Deborah Gale, Head Buyer at Cruise Fashion
“A pattern blazer is the perfect way to add a touch of flair to any outfit, this striped jacket from cult Japanese label Edifice takes its influence from classic Ivy League styling, and can be employed as a statement accompaniment that will certainly turn a few respecting heads this Summer”.
Left - Edifice - Sea Green Border Jacket - £330
“This all over dot shirt is sure to pop out from under any outfit. Christophe Lemaire for Bean Pole is powerhouse collaboration between Korean label Bean Pole, and the Artistic Director of Hermes; this clean and functional dot dash print shirt is made from lightweight printed cotton poplin, which makes it an ideal choice for Summer”.
Below - Bean Pole X Christophe Lemaire - All Over Dot White Shirt - £330
“If you are in need of a suit to herald the arrival of Summer wedding season, look no further than this light blue hued three-piece suit from renowned German designers Hugo Boss. The Hold Genius suit is woven from a soft virgin wool & mohair blend that lends itself perfectly to any formal Summer occasion; if you really want to exude effortless sartorial style, pair with a printed tie and bold-coloured pocket square”.
Left - Hugo Boss Black - Light Blue Three-Piece Hold Genius Suit - £630
“In my opinion, jeans are one of the most problematic items of clothing to purchase; thankfully help is at hand in the form of these dark blue denim jeans from Paul Smith. Not too skinny or baggy to alienate wearers of a particular age-group, and fitted enough to be flattering for most body types; the tapered fit makes them ideal for both smart and casual ensembles, and the indigo wash means your jeans will begin to develop their own character over time - my jeans have a perfectly-formed outline of my phone in the coin pocket!”.
“Everyone has cottoned on to the Wayfarer, Clubmaster and Aviator trend now, and I reckon rounded frames are going to be huge this Summer. These Timeless frames from Han Kjøbenhavn are inspired by classic silhouettes from the 50’s & 60’s, and the acetate ‘Army’ frame is sure to garner plenty of admiring looks from passers-by whenever the sun is shining”.
Han Kjøbenhavn - Timeless Army Sunglasses - £125
We thought we’d have a catch-up with British accessory designer, Bill Amberg, to see what he’s been up to and what exciting things he has in the pipeline.
We’ve been fans of Bill’s since our Wallpaper* reading days in the mid 90's. His honest and handsome pieces have always let the signature bridle leather speak for itself, in shapes that have become design classics.
Left – Bill in his Shepherd Market shop, Mayfair
For the past decade, Bill had become better known for his interior commissions, making suede walls for luxury residences from Highgate to Hong Kong. He made the leather floor for the men’s shoe room at Selfridges.
A few years ago, he split his business into two, one for the interior side – Bill Amberg Studio - and the other for accessories.
He now feels it’s time to push the accessories side again. His main markets are Japan and Korea, but he’s re-entering the American market this year. The online retailer, Mr Porter, has become his biggest stockist and this is because Bill’s designs are priced realistically. If they carried a different 'designer' name, they would be 2, 3 or even 4 times the price.
Right - The classic ‘Rocket’ in cordovan leather - £1800 – Majorly lusting after this one. There's even one in the V&A Museum
He makes all the prototypes of his new designs in his studio in London and is forever working on new collections and ideas. He likes to “kill” lines even if they are selling well.
The final manufacturing of the bags and leather goods are then split 50/50 between the UK and Spain. There are certain shapes that the UK can no longer do and he says “they have a certain touch and feel and skills in Spain” that he requires for his more difficult designs like his classic doctor's shape the 'Rocket' (pictured).
Bill originally worked on an oil rig, "travelled a bit" and then did an apprenticeship in leather goods in Australia. Now 52, he started his business in 1984 because “bags seemed the most simplistic way of making money with my skills”.
He was picked up by Paul Smith and made bags, under both their names, for 10 years. He says he feels “much more confident” now on the accessories side of the business and always designs for himself. I ask him how he would feel if he got a call from Marks & Spencer, would he be interested? “I would love to do a line for M&S” he says.
