Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Make space it's SALE time

FOUND my mind rushing this morning, struggling to focus correctly and dig out simple answers. The questions? What clothes would my girlfriend not miss as I was throwing them out of the wardrobe?

I had managed to lob the shoes without much thinking about it, she surely only need two pairs of shoes, one for work and one for the bedroom, but I found myself struggling with the tops and dresses and other bits and bobs.

Why am I doing this? Well to makes room for all the extra smutter I am buying at the Stuarts sale.

So I made an executive decision and binned all her crap to make space, well in some cases there is as much as 70 per cent off some of my favourite designers.

John Smedley tops at less than half price in some cases, got my mouth watering, and Levi Vintage range massively reduced.

Clarks Originals, Dr Martens and Grenson are also available at unbelievable prices, with more ranges being added all the time. Fred Perry Authentic, Clae shoes, bloody hell it's a massacre and I want in one it.

With my pulse racing I have now cleared out the clothes cupboards, what does she need jeans and socks for?

The main thing that has caught my eye about the sale is that any of the reduced items will not be being restocked, so it's a last chance saloon really.

They are all here though YMC, Garbstore, Adidas Originals, Ma.Strum, Barbour, Original Penguin.

I am now hyperventilating, J Lindberg, Gabicci, Penfield, Luke 1977, Lavenham, Ellesse Heritage, Pretty Green, Slazenger, Fila, Lacoste, Dockers and as for the trainers Diadora, Adidas and Puma.

So the cat has been chucked out as well, that bed it never sleeps in is precious space for trainers. I am just being realistic here, give a guy a break.

So the spare room has been cleared out, why do women buy Christmas presents so early in the year?

There is no need for it and so no need for them at the moment. Now where else? There must space for the Baracuta stuff, oh I see that Edwin and Pringle are in there as well, Universal Works, Gloverall and Farah, right that makes my mind up for me, the luggage can go and that big box of photos she has got, she doesn't look at them!

Hurry though guys, the sale is sure to be busy and once they've gone, they've gone, just like all the crap she used to have in her house. I could change the keys, she takes up a lot of room as well ...

Friday, 24 June 2011

Den there was one jeans design

THERE is a song by Cypress Hill that features the line: Coming out blasting like Yosemite Sam’ and that is exactly the feeling you get when you listen to the words of intent from Denham Jeans creator and visionary Jason Denham.

The Dutchman, how launched his label in 2002 and has recently set up shop in London’s Shoreditch, sounds clarion calls with comments such as: The Jeanmaker’ ‘A label built on experimentation and resourceful innovation’ and that the he has: “modest and sincere resolve to resist compromise. For Denham the ‘Truth’ really is ‘in the detail’.

The words of many can ring hollow, but when you look at the garments on offer you understand that the designer and his label are talking and dealing with reality. In short, these jeans are sensational.

The Cutter Okura Blast jeans come in a delightful dark stone washed and a dark denim finish, providing five pockets and a extra large belt line, the jeans are tailored inside the waistband as well, and boast a ‘seven point’ back pocket. The front smaller or ‘jonny’ pocket as I prefer to call it, has a further inside button pocket and the knee of the jeans features a lighter ‘compression’ on the denim.

Both designs have lovely drop pockets on the front, which give the jeans are longer languid feel.

The dark denim do not come with the alteration in colour that the stone wash do, but will surely in time create their own marble style effect. They do of course highlight the stitching to a greater degree though, which gives each style its own particular nuance.

Coming in a slim fit, these jeans look and are hand crafted, they just ooze class and tradition and are simple sexy if you ask me.

Nike get Hi and dry. Coming Soon

THEY have been a name renowned Stateside and one of the only American trainer brands to really steal a march on their European counterparts, producing classic shoes from the Wimbledon to the Internationalists, to the classic Hi Top, yes I am talking about the famous Swoosh brand of Nike.

Now the brand that was started at the University of Oregon by Philip Knight in 1964 is looking to reclaim some more ground with reimergence and redesign of the Mid and Hi top boots, this time with the Blazer boot, that is set to kick its way on to the high street next month, but pre-orders are being taken now.

The basketball inspired boot comes in new colours for the year black and grey, the grey has a nice olive tinge to it, while the black stands out superbly against the contrast white sole, heal and swoosh sign.

