Russian retailer FOTT has been dishing out some inspiring video-lookbooks, portraying pieces from the brands they carry in the cinematic setting of Moscow. The second entry of the series, features two personal favourites: great clothing and an exquisite bike.
Summer essentials: faded in the sun
With the streak of highly praised fashion events happening this month (Pitti, Milan and Paris), one may easily delve into all the media reports and find himself stranded in the universe of next year’s SS12 creations. Although I’m always eager to catch a glimpse of future collections from my favourite designers and spot upcoming trends, I like to stay focused on the current moment and not obsess about what’s yet to come.
Making use of the virtually non-existent hype low between Pitti and Milan, I decided to show my love for one of the season’s staple pieces: the sun faded polo shirt. Remember that special polo you’ve been wearing for the last few years? How it gained a certain patina, a washed out salt kissed color? Now, thanks to a special treatment which softens and draws just the right amount of color from the fabric, you’re able to get that same “sitting in the sun for years” look, right off the rack. Well, the look might be the same but it will always lack that unique personality of a piece that sticked with you throughout the years.
Nonetheless, this is the next best thing and with the current amount of solid offerings, there’s no reason not to invest in a couple of washed red and indigo ones. Personally, I prefer the models with a chest pocket as it gives them a more retro feel…pair them with shorts or rolled up jeans or chinos and you’re ready to go!
Piquet cotton/linen polo shirts by Our Legacy
Rain attire: the lightweight parka
Although Spring is officially upon us, we’re still a few months aways from continuous sunny days. Even with the temperatures rising, Spring showers are well reported phenomena which call for specific garments.
Apart from the ever reliable umbrella, this time of the year is perfect for lightweight parkas or cotton trenches, whose purpose is more focused on keeping you dry rather than warm. One of the best things about these items is how easily they adapt to your outfit: as the final layers, you can effortlessly pair them with just a shirt and tie, a full suit, a blazer or a heavy knit cardigan. Given how light and thin they tend to be, they make for a great layering alternative to top your usual attire. Just bear in mind at the time of purchase, that the size and fit should reflect your needs, that is, if you’re planning to wear a blazer underneath, you might want to size up.
When it comes to this type of outerwear, I tend to favour pieces on the longer side, sitting at the hips, due to the slim silhouette and extra rain protection (for added emphasis on the silhouette, look for belted options). On this note, this waxed olive cotton parka makes for the ultimate rain attire for those pesky rainy days…Love how the shades of tan on the drawstrings, scarf and boots perfectly complement each other.
PS: I’ve been wanting to include my dog in a post for some time now, and the chance presented when she gladly entered the picture as we were shooting.
Olive waxed cotton parka by Our Legacy (M), brown v-neck cashmere/silk sweater by Massimo Dutti (M), checked shirt by Boglioli (hidden-40), jeans by Levi’s 511 slim (32 tailored), waxed leather Portuguese boots (44), vintage braided belt, camel scarf by Burberry and glasses by Prada.
Check the label
Ever since I can remember, Italy has been a synonym of high end fashion and impeccably dressed men and women. Hearing about Milan (e.g.) immediately takes us to fashion shows, couture, and all the associated visual imagery of outstandingly dressed figurines, the likes of those featured daily on renowned fashion websites and blogs. It comes as no surprise that the label “Made in Italy” became an assurance of quality worldwide, with many designers taking their productions to the country to reap the advantages of not only the label, but also the talent and craftsmanship of experienced professionals. However, this kind of recognition comes at a (usually steep) price…
In the quest for lower production costs, China has become a force to reckon with when it comes to the textile industry, assuming a leading role in manufacturing for several renowned brands…Once known for its extremely affordable (and somewhat inexperienced) workforce, this reality is slowly changing as a result of its major growing economy, which has forced designers to look for the best quality/cost compromise.
