Thursday, 18 December 2014

Edwin, win and win


IN SOME ways you could attribute the term Primus inter pares or First among equals to the denim strong label of Edwin, but taking that term to its uppermost literal meaning does not do justice to the role of the Japanese label in the world of denim manufacturers.
Edwin really are not first among anyone, they are simply the first or to use its native tongue, Ichiban.

It takes something special to remain at the top of the tree, or its take special actions, approaches, designs, to make you remembered as the first to achieve something ground breaking and that’s exactly what the Tokyo based company has done.

Bucking trends, or not following the herd has resulted in a manufacturer that has reached the top of the mountain and gleefully sat there since its creator Mr Tsunemi decided not to use ‘inferior’ quality denim, being manufactured in Japan in 1947.
Mr T, chose instead to import American denim, due to material contestants on the country after the Second World War. 
He would launder, repair and carry out whatever else was needed to the garments, before selling them on. 
A decade later he went alone, creating his own jeans, before the brand, that we all know now called Edwin, a play on the word denim itself, was finally launched in 1965.

It didn’t take long before the label was back at it, raising the bar higher once again, this time to a height that every denim manufacturer now has to work from, with the invention of stone washing.



Knowing then, that a pair of Edwin jeans are a standout purchase, It is the variation of other garments that also strike home.
Of the jeans, the ED ranges cover all needs and tastes from Selvedge in their red label, I like the ED-47 myself, to heavy indigo in the ED-55, to washed and even tapered, I must say the Japan X Edwin ED55 Japan Rainbow selvedge are something quite beautiful. 
The range also offers black chinos in the same cut as the 55 jeans.

Of the other garments, I like the Oiler range of cable knit jumpers and beanie hats, my favourite being the Mulled beanie, with its fleck detailing and simple Edwin hem patch, it also comes in navy, and has a natural ‘distressed’ look that works well.
The jumpers are a simpler crew neck navy or marl grey and you just know these are warm and comfortable, especially with the soft ribbing on the cuffs and waistband.

Shirt wise the Labour French collar offerings are a delight, and hold an industrial workman feel to them, with oversized buttons adding to the sturdy/relaxed look.
Poles apart in finishes, the Blue Off White shirt, with delicious contrast stitching, offers two chest pockets in a Herringbone finish, while the Multi shirt is a striped navy, biege, red and muted yellow design, where the colourings highlight the garments cotton material perfectly. It almost has the feel of an over shirt.

There’s fun and flippancy in the range with the One in Every Port, a white cotton T, with a Sailor Jerry style print on the front.
Or you could play it straight with a delightful Baller wool bomb jacket, with contrast black sleeves and navy body, and a cool leather topped zip chest pocket, or wrap it up with the straight fit wool blend Coach jacket.

As shown at the top of this article, the cover of DJ and one time Housemartin Fat Boy Slim’s second album: You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby sported an overweight youngster with the T-shirt legend, ‘I’m No: 1, so why try harder’.

Edwin is exactly that, but it keeps trying and succeeding to stay top of the pile.



Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Gloverall's Winter Wardrobe Wonderland



ANIMALS HAVE their winter coats, but I much prefer the human approach, especially if it comes in the shape of a Gloverall.

Keeping warm with style is something this iconic British label has a natural talent for. The always favourite duffle coats, drip with class, from the 512C to the Classic duffle, it’s all toggle fastening, a hooded majesty, but it’s the additional delights that have caught my eye this season, from men's jumpers to beanie hats

The jumper de jour this winter is definitely any variation of the cable knit style and the Gloverall Aran, based on that classic knit is perfect.
Coming in soft pure wool crew neck loveliness, you feel warm just looking at this garment, it comes in natural (cream) or navy.

Keeping your nut warm is obviously important and doing it with style is just as important in my book. So the Naval Wool Beanie coming in red, kale or navy is a superb way to do both.
The simple design with Gloverall tag in the side and large white patch on the front make for a terrific item.
I like it when a label makes choosing difficult and it is definitely so with the jumper and beanie.

The horn buttoned long sleeve Classic shirt coming in either navy check or navy, with different material finishes.
The check shirt comes with brushed cotton finish: long collar, regular fit shirt is quite simply lush. 
The wool finish also produces a delightfully soft touch, with anchor embossed buttons and comes in a regular fit and a relaxed one at that.
Both shirts also sport the brands logo on the bottom right hem.

The simple colour ways of these garments, make for a beautifully muted and interchangeable addition to any man's wardrobe, but especially a Christmas one.


In a word, nice

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What's not to like? Shoes Like Pottery



WHAT IS there not to like about Shoes Like Pottery?

All that beautifully crafted, vulcanised or Ka-Ryu , processes and simple colour choices, (white, black or blue) they are so Japanese it's unreal. All that attention to detail and always adding something a little different. 
Hand assembled and sewn, these versions on the classic tennis shoe are, well, stand out.

I love the ink stamped logo on the side of the sole, along with the matching contrast blue soles.

That really is the key to those delights, attention to detail in the creative process and simplicity of design, which allows the wearer to know they are buying something cared for and well built, that they can fit into their wardrobe easily, that will enhance not to take over.


Lovely.

The only down side I can see, is that they sell out so quickly, better get a move on then hadn't I?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Perfect balance, with New Balance



NOW THE mung bean salad tossing brigade or the Bikram hot yoga gang may tell you it’s the pursuit of a work life balance that makes for a happy life.

This in some ways may be right, but for The Colonel immediate happiness is quiet easily achieved through purchasing New Balance trainers.

It is all about the perfect balance after all.

It is always difficult to gauge exactly why one type of trainers, or trainer manufacturer instils such affection and adoration, but New Balance does it or has it and in spades.

It could be the fact that the company produced the world’s first running shoe with its Trackster in the 1960, or that it produces its shoes both Stateside and in England, obviously touching brand loyalty with this approach, with the shoes being made in Cumbria since the early 1980s.

Or it could be, well not for me, the expert design points, such as the size selections adapting for extra wide or slimmer, gel inserts and Empac heal support.

It is simply because they look cracking, for me it is all about the aesthetics with New Balance.

Every time I buy a pair and I have recently purchased the M670 SKO in black, I always get a knowing nod or comment from the assistant, something along the lines of: ‘You cannot go wrong with New Balance’.

Then there is always a brief conversation about their favourite one from the latest ranges, or the ones they are aiming to buy.

After a tortured half-hour mulling over the M670, or M576 KGS also in black, oh and the M670 in bright orange and the M576 PLG in grey suede. See what I mean, it is never simple, but then that’s part of the joy, I made my decision.

The superbly worked suede upper and mesh combination used in the ranges, plus that iconic N logo on the side of the trainers, is always easy on the eye, and has any fan of the brand looking to see the subtle variations of new designs. This season the stand out has to be the M576Mod khaki shoe.

I don’t think I have furniture that is as comfortable as this stunning shoes, fur lined Parka style, suede upper, this limited edition, with the added touch a Union Flag embossed on both heals just shows me why I and so many others love these shoes.

New Balance get the Balance between style, functionality and performance perfectly.