Winter is coming and many thinks that only dark colors will suit this time of year but I want to show that brighter colors works if put together in the right way. That’s right, white, beige, light grey and other brighter colors works wonderful this time of year, a great example of this if you go to the southern Italy and look how they dress during the winter season. The main color in this outfit is beige in different shades and textures. First off we have the beige flannel trousers in a midweight flannel that will look beautiful combined with a moss-green jacket. Top this with a bright blue shirt with a soft collar, handmade glencheck tie, pair of chukka boots in a brown suede and a pocket square from Christian Kimber which picks up just the right shades from the other garments. Be sure to not forget the watch, in this case one of my favorites Submariners with the tropical dial.
Melbourne in Australia is often rated as one of the world’s most livable cities. It’s a city with a well developed culinary culture, with a interesting mix of different people from all around the world, art in various forms, its food and restaurants and not at least its style. One of the most interesting designer and store in Melbourne is Christian Kimber Footwear, owned by the young gentlemen Christian Kimber.
Christian Kimber, born and bred in the south east region of England, East Sussex and just outside the town Brighton. He always had an interested in menswear and a important influence for this was his father who wears a traditional and classic outfits and often in forms of navy suits, white shirts and loafers. Thanks to studying his fathers style he found out early his career that it wasn’t just about the clothing itself, it was how you wore it as a person and the passion behind it. Christian spent the most of his time in London and working with menswear including retailing, styling and PR. At his time in London he was educated in tailoring at the venerable Savile Row but eventually ended up at in a footwear store on Clifford Street and it’s was here his journey began for real. At this time he began to sketch from what he learned from his fathers passion and ended up designing his own shoes.
In 2011 Christian and his girlfriend moved to Melbourne and it was here when the plan was set into motion and he founded Christian Kimber Fine Footwear. Two years later he released the brand online that features handmade shoes and accessories. The shoe collection includes two different styles, the chukka boot and loafer. All shoes are made in various colors of Spanish suede and the colors for the shoes is inspired by different teas around the world. Just to mention a few of them we have the Chai originally a spice from India who represent a brownish color, Oolong from China which stands for green and Rooibos a herb from South Africa that’s red. Along with this playful and inspiring names most of the shoes also features two different of shades in some way, it could be a different color on the upper suede or on the tassel which makes these something that stands out from other brands. It’s a shoe to be worn more casually and works as good with a casual summer suit in cotton or a pair of jeans. The collection is handmade in Spain meaning various steps of handwork including good year welted soles for every single shoe and also offering made to order for those who wants a special size or color.
In the other end we have the accessories. Here we have both bracelets, shoe brushes and pocket squares. The bracelets is a limited edition collaboration with Ettika that’s is handmade in Los Angeles overseas in the United States featuring a metal and gemstone design. And then we have the shoes brushes and pocket squares which is crafted by hand Cheshire, England. The shoes brushes is made by oxhorn and beechwood with natural bristles which all are from renewable resources. These brushes is shaped by hand and it means that every brush will be unique just for you which is one of many benefits that handmade item will contribute to. Next up we have pocket squares which have all the details you need, a wool silk mix, hand-rolled edges and the perfect sizing at 45 x 45 cm that means that the pocket square will not fall out as easy. At this time Christian has been able to create four different pocket square which inspiration comes from various trips around the world. We have the Florentine Abstract inspired from Christian’s trip to Florence the summer of 2012 where he draw the bell tower wall of Giotto’s Campanile. Another one is called Melbourne Abstract, a design inspired by Federation Square and it’s reflection of the Yarra River in Melbourne. Third up the London Abstract which originate from by The Gherkin in London and something that he saw everyday when he lived in the eastern part of the city. From a business trip earlier this year in Hong Kong the Hong Hong Abstract was born, inspired by the Bank of China building when crossing from Kowloon to Hong Kong. And last we have the newest addition from his latest trip to Hanoi, inspired by the green colored french windows of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi.