Thus, Portugal joins the picture, paving a strong return to the international fashion scene. With strong roots in the textile and shoe industries, Portuguese manufacturers deliver high end quality and “know how” at affordable prices, becoming the choice for brands such as Paul Smith, Neil Barrett, Our Legacy, etc. I’ve been witnessing this evolution not only by observing international brands’ positions, but also by talking to local manufacturers who have seen their exportation numbers go up the roof. More and more “Made in Portugal” is a stamp of approval for consumers, ensuring they’re purchasing outstanding items carrying an entire history of tradition and manufacturing excellence. I’m both excited and proud to see an international bet in the Portuguese market, and I can only hope that this momentum encourages the appearance of new national brands.
Next time you’re out shopping check the label, you might be surprised….
Paul Smith Mainline
n.d.c. made by hand
Back to black
2010 was undoubtedly a pattern filled year…plaids were everywhere to be found and quickly became one of the “must haves” of the season. Coming in all types of scales, shapes and colors, there was one particular pattern that stood above all else, thus reenforcing its place as one of the most sought, beautiful and timeless of the bunch: Blackwatch.
Originating from one of Scotland’s most famous regiments, this tricolored tartan bearing the shades of blue, black and green, is thought to have been primarily used for hunting purposes due to its subdued nature. Its timeless character and overall allure have made it into one of fashion’s most beloved plaids. Exuding a unique sense of class and elegance, it’s an amazing addition to any wardrobe, adding color in an understated way and being easily paired with other pieces. The only downside is deciding which item to get, given the amount of offerings out there…
Checked Peacoat by Paul Smith
Dark blue plaid blazer and reversible plaid vest by Aquarama @ Porvocação
Tartan hoodie by Fred Perry @ Bonobos
Clarks Originals Desert Boots @ Asos
Pendleton four pocket tote bag @ Asos.
Blackwatch Plaid Wool Scarf @ Rugby
On the street…
All plaid out
Unless you bear any resemblance to Bubble Boy and live in an isolated world of your own, you’re aware that plaid/checked patterns have been the hottest thing this year. From H&M to Hermès, every brand out there is offering some kind of plaid alternative: jackets, suits, pants, shirts, you name it. However, the one that stands out the most is definitely the shirt. Lets face it: this is THE must have item for this Fall/Winter (hell, it was this Summer’s must have as well!). If you’re the least enthusiastic about fashion, like to be somewhat on pair with trends and can only afford one item, the plaid shirt is this years’ obvious choice.
The best thing about it? You won’t need to spend much to get your hands on one, as they’re available everywhere and with different price tags, so you’ll surely find something that fits your wallet. Obviously, quality comes at price and you get what you pay for: usually cheaper versions will be more on the casual side of things whereas dressier alternatives will cost you (there are exceptions tough, many high end labels are selling pricey flannel shirts). I’m a supporter of more subtle patterns and often choose the smaller versions (micro plaid, thin stripes) over large ones, but in this case I’ll make an exception. My only advice is for you to balance the pattern with your body frame: if you’re more on the petit side, avoid large plaids; a bigger frame however, will look off balanced with a micro plaid.
Also, an interesting way to get the most out of your money is to choose a piece that you can wear as an outerwear alternative, the so called over shirt. Heavier fabrics are the way to go here so feel free to go with flannel, thick wools and the likes. If you’re buying a shirt for this purpose, keep in mind that you’ll be wearing at least one other layer underneath it, so it might be a good idea to go one size up (while maintaing a trim fit).
I’ll leave you with a few options to get you going:
Our Legacy 1940’s Dove Blue Check - 130€ @ Our Legacy.
Our Legacy Cowberry Check - 120€ @ Our Legacy.
Adam Kimmel Tie Hold Shirt Green Plaid - 238€ @ Trés Bien Shop.
A.P.C. Flannel Over Shirt Red - 146€ @ Trés Bien Shop.
Zara Flannel Shirt - 29.95€ @ Zara.
Gant Rugger Syracuse Twill Check Shirt - approx 85€ @ Gant.