This aint no Banana Republic – Banana Republic Suiting

The eagled eyed loyal reader, I’m sure, will remember, if you cast your mind back to a mere few weeks ago, where we discussed “Back to Work” Uniform ideas. In that post we highlighted the work of the Retailer Banana Republic and what masters they are of brightening up the workwear wardrobe, which we all know we can fall into the trap of it being as dull as a Mid Winter Wednesday lunchtime with only a tuna sandwich and a cup-a-soup to keep us company. After this I concluded, I needed to revisit this notion and delve further into BR (Banana Republic) and give a little more thought and highlight what they are doing for this season, as I really didn’t go into enough detail.

Banana Republic are a relative new comer to these shores, but have been dressing our American cousins since the late 1970’s in contemporary, sort after workplace style for the professional man and woman, essentially, ensuring you look your best from the water cooler to board room. Banana Republic’s sartorial crusade is dedicated to helping customers achieve professionally and personally the best they can and offers versatile work wear that can be styled up or down for pretty much any occasion — from work to play and back again.

Don’t worry, I can hear you from here, “Well there isn’t one near me”. Well you might be mistaken, with stores as far North as Manchester and right the way down to Bath, plus they are now shipping to over 90 countries via their website.

What Banana do so well is that whole mix and match thang with your wardrobe, offering pieces with sit great with items you already have, lifting an outfit so it looks completely new. The key thing is the ease of what they offer, it isn’t stuffy, fussy or look as though you’ve over thought your daily attire.

 

The Clothes Make the Man pick of the best pieces from Banana Republic for Autumn 2013

 

This a perfect example of not always having to be super dapper to still be smart. Instead of a white shirt and navy knitted tie(nothing wrong with that by the way) go with a checked shirt for a change

This is a perfect example of not always having to be super dapper to still be smart. Instead of a white shirt and navy knitted tie(nothing wrong with that by the way) go with a checked shirt for a change show how versatile you can be.

The classic fine gauge cardigan. IT GOES WITH EVERYTHING 1 It looks equally good with a single breasted suit and it both with jeans and this is a great example at a great price

The classic fine gauge cardigan. IT GOES WITH EVERYTHING ! It looks equally well with a single breasted suit, in most colours as hit does with jeans and this is a great example at a great price

The Aiden Chino, offered in 8 different colours. Sums up the whole Banana Republic ethos of

The Aiden Chino, offered in 8 different colours. Sums up the whole Banana Republic ethos of catering for your work to play wardrobe. The Aiden chino will see you through any occasion your work or social calendar can throw at you. Team them with a differing coloured blazer to show, not only your creative side but how you can make colour work best for you.

This cheeky lil number is the height of versatility, will look great with a navy suit and knitted tie as it will at the weekend with jeans.

This cheeky lil number is the height of versatility, will look great with a navy suit and knitted tie as it will at the weekend with jeans, I promise you.

The epitome of Sharp, this 3 pcs Charcoalsuit made of Italian wool from their Monogram range. Wear it with or without the waistcoat or wear the waistcoat with jeans for a more relaxed feel.

The epitome of Sharp, this 3 pcs Charcoalsuit made of Italian wool from their Monogram range. Wear it with or without the waistcoat or wear the waistcoat with jeans for a more relaxed feel.

 

 

 

What the Hervia is all this about ? Hervia the Designer shopping Mecca

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 18.48.07Like so many successful e-tailers today, Hervia are no longer constrained to the confines of their brick and mortar store they started out their business in. Thanks to the miracle of the information Super highway, they can now reach out to a much wide, international and diverse consumer market.

Hervia, was founded in 1993 by Oscar Pinto where his first shop was opened in Manchester’s notoriously up market Royal Exchange as a trailblazing concept that was the first to stock debut collections from the late Alexander McQueen, as well as Helmut Lang and Hussein Chalayan.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 18.48.12Named after Pinto’s mother, Hervia, soon became a legendary fashion hang-out and it wasn’t long before the store was named by Vogue as one of the UK’s finest designer stores, so not a bad testimonial.

