Thursday, 28 July 2011

Givenchy Ltd Edition x LuisaViaRoma

Riccardo Tisci and his team at Givenchy are just an unstoppable machine of cool at the moment with some incredible prints and visionary designs. These t-shirts, which feature the famed Rottweiler print, the USA flag and the square geometric design, are limited edition over at Florentine standalone and power house e-retailer LuisaViaRoma for around £150.

They are over-sized so buy a size or two down if you want a slim fit and I think I will be buying one in time for my holiday to Barcelona in a week and a halfs time.

MAN SS12 Line-Up

One of the highlights for me at London Fashion Week is the menswear initiative MAN, created by Topman and Fashion East, which showcases some of the freshest and newest talent in London. Today it was announced that on Menswear Day - which I will be missing as I am in Paris for a week - Royal College of Art graduate Matthew Miller, who has been featured in many publications such as Common Sense, above, and combines masculinity with tech, is one of the three being honoured.

One other is Martine Rose who has shown with MAN before and was also one of Selfridges 'Bright Young Things', a project which displayed some hott designers in the store and in its famous Oxford Street windows. This, below, is one of her recent AW11 looks from the show at the Royal Oprah House in London Covent Garden which was very well recived during that season and it is no suprise she has been picked again.

The last is California-born British-trained Shaun Samson, who previously showed as part of the ITS (International Talent Support) competition and was, for this collection below, sponsored by Woolrich Wollen Mills. He worked with the incredible Jeremy Scott on four collections which has no doubt influenced his way of designing incredible pieces which saw him win the Fashion Collection of the Year, a Euro 15,000 prize and fully produced catwalk show.

A huge well done to all the designers, I am only sorry I will not be there to see it.
The designers were selected by a panel of industry insiders including Fashion East's Lulu Kennedy, AnOtherMan Creative Director Alister Mackie, my old tutor and Fashion Editor of Vice Magazine Daryoush Haj-Najafi and Topman Design Director Gordon Richardson. 

Lanvin Competition

For the first time, Lanvin invites the public to an exclusive and intimate discovery of Jeanne Lanvin's famous office. In celebration of this event, the Parisian house launches the first ever On-Line Quiz which reveals more than a century of history and tradition. The prize-winner will receive an invitation for two persons for a private tour of the original office located at the historic address of 22 Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The special event will be held in Paris, over the weekend of September 17th and 18th, 2011 during the European Heritage Days.

Rarely seen or revealed by outsiders, the petit office has been completely decorated by Eugène Printz at the beginning of 1930s, and has since been carefully preserved. This precious place of heritage is infused with the maison’s history, invites the winners of the competition to embark upon a unique journey into the world of Jeanne Lanvin. Contestants of the quiz game must answer all 4 questions correctly, in order to have their names drawn from a final lottery. Bonne Chance to all the players!

To enter the competition, click here!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Joe Jonas x Mr Porter Sneak Preview

So tomorrow on super-fabulous-with-an-extra-30-percent-off-at-sale-checkout Mr Porter, Mr Joe Jonas has an exclusive interview and photoshoot by Angelo Panetta in The Journal.  Wearing AW11 Burberry, Maison Martin Margiela and Givenchy (all styled by Dan May) Joe Jonas will talk about what makes him tick in the world of fashion, love and gives cheeky details into his debut solo album 'Fast Life'.

Isn't he a little bit, well, hott? Check it out here tomorrow...

Hackett Sponsorship Weekender July 2011

I used to shop at Hackett when I worked on Jermyn Street, in the west end of central London, and a Hackett pale blue polo shirt was my first 'designer' buy many years ago from an outlet centre in York. Having a place in my shopping history and fashion heart, I was delighted to be invited to join International members of the press - as well as being one of the only people from the UK, GQ being the other - and Hackett PR agents from around the globe on a 'sponsorship weekend'. This was giving us a taster of the Hackett world courtesy of the sporting teams/events they sponsor; Aston Martin, The Rundle Cup Polo and the Oxford University Boat Club. 

It was, honestly, not a great start to the weekend despite leaving work with more than enough time to settle into our hotel, Danesfield House, between Henley and Marlow on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire boarder. Yet it seemed that day two months of rain decided to unleash itself from the sky, half of the M5 wanted to breakdown and the M4 was hosting a number of accidents. Taking nearly four and a half hours to do a two hour drive, I was more than ready to down enjoy a glass of white wine at a delightful pub in Marlow. I enjoyed a confit of foie gras followed by an excellent baked salmon with a seafood ragout, finishing with a chocolate sponge - and a good few glasses of an decent white. After, we arrived at the hotel to find some goodies presented on our beds, including the polo shirt and hooded sweatshirt that we were to wear on the river for a rowing lesson with famous Oxford University Boat Club. 

