Friday, 28 September 2012

Wolf and Badger

Get shopping on the SS12 collections from Lou Dalton as well as Baartmans & Siegel to name but a couple.  

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Goodhood pop-up store


You may have seen me post about the Goodhood 5th Birthday, pop-up store and its various wares on sale. The night at the store was a huge sucess and created a lot of excitment at the products on show, as well as seeing a great retailer reach a momentous celebration. The video above shows what went on during the evening, with friends and clients taking in the Goodhood collaboration pieces with Norse Projects, R. Newbold, Antipodium, Bag ‘N’ Noun to name a few. The store runs until the 24th October in Hoxton, London and online too.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Buckingham Palace x Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration

As I sit here in September, I can almost still hear the triumphant cheers, animated chatter and jubilant cries of joy that has rung around Britain since March this year. As an 86 year old lady, dressed in a vibrant fuchsia pink coat matched with a striking fuchsia and black hat, stepped off a train in Leicester, we knew that this was going to be a year to remember. Later, in June, that same lady would seemingly jump out of a plane with James Bond and arrive to open the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony - that lady of course is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  

This year, Britain has been in constant celebration mode with Diamond Jubilee tour, the Olympic flame torch relay, the Diamond Jubilee weekend as well as the Opening and Closing Olympic ceremonies. Whilst The Queen has been present as most of those celebrations, it is important to note that one Royal figure has had a constant presence during these events, as well as being there through the ups and downs of the past sixty years of Her Majesty's reign. That fixture is Buckingham Palace.

This weekend, trudging in the rain (which seems to have been as constant as the roaring crowds) through Green Park, I approached Buckingham Palace with excitement to take a tour of the Palace and the special exhibition: Diamonds, a Jubilee Celebration. Each year since 1993, the Palace opens the State Apartments to the public and has seen over 9 million visitors in that time come to admire the sumptuous, tasteful and majestic interiors. Accompanying this opening is a special exhibition that delves into the Royal Collection to showcase the best in art, costumes and for this year jewels and in particular, more than 10,000 diamonds.

Ending next weekend, the exhibition features a number of The Queen's personal pieces of jewelry and works from the Royal Collection. Not only are some instantly recognizable but all of them are historically and artistically important as well as displaying the best in diamond cutting and mounting. However impressive this may seem on its own, the exhibition also bought together seven of the nine principal stones cut from the eponymous Cullinan Diamond for the first time. Originally weighing 3,106 carats, it was discovered in South Africa in 1905. For those who have seen a rough diamond, it appears to be a milky looking stone and was thought to be too big for a diamond, only to be thrown out of the manager’s window in disbelief. Named after the mining companies chairman, Thomas Cullinan, it was presented to HM King Edward VII in 1907 and eventually cut into nine principal stones, 96 small cut stones and nine carats of unpolished examples. With such magnitude and brilliance, the largest two stones Cullinan I and Cullinan II were mounted into the Sovereign’s Scepter and the Imperial State Crown, which sits within the Crown Jewels of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Featuring 23 pieces, I was in awe of seeing the piece above, the Diamond Diadem, which is the piece that The Queen wears on coins and certain bank notes. Made in 1820 for the coronation of the extravagant King George IV, it contains 1,333 brilliant cut stones with many forming the national emblems of Great Britain and Ireland. This is in stark contrast to that of the piece below, Queen Victoria's Small Diamond Crown - described small because it measures just 10cm in diameter yet remarkably features 1,187 stones. I have seen this crown in many pictures and paintings yet I never realized the miniscule size that was made in 1870 by R&S Garrard, which later came to form Royal Jewelers Asprey and Garrard on Bond Street, London W1. 

Whilst many of the pieces on display were wearable decorative pieces, it seemed that menswear took a back seat until I approached these. I say this with my tongue firmly in my cheek because each stone, setting and story is well considered and curated which could never disappoint me. Above is the Table Snuff Box of Frederick the Great of Prussia, which contains 3,000 stones in a cartouche-shaped bloodstone box that form flowers, insects, ribbons and musical pieces. The piece had passed around private hands after the revolution of Russia until Queen Mary acquired it in 1932 yet is a decadent representation of Frederick's modern and artistic sensibilities. 

The Jaipur Sword and Scabbard, below, remarkably contains 719 flat-backed stones that were presented to King Edward VII on the occasion of his coronation in 1902 by the Maharajah of Jaipur. All of the stones are of Indian origin and displays a stunning dedication of crafting that on appearance looks toy-like yet is breathtaking. Below this is the decadent and sophisticated Diamond Hilt Sword of King George IV that dates from around 1750, with hundreds of stones with a rococo ornamentation. Altered in 1820, 33 large diamonds were added to the sword whilst another 1,001 were placed around the piece to produce one of the strongest pieces in the collection belonging to a King. 

