Friday, 31 August 2007

Picture postcard: Channelling Pablo

Hey-ho Steve

Today's image is courtesy of my new favourite street style blog of this exact moment, Stockholm Streetstyle, and any rambling that takes place is courtesy of my poorly, poorly brain. I'm going to be completely honest with you here: I'm probably just loving this quite so much because it reminds me so much of our man Pablo Picasso.

This is such a good look for the mixed-up weather we're having at the moment. The lightweight trousers make a nice alternative to shorts and means when it starts raining (again) you don't look so ill-prepared. I think the bag really works here too, somehow toughening up the look (it would be ideal for stashing away a scarf, too, for if the weather got REALLY mean). It's the top half of the look I like the most though: really like that stripy top (and looking for one similar for myself at the moment) and completely enamoured with the colour of that jacket, it's just lovely. I do very much like his hair too, though I'm not entirely convinced that it totally suits him. I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I've grown a bit tired of the medium-length shaggy indie hair that almost every boy seems to have nowadays- short,sharp haircuts like this make very refreshing change.

Anyway, I'm going to drag myself to bed now. I hope your weekend at home is going well and I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say on this matter when you get back on Sunday.



Hey Eliza,
Oh I apologise for my silence. I am chomping at the bit to get back into blogging action. First things first Stockholm Streetstyle is a great site and I really enjoyed the sartorialist's recent trip. However, when I went to Stockholm I really didn't see as many interestingly dressed guys. I saw many well dressed guys but very safe and at times very dull. That said, the sartorialist found some great dresses so my style eye must be a little short sighted or something whereas the sartorialist has 20-20 vision.
Now onto the image and the reference to one Pablo Picasso...Pablo is THE Man (although, upon a recent quotation search I stumbled across this, which I'm sure you wouldn't approve of... "Computers are useless. They only give you answers"). I've dabbled with the Parisian look and I love it. This look would be complemented by a small weekend bag as opposed to the satchel currently worn. I managed to find the perfect black and white horizontal stripe t shirt in Hurwendeki (back when it was my favourite shop, sadly the amount of menswear on offer has fallen in recent months!). The jacket works really for this guy, the fit and colour are perfect. Like you say this is great dressing for the upcoming months where it can be hot one minute, cold the next with a monsoon downpour during the interim. The trousers are cool but I tend to avoid light coloured trousers mainly because of the high probability that I will spill something on them in the first few moments of wearing them! The overall look would be better if he was wearing similar trousers but in a darker colour that complimented his jacket. Now onto the haircut, I think the shortness of it has been forced upon him due to a receding hairline but it looks good and I doubt think there's too many other options for this chap.

I will leave you with another example of Pablo's wise words and of course a lovely image of the great man.

"Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working."

Look at him here with his thick stripes and deep in thought pose. He is everyone's dream grandad.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Extending the idea

Further to your earlier post about Prince I have been thinking about colour. I've never been a monochrome kind of girl (far too messy and accident prone for white and black is just too depressing) though I can hardly be called a riot of colour. I think colour can be a scary thing and while I see it bandied about in different forms on the catwalk you rarely see real (as in, on the street, not some kind of bizarro macho) men giving it a go. I saw the picture below from the Paul Smith Spring 08 show and wondered why.

Paul Smith

Yes, it always helps that he is a pretty boy with lovely hair, but I really think that this could look brilliant on the ordinary person (btw, why do I love the rolled up turn ups in this picture so much?).


This chap, taken from facehunter, proves my point quite well I feel. This is of course a severely toned down use of colour, but I think those bright pink shoes and the crisp white shirt complement each other so very well and stops this look from being boring. I love that he's wearing a neon yellow belt and it's not the first thing you notice.

he wears short shortsfacehunter again, and the same pink shoes. Now, I'm not big on the shorts, but I do like how this all goes together. The purple of the top is just lovely, while the dark colour of the shorts stops them screaming 'look at me, please' as much as they might have done in a different colour.

