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It’s not a jacket

I do like it when a shirt tries really hard to be a jacket. I see a fit like this and I know it’s a shirt, but it’s also sort of a jacket. Even though it’s definitely not. Look at the guy up there, sliding his hand into one of those jacket-like patch pockets. Look at him coming on all Little Lord Fauntleroy, like he’s in the Royal enclosure at Ascot, offering a sip from his pewter flask to Tiggy and Verity, while hoping to catch the eye of Henrietta, the second cousin of the Baron of Greenwich, who has a column in Tatler and a wispy beard.

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Mommy, we’ll be late for the quilting bee

I know for a fact that my girl has a reasonably wide appreciation of the cinematic arts. However, I frequently choose to amuse myself by lightly ridiculing one specific area of film I know she is especially passionate about. Broadly, they’re films about women. Lots of women. Sisters, mums, grannies, friends, all hanging about together, getting their hair done, sharing fortune cookie wisdom and crying. The films are mostly from the 90s. Often featuring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst or Julia Roberts. Collectively, these films don’t have a name, there’s no formal genre grouping, but I would argue they’re recognisable due to three recurring elements.

1) A younger character will develop a cough in the first act and by the third act will receive the last rights, as a large collection of women blow their noses into doilies.
2) At some point there will be a mad rush to get some pies cooked and cooling on a sill before someone called Billy-Bob returns from a war.
3) There will be continual sewing and a long speech about how the different squares in a quilt represent the extraordinary variety of life in a way no other creative medium could.

Not entirely sure I agree with the last point. However if these women really had their heads screwed on, they would have knocked those quilts into jackets like this one from New York makers Bode. They could have sold them for $1,445.00 a piece, got themselves some decent healthcare and splashed out on a couple of M&S steak and peppercorn pies like everyone else.

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This is Suspiria

To explore the labyrinthine corridors and staircases within Peckham’s Bussey building is to enter a blood red torment worthy of Dario Argento. Eroded over time by incalculable bumps and scrapes, now the paint seemingly weeps from the guts of the building. Hollow and cold, the thick brickwork mutes the outside and suffocates the cries of those within. This is The Shining. This is Suspiria. Built for function, with all the courtesy and allure of an abattoir. So, ideal for pratting about in, while wearing Japanese menswear.

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A languorous expression of authentic

Here’s a long sleeved top from Gaijin Made. It’s handmade. And it really looks handmade. It looks the kind of handmade that makes me think I could make it myself; so primitively are the random patches stitched on. A little cord on a split collar, some cotton squares, some dye splashes… Don’t get me wrong, I kind of like it. It just looks quite easy to do. Looks authentic I suppose. An especially languorous expression of authentic.

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More detail on new Nepenthes brand AiE

Writing a few days back about the new Nepenthes brand AiE I wasn’t exactly overloaded with information – some loud shirting, some tartan and the understanding that the range originates from the US arm of the brand, rather than the Japanese. Anyway, that was then. Thanks to the hasty acquisition of the latest The New Order magazine and the emergence of a new digital lookbook, the picture is somewhat clearer.

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Shit, that’s a nice green

There I was, just two days ago, blahing on about high streeters copping M-65 field coats to wear with spangles, and now I see this. And I think, shit, that’s a nice green. And I remember I saw this over at Sunny Siders at the weekend. And I think I don’t know much about the brand Fujito. And I start to think I want this jacket. It would work with my entire wardrobe. And thoughts of a “here come the girls” style mob, identical and straight-haired, sequinned and army jacketed, dims. The sound of them stumbling and squawking in their heels fades. And I feel whole again.

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18Montrose is coming to London

So, multi-brand retailer 18Montrose is coming to London. These guys currently boast outposts in Glasgow and Nottingham; luxurious looking, polished concrete and glass affairs. Chock full of low-hanging casual standards like Filling Pieces, Beams+, Maison Kitsuné, Our Legacy, Norse Projects, Red Wing and Sun Buddies. Apparently the capital is next. “Spring 2017” according to their site. But why should you or I care?

