Some time back, I remember seeing a large fluorescent crochet blanket in the Good Design section of Dover Street Market. Outside of the giant ‘Comme des Garçons’ stitched over the top in black wool, it was exactly the kind of thing you’d see in a Save the Children store and dismiss for being too ‘granny’. However, the simple addition of the logo, as effectively illustrated here, transformed the piece into something desirable. Were it not for the £300 plus swing ticket, it’d be draped over my sofa right now.
Check this full power leopard print. Full coverage, no subtlety, no muting to make the pattern more palatable. Monitaly have gone all out to capture the natural beauty of the leopard – in 100% polyester fleece. Some will fear the boldness of course. But come on grandad, leopard print isn’t about Debbie Harry any more. It’s about Nepenthes and Needles and confident print clashing and cool old Japanese blokes in slip on shoes and flared jogging bottoms. Magazines like Popeye and The New Order are full of those dudes. I must insist on becoming one of those dudes. Irrespective of the cost to my finances or my dignity.
Seemingly mirroring the irrational times we live in, this compound creation from Kohei Nishimura’s Digawel is frankly deranged. A sweater, a sweatshirt or some diabolical hybrid? A bit of everything ever thunk; abstracted and suffused in hysteria. It’s a beautiful abomination. You would never own this. Neither (in the parlance of luxury watchmakers) are you merely looking after it for the next generation. This would own you. You will do its bidding. And it’s bidding is to make you appear simultaneously ridiculous and as on point as pointy things get.
Nicholas Daley for AW18, the enthusiastically hyped RED CLAY collection, is hitting stores now. Curiously absent from Daley’s stockist list is The Bureau, who, regular readers will recall, were integral in bringing the line to the attention of menswearists back in February 2017. Perhaps the line hasn’t faired as well as expected with the utilitarian orSlow/EG crowd. Seems surprising though. The RED CLAY collection offers beautiful heavy wools and corduroys, in navys, burnt oranges and ocres – a little extrovert certainly, but hardly avant-garde.
It now falls to London’s Goodhood to carry Nicholas Daley (alongside Dover Street) and the first drop is in – comprising a modified version of the front slit shirt, some simple chunky knits, a collarless take on last winter’s patched, navy cord jacket and the frankly delicious orange cord pieces you see here.
This is what Comme des Garçons used to be about. Before Dover Street Market welcomed the hypebeasts and people who only buy the wallets. Before decades of questionable collaborations, countless fragrances and the ubiquity of PLAY Converse, this jacket is what Comme des Garçons was about. Inscrutable, proudly intellectual, and resolutely straight-faced, as it peddled its subversive mystique to successful creatives and oddball society grandmothers.
Now that the new digital only CDG line is up and running – comprising yet more nylon bags, tees and coats covered in logos – this raw-edged, patchwork jacket feels especially relevant. If only to those nostalgic for the days of SIX magazine and incomprehensible adverts in The Face. And to anyone who remembers the old Comme shop on Brook Street; buzzing to get in, before shuffling around in silence. Your veneer of confidence, steadily eroding beneath the vampiric assistants’ terrifying gaze.
These Suicoke boots have a 100% cow suede upper, a nylon lining, an EVA antibacterial footbed, and a tomato red lacing and toggle system at the back. But they look a bit like UGGs.
Are you a 20 year old, east London fine art student, who wears Crocs out to a bar? Do you respond to inquisition by simply saying, they’re comfortable – contrary to your deeply considered and transparent anti-fashion, ironic reclamation? If so, you can probably get away with these. Although actually you’d probably prefer actual UGGs? Second hand ones. More grimy. Less bouji. Like, countercultural and shit, yeah?
A spot of stealth-luxury from OTHER/Shop here. On their site, it’s called a t-shirt, but really it’s a top. Scholars from Cambridge to the CERN Institute, are interrogating the exact different between a ‘tee’ and a’top’ – so far there’s no consensus. But for those not schooled in the scientific, the easiest way to tell the difference is that a ‘top’ will probably cost £50 more than a tee. Having said that, this piece self-identifies as a tee; a Chester Indigo Woven Tee to be precise. And it costs a healthy £150. You can see why the experts are so confused.
