One of the biggest trends in tailored clothing lately has been the the plaid pattern. Some may think that plaid is all about kilt and that’s partly true but in this case we’re talking about three individual fabric patterns. We’re talking about the windowpane, glen plaid and prince of wales patterns. Instead of having a plain pattern that could make a sport coat, jacket or suit flat these patterns creates a interesting depth of these garments, it will look more alive. Today we focus on the plaid pattern and how to match this with quality products from the basic wardrobe.
I can fully agree that I don’t wear the color black too often. Why I don’t do that is because I don’t feel comfortable wearing it. I personally like dark navy much more instead because its increased richness in color and combinations that I offer compared to black. But this doesn’t mean that black isn’t a color that couldn’t look good and for my taste it’s about using it in the right way and for the right occasion. Today, my inspiration mainly comes from the legendary movies of Agent 007, James Bond. A classic grey herringbone suit combined with a crisp white cotton shirt, black grenadine tie, white linen pocket square and a pair of handmade black Oxfords in the finest quality will make this the perfect outfit for dinner, a drink in the bar and will even suit perfectly for New Year’s Eve. And to complete the outfit I added the Rolex Submariner just to get a touch of Agent 007.
My name is Bond, James Bond.
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
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.
It’s been a lot of lookbooks lately from high quality brands like Isaia, Eidos Napoli, Sartoria Rossi and latest the Swedish brand Eton. Today we will focus on the Swedish store Gabucci that released their annual autumn lookbook with the well known stylist Lalle Johnson in front of the camera once again.
Lalle Johnson is spending most of his time behind the camera as a stylist but was featured on Gabucci’s summer campaign this year and it’s both fun and inspiring to see him again in front of the camera. As last time the lookbook was photographed and put together beautifully by Kalle Gustafsson.
The lookbook is styled with everything from Gabucci’s own affordable brand Gabucci Sartoria Napoletana, the outwear specialist Aspesi, the comfortable Incotex and one of the new brands in their lineup, Lardini.
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.
The Maftei family started to craft bespoke shoes already in the late 18th century in Romania. The family has always been into the shoemaking industry but it wasn’t until 1987 that Alexandru Maftei and his wife Lucia the started manufacturing shoes that were sold in Vienna, Austria. In 1996 Alexandru himself took the oppertuntiy and opened his first store in Vienna and this was the start of the selftitled brand as we known today. Some years later opened Alexandrus son, Lucian, the families second store in Vienna.14 years later the family opened their third store just outside the central parts of Bucharest, Romania.
The company itself is truly a family business, most of the employees are actually somehow relatives to each other. It’s Alexandru and his wife Lucia who mainly takes care of the lasts and the finishing of the products. Their son, Lucian, is a shoemaker in third generation and he designs new lasts and shoes for the company. He makes all lasts for his customers coming to his shop in Vienna and is visiting monthly various cities in Germany to meet his customers there. Lastly but not least Alexandrus daughter, Roxana who’s the youngest and most inexperienced also have important role in the company. She’s still an apprentice and for now it’s Roxana who manages the main part of the trunk shows and social media related tasks. Even the handful of people that works in the workshop in Romania are related somehow and that’s something that’s not common these days.
The manufacturing is split into two parts and the first one is done in Vienna. It’s here where the measurements, lasts and the finishing are taken care of. The second part is done in Romania and that’s where shoes more or less are put to together. Maftei told the community a while ago that they are going to centralize the whole production process to Vienna in the near future to have more control over it.
Maftei is famous to deliver one of most affordable bespoke shoes on the market. The prices starts at €1000 and depends mostly on which construction and leather you choose. The second pair of shoes will be nearly €200 cheaper because that your last already has been manufactured in the first order. This means that you could get a pair of bespoke shoes for as low as €800.
When quality footwear for men is discussed it’s often British brands like Edward Green, Crockett & Jones, Tricker’s and Church that will me mentioned. One of the best shoemakers are the ones from England, Italy and France. Shoemakers in the central Europe are often forgotten even if they have the knowledge to make quality footwear. A brand that did came out from this domestic market was the Budapest based shoemaker Lazlo Vass.
Lazlo Vass founded Vass Shoes in 1978 in the middle of Budapest that always had an history in shoemaking. The shoes are completely handmade and I would call this the most affordable and one of the highest quality shoes available today. And the options are nearly endless, if you don’t find the shoes that you want from the ready to wear collection, you can always choose to order a made to order with your own choice of leather and shoe model. If that’s not enough Vass also offers bespoke service in their atelier in Budapest.
And let’s not forget that Lazlo Vass was one of the authors for the legendary book, Handmade Shoes For Men.
Eleventy is a fairly new brand that started 2006 by Marco Baldassari and Paul Zuntini. The brand produces exclusively in Italy and is therefore able to withhold high quality garments with the today well known label “Made in Italy”. Eleventy is represented in 5 flagship stores in Italy as well as over 105 multibrand stores all around the world.
Some would call Eleventy an more affordable alternative for the exclusive brand Brunello Cucinelli and I think that’s a great reputation for a young brand like Eleventy to have. The brand started strong with polo shirts but quickly expanded and today they’re offering everything from socks to suits. Eleventy SS15 offers a great selection of garments that will fit perfectly in the classic wardrobe with earthy colors that’s easy to match with other garments. Washed sport coats, classic suits, sneakers and sport influenced garments are only a few of them. As always the brand focuses a lot on the details and this includes mother of pearl buttons, suede lining for the collars and functional buttons holes for the jackets. My personal favorites for this collection are the green suede jacket and the beige suede vest.