One last picture from me, this time courtesy of MTL street:

This looks like the easiest way of wearing colour- and it probably is- but look how well put together this is, with his trainers picking up the colour of his pocket, jeans and his top and his sunglasses matching his belt buckle.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Mad about Plaid

Hey EJ

I am huge fan of plaid at the moment and seem to see it everywhere although at times when I do see it want to burst into the Python's lumberjack song (one day soon I will just have to). I know you are a fan of the plaid shirt but are your eyes feasting on it as much as I am in recent weeks? I'm just working out a myriad ways of wearing it and have been inspired on recent style posts from the sartorialist, facehunter and DDD!

Have a look at these...

The classic - shirt worn with (slightly faded) denim jeans (image courtesy of thesartorialist)
Plaid shirt used as layering - very subtle plaid here, even with the stripes though it works! (image courtesy of facehunter)

Plaid Shirt with matching hat (the shot doesn't do it justice really, it actually looked pretty damn cool) - NB - I love the style of the guy on the left. (Image courtesy of DDD) Dressing up in Plaid - I love the hair here and red socks - not a fan of the trousers (they give him the appearance of sporting child bearing hips). Thesartorialist is finding some great shots in Stockholm (image courtesy of thesartorialist)

I think everyone in the world knows of our love for plaid. I also think H&M have been reading my mind as they have devoted a whole section of their accessories range to black & red plaid... love love love. For ages now I have been meaning to post this picture of Joe Strummer- I love the jacket and the loose teddy-boy-esque look. Come on, this hair is just beautiful.Sigh. And then this afternoon I was watching the extra features on the Science of Sleep DVD and admiring Michel Gondry's rather adorable jacket. I googled him and began to suspect that Michel may share our love...

The coat seen on the DVD- I love the suit GGM wears throughout the film but that's a different post

Michel giving a talk in New York in August 2006

Michel at a show via this blog

It's clearly a long-term love.

Sorry to hijack/distract the focus of this post... oops.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Brand watch: Nom de Guerre

Oh my, I am in love. I was in Oi Polloi yesterday, longing to be male when I saw a shirt I thought you'd like by a brand called Nom de Guerre. It was in the lumberjack-y pattern that we both love, but a heavy, cord-like material. Slightly unusual, a little on the expensive side, but as I said to Rob at the time, if you'd been there you probably would have bought it.

The pattern is just about visible in this pic- I love the styling too

I made a mental note of the brand name and carried on window shopping. I remembered only now to look it up and- forgive me for repeating myself- oh my, I am in love. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is I like, but I suspect it's the colours and the autumn-y, outdoorsy feel to the clothes and photos.

All of these pictures are from the Autumn/Winter 07 collection, though the Spring/Summer 08 lot look pretty tasty too. There is a timelessness (corny thing to say, I know) to all of the clothes that somehow isn't boring with it. I don't know if you will think that maybe it's lacking something, a twist or something, but I thought I had to let you know about it if you didn't know already.

How do I not hate this hat??

Well according to wikipedia it means 'name of war' and refers to pseudonyms adopted by resistance fighters and terrorists. Anyway, i digress...back to the clothes. I do like the style of this shoot. It reminds me of the Heath in Autumn and I would be styled in a similar fashion. I particularly like the whole mood of the middle image. One of the key facets of successful menswear labels for me are those that create styles that create a sense of timelessness. I don't think its corny. I personally like to spend that little bit more n clothes that in know won't be dated in a few months times. I have seen this label in the cloth, it seemed vaguely familiar and low and behold after checking the stockists I saw it can be found in A Butcher of Distinction off Brick Lane which I visited a month or two ago (I must remember to take my notebook out so I can jot down the names of both cool shops and labels). According to their website the a/w 07 collection is the 'Young Americans' collection inspired by the era just before the Vietnam war - the time of blue jeans, plaid shirts and argyle sweaters. I love plaid shirts at the moment. They do seem to be everywhere but so they should be!

Just another Hack?

