Putting the pieces back together, Jigsaw Menswear – Frances Walker, Textual Conversation


Morning Style seekers, wherever you may arise, the subject of today’s textual conversation is a lady who has very much cut a dash in the male obsessing world of menswear. After graduating from, what was, Nottingham Poly with a first Class degree in Fashion & Textiles (Ohhhh Clever clogs), and surely whats stated as her graduation year on her biog, must clearly be a typo. Frances Walker was not only instrumental in devising and set up Nicole Farhi Menswear, as sole designer in 1988 having joined Nicole Farhi upon leaving university. She also played a key role in formulated the unique silhouette which became synonymous with the uniquely iconic designer.

Following this, Walker joined Jigsaw in February 2011 to set up and relaunch Jigsaw Menswear after it’s hiatus, the first incarnation having been a hugely respected and successful brand which operated from 1993-1999. 
The Spring Summer 13 collection launched into 20 Jigsaw stores, a standalone Menswear store and of course online. She continues to be very hands-on as well as directing the design across all areas of the collection and  driving the brand from strength to strength.

Frances describes her inspiration for the Autumn 2013 collection as “I always start off with colour. The tonal approach of Mark Rothko and Sean Scully, with their soft colour blocking, led  to this idea of working patchwork into the collection in shades of navy, seaweed, charcoal, grey, cranberry and a dark rusty colour we’ve named ‘squirrel’.”

The blurry shapes of the artists’ paintings translate effortlessly into soft yarns such as Alpaca in the knitwear, washed Harris Tweed made in Britain, lush velvets and Jigsaw Menswear’s signature tartans, which have been specially developed with Lochcarron of Scotland to complement the collection’s somber palette.

The theme is expertly variegated textures and fabrics – the idea is that you can layer the different textures, tone-on-tone to create our Autumn/Winter look. With her key pieces within the collection being the wool bomber jacket, the Double breasted shawl collar merino knitted jacket, the wool gingham Abraham Moon(the prestigious British Cloth factory) suit, the harris tweed coat, the patchwork tweed stitch roll knit sweater, the patchwork and tartan tailored trousers, the Teddy bear coat (a shawl collar pea coat). 

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

That it was my last day!! Still so much I want to do/experience. This may sound dull but as a mum… it would be not seeing my kids (both teenagers) grow up: they are so so fabulous and my finest achievement by far!

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

The zip…. the printing press… a fine-liner drawing pen!

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

My first piece of Comme des garçons: a fab long black velvet/silk dress circa 1994 I reckon. it was a gift and by far and away my most expensive piece of clothing ever as it was full price!

What inspires you ?

Wow!…so many things. At the moment, I am loving the portrait paintings of the American painter, Alice Neel particularly the series she did of men. Antique clothing has always been a source of inspiration for me; specifically the love, care and attention with which it was not only made, but also the beautiful repairs and patching that kept it going. People you see or meet who are comfortable in their skin, whose style is effortlessly handsome and at the same time individual. people who don’t take themselves too seriously. I worked with Nicole Farhi for years; she had the most wonderful personal style she never looked like she tried to hard…  I love things which are a bit off… not quite right 

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

Of course I wear a lot of JIGSAW and the pieces complement my life style, but if I was thinking international stage Comme des garçons: I adore the fabrics and finishes, the basics/core styles  evolve but the underlying fit  stays the same and the seasonal pieces are always full-on and creative in a way which truly brightens up your life. I love the pieces which make you gasp and wonder where the ideas came from… the imperfect perfection (wabi sabi!) of them.

Who is your muse and why ?

It changes, Lucien Freud, is often on the mood board along with Steve McQueen. Nick Wooster always looks pretty good too!

Tell us something no one else knows ?

