Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summer of tears remembered with style by Adidas

IT’S funny how despite the protestations of everyone that life is shit and we are all doomed something as simple as the release of a new pair of trotters and the end of the working month, meaning pay day, lifts the clouds away.

Well, it is that time again as the German trainer gods Adidas have launched the Etrusco as part of its Originals range and bingo as if by magic, no not the shop keeper eppears, but the sun comes out.

The shoe, coming in navy and burgundy were made for the summer as the name’s original release was to coincide with the summer of Gazza and Toto Schillaci as the match ball for the Italia ’90 world cup.

‘Have a look at him’ Gary Lineker, fingers gesturing to towards his eyes, oh the agony and ecstasy of that bloody summer in Italy, where Robson’s England boys finished as Semi Finalists, before the ball went on to tbe used at Euro 1992 in Sweden, but the less said about that the better, unless you are Danish of course.

The name Etrusco Unico was the balls full moniker and comes from ancient Italian history and the fine art of the Etriscan race, but for us is come in the sharp design of the trainer which has be launched to not only remember that classic time of sporting life, but also to add a bit more Adi style to the high street this summer.

The canvas and suede trim trainer, comes with a white non-marking sole, the classic three stripes and the Tre Foil badge on the back of the heal, which is set to one side and the name Etrusco on the outer side also in gold.

The shoe has a higher ankle giving it a raised profile the superb stitching on the toe front criss-cross pattern smacks of the Unico ball blasted into the net so smoothly by Gary Lineker and David Platt or so far over by Chris Waddle.

The first wave of these shoes are sure to become one to keep, there just seems to be a lot more to this shoe than with general Adidas releases, the cut in from the shoe midway down the sole is a lovely touch, only really appreciated from above, but it is these nice touches that make this such a nice shoe.

The gold lettering on the tongue, which has a nice perforation detail is lovely, in fact the whole shoe is just that a lovely addition to any collection.

The sole, which uses the same styling as the recently released Ciero ST range, minus the colouring, this shoe uses pure white to enhance the colouring of the top of the shoe and when you see it you will realise why. Something special this summer has arrived, so show you’ve got balls and get on these trotters as fast as you can or you could be left in tears like Gazza.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Taking back the Terraces

THERE is always a world of contradictions, claims and counter claims when it comes to stating who was or is the Top Boy on the terraces, but there is one new Top Boy who is attempting to run the show and any opposition brave enough to come toe to toe with it, in the fashion stakes anyway, could be in for a rough ride.

Terrace Productions, a new British brand is more of a statement of fact in as much as these garments are something special, made the right way, oh and of course; Made in England.

Taking the Wax Field jackets, coming in yellow, green and beige, all lighter shades of the colours, pastel if you like. Made using British Millerain waxed cotton the hooded piece boasts five pockets, plus one inside, this fully weather proofed coat has a detachable hood, with button fasteners, piping detail that looks as special from the front as it does from the back.

The wax finish gives the jacket a loose hang, which enables a light weighted look.

The Bellow coats which come in a light yellow and navy is a more standard feel, don't misread what I am saying, these jackets are stunning, they just rely on the form of the coat which is a longer hang, with two bellow pockets at the bottom, large six button fastenings on the front and cord hood fastener. The hood is not detachable giving it a high neck finish and buttons fasten the sleeves and the pockets. Made using Italian drill material, this jacket is set to be a classic.

The Mountain parka which comes in burgundy is a real hat tipper to the classic fish tail parka of old, utilising all the best design touches synonymous with the cult coat, this Ventile, riri zip fastened coat is like a trip down memory lane with a completely new finish.

The two pocket coat, sports a longer back similar to the iconic fish tail, has wooden toggles, god I love wooden toggles, to fasten it, which also has cord ties, along with the corded hood, plus buttons to fasten the bellow style pockets and cuffs.

You would just want any of these in your wardrobe it is as simple as that. The classic mac rounds of the outer wear range and adds a little touch of MOD finishing to the range.

The weather proof jacket boasts two large external pockets, cut into the body of the coat, classic Mac style, along with the covered placket at the front with stitch detailing to the inside of the collar, which when turned up gives the jacket a different look and feel.

