Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sons of Heroes

It is a brand that, they say, has been born from a desire to bring a positive, confident attitude to contemporary menswear. Sons of Heroes is a commerical, of the moment aesthetic that represents the bold new face of the modern man; urban and determined to find style.
The collection and brand is about paying respect to the future icons of the 21st Century, but who they are I do not know and they are not described, but I can only conclude it is the people rather than those in the public eye. 

The model here is Jonny Burt; someone you may recognise from from Worried About the Boy, along side Douglas Booth, the bio-drama of Boy George from the BBC. Hott, no?

The brand, based in London has a collaborative history of over 10 years, with a team of two they have come together with their expertise and having worked side by side with some of the UK’s most successful and iconic fashion labels and brands.

The brand is really well stocked at a host of UK regional boutiques, ASOS and all Selfridges stores in the UK as well as International Play Ground in New York. 

Dover Street Market x House of Billiam

Dover Street Market, the luxe stockist store in central London, is not one to miss a brand of the moment. Launching on the 16th March, Dover Street Market has teamed up with the House of Billiam in producing these exclusive, bespoke varsity jackets which I think are both vibrant and very much on trend for Spring Summer 2012. 

The House of Billiam is a firm favourite with current style icons in the music scene such as Tinie Tempah, Labrinth, Kano and Angel. The label is a UK based and takes classic British and high quality fabrics and apply them to truly iconic street wear shapes. What they specialise in is allowing each customer to pick and choose every element as a bespoke, made to measure, garment that reflects both the principles and approach of the customer and themselves. 

The green tartan jacket with blue sleeves and traditional camo are my two firm favourites because they rally speak volumes into a classic but modern pattern. Tartan, usually associated with Scotland or, if you are fashion savvy, the 1960s youth era and camo, with the armed forces. But in today's struggling society and resilience towards the norm, they are great pieces that represent the new urban tribes that are sweeping towns and cities across the Globe. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

LA Diary: BFC London Show Rooms Los Angeles

Image courtesy of the British Fashion Council.

It is really exciting news that British Fashion Council announced last night that they will be returning - for the second time - to Los Angeles in two weeks to open the LONDON show ROOMS initiative. There are some details yet to be finalised and more designers to be confirmed but the Fall/AW 2012 collections will be presented by their designers at the ACE Gallery, from March 13th to 15th at the 5514 Wilshire BoulevardLos Angeles, CA 90036.

Confirmed designers so far are; E. Tautz, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Todd Lynn. This year in person, for NEWGEN will be, David Koma, Holly Fulton, J.W. Anderson, Michael Van Der Ham.  

This is great news for the British Fashion Council and community, showing an ongoing partnership with a city that is, in parts, London's style brother.

Timothy Everest x Brooks

Combine one of the UK's most respected tailors, Timothy Everest, and one of the world's most famed British cycling saddle and accessories company's, Brooks, what do you get? This stunning jacket, above. 

Made in London, the jacket boasts a wealth of cycle-centric features – wide front closure for wind and rain protection, large bellow pockets, a shooting back for ease, reflective strips for visibility, fitted wool rib inner cuff for hand protection – and bespoke flourishes, such as its Boultbee-signature tweed lining and hand-treated copper finish. Not a bit of cycle rage or a slightly chaffing bit of Lycra in sight - fantastic. 

What's more, Timothy Everest and Brooks are taking their partnership forward with the presentation of the Elder St and the Blackwell. With London hosting the 2012 Olympics, and the eyes of the world on the British cycling team, interest in everything that includes two wheels will be rife, so this partnership comes at no better time. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

Competition: WIN Comme Des Garcons '2' Fragrance.

I am really excited to announce that Last Style of Defense is one of a few blogs worldwide where you can exclusively win the new Comme des Garçons 2 fragrance. It will run for 5 days, with 10 winners per blog/per day of the Eau de Parfum Comme des Garçons 2.

So get entering! 

Upon landing on the contest page - towards the top of the side bar on your right -  you are invited to give your details through an inscription form, that will be put onto the bottle if you win, to play in the instant winning game. If you click at the right time, you win. If you lose, you can ask for a Comme des Garçons 2 e-sample and come back the following day to play again. 

Comme des Garçons 2 is a signature fragrance for both women and men. It plays with duality, with contrasts and complements, exploring the notion that opposites attract. Delicate magnolia, angelica roots and absolute folia interact with the power of cedar wood, amber and patchouli to create a contemporary fragrance that re-imagines the rich scent of incense. Sounds beautiful. 

Click on the widget image on the side bar to your right to play and win. 

Saint Presents: Box Park Pure Evil Launch

I was very privileged to receive one of the first 100 bottles of Saint lagers brew late last year (still unopened) and the brand has fast become a fashion man's firm favourite. 
Recently on the street during last week's Menswear Day at London Fashion Week, Saint provided a shoe shine service around Somerset House and the Burlington Arcade. Unfortunately I missed them, but this week you can have the chance to meet the shoe shine team - and maybe enjoy a nice cold beer - at the Pure Evil Exhibition Launch at Box Park in London's East End. To see this incredible artist's work, the one who created the Circus logo for Jodie Harsh's famed club night, it is this Thursday with more details here

This shoe shine by Saint is one of the pop-up events that the brand is doing prior to the first Saint Presents which will be hosted in March by Oliver Spencer, the self-taught tailor and iconic British designer, whose clothes are worn by icons such as The Rolling Stones, Paul Weller and Benicio Del Toro. For more info, check out the dedicated Saint Presents site here

