Thursday, 30 September 2010

Gosha Rubchinskiy x Dover Street Market

No I don't understand what it says either, but I can assure you it reads Gosha Rubchinskiy in Russian. For it is the name of Dover Street Market's exclusive new stockist as this will be his only concession outside of Russia. 

Born in 1984, Gosha graduated from art school and then from the College of Tech and Design, where after he worked as a stylist for magazines, fashion shows and movies as well as with various designers. But it was only two years ago that he launched his first collection of menswear, and the image below is from his current Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, which appears to be a confederate sporty inspired arrangement. 

Further more, for his first stockist outside of the Russia, Gosha has reproduced a selection of bestsellers from his previous collections, along with the afore mentioned season. 

Braille SS11 x London Fashion Week

Braille SS11 COLT from Samuel Kientsch

In an attempt to grab peoples attention and keep them entertained between shows and events, Braille founder Sam Kientsch sent a mobile cinema around to the hottest hosting venues. I remember seeing it on a couple of occasions but had no idea what it was! However, after finding out what the story behind it was, I have fallen for the Braille Spring/Summer 2011 collection. 

Further more, the film also was a celebration of the launch of the e-store tomorrow, October 1st which can be found here


The collection is entitled Colt, which professes to be a celebration of freedom, speed and optimism, and takes its inspiration from the landscapes of the Agua Caliente Canyon of Palm Springs, California. 
The quality of the Irish linen blazer with pleats stands out as a strong message towards this focus, as does the back seamed trousers in the same fabric which sculpts the body flatteringly collectively. 

This modern wardrobe with a strong yet refined and delicate reputation mixes a number of fabrics such as cotton voile, as used in the shirts, luminescent tweed which is incorporated in a revisable cycling jacket - perhaps a sign of the eco-times the urban man lives in - and waxed cotton for which the poncho is made. 

There is a return from last season in some popular pieces, specifically a contrast blazer, the classic straight legged jeans as well as the afore mentioned poncho. And like most collections for Spring/Summer 2011 the pallet is clean, simple and monochrome with a hint of geometric print and striping. 



Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Peanuts Celebrates 60th Anniversary at Dover Street Market

Snoopy and the Peanuts crew turns 60 this year and to celebrate, achingly cool Dover Street Market is retailing some specially designed products to mark the event, as well as hosting the exclusive window below. 

Charles M Schulz's comic debuted his characterized pet Beagle on October 4th 1950 and Snoopy has continued well into the 21st century, probably making him the oldest dog in the world.

Further more, there is no other fitting, and stylish, way in which to celebrate as Lacoste (with polo shirts featuring the logo above), Converse, Hysteric Glamour, Loopwheeler, Original Fake, Mulberry (who are producing a sUper limited edition illustrated Bayswater available from next month), be@rbrick and my favorite, the Longchamp tote.

Topman Denim Trailers SS10

I blogged about the Lawrence Ellis films for Topman Denim, here, a little while ago now, and here is the first view of what's to come on October 4th. These trailers focus on the three guys, Louis, Henry and Sid as well as a collective. I can not wait for the full release next week as this is the first time Topman have ever done this.

LSoD Chats to Marc Jacobs Photographer Brian Bowen Smith

Last week, during London Fashion Week I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Brian Bowen Smith (above) a renowned photographer based in Los Angeles. Bowen Smith has just finished his latest project with Marc Jacobs, a 300 page book entitled 'The Men and Women of Marc Jacobs' which documents the hottest employees in the company from around the world. 

LSoD: Did you have a good trip?

Brian: It was like a mad house, so no, it was nuts.

How long are you in London for?

Until tomorrow, then off to Stockholm, Madrid, Paris, back home to Los Angeles, then Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam. I'm going to soak it all up and have a big sleep, hibernate almost, after that but you get acclimated to it.

How did you come to do the book?

I do celebrity portraiture, and I just go to the stores, particularly in LA and I would say to the guys, “You look so cool today, you look amazing – come with me”, So I got them to go against a white wall at the back of the store and just shot it. I knew it would be a cool, great photo which I don't get to do. So I did more, and then went on a trip to Savannah, Georgia where I spend Christmas and New Years with Robert Duffy (Marc Jacobs President) every year and showed him these pictures and said to him, “Look at these pictures of your employees, they are f******g amazing, how do you do it?” And it was he who suggested we do a book, so I tagged along around the world two or three times and just started shooting – just like that. I would say to someone, “I love your look” or, “Throw that dress on” then, “Come with me”, but they would be helping someone and I would wait until they were done and that was it.

