July 31, 2010

The Perfect Fit with The Perfect Tangent

At the Capsule Show in New York City last week, I had the wonderful pleasure of being introduced to Hong Kong designer Pak Man Lee (“Pac”) of The Perfect Tangent, which he launched in 2009.

While the line is utilitarian in nature, each garment is based on the “Golden Ratio Fit,” which is this designer’s pursuit of the perfect, timeless fit.

“The reasoning behind Pac’s investigation stems from the movie “Pi,” which he saw in 1998:

“Mathematics are the Language of Nature. Everything around those can be represented and understood through Numbers. If you graph the Numbers at any system, Patterns emerged. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature.”

The Golden Ratio Fit is based on the famous painting, the Vitruvian Man, which Leonardo da Vinci pained in 1487 as a study on human proportions that Roman writer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio had described centuries earlier (photo top).

Designer Pac develops this notion with the “Fibonacci Sequence” of numbers, which is named after Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa and dates back to ancient India.

The higher up the sequence, the closer the algorithm approaches the golden ratio. The following image features chest width and the Fibonacci Sequence.

Pac then translates the Fibonacci Sequence into the Golden Ratio Fit with a shirt.

The designer then offers various cuts by compromising different body shapes, as he slims the body by skimming a continuous tangent along the side of the torso.

Finally, on this premise the designer explores assorted styles and cuts for his collections in menswear.

Okay, I admit. The concept goes a bit over my head too. But the end result is more than comprehensible: timeless designs that are unique to the industry.

See the look book here.

Photos Copyright The Perfect Tangent.

Kent Denim—Riding High in 2011

Today, I am happy to bring to you the latest in Kent Denim by designer Noah Landis, released exclusively to Men’s Fashion by Francesco for first posting.

In the designer’s words, “spring/summer 2011 has been all about bike messengers for Kent Denim’s new look and feel,” which, by the way, was showcased before the big name brands. Way to go, Noah, you are riding with the big guys!

About the outfit, first, we have the Kent Denim cheetah cycling hat. Then, model Johann Zaroli is sporting a contrasting color block button-up shirt.

The biker look culminates in grey Japanese denim with Soma slim leg styling and accented with a Kent Denim vintage belt buckle.

Kent Denim Spring Summer 2011 from Kent Denim on Vimeo.

Photo 2011 s/s collection by photographer Daniel Laukat, Copyright Kent Denim.

July 30, 2010

Bring on the Noise 2010 Autumn/Winter Collection

In the past I have posted several articles on Japanese designer, Daisuke Konno, including an interview and an update on his label Bring on the Noise.

So, let me bring on some more noise with a press release about the most recent collection:

“Tokyo Rockers”
The rock scene boom lost its momentum in the late 1970’s. Bringing about a breakthrough, musicians gathered and played gigs continuously in many parts of Japan. This movement is called “Tokyo Rockers.”

Our season theme is the movement spawned in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s, the dawn of Punk. We pursue originality no other brands can create.

Every product is made in Japan, placing importance on the concept of a “Japanese-made product,” as the season theme is the Japanese culture.

Support Brand: Libertas (Shoes)
Libertas” means ‘Freedom’ in Latin. Our theme is to share feelings of empathy with people wearing our shoes, pursuing craftsmanship for creating unique products.

Stylist: Satoshi Yoshimoto
Photographer: Takahiro Otsuji
Hair/Makeup: Satoshi Ito
Kuruucrew, Fratten,Gasbag, Ken Takehisa.

Photos & slideshow Copyright Bring on the Noise.

July 29, 2010

Onia—Swimwear for Every Occasion

At the Capsule Show last week, I had the privilege of meeting a young designer by the name of Carl Cunow.

Carl launched his swimwear label, Onia, after having worked at Steven Alan for 4 years.

He conceived the name while soaking up the sun, one day, on a beach in Israel. (“Onia” actually means ‘boat’ in Hebrew.)

Although fit for a boat, Onia is beachwear for men—just redefined.

The cuts are perfect for the “everyday” kind of guy—not too long and not too short.

