Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Best Dressed...

This guy, Anthony Hagan, is a writer for The St. Louis Post in the USA and got photographed sooooo many times it was unreal.

I am putting him here as my best dressed - and possibly one of the cutest - guys at Menswear Day this season.

Over and Out.

London Fashion Week: Matthew Miller autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

As a relative newcomer to Fashion East, Matthew Miller definatly made an impression with me with his incredibly visionary, tailored collection.

Miller is a Royal College of Art graduate who has worked with some incredible labels and houses such as Umbro, Brioni and Thierry Mugler. His work with Brioni shines though I think in my snaps below with the tailoring that is sleek, refined and cut to perfection.

Millers work has been featured in Dazed and Confused, WAD and The Independent newspaper which displays his wide appeal and interest from different demographics of writers.

His collection here was a little disturbing with the opticians glasses - I always hated those demeaning glasses that make you look like a deranged professor, or a robot - but in a good way. Talking of robots, he had very naive, stitched robots on sweaters, and his pallet was strictly grey and white. The use of bow ties was a cute, and really on trend feature, with bib fronted shirts, which again, was bang on trend. Further down the body, the models wore grey brogue shoes and interestingly underneath the cropped trousers were coloured bands in neon pink, yellow, green etc.

Really looking forward to his next offering for spring/summer at London Fashion Week in September! This video is pretty awesome, so take some time to watch it - it premiered at his installation.

matthew miller A/W10 exhibition from alex johns on Vimeo.

London Fashion Week: Lou Dalton autumn/winter 2010/11

It was a shame that Lou Dalton did not show on the catwalk because her collection really deserves a catwalk. However, one great thing is that, unlike sitting on the second or third row, you can go and really look at the pieces.

Dalton has long been a favourite designer of mine, and here her Fashion East presentation last Wednesday at LFW Menswear Day reaffirms my love for the label.

I want/need this 8-buttoned, collared peacoat in navy-blue which look great with the Oxford boots. The tartan trousers are humorous, but on the right side of wearable, but, are not for me. However, I can really see them taking hold on the street's of London. I saw a lot of tartan through out the day, mostly in red, but it is one of the hottest looks of the forthcoming season.

This has to be one of the hottest accessories of the upcoming season; the backwards peaked school boy cap. It comes down low on the back of the neck in an almost dovetail shape. Again, I want one. I don't suit hats, but i really don't care. It is a great shade of deep blue, not quite midnight but not quite navy. Also, look at that jaw line - however thats something we can't buy in stores.

Also I really like the how the grey marl, knit jumper pops out from under the navy padded waistcoat - it almost looks like military piping on the shoulder. Teamed with navy trousers with half, pleated kilt detail it is really unusual, but great, to see this attached. I really like this detailing.
However, I remember the skirt-over-trouser trend that trickled down from Gucci and made its way to the high street and town markets, but lets hope this does not return for us boys. Or at all.

Another triumphant collection, I can't wait until it hits the stores.

Friday, 26 February 2010

H by Harris at LFW

They are, as H by Harris put it, 'men and women whose lifestyle is on the edge as they traverse with deft and skill though fast paced environments'. Or as I like to put it, godsends on wheels at the end of a phone. You will know them as couriers.

H By Harris have used couriers as the inspiration for their autumn/winter 2010 collection of 'The Co' bags, which features incredibly luxurious duffel bags in nappa and super soft hides, incorporating the 'H' diamond quilting.

The L - for laundry - range is simplistic yet voluminous with only one single detail; the handle. Made from nubuck and hide are incredibly tactile and impressively luxe - this really is high aesthetics as its best.

Ontop of this, is the H Jacket H = Biker which has been developed from previous seasons and is handcrafted and unique to any collection available. I want one, I know you do too...well, I want the whole lot. Incredible accessories from H By Harris, because from now, anything from the high street just won't cut it for me.

Toni And Guy at LFW

Toni and Guy have been one of the official sponsors for London Fashion Week for a number of years, but I only found the best kept secret down at the tents on Wednesday.

For, apparently, twice a year Toni and Guy provide a complimentary array of services, from cuts to eye-brow threading for members of the press.

I opted for a cut, as after three weeks my locks were getting a little unruly, and I saw James, a fantastic and talented stylist who is doing his artistic direction course. He is based in Wales but travelled up for the day. I actually noticed him in the line for the James Long/Christopher Shannon show because he had the most incredible hair.

