Sharpened Lead favourite, Marwood has collaborated with fellow English aesthetes Cherchbi on a travel bag for men, bringing a sense of timeless luxury and well-considered manufacture to a very practical item. Lined in a waterproof version of Marwood’s staircase silk jacquard, the bag itself is constructed from Herdwyck wool tweed, edged with saddle leather and featuring a sturdy-looking zip. The full collaborative set includes two Marwood-designed ties; one a bow. It’s refreshing to see a collaboration uniting two brands which are such great reflections of one another – Marwood’s fine art approach to accessories meeting Cherchbi’s use of the finest natural raw materials: wool, leathers and high-end fastenings. In fashion terms, the word collaboration these days usually refers to high-street names or faded giants cashing in on the ‘cool’ … Read More »
When I was invited to the Duckies’ studio back in September last year, I was privileged enough to see some of the sketches for AW12-3 they were working on, and there were rolls of dark fabrics everywhere. At the time, Steven commented that there had “never had so much black” in their studio. Having had these glimpses, it was especially thrilling for me to see the fruition of this in their AW12-3 collection. And whilst they sombre note he’d suggested is definitely there, the collection is also shot through with playfulness, and a youthful sense of countercultural defiance. The coherence and fluency with which this combination was communicated is pure Duckie Brown.
The references that initially hit me came through the styling, especially the hair of certain models; reminiscent of Robert Smith’s iconic birds nest do or possibly The Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie; a kind of introspective English punk, more shuffling indie shoegazer than swaggering Sid.
Opening with lots of black, including a superlative double-breasted blazer, what eventually emerges from the collection is a play on proportion with long, overshirts, wide leg pants and some fantastic fabrication in the heavy woolens, plaids and flannels. Eventually shot through with some gorgeous, unexpected colour in outrageous oversized plaids what was also very evident in this collection is the Duckie facility for designing great hats.
Hats have been in limbo for some time, with familiar shapes such as slouchy beanie, traditional baseball cap or (for the edgier contingent) riding hat; suggesting possibilities but nothing new. The knitted caps and hats presented in this collection meanwhile suggested new, futuristic shapes, neither costumey nor purely street. And out on a limb were the genius, mini-Busbies, echoing the spiky profile of those post-punk hairdos, with a cheeky nod to English military pomp, and the perfect foil to some of the wilder plaids.
In terms of specific garments, the standout pieces for me here are the overshirts, already a global theme for AW12-3, offering the ease of a transitional garment with the playfulness of switching outdoor and indoor fabrics. Overshirts are a staple in the States, as a visit to a good vintage store stocked with Pendleton and Gitman Bros will evidence, and what the Duckies did here is to make it relevant; with some elegant cutting, extending the length beyond the waist and in very contemporary grey-on-grey flannels. Whilst the drop-crotch pants weren’t received well by all viewers, it’s a testament to The Duckie’s expertise that this challenging shape, when seen as part of the flow of the rest of the collection, looks simply elegant, especially when partnered with the somehow formal weightiness of those structured overshirts. And when looked at in the overwhelming sea of preppiness and tradition that American menswear can sometimes seem, an occasional V-sign to the chino has to be welcomed.
One of the delights of Fashion Week in February is being able to futuregaze into next winter whilst staying warm is still a very relevant priority. The Duckie Brown 2012-3 collection makes next winter look very inviting, balancing the proportion play and transitional shapes menswear trends with an expert sense of fabrication and a healthy dose of individualism.
This is the time of year when fashion sites declare “It’s Spring!” and there’s all sorts of enticement to get you dropping layers. And I’m normally first out of the gate where this is concerned. But lets face it, with snow at Easter not unknown we’re all going to be freezing our bollocks off for some time to come. And with this in mind here is a rare, wooly, winter-themed post from me.
During a recent Cotswolds jaunt I was tipped off to visit the woolen mill/shop in the village of Filkins. Inside you can find blankets galore, many of which sell at places like Liberty at great markups. So, I wandered round the shop draped in a variety of lovely woolen blankets and rugs until I happened across the hunting socks. Thick chunky socks worn just-visible under dirty-suede hiking boots or LLBean blucher moccasins have been one of the highlights of my winter so far. I chose the thickest socks in lilac with yellow and a brick-red with beige.