Fashion, Men's Fashion

Key Menswear Trends for A/W13

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Climatically speaking, winter brings Amazonian levels of rainfall and misery to our fair isles, but if there’s one palliative aspect to the ferocious elements, it comes from the comforting warmth of the A/W collections. Here’s a look at how some of the season’s biggest trends can keep you safe from Mother Nature’s icy bite.

Turtle Necks

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Raf Simons, Pringle of Scotland and Lanvin were just some of the labels that sent models down the catwalk swathed in turtle necks and the trend is one of AW13’s most versatile. The perfect base for layering, a turtle neck is a guy’s go-to item for achieving the perfect juxtaposition between style and toasty comfort. Replace your shirt with one of these bad boys and wear with a suit and some classic brogues for an of-the-minute nod to the trend or throw it over some smart trousers and pair with a denim aviator jacket for a rule breaking, yet winning ensemble.

Sports Luxe

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This is one of my favourite trends for AW13 because it allows you to fly in the face of convention by combining the relaxed aspect of sportswear with the more sophisticated nature of occasion dressing. A pair of dress trousers rolled up at the ankles grappling for limelight against some vintage trainers looks so on-point this season. It’s contradictive and bold and it works so well. Ultimate AW13 outfit: some black trousers, maroon Nike kicks, a classic white tee and a black bomber jacket.

The Coat

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As always, The Winter Coat is a staple, but this season, the hue to be seen in is that word that shan’t dare be mentioned in the fashion world – beige. Yes, the colour that’s perpenially hated upon by fashion’s cognoscenti is emerging triumphantly from its own oppressive reputation.  Austin Reed, J Crew, DSquared2 and of course, Burberry Prorsurm are championing the beige coat for AW13 and it’s a must-have item for any style-conscious guy. If you’re feeling brave, why not try a Margiela-esque beige cape and team it with head-to-toe black to play into another of autumn/winter’s biggest trends – volume Vs. structure. Want a classic? Then the camel coat is your friend!

Orange

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Perhaps the trend I’m most happy about is the mood-enhancing abundance of orange for AW13. It’s my favourite colour! London Collections: Men was brimming at the seams with the vibrant hue and it has appeared in nearly every high street store since! Be as subtle or as bold as you like with orange this season – introduce it with some quirky socks to pay homage to the trend or go for a cable knit jumper from the likes of Topman or River Island. The Orange Dream this season is definitely Topman Design’s (now famous) pea coat.

Tartan

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Everyone from Nick Wooster to Eddie Redmayne has been spotted in a tartan suit recently and the prominence of tartan in both women and menswear for AW13 is unavoidable. Head-to-toe tartan can be hard to pull off, but when it’s done correctly, it looks oh-so slick. The likes of Moncler Gamme Bleu and Jill Sander pretty much perfected their tartan ensembles for AW13 and it’s a look I can’t wait to tap into. The dark green and navy tartan print is definitely a more subtle option than the traditional red one and I’m currently coveting a pair of trousers in said print. Keep the rest of your outfit refined and unfussy for a sophisticated tartan moment!

Originally penned for HelpMyStyle.ie.

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Showbiz

Behind the scenes on Victoria Beckham’s Elle cover shoot

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Check out this behind the scenes video from Victoria Beckham’s Elle cover shoot!

Looking stunning in Burberry on the March cover of fashion bible Elle, Victoria Beckham tells the magazine about her insecurities, her family dynamic and her work ethic.

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On her work ethic:

“It was never my intention to prove anybody wrong. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I don’t have to work, I need to work. All these people [her fellow fashion designers], they’ve not just been given anything. They’ve worked hard. And I’ve never been given anything either. But I have a good work ethic; David has an incredible work ethic. I want my kids to have a good work ethic. I believe you can achieve anything if you work hard enough to get it.

You’ve got to trust people. And because I am a control freak, sometimes that’s difficult for me, because I want to micro-manage absolutely everything. I can’t hand over. But I’m trying to do that more. It’s hard because I have such a specific vision.”

