Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bag from Lanvin Spring 2012: Things I Want

With the release of images from Lanvin's Men's Spring 2012 accessories, I definitely found something I want. I've been a fan of Lucas Ossendrijver since he started at the label, and the accessories offering doesn't disappoint.

My favorite was this great bag, with a mix of prints (reminds me a bit of the camo/navajo portfolio from Trussardi) and a casual feel with the nylon and backpack type closures.

Really like the top handle and the front pouch... and this will be on the top of my list come Spring!

Found this via Selectism with more images at Highsnobiety. Check. It. Out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prints Prints Prints from Agi & Sam: Things I Want

Today I came across a label I wasn't familiar with... agi & sam, created by Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton. Having worked for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, and Carolyn Massey, the duo have released images for their third collection, entitled "Tabasco, Tequila, and Tomato Juice".

It is definitely a print heavy, bold collection with a very artistic approach. Given my adoration of anything bright and printed, I took to some of the pants, as well as the yellow coat shown below.

Currently without U.S. distribution (although I could definitely see this line at Opening Ceremony), I will be keeping an eye out for future work from agi & sam.

You can see more photos from the collection at Hypebeast.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Menswear for Friends: AMI Launches at Barney's

It is always fun when you are one of the first to see a collection at retail... not only touch the fabric and see the detail, but also experience the merchandising and display. So, I was excited to be invited to do just that this week at Barney's, for French menswear label AMI.

I had previously written about AMI and their inaugural collection for Fall 2011, and it was great to see the pieces in person! They have a window right now at the NY flagship, as well as a significant in-store display.

In my conversation with designer Alexandre Mattiusi, he reiterated how the line is filling the void he and his friends felt in the existing menswear offerings. By literally calling the label 'friend' he makes it clear that "my friends are my inspiration" and that when designing he "makes sure I can wear it".

"I want to be the first customer", Mattiusi relays, and the easy yet well fitting pieces evoke just that. I particularly liked the sweaters, and was also very interested by the camel coat.

When asked what we can expect for Spring the designer shared that his outdoor presentation (complete of course with his friends) showed more color and softer, lighter cottons. Get to Barney's now (or online) to see the rest of AMI for Fall.

A Series on Leather Craftsmen: Interview with Gad Tal

There is a definite resurgence in both the search for handcrafted and highly detailed goods, and the opportunity learn the trade itself. The use of locally sourced materials and locally produced products, combined with the immense skill of the craftsman has crossed multiple segments – from shoes, to neckwear, to watches and fine jewelry.

In what will be the first in a series of posts about leather craftsmen specifically, I spoke with San Francisco based artisan Gad Tal, who owns Tauro Leather. Having apprenticed with a Master Craftswoman who trained at Herm├Ęs, Tal currently focuses on made-to-order or small production pieces, doing all of the work himself. The result is not only of the highest quality, and personalized to the customer’s needs, but also holds the result of Tal’s years of experience and dedication to his craft.

Here he answers a few questions about how he got started, what his process is, and how long your custom piece may take to produce.

MR: Can you describe your background and what lead you to be interested in leather craft?

GT: I think my interest in leather craft can be attributed to growing up in a home where creativity and productivity were always encouraged. My mom was an art teacher and she gave me plenty of room to explore my creative interests, whether that involved painting murals on my bedroom walls or disassembling and reassembling household appliances. I love working with my hands and I enjoy the physical aspects as well the artistic aspects of building things. When the occasion arose to apprentice with a highly regarded leather artisan, I quickly jumped at the chance and took to the craft like a fish to water.

MR: What were some of the key learnings you received from your apprenticeship?

GT: I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to apprentice with (Hermes trained) Beatrice Amblard. During those five years, I acquired a knowledge of the coveted techniques used by the French fashion house and spent a great deal of time mastering the craft. In addition to learning the actual techniques, the greatest skills I acquired were an impeccable attention to detail and a reverence for the use of the finest materials.

MR: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

GT: I feel my design aesthetic is constantly evolving. I believe this is important in becoming a good designer. By studying the finest form of my craft, I am able to apply my technique in various manifestations and achieve beautiful results. I tend to create designs that appear simple, but upon further inspection reveal a well-thought out pattern. Many of my designs are constructed from a single piece of leather shaped and stitched to form a three dimensional object. I appreciate the challenge of creating these types of patterns. Another aspect of my designs that I enjoy is the marriage of craftsmanship, sophistication and elegance with an almost raw aesthetic. By raw, I mean to say that the origin and intrinsic beauty of the materials and craftsmanship are proudly displayed. I select leathers that I know will take on a natural patina. I hand-stitch nearly all of my work using a traditional saddle stitch. These are a few of the details that contribute to my over-all design aesthetic.