There are many links to classic designs and pieces such as Osti and YMC and it is safe to say TP are not reinventing the wheel, but having started in 2008 as a fledgling company, Terrace Productions is making a statement.

Everything about this range smacks of class and is another example of how England is delivering once again, raising the stakes of design, quality and fashion.

Keep cool, very cool this summer

IT was the single most ostentatious lifestyle in 1980s TV history. The Ferrari 308 GTS; the Rolex GMT Master watch, the helicopter, the incredible 200-acre pad called Robin’s Nest nestling on the Hawaiian coastline and that moustache, but what really was the iconic image of Magnum PI’s life?

Yes … it has to be the Hawaiian shirts, the audacious colouring and patterns were like a reflection of the characters carefree life and stood opposed when compared to his English estate manager Jonathan Quayle Higgins III stuffy look.

Well with the summer cut off shorts and Espadrilles look in full force, along with some cool straw and panama hats, the next step must be the Hawaiian shirt sported by Seleck right?.

Well, now they are here, but be warned they are only available in exclusive venues, but they are much closer to home than packing your stuff for a flight over to the home of Magnum.

The fabulous cotton shirts, handmade in Hawaii from the Paradise Found label, are the exact same shirts worn by the moustachioed crime fighter and are set to be around from June.

Available in four colours you won’t be finding these in the shops, well in two with one of them being Stuarts.

The shirts have a special resonance of a time when the sun seemed to shine all the time, well it always does on TV doesn’t it.

So the look is complete, slip on your Rivieras or a nice Kangol Knot hat, the shades are important to so drop nin a apir of Persols, Carreras or Ray Bans, plus a pair of Levi 506 Standart stone wash cut off jean shorts.

The ‘Palaka’ shirts’ style is known as the Jungle Bird, and is a lightweight pure cotton garment with a wide open neck and of course those amazing prints.

As with that iconic image of Magnum PI on our 80s TV screens, the shirt itself has remained unchanged since conception it has never been altered and never really gone out of style.

Now where are my two Doberman Pinschers I must go for a walk. “Zeus, Apollo”.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Ellesse: Taking it to the Top once again

IT'S acted like a who's who for sports personalities and celebrities alike throughout its history and that's exactly what the arrival of the classic sorts label Ellesse was on the football terraces of the 1980s, you know who was whiff they sported the famous half ball logo of the Italian sports brand.

Started in Perugia in 1959 by Leonardo Servado, the label has always stood out with its beautiful use of light and pastel colours, began as a skiwear manufacturer but earned its rightful place in the hearts and wardrobes of any discerning young casual for its tennis garments as well.

The list of tennis legends sponsored by the label is one of the most impressive of any of the classic 'casual' labels with players such as Boris Becker, Guillermo Vilas, Chris Evert and in the modern game Anna Kournikova, along with an association with the greatest boxer of all time Muhammad Ali and one time Bond star Roger Moore. And now with the release of the companies 'Heritage' range anyone in the know will be getting on the Ellesse bandwagon again.

And rightfully so.

The crisp yet soft shy blue colours used on the range of T-shirts, polos and tracksuit tops is nothing short of sublime, I have forgotten how revered the label was and the sort of feelings it engenders in lovers of the label.

Starting with the tracksuit tops the Capriati clematis blue top is one hell of a place to kick things off from.

The ribbed sky blue colours, cuff and neck tops comes in a crisp blue with two contrast sky blue bands on both arms. Sporting the large half ball logo on the right chest and the name on the right arm.

The Carlsson top is a remake of the classic Boris Becker top again with ribbed sky blue collars, cuffs and waistband. The slim fit top has contrasting top and bottom panels, with white trim over shoulder detailing, and the logo and badge separated on either chest, and two side pockets. This is an iconic garment that has stood the test of time.

The Marcos top comines in sky blue and clematis as well, but is more of a hybrid jacket, with its white band across the chest dividing the contrast panels of sky blue bottom and clematis shoulders, with ribbed waistband and cuffs, but the top also features a hooded windrunner and sports the logo on the outside of the arms, alng with a superb logo filled inner.