Christian Kimber is something to look out for in the future with his fantastic designed pockets squared and colorful shoe collection. I have not had the opportunity yet to try Christian’s footwear but I’m very found of his pocket squares and is probably the only ones I need to have in my wardrobe to be honest because of the colors and versatility. It was a pleasure to finally meet Christian Kimber in person at Pitti Uomo last summer and I think he’s on to something big here and don’t forget to stay tuned for his new sneaker collection that will be live anytime now.
I’m not a trained designer – just very passionate and know what I like – Christian Kimber
Corneliani is one Italy’s oldest menswear companies and have been in business since 1958 and is still producing one of the finest quality suits to date. With nearly 1500 boutiques around the world Corneliani is known to be one of the largest retailers in the business. The brand is still going strong with it’s ranging from crafted suits to their wide range of accessories such as shoes, ties and belts. It’s no surprise that they delivers a strong autumn and winter collection this year.
The brand offers four different lines, Corneliani, Corneliani ID, Trend/CC and Made to Measure. The mainline, Corneliani, is both about the traditional and contemporary look and for the person who seeks something that will last a decade in the wardrobe. The silhouette is a bit longer and the choice of fabrics is a bit more conservative compared to the other two alternatives. Corneliani ID have the same quality level as the main line but follows the latest fashion trends and is aimed for the more less formal purposes. Lastly we have the Trend/CC which is in the lower price category targeting the younger generation with an even more fashion forward look. Last but not least the brand also have a Made to Measure service in selected stores for those who know what they want but can’t find it in the ready to wear collection or having trouble finding the right size.
This autumn and winter collection is about the contemporary dandy with a minimalist design combined with solid shades of camel, blue and grey. More plain fabrics is offered as always but also a well chosen graphical patterns, leather jacket and accessories in the finest leather and the latest fashion designs in the Corneliani way.
The quality of the past in the present is the motto of Corneliani.
The classic pinstripe suit in a more traditional silhouette.
A cashmere sport coat could be one of the most luxurious, lightweight and best way keep you warm during autumn.
Layering with different shades of the same color.
The camel coat is a true classic and is easy to match with almost every color.
A leather jacket with a fur collar for a trendy look.
Technical outwear for the casual occasions.
A different take on the peacoat with a tartan pattern.
A maroon colored jacket in a interesting pattern that will match nicely with grey and blue.
Sportwear according to Corneliani, focus with layering and tone to tone once again.
A casual knitwear to wear underneath a jacket or just as it is.
The navy pinstripe suit is a true wardrobe classic. Today it can be found in different cuts and weaves such as the more classic one that will do fine in the bank office for those who still requires the dark suit as a dress code. In the other end we have the more modern pintripe suit, a suit which is often unconstructed, have minimal padding in the shoulders and with a shorter cut. Today’s inspiration is based on the casual pinstripe suit matched with a crisp white shirt, a beautiful cashmere tie in the heather grey for the a interesting texture and a pair of brown suede monk straps instead of the more formal oxford. Don’t forget to add the details such as the gemstone bracelet and a colored pocket square with just the right colors who picks up both the shirt, the shoes and a bit of the suit.
Finamore 1925 Napoli is the second oldest shirt-maker in Naples and run by the third generation of the Finamore family. The company’s vision is clear, do what you do best but keep improving and still withhold the quality that has been delivered for the past 90 years.
Everything started with Caroline in 1925 who started a small workshop in the central parts of Naples. She made shirts for only a few selected customers, using the today well known Neapolitan rules and elegance.
Today Finamore is still best known for their shirts with beautiful details such as handsewn buttonholes, collars and the Neapolitan shoulder ‘Spalla Camicia’. They have been expanding the collection a few years back by adding everything from unconstructed jackets to grenadine ties with self tipped edges. The summer collection featured a lot of double breasted jackets in bold patterns, lightweight ties in both linen, cotton, silk and of course shirts in all colors and patterns that you can even imagine.
Finamore have been doing ties for a while now, here’s a small selection from the collection.
Unlined tie with a casual fabric that will work great to the summer days.
The navy grenadine tie, a true wardrobe classic.
