Wednesday 31 October 2012

Tools of the trade... S.E.H Kelly

Located in an oft overlooked enclave of East London, S.E.H Kelly's workshop is quietly going about its business of making quality garments with the makers of the British Isles. Having long admired the label's hunger to showcase British craftsmanship, we finally paid Paul Vincent and Sara Kelly a visit over the weekend.

Their Boundary Street haven was an intimate hive of activity as the remaining pieces for AW12 took shape and thoughts began to drift towards the months ahead. On its top deck are the rolls of cloth, the patterns and trims and a whole assortment of implements for garment-making. Meanwhile, lower space is home to an ongoing procession of shirts, overshirts, jackets, trousers and knitwear at various stages of completion. It is a delight to explore. Now, given that every aspect of every garment is made with the domestic clothing industry, with steadfast adherence to quality and the sturdiness of British make, we could leave without asking the design duo to reveal their favourite tools. Here, Vincent  reveals three tools of S.E.H Kelly's trade...


Stork Scissors


"What can you say about the stork scissors that hasn't already been said? The stork scissors are the go-to for trimming threads, tidying up button-holes, snipping string when wrapping -- usually just prior to garments being dispatched or handed over to customers at the workshop (at the factory, industrial-grade nippers are the utensil of choice)."

Single-hole hole punch


"What can you say about the single-hole hole-punch that hasn't already been said? A real partner-in-crime to the stork scissors, the punch, and in a given week will punch its way through swing tickets, spare-button bags, fabric-swatch bags, and pattern cards. Looked at from a certain angle it too looks like a bird -- or perhaps a dolphin. Not the most ergonomic hole punch, truth be told, but history shows the most reliable."

Trodat Printy 4917 ink-stamp


"What can you say about the Trodat Printy 4917 ink-stamp that hasn't already been said? Since we've no first-hand experience of precursors to the 4917, the 4917 is in our books the apex of self-inking stamp tech. Once mastered, the 4917 never fails, and this particular 4917 has stamped without complaint our brand name onto envelopes, letters to customers and suppliers, and swing tickets, since day one." Paul Vincent.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Reading... Vintage Menswear

Formed in 2007, the destination showroom and one of a kind resource that is The Vintage Showroom, was the realised dream of two fanatical enthusiasts of vintage clothing. Founders, Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett, spend countless months of every year trawling through dilapidated barns, warehouses and outhouses all around the world in order to add to their vast collection of rarities. They enjoy the hunt, the romance, and the deliberate utility found in each garment. Their shared unquenchable thirst for sartorial artifacts has led to The Vintage Showroom becoming one of the leading resources for vintage menswear in the UK, with the ever growing archive covering the early mid 20th century and specialising in international work, military and sports clothing, classic English tailoring and country wear.

Whilst their own inviting Earlham Street store continues to receive accolades and awards, their definitive collection has become a must see destination for fashion designers and stylists from around the world. It is is available to purchase or hire from as preferred, however no photography or sketching is permitted. Appointments are necessary and limited. However, last month a selection of the archive was published in the title ‘Vintage Menswear – A Collection From The Vintage Showroom.’ Joined by freelance style writer Josh Sims, Gunn and Lockett offer unprecedented access to a rare collection in a beautifully presented hard back. No appointment necessary.

Featuring one hundred and thirty of the most influential examples of twentieth century European, American and Asian utilitarian tailoring and design, the book is divided in to the three subsections of sportswear, workwear and militaria and covers everything from 1940s flying jackets to polar exploration suits, Phantom Racing jackets to Native American Varsity jackets and Japanese peasants Boro jackets to vintage French denims. These are items that reflect real lives of real people. With holes and patches they each tell a story. They are precious and genuine artifacts of what men wore in the early 20th century to work, to war, and to play. Thanks to the stunning photography each selection showcases the designs in concept, shape and cut. Below are just a few of the pages that caught my eye...


In addition to being a valuable resource and inspiration, 'Vintage Menswear' is a book to get utterly lost in.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Studio Sounds - Casely-Hayford AW12

Amazing cover art by Little Doodles

Over the last few months my ears have been regularly transported to the studio of an array of creatives thanks to Studio Music. In addition to providing a soundtrack to my own work, the site provides an interesting insight into the creative process, through the music that they listen to whilst working. Inspired, I thought I'd ask a selection of designers to talk soundtrack our favourite collections of each season. To kick things off, we press our ears to Casely-Hayford's 'Cultures In Between' collection for AW12.

Taking inspiration from the acclaimed Grayson Perry exhibition ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ that lit up London’s British Museum late last year, Casely-Hayford brought together signifiers from a range of British cultural symbols to create a cultural similitude. As Perry prompted the viewer to consider his curated artefacts in a new context, the father and son design duo offered a sartorial reality which felt simultaneously old and new – it’s aim being to emphasise 'subcultures' which actively sought a minority style in an attempt to lay claim to an identity apart from the mainstream. For AW12, the pair draw influence from a series of British iconic signifiers associated with subcultures of the past, present and future. Parkas from 60’s Teddy boys, Biker jackets of the 70’s Punks, MA1’s from 80’s skinheads, Puffa Jackets from Manchester’s 90’s rave scene and bomber jackets from 00’s youth street culture have all been run through the Casely-Hayford design machinery for a unique reinterpretation. Throughout this considered collection, the sartorial alchemists that are Casely-Hayford offer a plethora of appealing and surprising proposals whilst cementing the House's ethos of 'Innovation through Tradition'. But what were they listening to as they practiced these recent experiments? Press play, turn it up loud and find out...