Each model is simple and—most of all—functional. Carl pointed out to me that he intended the swimwear to be worn anywhere, just as if they were a pair of shorts.

They are fit for a relaxing day at the poolside, while versatile enough to sport with a nice top for an enjoyable night at the club.

Whether at the beach, boat, bungalow, or bar—Onia stands for practical shorts for practical guys.

Photo s/s 2011 collection Copyright Onia.

Elia Maurizi Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

Now in its fourth collection, “Elia Maurizi” not only proposes an original, fun and character-filled unisex footwear line, but he also looks way beyond the shoe itself, concentrating his attention also on the world of design, enhancing its value during the “Who’s on Next” competition organised last year by Alta Roma, Pitti Immagine Uomo and Uomo Vogue.

This year, he himself defined the path to follow as “I Wanna Be Frisbee”. For this collection, Elia gets his inspiration from the outskirts of towns, i.e. “suburbia”, which sprang up in America around the 1950s-’60s, focusing his attention on the lifestyle of the average American and on the care freeness which marked that period.

This year, Elia Maurizi will team his collection with a genuine line of beach “Frisbees”, and another line of fun scarves to match his footwear collection. There are three styles to choose from:

Dear Bill
Inspired by the man who worked the soil, when manual labour and contact with nature ruled. The lasts are soft and reassuring. The materials are natural and soft, with woven or micro-perforated processing. The colours tell of the past, winking at the present with a touch of irony.

Little Susanne
The journey proceeds along “Coney Island” beach, on those endless days of summer sun. The footwear is inspired by the faraway “espadrilles”, revamped with the processing of the hides and the new and authentic “vintage” finishing which distinguishes it. The colours of the hides recall those of the soil and beach (“the soft dream”).

I Meet Walter
Set in the garden of an usual house of “Monroe” (UTAH), where Walter Morrison, i.e. the inventor of the flying disc, played with his wife with a metal pie tin. This line is distinguished by uppers with through holes which recall the roundness of the mythical Frisbee, reinterpreting past taste with a modern feel. Suede leathers with two-tone cuts yet not with relaxing colours and white rubber soles with a vague “street” appeal.

Photos Copyright Antonio Maurizi.

July 28, 2010

Fromanteel: A Unique Style

When speaking about their watches, Alfredo and Martijn are very explicit: “Fromanteel has a style of its own and prefers to maintain this unique style.”

While designing their first collection, the limited edition ‘Day & Night’, Alfredo and Martijn discussed extensively every considerable and small detail in the design. This proved to be a very hard, though intense and successful cooperation. “Without friction, there is no shine.” Same as the fact that without ‘Day’ there is no ‘Night’—hence the name of the collection.

The two say rarely to be guided by the will of other people. They are inspired by the modern man, but deliberately choose not to base their decisions on what others think. They design watches according to their own taste. It has to be something they would like to wear and what they think will look good on them.

A Fromanteel watch is not some trendy, fashionable watch that is easily adopted by the masses. A Fromanteel watch has a story that only the wearer can tell: the story about the history of the name, its origin and the fact it is a limited edition.

It’s also not a conspicuous watch. Fromanteel watches are subtle, stylish and only the wearer himself knows it fits his personal taste and style.

In the end, it is the contrast and connection, found in the brand, its history and the characters of the designers that make the slogan ‘History is Now’ a perfect fit for the brand.

Before drawing our first packaging proposals we decided to first study how goods were packaged and shipped in the era of Fromanteel, some 400 years ago.

We discovered that the materials, which were used at that time, were made to withstand even rougher transport conditions than nowadays found with modern cargo transport.

The 2010 Collection
While designing the 2010 Collection we stood still at what motivates the modern man when it comes to watches and style in general. We discovered that men are very different in their style preferences. The motivation behind these different style preferences is what fascinated us and drove us to design the 2010 Collection.

To men, style is something personal and cannot be compared with a fashion statement or simply what is in trendy at the moment. Fashion has always been, and always will be dynamic. But style is timeless. Fashion is largely concerned with what is cool, or what trends are at what time, etc. While just a few men exhibit true style, timeless cool and display of good taste.

