Friday, 22 August 2014

Whistles Menswear AW14

The long awaited launch into menswear from Whistles is nearly upon us - dropping into stores on September 4th - with these shots above my favorite from the generous offering for AW14. I was honored to wear some pieces of this collection during the London Collections: Men in June however, with such as heavy focus onto quality, winterized materials such as felt and wool - it became a little warm at some points.

The collection is focused onto contemporary, lifestyle driven pieces however it is clear immediately that this stands out from the rest of the high street. This debut menswear collection is accessible in its aesthetic and very affordable, focusing on oversized overcoats, leather biker jackets, slim tailoring and chunky knitwear with staples such as shirting playing into the mix. 

Available at various Whistles stores around the country, there is a special competition to support the launch with the chance to win...

 - An outfit of your choice from the new Whistles menswear collection
 - Condor Pista bike worth £1300
- Kiehl's male grooming set
- Series of books selected by art publishers Antenne

All you have to do is click HERE to enter.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Universal Works

I have always admired the Universal Works aesthetic for its combination of heritage and simplicity yet its ability to be distinctly dress casual. Men, more so than ever before, are looking for a versatility within their wardrobe with tran-seasonal and mutli-occasion pieces. This is very clear within this AW14 collection from the British label, as well as being incredibly well cut. Inspired by the British winter coastlines, mud flats and reed beds of Norfolk, this narrative informs the collections colour palette, with dark navy, greys , deep greens and burnt reds. 

Additionally, a universal mix of old and new, traditional and modern, stylish yet understated clothing harnesses the seasonal trends of unconstructed soft suiting with a fifties reference, military detailing and blue collar, artisan garments.The British story does not stop there as Harris Tweed, Yorkshire lambs wool, and Lancashire cotton are used in combination with an international flavour of Japanese denims. Another well honed and crafted collection from Universal Works and I am sure will once again prove very popular within stores.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


To be honest, I was a little surprised that John Varvatos didn't have his own eyewear line already however this pleasant surprise has not disappointed. With all the Rock 'n' Roll cues of the grungy, rugged brand has introduced a well styled collection where even the arms of the sunglasses feature a guitar head-stock. Both The Artisan (bottom right) and The Bowery (remaining three) collections stay to the core of the brands mission for well designed pieces using artistry and incredible materials. But even more exciting is the lead in of this premier collection is that London will receive its own John Varvatos eyewear store later next month. 

LA Diary: Original Paperbacks SS14

As the UK sees itself heading swiftly into Autumn, Southern Californian based brand Original Paperbacks is in full-swing with its Spring Summer 2014 offering. Yes, as I consider digging out a blanket to wrap myself in at night, the West-Coast is currently under drought conditions and enjoying a record summer. The brands name is a little misleading, owing itself to literature rather than fashion (the inspiration being the designers childhood shorts that's pockets were just big enough for a paperback book) but the family run brand has a history in the art of dyeing and washing which spans several decades.   

With dyeing bring both an art and a craft, Original Paperbacks have a a rugged and authentic, worn in look straight from the outset. This laid back, almost salt-washed or sun-bleached look is perfectly suited to that Californian cool look which is both a lifestyle and a trend. Under-designed by intent, these are my three favourite shots from the look book, with the blue striped vest standing out for its simplicity. 

Monday, 18 August 2014


It is particularly nice to receive very well made, tactile accessories - particularly when they are Made in England by Chapman. It is also a bonus when said accessories comes accompanied by Kendal Mint Cake and Grasmere Gingerbread - which are not included in these shots as they have already been eaten!

The company was founded by John Chapman as a manufacturer of fishing and shooting bag yet over the years Chapman has become well known for its authentically British made shoulder bags, luggage and accessories, including this stunning iPad case. Using rugged constructions and featuring natural materials of the highest quality everything is made in their Tannery Road factory in Carlisle, Cumbria. Knowing that area quite well, the region was well known for its rich industry of manufacture so it is great to see it continuing. 