Beautiful pocket squares (first photo).
Printed shirts in different patterns such as the more popular flower print.
Double breasted sport coat that’s perfect to a pair of beige chinos.
A more casual double breasted sport coat with the brands soft shoulder.
A jacket with texture will make it more exciting.
Green trousers that’s easy to combine with nearly every color.
Pierluigi and Mario Boglioli wanted to start something new and fresh in this slow moving industry with a large amount of brands offering the same products year after year. The vision was to build a new brand with a more laid back and modern approach and taking their lifelong experience from Boglioli to build it. The brothers took a leap of faith and put their skills and experience together to form a new brand. Both brothers sold their shares for the family brand and started a new project under the name The Gigi, a brand with a challenge to be one-step ahead of all the other brands with new innovations, patterns and textures.
The story of the Boglioli brothers, Pierluigi ‘Gigi’ and the elder brother Mario, already began in 1972 when both Mario and their father founded the Boglioli factory. At the age of 18 Pierluigi started his career as a sales advisor in the family’s own stores but his passion for creativity and style led that he ended up in the creative team at Boglioli instead. After some years of research Pierluigi came to the conclusion that the conservative tailoring needed a change to make it more modern and easy to wear. In the early 90’s Boglioli created the the more modern look by deconstructing the jackets and by removing the canvas, shoulder paddings, roll paddings and linings. The next step by Pierluigi was taken in 1990 when he came up with the idea of garment dyeing jackets which is also known as ‘The tinto in capo’. This type of garment dyeing had only been done to denims before and not to luxurious cashmere so this created a true breakthrough in the tailored industry.
Both Mario and Pierluigi is proud of what they did for the company in the past but believed it was necessary to look ahead and take this step to start The Gigi. Their first collection this autumn is all about the beauty of the unconstructed silhouette with combining patterns and textures. This silhouette gives a relaxed look that will work perfectly for the more casual occasions and for exciting layering when it’s getting colder outside. You can find both more classic colors and patterns in the collection but it mainly offers the unconstructed construction with a generous variety of the textures and patterns in forms of oversized plaids, windowpane and houndstooth. It’s a bold start but so well put together by the Boglioli brothers.
Inside of every piece you will find a tag with The Gigi’s motto ‘Don’t look back’ to show that they always want to go forward and not backwards.
I was invited by Eton to make an exclusive interview with the two of the most inspiring persons in the fashion industry. The interview took place at the beautiful Hotel Lydmar, Stockholm with the successful Antonio Ciongoli, Creative Director at Eidos Napoli, and Sebastian Dollinger, Creative Director at Eton. After a warm welcome, we sat down at this beautiful decorated room in the hotel and went straight to business.
First of all I just wanted to say that I’m a big admirer of Eidos Napoli, I think it is the most inspiring brand at the moment and Eton have always had a special place in my heart for your creative and versatile shirts. This collaboration is the best thing that happened for Swedish men who is interested in quality clothing and could be that start of something unique.
Straight to the first question, where did you find the inspiration for this collection?
Antonio: One of the reasons why I was so excited about doing this when the opportunity kind of represented itself was because of that I used to come to Stockholm a lot, and I have a tremendous appreciation for Scandinavian style and practically the way that Swedish people interpretive Italian style. When I was working for Michael Bastian at Ralph Lauren, I was kind of wrapping my head around what I was going to do, and if I was going to do something on my own that was largely informed by the time I spent here.
What was interesting to me was about the way that the Scandinavians interpretive Italian style, that it is very much about cut and focus on texture. It is not necessarily so much about tone of bright colors and that is one of the things that Isaia does very well is to inject very bold colors in interesting ways. So for me I tried to focus on texture and things that are a little bit more consistently classic. For example the suit that I’m wearing today is 100% raw silk fresco, it is a classic char stripe suit but If you look at it a bit closer it is really uneven and it focus is on interesting texture and fabric. I think that is something you will see in Stockholm and that is something I always saw and wanted to put focus on in that way.
