Monday, 31 May 2010

Industrie and the beauty of details in menswear

You would never know that print media was suffering in our household. There are magazines everywhere. Both of us spend far too much time and money in newsagents. Granted there are occasions where a purchase will be enthusiastically flicked through only to be put down then filed away and forgotten. This scenario will not play out with Industrie. Since picking up the first issue last Friday I've been reluctant to put it down. This recently released large format magazine has been billed as the first and only media title dedicated to presenting an independent, in depth look at the fashion industry. It aims to shift focus away from current collections and trends, opting instead to provide a well considered insight into the culture of fashion.

A very helpful flick through was provided on Vimeo.

After reaching a state of ennui with a number of publications in recent months this magazine was an absolute joy and felt so refreshing. Over one hundred and sixty pages the title ventures behind the scenes and chronicles the personalities, stories and defining moments in the world of fashion today. The content varies between hearing the company Aitor Throup picks for his ideal dinner party to the three books that make a difference to b store's Matthew Murphy to meaty interviews with Katie Grand and Panos Yiapanis on their views on the industry. One of the real gems for me was Jens Grede's conversation with Tommy Ton. The Internet has given any passionate user access to catwalks and the fashion elite have increasingly struck a quick pose in the spotlight. Tommy Ton's Jak & Jil provides a beautiful sneak peek in to this world. The whole conversation is a great read but the following quote was the most interesting and surprising for me...

"I'm actually more intrigued by menswear than I am by womenswear...There's something inspiring about this idea of a uniform that is evident in the way that men dress themselves: a suit, a pair of pants, a shirt. Menswear is not as disposable as womenswear, it's more investment dressing...The challenging aspect about documenting menswear is the detail. I find that men are more drawn to detail, whether it's the collar, the cuff or the trimmings. I'm learning how to capture it. I find men's detail shots more inspiring on a style level than the pictures I take of women, which are more about a complete look."
Tommy Ton in conversation with Jens Grede for Industrie

It makes me ridiculously happy to hear Tommy talk about menswear so enthusiastically. I have to confess that there have been moments during recent fashion weeks where I've been more inspired by the street style displayed outside of the shows than the looks unveiled inside. Tommy's images play a significant role. The snapshots of style he captures for his own site Jak & Jil and those for GQ are at times breathtaking. We have long declared that the real beauty of menswear is in the details and will never tire of taking the time to celebrate the finer details of men's style. However, it is nice to take a breather from doing so and allow Tommy Ton's words and a selection of images to take over...

"The volume of this structured coat immediately caught my eye, especially the spiraled effect on the sleeve." Tommy shooting LFW for GQ.

"It's refreshing to see a gentleman who still takes the time to really be well-dressed. From the colors to the contrast of the patterns, you'd think you'd have to go to Europe to see men's style like this." Tommy shooting NYFW for GQ

"Let's take a closer peek at his accessories, starting with the navy monogrammed satchel. Seriously, I don't think you have to be a student to carry this off? Or do you?" Tommy shooting LFW for GQ

"I just adored how Dazed & Confused Menswar Fashion Editor, Robbie Spencer, wore his Lanvin beaded Trope L'Oeil t shirt. Rather than wearing the look directly from the runway, he layers it with an effortless ease. Bravo." Shot for Jak & Jil.

In addition to serving up inspiring fashion week style shots, Jak & Jil frequently takes a deeper look at an individuals style with his My Favourite Things feature. The highlight from a menswear perspective is undoubtedly Vogue Hommes' Francesco Comminelli. If I could inherit one man's style it would be his. I'll never bore myself poring over these shots...

Long may Tommy Ton capture the beauty of the detail in menswear. It is after all, the small details, so often overlooked and neglected by too many, that can transform any mediocre outfit in to something special.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Polka dots on my feet

Falling head over welted soled heels for these polka dot Dr Martens.

