Oh Brother where art thou – 6 of the best Monk Shoes by Marcus Burns

What a weird name for a shoe your probably thinking? Double monk strap. Well yes there is reason behind the strange name and it dates back centuries from when monks in Europe wanted more protective footwear than the honest Jesus sandals they normally wore gave them, the monkshoe was hard wearing and long lasting, making it a perfect choice as a work shoe. For centuries now the shoe has grown and declined in the style ranks but 2014 has certainly seen the double monk become an essential in every dapper chaps wardrobe the perfect meeting point between both smart- casual dress codes and everyday work wear. Here are six of the best double monks you can get hands (well feet) on.



These beauties from Oliver Sweeney




Blue Suede shoes are not just fro Elvis, get all shook up, with these by Katie Eary X Grenson exclusively for MRPORTER.com



A  classic in every way, well what more would you expect from Paul Smith


Dr Martens have well and truly shaken off any misconceptions of not being stylish, design lead footwear with this example of a Monk shoe



All British brands so far, and we shouldn’t be surprised with Britain being the home of well made, great footwear and again another Great British brand, this time Ted Baker



And to finish off this splendid array of Monk shoes we have no less then TOPMAN. Go in peace and spend

Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us: The Best of British Menswear Designers X Grenson Shoes for MRPORTER

imageIn the latest of an increasingly must have exclusive line of collaborations, hosted by uber e-tailer MRPORTER.COM  is with, what can only be described as the hottest role call in young British Menswear Designers. The likes of Agi & Sam, Craig Green, Christopher Raeburn, Matthew Miller, Katie Eary and Sibling have each designed a pair of shoes, made by heritage footwear brand Grenson, which will be sold exclusively on MR PORTER.

The Grenson factory in Northamptonshire was founded in 1866 , and was the first in the world to employ the “Goodyear welt” method of construction, a technique that has become a hallmark of all well-made British shoes. In 2005 Tim Little joined the company as Creative Director to revitalise the brand and with the launch in 2006, of his easier, altogether more modern take on traditional English shoes, introduced Grenson to a whole new generation of men.

Taking the multiple styles on offer within the Grenson G: Lab programme, the designers have applied their very creative and individualistic vision to a mix of boots, brogues and loafers. Agi & Sam’s shoe uses three different types of black leather on a thick crepe rubber sole, while Katie Eary has created a cobalt blue double monk. Craig Green has taken an all-black brogue and added a utilitarian elastic strap fastening and chunky tread, and Matthew Miller has given a black derby shape a crocodile-effect treatment. Christopher Raeburn’s contribution is a military inspired boot, and Sibling’s trademark use of colour is evident in a pair of sky blue penny loafers with bright pink lining.

In first place in the Fashion stakes is Team GB – The Harvey Nichols/LC:M Tour

Screen Shot
2013-08-03 at 14.17.10Firstly, I have an apology
to make I really did intend to post this, particularly interesting
story, last week in time for the first event in its Tour, but all I
can say is due to circumstances beyond my control I couldn’t
unfortunately and apologises to readers in Scotland, foremost
Edinburgh and anyone who was in Edinburgh and would liked to have
attended this event, sorry ! OK, swiftly moving on, if you find
yourself in either of our Northern Bastion cities of style this
week, I am of course, as if I need to explain further, talking
about Leeds and Manchester, please pay particular attention to your
state of dress. Another UK style icon, known the world over as an
Embassy of sheer sartorial taste, Harvey
, has gathered together the cream of the UK
crop in design talent and has whisked them off on a magical mystery
tour to some of their stores. Edinburgh was last week, sorry again
and now its the turn of the Leeds store on 7th August and
Manchester* on 8th.

Harvey Nichols will showcase their
buyers’ edit of the most important new British menswear brands from
London Collections: Men Spring/Summer 14. The evening will showcase
the exceptional design, impeccable tailoring and exciting new
visions for the future of men’s fashion, with the opportunity to
meet the designers behind these rising stars of mens’s fashion.
Designers involved include Bernstock
Speirs, Casely-Hayford, Christopher Shannon, James
Long, Katie Eary, Lou Dalton
and last by
no means least Mr Hare. The
evening will offer customers the opportunity to shop the latest
collections, while sipping on complimentary drinks, always a bonus,
whoop, plus the chance to be styled by the designers themselves
!!!! Harvey Nichols has embarked on the tour to emphasise the
changing nature of our Menswear business and demonstrating their
ability to spot and nurture the very best of young British fashion
talent, with an emphasis on both the creative and commercial
aspects of the collections. Remember that RSVP is essential. Stay
updated and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag
#HNLCMTour *Please note
that the Manchester date will not be taking place instore, but
instead will be located at 2022NQ, Basement, 20 Dale Street,
Manchester, M1 1EZ