The colour banding of the tops are replicated in the T-shirts, the crew neck shirts such as the Holladay which comes in sky blue and resounds of the 80s with the large blue outline logo across the chest and on the edge of the right arm is a nice simple entry into the range with blue neck and arm bands. I love the simplicity of these tops and the contrast white with navy finishings make these are classic shirt.

The Barker shirt is the daddy of this range in my opinion combining large contrast panels or navy, clematis, white and sky and the divided logos across the chest. Put simply, this is a head turner.

The range of tops come with a clematis track suit pant, which although attached to the Carlsson top will sit perfectly with the others as well and sport the written logo on the top of the left leg.

The T-shirts for the range vary in styling, some are classically simple, some 'peacock' like the track suit tops utilising the pastel colourings.

The Blanco shirt is so subtle in its lines and finishes they can almost be missed. The mainly white body shirt with three button placket sports a combined logo on the chest, it has sky blue collar and sleeves, with a contrast blue on the sides of the body, with dark blue piping on the collar and sleeves. Inside the collar is a nice touch, with Ellesse lettering running along the inside.

Giving the turned up colour another edge.

The skiing influences can be seen in the use of grey in the shirts and tracksuit tops named Alfonso, Fernandez, Munoz and Minoso.

The Fernadez 'ice grey' polo is simply a soft grey shirt with beautiful organ piping on the arms and collar, split logo, and a covered placket with an embroidered logo at the bottom. The shirt is all subtle and hidden touches. The sweat pant style of the Minoso sweatshirt, the logo is on the split style again, with it also embroidered on the left cuff.

If you could make a sweatshirt stylish Ellesse has done it and pants come in the same soft grey with split logo on either leg and orange lining in the two pockets. With elasticated waist and legs.

The final piece of this drool fest, for now anyway, is the Alfonso track top which is a looser fit than the sweat shirt, and has an orange zip fastener with a beautiful two button neck fastener and hood. Again using the logo split his a is a subtle but stylish piece.

There is plenty more available and plenty more to come, the summer's subtle style is here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Get ready to rumble

I’VE heard of terrace wars, but the new ranges from Fila and Sergio are definitely kicking it off this summer and into next season.

The Italian sports stables have upped their game for the summer months, Sergio Tacchini by simply falling back on what it knows best, improving some classic designs and modifying some other, while Fila has stepping into the arena with some much improved quality to its garments and some excellent new statements.

Standing out in the new Tacchini lines comes the Top Flight crew neck T-shirts, which are based on the Base Line track suit tops and polo T-shirts, but are just exceptional in their finish, The navy with white twin stripe across the chest, navy embroidered ST logo is iconic, but the simple addition of a white neck line and arm stripes gives the top a softer edge, similar tops have been released by Pretty Green with their baseball tops, more on those another time, but the tight stylings of the ST make this a true classic.

The band does not stretch right the way across the arms as with the original polo to keep the style going if the arms of the tracksuit top were removed, this garment is purely stand alone, maybe slip on a pair of tennis shorts with this for the look if you want to recruit the good old day, but the shirt stands alone as well.

Also coming in the reverse print, a white shirt with navy blue stripes, the normal fit t-shirt is something special.

The tracksuit tops on offer are also a bit spesh, with the Ghibli Cresp top in Navy with white stripes, no Ghibli is not a made up word, well not by me anyway.

The top is similar to the classic Davis Cup top, minus the words on the back and change the red piping for white and you are somewhere near.

Ribbed collar, waistband and cuffs the contrast stripes on the shoulders and bold ST badge make this a cracker of a summer top. Side pockets come as standard.

The Terrace top that comes in navy sports the stripes on the arms and also has the logo on the cuff of the left sleeve in a rubberised finish. This top a remake of the heritage top from back in the day, did I really just write that? Oh dear.

Anyway the red stripes on the tops of each arm are of course removable well the arms are, and the two zip front which reveal red stripes along the front give you two tops for the price of one.

So while one terrace is sporting the classic new designs, the boys from the Fila end have launched their bid for victory with the Tiebreak top among others. The vintage top sported by both McEnroe and Borg has wonderful stripe collar detail, cuffs and waistband with contrasting shoulder and bottom panels.

