Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category


Trend Watch – Puffer Jackets from All Saints

By admin on October 29th, 2007

All_saints_2We’ve already discussed how puffer jackets have been called back from the fashion dustbin where they’ve been languishing, unloved for a long time. This one is from All Saints and is available from their on-line store.

I’ve not been that into All Saints for a long time but now I’m revising my opinion. I still think a lot of their stuff is over-designed but I think they do a good job of translating catwalk trends for the high street.

This jacket is ‘rave-inspired’ apparently, but despite that, it’s bang on trend with its pared down puffs and light-weight nylon. It also has a double zip which makes you look like you’re wearing two jackets. Only you will know that you’ve only paid for one. Genius!


Superdry leather jacket

By admin on October 26th, 2007

maker of those awful Osaka 6 shirts, also have some items that won’t make you look
like someone who thinks Razorlight are cutting edge. The best of a
pretty dire range is this leather
, which costs a reasonable £190.

I should like it; it has military
epaulettes and enough pockets to fit everything you’ve ever wanted in, but
something’s just not right. It could be the Beckham factor – the thought of
following in his fashion footsteps makes me throw up a bit – but apart from
that, it just looks a bit too worn. With a leather jacket, it’s nice to have
the feeling that you’ve worn it in; that the jacket has unique patches that are
all of your making. Instead the lived-in look has just been done in a factory. To
be honest, it’s probably the fact that David Beckham wears it that’s putting me
off it.


Reiss online store

By admin on October 26th, 2007


occupy a bizarre place in the fashion market. Their prices are near designer
level, yet they’re a little known brand. COS has also recently muscled in
on their patch with a much more affordable range of clothes that appeal to the
same set of shoppers. Yet Reiss are fighting back the best way they know how,
by opening another store.

This time
it’s an online store.
As companies are realising, you can’t function in today’s environment without
an accessible all-access point from with customers can browse and buy. There
are drawbacks to the site at the moment though. Right now they only deliver to
the UK & Ireland and the prices are still slightly too high. But if money’s
no object, it’s worth giving Reiss a look.


Fame, Fortune and Fashion awaits at

By admin on October 25th, 2007

Image4xlOn-line retailers, are going from strength to strength and are fast becoming the dominant force in on-line fashion retail. They’re not resting on their laurels though and have been doing their bit to support new fashion talent.

Earlier this year, ASOS ran a competition to celebrate 100 years of London College of Fashion. Emerging design talent from the esteemed fashion school had to design an outfit inspired by a 20th Century icon and the winners got the chance to work on collections with the ASOS team. Cue lots of outfits inspired by David Bowie, Withnail and I, and.. who else do students like?.. the Teletubbies.

The menswear winner was a young guy called James Hawkes who took inspiration from his childhood heroes, lifeguards (code for: “misspent his youth watching Baywatch”).  If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have chosen him from his collection, but remarkably, his ASOS collection has turned actually really nice and very wearable.

Read the rest of this entry »


Play dress up at H&M

By admin on October 25th, 2007

like to do things in reverse. Usually, you’re supposed to have an online store
before you get a virtual fitting room. But – hope you don’t mind me swearing -
those gosh darn rebels at H&M don’t care for rules. In fact they made the
rulebook and tore it up again just to show how much they don’t care for rules.

Whilst they
don’t care for rules (as you may have guessed) they do care for virtual dress
up dolls, as are featured on their website’s dressing
. You can make yourself fat or thin and give yourself the hips and lips
you’ve always wanted. You can put in your exact measurements, so you’d see how
you look in your new H&M outfit. The one thing you can’t do is buy the


Pea-Coat Watch – Junk de Luxe

By admin on October 23rd, 2007

5232407937951_med_2Another hot trend for this season is the pea coat. This is a trend that was simmering away last winter but has now come to a rolling boil, with several versions on the catwalk and in the high street.

The pea coat started life as standard issue for the navy. They are typically double-breasted, made from heavy worsted wool and usually have vertical slash pockets. They also normally have impossibly large lapels, although these have slimmed down slightly in the transfer from the high seas.

This fine example is from the ever dependable Junk de Luxe. It’s enough of a pea coat to look like a pea coat but not too much of one to mean that you won’t be able to wear it next season. It’s an investment! You can order it from from Urban Outfitters here.