His service was amazing, customer skills fantastic and skill pretty damn good - I wish him all the best for in his training. Lets just hope he is there next year for another great cut!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

London Fashion Week: Tailoring and MAN autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

Hardy Amies and Gieves and Hawkes -

It was a right Royal affair at legendary tailor Hardy Amies as Prince and Princess Michael of Kent sat at the famous house on Savile Row to view a sensible and genteel collection.
Both Hardy Amies and Gieves and Hawkes produced equally strong collections that featured slim single-breasted jackets, short slim trousers and the trusty and traditional double-breasted jacket, a suggestion that the houses can combine traditional style with the modern aesthetic.
Gieves and Hawkes most notable offering was a double, double breasted jacket which was layered using two jackets to create one ultra hefty ensemble. Positivity predictable, colour shades included dark plum, greys, black and navy. The tailor has a long history of outfitting the most notable, and fashionable, of gentleman and it seems that that legacy has extended into the coming season without dissapointment.
Hardy Amies, a stalwart favourite of the ultimate man about town, the house extended particular attention to style into the evening as dinner suits in midnight blue and black put the glamour back into Mayfair and a striking smoking jacket in plum velvet and black frogging proved that whilst smoking might not be politically correct, dressing like its 1910 definanatly is.


Supported by Topman and Fashion East, the MAN shows have produced some of the most varied and incredibly visionary designers in London.
Jaiden rVa James, a duo of imaginary height, produced a fiercly sexual, kinky S&M collection that featured gimp masks, leather trousers with buckle details, striking chaps, man skirts and dresses and the ultimate in male apparel; platform thigh boots. This might not be the future for male fashion for the coming season, but it is the future for a very tongue in cheek vision of what lies beneath sharp threats.
New Power Studio adopted the sportwear trend but with a chav twist as the 'ASBO Chic' collection featured tracksuit trousers with oversized donkey jackets. Like many of the designers on Menswear day, length and volume was a key influence in the NPS collection that will make icons such as Little Britain's Vicky Pollard her well deserved shining moment on both the street, and the high street alike.
The star of the MAN show was Katie Eary who used the vision of the urban warrior as her inspiration to produce as highly wearable and translatable collection. Trousers that used a plastic-like fabric gave a nod to the recyclable, and the 1990s staple, the parker was reinvented with oversized fur trimming. Again, back to the fun loving, party addicted trendsters of the 1990s in a city centre environment, acid toned colours in highly hallucinogenic patters took older members of the audience back to the good old days. Accessories included some very humorous, and highly coveted, velvet covered toy guns and cups.

Images courtesy of Getty Images.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London Fashion Week: James Long autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

James Long was the last of the Topman sponsored NEWGENMEN designers to show, and as they say, they save the best until last.

Entitled 'Boiler Room Boys' the collection oozed the deep, dark sexuality of bionic guys hanging around boiler rooms and dark corridors which took influence from the homoerotic photographer Bruce Labruce amongst others. However, it was the consistent footwear of Dr. Martens in this offering that gave this inspiration an extra kick.

Hard materials such as leather featured heavily in moody ink blue, detailed with textured stripes and mixed fabric leather bombers with a fur front and hood trim. Other outerwear included a frock coat - teamed with vibrant red leather waistcoat with ink blue trousers – and a mohair oversized long jacket.

Texture and size was the focal point for the collection, with corduroy and soft chunky kits teamed with baggy boiler suits that, as Long predicts, will gain cult status and become the seasons must have. Lengthened and voluminous coats and trousers gave a strong nod to this ideal.

Detailing, such as ribbons intertwined on the soft wool kit jumpers and the Ethan Cook collaborated print on t-shirts, bags, jackets and linings, gave the collection extra substance and style that will be another in-the-know detail to watch out for in the coming season.

Images courtesy of Getty Images.

London Fashion Week: J W Anderson autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

As the second of four of the Topman sponsored NEWGENMEN designers, J W Anderson produced a storming collection that seemingly had heavy punk and Rock 'a' Billy influences.

However, according to his show blurb, Jonathan Anderson did not take influence from history or cultural references, it was simply his friends, family and lovers. And what super cool people they must be.

One consistent feature in the show were belts around the neck, in shades of chocolate and black, and hearts on t-shirts and horn broaches, which may be a reference to his lovers. Non-the-less, it was a touch that seemed to perfect the looks entirely.

Red tartan featured heavily in Anderson's offering, with trousers, tasselled short coats and biker jackets being the main items to take note of. Other outerwear included oversized trenches and loop back jersey and camel cashmere fused to look like shearling.

Ripped slim legged jeans were intricately deconstructed, and the street-to-catwalk trend of rolled-up trousers were apparent, worn with studded hiking boots. To complete the 'highland fling' aesthetic, a series of camping bags and small packs, one packed full of flowers, were teamed with fisherman knits and cardigans – complete with a silk mesh covering – gave the image of warmth and romanticism that Anderson has taken inspiration from.

One last note has to be the impressive roster of models, which were featured within the press seating pack. Many were from well known agencies such as FM, Models 1 and Premier, a couple were street cast. However, J W Anderson gets double Fashion Week points for having male model du jour Jacob Coupe gracing his runway.

