I've always been a big fan of Belgian designer, Dries van Noten, but he was very slow to embrace the internet and e-commerce so his collections haven't been as visible as other brands or designers over the last few years.
He's finally got with the programme and this season's collection is beautiful. He's used military embroidery and details to decorate his menswear collection. I particularly like the use of this medal ribbon which looks like a (Gucci) snake from a distance. Because it's medal ribbon it feels masculine and complements this traditional military style trench coat which has the addition of two large and handsome external pockets. This is a great update of a classic coat style.
Left & Below - Dries van Noten - Radley Grosgrain-Trimmed Wool-Blend Trench Coat - £1410 From MrPorter
If Wes Anderson did gym kit then this would be the bottom half. Sports is everywhere at the moment and, if like me, you've grown used to the comfort of spending the summer in shorts and tracksuits it feels like an effort and a step backwards to put on anything else, especially regular, non-elasticated trousers. Oh, how things have changed!
Left - Lacoste FW15
I’m a big fan of what designer, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, is doing for Lacoste in their mainline catwalk collection, which they show in New York. I couldn’t find a good image from the current collection so I used last year's, but I know they do these smart creased track trousers with bold stripes as I saw them in the windows of their Knightsbridge store, yesterday.
I couldn’t find them available on the internet, but Fila do a mean retro tracksuit bottom with that ever so sharp and important crease in their Heritage collection. Go got ‘em.
Left & Below - Fila - Molveno Trackpant - £45
Peace and love, what more do we need? Well, a big bank balance looking at the price of this shirt. Tom Ford always knows which bits of the past to mine. While he's a man of the 1970s, this psychedelic shirt brings to mind the Beatles of the 1960s and menswear brands from the time such as Mr Fish.
While this shirt is loud, team it with a navy suit and plain tie and you'll have something that is risk taking and tasteful rather than brash and gaudy. Peace out!
Left - Tom Ford - Floral Print Shirt - £675 from Harrods
Inspired? See the V&A’s 1960s Exhibition - here
Prada was once one of the coolest brands. Twice a year, I’d eagerly await each Milan show for that sophisticated yet intellectual take on beautiful men’s clothes. They’d always be something new and clever, which sometimes took a couple of months to sink in, and defined this intelligent type of dressing.
Unfortunately, not everything lasts and this has disappeared from the label which hasn’t been updating as quickly as they used to. It’s like Miuccia has left the building, but then maybe that’s what happens when you become a fashion billionaire?
Anyway, they’ve realised that in order to slow their drop in sales they need to get online and they’ve just gone on to MRPORTER.COM. This cardigan is a standout for all it’s ‘children’s-tv-presenter-rainbow-realness’. It’s something a crazed aunt would knit for you as a child and something that would quickly become your favourite and return to year-after-year. It's hand-knitted in Italy from Shetland wool and is basically a smile in a cardigan.
Left & Below - Prada - Intarsia Shetland Wool Cardigan - £1130
Raf Simons’ long-term collaboration with Fred Perry has been one of the most successful, in brand and creativity terms, in menswear. Started in 2008 and, now, in its 14th collection, this tie-up was the perfect twist on Fred Perry without being dominated by a designer.
Every season Raf Simons knew exactly how to had a new spin on the classic Fred Perry DNA without it being too themey or over designed. I still have a black knitted polo shirt from the first collection.
Now, he’s been made head of Calvin Klein - Read TheChicGeek’s thoughts here - I wonder if this collaboration will finish. He’s going to be a busy bee turning around that fashion juggernaut.
I really like this polo shirt from the new collection. It’s one part retro Northern soul with the stripes, but clean enough to feel fresh and contemporary. You almost want the stripes to be lurex to give it that Gucci feel. This could be Raf’s last collection for Fred Perry, so get it while it lasts.
Left & Below - Raf Simons Rib Insert Pique Shirt - £95
The final straw was seeing a fox making off with my old pair of leather Birkenstocks and running down the garden. Clearly, the leather was the attraction, but I knew it was time for a new pair.
Birkenstock has introduced colour to their classic Arizona sandal by using EVA plastic: a rubberised plastic with a soft, comfortable finish.
This deep blue pair will look just as good, with or without socks, running down to the shops or off to the gym. The plastic makes this classic sandal feel more contemporary and younger, and, being plastic they’re a great price, can get wet and will definitely be of no interest to the local fox community.
Left & Below - Birkenstock Arizona Sandals - £27 from ASOS
One of the most successful British luxury labels of the last few years, Anya Hindmarch, has just introduced a men’s collection.
"Men started wearing our product so the menswear line really launched itself,” says Anya Hindmarch.
This bag, in the ‘Walton’ shape, is a men’s style from the Anya Hindmarch Bespoke collection and is, now, available, in this bold red, with her humorous Men at Work symbol.
A symbol usually associated with hold-ups, Men at Work seems apt on a formal briefcase, making it light-hearted and showing you have a sense of humour, even in the most serious of meetings.
Now, where do I get a Geek at Work version from?!
Left & Below - Anya Hindmarch - Men’s Men at Work Walton Briefcase - £1495
I'm not bored of new Gucci, yet! While I’m a fan of the decorated silk bomber or souvenir jacket, it’s time for something different and more seasonal as we start to move towards autumn.
This jacket features the Gucci hallmarks of decoration and the bird of prey is perfectly proportioned at the back. The cropped and fitted style makes this feel younger and more contemporary than an average tweed jacket and is the perfect item to take you right up to Christmas.
Left & Below - Gucci - Bird-appliqué houndstooth wool jacket - £1850 from Matchesfashion.com
I’m not sure where the Monkey boot got its name, *quick Google* and no decent explanation. They were the standard issue Czechoslovakian army boot of WW2. That's all I can find out.
I’ve been wearing mine all winter and they seem to go with everything. They dress down a smart trouser without looking forced and keep a jean looking smart without looking sloppy.
Their history as a skinhead’s boot of choice doesn’t hurt, plus they’re really comfortable. When I was at the Pitti menswear show in Florence, last summer, they looked fresh and contemporary and there were a lot of brands producing them for this spring season.
There’s something solid and traditional yet also street about the monkey boot. They’re the kind of boot you don't notice at first, but the more you look, the bigger the appreciation. These polished toe cap version from Grenson have a nice contrast between the front and the grained leather and the solid, wedged sole adds a modern touch.
Left & Below - Grenson - Andy - £225
There was a time when wallets were a simple choice of black or brown. These were the small leather goods, confined to our inside pockets, and, depending on how much of a frequent spender you were, weren't seen that often. Wallets are essentially for you, which is probably why Paul Smith's pin-up girls proved so popular.
I was given a floral Givenchy wallet last year and while it wouldn't have been something I would have initially chosen, it feels a bit like a one-off and is instantly recognisable as mine. So, this Japanese scene wallet from Thom Browne caught my eye. The polished effect pays homage to traditional Japanese lacquer work while the interior, with it's red, white and blue, is resolutely American. It is ridiculously expensive, but it is nice.
Thom Browne - Printed Polished-Leather Billfold Wallet - £510 (Mr Porter)