In our study we found three interesting style archetypes. One is the Dandy—or as we would like to call him ‘The Cultural Creative’ man. The Cultural Creative is our informal interpretation of the Dandy. Where the Dandy is cockney and expresses a foremost English style, the Cultural Creative is not. He dress and grooms himself every day by set of formal rules but knows how to play around, expressing a creative style of his own.

The ‘Johannes’ timepiece is inspired by the lifestyle of the Cultural Creative. The man that recognizes all the efforts and contributions that a single, well interpreted, detail, does for an outfit.

The ‘Rebel without a Cause’ is next archetype we studied in detail. An important era for the ‘Rebel’ – as we abbreviate him, was the 60’s of the last century. Raised in a very formal era (the 1950’s) the Rebel saw the world differently and defined freedom as one of his highest goals. Freedom to express and to live his life the way he wants. The Rebel lives by this credo and knows that the credo also implies freedom of movement. To be, to travel and to go wherever you want to, whenever you want to. The world as he sees it, is on the palm of his hands. The ‘Vintage1607’ is our interpretation of this style archetype.

Before designing the ‘Time MachinE’ we realized that the third style archetype we based our design on is actually not a style archetype pur sang. It might be the result of a transformation of any archetype.

This sub-archetype comes out at night. We call him the ‘Nightlife Smart Casual’ man. He is the self-confident cosmopolitan man. His playfield is the city at night. The night flirts and presents many temptations. The faith hearted obeys the night, however the strong seizes it and makes the night his own. The ‘TimemachinE’ is all about reliability and precision designed to fit this style ‘archetype’ .

The result of our study is the 2010 Collection. This collection is a stylish ode to the modern man.

The Generations Series ‘Johannes’ Named after the oldest son of Ahasuerus Fromanteel and limited at 1638 pieces in black & white, this first Fromanteel watch of the Generations Series represents in its design and detail everything the modern dandy, or as we like to say; the cultural creative man would like to see in a watch.

Johannes Fromanteel was born in 1638. As the oldest son he got to spend much time in the clockmaker’s workshop learning and observing the magnificent craftsmanship of his father. After years of practice and study, Johannes eventually followed in his father’s footsteps and became a master clockmaker.

The watch ‘Johannes’ is an ode to the passionate son and the first watch in the Generations Series.

The design of the watch is inspired by the lifestyle of the Cultural Creative man. The man that recognizes all the efforts and contributions that a single, well interpreted, detail, does for an outfit.

The Generations‘Johannes’ is a watch for the man who knows that life has to be lived by a set of informal rules. The ‘Johannes’, a proud son’s story about detail and craftsmanship.

Photos Copyright Fromanteel.

Fromanteel—the Designers

“We kept it close to ourselves…”

The two young designers live in Amsterdam and met each other in during their student period. What they have in common is their similar taste for the good things in life, although the two have very different characters and backgrounds.

Alfredo Silva (30) is born in São Paulo, Brazil, as the son of a painter and an actress. As artists, both his parents are familiar with the art-scene of the city at that time - as a result, Alfredo grows up in a house where fashion designers, writers, architects and actors walk in and out. Therefore, creativity and artistic expression were encouraged to him from an early age on.

Eventually, Alfredo’s father finds it difficult to combine his parental responsibilities with his art and extravagant lifestyle. That’s why his mother, after breaking with him, entitles him as an uncle and no longer expects him to fulfill his parental responsibilities.

Years later, she marries a Dutch engineer whom Alfredo regards as his true father from the beginning. Alfredo learns the aspects of the Dutch culture and later the language, before moving to the Netherlands. Alfredo studies in Nijmegen and in Barcelona and after graduation, he finds a job in advertising. However, after three years he decides to quit and undertakes something more close to his heart – the design of watches and Fromanteel.

Martijn van Hassel (30) is born in Brabant, a province in the south of The Netherlands. At the van Hassel home, a Burgundian lifestyle is respected. Martijn learns from childhood on to appreciate the fine things in life, such as delicate cooking, family, art and photography. Although his father spends a lot of time abroad on business, the family ties remain strong.

