Thursday, 31 March 2011

J. Lindeberg AW11 From the Fjords to the Mountains

J Lindeberg AW11 - Feature Button

The AW11 season of press day pin ball has well and truly arrived and I've ricocheted from one to another to another whilst uncovering the gems of the season. One of the first to open its showroom doors was J. Lindeberg and after admiring the Jorgen Ringstrand shot look book for well over a month now, I was finally treated to a chance to inspect From the Fjords to the Mountains in person.

Once more, under Pierangelo D'Agostini fine creative stewardship, J. Lindeberg continues its endeavour of redefining modern classics with a particularly Scandinavian point of view. By respecting old traditions and combing them with the technical advancements of today, D'Agostin's third collection is packed with pieces that you wish had been hanging in your wardrobe for years. I first encountered the collection's mix of lightweight functionality and elegance when the look book images dropped in my inbox at the tail end of last month. Ever since then I've been eager to get my hands on the collection and on Monday I got my chance.


For inspiration, D'Agostin explored the dramatic coastlines of Scandinavia and through the dark water of the deep fjords and the soaring glacial mountains. You don't have to rack up the air miles of Tyler Brule to realise that traveling is part of daily life. Either in cities or crossing continents, garments are required to be versatile, providing multipurpose solutions and to perform for almost any occasion. Here, afforded by a delicate balance of modern technology and true tradition items are evolved and updated. Neoprene mesh layers, flat construction and Japanese fabrics introduce sportswear performance technologies and protection whilst iconic maritime classics such as the duffle coat and the pea coat are reworked to incorporate a three layer waterproof backing and detachable internal jacket. At every turn, tradition and technology are wonderfully fused.


This season the label has continued to grow its offering of accessories. Highlights include traditional mountain hiking boots in a Nordic construction which have been upgraded with technical neoprene. Sailor’s triangular neck ties and patterned cashmere-blend scarves capture the feeling of a man at sea...

Dandy styling with the triangular neck ties, Alp Boot Alpino Leather, Stivaletto Grained Leather and Wingtip Grained Leather

The collection showcases my own personal favourite hues for the colder months. The colour palette references nature in the depth of winter. The dark blue water of the fjords, the deep evergreen of the forest and shades of light grey skies are contrasted against the vibrant yellows, reds and acid greens of lichen covered rocks. A stunning palette whatever the season but particularly apt for Autumn. The best way to illustrate the palette while showing you a few key looks is to offer up a few selections from the look book itself in addition to the shots I took myself...


‘The collection is designed for now, moving into the future. Genuine craftsmanship combined with modern technology. Uniting yesterday, today and tomorrow’
 Pierangelo D'Agostini

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Details: Dressing for the season

3939's Tatsuo Hino dresses for these unpredictable sunny Spring days extremely well and I particularly love his Indian scarf from Merci.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Limited Editions for It's Nice That With ASOS

The moment the sun reveals itself from behind the grey wall of winter cloud, the masses instantly peel off the thick layers of comfort and protection to flash their near transparent flesh. It is in these moments of delirious sunshine celebration, the humble t shirt is of the utmost importance. There was a time, back when I was young, where I would obsess over designs and I amassed quite the collection. Rather than a wardrobe staple it was something of a wardrobe foundation. Those days might have passed but I still have a soft spot for thoughtful and creative designs. Today, sees the official unveiling of Limited Editions for It's Nice That With ASOS, a collection of ten season prints and original artwork.

Commissioned by true champions of creativity, It’s Nice That, ten of the most talented British-based emerging artists across the disciplines of photography and illustration have lent their hand to create a series of limited edition prints to adorn our chests...

Each t shirt comes with a matching print all for the wallet friendly price of £25.

