Friday 31 December 2010

Highlights of 2010

Now, we couldn't wave goodbye to 2010 before highlighting a few of our favourite posts of the year. Over the last twelve months we have posted three hundred and something times but below are a selection of the very best...

Style Salvage Speaks To...Hannah Martin - We set out to learn more about her and the craft of jewellery design and what better way than to visit Hannah Martin at her studio for a cup of tea and a chat. Here we talk to the designer about her work placement at Cartier, Russian gangsters, the influence of Count Saint Germain on her next collection and seeing her at LFW through her collaborations with Carolyn Massey and Hannah Marshall.

Dr Martens: The craft of an iconic shoe - On April 1, 1960 the first pair of Dr. Martens was produced by the Griggs factory in the village of Wollaston in central England. Eight eyelets, ox blood red with distinctive yellow stitching, the design was dubbed "1460" after the date of its creation. More than one hundred million pairs of Dr. Martens have been sold since that first pair was unveiled 50 years ago. To help celebrate reaching landmark Dr. Martens invited a few of us bloggers up to their Wollaston factory to help cover the event.

The Craft of Cheaney -  Cheaney represent the height of English Bench Made shoe making. It takes eight weeks to make a pair of Cheaney shoes, it involves around one hundred and sixty hand operations, from cutting the leather through to finishing, combining the best of contemporary design with superb quality. Given how much of a factory pervert I am, you can only imagine how many photographs I took as William Church guided me through and in to the nooks and crannies of this well oiled assembly line of true craftsmanship.

Experiencing Harris Tweed - The story of Harris Tweed is one of a remote island community that lies between the Highlands of Scotland on the north west tip of Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean. I have lusted over this truly unique fabric and have longed to visit the beautiful setting in which it is created for some time now. Thankfully, the launch of the Nike Air Royalty Harris Tweed meant that myself and Susie were invited up by the sportswear giant.

Nigel Cabourn's Studio -  Nigel Cabourn has worked in the fashion industry for forty two years, yet his clothing has very little in common with most people’s understanding of fashion. Cabourn is a designer who is driven by his longstanding passion for vintage clothing, fabric and details. He has collected vintage clothing since the 70s after falling for their charms on visits to Portobello Road with Paul Smith. Since then he has amassed an archive of over four thousand pieces. It is this ever expanding vintage collection that is the cornerstone of each collection, not a response to a particular trend or demand. Each collection has a real story, is grounded in history and integrity underpinned by the highest level of quality.

Style Stalking...Imelda Matt - You might think that the phrase 'style stalking' is an exaggeration, but this time you'd be wrong. Ever since we laid eyes on Imelda Matt in a gold suit we knew we just had to get him to do a style diary for us. After months (no, really) of chasing, cajoling and downright begging, he agreed to let us showcase seven days of Imelda style.

Style Stalking...Ca - After a few months of fruitless voyeurism we finally stumbled across an old favourite who has thankfully resurfaced on the blogosphere. Ca's previous blog, The Cablog, was a constant source of inspiration and it was a sad day when he decided to pause blogging. A number of months later and Ca has returned and we are pleased to declare that he lost none of his style. Ca is a man who knows how to use colour and play with textures to make truly wonderful, multi faceted outfits. He is a man who knows how to balance vintage, high street and labels in such a way that the admiring observer has absolutely no idea where he shops.

A Visit to Trunk - The year has seen a number of exciting menswear stores open their doors in the capital but Trunk Clothiers is something quite special indeed. Located over two floors on Marylebone’s Chiltern Street, Trunk introduces a much needed new style to the menswear retailing scene in the capital which I was able to experience for myself. The seventy square metres brings together a carefully curated selection of the finest menswear and accessories from across the globe. Trunk is a store that sets the standard for gentlemen seeking modern classics of the highest quality matched with impeccable service.