Beyond the Valley

By admin on October 22nd, 2007

Beyond the Valley
is a collective of designers of both clothing and accessory designers, most of whom are Central Saint Martins, RCA and Goldsmiths graduates. These plucky youngsters clubbed together and set up the Beyond the Valley store and gallery on Newburgh Street, just off London’s Carnaby Street. If you haven’t been, its worth a look in if you’re London based or next time you’re visiting the Big Smoke.

The idea of the shop is to create a space for new designers to test things out, and build a name for themselves. Everything’s produced in limited qualities and most of their stock is exclusive to the shop, so you don’t have to worry about going out and… actually, I can’t even say it, it’s too nightmarish – you know what I’m referring to.

They have a limited selection available through their web shop, including these “I heart moNeY” tees. There’s also “I heart aNYone”, “I heart my poNY” and cheekily “I heart fanNY”. Tee hee!



Nothing’s Fine, I’m Torn… Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme

By admin on October 18th, 2007

00170fI want to like him, but I’m just not sure about Kris Van Assche’s first collection for Dior Homme. What do you think?

Obviously I was sick to death of the stuff Hedi Slimane was sending his models slouching down the catwalk in – same old monotone, same old silhouette – and was definitely as ready for a change as Hedi clearly was. However, I’m not sure Kris has cracked it yet. It seems too different but at the same time not different enough. The aspects I liked, like the lean structured silhouettes, have gone and the aspects I didn’t (the monotones, the flannels) have stayed.

The poor bloke’s in an impossible position – Hedi Slimane totally dominated menswear for the past God knows how long. The Dior Homme silhouette was instantly recognisable, iconic even, and really wearable – a gift for intense lanky boys who’d been underserved by fashion in previous years. It was the antidote to the brash Eurotrash designers and was all smart under-stated sophistication.

So, trying to put that history to one side, and trying to judge it on it’s merits are we feeling it? Thoughts!


1815 – Pringle’s new line

By admin on October 17th, 2007

This season Pringle are launching a new line, aimed at a younger crowd. The 1815 collection, named after the year the Scottish label was born, takes Pringle staples – knitwear, waxed jackets and the diamond pattern – and edges them out. Well, a little bit anyway. You’re not going to shock your grandmother in any of these, but there’s a definite nod to street culture as well as a slight whiff of a punk attitude.

This is all the brainchild of new Creative Director Clare Waight Keller who comes to Pringle from Gucci. There’s no doubt it’s a very cleverly conceived line, with lots of witty takes on the Pringle classics. The chunky knits, which use Scottish wool, are bang on trend and I especially like their modern take on the argyle pattern jumper shown here. The waxed cotton biker jacket is also great and the perfect item if you’re ever invited to a motorcycle convention in Newmarket.

You can browse the collection here.



Return of the Puffer Jacket

By admin on October 17th, 2007

Its often said of fashion that if you stand still long enough you’ll come back into fashion. You’ll have to endure a long time being a social lepper in your Accupuncture trainers and Maharishi trousers, but you probably will be cutting edge again at some point.

Only the old adage isn’t quite right. Take puffer jackets for example. Alexander McQueen has one this season (see below), as does Dior Homme and this time round we’re not talking about those bulky duvets East 17 used to sport. These ones are much slimmed down, shorter and neater, more like a 70s style ski jacket. And I think ‘ski’ is really the vibe you’re trying to give off with these jackets. You could go for salopettes tucked into big boots but I think that would be taking it too far. You can reference the right proportions with some skinny jeans and some really phat high top trainers.

And just because I have to mention it, the leather they’ve used for the McQueen jacket is the softest, most beautiful leather I think I’ve ever had my hands on. It doesn’t even look like leather. Search it out if only to give it a grope.


Organic cotton

By admin on October 16th, 2007

Today is Blog Action Day, or more probably today is the day after Blog Action Day. Anyway, inspired by this, and my natural piety, I decided to look into organic cotton. Katherine Hamnett, as you’d expect, has been using organic cotton since the nineties. On her website there’s some slightly hysterical "information" about non-organic cotton production (which apparently causes 200,000 cotton-grower suicides a year – surely there wouldn’t be any left after a couple of years. Three tops). But whilst she may have a loose grasp on the detail, she’s got a firm grip on the general gist, and she’s definitely putting her all behind the cause, persuading Tesco to run an organic line of T-shirts this year. She later pulled out of the partnership as she didn’t like Tesco’s ethics.  Go girl!

