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 ?

Dress to impress – AskAnt

Salutations my friends I hope life is treating you well and off we go again on another voyage of discovery in this week’s AskAnt. This week’s subject was inspired to reach out after reading the column two weeks ago. The problem in question was sent in via an anonymous reader and regarded having started work at a Trendy Ad agency and wanting to fit in more via his workwear wardrobe. On a different but similar vein we have today’s subject matter;

OK then Antony, great name by the way, maybe think about improving it by adding a ‘h’. Anyway, I digress, essentially you have two interviews coming up for the same company,  in front of the same panel and you want to impress them to ensure you get the jobs you’re after. OK straight off you need to remember with job interviews, the interviewer/s make their mind up on the matter of whether you have or haven’t got the job within 15 seconds of meeting you. So first impressions last and making the right one is vital, so ensuring you are wearing the right clobber is essential. To help you on your way here are a few points to remember;

1) Never think you can overdress for an interview.

2) You have to feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing, it will help with you feel and come across in a confident manner.

3) Think about what you are going to wear, approach it like how you approach your interview. Research it, what will the weather be like on that day, raining, bring an umbrella and mac, Hot, don’t wear a shirt which may show swear marks and leave in enough time so you can arrive cool and relaxed. These are all factors that you have control over.

4) If you are going to invest in a interview suit, be conservative and classic now isn’t the time to show your creative side, stick with navy, grey or black with are multi purpose in their usage. Dame Vivienne Westwood, creates incredible suits but there is a time and a place and you want the focus of the interview panel on be on you, what you say and not on what you’re wearing. Yes, you want to impress them with your professional attire but not to let it detract from the point you’re trying to get across.

So, bearing in mind all the above points I assembled three opinions for you to choose from;

Black single breasted suit £129 from BHS

A good solid suit, at £129 you could buy a two different versions so you ensure you wear completely different looks to the interviews. Plus you get what you pay for so I would suggest buying slightly bigger and then having the suit tailored to you via a local trusted tailor.

Silver Grey Wool & Mohair suit £349 from the Inspired by Savile Row range by Richard James for Marks & Spencer.

Reliable, faithful and good quality, yes slightly more but you can’t go wrong with this section, we’ve discussed the how good the Richard James range is at M&S and we look forward to seeing what he turns out for Autumn. Make this suit look completely different for both interviews with accessories, maybe go white shirt, black tie and black oxfords for one and tonal colours for the other one finished off with a pair of tan brogues.

Blue Twill single breasted suit £599 by Austin Reed

Yeah I know this is slightly more expensive for an interview suit, but remember first impressions last and you WANT these jobs so you want to bowl the panel over with a professional, clean and crisp look.

So Antony, all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Good Luck and let us know what your decision was and which job you end up taking, because of course, they’ll offer you both !  Join us again soon for another style clinic.


A suit to suit a man – AskAnt

Good Day folks, the start of yet another week and another sartorial dilemma arrives for me, this time via our Facebook page and following my piece on the launch of the Inspired by Savile Row Range by Richard James for Marks & Spencer. This inspired a young man to contact us to seek stylistic advice;

As always Loz and like anyone who drops us a line searching for guidance, thanks for taking the time out, we appreciate it here. Now then, you have at least two weddings coming up and you, “need to look the business” and you are looking to spend around the “400 bags” (£400) mark. OK right off, you were obviously impressed with the Richard James collaboration with Mark & Spencer, as seen here last Thursday as that’s what drove you to seek my help and right you are too. Richard James is a Master Tailor and as mentioned in the post, has dressed everyone from Messers Liam & Noel Gallagher to Sir Elton of John. For this range he was very hands on and personally oversaw each detail of the collection. So I would certainly recommend take a look at 

Furthermore, as the suits costs in the region of £349, have it slightly altered to fit you perfectly to ensure you, “look the business”. Larger M&S stores offer alteration services or sort a local TRUSTED tailor, but remember to give enough time before the big events.

One of the fundamental things you need to consider when buying a suit is go to someone who knows what they are talking about, i.e. a retailer who is known for their suiting and who has been around, therefore have a heritage and know what they are talking about. You wouldn’t go to a fishmonger if you’re after a good piece of steak now, would you ?

So this brings us to the next retailer, Moss, this brand has over 160 years of experience in tailoring and are somewhat of a forgotten quantity on the British high Street today but with approx 150 outlets nationwide, they know a thing or two about suits and how to make a decent one. They offer a bespoke suit service, which currently has an offer, where suits start from £299. Plus, if this doesn’t flow your suiting boat, for some unknown reason, they also stock quality suits from Calvin Klein to Zegna to Ted Baker & French Connection. You can’t say fairer then that and this will have you putting the groom to shame in the dapper department.

Lastly,  in researching for your quandary Loz, which was difficult, I don’t mind admitting, but I was far from beaten. £400 is a good price to pay for a suit,  but  a lot of designer brands just fall outside this price bracket, so we had to discount the Hugo Boss’s, Paul Smith’s, Nicole Farhi’s etc. But while investigating on your behalf I came across two great finds, one, a suave piece of tailoring by the tres talented Irish man Paul Costelloe. He offered an air force blue coloured single breasted suit over at House of Fraser, but this lil number beat it by a nose and it’s by the dapper Mr Joe Casely Hayford exclusively for John Lewis.

Now before, I forget, you must remember not to fall at the final hurdle Loz and the devil is in the detail when one wants to, “look the business”. Always wear good quality, high polished shoes, finish the look with a pocket square as seen above, be as discreet or flamboyant as you want, but go for it and if you can’t tie a good knot, ask someone who can, untidy sloppy tie knots ruin the look you’re trying to achieve. Ohhhh and by the way, between you and me, there are some great bargains to be had in the mid season sales at the moment, so if your quick you can pick up a tidy lil number making your buck stretch a lot further, but purely between the two of us.

So Loz, all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Let us know what your decision was and join us again next Tuesday for another style clinic.