Kempes a new British/Japanese brand launched last week, and has already taken over the coveted window display at East London landmark store, Present.
Small but perfectly formed, the Kempes capsule collection consists of three T-shirts, two crew-neck sweats and two denim washes, expertly cut by British specialist craftsmen, using impeccably-sourced Japanese fabrics.
What makes these simple pieces unique is an unmistakable sewn-on patch inspired by the ‘hippy trail’ of the late ’60s and early 70s, which took London’s bohemian set on a psychedelically enhanced Grand Tour, from then hippy haven, Ibiza to Goa and Bali in east Asia, via Istanbul’s Pudding Shop.
Each patch’s psychedelic sunburst design comes in an entirely different colourway, designed to set off the fabric tone of the T shirt it embellishes: the two crew-neck sweats in slate grey and tangerine, the three T-shirts in ivory, turquoise and sunlight yellow.
In terms of the jeans, the denim is … Read More »
COS, the design-led high street brand, renowned for their well-priced, minimal staples has teamed up with Mr Porter to produce a capsule collection. Beloved of many a stylist, the COS store in Regent Street is also a favourite of local Soho media types, eager to pad out purchases between major designer splurges, and now the brand has teamed up with the one of the leaders in online fashion retail, Mr Porter to produce a Spring/Summer collection of travel-friendly essentials. Based on a subdued, very-COS colour palette of navy, pale blues and aubergine, the collection features tailored summer pieces and separates from summer suiting to shorts, bombers and long-sleeved tops and even a weekend bag and sneakers. What makes COS covetable is the attention to detail, here the focus is on fastenings: unexpected zips, minimal self-coloured press studs … Read More »
It’s been a bit quiet here of late, as I’ve been publishing over at STREETS, the recently-planted digital flag for the new bi-annual print publication we’re preparing for, (in classic print style), a September Issue. More news on THAT soon.
Meanwhile, back on my personal radar, here is the release of Jonathan Saunders’ eyewear collection for SS15. Back when I reviewed the full collection for The Guardian at LC:M, I’d already picked out the eyewear as a highlight, adding to the appeal of the ready-to-wear collection’s soft candy colours and clean, modern lines. The glasses have similarly bold, modern outlines, in solid colours, unique patterns and shiny metals. I find that I wear sunglasses for most of the year, to combat low-lying winter sun as much as full-on … Read More »
I know it’s Milan fashion week now but I wanted to share with you a quick chat I had with Tim Coppens after his show back at New York fashion week that didn’t make it into my Guardian piece. Coppens’ show was packed, with a palpable excitement front of house and a strong international contingent attending which gave a definite sense that he’s about to become big. There was already much anticipation of the fact Tim would be showing some womenswear alongside the menswear. In the end the collection featured sports mesh, blocked colour and a special blurred neon print called Jungle Sunrise. The focus was on construction, form and function for both sexes but there was also a sleek polish to the pieces that went beyond sportswear and, incidentally there was … Read More »
It’s impossible to talk about the N.Hoolywood show on Friday here in New York without mentioning the incredible location: the show took place on a rooftop in the Garment District opposite the iconic New Yorker building and the Empire State building and with the kind of dramatic sky dreamt of by Hollywood art directors. This setting impressed even the resident fashion crowd and created a sense of awe from the outset. Recent N.Hoolywood collections have focused on specific time periods and iconography in American history; the Western, the prohibition era, but this time designer Daisuke Obana took inspiration from his native Japan, and the unique natural environment there, specifically exotic insect life. Loud birdsong piped through the speakers set the tone for this nature-inspired theme, emphasising that we were in fact open to the elements even in the midst of ultra urban … Read More »
On Thursday in New York Duckie Brown showed a collection of crisp whites, plaids and high-waisted trousers accessorised with bucket hats; a spin on elder style made relevant through the choice of fabrics and colour.
As ever with the Duckies, the invite held a clue, this time featuring an image of designer Daniel Silver’s father, now 91, in bucket hat, a tucked-in short sleeved shirt and the kind of high-waisted trousers men of a certain age and ilk wear. What couldn’t have been predicted was the precision with which the details of this specific look would be recreated; in the shape of the trousers, high up on the waist, roomy in the middle but tapering towards the ankle, the crisp outline of the short-sleeved shirts and, yes, bucket hats.
Whereas last season Steven and Daniel mixed things up, showing womenswear … Read More »
Having firmly re-established itself the biker jacket is still around this season and in its best incarnations is being pared back to the essentials of its rebellious roots. Perhaps more than any fashion item since blue jeans, the functional origins of the biker have been usurped by its countercultural resonance as a symbol of rebellious attitude. After all, Joey Ramone didn’t shrug on his trusty leather biker out of concern about protection: it was a statement of intent. Having been given a fashion spin in endless fabric variations in recent seasons including contrast sleeves, the freshest looking biker jackets right now involve premium black leather, sturdy, heavy-weight zips and the classic shape without any fuss. Which is exactly what this collaboration between Swedish label CMMN SWDN … Read More »
Last week I caught up with menswear designer Kit Neale in his studio. Originally known for his prints, as a designer Kit’s range is becoming known for perfectly proportioned casual wear such as jean jackets and bombers, and last season brought surprise in the form of beautiful jacquard fabrics alongside the signature prints. I was looking forward to seeing what Kit has in store for us in SS15.
Moving on from explorations of London’s less celebrated quarters (Autumn/Winter was inspired by the decaying Elephant & Castle shopping centre) next summer stretches those horizons slightly, “it’s Kit Neale goes on holiday” Kit explained, “I got sick of people asking what part of London we were going to do … Read More »