Thursday, 15 January 2015

Denim Death Match: Armani Jeans v Nudie

IN THE blue corner, hailing out of Gothenburg, Sweden, a city famed for its expensive beers, cleanliness and from a country with a huge propensity for hardcore pornography it’s Nudie  Jeans and in the, er blue corner, hailing from Milan, Italy, a city famed for its stylish attitude it’s Armani Jeans.

In what could be seen as a clash of the year’s denim jean titans, not exactly Giant Haystacks versus Big Daddy, or to use common WWE athletes, and I use the term athlete I the loosest term possible, Macho Man Randy Savage and Triple H, but each label does bring its own particular styles and approaches to any clash there might be.

Armani has always had that staple approach of being stylish, but Armani Jeans introduces a wider range of colour usage, it has a playful side to it, while still maintaining that perfect edge.
Nudie on the other hand has a more relaxed approach, or fighting style, growing and improving with age, like a fine wine, the statement coming in various forms as the jeans, while Armani’s statement comes straight out of the blocks.

Take the J21 dark wash regular, it’s all beautiful contrast stitching and crisp lines and metal logo, or the Jo8 Midwash, with nice red stitch touches, bringing a relaxed edge to it, with easier feel jumpers and jackets, T-shirts and shirts, all having that specific AJ feel, with a tighter reign, and always sporting the famous Armani eagle badge, be it in a metal or stitched on logo format.

Coming in a tighter range of colours is the only, even the logo is more relaxed, the off shaped easily scrawled N, some of the jeans have pocket stitching of the famous Nudie swirl, while some sport nothing at all for example in the Steady Eddie Selvage, as compared to the Steady Eddie Tonal dry.
Ostensibly the same jean, that looks completely different.

The jeans and stunning leather jackets, offer a mix of feels and approaches, with the denim acting as a canvas on which they fall perfectly.
The only uniformity to Nudie, is its lack of it, while AJ is built on those foundations.

I am not sure whether one of these wins over the other, they really provide something different and desirable, and of course they are loved and worn by their varying adoring owners, so you could say never the twain, as I do not imagine fans of one, would be joining the other side too easily.
In fact getting these two sides of this into a ring, would be an interesting way of discussing things.
What was it Ken Watanabe said in the latest Godzilla reboot?

Oh yes, ‘Let them fight’.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Grenson guarantee

Guarantees and terms used to describe or explain them and the history there of, are synonymous with our fair nation.
For example the term ‘Copper bottomed’, as in Copper Bottomed deal originates from the Battle of Trafalgar, in which the British Navy led by Horatio Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets in 1805.

During said naval battle, the winds dropped and the normal sail powered ships failed to move, Commander Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson’s right hand man as it where, had a ship named The Royal Sovereign which was able, due to its newly fitted copper lined hull, to strike at the French fleet and help win the battle.

Hence the term Copper Bottomed.
The same could be said for Triple Welt, which is a known guarantee of quality, comfort and durability when it comes to high quality men’s shoes and Grenson has been using this approach since its inception in 1800.

Triple Welt or Goodyear Welted as it is properly known, is truly the standard by which all shoes should be gauged, real artisanal shoemaking and of course, it is unique to the Northamptonshire manufacturer.
Available in the shoes Archie and Fred creations, which of course in themselves are guarantees of good taste.
Now many of you have either drawled over or had the joy of wearing the fabulous Archie shoes, I have a pair in tan. They are simply a shoe in which you wish you owned all the colour variations coming as they do in black or mahogany, the latter a finish that must go down as one of the sexiest shoe finishes I have ever seen.

The Fred Calf brogue boots, with the same colour finishes are just eight-hole lace up version on a stunning theme, and come in black, brown, mahogany or tan.
A variation of finishes, not colours, just subtle leather differences is also clear on the shoes and boots, with Grenson’s six week completion process, made up of more than 200 individual processes, ensuring you don’t get a guarantee like this easily, but anything worth doing, is worth doing well.

Adding the inscription of The Triple Welt on the hand crafted leather sole really seals this deal of quality.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Time for a new you: Belstaff

SO THE annual clock ticked round to a new dawn and new year, all the promise or resolutions have started and presumably will fail, gym memberships quickly doubling up as beer matts, vapour cigarettes and nicotine patches magically transforming into ‘just one puff, well I’ve had a drink’ and ‘it’s only a packet of 10’.

There is one way to ensure something new happens, something that can kickstart your New Year and new you, that’s not meant to sound evangelical, but adding a new label to your wardrobe is one way to ensure year long happiness. And why not start with the icon that is Belstaff???!!

The Staffordshire based label, which has been waterproofing jackets almost as far back as Moses was parting the seas and has been sported by all and sundry over the years, from Steve McQueen, David Beckham, Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, George Clooney, even political heavyweights, or freedom fighters the like of Che Guevara.

When you look at the simple quality you can easily understand why it is a icon of motorcycle leather jackets.
Utilising a simple classic design and never varying far from it, is one of the build blokes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and Belstaff started unbroken way back in the 1920s.

The Roadmaster, full length cotton waxed jacket, which harks to an original design of the 1921 four bellow pocket Trialmaster. It’s all zips, belts and popper cut fastenings, you could ride through a tornado in this and provided your bike can withstand the test, you will be warm and dry and not the least bit cool. 

Black and olive are the two colour choices and of course, sporting the heritage check print inside.

Dropping the check interior print for a one colour yellow, the Sammy Miller utilises the same design Trialmaster design and is based on the jacket worn by ‘British racing legend’ Sammy Miller from 1955 in black.

Swapping cotton for leather, the Panther black, has everything the TM has to offer, with a more boxy finish in body shape, plus some excellent leather and metal badges.
It really is designed for a two-lane black top.

So buckle up, 2015 could have a speedy start, simply choose Belstaff.