It is his father who encourages entrepreneurship from an early age. “It’s best to show some initiative and to have an open mind about things, then to sit around waiting for things to happen.”

A study in Delft results in a degree in engineering, but this degree doesn’t represent the real passion and ambition that lies inside Martijn’s heart. Creativity runs through his veins, accompanied with the idea to one day start his own business.

His broad scope of interests is not limited to the Netherlands only. That’s why Martijn decides to move to Milan, a city where fashion and design coexist. Eventually Milan, the Burgundian lifestyle and the entrepreneurship encouraged by his father form the basis for the foundation of Fromanteel.

The two founded Fromanteel with a strong conviction to design watches that tell something about the personality of the owner. Watches with a personal touch and signature. No mass product, but unique timepieces that would make its owner proud to be wearing it.

Photos Copyright Fromanteel.
Photo top right, Alfredo Silva.
Photo bottom left, Martijn van Hassel.

Fromanteel: History Is Now

Fromanteel was a man with an enormous drive to fulfill his dreams and ambitions. His unique vision and craftsmanship helped him revolutionize our perception of time.

Ahasuerus Fromanteel was a clockmaker in the 17th century who owned a modest clockmakers workshop at the Vijgendam in Amsterdam—now the Dam Square, where the famous Hotel Krasnapolsky is located.

Back in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age, Fromanteel begun to manufacture a series of revolutionary clocks, which were equipped with a new Dutch invention: the pendulum. These clocks were sold to wealthy merchants and members of the Dutch and English royal houses.

Amsterdam was a wealthy center of commerce and home of many artists, merchants and craftsmen. The city enjoyed therefore much attention from foreign Trading Companies looking for exclusive and remarkable goods.

Fromanteel’s pendulum clock was one of those goods of interest. This clock became known as one of the most accurate clocks of that time. The pendulum allowed the clocks to measure ‘seconds’, a unicum in a world dominated by only minutes.

The good location and fast trade network that Amsterdam had established over the years with other great trade hubs of the time facilitated Fromanteel into deciding to expand his operations overseas.

Ahasuerus Fromanteel’s sons were given the responsibility to run the overseas workshops and Ahasuerus himself decided to manage the affairs in Amsterdam, the city where he eventually died at the age of 85.

The name Fromanteel now lives on as a new brand of exclusive limited edition watches for men. Our timepieces apply the mastery technique of the Fromanteels to today’s modern age.

A Fromanteel watch is a contemporary designed timepiece, with an eye for the smallest detail and the highest level of quality.

The making of the Fromanteel shoot from Fromanteel on Vimeo

Photo Copyright Fromanteel.

Gaspard Yurkievich for Eastpak

“In Love with Beauty,” the Fall/Winter 2010 Collection

Taking the next step in the series of high end collaborations Eastpak is proud to present the Fall/Winter 2010 collection designed by French top designer Gaspard Yurkievich.

This collection is a tribute to the “buffalo” movement that was launched in the second half of the 80’s by Ray Petri. Petri was the first stylist to bring a touch of elegance and luxury to the urban lifestyle. The designs by Gaspard Yurkievich are based on this search for beauty in all items we use in our day to day lives.

For this collection Gaspard Yurkievich used the classic bomber jacket with its bright orange lining and Eastak’s functional bags as sources of inspiration. By adding an unexpected mix of gold, silver and gunmetal to all metal accessories and zippers on the bags all items get a Gaspard Yurkievich unique and luxurious signature. Bags are restyled using the codes of luxury without ever losing sight of the bags’ functionality.

The elegant redefinition of the styles is underlined by the selection of materials used on the bags, such as shiny nylon, hound’s-tooth, metallic jacquard and embossed leather. On some models different fabrics are even united which emphasizes the unique cut of the bags.

This collection brings exclusive, high end versions of all classic Eastpak styles, the backpack,
shoulder bag, shopper and waist belt, but also a wallet, a multimedia pouch and a toilet case. Within the same collection there are also two jackets that adhere to the same code of top end luxury.

