear either of these examples. Thank you). Today, from the bottom up, I am wearing, grey jersey boat shoes, drop crotch grey wrap trousers, a basic tshirt with a thin business veneer offered by my CdG jacket. In short I look ready for vegging out on the sofa as opposed to work. Earlier this year you talked about personal uniforms and I confessed that the informal work environment had a strange affect on my Monday to Friday attire. Now, after a few more months it has gone further. I find myself dressing smarter outside of work than I do inside it...which is most strange and something I feel I need to change.

I stumbled across the above chap over on The Sartorialist and my brain is urging me to adopt a similar basic uniform for work. Scott 'pretty good at the sex' Schuman loves the simple colour story of navy, tan and brown and I have to agree with him and feel the relaxed yet tidy tailoring and cut will suit my everyday work environment. The above shot appears simple at first but the more I look at it the more I see and want...the brogues, glasses and watch all catching my consumer eye. I certainly need to address the strange imbalance between the casual and formal elements of my workday outfits and will keep you informed of my progress.

Have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday 12 August 2009

Thomas Crown is a British Tailoring Affair

"The film remains one of the most empowering intersections between masculinity and sartorial expression ever captured by the camera's lens." Wei Koh for the The Rake.

I've been suffering from the most serious form of 'man flu' and in typical, gender form have spent the last week or so moaning to anyone and everyone who would listen, well when I've had the energy to. In amongst all the grumbling, I've slept a great deal and watched a fair bit of daytime TV. Thankfully the odd movie or two breaks up the terrible daytime offerings, otherwise I might have lost my mind by now. I was able to watch a film I've been meaning to for some time, The Thomas Crown Affair. The 1968 original of course, not the 1999 Pierce Brosnan remake.

Steve McQueen's magnificent wardrobe stole the show the 1968 heist film. Few leading men have looked so well tailored as McQueen did in his role as the high-class jewelery thief. It is little surprise then that the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Timothy Everest and Ozwald Boateng all regard it as one of the most influential moments in men's style. Of course, the film has its critics, even in 1968, audiences realised it was a film of style over substance, but there is nothing wrong with that now, is there? There is plenty of eye candy what with Ferrari GT 250s, Rolls Royces, Faye Dunaway's thirty one costume changes and of course, McQueen's wonderfully British tailored splendour. The Thomas Crown Affair is something of a catalogue of '60s conventions, from its clipped editing style to its photographic trickery, to its mod design, the decades stlye oozes out from every pore.

It was up to British tailoring legend Doug Hayward, the man responsible for Michael Caine's super lean suits in The Italian Job, to outfit McQueen in this marvellous array of suits. The suits are perfectly representative of classic British tailoring. There are of course classic three piece suits, waistcoats without lapels, two button coats with well-suppressed waist, a gold Patek Philippe pocket watch and a wealth of other sartorial perfections. Every detail of McQueen's dress is executed with perfect sartorial precision and it certainly eased my aches and pains whilst watching it. As I return to the sofa feeling sorry for myself, I will leave you with the original trailer to enjoy...

Tuesday 11 August 2009

The comeback we've been waiting for: +J

Simplicity itself, showcased in the minimalism of Sander's white shirt and the sans serif collaborative label.

Thankfully the post doesn't relate to Rocky Balboa II, I mean Rocky VII or Terminator: The Return of Salvation. Sylvester Stallone and Governor Arnie have no plans to haul their ageing asses back in front of the camera for one more fight. I am of course talking about the return of Jil Sander to a High Street near you, thanks to Uniqlo. Uniqlo is still far ahead of their high street opposition who must be turning a little grey and balding by now, what with all that head scratching and hair pulling, at how the Japanese retail powerhouse continues to deliver on style, quality and of course price. Tempting Jil Sander out of retirement to make her fashion comeback with a collaboration with the chain is almost typical for Uniqlo. The more I thought about this collaboration, the more it made sense; the Uniqlo style aesthetic is not a million miles away from the mistress of minimalism but the retail giant will no doubt turn Sander's minimalism in to one for the masses. Of course, news of this collaboration broke months ago now and I've been excitedly tapping on my keyboard waiting to catch a glimpse of the first few designs. Thanks to the always quick off the mark chaps at hypebeast, the wait is over...