Searching for a more balanced view I found this article from the New Scientist. It’s pretty old but it’s trying to put up the case for the opposition and largely failing, which is encouraging. There’s also some quite plausible facts on the People Tree website.

Should you want to go green, but preserve your fashion credentials, American Apparel has a range of organic cotton goods (even for dogs) but of course the last word has to go to the ever moderate Katherine: Clean Up Or Die.

Clothing, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

Belly laughs thanks to Threadless t-shirts

By admin on October 15th, 2007

One of the dangers of a comedy T-shirt is that you may be the only one who finds it funny. You could think you’re the height of wit and everyone else just thinks you’re an oafish bore.

We’re big fans of innovative site Threadless, as they lessen that risk. An ongoing competition, the site brings Web 2.0 to T-shirt design. Anyone can submit their designs and each week 4-6 are chosen from the 600 odd submissions to be printed. You can also log on and rate designs or read others comments (consider it audience research) and there’s clever ways of earning discounts through submitting photos of yourself wearing the designs or referring customers. Its like a flipping on-line love-in and even if you don’t come out with the funniest, most original shirt, your self-esteem will be given a boost.


Admittedly, a lot of them are on the cute side but you get there’s also
a biting satire like this ‘Screw Vintage, This Shirt Is From the
Future’ tee. Alright, maybe it’s less ‘biting’ and more ‘nudge-nudge
wink-wink’ satire – but it’s satire nonetheless. Take it where you can
get it.

Accessories, Clothing

10% discount for Brandish readers at Brigade Store

By admin on October 15th, 2007

I don’t know much about Cleveland other than that it’s a city and it’s in the States somewhere. It’s not really a name I’d associate with fashion (unless you’re talking about 1970s uber-model Pat Cleveland), and yet it is home to Brigade, one of the most fashionable stores you’re likely to find. At Brigade you can get your mitts on all of  the coolest American brands, which are hard-to-find on these shores. Brands such as BBlessing (pine cone hoody shown below), Nom de Guerre, Opening Ceremony, Rag & Bone, Shades of Griege, Surface to Air… I mean, I could go on.

Luckily, you don’t have to go to Cleveland to take advantage of the guys from Brigade’s impeccable taste (I’m sure Cleveland is lovely – it’s just far). They have a great online shop and will ship to the UK (although you’ll have to e-mail for the rate).

And the excitement doesn’t stop there, reader. Those generous Brigade boys are offering Brandish readers a 10% discount on all orders. Just use the code “brandish!!” (with both exclamation marks) when checking out and Bob’s your uncle. 

I know, exciting isn’t it?


Print’s Charming, hoodie from Peg Leg NYC

By admin on October 10th, 2007

I love this graphic print hoody from Peg Leg NYC. It’s a really inspired design where the garment design and the textile design complement each other perfectly – the pocket is positioned so it fits perfectly with the print on the body. This is the label’s second year and I feel like they’re part of an encouraging trend where we seeing street labels taking a few more chances with colour and print. I think you’ve got to credit Bathing Ape with spearheading this move.

Peg Leg is hard to find outside the US but you can get this and the rest of their collection from their on-line store. The pound’s doing well against the dollar at the moment (with shipping this costs about £75) so why not take advantage.

Clothing, Designer Spotlight


By admin on October 10th, 2007


Greek-Cypriot, Paris-based designer Eritokritos launched his eponymous collection for women in 1994, which quickly established itself in the hearts of women with a penchant for quirky design and colourful prints. About 5 years ago, he translated this design ethos to menswear and opened a store in the Marais in Paris to showcase this work.

Next time you’re in Paris, its definitely worth a look along with the other chic boutiques around rue Vieille du Temple. The knitwear in this season is really gorgeous and there’s some lovely short jackets perfect for autumn weather. Like the womenswear, it’s the sort of collection where the more you look at it, the better it becomes. It has a folky feel to it, and the colours are perfect – there’s something very Parisian about putting candy pink, sky blue and chocolate brown together and making it work, but they pull it off. Its bound to be in UK stores soon so watch out for it.


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