Friday, 30 September 2011

New kid in town

IT’S landed in New York. What has? I hear you cry, Godzilla’s mighty foot, King Kong’s

mammoth monkey-shaped hands, no, something that makes almost the same impression the new New Balance NY showroom store.

The showroom or window on the latest ranges from this icon of sports footwear manufacturing entitled the New Balance Experience Store on fifth avenue, NY, is another advance for the label which still boasts the production of many its cult status shoes in Cheshire, England as well as it’s natural home of Boston, Stateside.

Even if wearing the shoes which have always had some strange hold over me, especially the 570 range, but anyway, New York is a long way off, so to Shepherds Bush it was to check out the latest offerings from this superb brand and the new range of leather tennis or ‘Court’ shoes are simply ‘f’ing awesome’ to put it one way.

To my eyes they are a reminder of the original style of shoe from NB featured in the cult book Trainers by Neal Heard.

Both V25LBK and V25LDB are a delight to look at and available in black or brown leather lift the soul as winter approaches, I know this week is sunny, but you get my drift.

The reissued shoe is a low profile with leather upper and white rubber sole the same colour lettering with the iconic N on the side is a nice touch, with the full name on the heel pull and tongue in white.

The shoes feature metal eyelets and ‘sweet’ on the eye. And although the only real difference between the brown and the black is the use of gold for the heel and tongue branding, the trainers do somehow look different, funny how a simple colour difference can give a completely different feel.

Moving to an area I have never really explored with NB the trial boot, which is coming up on thr rails thick and fast this autumn, check out Paraboot, the AW11 collection or in this case the H710P is an amazing piece of work, looking for all the world like a 4x4 for your feet.

This high design trail boot comes in a menacing black, with white rubber sole with d-ring lacing and leather upper.

Fearsome this boot is and also boasts the same colour N logo on the side, tongue and heel.

I like that touch, and with red laces adding to the awesome boot it really does show that New Balance are black in business.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Esemplare familiar about you?

IT’S funny how when you see some things you just know where they have been born, well that is exactly what I felt when I first set eyes on Esemplare.

The clothes (jumpers and jackets) just screamed Italy and Italian winter design, I could even imagine former Italian downhill skiing legend Alberto Tomba donning these fabulous garments, but there is also one very good reason why they should scream Italy and Italian design, because Gail Sorronda former head designer at CP Company is one of the main players behind the new label.

Taking the lead from what was originally a wonderful label, Esemplare brings some of the CP Company feel that the clothes definitely befit the man, they become part of each wearer and reflect a part of the person wearing them, that’s how I always feel about them and get the same impression and feel with Esemplare.

The jackets are both usable and stylish, with the Jack coat, which comes in a light and darker grey colouring and strong raised collar and removable hood looks like something that would save your life in the winter months. It also has an inner wool body, which is also detachable. It’s slim fit only enhances the chest pocket cut, while the treated wax body ensures constant comfort whatever the weather.

The Leshe coat is a classic two-tone wool mix jacket, that is a delight in grey with black shoulders and arms. Again with a removable inner body warmer, this offering is not the all-weather dominator that the Jack is, but what a fabulous piece.

The jumpers remind of a snow Leopards colourings in a mixture of grey, black and white coming in a funnel neck, chunky knit jumper, named Hanibal, which is a superbly produced handmade garment, while the Giacca cardigan is a lighter open collar zip fronted and uses similar diamond patterns as the jumper with a ribbed grey collar and cuff finish.

Delightful, or should I say Bella?

Friday, 16 September 2011

The numbers are definitely Dunderdon

ALRIGHT Sweden, clean air, expensive beer, cracking looking women, a liberal attitude to porn, well at least the stuff my brother used to hide under his bed, a bit of ABBA and boxey cars, I have a feeling I have been down this road before haven’t I? But Dunderdon clothes, and company started by a carpenter, well it all sounds bit too fishy to me.