As an intern at Next in about 1986, I was given some letraset (cant recall more than a couple of computers  in the graphics dept at Next at that time!)and asked to come up with some labelling ideas. They used one of the logos I designed for many of their Mens garments (I remember the underwear in particular!) and their company lorries for years to come. the label read Pinooers in British Menswear I remember!!!Sir Paul Smith bought me my first Marguerita at a fabulous bar (wish I could remember the name!) in NYC in 1986 the year he opened his first american store on Fifth Avenue… I was in NY with 3 other students after winning a competition Paul had set across 4 arts courses for my year group at Nottingham Poly. Paul kept hold of my passport as I looked about 12. It was the most amazing trip and Paul was wonderful to us all and totally infectious to be around! I had a trolley race with him a few years later in baggage reclaim at Heathrow after bumping into him collecting his bags after a trip. I just remember him saying race ya and that was it, he was off ! cant remember who won!!!

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A great pair of Jeans (and an expensive pair of shoes)

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101 ?


What do you have to do after this conversation ?

Crack on with designing some knitwear for AW14

What would you like to be doing after this conversation ?

Flying off to NYC 


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Remember, Remember the month of Movember !

Surely one of the greatest Mo Bros that ever lived ?

Surely one of the greatest Mo Bros that ever lived ?

I don’t think anyone could deny the AMAZING job Movember do and have been doing since their launch in 2004. Through their great work in encouraging men across the globe including countries such as Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States to grow all sorts of Facial hair variations. They’ve highlighted the incredibly serious issue of Men living with prostate or testicular cancer and raising awareness and understanding of the health risks men face. In doing so, in an innovative, fun and engaging manner, raising much needed funds for men’s health programme investment.

This year, people are not just investing money in the project but equally important, their time. Brands from all sorts of differing spheres have produced creative and worthwhile concepts all in the name of Movember and brining attention to this BRILLIANT cause. So Clothes Make the Man thought we would inform our good readers of some of the innovative ways they can get involved and make a difference.

In support of Movember,  International Tire Company, Bridgestone is sending its dynamic duo, also known as the Bridgestone Bros, on an epic road trip in search of the biggest, bushiest and most brilliant moustaches in Europe. Their hair-raising journey will all be captured as a documentary to be shown on Bridgestone’s www.beeneverywhere.eu website during Movember.

The Bridgestone Bros will travel in their vintage VW campervan – complete with giant moustache – from the Handlebar Club in London to the World Beard & Moustache Championships in Stuttgart, stopping off at moustache clubs in Antwerp, Strasbourg and Berlin along the way. Bridgestone is calling for men around the UK to get involved and join the Bridgestone Movember page to help raise money for this notable global men’s health charity.

Now then, you’d have thought a company famous for their closer then close shaves, wouldn’t be so keen on discouraging you to ditch the blade for the month, but as part of their ongoing support for Movember, thats exactly what Gillette are condoning (kinda). The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler, is Gillette’s first 3-in-1 precision grooming tool, perfect for Mo Bros wanting to style their facial hair. Combining Braun engineering and Gillette Fusion ProGlide technology, it trims your Mo evenly, shaves closely and edges accurately with a Precision Edging Blade. Plus, Gillette is on a mission to turn sportsmen into gentlemen through the power of the MO!

Movember is all about bringing real men together to raise awareness for real issues and what better way to bring men together than through sporting spirit and through sporting a Mo? Gillette is encouraging menfolk to sign up to its team, Mo Gents United, for fundraising fixtures and shenanigans. And if that wasn’t enough to tickle the top lip, there will also be a barbershop in central London where MO Bros and gents alike can come together to discuss facial hair, sport and a whole manner of manly things!


This year we see a new partnership with leading luxury watch specialist Maurice Lacroix supporting the Mo-vement with a campaign on a global scale. To Mark this exciting partnership Maurice Lacroix have created 11 Limited edition versions of the Pontos S watch, engraved with the 2013 Movember Moustache – one of which will be given as a prize to Movember’s international Man of Movember 2013, the ultimate accolade for any Mo bro.

Each year one Man, chosen from the combined List of winners all over the world, is crowned international Man of Movember becoming the face of the campaign. Each national Man of Movember winner is voted for at that particular country’s main gala parté, held at the end of november, by the world-renowned handlebar Moustache club.