There really is something for everyone, from Greg Eason's sparsely filled but beautifully observed and meticulously rendered feline drawing to Sophie Kern's joyful collage of prints, Jean Jullien's smile inducing weapon to Christopher Smith's double take needed photographic scene. My romance with the printed t shirt has been rekindled. Perfect timing for the soon to be revealed sunshine.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hannah Martin: The Man Who Knows Everything Shoot


Towards the end of last week, I detailed Hannah Martin's triangulated launch of her fifth collection, The Man Who Knows Everything. The awe inspiring installation at Dover Street Market, an exclusive fashion film and a unique augmented reality experience all combined to create a truly memorable experience. It allowed as many people as possible to try, play, ponder and marvel at her precious creations. Having enthused over the launch, I'd now like to take a little more time over the designs themselves and share the stunning look book with you all.
As previously detailed, the character that this collection is based upon is the Comte de St Germain. Ordinarily the designer dreams up her characters but this alchemist has popped up at various points in history. The Comte was the original International Man of Mystery. Seemingly unplaceable and untraceable and utterly intriguing. An eighteenth century European aristocrat of unknown origin who had no lack of resources and moved in the highest social circles. He hobnobbed with Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Voltaire, Rousseau, Mesmer and Casanova. There are many stories spun around this elusive character: he always appeared forty years old, popped up from time to time after his official death to make spot on prophecies, he could transmute matter , and spontaneously teleported to distant locations. Some considered him to to one of the hidden immortals who manipulate history and an 'Ascended Master.' This fifth collection from Hannah Martin is a visual dedication to this man beyond time. Beyond scientific limits. A balance of the highly modern and unspeakably ancient. The collection, delirious and drenched in blinding lights, reflects the intensity of Hannah’s latest exploration of narrative masculinity. Here, she presents a range of hyper-real, shamanistic jewels that seem to tell the unspoken tales of the Russian Tsars, secrets from within the courts of Louis the XV. These photographs by Joss McKinley shot at the stunning Lullingstone Castle in Kent explore this shadowy, otherworldy collection quite beautifully..

hannahmartin 1
Photography Joss McKinley
Styling Anders Solvsten Thomsen
Grooming Dorita Nissen
Hair Takeshi Katoh
Model Jose Wickert at AMCK models
Production Nathan Morse

Throughout her fifth collection, Hannah Martin pushes the boundaries of her craft while  intricately weaving her narrative within each covetable piece. Here, intensely coloured stones are mixed to hallucinogenic effect upon structures that find their source within constructivist and monumental architecture. A heady cocktail of neon rubies, emeralds, fire opals, amethysts, sapphires are offered sobriety with cleanest white diamonds. White, yellow and rose gold is used for the first time together in this tale of mysticism whilst signature black rhodium gives these radiant combinations their grounding. Of course, the real focus of this series is the shaman's triangle. Visually prevalent in Masonic circles, this geometrically perfect shape has been elegantly skewed by the un-wielding power of the Man Who. The ancient symbol of esoteric power has been finely mutated into an iconic piece of sculpture. Intricate lines that are fine and graphic are picked out with sharp edges and vivid stones. This triangle is formed within necklace, pendant, earring and cufflink and of course in the centrepiece, the pyramid ring. Simply magical.

Friday, 25 March 2011

H?Katsukawa from Tokyo for AW11

Better than any medicine, a look at H?Katsukawa from Tokyo for AW11

The last few days have seen me bedridden with the worst type of flu I've ever experienced. A symphony of moans and groans accompanied by a percussion of sneezes and wheezes with the odd fever induced soliloquy have echoed around my bedroom. This morning I could check my emails for the first time in days and was treated to a batch of images from Eiichi Katsukawa that made me feel instantly better.  Now, Katsukawa makes hand made, eye poppingly colourful and patterned brogues, along with wonderfully textured distressed Nibe leather brogues from his studio in Tokyo. His carefully crafted leather creations are far better than any spoonful of medicine.

Last June I was fortunate enough to meet the craftsmen at Pitti Uomo and it was an absolute pleasure to talk through his label and be introduced to his designs in person. After gaining experience in Tokyo, he moved to Northampton to study shoe design and production methods at the Tresham Institute’s Practical Design and Shoemaking Course. It was there that he had the opportunity to meet the great Paul Harnden. Following his graduation from the Institute, he studied further under Paul as a intern at Brighton before returning to Tokyo in October 2004. His passion for shoe making has since evolved whilst working at the Shinjuku Isetan men’s shoe repair center and through his participation in a number of successful collaborations. Katsukawa is currently focusing on his eponymous collection and his offering is growing with each season. Knowing that I missed out on Pitti this season, he has sent through a few images that he'd like me to share with you. Let me introduce you to his smile inducing yet stunningly beautiful, hand crafted designs...

 A look at H?Katsukawa from Tokyo's AW11 presentation.