After reading Style from the Sunday Times this morning (I say read but I really mean cast aside because there was article on Sadie Frost discussing 'perfection' and her life which quite frankly put me off my marmalade and toast until I could take no more) it made me want to write about men's fashion journalism and in particular Jefferson Hack writing for the Telegraph. Hilary Alexander recently commissioned Jefferson Hack to write a fortnightly column for the Telegraph about menswear and it's quality. I like Hack. I like Dazed & Confused and ever since The Face folded it is one of the best magazines out there (oh I miss The Face but fortunately I have a few old ones which I turn back to from time to time). I have bought Another Man and this is full of pretty editorials and adverts, blurring the boundaries between the two. I have read all of his recent articles for the Telegraph and enjoy reading his words but to be honest what he is saying is not that interesting, most of what he is writing about is not new, not innovative and the people who read it I am sure already know about it. However, in recent weeks highlights include:

Christopher Bailey - my favourite article so far, as Bailey was talking about the relationship fashion and music. For Burberry's new advertising campaign Bailey includes three 'rising stars' of British music, Patrick Wolf, Larrikin Love (hmmmm) and The Paddingtons (oh come on really!?). His choice of musicians aside I liked his comments "Look at The Pistols, The Jam, The Clash or Freddie Mercury," says Bailey. "They are people who have all shaped and influenced fashion massively. The emotion of music is so important to fashion."

Recent Burberry campaign with Wolf and Deyn

His mention of the Sartorialist - Well just because I like him. 'On his blog,, Schuman has created an invaluable source of ideas and inspiration for the style-conscious. "I love how this gentleman layers his suit with that short, extremely fitted nylon vest, shoulder bag and helmet."

Dover Street Market - Hack calls DSM a revolution in retail (these are strong words especially when you compare the retail space to examples in countries like Tokyo) and it is certainly one of my favorite shops in London. Hack then goes on to discuss how DSM might have had an influence on retail sales within men (not too sure about that myself) but the shop has definitely paved way for a change in attitude. Adrian Joffe (of Commes des Garcons and one of the brainchild's of the store) says "Men are definitely being bolder in their sense of individual style. Factors like DSM, but also London's creativity, magazines and other creative role models, are all encouraging that."

One of the cool spaces within Dover St Market

It seems Hack writes about a few of the things that I like and to be honest I do like reading about them. But (and it is quite a big but) I do find his articles a little uninteresting as I feel that the people reading them more than likely already know about it. Plus how he writes about men's fashion as a whole is uninspiring and to the most part just anecdotal and mentions of how seemingly great his life is. Maybe I am just a tad jealous. Apologies Mr Hack because I do like you and I don't blame you. Have you read any of his articles yet? Are there actually any good male fashion journalists out there? GQ writers can be good at times (but only at times as Dylan and co can get too much) but I see an abundance of great food writers and critics but there is a void where men's style journalism should be. It seems that it is reduced to merely a few pages within supplements like Style (before I cast it aside this morning I noticed a few pages on Chelsea's stylish players) or men's fashion magazines. I think it is time for change.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Picture postcard: Indecision

Marlon Brando

Dear Stevie

How tentatively I post this one. Brando at his most beautiful age, that's for sure, and utterly compelling. Still, I'm not entirely enamoured with this look. OK, what do I love? I love his hair, I love his stance. I love the contrast of his really workman-like jeans and the smart two-tone shoes. I ADORE the vest. I have been thinking about vests, particularly white vests, like this since watching an American in Paris for the billionth time the other week. Once a vital part of a man's wardrobe, vests seem to have been relegated to the clothing collections of old men and Arctic explorers (OK, and maybe the occasional body-builder). A shame I think, as a vest on someone of the right build (not too skinny, but no man boobs of any kind- whether due to overeating or over exercising) can look amazing. I suppose Marlon here is testament to that. To tone the look down, or to give a more Gene Kelly style, a light coloured, possibly short sleeved shirt worn open over the top would be in order I think.

I just have one question: is that a bracelet he's wearing?


Good afternoon, happy Saturday to you.

