Monday, February 6, 2012

Who’s Next Winter 2012: Shoes




Here we go! 4 days at the Who’s next tradeshow. Today, we have focused ourselves on shoes, and we quickly noticed that hiking shapes are going to be a key trend of next winter. Same for lined shoes either declined in sneakers or boots. As for the fabrics, lots of brands are proposing a mix of plain and suede leather and plenty models using Harris Tweed (will those Scottish sheeps have enough wool to supply the demand?). We like: classic shapes lightened by colorful soles and laces. A last note with the olive green found from many brands.









Sperry Brogue Shoes




These derbies are part of my winter sales purchases. They are surprisingly coming from Sperry which is better known as a boat shoes brand. I have been hunting for this kind of shoes for a few time, they looked cool and they were nicely discounted so I decided to take them!

Upper is made of tan suede leather with wingtip brogue details. Sole is rubber made with a cushioning system added from the heel, guaranteeing a certain comfort. And they also are non-slip, featuring the Sperry’s classic system called “Wave-Siping” for an “ultimate wet/dry traction”. Leather laces are the same usually used on Sperry’s boat shoes, reminding the brand’s core identity. I guess that is why they called the model Boat Oxford.

Naked & Famous Skinnyguy Deep Indigo




If you like wearing very thick, heavy jeans and you want to replace your old APC, my suggestion is to think about Naked & Famous denim. Actually, I was in this exact situation and my research lead me to N&F, a brand proposing jeans at market prices and which products are made halfway between Japan and Canada.

Deep indigo selvegde denim is a right hand one, it has been indigo dyed two times then sanforized (preshrinked). When I was telling you about heavy, it meant 15oz, very rigid as it could amost stand. Fading will take a bit longer than any other classic raw denim but it’ll surely render greatly. The skinnyguy has a slim/skinny leg with a regular rise, I picked them true to size, because I could even not fasten the last button sizing them down. Bit of an advice, such a rigidity would hurt your hips at the beginning, feeling like the jeans’ waist is cutting them up! No pain no gain (like one would say)…

The Alternative Trench





“You look like Inspector Gadget!” one friend cried as the other shuffled into his cream trench coat, flashing the Burberry check lining.

I always remembered this put-down as it reminded me of the frequent misfortune of iconic association; like those who hear Rossini’s William Tell Overture and think of ‘The Lone Ranger’ or those who point to my bow tie and say ‘Hey! Doctor Who!’ Some wardrobe items, when abused by popular culture, acquire a one-channel relevance for all those who were otherwise unaware. The trench coat is a piece of classic outerwear and one of the most practical methods of protecting our finely crafted suits from the persistent and uncaring elements. And yet, in its default colourings of buff, khaki or cream it can have an overtly theatrical and cliché effect.

This was a primary concern of a reader who wanted to know which colour of raincoat, besides the traditional, was most acceptable. Whilst I did spend some time in my response trying to convince him that the traditional colouring was still the most favourable as it would age better, I did concede that not all who look upon a long coat the colour of desert sand, with buttoned epaulettes and a buckled belt see Humphrey Bogart but rather, cartoonish ridicule. Speaking of which, the reader had already ruled out several colours for similar reasons; red (“I’m not Carmen San Diego either…”) black (“Black raincoats look too sinister”) and royal blue (“A friend has one…it’s way too attention seeking.”)

Though there are plenty of colours left, there are few that are suitable for a smart trench and I was dreading – with this reader’s reticence to experiment – that the choice was being pushed toward navy blue; the default tone for gentlemen of fear. There is no doubt that navy blue would be a smart alternative to the traditional tones, and is often better for gentlemen of fair complexion, but it was too hackneyed a second choice to recommend on its own, without other alternatives.

Moss green is not the first colour associated with rain coats, despite it’s associations with the trenches of the First World War which, unsurprisingly, is the reason for its nickname. It is a subtle green which is not horn-honkingly different to draw too much attention, and smart enough to adapt to elegant ensembles. One of the best things about a moss green coat is the wonderful contrast with various shades of blue – ideal for the classic navy suit enthusiast - as well as its compatibility with grey and brown.

