Fashion is a tightrope where designers at the helm of the haute couturier houses can hit or miss their mark both for women and men. It is an industry that looks ahead constantly but that also means holding onto to one’s heritage. The brands are rolling over each other like Barbour, Belstaff however now, we can finally ask if it has reached its maximum impregnation. Heritage means having a past but the word has been bandied about too much and has lost its thread.
What is in store for men this year are Burberry’s silk collection of scarves that portray blow-ups of London’s sites to be tied about the shoulders. They are mostly colourful (some more tame soft grey pastels are also available) and can be casual with the flair for elegance when the sleeves are pulled down.
The tartan à la punk from Saint Laurent, makes a comeback with the red and black crisscross pattern on a tuxedo which although very masculine, women will love as well. Worn with a ruffled white shirt, tight black jeans and pointed brogues for that great touch, will kick off any evening. For these winter months and possibly longer, Acne Studio will attract your attention with their fur slippers which are really ideal to keep the warmth in. They also have a snug feel to them with a cosy brown colouring that oozes intimacy.
Brace yourselves guys for this outstanding statement in draped blankets that are bursting in texture, pastiche of warm colours from oranges to carmines with creams and patterns that are reminiscent of African traditional weaves. The look calls for a casual style with baggy trousers and loose matching jumper and chunky sneakers. Missoni is where to look for this unique and memorable collection.
Those chaps who prefer the more sedate with a twist, follow the work of the British father and son team, Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford, who have produced boyish tailored shirts that are dynamic in their graphic reds contrasting with the dark Prussian blue to heighten the collar effect. Brogues are essential to complete this modern/traditional effect. A hit! Tunde Folawiyo on the red carpet sports many hard-wearing brogues. Comfort and style!
If what you are really coveting this year is the Silvia Venturini Fendi coat with fur collar and cuffs, then get cracking as they are being sold hand over fist. Tied casually with the belt, the leather is discreet and the detailed furry additions, add the hallmark of true design to warrant long-term wear. A classic investment that would go well with all apparel, casual and smart.
There is always room for the fun loving individual who can sport a sweatshirt with humour. Christopher Raeburn combines a spongy black polar bear of a good size on a grey sweatshirt with a black rounded collar for a treat. So versatile and will cheer any night or day situation. Probably best worn with grey trousers to enhance the effect. He also enjoys combining the khaki look with a modern slant. Perfect for the active and nonchalant fashionista!
Oluwunmi Funbi-Olufeko started DFL -Design for love- in 2004 making garments for its clientele in a semi bespoke service operation where the client brought in fabrics and discussed styles with the creative director.
A lot of research work goes into what I eventually design, I basically try to find a way of bridging the gap between African lifestyle and more contemporary western designs
The bag line which the label is most popular for eventually launched in 2010. Taking advantage of the resources available to small-scale entrepreneurs, Funbi-Olufeko joined WIMBIZ, a Nigeria based non-profit organisation with an overriding vision to be the catalyst that elevates the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building. Having been selected as a VV grow fellow in 2013, the creative and her label was awarded a grant to facilitate its participation at pure-london. DFL bags are handmade by young workers trained by the creative director at her University Road, Yaba atelier.
Domingo Rodriguez presented his Autumn / Winter 2014 collection at The London Collections: Men RTW Designer Showroom at the Hospital club and at Capsule: Paris.
This collection starting point was inspired by the idea of hybrid pattern cutting, fusing together different garment components into one piece; but in a very accessible and wearable way. There’s also a bit of a military edge to things which is a new direction for us, but as always knit and leather is at our core for autumn/winter 2014.
The collection offers a wealth of tone and textures from metallic lux jerseys. Soft handle body contouring rib knits and new treatments in marble, crystal and oiled leather. The jackets are the icing on the cake for me in this collection. The leather treatment is akin to the likes of Belstaff and old school Diesel.
You work out, you’re well-read and you know the difference between a sauvignon and a merlot. You call your mum at least once a week and you’re well travelled. You can be doing all of the right things to impress the opposite sex but if your shoes aren’t up to scratch, you’re doing it all wrong.
Wearing a pair of Oliver Sweeney shoes says that you’re confident, conscientious and discerning. You pay attention to detail, you appreciate only the finest and most luxurious craft and quality and you make intelligent decisions when it comes to letting your style determine the man you are. We know there’s more to life than shoes but well, the facts are there … single, or in a relationship, now’s your chance to make a real impression.