About Gaspard Yurkievich
A native of Paris, (born May 16, 1972), Gaspard Yurkievich studied at the Studio Bercot from 1991-93; wherein after graduation, he trained under Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Jean Colonna.

Known for his wild and outlandish catwalk presentations, Gaspard Yurkievich is fast becoming the designer of choice by fashion forward young men and women who like wearing street and urban clothes with a Parisian touch.

In 1998, during the Fall/Winter 1999 season, his solo collection, “Distressed” debuted on the Paris runways. During the Spring 2005 menswear season, Yurkievich shocked his audience. In a most unexpected presentation, the group of urban dancers hired by Yurkievich showed how the clothes would really be worn. They danced, body-popped, scratched, vogued in a sexually explicit manner. With Gaspard Yurkievich, you have to expect the unexpected.

Gaspard Yurkievich on his collaboration with Eastpak:
“For me Eastpak is an iconic brand of my generation. And today the brand is still present in streets everywhere. When Eastpak contacted me we immediately thought to create a collection dedicated to my generation: people in their thirties, concerned with their image but still with the casual spirit of Eastpak.”

Photo Copyright Eastpak.

July 27, 2010

Assembly New York with Greg Armas

Born 1979 in Oregon, Greg Armas studied Fine Art and Curatorial Studies in Los Angeles before launching the vintage concept boutique, Scout LA, in 2003.

Greg then went on to work as an architectural and retail consultant in Tokyo, relocating to New York in 2008 where he opened a vintage retail shop called Assembly New York.

A year later, Greg filled in the gap between retail and design by establishing a unisex collection that was rooted in natural materials, tradition, and “future-primitive” details.

Working with a limited palette, and avoiding excess, Greg examines the concept of uniforms, such as those of a soldier or a worker in Europe at the turn of the past century.

Check out the collection here.

Photo & slideshow 2011 s/s collection, Copyright Assembly New York.

Rogues Gallery—Combining Comfort and Classic

Last year I published an article on the Best New US Designers: GQ 2009 Picks, in which the Rogues Gallery was mentioned as one of the finalists.

Not only was I intrigued by the label, but my curiosity was drawn to its meaning, as well; so I decided to do some research.

Historically, a rogue’s gallery was a police term, which referred to a collection of photos or “mug shots” that the police utilized to identify criminals.

Apparently Scottish-born American detective, Allan Pinkerton (1819–1884), coined the term in New York, in 1850.

Nearly 100 years later, “Rogues Gallery” appeared in a comic book series, the Flash, as villains who opposed the superheroes.

Well, now, the Rogues Gallery is a menswear label, which was launched in Portland, Maine, by Alex Carleton, who envisioned the pre-colonial times of New England's seafaring past.

His collections vividly embody the ruggedness, adventure, and toughness of Maine's historic cod fishermen, lobster trappers, and loggers.

While I was at the Capsule Show in New York City last week, I had the privilege to preview the spring/summer 2011 Rogues Gallery collection.

If you are looking for something timeless, comfortable, and classic, without making a big fashion statement, the collection is for you—coming soon!

Photo top Lars (left, RG partner) and Jeremy (right, RG bag designers).

July 26, 2010

Silverdale—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand

Silverdale Knitwear was established in 1946 by the Antcliff family and is based in Levin–an hour north of Wellington on the West Coast of New Zealand.

Since its inception, Silverdale has been at the forefront of the knitwear market, blending its technical expertise with future trends and consumer demands whilst maintaining an ongoing commitment to quality materials, workmanship and service.

Whether sourcing raw materials from the Southern Alps of New Zealand or from the best yarn houses of Italy, Silverdale is passionate about creating beautiful and luxurious knitwear pieces that embody a proud history of quality and style.

Launching in Winter 2008, Silverdale by Andrea Moore fuses the quality of elite knitwear manufacturer Silverdale with the chic creations of fashion designer Andrea Moore.

The result is a collection of smart, slouchy chic and body-skimming pieces that hint at military and tuxedo influences in shades of crème brûlée, pumice and aubergine with shocks of vibrant scarlet.

