Monday, 29 July 2013

with LIBERTY and fraternity for all


THE DAYS here are generally one long booze filled trip down memory lane for myself and the lads.
Tall tales of their adventures of daring do they may not be more blag and run and blag again, as the tonnage of pina colada and daiquiris goes down, but the ‘Wild Bunch’ who have become my compadres in this hellishly hot Spanish bolt hole.

Fugitives and drunk ones at that we may be, but it’s done with a certain amount of panache that must be said.












Through my bleary Ray Ban covered eyes I could not help but admire the choice of shirt being sported by Bunch safe cracker Hatchet Norris, who somehow has the ability to continually sit hour upon hour in the raging sun, without wearing a hat, or a Titfer, as I am told is the ‘Laaaandddon’ term for headwear.

Norris proudly boasts that he ‘only sports English or British threads’ and is sat in front of me ham-headed and tattooed knuckled in a superb Liberty London shirt and patting his neck with one the world famous store/labels superb silk pocket squares as they are known, handkerchief to most.

These silk wonders really should be in every man or safe cracker about town’s wardrobe.
Italian made, rolled edged delights all sport different Liberty print designs, with a Liberty logo in one corner.

They come in London Mansfield green, London Eltham pink, London Thorington Cobalt blue, for some reason that always reminds me of my cousin Jet, and a Thorington dark red.
Hatchet chose the Manfield green and a wise choice it was, working perfectly with his Hadleigh drak green, short sleeved cotton shirt.

The all over Liberty print, has pointed button collars and full button front.
With exclusive retail to Stuarts of London, the shirt range shows that Hatchet’s contacts at home are still what they used to be.

The range comes in both long and short sleeved and are all full cotton, limited edition.

I was drawn to the Owen purple long sleeve, while the Barrington grey, utilises the iconic paisley in the print, but if floral prints are your thing, then the Darcie green (long sleeve), Chatham navy, Tatton red and the navy Capel, (short) will be right up your street. While the Ramsey burgundy again utilises paisley.

All then shirts have a superb 60s with a modern twist to them and the quality and class of this label shines through.

There are three dress shirts available, with a teasing floral print inside the collar and cuffs, plain blue, plain red and plain pink. These are tailored rather then slim fit, with pointed (not button) collars.
Psychotic he may be, but Hatchet has impeccable taste.

Having drunk my weight in cocktails I have just been informed an evening at his house Case de Gunshot is in the offing, so I am sure I will trawl his wardrobe and see how a true brit crim dresses when the sun goes down.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Season mash up


IT’S NICE to know that even from my Cuban hideaway I can still help an old chum in the guise of Skylon, but I, The Colonel, must admit to having felt a pang of envy, which is a terrible thing, reading my friends' blogs to you good people.

Sat in Havana, as I am, I was mulling over this time of year back in Blighty and how the time is sort of a grey area when it comes to the new arrivals on the pegs for the coming autumn/winter season, with that blurring of boundaries of the remaining summer wardrobe.

Countless cricket ground and football terraces will bare witness to this combo as pre-season friendlies and Ashes series see the fashion conscious, and why wouldn’t you be sporting either their summer colour t-shirts and shorts, with A/W jeans or trainers, or polos.

I for one love this early season ‘peacocking’, and those in the know can sport what they feel is the return of an old classic, or the combination with major labels such as Paul Smith and smaller niche producers.

Who cannot be excited about the arrival of the Paul and Shark Yachting range, mixing some old classic in the polos, with a range of heavier jumpers and jackets that are sublime, sporting that classic Italian stylings synonymous with P&S and Osti et al.

The Penguin Pocket T-shirts are a delight and are ably supported by a late summer T in the shape of the Pin-up range.
Going classic cut the sublime Smedley 'sport collar' long sleeve polos are the perfect combination of colour, class and wear-ability. Who does not love the oldest English manufacturer? Let him speak now or forever hold his peace.

