Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Emilia Burano x Aston Martin

I have not often featured home furnishings, yet this unique design is from Emilia Burano for Aston Martin. As a huge fan of all things Aston Martin, this partnership with the Venetian textile company, known all over the world for its refined product range, will present several new high quality, authentically designed fabric collections at the next edition of the prestigious Maison&Objet lifestyle trade show in Paris in September. 

The Paris exhibition is the first project between Emilia Burano and Aston Martin, a collaboration between two luxury and craftsmanship-led success stories. In the materials to be showcased at the event the tradition of Emilia Burano designer Lorenzo Ammendola, who creates opulent home collections in a modern version of Burano lace, meets the finesse and elegant design of Aston Martin.

The Aston Martin Collection consists of five refined selections to complement bedroom, dining room, bathroom and spa – all sharing the same characteristics of quality and high luxury.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Manchester Pride Photo Diary

This weekend saw LSoD heading up to Manchester for the 25th Manchester Pride, known as The Big Weekend. On Saturday, events kicked off with the traditional parade, with everyone from the armed forces, services, Coronation Street actors and The Scouts taking part - fronted by Parade Master Sir Ian McKellen. From there, I bumped into old friends, made new ones, saw my former boss Jodie Harsh DJ, admired the various Gay Village murals, met The Queen (sort of) and was even asked to join The Manchester Village Spartans RUFC. What a weekend, which raises thousands of pounds for local LGBT charities, one that I look forward to repeating next year. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

It may not be the official biggest but Manchester Pride - known as the Big Weekend since 2003 - is recognised at the UK's Leading Pride Event. Having been away for other Pride's this year, I have not been to Manchesters' for over a decade, so I thought a visit was in order. The festival in August - over the Bank Holiday weekend - attracts visitors from across the world and is a staple event in the tourism calendar for Manchester, with the charity winning over ten awards, both in the UK and internationally. 

What's more, Manchester is home to some of the best menswear boutiques in the UK, plus world class culture, a seriously good food and lifestyle scene as well as a friendly, warm and welcoming attitude. 

The charity has been raising money for LGBT and HIV projects in the region and since 2003, has raised and distributed over £1.2million. After staging the various events, any profit is allocated directly to the Manchester Pride Community Fund. If you make a donation online, via one of the charity buckets or any event specifically raising money for the Manchester Pride Community Fund, your money will go directly to the projects that we support.

There are three elements to the fund:

Free Condom and Lube Packs: 25% of the money distributed annually will go to support the free condom scheme with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. You may have seen the free packs around in Manchester, a whopping 600,000 packs are distributed annually.

HIV Welfare Fund: 25% of the money distributed annually will go to support the HIV Welfare Fund with George House Trust. The fund provides vital financial support for those living with HIV suffering financial hardship.

Community Grants: The remainder of the money raised is distributed via our various community grants schemes, this supports LGBT and HIV projects in the region for groups of all sizes. Applications open annually in the Winter. Many of the groups that we support receive no other funding from any other sources.

It's not too late to support the event or attend, so head here to read more about Manchester Pride. See you there! 

Heineken x SPECTRE Campaign

Photographed by Rankin James Bond ::ahem, Daniel Craig:: fronts the new Heineken campaign for the upcoming Bond film, SPECTRE. Ahead of Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s release this autumn, the latest partnership with the Dutch brewer takes the form of an exciting digital campaign that invites fans into the legendary world of James Bond via access to exclusive behind-the-scenes SPECTRE content, classic Bond films to download, a ground-breaking social campaign, in-store promotions and various other engaging content bits that are relevant where ever you are in the world. 

The campaign builds on a 17 year partnership between Heineken and the Bond franchise that spans seven Bond films, from Tomorrow Never Dies to SPECTRE that is set to be as exciting as the films themselves. It doesn't stop there as what's more, a new TV commercial will be released in the autumn that has an unexpected twist (this really is getting good now) that links to a series of special edition, collectible Bond-themed packs - available in retail stores from September - with each offering fans a chance to open 007’s world with never-before-seen official film content by scanning the code on the pack.

You may not be able to have a Heineken shaken or stirred but like the revenge Bond will embark on in the film, it is best served cold. 