 The Symmetry derby alongside the Nibe leather brogues and boots.

 A closer look at the texture rich distressed Nibe leather.

 Silkprint houndstooth, check and star prints.

Paint splattered Nibe leather brogues.

Eiichi Katsukawa at his AW11 presentation wearing a pair of his Armylast Torico's. 
All images by Ogiwara.

"I express the avant-garde style as new viewpoints and the day-to-dayness as enjoyments by creating a form of shoes. And the essence of that form is intangible love."
Katsukawa on his leather creations.

For Eiichi Katsukawa shoes should be enjoyed. In addition to being well crafted, they should bring a smile to the face of the wearer and the people who encounter them throughout the day.  His collection of bold designs certainly does both. His collection is currently available at United Arrows only but I'm hoping he picks up a few more stockists this season and I'll be able to update you during Pitti 80.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Waking up to Yamamoto's My Dear Bomb

Waking up to Yohji's My Dear Bomb (yes that is my pillowcase)

Due to the lack of blinds or curtains, sunshine poured in to our room this morning preventing any vague hope of a long, lazy lie in. I'm not complaining though, what a treat it is. As I wiped the sleep from my eye and made a cup of tea, Susie called out quotes from Yohji Yamamoto's My Dear Bomb. The following one will be bouncing around my sleepy brain for the rest of the day and beyond so I just had to share it with you...

"It is always best to add something playful to any polished, coordinated look in man's clothing. Attractive, classy, and chic alone result in something dull. The man with a real sense of style will always combine a highly polished look with something less refined, thereby combining the sensibilities of the man about town with those of the country buffoon, mixing the sensitive with the clownish. It simply will not do to have it all be of the highest refinement."

Friday, 18 March 2011

A. Sauvage's Black Volta

Cast your minds back to the busy month of May last year, where I zigzagged my way across the capital for various press days and viewings to help see what AW10 would bring, one of the real highlights and favourites was A. Sauvage. I've kept a close eye on the development of the brand ever since. For those of you with short memories, the label is the brainchild of Adrien Victor Sauvage who whilst working as a creative realised that the stylish demands of his clients were not being met so set about meeting them with his own designs. Simply put, the label works on the deceptively simple principle of perfecting cut and concentrating on fit.

As his SS11 collection begins to land in Harrods and Matches, I'm pleased to share the look book shots for Black Volta. Once more, to make matters even easier for the every man he has practically created an fool proof guide of creating ensembles within his look book. Of course there are a myriad of ways each piece can be worn but for those less confident, he has created a look book of colour co-ordinated assembly line-esque, everyday dressing...


Now, one of the methods Sauvage has used to tell the creative narrative of the label has been through his intimate portrait photography. His exploration in the field of portraiture began with the Captain and Native series which really captured the imagination of the blogosphere. I personally loved the questions that the photographic project asked about sartorial individualism. What does a suit mean to you? How do you wear a suit? It managed to document the intriguing relationship between A. Sauvage's tailoring and interesting names from the art, literary and film worlds. To celebrate the launch of his SS11 collection, Black Volta, Sauvage presents a new series which will soon be available to view on his journal. To whet your appetite I can offer the following image of Anthony Bonsu.

ANTHONY <span class=
Black and white photograph by Adrien Sauvage.
Anthony Bonsu wears 000-9 from 000-1- 000-11 Kente D.B Tuxedo Jacket and white tuxedo shirt
All images courtesy of A. Sauvage.

After an eleven year absence Sauvage revisits Ghana, capturing the inspiration for Black Volta in the process. Here his portrait photography of family, friends and the surrounding neighbourhood, sees natives dressed in the collection. As in previous series, the designer and photographer invites subjects to wear garments from his collection and encourages them to express who they are whilst wearing a suit with no directorial interference. Having established the loose parameters of the experience it is left up to each subject to decide what to wear, diverse as they are, from the collection. By revisiting his heritage a new story begins yet the collection builds on the same principle of perfecting cut, concentrating on fit and adding pieces to the range as season and need demands. Look out for more from the series over on his absorbing journal.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hannah Martin's The Man Who Knows Everything

Hannah Martin's The Man Who Knows Everything.

