Henry Lloyd Jeans Company Spring/Summer 2011

HL Jeans Co. SS11
All of this Fall/Winter 2011 coverage combined with the miserable Canadian weather has gotten me a little depressed.  It’s around this time of the year that most of us have had it with winter and find ourselves praying for spring to begin.  Thought I’d cheer us all up by taking a look at what HL Jeans Co. have in store for us guys this spring/summer season.

Classic meets trend for SS11, as HL Jeans Co. combines preppy and nautical themes expressed through some of this seasons trendy looks and bright colours (see Spring/Summer 2011 Essentials).  Some of the highlights of the collection include their gingham-lined and pop colour draw string Elwick jackets, Premium Straight-Legged Red Selvedge Denim Jeans, French Navy and Rope Khaki Chinos, and Check-Lined Hem Davenport Chino Shorts in Paloma Grey, Preppy Yellow, and Barely Pink.

HL Jeans Co. has put together a collection that reflects an energetic, confident, traditional, and yet fashion forward direction for the label.  Henry Lloyd is also a sponsor of the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team of Nico Rosburg and Michael Schumacher.  Official Mercedes GP Petronas caps, jackets, and accessories can be purchased here just in time for the F1 season which begins next month in Melbourne, Australia.

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London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011 – Men’s Top 20 Picks

As a follow up to the It’s All Style To Me Top 20 Picks for New York, Milan, and Paris, below is a list of the Top 20 Picks (in semi-alphabetical order) from the FW11 Men’s Collections London Fashion Week, February 18-23, 2011:

1) Alfred Dunhill – Cobalt Blue Two-Button Pinstripe Suit, Red Compass Print Tie, Tan Brogue Derby

2) Alfred Dunhill – Steel Grey Double-Breasted Camdeboo Blazer

3) Alfred Dunhill – Navy Single-Breasted Wool/Silk Textured Stripe Evening Suit

4) E. Tautz – Cropped Yellow Peacoat, Fitted Regular Navy Peacoat, Turtlenecks, Trousers

5) E. Tautz – Red Two-Button Sports Jacket, Patterned Scarf Red/Black

6) Hardy Amies – Electric Blue Cardigan

7) Hardy Amies – Midnight Blue Shawl Lapel Patterned Tuxedo

8) Hardy Amies – Slim Fit Double Breasted and Three-Piece Suits

9) James Long – Tweed Jacket and Coat

10) James Long – Black Leather Biker Jacket

11) Katie Eary – Animal Print Belted Trench

12) Martine Rose – Textured Purple Cropped Sweater

13) Mr. Start – Teal/Green Sports Jacket and Slim Fit Suits

14) Oliver Spencer – Shadow Plaid Coat, Camouflaged Sports Jacket, Duffel Coat

15) Sibling – Textured Sweater, Fairisle Sweater

16) Omar Kashoura – Camouflaged Pants, Double-Breasted Grey Suit

17) Topman Design – Faux Fur Collared Coat, Silk Patterned Dress Shirts, Faux Fur Stoles, Knotted Cravats/Scarves

18) Topman Design – Motel Red Overcoat, Tweed Suits, Fishermen’s Sweaters

19) J.W. Anderson – Mohair Sweaters, Slim Fit Trousers

20) Tween – Shadow Plaid Trench

Topman Design Fall/Winter 2011 Men’s Collection

Topman went balls out for FW11, with a go-for-broke crap shoot attempt at a collection that bordered on sartorial arrogance.  Unlike some of their British contemporaries however – they came out on top.  If there was a Palm d’Or to be awarded for London Fashion Week’s Best Menswear Collection, Topman’s Topman Design label (TMD) may very well have been the odds-on favourites.

The inspiration for their collection?  Think early 1950s Parisian playboy hitting a smoke-filled jazz club.  Highlights at the Royal Opera House included high-rise trousers, daring patterned silk dress shirts, and faux fur collared coats and stoles.  Topman polished off the collection with a creative take on fishermen’s sweaters, slick Brit-pop tweed suits, and stylin’ knotted cravats à la Gucci.  The pièce de résistance came early in the shape of one killer motel red coat with black lining that would surely leave Alber Elbaz aghast.  Since when did the imitators become the innovators?  Astounding job guys.

Topman Design FW11Topman Design is a directional premium collection which is stocked online at topman.com, the London Oxford Circus and New York Flagships as well as key international stores including La Foret in Tokyo, Incu in Sydney and Shine in Hong Kong. With a growing, almost cult following, the collections have evolved over the seasons under the Creative Direction of Alister Mackie – AnOther Man, Fashion Director and superstylist – and Gordon Richardson – Topman Design Director and his dedicated and talented in-house design team.