 I have to say that Marc Jacobs staff are hot, would you say that is an integral part of the business, like Abercrombie and Fitch?

I think the difference is that they are all hot, unique and very creative. But them as people, they are inspiring, they work their asses off and they are devoted to this company. Devoted. If they are told to work all night long to get the store done, they are not questioning it and that combination is unheard of.

They live the brand?

Yes, they live the brand. They look at it as an opportunity to do better in life, not like where you work at The GAP because you need a job. They all have aspirations and they are all creative, even if you want to be a rock star your going to meet a lot more musicians where you can swap and share ideas and experiences.

There is a guy in the book who must be a model, how do you think he differs from a guy from A&F?

The thing with Abercrombie and Fitch is that you could pick one of those guys or girls up from anywhere, but with Marc Jacobs you have diversity. You have a black girl, a Chinese girl, an American girl who can be a model, a singer, an actress and I think the depth of those people are far greater. At Ambercrombie and Fitch you got to be good looking and have some abs, I like that a Marc Jacobs person you would walk by the store and think, “That guy is cool as s**t”.

Where do you think you found the best models?

Every store had something great to offer, it was amazing but it wasn't a case of saying, “Oh, she is beautiful”, it's better as it was about the photo. Everyone is not beautiful but it was what they bought to the table. There was one girl who kept saying to me she wasn't beautiful but I told her she was gorgeous, but I wasn't there to tell her other wise but just to get the photo and judge after. I know what I'm going to get from it, but afterwards she was blown away.

I have been to many a store and found most of the staff incredible with a laid back attitude, do you think that is a common factor?

It's like that all over the world – Russia, same thing. Copenhagen, same thing. That vibe you describe, you get that everywhere. Each store has all the same people, but just different which is amazing.

Would you say they are hired on that basis?

No, you get hired because you are right for the job because you are interesting, can talk to people, be a good sales person and you're going to want to be there. And the truth is, for me as a photographer that is important.

I have always had a good laugh with the staff at this store and the stores in New York, do you find the same?

Yes, every store you go to I have found the staff super approachable, but at what other store can you walk in and tell them your a photographer, working with Robert and Marc, and tell them you are doing a book. Each store is the same, like in this store I asked a guy to pull his pants down and sit on a toilet and he did it unfazed.

Has this been one of the most exciting projects of your career?

This is the best project I have ever done in my life and I find it hard to believe I am going to find a better one and this raises the bar not just for me but no doubt for other people. It's so hard to come up with an idea no one has ever done but I have never seen a book on employees done like this, I never have. Ever. And I hope that it does exist but to come up with something new like that was very exciting. I could do a bunch of nudes of celebrities or models but that's done a billion times.

I have a couple of the Dolce and Gabbana Calcio books of the Italian football team but it's nothing like this book, why is that?

It's different because it's all laid out also it's all done with lights professionally, but this is done just around the back of a store or in a field. Theirs is done the proper way which I love to do, which I do for my living but this was fun because you said, “Dude, just stand up there and this is going to be fun as we might get in trouble for running inside someone's back yard”, and if they came out we would run which was exciting and we would jump in the car like teenagers smoking cigarettes. It really was brilliant.

'The Men and Women of Marc Jacobs' is self published in a limited run, and is available now from Marc Jacobs stores worldwide. Images courtesy of Marc Jacobs. 

LA Diary: MTV's The Buried Life Premier Party

In his second post as Last Style of Defense's LA writer, Robert Boyer shows what it's like at a Hollywood party, and it seems even at 5500 miles from London the scene could not be farther away from ours. 

If you are bored in Los Angeles, then you are not there. Events in LA occur every night pretty much all year round and in Hollywood there are screenings, previews, openings and premiers. This occassion was the season premier of MTV's The Buried Life, a reality show in which four friends, below, travel across North America in a purple bus to complete '100 things to do before you die'. 

