Monday, 26 September 2011

This is...Circus 5th Birthday x Tim Bret-Day x Jodie Harsh

Jodie Harsh centre stage with Circus regulars, friends and colleagues. 

Five years ago, in one of the most famous of all London clubs - The Soho (Raymond) Revue Bar - DJ/promoter Jodie Harsh cracked the metaphorical whip to open the doors on what would become one of the most talked about and renowned club nights in the world, Circus

 Jodie Harsh 

The, then monthly, event was spread over two floors in the famed bar nestled in Walkers Court, Soho's only remaining and enduring notorious red light area, came after a number of club nights in east London close and the avent garde crowed they attracted began to move back to something newer in central London. It was a club night the 1980s never had but always wanted. 

No other club night at the time was focused upon such a creative, outspoken and hedonistic crowed and focused mainly around the London fashion scene that was in its infancy.  Not long after it's launch, Circus became one of the most talked about and desirable weekly club events that soon attracted some of the now biggest names in fashion; Nicola Formichetti, Luke Day, Alexander McQueen, Kim Jones and Hedi Slimane. It was regularly featured in 
i-D, Dazed and Confused, Super Super and not long after, the mainstream media from London to Tokyo. 

Staying ahead of the game, and the aural trends, some of the biggest names in music span tracks on the famed raised decks; Peaches, Siouxsie Sioux, Rosin Murphy, Robyn, Friendly Fires, Kissy Sellout, The XX, Fenech-Soler, Grum and William Orbit - the producer of Madonna's Ray of Light album who played my 22nd birthday at Paramount, the third venue for what is still one of the greatest clubs worldwide - and the best club only has their logo designed by the famed graphic artist Eine. 

 Ryan Stiles

In celebration of this landmark event, famed photographer Tim Bret-Day shot a multi-dimensional exhibition featuring a film by Thomas Knight and music by Kris di Angelis. Exhibitioning at Bond, on London's Kingly Street, W1 from this Thursday until Saturday, the exhibit features myself, Jaime Winstone, Lisa Snowdon, Sadie Frost, Margo Stilley, Mika, Matthew Horne, Daniel Lismore, Jonny Woo, Immodesty Blaze and Circus 'family' Alexis Knox, Scottee, Kris Di Angelis and of course Jodie Harsh as ring leader.

Whilst this week's events at the gallery celebrate the past and future of Circus, the main event, The 5th Anniversary event, sponsored by Motorola takes place this Friday at Cafe de Paris in London's West End - not far from the original Walkers Court venue. What is set to be one of the most exciting and no doubt memorable events of the year, tickets are available from Unconditional on 16 Monmouth Street, London, WC2 for £10 or from ticket web for £12 - and more on the door. 

It will be an event to never forget...

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Cabot Circus Style Tour x BFC Show 5

My second show of the day at Cabot Circus in Bristol was the multi-retailer presentation that showed that AW11 shows no sign of slowing down, even in warmer weather. Compared and styled the the lovely JP, Gant was the first to present their offerings, of course Michael Bastian for Gant shows at MB New York Fashion Week - but getting the look that is offered across the brand can be easy from their mainline stores. Preppy to the max, a stand out piece, the tweed marl jacket was shown with a casual, up-collar, rugby shirt and casual chinos. The chino trend will not be going away and offers a real alternative to jeans - a cost of the high price of cotton. A shawl collar sweater in navy was worn with a 80s inspired Gingham shirt that was well matched to traditional straw chinos, than again offer a real alternative to washed or plain coloured jeans.

Popular retailer Republic offered a street edge with rugged, worn jeans and a Navajo printed bandanna scarf which worked really well with a grey marl explorer jacket. The footwear were colourful quilted sneakers that are showing that the apparel trend of quilting has quickly extended down to footwear also.

