Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Josh Beech

Oh my, isn't home-grown modèle du jour Josh Beech looking, well, heavenly? This studio shot campaign by photographer Michelangelo di Battista for Italian brand RA-RE portrays Beech as a religious apparition surrounded by divine energy. Blurring the boundary between London rocker-boy punk and Italian cool, the images perfectly portray the brand as a European label not to be taken lightly.

Oh Ricky You're So Fine...

Rick Owens mainline show at Paris Fashion Week was a visionary collection that stood out with its relaxed, futuristic silhouettes.
Now Owens has released these three preview images for his forthcoming DRKSHDW diffusion line, a monochrome lawless mix of denim cottons however a sure-fire success with its own identity,

Images courtesy of Rick Owens.

Callum Turner for Margaret Howell

Callum Turner is not only one of the hottest up-and-coming models in London, but the nicest. His distinct, boyish look is accentuated by his incredible personality. Here, he wears a selection of Margaret Howell's A/W09 collection where she has 'gone back to basics'. Classic staples such as v-neck sweaters, tweed blazers, flannel trousers and chunky knits in monochrome shades of charcoal and slate grays nods towards the private school days of the Fifties. Reminiscent of a time when garments had quality and resilience yet were smart and contemporary.

Images courtesy of Margaret Howell

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Browns Labels for Less Launches

Finding a bargain is such a fulfilling experience, so London boutique Browns has launched its sister-store Browns Labels for Less online. The e-retailer will feature one season old garments and accessories for men and women, just like its store on South Molten Street, London, W1, up to 70% off! Below are some of my favourite picks.

Dries Van Noten Cotton Printed Shorts - Was £220, Now £135

Alejandro Ingelmo Rivington Low Woven Leather Trainer - Was £540, Now £275

Techno Limit Engraved Link Bracelet - Was £130, Now £70 (LOVE THIS!)

License to Thrill

Milan based fashion group IT Holding, owners of Gianfranco Ferre, is to produce and distribute Galliano menswear and womenswear lines despite being in special administration. Sister unit Ittierre will distribute the labels leather goods along side brands Just Cavalli, Versace Jeans Couture Versace and C'n'C Costume National.

The distributor has signed a five year deal, starting with Galliano A/W09, therefore ending with the A/W14 collection.

Reports say that the company is looking for ways out of special administration, raising funds through any way possible. However, my previous post on Italian houses and labels (thus producers and distributors) bucking the trend during this recession by producing small, but crucial profits shows there is always an exception to the rule.

I Scream, We Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Whether it's a pair of baggy jeans or an cable-knit, chunky cardigan, we are all guilty of owning something Americana inspired.
Billionaire Boys Club/Ice cream has launched their A/W09 collection at Selfridges, London, with signature blazers, skate-style denim, graphic printed tees and shorts along with chunky knit cardigans at its core. I adore the chocolate with aqua-marine centre zip detail and the distressed sided jeans, both above.

The brands ideology; “wealth is of the heart and mind, not of the pocket" is a stark reminder to all of the basic rule of good style, 'it's not what or who you wear, it's how you wear it'. Manufactured in Japan, each garment is produced in very limited quantities reiterating the street-sound exclusivity of the brand.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Model Citizens

Jethro Lazenby Cave
Max Irons
Jesse Wood
Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld
Louis and Claude Simonon

Whilst the daughters of rock stars and celebrities have become infamous in their own right - often for all the wrong reasons - it's now the boys turn to storm to the fore.
Jethro Lazenby Cave, the son of Australian singer Nick Cave; Max Irons, the son of Jeremy Irons; Jesse Wood, son of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood; and Louis and Claude Simonon, sons of Clash bass player Paul Simonon have built up lucrative modeling careers. Whilst Lilly Allan and Pixie Geldof may be favored as 'brand ambassadors', it's the boys who are fronting campaigns and number-one walkers on the runways.

Cave, model favourite at Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons, Costume National and TopMan, was the toast of Paris and Milan for the A/W10 shows. Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, son of French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, was previously the face of high street favorite Mango, jeanswear Rock & Republic and designer Marc Jacobs. Irons has took-over the lucrative role at Mango, and Wood jumps in at Calvin Klein.