Alfred Dunhill Fall/Winter 2011 Men’s Collection

Dunhill FW11

Alfred Dunhill Fall/Winter 2011

As far as menswear is concerned, this probably wasn’t one of London Fashion Week’s better seasons.  With many of the big British labels moving their menswear collections to Milan or Paris, London appears to be left with the bizarre, the gaudy, and slightly insane collections.  The silver lining comes in the form of some excellent work by the proud few.

Alfred Dunhill hosted a presentation of their FW11 collection at the Bourdon House, the brand’s Georgian mansion in the heart of Mayfair.  The season’s ‘Home’ themed collection celebrates the two sides of British character:  The suave and suited man-about-town and the spirited adventurous outdoorsman.  Channeling the Duke of Windsor and Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, Dunhill celebrated the modern gentleman – nice to see somebody still does.

The FW11 collection was broken down into four signature looks:

Culture: For the professional.  Everyday wear, something for the office and cocktail parties afterwards.  Traditional, structured, elements of casual tailoring, deconstructed shoulders, pared back lining, and shawl lapels.  Key pieces include a camel double-breasted alpaca wool overcoat, navy twill three-piece suit, flannel knit blazer with compass buttons, and charcoal shearling collared cavalry twill overcoat.

Provenance: For the jet-set.  Crease resistant Camdeboo mohair that is both elegant and resilient.  Effortless bridge between casual and formal wear.  Key pieces include the navy single-breasted Camdeboo blazer, steel grey double-breasted Camdeboo blazer, and steel grey three-piece Camdeboo suit.

Discovery: For the classy outdoorsman.  Outerwear that keeps you looking sharp, warm, and dry.  Contemporary aesthetics meet time-honoured craftsmanship and expertise with hints of 60s British subculture.  Key pieces include Fairisle knits, nave duffel coat, cashmere fisherman’s sweater, English Derby brogue shoe, sheepskin lined military hill boot, and navy silk arctic parka with beaver fur lining.

Elegance: Black-tie, formal, evening wear.  Art Deco embroidered, monochromatic evening wear designed to blow them away.  Key pieces include navy single-breasted two-colour textured dinner jackets with black trims, navy single-breasted cashmere evening coat, and midnight blue double-breasted four-button evening coat.

You see, chivalry is not dead folks.  It’s alive and well in the spirit and heritage of one Mr. Alfred Dunhill.

Alfred Dunhill

The Man Clutch: A Purse By Any Other Name?

Man Clutch

Various Men's Clutches 2009 - 2011

What’s in a name?  That which we call a murse, mlutch, pochette, document wallet, male clutch or purse by any other name, should still not sound and look the same?  How feminine you say?  No f***ing way?  Well, let’s hold that thought for a minute.

It may shock you to learn that this little leather carrier and concealer of valuables, was actually first used by men and not women.  Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs show men wearing purses around the waist and the Bible specifically identifies Judas Iscariot as a purse carrier.  A sign you couldn’t trust the guy right?  Before the advent of pockets, it was common in the 14th and 15th centuries for both men and women to carry purses attached to their medieval girdles.  During the 16th and 17th centuries purses continued along unisex lines until the 18th century, where they became an accessory exclusively devoted to women.

So what gives?  Why are designers making pint-sized briefcases, purses, and clutches for men all of a sudden?  Like all trends, they usually don’t happen overnight.  They start in places like Milan in 2009, with designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and Prada and their SS10 collections – maybe earlier.  As odd as this sounds, I’m crediting the ‘Ghetto Fashionista’ for one of the earliest posts back in December 2006 that featured Terrance Howard and his man purse, which was in fact is a clutch (no shoulder strap).  Male fashion bloggers We Could Grow Up Together, My Fabulous Bag, and My Many Bags have endorsed the male clutch since 2009, as did our local Toronto Star newspaper who named it an official trend for SS10.  Point being, it’s been kicking around for some time now.  FW11 is no exception as Gucci once again featured male clutches on the runway during Milan Men’s Fashion Week last month.  French GQ has gone as far as to name the Louis Vuitton’s pochette as one of its 50 Essential [Paris] Fashion Week Accessories.

There’s no doubt that the trend is building momentum, more so in Asia and Europe than in North America.  Question is, is it kosher and will it become commonplace among men?  Personally, I think that a pared down version of a women’s styled clutch or purse won’t work for North American men.  However, something closer to a mini-briefcase or longer flat document carrier like what Gucci and LV have come out with just might do the trick.  I have to admit guys, I’m sick of stuffing my pockets full of crap like my keys, iPhone, wallet, business card holder, loose change, and sunglasses.  Perhaps the man clutch’s time has come.  Have your say anonymously:

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