Monday, 31 January 2011

Proof Wooden Sunglasses

World Blog Launch Exclusive

This is the third 'world blog exclusive' this month, showing you the launch of an incredible new sunglasses and t-shirt brand, Proof. Hailing from Boise, Idaho in the USA - which Proof say is the most underrated city in the States - the brand was started by the three Dame brothers early last year, one being Brookes who sent me through the images. Whilst I have seen other manufactures produce many wood effect sunglasses, I have only seen a about two others who produce actual wood ones. What's more they are 100% UVA protected and come with polarized, non-polarized and mirrored lenses. 

Whilst the trend for ethical and natural garments, accessories and shoes continues through to this spring and next season - as well as rising in popularity too - these are some incredible pieces of eyewear. Made from sustainably harvested wood sources, Proof uses Zebra, Ebony and Bamboo woods yet this too is humane as they only use 6cm diameter pieces rather than the 1cm shoots that Panda's prefer. I think their use of these particular woods is great because you can see the ranges of grain detail in the frames according to their wood type. 

 With three men's, or unisex, models (with one women's style) using this incredibly ethical and ingenious medium, Proof extend their commitment to good causes. Unlike most brands or companies that donate a proportion eg. 5p in every pound to varied causes, Proof gives a large proportion to focused organizations. Located in India, clinics supported by Proof are at the receiving end of money that enables them to treat people with sight-giving operations to those who can not usually afford it. An eyewear company supporting a cause that gives a sense that we take for granted is not only touching but admirable. Not to get too political, but with an affluent economy, progressing industries and great prospects on the World Stage, it should be the Indian government funding such projects, not American based businesses. 

Proof have received a lot of buzz with their concept even before the launch online today and are looking forward to setting up bricks and mortar stores in the near future. Their other edge to the company is t-shirts, below, which also have a charitable message behind them - as well as being within the printed trend for spring summer 2011. The great print of guns that form the word 'love' is in support of child rehabilitation clinics in Africa and the native American print supporting their reservations in the States. These simplistic and highly wearable pieces have a distinct American aesthetic to them yet translate to European street styles and looks.  

To shop the collection or find out more about check out their website, I Want Proof

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Links of London SS11

skull friendship bracelet 

During the Christmas period, I met up with a friend for festive drinks and to hear about his move from the Links of London press office to an independent PR agency. No sooner had I sat down, I cooed and lusted with delight at his skull bracelet, above, on his wrist. It is part of the spring summer 2011 collection of friendship bracelets - now a signature piece and integral part of the jewelry company. 

Originally a Native American tradition with a focus on Central American settlements, the giving and swapping of woven bracelets was a sign of friendship and affection. The idea was that the maker 'paid' for it with the love and thought that went into it, where as the recipient honored that love and thought. Removing the bracelet was a sign that the friendship had gone sour but another story is that it was tied with a wish and that wish comes true once it naturally falls off. 

silver and black with grey bracelet 

Links have been producing these bracelets since 2009, having seen most of them bought to wear personally and why wouldn't you? The mix of fabric on sterling silver is a delicate and stylized one that is distinctive and desirable. Their popularity have, inevitably, spawned many imitations and fakes however like most counterfeits, do not have the same feel, personally and ergonomically, than an original Links of London piece. 

The skull bracelet reminds me of the Vanities carved skull with rag pieces I saw in Paris a year or two back, however they are not as substantial as these. The skull trend began in 2006 with the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean film, which then spawned the trend we know now - with Alexander McQueen's iconic print in between. Yet there is something less trend lead about this piece because of the simplicity of the design as well as the unobtrusive nature of the crafted skulls. 

 heart and clover bracelet 

Olympic and paralympic bracelets 

J W Anderson SS11

J W Anderson is, without doubt, my favorite designer during menswear day at London Fashion Week.  J W Anderson, or Jonathan Anderson, has produced some of the most creative and visually exciting shows since his debut during autumn winter 2009.  

Whilst I have similar feelings of jubilation about the other menswear designers, there is something more passionate about Anderson - maybe it might just be the models. Yet for the  spring summer 2011 show, we were warned of 'lasers' during, what can only be described as, the performance. Though whilst the odd beam of green light shone to the dismay of most, we were then wowed by the stunning sky projected during the final walk over the models - and audiences - heads. 