Guess, the prized American brand included a stunning Fair isle print shirt that was under a puffa jacket - a 90s revival that was seen on the catwalk late last season in Paris. Perforated shoes from New Look were well paired for the textured explorer jacket which will continue in popularity towards SS12 and into AW13 - a real investment piece. Another Fair isle piece, this time in a knit was worn over a white Oxford button down and slim legged washed indigo jeans that was a mixture of street and heritage.

Lastly, River Island - who have seen an improvement in their collections for the past few seasons - presented an evening look that incorporated black and vibrant red to the sounds of Rule the World by Beyonce. For the guys, all black looks were of set with red ribboned tie-details that is a new and on trend way of wearing a neck piece without being to formal or casual. This strong evening look was a wining combination of piece, including the leather (perhaps, looking) jacket that completed the look.

Cabot Circus Tour x BFC Show 1

The first show in Quakers Friar in the Cabot Circus complex, covered by men's outfitters TM Lewin, has a performance of a commute routine that incorporated classic tailoring to see you on your way to work. With a sleek navy two piece, two button suit, a statement tie in gold and black sat well against a crisp white shirt. The second men's look was a modern gents look with bow tie, berry sweater and casual suit trousers paired with a classic pair of square toed shoes. The third, and the most directional for the traditional retailer, featured a well cut, three buttoned traditional grey suit but with a modern twist of a paisley tie.

Espirit, the famed European store, nodded towards the 80s with rolled chinos for the first look and paired with a modish checked shirt and structured tan brown brogue boots. A contrast plaid wool jacket with grey elbow pads - a key look for AW11 - completed the look which set the tone for the following show looks. A nod to colour blocking followed and was offset with grey flat cup soled sneakers which was a great look for city fun. Following this, a denim shirt clad model walked out with a shawl collar knit in navy which worked well paired with slight washed jeans.

The best retailer capturing the AW11 heritage trend was Joules who put the rurban - urban and urban - look at the pinnacle of this seasons offerings. Duck boots were teamed with a tweed jacket and a denim shirt which updated the traditional look perfectly. Another Duck boot look was with a quilted shooting jacket and polo shirt whilst the final look was with hiker boots and a paisley shirt.

The final look was by New Look - who's men's offerings go from strength to strength - and captured the Navajo look with a shawl collar sweater. This hopefully sets the style tone for the next retailers this afternoon, all sponsored by the BFC.

Cabot Circus Fashion Tour x BFC

Despite missing LFW this season, I am not missing this BFC sponsored event; the Bristol Cabot Circus Fashion Tour. I will be covering, with six other bloggers including Brad from The FYI Blog, some of the shows featuring retailers Ted Baker, Guess, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols.

Come down and we will be doing a Q&A session throughout the day to answer any blogging, fashion and style questions you may have.

Friday, 16 September 2011


How Do You Solve a Problem Like...Dressing Big and Tall Men

It's that time of year again and as the temperatures drop, it's that time that many men dread, as t-shirts are swapped for jumpers and shirts for jackets. If that wasn't enough of a problem for some guys, those that are tall - like my boyfriend at an impressive 6ft 4inch - or with a built frame, with large menswear from High and Mighty, dressing for the winter needn't be a chore and can make you more comfortable and confident.
It's a question I get asked a lot, and found working on Jermyn Street that one of the biggest problems that big and tall men face is finding the right size clothing. Clothing that is too small across the back, chest or down the arms will make you feel restrained and awkward. Too short or too tight trousers that can attract will equally leave you ill at ease. When you don't feel relaxed, it shows. At the other end of the scale, it can be easy to think that wearing baggy clothing will give the illusion of being smaller. This is far from true as the extra material will make you look bulkier than you are and may look sloppy, which will sap your confidence in a formal situation.

It's essential to buy the right size for your height and frame. When trying clothes on make sure you have a full range of movement, without leaving your garments too loose. Coats and jackets, for example, should comfortably cover your wrists with your arms extended in front of you, and sit at least three to four inches below your waistband, depending on the style (coats should reach around mid-thigh). Ensure you stand tall with your shoulders back when judging the length – no hunching!