Last season Nepenthes and NOMA t.d teamed up on shirting (Needles construction, NOMA t.d print) this season it’s Engineered Garments’ turn. So far the only proof of the collaboration is over at Japan’s Digital Mountain. There’s a beret. Which is, well… a beret. And there’s this check and smudge collision all over a signature EG bucket hat. It’s seemingly reflective of the entirely red and black subsection of EG’s AW18 collection and it’s a bold print no doubt. But to those in the know, the purchase of an EG bucket hat comes with its own particular set of complications.
Mens’ accessories frequently fall into a couple of stylistic camps. There’s the standard turbo-hetro stuff. You know, cartoonishly large watches and heavy silver bracelets that look like you’d have no problem punching through a plaster wall. Traditional, bloody blokey man stuff; it’s jewellery, but I’m not into knobs right. Then there’s the other camp. Stuff that suggests you’re still deciding on your power animal. The sort of neoshamanist, rainbow wrapped, unicorn loving embellishments found around Santa Monica Pier, frequently worn by a white dude with dreads trying to play the chorus of Yellow Submarine through a conch shell.
Occasionally this site has been accused of covering the unwearable. Rather than propose sober, workable pieces, it has been suggested that too frequently there’s a tendency to spotlight outright foolishness; presumably in an effort to shock or amuse. I refute such allegations. That said, it would be irresponsible to simply ignore the judgement of a dissatisfied minority. I hope today’s post illustrates this site’s continued commitment to clear-headed utility.
This coat is covered in popups. Fans of less than scrupulous movie streaming sites will be familiar with the experience. I feel like I want to close a few of them to see what’s underneath. I’m pretty sure that before wearing you’d have to type a phrase into Captcha to prove you’re not a robot.
Animal prints have come a long way since their 80s association with Marlene from Only Fools and Horses and whatever ‘bit of skirt’ Minder’s Dennis Waterman was taking for a prawn cocktail. Or have they? Well, actually, no. Animal prints are still all about flouncery. They’re still for show offs. They’re still viewed through the eyes of the conformist middle-class as the preserve of the vulgarian.
Of course, these days animal print has been embraced by the ambrosia dependant world of streetwear – hence the frequency you see it used as camouflage by an ageing stylesman. But animal print’s power to look a little outré, even a bit crass, remains fundamental to its place in the cultural mix. Reason enough, I’d suggest, to check out these three new shirts from Sasquatchfabrix.
With the 80s stylings of a Michael Jackson leather (or Eddie Murphy’s stage get-up) this asymmetric YSTRDY’S TMRRW pullover will transport you back to a world of Funny Feet ices, Psion Organisers and dancing with tears in your eyes. Course, you may not be old enough to remember the 80s. Just trust me. Fashionable types from the members of Spandau Ballet to the head bully-boy down the precinct wore puffy, nylon tops like this. Crunchy, ballooning garments, with zips as wonky as Thatcher’s policies.
It’s not easy being a fan of The North Face Purple Label. Of course it’s only available in Japan, which makes things difficult enough. But there’s also the fact that goods by The North Face Purple Label often look rather like goods from The North Face. At least, they do to the untrained eye – of virtually everyone on the planet. This has much to do with both ranges’ insistence on using standard The North Face branding. So you could be busting freshly proxy-serviced Purple Label wind-cheater, only for an well-meaning acquaintance to point out that, they too are a fan of The North Face and have a similar jacket and a rucksack to boot.
You are then in the unenviable position of either:
- Smiling and nodding and swallowing your fury.
- Pointing out that in fact their jacket and rucksack are by The North Face, while your jacket is by The North Face Purple Label, the significantly more fashion-forward, only-in-Japan line designed by Eiichiro Homma of Nanamica.
The first option will lead to stress related illnesses. The second option will make you look like an intolerable twat.
Fire up the incense, we’re going full bongo. Washed out chambray, tie fastening, bead detail – this is total Midnight Cowboy freak out. This is a hippied-up James Fox in Performance. This is from Kapital. A brand that seems to exist in some otherworldly hinterland between a holistic healing centre and a Navaho disco.
