Words by Mia Riley 
imageThink of how much the fashion industry has changed over the past 40 years, every different trend, every different icon and every new and old designer. People have come and gone in the industry in the past 4 decades but one man always remained a constant; Bill Cunningham.

imageBill Cunningham was an unlikely pioneer in fashion, he evolved and defined street style and trends to how we know them today. If you’ve ever had the chance to watch his documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ you’ll know he was possibly the most down to earth, lovable and loyal man in the fashion industry. A creature of habit Cunningham, would hop on his bike everyday with his camera and blue overalls, khaki trousers and black trainers and snap the unknowingly stylish people of New York City.
For me personally what was so moving about Cunningham was that he did everything for the love of it. It was never about, fame or money. For Bill Cunningham it was about beauty and clothes, he was the eyes of the fashion world. There is this wonderful paragraph from an article he wrote in 2002 where he sums himself up perfectly. “I started photographing people on the street during World War II. I used a little box Brownie. Nothing too expensive. The problem is I’m not a good photographer. To be perfectly honest, I’m too shy. Not aggressive enough. Well, I’m not aggressive at all. I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it.”

Cunningham was the sear of trends, his camera lenses and eyes were invaluable and priceless. He knew it himself often saying “You see, if you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do, kid.” Showing that the liberty and freedom of your art was more important than any price.

imageWhen the news broke of Cunningham’s sad passing, the entire fashion and journalism community all mourned his loss, because at the end of the day he was an irreplaceable man that had an incredible ability to forecast trends simply by observing people. Sadness and gloom jolted through all forms of social media as news slowly spread of the 87 year old photography guru’s death. With Frank Rich saying “Bill Cunningham was as delightful and fascinating a person and colleague as he was as artist. An independent mind, big heart, no airs.” And Josh Groban, “This is so sad. Please watch Bill Cunningham New York, such beautiful documentary about this sweet brilliant guy“

He’s left a void in the industry that I suspect will never be filled. They really broke the mould with him. Rest in Peace The Godfather of Street style. It’s somehow fitting for the last word on a Fashion Legend to come from Fashion Legend, Ms Suzy Menkes who said of Bill, “the greatest street photographer fashion has ever had, has laid down his camera for ever. He has died in New York at age 87. His bicycle is stilled. He won’t be coming up to me any more saying ‘Hello child’ in his gravelly voice. I shall miss him so. As will the fashion world which has lost an honest and true reporter worthy of the New York Times where his work was cherished. May he rest in peace – but his incomparable record of changing styles last for ever.”

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In a market where brands with a keen heritage often fall into the trap of getting preoccupied in looking backwards, Farah has always prided itself on looking to what is happening today, in order to stay relevant. Proud of an intrinsically British identity which comes from a rich association with the youth cultures and style tribes of the 60s, 70s and 80s, Farah has a history but has never purely relied upon it. It has been worn as a clothing brand, for the past 90 years, by some of the world’s most stylish men and right up to today, the golden F continues to be a badge of honour amongst style conscious men around the world.

This season sees Farah move, into unfamiliar waters for them, into the world of tailoring with a collection of fully constructed suits and separates. Farah’s approach to menswear; reinvents men’s casualwear classics to create original new styles which resonate with young men. Classics that compliment modern life, is mirrored throughout this new tailoring line, offering Farah customer’s a synergy as the same aesthetic seen within the main collections.

imageInspiration comes from German industrial designer Dieter Rams (see above), who is considered to be one of the world’s greatest product designers. His work in the 60s and 70s, for Braun and Vitsœ, was some of the most innovative of all-time. His unobtrusive approach and belief in simple design generated timeless appeal and quality in his products. Farah’s Tailoring range continues Rams’ pursuit of minimalist design and incorporates his ethos of refined simplicity.

imageThe collection consists of a selection of 3 piece suiting and separate’s options. These include classic styles such as single and double breasted jackets with varying notch and peak lapels. Trousers and waistcoats are found with uniformed skinny cuts across the collection and simply follow the silhouette of the jackets.

imageFarah has chosen a tactile range of fabrics and colours to construct the suits. These include fine twills in burgundy and brilliant blue and textured hopsack in bottle green and light tan. Woven hounds tooth also features in several styles. Micro weave 3 piece suits in dark navy or grey marl are also available in this collection. Separates take inspiration from the suiting and feature in a charcoal tweed and a navy blue hopsack.