To help document the fiftieth anniversary of the first pair of Dr. Martens being produced at the Griggs factory in the village of Wollaston, the iconic shoe brand invited a few bloggers (including the lovely Disney Roller Girl, Dapper Kid, The Clothes Whisperer) up to the factory. In addition to offering you guys a little factory porn, I was able to take a sneak peek at the AW10 collection. Despite hitting fifty, Dr Martens have been making a proactive effort to expand their brand offering and I was blown away by the variety of styles on offer. There are now some two hundred and fifty different models, from golden to fuscia, floral to custom patterned. Since taking over at the creative helm, Andrew Bunney and Tommy Heng have really helped move the brand to move forward with new make ups and styles. While excitedly poring over the latest models I fell head over welted soled heels for a pair of purple polka dot lace ups but unfortunately for me they were one of the jewels of the women's line. The initial disappointed must have been written all over my face because Andrew and Tommy quickly came over to me. Rather than console me and attempt to turn my affections elsewhere the pair decided that they could make my latest dreams come true as they declared that they would embark on creating a special version in my size. At the time I have to confess to being a little doubtful that anything would come of my fancy but less than two months later, the pair have been realised and cheer up my feet...

1461 3-Eye shoes in Purple/Black Flocked Polka Dots by Dr. Martens worn with purple jeans from Uniqlo.

Tommy explained that the product team at Dr Martens are also huge fans of polka dots and have been experimenting with flocking techniques for some time. The result is something quite special. Made all the more special because they are (currently) entirely unique. You might think that I'm wearing a girls shoe in a larger size but you'd be wrong. Instead of using the women's DML comfort last the Dr Martens team have made my shoes on the 84 last. The 84 is unisex and is much narrower and has a slightly more pointed toe.

Polka Dot Dr. Martens worn with Comme des Garcons suit jacket, white club collar shirt by Bespoken and purple jeans from Uniqlo.

As one of the founding members of the Polka Dot Gang (EJ is the other) these shoes make me incredibly happy. In addition to adding much needed colour to my ever expanding shoe collection, they also add a sense of fun. Every time I look at the flocked polka dots I will let out a wry smile and will remember just how special they are...

A close up of the flocked polka dot uppers. These special shoes will be available in store at the end of June but only in women's sizes...for now atleast

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Time to Worry Worry

Following my recent feature on Tim Little on the King's Road I received an email thanking me for the post. At the bottom was a note informing me that I could choose a pair of my choice as a gift. Now, I'm not used to receiving gifts. I've always seen it a slippery slope of grey areas and murky waters and avoided it. At the end of the day I only post about the products and collections that truly excite me, I'm not interested in anything else or swayed by offers. However, as you could probably tell from my original post, I was an enthusiastic fan of Tim's shoes and found it incredibly difficult to walk away empty handed after my visit but my lack of funds forced me to do just that. Now, I am incredibly fortunate. Tim's generosity has saved me and my feet. I'd be a fool to turn down such an offer. Having made the decision to snap up the offer, the difficult part came next...which model should I choose..?

The simple result from a difficult decision...Worry Worry

After surveying my shoe collection in light of the recent warm weather, I realised that it was severely lacking in sunshine friendly choices. The Tim Little store is split in to three collections; Blue Sole, Black Sole and Italian but each model is named after a well known Blues song. 'Blue Sole' is the original line and got the label to the position they are today. Beautifully made, the leathers are French calf, full grain leathers from some of the the best tanneries in the world. They are, of course, Goodyear Welted, which means they will last a long, long time and are easy to repair when necessary but I wanted something a little different. The 'Black Sole' range is left to rest on the last for at least thirty days to allow the leather to adopt the perfect shape of the last and hold that shape over many years to come. Utterly beautiful but again, not quite what I wanted for the coming season. Last but not least is the 'Italian Collection' which includes trainers with a difference, boat shoes, driving shoes and wonderfully washed boots. After pin balling my eyes from model to model, I set my sights on Worry Worry. I needed something simple to solve my difficult query. Made in Italy using the softest calf leather these trainers are simple and iconic. This choice might surprise some of you because you might have noticed that trainers are surprisingly absent from the pages of this blog. I have an odd relationship with trainers and I'll tell you why. The tales of a former chav can be read below...

A million miles from Margate. Worry Worry trainers worn with red socks from Uniqlo and suit trousers from J. A Daye.