British menswear in 2010 and beyond

Now, I had started to embark on an epic review post and spent a few hours revising bookmarks and admiring saved images. I began reminiscing over the colour rich Jil Sander SS111 show which was held in the elaborate garden of a spectacular villa in the far hilly reaches of Florence, the dazzling lazer display at the culmination of JW Anderson's SS11 show, experiencing the making of Harris Tweed in the Outer Hebrides and my numerous retail discoveries throughout the year. The last twelve months have been fruitful and have seen us enthuse, reveal and discuss a myriad of menswear subjects over the course of three hundred and eight posts. However, having seen the gluttony of 'Best of' lists clogging the arteries of the blogosphere, I have decided to take a different stance. Yes, 2010 has been a good year but how can we make 2011 a great year?

Having given the subject more thought than any of the other aforementioned volume of posts, I decided to look at the state of British menswear. Menswear Day during London Fashion Week has certainly  continued to grow over the course of two schedule packed days in 2010. Presentations, catwalk shows and film screenings have all celebrated the exciting diversity of menswear design talent which uniquely exists in this capital of ours. It has been hugely exciting to see stalwarts of Savile Row sit so comfortably alongside high street regulars, established designers and enthralling new talent alike. Both  days helped cause a sartorial stir or two whilst collectively flying the flag of menswear and tiring me out in the process. Dense, exciting schedules and flag waving aside, I have found myself with more questions than answers when I come to give British menswear design the once over. Have these ever evolving moments really pushed British menswear design forward as far as they can? Is Menswear Day enough? Are retailers really supporting the talent? Can the design talent that I celebrate forge viable and successful businesses? Are we, as consumers, doing enough?

In moments of questioning, it is always helpful to turn to a different voice.  As I have enjoyed so many discussions with menswear retailer Daniel Jenkins this year, it was fitting to hear his thoughts on the subject... 

"What is the point of British menswear? Now I must confess to being redhanded and place my cards upon the table. Anyone who receives a Christmas or birthday present from me is accepting ill gotten gains funded by British fashion.

Confession aside I have no interest in using this article to promote the labels that we already sell and those that we will sell in the future. I believe in what we buy and therefore if it doesn't sell I take full responsibility. This leads into my main point, Steve mentioned the end of year review to me a few months ago. I'll admit I was slightly wrapped up in finding the best flat white in London (Woman in Present if you are interested always go for the 6oz). Dalston cliche aside it made me think. So much so I had a rant which I have managed to slightly temper. Two days later I was fortunate to be invited to take an economist around the Whitechapel Gallery with the aim of ignoring the art and discussing the future of British fashion. The question was should British fashion be 'saved' or not. I spent two hours arguing for its survival then received a text message about something far more important and realised the charade was up. Perhaps it shouldn't be 'saved'. 'Saving' as it currently stands could in fact damage it further.

I see it like this. I understand that many within the industry disagree with me and think me a fool for expressing my views however, I simply cannot go on any longer labouring under the pretence that this situation is adequate, normal or acceptable. Despite this year having spent more time with my head in books than look books trying to figure life out, I have seen enough to realise that in terms of sheer design the industry in the UK is in rude health. I don't care who you are or what you do I simply cannot understand any argument claiming that there is better design talent outside of the United Kingdom. Yesterday, Steve and Eliza ran a feature on Joe Casley Hayford, a sublime talent who along with Charlie is changing how the world dresses. This is what we do in the UK. We set the parameters. Yet the press discussion about the best labels, the most exciting stores, the items that men truly would sell their girlfriend for always includes items predominately from outside of this sceptred isle. Why is this? The power of paid for advertising or a deeper and more dangerous issue? We are in real danger of losing a lot of talent which if given a little bit more of a push could really achieve something.

We have a dedicated 'Menswear' day at London fashion week. This I applaud for its intention and execution - this year it was highly professional, but it isn't enough. I'm bored with the conversation that the menswear industry in the UK will simply never be profitable enough. This is sheer nonsense perpetuated by those unwilling to take a risk. We need to ask ourselves why isn't it working. Why are labels having trouble cementing themselves? Each time I read an article about how rosy British menswear is I'm reminded of John Le Carre's words in 1963 'men condemned to death are subject to sudden moments of elation; as if, like moths in the fire, their destruction were coincidental with attainment'.