Cardigan wise, I am loving the Armani offerings, which provide some superb olive and neutral colour ways. Perfect for bouncing that late summer colours off.

Rounding out this Iot, must be Sir Bradley Wiggins Fred Perry Range, which I have seen many non-cyclists sporting very recently.
The summer’s biggest overseas sporting event Le Tour de France may have the legend that is Wiggins competing, but his style can be seen in abundance this amazing range.

Wiggins not only utilises some excellent colours, always with a simple link to the world of cycling, such as the World Champion hoops inside the collar of the dark carbon polo, he also uses some superb knit patterns on the shirts, dreamy stuff.

The carbon has a stunning waffle knit, but I think a cursory mention of this range is not enough, so I will peddle back to Wiggo in another blog I think.

Hasta la Victoria siempre

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sky high for Skylon


BUNKING DOWN in Eastbourne thank fully didn’t last too long with Le Colonel stepping, well flying in to rescue his old chum Skylon.
After several hours mixing cocktails on the roof of the town’s little pier, a Globemaster broke the night time horizon and collected my good self utilising a former CIA escape route known as ‘Sky hook’.

After all my efforts to depart the Grand with as much of my wardrobe as humanly possible, I had to leave all but the ‘shirt’ on my back as I made Le Grand Depart.
I say shirt on my back, but it was the delightful pique army green polo shirt from the Italian master Paul & Shark Yachting.

The two (wooden) button placket shirt, comes in ‘shark fit’ well slim fit, and is also in navy, sporting the P&S badge on the chest.

I was told once that wearing cords meant you would have a good day and mindful of needing the best of days as I hung form the bottom of the gargantuan Globemaster I went for the Levi harvest cords.
The lightweight, low cut jeans are, well, superb, I wore these with a smooth pair of Burlington Argyle socks, I went for the Preston navy orange, but I could have chosen any really, they are all superb.

In my haste to hold on to my cocktail mix, I sadly saw my Persol foldable Havana sunglasses fall into the sea. I always love the Persol range, which fold up like Origami, and are an icon of the shades world.
Footwear wise I preferred to arrive with a definite dash of Old Albion, so I sported the Beeswax desert boot from Clarks. The metal eyelet, handmade, metal eyelet boot, with a leather upper and crepe sole is a treat to the feet and the eye, and works superbly, even if I say so myself, with my escape uniform.





Only one form of complaint about my old pals escape plan was that loss of several glasses of superbly mixed drinks, to which I had added a large quantity of gunpowder.
This wasteful spillage caused severe damage to old pavilions roof and several drunken well-wishers, who supported my departure with a volley of beer bottles and some comic mooning.

I like the working classes, they do make great servants, but they also run quickly when high explosive cocktails reign down on them.
That’s the real term of Upper Class, if you ask me.
So, I have now decamped in Spain, on the Costa del Crime, as it is known amongst the law breaking cognoscenti.

I have pitched up, thanks to the Colonel with an unlikely group of ner do well gangsters. Hatchet Norris, a cannonball headed man and one time safecracker, who favours English threads, and anything Albion based. 

Dave ‘The Bed’ Treadmill, famous for illegal pharmaceutical sales across the globe, ingeniously hid in gym equipment for the elderly, hence the name.

Dave has a wide love of all sportswear and champagne. Then there is Pete ‘The Claw’, don’t even ask, but he does have impeccable taste in clothes.

So I find myself sat sipping cocktails listening to tales of wild law breaking and gun ho lifestyles, I have no idea why this appeals to a mild mannered man like yours truly, but I have continued to evade arrest.

And I will definitely drink to that.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Skylon's Great Escape


THERE ARE basics that must adhered to when escaping from ones seaside bolt hole, so reversing the old soft E-Type Jaguar up the steps of the Grand Hotel, before hurling my luggage out of the window, along with several bottles of Cristal champagne, some of which bounced out onto the street, I hate waste.