Having grown up in a certain seaside town along the Kentish Riveria, my youthful pursuits were bound with the latest trainer release from a certain brand with an enticing tick for a logo. They said "just do it' and did just that. After a kickabout in the park most weekends involved a trip to a stretch of amusement arcades on the seafront. This stretch of flashing lights and whirring noises was nothing more than a glorified, albeit rough around the edges catwalk. Very few of us were all that interested in the slot machines or first person shoot'em ups, not least when our money ran out. Most of us had nothing better to do aside from show off our latest purchase. Gangs of prepubescent boys strutted pointlessly about, weaving in and out of the gaming machines. They were all undoubtedly proud of their ensembles but looking back now, more often than not, they would have involved either a Lacoste or Fred Perry polo shirt in a garish hue and something utterly hideous and highly flammable topped off by a ridiculously small Nike cap. However it was what boys were wearing on their feet that really captured the stares. Admiration or abhorrence could be ascertained purely by looking downwards. In terms of my own experience I can recall one particular Saturday afternoon where I put on a particularly exaggerated strut along the strip because I had a pair of Nike Air Max Triax's on my feet. Having begged and borrowed for months I was euphoric that Summer afternoon when I could morph in to a sportswear peacock and receive untold amounts of green eye from my peers. Nothing could top that day, no other pair of trainers could make a chubby little kid feel ten feet tall.

Oh those were the days somehow I fell out of love with trainers. Having grown up and out of this chav cycle my relationship with trainers became estranged. Other than my Lanvin hitops I have not worn a pair of trainers for a good number of years...until now.

Made in Italy using the softest calf leather. Devoid of unnecessary details. These trainers are simple and iconic.

Despite the obvious existence of a new new generation who like their trainers clean, sleek and simple I've been reluctant to dip my toe in to this form of footwear even though I've been a fan. Tim Little's Worry Worry marks a seismic shift in my attitude. As you should all know by now, over the last twelve months I have developed a passion for shoes, an addiction even. It is just impossible to resist elegant, well fitted leather creations. After meeting shoeists like the chaps at Lodger, Grenson and of course Mr. Hare and most recently Tim Little I always knew that their passion would be contagious. It most certainly was. Now I have amassed a collection that I can be truly proud of but my purchases have frequently erred on the side of smart. No longer. It is time to put my feet up and enjoy the comfort of these wonderfully simple trainers...

Worry Worry trainers worn with red socks from Uniqlo.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

In the Maison

Susie excitedly filming the outside of Louis Vuitton's Maison on New Bond Street.

Now, I'm certainly not the Louis Vuitton don, not by any stretch of the imagination but it is impossible not to swept away by the New Bond Street Maison. New Bond Street has been at the heart of Louis Vuitton's presence in London sine it first opened its doors here 1900. One hundred and ten years on at the label has unveiled a new home. The Maison is the home of a collector. A collector who loves only the best and the rarest. The store has been billed as the most luxurious Louis Vuitton store to date and who could disagree? Designed by architect Peter Marino it features special products, vintage pieces and artwork all on one of London’s premier shopping streets. Marino has managed to make the space feel exceptionally luxurious, both open, light and welcoming but at the same time intimate. Once inside the impressive three-floor, fifteen thousand square foot space it is difficult not to come over a little Kanyeezy. Now, Susie has gone in to some depth (with the help of my photography) on the first two floors so I'd like to take your hand and lead you down a level if I may...

The Club area.

The lower ground floor is home to the aptly named men's universe. Stepping inside here, the recession seems like something that happened a long, long time ago. In the centre of it all is the men's club area with sofas and displays of high end ready to wear, where customers and their guests an relax, watched over by Gilbert & Geroge's ceiling high artwork. It really is a different universe...

For SS10, Paul Helbers looked to the hustle and bustle of New York City for inspiration. The designer referred to his show models as “gentlemen butterflies,” who flexed their biker biceps in ultra light clothes where futurism and functionality were fused with eye poppingly bright colours. Yellow, orange and white made for one of the most summery collections of Paris before a more sedate colour palette of mauve, taupe, maroon and grey took over. Smart sportswear was the name of the game and it was great to finally inspect the collection in person.

My eyes were certainly drawn to the colourful rails.

