Pearly King – A proper Cockney knees up, well not really.

Please don’t expect this brand to be all mother of pearl buttons and Cockney East End inspired, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Pearly King. They strived to create a timeless, masculine collection by delving in to a time where true icons rode motorcycle and braved the wilderness! Pearly King have become students of these old school pioneers, recreating pieces that embody their rebellious, carefree lifestyle.

Creating a wardrobe that will instil a brooding sense of confidence in any man, featuring luxurious leathers, robust tweed jackets and t-shirts that have survived a life time. The look is very wearable, easy but with an air of rustic elegance. Garments that have survived the rough trials of time to become heirlooms.

For Summer 2013 Pearly King have focused on two main influences, Rockabilly culture and class and style of the Riviera. The fusion of these two contrasting looks has resulted in a collection that offers a rebellious yet refined look, featuring vintage inspired work wear fabrics drenched in sun bleached Riviera hues.

The brand have delved into a rich archive of 1950’s drag car racing culture and old pictures of The Rolling Stones in Cannes. This has yielded a range that embodies a mentality that is all about high rolled sleeves on printed chambray shirts and sun bleached – super soft vintage jerseys matched with jeans whose only wash has come from diving off the side of a luxury yacht, you know the look, think Mick and the boys of yesteryear having fun on their holidays.

Pearly King Summer 2013

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Hey ! Nothing Fishy about this, OK well maybe a little – Fish Hair Products

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 08.43.56I first came across the Fish brand and Paul Burfoot the man behind the business in the late 90’s when I was just starting out and assisting Mr Tom Stubbs, fellow blogger and raconteur. At that time Fish was a trendy hair salon, way before the trend in barbers shops made a comeback, nestled right in the heart of, London’s Soho, it had and still has a reputation for cutting edge styles and quality cuts combined with a nice relaxed, down to earth vibe. The Salon got it’s, how can I put this, unusual name because 26 years ago when an former Soho sex shop was being converted into a brand new hair salon, Burfoot discovered it used to be an old fishmongers……and so the ‘Fish’ brand was born.

To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the salon launched a special limited edition Platinum range of Fish styling products with a new and distinct fragrance.

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 08.39.19Whatever you’re up to, day or night, the Platinum Edition Fishfingers Medium Hold Shape Defining Wax will hold your style in place. Simply apply a small amount of wax to dry or towel dried hair and massage through. Then simply mould, sculpt, define and shape – whatever your desired style.

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 08.39.36If you’re looking for the ultimate hair texturiser, look no further than the Platinum Edition Fishshape Firm Hold Texturising Cream. More subtle than a wax, this cream is ideal for defining short to mid-length hair and creating choppy, chunky styles. It will hold your style 24/7 and won’t dry hard like other styling products.


A Gentleman and a Scholar, Patrick Grant


The subject of today’s LC:M textual conversation has incredibly, his fingers in MANY pies, in fact the hardest thing about this entire interview is where do you start when discussed the sickeningly talented Patrick Grant. Do you begin with E.Tautz, one of the brands he is Creative Director of, that he showed earlier this week during London Collections: Men or the other one, the Savile Row institution that is Norton & Sons. Or his many collaborations, a truly inspired partnership with Barbour for Autumn 13, which we’ll discuss later in the season or his venture, Hammond & Co, joining the expanding ranks of the Designers Portfolio at High Street retailer Debenhams. Not to mention his blossoming media career as a judge on the BBC TV show the Great British sewing Bee ????

Surprisingly though, Grant doesn’t come from a particularly Design background, or even creative, some might say. He has a Bachelors degree in Materials Science & Engineering, sorry what,  from Leeds University and Universite d’Orleans and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Oxford. He lived and worked in five countries and in a number of different industries before the desire to follow a career in Menswear possessed him. Craftsmanship and a passion for old British brands lead him to Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons which he took over in 2005. Then in 2009 Patrick re-launched the historic British sporting and military tailoring house of E. Tautz as a men’s ready to wear collection.

He won the British Fashion Council’s Menswear Designer of the Year award in December 2010 for his work on E. Tautz. In 2012 he won the BFC’s Fashion Forward award and was shortlisted for Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards and International Designer of the Year at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards.

If fact why don’t I shut up and let Mr Grant tell you about Supermodels flashing at him or the Davids all coming over for a Dinner party and well…. I’ll let him tell you. Enjoy.