I learned that the Hackett group every year is one of two ever allowed a private lesson with the club that is part of the world famous Oxford vs Cambridge University Boat Race on the River Thames every year.  We were taught how to handle the oar and row 'properly' and were helped by the boat club members to get the incredibly delicate boats through the water. We took it in turns of four and I was snapped observing one of the groups on Bosporos which is the original boat that followed the team long the Thames during the race.

It was an excellent morning that I will probably not forget, and often slip into conversation with relatives at tedious family events. At the boat house, we changed into something more appropriate for an afternoon at the polo. Here, with Hackett Sponsorship Director, we drove at quite a speed from Oxfordshire to Wiltshire in an Aston Martin V12 Virage. Ironically, having had the trauma of driving to Oxfordshire, the polo was a measly 30 minutes from my house, but I was defiantly not dropping in to check on the dogs. 

We arrived at the Wiltshire ground at Tidworth to a small band of the Kings Royal Hussars and a tray of champagne, along with some fantastic nibbles. Quails eggs, king prawns and duck spring rolls were served before a sit down lunch in the tent, below, where we ate a salmon en croute and seasonal vegetables followed by a sumptuous chocolate and strawberry pudding, served with another delicious bottle or three of white wine. The day was unpredictably with a little smattering of rain but it laid off for the most of the afternoon as we watched some of the starter games before the Rundle Cup as well as take a look around the stalls, that included the Hackett polo emporium. 

The star of the day was undoubtedly Captain Harry Wales on the side of the Army against the Navy, or better known as His Royal Highness, Prince Harry, son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and His Royal Highness, Charles, The Prince of Wales and grandson to HM Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

His team played an exceptional game, effortlessly completing 6 chukkas with vigor and a great attitude. Here he is below with Jeremy Hackett, owner of the company, after presenting the team prize.   

The next day we went up to Bedfordshire, in the middle of England, to a top-secret testing ground for cars, and where Aston Martin has a base to entertain press, sponsors and new buyers of their cars. We all alternated between four cars on varying different tracks to get the best out of each machine. I say machine because these are a feat of technology and pillars of excellence in the auto world, and rightly so at over £130,000 each and handmade in Derbyshire, northern England. 

I pumped one of the models up to 220kmh (160mph) on a mile straight, circled an open air bowl or velodrome with no hands at 100mph and drove at a decent rate on the Alpine course - which was used as a backdrop for Montenegro when James Bond flips his Aston to avoid running over Vespa Lynd. It was an exhilarating day filled with the car maker who I have adored and admired since I was about 8 years old and it was a pleasure, privilege and a dream to drive not just one but five of, what I think, are the best cars in the world.  

A big thank you to Ellie at Hackett who invited me specifically (who is sadly leaving as she is on placement but think she should stay) and the rest of the PR and sponsorship team for such an incredible and fun weekend (where I only stopped laughing when i slept) that I will not soon forget. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Brompton Oratory Jacket

The design team behind the iconic, award-winning Brompton bicycle has today unveiled the Brompton Oratory Jacket – an innovation in cycling apparel that can be worn throughout the day straight from bike, to boardroom, to bar. I am not a cycler but this jacket sounds awesome. 

Combining bespoke tailoring and intricate detailing with high-tech durable materials, Brompton’s innovative men’s jacket has the functionality of performance clothing but presented with classic British sartorial elegance.

The Brompton Oratory was the view that Brompton founder, Andrew Ritchie, had from his bedroom as he developed the original Brompton prototypes in the mid-70s. And Brompton’s latest concept product is based around the same approach to design and the same principles of freedom and independence that inspired their now world-famous bike; like the Brompton itself, the Oratory Jacket is intended to make cycling more feasible, more often, for more people.

A relaxed light brown cord traditional two-button style jacket, the Oratory Jacket has been designed with a host of concealed features and is cleverly cut to ensure it is robust enough for both city commuting and all-day use. It is made from Epic cotton, which provides total protection from the elements whilst also offering sufficient poise for more formal occasions.

 Reflective panels under the lapel, a pull-out lightweight Hi-Viz rear panel and fold-down cuffs provide outstanding visibility for cyclists as the autumn nights draw in, while a pop-up storm collar (with felt trim, neck fastening and underside reflective material) and adjustable cuffs provide protection in bad weather.

