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Archive for January, 2009

brad_1245723cI knew there was a reason I loved the wardrobe so much–

 

Belstaff, which was founded in Longton, Staffordshire, in 1924, opened up its 85-year-old archives to West and supplied original, classic designs for Pitt-as-Button’s screen wardrobe.

When Benjamin Button is riding his vintage Indian motorcycle through Louisiana he is wearing the Belstaff ‘Panther’ jacket in dark-brown leather, a timeless classic as popular today as it was 50 years ago. At another pivotal point in his life, Button takes off on his Triumph motorbike wearing the Belstaff ‘Button’ blouson in black leather, a ‘new’ classic based on an original design. In another key scene, opposite Tilda Swinton who plays diplomat’s wife, Elizabeth Abbott, Button is in a vintage Belstaff shearling jacket in black leather with cream collar.

Link to Belstaff/Button story

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Paul Smith always stands for color, pattern and cheek; but since so much of his tailored clothing this season was cut from conservative fabrics with gray or brown backgrounds, what was under the jacket became the statement maker. Sportswear came in corduroys, stonewashed black denim and lots of tartan, especially Black Watch.  Foulard print scarves were layered for a bohemian effect.

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Kim Jones, Dunhill’s creative director, will put his vision of a modern Dunhill on the Paris menswear catwalk at the Maison de l’Architecture on Sunday. (Chris Moore/Karl Prouse)

It is England, 1914. Imagine Alfred Dunhill dashing along in his motor vehicle at a daring 12 miles an hour, his eyes flicking to his rose gold stopwatch, tooting his four-note horn, the entrepreneur in a leather coat with matching goggles. And all these magnificent pieces designed by himself.

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The heritage of Dunhill is so broad and so British: from its beginnings with the birth of the car to creating luxury accessories for motorcycling, aviation and the oh-so-fashionable smokers in the Roaring Twenties.

“This is from the 1920s – from the collaboration with Japan,” says Kim Jones, 32, Dunhill’s creative director, who will put his vision of a modern Dunhill on the Paris menswear catwalk at the Maison de l’Architecture on Sunday.

Jones was referring to a dynamic and ergonomic range of travel bags in wood-grain leather. But it would be a stretch to guess that a pen case from the 1920s had been the inspiration. (more…)

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THE CUSTOMISATION PROCESS

AT BAMFORD & SONS, WHAT STARTED OUT AS A BASIC BLACKENING PROCESS, HAS NOW BEEN ENHANCED BY A NUMBER OF ‘SECRET’ FORMULAE AND IS NOW PERFECTED AS A HIGHLY ADVANCED MILITARY GRADE COATING. 

THE SCIENCE OF PVD OR ‘PHYSICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION’ IS HIGHLY TECHNICAL. THE RESULT IS A STUNNING, ALMOST’ DIAMOND HARD’ FLAWLESS COATING. FURTHER CUSTOMISATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE FORM OF BESPOKE DIALS, LUMINESCENT INDICES AND CASE ENGRAVING.

THE COMBINATIONS OF DIAL COLOURS, LUMINOUS PAINT AND THE ABILITY TO HAVE UP TO 8 CHARACTERS OF YOUR OWN TEXT ON THE DIAL OF YOUR CUSTOMISED ROLEX, ENSURES THAT EACH FINISHED TIMEPIECE IS A HIGHLY EXCLUSIVE ONE OFF PIECE.

Link to Bamford Watch Department

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The last pic is of the Land Rover specially equipped for the film Tomb Raider.  

Land Rover is not just a vehicle, it is an institution. Conceived as nothing more than a short-term stop-gap, it went on to break records worldwide and to become the definitive 4WD brand.  Production of the model now known as the Defender began in 1983 as the Land Rover One Ten, a simple name which reflected the 110 inch (2.794 m) length of the wheelbase. The Land Rover Ninety, with 93 inch (2.362 m) wheelbase, and Land Rover 127, with 127 in (3.226 m) wheelbase, soon followed.  Outwardly, there is little to distinguish the post-1983 vehicles from the Series III Land Rover. A full-length bonnet, revised grille, plus the fitting of wheel arch extensions to cover wider-track axles are the most noticeable changes.  Mechanically the Ninety and One Ten were a complete modernisation of the former Series platform.  

Land Rover Defender vehicles have been used extensively by many of the world’s militaries, including the US in some limited capacity, following experience with the vehicle during the first Gulf War, where US forces found the British Army’s vehicles to be more capable and better suited to operation in urban areas and for air-lifting than the Humvee. The British Army has used Land Rovers since the 1950s, as have many countries in the Commonwealth of Nations.  