The suede leather upper of the boot gives a softer feel than the usual basketball leather style, and the sole, which is vulcanised rubber has been oxidised to give a vintage feel to the boot and make it more of a fashion item that the harder edged sports boot. But to be honest when have they ever really been used for their real purpose?

Looking good is what it is about and these boots definitely do that.

A nice return from Nike, with plenty more to come in the shape of the NSW and the Air Max should make this summer a Hi old time.

Contact Stuarts to pre-order these beauties.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Good Doctor is calling

HE said he could ‘hated to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they worked for me’, he also claimed; ‘It never got weird enough for me’ and as the overlord of the ‘counter culture’ written word Dr Hunter S Thompson seemed a perfect place to start my homage to some of the greatest style icons.

The Good Doctor was as famous for his ‘Gonzo’ writing in such amazing books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Rum Diary and his writing for Rolling Stone magazine, as for his laconic dress sense, which usually consisted of tennis shorts, Hawaiian shirts, aviator style glasses and white tennis shoes as seemingly thrown together as the ice cubes filling his glass of Chivas Regal or Wild Turkey bourbon.
The truth is that with any trail blazer, the seemingly effortless style is nothing of the sort. It is honed, worked on and finalised to enhance the man, the myth and the legend.
The look was total from the top down and not just attached to one garment, so starting at the top as the Good Doctor would surely do let’s study the look;

The cap that would surely fit the bill would be a baseball cap, and never shy to bare a brand try the Tempi Fila cap in white I feel is more suited to HST, but the Barbour fleece lined suitably named Hunter Hat, would also fit the bill when not sunning up over cocktails, would be a certain winner.
The Lacoste Barman hat would slot in nicely as well, along with the Kangol Jacquard range or the Plaid, which with its deliciously outrageous check pattern would complement the polo shirt and tennis shorts with a touch of colour.

As the ‘hey days’ of HST were generally the seventies, the decade of deliverance and open carnage the reliance on the polo shirt would surely mean the label of choice would be either Lacoste or Penguin. Simple, plain bang on the money.
The simple Caiman shirt, two button placket or the Penguin, Daddy polo in white of course.
Rigid uniformity would not be something the writer would adhere to, so pastel colours such as light blue or yellow would definitely be sported by the booze fuelled mad man, but any range of polo shirts such as Lindberg or Fred Perry would also fit the bill.
Donning the all important sunglasses which are a trademark piece, simply plump for the Ray Ban Aviator with gold rims or the gun metal. Again it is the style of that time that is more important for the look, so Carrera Champion or Safari will equally do a suitable job.
Paradise Found Hawaiian shirts, soon to be arriving at Stuarts, are a particular favourite for this look, and mirroring the image of HST with the striped t-shirt and suit jacket I plump for the Suit Denmark Bud striped shirt in blue or sand, dropped under one the designers navy or Timber Wolf jackets, or maybe drop on a Universal Works casual blazer for a modern twist on the icons style, also check out the Levi summer stripe tops.

Tennis shorts were the pant of choice, synonymous with showing the sporting and as such pioneer spirit of the author/journalist, even though firing guns, riding fast bikes and cars and downing cocktails was general challenge of choice.
I reckon slipping into a pair of the Fila Lifer shorts or the Trabert Ellesse shorts in either white or the fantastic Sky Diver blue.
The ‘tennis shoes’ of choice for the writer were Stateside classic Converse, but in their absence I suggest the Pf-Flyer in either white or navy are the nearest thing, or try the Huntingdon Hi GP white boot from Lacoste, or the Diadora Heritage low tennis shoe or the Adidas Stan Smith.
The Puma basket or Roma reissue are excellent choices as well along with the Gazelle all would top of the doctors classic look. If you are not going down the tennis shorts route although I suggest you should, slip on a pair of Levi’s straight cut 511 slim fit of course and if you don’t fancy the blazer it is as well to know that a classic denim jacket such as the Levi Trucker puts you only a cocktail and a pint of raw either away from emulating the man, the style, the icon.
Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll
Next up: Steve McQueen

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Brits are coming

THER really is a truth in the ‘Move over Hollywood the Brits are coming’ label that was so proudly attached to the arrival of the cult movie Trainspotting all those years ago, but this time it is not Hollywood’ that needs to stand up and take note, it is the world of fashion, because Brit Kit is It this coming winter.

The move towards British textiles, fabrics, design and tailoring has been gathering pace throughout the last few years and now it is reaching a resurgent peak with numerous labels being pinpointed as trail blazers.