His current collaborations include a bag for Mr Hare for SS14 and the Japanese technical label Nanamica. I ask him whether he would like to do any clothing? “I’d definitely like to do coats; a couple of shearlings and a couple of leather jackets,” he says. He says he’d also like to see where these collaborations lead in terms of shoes.
Left - The new 'Raleigh' bag from Bill's new AW 13 collection - £385. The designer of this bag went on to work for Phoebe Philo at Celine. Spot the difference!
His current store is in the quiet and villagey environs of Shepherd Market, just off the main drag of Piccadilly. He did open in the blinging Westfield White City shopping centre, when it first opened, which he calls a ‘disaster’. His simple and subtle accessories didn’t speak to the great unwashed, looking for their next fix from Louis Vuitton or Tiffany.
He says he will be doing something, hopefully, for the forthcoming London Collections:Men in June.
TheChicGeek says "Bill Amberg isn't heavily branded, which allows the shapes and quality leather to speak for themselves. He appeals to people who like design and would rather buy into quality form and function than shiny status symbol trophies."
Bill Amberg, 9 Shepherd Market, W1
More images below
Paul Smith showed a rainbow of skinny wool suits in his Spring 2013 show. From navy to red, yellow to pink; it was a candy store of coloured menswear. There was something a bit 'fashion gangster' about these suits that we love.
We're strong believers of in-for-a-penny, in-for-a-pound, and have decided that this is the summer of peach. One of his slim-fit, two-button peach suits will be perfect for rocking a summer's evening or wedding. Match with a skinny tie or buttoned up shirt and winklepickers, and a 60s Michael Caine attitude and you have a winning formula. Nobody does colour or suiting like Paul Smith, which makes this is the ultimate Spring 2013 party suit.
Paul Smith - Peach Two Button Jacket - £625, Peach Slim-Fit Trousers - £280
Here is Bradley Cooper at the 'Silver Linings Playbook' photocall in Rome. We're not going to lie, he doesn't look that great, the jeans are a horrible fit and he looks like he's visiting his nan on a Sunday afternoon, rather than promoting a film! But, you can see how nice his raglan-sleeved Bomber jacket is.
And this brings us to the perfect transition piece; the Bomber jacket. It can be dressed up or down and layered for colder weather. Whether worn with jeans or trousers, the rule is always fitted. Keep everything tight and body-conscious.
Here is TheChicGeek's round-up of the best ones out there ATM.
Left - Salvatore Ferragamo -
Below - Acne - Cusack Textured Bomber Jacket - £370
Left - Private White VC - G1 Nylon Bomber - £395
Below - Topman - Burgundy Nylon Wadded Bomber Jacket - £50
Left - ASOS Bomber Jacket - £40
Below - Paul Smith - Damson & Navy Leather Bomber Jacket - £1220
Left - Burberry Prorsum - Cropped Nylon Bomber Jacket - £1695
Below - How it should be worn - Another look from the Burberry Prorsum SS13 Show
What Paris lacked in trends, it made up for in beautiful pieces of menswear. Here TheChicGeek highlights his favourite ideas and looks from the recent Paris menswear shows:
Dogstooth - Colour, black & white, enlarged; dogstooth is the traditional menswear pattern to be wearing this forthcoming winter.
Belter - Slouchy, belted coats were the outerwear of choice. Dries' has something of 'The Snowman' about it.
From Left Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton
Tie-Die - Givenchy showed one of the best collections of the week. The right amount of chic with Tisci's usual printed theme - Mapplethorpe photographs this time. If you've spent this much on a coat you may not want to tie it like this!
Left - Both Givenchy
Blue/Green - Something new to try for winter; Forest green teams up with Sky blue.
From Left - Paul Smith, Raf Simons
Clashing Prints - You can like more than one pattern at once can't you? Well, now you can wear it.
Left - Both Dries Van Noten
Raf's New Addition - We're not sure what it's for, but we like it.
Left Raf Simons
Stripey Parka - Kim Jones went to Everest for his Vuitton collection. This coat would look good with any backdrop.