There is no denying that the Palace and the special exhibition is a remarkable experience that has to be, well, experienced. Having access to one of the most recognizable buildings in the world (as well as one of the last remaining working Palaces) embeds a special mark onto your psyche. Not only is the Palace a representation of the selfless and dedicated work that The Queen does, but it represents a mainstay that has bought and will continue to bring people together. Whilst the building has changed time and time again over the course of its history, one thing is for sure that what it represents will never alter for hundreds of years to come. If you can get a pre-booked ticket to the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace or a day released ticket, then you will not be disappointed. 

Last Style of Defense would like to thank The Royal Collection Trust. Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration Images reproduced by Gracious Permission of Her Majesty The Queen. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Saint Laurent Campaign



If you have not been keeping up with the tantalising drip-releases of the Saint Laurent campaigns, the latest shot has been released featuring Kati Nescher and, I think muse, musician Christopher Owens. These almost dominatrix/cougar shots are suggesting quite a youth driven aesthetic for menswear (picking up where Slimane left off at Dior Homme, perhaps) and an established yet modern look for womenswear. What ever it is, we will have to wait and see what the eagerly anticipated show will bring in Paris later this week. 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Superdry + Timothy Everest Sebiro AW12

When two labels come together from the opposite ends of the commercial spectrum of menswear, there can be some trepidation to the end result. Timothy Everest, the esteemed East London tailor and global brand Superdry have collaborated for AW12 to produce a winning offering that merges casual with smart, heritage with contemporary to form the Sebiro Collection. Comprising of tran-seasonal pieces that are defined as wardrobe staples, I think these images I have chosen from around 10 shots appeal the best to me, namely the modern representation of the classic tailored pieces. Combined with the country charm-meets-bad boy- attitude, they are masculine, beefy and well, just great. I could easily find a place in my over-stuffed wardrobe for the double-breasted suit, bottom, and the two jackets in the two other shots. Whilst the heritage and innovation trends come through, it is not over done and the collaboration itself confirms that this is authentic rather than contrived.

Available at the Superdry Flagship store on Regent Street, London, W1, suit jackets start at £175.00 and trousers at a very reasonable £75.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Mr Porter AW12

Entitled 'Style Wherever You Are', my favourite menswear e-tailer Mr Porter launched this AW12 campaign that is simply breathtaking. Dan May, the sites Style Director and Mario Muttenthaler, Head of Sales and Marketing worked with Tom Craig to capture these stunning shots that show that Mr Porter reaches and appeals to customers around the world. One of the reason's this is the case is its exceptional customer service, speedy delivery and interactivty on social media channels which all add to a superb experience. 

With Tom Craig capturing a host of models in numerous of the sites designer stockists, the surroundings of Iceland to Los Angeles show that, like Last Style of Defense, the sun never set's on Mr Porter

Wednesday, 19 September 2012



Karl Lagerfeld AW12

It can be argued that Baptiste Giabiconi looks great in anything, but he is the perfect model and muse for the the first Karl Lagerfeld Paris collection for men. Launched in the UK for AW12, you can see that Mr Lagerfeld's influence has extended to the  instantly recognisable high collars, white shirts, slim trousers and fitted jackets for a neat, smart look. Available in Selfridges, Oxford St, London, this really is the only place to showcase this premier collection from one of fashion's most respected icons. 

The collection, working along side a women's and a unisex offering, focuses on military inspired outerwear, with the overcoat above taking the lead. Knits and fine wools take centre stage within sweaters and trousers for that quintessential luxe look that Mr Lagerfeld has inspired throughout his whole career. Updating some of the often stale autumn/winter essentials that are in a man's wardrobe, the line has introduced a tech weave to its ribbed pieces that make a premium piece masculine and interesting. Now, how do I get my hands on that military coat? 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

LA Diary: GPPR AW12

One of the best aspects of being a blogger is that you are always learning; about fashion, culture, business and of course, new brands and labels. The highlight of this month so far is finding GPPR, Los Angeles based clothing label. This autumn/winter 2012 collection is entitled The Revolutionary Experience that dedicates its collection to the blue collar philosopher, a thinking man's rebel of sorts - one who views the world with a semi-cynical approach and maintains a great sense of humour on both the his surroundings and life. 