I love the more sedate palette and subtle prints on show on this rail

Smart sportswear is key to the line

The full menswear offering is available for the first time London: from the elegant ready to wear line designed by Paul Helbers to the alluring array of bags, luggage, shoes and all accessories imaginable. Below are just a few flights of fancy that aught my eye...

This cabinet contained so much luxurious treasure.

Luxury and timepieces go hand in hand.

If only I were filthy rich...

If you look closely you an see my reflection in these lace ups. I'd like to be able to do that in every single pair of my shoes. These Butterfly Richelieu in Metalised calf leather remind me that I must get polishing!

Imola Mocassin in suede calf leather.

Herald Richelieu

These hi tops are quite something.

Oh Luggage and shoes

Is it possible to have fancier shoes than these Butterfly Richelieu in sequin-embroidered fabric? I think not.

This luxurious, multi level space, with its labyrinth of accessory filled nooks and crannies and a series of generously-proportioned areas dedicated to every conceivable Louis Vuitton product makes an arresting addition to this chic corner of Mayfair. All Louis Vuitton fans will leave the Maison satisfied and it might just spark the inner Kanyeezy in a few non believers like myself.

In Discussion: Tell us about the most stylish man you've ever known

The b Store consistently offers a modern and accessible concept, cohesive throughout the store and in its eponymous clothing, shoe collections and magazine; to be individual, confident and to define its own unique aesthetic that transcends trends. In each pursuit, it draws inspiration from their mutual interests of art, music and film and look in particular to musical icons such as the late ’70s Berlin-influenced David Bowie and ‘80s post-punk bands including Joy Division and the Human League. For their own line, Dustin Hoffman's character in The Graduate paved the way for their preppy SS10 collection and for AW10 a jaded aristocrat exploring his country estate dress provided the inspiration but who is the most stylish man that b store's very own Matthew Murphy has ever known? Read on and you'll find out...


Tell us about the most stylish man you've ever known...


Matthew Murphy, Owner/Buyer/Designer at b Store.

We have been inspired by many different iconicly stylish men through out the many years of b store. On personal reflection, my great Uncle Arthur was a very stylish man, all be it in a classic working class English way, although at the time I never appreciated his style. His daily look involved; hair cut in a short back and sides so you could see his scalp and the top Brylcreamed back, high waisted wool trousers with button on braces and a little short, white loose shirt, undone at the neck with a tied neckerchief and a heavy, almost military black shoe.

He did not drive so rode his Runwell town bike everywhere, with his trousers kept in place with a bicycle clip at the ankle. He was a very frugal man, so made sure his clothes were not discarded until they were unrepairable, which led to many blazers and trousers being patched at the knee and elbow, something which I now attribute to his style. His style cost him many problems with his bike riding. He was very rarely seen without his trilby but he lost many and a favourite big tweed overcoat had rips at the bottom, from being caught in the chain. He kept a double breasted grey wool tweed suit as his 'Sunday Best' complimented with a small bow tie.

Do any of you have an Uncle Arthur like figure in your family? A man with a definite personal uniform that would be worn regardless of whether or not it was entirely practical. Someone who would wear his clothes until they were unrepairable. I'm reminded of Paula Gerbase's question at the end of her discussion entry. Does uniform hinder personal style and creativity or does it in fact focus it by giving one boundaries to play with?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Style Stalking... Jason Dike

It is once again time to partake in a spot of sartorial voyeurism. As we shade ourselves from the warm spell, we're lurking in the shadows to enjoy one our favourite past times: Style Stalking. Today's subject is Jason Dike, a stylish chap who tends to avoid the limelight, preferring instead to focus on unearthing well crafted menswear labels from across the globe or featuring the latest product releases from our favourite brands for Selectism, Gentleman's Corner and Esquire. You have undoubtedly read his smile inducing musings on men's fashion but only the lucky few have ever been able to admire his own style... until now. Below is a brief introduction from the man himself followed by his six day style diary...

