Wednesday, 30 March 2011

LA Diary: Riviera Club AW11

I blogged about Riviera Club in February here, sharing that they are one of GQ America's designers to watch compeition entrees. I have been trying to find out how they got on however this is the AW11 collection. It has taken a different yet refined direction for this season, giving a more quirky yet luxurious feel to an already disrable label. 

Take a look at the spring summer collection here whilst I am about to email the New York based PR as I want to know who stocks the brand here!

LA Diary: Peter Jensen AW11

Long have I recognised the synergy between Los Angeles and London in terms of culture and fashion, and this shoot For London-based Danish designer Peter Jensen, 2011 such synergy marks ten years of his label. He graduated from Central St. Martin’s in 1999, and has combined his talents with graphics and embroidery to create interesting, retro wearable designs with incredible detailing. His joyus aesthetic has been my wonderlust for a number of years. Jensen’s AW11 collection, above and below, is based around The Like’s Tennesse Thomas and BlackBlack’s Diva Dompe and was shot in LA with stylist Shirley Kurata and photographer Autumn de Wilde. 

The collection was inspired by Danish actress Anna Karina with the collections pillarbox reds, textured whites, sky blues and charcoal greys, set alongside chic knit, combines Jensen’s signature style with a 60s aesthetic that screams simplicty and LA fused with London.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Boy London x Long collection

BOY London was the iconic brand in, well, London throughout the late 1990s and made a packtful punch after the highly sucessful re-launch in Urban Outfitters, Oxford Circus which I blogged about here last year. However, the punk-infused brand, headed up by Stephane Raynor, BOY London made its debut collaberation with LONG last week with the Gareth Emmet & Rhys Dawney oversized bold print tee collection. 

Formed in 2008 by young designers Gareth Emmett and Rhys Dawney, LONG has quickly built up a cult following that is stretching across the UK and the rest of the globe. The brand focuses on oversized, unisex clothing and bold graphic prints, which have now become the LONG signature statement.
The 3-piece t-shirt collection reflects the graphical punk tone of both iconic London brands abnd today LONG has over 50 stockists spread over 15 countries and is represented, amongst others, by Oki-ni in London and OAK NYC in New York.  LONG also continues with its series of successful parties and club nights affirming its status as one of London's most exciting and iconic youth brands.

All the t-shirts are unisex and are available to buy on LONG's e-store

Suiting at Burtons

Following on from last autumn/winter with the incredibly aesthetically pleasing black suit, Burtons have produced the 'perfect grey suit', above. Sir Philip Green set the design team at Burtons to produce a suit that had the look and aura of Savile Row but not the price tag. Coming in at £149, the 'Perfect Grey Suit', as they are calling it, collection can be purchased separately making it the ideal suit whatever your body shape. There are subtle design elements that are all different on each blazer such as 1 or 2 button, double breasted, peak or notch lapel and the cut is either on a slim cut or a tailored fit block. 

So once again, Burtons comes up trumps and continually exceeds perception and expectations, signifying the stalwart of mens high street brands has changed for the better. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Merci, Immi from Style 4 Guys 

ASOS x It's Nice That tshirts

ASOS are contasntly developing the way in which they represent themselves in the e-tailing market place and supporting young artists is one of them. From today, they have launched a collaberative collection of tshirts with cult magazine and website It's Nice That. 

It’s Nice That have selected 10 illustrators & photographers who have created these exclusive artworks for the shoppnig site. Have a watch of the above video, which is a fun look at each of the pieces below - and the pretty hott model has his torso on show for most of it. The artworks are printed on t-shirts which when purchased come with a limited edition print by each artists! So you not only have wearable art, you also get wall art too. All of the artists are young or new graduates at the top of their contemporary genres - with a lot from the south-west of England where I share my time between. Enjoy the images below and I have, in no particualr order, included the profiles of each artist involved in the collaberation.

To shop the collection click here

Laura Bird’s prints and drawings confidently make illustrative bridges to animation, sculpture and back again. Since leaving Kingston University she has continued to produce work filled with character, colour and intriguing narrative.

Greg Eason's sparsely filled but beautifully observed and meticulously rendered drawings have been exhibited worldwide in his short time since graduating from Norwich University College of the Arts. His continued dedication to his practice has insured a beguiling spectrum of carefully pencilled, miniature narrative pieces of artwork.