Left - Louis Vuitton
Back to Black - Black is slowly making it back into our wardrobes. This was a stylish and chic way of reintroducing it.
Left - Kenzo
Very Valentino - Valentino Uomo opted for Paris this season and cemented it's new menswear classics; unlined leathers, capes and studs all in black.
Left - Valentino
See TheChicGeek's Milan Scrapbook - Click here
Music and clubbing has always been intertwined with fashion and none more so than in the 1980s. The V&A’s fashion exhibition for summer 2013, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, will explore the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s and the impact of club culture.. More than 85 outfits by designers such as John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett will be on display together with accessories by designers including Stephen Jones and Patrick Cox.
The ground floor gallery will focus on the young fashion designers who found themselves on the world stage for creating bold, exciting looks. The mezzanine gallery will concentrate on club wear, grouping garments by tribes such as Fetish, Goth, Rave, High Camp and New Romantics. This includes clothes of the type worn by Boy George and Adam Ant, as well as more extreme designs worn by Leigh Bowery.
To provide a snapshot of the most fashionable and creative designers working in London in the 1980s, the exhibition shows a display of Blitz denim jackets. In 1986, Blitz magazine commissioned a group of 22 London-based designers to customise denim jackets provided by Levi Strauss & Co. The jackets were exhibited at the V&A and auctioned in aid of the Prince’s Trust on 10th July 1986.
Further cases will display garments by influential 1980s designers, with a substantial amount of menswear designs by Jasper Conran, Paul Smith, Workers for Freedom and Willy Brown who dressed Duran Duran. Textile design played an important part of 1980s fashion, with designers such as Betty Jackson working with design collectives like The Cloth, helping to create the archetypal early 80s silhouette of loose shirts and bold prints. Wendy Dagworthy utilised Liberty prints while English Eccentrics and Timney Fowler made print fashionable. There will also be sections dedicated to the energetic, bright clothes of Chrissie Walsh, Georgina Godley, Bodymap and John Galliano.
In the early 1980s Katherine Hamnett pioneered the vogue for stylish, casual clothing made in oversize crumpled cottons and silks. Her designs were often based on utilitarian boiler suits and army fatigues. She conceived a series of T-shirts emblazoned with slogans, using fashion as the platform for her Green politics. Hamnett caused a sensation by wearing her T-shirt with the slogan '58% Don't Want Pershing' to meet the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
Bodymap, founded in 1982 by Stevie Stewart and David Holah, produced an exhilarating blend of form-fitting knits, layered stretch Lycra jersey and rhythmic print. As one fashion editorial noted, their inspiration had ‘sprung from the streets, sharpened in the clubs’. The designers gained further momentum through their collaborations with choreographer Michael Clark. Mixing and matching, or ‘bricolage’, was reflected in the titles and themes of Bodymap collections, such as Cat in the Hat takes a Rumble with a Techno Fish, which pulled together elements of Dr Seuss’s surreal cartoon comedy, black-and-white graphics, bright colours and 1980s American ‘bratpack’ films.
John Galliano graduated from St Martin’s School of Art in 1984. His degree Collection, Les Incroyables, was inspired by the French Revolution and he spent many hours studying the dress collections at the V&A. Two of Galliano's menswear ensembles from the 1985 Fallen Angel collection will be on display, along with a pink, muslin dress from 1986.
London’s clubs in the 1980s acted as a site for the convergence of music and fashion and provided a safe environment in which young people could experiment and mix with those of similar tastes. Fashion designer Stevie Stewart of Body Map noted that ‘each group of people, whether they were fashion designers, musicians or dancers, filmmakers or whatever, living together, going out together and at the same clubs … had a passion then for creating something new … that was almost infectious’. Examples of the resultant looks will be displayed, ranging from the exaggerated, exotic styles favoured by the Blitz crowd, through the distressed styles of Hard Times, to the eclectic mixing and individual expression of Taboo, to the dance influenced looks of acid house.