 IBN Gold - Pound
Earl Sweatshirt - Dat Ass
Frank Ocean - Golden Girl
Yuna - Thinking About You
XXYXX - Alone
Dominique Young - Unique Show My Ass (Sick To The Back Teeth Remix)
Haim - Forever
Surkin - Lose Yourself (Rustie Remix)
Echo Park - Feels Like Love
Bjork - Virus (Hudson Mohowke, Peaches and Guacomole Rework)

Friday 26 October 2012

Collections: David Hellqvist's Shirts


Everyone's wardrobe reveals an obsession with something and our Collections series highlight a few of our favourites. Today, we delve in to Port Magazine's new online editor David Hellqvist's collection of shirts. Having had the pleasure of working alongside him at Dazed for two years, I've seen his entire sartorial repertoire and was frequently impressed with both the consistency and variety of his shirt choices. Now that we've both moved on, I miss the daily sighting so duly invited myself around to his Hackney home to have a good rummage through some old favourites and be introduced to a few recent acquisitions. Below is an introduction from the man himself followed by plenty of shirt shots and we take a closer look at a few of his favourites...

"I can't remember the first ever shirt that I bought but I can remember getting into the kind of shirts I wear now. I had a massive Polo Ralph Lauren 'love in' a few years ago. That's where my love of button down shirts in light blue chambray comes from. They are still great shirts, and so clever... the man basically invented polo shirts and that kind of relaxed Ivy League style. I had loads of them. Don't wear them anymore but they still sit in the archive...


I can't pick a favourite - sorry - but looking at the images now, seeing the shirts I pulled out without thinking just because I loved them that moment, there's a few things that I clearly look for in a shirt; clever and unexpected details, like with the Martine Rose shirt. Mixed prints and fabrics; a bit of a favourite, as seen in the Our Legacy shirt and the Comme des Garcons x Visvim shirt. Not always the most subtle solution but a fairly simple way of making a shirt stand out. All over prints; the Adam Kimmel over dyed Hawaii print is just brilliant, a moody take on the loudest, jolliest and happiest print ever invented. And also the Wood Wood Paradiski Insignia shirt... a bit of humour is important, can't take it all too serious. That leaves the Mark Mcnairy shirt. It says McNasty on the back and New York on the front. It's awesome. Need I say more?"

Having offered a cross section of his collection, we could not resist taking a look at how he wears a few of his favourites and to learn the stories behind them. What follows are his descriptions of six of his well loved treasures.

The old favourite...


"This is a collaboration between Comme des Garcon's shirt line and Visvim which I picked up when I was working in Dover Street Market back in 2006. It is the oldest shirt in my collection that I still frequently wear. It is just beautiful. On first look it is a shirt that has the characteristics of a classic Comme shirt with its blue and white stripes but the paneling makes it different from other line shirts. The fusion of three subtly different fabrics is great."

The new favourite...


"I bought this beautiful shirt in Stockholm during fashion week back in August. Again it uses three different fabrics. Mixing colours, prints and texture is an easy way for designers to make shirts exciting but Our Legacy just do it so well and their fit is brilliant. I love the subtle combination."

The classic Martine Rose...


"This is one of my many Martine Rose shirts. It is just the perfect example of how she approaches her signature shirts. The classic Bengal stripe is transformed with the addition of the red tape seamed pocket and zip detailing. Traditional with innovation. It is a hybrid."

The classic McNasty...


"What can you not like about Mr Mark McNairy, Mr McNasty, Mr New York? He takes Ivy League staples and fucks around with them to make his own brand. This is actually a present from him so I think it might be a sample because it is so thin but it is perfect for warm weather. I tend not to like short sleeved shirts but I make an exception for this one because the print is so damn cool."

The recent Wood Wood...


"I just love the Paradiski Insignia print from Wood Wood this season. Wood Wood are a great Danish brand who just add their own touch to traditional pieces, season after season. The print itself is a little crazy but it's awesome."

The darkness of Adam Kimmel...


"This is from Adam Kimmel SS12. I just love the idea of taking a familiar classic like the Hawaiian shirt and making it his own. It is dark. Not just in hue but by the approach of taking something so light, colourful and fun and making it black."

College Shop Two

After a hugely successful run last Autumn, College Shop, London College of Fashion’s very own pop up retail space makes a welcome return to the Carnaby Street area. Perfectly nestled on the ground floor of Kingly Court, the new space once again offers unique and one off creations by its legion of multi talented alumni. With stock rotated daily, the College Shop is a place of discovery.

The intimate boutique setting offers the perfect opportunity to own a piece of design future, now. With items from recent graduates in womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery, fashion photography and illustration, alongside more established LCF graduates including hot young designers Ada Zanditon, recent London Collections: Men prospects Joseph Turvey and Domingo Rodriguez, recently launched fashion labels Antithesis and Coeur, and back by popular demand, last year’s  top sellers, womenswear designer Para Manko and fashion illustrator Rosie McGuiness.

The space is open for one more week (the two week pop up runs through to 1st November) so if you can make it down, you should. It is a place to get lost in. A treasure trove of affordable discoveries. Below are a few of the items that caught my eye.. 

A selection of finds from the likes of Joseph Turvey and Coeur.

We love nothing more than showcasing emerging designers on these pages but it can be frustrating (for both you and us) that the designs are often unattainable. With the growing success of the College Shop, LCF are leading the way in showcasing their talent and in providing the first real opportunity to buy in to them.


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