"I find it difficult to describe my style, but basically I dress scruffily and then wear nice shoes in an attempt to make up for it"

Day One: Reminiscing over the old Selectism logo (Hackett forced us to remove it) at Sane Communications.
Outfit Rundown: Shirt by Wood Wood, sweatshirt by Our Legacy, Jeans by APC, shoes by Lodger, bag by Mismo Shopper, the Glasses are my brothers old Clubmasters

Day Two: Posing by a wall on my way to pick up some samples.
Outfit Rundown: Cardigan by and i, shirt by Carhartt, the Bandanna is vintage, chinos are from Uniqlo, Shoes are by Grenson and the bag is by Jas MB

Day Three: In Sane Communications office again. I just like it there.
Outfit Rundown: Overshirt by Robert Geller for Levis, shirt by Wood Wood, chinos from Uniqlo, Brogues by Grenson

Day Four: Running about for meetings.
Outfit Rundown: Sweatshirt by Our Legacy, the shirt is vintage Ralph Lauren, chinos from Uniqlo, Trainers by Spring Court and bag by Jas MB.

Day Five: Erm, I'm sitting in a couch, I guess. This is what happens when the person photographing you asks to meet in weird places...
Outfit Rundown: Shirt by Comme Des Garcons Shirt, jumper by Carolyn Massey, jeans by APC, socks by Happy Socks and shoes by Lodger.

Day Six: It just got hot in the UK, making the rest of this diary look like I did it three months ago.
Outfit Rundown: Shirt by Dunning, chinos from Uniqlo and trainers by Skive

I've missed your air Mr. Hare

Mr Hare Aw10. Orwell, Genet, Bazin and Truffaut. Photo by Marley Lohr.

The folks over at Selectism might have beaten us to the punch in sharing these images from Mr. Hare's AW10 look book but they are so damn good, they are worth a double take. As mentioned previously, for AW10 Mr Hare looks beyond the English Channel for inspiration and focuses his attention on Paris and the French New Wave Film movement in particular. The release of his look book has reminded us just how much we loved this collection back in February... (as you read the rest of this post I suggest you listen to Skee-Lo)...

It all started with the Orwell. Mr Hare wanted a shoe just like this for about twenty years and thankfully he created them. Photo by Marley Lohr.

"For me the AW10 collection was inspired by the city of Paris. The cigarette smoke stain that a smoking ban can’t erase. The shitty clubs. The chic fight. The never appearing taxis. The snooty girls. The complex. The language. The Attitude. God! I love that city. I remember standing under the Eiffel Tower aged 10, with all my classmates and marveling at the sheer decadence of pure aesthetic, Paris had, but London had never struck me with. Paris had an air and it was graceful"

Mr Hare on his inspiration

Truffault. Cuban Jodhpur in Vitello Lucida

In the build up to this collection, Mr Hare was also obsessed by the idea of men in heels. “I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller!” Prince, Bowie, Bootsy. The court of Louis XV. Many great heel wearers but can anyone think of a modern day great heel wearer. When Mr Hare raised this point he was reminded of Sarkozy and the derision surrounding his choice of footwear. The gauntlet had been thrown down and it just so happened to take him back to Paris...

"Wearing two and a half inches of heel will change any mans perspective quite literally. You see the world from where other people see the top of your head. On naming my Parisian Man Heels I decided this. Andre Bazin was a French film critic who’s writing influenced the new wave of French film makers, Truffaut, Godard and others, whose contribution to film went on to change everyone’s perspective about what cinema could be."

Mr Hare on the new additions for Aw10.

Truffaut are my particular Cuban heeled favourites

The New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of classical cinematic form and their spirit of youthful iconoclasm. Many also engaged in their work with the social and political upheavals of the era, making their radical experiments with editing, visual style and narrative part of a general break with the conservative paradigm. The names of a few of its prominent pioneers, Francois Truffault, Jean Luc Godard and Andre Bazim are given to the most radical shoes, the sexy Cuban heels.

Truffaut once again, simply beautiful. Photo by Marley Lohr.

It takes a particular type of man to be able to wear the selection of heeled shoes. I stand at five foot and ten inches small and have often dreamed of a late growth burst to take elevate me to my ideal height of six foot one. As genetics have left me wanting, perhaps I could turn to Mr. Hare's leather creations for a stylish hoist up? Last summer Susie purchased a wonderful and inspirational book in 'Cheap Chic' by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy. It contains a thought provoking piece entitled 'Fashioning the body beautiful' by Jean-Paul Goude which I often find myself re-reading, the below paragraph in particular...