However, against black, the moss green somehow loses its way; it dies against the lifelessness of the tone. Make way for the grey trench; apart from white, there are few tones which complement black better than grey. Monotone palettes might be, well, monotonous to some, but they are the smartest solution for those who favour colour-killing block black. In this circumstance, a black raincoat may indeed be too much, and there is no doubt that a navy would clash horrendously, but when our Reservoir Dog slips into a mid-grey belted mac, there will be nods of unexpected approval.

Sartorial Stereotypes: Hats




The Brown Trilby
 “I have eight-five with the gentleman at the back. Do I have eight-six?” the auctioneer declares to a fidgety and disinterested Sotheby’s floor that is largely comprised of non-bidders who have stopped in for a spot of observation.

A collector and auction room regular, the Brown Trilby Man sits at the back of the room – bow tied, waistcoated – awaiting a superior offer, quietly confident that his only competition, a telephone bidder, will inform his appointed agent that he is no longer interested. He brushes off his coffee-ground coloured Bates trilby with conclusive delicacy as the auctioneer draws the bidding to a close. As he looks around the room, he sees no other serious collectors of note and congratulates himself on making an inspection of the object before bidding, knowing that the item in question is actually rarer and more valuable than the estimates.

A supercilious smile on his face, he stands up in his Edward Green brogues holding his horn-handled umbrella and walks back to his Marylebone flat where he is greeted by Arthur, a tubby Himalayan. He locks his recent acquisition away in a Japanned chest-on-stand; it will only be displayed when fellow collectors and dealers come to call.

The Designer Beanie
 The Designer Beanie Man brushes past two in-the-way, middle-aged out-of-towners who are loitering at the entrance to a Bond Street emporium. As he does so, he abruptly ends their frivolous commentary on the geography of the street and provokes one to whisper too conspicuously “Oh he was handsome…like a movie star!”

The Designer Beanie Man is indeed very good-looking, although he is not an actor. After a brief stint of modelling, he moved into advertising when he began an affair with a planner at Saatchi who gave him an easy job in her office so she and her friends could flirt and wink at him as he brought them their coffee. Proving more adept at creativity and planning than expected, he rose quickly and came to be admired by a number of the directors.

Now on the other side of the camera, photography has become a hobby through which he meets many of his elegant girlfriends. He dresses in a slick and expensive fashion – fashion being the operative word – and wears simple and elegant overcoats with skinny trousers and Chelsea boots from Christian Dior. He has a collection of designer beanies which he uses to cover his thick hair but is careful not to hide his million-dollar visage.

The Karakul

An enormous car growls outside a glittering Mayfair palace hotel, a liveried doorman hurries to open the rear left door, out of which a silk suited leg appears, shod in bespoke wholecuts. Cigar ash drops on the pavement and the Karakul Man, sunglassed, stogie-sucking and wearing an astrakhan collared cashmere overcoat, looks blankly at the hotel staff who flash him wasted smiles.

It is said he once worked for Howard Hughes in Las Vegas, until the famous hotel-living recluse fired him for his suspected connections to organised crime. His Karakul is cocked Jinnah-style on his grey head, its charcoal tone contrasting splendidly with his unplaceable tan.

The manager of the hotel welcomes him in to a glittering marble lobby and instead of making his way to the desk, as is the expectation of other guests, strides into the bar where a young, attractive woman rises to her feet and heralds his appearance with a frantic shaking of her multi-bangled wrists. Though boasting a small but well-groomed entourage, no one communicates with the Karakul Man who stares back blankly at his bangled companion as she giggles through one tedious story after another. Sensing impatience, two tall, dark and Bluetoothed men throw anxious looks across the bar as the Karakul Man rises with his young female companion, holding her firmly by the elbow and makes his way to the elevator.