All posts by Menswear Style

World Photography Awards 2014

World Photography Awards 2014

The publishing world and photography go hand-in-hand. A great article can often be missed without the correct effective photography, or go viral with the right balance. 

Luckily we live in a Camera generation where our kids will have tons of great photos of our life journeys to look through. Many of our readers will agree that when we look for pictures of our parents, we just find a few wedding pictures in a leather bound photo album. Despite this, we can still spend hours being fascinated.

World Photography Awards 2014

Recently, The World Photography Organisation announced its shortlist of the Sony 2014 World Photography Awards. This is true photography taken to new levels. 

We’ve picked out some of our favourite mesmerising pictures which will make you truly appreciate the art of photography and the power or cameras. 

Sadly it also makes you realised there’s a whole lot more to just pointing and shooting (A few more hours of YouTube tutorials might be needed for us). The shortlisted photos were selected from around 140,000 entries from 166 countries.

World Photography Awards 2014

The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony will be held in London on 30th April and we hope one of our top picks win. 

We really like the one by Russell Bruns which shows a portrait of a young whippersnapper at school who looks like he just wants to go home and watch cartoons and eat chocolate. He has a perfect tie, half tucked in shirt and both shoe laces undone – true Sprezzatura! 

Another favourite has to be the one of the stepping stones across a river in China with lots of rainwear and umbrella’s being worn. Maybe it’s because we’re based in London and we’re VERY familiar with this scene…

World Photography Awards 2014

The Sony Community team selected 25 amazing photos from all 4 categories, which are, Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus. Take a look at some of our other favourites in this article and let us know what you think in the comments section below. 

Our first Digital Camera here at MWS was in fact a Sony Cyber-Shot. It was easy to use, featured a Carl Zeiss lense and was just what we needed. 

Nowadays, we’re more DSLR but our favourite new gadget is by far the Sony QX100. It’s a super clear 20.2MP lense which links up with your smart phone. 

A perfect camera for bloggers who our out and about at press days, runway shows, fashion events or simply need to take pictures of themselves without it looking like a Selfie.

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Style Dream Team

Style Dream Team

David Beckham’s acquisition of the Miami MLS team is old news, but we are yet to see who he will lure over the pond to join him within his proposed ultra-slick hi-tech 25,000 stadium. 

During the various press conferences that were held following the announcement, Beckham was essentially only asked three questions over and over again with different wording. 

The first: “Do you think that a soccer team can flourish in Miami?” to which Beckham obviously answered yes. The second: “What will the team be called?”, there were shouts for the ‘Miami Vice’ and the ‘Miami Current’, though I think it should take a fantasy football route and should be called either ‘FC Leave my Arse-lona’ or ‘Murder on Zidane’s Floor FC’. 

The final and, in my opinion, most important question was “Who would you pick to play for the team if you could have anyone?

Style Dream Team

The concept of Beckham having his pick from the entire world of football excites me from a fashion point of view, Beckham being one of the most stylish men on the planet, let alone the footballing world. 

So we can bank on Beckham to pick a fairly fashionable force, but who would make the cut for the supremely stylish XI?
I present to you my all-time Dream Team of Style (I have opted for the classic 4-4-2 formation, which is particularly un-stylish – apologies).  

The Team 

Team Name: ‘I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Feyenoord FC’ 

Manager: Pep Guardiola
The world champion of the popped collar trench coat. He knows a bit about football, too. 

Starting Line-up  

GK: David Seaman – okay, so this one is comedy value. But who doesn’t love Seaman? He is the most successful person to have attempted his Ponytail/thick moustache combo. Granted he’s only really up against gypsies and the chap from Changing Rooms, but it still counts. 

LB: Federico Balzaretti – the Jared Leto of modern football, Balzaretti has the loveliest hair to be seen on a man since David Seaman. 

LCB: Gerard Pique – he’s married to Shakira. If that isn’t stylish then my hips must be lying to me.

Style Dream Team

RCB: Franz Beckenbauer – making the Adidas Copa Mundials what they are today, Beckenbauer was an ambassador for the ‘cool and simple’ concept. This image of him playing chess against Bobby Moore is further evidence of his deserving nickname, ‘Kaiser’. 