The aim of Hervia.com is to promote high-end fashion and British design talent to a worldwide clientele. It is here you’ll find aspirational and cutting edge designer clothing for both men and women, (plus promises of a kidswear site coming soon, but keep that to yourself) that have been chosen for their outstanding design quality, exclusivity and above all, because they should make the wearer feel totally amazing, surely the best part of investing in designer clothes. Pinto works to an ethos that there are always good price point items in his stores and that even the high price ticket items are value for money and can be treasured for longer than one season.

The site boasts an eclectic and unique collection of such brands including former Textual Conversation participant Christopher Raeburn, Carven, Comme des Garcons, Sibling and Thom Browne to literally name but a few. The Gift Ideas section of the website is ideal for those notoriously difficult people to buy for, offering fun and interesting ideas that should suit most budgets and have the recipient agog with delight.

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Mazorin – A new breed of Grooming range

All2LRGuys you know the deal, the 
hard
 work,
 long
 hours,
 commuting,
 endless
 
travelling with work,
 meetings
 and 
constant
 pressure
 to
 perform,
 this 
takes 
a 
tremendous
 toll
 on 
your 
skin.
 This is exactly what Giangiacomo
 Postir 
and
 Marco
 Baruzzi,
 
both
 30
 something 
urban
 professionals 
living 
in
 London found and so they undertook the quest to envisage a men’s skincare
 range 
that 
would 
fit 
with 
their 
gruelling 
lifestyle
.

They
 started
 working
 with
 dermatologists 
and 
recognised 
industry 
experts 
to
 research
 the
 most
 effective
 ingredients,
 formulations 
and 
packaging
 that 
would
 fit
 the
 ideals 
of 
their 
brand, 
whilst 
studying 
the 
lifestyle 
of 
urban 
professionals,
 to
 fully
 understand
 their 
needs.

The guys 
wanted
 the
 highest
 quality 
for
 their
 product, 
so 
the
 Mazorin
 range 
has
 been
 dermatalogically
 tested
 and
 all
 the
 products 
contain 
just
 active 
ingredients
 that 
are 
known 
in
 dermatology 
and 
there
 are 
no
 parabens,
 no 
mineral 
oils, 
no
 synthetic 
colours, 
along 
with 
the 
fragrances 
which 
have 
all 
been 
selected
 under
 medical
 advice. 
In 
regards 
to 
the
 packaging
 the guys 
decided 
to 
take 
a
 different
 approach 
and 
work
 with 
two
 of the top 
Italian 
architects 
to
 design 
the packaging.

The
 name 
of 
the 
skincare
 line,
 Mazorin, 
means
 “Mallard’
 in
 Friulano, 
a
 language
 spoken 
in 
the 
Friuli
 area
 of
 North 
Eastern
 Italy
where 
one 
of 
the 
founders was 
born
 and
 where 
the 
brand’s 
labs 
and
 production 
are 
located.

A
 Mallard
 by
 nature 
is a workaholic, is a born traveller, 
coexists
 with 
nature
 and
 urban
 environments
 
and
 the
 male
 mallard
 with
his
 green 
head 
is naturally very groomed.

To reflect the banking side of their background the guys have used their sense of humour to name the products within their range. We have, Face Value, consisting of a Optimal 
Face 
Maintenance
–
a
 face
 moisturiser
 and Optimal
 Skin
 Nourishment
–
 a 
skin
supplement. Then, Liquid Assets, consist of a Pre
 Meeting 
Face
 Vamp
–
a
 gel/tonic
 in
 a
 stick 
pack
 for 
the 
face
 and Working
 Late
Eye
 Serum
–
 roll
 on 
eye 
gel/serum. All Mazorin products come with the promise that, all of their 
products 
were 
NOT 
tested
 on
animals 
but 
were 
on 
an 
extensive
 amount 
of
 urban 
professionals!!
 All
 of
 whom 
were
 thrilled
 with 
the 
results.

These Boots are, literally, made for walking. The Desert Boot

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 19.23.17The Desert Boot has to be one, if not the, most versatile and comfortable styles of footwear. Its design is simple an ankle-length boots with two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing, which were originally worn by the British Armed forces in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The soldiers had discovered that these boots were not only hard-wearing and durable, but also light weight and unbelievably comfortable, hence their name. The feature the boot is most famous for is there crepe rubber sole, which ensure their comfort fit and blister free enjoyment.