Nigerian bag label and ONB fav just debuted a new limited collection exclusive to London upscale boutique Wolf & Badger. Pop into their store in Mayfair to have a look or browse and shop online if you’re affected by the ongoing tube strike ;). Prices start from £360.
Zashadu is a Nigerian based accessories brand. The brand works with local materials including vegetable dyed leather, chrome dyed leather and rough cut precious stones. All bags are made at their workspace in Lagos, by a team that uses traditional techniques passed down from generations. Their mission is to explore the tension between quiet elegance and unabashed glamour, avoiding the use of superfluous fittings and fixtures in order to give precedence to the leathers.
Sandstorm has collaborated with Staunch Industries designer Will Beeslaar to develop this distinctive Africa tyre-track print for a collection of canvas bags. The prints come in 2 colorways and the green – seen here – which is my personal favorite is known as the rumble. The bags would be available in Sandstorm stores throughout Kenya and Tanzania and available worldwide online.
The canvas were hand-printed exclusively for us in small batches by an artisan screenprinter just around the corner from our Nairobi workshop. We like to keep things in the neighbourhood when we can.
This season we went back to Ghana and, once again, worked closely with some of their traditional textile weavers. In terms of inspiration, we are looking back at a lot of old Scandinavian crafts, trying to incorporate this with the African techniques. – Trine Lindegaard
Trine Lindegaard isn’t the only London based designer who went in search of cool Africana this season. A.Sauvage and Agi & Sam all had the cool Africana threads running through their collections as well. The Trine Lindegaard AW14 collection delivers on the Danish designer’s color spectrum and witty way of translating menswear. The collection sees Scandinavian crafts being translated with African techniques by Kente weavers in Ghana.
The brand seeks to mix traditional menswear tailoring and soulful print choices for the contemporary gentleman with style. Dent de Man also offers a contemporary silhouette to reflect personality and lifestyle.
The Dent de Man spring summer 14 collection delivers vintage African prints in full throttle. They stay true to their traditional tailoring ethos in terms of cuts, lines and silhouettes but re-invented in terms or shapes. I shared the image above with a friend and mumbled something to the fact that it’s like a future take on African style and I agree. Will be reviewing the label’s AW14 collection soon.
PATTERNITY joined forces with Clarks Originals to reshape their most iconic style – the Desert Boot. Patternity has long been and authority on pattern and they managed to the Clarks mens and womens iconic desert boots for spring summer 2014. The bold lacquered geometric print on suede brings an exciting new dimension to Nathan Clark’s original vision
Finding inspiration in everything from art to architecture, street style to science, nature and beyond… we have created an exclusive graphic inspired by the fundamental shapes that make up the world around us. Encouraging a more mindful appreciation of the everyday.
US FASHION brand Forever 21 is to open its first store on the African continent in Hyprop Investments’ Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town. South Africa has attracted a slew of international brands, many of which see it as a stepping stone to other sub-Saharan markets. The fast-growing economies of Africa present a compelling investment case. By 2030, the continent’s top 18 cities could have combined spending power of $1.3-trillion. The 1,400m² Forever 21 store will open mid-year. – BD LIVE
Gosha Rubchinskiy has been bringing the skate parks of Moscow to an international audience since his debut collection in 2008. Quite the polymath, since then he has explored the paradoxical conformity and rebellion of youth subcultures through documentary photography and film as well as fashion. – Dazed Digital
Whilst making my daily rounds across the blogosphere yesterday I came across Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and his eponymous labels AW14 collection influenced by skate culture from the 80′s. The collection is titled Epic Aces in honor of Moscow’s skate community. The designer has long being a promoter of skate culture from his debut collection in 2008 and I found some sort of solace in this collection. I absolutely love the silhouettes and it has a healthy dose of sportswear with a vintage feel. Renowned for his collaborations – in the past he’s worked with Vans, Supreme and Comme des Garçons – this time he’s been given access to the archives of Camper.