Please don't confuse me with someone wishing to do damage to the industry. Yes my suit may be painted black and I might admire and enjoy  Auden's poetry noir whilst taking a wistful glance through memories but, I just want to give those with talent in this country a fair and level playing field. If they fail then so be it. They would always have done so. To deny them the opportunity to succeed or fail because they aren't immediately commercially viable is criminal. I understand the financial implications better than most. We are funded solely by sales. If we do not sell we cannot continue operating. I believe that we have a duty to promote those that perhaps would not be given the chance elsewhere. Yes we profit from it, I run a business and I attempt daily to challenge Tony Wilson's mantra regarding history and money  - failing probably on both counts - because someone once took a chance on Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and anyone you could care to mention. Yes, these were business decisions but they were also seven inch leap's from heart to head.

There are those making a difference and there are solutions which have been proffered from greater communication between independent stores and the BFC, increased presence at Paris fashion week - London falls outside of the majority of foreign buyers' schedule each season. An understanding that talent in this country does occasionally need guidance in making sure that they aren't let down by manufacturers, stores and other parts of the 'fashion chain'. If these steps were undertaken I'd be part way to happiness and if the BFC or anyone with ideas regarding how we can turn 2011 into a watershed, wishes to contact me then I'm ready,"

I don't know about you but I found myself nodding quite a bit throughout this rant. More, on a number of different levels, can be done. For me, one of the real positives of the year has seen the real gems of British menswear take important steps towards Paris. The LONDON ShowROOMS have been successfully running for five seasons now but SS11 saw it extend to include some of the best emerging menswear talent in the UK. The scheme, a joint collaboration by the British Fashion Council, Fashion East and The Centre for Fashion Enterprise took fourteen designers to show in Paris. The likes of Bernstock Speirs, Blaak, BOYOstudio, Carolyn Massey, Christopher Kane Men's, Christopher Raeburn, Miharayasuhiro + Husam el Odeh eyewear, James Long, Katie Eary, KTZ, Lou Dalton, Omar Kashoura and Tim Soar were all present. Their designs showcased at a time in line with the real buying season. Regardless of talent, in order to survive, our favourite designers require sales and even though Menswear Day is wonderful theatre, I'd love to see the very best of our talent continue to charm the world. Here's to British menswear design talent winning over buyers and consumers in the same way that it has won critical plaudits in recent seasons.

Thursday 30 December 2010

In discussion... 2010

The desire to develop a dialogue around men's style and fashion has always been one of our key motivations to blog and this year we embarked on a new series that aimed to stoke the fires of menswear conversation. Each month, starting from May, we invited a cross section of thoughts on and around a range of subjects from the most stylish men they've ever known to the best piece of style advice they had ever heard. Over the course of the year, we heard from a mixed bag of knowledgeable folk air their thoughts and responses came from designers, store owners, PRs, journalists and a few fellow bloggers alike. With this in mind, we couldn't turn the page on the last twelve months without hearing from a few of our favourite figures of menswear on their highlights of 2010...

"My highlight of the year for menswear would be Dries Van Noten's Fall 2010 collection. Never before have I wanted so much from one collection and I've been buying quite a bit."
Tommy Ton, photographer and blogger.

"I think personally, making the film that we did for SS11. I find fashion film difficult, its often horribly self indulgent and pointless with it, with little or obvious narrative. We wanted to make something interesting, odd and beautiful, and I'm my harshest critic, but I think we came up with something pretty special there."
Carolyn Massey, designer.

"Collaborating with Mogwai and Woolrich Woolen Mills for The Rig Out short film was the highlight of my year. A week spent in the north of Norway in July, messing about on glaciers and the odd weird effect of 24 hour daylight was very cool. Plus, the film's not bad too. Check it out!"
Glenn Kitson, co-founder of the Rig Out magazine, PR and brand consultant.

"My highlight of 2010 was getting let loose in the RRL showroom for the first time. The environment was incredible and with everything RRL no stone had been left unturned. The collection was authentic Americana Vintage and one of the best I had seen all year. I can’t wait to see it launch in store in February in the first RRL shop in shop in Europe."
Stephen Ayres, Menswear Buying Manager at Liberty.