LA Diary: Riviera Club SS12

I have long championed the aesthetic and lifestyle that Riviera Club portrays through their clothing, well before their nomination in the GQ Best New Designers in Menswear awards some seasons ago. So I am really excited to tell you that the SS12 collection has launched online and in stockists. I blogged about the SS12 and AW12 - which is still on sale - back in December, so take a look at those Riviera Club collections here

So what is this lifestyle they portray? Take a look at these images from their site, below, and they will give you an idea of how great that LA lifestyle can transcend to the rest of the world. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

LFW AW12 Menswear Day - NEWGEN MEN & Fashion East Installations


Far from being the stuff old master of Savile Row, the famed London street of tailors, the Gieves and Hawkes AW12 offering was the right side of retro. With the 1960s seen as the decade that saw the rise of menswear and the over all development of good taste, Gives has also added David Hicks as a major inspiration for this coming season. Hicks, a British interior designer, was known for his use of bright colour and juxtaposing antique with modern furniture. 

With all this in mind, British made canvas suits, with widened lapels - a reference to Tommy Nutter, Savile Row tailor to the Swinging Sixties influencers, and the pea coat feature heavily. Cashmere mixed jackets with hoods, sumptuous knits and a host of brightly coloured pocket squares and ties were in abundance. 

Overall. Vibrant, opulent but all round accessable although the cashmere and mink jacketing cloth may take some getting used to on The Row. 


William Richard Green is not new to LSoD, having been featured in the focus on the Bright Young Things platform at Selfridges this year. A small but well formed offering for AW12, his inspiration is Millwall football hooligans, Acid House and British military apparel.


Christopher O'Brien is a Nottingham born designer who's textured collection is inspired by Francis Bacon, the photography of Tibor & Maira Kalman and experimenting with textiles leading to the crinkle effect. At a retail cost of an average £200-1000, he is not cheap but with an MA from Central St Martins and experience at E. Tautz, you know he cuts the right side of the cloth. 


Shoe designers do not often make an appearance at LFW exhibitions - I counted 4 this season - but when they are done, they are exceptional. Sebastian Tarek has been making shoes since 2003 and has the skill of any luxury brand. He has worked for two of the last remaining members of the West End Master Boot Makers Society, who have been making shoes for the Royal Court since the 19th century, proving that he is no one trick pony. Citing the inspiration for the AW12 collection as going away to far away places, the journey home and Soviet modernist architecture, I see a sense of the Edwardian in this collection. 


Known for his prints, Kit Neale has worked under Gareth Pugh, New York based label Duckie Brown and Tom Scott, plus a long stint at Wonderland Magazine. Giving him great exposure to the creative (UK) and commercial (USA) this capsule offering is vibrant, enjoyable and visionary. Citing the American surrealist painter Ray Smith, Derek Jarman’s Dungeness Garden and his dad’s allotment as influences for AW12, this collection has a lot of traction. 


The highly commercial and successful darling of the London Fashion Week Menswear Day is Christopher Shannon. Boasting a host of International stockists, including 10 Corso Como in Korea and Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles and New York, bringing a capsule offering to the masses seemed the next step. Stocked exclusively as ASOS and launched only a few days before Wednesday's installations, the price point is exceptional with t-shits about £50 and sweaters £90. Harking back to previous urban tribe references, these well dressed lads in a bus stop may not be your average trouble makers on a Saturday night.

Overall? Memorable, accessible and just, simply, brilliant. I am logging on to ASOS now. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

LFW AW12 Menswear Day - ONES TO WATCH


With an urban driven collection, Joseph presented an excellent collection which was vibrant, enjoyable and refreshing. Trucker caps accessorised looks that combined tailoring with t-shirts, perforated shorts with sheer vests only separated by lace stripes and navy gingham checked shirts under neon trench coats. Joseph's background in illustration, shown previously in his collections, Turvey put these facial prints on jackets and t-shirts, which are the more commercial pieces in an individually visionary offering from this exciting young designer. 


Frank Philips, AKA Tobefrank was inspired by the refined style of the original gentleman, interpreted into a collection suitable for today's modern dandy. Full of romanticism and melancholic undertones, contemporary classic trench coats, shirts with asymmetric collars and traditional chunky knits - each with wool or sleek velvet trousers was a fresh approach to a theme that could, but never under Tobefrank, get tired. 

The added red roses were a great touch to the catwalk and the model with the tattoo's, above, gave added, fresh, attitude. 


Berlin educated, Swiss born designer Julian produced a collection, using Swiss fabrics, was a mixture of the utilitarian and blue sky dreaming. Light and airy, tech fabrics and constructions created a feeling of a surreal, central European adventure amongst the early Spring mountainous terrain. 

Backpacks inserted onto anoraks, embellished parkas and large floral prints were humorous but wearable, making this an exciting collection from the Swiss visionary. 


Kim-Choong-Wilkins, a Central Saint Martins graduate, looked to the reoccurring Space Race and revolutionary theme in this AW12 collection entitled 'Dystopia'. With the chilling Aldous Huxley novel ‘Brave New World’ and the visually stimulating, surreal futuristic films Blade Runner, Tron and 2001 Space Odyssey, as inspirations, metallic took centre catwalk. 

With a the main juxtaposition being future vs tradition, shimmery metallic, such as the belted jacket above, as well as the PVC see through top pieces were paired with slim tailored trousers and crafted shoes. Visionary, brave and a great futuristic indicator, Bodybound has me spell bound.