RB: Micah Richards – if you can’t be stylish with clothes, at least be stylish without them. Richards is in about as good shape as you will get in football. 

RM: David Beckham – not having Beckham in your Dream Team of Style would be like not inviting Tom Hanks to the Oscars. If the Armani ads he did with his wife aren’t good enough for you, look at quite literally everything else he has done. David Beckham is style. 

CDM: Andrea Pirlo – aside from the phenomenal facial hair that Pirlo has recently been sporting, he has revealed intentions to go into the winemaking business upon his retirement from football. That’s just cool, isn’t it?  

CAM: Hidetoshi Nakata – Japan’s ex-Bolton footballer may not be the most famous of the team, but I’d say he’d be captain. Nakata is arguably the most stylish footballer ever to live; he’s a regular front-rower at Paris and Milan’s Fashion weeks.

Style Dream Team

LM: David Ginola – have you ever seen a man go grey better than David Ginola? Ginola’s luscious locks are of the same ilk as Seaman and Balzeretti’s. He also owns his own vineyard – keep up, Andrea.

LF: Eric Cantona – when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. 

RF: Thierry Henry – aside from being one of the classiest acts that English football will ever see, Henry wears a suit better than most could ever hope to and grows a beard better than I can ever dream of. But seriously, what is the French for va va voom? 

Substitutions

Dani Osvaldo: Football’s resident Johnny Depp lookalike.

Joey Barton: Football’s Movember ambassador.

Mathieu Flamini: Somehow makes a football kit look extremely cool.

Interview with Pierre Niney of Yves Saint Laurent Film

Interview with Pierre Niney of Yves Saint Laurent Film

Ahead of the release of the new Yves Saint Laurent movie today, I caught up last week with the actor Pierre Niney starring as the designer himself about his acting career, his stance on fashion and how he felt taking on such an iconic name in fashion. 

Firstly Pierre, how did you get into acting and what’s been a particular highlight during your career? 

“I was a really energetic kid; I had a lot of energy and one day I realised that playing characters and telling stories was meaningful to me and for others of all ages.
I also had some great teachers! Highlights, I would say is the YSL movie! As it’s the first time I’m playing such a dramatic part in cinema with an international release. Also my role in the French feature film ’18 Years Old and Rising’ was a highlight, as I had my first nomination into the Cesar (the French Oscars) as ‘Best Male Newcomer’ and so that meant a lot to me.”
 

How did you feel taking on the role of such an iconic name in fashion? 

“I felt lucky! It’s not everyday at 24 years old you have a big proposition for such a complex and beautiful, strong and mysterious part. I was really thrilled but at the same time it was a big challenge to play that part. YSL discovered at 22, he had manic depression, which had such a big impact on his life, so to play that and the fact I started the film playing him at 18 and finishing at almost 50 – that was a big challenge. I knew there was a lot of work to do. I had 5 months to prepare for the film, which I needed.”

Interview with Pierre Niney of Yves Saint Laurent Film

Are you a keen follower of fashion? 

“I guess my personal style is a mix of things I love. I don’t believe in religiously following one brand, or one style. I like different things and I’m a big fan of the street and hip-hop culture but at the same time, especially after playing Yves Saint Laurent, I’m into beautiful suits and watches, like the Montblanc timepiece, which I wore to the YSL film premieres and I’m wearing it now.” 

Do you wear YSL yourself, are you a follower of the brand? 

“Yes, of course!” 

Being French, do you believe Paris to be the heart of fashion? 

“Yes, I think as Paris has so many great designers. I realised during the filming of YSL, that Paris was at the heart of fashion, especially following Paris fashion week, which is always so special.”

Interview with Pierre Niney of Yves Saint Laurent Film

Talk us through what you wore to the London premiere

“I wore a YSL suit that was very slimming, which I liked! The new collection fits me well as I’m slim and it was exactly how YSL liked to dress himself, so it suits me.” 

You’ve appeared in a number of films, is there anything else you’d like to do in regards to acting? 