Two of those names are Garbstore and Heritage Research and both label’s 2011 winter ranges are coming to a clothes shop near you. Shepherds Bush and Stuarts to be precise and this blogger for one cannot wait.

The Garbstore garments, which will land in August are high quality, ‘homage’ pieces if the Chambray shirt is anything to go by, with it denim and cloth mix pattern design, which is sure to be a must have when partnered with a cardigan, say a nice John Smedley, Universal Works, Luke 1977 or Fred Perry if you want to stay True Brit or Penguin, Pringle et al if you just want the look.

The shirt has a mainly denim body with a fabulous Fair Isle shoulder design to ensure it stands out. Pointed and outline stitched colours along with the same stitch usage on the two front pockets makes this shirt bristle with seventies soul feel, while remaining modern in design and style. Although Garbstore garments are already available at Stuarts, the new winter range is a real statement form the menswear label started in the UK in 2001.

The guys at Heritage Research, which will land in September, have been holding their own for a short while now, with the new 2011 range being based on a homage to ‘American Servicemen’ returning home form World War II. So superb checked heavy print shirt, tonal pockets of heavy cloth on jackets (Deer Hunter style), all with a thoroughly modern twist to ensure they fit in perfectly with any man about towns wardrobe. It is not just ‘feel the quality’ here, HR has brought back the craft to cloth manufacturing. They label a 'Creator amongst Followers’ is just about on the money, so be prepared to follow this winter.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Keeping the Faith with Fred Perry

"I've worn Fred Perry since I was a kid. Always have done, always will. Fred Perry is one of the few classics." The words of Norman jay (MBE) when interviewed about life, style and his favourite clothing labels.The DJ is just one of hundreds of celebrity devotees to the British label that has transcended time and fashion changes.

It struck me as interesting how many people have joined forces with the label started by the most famous tennis player the country has ever produced.

The list of the great and good appears to be endless, Paul Weller (The Jam), the late great John Peel, Kasabian, Oasis (Pretty Green), Blur, The Others, Pete Dohertry and of course the iconic silver screen appearances of the label, Quadrophenia, This is England, on and on, so it is appropriate that

one of the latest releases from the label support its intrinsic links with music, The Northern Soul shirt.

Nights of stunning all-night dancing, legs flailing around, tight tank tops, Frank Wilson Do I Love You blaring out and the indelible link with the iconic Twisted Wheel night club, which still spins the platters that matter, holding a torch for this lifelong youth and music movement.

The shirt which comes in white or black has a two button placket, white tips on the black shirt, with a Northern Soul heart badge on the right chest, Twisted Wheel badges on both arms, with the wording: 'The birthplace of Northern Soul' and 'Keeping the faith since 1963'. The shirt has no tips on the white version, leaving a pure clean feel with the red laurel standing proud alongside the heart and wheel badges.

Now I don't profess to be Northern or know more than a minimal amount about the NS movement, but I do have a massive respect for it and these shirts show that FP feels the same.

Icon to icon you might say; the beat goes on.

We all love Fred Perry

IT'S one big love in with the new Heritage range from Fred Perry and why not as the British icon looks set to cause a massive smash once again this sumer.

the new range really is something to drool over providing as it does some fine additions to the polo shirt range, with new shirts coming in the classic two button polo with the cult twin tips on the collars.

The new range provides all the expected quality but adds a little extra with some delicious new colours such as the light pink with royal blue and white tips is the stand out colour, just because it is such a new colours for the range, while my favourite is the oatmeal, which comes with a navy and French blue tip.

The classic white shirt comes with beige and green tips, and a green laurel, and the red shirt with grey and cream, of course the arms feature the tip is as well.

I could not help but fall in love with the oatmeal textured (checkerboard) shirt. The three button placket and nay arm tip, this top is subtle yet timeless, well for me it brings back the image of Jimmy in Quadrophenia when the MODs are all in the pub waiting to attend a party, for film buffs or nerds like me.

Anyway, the range also features an incredible striped blue and white polo which has nautical twist to it. the knitted, three button placket shirt has a crisp feel to it and I think it's one not only for the summer, but all year round.

The range also has number of shirts, with the Stewart tartan and Basketweave Madras of all the names, are superb with branded buttons and single chest pocket.

There are plenty more garments to drool over, but I will let the pictures do the talking in this case and the label in many ways needs no more introduction.