Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Pony x Dee and Ricky



I have not featured Pony for a while but it is always a brand that is well responded too, particually from my USA readers. The New York City sneaker brand is fresh back from Berlin's Bread and Butter, the streetwear trade show with these, a collaboration between NYC creative talents Dee and Ricky. Dee and Ricky have clearly added their creative touch a pair of Pony sneakers by putting their signature flair to the brand. The 22-year-old twins are already established pioneers within New York’s creative set, having collaborated with the likes of Marc Jacobs and Casio G-Shock and count Kanye West and Takeshi Murakami as fans of their accessory empire. The clean lines of the Slamdunk Mid and the NYC Topstar are juxtaposed by Dee & Ricky’s urban jungle inspired collaboration. This offbeat and original collection fuses thier command of color and fabrics offering a new perspective for the fashion conscious consumer - with their SS12 collaboration with Pony sold out in Collette in Paris already...

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hogan AW12


If you have ever been to Italy or surrounding countries, you will have noticed one thing; they all walk a lot and comfortable shoes are a key wardrobe staple. Hogan, part of the Tod's group, is one of the most popular and sought after footwear brands in Europe. Known more recently for their comfort wedge soles, their new collection is less about the soles but the uppers. The inspiration behind the collection, which was shown at Milan Fashion Week, is American sport-chic and influenced by Francis Scott-Fitzgerald, the author who was celebrated in the Jazz Age (thank gawd Wikipedia is up and running again). Playing on the notion of authenticity and the laid-back elegance that was found during the authors time, this is also the first time the brand have gone into outerwear, below.  This is quite a new direction for the brand with a rugged and relaxed selection of bomber style jackets.  

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Fashion 2012: London Collections Men

Hardy Amies

Last week, Dylan Jones, Editor of GQ was announced as chair of the Fashion 2012 Menswear Committee and now comes some even better news. From the 15th-17th June, London will host start the London Collections: Men, with the backing of Topman and Mr Porter, which is a development of the Men’s day at London Fashion Week which we all known  has grown so well and even become too big for one day. According to the BFC this new showcase will emphasise both the creative and commercial importance of Britain’s brands and emerging talent as well as the rich cultural landscape that contributes to the inspiration and success of menswear.

J W Anderson

The majority of brands and designers who participate in the Men’s day at London Fashion Week will be contributing to the showcase - including LSoD favourites Lou Dalton and J W Anderson to name but two. Backers Topman, along with Fashion Forward will showcase MAN, NewGen Men which supports the UK’s most innovative new talents. But interestingly iconic British designer Margaret Howell, heritage brand Aquascutum and Savile Row tailors such as Richard James and E. Tautz will join London Collections: Men to show the breadth of British menswear. So this is going to be a seriously incredible event and not to be missed! 

Lou Dalton

Sort of playing on the focus that the UK will have, and London in particular, in the coming months around Summer,  the initative has Christopher Bailey; David Furnish; David Walker-Smith, Selfridges; Elizabeth Saltzman; Gordon Richardson, TOPMAN; Jo Levin, GQ; Jeremy Langmead, MR PORTER; Marigay McKee, Harrods; Simon Fuller; Tim Blanks, Style.com; Tom Ford - all supported by Dylan Jones. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Jimmy Choo AW12 Mens



I was so excited to see the invite to the AW12 presentation of the Jimmy Choo men's collection last week land in my email, but was deflated to see it was in Milan. But no worries, the obliging press office was more than happy to send over a few images for me and LSoD readers.  The collection, this is just a small highlight, is inspired by the flamboyant and eclectic style of Jimi Hendrix who settled in London’s Mayfair during the late ‘60s. With on trend profiles such as the slipper cut loafer and Victorian work boot, it fusing modern British style with its famed luxurious Italian craftsmanship. This is quite a different direction for the collection, but behind the integration of hippie and psychedelic rock influences is impeccable classic design.

The Autumn/Winter 2012 collection has seemed to evolve into a more diverse and versatile lifestyle offering for the confident, sophisticated man. It is certainly brave, but bare in mind that behind the more trend-input shades such as the aqua or the cow and cammo print is a masculine colour palette of black and chocolate.  the Jimmy Choo men’s collection has a confident, overtly masculine style with a refined sense of detail. You can not deny it is not taking itself too seriously with these humorous nods of decade referencing, nor can you deny that even with this snippet above, it is a varied collection for work, play, night and day. 