If you look at the Eidos component of our collaboration, it is all about fabric and texture. We have the beautiful Casentino coat, the double breasted jacket with the hopsack fabric and its dens texture, and the chalk stripe raw melange. Nothing is flat, clean and boring. We try to take those core ideas that it will make a guy kind of more interesting and just a little bit more exciting.
Sebastian: I think that we were partly inspired at what the guys over at Eidos do and also what we have been doing ourselves the last couple of seasons, with the green ribbon line where we focus on the fabric, cut and colors. We always try to be innovators in fabrics and for the shirts in this collection we did a sort of flannel weave, that is something that we made ourselves and that is completely new on the market. Normally if I say flannel you will probably think about something heavy, rusty or rustic. We wanted to have something that suited this type of outwear and tailoring but in a refining way. Because normally you would not be able to wear a poplin shirt for this and a twill shirt would not be the best choice either. Really washed-out oxford would be an alternative but it is too casual for me. So working with our flannel base that we created ourselves was just fabulous, and the cut of the shirts, like having a modern cut where you really worked with the armholes, the flow of the colors, deeply with the interlining of what is inside the shirts and the cuffs.
I do not think people understand of much work that goes in to making these things and especially have innovation in these basic things as a shirt is. The same goes with ties, we have all these combinations of fabrics and what do we do with the ties then? Yet again, we try to innovate the tie quality, it is so hard to get the linings right and to find the right producers for the special types of weaves, so we had to come up with weaves there again ourselves. We don not go to the suppliers and ask “What do you have?” we go there and say “We want this”. We already made the fabric ourselves, we have started to do so much in house now and we started to work in a completely different way. Instead of looking at things at suppliers we come there with ideas about construction and of course with patterns as well. I always think that in order to have a fun and exciting outfit, it always starts with the quality.
If you perfected quality, you are allowed to play around and I think that what annoys me a lot of Swedish tailoring is that it is often cut good, but if you look at the quality you are always get disappointed. That really annoys me and that is when you get the opportunity to do something with somebody that you really appreciate. Isaia, Eidos and Eton stands for innovation and creativity, but we are grounded in craftsmanship and that is what I think is really exciting. I do not think many people can brag about that we all are focused about marketing and sales in this market, but we will never get rid of that stuff from our business. At least we can be in forefront of quality and that quality does not have to boring.
Antonio, for Eidos previous collections you always had an interesting story behind it, do this collection tell any story?
Antonio: The original idea that came out for this collaboration started in our fall collection this upcoming season that was all about Florence. So we just launched that campaign last week and it was about Florence history and artisans. The real kind of focus was on the relationship between the artisan and the patron in Florence, and how this kind of idea between two different types of architects that divided the collection. The artists was someone who produces a beautiful pair of handmade shoes or a wonderful suit, someone who works with his hands every day and have a heighten sense of style and elegance but they making incredible products every day.
The main kind of inspiration for the sportswear (the artisan was the sportswear) was the Florentine shoemaker Roberto Ugolini. Roberto is a little bit rough around the edges and we actually shot with Roberto on our campaign and he wears really kind of hard-wearing, but very cool elegant things. So that was what we tried to do to take this kind of idea of Florentine workwear and the mix it back to very refine tailoring clothing. We did some three piece suiting and there is a Tuscan references in the fabrics you see, there is the Casentino coat with the martingale belt at the back and elements of sportswear, beautiful kind of body warmer in a wool cashmere mix and a sweater with wooden sway toggles that is great under a sport coat.
And then you can see in our double breasted silhouette that is what we call the Lorenzo model and it is directly inspired by Florentine tailoring and particularly the tailoring events that been going on there. So you can see that it does not have that kind of classic dart that a normal coat would have down at the front of the coat. This has an angled dart that runs from the underarm and what it does is that it gives you waist compression, but it also maintain a much cleaner front through the coat, being a kind of more generous broad sweeping lapels, unlined, really kind of sophisticated, a little bit of extended shoulder, wide pocket flaps, a really kind of elegant piece. That was the overhanging inspiration from my end of the collection and I am so happy that we are able to mix it in with the Eton shirts and ties in a kind of seamless way, because there is an incredible focus on color and texture and fabric as well on the Eton part of the collection. I mean it looks like one and the best kind of collaboration is the one other like that.