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Hang outside H&M loudly tutting

Feels like there’s a lot of army green out there right now. Certainly down London ways there’s a constant battalion of young girls still channelling the whole M-65 jacket over flouncy top thing; a kind of 2009 Carine Roitfeld via Primark vibe. Reason enough to steer clear? Or just an excuse to double-down and look farther afield for your military reinterpretations?

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Fills in the dots with whatever seems most appropriate

After yesterday’s radioactive cotton scream, let’s take it down to a whisper. Here’s a piece that’s subdued and easy to wear, albeit still boasting the obligatory robust price tag. It’s from Japanese imprint …Research, or is it Mountain Research? I understand the brand fills in the dots with whatever it deems most appropriate. So just to confuse, there’s also Horse Blanket Research, Hunting Jacket Research and so on. Just for the sake of being juvenile, I have no idea if this concept extends to Underpants Research.

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Tridents and big nets with little skulls sewn round the edge

Perhaps, at some point in the future, when the seas have swallowed the land, humans will go to war in garments like this. Part military jacket, part dressing gown, it’d be ideal to slip on after an aquatic skirmish with tridents and big nets with little skulls sewn round the edge. I guess I’m rather assuming the US’s insane new environmental policy will shortly result in a planet somewhere between Mad Max and Waterworld. It would appear LA brand Long Journey are too.

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Little more than farce

On retailer Union’s site I read recently (in between the “FUcking DoPe!“s and “FucK yEAh!“s) that it would be the last season of Ganryu. Not, the implication being, the last season the store was carrying the label, but rather the last season of Ganryu period. Something of a shame that. I rather enjoy looking at, if not buying, Fumito Ganryu’s Comme des Garçons line. For the man looking to spend a fortune on t-shirts featuring entirely unnecessary and impractical pocketing there are few brands better.

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Not ready for these levels

Here’s one for the heads. Silently and with zero fanfare a new brand has appeared under the Nepenthes umbrella. Called AiE, these are the first product shots. Hardly a full range at this point; we can see some colour clash shirting and some tartan tunics. But what’s AiE? Where’s it come from? And what’s it all about?

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A man of specific tastes and a mastery of panache

Stockholm store Tres Bien is now punting its in-house line out to other retailers, the first notable target is London’s Goodhood. The line mirrors the same stripped back, Scandi minimal approach common to most of the brands Tres Bien carries in store. If you were being ungallant, you might say it’s a virtual xerox of Our Legacy via Lemaire. I would never say that though.

Goodhood refer to the range as comprising “premium basics”, but I’m not sure this grey blouson is a basic as such. Subtle yes. Uncomplicated certainly. But if handled right, far from only a basic.

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Still turning the odd head down the crab shack

Check out The Sandalman site and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this brand from Newport Beach, California is pretty trad. Their products are beautifully handmade, they’ve been going since 1974 and their aesthetic seems straight up athletic fogey. The kind of silver fox who goes boogie boarding, wears beads and can still turn the odd head down the crab shack.  As you’ll see here though, The Sandalman’s Japan only product is another thing entirely.

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A chink of progressive light

Within the gloom of retrograde political actions, the rolling back of the US’s climate policy and the absurdity of Brexit, it’s pleasing when you catch a chink of progressive light. Over at the Design Museum in London, Dutch artist and designer Christien Meindertsma beautifully illustrates the kind of thinking that, if realised at scale, could help steer us towards a future that doesn’t involve weather systems or nuclear attack maiming the only planet we have.

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Extremely realness

A short walk from the posh cafes, restaurants and chintz of gentrified Peckham, you’ll find the real Peckham. It’s Afro Caribbean, it’s Pakistani, it’s pound shops, it’s Sports Direct, it’s yams. This is what I’m about. You see, I’m real. I’m the realness. You’d have to look quite hard to find someone more realness than me.