Farah AW15

We are closing in on the last Bank Holiday of the year before Christmas and it is almost September so naturally, it's time to start featuring Autumn. With checks, rich berry and navy shades, quilting and knits plus a smattering of flannel, the Farah AW15 collection is really as warming as it looks. Entitled Tribal Gathering, it is a collection inspired by men in their search for belonging, community and modern ritual. Smart silhouettes are softened with a collage of reworked sportswear inspired pieces
relaxed menswear collection. 

Innovative functional fabrics inject modernity into the collection's hints of nostalgia whilst working closely with leading mills, cloths have been beautifully engineered to create wholly unique products; from modern wool checks and plain twill wools through to PU coated technical nylons and textured wax finish cotton polyester. Functional outerwear classics are modernised through manufacture, construction and fabrication whilst knitwear yarns form light gauzy micro patterns or multi-ply, chunky, luxurious textures.

Shirts prints take their creative lead from Mysticism, mythology and folk inspired art - creating in an interesting story whilst smartened-up staples, ranging from crisp modern Oxfords and poplins to check flannels and textured overshirts complete the wardrobe essentials mix  which pair perfectly with sophisticated suiting that offers a mixture of textures and softer materials in lightly structured silhouettes.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Idle Man x Herschel

As the monochrome trend takes hold, combined with the greater cultural shift for casualwear and pieces this Herschel x The Idle Man collaboration ticks all the right boxes. Launched today, the etailer collaboration features the 4 piece collection that comprises a weekend bag, backpack, bucket hat and document holder with prices starting from £20. Whether you are returning to work, college or the gym, the backpack is the highlight of the collection - and the menswear season.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mulberry AW15

Mulberry has, to be very honest, been a bit quiet of late particularly in the period between Emma Hill leaving as Creative Director and the appointment of Johnny Coca. Whilst I am not sure that Coca has been involved under this Dazzle Camouflage collection, which has been incorporated into the Multitasker backpack, for AW15 Men's the collection shows direction and confidence - and desirability. I think each piece is perfect. 

Dazzle Camouflage was originally designed during World War I as battleship camouflage, it consists of complex geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other. Mulberry have taken this iconic British military pattern and used it on printed leather and woven into canvas, with a focus onto the Multitasker backpack - a piece based on the principles of versatility and functionality. 

The Multitasker Backpack has been designed with the urban man in mind, he who needs a bag that can switch easily from cycling to meeting. This new style can be worn four different ways: as a backpack, over the shoulder, across the body or carried by hand. The Multitasker handles have been constructed in such a way as to ‘disappear’ flat against the bag when not in use, making the bag truly wearable when switched from shoulder to backpack and vice versa.

After checking out the website today, the collection is live and ready to go, so explore here

Tudor Fastrider Chronograph

As the proud owner of a vintage Tudor watch, I am a huge fan of the reinvention of the brand, which includes this; the Tudor Fastrider collection. Taking inspiration from Ducati motorcycles - as well as the great outdoors, freedom and adventure -  this is the most recent watchmaking manifestation of Tudor's partnership with the legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer. With each of the watch-face colours matching three of the scrambler bikes, with yellow being the most iconic. The application of the motorcycle aesthetic does not end with the middle case of this new Tudor model as one of the two bracelets available with the Fastrider chronograph is an interpretation of typical leather saddles with gadroons, offering an additional sporty effect. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Levi's Skateboarding Collection

The 2015 Levi’s Skateboarding Spring and Fall Collections pay tribute to the brand’s hometown roots. Spring ’15 was inspired by a small group of 1930s working class heroes who helped build the Golden Gate Bridge, known as the “Half Way To Hell Club.” 

One year later, seven miles into the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz became a fully operational federal penitentiary, and this famed landmark became the inspiration for the new Fall ’15 Levi’s Skateboarding Collection. However, fast forward to 1988 as skateboarding photographer, Bryce Kanights, and legendary skateboarder Mark Gonzales hop a ferry boat over to the island where they capture one of the most iconic skateboarding images of all time - Gonzales in full prison stripes slashing atop a vert wall in the prison’s courtyard.