With a prestigious Central St Martins design education and a handful of awards behind her, it should come as no surprise that Hannah Martin is shaking up the world of luxury jewellery as we know it. Her luxurious and decadent collections are described as ‘jewellery for men, that girlfriends will steal’ and if I had a piece in my possession I would certainly sleep with one eye open from fear of Susie pilfering it. Each time I see her well crafted designs I am utterly blown away. Well this evening, he London based jewellery designer managed to trump everything that has preceded it. For her fifth collection, entitled The Man Who Knows Everything, Hannah has launched with an awe inspiring installation at Dover Street Market, an exclusive fashion film and a unique augmented reality experience that allows fans to wear one of Martin's creations in virtual reality. A triangulated launch that will blow more minds than just mine.

The character that this collection is based upon is the Comte de St Germain. Ordinarily the designer makes up her characters but this alchemist has popped up at various points in history. In fact, the infamous Comte de St Germain appears throughout history across the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In each account he remained the same age, always impeccably, yet simply, dressed to fit with his transient surroundings. His only remarkable refinery was the bountiful precious stones that adorned his hands, set into buttons, which covered the buckles of his shoes, and filled his travelling cases and trunks.

"He is supposed to be an alchemist, someone who can obviously live forever because he has been noted throughout time and always described in the same way. When we began researching him on the Internet there are some people who think he is still around somewhere. With this in mind I wanted the collection to be both ancient and super modern."
Hannah Martin on the Comte de St Germain

Now, the challenge the designer always faces is telling the story of the collection in a way that people can experience and understand. The narrative of this collection might be less specific than in previous ones, but it is certainly more mystical and the designs themselves deserve a grand scale. So, the Hannah Martin team devised a triangulated launch that allows as many people as possible to try, play, ponder and marvel.

The Euphoria of Lights encased in Waldemayer's obelesque

Firstly, the Dover Street Market Installation that I was fortunate enough to explore this evening. for myself. For the next two weeks, this installation, designed in tribute to the man who can seemingly travel time, is the main focus in Dover Street Market’s infamous ground floor window. Moritz Waldemayer, the great unsung hero of the design world has offered his pioneering eye for light and monumental structure and created an imposing yet elegant obelesque thanks to the craftsmen of Corian – all focused on a single ring taken from this first series within the fifth narrative, the Euphoria of Lights - the Comte's Pyramid Ring. A cage of lasers (yes lasers!) surround the special piece and when interrupted by wanting hands, the lasers let off different sounds, allowing visitors to create their own soundscape as they reach for the ring. This multifaceted presentation takes you from reality to the fantastical and back again in a disorientating manner. It is a real feast for all of the senses. If you are in London over the course of the next two weeks you have to experience the installation for yourselves.

However, thankfully this is not a London centric launch. Those of you who live outside of the capital and beyond can all still experience the collection's unveiling thanks to genius minds of Holition. Leaders in creative ‘augmented reality’ for luxury brands, this Curtain Road based company have partnered on this unique event and have brought the future closer by offering an international audience the ultimate shopping experience where they can virtually “try on” one of Hannah’s definitive pieces and experience a little of the Dover Street Market magic...

Download A4 PDF to cut out your own ring.

Wear the Comte's Pyramid ring in a virtual reality.

As much as the launch installation was jaw droppingly amazing it was busy and dark and altogether not very conducive to this blogger's snaps. Thankfully, the talented folks at Showstudio have created an installation video...

The Hannah Martin installation at Dover Street Market, 17 March 2011 shot by Zoe Hitchen for Showstudio.

Now, Hannah Martin is used to challenging the craftsmen of Hatton Gardens with her architectural designs but now she is turning her attentions to exploring the possibilities of online. Anyone can now download an application and cut out their own ring for the opportunity to engage with Hannah’s most pioneering work to date, and try on this definitive piece of jewellery from the comfort of their own home in the process. The difficulty always faced lies in demonstrating the tactical nature of jewellery and in telling the story of her narrative rich designs, with the help of the geniuses of Holition, Martin has done just that.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Collections: Jason Dike's Coats


Everyone's obsessed with something and our Collections series highlight a few of our favourites. Today, we explore Jason Dike's coat addiction. Now, Jason is 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. Whenever we see him around town, we never fail to admire his coat so we invited ourselves around to Casa de Menswear (Jason shares a flat with Daniel Jenkins) to rummage through his collection. Below is an introduction from the man himself followed by plenty of coat shots and we take a closer look at a few of his favourites...