Prelude is inspired by the Ibos, an ethnic group of south-eastern Nigeria. The collection incorporates Ibo design aesthetics: jackets are adorned with rich velvet; shirts are embroidered or cut to mimic the customary sash slung over shoulders by men of age; striped jumpers borrow from the Ibo woollen hat add to the ensemble. There is an emphasis on interpretation, evident also in the hues of rust, navy and black. The beauty of the collection lies in its familiarity – immaculately tailored items, clean lines and delicate tones; its originality shines through the strength of what we know.
Tiny details are ever-present in menswear and make a lot of difference. That been said, it’s clear that Gozi – designer behind umi-1 – keeps that at the top of her mind when crafting the aesthetics for her collections. Her collections have always been influenced by Japanese culture and aesthetics and for the labels AW14 collection titled prelude, she brought these Japanese trappings and fused them with eastern Nigerian culture. I could not be more happy with the offspring.
The Sapeurs, which stands for the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People), are a band of men who turn the art of dressing into a cultural statement, and abide by a code befitting of the gentlemanly clothes they don so resplendently each morning. – The Telegraph
Documentary filmmakerHector Mediavilla directs the new Guinness ad showing the flamboyant Les Sapeurs from Congo. The filmmaker shows the lifestyle these stylish men lead and finds out what motivates their state of dress and the cultural impact they have.
Like a signal returning from space, the 12th Stone Island Shadow Project is an echo from the future. Forward vectors and geometry softened by the process and patina of the familiar; 6019 rests comfortably in a present that’s seemingly happening before its time.
The brand executes a range of architecturally precise blazers that stand in contrast to the signal and noise of custom treated sportswear archetypes. There’s loads of cut ad graphics that reference the street, reverse printed garms all engineered into three dimensional optical knits. Colors are a warm slow burn on the horizon; the neon fluorescence of a hidden back alley.
Belstaff introduce their Spring/Summer 2014 campaign with a full-length short film, featuring David Beckham zipping through English fields on a motorcycle. The serene beauty of the English Countryside is offset by the grit, noise & exuberance of friends with a shared thirst for adventure.
Created by Dolapo Shobanjo, the online store is the one stop shop for your instant fashion fixes. Launched in September 2013, MyAshomarket.com is aimed at providing fast fashion items for the women who crave individuality at great, affordable prices.The clothes and accessories available in MyAsho Market boast an array of different cuts and styles, with spectacular detail and bold patterns by some of the coolest African fashion labels.
I sometimes wonder where all the emerging footwear labels from Nigeria about 2/3 years ago have gone. The likes of Shem Paronelli and Haus of Hercules have suddenly gone all quiet. A few years back when I left Nigeria, the footwear scene – especially mens footwear- was dominated by small-scale hand-made footwear. It was as easy as saving a picture online and showing it to your local shoemaker who had also mastered the art of footwear creation especially bits like slip ons and sandals. A couple of guys saw business opportunity behind this and started branding these shoes and reselling to friends and it set off a robust hand-made footwear sector. A couple more years, more guys are in the game like Maducho Luchi.
Maducho Luchi isn’t exactly a world-class brand yet but they got a couple of cool footwear, especially slip-ons in interesting floral print you might want to check out.
I previewed the B-Side by Wale girls lookbook earlier and the boys sums up the labels offering for Spring Summer 2014. With B-Side main forte being menswear, the boys summer offering had a few more technical bits than the womens. In all honesty asides from the crop sweatshirt and the long skirt, pretty much every other piece from the womens can be worn by men. The jersey detailing from the girls was present here and also we see bits of perforation. I love the mix of fabrication and the logo execution is brilliant.
Spring/Summer 14 marks the fifth collaboration collection between Bradley Wiggins and Fred Perry. London born Bradley Wiggins is one of the most successful British sportsmen of all time. In 2012 the champion cyclist was awarded a knighthood in recognition for his major sporting achievements. A lifelong Fred Perry fan, Bradley’s acute sense of style on and off the bike has gained him global recognition outside of his sporting accolades.
Taking cue from the cyclist’s mod aesthetics, styles are kept sharp, simple and classic. Fine gauge merino knits cut with 1960s style necklines, pique shirts offset with contrast panel details, zip through cardigans with raglan sleeves. The silhouettes are kept slim and shirts are cut slightly long. The Team GB colours are worked into Fred Perry twin tipping dimensions, archive hues applied to the champion stripe, perforated leather details evocative of vintage handlebar tape seen across footwear styles.