Friday, 24 May 2013


Reiss lifted the lid on their Autumn Winter 2013 collection this week and I was lucky enough to be attend the press day. Reiss is one of the few British labels that deftly balances luxury, high end quality with much more affordable prices.

My preview of the new collection started off with a Reiss benchmark: fine tailoring. I really liked the modern, slim fit silhouette for the season, cut in a variety of luxe fabrics and colourways. I was immediately drawn to a soft grey three piece suite in Prince of Wales check, styled with a matching houndstooth military overcoat. It's just quintessentially British and totally on trend when you look at some of the other great winter collections. The colour palette for tailoring and the collection as a whole expands to include deep, inky blues, crisp wintry whites and rich shades of brown and green.

My favourite part of the collection has got to be the outerwear. It's usually the backbone of any great winter collection and Reiss really knocked it out of the ball park with their offering. It's a great mix of formal overcoats and trenchcoats to more casual options like quilted biker jackets and this year's breakout wardrobe favourite, the bomber jacket all presented in fresh contemporary cuts and fabrics.

Aside from the clothes, I was really impressed with the new fragrance line from Reiss. It's made up of two perfumes, Black Oud for men and Grey Flower for women. The fragrances were created by Reiss founder, David Reiss and perfumer, Azzi Glasser. I tried both of them and I think they are truly a feast for the senses. As much as I love both of them, I preferred Grey Flower. The scent is surprisingly musky for a women's fragrance. It's not flowery or frou-frou but quite mature with a spicy kick. The perfume range took over two years to develop and from what I can tell, the outcome was worth the wait. they've got the look and feel of luxury and decadence without breaking the bank. Look out for Black Oud and Grey Flower when they launch in September.

Looking back at the collection it's clear that Reiss are looking at creating timeless pieces. Pieces that will sit well in your current wardrobe and transcend seasons without looking dated. With so much disposable fashion at both ends of the scale it's great to see a brand that understands what true style is all about.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Owls: Agi & Sam x Topman Collection

Over the past three years, British design duo Agi & Sam have succeeded in injecting the landscape of British menswear with their unique sense of style and humour. When I started seriously considering starting up my own blog a few years ago, Agi & Sam was one of the first British labels I was instantly drawn to. Seeing the models come down the runway clad in those vivid digital prints that have become part of the Agi & Sam signature was a really captivating sight. The ladies might cling to their Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto prints but I’m pretty sure Agi & Sam have been really instrumental in making print cool again for menswear. 

Three seasons on and the buzz surrounding the East London designers is phenomenal. Releasing an exclusive collaboration with high street powerhouse, TOPMAN is a stroke of genius. With London Collections: Men fast approaching, this is the perfect time to introduce their label to a much wider audience. 

The designers took inspiration from their East London neighbourhood and the sporting spirit of the 2012 Olympics as the starting point for their 20 piece collection. What better place to start than Britain’s favourite sport? Yeah we’re talking football! The duo created a complete kit for their imaginary team, ‘The Owls.’ Watercolour feathers, speckled egg shells and owls are motifs used across the entire collection. I really love the way they’ve taken a stereotypically masculine idea of sportswear and supercharged it with their tongue-in-cheek humour and expertise in print and colour. Aside from the sportswear, the collection boasts a strong range of suits and shirting in slick silhouettes. 

As a HUGE fan of the watercolour ducks and chickens that punctuated their AW12 runway collection I’m chuffed that they've added a charming avian touch to this new capsule collection. I’m totally obsessed with the white, owl print football jersey and that double breasted suit in the speckled egg print. ‘The Owls’ collection launches on June 4th.

Side Note: It took me ages to find out the name of the handsome brunette modeling this collection. For anyone who cares, his name is Tom Middlehurst. I love his boyish charm, chiseled cheekbones and freckles...definitely my male model of the moment!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

BLEU06 Loves 1971 - Spring/Summer 2013

1971 is the youthful diffusion line of British fashion heavyweight, REISS. Like other great diffusion lines like T by Alexander Wang and Marc by Marc Jacobs, 1971 delivers all the quality and creativity of the main line at a more affordable price. A dream come true no? I really love how fresh and contemporary the collection is as a whole. The citrus hues and hints of grey and white are what spring is all about. It's a mix of edgy seasonal pieces and classic wardrobe staples with a a sharp, punchy twist. Don't just take my word for it though, check out the campaign, shot by USED Magazine and featuring the irresistible Jed Texas:

Now that you've had a glimpse of the new collection, I've picked 3 of my favourite items and styled them with pieces from both the 1971 collection and the REISS main line. I went with wardrobe staples in clever fabrications and colours that work well as complete looks or separates.

The New White Shirt
At first glance the Oliver shirt might seem a bit chaotic but I was drawn to the multi-directional stripes almost immediately. The cut is youthful and the stripes are just the right width. I paired it with the sports luxe feel of the Vulcan baseball jacket and Yale chambray trousers. As a HUGE fan of anything made of suede I couldn't think of a better way to cap this look off than the tasselled Stasko loafers. 

The Classic Leather Jacket: Revisited
I'm in love with the April Leather Jacket in Airforce Blue, the raglan sleeves and the steely shade of blue make it the perfect alternative to the classic black leather jacket. Paired with the seafoam Juke jumper, crisp white Wickham chinos and the Chato canvas pumps, this is my dream off-duty look.