"The best find of 2010 for me is Japanese brand Sasquatchfabrix. We are the first to bring this over from Japan and I have no doubt that in the coming years this brand will be on peoples radar in a big way. I absolutely love the aesthetic and the raw feeling of this brand."
Dan Mitchel, Buyer at LN-CC

"The highlight of my fashion year has to be the number of decent menswear stores that have opened up in London over the past 12 months. It is the first time in many years that London has a retail landscape which reflects some of its unique energy."
Joe Casely-Hayford, designer.

"The most exciting Fashion find of 2010 was all the fatboy fashions coming for SS11. Mr. Hare is only a healthy, bon vivant, size 54, yet even stores in which my shoes are stocked only keep there ranges up to a 52, which in the week before fashion week, due to stress and over work I can just about squeeze into. A few Parisien steak tartares later though and I am back in the land of ass. But this coming summer whether it is Prada's tie front (Karl Kani) jeans and shorts or Diors " I used to be fat but look at me now yo!! Lost 60lbs in sixty minutes at the LIPO-Fatty spa." Or even Haider Ackermans Opium den proprietor/Lothario apparel Fat is where it's at. And our style icon, yes, we wish you were still here...Fat Joaquin!"
Mr Hare, shoe enthusiast and designer.

We will be posting our own review of the year tomorrow which will include the thoughts of Daniel Jenkins. In the meantime, why not tell us about your menswear highlight below...

Casely-Hayford SS11: The Light Through the Darkness

Much of the last twelve months have whizzed right by me, a great deal has been forgotten for one reason or another. There have, however, been a few moments which have seen the dazzlingly fast rotating clock hands stop completely, allowing me ample opportunity to soak up the scene before me. Thankfully time was stopped during my visit to the SS11 Showroom Next Door and my heart still skips a beat or two as memories of Casely-Hayford's The Light Through the Darkness fills my memory. Having enthused over the collection back in September, it is my absolute pleasure to offer first sight of the look book with you...

Cover image; Circeo washed shirt jacket in deep red cotton, Azuil collarless shirt in white Panama cotton, Algonquin tailored track pants in Morning stripe jersey.

Casely-Hayford's fifth collection consolidates their now signature style of relaxed masculine proportions, fused with an injection of London's cocktail of youth culture. Since its inception, the label has explored the intriguing duality of English sartorialism and British anarchy but now shapes a unique aesthetic that sees the emergence of the 'Sartorial Nomad' from the shadows of the darkened sensibility of their Afro Punk of the season before. Here, Casely-Hayford visit the the idea of the transcultural traveler, whose identity is an amalgamation of the many countries and influences that once or now surround him.

Looking at this collection, I'm reminded of the photography of Etienne Dehau. In his book about the Bedouin tribes and nomadic peoples of Arabia, the photographer took us to the heart of this immense region, tracking the ancient incense route and the nomadic Bedouins. Dehau's wonderful photographs illustrated the culture of these Arabs – a word that originally meant ‘people of the desert’ – as they move from camp to camp within a land that is both hostile and overwhelming. For SS11, Casely-Hayford have reimagined the nomad. The taletend design duo turn to the purity and tranquil energy of the Bedouin nomad in order to seek out something real and something minimal negating the excess so prevalent during the last decade. The Light Through the Darkness communicates ideas of a rebirth for a new decade. There is a discordant synergy is brought to the forefront of the collection as exquisite tailoring is worn over nomadic white shirts, referencing looks often seen in the confluence of London's East End. Here, the cut is unrestrictive and loose yet it still manages to remain masculine and athletic. Fabrics are natural, colours earthy and the silhouette voluminous but minimal...