This sort of exit from any scene pricks the attention of the authority’s and should be advised against, but by now I had already covered myself in beer and sun tan oil and set off a box of fireworks and weapons grade Thunder Flashes, while standing naked all but a Penfield Bake Camo hat at my room window, so was really beyond caring.

I had packed all my belongings into some overtly stylish bags; well you cannot travel badly can you.
I initially hurled out one of the best of my mini-collection the English made Brady bags’ Sand Marlborough.

This weekend/travel bag, with zipped main compartment, plus leather shoulder strap is made of waterproofed canvas and solid brass fittings; you may call it the daddy.
I find I carry a lot of my papers, plans, acid blotters and gun shells in my uber classy Windsor khaki bag. I am loving the leather dispatch style bag in full leather, it has a mobile phone inner pocket and is well too nice to be hurling out of the third floor window of a hotel.

I am sucker for a bit of tradition and the Penfield Irondale Navy roll bag reminds me of the good old days on ‘Whore leave’ with the lads in Peng Tang, during my days advising the US Navy on tactical issue.

Bunking down with Steve McQueen, you may know him . The superb gym style bags look stylish and are practical with leather covered nylon handle and adjustable shoulder strap.
The Herschel Supply Co range of bags are superb as well, I plumped for the WSH Rugsack, the fully lined canvas bag comes in a superb stone blue, with leather straps.

Sergei’s porn laden laptop was slipped snugly into a blue Unit Portables Bag, the 01 laptop bag. Complete with shoulder strap and hand carrier. The bag has a bit of origami about it and folds up to make a fashionable shoulder bag, along with pockets for phone, wallet and charger.

It comes in red or blue and one again it is not advised to throw this bag, complete with laptop out of a fourth floor window onto the tarmac below. Oh well Sergei won’t be using it again will he.





Screeching away from the destroyed entry steps the Jag is one hell of a motor, Fangio used to drive it when he acted as mother’s chauffer, Esplendido blazing away I felt a frisson of excitement as two mountain bike riding police officers leapt out into the road beside the old Jag. 

Bond style usage of a flying champagne cork, put end to that and also enabled me to quaff a parting tipple as signs for Eastbourne came into view. The old blue rinse side of town could be the perfect place to hide out until The Colonel launches his rescue mission. He was citing something called Sky Hook?

I’ll drink to that.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Going Norman Jay's way this summer?


LONDONERS, real Londoners with a history that impacts on the greatest city in the world, are a rare thing, but Norman Jay MBE can be said to qualify in this elite group.
The stylish man about town, well Notting Hill, is without doubt a pioneer of the exponent of being a DJ in the UK’s underground dance music scene.

He is as famous for his tunes and skills behind the decks at countless ‘illegal’ warehouse parties and carnivals in the capital back in the day, and now with this superb chilled vibes and radio air play, as he is for his style and his vast array of head wear.
The man behind the ‘good times’ summer city vibes has been quoted as saying: I avoid shopping like the plague, unless it’s for music or clothes’.

His tie up with the iconic label Gabicci Vintage shows he has lost none of his love for fashion.
Even at first glance the range smacks of Jay the man, with beautifully simple block colour ways on the cardigans, with one break using a superb 60s wallpaper feel print in yellow and black.
The range comes in slim-fit styles, various front fastenings.

On the yellow print, a seven button fasten front, with two front pockets, while the mixed blue top has three buttons and chest pocket. While the red and black top, comes with the long button placket and a chest pocket. While the grey garment, using a neutral blue on the long placket, with contrast pockets.

The black zip front top also features a detailed front chest pocket, with contrast stitching on the collar.
The collaboration between Jay and the famous label marks its 40th year and of course sports the iconic gold G on the chest, and Jay has done a great job evoking Gabicci’s history with a modern twist.

The word on the street, as it would have been with the underground parties Jay championed, is the range is limited in numbers, so get a spin on now and grab one, they really are superb.









Once again the Norm Jay has made in impact on summer, I am sure everyone would drink to that.