If you could collaborate with one brand who would it be and why ?

One of the great British carmakers, either Bentley or Rolls Royce. They’re a pretty rare blend of engineering excellence, craftsmanship, heritage and beautiful design.


Favourite hotel in the world ?

Lafayette House New York. A beautiful little brownstone, lovely old slightly rickety furniture, wonky floors, few but great staff, no reception or restaurant or gym or doorman. Feels like home.


If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be ?

Sleep less, do more (do everything). When you get to 40 everything will start to creak.


In your words, describe the SS14 collection ?

Opulant, lengthy, shawly; the three ages of Edwardianism (the first one, the Teds, and the Peacock Revolution), central asian mens clothes, The Life of Birds. The Kandura.


What is you most memorable moment ?

Winning the Menswear Designer of the Year award at the BFA’s.


What track would always get you on the dance floor ? Blackout Crew – Put A Donk On It?


Who would do you ideal diner guests and why ?

David Ogilvy, David Niven, David Walliams, (anyone called David it seems).

Irreverent humorous Englishmen.


What piece of clothing best describes you ?

A well worn hiking boot.


What piece of style advise do you live by ?

To paraphrase Hemingway ‘Everyone has his own style, and there should be no rules about how style should function.’


What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A handmade grey flannel suit


If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

Air? That would be worth a few quid.


Who is your style icon ?

Jarvis Coker. Just splendid.


Tell us something no one else knows ?

A supermodel once tried to put me off on my final (victory clinching) question in a game of trivial pursuits by flashing her boobs. 

E.Tautz Autumn/Winter 2013

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E.Tautz Spring/Summer 2014

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London Collections: Men SS14 Shows Review Part II

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 16.52.12One could say how do you follow yesterday’s post
regarding the first half of SS14’s London Collection:Men
(sorry still don’t like the name), well the answer is simple with
the likes of Alexander McQueen, Oliver Spencer, Burberry and
Paul Smith. And so lets not waste any more of either of our time
and get underway with one of the aforementioned style giants,
in the form of the house of McQueen. Like yesterday, as I said,
rather then me churner on giving my twopence on every John,
Dick & Agi, I’ll let the leaders of the Style pack give it
to you. This time round Lee Holden, leading Menswear
gives us his take on the
Alexander McQueen Menswear show….
“It was great all black and white. Lots of surface
texture. Overlaid lace on suits. Brocade in black and white.
Edwardian silhouette. Long line jackets. Loads of parallel silk
shorts with cinchers on the sides of the knees”.

So from the royalty of McQueen we head to the equally regal
Oliver Spencer, with the PR’s on the
door whispering of a surprise and with Jesse Metcalfe, Dermot
O’Leary and David Gandy (of course) sat FROW the show can begin.
But who’s that walking to the Decks strategically placed in the
centre of the catwalk ???? None other then blicking, Luther
himself, Idris Elba !!!!! The show gets underway with as always a
character filled show, including Wretch 32 modelling. The
inspiration for this season’s collection was the early graffiti
work of the 1980’s Neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat,
with a colour palette of Faded Red, Amber and Sky Blue, anchored by

Then its the schlep over to the banks of the River Thams and
Old Billingsgate Market, for the
Hackett show. All things 1960’s proved
to inspire Jeremy Hackett for this Collection, particularly the
work of iconic photographer Terry ‘ONeill, who has shot the Autumn
13 campaign for the brand. Plus the French illustrator René Gruau’s
work, but the standout point for the show has to be the full 38
piece Orchestra of the London Philharmonic supplying the score for
the show ! The Clothes, like Gieves offered us a holiday wardrobe
this more Rivera style, with lightweight summer tweeds, dog tooth
checks, turtlenecks and playful patterns and colours.

Into the straights now for the final furlong of LC:M and onto the great man
himself Sir Paul Smith and all I can
say is what an honour to have him personally take me through the
collection himself. He explained to me his Best of
range and the unique suits that only Paul Smith
could do, in simply the most amazing fabrics that he worked on very
closely with the Yorkshire mill Joseph Clissold & Son.
While we were talking he was telling me about how they had re-make
some vintage pieces from the Paul Smith Archive for Matt Smith’s
Doctor Who costume, but he wouldn’t be drawn on who he would like
to see filling those shoes, maybe its him !