Historically Farah has been using hopsack within its collections since the 60s; most recognisably in the trousers that became favourites within subcultural tribes of the 70s and 80s. Hopsack is naturally crease resistant which makes it ideal for the construction of modern suiting.

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imagePicture the scene it’s the long, hot, summer of 1990, WHAT AN ICONIC TIME ! Spike Island, the Haçienda, The Madchester Music Scene, and of course who could forget Italia 90 ! The 14th FIFA World Cup. New Order supplied the MOST Anthemic, not to mention, cool footie song ever to accompany Paul Gascoigne, Stuart Pierce, John Barnes, Gary Lineker and led by Sir Bobby Robson. At this time British football was experiencing a darker moment in its history, hooliganism was rife, English clubs were banned from playing in European competitions and attendances at games had drastically fallen.

image image imageTo promote a peaceful world cup tournament for Italia 90, a little, as yet, unknown brand, still very much a twinkle in the eye of its founders Olaf and Su Parker dreamt up the ‘No Alla Violenza’ t-shirt range. Initially some retailers rejected the range on the grounds that the message was ‘too deep’, however they were soon stocked by icon stores like Duffer of St George, Bond, Geese, Psyche and Hip and over the next few months those retailers, who initially had turned the range down, had to eat humble pie as the more forward thinking retailers were selling them by the bucket load.The anti hooligan message was taken up not only by serious football fans but all the cool club kids at the time. By the end of 1990 everyone seemed to be wearing them including Mr Fatboy Slim, Norman Cook, The Farm and The Beloved(see above). This enabled Olaf and Su to launch Burro and well and truly put it on the style map.

Move forward by 26 years and another retailer with great soccer heritage has taken on the mantle. Burton, has produced some historical and stylish football moments itself, dressing the England team in suiting for the victorious squad of 1966 and then again in 2002. The two brands have come together to work on updating the designs for 2016.

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The Summer has officially started, is city, urban life grinding you down ? Not got the time for a longer vacation, just yet. Have you thought about a quick, cheeky getaway all within the perimiters of The Great British countryside ? This offers some of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in the entire world. Below, we’ve selected some of the most sought after retreats across the UK right now, offering complete privacy coupled with impeccable service and facilities.

Classic Luxury: Gleneagles Holiday Lodges, Scotland: Gleneagles boasts a stellar reputation for its unrivalled sporting facilities and exquisite service. However, venture into the hotel’s grounds and you’ll find Glenmor village – a group of hidden private lodges divided by a picturesque river. The village offers two, three or four bedroom private lodges, each with their own outdoor terrace. As well as your own lodge, each retreat also comes with complimentary golf for one person for the duration of your stay.

Designer Luxury: The Lakes by YOO, Cotswolds: Situated 90 minutes from London in the tranquil Cotswolds countryside, The Lakes by YOO boast a collection of stylish lakeside holiday apartments. With interiors designed by Kate Moss, Elle MacPherson, Jade Jagger, Kelly Hoppen, Phillipe Starck & the Yoo Studio, The Lakes offer the perfect family-friendly escape whilst boasting sublime style. The resort also provides a children’s adventure park and basketball court, while older guests can enjoy the luxurious spa and make use of a full concierge service.