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On the Spice Girls and insecurities:

“When I was on stage with the Spice Girls, I thought people were there to see the other four and not me. And when I go out with David and people take pictures I think, ‘They’re here to take David’s picture.”

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On her kids:

“You know what they say to me, because I’m not the best cook, although I try really hard? They always say to me, ‘Mummy, we know that the main ingredient in what you make is love’.”

The full interview appears in the March issue of Elle magazine, on sale January 30.

See the behind-the-scenes video below:

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Music, Showbiz

Harry Styles makes the ‘frow’ for Burberry Prorsum’s LFW show | Jamie Tuohy

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about one of fashion’s rising stars, Mr Harry Styles and it looks like the fashion pack have accepted the 1D singer into their exclusive fold, as Styles made the ‘frow’ (front row) for Burberry Prorsum’s show at London Fashion Week.

The floppy-haired singer was one of a host of celebrities to attend the fashion show this afternoon, and the What Makes You Beautiful hitmaker arrived at Kensington Gardens, looking smart in his trademark blazer and skinny jeans.

Harry was in good company at the show, as Anna Wintour, Mario Testino, Andy Murray and Tali Lennox attended the event, and Harry; who has a much-commented on penchant for older women, will undoubtedly have been delighted to be sitting beside burlesque model Dita Von Teese for the catwalk show.

Harry was also seated beside actor Dev Patel, and Olivia Palemoro was also in attendance. Harry’s credentials with the iconic British fashion house were undoubtedly boosted when it was rumoured that he was dating Burberry model Cara Delevigne.

Over the last few months, the star has also been keen to distant himself from creating an image as a ‘teenybopper’, as he has been hanging out with more mature celebrity mates, partying at posh London nightclubs and attending numerous fancy fashion parties.

It’s a nice way to spend a Monday afternoon if you can get it!

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Lifestyle, Men's Fashion

Menswear’s Biggest Trends for AW12 | Jamie Tuohy

I know, I know. Scarcely have the summer months left us and we’re already talking about autumnal trends, but fashion moves quickly and before we know it, we’ll be left out in the cold, still wearing our Orlebar Brown swimming shorts. Proceed with haste gentleman and observe the coming season’s greatest offerings.

Frontline Fashion

From Alexander McQueen to Salvatore Ferragamo, for the coming autumn and winter months, menswear is all about battleground regalia. The military trend has long been a tour de force in both menswear and womenswear, but AW12 has conscripted the trend once again and thanks to the likes of Sarah Burton, Paul Smith, Gucci and one Donatella Versace, it’s a look that commands attention.

However, one designer who featured the trend in every aspect of his collection is Tommy Hilfiger, whose AW12 offerings, promised “a personalized take on military precision.” Tommy Hilfiger is a brand, that, in Ireland at least, can often be pigeon-holed into solely providing the classic American preppy look, but this collection proves that he’s more than just a chino and jumper kind of designer.

Forget any Action-Man images, because this military-inspired collection is all about luxe-officer, bonded leathers and clever zip detailing. It almost sounds like a 50 Shades of Grey reference, but I assure you, Hilfiger’s AW12 pieces will soldier on to make a much more impressive statement!

Knitwear

The AW12 menswear catwalks were awash with oversized jumpers, comfy cardigans and all round-relaxed country living – a nice antidote to the stern militarism of other trends. From knitted turtlenecks, to sheepskin leather aviator jackets, comfortable and cosy clothing is a practical, yet stylish trend for the cold winter months.

You wouldn’t be far out of touch donning your grandfather’s Aran sweater for AW12, as it’s all about nonchalant and oversized knits. Hermès, Burberry and Missoni all sent models down the catwalk in chunky and colourful knits and if you’re worried about loud prints, fear not! The louder the better for autumnal weekend retreats!