This collection is entitled 'The Devoured and I' which sees the intimacy and journey of two people with a contradiction of image and feeling. Think hot and cold, anger and happiness etc. The inspiration for this came from photographer William Gedney who would document the journey of two people. This intimate background to a collection is not apparent however the hallucinogenic, hippy influence is with the floral shirts, tie dye doily's and multi-coloured Swarovski crystal toed boots. The 60s/70s trend for almost psychedelic colour and patternation is on trend for this season yet I see this trend moving on for a demur autumn winter 2010. 

To shop the collection click here.

Festival boot with Swarovski crystal

Tie dye doily and Swarovski crystal t-shirt, Gedney print in car t-shirt

All images from dazed digital 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

LA Diary: Topo Ranch

Camera age 

Topo Ranch is an incredibly definitive Los Angeles lifestyle brand based in Venice Beach and have produced these printed t-shirts for this season. I say they are a definitive brand because they have incorporated images such as music, sport and Japanese heritage into their range which are quintessential south Californian genres. 

The organic cotton pieces are incredibly comfortable and are staple pieces for a spring summer 2011 wardrobe as the trend points towards graphic printed t-shirts. What's more the pieces have an incredible fit and the designs are not serious - a relaxed fit with a relaxed attitude, which is the typical Los Angeles mentality. The t-shirts are available online, at the Venice flagship store and Boulder, CA for $39. 

 Fish shop
 Ocean surf
 Sun ranch
Topo salmon squirrel 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Oscar Magnuson SS11

Marcel turtle 

Eyewear is hot. There I said it. Whilst many spend a fortune on laser eye surgery and contact lenses the trend still remains for wearing retro (often glass-free) inspired frames. A fashion editor asked me last week if it was possible to order contact lenses in yearly packages (no you can't) but why wear lenses when you can wear frames such as these from Swedish designer Oscar Magnuson

This spring summer 2011 collection is inspired by icons of the Twentieth century in the influential and ever sparkling worlds of fashion, art, film and music. Yet what ever they are called, I think these are strong frames for those with strong personalities, courage and confidence. The Swedish are known for great design yet with a simplistic edge that makes pieces such as these uncomplicated and utterly stylish. Because of this I think this collection is one that will be the original amongst numerous imitators. 

The inspiration for the name of the frames is a guessing game but I guess it is part of the fun for the designer and us. The three mens pairs and six unisex see a great harmony between their names and design; Ice, Hurta, Donant, Davide, Ed, Karl, Marc, Alber and Malcolm. 

Can you guess who they are named after? 

 Davide grey
Donant blonde

 Herta black
Marc turtle

Ice black
Malcolm havanna

Alber brown

 Ed purple
Marcel blonde

Katie Eary SS11

Katie Eary is one of London's most important and influential menswear designers having wowed  fashionsto's across the world. Her unique vision of dressing men, I think, has been successful because of the incredibly bold and adventurous prints, silhouettes and designs she continually offers. For spring summer 2011, she has envisaged the man as a boxing champion with patriotic pride. Granted, some of the pieces are more wearable than others in some parts of the country, however this strong image being portrayed can be dipped in and out of according to taste. 

Her use of leopard print is on trend for this season, being seen in Milan, London and Paris last fashion season as was the use of strong block prints, such as Katie's tartan pattern. Almost ahead of the trend for autumn winter 2011 that we have just seen is the lattice detailing such as on the trousers below. Aside from the trends, I like Katie Eary because she is invigorating as well as almost being theatrical, however pieces such as the black and white striped, mohair jumpers are highly wearable. 

Her installation as part of the NewGen Men and Fashion East arm of menswear day was set up as a boxing hall, below, in which you walked through the boys training. Alarming and often innocently ignorant of the press wanting to take photo's, the mix of models and boys from the West Ham Boxing Club - situated in the extreme east London area - was incredibly fun to watch. I saw them on their way home near the tube station nearest Somerset House and they seemed to have enjoyed their experience as they were excitedly reviewing their day. 

Thankfully Katie has her own installation space this season at London Fashion Week - the last was a tiny shed space - and I am eager to see what she has to offer towards the end of February. Katie is sold through ASOS in the UK which the pieces available are below - are you fighting fit? 

 British bulldog print t-shirt

 Tartan duffel coat

Leopard print trousers