Posts tagged menswear

A while back I did a couple of posts that thinly disguised my hatred for the PLAGUE OF PLAID that had infested menswear. OK, that sounds a bit pompous and high-fallutin’. I still stand firm. Well, sort off… I’ve been drawn as of late to the geometrically patterned chemise but I’m leaning towards gingham as opposed to plaid. Thus, I don’t feel such a hypocrite.

Its that slight feeling of spring in the air that gets one thinking about the summer ahead — lovely rumpled shirts, sleeves rolled up past elbow, collar undone in a lopsided fashion. I do give good shirt, I must say. So its rather worrying that I live so close FRENCH TROTTERS on rue Vielle du Temple. Its one of those little local shops that has been garnering a lot of interest in magazines such as Monocle. Cool, lifestyle-y and low-key. A shop for men. No loud music. Something cool and hum-inducing on the sound system. But not too cool. Cute assistants – eye candy a prerequisite to a good shop session; oils up an otherwise reluctant carte bleue. Its pretty much all a guy needs in one space.

They stock brands such as Oliver Spencer, Margaret Howell, ACNE, A.P.C., Universal Works and Visvim. Great menswear staples. Good selection of accessories and shoes. Sweet little nothings like The Hill Side squared-off neckties — these really do perk up a “Look”. And luxe perfume brand Byredo. Smell Bal d’Afrique or Gipsy Water and DIE. So you see why this is so disconcerting. I don’t shop much and when I do I’m quick and precise. Go in for the kill. I never try anything on. I just need to check the lengths of sleeves –I’m over 6ft tall. And the width of shirts and jackets — my fondess for a tipple or two has left me, shall we say, portly, round the abdominal region. Hey ho, I’ll die satisfied, I guess!

image: The Selby

Anyway, back to plaid, sorry, gingham. I’ve always loved chef’s whites. I like all things culinary, really. But CHEFS ARE COOL. The slouchy trews, the aprons, white shirts. Its a utilitarian look that’s soft around the edges. Perfect. And this summer I’m drawn toward pattern. Not stripes. Bit off those. And definitely not Plaid. But gingham… Its simplicity and monochromatic nature make it such a winner. And not too micro, either.  2cm squares are about the right proportion. Present but not in your face. I’m gonna be rocking a few of those come summer. The blue and white Oliver Spencer  just bristles with the promise of a great summer to come. What fun we shall have, my dear, what fun.

image: Garance Dore

image: The Sartorialist



Navy, Sky, Grey, Buttermilk, Fawn, Cranberry

Black + White (A lot of white) = Fashion HEADRUSH

Admittedly, its been a bit Sleepsville ’round these parts as of late. No more excuses about being too busy. I’ve just been plain LAZY. Paris kind of does that to you, I guess. It’s so easy to go horizontal. Stroll over to the Tabac, pick up my daily supply of Nicotine from my pusher-friend at Le Progres on Rue de Bretagne; maybe grab a coffee there as well, or venture a bit further but not much, to Rose Bakery; pop in to Nicolas and see my other pusher-friend for the day’s supply of Prosecco – that’s booze and fags sorted then, ‘innit?; pop in to me local Pressing to have a little chat with the dolly birds in there and see what item of clothing they’ve lost this week — last week was the Burberry cardi with the fancy shoulders that a friend got me from the Hackney outlet – Bitches, I loved me that bad boy… You get the picture. It’s like St Mary Mead in Le Marais, sometimes…

Anyway, back to the reason why I was jolted out of my Slumber State. The new Dries Van Noten menswear show.Yummmy. It was like a sartorial cattle prod that woke this Sleeping Blogger from her coma. A beautifully turned out kiss that traipsed that line between regalia and “utilitaria” so expertly. What’s there not to love? The colour palette? Greys, blues, whites, a touch of camel,  a bit of black, some salt and pepper knits. Bang up me Back Alley. Or perhaps the shapes? Er, hello? Those pants looked positively roomy – if you minus the cool zippy jodhpur legging thingies – not as scary as they sound but need the legs of street urchin to pull those off. And the coats? Amazing. Just lovely, perfect tailoring. Perhaps the best argument for the ’80s Wall Street banker shoulders that have been cropping up everywhere – just plain wrong at Prada, eulogise all you like about Miuccia’s clever subversion. Nobody wants to wear a eulogy at the end of the day.

Great inspiration. David Bowie, Thin White Duke period. Richard Nicoll was onto that with his women’s summer show but the results here are way more successful. Anyway, thats a 329 word count so far. Not a bad start for someone who has just been brought back to life. Cheers, Dries!

Photos: Yannis Vlamos/


Lady Sings_

Piano Necktie.


We like a bit of irony.

A funny name but don’t be fooled. From the exquisite monochromatic box with its natty pull out drawer, the lush black tissue paper that unfolds with a satisfying “crchhh”, the grosgrain ribbon that binds together the beautiful printed Tee, Piano Necktie is anything but naff.

This is Serious Tee-Shirt Business with the air of a Collector’s Item about it. Esoteric, refined graphics. Super soft cotton. Wear it till it falls apart.

And then wear it some more.

Go figure_

The Billie Holiday



Oooh, er!

What’s this? Oh, Natalie you are such a clever girl!!! And you didn’t even let on in your refreshingly frank interview in my current fave rag mag, Industrie. This looks so sexy. Finally, we boys have something to while away lunch breaks and drool over. This could quite possibly be the most revolutionary thing to happen in menswear for quite some time. Fashion girls love to shop. We all know that but boys love to do so just as much as girls, if not more... We’re all Bitches in Cloth at the end of the day. Don’t disappoint, Mrs. Massenet. We boys can be very picky…


ps. Some advice on pronuciation. Do we por-ter or por-tay?

I saw a friend the other day and he was wearing his black DB Comme jacket with the bleached collar, lapels and cuffs from the Homme Plus Evergreen line – I was green with envy, for sure. Its such a beautiful piece – the semi-stuctured cut, the way the bleaching process created a tie die effect on the lining, the nubbly peaked lapels…There is so much packed into one piece. That’s the beauty of Comme. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as I was writing the previous post when I saw him.

I also like the suggestion of outerwear on the under collar and stand by way of trench-style topstitching. The rectangular tab that juts out from breast pocket with a button hole at the end is a natty detail. The concept behind the Evergreen line is also quite neat – reissues of styles from past seasons. Always there. Always ready. Evergreen, like the tree. I wish other labels would do that more. Like, I’d do pretty much anything to get my claws on the Margiela parka trench coat from about five years ago. Or the Margiela knuckle duster belt. Almost anything.

Utilitarian hippy country city gent + The Great Gatsby does Woodstock = Genius.

The menswear season has come and gone, and a good one it was. Another show I really liked, apart from Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens, was Lanvin. I liked how they’d shifted focus with a more aggressive slant on the Elbaz/Ossedrijver take on deconstruciton. You can only take pretty so far, especially when rivals are catching up. I loved the Aryan/ albino meets Mad Max spirit that was omnipresent in the show. A menacing gang of left bank warriors. The use of the belts on utility albeit luxe rucksacks to suggest a cummerbund was clever. As was the South Pacific take on an Aran sweater by way of fringing.There were also some new ways with colour, such as bleached out mustard with an odd, faded sienna. Quite 70s. Take apart the styling and all the Lanvin signatures are clear and present. Great coats, suits and shirts.

Brooding Aggression: Lanvin Menswear Autumn-Winter 2010, Paris

[salt + pepper – blk – white – gry]