So say the newest and freshest knitwear designers on the market anyway! That’s ORLEY, in case you’re wondering. Consisting of Brothers Matthew and Alex Orley, who learned their crafts at Thom Browne and Rag & Bone respectively, and Matthew’s girlfriend, Samatha Florence, who trained at Helmut Lang, Orley offers innovative and quirky designs with craftsmanship often only expected from a top heritage brand.

The Pinstripe Suit

Risk taking is synonymous with fashion and perhaps the strong presence of the pinstripe suit in many AW12 menswear collections is a manifestation of the global economic crisis, as fashion treaded near the vicinity of politics, in a VERY business-like manner. For this trend, of course, the risk taking was not done on the part of the designers. The misjudged and boundless risk taking in today’s globalised economy has resulted in the recession we find ourselves in at this present moment and this financial instability obviously resonated with many designers. Alongside loud trends (think Versace’s Baroque decadence), existed certain elements of conservatism and Sarah Burton incorporated British understatement beautifully into her menswear collection.

Since taking over as the creative director of Alexander McQueen, Sarah has gone from strength to strength, (after all, it’s thanks in no small part to her that a certain Pippa Middleton went on to become a media powerhouse, courtesy of a strategically-structured McQueen gown) and she has pioneered some of the season’s foremost trends in her AW12 collection. Double-breasted jackets are also a huge look for autumn/winter and Sarah has not only combined them with this trend, but she has given us more ‘pin for our buck’, with stronger and more perceptible stripes than traditional pin-stripe suits. World leaders, please head to Ms Burton before tackling that ever-expanding debt.

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Showbiz

James Middleton lends Mischa Barton a Helping Hand | Jamie Tuohy

James Middleton gave Mischa Barton a helping hand at the launch of her new boutique in East London’s Spitalfields last night – by baking and hand delivering cupcakes for the exclusive launch party.

Mischa hasn’t been on the acting radar for quite some time now, so the 26-year-old British-born actress has decided to open an eponymously-named fashion boutique.

The former OC star’s new venture will be open to the public this Saturday and will feature a range of clothing and accessories from her own line and Mischa delighted fans earlier in the day, arriving to the afternoon launch in a flowing and feminine silk dress, as well as posing for pictures with members of the public.

For the evening soirée, Mischa was joined by her plus one for the evening, the Duchess of Cambridge’s little brother, James, whose Cake Kit company catered the event.

As well as James and Mischa, the launch was filled with fashion editors, friends and family who all ventured out to lend their support to the star’s new venture.

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Showbiz

Victoria Beckham ads some SPECS APPEAL to her Fashion Empire | Jamie Tuohy

Many businesspeople have created innovative and exciting new products because of their own personal needs and lack of availability in the market. They simply couldn’t find what they wanted, so they made it themselves. And Victoria Beckham’s latest design creation is no different.

Adding to her ever-expanding fashion empire, the 38-year-old mother of four has just revealed that she has designed an optical line, in partnership with Cutler & Gross.

The short-sighted designer said that she needs glasses herself, but failed to find a suitably stylish pair.

“I do need to wear glasses — [but] I haven’t found glasses that suit me or that I particularly like,” Beckham told WWD. “I’ve always been quite self-conscious [about this], so that’s why I’ve decided to do them myself.”

Victoria already has a successful line of high-end sunglasses in her VB range and adding prescription frames was a natural progression for her.

Beckham’s new line will feature six different frames and will be debuted at Silmo Paris on Oct. 4.  Adding to that, each style will be available in three different colours and Victoria insisted that she will now have no qualms about wearing glasses in public, saying,

“I will be wearing my glasses now, and it will be nice to see where I will be going for once.”

True to form, quality is something which was of the utmost importance to Victoria and each pair of glasses has gone through four weeks of production and a whopping 37 different assembly processes.

Victoria has been seen modelling a pair of her frames in the September issue of US Glamour, which she also guest edited and it’s good news for us guys too because these handcrafted Italian glasses are unisex.