“I am doing a lot of theatre; I’m on stage right now at the Comédie Française, which is the national theatre in France. I got into that company when I was 21. It is a very prestigious and historical company, which I love. I want to do a lot of theatre and find the time in the next few years to continue to do that and not just cinema. It’s very complimentary.” 

The Yves Saint Laurent film is set to be released Friday March 21st across a number of cinemas in the UK.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

We’ve just spent the last 3 days road testing the new 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe release in Spain. 

This new range complements the existing 2013 ‘World Car Design of the Year’ award winning F-TYPE convertible model. 

The 3 days involved road testing, tracking testing and a handling track… and a little taste of living a luxury lifestyle too.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

Jaguar is currently the number 1 fastest growing premium brand and with this new car they’re hoping to attract a further and ambitious 90% new customer base predominantly across the US and here in the UK. 

You might have seen their star packed ‘British Villains’ advert which aired at the recent Super Bowl too. 

So from £51k up to £81k (F-TYPE Coupe, S Coupe and R Coupe), what are you getting? Read on as we find out.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

Lifestyle 

When you own the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe, not only do get a unique sports car experience, but you also buy into the Jaguar lifestyle. 

We were lucky enough to peek through the lavish window of this very lifestyle and experience it for ourselves (Images via our Instagram). From hotel rooms at Barcelona’s Mandarin Oriental to charter flights to Lleida where our new cars for the two days were waiting on the runway just a few metres from the very aeroplane we were stepping out of. 

Then there’s driving through some of the best countryside roads, through hills and mountains and stopping off at the mesmerising Ferrer Bobet Vineyard.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

Driving 

In Lleida Spain, positioned in a local town which has a history of touring car races, you’ll find a F1 approved 3.32 miles racetrack called Motorland. 

This was our home for the day where we were able to really push this car to its limits. Especially on the 1km straight followed by a sharp left corner turn. 

Then it was over to a handling track equipped with water sprinklers. Sliding around corners at great speeds on a wet track is a lot of fun! We were in good safe hands and whilst on the track were given (For those that needed it) great driving tips and guidance (see video below for a clip of MWS Craig on the circuit). 

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

The road testing involved 2 full days of driving across the beautiful Spanish countryside hills on roads that look like they were designed by a racing fanatic. 

On our tour we passed through lots of picturesque villages and interesting places that were either sleepy or abandoned due to the recession. 

Either way, they were all amazing places to drive through and the handling and feel of the car was top class. It didn’t take long to become familiar and relax at speeds, taking corners on unknown road routes.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

Driving the Jaguar F-TYPE makes you feel like you’re truly living the luxury life. 

Nothing has been spared. There’s no shortcuts. From the outside-in, and from the way it drives, sounds and feels, it is a truly special car. 

Ian Callum and his team at Jaguar have done such a great job. It is a car that certainly has the wow factor.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe Review

The long elegant yet masculine arch from front to back (a nostalgic nod to the E-TYPE), the way the spoiler automatically rises at 70mph, and the roar of the engine just HAS to be heard to be fully appreciated! 

The only hiccup we experienced was a few comedy moments with the Sat Nav on new roads, but when you’re lost in the Spanish countryside with a sports car like this and a tank full of fuel… who’s complaining!?

Christopher Shannon x Dune London

Christopher Shannon x Dune London

Now known as Dune London, the footwear label has big current and future expansion plans. 

It is a brand with over 20 years’ experience in the footwear and accessories market and following earlier and successful womenswear collaborations with Kat Maconie and Joanne Stocker, they make their mark on 2014 by introducing another great collection. 

This time around it’s for the guys – Dune London has collaborated with growing and esteemed menswear designer Christopher Shannon.

Christopher Shannon x Dune London

A graduate from Central Saint Martins with an MA in menswear in 2009, he is known not to shy away in his approach to design and during his earlier years, he on to show an impressive first SS11 collection; most recently having shown at ‘London Collections: Men’ earlier this year showcasing a collection that was influenced by the super club scene of the late 1990s.

Christopher Shannon x Dune London

Christopher comments on the collection; “The project for me was about putting a different slant on the Dune brand without isolating the current customer. 

