Friday, 30 March 2012

Ston Easton Park, Somerset

I have been away, hence a lack of posts, but unfortunately for work and not for play. However, I always think you can often combine the two when it comes to creative away days. I spent three days at Ston Easton Park hotel in the village of Ston Easton in Somerset, which is not far from the Mulberry factory in Chilcompton and the outlet store in Shepton Mallet.

Ston Easton Park is an imposing Grade I listed building which was built in 1740 for the Hippisley family that is approached down one of those crunchy pebbled drives. The sound under your car is wonderful. The picture above is the main door way into The Salon, described as one of the most outstanding rooms in Somerset - and it really is special as the decor is sumptuous without being brash. The house has the aura of an old (but wealthy) family member as it really makes you relax and enjoy the setting. Roaming around the house between the Yellow Dining Room (where our final dinner was, below) and The Library is relaxing but gives you a sense of belonging to the building. As with most houses of this size and age, it has had its ups and downs in upkeep but has been very sensitively restored since the 1960s, most notably by the distinguished former editor of The Times, William Rees-Mogg.

This is one of the most stunning hotels I have been to - even Beyonce booked the whole top floor during Glastonbury in 2011. Many members head to Babbington House, part of the Soho House group, but if you are not then make Ston Easton your own private members retreat.
The garden's - below - are open to non guests and it really is a great place to stop of or head to for a relaxing drink or lunch - in the dining room or around the stunning 18th century designed grounds.

Mohsin Ali x Globe Trotter

Mohsin Ali is a menswear force in London that has a lot of close contenders for combining luxury with pure masculinity. So it is little wonder that British luggage maker Globe-Trotter, a Global force of craftsmanship, chose Ali  to create a limited edition range of super luxe luggage.

The range is what you would expect from two producers of British luxury and style, with each case intricately laser etched to produce a subtle patterned effect. As with Ali's own collections, it is all in the detail and these qualities that he has transferred to these suitcases set themselves apart from the Globe-Trotter core collection.

Ali's aesthetic is clean and contemporary, and his label lives by three rules; form, fabric and function. This ethos is similar to that of Globe-Trotter, whose suitcases are handmade using Victorian machinery in a process that has remained unchanged in the in exactly the 115 year history. The range is available as a 13 inch Mini Utility (£945), 18 inch Slim Attache (£1120) and 18 inch Air Cabin Case (£1,420) which are stocked in the flagship Globe-Trotter Burlington Arcade store as well as Mahna Mahna in Japan and Deschilder in France.  Luxury has its price but it's a price worth paying...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Mr Porter x ACNE

It's a joy to get a package delivered at work, particularly on such a beautifully sunny yet busy day as yesterday.  The package I received (yes, there are a few a month) was from Mr Porter, the world's leading all male online retailer based in London. I attended the Mr Porter event last week at HIX on Brewer Street, W1 in central London with a host of other bloggers, sort of the power players of the online world. 

We were rewarded with some delicious canapes, cocktails and a £50 voucher that I used against this now sold out t-shirt from ACNE. The fabric is a wonderfully soft, draping cotton in a washed out blue with a great contrast collar that is relaxed and carefree as the Swedish house that produced it. Like I say, the t-shirt is now sold out but check out the rest of Mr Porter's ACNE offerings. 

Thank you to the Mr Porter team for their generosity and hospitality; I am enjoying wearing this today at a stunning West Country stately house hotel.  

Monday, 26 March 2012

LA Diary - Topman x London show Rooms x Riviera Club x Alternative Apparel

After a while without a Los Angeles based writer; I would like to introduce Bethany Webb, a Brit abroad who has a sharp eye for menswear and what's hott around LA. 

Topshop Comes To Vegas!