The collection encompasses an exciting and engaging array of separates and outerwear, with these shots below highlighting my favourite's. The look book, available on their website, harnesses an aesthetic that is the modern urban man exploring his Californian city surroundings. Perhaps it is WeHo, perhaps it is Venice but one things is for sure - I want to get my hands on the incredible dip-die chambray shirt, printed pants (below) and contrast sleeved bomber (third down). 

Click on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter or Instagram @gpprco

Hermes AW12



I came home to a look book from Hermes last night, something that you can receive by past as a customer or pick up in one of the stores. I love the simplicity of the graphical text, patterns and designs in the book which completes a tome of great aesthetic visuals. If you are a fan of the Hermes world, you can log onto the Hermes World section of the website for some more, free, graphical delights. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Primark Limited Edition 2012

Today Primark launches their first ever Limited Edition collection today in 7 select stores nationwide, as well as exclusive concessions in the Manchester and Birmingham Selfridges stores. The capsule collection, inspired by traditional American workwear, references a time when clothes were made with substance and sustainability, with a clear focus on fabric and fit. Capturing the heritage and authenticity trend perfectly, Primark seems to be have stepped up to the mark with this offering - and captures the manly breard trend also perfectly. Maybe too well...

Moss Bross AW12

For Autumn/Winter 2012 Moss Bros is launching a new, premium range for AW12 under the ‘Moss 1851’ label. Celebrating over 160 years of Great British Heritage - now that is real heritage, apposed to some who try to market 20 years as authentic and heritage driven, the collection is split into two categories, Moss 1851 Craftsmanship and Moss 1851 British to encompass suits, jackets & coats.

The fabrics for the Moss 1851 Craftsmanship collection are sourced from top international mills to create a range of suits that embody the essence of traditional British tailoring. The block has been developed by taking the best attributes from the company’s extensive archive and contrasting them in a juxtaposition with bright linings for a contemporary feel that defines a signature detail of the collection. Coming in birds eye, sharkskin and herringbone fabric weaves with prices starting at a unbelievable £249.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Goodhood Pop Up launch





Lyle and Scott x Digital Fashion Workshops

A fortnight ago, I was asked by British heritage brand Lyle and Scott to be a contributor to their highly publicised Digital Fashion Workshops last week, a task I greatly accepted. The workshops aimed to harness emerging talent in online fashion writing, online marketers and developing from the graduate sector, with contributors from the world of PR and online press. 

I was asked to set a brief to the team of graduates that would give them an insight into how to craft a blog or online article post, what information is needed and what factors are needed. After submission from the graduates, I picked this entry from D.W - a well considered and informative piece that looks at both the catwalk and commercial aspects of menswear and fashion.  

For exciting menswear, Day six of London Collections: Men is the place to go.

Three key designers that never fail to grab some column inches are Christopher Shannon, James Long and Oliver Spencer.

For SS13 Shannon presented an intelligent streetwear collection. Colour blocked sleeves, patchwork striped panels and unfinished edges were key whilst the silhouette was baggy and relaxed. Statement pieces can be teamed with pared down wardrobe staples for a surprisingly wearable look.

Allow the wigs made from rags of torn material and instead focus on the classic white shirts with a twist to the tailoring for a modern, youthful and very street style. The multi-tonal denim shirts offer a new take on a street-style staple and no doubt a safer version will hit the high-street this coming summer. The prevalence of bold horizontal stripes in the collection is notable and had an early 90s feel which is a going to be a strong trend for Spring 2013.

James Long is one champion of very quirky menswear. You won’t find pieces like this on the highstreet, but that doesn’t mean that some of the key themes and feelings behind the collection won’t translate into a seasonal trend. A surprisingly dark and moody collection, considering it was a Spring/Summer show, was presented. The collection felt ever so slightly too familiar to the AW12 J W Anderson show in that there were some very feminine feeling silhouettes to shorts and trousers, metallic appliqu├ęs on the knitwear and that overall air of ‘Dalston Noir’ (dark, mysterious and a little bit too cool for anyone to ‘get’). I think the key trends that will come from this show are metallic detailing on menswear, bold and graphical knits and…. Socks with sandals!

Finally, Oliver Spencer, who presented an extremely wearable collection. Tailoring was casual and in light and fluid fabrics. There are the usual suspects including masculine crew neck sweaters and military inspired jackets. The colour pallet includes light mustardy yellows and pale grass greens which signify a more mature approach to colour. As demonstrated by the eclectic mix of models, this is the collection for the everyday man. There weren’t too many gimmicks and themes, just stylish, timeless pieces that will make a healthy addition to any wardrobe and mark the increasing maturity that’s developing in the menswear market.

By D. W.