London Collections:MEN Autumn/Winter 2013 part II

(shot by Surgery TV a new fashion TV channel by Surgery PR)

Ok, before we start this morning I’ve a bit of a rant to get off my chest and I think it probably best put in the quote I’ve given to couple of publications, when asked to give my opinion on some of the more out there menswear shows we’ve seen this week during LC:M ;

“For Menswear designers today it’s increasingly difficult to obtain Media coverage so they know that, if they do wild and wacky pieces or collections they will achieve this. Very little has been spoken in the mainstream press about Agi & Sam who also were part of the MAN show, which included Craig Green and his, how can I put this, original face protection. This duo presented a great balance of directional and wearable clothing. Additionally, Oliver Spencer, Hackett, E.Tautz, Nutters of Savile Row or Matthew Miller, who all offered stand out collections that, virtually, any man could wear and look stylish and yet they receive very little column inches. It’s far easier to write negative articles about how crazy and mad Mens Fashion is even though the Fashion industry is worth £21bn to the UK economy.”
Jonathan Saunders AW13

Jonathan Saunders AW13

OK end of rant, but I just find it sooooooo boring and lazy when people rip into Menswear, normally journalists who have very little experience of it and belittle and humiliate it when it’s a multi-million pound industry that is essential to the global economy and keeps millions of households in jobs every year alone.

Right then eyes down for round two and first on the agenda is Mr Jonathan Saunders, more known for his womenswear, this Scot is making real headway now with his Menswear. He drew his inspiration from the worlds of Op art, classicism and the Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, rather apt and maybe a good luck omen as it was Bowie’s birthday on this day. It was pleasant to see a collection which was so full of colour. My particular favourite piece was this harrington jacket in a gradation of colour like the sky at night when flying.
Richard James AW13

Richard James AW13

Over then to the re-furbished Cafe Royal for the Richard James Show who celebrates 21 years in the biz in 2013 and as you would expect showcased exceptional suiting and great re-working of the classic tuxedo in iridescent tones. According to the press release is was inspired by a unique fixture of London living that abounds with a curious, colourful life of its own. OK must have missed that but it was a great show.

Our next port of call was a Presentation called The English Gentleman at the Spencer House, which featured a mix of models dressed by Savile Row’s finest tailors. Forty different outfits were shown, spread through seven of the splendid rooms of London’s preeminent private palace. This essentially was a chance for Savile Row to, quite rightly, show off to the foreign press and just reiterate just how good at tailoring the UK is.
A mad dash ensued chasing round to attend a number of shows and presentations until the main event of the night, Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton brought McQueen’s unique style of Gothic drama back to the UK and not since the Demeter carried Count Dracula to these shores have we seen such mystic. The models general demeanour was that of a rather demonic Max Headroom and the collection carried many of Burton’s trademark pagoda shoulder.This is something that won’t  be to everyone’s likings, but there is no mistaking the sheer theatre of this collection.
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 19.03.38The end of the Fashion world is nigh, well at least for London anyway before, its Milan’s turn to take on the baton. The subject of yesterday’s Post Christopher Raeburn started the final day of LC:M. Actor Russell Tovey, DJ/Presenter and face of Burton Menswear Reggie Yates (plus stylist Brother Cobi) Ohhh and we mustn’t forget Style Ambassador Dave Gandy all sat front row. Raeburn, invited us into his ethical world of outdoor  pursuits, recycled and masculine menswear, with my personal favourites being his deconstructed checked parka with matching duffel bag.
E.Tautz AW13

E.Tautz AW13

A hop, skip and a jump over to join Patrick Grant at E.Tautz, here he offered his usual top class formal attire, where he perfectly blends the timeless traditions of Savile Row, yet manages to always deliver a bang up to date range. E.Tautz is one of those shows where you catch yourself thinking, want that, and that ohh and that. Keep it up sir.

Katie Eary AW13

Katie Eary AW13

Up next can only be described as an assault on your senses, almost a styling mugging, one could say. Kate Eary, managed to mash-up colours, patterns, prints and trends all without making look like some street wear dogs dinner. Everything from the styling to the music all worked in Eary’s favour. If you were feeling anyway jaded before you certainly felt lifted after that.

Lastly, what is starting to become LC:M’s equivalent of those memorable collaborations from the Brit Awards, like Dizzee and Florence, Justin and Kylie or Mick and Sam. Last year we saw Timothy Everest hook up with Superdry. This season we see the legendary Nutters of Savile Row team up with casual wear brand Peter Werth. These unusual bed partners came together while working on the wardrobe for the forthcoming film “Northern Soul”. The collection paid tribute to the archive of Tommy Nutter, oversized lapels, roped shoulders and wide leg trousers but mixed this with modern tailored sportswear so as to prevent it looking like a 70’s themed party. All these elements came together as a fitting an rip roaring finale to AW13’s LC:M, leaving just one question, how do you top that ?