As these are Victoria Beckham creations, they are a little pricey, starting at over 400 big ones, but for Victoria Beckham’s most loyal customers (i.e. the mega-rich), this will be pocket change and a must-have purchase.

The glasses will be available in retailers from January 2013.

Oh to be rich…and to actually need glasses, to justify purchasing…

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Lifestyle, Men's Fashion, Music, Showbiz

Taking Direction from Harry Styles | Jamie Tuohy

It was inevitable – a post on One Direction’s fashion sense. It was beckoning selection from its autotuned box, ever since the chart-topping boyband stepped onto the X Factor stage. In truth, these guys have developed a sensibility of style which is beyond their years, but they are still struggling to be accepted as serious fashion players – forever trapped by the initial preconception that this Cowell created five-piece are the latest addition to a regurgitated popscene. While this may, or may not be true (depending on who you’re talking to), I’m going to free One Direction from the image established by talent show clichés. Enter Harry Styles.

Okay, let’s clear a few things up. Yes, Harry Styles is in a boyband. An X Factor boyband at that, and while One Direction are taking the world by storm, their style credentials will always be hindered by their origins. Comments such as ‘commercialised, highly stylised and lacking in originality’ will be used to describe their whole existence as a band – from their music right down to their fashion sense. However, if we can overcome the snobbery of the fashion industry and leave our cynicism in a box, to be untouched until we’re middle-aged, then we might be able to consider the band in terms of their style evolution – from hi-top and chino wearing lads next door, to snappy and maturely dressed young men.

With a little help from stylist extraordinaire Caroline Watson, these boys have upgraded their style tenfold, turning to the likes of Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana instead of donning the latest Adidas sweatpants. While each member still retains elements of their initial look, with Louis sticking to his striped tees and Zayn still championing vintage trainers, it is arguably Harry – the lead singer (and possible love child of Mick Jagger?) who is the band’s most stylish member. Harry always had the best apparel in the band, even from their early days – he was in All Saints scoop necks and quirky printed t-shirts when the others still thought it was cool to flick your collar up.

                              

However, since the band hit the big time – breaking America and scooping awards, left, right and centre, Harry has taken to establishing himself as the band’s foremost fashion impresario. Harry’s stylish friends have been gradually introducing him to the trendy Primrose Hill crew and along with front-row fashion seats and innumerable amounts of designers tripping over their well-heeled shoes to dress him; Harry has ensured that he is considered the band’s best dressed singer.

Harry and British GQ editor, Dylan Jones

Harry’s look is very basic, but that is  why it works so well. The slim-fit jeans, the scoop neck t-shirt, the all-important blazer and a pair of Converse or desert boots, depending on the occasion. When he’s relaxing, he’ll don aviators, jeans and a rock-print t-shirt in a look that seems so obviously commonplace, but is actually very distinctive to Styles himself. His penchant for bow-ties and handkerchiefs is not nearly as commented on as his penchant for older ladies, but it is as equally impressive as picking up Caroline Flack. He is an 18-year-old, dressing with the sensibility of a guy ten years older, but with the cutting-edge touch that makes it the perfect combination of classic tailoring and youthful individuality.

Harry with Nick Grimshaw

The “One Direction Look” will probably always be pigeon-holed into the stagnant, repetitive regalia  of stone coloured chinos, a Topman tee and Toms, and while that look will certainly appear from time to time (ahem, Louis Tomlinson), the overall get

up of the band has been transformed from its days in the X Factor styling room. Harry, the youngest member of the band has a maturity beyond his years and it reflects in his style. He is probably the member who refuses to wear what the stylist gives him, favouring his own instincts over those of industry experts. He is the guy wearing an Alexander McQueen tuxedo with white Converse and most likely it’s out of his own volition.

Fashion loves a rebel and it’s quickly beginning to recognise its new, albeit unexpected gang leader.

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