So after further investigation I have found a palace of glittering delights as far as well designed garments manufactured with love and attention to detail are concerened and all this kicked off in 1997.

Hagberg is the man behind this little venture in the famous old port of Gothenburg and the word ‘timeless’ is used to proudly describe their approach to manufacturing some pretty special garments. Well the time is nigh, because Dunderdon has landed in Shepherds Bush and Stuarts, thank fully.

The two shirts SH45 on offer are classic check patterns, the first in brown with double pockets, Italian collars, coming in flannel with a regular fit, while the second holds the same classic check in blue, both long sleeve.

Both simply given numbers, how Swedish is that?

The ‘Dud’ grey fleece track top is anything but a dud, this is simple, perfection as far as a fleece top with high collar and zip fastener is concerned.

Returning to the numbers the KN28, which uses the fabulous word Camo (green) to describe the styling is a jumper I have dreamed about for years, simply beautiful. A high ribbed v-neck regular fit jumper which comes in an 80 per cent Lambswool nylon mix. Trust me this is a special piece. Is it acceptable to love a garment? God I hope I am not getting too weird.

Now crowning glory of this current range is the parka, god I love a parka, OK, I will stop all this loving stuff now before I scare you, myself or anyone else.

The J38 canvas navy parka is a delight zip abd button fastening, with a removable hood, the jacket boasts rope adjustors in the hood and waist, it also boasts two chest pockets and two front pockets and is something truly special, doubled up with the jumper and Oh My God …

Right I am off to get some tissues …

Only joking.

Das Boot? No French actually

OK so with a twist on just general blogs, I have decided to pick items of the week, that are a must for the coming season and weekend, but trust me to start with something that is a real conundrum, the Paraboot.

French flair, design, history and a certain ‘Oh so very special’, said in an Uncle Monty voice for Withnail and I fans out there, but with some German influence?

Yes the new a rearely seen boot, well done guys form tracking these down, sees the gaelic company which marked its centenary three years ago utilizes a practicality and a similarity to the German Army’s paratrooper boot sole as to be uncanny.

Of course the link is purely esthetic, but it adds an extra sense of strength and performance that this range of footwear ouses from every pore.

You can practically hear the Fjords as you look at them and its not much of a surprise when you find out that Norwegian approaches to creating the perfect boot have been utilized along with the durability of Goodyear for the hardwearing that name conjures and instills.

Starting with the superb rubber ‘combat’ sole the range kicks off with the Yosemite boots a classic mountaineering style ankle boot, with cross stitching in a full leather upper.

The boot is a simple statement of style and content.

And coming in black with red laces is a boot not only ready for winter, but waiting for the chance to take it head on. I like the variation that the Yosemite boots, which also come in red, which had a leather/suede upper, both sport a large Paraboot logo in gold on the outer ankle.

The Avoriaz boot in maroon, is a similar style, but really is the daddy of the range, sporting metal eyelets this leather upper/rubber sole combination is as professional a boot of this kind that you will probably ever need and as with the other boots, will look excellent with wider heavy denim jeans, lumber jack style shirts or dare I suggest something from Mikkel Rude?

Check patterns ahoy here, workman attire, Carharrt, Heritage Research (try the Ranger hunting) shirt, Penfield or Victorinox.

Paraboot are the top end, so no point hiding about it, top end gear must go with these little wonders.

The shoes, well what to say, they stand out purely because they are different from anything else around, focusing on the same strength of build and design, they offer subtle two lace eyelets in the Michael shoe, in Marche Marron tan.

The leather upper, cushioned inner looks comfortable, but just wait until you try them on.

It is rare to be able to say that this shoe is a classic, but, well it is.

The thick sole hides a delicate shoe that comes in marron café or black, while in the Chamboard a four lace eyelet, enabled only due to the higher quarter of the shoe, avoids the rugged sole for a flatter finish, but with more stitch detailing.

Paraboot is all in the detail, now its your choice which detail you are in my son, quick march, because these rare beasts won’t be around for long.