Some scientists believe our entire universe could be one of countless simulations created by beings billions of years in advance of ourselves. Fuck those scientists. They don’t live in Peckham. I’m so real I don’t even know what a panini is. The fact that I’m a white, middle-aged guy from a village in the Midlands is irrelevant. I’m here. I’m wearing real clothes. Walking around the real. Get over it bouji losers.

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Indulging your penchant for self-aggrandisement

From an intent perspective, is there much difference between this and the ‘zany’ office party tie? I mean, sure, this star-struck bomber is by none-more-cool denim hooligans Kapital and your typical look-at-me neck accessory comes from the Disney store. But is the intent, that of standing out, that of using clothing to suggest a personal sense of fun, kind of the same? Is this jacket actually a bit David Brent?

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I wish I’d never seen this

If you buy this shirt, the last thing you should do is wear it. It’s so cool it’s disgusting. Just having this shirt, at home, in your closet is enough. Friends will know how irritatingly cool you are, even if they’ve never seen you wear it, even if they’ve never seen it, or heard of it, or met you. So vigorously correct is this shirt that even as I look at it, I feel vaguely ashamed to have been born a mere human man, rather than a rendering  of over-dyed cotton and elastic ribbed hem inserts.

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Reinforce your status as an irritatingly overconfident alpha

Moshing up numerous traditional Maya patterns, this magical mystery tour from obscuro Japanese makers Bohemians isn’t for the frail. As a potential heart-stopper, it’s up there with nicotine and saturated fats. Bombastic, and showy; this thing is has a proper ego. As likely to roll its eyes at your oafish attempts at wit as your mates down the pub. Approach with caution.

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Squinting at the sea like it’s speaking to you

Don’t let that yawping, head-swallowing neckline put you off. We’re in smock territory here; loose, practical and designed to be pulled over whatever you’re already wearing. Course, you don’t have to actually call it a smock. No one says they’ve got to nip back to the flat to grab their smock. It’s a jacket, or a coat. Even though it’s definitely a smock.

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Shaolin styling on a post-apocalyptic tip

So, in one corner there’s a man with a sow’s face, who ironically can’t stop telling porkies, and in the other there’s a 14 year old man, who’s actually 33, with face straight out of Minecraft. It’s all going nuclear. For those of you oblivious to global affairs, Trump and Jong-Un are getting proper pissy. Rounding up their death sticks and nudging them nearer to each other’s front lawns. Most inconvenient. It’s almost enough to distract a man from thinking about progressive casual wear. If only North Korea could be a bit more like South Korea. Their most noteworthy launch is this collection from IISE.

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The whole ‘no buttons thing’ is of course a thing

Featuring no buttons, this new banger from Ordinary Fits demands a symbiotic relationship with another top. This has to be worn over something. That’s an order. This is not an opportunity to get your abdomen out. So if you’re a Clapham-brained, muscle bro whose ambition in life is to star in Coach Trip: Road To Marbs, this is not for you. You might think it is. It’s really not.

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Pretending to be intelligent

The new Design Museum in London’s Kensington is a good place to laze about pretending to be intelligent. You can peer quizzically at the humble traffic light, early Apple computers and Dutch chairs from the 1920, and with the odd squint and occasional nose wrinkle, do a passible impersonation of someone that knows their form from their function. It doesn’t hurt of course if you dress for the occasion. I went for this look. One that suggests I can comfortably chat post-war minimalism with John Pawson, but be equally comfortable chowing down on a Chicken Planet while trying to stream an episode of Billions on my phone.

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From crematorium to skatepark

I can get behind this. Up top, it’s strictly business. Lapel heaviness. Shit, you could throw a tie under that and get your solemn on at a funeral. Down below there’s fire of a different kind with polyester half sleeves and elasticated cuffs. This goes from crematorium to skatepark – that’s versatility right there.