Images courtesy of Getty Images.

London Fashion Week: Christopher Shannon autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

There was a clear message that Shannon's latest offering was for Autumn/Winter as the collection oozed the image of pistes and Alpine sports in the snow.

Puffa coats and jump suits were the main garments in the collection, with shades of blue and stark white being the main garment pallet. Wool gloves, large pockets and neon pink, yellow cotton ankle warmers below rolled up trousers were the small yet powerful details that featured in this icy offering.

Textures such as soft wools and cashmere bounced well off the fleece back-packs – many emblazoned with his CS monogram, will no doubt be another of the in-the-know items that have been shining though this season. It seems subtly is the new conspicuous luxury.

Length and volume spoke out with Shannon as shirts with long tails and loud paisley print, tight cotton manty-hoes and long sleeved t-shirts captured the attention of the sleepiest of attendees.

Though how the oversized snowflakes painted onto the faces of the models will catch on is anybody's guess, but if this was a reference to temporary tattoos, then Shannon is bang on trend.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

London Fashion Week: Carolyn Massey autumn/winter 2010/11 collection

After an exciting five days of womenswear at London Fashion Week, it was the turn of the menswear designers on a wet Wednesday and it was Carolyn Massey who kicked off the proceedings.

The Topman sponsored NEWGENMEN designer – showing back-to-back with J W Anderson – showed a military inspired collection, which was down to an anonymous donation of mainly World War II patterns.

Tailoring featured heavily in the collection in various guises, as relaxed suit trousers in light charcoal were shown along side a very daring, tongue-in-cheek silver two-tone, all-in-one jump suit roused a few admirable laughs.

The military theme was apparent with grey, heavy wool coats and army-esque trenches in oatmeal were shown along side flight suits, and high waisted, skinny belted trousers. Footwear was exclusively oxford shoes and a smattering of brogue boots, both in black.

Some striking touches in Massey's work jumped out, such as front top pockets, subtle imprinted squares and striped detailing, as well as mesh tights and, perfectly on trend, large knitted scarfs wrapped around the neck.

But like all good things, they come in small packages, and it was the military star necklaces and earrings that will no doubt be one of the hottest, in-the-know items of the coming season.

Images courtesy of Getty Images.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Idol Radec Autumn/Winter 2010

Contemporary American Menswear has really captured my attention of late, as it seems to be breath of fresh air. One label is Idol Radec, which is founded in 1996 which aimed to portray classical American fashion from a modern Californian view.

The label combines at history of Hollywood glamour, western bravado, and the very cool Malibu surf movement and as you can probably see, it has subtle detail and a great design purpose.

A Different Shade of Blue: Conservative Party Creative Industries Event, London Fashion Week

With an election coming up in May, the Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown has been supporting the British Fashion Industry from the front rows of catwalk shows and on the arms of models and celebrities alike.

But at last nights Conservative Party Creative Industries Event, hosted by the Shadow Minster for Culture Ed Vaziey, it was the committed words from the party that really showed support, growth and sustainability for the industry.

The small but massively powerful event was attended by Alexandra Shulman; Editor of Vogue UK, Hilary Alexander; Fashion Director of the Telegraph newspaper, Nicholas Coleridge; MD of Condé Nast, Anya Hindmarch; handbag designer, and a host of figures from all arms of the media. Lastly, a suprise guest arrived, Samantha Cameron, wife of the Conservative leader, David Cameron.

Samantha Cameron speaking to Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

First to speak was Harold Tillman, the Chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC), who praised the efforts of the industry in these hard times and recognised the importance of the industry to the economy.

It was then the turn of Caroline Rush, the Chief Executive of BFC, who reminded everyone of the importance of the British Fashion Industry , and the imperative nature of the survival of it. "There are over 300 designers showcasing creative, innovative is here designers set trends, set asperations and inspire the demand for their innovative creativity"

She went on to say, with passion, that, "Without designers, there would be a weaker high street, weaker fashion publications. The second biggest employer in the UK after the public sector, is the fashion industry".

Further more, she continued, "Without the designers at London Fashion Week, this whole industry would faulter. And london and Britain would far different from the creative hub we all know".

She then set out what she wants from the Government, and in particular, as it stands, the future Conservative Government;

"Ensure on going support for London Fashion Week, three things on behalf of our designers (which is to) help with bussiness skills, manufactuing infastrucure, and access to finance".

After this, it was the turn of the Shadow Minster Ed Vaizey to show his support, and that of the party's. "A lot of people in different parties belive passionatly in the creative industries, and partically the power of fashion. And I hope if we win the election, we will support the fashion indstry in every way that we can".