Chic Luxury: The Mews at Sopwell House, Hertfordshire: Originally an old stable block, the newly renovated Hertfordshire oasis comprises 16 Mews set within the 12-acre grounds of the stunning Georgian manor house, Sopwell House. With the choice of studio, one bedroom and duplex mews houses, each of the properties is styled in a quintessentially British manner. The glamorous retreats benefit from full use of the Sopwell House Hotel’s elegant restaurants and award-winning spa. The Mews surround a stunning communal botanical garden with a hydrotherapy pool, designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Ann-Marie Powell. Many have their own private terraces with sunken hot tubs.

Royal Luxury: The Sandringham Estate, Norfolk: For a retreat with the royal seal of approval, why not try Kate and Wills home from home – The Sandringham Estate. The Sandringham Estate offers a choice of two private holiday cottages in the heart of the Norfolk Coast. The first, The Garden House, was originally the Head Gardener’s abode overlooking the ornamental square garden adjacent to Sandringham House. The building is well appointed with a fully fitted kitchen including an Aga and four bedrooms. The second, The Granary at Great Bircham, is a recently-completed luxury barn conversion with three en-suite bedrooms and an enclosed garden with its own patio.

imageDevon born Englishman, Neil Barrett began his career in Fashion after graduating from the illustrious Fashion college, Central St Martins, from this he was appointed Senior Men’s Designer at Gucci and Prada, where he established a new blueprint for minimal menswear. In 1999, Neil Barrett founded his eponymous label, with immediate praise from buyers and press. Ever since, Neil Barrett has delivered innovative and distinctive designs, with real attention to fabric development and cutting-edge techniques. Masculine, ageless and progressive, his designs combine precisely-cut tailoring, accurate detailing and athletic elements. Season after season, the brand has continuously grown and counts now over 400 doors worldwide alongside 15 mono-brand stores, whose concept has been developed by the late and great Zaha Hadid.

His latest venture is to team up with one of the leading names in Luxury Fashion and lifestyle retailing, Harvey Nichols to produce ORIGINALS: Vol #1’, an exclusive collection that revisits the work of the designer over the past decade, pinpointing the archetypes of the Neil Barrett wardrobe – available exclusively at Harvey Nichols.

‘ORIGINALS: Vol #1’ is a re-edition of 12 original designs, including iconic buffalo jackets, leather-detailed coats and tees, jacquard suiting, color-blocked shirts, and the double-bonded sweatshirts synonymous to the brand and promises to be a resolutely masculine collection of timeless pieces for the contemporary man’s wardrobe, underscored by Barrett’s distinctive vision.
The collection will be showcased in Harvey Nichols Project 109, a concept space that houses the latest in lifestyle products and hosts a curated series of installations and pop-u to celebrate the launch of the refurbished Harvey Nichols menswear department.

Our Pick of the Collaboration

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imageAir Pollution is on the rise, fact, and a part of urban living is, you are much more susceptible to and the effects of Air pollution. Over 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a percentage that is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. But we need to remember for all the disadvantages of City living its also packed with perks – culture, art, restaurants and diversity, just to name a few. But life’s all about balance and at the same time all the big city benefits, urban environments can wreak havoc on your skin.

This week see the launch of a new product, URBAN BLUE Detox Clay Mask, by those clever folk at LAB SERIES. We can’t forget that our skin needs a good detox every now and then.

What this new product does is to help detoxify skin from surface toxins and excess oil. The powerful and absorbing mask boasts a blend of clays, charcoal and other high performance ingredients. Each helps to decongest and unclog pores, reduce their appearance and absorb surface shine. Pores are instantly and deeply cleansed, removing any hardened sebum, dry skin cells, dirt, debris, toxins, and environmental pollutants. Skin is detoxed and left looking healthy, clean, and shine free.