Sometimes designer collaborations can be intimidating and I wanted this to feel inclusive and exciting. I wanted to create a new dialogue between the fabrications, textures and finishes, selecting styles that would work as a range and complement each other by cross referencing the details. 

Ideally you could travel with a few pairs and always have an appropriate choice which is key for a modern man’s wardrobe. The versatility of the styles makes them perfect for the current trend for capsule dressing.”

Christopher Shannon x Dune London

With prices ranging from £100 to £145 and available online and in selected stores from mid-March 2014, there will be five styles coming in different colourways with the shoes named after towns in his home city of Liverpool. 

The collection is a mix of suede and patent mixes with heavy EVA and cup soles being the most prominent design feature amongst the collection. 

There is also hand stamped leather, making for a supposedly higher quality finish on the boots.

Personal favourites are Caldies in navy (£115) and the Sefton boot in grey (£135), but hopefully this will be just as successful as previous collections.

Tom Ford A Mans Man

Tom Ford A Mans Man

It’s pretty hard not to be jealous of Tom Ford, he’s good looking, well read, classier than Roger Moore and David Bowie put together, and to top all that he’s a sartorial genius. 

In the ten years he spent as creative director at Gucci and YSL, he perfected his skills to such a degree, that when he left Gucci the company was valued at 10 billion, which was a massive jump from the 4.3 billion it was valued at when he first started. 

That’s why Ford is quite literally the man with the Midas touch.
With the launch of his own label in 2004, it was pretty much assured that Ford would become an even bigger presence in the fashion world than he was before, and in few months he proved to be just that. 

The Tom Ford label, aside from its women’s line, is more about menswear than anything else, but more specifically it’s about recapturing that age old essence of the gentleman.

Tom Ford A Mans Man

To understand Ford’s design sensibilities, you just have to look back at his work with YSL; it was there where he shifted the general trend of feminising and emasculating menswear, and instead reached into history, and brought back the almost lost art of designing attire fit for a true gentleman. 

The Tom Ford label has now reached its zenith, with a continual cavalcade of spring/summer and autumn/winter collections that are always tinged with an air of intense masculinity. 

Ford, the master dictator, invests a great deal of time and energy in getting his colours just right, for him masculinity is not just restricted to blues and blacks. 

His Spring/Summer 2014 collection was a carnival like celebration of the sunny seasons, with explosive mixtures of pinks, reds and blues, not only that but floral prints were worked into the collection, trousers, shoes and jackets resplendent with summer flowers. 

This symphony of elaborate embroidery, Oscar Wilde style silks and satins, floral explosions and a palette of eye popping colours were all perfectly executed. Ford was particularly clever, reclaiming these styles and colours for the gentleman.

Tom Ford A Mans Man

As for his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, that was a more muted affair, with a palette that matched the seasonal weather. 

Midnight blues, beige and blacks, with a general tone that was reminiscent of sophomore wear, student trainers and academic roll necks were the order of the day. 

Dark blue was the foundation colour, and although the style was more relaxed, but superb stitching was of course still paramount, Ford still kept the gentleman as his template. 

The outfit which stood out the most was an evening wear piece, comprising a nipped smoking jacket in black with Baroque pattern, black roll neck, slim trousers and patent shoes. 

It was a magical display of Ford’s prowess and skill.
Tom Ford has proven himself to be a genuine man’s man, they say it takes a man to know what a man wants and thanks to Ford the gentleman has never looked so good.

Without Prejudice Spring Summer 2014

Without Prejudice Spring Summer 2014

Just in time for the spring and summer, we take a look at the season from a tailoring angle with the North London born menswear label Without Prejudice

WP’s covert plans of making its mark in the global fashion world have come to light with their latest SS14 collection by reaching the shores of Australia, USA, Canada and Dubai to name a few.

Without Prejudice Spring Summer 2014

This collection is by their own words “the strongest and most vibrant season yet” as they find their way into the minds, hearts and wardrobes of modern gentlemen across the globe. 

“Men are braving new colours and prints right now in 2014 which makes it an exciting time to create garments like these” says Without Prejudice’s chief Designer Monica Sassoon. 

It is this evolution that led her to design such a modern and colourful collection around the iconic bold pallet of Cornwall’s coastal towns.