Maurice Lacroix Movember Pontos S

Next up we have the fine English fragrance house Penhaligon, founded in 1870 by William Penhaligon.  Their passion is to continue his incredible legacy of creative and innovative perfumery, challenging the traditions of the art and seeking new ways to interpret this art form. Their scents are still made in England using the finest rare ingredients. Penhaligon’s holds two long-standing Royal Warrants; from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (granted 1956) and from HRH The Prince of Wales (granted 1988). So whether you are looking to add shape or body to your Mo, a tin of wax is the must-have accessory for any respectable Mo Bro wanting to keep it neat this Movember. And with Penhaligon’s moustache wax, created exclusively for Movember! Available online or in Penhaligon’s stores this lightly scented wax will keep your Mo in fine fettle. And, as the wax is lightly scented with Sartorial(Sartorial is a contemporary interpretation of a classic Fougère; the traditional notes of oakmoss, tonka bean and lavender have been exquisitely stitched together with woods, ozonic and metallic effects, leather, violet leaf, honey and spices to create the perfect illusion of a tailor’s workroom, didn’t you know ?), it provides the added bonus of keeping your Mo smelling as good as it looks.

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If that wasn’t giving you enough ways to do your bit, Links of London are thrilled to extend their collaboration and team up with Movember for a third year, to create a range of limited edition accessories for Mo Bros and Sistas to wear as a talisman of support and provide a memento of their Mo Growing journey.  The ever popular cufflinks and charms return again this year to complete the collection, each featuring a sterling silver moustache in honour of the men of Movember and raising funds for Men’s Health issues. For 2012 the collection expanded to include a black leather cord and silver Moustache bracelet to extend the collection and made it available exclusively on www.linksoflondon.com and in a selection of standalone stores. 2013 sees this iconic item reworked and range of Mo coloured cord bracelets in black, brown, grey, blonde and ginger and finished with our sterling silver Mo motif!

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TOMS is known as the One for One brand, in that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell. But once again as part of their ongoing partnership between these two likeminded brands, have teamed up to produced a limited edition collection of footwear. This year we see the signature moustache appear embossed onto grey Suede Classics for ladies and Gents and the Paseo’s. So its a double whammy of do something good !


Lastly, but by no means least, we have the Movember App. It’s not meant to replace growing a real moustache. Instead it is another angle for those of you who want to get involved and raise awareness for the cause but maybe can’t physically grow a tache, or want a quick way to send a picture on Facebook that will make people think “What is this Movember ting all about?”. It uses facial recognition to quickly and easily add a moustache to anyone’s face. You can also place moustaches, beards, glasses and other items manually before sharing the photo through your favourite social media channel, or email, or just save to your device.

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6 of the Best Moisturisers to be worn in Winter for MEN by Amanda Lewis

Outdoor adventurers and urban commuters – the winter weather conditions can wreak havoc on male skin. Prevention is always best so ensure your Winter skin care regime, yes that’s right Winter skin care regime, keeps you looking groomed not grizzly. Clothes Make the Man’s winter moisturiser feature picks the best out there for YOU.

Wellman Ultra-hydrating Moisturiser is formulated specifically for men’s skin. Use it daily to awaken tired skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and to keep skin hydrated and control moisture balance. It has an SPF of 15, SPF might stand for Sun Protection Factor, but its JUST as important in Winter as Summer  and contains vitamins A,C,E and B3 to protect and strengthen

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LAB SERIES Age Rescue + Face Lotion PLUS GINSENG – A daily age-fighting moisturiser that features technology to help renew and re-energise the appearance of skin for a younger, less lined looking face.  The new high-tech formulas instantly soothe and soften the look of skin while also restoring moisture back into the skin. Simultaneously, Age Rescue + PLUS GINSENG helps defend skin against the damaging effects of environmental aggressors, helping to prevent visible signs of ageing. We think worth the expense.