"Before I was asked to take part in this post I didn't think I had that many coats. In fact, up until I was in conversation with someone who was lamenting their coat addiction (they had 12, at that point I had 15 and thought that wasn't enough) that I realised it. I'm now at 17 (and that's not counting the coats in storage) and I still think that isn't enough. What I like about coats is that they're the easiest way to change an outfit, put on a field blazer and you're instantly sharper, put on a varsity jacket and you're instantly sporty. I could prattle on, but put it this way: I'm a lazy dresser who prefers putting his clothes on and forgetting about them, so a good coat is an essential."


Jason's collection currently stands at seventeen coats and he still wants more! We decided to cover his bed with a handful at a time before taking a few detail shots...


Now, having offered a cross section of his collection, we could not resist taking a look at how he wears a few of his favourites and to learn the stories behind them. What follows are his descriptions of seven of his well loved treasures...

The one that makes an impression

Stutterheim coat, SNS Herning Cardigan, vintage shirt, APC Jeans

I've needed a raincoat for the longest time, so when the opportunity came to get this Stutterheim coat I couldn't turn it down. It's extremely white, but I like that about it. And it's properly waterproof so I can just throw this on when it starts chucking it down. I didn't know it, but it looks like I've always wanted to subconsciously look like a stylish lab technician.

The one that's a trusted favourite

Lou Dalton Coat, COS Jumper, vintage shirt, APC Jeans

I got this a while back after raving about it in Selectism (this will be a recurring theme in this post) and deciding I needed one for myself. When I first got I wore it just about every day and I liked when people's expressions went from 'what's that coat, it's amazing!' to 'oh god he's wearing that coat again' after seeing me a few times in a row. I'm also pretty sure Lou Dalton did a double take of me when she saw me wearing it one time, which must be a weird moment for designers. It's one of my favourites, mainly because I can wear it with several things in my wardrobe with little thought (like I said, I'm a lazy dresser).

The one that's worn all the time

APC Parka, Levi's Vintage denim jacket. COS Jumper, vintage shirt, Norsea Denim

Remember what I said about recurring themes? I also raved about this coat on Selectism and promptly forgot about it. Then sales season came around and I found this one in Liberty for an absolutely ridiculous price. And, seeing as there was nearly a full rack of them, I'm sure no one loved the colour purple as much as I do. Their loss, I got this for a steal and haven't looked back since. It's great for wearing in the spring with just a shirt and good enough to wear with multiple layers like I'm doing in this shot.

As for the denim jacket, I've wanted a well worn one for a while. I've been searching but the colour's usually a bit too dark for my liking, so I gave them a miss. It took a while but I finally got one from Beyond Retro when I bumped into Jason Jules and he pointed out some big E numbers. I'm not gonna turn down sage advice, so I bought one of them.

The one that helps me look a bit sharp

Casely-Hayford for John Lewis Field Blazer, Uniqlo white oxford, COS chunky knit, APC denim

Despite having umpteen coats, to date I only have one blazer, a corduroy number that needs tailoring. Luckily I managed to get hold of this CH for JL number and it's now the easiest (and only) way for me to look sharp. The smart blazer is such an exact science that I've been putting it off until I can really afford it but this fits supremely well. It leaves just the right amount of cuff, fits well on the shoulders and isn't restrictive when buttoned up.

The one that's very, very, very warm

And-I Peacoat, Howlin for Morrison Fair Isle jumper, White Uniqlo shirt, APC Denim

Writing for the outlets I do means that I use terms like 'essential' far more than needed. But a good warm winter coat is an essential, or staple if you wanna rack up the fashion cliches. This one's from And-I and it's ridiculously warm - I don't think I can overstate this. I can only wear it from late November to January (and I'll still sweat on the underground) and the rest of the time it lays in hibernation. The pocket in the back and random button up top is what makes this special.

The newest one

Vintage coat, Howlin by Morrison fair isle jumper, White Uniqlo shirt, APC denim

This is my newest purchase and I like it because I don't know what it is. It looks like it started life as a bomber and someone decided to extend it into a longish coat with a shawl collar and ribbed cuffs. Whatever it is, it looks nice and fit me straight off the rack. I just have to work on getting rid of the vintage funk smell and it'll be good to go.


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