Just a pair of sneakers or the Chesam above please, Mr Choo. 

Zagliani AW12

These are quite something but oddly, quite subtle and discreet but at the same time scream luxury. A host of juxtapositions, these pieces are from Zagliani for AW12 that showed in Milan this week. These are just some of my favourite pieces out of the entire collection, and they are iinspired by a fashion forward gentlemen - cultured and elegant, but capable of pulling off a military-chic. The label say of their inspirational man as;  a very young  Jean-Paul Belmondo, busily working in the fervent 1970s Paris…this is the dreamy image that Zagliani is aiming to portray for the coming season. 





 As you can see, they have utilised high-end leather working and exquisite craftsmanship, with it showing quite a superb mix of classic forms that contrast with the use of contemporary materials. Talking of materials, there has been little expense spared - knowing my leathers quite well - shiny calfskin with python detail, nubucks paired with lizard, crocodile and ostrich skins as well as classic stingray skin. Other more outlandish but non-the-less stunning skins include violet nubuck crocodile skin, orange ostrich and opaque karung skin.

I hope you agree, these are quite something! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Malarky for Money x Competition

COMPETITION TIME! 

I am really pleased to announce that LSoD is hosting exclusive competition in collaboration with Money Clothing
Famed street artist and illustrator Malarky has teamed up with popular streetwear brand Money to produce a one-off limited edition t-shirt. 

With both Money and Malarky famed for making lasting impressions within an urban landscape, Money have charged head-first into 2012 with this exciting collaboration that showcases beautifully how urban swagger and streetwear styling produce a t-shirt that’s the ultimate in stand-out sport and street styling.

All you have to do is email laststyleofdefense@googlemail.com before 10.30am on the 24th January 2012 - next Tuesday - with your name, address and size. That's all. 

This limited edition-shirt  "Malarky for Money" is  available in a limited edition run of just 100 pieces and one reader can enter to win. 

The legal/terms stuff: This exclusive competition is open Internationally; No cash alternative is available; All entries will be chosen at random by an Internet based randomiser after all details are entered; Late Entries will not be counted. 

Marni AW12



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Givenchy Pre-Fall AW12


What a treat from Givenchy and Riccardo Tisci, the first ever Givenchy pre-fall collection for men, this for AW12. The collection is a lot less brighter than previous seasons but we do see a return of the now iconic Rottweiler print. 

The collection is inspired by sharks, I am told, as well as marines and surfers in the moon-lit sky. Each piece works together in a strong nod to American sportswear, strong lines within tailoring and a notion of the utilitarian. 

Keep a look out on the web for more image surfacing as they come. 




Energie

I am quite liking this denim shirt from Energie at the moment, it is a great piece that has continued from last Spring Summer onto this one. With a nod to Americana workwear and Californian styling, the minimal approach this aesthetic is suggested with topstitching and pointed front yoke. Nice...

SS12 Collection with...?


Now these shots come from a brand I have never, and would not normally consider, featured but I am not going to say who it is yet. This menswear line appears to make a dramatic move forward for the new spring season by blending the main staples of a classic collection with stripes, coloured denim and vintage printed, ethnic icon tees all of which are indicated for the new season from the SS12 catwalks. 

They have adopted the colour blocking trend but in a more masculin way which is seen in suiting, with vibrant electric blues and hues of hot fuchsias empowering the range. I think Aztec prints that decorate denim shirt pockets are a great injection of style relevance and makes what could be a standard shirt quite ethusiastic. The brands says its standout pieces include the powder blue single-breasted jacket, the hot pink knee length shorts which are pictured above with a yellow sweater and the below oversized hooded parka for the early past of the season. 

Of course, there is the nautical element which remains and this is executed through Breton sweaters, fisherman jackets, anchor print polos and casual espadrilles. I have pictured below the British heritage cricket jumpers, noding to the preppy trend that we saw in Milan and PAris, whilst casual chinos, in soft power hues such as the peach ones below (paired with the Hawiaan shirt) and as the brand says, makes a laid back and compelling collection. Ready for who it is yet? 

See the answer right at the bottom of the post...