Owen Gatley is an illustrator who graduated from UWE in Bristol in 2010, and currently resides by the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. His work is inspired by imagery from the 50s, 60s and 70s, in particular old comic strips, posters and advertisements.

Joyfully exploiting all the possible realms of illustration, Sophie Kern works meticulously on both paper and fabric with a natural ease. Since graduating from the University of Brighton she has had her own solo show in London as well as completing numerous editorial commissions.

Although initially studying music, Owen Silverwood’s natural interest in the visual arts led him to pursuing photography soon after. His work is predominantly still-life, and the inspiration for his shots comes from real world phenomena, and his portfolio reflects that beautifully.

An avid collector, hoarder and observer, Christopher Smith loves puns and quick, clever ideas. An illustrator with an interest in the process of making images, his work has naturally crossed disciplines from drawing to photography and film since graduating from the University of Brighton.

Bristol-based photographer Laura Palmer’s work is a unique collection of beautifully lit, intimate moments. Since her degree show exhibition at Winchester School of Art, she was chosen to be at the Photographer’s Gallery as part of ‘Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed 2010’, an exhibition of the year’s exceptional graduates.

Jean Jullien has worked in his unmistakable eclectic way since he left Nantes for London many art degrees ago. His beautifully witty work spans illustration, photography, video, costume, print and clothing for some of the biggest clients in the world.

Rose Blake has made a name for herself making T-shirts and comics as an extension of her printing anddrawing talents. After graduating from Kingston University she has gone on to be accepted onto the world-renowned Communication Art & Design course at the Royal College of Art, and there she continues to add to her stunning portfolio.

A multidiscipline, graphic design graduate, Rob Matthews’ work is focused on questioning preconceptions of context. A heavily ideas-led output and trade mark simple communication technique twinned with a dry wit has left him with a heap of brilliant work.

Jeff Banks x The Prince's Trust

In a society now briming with herritage and Britishness, it is great when two English institutaions - although at different spectrums - come together. Jeff Banks, the unofficially figurehead of British men's fashion, and desginer and chairman of The Princes Trust has launched four exlcusive polo shirts on sale at another great British institution, Debenhams.  

Encapsulating the Sport of Kings, the four timeless men’s polo-shirts will be available from today for a limited time only from selected Debenhams stores nationwide and  All proceeds are being donated to The Princes Trust which gives practical and financial support to young people between the ages of 14 and 30.

The initiative is the brain child of Banks who says of his work with The Retail Leadership Group, 'Many of us didn’t start off with the best of luck but the retail trade has served us well. Ours is a fun, creative, vibrant industry which has many opportunities that can lead to a wonderful future. All the money we raise from sales will directly go to improving the lives of young people. Everyone involved with the charity is passionate about supporting the disadvantaged youth of this country. The money raised goes towards funding a national network of 600 mentors who give long term assistance and support for anyone who needs help. It’s my privilege to be able to use design to assist with this worthy cause'.

Made of pure cotton the superior craftsmanship and quality of the pieces are iconic and priced affordably at only £35.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Print Monkey tshirts

It has been such a delightful few day's with the sun shining (and also working on the SS11 collection at work) that I have been considering a more seasonal wardrobe. With this in mind and Wayfarers on my head, Print Monkey is a brand new, highly original, designer t-shirt company coming out of London.

Focusing on and using talented young designers who are tired of working anonymously through third party design studios they are taking their craft directly to market. And how great are these prints?! There appears to be a ready market for their 100% American Apparel t-shirts priced at a great £19.95 so Print Monkey is a great choice! 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

McQ Tumblr x Niall O'Brien

McQ launched as the diffusion line for the main Alexander McQueen label and has proved to be its good humroued younger brother.  The label has launched its Tumblr site and is currently featuring a series of photos taken as part of a creative collaboration with London-based photographer Niall O'Brien. 

The great image above was taken during O'Brien's road trip across the American Northwest, the images capture the spirit of youth and adventure of McQ.  With small-town America serving as the backdrop and pieces from McQ's Spring/Summer 2011 collection featured in the photographs, the website will tell the story of these images and road trip through a series of blog posts. Adding to the experience, the site is built on blogging format Tumblr which adds a great sense of social element to the story, allowing followers to engage in a heightened sharing and interaction with McQ's content. 