So feeling slightly dizzy with going back and fourth around London, we head back to
LC:M HQ in Covent Garden to view the wares of Marks
& Spencer’s Made in Britain collection
. SS14
will be the second season for this range and its hard to see how
they can build on the preview which they gave us of the Autumn
collection, to hit stores in September. Well they blooming well
did, my favourite pieces were the umbrellas which took all my will
power now to try and snaffle one for this inclement “summer”. The
bags not only looked but felt well beyond their retail price and
the Scottish Cashmere in the Modtro tailoring inspired by their
Leeds Archive was inspired.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 17.02.14The designer of the next show was the
subject of last season’s profile, Mr Christopher
, still gains inspiration from nature and the
great outdoors, though this season he explores the notion of
protection, focusing on the men of the Long Range Desert Group. A
reconnaissance and raiding unit from World War II who experienced
the extreme conditions of the desert environment. Raeburn brings an
element of modernity to tailoring for his latest range, as
sportswear is blended with the former.

Another Christopher up next
but this time its Shannon rather then Raeburn and it’s the turn of
the inimitable Mr Richard Gray, Associate Fashion
Director of the Sunday Times Style
to give his
unique take on Christopher Shannon’s

“This is the next level, la!
I’ve got middle-aged man-tits and grey riah and wanted it ALL. Will
have it all. That doesn’t mean it’s for old lads, it just means
it’s opened up to more people.
1. The colour – did a lil sex-wee over
2. Collars in
colour – recalcitrant teen in court, circa 1974. Want to be
3. The Junior
Gaultier-y branding and stars. SOLD!”

OK then, that brings us so nicely to not only the penultimate show of the review but what has to be
the most exciting and awaited, as Christopher Bailey brings
Burberry Prorsum home to the UK to
show its SS14 Menswear collection and lets just say it didn’t
disappoint. I have to admit, I am a Johnny come later fan of the
work of Bailey and I’d sit through numerous Burberry shows in Milan
and listen to Journalists and Stylists tell me about how great the
show was and I’d think I don’t get it. Then akin to St Paul on the
Road to Damascus, I had an epiphany moment and haven’t looked back.
This collection was a cracker, of course inspired by David Hockney
and like Hockney the use of colour, whether is be with the watches,
sunglasses or any garment was genius. Keep up the good work Bailey
and heres to seeing you back in London again in January.

And so it is the end of the third London Collections:Men, getting bigger and
better each time, a bit like my blisters and who may we see on the
schedule for next season ???? Vivienne Westwood maybe, Neil
Barrett, possibly maybe ever a count of our international cousins,
who would be very welcome in the cold that will be January 14 ! But
hold you horses, we have one more show and for us at
Clothes Make the Man, a blinder of a
designer and the subject of this season’s profile. Mr
Patrick Grant for
Patrick takes us on a journey in and
around the many ethic cultures that call London home and make it
such a cosmopolitan hotbed. From the Bangladeshi community of East
London to A Japanese man who reads his book wearing a traditional
robe as Grant cycles past in King Edwards Park. All groups
retaining parts of their over clothing identity but encompassing
parts of their new home, normally height duty coats to combat the
environment of the UK. Grant managed to bring in all of these
factors and make them work as part of one solid collection.