Left; Moonstone jacket in grey tarmac wool, Lapis pale grey herringbone drawstring jacket, Algonquin tailored track pants in Morning stripe jersey, Brett olive jersey l/s t shirt and Turbeville allotment creeper. 
Right; Luxor stone cotton workwear jacket with turned black hem and Cinnabar navy ribbed cotton fatigue pants.
Left; Volga gathered coat in greige wool,  Azul white Panama cotton collarless shirt, Algonquin Morning stripe tailored track pants and Turbeville allotment creeper. 
Right; Circeo washed shirt jacket in grey/check reverse cotton, Cato natural linen curved pocket waistcoat, Algonquin Morning stripe tailored track pants and Isherwood brown leather sandals.

Left; Aldous 2SB, greige wool jacket, Ventura coat in stone crushed jersey, Ambar blue/white cotton wrap shirt. Algonquin tailored track pants in Morning stripe jersey and Isherwood brown leather sandals. 
Right; Marmor marine cotton knit cardigan with Touareg pattern front, Alba Henley in Touareg pattern cotton, Algonquin Morning stripe tailored track pants and Isherwood brown leather sandals.

Left; Ventura coat in stone crushed jersey, Arandis grey ribbed cotton waistcoat, Ambar blue/white cotton wrap shirt, Belgris tapered natural linen pants and Isherwood brown leather sandals.
Right; Tropf bi-colour minimal Mac, Belgris tapered natural linen pants and Isherwood brown leather sandals.

Left; Tourmaline blousen double jacket in navy/black cotton,  Afyon scoop neck stone crushed jersey t-shirt, Cinnabar stone ribbed cotton fatigue pants.
Right; Ventura coat in stone crushed jersey, Cato natural linen curved pocket waistcoat, Anatol white cotton Chino, Alba Henley in Touareg pattern cotton and Isherwood brown leather sandals.

Left; Tourmaline blousen double jacket in navy in khaki cotton, Tardos long shirt in white self-stripe twill, Cosmic white cotton laced Punk Nomad trouser and Quartz black leather Casely-Hayford for John Moore Ghillie brothelcreeper.
Right; Belvoir navy canvas reversible coat, Agra bellows pocket waistcoat in navy organic cotton, Tardos long shirt in white self-stripe twill, Cosmic white cotton laced Punk Nomad trouser and Quartz black leather Casely-Hayford for John Moore Ghillie brothelcreeper.

Left; Tardos long shirt in white self-stripe twill, Cosmic white cotton laced Punk Nomad trouser and Quartz black leather Casely-Hayford for John Moore Ghillie brothelcreeper.
Right; Aldous 2SB greige wool jacket, Ambar blue/white cotton wrap shirt, Basalto flat front trouser in greige wool and Bentley brown leather quilted slipper. 

Quartz black leather Casely-Hayford for John Moore Ghillie brothelcreeper.

Look book credits
Photography: Katinka Herbert
Photography assistant: Christopher Kennedy
Art direction: Casely-Hayford & Son
Model: Yussef Yu, Fine Artist.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Travel Organised

Smythson of Bond Street is one of the UK's most revered luxury leather goods labels. Established in 1887 by Frank Smythson, an entrepreneur and inventor of the brand's signature blue Featherweight paper, Smythson's attention to detail and quality craftsmanship quickly found favor with an elite clientele. Today, the company boasts three Royal warrants and the Prime Minister's wife as Creative Director. It has always been more than a mere stationary shop. It is something of an institution on one of London's most revered retail streets. I have often walked past, peered inside and resisted temptation to venture in to this unfamiliar but fine smelling world (oh I do love the scent of leather). Thankfully, despite my nervous disposition, I am now a proud owner of a Smythson item.

This Christmas, my sister and brother-in-law have come up trumps in the gifting trumps. After being spoiled rotten in recent years, with gifts ranging from a Le Creuset pot to Bose headphones, they have excelled in both the fine art of giving and gratuitous art of spoiling. This Passport Holder comes in butter soft Nile Blue calfskin leather. It is something that I'd never buy myself but I am now so pleased that someone has. The travel organiser comes with two subtly embossed pockets for a passport and boarding pass. I no longer have an excuse for either losing or fumbling with my travel documents.