He also praised the BFC and touched on the importance of the industry within politics, " What ever happens after the next ellection, the BFC is providing really fantastic future for the British Fashion Industry. I don't know what the election will bring in terms of election results, as non of us are complacnet at all. But I like to think that to a certain extent, the creative industries are a-political or cross party".

Ed Vaizey, Centre, with Anya Hindmarch, Right.

I was speaking with the Shadow Minister and he and his party are very committed, and passionate about the creative industries, and recognise their strength and importance to the UK. Plus, he is a very personable, funny man who enjoys his job, and it is that passion that ensures results.

Sitting on the front row with a bevvy of celebrity friends by your side is not the way to support the industry and ensure its future, it is doing what Ed Vaizey is doing and pushing for success.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Fashion Week Debate: Blackberry or iPhone?

There is the on going debate that has dogged phone users for some time now; BlackBerry or iPhone?

BlackBerry is the original smart phone that gave us email on the go, but the iPhone has caused a sensation with an overwhelming amount of applications, from learning the ABC to flight arrivals and departures. But during London Fashion Week, which one has come out on top?

In my veiw, it has to be the BlackBerry , and not only is it my choice, it is that of designer Henry Holland, PR's and journalists and even the British Fashion Council. You can't get more stylish than that!

For Henry Holland has launched a bespoke application (or app) to allow users to exclusively buy from the eight, yes eight, slogan t-shirts direct before their retail launch. What's more there is a limited edition series of back-plates embossed with the House of Holland slogans and a HoH theme that can be downloaded from the BlackBerry App World. Pheww!

Henry said, about the application: 'I have always been a huge fan of BlackBerry and love the fact that we are making fashion more accessible and immediate to consumers through our exclusive app. As fashion becomes increasingly digitally-focused it's extremely exciting to place House of Holland at the forefront of the revolution.'

But it is not only House of Holland that is utilising the popularity of the BlackBerry, as the London Fashion Week application has been a lifeline for the journalists, buyers and PR's once again this season.

BlackBerry users can access the schedule of shows and events from the App World, create their own personalised agenda of events, receive live updates when shows are running late - so that is quite often then - and access all live content.

But on of the most useful features is the ability to check all those small details that make or break an article, as the app gives designer information and bio's, along side news and photos. Plus, for those who are over-worked and under -played, it also gives recommendations on the best places to hang out in town such as clubs, restaurants and bars.

Now that is an application and a half! Now you can see why BlackBerry is the choice of fashionistas the world over.

Charley Speed joins Britain's Next Top Model

As Britain's Next Top Model kicks off again soon, a new name has been added to the judging panel; a well recognised face from the world of male-modelling. Charley Speed, who began his modelling career at 17, has graced the pages of many a fashion bible and starred along side Kate Moss for Calvin Klein. He was also a firm favorite for Balmain and Calvin Klein eyewear and apparel.

He won a major modelling competition when he was 16, and his waif-like image was the height of trend during his career in the late 1980s and 1990s. His looks and talent also took him down the catwalks of New York, Paris and Milan which lead him to be one of the most celebrated models of the decade.

He will be joined on the panel by model and business woman Elle Macpherson, designer Julian Macdonald and stylist Grace Woodward.

Quoted on Vogue; Charley has said, "I was really excited to be asked to join the panel of BNTM, having modelled internationally since the age of 17, I feel I have the experience to help the girls negotiate the pitfalls and pinnacles of what I consider to be one of the most exciting careers out there."

Images courtesy of Charley Speed.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Fashion Show Pecking Order...

After much debate already this year about bloggers vs magazine editors, The Wall Street Journal has produced this chart of the fashion row pecking order.

After sitting in various rows from first (Todd Lynn, Basso and Brooke) to second (Gareth Pugh) to third (House of Holland) and a few after that to standing, I know where I would be placed as a blogger. Standing. Or half way out the door, somewhere between the exit and the street.

I will not inflict you my views in paragraphs, but I do think us bloggers should not be taking precedence over magazine and online editors. But not as far back as WSJ suggest. Oh, well...I am very grateful for being in the venue so I guess anywhere with a view is good enough for me

H! by Henry Holland

Designer collaborations and ranges at high street stores are de rigeur now, opening up the opportunity for the public to own a piece of their favorite labels without breaking the bank.

Henry Holland, one of the UK's hottest and most popular designers has now launched a range of women's clothing and unisex accessories at Debenhams, under the H! By Henry Holland brand. The range is a colorful, youthful collection of items, and these pieces below are probably the best that are suited to us guys. It's very street, grungy and a a little bit more than cool...quirky with a great sense of humor. Henry is one of fashion's biggest jokers, and his lively personality shines though in these pieces.

Tan 'Quentin' Satchel

Silver Diamonte Skull Ring

Gold Colored Large Dice Necklace

Black and White Tie-Dye Scarf

Black and Purple Check Scarf

Purple Check Umbrella