Without Prejudice Spring Summer 2014

From rich blue hues to candy-stripe pinks, brave whites and purples, now is the time to add a splash of colour to your tailored wardrobe. 

Gone is the overcast and dull fisherman, dress for a wonderful bright summer whatever the weather actually brings our way.

The Return of the Monocle

The Return of the Monocle

It’s impossible to say whether the monocle is really going to make a return, I mean a full blown return, but if you read Allen Salkin’s article in The New York Times, then it looks as if the monocle will start to become ever more in vogue. 

Salkin wrote “The one-lensed eyepiece, an item favoured by 19th-century military men, robber barons and Mr. Peanut, is finding itself wedged anew into the ocular sockets of would-be gentlemen seeking to emulate the stern countenances of their stuffy forebears.
From the trendy enclaves of Berlin cafes and Manhattan restaurants to gin ads and fashion magazines, the monocle is taking its turn alongside key 21st-century accoutrements like sharply tucked plaid shirts and certificates in swine butchering.“

The Return of the Monocle

In his research for the article, Salkin spoke to a number of trend forecasters and industry types, who credited the rise of the monocle, from obscure fashion relic to much sort after accessory, down to a subgroup of the hipster movement. 

In his conversation with British trend forecaster Martin Raymond, Salkin writes “he credits the rise to what he calls the new gents, a hipster subspecies who have been adding monocles to their bespoke tweed and distressed-boot outfits.” 

On a recent trip to Cape Town, Mr. Raymond said, he saw such a group carrying monocles along with tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels. “All of this is part of a sense of irony and a way of discovering and displaying old artisanal and craft-based technology. You see the monocle appearing in Berlin, parts of South Dublin.”

The Return of the Monocle

I don’t know how many of you will feel about this particular piece of sartorial nostalgia re-emerging on the fashion stage, but I personally feel that it’s going to be one of those things that only certain individuals will get right, and the rest of us will get terribly wrong. 

The likes of David Gandy and Waris Ahluwalia will have nothing to worry about, how we wear it is another matter, I’m thinking of wearing one simply as a necklace and nothing else, actually wearing it for its intended purpose is going to be a definite no, no! 

It will be interesting to see just how the monocle trend develops, whether it will just be a short fad, destined to be resigned to the museum, or one of those accessories no discerning fashionable gent can be without. 

As for now, I’m heading over to the Monocle Shop!

What Do Men Wear for Cheltenham Festival

What Do Men Wear for Cheltenham Festival

This famous annual 4 day horseracing festival started way back in 1860, and includes the steeplechase, hurdle and flat racing. 

The best horses and jockeys from Ireland and Britain compete for the rather nice £4 million in prize money. 

Even if you are not interested in racing and have never made a bet you can still enjoy an event like this. The venue, people, atmosphere and social cheer make this a must for anyone. 

And you never know, a sneaky bet at the william hill cheltenham betting page might be the icing-on-the-cake of a great day out.

What Do Men Wear for Cheltenham Festival

You may be surprised to hear that there is no official dress code at this Cheltenham event. Fancy dress is even permitted with no restrictions as long as the outfit is not offensive. 

However, you’ll be glad to hear that gentlemen usually wear a suit in the Club Enclosure and within the onsite restaurants and hospitality facility areas. 

But this shouldn’t stop us “regular ticket” holding men from dressing up for a day at the races. Since the race is largely during the winter months, the good ol’ British weather can be unpredictable, so it is advised to dress accordingly with heavier fabrics and plenty of layering. The sun might come out but it’s still going to be cold.

What Do Men Wear for Cheltenham Festival

So you’ve arrived well before the first race is due off to avoid the crowds, and so you can have a little look around the course and enjoy the pre-race atmosphere, maybe even to take a look at the fascinating museum. But what are you wearing? 

Tweed & Wax Jackets 

Yep that’s right, get your tweed jackets out and wear them with pride teamed with a shirt, tie and mixer trousers… oh and a scarf to keep you warm. 

You’ll also need a coat so either opt for a wax jacket for an English countryside style or a smarter wool overcoat. If it’s really cold, be sure to layer with a quilted jacket too. 