21 Grams—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Sicker than your Average Bear”

If it’s hot, hip, sick and twisted; it’s in the summer collection from new tee label 21Grams.

Going places no other brands would dare, 21Grams is the brainchild of the politically incorrect Andrew McCulloch and Shaun Bay.

“We wanted a tee label with prints that pushed the boundaries,” says McCulloch. “We are not into designing the clichéd ‘Kiwi’ prints—maps, tikis etc, because we live here; we don’t need to promote New Zealand every minute of the day,” he says. “So we created our own brand with prints of what others don’t dare to.”

Guns, drugs, sex and psychotic pandas throwing gang signs are featured heavily in this summer’s collection—for those who like their streetwear to be truly on the edge.

The melting TV print is one LSD trip away from liquefying your mind, and the Molotov Mondays tee will show your disdain for the ordinary and mundane in all of our lives.

There are knife toting pirates for punk chic hoes, risky .at caps emblazoned with ‘Live ‘til you die’ sure to get you kicked out of the country club, and the tees come in a range of colours guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd.

This summer from 21Grams is not for the faint at heart -indeed, in order to don these duds, you will have to be Sicker than the Average Bear.

New Zealand 2010-11 Spring/Summer Series: (Remember, your winter may be Kiwi summer!)
Doosh—Spring/Summer 2010-11 in New Zealand: “Wild at Heart”
Elusiv—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Spirit”
Rembrandt—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Goldeneye”
Trix & Dandy —Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Dazed but Not Confused”
Wayward Heir—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “If I’m Alive, I’m Swinging”

Silverdale—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand

Photos 2010-11 s/s collection “Sicker than your Average Bear”Courtesy Coco PR, Copyright 21 Grams.

Wayward Heir—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “If I’m Alive, I’m Swinging”

“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” — Frank Sinatra

The Rat Pack, smoky Jazz Clubs in Vegas, cigars in one hand and dirty martinis in the other, classically cut suits that ooze swagger and confidence; the 1960s were about well-groomed bachelors who had a good time and dressed impeccably to do so.

Wayward Heir’s collection for summer 2010/2011, “If I’m Alive, I’m Swinging” is influenced by the swinging sixties and takes the best aspects of slim line suiting of that era and adds a modern

The sophistication of the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin is mirrored in the slender silhouettes, fitted jackets and laid-back casuals that remind us of just how cool those cats really were.

“It is how the greats used to dress -with class and sophistication and a bit of cheekiness thrown in,” says Wayward Heir designer Jaime Winks. “A collection that will make any man the epitome of style and swagger - like Frank, Dean and Sammy,” he says.

Narrower lapels, flatter fronts, slimmer sleeves and slightly tapered and more fitted trousers are all throwbacks to Vegas’ greatest era and the iconic bachelor lifestyle of the members of the group of men who have been emulated the world over ever since.

Lighter and softer fabrics show the evolution of the style; patterns and colours are varied and inventive while still keeping that classic look. Chintz charcoals, silvery greys and blacks are all staples in the colour scheme of the suiting, while shirts explore dusky pinks and blues and the addition of prints with a contemporary twist.

The “If I’m Alive, I’m Swinging” collection from Wayward Heir captures the fun and excitement of the sixties, the iconic time of effortless cool, with pieces that can be worn to the office, the races or even to a smoky jazz bar at the Bellagio.

Trix & Dandy —Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Dazed but Not Confused”

“How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?” —Bob Dylan

The moment devilish yet trigger-happy Dandy, one half of the dynamic and stylish criminal duo Trix & Dandy, hit a losing streak; his glamorous dame stole away in the middle of the night with her former beau, Mickey.

The pair tripped through the late 1960s, with Trix performing at Woodstock and Mickey teaching hippies that taking LSD actually meant taking every Lock, Stock and Dime.

And so begins the next chapter of the Trix & Dandy story, a dynamic diffusion label born from the creative mind of Michael Pattison.

“During Woodstock, fashion became about expressing yourself, decorating yourself, and showing your spirit in a very different way than it was before,’’ says Pattison. “Throw in a bit of superior tailoring, and you have everything Trix & Dandy is about.”