The Desert boot firmly cemented its place in modern day popular culture by being key within several fundamental sub culture looks. Principally the Beatnik movement of the 1950’s and early 60’s who adopted the easy footwear and the Mods, who showed the versatility of the boot by wearing them stylishly, both in a causal and formal manner. Plus, along with their quintessential scooters became essential to finishing this much loved look.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 19.20.08Over the years such influential dapper figures as Bob Dylan, Steve McQueen, Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher have all been known as lovers of the crepe soled wonders and even figures within state Parliament and Royal establishments have been known to partake in the wearing of them.

If you’re looking for a pair for those long cold Winter months and not sure of colour or style take a look at desertboots.com They are the leading online retailer of suede and leather desert boots and shoes.  Having been established since 1985,  their range is one of the most diverse available and boasts a huge selection of desert boots to cater for every style and taste.

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The King of the Manbag – Bill Amberg – Textual Conversation


Bill Amberg Portrait

 

The subject of today’s Textual conversation, Bill Amberg, had a career epiphany whilst visiting a relative in Australia, who introduced  him to an inspirational mentor and leather worker, Gay Wilson, who offered him an apprenticeship in her studio making sculpture and moulded body pieces, jockey’s shoes, wallets and belts, in Adelaide. A passion for craftsmanship reignites and develops as a respect for leather, the rest they say is history.

In 1984 Bill receives his first big break when department store, Liberty, ask him to create a line of bags for them in the now trademark Bill Amberg brown English saddle leather, and they literally fly off the shelve.  Two years later Sir Paul Smith commissions Amberg to create a line of bags to be sold in Paul Smith stores under Bills own name, a collaboration that continues for nearly a decade, which is then followed by Donna Karan and Romeo Gigli. In fact, his designs are seen as soooo classic that his Rocket bag now sits as a design classic in the V&A design museum in London.

For Autumn13 Bill Amberg has gone back to his roots with a focused collection, showcasing the skills inherent in UK manufacturing. Bill Amberg staples such as the Rocket and Medicine bags, plus soft classics remain at the core of the collection and new styles accent these in exquisite leathers and tans.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 17.13.02Additionally, for this season, Bill has worked with Elvis & Kresse, the lifestyle accessories brand focused on reimagining seemingly useless waste into practical luxury items, on the “Tooley” tote bag named after the street where London’s fire brigade was founded. The Tooley tote will be available in stores and online from November 2013; with Elvis & Kresse donating 50% of the profits from their fire hose range to the Fire Fighters Charity. The innovative and pioneering Fire-Hose “Tooley ” Tote bag is made from de-commissioned British fire brigade hoses which, after a distinguished career fighting fires and saving lives, were otherwise destined for landfill.

Anyway, lets hear what Bill has to say;

 

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

The wheel – I would love to of been around in the early in days dragging your beasts around and then wow, the revelation of the wheel. 

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret ? 

No regrets – It is important to keep looking forward 

What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire ? 

My glasses – they are the wayfarer design created by Shuron. 

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ?  

I would choose a bespoke tailor made saville row designer, the clothes would just be so comfortable. 

Who is your style icon ?  

Peter Blake… He only ever wore one thing and looked perfectly happy and relaxed 

Tell us something no one else knows ? 

I have just got in to beekeeping which is really interesting and a funny fact for you is that bees have hairs on their eyes! 

Can you tie a bow tie ? If yes, who taught you ? 

Yes… my father 

What piece of style advise do you live by ? 

Wear comfortable clothes – don’t take yourself too seriously

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ? 

A good selection of T-shirts. Ones that fit every mood that you have for instance – funny, sad, girly… whatever fits the mood perfectly.. 

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it ?  

At 14 I bought an arctic white crinkly roll neck jumper and it was so bad I was ridiculed by my entire family and so I only wore it once. I have never worn synthetic fabrics since.

Who would do you ideal diner guests and why ? 

Katherine Hepburn this woman was very stylish, well read, funny good party girl game on for anything. 

What is you most memorable moment? 

Tomorrow! You have got to keep looking forward always.

 

 ICONIC BILL AMBERG BAGS

The Medicine Bag

The Medicine Bag

The Rocket Bag

The Rocket Bag

The Truffle Hunter

The Truffle Hunter