"I've always art directed my appearance. Naked, I have short legs. When I was a kid, I was doing men's fashion illustrations for a Le Printemps department store in Paris. I gradually realised that hese drawing were actually a projection of how I wanted to look. On paper I was elegant, long legged, broad shouldered, slim, etc. One day I decided to make the fantasy real, so I visited John Lobb, the bootmaker in Paris."

John-Paul Goude in 'Fashioning the body beautiful' for Cheap Chic.

Goude was a firm believer that minor body enhancements, like heels or shoulder pads could greatly transform and ultimately enhance the male silhouette. I appreciate that these won't be for everyone but why should they be? I know Skee-lo will be all over these. The idea of fashioning the body beautiful fascinates me. I could certainly add an inch or two with Mr. Hare's Truffaut.

Photo by Marley Lohr.

Besides Godard, Truffaut and Bazin the ‘Miss Your Air’ collection contains many of the Mr. Hare classics, Miller, Kerouac, Fitzgerald and Orwell, all imbued with ‘Airs and graces’ that bring them more in line with his rose tinted perception of Paris. They are also joined by the incredibly handsome Huxley wholecut in ‘Vitello Lucida’ featuring the exquisite Mr. Hare brogue pattern. Last but not certainly not least, the much loved Genet loafer will finally be going in to production for AW10. Mr. Genet was Mr. Hare’s first ever loafer. It is something of a cad of a loafer holding six tassels of soft velvet, trailing at a rakish angle. There are few men with the romantic heart and cold blooded confidence to rock these, but for those who do, Mr. Hare and myself salute you.

Genet is one cad of a loafer. Photo by Marley Lohr.

Monday, 24 May 2010

A Darker Shade of Black: Casely-Hayford AW10

All eyes on Casely-Hayford's AW10 collection, A Darker Shade of Black.

Back in February I was fortunate enough to inspect a number of pieces from Casely-Hayford's Aw10 collection at my dream walk in wardrobe, the Showroom Next Door. This Touba Distribution curated showroom granted me the opportunity to catch a glimpse and cop a feel of a number of my favourite brands and introduced me to a few new ones along the way. I spent the best part of two hours fully immersing myself in the new collections of Mr. Hare, Casely-Hayford, H by Harris and Bruno Chaussingnand before being acquainted with Japanese denim specialist Sable Clutch and amazing knitwear by The Inoue Brothers. However, I spent most of that two hours around the Casely-Hayford display. Since that February afternoon I've been excitedly awaiting sight of their look book and after a few months of leg twitching and finger tapping my limbs can now rest easy. I caught up with Charlie Casely-Hayford for an exclusive interview and first look at the images for Dazed Digital but I'd like to pore over the images and text once more with you.

For their fourth collection, Casely-Hayford explore the boundaries of black hues. Having forged a strong design house signature combining fine tailoring with elements of sportswear and the spirit of London’s youth culture, the Casely-Hayford vision is translated into a new statement for Autumn/Winter 2010. This season Casely-Hayford reassesses ideas of masculinity, drawing influence from Military uniforms and revisiting the darkened sensibility of Afro Punk (the 'hankersleeves' of SS10 make a welcome return). The Afro Punk is now encased in armour. The father and son design duo have undoubtedly built on the successes demonstrated in their first three offerings with a fully drool inducing fourth collection. I bumped in to Charlie last month and he hinted that this was the collection they wanted to make when they launched the label. Having spent a good half hour marveling at the collection in the showroom and having now seen it in its entirety, it is easy to see why.

With each season, the design duo begin with the desire to capture, play and experiment with the duality of English Sartorialism and British Anarchy. In creating a new collection their driving motivation is to capture the feelings of an ever-changing environment and to communicate society's natural inclination to move forward. The clothes start from a traditional stand point, but rather than being nostalgic and whimsical, we choose to reflect the spirit of 21st century gentleman - a character conscious of many reference points yet someone who chooses to distill his style into a concise statement. Things have moved on since the days of the Duke of Windsor, and although he is a great inspiration and a foundation for the brand, the modern sartorialist has a different appetite. Their requirements, desires, and practical needs are frequently drawn towards a synergy between the formal and athletic. For this collection, the duo include the requirement and need of protection. This sartorial cocktail is seen runs throughout the outerwear, tailoring and accessories. There is always a narrative at the core of what they do, connecting each collection to the last and making foundations for the next. For this season the pair examined the recession and discussed how people subconsciously react to it on an aesthetic level.