The collaboration marks Sander's long-awaited return to the fashion world. It has been over five years since she left her namesake house after clashing with the brand’s then-owner, Prada Group. Although Raf Simons has done a marvellous job at Jil Sander following her departure, I am pleased to see her return to the fashion fold. As for this sneak preview of the collection, the simple sans serif label says it all: “Basics are the common language. The future is here: +J,” the tag reads. I am suffering from the worst bout of man flu I've ever known but the below two images have worked miracles. I can out down the cup of Lemsip and electronic thermometer and let the aesthetic beauty of the jacket clear my aches and pains!

For those of you eager to get your mitts on the collection, thankfully we won't have to wait too much longer. The September issue of Vogue forecasts the first pieces are said to be hitting stores (including online as well) in October, and as prices start at £15 I have to confess to being more than a little excited and interested. The initial collection will comprise of a total of one hundred and forty pieces, of course the ladies will get the bulk of it but there will be more than enough for us to fight over with forty pieces for men.

Monday 10 August 2009

Almost Bespoken For

My desire to own bespoke clothing is well documented on the blog. In a previous post I shared my statement of intent of entering the bespoke world; "In two years or so I want to walk away from Savile Row after my final fitting knowing that my suit is almost ready for me..." I have dedicated various posts to this beautiful craft and my dedicated savings fund has been progressing (slowly but for the most part in the right direction) but despite my admiration towards the fine fellows of Savile Row I've felt I wasn't quite ready to enter their world. I am almost there and have spent the last few years excitedly waiting and reading up on the subject. What is obvious to me is that a lot of people use the terms "bespoke" and "made-to-measure" interchangeably. They are mistaken. In seventeenth century England, 'bespoke' was a term for tailored clothing made at a customer's behest, with the customer's surname written on the actual fabric, hence the fabric 'was spoken for'. Hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called 'bespoke'. For those of you who like me, aren't quite ready for bespoke, one new label might be of interest...step forward Bespoken...

Under the tutelage of Turnbull & Asser, Bespoken was born not to make made-to-measure clothes tailored to the individual but to honour the heritage of tailoring traditions, paying great attention to fabrics, details and applying those traditions to a modern fit and contemporary styling. Turnbell & Asser is old school and has maintained a loyal following and discrete growth. In fact, T&A have supplied the shirts to James Bond, to whoever might be playing our favourite womanising spy. Production has remained British. The bespoke shirts are still made in Jermyn Street and ready to wear is manufactured in Gloucester. T&A brothers, James, Sam and Liam Fayed partnered with family friends Paulo and Carlos Goncalves to create Bespoken, a line of blazers, shirts and knits which offer a fresh take on historic luxury. "A young, scruffy haired lad who may enjoy a whisky and believes in classics of quality and style" Sam fayed. "This is what the son of a Turnbull & Asser customer would wear." (Oh, If only I were the son of a T&A customer...just think of the shirts I could inherit!)

Bespoken's signature look consists of classic shirts and jackets with a twist. The blazers are shorter and more form fitting, with a subtle red detail on every collar and lapel. The shirts, too, are fitted and mod influenced, with wrap around collars. Everything is handmade and in a limited edition, embroidered with a number from 1 to 100. "The autumn/winter '09 collection draws inspiration from the post-war fashion movement in Britain that occurred after the '50s," explains Sammy, the collection's main designer. "The pieces are more functional and utilitarian and are made from more textured and raw fabrics. The likes of Ian Curtis, Factory Records and northern England are some of the influential images that inspired the story behind this collection."