In September 1982, The Face observed a ‘hardening of attitudes in music and fashion’ that reflected the economic conditions of Thatcherite Britain: ‘Ubiquitous Levi’s worn into holes, sweatshirts serving their purpose and losing their sleeves, leather dominating everything … big boots and no socks and espadrilles … T-shirts ripped and torn’. The ‘Hard Times’ look coincided with a revival of rockabilly style in clothing and music, reflected in leather designs by Lloyd Johnson.
At Taboo, so-called because ‘there is nothing you can’t do there’, Leigh Bowery became the ringmaster of a carnivalesque nightspot, where parodying the norms of everyday life and ‘fashion’ was encouraged. Clothes designed and worn by Bowery will be on display along side fetishwear by Pam Hogg and Vivienne Westwood. Clothes by Christopher Nemeth and jewellery by Judy Blame will show how customisation, DIY and re-appropriation of objects prevailed as the club look.
Michiko Koshino’s first store in Covent Garden had a dance club atmosphere and included DJ turntables to complete the effect. In 1987, she began a line of menswear called Motorking, which was worn by David Bowie and Moby. Her club designs included garments made from inflatable plastic fabric that blurred the distinction between art and fashion.
Rave and euphoric house nights, where the combination of dance music and drugs created an atmosphere in which inhibitions were totally gone, changed dress once again. Following the summer of 1987, a number of DJs began to recreate the sound and atmosphere of the Ecstasy-fuelled Ibiza dance clubs. The loose shapes of the early 1980s disappeared and a new kind of tight fitting club wear evolved that featured day-glo colours and metallic tones. This movement is represented by the designs of Rifat Ozbek and Westwood’s silver leather ‘armoured’ jackets.
The atmosphere of friendly and fun clubs like Shoom began to be reflected in much more casual styles. The dressed-up aesthetic of earlier clubs, like Taboo, was replaced by ‘ponchos, dungarees, and loose T-shirts bearing the yellow Smiley motif’ as reported The Face in June 1988.
A small club-like area will be created within the space to show film footage of clubs from the 1980s and stream music chosen by DJ Princess Julia. There will also be unique garments made for club stars such as Leigh Bowery, Scarlett and Juliana Sissons.
The exhibition will feature magazines of the time – The Face, i-D and Blitz – that captured and propagated the club and street look to a wider audience. The Face heralded the arrival of the ‘style’ magazine and combined a sense of immediacy with the high-end production values of Vogue and Tatler. i-D was launched in August 1980. It adopted a radical agenda by showcasing street fashions and featuring non-professional models. Essentially a fashion fanzine, this ‘exercise in social documentation’ evolved into a magazine that, alongside The Face, was considered the definitive ‘style bible’ of the 1980s.
Accessories were an essential part of any clubber or fashion follower’s wardrobe and the 1980s launched the careers of some hugely influential accessories designers. The work of Judy Blame, Bernstock Speirs, Patrick Cox, Johnny Moke and collaborations with Sock Shop will be on display alongside the Filofax and Mulberry bags.
Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s
10th July 2013 - 16th February 2014
Above - John Galliano - Fallen Angel Collection - 1985
More images below
Stylish men's dressing is always very close to the idea of 'pretty'. What we mean by that are items that play with colour, design and aren't afraid to touch on the 'beautiful'. For this reason, it's not a great step for them to be described as clothes or accessories you'd dress a little boy up in. 'Toddler Chic' is the new term we're coining for beautiful items with a playful touch. Whether it's the dinosaur designs on Jil Sander's knitwear this season, Paul Smith's ingenious and old-school way of holding on to your gloves or the daisies Prada have put on their men's shoes, 'Toddler Chic' is the new trend to play with this season.
Note - These are not to be worn together unless you want to look like a Japanese fashion editor.
Jil Sander - Dinosaur Intarsia Camel & Wool-Blend Hat - £180
Loyal - 'Arthur' Striped Pea Coat - £388
Paul Smith - Men's Navy Knitted Gloves With Neon String - £55
Prada - Catwalk Lace-ups - £870