Everyone’s on the ‘remade’ tip. Taking old stuff, hacking it up, stitching it back together and reselling (with varying degrees of self-congratulatory eco emphasis). The UK’s Christopher Raeburn is at it, as are Japan’s Needles and Comme des Garçons. Italy’s MYAR all the way to Atelier and Repairs and Bode from the US – there’s an increasing amount of this stuff about. Of course, in its own nascent way, it represents an pleasing statement of intent from the clothing industry. Apparently some have realised it’s difficult to sell shirts beneath a billion cubic miles of melted ice cap.
It would appear obscure Japanese brand Go-Getter is also woke to this conundrum.
It’s fascinating how effectively the past presages the future. Plato’s writing on the collapse of democracies predicts a terrifying chain of events. Events that appear to already be well underway on the global political stage. And then look at the forewarning in the furious, confused, chaos of traditional West African prints. Surely prophesying the contents of the average Brexiteer’s brain.
Let’s face it, we’re on the road to a global Gilead. Soon we’ll all have to wear red cloaks and giant pet cones. Solar power will be reclassified as an affront to God. Trump will marry his own daughter. Putin will marry his horse. Gays and Mexicans will be forced to fight in a Thunderdome. And you can be sure, buying a jazzy African sun hat will be downright treasonous.
Over at End Clothing, the Walmart of international menswear, they’re currently pushing Italian “sport suit” imprint DIMA LEU. Apparently the brand is “marking the point where sportswear meets suiting”. At first glance it is unclear what this actually means. Take a second glance though, and you’ll still be in the dark. The uncharitable might say it’s simply a range of long sleeved tees and track pants. A “concept” that is already familiar to any patron of Sports Direct. However, this isn’t Sports Direct. This is End. And this is an obscure, imported brand. So let’s reject rationality and inconvenient facts. Let’s pretend this really does represent a rarefied coupling between sportswear and suiting. Trust me, it’ll make the pricing structure more palatable.
First it was Shoreditch. Then Brixton. Now it’s Peckham. Gentrification makes many local people very angry. I live in Peckham and it makes me angry too. I feel like Peckham, right now, at this exact moment, has exactly the right ratio of artisinal coffee shops to pound shops. The perfect balance of graffiti to yoga classes. I don’t want it to change. I’m certainly not contributing to the gentrification of the place. I mean, look at me, I’m wearing beads.
Check out the loon bags on this brotherman. Those are some enthusiastically cropped trousers right there. And look at the hems. You could lose a baby in that floating wilderness of fabric. You’ve got to admire it. The guy is simultaneously inside and outside his own comfort zone. Which is not easy to do. Most of it is down to those terrifying child catcher pants. But look deeper. There’s a more interesting Kaptial piece playing a part in this alarming miscellany.
There’s a vague sense of emergency to these new shorts from Sassafras. Can you have a vague sense of emergency? Either way, it’s doubtless the screaming orange panels. There’s something firemany going on. Or, keeping in mind the horticultural leanings of the brand, perhaps a hitherto uncelebrated emergency service – Garden Rescue. To leap into action during cases of excessive moss or compost mismanagement.
Looking to bring some Talented Mr. Ripley era Jude Law to your warm weather fits? Sip an aperitivo, cross your legs, flash some tanned ankle and simultaneously impregnate all the women in a ten foot radius. Boom, you’re the lord of summertime. You just need a pair of these; wide silhouette, pleated, deep rise trousers. Just remember to never stand up. They’re 100% linen. You’ll look like an anxious crisp packet.
Remi Relief doesn’t get much play on this site. The brand offers Californian skate ‘n’ surf style, through the mangler of Japanese perspective. Much of it tends to be a little flat, a bit too, sun-bleached beach-bum. These bejewelled shorts, however, are anything but. Going in a different direction entirely, you’re looking at lip gloss slathered mall-wear. Just add a Musical.ly account, a dismissive air of self-confidence and a guy called Trent who keeps texting you pictures of his abs. Well done. You’re officially a valley girl. Only in a hairy bloke’s body.