MR: Where do you source your materials from? How involved are you in processing the materials you use?

GT: In regards to leather, I purchase from local distributers who offer hides tanned in U.S. tanneries. Aside from supporting the local economy, this allows me the opportunity to hand select each individual skin for it's desired characteristics and appropriateness for it's intended use. I look for hides that will be complimentary to my designs and take on a rich patina with use. I feel the quality of the leather is parallel to to the design itself. In regards to hardware, I tend to take the minimalist route, favoring functionality over ornamentation. I often use pieces intended for equestrian use, as these are designed to last and often work well with my designs.

MR: On average, how long does a piece take to craft?

GT: A simple wallet, for example, might take a day to complete, where a bag could take as long as a week. There are many steps involved which many people may not be aware of. The leather is usually split and skived to achieve the desired thickness and reduce bulk. Edges are burnished using a hot iron and finished using a labor intensive process of repeated sanding and application of dyes and beeswax. These steps produce a smooth finish that is infused into the leather, rather than "painted" on. These are only a few of the techniques that differentiate this French method of leather working versus the typical western style. Although most people are not aware of the many steps involved, the outcome is apparent in the end product.

Variation of Bag No 1 in Saddlebrown, with iPad Sleeve

Bag No 1 in Equine

Wallet No 51 in Natural Ring Lizard

Wallet No 54 in Saddlebrown

When asked what his advice would be to emerging designers, Tal answered to “do what you love” and to “master your craft”.

To learn more about his work, and to inquire about ordering a piece for yourself contact:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bespoken for Spring '12: Things I Want

I wasn't able to attend the Bespoken show for Spring 2012, but a friend graciously shared their lookbook, which was done on newsprint. I read it on the plane last weekend and pulled out a shot of a great two-tone shirt.

Curious, I checked out the whole collection at GQ and liked what I saw. I am always a fan of two-tone pieces, seen below in both the jacket and the shirt.

I also liked the brightly printed shirt and shorts they showed, and the leather armband detail. While a little 'military', it actually reminded me of a more aggressive version of Thom Browne's dual white stripes on sleeves.

Bespoken's site gives some good background on the label (seemingly in their fourth season), as well as local stockists.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Filson Duffel from Sid Mashburn: Things I Want

Yesterday I stopped by the Sid Mashburn store in Atlanta... unfortunately I didn't make it until Sunday, when the store is closed. So I stuck my nose up to the glass and peered in!

One of the first things I noticed was a group of very handsome canvas bags. Ever since the demise of my Tumi duffel I've needed a replacement, and these bags seem rugged enough for my global travels, but also smartly designed.

Since Sid launched e-commerce, I can grab this duffel (and maybe the tote as well) there... and it's definitely on my want list.

Get to the Sid page to check out more goods you'll be wanting!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Simon Spurr's Tailored World: NYFW Review

Last season not only did I attend the Simon Spurr show, I interviewed the designer backstage beforehand. This season sadly I couldn't make it, and seeing these photos from the show (courtesy of Coute que Coute), I missed out!

From the first few looks it is evident Spurr continued his focus on great tailoring and fit. I was so into these pants with the leather boots. A little equestrian but definitely a look I would rock.

This striped shirt was great (love the sheen) but the contrasting arm bands are so fantastic!

I am not a huge fan of leather jackets but this one is amazing. Love the shoulder detail, the cross zipper, and the big collar.

Zig-zag stripe. Need I say more?

Be sure to visit Coute que Coute for the rest of the collection images!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Bright (And Tropical) Spring at Michael Bastian for Gant: NYFW Review

I've seen the future (or at least Spring '12) and it includes yellow denim and zinc oxide. For his latest collaboration with Gant, Michael Bastian took us to Hawaii, and I don't want to leave.

The whole presentation was fun and playful, and stayed so well within the Bastian aesthetic and the Gant range.

First thing I noticed when I walked in was this plaid cotton blazer paired with the over-dyed yellow jean. I loved the colored lips on the women, reminding me of applying brightly colored Zinka on the beach.

I was really drawn to this tonal seersucker blazer (I never say no to seersucker) and the printed turtle shorts.

Another super blazer (I mean, my whole closet may just become jackets), casual and light with the elbow patches to add some contrast.

Okay fine, another seersucker look... this time in both the jacket and pants. And I loved the sandals! has the full collection for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pushing Boundaries at Patrik Ervell: NYFW Review

On Sunday at Milk Studios, Patrik Ervell faced a packed house... eagerly anticipating not only his Spring '12 men's collection but also his first foray into women's.

Across the board there was an influence of Hawaiian print, riding caps, fantastic duffel bags and totes, and (thankfully) an appearance by Clement Chabernaud.

While I can report that the women's range definitely fell squarely (and beautifully) into Ervell's aesthetic, what of course really kept me engaged were the men's looks.