The result is an increased relevance and a nod to the brand's adaptability. This new collection is markedly different from previous designs, but remains cohesive and continuous with Bespoken's sophisticated aesthetic. The offspring of Turnbull & Asser have carried the torch, and made classic English traditionalism into something interesting, fresh and new...all things I'm certainly ready for right now, whilst I'm waiting for the bespoke fund to reach the required level...

Bespoken white shirt worn with cardigan by Omar Kashoura, trousers by Ted Baker, socks from Uniqlo and black suede and leather lace ups by b store.

Friday 7 August 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Harris Elliott

After completing a degree in Interior Architecture and Design, Harris Elliott established himself as a leading stylist in fashion and music. Thankfully for us Harris shifted his immediate attention from the likes of Mark Ronson and turned to luggage design. The personal need to find a stylish yet practical laptop case evolved into a thoroughly modern, yet understated luxury luggage brand which is designed and manufactured in the UK. The debut H by Harris collection comprises of two lines, the Q hand quilted nappa leather and the SH wax hide leather collection. Styles include rucksacks, totes, weekend bags, satchels and laptop skins and of course the H jacket which Steve has been drooling over ever since he first saw it on Style Bubble. We caught up with Harris to talk about how the brand evolved from a laptop case, the collaboration with bstore and wanting to dress Obama in Casely-Hayford... imagine that for a few moments and then continue reading...

Style Salvage: We recently read that the need for a new laptop case inspired the label. After this need was satisfied how did the rest of the collection develop?
Harris Elliott: After I designed the Q1 Skin I observed that people stuff their laptops in regular rucksacks and bags. So I figured there was a need for bigger bags for people to put their laptops in. Ivan the buyer at Browns said to me that their customers always needed weekend bags, so I extended the shapes and the whole collection came to life.

SS: Talk us through the different elements of the collection and what inspired them.
HE: The two main elements are quilting- the Q range, in soft nappa and nubuck. My inspiration was the need for something soft but protective, handmade quilting was the obvious choice. For the Sh range, I took reference from a military tunic for the large pocket details, these are made in nubuck and hide. Generally the market has been over saturated with bags that are over embellished with zips and bits, I have designed a collection that is big on form low on unnecessary detailing, simple to look at, luxurious to touch.

SS: How did the collaboration with bstore come about? Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
HE: I went to see Matthew and Kirk at 'B' for advice on how to go about collaborating with designers. They asked if I would collaborate with them, I thought they were joking as they often do, but they were deadly serious. We sketched designs separately, met in the middle and took the best of each others designs. I would love to collaborate with Neil Barrett, Junya and Hussein Chalayan.

SS: What was the first and last item you remember designing?
EH: The first thing I designed was a t-shirt at school with the logo for the band 5Star printed on it, they were my favourite group back then. The last thing was a bespoke vanity case I'm planning for AW10.

SS: In recent years there has undoubtedly been an increased interest and demand for bags in men's fashion. Do you, like us, cringe at the terms bandied about in the press though, for example murse, manbag etc? How do you feel about the increase in public interest that caused the creation of these terms?
HE: My favourite term was coined by the stylist Jason Hughes, the mlutch - man clutch. In general it's all media spin for journalists who have nothing better to write, just a bit of fun really.

SS: As a stylist you have worked with high profile personalities like Mark Ronson, Kelly Rowland, Nike and French Connection. If you could dress anyone, who would it be and what would you put them in?
HE: It would have to be the Queen and Barack Obama. Elizabeth Regina I would dress in Boudicca, and Obama in Casely-Hayford and Spencer Hart. And coming back to earth I would love to work with Vincent Cassel and Natalie Portman.

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
HE: Plus fours; Tintin had the look sewn up, and Christopher Nemeth produced the best version of these back in the day.

SS: How would you describe your own personal style?
HE: Unrefined with layers and with the occasional bright moments.