And you have to try on that coat, it is amazing!
Sebastian, do you have any story behind this fantastic collaboration?
Sebastian: Before Antonio came into the picture, there was already a million of great blue jackets out there, so should we make another blue shirt or suit? No let’s try to push a bit, just a little bit and once you have it on you will realize and it is not just a look, it is feel and it will be in your wardrobe as long as you are standing up and I think that is where we can be proud of ourselves. It is just not only about the quality, but it also about having a hint of fun and that is what this collaboration is for me.
And when you hear the word sartorial it sounds and feels old and a hint of your grandfather, but apply modern it is something different.
I think it is exciting that Eidos ground construction are usually found in workwear and we try to look in in the same way for our newest fabrics that are also based in the workwear, like our new flannel but in a in a very refined way.
What is the story behind the collaboration and how did you find each other?
Sebastian: I tell you why it happened. First of all our sales director Erik Wilkinson is a good friend to the Isaia chairman, Jim Shay, and they know each other for ages and they actually worked together a long time ago so that where it initially linked us.
I would say that probably in around 200 stores around in the US and Canada, Eton and Isaia currently own the ready to wear business and that is really cool. But then I heard about Eidos and what is really exciting is the taking that Eidos was doing on tradition tailoring and rooted in this hardcore quality. We could as well have cooperated with Isaia, but I think Eidos is slightly more exciting in a way and that there is no expectation on Eidos from a consumers view, they are free to do whatever they like (thank god). Because when you have expectations you really have to deliver to a certain audience or look, and Eidos are free to do whatever they like. I think that is extremely cool because normally you see younger brands that unfortunately are having a hard time with their minimums and manufacturing, and that is why a lot of younger brands have poor quality. But here is someone that has a great support of manufacturing, and also with a stable company behind them and they can afford to being playful and that is why they also will be the main innovators in the upcoming years, this is a big brand in the making and we are just exciting to be a part of it. It has taken us 86 years to be where we are today and I think we have all taken the grander trip since 5 years ago and a lot of things have happened since then. I think Eidos will be one of the big exciting and new brands, and it is not just another classical brand. That is one of our big parts why we wanted to play with Eidos.
Antonio: The relationship between Erik and Jim was the definitely the thing that started it and I talked a bit earlier why I was excited for this collection. Eton is the name of shirts in America and you see them at all the best stores, there is always a strong Eton presence there and so for when idea kind of came across to me, the idea of working with the one the best shirts markers in the world that focuses on quality and have the mentality behind fabric innovation and development sounded awesome to me. Then the kind of kicker of being based in Sweden and Stockholm that is holding a special place in my heart was definitely something that made completely sense to me and something I was really excited about.
Sebastian: When the rest of the crew came up with ideas how to bring this to Sweden I got really excited. A lot of times we do not get things here in Sweden, hardly Scandinavia are some map for new developing brands and big brands in Italy, North America, Germany, England, they tend not to come to Sweden and I find that extremely sad. What I have seen the latest five years is a lot of guys in their middle 20’s that start to wear quite nice tailoring.
Antonio: I would say the last five years because when I was here three years ago I could not agree more, the baseline of understanding of clothing for a younger guys is much higher then in the US for sure. So I am thankful that this has given us the opportunity to introduce Eidos to the Scandinavian market for sure. It is wonderful, it is a great opportunity. Ha-ha, I’m sorry Sebastian I did not mean to interrupt you!
Sebastian: Ha-ha No no it is OK! I just went underneath there.
In the end of the day how many traditional crafting brands would have guys like us working there, early 30’s, extremely interested and brought up within tailoring? Normally you will be met by a 70 year old guy that will bore you about how they made a lapel. You know, we love those things too but will not go there if not asked. I find that interesting because the growth back on our side is not so big because you can hardly find a good tailor nowadays right? Even in the US.