Despite being hugely comfortable in front of the television with a mind boggling amount of food this festive season, this present makes me long to travel. Here's to a jet setting 2011.

Friday 24 December 2010

Advent - Twenty Four

Whilst nurturing some of the best menswear design talent in the capital and beyond, b store have been merging art, fashion and design seamlessly for a number of years now. With each visit to the Savile Row institution, there is the chance to discover a new designer, an exhibition, a magazine or even just a moment when you talk to them and leave with something new. You can always expect to be surprised when you visit the store. Here's what's on Matthew Murphy's Christmas list...


I love these classic set of french copper pans made by the Pierre Vergnes Family..........perfect for oven baked ham and eggs, 'Leila's cafe' style!


Most of Santa Maria Novella's cologne's are beautiful..... but I like to alternate Vetiver and Sandalwood, which is my current favourite..... The original store in Florence is amazing and is where I first fell in love with the fragrances.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Advent - Day Twenty Three

3939 launched as a lifestyle and retail concept located in the basement of a well loved Japanese restaurant, Life just last month. Set up by three creative friends in Tatsuo, Pippa and Peter. Both the physical and digital spaces showcase the trios unique ideas, collaborations and exclusive products which have been developed in association with the craftsmen and talent that they all adore. This is a truly independent project driven forward by the determination to offer something different. 3939 incorporates a unique point of view and leaves me excited in the process. Having provided me with a wealth of present options for my nearest and dearest, I just had to find out what was on Tatsuo Hino's Christmas list and here it is...



The item is the 'Elephant Ring' by Dog State . I have actually ordered to have it resized for me when I am back from Japan early next year. It is made by my friend, Toshi, who is based in London and trained at the Great Frog for eight years as residential shop keeper and designer. What I like about it is that the detailing about the face is so intricate. I cannot wait to wear this!


My ideal Christmas gift would be the Lewis D Ltd Flying boots with shearing inside. I recently tried a pair on at the Lewis Leathers store. They were reintroduced the boots back into the range after carefully researching them right down the to the correct buckles of the original pair from the 30s. The shearling lining is sourced from a Tannery in the West Country, the leather nowadays is a high grade Cowhide for durability during everyday wear, soles are leather and the heels are rubber with a pattern identical to those found on many vintage RAF flying boots. They are a classic with heritage, sleek but modern and functional boot commanding a reasonable price (£350) for what they are.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Advent - Day Twenty Two

The introduction of Trunk Clothier's to Marylebone's Chiltern Street has been one of the real highlights of the year. Trunk's model is simple; to stock great Italian, Japanese, Swedish and American brands that already have a strong following among London residents, but frustratingly for them could only be found abroad. Formally a senior manager in global partnerships at American Express, Klingberg has fused his background in fashion, retail and financial services to engage with brands that are united in their passion for quality and detail. The facet that makes Trunk unlike any other store, has been his ability in convincing smaller brands, such as Stealth Wealth of Kyoto and Bogliolo, to take a risk overseas. Klinsberg noticed a clear gap in the market and has thankfully taken advantage. The store affords discoveries at every turn. Here's what's on his Christmas list.



"I'd love to find one of our own Trunk by Porter bags under the Christmas tree this year. Preferably the olive Boston Bag to match the Tote that I already have. Porter started manufacturing highly durable bags for carrying rubble for Japanese building sites many years ago. Their modern bags reflect this heritage with an emphasis on durability, understatement and functionality."

Style Stalking...Ca

It has been far too long since we've lurked in the shadows to partake in one of our favourite past times, style stalking. The reason for the delay was finding a subject that could match our previous subject, Imelda Matt. After a few months of fruitless voyeurism we finally stumbled across an old favourite who has thankfully resurfaced on the blogosphere. Ca's previous blog, The Cablog, was a constant source of inspiration and it was a sad day when he decided to pause blogging. A number of months later and Ca has returned and we are pleased to declare that he lost none of his style. Ca is a man who knows how to use colour and play with textures to make truly wonderful, multi faceted outfits. He is a man who knows how to balance vintage, high street and labels in such a way that the admiring observer has absolutely no idea where he shops. We could wax lyrical about his style but that would only delay you from the real treat of the below visuals. Without further ado, here's the man himself introducing his diary...