Also remember that you’ll be on your feet all day and will need suitable footwear such as smart brogue boots.

What Do Men Wear for Cheltenham Festival

Hats 

We don’t get too many occasions where us guys can wear hats so take advantage of this. For an understated look you can go for the popular tweed flat cap. 

Some other flamboyantly suave chaps will be wearing navy or the popular brown wool Trilby hats, and any royal blooded men will have top hats. 

If for some random reason we had a heat wave in March, we’d recommend a Panama hat to complete the look. But that’s never going to happen!

Interview with Nikhil Sharma of Lacquer Embassy

Interview with Nikhil Sharma of Lacquer Embassy

The Lacquer Embassy brand is the brainchild of Nikhil Sharma, a designer-come-stylist-come-consultant and a previous MWS contributing writer, producing exquisite silk pocket squares and shirts. 

I caught up with Nikhil to discuss the Lacquer Embassy, his experiences in fashion and the rather unique pocket square shoots! 

What made you want to start Lacquer Embassy? 

“I guess I managed to pack it all up as fashion in today’s world is so interdisciplinary. I worked as a menswear designer for the British high street for quite a number of years after my Masters in Fashion. I started working as a stylist alongside as I not only loved to put looks together for menswear editorials, but also to create the concept, the mood and the set. Putting creative energies with likeminded photographers and having a vision was so different from designing clothes. Gradually the work got appreciated and I managed to create some good menswear visuals with some amazing teams. I also started working as a freelance menswear consultant for a trend forecasting agency in London. An amalgamation of having worked in the corporate world in London and India for more than eight years made me reach a point where I was ready to set up a small niche brand of my own. My label, Lacquer Embassy, was born out of a desire to realise the aesthetics I have cultivated throughout my travels, life experiences, and my own experiments in style. I have started from scratch with just a few tools of attitude, vision and honesty which are supported by a design centric approach in every aspect of the brand.”

Interview with Nikhil Sharma of Lacquer Embassy

What inspired you to go into this area of the industry? 

“I initially wanted to study architecture. Having also applied to a fashion school, my portfolio was appreciated and I was given an offer to join. I decided to give it a shot even though this wasn’t the original plan. Since I started I had an inclination towards menswear. I was not interested in women’s clothes at all; I think it came with an ease for me to design what I would wear.” 

What sets Lacquer Embassy apart from the rest? 

“Lacquer Embassy combines classic influences with modern culture focusing heavily on attention to detail and minimalist silhouettes. The label aims to encompass the fusion of relaxed elegance of youth and luxury with a definite sense of modern aesthetics. The designs are brought about from an uncomplicated perspective. I have always had a strong graphic sensibility since I started studying fashion which comes through in my brand now. There is an emphasis on prints and patterns, while still maintaining fairly simple tailored silhouettes so they are very wearable. The aesthetics of the brand fits in with our contemporary lifestyles, where laid back and unfussy outfits are a necessity, even during the most semi-formal occasions. I think these days, formal and casual have become interchangeable in the modern world.”

Interview with Nikhil Sharma of Lacquer Embassy

How did you come up with the unique lookbook concept? 

“This is where working and exploring different disciplines of the creative part of fashion has helped me. I designed the pocket squares and then styled the entire shoot. Design and good aesthetics play a key role for me in every aspect of my brand and lifestyle. Every little detail from the packaging to the product to the styling are all equally important. Also, since I don’t have major investments in the brand it helps to do it all, though I am lucky to have found a photographer who shares the same vision as me.”

What does the future hold for Lacquer Embassy? 

“Our stuff has been ordered and worn by guys in Australia, Singapore, London, New York, Hong Kong and India. It makes me happy that the label is worn by metropolitan gents all around the world and not bound to a certain region. The vision is to have more men wear the label all across the world – anyone (regardless of age) who appreciates good design and strives for a better quality of life. The brand embodies the sartorial style of the modern jet setting gentleman and I would like to continue working on it. I would also like to offer more categories and services gradually. I think that menswear is very exciting nowadays, as the realm is getting so creative. It has entered a very dynamic phase and hopefully my brand can contribute to it in its own small way.”