From that initial inspiration of Bryce’s photo, the Levi’s Skateboarding design team dug into the famous Levi’s archives to take nods from workwear styles of the ‘30s and ‘40s eras on ‘The Rock’. Highlights from the Collection include the Work Pant, a skateboarding favorite released seasonally in new colors, along with the Quilted Mason Shirt, the Lined Chorecoat, Reform Shirt, and the 2-Pack Tees. The Quilted Mason Shirt is a dual-lined heavy weight button-up akin to what a prisoner would have worn outside in the yard to combat San Francisco’s foggy days. Watch this excellent film and explore the collection over at Levi's here.

10 Men x Lucky Blue Smith

He's the model of the moment in menswear and the success of Lucky Blue smith shows no sign of slowing. Here, Lucky Blue Smith is photographed by Magnus Unnar and styled by Garth Spencer, mostly in Coach, for the Fall/Winter 2015 coverstory of 10 Men magazine.  

Monday, 17 August 2015

CIFF Copenhagen

Well, the traditional fashion capitals should be looking over one shoulder as CIFF’s SS16 fashion fair was successfully completed last week with record visitor numbers. As a visitor for a couple of years, CIFF - as well as Raven Projects - just keeps on getting better and better. 

In a spectacular sunny setting in beautiful Copenhagen, and the feedback from buyers, press and exhibitors has been positive all around. After a thorough review of the visitor numbers, CIFF can proudly announce a positive result of an 8% increase in unique visitors compared to last year. This is significant considering the SS16 fair ran 3 days, compared to the previous 4 days last year.

This growth has resulted in 74% increase in international visitors. Most notably there were 3 times more buyers from Japan, 77% more buyers from Germany and 54% more buyers from the UK attending CIFF this season, compared to last year.

Whilst CIFF has rapidly increased the number of international visitors, there has also been a 22% increase of Scandinavian visitors. This figure comes mostly from an increased attendance from Sweden and Norway.

“This is exactly what we aimed for, by moving the dates and shortening the length of the fair we were able to attract a higher number of international visitors. Contrary to peoples fear that this would hurt the numbers of Scandinavian buyers we have not only maintained our strong Scandinavian visitor base, but actually increased the number of these buyers. These buyers are coming from stores with the biggest buying power and who represent the future of the Scandinavian fashion industry. How have we managed this? Because we focus first and foremost on business, on being professional and delivering the most innovative and elevated fair possible. It’s only with this mindset and our global community that we can ensure constant growth.”- Kristian W. Andersen, Fashion and Design Director, CIFF

The SS16 fair was no less than CIFF’s 45th edition showcasing the most relevant & current brands at the moment. Proving once again CIFF’s ability to innovate and elevate. An observation, which was made by many of the high profile buyers, press and brands at the fair, who also highlight CIFF’s organization, brand portfolio, build-up, atmosphere, execution and more.

Tag Heuer x Goldsmiths

This could fast become the most addictive game on the Internet this year, as Tag Heuer watches are teaming up with Goldsmiths in Test Your Reflexes - to win a £150 Goldsmiths gift voucher. What's more, you can also win via LSoD - details below. Since 1860, the famed time piece maker has spent time perfecting time, but has never once cracked under pressure. 

Will you? I have been known to wobble under pressure but never crack (although heights are very testing) yet I scored a lowly 25 points at my desk, which I can say is quite shocking. With a history of supplying the automotive and aeronautical industry with time pieces, they have supplied those with nerves of steel in the rally racing sports arena. Even having supplied to the astro-physics industry, could you keep calm on a walk into space? 

To enter the LSoD competition: all you have to do is log into Rafflecopter with either your Facebook account or your name and email address. Once logged in, you can increase your chances of winning the giveaway by:

Subscribing to the Goldsmiths mailing list.
Playing the game on the Goldsmiths site and submitting their highest score.
Tweeting a message about the game.
Following Goldsmiths on Twitter
Following Last Style of Defence on Twitter

You can find it here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the chance to win an additional £150 voucher, you can enter a separate giveaway on the Goldsmiths site. Play the game and submit your email address to enter. Good luck ENTER HERE

This post is supported by Goldsmiths and the competition finishes at 23.59 on September 18th 2015.