So we’ve got a Nepenthes in London. Which is great. What’s less great is that they don’t seem to stock the pieces I really want. Don’t get me wrong, I want most of the shop. But the pieces I really, really want, the game-changers; well, they seem to be only available elsewhere. Case in point. There’s this Engineered Garments embroidered Dayton Shirt from a few weeks back. Sadly a no from the London store; only available in one shop in Philadelphia. Now there are these Needles trousers. They look like something a late 1980s Robert Downey, Jr. would wear. Appropriate then, as my chances of getting them from the London store are less than zero.
If you look at the top-down silhouette, these loafers look treacherously like the kind of square-toed wazz worn by threadbare commuters. They bring to mind 90’s Patrick Cox shoes; a chisel-ended form that’s remarkably still championed by the accountancy community today. Perhaps the stubby look has come full circle? Could it a thing again? Swedish brand Acne appear to think so.
If I’m honest, the square-toe is a comparatively trivial element of these loafers. Yes, clearly, they’re white. But they’ve also got a sole unit that immediately teleports these from wanker-banker to Kubrick astronaut.
My girl’s been away for three days, at a hen do in Barcelona. Yesterday I got so bored I ate her Easter egg. It was a big Smarties one. I ate it all in one go. I’m ashamed. But it was nice.
Now I have two issues to face. I haven’t told my girl yet, so there’s her disappointment – much more painful than anger don’t you think. And my broadening waistline. Is it bad that I’m more concerned about the latter than the former?
Being in turn indefensibly elitist and upsettingly superficial, this site rarely acknowledges modestly priced clothing. I am aware such things exist. I simply consider them irrelevant. As far as I’m concerned, you’re in the game or you’re not. I don’t care whether you have a perfectly serviceable, olive cotton blazer; if it was purchased from a high street chain you’re not in the game. If you’re wearing Ted Baker. You’re invisible. If you’re wearing Superdry, Thanos may as well ‘dust’ you now.
So, for this site to spotlight a sweatshirt that costs around £50, it’s either an extremely special garment, or I’m just being lazy. In truth, it’s probably a bit of both.
At first glance, the jacket above looks fairly standard. Rumpled linen, plain, loose fitting. And it’s certainly that. Unlined and easy to throw on. It’s a spring/summer staple for a dude somewhere in the stylistic hinterland between terrifyingly obscure Japanese brands, and dancing for pennies and pre-packet sandwiches outside Victoria tube station. It’s a couple of hundred quid that looks like you found it on the pavement, alongside a carrier bag full of garden string and a slightly burned children’s doll. Obviously it’s cool as balls.
But even in it’s apparent simplicity there’s something interesting to note here. It’s utilitarian but progressive; the cut of this jacket is signalling an alternative to the prevalent menswear norms.
Some dismiss it as diet Junya Watanabe, but for me, the Comme des Garçons Homme line succeeds in regularly offering wearable but interesting garments; the Comme DNA still clear and apparent. By eschewing the (over) reliance of aggressive top-stitching, large coloured panels, fractured logos and frequently restrictive fits of his mainline, Watanabe’s work for Homme just seems easier. Familiar certainly, but the kind of aspirant, crumpled luxe that’s come to define the dude who has a senior role in the creative industry, as well as the dude who wants to look like he has a senior role in the creative industry.