Hosted at the W Hotel group residence of Drais, an incredible space where we were crowded around the roof pool, which reminds many of an Asian villa, draped in muslin with palm tree's and lit by candle light. The show first aired in January 2010 and has received acclaim from VH1 and MTV, though whilst the topic is quite sentimental, the content is often comical with them trying to sneak into the Playboy mansion, crash a film premier , deliver a baby, play basketball with President Obama. Furthermore, after each of their plans, they help a stranger achieve theirs such as reunite a group of old friends, help a man blinded by an accident relive his childhood past time and reunite an adopted man with his birth father.  

Whilst launch events in London are, so I'm told, very riotous and more like disco's than parties, in LA they are quite quiet in comparison, with the hum of conversation above that of the music, not the other way around. And whilst the drinks flow, very few people wake up worse-for-ware and there are never queues that the bar. Why? Because we have table service and waitresses. Launch events in London sound vivacious and as exciting as the products they promote, but how many roof top pools are there in the middle of the city? 

Pics courtesy of Guest of a Guest

LA Diary: The Same Guy, Marc Jacobs, Fred Segal

In Robert Boyers' premier post on the Los Angeles fashion and lifestyle scene, he explores what LA's Fashion Night Out had to offer, and returned to take a closer look at The Same Guy, Marc Jacobs and Fred Segal. 

Fashion's Night Out, the Global event organized by Vogue magazine celebrating all things retail, was as popular in Los Angeles as it was in London, New York and Paris. Hundreds of stores - on and off the official schedule - from the exclusive and infamous Rodeo Drive, the achingly cool Melrose and Robertson Boulevards to WeHo (West Hollywood) and Santa Monica participated with a party of drinks and DJ's.

Marc Jacobs and Fred Seagal are two of the most popular stores in the city, not only because they are renowned names in California they also gather the hottest customers around. Neither are frequented by celebrities, for which Hollywood was founded on, but by those who define what California is all about; relaxed, creative, savvy and just pretty damn fine.

The Same Guy on Melrose Avenue is a relatively new store to LA, having come from New York via San Francisco, who's apparel is simple and relaxed. More over it is better priced than American Apparel who are rumored to be in severe in financial trouble. The exposed brick walls combined with the wood panelling gives a very rugged, masculine feel to the store.  I consider the basic yet vibrant colors of the apparel a winning characteristic of the area, plus the store sits well on Melrose.

Further down Melrose Avenue is Marc Jacobs, which like many other of his stores are a treasure trove of clothing, accessories, books. I just adore the photo below of the rain boots regimentally lined up like a formal rainbow above the coordinated sweaters beneath them. There is always something that can be lusted over such as the tartan scarf and the very on trend sunglasses, and the cobalt blue or black sneakers. 

Tartan, a trend that has swept the USA like a bush fire in the Hills, is represented with this jacket that stood out as not only an on-trend item for Autumn/Winter 2010. The wool jacket is also as an essential item for my wardrobe as well as anyone else embracing the trend on any level. 

Marc Jacobs has a library of books and magazines, from photography, homoerotica, fashion, interiors and the odd book that has no place in an apparel store. However, I took these shots to show how they fit perfectly between the shoes, accessories and collectively on their own. Jacobs has famously expanded his lines to all sorts of products, such as DVDs, music and utility wear. You can see his influence of this at Louis Vuitton stores as  many of them now have a book store too.

How Californian! A surf board that has no place in a store in the middle of the city, but it just feels right placed here.

I found these two pieces, a cotton short sleeved, crew neck t-shirt and a crushed mohair long sleeved sweater, which I would personally wear because of their relaxed yet stylistic aesthetic. It's all about not trying to hard and Marc Jacobs targets this ideology perfectly.

Fred Segal in LA is seen as what bread is to butter. Founded by its name sake, it stocks some of the hottest labels in the USA and is viewed as the Harvey Nichols of the city yet it is more relaxed and playful. Situated on Melrose (with its main store on the corner of 5th and Broadway in Santa Monica), the store was founded in 1960 as the world's only specialist all- jeans store but developed into opening the SM store in the 1980s where it still stands today. 

I seriously have an addiction to shoes, and in particular these sneakers from Y3 and Yohji Yamamoto.
With so many amazing sneaker brands stocked in the city, these have a great construction quality, the long toe with high top but mostly because of the embellishment, such as the raised detail above as well as the studded detail below.