For the sake of having something to write about, I choose to take vague issue with the way this Haversack top is described by retailer Union Made. “Easy, functional and incredibly summer-ready.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a power piece. It’s just that when you think about it, it’s neither easy, functional or summer-ready. Incredibly or otherwise.
There’s never been a better time to buy a Martine Rose, blue and white striped, long sleeved shirt. For one, this piece is 50% off over at LN-CC. (50% being the perfect discount to get excited about. 30% feels like a drawn-out precursor to 50%. While anything discounted by 70% or more is inevitably nonsense.) For two, Martine Rose is currently enjoying a kind of insider-level cool. Far from a household name, you’ll most frequently find the brand splashed on South and East London t-shirts. T-shirts in boozers. T-shirts ordering artisanal spinach lattices. T-shirts popping up in conversations concerning, “narratives” and “incubators.”
Looking for a shortcut to an ‘earth brother’ look? Just slide this cardigan over a tee (add beaded necklaces to taste) and you’re there. Then, at your next social gathering, tell everyone you’re only having three cocktails because you’re exploring the Somatic practices of deprivation and poverty. And quickly point out that you only decided on the ‘poverty’ bit after dropping £275 on this cardie.
Jam creams and Strawberry Cheesecake Häagen-Dazs. Exactly the kind of things that were rationed when I was a kid, but now I’m an adult, I can eat every day if I so choose. It’s a fact that explains why I’m currently facing nine grand’s worth of dental work. Nevertheless, I like red berry colours. I like eating them. And looking at these two florid creations, I might even consider wearing them.
Perhaps not the most practical of garments. Nevertheless, I believe most of you feel that life without a short sleeved knitted top, featuring a slab of crochet on the front, is no kind of life. Let’s put aside the news of treasons, lies and grotesque human injustices being metered out, hourly, on a global scale. Really, is this top any less important? I mean, it’s from a weird Japanese brand. It’s really tricky to buy it. No one you know will have it.
We’re all going to hell anyway. It’s not like you can do anything about anything. You might as well buy a stupid sweater.
There’s something about indigo in the sunlight. I understand that, scientifically speaking, most things are more visible when the sun’s shining. But the opulence, the profundity of colour that indigo dyeing affords, is really triggered for me under a cloudless sky. Which makes these Asahi kicks (from yesterday’s drop at Alpha Shadows) so appealing. A baggy, off-white, pair of trousers, a simple navy long-sleeved tee, maybe a pair of Max Pittion Politicians, all punctuated by a pair of these. That, right there, is exactly the kind of stripped back, urban minimalism so beloved by readers of Monocle. Personally I’d say that look is still missing something, but I’ll get to that in a second…
Facebook is officially a graveyard of the banal.
Look, I’m drinking an alcoholic beverage on a weekday. I’m ‘checking in’ at a members bar (that was trendy in 2005.) I’ve just been running. I’ve been in the sea and I found a shell. I’m flying to a different country. I’m flying back from a different country. I’ve just given something to charity – see how I modestly tell everyone. Here’s a picture of my child. Here’s a video of my child doing a thing all children do. Look at my child doing that thing. Look at my fucking child. It’s my child. Look at it.
This shirt would break Facebook. It’s too interesting. I won’t even bother putting this post on Facebook. Primarily because it’s not a picture of raccoon looking blankly at a camera, so everyone can type “soooooooo cute’ underneath, before heading to Primark to buy some piss-dreadful shoes that were probably stuck together by a Bangladeshi worker who’s developed leukaemia from persistent solvent exposure.
Plain leather, grain leather, woven leather, zig-zagging, pinking sheared leather… it’s all here. An agressively sexual montage of hides. The only things missing are a pair of meaty cocks and an artfully drizzled, egg cup of semen and you’ve got a Tom of Finland art work. Of course, I’m not suggesting that these shoes have an erotic preference as such. I just don’t think they’d look out of place at a Vauxhall pants night.
These are the Steve Mono artisanal sandals. In the 1987 film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero, Robert Downey Jr’s character, pharmaceutical-liker Julian, wore something similar. His were black and he wore them with socks. It might have been the LA setting. It might have been the 80s. It might have been the character’s preference for self-medication. But that’s what he did. And upon seeing the film at the time, I thought it was the ugliest, most effeminate and downright obscene approach to bloke’s footwear.