The collection is full of the right basics, and you can see great thought has been put into each piece to form, what I think is, a strong offering for style on a budget. Well done Primark

Monday, 16 January 2012

Dunhill Voice Spring Summer 2012 Campaign

 Today saw the launch of the Dunhill Voice Campagin SS12 with a another stellar line up of individuals who excel in their field; this time with Olympian sportsmen, rower Sir Matthew Pinsent (above) sailor Iain Percy (below) and gymnast Louis Smith (bottom). These classic, stunning, black and white images really hark to the meaning of excellence and style with a focus on, really, contemporary masculinity. Dunhill says  the series offers a glimpse of what makes these men so remarkable, who or what has inspired them and what is takes to be an icon - without giving a focus on what they are wearing; that is a secondary response from the reader. 

This incredibly inspiring series, of which more will be released over the coming weeks, is a celebration of the London 2012 Olympics and the men who are involved. Unlike other campaigns, using real people is difficult as trying to portray a brand image with just 'normal' people can be off message but Dunhill have made it their own, much like a certain soap brand for women in print and on TV. 

In today's society, the message of celebrity is now being lost due to an over-saturation of the meaning of celebrity or famous, mainly by wannabees after their five minutes of lime-light. But these guys are not celebrities or famous, they are what Dunhill describes as men who embody timeless values that are worth aspiring to – qualities like compassion, dedication and conviction. Brilliant, inspiring, driven, engaging men with opinions, flaws and stories to tell. 


I met Iain Percy in June last year, who has previously worked with a Brand I currently work with by day, and I can say he is truly incredible. Watch these video's and see what I and Dunhill mean, and watch out on their Facebook page for more updates and videos over the coming weeks. 




Valentino x Pitt Uomo x The Corner


Towards the end of last week, Valentino, the famed Italian design house showed their AW12 menswear collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. Special Guests of Pitti Immagine, the collection went down a storm with fashion press and buyers alike.

A few miles down the motorway in Bologna, e-tailer The Corner has launched the 'Reserve the Runway' imitative, where you can view the collection video from Pitti. But then you can view the pieces you wish to reserve and receive before anyone else which have been uniquely designed by Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli.

The dedicated site is such an innovation between the industry, the consumer and technology and taking part in this unique The Corner offering is quite an experience. The collection is very strong on tailoring with a host of double-breasted, on trend for the season as it nods to heritage and the 1920s and 1930s but also a suggestion of the 1960s with the Teddy Boy influence. Check out the collection, and see if you can pick up an exclusive take-away from one of the industries biggest names. 


Vallery Demure AW12 Show Room


 It is that time of the year again when Twitter is alive with the talk of menswear and most of us are running around Europe for Fashion Weeks and events such as Pitti Uomo in Florence. Whilst these brands have the support and backing to get a stand at a trade show, many others don't and this is where agencies come in. Representing some of the freshest design talent in London, USA and Japan, Vallery Demure has some incredible talent on their books, though you can't just rock up and buy these pieces, you will just have to wait until the autumn to get them. 


Assad Mounser, above, is a jewellery designer from New York who is inspired by the Japanese men buying his women's line. Taken by the power of the male figure and a memorable, recent concert photograph of Iggy Pop, his first collection for men represents a power that withstands time. I think the spikes are great, however, maybe a little troublesome paired with a wide-knit Burberry sweater, no? But I can not deny that the workmanship is outstanding. 



Resha Sharma and Ilya Fleet are the design duo behind the leather bag, belt and accessories line Fleet Ilya. This bag is made with incredible care and craftsmanship - very on trend for the quality meme that we have in society now - and the quality of the leather is incredibly tactile and supple. 


Michaela Buerger is a knitted accessories designer in  Paris and sees colour is key in cold weather. This AW12 season Buerger is playing with a combination of sexed-up tartan, bold use of primary colours and contrast leather buckles to make graphic statements. Nice - and clearly very Parisian. 

This Eddie Borgo bracelet is simple stunning and one of the cleanest, freshest takes on masculine jewelry I have seen for a long time. The New York based designer is studying classicism for AW12 whilst pairing new ideas with timeless shapes. 

Yuvi Alpert is the designer of Ruby Kobo based in New York who produces fine jewelry. This collection is inspired by the lineal configuration of vast metropoli ranging from Japan to Indonesia, New York and Jaipur and incorporates colours and textures from varied cultures, while juxtaposing everyday casual wear with luxury. Quite intense aesthetic direction, but you can't get more intense than what looks like black diamonds. 