Pit zips provide additional ventilation and an innovative but discreet ‘action back’, taken from traditional shooting jackets, gives freedom of movement and flexibility while riding. Alongside a quintessentially British style, Brompton has incorporated modern technology with an inbuilt Oyster®card sleeve pocket, internal zip-up valuables pockets, headphone port and cable loops. The Oratory Jacket is lined with a wicking bamboo fabric, printed with a specially-commissioned drawing of the Brompton Oratory by acclaimed Sheffield graffiti artist, Kid Acne.
The Brompton Oratory Jacket will be available to purchase in the UK through the Brompton website and selected Brompton dealers from 1st September 2011, including London’s Velorution and On Your Bike, Somerset’s St John Street Cycles and the UK’s largest cycle retailer, Evans Cycles.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

LSoD x Yves Saint Laurent SS11 Sunglasses

L'Italia Vista Attraverso Una Lente
 - Yves Saint Laurent SS11 Sunglasses

Filmed by Dan Hasby-Oliver
Edited by Gabriel Tenorio

During a busy period at Pitti Uomo, the Luisa Via Roma bloggers event in Florence as well as a few days in Milan, I was kindly loaned a pair of the SS11 sunglasses in tortoise shell by YSL UK. When I say, 'a' pair, it turned out they were the only ones in existence outside of Paris which was a huge privilege and pleasure to be given the opportunity to wear the new collection frames, which are incredibly sculpted and have an on trend 70s feel to them. The aim was to do 'something creative with them', for which I came up with a short video, above, which views two of the most inspiring cities in Italy through the lenses of the sunglasses during my week. This opportunity, which was not monitory commissioned but was asked to create something fun and exploratory, shows that YSL UK are embracing bloggers in a progressive way and to create content outside of an editorial platform.

A big thank you to YSL UK and to Gabriel Tenorio for editing the vintage inspired film to reflect the 70s influence of the frames and to capture the spirit of the cities perfectly.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

LA Diary: UNIS at The Shop at Bluebird

There is not much men's bits going on in LA at the moment, so this post comes out of London. The Shop at Bluebird, situated on the Kings Road, London in the south-west of the city, has long been a favorite and an exciting trove of apparel. What is also great is they exclusively stock labels from around the globe in the UK such as UNIS, this casual new brand from the USA.

Inspired by and designed for the contemporary downtown man, UNIS evokes classic American sportswear which is a focus, or rather the Olympics, for SS12 looking forward. Urbane while easy, elegant without affect, designer Lee creates understated designs that don’t ask for attention. All pieces are produced and manufactured in New York City and Los Angeles and sees UNIS as the result of a real relationship between designer, craftsmen, and a world wide, but locally savvy consumers. 

The collection, of which these images are just a small selection from, is exclusively available in the UK from The Shop at Bluebird, so hurry! 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

John Rocha AW11 Studded Brogues

John Rocha, for regular readers will know, has featured here and upon my back at London Fashion Week and at LuisaViaRoma in particular. One item which I have not worn before from the label is the shoes which are -in-cred-i-ble. 

These are a modern interpretation on classic brogues but it is hard to see where any broguing comes in to play. The flat-headed studs work well shining against the mat black leather to produce a Rock 'n' Roll feel which is trending heavily for SS12 and AW12. These lace-ups are probably preferential to the silver buckled pair as I think that is too much hardware for the foot, though both are available exclusively at John Rocha's store at 15A Dover Street, London, W1. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Jimmy Choo Men's AW11

Steven Miesel seems to be the man of the moment for advertising campagins and his esteemed eye has been perfectly cast over the new Jimmy Choo AW11 campagin. Featuring the St. James double monk strap shoe in black, the composition of the shot is just stunning.

One of the biggest names in male modeling, Ben Hill, is the lucky guy supported by Rachel Zimmerman in a suite at the Waldorf Hotel in New York - a byword for luxury, elegance and style - so it is fitting that Choo shot it here.

This grand Parisian 1970s, or almost updated 1990s luxury drama, inspired image focuses on Rachel Zimmerman in a 'snapped' pose with her lover, both styled by Charlotte Pilcher.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Lanvin AW11 Menswear

I love this shot, photographed by the very-busy-at-the-moment-with-Jimmy-Choo-too Steven Meisel. Lewell Tautchin looks perplexed and awkward but that's half the fun, no? 

Lotus Originals Luggage

A while back, I was invited up to Norwich, on the east coast of England, to check out the Lotus Originals new line and take a spin in one of their prestigious cars. That was last July time, and this season they have extended their classic line with these stunning weekend bags.  Like with other luxury brands, gone are the logo heavy designer ‘it’ bags and welcome a return to classic, covetable,

luxurious luggage. No longer do we want the must have style which blazes through the season only to be out the next, particularly us guys, and the savvy traveller opts for quality, durability and timeless style.

A sumptuous tan weekend bag offered in two sizes and a canvas holdall with Lotus green leather strap and details. All bags are finished with heavy durable zips, contrast stitching and a discrete embossed Lotus logo, offering stylish yet practical pieces for the modern day traveller. 

I am heading off to Munich early next week and these would look stunning/amazing/enviable as a carry on option! 