Buttons and zips should comfortably close, without the material straining. With your coat fastened, spread your arms out and back as far as you can to make sure that the front still lies neat and is not constraining your chest. If you're looking for your winter jacket, these options mix form with function and are available in a range of larger sizes:

& City Mighty Wool Overcoat

A long-length overcoat that is perfect for work and other formal occasions. The classic design with concealed button fastening is discreet and practical, while the front open slanted pockets, single back vent and front button-down collar and neckline detail make it comfortable and stylish. Fully lined with internal pocket.

Kayak Mighty Windbreaker Jacket

A sportier option, this lightweight windbreaker is perfect for those spending time outdoors, whether it's for leisure or walking and cycling to work. The double zip-through fastening will keep you protected against the elements, while the flat open waist pockets, vertical zip chest pocket and chest pocket mean there's plenty of places for essentials. Also fully lined with an internal chest pocket.
Polo Ralph Lauren Mighty Windbreaker Jacket

For those with a taste for designer labels, this windbreaker jacket ticks all the right boxes. Its blouson style includes a zip-through fastening and a zip and foldaway hood. The knitted ribbed collar with contrasting leather trim keeps you warm with a real touch of class and complements the contrast leather trim front pockets. As you'd expect, it's fully lined with an internal chest pocket.
So there you have it, tall or mighty dressing without style or to your specific needs will never be a problem again.

Thursday, 15 September 2011




The ASOS Urban Tour AW11

ASOS, the online power retailer has released these three films to support their latest project Titled ‘The ASOS Urban Tour’. The viral and impactful trio explore seven cities in this fully interactive digital experience which aims to uncover subcultures from across the globe and featuring the latest trends in culture, music, art and fashion. Looking at London, New York, L.A., Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai, the project utilises state of the art technolog to explore a contemporary world that surrounds us. The campaign, which launched yesturday is one of the most exciting and innovative menswear executions to date for the e-tailer which, what ever your style or lifestyle, covers most looks and immediate and seasonal trends.

The films showcase the ASOS AW11 collection which is very dynamic and street inspired and allow viewers full shopping capability from the looks worn by the performance artists creating a further dynamic and functional social media viral campaign that has never been done before.

Three films, shot by two of the world’s leading street-culture directors, focus on London, Paris and Tokyo, and feature extreme examples of raw talent from both dance, music and skating. These fantastic artists present unique and modern appropriations of these mediums, giving the consumer a feeling of tapping into the zeitgeist whilst experiencing seamless integration of entertainment, editorial and shopping.

To explore the AW11 collection, click here.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

J Crew Launches E-Commerce for UK

With collections from Jenna Lyons that go from strength to strength, it is a great news that all-American brand J Crew has today announced that their website is now open to UK buyers. What started as a mail order company in 1983 in New York, providing unparalleled quality, fashion-forward designs and amazing customer service, has become a multi-million dollar brand.

Since 2007, Creative Director Lyons has been at the helm and has been producing collections that still hold's true to that origional reputation, as well as adding some other arms to their portfolio including a kid's and parties line. As much fun as a J Crew party sounds, the J Crew Collection is as hot as ever and I am super pleased to hear that it's now open to the UK - with all shipping at a not-unreasonable £9.95.

Now we just need a London flag-ship store announcement to complete the picture but in the mean time, shop here.

Friday, 9 September 2011


Last week I had a wonderful email from Politburo, a label based in Italy that struck me as being very revolutionary in a traditional sense.  Politburo (une révolution couturielle) was born in 2011 in a small town neighboring to Venice by a 30 years old guy - a mysterious figure who's name is not publicised -  fascinated by the beauty of fabrics that have a story and by the traditional Italian tailoring craftsmanship that is iconic around the world.

After different years working for the YSL and LVMH, he realised that often luxury product are soulless, developed on the basis of price and marketing strategies rather than on research and originality. Sometimes this can be true, however a lot of companies are built on originality and authenticity, yet often lose their way. 