With the cache of having to proudly use the Made in England badge, every Chapman bag is manufactured at the company’s factory in Carlisle, Cumbria, from where the company uses traditional hand crafted manufacturing techniques. This includes hand cutting all their bags from original patterns, hand machining and traditional saddlery work, 100% cotton webbing and real brass fixtures which is a very good mark of quality. This combination of traditional manufacturing techniques and high quality, natural materials of course shows a unique finish quite unlike mass produced items.

But the biggest news for Chapman is the launch of its new website, incorporating its new brand identity and logo. The new website is fully functional across PC, iPad and iPhone, and includes the ability to design and order a classic Chapman bag online using a wide range of materials and colours, enabling you to create a bespoke bag to their own specification. The site contains rich and varied content as well as new product photography, including styled and modelled sizing shots of each bag - which really helps choosing a bag, which is something many retailers miss. With video content which depicts the making of a classic Chapman fishing bag in the company’s Carlisle factory is just wonderful. Explore Chapman and enjoy.

Mohsin Ali x Dover Street Market

Ever the supporter of local brands in its respective locations around the world, it is great to see that Dover Street Market in London is now stocking renowned London-based designer Mohsin Ali. Though landing just one major stockist for AW14 seems not enough as Q-Men's has also bought this seasonal offering, which takes military influences into a sports-lifestyle proposition. 

Comprising of a dark palette, including a mix of black, charcoal and navy blues, yet offset with hints of white, the cut and silhouettes can be seen as the range focuses heavily on layering, notably the oversized structured T-shirt styled over button-up shirts. Lux elements of  of this collection include pieces with subtle fur detailing and the metallic grey fabric used for the jacket and T-shirt. Needless to say, I want it all. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Lacoste L!VE x #NewPerspective

Social media is so part of our daily lifestyle - much like a favourite fragrance - that the partnership between Lacoste L!VE and Urban instagrammer and digital creative director, Mr Whisper is a perfect fit. But why is this partnership occurring? Until the 24th of August, the Lacoste L!VE #NEWPERSPECTIVE competition invites everyone - yes, readers of LSoD included - to upload an everyday Instagram shot but shows off a unique perspective, much like my entry above. It's a shot of La Gornal Castalette in Spain, a wonderful fortress village near Sitges but focuses on the lake, rather than the Medieval buildings. To enter, you must tag your shot with the hashtag #NEWPERSPECTIVE and @LACOSTELIVE for a chance to win a global recognition and a once in a life time trip to Barcelona. 

To support this very exciting competition, it launched with two world-renowned global Instagrammers: Jared Chambers and Benjamin Heath, using their diverse, unique and creative Instagram photography to reveal an exciting #NEWPERSPECTIVE of one of the most photographed cities in the world - Barcelona.  Captured exclusively for LACOSTE L!VE, by director Luc Janin you can also see below the Mr Whisper How to video which tells you all you need to know about how to the best Instagram shots - and no, it doesn't include cats, grumpy or cute. If you are not aware of Mr Whisper, he is hailed by The Guardian newspaper in England as one of the Urban Instagram photographers to follow and listed in the top ten street photographers in the UK. 

As one of the guys says in the video, he would not go anywhere without the fragrance. But why? What is it like? I was sent a sample a short time back and it is a very unique fragrance, bursting with energy, creativity and a cool edge. The ingredients are expertly blended as the invigorating burst of lime hits first whilst the green leaves and aquatic notes are at the heart and accentuate the lime to bring vibrancy and freshness. Under this is a smoky warmth of Guaiac Wood and dark licorice that build the base notes of the fragrance. This is all contained in the very clean and modern shape bottle, With its minimalist aesthetic and contemporary colors, to reflect not only the brand of Lacoste but also the man wearing it.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of P&G Prestige via my wonderful agents Handpicked Future. 