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Not with a pair of Cos slacks

Highly versatile these collarless engineer style jackets. Fantastic as layering pieces; it surprises me why I see so many struggling to shift come sale time. Perhaps for some, its ideal purpose isn’t clear; is it a jacket, a coat, or sort of a shirt? Thing is, it can be all, or none of these. Just wear one over a tee, or layer one up, under or even over a blazer or longer coat. Mad flexibilities. And this particular example is significant level-up from the norm.

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Not the latest ‘banger’ from Palace

Not everyone’s a blazerman. Lately, the ceaseless noise of sporty-luxey, rapper endorsed, yapping logos seems to have muffled the quiet blazer’s relevance. An observation that pleases me. If everyones’ gaze is drawn by planetary sized logos and badges, that leaves a gap in the market for some simple, restrained style. Cop this from The North Face Purple Label and you’ll be a refreshing minuet in a room full of sheep jerking and thrashing.

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Like a big rocky mountain alpha male manly-man

Illustrating a major transgression from their familiar downy, puffy, world of gilets and giletism, this straight-banger from Rocky Mountain Featherbed grabs attention with impunity. Nothing cushiony and snug about this. It’s all about the raw artistry of embroidery, rendered beautifully on duck canvas fabric. It’s offered in a navy canvas too. But with one eye on an emerging springtime, I’d go natural every time. It may not be their usual goose down product, but this is some fucking heat right here.

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Just another drone

Interesting to see eastern influences permeating the robustly London centric brand YMC. Looking like something you’d expect from Blue Blue Japan, Tigre Brocante or orSlow, these ‘Hand Me down’ trousers have got the Boro influence, if not stitched, then certainly printed, all over them. I say ‘printed’, that’s how retailer Goodhood describes them. While YMC themselves say, “Japanese patchwork weave cotton“. Make of this what you will…

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Eastlogue blue blazer
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They don’t have Wetherspoons in Korea

What’s the difference between a dot and a spot? Never considered it myself until now. Apparently a dot is, you know, like a full stop, small and circular, the unit within a dotted line. Crucially a spot is irregular, and can be larger than a dot. So it is with great pleasure that I can point out that this ‘Mixed Dot Jacket’ from Eastlogue is accurately named. Always happy to clear up a non-existent issue.

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A Janet Jackson backup dancer

Coming on like a spaceman’s boot from a particularly frugal 80s sci-fi drama, these are actually modelled on obscure 70s US military shoes. Not sure I would have been entirely happy going nose-to-nose with the Viet Cong kitted out like a Janet Jackson backup dancer. But still… Fast-forward to the present day, this simple Velcroed canvas style could work rather well treading the mean streets of Peckham Rye.

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The best of heritage

To my mind, the best ‘heritage’ apparel isn’t just about reproducing the past, but acknowledging the past before adding something new. I mean, I can appreciate that a jacket draws inspiration from vintage US prison-wear, but I don’t want to look like I actually did time in Alcatraz. These boots from Yuki Matsuda’s Yuketen have, I think, an appropriate reverence for the past, while keeping things fresh and modern.

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Fabric pornography

Coming with their own disclaimer, protecting the manufacturer against injury, accident and shock, these giant trousers take the fuller fit to the next level. Viewers of the image above can be forgiven for feeling a mix of awe and nervousness. It may be a casual pant but the decision to wear should not be taken casually. Rather like marriage they should be undertaken seriously, solemnly and with a element of terror.

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A plane and a tiger with hot breath

If you were designing a sweatshirt, at what point do you think you’d stop and think, yeah, that’s probably enough? Would it be when you’d attached a massive, wonky flap pocket on the front? Or when you’d stitched the phrase, “eliminate the noise” on the back? Would you still think it was missing something? An embroidered propeller plane and a tiger breathing fire perhaps?

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Five reasons why this dude makes me think everything I own is wrong

I know who this guy is. I know who he is, in that I can’t remember his name, or what he does. He’s one of those dudes who’s always in fashion show street style pics. I saw this shot yesterday. On Hypebeast, or maybe Highsnobiety, one of those. Anyway, none of that matters. What matters is this dude’s get-up is so ridiculously on point it’s making me re-think my entire understanding of what it means to be a man who wears things. I’ve got five reasons why.