There is the Joplin-esque look for dynamite divas, with drop shoulders, relaxed tunics, explosive florals with a festival flavour and tie dye patterns. Lizard Kings get to enjoy a hedonistic range of jeans, pants, tees, singlets, shorts hoodies and shirts that are cool, hip and definitely groovy.

Pattison continues to seamlessly blend knits and wovens with other natural fibres (but no hemp); while prints are way out with inkblot birds, Twiggy tripping on paisley and a chick with an afro that’s seriously fierce.

Freedom with a capital ‘F’ was born in Woodstock, and this summer Michael Pattison’s Trix & Dandy allows the love child in you to step out in style.

Rembrandt—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Goldeneye”

“You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.” — Ian Fleming

As an intelligence officer at the British Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, the covert work of Ian Fleming provided the background for his spy novels, which featured the now infamous secret agent James Bond.

But it is Fleming’s retirement in the late 1950’s to Goldeneye, his estate in Saint Mary Parish Jamaica that provided the inspiration for the Summer 2010/11 collection from Rembrandt.

“Every person plans to run off to some tropical isle, but few do,” says Rembrandt designer Jonathan Hall. “Fleming had no limitations to making Jamaica his home; he purchased property, designed a house and set about doing paradise right,” he says. “The estate was like Fleming himself and everything I wanted this collection to be: simple, direct, filled with panache, character and elegance.”

Make a sartorial statement by choosing a lighter shade of suit in wool and silk, pure cotton or wool and mohair, many sourced from the finest Italian fabric mills. Slim silhouettes abound, completing the move from high fashion to mainstream menswear.

Ian Fleming lived a remarkably uncompromising life in a world full of compromises; in this same manner even starting price Rembrandt business shirts feature two-ply yarns and the seasons suiting cloths are largely Super 120’s quality and above.

Choose from a selection of elegant, sophisticated and innovative tailored jackets that run the gambit from modern to classic casual styles and prove that there is no need to sacrifice style and fit because you are dressing down. “The collection offers the perfect excuse for a man to wear a suit for pleasure instead of business,” says Hall.

For the first time, Rembrandt offers the waistcoat as a separate; dress it up with a Metropolis shirt and Kubrick trousers, or keep it relaxed with a Saddle shirt and Hoxton jeans. Compliment it all with Rembrandt’s range of leather goods and their new range of belts.

Casual classic belts are turned into sophisticated urban accessories, and like Fleming’s love of authentic detail feature oil lined or feathered-edge leather, solid Italian brass buckles, are made in New Zealand and come in a range of styles that every man should own.

All of this adds up to summer must haves essential for lounging in paradise, romancing women and chasing the sunset.

Elusiv—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Spirit”

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

The spirit is the vital force that exists within living things; Elusiv is the menswear label that embodies the spirit of today’s intuitive and stylish Kiwi man.

“Every item of Elusiv clothing is defined by a story of its influences,” says designer Nicola Reilly. “There is distinctive detailing that instills in each garment the quality, fit, fabric and structure of the spirit of New Zealand,” she says.

Elusiv understands versatility like no other with the summer range promising ready-to-wear clothing that requires next to no styling; these pieces will become a lasting part of any man’s

Both casual and formal pieces cater to every guy’s summer needs. Structured waistcoats to relaxed fitting tees, every occasion is covered with a range of print designs and sleeve lengths.

The jewel of the Elusiv summer collection however, has to be shirts. “We have really focused on shirts this season: shirts for work, weddings, race days; wherever you want to look sharp, there is an Elusiv shirt to fit the bill,” says Reilly.

The collection features Elusiv’s characteristic neutral earthy tones, punctuated with stunning cobalt blue and the purity of white.

Kiwi men will be proud to get dressed into the spirit of New Zealand with Elusiv tees that integrate designs of traditional New Zealand culture with a fashion forward element; and now that Reilly has her own screen-printing facilities, there are new designs available every week at their online store at elusiv.co.nz.

Let Spirit from Elusiv be your style guide this summer.