Friday, 15 August 2014


The Rolex Daytona is a piece that is as classic as it is stylish however giving something such as this an up-lift in design can make it more desirable. Debuting on the 19th of August on M'oda 'Operandi, the online portal to pre-order looks straight from the runway and a curated selection of in-season designer trunk shows, is Bamford Watch Department who have launched their Resort 2015 collection. Void of the Rolex warranty but covered by the BWD assurance for two years,  the name is synonymous with innovative style and quality within time-piece customisation and the company is very proud to be the first company to personalise a range of steel sports watches. 

The business was started around 10 years ago and has been based around the personalisation of various iconic sports watches from some of the major brands in the watch world. For this season, BWD are proud to announce the latest way that they are pushing the boundaries of customization: their Super Matte finish. This non-reflective coating is another option to enable their clients to curate their own world and put their mark on their ultimate timepiece. Available on both grey and black coated watches, it offers the same level of scratch resistance to their signature military grade titanium coating. and can be featured on any Bamford Watch Department piece. Whilst many may recoil in the customisation of such an iconic time-piece, I think this is a great way to tap into the personalisation trend, with a company that knows its market inside and out. 

MHRS x Harvey Nichols

Nobody can accuse Knightsbridge mainstay Harvey Nichols as being a bastion of the old guard anymore, particularly with the introduction of the Japanese street label MHRS. Short for Mostly Heard, Rarely Seen, Harvey Nicks have dedicated a large space to designer Thomas Li, who has created a collection that reflects the Eastern street wear culture he grew up with with a heavy focus on design, quality and innovation. With the desire to excite the modern man looking for a twist on traditionalism, unusual and technical fabric combinations are used to encourage exploration of the collection through touch. There is a slight 1970s edge creeping through on a trend level but the real calling point of this collection is the cut and sew finishes and patchwork appliques that reference the traditional garment making skills combined with innovation at a superb styling level. With prices starting at £20, this not only affordable but highly wearable where the avant garde and commercial pieces collide. 

Bentley Fragrances x Lalique

I have a close friend who collects Lalique; from modern to vintage finds, she owns a wealth of the famed French, glass items - and this, I think, will be high on any collectors list. The collaboration between Bentley fragrances and Lalique continues with the Bentley Blue Crystal Edition presented in an frankly stunning, limited edition crystal fragrance flacon. The perfect square base is decorated with the distinctive Lalique for Bentley lettering, above which towers the legendary Bentley Flying B, with a pair of sweeping wings. If this is not a distinctive statement alone, the flacon is made from precious blue crystal, in which the light refracts in mysterious ways, creating sensuous reflections. 

Whilst it is easy to forget this is a fragrance bottle, Bentley have worked tirelessly to produce another distinct fragrance to mirror the quality of the piece. To fill the exclusive flacon with the right fragrance, an exquisite eau de parfum was composed at the long-established French fragrance house Robertet. Perfumer Mylène Alran, who also created the fragrance for the first edition, selected natural vetiver extract here to give the woody, spicy composition a charismatic character. The top note is stimulating, with pink peppercorns and juniper berries, accompanied by a hint of fresh pear. In the heart note, Haitian and Javanese vetiver unfold their concentrated power – extremely woody and invigorating. The base note includes essences of harmonious ambergris and musk, partnered with precious cedar wood and frankincense to round off the sensual experience. The price of such an exquisite part of grooming and self-appearance is £3,600 or $6,200 but will be limited to 499 pieces which will launch at the end of August. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Lyle & Scott x Jonathan Saunders

Having seen this first collection between Scottish knitwear brand Lyle & Scott and London designer Jonathan Saunders around about 6 months ago, it is great to announce it to you all. Finally landing at Liberty of London, Oki-Ni and Present this week - as well as online on their own website - I think the collaboration is an exciting, fresh approach for menswear. The traditional heritage of the Lyle & Scott pairs incredibly well with that of the vivacious and invigorating colours and details of Saunders. There is a great selection of pieces, for which you must check out the slip-on cup sole sneakers, which are very reasonably priced to give us all a heritage vs contemporary piece for the upcoming Autumn Winter season. To get a broader flavour of the collection, check out the video below.