"AW10 started out as a discussion between the two of us about the recession and how people subconsciously react to it on an aesthetic level. The importance of body armour as a form of protection stimulated ideas about re-interpreting outerwear. Black felt like a natural principle colour to express what we wanted to communicate, and this was how we came to combine military clothing with evening wear as one of our lead looks."

Charlie Casely-Hayford on how the collection evolved
(The full interview can be read over on Dazed Digital)

The main reference points were cultural signifiers that captured strong ideas of masculinity. It was about reasserting a physical representation of strength and sartorial gravitas during bleak times. The duo turned to military paratroopers, boxers, bikers, traditional English Labourers and added formal evening wear into the mix and then began to dissect and rebuild their parameters. All of their influences reflect men with a strong sense of self and pride.

"My favourite piece is probably the 'Storm Trooper' jacket - a take on the traditional Donkey jacket. It fuses elements from two extremes of British society within one garment. The outer shell is a donkey jacket formally worn by English labourers and later adopted by skinheads and punks as a symbol of British working class pride. The leather shoulder panels were often used as protection against wear from carrying a shovel or hod on one's shoulder. The inner garment is a classic English Huskey style waistcoast worn most commonly by English aristocracy on country shoots. Together in one garment English Sartorialism and British Anarchy stand true."

Charlie Casely-Hayford on his favourite piece.
(Read the full interview on DD)

The collection focuses on layering and ornamentation, exploring notions of the trans-cultural nomad: a constant traveller whose identity is shaped by the multitude of cultures which surround him. Various shades of black are heightened through the extensive use of Midnight Blue and Metallic grey. The monochromatic palette places emphasis on the importance of the Casely-Hayford silhouette with its dramatic proportions. Themes which define the house spirit include the use of more textured surfaces on outerwear garments. Washed finishes soften the mood of the collection, adding a less structured feel to its overall appearance. Bespoke sartorial methods are combined with technical detailing and it is one happy and aesthetically marriage indeed.

Alongside their ongoing interest in light weight fabrics, a new ’Body Armour’ aspect is introduced to outerwear. The Riot shield jacket Parkholme features a protective quilted detachable front panel. Ashwin, the Storm Biker’s Coat is made from 1000 grams Melton, giving it an authentic and practical Military handle. This season the concept of evolving jackets into shirts moves forward, with a new interpretation of the popular Trench Shirt, and the waxed functional English Field jacket also takes on shirt proportions. Their formal wear proposal continues its casual theme with a beautifully realised Shirt Dinner Jacket, which embodies the brand duality of English sartorialism and British anarchy.

The light graphic ‘Equestrian’ jersey print which adorns the Jackson trousers, New Moon slouchy jacket, and Beechwood sweat top, stands in stark contrast to the gravitas of the powerful Midnight Blue and varying shades of Black. Here boundaries of masculinity are challenged with the decorative print and sequined Colebrook knit jacket, set against hardware black boots by Casely- Hayford for John Moore. Casely-Hayford’s quintessential slouchy jersey suit re-emerges with a looser form and more fluid silhouette. The tailoring once again fits perfectly with my current sartorial aesthetic. The collection begins to touch on an aesthetic shift from one decade to the next, harnessing ideas of Futurism and Minimalism, experienced through sleek lines and muted block colours.

The collection builds on the sportswear and tailoring mix by adding military influences both in terms of the battle friendly palette and the armour like finishing details. Quite simply this is the collection that Casely-Hayford have wanted to make since launching the label and this is the collection we all wanted. It will be available at the recently opened menswear store on Redchurch Street Hostem and the ever amazing Dover Street Market. If you want to read my interview with Charlie in its entirety please do head over to Dazed Digital.

Look Book credits: Photography by Katinka Herbert and assisted by Christopher Kennedy. Art direction by Casely-Hayford & Son and assisted by Christopher Amfo-Okampah.


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