The top comes in a softer cotton finish than the ST ones, and of course sport the Fila badge embroidered on the chest.

The top also comes in a colour called Chinese red as opposed the dark peacoat and has contrast grey panels on the bottom.

The range also boasts the BB1 T-shirt which has smaller Italian white collars than on previous T-shirts, this top features the tight red placket with three matching popper fasteners and white banding on the bottom of each arm. A sheer finish on the fabric is of a far higher quality than before, the shirt also sports the double badge BJ style but with the numbers 76 on the furthest badge, the year the shirt was originally released.

The fabric adds a tighter finish to the garment and comes in navy or blue, which is more of an electric blue, with blue collars and white contrast placket and navy banding on the arms.

The Bjorna navy and blue tennis pants also boast a double badge this time with the number 80 on the far badge, along with two red and white contrast stripes on the hip of the trousers just by the pockets. These slim fit pants are a must for any tracksuit fans.

Rounding off the fight with a wining stroke, well everybody knows there is no winner when these two do battle, it is purely a matter of preference, but the Johannesburg Pac-a-Macs are something special indeed.

Coming in navy with contrast red zip, blue with red zip and red with white, all the jackets boast a transparent logo, mesh inner lining and have zip up style fastening.

The two side pockets are double handy when it rains and the shower proof jacket will be a winter most of the year round, with our reliable summer weather.

Each jacket has a contrast lining with the blue sporting a yellow finish, the red has a navy and the navy has a white inner.

So time to take sides and get ready to rumble me thnks.

Snap to it this summer

HAVING reshaped the classic polo, Lacoste is about the relaunch summer with a line in superb crew neck T-shirts as part of its new Live range.

The shirts are set to light up even the brightest of summer days or nights with some unusual art designs and a little bit more fiddling with the old croc himself.

The first two eye-catching shirts are named Baya and have a superb splash of white over the heart of the shirt with the croc sat proudly in the middle.

Coming in noir and coriandre, black and green for the uninitiated.

The croc on these slim fit shirts is embroidered, with the logo colouring the same as the shirt, while each sport the new Live label inside the shirt.

The print design is like a star bursting across the shirt, providing a stand out image in low key style, only the way Lacoste can do it.

The Becket T-shirt comes in a striped style over navy and wash blue, which is like an art print with dripping paint running between the stripes on the arms and chest. The stripe pattern runs all around the shirt, which is a nice edition to a nice garment.

The shirt also features an embroidered croc and is very Bretagne in style, a more modern version on that theme.

The Belini shirt, which is nothing like the peach and Champagne drink, is a classic all white crew neck shirt which sports a sketched crocodile image right across the chest.

The loosely coloured sketch is a nice version on the design and coming in slim fit will look nice on the beach, or pavilion or wherever you decide to stroll this summer.

Moving away from the art print shirts, a more classic crew neck shirt named Novateur is also available.

This shirt is one colour, coming in navy, souris (light grey) or white and has a fine cotton finish, with an embroidered croc in an Italian slim fit.

This shirt is classic Lacoste territory and is not, like a dog for Christmas, just for the summer or the beach come to think of it.

Now it’s not all on top for the French label this year, with the release of some nice swim shorts to just complete the beach bum look.

The first to make a splash are the Obier shorts that come in marine and are a short with side pockets, elasticated waist support, adjustable, well you never know.

The shorts are panama in length, with a darker teal banding down the sides and come with a plastic holder bag. The short comes in a navy as well and are more general usage garments, rather than set swimming trunks.

The Francois short is a nice one colour swimmer coming in frambois (pink) or eclipse (navy) the draw string waist band shorts have a mesh inner, embroidered croc on the hem, and boast two pockets. Perfect for the pool or sea the short is a polyester and cotton mix.

Thia range of Lacoste has become a total look, rather than adding an item to your style, so drop in a pair of the Arlez boaters, which come in grey and blue with a nice white rubber sole and you may have a complete look and some.