And here I am, over 30 years later, thinking the exact opposite. Read More
Middle-aged men wear t-shirts that are too small for them. When it’s boiling they’re everywhere. Men with their families, men in groups, men choking back the lager, men competing to see who can hoot the loudest at their own jokes. Their fleshy bellies, shoulders and backs throttled by gossamer cotton, like an unappetising Superdry sausage. Contrary to the basic laws of physics, it seems loads of men seem to think the best way to combat middle-aged spread is to slither into a form-fitting tee.
Such tops are really a relic of the 90s. Hence all the 40+ blokes sticking with what they still think represents peak cool, oblivious to the culture around them and the changes they have undergone physically. Specifically their now plentiful tits.
NYC bicycle-likers Chari & Co opened in 2008. They offer all manner of clothing and accessories centred around the humble velocipede; from socks and caps, to jackets, tees and those weird fingerless gloves worn by Tour de France participants and stranglers. However, you don’t need to dig the ‘dandy horse’ to get involved.
The brand is now stocked over at Sunny Siders in East London and presented alongside their usual slouchy Japanese olives, navys and greys it seems to make sense. This shirt is the standout – available in the Sunny Siders bricks and mortar, but seemingly absent from their webstore. Non-Londoners can swag direct from Chari & Co. The only question is, do you fuck with that collar?
Never heard of Japanese brand Bal? Never heard of Japanese painter Masashi Ozawa? Doesn’t matter. At the very least you’ll be familiar with the new-wave art-pop stylings of Grace Jones. For it is she we find rendered beautifully and repeatedly by Mr Ozawa all over this Bal shirt. Does it look a bit too much like something you might find on a Camden Market stall for 15 quid? Perhaps. But the truth is you’ll need to add a zero to that number to cop. Watch as the line between disposable tosh and a piece for life becomes ever finer.
The ashen legs of the typical British man are amongst the most objectionable sights in the known world. That they are a sight at all is down to short-wearers’ dogged indifference to the sick-in-throat feeling they are inspiring in others. But it’s hot right? What are you supposed to do?
In my head, the only appropriate course of action is to never wear shorts. I don’t care how hot it is. Keep your grotesque butcher’s off-cuts hidden from view. Period. No true gentlemen of culture is caught with his deathly pins out. That is unless you’re anyone except me, and you have a less preposterous and more healthy relationship with short-wearing. In which case, you may find the above of interest.
How much writing should you have on a hat? Typically, I’d go with none, although it seems Japanese brand Kapital have an alternative view. Rather than no writing, they’ve gone with all of the writing. A subtle difference of perspectives, but one, I’d venture, that’s perceptible to most of you.
The Inbetweeners, series two, episode four, original broadcast date 23 April 2009. It’s the one where they go to the central London club. It’s the one where Neil keeps saying, “no problemo”. Result: national hilarity ensues. Fast forward to now. London based clothier Aries produces socks featuring the phrase, “no problemo”. Result: a small number of narcissistic Instagrammers raise an eyebrow.
How much do you have to do to a found object to make it an entirely new thing? It’s a notion the art world has wrangled with for generations. Music samples, gifs loop and designers ‘homage’; these days starting with a blank sheet of paper just seems so passé.
In most fields significant effort is taken to obfuscate any ‘borrowing’. Dye is splashed, paint is daubed; scribbles, stitches, rips, patches and badges, anything and everything to add-to, to modify the original and produce a fresh original. This makes the work of Japanese brand HESTRADA Gee-Wiz all the more interesting.
You might know the Japan Blue Company from its namesake jeans line. But it’s also an umbrella brand, offering further lines including, amongst others, Soulive, Momotaro and Setto. It’s no coincidence that one recent drop over at The Bureau came packed with Japan Blue, Momotaro and Setto. It all came from the same place, the manufacturing centre in Okayama.
Japan Blue offers some smart looking baggy trousers right now, in both a light and dark indigo finish, but it’s the Setto line that really delivers. This kimono jacket is a power-piece, while this baseball style denim shirt is a primo-basic. For me though, its this indigo hunting vest that’s the standout.