Sarah Swash & Toshio Yamanaka are behind Swash who are producing scarfs and bags - yes, for guys. This scarf is great, which looks straight out of a Gothic fairy tale, sporting animals collide with eerie skeleton clocks and equestrian bondage in skies of forest green, fawn and twilight. 






This beefy chunk of silver is the creation on Tobias Wistisen who has taken inspiration from prison tattoos to the temples of Cambodia. This collection is a creation of symbolism within secret societies and the naivety of old anatomy drawings. Wistisen believes ultimate beauty is found within the perverse. 


This intriguing accessory is by MoutonCollet, made by the duo Matthieu Mouton and Nicolas Collet who have been paying homage to the Belgian countryside and the valleys of Scotland. They have used everything from mink fur to tartan and there is a little Goth Noir thrown in with the introduction of a line of wallets and new series of sculpted candles.

Friday, 13 January 2012

J W Anderson AW12 Menswear Preview


It is great to see a taster of the London AW12 menswear collections, particularly when they come from incredible designer J W Anderson. With a deep 1970s feeling, particularly with those cropped flares and bowl haircut styling, there is a strong graphic nature to the offering. Yes, there is a sense of irony and tongue-in-cheek references of humour, but the direction is a fresh approach to the traditional tailoring that has crept heavily in to Menswear Day.  This set was first seen on models.com, with styling from Benjamin Bruno and photography by Alex Sainsbury.

This is not the only reference to the 1970s youth culture that we have seen for AW12 - slotted in amongst the heavy American work wear look - and I doubt it will be the last.

 

Hardy Amies x Mr Hare x Globe-Trotter


Having featured the House of Hardy Amies on here before, not to mention blogging for thier website, I can safely say I am a great fan of the Savile Row tailor. But yesturday, Hardy Amies went global on its routes in London and showed its AW12 collection in Florence, at the Pitti Uomo menswear trade fair.
These are just some of the looks I most liked and as you can see the predominant colour is grey, which gives a strong tone and impact on a traditional suiting house.

The show, followed by a Gala dinner, featured two other brands - Mr Hare, the acclaimed men's shoe designer and Globe-Trotter, the esteemed luggage producer - both British. The luggage came in the guise of cases, small, structured brief cases or cabin bags that featured different geometric graphic designs on. The shoes, well, were just incredible with what seemed like molten lava on the toe-caps which were actually steel. They are apparently a nod to the 'Gold Diggers of 1933', a film by Busby Berkley but with decade referencing ranging from the 30s to the 70s for AW12 I will just take them as aesthetically pleasing.

Images courtesy of NY Times and Vogue IT.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Glossy Box for Men


Just before Christmas I was very kindly sent this very exclusive looking box, aptly named Glossy Box for Men. The German based company is a quarterly subscription service which sends out miniatures of premium industry, on-trend and well known brands with the likes of those below, including Yves Saint Laurent. Starting at £15 per box (plus postage and packing) the highly desirable boxes are a great luxury injection that comes at an affordable price, however I think that it will appeal to the 18-28 market as many guys may prefer brands they know and like. Though what's not to like about Glossy Box. 


I wanted to wait to review the box until after I had well, actually used it and I can say it has a fantastic mix of products that have all been well used. Now, I rarely shave - I trim to short stubble - but on this occasion I did, and after using the Shaveworks The Cool Fix, my skin smooth and fresh feeling.

The Goldwell For Men Hair and Body Shampoo was rather a treat, however I am not too comfortable shying away from using my usual brand, whilst the Monu Vitru Conditioning Body Wash was excellent, leaving my skin feeling very clean and fresh - almost like a salt scrub. The follow on is the Monu Vitru Energy Rub, which left my skin feeling a little tingly, though not in a great way, however after it calmed down felt quite fresh. The Goldwell Matt Cream Paste for the hair was good, but again, I would not shy from my usual brand that I get from my hairdresser. 

Murad's Clarifying Mask was superb and I love the clay-based feel on my skin which made my face feel great and the end results made my skin appear clearer and less, well, tired (blogging and a day job does take its toll). Finally, the YSL fragrances are very masculine, with musky and spicy undertones that make a great impression. 


For the price of £15 for four boxes a year, you can not go wrong, and I would highly recommend this as a gift for a birthday or even Valentines Day next month. To check what Glossy Box For Men is about check out the website