Burberry, the stalwart-turned-uber-cool British label, previously used the Ferry brothers (son's of Brian Ferry) and Sam Branson, son of entrepreneur Richard Branson. Their sleek, aspirational and glamourous campaigns since S/S08 shot by Mario Testino have used the hottest male models of the time, communicating to a new breed of client and capturing the hearts and wallets of the fashion pack.

Marvelous McQueen

I often get excited at new products, but rarely salivate at a digital image. But you can see why! This Christmas, Alexander McQueen launches a limited edition Britannia clutch reinvented in traditional festive colors and exotic skins. The pièce de résistance is the glaring gold skull clasp and an engraved Swarovski ornamentation engraved with the ultimate in fashion desirability 'Limited Edition'.
Is it suitable for guys? I think so. Judging by the bulkiness of my Comme des Garçons wallet, so long as it holds my phone, cash and cards I'm going to be queuing outside a McQueen boutique from November.

D&G A/W10 Jeans

After my post on Italian fashion houses doing well in the recession, I began to dig about and see what products stood out. After looking at the obvious accessories like belts, bags and shoes, D&G sent me their online range of jeans for A/W10. Starting at £180, I adore the crotch detail with cross-over button along with the quality of weave, making this a collection that stands out from the rest with quality and detail at its core.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Born by Ted Baker

Lets face it - whilst many over 30s are struggling to keep up with the rent, it's the kids who have money to spend. Ted Baker has tapped this valuable market with a new lower-priced diffusion line, Born by Ted Baker, priced 20% lower than his mainline.
Flannel shirts, quilted jackets and an array of garments, such as tee's; hoodies; shirts and outerwear, in technical fabrics will launch in stores across the UK on August 17th including my personal haven, Selfridges.

Reiss have also thought about getting down with the kids as they too will launch a diffusion line called Reiss 1971 on August 10th. Not sure what is special about the date, but surely it's target market were born well after that!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Presenting Pessenteiner

Florian Pessenteiner is one of the most prepossessing and emotive male models that has graced the pages of publications such as Vogue Homme Japan and Dazed and Confused. His flowing locks can be seen strutting around east-London's coolest clubs, and this latest shoot from Heritage magazine embodies the powerful image he dramatises on the runway and in print. The shoot, styled by Jane Black, is a nod to the classicism influence of the French Revolution and English Regency periods that emerged this season, as well as heavy eyebrows and smokey eyes - both seen at Chanel. Does it work on us boys? I think so!

photography and photographs courtesy of Boyd Alexander

Italian Luxury Consumption Stable

There has been talk of 'green shoots' in this economic recession over the last couple of months. Often referring to property, automotive and high street retail sales, very few have taken note of luxury good growth. Whilst most cut back on luxuries such as dining out, buying little indulgences at the supermarket and canceling gym memberships, many are investing. According to figures released yesterday, Italian luxury goods consumption is stable, an improvement in June from a negative May. There is further hope that sales will continue to rise through August. Houses and labels across Italy will be relieved to hear this news from Italian luxury good association Altagamma and expect sales to last until Christmas at least.

With Gucci continuing to produce some limited edition accessories, such as the London Bag, as well as increasingly conspicuous items of consumption, their sales under Frida Gianni have increased steadily. However, there has been much gossip in fashion circles that her refreshing rule after a regime from Tom Ford has made the house more accessible.

Many houses, such as Louis Vuitton, have increased their retail prices by as much as 10% which has, springily, helped increase revenue in the past quarter. With consumers intelligently purchasing investment or classic pieces, figures from many a house suggest that conspicuous displays of wealth are being shunned by followers.

Prada (along with Mui Mui), Versace and Dolce and Gabbana have also seen promising rises since May, yet have not followed the French in discreet branding. Could this be two fingers up to the recession? There has no bigger gap between dream and luxury, reality and the ordinary until now, but with news such as this, it's wham, glam gracia ma'am for the consumer and retailer alike.