Antonio: Well yeah, especially in the US it is almost impossible.
Sebastian: In Sweden it is really hard too and everyone wants to be fashion designers, but how many people wants to work with traditional clothing? I find the most interesting part that you delivers something that you could be proud of.
Antonio: I could not agree more, I like the idea giving a guy, helping a guy in general, but giving him something that he can have for a long time, something that he could rely on. If we think about Eidos in the long term, it is about serving our customer and making sure that he has something that he is not gonna wear for one season and that is why it has to be about timelessness for sure. We are definitely trying to do things that are different what it would be at Kiton or something like that is done by guys that are a little bit older and have been doing it for a very long time.
So a quick question for Antonio because of your love for Stockholm, which is your favorite restaurant in Stockholm?
Antonio: My favorite restaurant in Stockholm… Well it is funny when you think about because a lot of this revolves around the hotels that I stayed at because we always did a lot room service. What I really liked when I was working at Gant was the Hotel J in Nacka Strand and I like that restaurant a lot there, right by the water, it is great during summertime. It is good, really good. And the tuna tartare here at Hotel Lydmar is awesome!
Time is running out so this will be last question for now. What is your favorite piece from the collection?
Antonio: I love the Lorenzo top coat, but the raw fisherman sweater is probably my favorite piece from the collection. The sweater was inspired by the window grids at The Campanile in Florence and was the first piece I actually did for the collection. All the tailoring clothing and I pick a sweater ha-ha!
Sebastian: Ha-ha! Well I should probably go for a shirt but I will not! I am actually torn because I love both the double breasted Lorenzo coat and the Casentino coat but I would probably say the Casentino coat because of how it is constructed and that it is water resistant and it drapes beautifully when you put it on.
That was all guys, thanks a lot of this interview and for your inspiring words.
Pal Zileri started its journey with Forall Confezioni in 1970, a project led by a group of businessmen who already had their hands in the textile and clothing industry. In the 80’s the partners decided to make a chance in both their style and how to make the company more successful both in Italy and outside the country borders. The company started to cooperate with important brands within the region to deliver this international success.
The Made in Italy brands, Soprani, Verri, Fusco, Kriza, Trussadri and Moschino entrusted Pal Zileri and delivered high quality menswear clothing for the customers both in Italy and overseas. This was the beginning of Pal Zileri, a brand with quality, luxury and modernity. This autumn Pal Zileri delivers a strong collection with both more formal alternatives and casual ones. The collection succeeds to catch that typical Pal Zileri atmosphere, a feeling about dressing up but still having fun with patterns and soft colors. The windowpane trend looks to hold on for a bit longer and looks as good when worn in a suit or as jacket with odd trousers.
Last week I was invited to take a closer look at Oscar Jacobson Spring Summer 2015 ‘The Roaring Twenties’ at their press office in Stockholm. I had opportunity look at the whole collection and focus more on the details and materials. As some of you already knew, I did an article about Oscar Jacobson spring collection a month ago but that was directly from the Stockholm Fashion Week show with more focus on the jackets and suits (can be found here).
This is a continued article for the spring collection but this time I wanted to focus more on the accessories and tell more about them. The brand has expanded a lot the last couple of years and do not only offers one of Sweden’s finest tailored clothing but also well made leather shoes from Italigente, ties, scarves and pocket squares that’s handmade in Italy.
Brunello Cucinelli isn’t just a brand, it’s philosophy. “Beauty is our salvation”, that’s the motto for the brand. The story began 37 years ago in a garage in Perugia. It was here that Brunello Cucinelli sold brightly colored cashmere sweater and today the self named brand has grown to be one most leading brands in the cashmere industry. Both Brunello himself and the brand have been ambassadors of Italian luxury since the start of the company in 1985. This is true craftsmanship, handmade in Solomeo by it’s own villages.
For this fall, Brunello Cucinelli holds strongly to its typical look with different shades of brown, navy, grey and burgundy. The collection itself is a bit more casual compared to previous seasons with a lot of focus on knitted sweaters, denim and casual jackets.