In the long going quandary of wanting to get a tattoo or not, this fantastic collaboration between McQ and cult tattooist and commercial artist Fergadelic is positively swaying me. Creating two unique designs in both jersey and knitwear, the designs are deeply rooted in pop culture, comics and trashy 80s pop, these hand drawn designs show the signature handwriting - literally - and are in selected stockists and McQ stores now.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
He was a man of many a great word so matching up to Oscar Wilde in prose will be quite the challenge in this newly released Smythson of Bond Street diary. Released in a very timely fashion to mark the release of The Importance of Being Earnest at the Harold Pinter Theater in London, the quote from the same play on the lamb-skin cover is just wonderful and very Wilde. The navy blue leather is bound around Smythson's signature wafer thin, light blue paper which is iconic at the cover quote itself.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
HERMES 55CM BANDANAS
OK, they are strictly for the girls but these are my picks of the new Hermes 55cm little bandana squares which have just popped up online. Whilst it would be rude to say that the house has jumped on the western trend (Hermes do not follow seasonal trends) but the links between the Wild West and their own equestrian history is nicely incorporated into these designs. With 23 to choose from, the more traditional colours feature the more common-place paisley designs yet true to the houses' take on originality and innovative prints in others. Oh, and at £140 - they are entirely accessible as well as superbly fun.
Often web-based retailers promise luxury at a fraction of the cost yet often fail to deliver this proposition however, this is not the case with Oppermann which has fully launched online. Combining Swedish minimalism (the founders, Mattis and Niklas hail from the Nordics) and London style, this is a very exciting men’s leather goods brand that emerged from East London. As the brothers have continually searched for better quality, and have found it hugely frustrating with the increasing inefficiencies of the retail supply chain (this admission is some what brave yet entirely justified) Oppermann has chosen to adopt a new retail model - they will be come one of the first online-only luxury menswear brands to distribute exclusively through their own website.
However, this is not just their only selling point as they will - as I touched on before - be cutting out the middle-man so will be selling at a more attractive price point. So, how does this stand up? Take the Goswell, above; this would retail with a combined production and overhead cost of £520 yet is available for £156. With a twenty per cent saving, this is a very attractive price point and very reasonable for the product. Why? Each product is handmade in Naples, Italy, and every material and component has been sourced directly from some of the finest European manufacturers. The new Oppermann line Surfaces features tumbled leather from Tärnsjö Garveri in Sweden, trims of Italian vegetable tanned leather, and zippers from Raccagni in Italy. By embracing complete transparency, you can now discover the product journey by reading the stories of each of the manufacturing partners and have a new concept meaning when it comes to attainable luxury.
Friday, 22 August 2014
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
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
JOHN VARVATOS EYEWEAR
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.
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.
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.