Flying to Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Topshop dinner with Sir Philip Green (pictured below with me on your right) I was shown the Topman Spring/Summer 2012 collection which has just launched here. Fresh, fun and edgy, it is bang on trend with long shorts, trimmed suits and fabulous old school blazers; tweeds, bold checks and brogues, the collection was daring but stylish. With tailoring continuing to be popular, I think the suit we’ll be seeing on every man this season is a soft cream pairing which reminisces of a Jeeves and Wooster fee-paying school cricket match or in the herald of nostalgia; a 1960s prom. The blazer was outlined with navy blue trim on the outside which, paired with some Bugsy Malone style brogues and a quaffed hair-do and pale coloured shirt sees a great style look for the West Coast. I like the fact you can mix their suites too or pair a blazer with a collared air-tex and some tight fitting just-above- the-knee plaid shorts and pumps and it’s a smart/ casual day outfit. Topshop are creating bold, bright and bad-ass designs. I just can’t wait ‘til they come to LA! 

Fashion Week Hits Hollywood!

What a wonderful week with some awesome collections by some fabulous designers. Riviera Club and E.Tautz for Savile Row, London captured the AW12 hottest trends and has seen an up and coming friendship duo called Luica.

LSoD favourite Riviera Club have teamed up with the wonderful True Religion for some funky jean styles. Faded jean with spots of paint and a turned up leg teamed with brogues - styled with no socks, of course -  paired with Riviera’s classic buttoned shirt will be a look that we’ll be seeing a lot more of. Their collection for this Autumn/Winter is natural and easy to wear as usual, choosing a palette of navy blues, soft mauve and dusty reds. The specific attention to detail on their buttons with a carved anchor was delightful just adding that extra flare to beautifully soft shirts. The feel and texture is warm and comfortable with faded stripes or check.

Their outdoor puffer jackets stood out with the classic green, yellow and navy tartan on the lining and hood. The fun rolled up cotton trousers with faded red and blue checks on the turn up teamed with one of their folded v-neck big knit woollen jumpers with duffel toggles and a high collar looks delicious! Riviera Club always create classic designs but I’m in love with this season’s collection. It’s comfortable and timeless.

Richard Grant (L) at the London show Rooms: LA event/WGSN

I was privileged to be asked to the London show ROOMS event and was delighted to chat with the designer Patrick of E.Tautz. Covered by Dan at London Fashion Week; the collection sees A/W 12 bought in with charming clean lines, beautiful bright red linings on long cavalry overcoats and on the inner collar with chequered red and black duffel coats. He presented a neat but fun collection in keeping with Saville Rows distinctive style adding pure wool jumpers, plane in dark grey’s and blacks or black and bright red blocks with high round necklines adding handkerchief pockets and shoulder patches. Heavy duty fabrics like cavalry twill, Melton and barathea were used just like British troops on parade. Further more skinny suit trousers shiny in greys and blacks; a wide rimmed pointed hat added to the look. Patrick has created a collection so uniquely bold and big that I am certain will be very popular this season. 

It was really great to see Jonathan Saunders and Todd Lynn at the event looking very dapper. Jonathan's look is very simple and translates to us in LA really well. 

Jonathan Saunders (top) and Todd Lynn (bottom) at the London show Rooms event/WGSN

I can see three types of fashion here for Autumn/Winter 2012. We’ve got the classic blazers, buttoned tee's, brogues or deck shoes teamed with bright coloured socks and quaffed long hair; The smart business man in clean classic colours and tailoring so good it makes every man look and feel like a million dollars; and finally the rougher edgy man- off seam trousers and shirts, skinny cotton trousers, or flare. It shows designers are really going out there right now opting for bolder better choices. Don’t you think it’s time you went shopping boys?

Meeting the lovely Molly from Alternative Apparel for the new Spring/Summer collection (hosted by Starworks) on a sunny Wednesday afternoon in Weho (West Hollywood's nickname) was a treat. Not only is the collection bolder and brighter, we are seeing this year’s popular trend of layering and mixing different cultural influences into the range. Crayon striped shorts for the men caught my eye, pairing it with one of their slanted cut, soft mint tee's looks hot this season. Molly explained to me; ‘We wanted to create a sort of flash back of seventies culture from the west Californian vibe’.