The Politburo brand is a reaction to this standardisation and it is as an open resistance to the current dogma of cheaply made products that they see having a very finite life span yet are still very expensive.

Politburo believes in a menswear defying categorisations and so they are an outspoken fan of garments that express diversity and constant sense of sartorial evolution and, as I mentioned before, revolution. They see clothes and accessories very much designed for how we live now, but in an inspired and unconventional way which is refreshing to say the least.

Politburo believes in superior quality which is a a concept of quality not only conceived by an original design, but also by the choice of materials and production techniques. Their rrespect for craftsmanship is a key value for Politburo, - and many Italian producers of luxury goods - which means that handing down the Italian textile and tailoring tradition is a priority. They further believe that it is still possible to offer a handmade product, entirely created from start to finish in Italy with the best materials, at a reasonable price. This is possible having a direct relationship with clients, through online direct sales and a continuous dialog through the social media. They contacted me directly which is a fantastic touch and should be done more often, though I am not encouraging Tom Ford to ping me off an email any time soon...!


The brand produces some seriously beautiful pieces, such as the jacket below, as well a stunning quilted wool jacket, and they believe that menswear design can reach its full potential only if created with the right materials. That's why Politburo is so into great, luxe fabrics, leathers and metals and Politburo has ffabrics are exclusively made by Lane Bottoli who's factory originates from 1861 and celebrates the extraordinary Italian textile tradition, manufacturing some of the world gorgeous fabrics. Lane Bottoli oversees each step of the whole production process, from washing the undressed wool flock to the delivery of the finished fabrics - all exclusively and proudly made in Italy. Politburo develops its special fabrics by mixing the rarest and most luxurious fibers: alpaca, cashmere, silk, flax. These lovely hand high quality fabrics are produced in limited editions because Politburo wants to keep each product almost unique all around the world.

Politburo VERY kindly sent me this package, which arrived this morning all the way from Italy. The belt is a blue with burnt red stripes completed with a Rhodoid buckle, which looks like bone, and a wool tie in the same design wool fabric. Thank you so much to the mysterious 30 year old guy for the incredible gift, but as you may agree, this is one stunning brand...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Hardy Amies AW11

 I have long had a great relationship with Hardy Amies, having made regular visits and contributed to their blog, and it is great to see the look book for their storming first collection under Creative Director Claire Malcolm. The model, William Eustace, is photographed by Paul Wetherell and styled by Bryan McMahon captures the sleek, modern tailoring sillouettes of now, with the heritage of the house. 

The Autumn Winter 2011 collection takes its inspiration from the period of Sir Hardy’s life when he was a prominent figure on the European society circuit: the 1930s. Winters meant multiple trips to Klosters and there were parties in London, Paris and Berlin to attend. So an outfit for every occasion, whether sporty or social, was of utmost importance.

For her first collection for Hardy Amies, the designer Claire Malcolm has drawn on this idea and combined the most luxurious fabrics with a more casual range of garments, or as Sir Hardy liked to call them ‘Leisure Clothes’. Structured and unstructured blazers in Prince of Wales and Windowpane check are worn with white collared shirts to draw attention to the Deco-inspired silk ties.

Sir Hardy once wrote: “I think the sweater is the most important part of casual gear…physical comfort, freedom of movement, lack of restraint, an air of sportsmanship its guiding forces”. This final element is captured in the shawl collar cardigans and an impressive array of barleycorn knits.

For Alpine jaunts, these team well with the duck-down gilets, checked shirts; and two- tone blue leather lace-up boots - a collaboration with heritage brand Edward Green. There were two reasons Sir Hardy loved boots: firstly, he believed the higher heel helped the “long lean lines of the modern man’s silhouette”; and secondly, he thought them a sign of virility.  

The sharp double-breasted wool cashmere suits and peak lapel coats in stony Parisian blues and smoky London greys are at the smarter end of the scale. After all, Hardy was the epitome of the immaculate English Gentleman.