New Zealand 2010-11 Spring/Summer Series: (Remember, your winter may be Kiwi summer!)
Doosh—Spring/Summer 2010-11 in New Zealand: “Wild at Heart”
Rembrandt—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Goldeneye”
Trix & Dandy —Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Dazed but Not Confused”
Wayward Heir—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “If I’m Alive, I’m Swinging”

21 Grams—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand: “Sicker than your Average Bear”
Silverdale—Spring/Summer 2010/11 in New Zealand

Photos 2010-11 s/s collection “Spirit” Courtesy Coco PR, Copyright Elusiv.

Doosh—Spring/Summer 2010-11 in New Zealand: “Wild at Heart”

To celebrate a rebirth of the Doosh label, their summer collection, “Wild at Heart,” explores youthful rebellion and romance from decades past.

Every item needed to create a complete wardrobe is in the range, including Dirty...tees, tops, and knits alongside hard wearing denim and drill jeans, pants and shorts of every length.

Colours include vibrant hot pink, sassy cobalt blue, sensual midnight and sweet sunshine yellow—perfect for engaging in adventures both extreme and demure.

Guys gear is grittier than collections past, taking a direction with separates that is fashion forward and yet fierce, masculine and enduring.

The collection embodies everything the new Doosh is: paradoxical, iconoclastic, hedonistic, with enough nostalgia to evoke rebellion and the fickleness of youth—for anyone truly Wild at Heart.

Photos 2010-11 s/s collection “Wild at Heart” Courtesy Coco PR, Copyright Doosh.

July 25, 2010

Boy Band Eden & Bone Wear

During a recent photo shoot for the cover of his upcoming solo album, lead singer of the popular South African band Eden got into some Bone Wear and sent through some pictures.

Eden is South Africa’s most popular boy band, which combines “exquisite voices, lush harmonies, funky image, and energetic stage performances.”

Jay, the lead singer, began his career in musical theatre, in 1996.

Since that time he has recorded three albums, while being nominated for seven awards.

Other members of the band include Johan Vorster, who studied Music at Potch University, and Cape Town-born Paulo Azevedo, who currently lives in Pretoria.

Photo Copyright Bone Wear.

A Short Interview with Asia Wysoczynska

After posting yesterday on Asia Wysoczynska, I asked this emerging Polish designer a few questions about herself and her most recent collection.

Tell me, Asia, where you are from…
I’m from Poland, currently living in Warsaw.

What do “fashion” and “design” mean to you?
I believe fashion is a means of communication. Design is an expression of meaning.

You studied Psychology…how has this field shape your perspective?
I graduated from International School of Costume and Fashion Design, in Warsaw, Poland, this year. However, studying psychology before has put me into a perspective different from that of most designers.

What inspires you as a designer?
Everything starts from an idea. When I do know what I would like to say, I start to look for ‘sentences’ that could tell the story. And in the end, it’s all about the Hero of the story, his or her emotions. The aim is to create designs being distinctive and at the same time allowing personality expression.

Finally, your most recent collection “HEroSHE, the Warrior”…
HEroSHE is a luxurious prêt-a-porter collection for the brave. For the city warriors.

Photo & slideshow a/w 2010 collection “HEroSHE, the Warrior, Copyright Asia Wysoczynska.

July 24, 2010

Parabellum—Built for a Lifetime

One of the most creative and eye-captivating collections that I was able to review at the Capsule Show in New York City last week was Los Angeles-based accessories label Parabellum.

Originally, the term parabellum was coined by DWM—the GermanWeapons and Munition Works—which was founded in 1896.

The term comes from the Latin phrase, si vis pacem, para bellum, translating as ‘If you wish for peace, prepare for war’.

Parabellum belts, pouches, cases, portfolios, and wallets are all handcrafted, using the rare hides of North American bison, which are raised free-range on small reservation owned ranches.

Instead of metal furnishings, buckles and other highlights are made with military grade ceramic, which is rugged enough for anti-ballistic plating in vehicles.

Inspiration of each Parabellum accessory is deeply rooted in military history, such as the WWII grenade pouch, which can be attached to a belt (photo top).

Photos Copyright Parabellum.