As if my sterile attempts to write the important south east London novel weren’t already enough to pulp my confidence. Now I have to go and look at Nepenthes NYC Instagram. Any remaining morale I had, has been replaced by a heartful of whatsthefuckingpoint? I mean, I know the guys that post on Nepenthes NYC work for Nepenthes NYC. And I know they’ve got access to all the SS18 kit. And I’m sure they’re all talented stylists in their own right. But do they have to look so good? Do they really have to make it look that easy?
The line between dopeness and looking like a perfect cock is fine indeed. Take this overshirt. It’s by Japanese brand Undercover – a label that suggests membership to the deepest recesses of conspiratorial cool. Can’t afford it? Hard cheese. Don’t understand it? Go back to H&M loser-face. Undercover is inscrutable. It’s abstruse. It’s obscure.
Having said all that, this overshirt will make you look like a fucking tin solider.
It’s sad is what it is. That a man of my years would see the brand of these Japanese underpants and immediately think that it sounds like “an a poo”. It’s actually Anapau. It’s probably pronounced ‘anna-pow’. But still… it could be that in Japan it’s a bit like bum cream brand Anusol? In that it’s a portmanteau of two words. In this case, ‘anal’ and ‘poo’, but spelt ‘pau’ and without the ‘l’?
Hello, I’m an infant.
What happens when the impossible cool becomes possible? Popular Instagram page The Impossible Cool documents fleeting moments in history, when certain celebrities, totally and completely embodied the very notion of cool. But what happens when that’s you? What happens when you realise, during someone’s birthday party, on a Sunday afternoon, in a Hackney beer garden say, that the impossible cool is you? That your combination of Noma t.d. shirt, Bru Na Boinne trousers and Engineered Garments DMs make you the coolest man alive. And not just for a fleeting moment. But for a good few hours of polite chat and lager and lime. What then I ask you? What then?
Sweet Christmas. The lovable maniacs over at Japanese brand Son Of The Cheese don’t dick about. When they set their minds to creating a shirt to set the human soul on fire they see it through. It’s the third in a trilogy of posts about foolheaded summer chemises – we’ve had flowers from Unused and embroidery from Noma t.d. – but this photographic fuckshow is properly next level.
Increasingly feverous weather encourages short-sleeve thinking. Some reach for last summer’s white tees. But white tees don’t stay white. Even with judicious washing, after a season’s wear they’re the shade of cheap builder’s brew. What was crisp white is now shallow grey, as though the result of a passing acquaintance with a tea bag. Marry that with the pre-sun pallor of the average Brit and you’re entirely blanched. An ashen, anaemic ghoul; soaking up the beaming sun with the enthusiasm and glamour of pizza dough.
So fuck the simple white tee – even a brand new one offers the briefest satisfaction. Far better to face the warmer weather in an impractical, imported, embroidered shirt, one that takes your bank account to the very edge of anguish.
Not to sure what your relationship with flowers is? Mine is relatively rudimentary. I understand what they are and I know where they’re likely to be. I know some of them smell. I know you can watch them grow in a garden until you get bored. Or you can chop them off with scissors, stick them in a vase and watch them slowly die. You can also wear clothes covered in drawings of flowers. For confirmation of this final point please see above picture.
Spend a lot of time sitting on that knackered sofa in your front garden, drinking Strongbow and muttering “fuck” a lot? Course you do. And when you’re not taunting that emaciated mutt on a string, you’re hanging around a phone-box, dolling out rollies to school kids; playing the big tattooed man in a tiny pool of your own miserable making. Welcome to the track top lifestyle bro. Just because you’re a loser at life, doesn’t mean you can’t win at style.
So after yesterday’s peculiar trousers, here’s more peculiar trousers. These aren’t quite as peculiar in truth. They’re baggy, naturally – tight cut trousers are only manufactured so people know who to avoid at parties. There’s a couple of styles here, both from Japanese makers Haversack and both available over at NYC’s Green in Blue. But look behind the baggy and, as with all the best men’s clothing, it’s the little details that count.