The Bold Knit Jumper
My last pick from the 1971 collection is this William jumper with contrasting navy and off-white panels. It's bold and edgy and definitely way up there on my must-have list. The small flecks dotted all over it add a soft touch and texture that I can't get enough of. The Robinson 
man-clutch document wallet is another personal must-have, it matches that tiny sliver of neon orange in the jumper's concealed pocket, perfection! The Charger jeans have the most flattering slim-fit silhouette, with the hems rolled up and finished off with the Stasko loafers as before.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Designer Spotlight: DIEGO VANASSIBARA

Diego Vanassibara is an emerging mens shoe designer. The half Brazilian, half Italian designer studied at the prestigious Cordwainer's College of Footwear and also has a background in Architecture. I came across Diego and his collection at London Collections earlier this month. I was drawn to the pieces of polished wood crafted onto each shoe. They looked so different compared to a lot of the footwear that's out at the moment. 

His Autumn Winter 2013 collection is made up of six different models, have a closer look at them below. Diego takes inspiration from traditional shoes like the Oxford and Derby, combined with a modern, contemporary twist. Diego chose a rich, autumnal palette: deep shades of coal grey and midnight blue and earthy tones of brown and olive. Traditional Javanese techniques and fine Italian craftsmanship are used to shape each hand-carved wooden component. The wooden components are made of Lacquered Mahogany and New Guinea Rosewood.

The level of craftsmanship seeps through every part of his collection, from the finely polished wooden parts and hand painted leather to the intricate woven leather panels (one of my favourite things ever!). The collection is all about individuality and youthfulness and this obvious in the different silhouettes. The hybrid Derby/Oxford shoe are sophisticated yet fashion forward and the boots have a slightly stacked sole which is so on-trend.  

Talking to Diego and his business partner at London Collections was a real treat, it was great seeing a designer that is as deeply involved and passionate about his work as he is. Without a doubt, I think Diego Vanassibara is one to watch in 2013. 

For more info check his out his website

Images courtesy of Diego Vanassibara

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Xander Zhou - London Collections: Men AW 13

Xander Zhou's Autumn Winter 2013 collection was a tribute to the "self-confident boy", just as comfortable on the street as he is on the catwalk. He presented a body of work that was heavily inspired by streetwear and military staples, re-presented in luxurious, tactile fabrics. The beloved hoodie and bomber jacket were re-imagined and given a sartorial yet ultra wearable edge. Metal monograms on lapels and ornate brooches were a throwback to military uniforms.

In contrast to the more formal tailoring Xander infused a sense of playfulness and mischief to the collection. This could be seen in the tongue in cheek catchphrases like "BOYS WILL BE BOYS" and "I AM UNDRESSING YOU" which were stitched or printed on to collars and around the frames of sunglasses. The footwear was one of my favourite aspects of the collections. They were designed with an 80s sneaker feel that was an appealing contrast to the sharp tailoring.

Zhou was able to cleverly toe the lines of gender with floor-length coats and jumpers that draped subtly over the shoulder, cropped tops and high-waisted trousers. I really loved the way he played with varying lengths and layering in a way that seemed almost futuristic but not totally over-the-top.

Although he's still relatively new on the British menswear scene, Zhou's talent is undeniable. There's a level of detail and expertise that can only be experienced when you see these garments up close. Luckily I had the privilege of seeing them from the front row and I was spellbound. He closed the London Collections line-up in fine style and definitely gained a new fan in me. 


Matthew Miller - London Collections: Men AW 13

"A New Revolution" was at the core of Matthew Miller's Autumn Winter 2013 collection. Staged in the cavernous interior of the Old Sorting Office he sent his models out in shades of black and slate. Brief flashes of red echoed the anarchy and rebellion of a discontent generation.

Miller used the slogan "Born To Fail" as a metaphor for the current state of society and the disparity between Generation X and Y. The slogan was seen emblazoned on sweatshirts and expertly stitched onto jacket sleeves. There was an air of precision in the tailoring and overcoats that reminded me of uniforms. The show notes talked about taking the uniforms of Generation X and re-purposing them for "a displaced Generation Y." An idea that is very much on trend when you look at the youth of today.

Personal highlights included the gradient knit jumper, the crocodile embossed biker jacket and the army issue styled luggage, a collaboration with H by Harris. I also loved the shoes, which were a collaboration with Timberland. Matthew created exclusive custom made footwear that featured the red and black accents from the collection.

Matthew Miller presented a collection that was more commercial than his past efforts (who can forget the gorgeous grafitti print suit from AW12?) but didn't compromise on the depth and high standards that he is known for.

Monday, 14 January 2013

James Long - London Collections: Men AW 13


James Long's Autumn Winter 2013 collection took the established preconception of casual sportswear and turned it on its head. From the elasticated trouser legs that accompanied every look to the embellished hoodies and rubberised plaid macs, there was a sense of playfulness that created a contemporary and wearable silhouette. Long's signature knits were also prominent, the way he cleverly created incredibly detailed 'visual terrains' in his knitwear was deeply satisfying. Long's new spin on the classic bomber jacket featured geometric padding and quilting fused with knitted sleeves.

Then there were the nods to John Waters, pink flamingos and one of his most iconic characters, Divine. There was a real sense of excitement when those all-too-familiar arched eyebrows were seen emblazoned on raglan sleeved jumpers and sweatshirts. These glamorous motifs were a stark contrast to the dark, mood colour palette they were rendered in.

His attention to detail and vast experiments with fabric and technique again proved why James Long is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry. Seeing him at the end of the show in one of the rubberised macs from the collection was a nice touch, a great sign that he believes in the work he showcased.

Images via: HommeModel