Beyond her collections shown twice a year at L:CM, young British menswear designer Lou Dalton has also established a reputation for producing one-off collaborations with some of the world’s leading stores. Liberty was the first London store to have Lou Dalton on it’s rails and is currently being rewarded for its foresight with a unique sweatshirt designed to sit alongside the SS14 collection.
In her full-scale collections Lou blends a romantic sensibility with luxurious yet rugged materials, often celebrating the great outdoors, and it is the unique fabrication that makes this particular collaborative piece special. The all black design combines a spongy jersey body offset by panels of fabric with a Braille-like, raised texture. Being black-on-black, the piece would benefit from close-up inspection (better still a stroke) to reveal … Read More »
English shoemaker Grenson has brought it’s ‘Lab’,complete with white-coated assistants, to the men’s shoe department at Liberty, in response to demand following the highly acclaimed shoe-design lab for women at the department store last year. If any further proof were needed that the appetite for men’s shoes has already caught up with women’s (I for one don’t need convincing) this might be it.
Displayed across a suitably stark white counter, the Lab lets you choose from soles, laces, eyelets and of course, the leathers for your dream shoes. While there’s the freedom to make a self-identifed pig’s ear of it should you wish, classy examples are on display to guide your eye towards wise combinations and luxurious pairings (I have my eye on the black leather and suede brogues with chunky black soles … Read More »
There are collaborations, and there are collaborations. Whilst the recent Marni x H&M link up was a rare example of high fashion working successfully with a global mega chain (mostly to do with rigorous quality control I imagine), many such collaborations end up as high end badly translated via cheap materials. It’s always a pleasure therefore to see the latest Joe Casely-Hayford collection in their ongoing relationship with John Lewis.
John Lewis holds a special place in British hearts as a vanguard of good service and quality products (if a little conservative) whilst Joe Casely-Hayford, stands for design excellence and beautiful materials, harking back to a time when fashion was less talked about but was no less cherished by those in the know. Result? Beautifully cut pieces in impressive fabrics, at accessible prices. What I love most about this partnership is Joe’s playful take on John Lewis’s traditionalism. It’s like the best pieces from the John Lewis stockroom have been disassembled and put back together with a touch of Savile Row precision and an eye for British materials. In previous collections, quilting, layering and waxed fabrics have been the stand-out approaches.
In this collection the double-breasted shorts suit and the bold, African-inspired Liberty-print shirt capture the spirit for me. Shorts suits regularly appear on the high street, but I’ve yet to find one that’s well made enough to not look awkward. In Joe’s hands the fabrication looks substantial. A shorts suit needs to have the same presence as a regular suit, but with the lower part of the trousers missing. Too often from the high street its a pair of casual shorts with a hastily-assembled jacket in a flimsy material. And regarding the shirts, surely I don’t need to say too much about print right now? The fusion here of Liberty heritage with a very African sense of pattern speaks volumes about the Casely-Hayford genius for mixing it up. Can I suggest when you next visit John Lewis you merge a trip to the kitchenware department to buy the muffin tin of your dreams with a generous look at the Joe Casely-Hayford for John Lewis collection? It’s redefining what high street collaborations are all about.
I love a fashion story, especially one with a happy ending, and God willing, this one will have. I’ve been posting about my interest in blazers a lot lately. Admired at E.Tautz, contemplated at Reiss, but it wasn’t until last weekend that my interest saw some results. A brief visit to Liberty ended up with me purchasing a navy blue APC blazer, or was it? I’ve been doing my research and it turns out I didn’t buy a blazer at all but a sports jacket. Here’s the story line: I turn up to Liberty for a second, confirmatory visit to the APC jacket. I try on, friend oohs and ahs about the fit, the fabric and the lovely, inky shade of navy blue. But whilst I’m being fitted to have the sleeves adjusted for that all-important shirt … Read More »
A few random Spring trends now that the dust has settled on LFW. Given that London is still in the grips of a seemingly never ending Narnia-like winter, the emphasis is still on warmth rather than Spring flesh flashings.
1. Soft-soled shoes, the kind that Grizzly Adams would wear to sneak up on Gentle Ben, are definitely surfacing on London feet. Sold in locations as diverse as Dover Street Market and American workwear/Americana stores. Those blending plaid, soft skins and crepe with obvious overstitching and all manner of olde/Native American fastenings look best. Quoddy and Yuketen have great options, OiPolloi stocks both brands.
2. Big scarves. Even the most laddish of lads have been seen wearing items verging on shawls recently. It seems that the eternal … Read More »