"I suppose the series below is representative of my style. At least for winter here in Norway at the moment. I have always been more of an autumn/winter person in terms of clothes and fashion. The crisp cold weather makes it ideal to layer favourite pieces and bundle up. Some may find it challenging during the cold season to stay both warm and stylish, but I thing it's quite amusing. As long as you have the basics, especially quality woolen pieces, in place then I believe you can always look well put together...

All photos by my good friend Sirin Winge"

When the six day diary dropped in to our inbox our week was made. No doubt his style diary will brighten up your week too...

Day One
A simple and casual outfit, this is how I typically look at home or school. I enjoy focusing on collar/lapel details and love to collect pins and brooches from flea markets and vintage shops. Such an easy way to add a bit of fun. These ones, however, are from a regular high street store. The moment I saw them this summer I completely fell and had to have them. Such a sucker for the nautical theme.
The jumper is from H&M, the shirt is from Zara and pins are from Accessorize, the trousers are by These Glory Days, the glasses are from Burberry and the shoes are by Massimo Dutti.

Day Two
Another simple outfit for a regular day running errands around town. This jacket is one of my vintage gems which I waited almost three months before purchase. Warm and with the perfect fit, it's such a great piece to throw on while rushing out and about.
The hat is from H&M, the scarf is by Burberry, the jacket is a vintage Wrangler, the shirt is secondhand, the jeans are by Monkee Genes, the bag is secondhand as well and the shoes are by Vagabond.

Day Three
Ok, so I study library science and work at an eyewear store. Sometimes I get carried away. So much for breaking down the stereotypical view on nerdy almost corporate way of dressing. But I like it and this is how I look most of the time. I try to believe that this soft floral shirt makes the look less "dusty". Anyway, the shirt reminds me of a watercolour painting and I got it dirt cheap at a secondhand store. Win win situation. If you're wondering, I am clinging onto the precious and latest issue of Monocle, one of the few magazines I actually buy.
The cardigan is from Brunns Bazaar, the shirt is secondhand, the trousers and bag are both from Zara while the bag is by Bertoni.

Day Four
Me at my most dandy. I enjoy wearing bow ties, especially during festive Christmas season. The small leather bag around my neck is the latest obsession. Very practical to keep keys and wallet safe in place. And the coat is Lanvin for H&M, this year's winter coat purchase. The deep blue colour is wonderful. I like the long lean look and how the length makes it completely reasonable for me to make swooshing sounds while wearing it around.
The coat is from the Lanvin for H&M range, the jumper is from Gap, trousers are by Topman, the hat is from Dressman, the bowtie is H&M, the bag is from Monkee and the suspenders and shoes are both secondhand.

Day Five
Beside collar decoration I have become fond of elbow details. This woolen/angora/cashmere mix jumper is warm, cosy and perfect for winter. Also, the colour scheme keeps the elbow patches subtle and barely noticeable. My infamous binocular bag is making an appearance here as well.
The coat is from Victor & Rolf for H&M, jumper by These Glory Days, as you can probably tell the shirt is from Burberry, trousers are by Velour, shoes from Zara and the bag is secondhand.

Day Six
Another piece of outerwear I've found secondhand and altered at my seamstress. I like to switch between several coats during winter to keep things interesting. I find brown softer and easier to create less strict winter looks than classic black and grey.

In case you're wondering, the answer is no. I am not doing publicity for the label These Glory Days. At least not paid publicity that I know of. I have been following the label's design for a while and truly enjoy it's casual style, small sizes, simple details and finally the reasonable price level. This winter I went all out and got hold of several pieces from the autumn/winter collection. Whatever the hype, the Swedes know fashion. And as a Norwegian citizen I am making a patriotic statement for Scandinavian design. Yeah.

Final note: I am having breakfast (cranberry scones) while doing Christmas shopping here. Do forgive the silly expression.