London Collections: Men SS14 Shows Review Part I

Without wanting to sound like a an OAP complaining about the passing of time, I really can’t believe that we are already at the Spring Summer 2014 shows, when it feels like Summer 2013 is looking increasing looking like a non-starter. Shhh where is the time gone ? As my Father would have said ?
Well no reason to get melancholy, as the third London Collections:Men gets underway. An unusual way to kick proceedings off in the shape of one of the UK’s most trusted names and producer of, probably the best Christmas Ad campaigns in recent years, John Lewis. Yes, it’s not a mistake, it wasn’t an all singing, all dancing Catwalk show, but a more simple and parred down
presentation to Showcase their British made in house brand John Lewis & Co, in front of Aston from JLS, Russell Tovey and
Kimberley Wyatt (Pussycat Doll). Following this, we then had a couple of hours to prepare for what can only be described as an
extravaganza in the shape and form of the opening of the new exclusively menswear store and a preview of their Tailoring line,
oh who, you ask, well only the Italian dynamic duo Domenico Dolce & Stefanio Gabbana ! It was a low key intimate affair… Of
bloody course not, not from these guys, it was full on, full throttle and in the words of Ms Ciccone’s, t-shirt in the Papa don’t preach video, Italians do it better ! All with a little help from Dame Kylie Mingoue of Erinsborough, no less.
Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 11.49.02So with a slightly fussy head it was off into town for the proceeding of the day to commence, with more then a little feeling of, they better appreciate this, at this unholy hour on a Sunday Morning. First port of call was a coffee and a catch up with the always lovely British Esquire team at the John Smedley Presentation. Styled brilliantly by Luke Day, the Smedley brand is going through somewhat of a butterfly transformation, everything about the event seemed in a playful mood, with the models in a school gym backdrop and every colour of the rainbow being present within the range. Something for everyone, one might say.
Then off to the pub, del,l no not literally, on second thoughts, yes literally, as TOPMAN had taken over the Old Crown
Public house and were using at as a much needed pit stop for Press inbetween shows. Seriously, Sir Pip of Arcadia, whoever came up with this brilliant idea needs knighting ! The whole purpose of this visit was to pick up our tickets to the TOPMAN Design show. This season a much shorter and concise show, not to everyone’s taste, but you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time
and if  TOPMAN are anything its brave and willing to try different things. The TREND and really the only trend of the show was Cowboy. I caught up with Gordon Richardson, Design Director, after the show who told me it was all about Destroyed Glamour , finding inspiration in the Robert Altman Classic Western “Nashville” , but on closer inspection there are a number of 1950’s B movie references within the embroidery on the pieces.
Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 11.55.08Now as part of this season’s review of the Mens Fashion Weeks for SS14, I’ve sought the opinions of some of the most well respected and top of their game, minds within Menswear, ohh and all friends and ardent fans of Clothes Make the Man. First up is Menswear Stylist for The Independent, Lee Holmes, who had a soft spot for……
“Richard Nicoll was one of the stand out shows for me as it was both wearable but didn’t lack impact. Prints made up of old school gay porn, snakes and hawks was a winning combination.”
We then moved on to a brand which couldn’t have given us more of a juxtaposition if we’d have tried, Gieves and Hawkes. The Savile Row giant with the enviable address of No 1 Savile Row, under the new Creative direction of Jason Basmajian who also masterfully styled the presentation, gave us a glimpse of what it would be like to embark on a long summer holiday with stops planned in Amalfi, Nairobi, Barbados and Shanghai and what one would wear during the many events and occasions one would experience during such a trip, beat two weeks in Corfu anyday.Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 11.58.07After this pleasurable jaunt, it was back to zig zagging across London to, what in my opinion has to have been one of THE shows during LC:M, Agi & Sam. Although producing probably their most grown up collections to date they never once lost sight of their fun and playful nature which is one of the most enduring qualities of this pairing. Well, this and the fact that Agi’s parents were seat in front of me and seemed the proudest and loveliest of people. They showed us a throughly modern range including ever element within the gambit of a man’s wardrobe but done in their inimitable style. Ohhh plus a sneaky lil cameo endorsement from no less then Sir Paul Smith, who told me himself he was a great admirer of there work.Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 12.02.44Spencer Hart was next to show us his wears for Spring Summer 2014 and what a visual experience is was, full of Eastern promise. The show opened and pretty much closed with offering us an alternative to the traditional tuxedo, teaming a dinner jacket with a traditional Arabic Jalabiya. The casting showcased some of the coolest black models in the industry today, including, Actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett of Misfits, this begged the question of, why don’t we see more of these guys on the catwalk, but that’s a much bigger kettle of fish then we have time for. Hart teased us with a collection of must have tailoring, making you want to cast off every piece of casual wear you ever possessed.

The next gem on the agenda was none other then that master of Ladies footwear Jimmy Choo, who are turning their hand to mens shoes. I know what you’re thinking I had the same preconceptions and really had to be coerced into attending, I have no idea what I was letting myself in for, but was more then pleasantly surprised ! Everything from a high tops to a porn penny loafer and don’t get me started on the porn camo or paisley, great shoes with a great sense of humour and all done in the BEST possible taste !

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 12.06.26Finally, to the last designer for the first part of our review of London’s finest, Clive Darby’s RAKE. Inspired by the extravagantly talented gentleman Racer François Cevert, including the wreck of the very car in which Cevert lost his life, which was a little too macabre for my liking. But nothing could prevent my liking of this collection, as cool as the man who acted as muse, highly wearable with lashings of style.