Monday, 1 September 2014

Tomorrowland x Mr Porter

Having launched in the UK exclusively at Mr Porter this week (as well as Mr Porter USA, Selfridges London and Barneys New York) TOMORROWLAND has got a few fashion tongues wagging - which is not hard to see why. The brand was introduced by Mr. Sasaki in 1978, and since its launch, the brand has grown into a firm which now plans, manufactures and sells its own apparel and accessories brands in Japan. Though not to be accused of being a one-sided brand, it has partnered with Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, James Perse and Umit Benan among others. 

The brand utilises high quality materials from Europe and Japan yet creates its own fabrics and unique textures by using traditional production methods, such as Kiryu Orimono, a homespun tweed technique. For its latest men’s collection, TOMORROWLAND was inspired by classic British style, combined with cutting-edge materials and treatments only available in Japan - and is making TOMORROWLAND stand out quickly in the ever growing menswear market.

Transitions Optical

I do find Transitions Optical very clever, reacting to the light and dark to give you more comfortable vision and eye protection. However, in the past they have been placed onto styles more associated with the NHS rather than disable eyewear brands - yet this has changed dramatically. Lately partnering with Eye Respect Eyewear, the brand is designed by hand in England and manufactured by hand in Italy. All designs are conceived in London in the artisinal way, and then head to the region of Veneto in Northern Italy to a family–owned workshop that has been producing the finest acetate frames for 50 years. Each frame goes through more than 60 crafted stages to achieve the style and quality that the brand respects, represents and embraces. 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

McQ x Fergadelic Collaboration AW14

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. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Smythson of Bond Street

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 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. 

Oppermann AW14

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 in traditional retail stores cost around £520 with combined production costs and store markups, yet is available at Oppermann for £195. With an additional 20% pre-order discount, the product is now available for £156. This is a very attractive price point and a very reasonable for the 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

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.