The Defender is still largely hand assembled, and unlike most modern cars and trucks, all the major body panels and sub-assemblies simply bolt together. A Defender can literally be broken down to its chassis with simple hand tools — there is no unibody structure.  At present, the Defender does not reach the safety requirement for the USA, and only small batches of specially modified (and very expensive) vehicles have been sold there in the past.   

Link to Land Rover History

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The Barbour International, in the range since 1936.

 

Steve Mcqueen in his Barbour International.

Look through the history of motorcycling and it’s obvious that the International jacket was de rigueur riding apparel for the serious rider.  Heard of Steve McQueen?  Barbour was worn by virtually every British international motorcycle team from 1936 until 1977, and they were the official motorcycle police jacket in 14 different countries.

The Barbour story begins with John Barbour who was born in 1849 and raised on a farm in Galloway in West Scotland, the second son of a family whose links through history can be traced back to the 14th century.

At the age of 20 he left the farm to try his luck across the border in the north east of England where in 1870 he started business as a traveling draper.  A year later, he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Haining who bore him 11 children and gave him the encouragement and belief to start J Barbour & Sons in 1894 in 5 Market Place, South Shields. 

The shop sold all manner of products loosely described as drapery including outerwear, boiler suits, painter’s jackets through to underwear, and, in the flourishing town of South Shields the shop which became known as ‘Barbour’s,’ thrived successfully.  Almost from the first, Barbour derived an important part of its income from the ship-owners, ship builders and seamen of the port, supplying Beacon brand oilskin coats designed to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen, river, dock and shipyard workers from the worst of the weather.  Now over 100 years old, Barbour is a 4th generation family owned company who have developed a unique understanding of clothing that is truly fit for the country lifestyle.

Stated simply- Barbour is an authentic British brand providing a wardrobe of clothes for country pursuits, country living and for those who simply love the country, while still maintaining the core values of its heritage, durability, fitness for purpose and attention to detail.

A Barbour is more than a jacket, it’s a family heirloom to be passed down from father to son.

Link to The Official Barbour website

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Bond Lifestyle provides a stylish and clear online guide to products related to the world of the most suave secret agent, Bond… James Bond.  Find inspiration to improve your style, complete your 007 collection, get ideas for your James Bond theme party, or identify gadgets, cars, clothes, accessories and locations that you saw in the latest Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

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Lobb

 

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John Lobb

 

At John Lobb they like to say that comparing ready-made footwear to made-to-measure footwear is “like comparing chalk to cheese.”  With Royal Warrants proudly displayed, the legendary shop in the shadow of St. James’s Palace is a treasure to behold and a mecca for those who can afford and appreciate the finest English footwear.  There’s a great old story at Lobb about a customer many years ago- he waltzed into the shop with an elephant’s ear over his arm requesting that Lobb make him a pair of shoes.  They did.  

 

 

 

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Tommy Nutter boldly cut against the traditional Savile Row grain.

Tommy Nutter will always be known as the flamboyant bee in Savile Row’s stuffy bonnet.  It was the late 60s, and narrow suits ruled the day.  Trained as traditional tailor, the sexy and innovative Nutter was not happy following the status quo of Savile Row and literally took matters into his own hands.

Tommy Nutter- a peacock if ever there was.

He created a sensation with his bold, signature look- wide shoulders and unapologetic lapels.  Nutter became the darling of the celebrity scene- clothing the likes of Mick & Bianca Jagger, Elton John and The Beatles.

Paul, Ringo and John- clothing by Tommy Nutter.

His influence can still be seen today, through a legacy of apprentices who trained under him, and in the young new designers of today who are discovering his work.   Tommy Nutter has forever left a mark on Savile Row, and defined a moment in time when bigger truly was better.

British rock musician Mick Jagger and Nicaraguan Bianca Perez Morena de Marcias just after their Wedding in St Tropez, France on 12th May 1971.

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You're a big man, but "You're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself."

Michael Caine

If your knowledge of Michael Caine is limited to Dirty, Rotten, Scoundrels - then you don’t know Jack about Caine.  To get a true picture of the man you need to go back, way back - 1971 to be exact.    

Michael Caine played sexy, smoking, drinking, shotgun-toting, trench-coat wearing British mobster – Jack Carter, out to avenge the death of his brother.  Get Carter is widely considered to be one of the greatest British films ever made.  Michael Caine’s steely performance and strong, sexy looks are spot-on, and visually the film is a sartorial splendor with clothing and furnishings that look like they’re straight from Savile Row.  

All of this is underscored by Roy Budd’s legendary and innovative soundtrack.  Budd incorporated sound effects from the movie (the famous train scene) along with the music – something no one else was doing.  Altogether, it’s a masterpiece and by all means required viewing.  

Other great Caine films include The Ipcress File (1965) and Alfie (1966).  So if you please, put aside Blame it on Rio and get acquainted with the classics.  You’ll never think of Sir Michael Caine the same way again.  

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