Keep checking back here to see the rest of the SS11 shots. 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Mulberry, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Visiting factory, or outlet, stores is an increasingly popular way of getting quality pieces of fashion and style cheaply during the recession. Many of you may of heard about Bicester Village in Oxfordshire or The Mall in Florence, Italy and many flock to such locations to grab some incredible pieces whilst being, relativity, kind on their wallets. Not so long ago many fashionisto's look down Brand's who have outlet stores because they saw it as being 'cheap'. However, as we know, they are only outlets for labels to shift older stock or over made styles but increasingly, they are making pieces to sell specially through these stores.  Perhaps this is to appeal accessible and hook in those who would not necessarily visit full price stores for what ever reason. 

One of the greatest British brands, Mulberry, is no exception at owning a factory store very close to its actual factory in Somerset in the south-west of England. Having only visited there once a year or so ago, I decided to take a trip this weekend to have a look at their wallets - being in the market to replace my Comme des Garcons gold one. 

I went with Brad from The FYI Blog  as he had never visited the outlet which is about 2 miles from the factory where every piece of leatherwear is made. What is great about this location over their other discount stores, in York; Bicester and Cheshire, is that you can only really reach it by car as it is far from a train station and a hassle by bus meaning that it is quiet and never has a great crowd of people. 

The store is fitted out with the spring summer 2011 show furniture and colours of roses and ladders but is not over kill to distract you from the stunning architecture of the store with its vaulted ceilings and lime-stone walls. We first had a quick look around and then decided to have tea and cake in the small cafe which has the most delectable home-made cakes which were displayed upon the ladders which I thought was a great idea. 

They have a superb range of bags, small leather goods, accessories and clothing for men and women, and was seduced by the incredible savings on the pieces - including the wallet and bag below, which I took home with me. 

The wallet is a beautiful leather with mock-crock detailing, stamped subtly with the Mulberry tree logo. It has space for notes as well as plenty of room for cards (I get an expenses card with my new job, so that is an another piece of plastic to the 7 I always carry) but I think keeping coins in wallets ruins the look, so didn't opt for a coin purse inside. 

The bag, below was an impulse buy really because I saved double what I spent on the piece. I have long been after a weekend bag and one suitable to carry work when not in use for time away. The canvas bag is accentuated by the black leather handles, detailing and of course the brass hardware and the logoed plate on the front. It has a zipped pouch inside which is ample for important pieces, such as a passport and tickets, without having to search around. 

The wallet made it's debut on Saturday evening and the bag will make its tomorrow morning. If you can, take a ride down to the outlet as it is in a lovely location but do not expect have all your purchases wrapped and packaged lovingly as you would in a full-priced boutique. On this occasion, I had to ask for a decent bag and Brad's scarf was not even tissue wrapped or boxed- which is half the experience and being silk, needs not to be screwed up in a white paper bag. I think this is to do with the woman's attitude (but the lady who served me was wonderful) of almost distain at the brand or the customers, but apart from this it was a wholly wonderful experience. 

Hackett London Competition

How lucky and well looked after are you? My first post back after a week off blogging whilst I have been settling into my new career. Hackett are offering their Facebook fans the chance to win an essential beach kit, including this roll-up beach tote and beach towel as well as a peak cap. For a chance to win, you must simply share in a comment box on the official Hackett London Facebook page, three stylish yet practical items they will not be able to live without on the beach this summer. 

The brand is such a fixture within the British style psyche and this video below gives a sneak-peak behind the making of the spring summer 11 campaign. 

Monday, 14 March 2011

LSoD: Harrods Blog of the Week

I am pleased to annouce that Last Style of Defense has been picked by Harrods as its Menswear Blog of the Week! 

Thank you to Harrods for recognising the blog as being worthy of this accolade. Follow the world famous store on Twitter for some awesome updates! 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

MUGLER x Mariano Vivanco

Photography: Mariano Vivanco
Creative Director: Nicola Formichetti 
Model: Rick Genest
Images Courtesy of: Mariano Vivanco