First things first I will attempt to answer the question. I believe it is indeed a bracelet of some kind as it doesn't appear to be a watch.

This image is at the point of Brando's peak in terms of his greatness, complete with tight T's and chiseled arms but I agree that this image just doesn't work. We have to accept this for what it is though, this is casual, on set Marlon; he looks as if he is mere moments away from putting on his bowling jacket and intimidating his cast. The words of his character Stanley sum up this image: "Be comfortable. That's my motto up where I come from. You gonna shack up here? Well, I guess I'm gonna strike you as being the unrefined type, huh?." For me though, the stumbling block of Brando's attire is the shoes, so I am afraid we have to disagree on that point. Don't get me wrong I love the two tone shoes and I have been looking for a similar pair for myself but they just don't work with the rest of his outfit at all! I do like his flat cap though even though it covers his cool hair.

This was the era of the vest, it was celebrated during this time and was very popular indeed. It died out and now has an image of being worn either by Ryan Atwood types (i forget that you didnt watch the OC but look it up!), wolf whistling builders, old men and geeks wearing them for PE class showing off their skinny arms, overall not really worn by style icons! That said I recently bought a vest (mainly because I had bought a see through T shirt and need something to cover my nipples) but it has grown on me and I have worn it out when it has been very hot. I would always wear it underneath a shirt initially and then peel of that layer if it was too hot.

I picked up the Evening Standard magazine and was confronted with a very pretty boy with defined cheek bones, Roman nose and soft pouting lips, it was the Grandson of Marlon Brando. He has just embarked on a modelling career. He was prettier than Marlon but not as handsome...if that makes sense at all.

Much love

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Hand to hand combat with a ball of wool

Oh my, am I rubbish. But less of that and more posting!

Although you may not consider this post to be strictly about style, it is a topic close to my heart. I want to write today about knitting, and specifically men who knit. I learnt to knit late last year and was pleasantly surprised by how easy (not that I can knit anything more complicated than a square or scarf yet) and relaxing it is. I've found it to be the ideal thing to do while listening to music or watching rubbishy tv (I have great difficulty doing just one thing at once) and making things yourself is the ultimate in bespoke.

I keep hearing about a rise not just in women knitting (the so-called craft revolution has done wonders for wool shops) but also a subsection of cool male knitters.

All over the web there are brilliant knitting sites, and some really great ones dedicated to male knitters.

Men who Knit

Men Knit (ok, maybe they're not very creative when it comes to naming.. though I love that there's a men's knitting group called 'Dicks with Sticks')

A great issue for men from

That last link has some great patterns including a brilliant baggy sleeved cardigan. The way I see it though is even if you're not ever going to get to the level where you can knit cool stuff like that, how great is it to be able even to make your own scarves in the colours you love the most?

If you don't know how to knit yet, you may want to check out the following link for some helpful videos.

How to knit a scarf courtesy of VideoJug

Hello there.

Oh why is Russell Crowe on our blog? Damn that neanderthal and his poor sense of style. other than that I love the post. You need to teach me how to knit. I want some arm-warmers because I've seen them worn really well under coats and want to emulate the look. Next time I visit you in Manchester you have to teach me the basics. I could learn from online videos or by abducting an old lady but I would prefer to have your wise words and demonstrations rather than from someone who smells funny. I stumbled across the look on luisaviaroma and even I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a pair of arm-warmers so why not make them. If I fail I can always buy a cheaper version but I want to try. What fun we will have in Manchester!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

News - Topman Launches the White Shirt

August 24th - this is a date for your diary. Topman have invited a select few designers to interpret their vision of 'The White Shirt' signifying the start of an ongoing project, titled very inspiringly - 'Man'. I look forward to the rest of the collection but right now let's focus on the up and coming release. First things first I don't believe in The White Shirt, as this collection shows there can be a tremendous amount of variation on this item of clothing and one can own and indeed wear a number of white shirts (on rotation of course) for different occasions. To support this notion I want two of the five shirts on offer. My wish list (it does extend much further than just this one collection but for the benefit of this post) includes Deryck Walker's effort which is short sleeve (which I normally tend to avoid), and elasticated complete with panelling.