Alex and Chloe for Human Rights Campaign

The necklace features a laser cut black acrylic “painted heart” pendant with the signature Alex & Chloe logo and a classic silver mirror acrylic HRC logo charm on an antique brass extender chain that can be worn from 22” to 26” inches in length. Comes beautifully packaged in a handsome black 100% recycled Alex & Chloe gift box.

The 100% cotton tee features a “painted heart” on the front center chest and an HRC logo on the back bottom left. $59

The absolutely incredible organisation, HRC, has launched two products in collaboration with chic Los Angeles designers Alex & Chloe. Available world wide, the heart tee and painted heart necklace celebrate the 'universal power of love and raise awareness of the LGBT community and its equality'.
The charity is one of the few in the world to solely focus on the human rights of minorities, primarily the LGBT community yet are one of the least know outside of the States. A range of products, including collaborations with Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole, are exclusively available from the HRC store

Men.Style to Close

After some serious cost cutting around the world, publisher Condé Nast is to close - the company's only web exclusive men focused brand.
In an apparent 'rethink' of the publishing house, CEO Chuck Townsend warned that the company must “realign to be a successful business in an emerging economy that is now predicted to be painfully slow in recovering”.
According to internal figures, the site saw 1.7 million unique visitors last month - up 50% on the same time last year but as decided to keep, along with most of its staff, and redirect any traffic to there.
With so few mens style official portals of reference, this is a devastating loss for everyone from journalists to students who rely on the site for reference and information, aspiration and inspiration.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


A news snippet featured today in a national newspaper reports that a looky-likey Balmain dress, as worn by Kate Moss, from Asda has sold out in two hours. The £14, 67% viscose, 29% metal-effect fibre and 4% elastane English made dress, is identical to the £8,000 Balmain couture cropped dress with accentuated sleeve detail - if not a little less shinny.
None-the-less, it again raises the question of the future survival of couture houses and the extent of how high-street stores continue to undermine those that support them. For example, would Topman be as successful if Hedi Slimane had not celebrated the androgynous and skinny look, or would Zara not be where it is today without Tom Ford putting cowboys on the runway whilst he was at Gucci?
It may sound bizarre, but I remember the good old days when pret-a-porter was that, and had to wait months to get a look copied from Milan. Yes, it is some what of a public service for retailers to give those less inspired than other's the opportunity to look good in between the milk aisle and the checkout. Yes, we would not have a thriving fashion industry within the UK with out a bit of creative license, but replicating a look that undermines an already frail industry is not healthy for us all.

Postage Paid

As global retailers up-the-ante to provide a higher quality of product and desirability, many are turning to custom made and limited edition garments and accessories. Queen of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood is releasing 300 limited edition postage stamp pendants to celebrate her world wide outlets. Each individually designed, and number stamped, with graphics and text to depict 'London to Milan, Hong-Kong to Seoul', this unique item communicates her dedication to other cultures that are devoted to her brand.
There is no cost detail at the moment, but how can you put a price on exclusivity, individuality and aesthetic? Well, you can't but you can put it on the Amex.

images courtesy of dazed digital.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Timberland Custom

I have noticed a surge of deck-shoes in a rainbow of shades from many brands including Timberland. Now, over at timberland you can custom design a pair. The guys over at Nike kindly allowed me to design my own sneakers at the launch a few seasons ago, and I had a Ralph Lauren polo done at Selfridges two years ago at the Oxford Street store. Not cheap at £80 a pair but they have an such an array of styles and colours thats defiantly not going to disappoint.

Kokon to Zai

I have long been a fan and avid wearer of the amazing garb of labels KTZ and Marjan Pejoski from Soho boutique, Kokon to Zai. Their S/S09 sample sale runs from July 21st - 24th at the Greek Street store in Soho, London, W1, and will also include some bits from the A/W08 collection too.
KTZ and Marjan Pejoski have created some eclectic pieces ranging from Nu Rave, oversized tee's to crystal embroidered, off the shoulder shirts - worn by east-London kids and scenester 'celebs alike. With up to 70% off, I really can't resist!