Friday, 8 July 2011


Two years ago today, Last Style of Defense started with a post about Lewis Hamilton, the racing driver, becoming the face of Marks and Spencer men's which had not yet been released at the time. It was exciting crafting my first post on a basic looking page that took a few hours to, then, get right in terms of look and feel.

A few months before that, Last Style of Defense had not yet a name - that took a good few weeks to create -  and was the musings of two friends, myself and Hunter Cordell in Dallas, Texas to who could make the best blog. 

A year before that I had graduated with a BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism degree from UCA Epsom and was working for Attitude magazine as their Nightlife Editor, as well as writing for the now defunct websites London Kicks and Adones as well as the highly influential The Glass magazine. My passion for communicating the cool, edgy and creative was set in motion but filling that need in between jobs fueled my need to start a blog.

Whilst all of this was going on, I was working with Jodie Harsh, as his PA, submerging myself into the creative and hedonistic London fashion scene, getting to know what makes this great city tick - and I quickly found out that the London fashion scene, east London crowd and small, independent brands were the cogs in this almost magical wheel.

So here is Last Style of Defense two years on and over 1 million readers in 184 countries world-wide have passed by and enjoyed news, comment and the hottest products from London and Los Angeles - a city that is enjoying the creative bubbles that London, once and, continues to enjoy. It has not been easy trying to get the best bits of menswear communicated to you all, trugging around London Fashion Week, enduring mnay hours on a plane to Los Angeles and even carrying the weight of a small child in lookbooks through the streets to Florence to post home. Also holding a full-time job as a Men's Trends Analyst for a global company made crafting my posts tricky but thats the thrill and passion that blogging, for me, holds.

But without my readers, from the UK, USA to Singapore and Australia, Last Style of Defense would not have reached its 2nd birthday. And also to publications such as Vogue Italia and Grazia, stores such as My-Wardrobe, LuisaViaRoma and Mr Porter who have promoted me along the way, and everyone from ASOS to Jimmy Choo, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Lanvin , Oliver Peoples and YSL who have kept me abreast of the hottest men's products as well as supplied with with some world exclusives. Not forgetting all the independant brands and labels, students and other bloggers who keep my faith in menswear alive as they are the key to the growing sucess and ongoing highlight of the male side of the global fashion industry.

Here is to another year....



Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hentch Man SS12

Whilst I was at Pitti Uomo in Florence I bumped into the Hentch Man crew who delighted me with a storming SS12 collection. I didn't know they were going to be at the fair so soon after I visited their Newburgh Street, London, W1 store, which is a modern guys emporium of cool.  The brand has done really well of late and also stocks at The Shop at Bluebird, Kings Road, SW3 as well as Opening Ceremony, Los Angeles and various other locations around the world. 

These shots are from the SS12 look book so enjoy these and log onto the site to see their current collection and grab a few bits before the autumn sets in. 

Dolce and Gabbana - The One Fragrance and Modern Gent App

Dolce and Gabbana have had a storming season so far with a great collection that made its way onto many the top ten lists from Milan. The super-Italian-power-house, who's Via Spiga store in Milan I visited last month is the most incredible creative outlet, are also launching two new chic products - one technological and the other beauty - which I have been asked and sponsored to tell you about. 

Dylan Jones, Editor of British GQ, compiled the free - yes free - app that guides men and their admirers through the quagmire of etiquette and modern manners. It features, naturally, some very stylish conundrums such as how to tie a double tie knot, courtesy and how to navigate around a dining place setting. 

Dolce and Gabbana know their stuff with this free app (as does Dylan Jones) as this table setting is spot on for etiquette and semi-formal dining. But why do we need to know this stuff? I was listening on the radio on the way home to Hasby-Oliver Towers that in today's competitive market for jobs and just getting ahead, modern manners and etiquette are essential. We have 7 seconds to make the lasting impression, as well as the right one, but if you were guided all through life as this, imagine the success you could achieve. There are courses that run for a few days at a cost of around £200 per day but this app is free and comes from a fashion house and compiled by a fashion editor and etiquette expert. It doesn't take a gent to do the math. 

Download it for free here and be a lasting, modern leading man. 

The inspiration for the app came from the Dolce and Gabbana 'The One' fragrance which is a forward thinking fragrance that comes in packaging that just oozes style and edge. It should appeal to the Dolce and Gabbana man as it, they say, is refined and is the embodiment of sophistication. 

It has top notes of pepper and grapefruit, hearts of lavender, fennel and cardamom and base notes of patchouli and vanilla which sounds a great, arresting combination.  'The One' is available from good ol' Boots in the UK and the famous Bloomingdales store in the USA so let me know what you think of the app by downloading it for free and also the fragrance as I am in the market of getting a new scent.