My favourite however is Ute Ploier's design. Seeing this design has made me explore this designer further and I love what I have discovered. The shirt to spark this all off is based on the traditional biker jacket and features rib detailing on the cuff and hem a short stand up collar and quilted shoulder. To be honest though I have seen a very similar shirt on an online store and if i give up on waiting for the release date of the Topman range or if the racks are bare by the time I get to them I will buy this, just to ease any possible feeling of loss. I am sure that at £50 each the shirts on offer will soon be snapped up so I will do my best to be as quick as possible to avoid losing out.

When the shirts are as different as the ones chosen here the search for THE white shirt isn't important, we should just be on the hunt for the BEST white shirts out there and buy according to our needs. Currently when shopping I am constantly drawn to white shirts and at times have to tear myself away from the racks! As they are seen as such a staple in any wardrobe (male or female) I am intrigued to see how the designer has approached it; the cut, the material (too many white shirts are far too see through and cheap looking, I do not want to see nipples on display and neither do most people!). Sartorial features can and indeed do make a vast difference to the look of a white shirt and personally (just to be a little outrageous maybe) I feel these sartorial features can have more of a visual impact on this wardrobe institution than on any other garment. White shirts are certainly worth celebrating and deserve much more than their, at times, dull image.

I'm not sure about this one, Stevie. While I like the second shirt, I'm not sure how well it would work as a shirt. All of them seem to look a bit... cheap, but that may just be the lighting- although the fact that they're from Topman doesn't fill me with hope for high quality garments. I think the first one suffers from that a fair bit. I think a lot of them look quite incomplete somehow, like they were a nice idea for a design competition, but didn't really work out. Still, I shall keep an eye out. I do love white shirts though, albeit it not on myself- my uncanny talent for spilling food and drinks down my front and white coloured clothing does not mix. They are classic for a reason- you don't see enough boys walking around in a nice pair of jeans and a crisp white shirt these days, such a shame.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

That Sartorialist is stealing our thoughts!

Hey EJ

Have you seen how that pesky sartorialist has been inside our brains or maybe he is just one step ahead! I let him off the first time when he mentioned Fred Astaire's use of the tie as belt (although I mentioned this in an earlier post) but now it seems he is delving into the inner depths of my inspiration. Is this just a coincidence? I think not. I will have to don my trench coat and fedora and snoop around his archives. Regardless of whether he has or not (I really don't think he has been reading this blog) I am extremely happy to see him bring up the great style icons that are Cary Grant and Fred Astaire and to see the that the level of response following this post far out number the comments left for other posts. If you missed it, although I very much doubt you have, here it is.

My own personal favourite of the two has to be Fred Astaire. He was not blessed with the natural aesthetic beauty of Grant but Astaire used his style to allow his aesthetics to bloom and even surpass Grant's. The little touches within his style that at first can go unnoticed but once seen excite and wow the viewer, such as the tie as belt (my personal favourite which I have salvaged for myself), the slanted tie clip and the slim cut sleeves on his suits. In contrast Grant was always sleek and well styled but not stylish to the extent of Astaire whose style was simply breathtaking on camera and off. I commend the sartorialist in bringing this style debate to the fore. I hope to continue the good work and will post in much more detail at a later date.


I say we approach the sartorialist for a collaboration of some kind, are you with me?

Oh Stevie, you know my adoration of Fred. Looking at pictures today has made me realise that I might have been channeling him a little, but it's probably best not to dwell too much on that. My most favourite thing of all about him is his apparent lack of conceit and his fantastic smile. In every photo I see (bar the ones where he is concentrating on a scene) he has that lovely, open smile. He never seems aloof or mean, particularly not in any films that spring to mind. His style is so casual that any surprises it brings seem even more wonderful- dandyism without the pose and knowingness. Other people may disagree with me on this one and hold a completely different view, but for me he's the tops.


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