The shoe, which is the standard deck shoe style similar to Sebago has white leather laces and non corrosive eyelets, with a white toe front and grey trimming along the laces or ‘quarter’ as it could be known in shoe styling.

The deck shoe is pretty bloody impressive with a metal croc logo on the left shoe quarter.

A nice touch.

There is plenty more to this new Live range, but if it’s the beach you are aiming for, then this little lot will do you for starters.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Croc bites back

I often wonder how designers feel that some garments can be improved on, something so classic as the Lacoste polo say, is surely the iconic garment for summer, so how does an icon up its game?

In the case of the French manufacturer you tweak that icon and deliver something as lovely and classic as the Live range of t-shirts and then support it with a stunning range of other polo and crew neck t-shirts and some summer trunks, that bring the icon back to life.

The Blooper shirt for example adds rather than detracts, to enable its difference from the classic chemise, choosing a three button placket, the increased crocodile badge and stripes on the collars and sleeves.

Simple touches, but enough, the fit is slim as well, a world away form the original.

The subtle stripes for example on the black or noir shirt have a Fred Perry styling feel about them, very mod, with the crocodile badge being a white outline of the iconic image, meaning the colour of the badge is the same as the shirt on some, but not on others such as the white shirt, which comes with a delicious red and blue stipe design and a light grey croc badge.

The longer placket has a cross stitch at the base drawing out the chest of the shirt much more.

The Blooper comes in black, French blue, and white, while the Live or Bakari shirts, which has the classic same colour two button placket and has a fitted style, comes in woven cotton and has alleger and contrast coloured croc badge. The shirt owes a lot to the original and is the start of Lacoste's attempts to move the brand towards a 'new era'. But the slim fit of the Live shirt means it looks completely different, while holding on to it's heritage.

On the blue or shirt, the badge is pink, while on the black shirt the badge is alight blue, while the green shirt has a silver croc. The impact of these new colour scheme and sublet design changes has to be seen to be believed, because it really is amazing and defines a new era already.

As for the rest of the range, well I will be back with that little lot of stunning styles, this summer really is going to be filled with Gallic flair it seems.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Top boys, top gear

YOU have to hand to the lads behind 80s Casuals, they helped instigate a reimergence of the football casual scene with ceaseless advertising through interviews on the subject and new they have launched another exciting new range of T-shirts for summer.

Using iconic 80s movie screen imagery in the range of shirts, which have moved away from the absolute Casuals styles of before, to take on the feeling and emotion of the time, the Warriors shirt, features the face of Swan, Warrior’s gang leader, who is landed with the task of getting the gang home to Coney Island safely.

The shirt uses the names of all the gangs on the chest, with the immortal line; ‘These are the armies of the night’, along with the New York subway line plate on the back in between the shoulders.

The shirt comes in white and is a generous fit, well even old Casuals put on weight.

The 100 per cent cotton shirts also boast the 80s Casual logo on the arm.

The second movie based shirt, comes with the classic line from the Who track: 5.15, ‘Out of my Brain’ and features a cheeky image of ‘ace face’ Jimmy from Quadrophenia played by Phil Daniels.

The white crew neck T-shirt features 80s Casuals inscribed on the back again between the shoulders. The front image sees Jimmy sitting in a MOD target.

The last of the screen dream shirts is the iconic Anthony Burgess book: Clockwork Orange. The cartoon image used on the navy blue shirt is from the original book cover and steers away from the film, thankfully in my opinion.

The shirt boasts 80s Casuals and the term Second to None, in yellow text with a orange outline, above and below the head image of Alexander de Larch, the head Droog in the story.

Not leaving the terraces for too long, 80s Casuals have also released a London-centric Euston Station shirt, which comes in white or navy. The image on the front is classic 80sC, with two well dressed young hooligans, Deer Stalker hats and Osti winter coats standing in the doorway of a train, with the catchline ‘In every street, In every station’.

All the shirts come with a ribbed collar.

One noticeable omission from the new ‘film’ range of shirts is the classic dictionary description; ‘Youth culture evolving throughout the 80s, known to have a liking for expensive designer wear, trainers and the odd confrontation’.

As with life, everything evolves, and the new 80s Casuals range is evolving nicely.