I like this brand a lot as their textures are light and so so soft. They also do great things for the environment as 30% of the Earth label line is eco-friendly-super soft. If you buy one of their best selling hoodies or a t-shirt and contribute to their ‘Buy a T, Plant a Tree’ campaign a tree is planted. So great! Lovin’ it!

We are seeing lots of horizontal stripes on the men’s t-shirt collection in bright blues and reds mixed with softer shades of yellow and green which will be fab for this season. For me it reflects the fun in the sun of LA. 

I say- go by a T, not only will you be planting a tree but you’ll be hooked forever on their fabulous new range. Happy shopping boys!  

'Til next time, from LA...


Friday, 23 March 2012

It's Nice That x ASOS

How hott are these shots from ASOS for the fourth new drop of the It's Nice That project? The magazine has been doing graphic t-shirts for a little while now, such as this project, with ASOS but this is the first Hawaiian print designs. 

All of the artists have been hand selected by It's Nice That magazine and I have put the information as well as a link to their individual sites below each of their prints. Be sure to check these artists out as this is a refreshing and interesting project, that thanks to ASOS would perhaps not have had any real commercial exposure. 

Above: Hisham Bharoocha is an artist that is based currently in Brooklyn, New York City and concentrates on music, visual art and photography. 

Jonathan Zawada is based in Sydney in Australia and deals with mix media art for clients including Modular Records and BMW.

Mario Hugo is a French artist who counts Microsoft, EMI records and the UK's Channel 4 as his past clients. 

Michael Willis looks towards the kitch 1980s art and has a taste for psychedelic designs as well as bold imagery.

Mike Perry is another Brooklyn, New York based artist who does both editorial and commercial work with the likes of The New York Times and Nike.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

ACNE OMG Sweater

After visiting the Flagship store of Acne in Stockholm last week, I reaffirmed by adoration for the simple yet achingly cool brand. After much deliberation in the store for the OMG sweater, I must have had a crazy moment and walked away empty handed - although I did pick up 2 pairs of jeans earlier in the day. 

Back in London earlier this week, I hunted around the capital for the sweater and finally found one in my size; although I am reliably told it is sold out everywhere by now (although a Large is on the Acne site as of last night at 9pm). I own the maroon Paris/New York/Sweden sweater from last season; this tongue in cheek approach at the label is great and is testament to how popular these pieces are. Made by man and machine...and worn by LSoD. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Orlebar Brown SS12

Ahh, about time! The clocks are going back this week and I am starting to think about a holiday in Sitges again in August. However, despite the warm and sunny weather, nothing else can get you in the mood for the summer than Olebar Brown. Above is their SS12 behind the scenes video, shot in Ibiza, with all the of the styles available on line right now - from shorts to sweats. 

Despite a huge offering from Olebar, I am opting for these this year - the Setter II - which has all the signature quality adjusters and zips that all pieces feature. Classic but when it comes to the length, they have that nod to the shorter short twist. To find where you can pick them up in bricks and mortar shores, check out the site here

Monday, 19 March 2012

Stockholm, Sweden Photo File


Hej Hej! If you have been on Twitter you will have seen my updates from Nordic Man Land, AKA Stockholm in Sweden. I was away for work for two and a half days towards the end of last week and this is the view from my British Airways flight from London Heathrow; flying in over the frozen lakes outside of Stockholm.  

I covered most of the city; from the historic Gamla Stan to the achingly cool Sodermalm, with these being some of the interesting highlights and snippets from the few days away. I found that the colour red was very important in comtemporary culture - no idea why yet - and however contemporary the environment, there is a long look at the Swedish heritage. From one of the best beers in the world to picked herring and meatballs, I took full advantage of the gastro-delights of Stockholm with some of the best wines also I have ever drank in the city. Of course, a visit to ACNE was essential although I just picked up the new ACNE paper, I did find two pairs of jeans for £40 from the second hand store who's sign is my away image from early last week. 

So enjoy; and I will no doubt be returning to Sweden very soon.