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WELEDA MENS Intensive Cream is formulated with organic Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Cocoa Butter; this new intensive moisturising cream from Weleda is great for wind damaged, dry skin. Bees wax and mallow will also soothe after shaving.

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LA ROCHE-POSAY TOLERIANE ULTRA – If you have ultra-sensitive or allergic skin this is a great product to soothe aggravated skin. It provides an instant and long lasting relief. Apply daily am and pm.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 21.49.09 CLARINS MEN Defatigant Visage Fatigue Fighter – This energising gel provides tired skin with an instant refreshing boost. Its clear and non oily formula eliminate apparent signs of stress and fatigue, botanical complexes includes Bison grass, Galangal and Purslane which combine to soothe, purify and energise. Maybe just what you need over the party season or the morning after.

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Lotil is a rich hydrating cream that also has anti-bacterial qualities to help fight infection and with the winter weather coming, you need to make sure your skin stays hydrated and moisturised at all times. It is a miracle worker when it comes to dry skin and really helps keep chapped and broken skin at bay.


Offering the best of both world, Looking good, feeling safe – Matchless London

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.41.39Matchless is a brand which can boast many firsts, from not only being the oldest British brand of motorcycles, clothing and accessories, with the first product manufactured at the end of the 19th century. Also, did you know, a Matchless motorcycle won the inaugural TT in 1907 and again in 1909. Plus, the brand was the first motorcycle manufacturer to work on rider safety, creating a department of study where clothing was designed to protect riders.  Now then, don’t ever let anything tell you  Clothes-Make-the-Man isn’t educational !

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.48.40From as far back as the 1960’s Matchless advertisements showed for the first time the link between motorcycles and style. Leading riders of all disciplines chose Matchless products for the perfect mix of safety, performance and of course timeless style. The first Matchless motorcycle was made in 1899, and manufacture began in 1901. All motorcycles were marked by a winged M on the tank, symbol that shortly became synonymous of quality.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.51.30Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.52.16Those icons of bad boy, Teen spirit and Rebel attitude, Marlon Brandon and James Dean both fell in love with all things Matchless but the greatest testimonial has to come from Malcolm Smith, the little known Godfather of Motorcross and Enduro. One of the world’s premier off-road motorcycle racers, Malcolm won eight gold medals between 1966 and 1976 in the International Six Day Trials, the European cross- country event considered the Olympics of motorcycling. Malcolm’s talent on two-wheels earned him a co-starring role in Bruce Brown’s 1970’s classic motorcycle epic, “On Any Sunday” with Steve McQueen.




The Donington Jacket

The Donington Jacket

The Wild one Jacket

The Wild one Jacket


The Marlon Jacket

The Marlon Jacket


Made in Belfast a sign of quality – Harland & Wolff Apparel

IMG_0483If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Belfast, you will of course, be aware of the fact that it one of the most beautiful cities on the globe, yes honestly and you will be very aware of the cranes that dominant the skyline of this mistaken city from the shipyard of Harland & Wolff.

Think you’ve heard of these names before, well, when the legendary Titanic sailed out of Belfast in April 1912, the city where she was designed and built, in the aforementioned shipyards and the city of Belfast led the world in shipbuilding, linen, rope, tobacco, and of course, whiskey. Its engineering foundries were renowned around the globe, while its inventors had given us liquid gas, the rubber tyre and much else. This was a city that punched way above its weight.

As the years passed, craft, knowledge, heritage and skill, once in abundance was being eroded and generations later, these skills were at risk of being lost forever.

photoWith this in mind, two young Belfast entrepreneurs, Dennis Bree & Tim McAllister have created a surge in local industrial pride through the creation of the Harland & Wolff Official Apparel Brand.

Currently offering men’s t-shirts, polo shirts, and ties, Harland & Wolff Apparel have a range of shirts and “The Yard Boot” in the pipeline, as well as limited edition antique brass cufflinks.

The pair’s biggest ambition is to ensure everything is designed and fabricated in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain, “there’s nothing more easily and immediately identifiable as “Made in Belfast” than Harland and Wolff,” says Bree.

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