The coat is secondhand, the hat and shirt are both from These Glory Days, the jeans are Monkee Genes and the shoes are from Zara.

All photos by Sirin Winge.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Advent - Day Twenty One

Like us, Fine and Dandy's very own Matt Fox has an appreciation for the well dressed gentlemen of yesteryear and is inspired by their unabashed use of accessories, so this is what he stocks in his marvelous online store. Fine and Dandy is a shop which provides all the finishing details to truly be fine and dandy. Here's what's on his Christmas list...


"For the last year or so I've been saying that I want more fair isle. There is something so festive about it, as if while wearing, one should be in a ski lodge by the fire sipping hot chocolate. Although I acquired a fair isle-inspired sweater last winter, I was reminded once again of my unfulfilled quest from a photo from Sergei Sviatchenko's Close Up And Private in which the model is wearing a beautiful fair isle sweater vest. The closest I can find to it is one from a past collection from Polo on ebay. Santa, are you listening?"

Monday 20 December 2010

Introducing (ki:ts)

At this time of year it is difficult to resist the temptation to take a step back and assess the moments that have materialised over the last twelve months. With this in mind, a year in menswear summary will certainly be posted before we wave goodbye to 2010 but there are still a few moments to experience, labels to discover and collections to covet before. However, I can hint that our review will include my thoughts on a revived retail scene in London and indeed beyond. I have visited a myriad of newly opened stores in recent months and my faith in the future of menswear retail has been restored. During two of these visits a certain accessories brand has caught my eye. Up till now I have merely hinted at my admiration for (ki:ts). No longer. Trunk Clothiers first brought the label to my attention and and then 3939 duly reminded me of the fine leather accessory range. This weekend I met up with the man behind the label, Takaharu Osako to be talked through the current offering.

A look inside Trunk...
Woven belt by Ki:ts, boots by Common Projects, bag by BAG'n'NOUN and scarves by Drakes.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2003, Osako learnt his trade at Alexander McQueen before taking a design position at Jas MB. Last year, driven my his passion for handmade craft, he set up his own clothing and accessories brand. Taking its name from the dictionary pronunciation of the great English Romantic poet John Keats and Osako's desire to kit out the modern gentleman, (ki:ts) was formed. The label is an all too tempting cocktail of old, authentic elements mixed with modern technology and the pursuits of modern life. The accessory range takes its inspiration from the materials and craft which help create each accessory. These beautiful leather accessories are hand finished one-by-one in order not to ruin the natural feeling of the leather. Each season Osako makes up to one hundred and fifty belts and bracelets. The variety of fine Italian leathers are teamed up with sundries and buckles inspired from British horse riding and falconry detailing...

The Ki:ts range in 3939

Retrowood buckle bracelet.

Double Small Buckle Leather belt.

A close up of beautiful leather.

Black leather belt.

Surprisingly, the label is currently only Osako's fruitful hobby. He still works as an assistant designer at Jas MB by day and then dedicates his spare time to create each carefully crafted (ki:ts) product. The range itself, in addition to the stockists who buy in to the label slowly grows each season and this is how he wants it to remain. It was a pleasure to see his passion first hand, it was contagious and I could not walk away empty handed. During our discussion, the designer noticed that I was particularly taken by the retrowood versions. Up till then I had never seen such a leather in person. Amazingly, at the end of the range run through he gifted me with a bracelet version...

The wood effect bracelet in front of my Christmas tree.

Just look at the detailing...

I could not resist buying a belt for myself and opted for the stunning double buckle belt. I can't remember seeing anything quite like this before and I certainly do not own anything similar so it is a welcome addition to my accessory options.

The double buckle belt.

A closer look at the double buckle.

Osaka sources vintage fixtures for many of his belts.

I find it nigh on impossible to resist the charms of a label such as (ki:ts) and why should I? Takaharu Osako dedicates his evenings and free time to create each accessory by hand. Each accessory is carefully cut, shaped and polished and driven by his passion for fine leather craftsmanship. I'm looking forward to watching this label continue to slowly and organically grow over the coming seasons and beyond.


Related Posts with Thumbnails