SS: What bag did you carry with you today? What was inside it?
HE: Carrying two bags today my Q3 Rucksack and SH2 Shopper, as always filled with a week's worth of useless stuff that never gets looked at day to day.

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
HE: Have to be turn of last century where you would wear formal clothes even if you were cleaning the streets.

SS: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
HE: I would like to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Heatherwick, Marc Newson and Philipe Starck designing anything from bags to furniture to architecture.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
HE: Favourite cafe has to be Royal Teas in Greenwich. I never cut my hair but the best locksmith (dreadlocks that is) is Don Abaka in Kennington. Instead of going to a bar get your own beer and cake, my own concoction and sit in a park drinking and eating with friends. Best shop is DA Binder for old school shop fittings. The Adam Kimmel Claremont video has to be seen!

Thursday 6 August 2009

Picture Postcard: The Fantastic Mr Steve

Now, I've always been a little jealous (and sometimes a little weirded out) by the number of talented illustrators who take inspiration from Susie's style outfits. Seeing my girlfriend as a piece of art always provokes a mixture of odd feelings but I have to confess that there has always been a part of me which longed to be captured in a similar way. I never thought it would ever happen though! So, imagine my surprise when I visited our latest blogger follower, one talented Lauren Gentry. Lauren is an Illustration student currently studying at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and has an extremely pretty blog which showcases her artwork. As I trawled through her work I recognised my Unconditional wrap trousers and then I noticed the Yokoo cowl... it was me... well, a variation of me... where my pudgy cheeked face had thankfully been replaced by the head of a fantastic fox. In fact, from now on I'd like to be referred to as the Fantastic Mr Steve or at the very least would like to see Wes Anderson accessorise his interpretation of the Roald Dahl classic with Yokoo knits. I have to thank Lauren for making my week, I am going to sleep now with a huge smile on my face.
Love this. I'm crazy jealous now! May have to see if she'll do me a print to add to the collection. She's even got your slouch right!


The launch of PETROU\MAN deservedly received a fair bit of blog love (with Filep Motwary first out of the blocks) as folks were all excited to see the Cypriot designer turn his hand to menswear for SS10. The fanciful images he created for the look book which aim to represent elements of everyday life certainly capture the eye and the imagination. Inspired by men's active sportswear, the debut offering is a mix of patterns, mesh and is a reinterpretation of classic jackets and shirts. Nicolas Petrou is an MA graduate from CSM who has been occupying his time in New York working for a number of design companies including his own (PETROU). I jumped at the chance to catch up with the designer for a DazedDigital piece. As part of the interview I spoke to Nicolas about being inspired by Geoffrey Beene, living and loving New York, wanting to dress Olivier Theyskiens and being an excellent host. The full interview can be read over on Dazed but below are a few of my favourite questions and answers along with a few unseen look book illustrations...

Describe the collection in your own words
Nicolas Petrou: The inspiration for this collection started from an illustration by Sirichai done for Geoffrey Beene in 2001. Then I looked into men’s active sportswear and what they achieve with the cut, the fabric and the design. And of course all those creatures of the night that always strive to present something new and different. I combined all these elements into the classics that men wear today and developed a collection that is focused and complete. There are mesh inserts in the sleeves of jackets for better movement, the fit is closer to the body but yet relaxed, the lengths are shorter than those of classic jackets and shirts… It is a younger look in general for all the guys that do not want to look like their fathers when wearing a suit.

Talk us through the illustrations accompanying the look book...
Nicolas Petrou: The illustrations are based on our everyday life situations and are created from events that are happening around the world at the moment. I wanted to create an environment for the PETROU\MAN that exists today but is more abstract and creative. The destruction of the world, science, genetics, war, politics and what is generally on our mind in these times we live in. Everything was done with no budget; I shot the collection on a friend and created all the images on photoshop with my genius assistant Soteris Kallis. It was fun and exciting to see the result and the amazing reviews from different people.


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