imageWords by Anthony McGrath, Keanu Adorable & Nikita Agapovaite

The men’s Fashion industry, or it could be argued the whole Fashion Industry, is in a state of flux, fact, we have brands, Burberry, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger etc doing away with prior viewing of their collections and moving to a see it purchase it platform. Then you have other houses, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada etc remaining with a more traditional approach. Throw into the mix the matter of many international Fashion labels merging their shows, in the past brands have shown their collections separately, menswear in January and June while their womenswear in February and September. However, Tom Ford, Burberry, Gucci etc have taken the step to start to show their collections together during the Womenswear Fashion Week. As Business of Fashion , only reported last week theat#Menswear is Dead. What’s Next? Surely this can’t true ? Surely !
As we entered the Ninth London Collections Men, London’s Evening Standard reports, “Predictions by Euromonitor show that by 2019, global sales of menswear will pass £3 billion and the industry is growing faster than womenswear”. And nothing could seem further from the harbingering of doom as we saw Internationally recognised designers such as Paul Smith and Neil Barrett throw parties to welcome in LC:M.

Katie Eary

Katie Eary

We kicked off proceeding in great style with Gordon Richardson and his TOPMAN team showcasing their strongest collection for seasons, celebrating a homage to Great British Seaside towns and as almost to representation the unpredictability of the Great British Weather we saw cropped puffa and Bomber jackets. Later, on the last day of LC:M Katie Eary, seconded TOPMAN’s appreciation the British coastline with a thoroughly nautical setting, offering us a fishy tale in the shape of dressing gowns, matching shirt and shorts combos and jackets all in a highly fetching fish print reminiscent of Pierre Cardin. And it that wasn’t enough of Great British coastal tales for you, Barbour celebrated its North Eastern roots by showing key pieces from its Original North Sea Outfitters collection and iconic Heritage range. The brand also previewed their Autumn16 collaboration collection that takes some of the most iconic pieces in Barbour’s 120-year old archive and reimagines them in six statement jacket styles that will be exclusive to Selfridges.

Moving a little further afield was Universal Works‘ celebration of of the Cuban rebels and Havana locals, a mix of military and workwear style, trousers with smart jackets, four pocket and point collar shirts and oversized pleated trousers. Like an episode of Wish you were here, we ventured over to Oliver Spencer, who had created a collection with a distinct 1950’s Mediterranean influence. Inspired by his favourite house, Casa Malaparte on the Island of Capri, Italy. A house famed for its imposing modern Italian architecture.

Sibling

Sibling

As if taunting us about needing a holiday YMC‘s offering for Spring/Summer 17 was true to form, entitled ‘Okoro’, celebrates the cross-pollination of cultural artifacts between Britain and Africa. The influx of African art that permeated British culture in the late 60s through to the early 80s.
Off on our travels again for SIBLING who took LC:M to present their Collection, inspired by the poolside life of Miami and California. The silhouettes are influenced by beach and sportswear; featuring palm prints, hand drawn doodled shapes and vibrant colours.

YMC

Now if it wasn’t British brands being inspired by far off exotic locations, it was equally exotic designers being inspired by their adopted home of the UK or more specifically, London. Nasir Mazhar‘s collection was influenced by the culture and counter-culture that make up the urban fabric of London. The The Turkish-Cypriot designer continues to make clothes inspired by technical sportswear and to experiment with interesting colour palettes on various materials such as shiny nylon, tracksuits, fur and crochet. Whereas, both Xander Zhou and Ximon Lee channelled their inner Punk. The latter using denim, leather and even transparent plastic was fashioned into angular cut shirts, jackets and uneven smocks to give each piece a unique story. Zhou on the other hand re-emphasized the London-based designer’s affinity for capturing the essence of tribal youths.
But one of the biggest trends during LC:M surely had to be the showcasing of Womenswear during a Menswear show. We had Astrid Andersen debuting her womenswear project and then Agi & Sam followed by Nasir Mazhar. Then came Casely-Hayford premiering their Female offering, Christopher Reaburn and Matthew Miller(see below). As almost a backlash against other Fashion Powerhouses who have decided to merge their menswear into their womenswear shows. Or could it have possibly been a subliminal message, trying to tell us they WANT to follow suit and merge the Fashion weeks into one ULTRA London Fashion Week in Sept and February????

Astrid

AgiSamNasir 2

Joe Charlie

Christopher Raeburn

Matthew Miller