One of my favorites was this rubberized cotton hooded raincoat in navy. The texture and sheen really stood out, and I liked the simplicity of the construction.

Ervell always does great suit. Here I liked the dark palette but with that pop of color on the tote bag (which of course I want).

This brick-red blazer in tropical wool caught my eye near the end of the show, and is definitely a piece that's on my list for Spring. 2-button, thin lapel, it's one I know will fit me perfectly.

And finally this jungle jacket in twill, with a hand-braided horsehair belt. I mean... how could you not get excited for this?

Ervell is a master at playing within his key design elements but really pushing the boundaries in texture and technique, and he did it again here. A stellar showing and I can't wait to shop this at Opening Ceremony come Spring!

Go to for the rest of the collection photos...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Super Chic Super Mart from Marlon Gobel for Spring '12: NYFW Review

I've been following Marlon Gobel's work since he first launched his eponymous collection. I always enjoy the consistent themes each season, the the complete attention to detail, and the introduction of color and boldness to the men's shows.

For Spring '12 Gobel decided to explore the theme of Super Mart, that place where the beauty is in the symmetry and repetition of color in product merchandising.

With a backdrop of Lay's products (how fitting), we saw a tightly done collection that brought out fruit prints (can only Stella McCartney play with produce?) that caught your eye and held it.

Suiting done with the usual Gobel attention to detail and fit. The models were outfitted with brightly soled derbys from heritage brand Walk Over (seen here in white).

Really loved this sheer shirt (Gobel definitely dabbled in mesh this season, as did Robert Geller and Simon Spurr), and digging the hexagonal stitching, a subtle nod to his branding.

Closing the show, in what has to be my favorite piece... a madras tuxedo. I am so into this, cannot wait for the Spring delivery! Oh and yes, the model is wearing ostrich loafers with a black grosgrain bow.

Since I wasn't in the pit (and had my mouth open throughout this high energy show), these pics are from GQ. Go there for the rest of the show and then check out Gobel's own site for more great content for Spring.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Navajo Tie by David Hart: Things I Have

In case you somehow missed my interview with neckwear designer David Hart, I've been talking about him for a while now. Known for high quality and well designed ties, made in Brooklyn, he has been getting a lot of coverage as of late.

When I interviewed him he shared some "sneak peek" photos of the fabric he was using for his upcoming Navajo ties. I quickly (and understandably) became obsessed with the ties and have had them on my "want" list all summer.

Today I was browsing Bergdorf's and found two styles from the Navajo collection. And of course I had to get one!

Such a fantastic mix of colors and I love the pattern. Cannot wait to wear it this week!

Check out David's site for more info on his current collection.

NYFW Review: Loden Dager S/S 2012

I went to the Loden Dager show yesterday to see their Spring 2012 collection. It rocked.

But read my review here: Dispatch from NYFW: Loden Dager.

And of course a little Clement shout out...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bowtie from Marlon Gobel: Things I Have

During Fashion's Night Out this week I had the privilege of accompanying designer Marlon Gobel to an event he participated in at Bergdorf's Men's shop.

While it was so fantastic to be at Bergdorf's and see Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Olch, Phillip Crangi, Euan Rellie... the most spectacular part of the evening was when Marlon gifted me a bowtie to wear.

I love it! Using the hexagonal shape that is his main branding element, I loved the contrast of colors, and the cut on the ends. When tied it gave a really unique look!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Embroidered Pants for Fall: Things I Love

Picked this up from the Prep Blog and had to share... the rainy Fall weather in NYC this week, coupled with embroidered pants is giving me major inspiration for my A/W wardrobe!

Makes me want to head to Rugby and pick up their skull/crossbones version!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Loafers from Billy Reid: Things I Have

I am always on the lookout for new shoes... and in the back of mind know that someday my beloved Gucci loafers will have their final days.

So when Billy Reid tweeted that there was a huge sale on their website, I quickly went over and took a look.

Found these loafers, which I thought were great for the dual texture -- a suede-like tongue, and the wingtip toe. While I think they're better suited to Spring, I want to get some use of them as we leave Summer and go into Fall.

Great addition to my closet and excited to wear 'em out!

Get over to the Billy Reid site and see what is on offer from his Fall collection...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coat from Taishi Nobukuni: Things I Want

On one hand I am preparing for my first NYC winter and want a warm coat. On the other, I can never get myself to move away from really wild and eye-catching prints... merge these two and you get this amazing piece from Japanese designer Taishi Nobukuni.

Besides the great print (the red/white/blue makes me think of a psychedelic Thom Browne), I liked the double breast and the large collar.

Could definitely see myself wrapped up & warm in this when the snow hits!

The good folks at Selectism have more shots of the collection, which are definitely worth a look.