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Everyone and their mum

You’ll be familiar with Novesta sneakers. You’ll have seen the canvas high and low tops – clean, distinctive rubber sole, made in Slovakia. Indie store MKI Miyuki-Zoku in Leeds deserve credit for first bringing these cheap and resilient kicks to the UK. Although now they’re everywhere, stocked by everyone from OTHER/Shop to End.

Universal Works is offering a colab this season and over the last couple of years we’ve seen myriad fabric and sole variations offered up. As an underground alternative to Converse, they’re feeling a bit done. A fact that makes these Niuhans X Novesta numbers all the more interesting.

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Not just any old blah

Now, this isn’t messing about. Once in a while I post about jackets that are a bit blah. You know, nice-enough-but-not-starting-any-bonfires. That’s not my intention, you can only discharge thinkings about kit that’s actually out there. But now and again there’s a piece like this. So exhaustingly inappropriate, it could barely be more appropriate.

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Drooping, like your confidence

There’s probably a good reason why this Garbstore jacket isn’t shown unbuttoned. I reckon they’d be fair bit of of flappage. Unhitch that fireman clip and I’m guessing an elephant ear’s worth of fabric just sort of dangles there. Drooping, like your confidence. Actually scratch that. I think it’s meant to be worn clipped up. At all times. Bolted in, trussed up, aloof.

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Two for one at Asda

On the odd occasion when I can build up enough momentum to leave the flat and walk all the way to Asda to buy two packets of Jam Creams for 50p each, rather than buying one packet at the much nearer corner shop for a quid, I wear this. I feel like it’s the kind of look that says, yeah, I can afford a quid for one packet of Jam Creams, I just fancy a walk today and I suppose I might as well take advantage of the Rollback pricing at Asda.

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The lingerie of a man

So this is interesting. Burly outdoorsman brand South2 West8 have knocked out something which wouldn’t look out of place in Janis Joplin’s laundry basket. Positively inebriated by colour, this “bush shirt” represents a truly alarming collision between mesh fabric and illegal hallucinogens. This is some over 21 shit right here.

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Steadily degrading versions of equivalence

As a tactic for appearing smart (when you’ve actually got a head full of ping-pong balls) repetitively making the same point using different words is perhaps the most common. I overheard this from a bloke in a cafe yesterday:

It’s like, it’s like gambling right. I can see, if you think about it, it’s like, sooooo addictive. Like, it just grabs hold of you right? It’s like, it gets a hold of you yeah and you just get this hunger to carry on, like, you just want to carry on doing it, like, gambling, I mean, you just get this need right, this need to keep on gambling yeah, like totally additive…

Observing this clown’s wild gesticulations, as he yapped away, made me wonder if his own fizzing enthusiasm blinded him to the fact that he had nothing of worth to say? No point to make. Just a human xerox machine, yawping out steadily degrading versions of equivalence.

Anyway. Here’s a blazer.

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Engineered Garments Fall 17 lookbook

The first Engineered Garments drop of SS 17 hasn’t even hit The Bureau, and already we’ve got the brand’s Fall 17 lookbook to idolise. Unsurprisingly, we see an audacious approach to laying, workwear staples, charcoal patch-working, argyle patterning and hats capacious enough to fit the Easter Island statues. More interesting are the surprises…

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Needles SS17 drops at Alpha Shadows

I was fortunate enough to nip round Peckham’s Alpha Shadows last week just as the Needles SS 17 dropped. Boxes and plastic bags containing piles of borderline feminine kit, with an innate must-have-ness about it. No I don’t think I could carry off a pink satin baseball jacket. Yes I wish it was in my wardrobe. Such is my unquestioning adherence to designer Keizo Shimizu’s vision, I just want it all. In this instance, all my wallet would rubber-stamp was a wide-rimmed, caramel coloured hat. I took a bunch of snaps. Enjoy.

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