AUGUSTINE AW14 – JOHANNESBURG

10257286_497259927040855_5130981723484954082_oAugustine arrived quietly and then out of nowhere became one of the top most credible and innovative menswear designers in South Africa. Situated in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, this thrilling young design studio is headed by Marea Lewis and Justine August. This collection is the culmination of three main genres coming together, biking attire, street and of course Augustine‘s main motivation, excellent tailoring. By combining these elements the duo aimed to retain their tailoring imperative by introducing a host of elements like plush fabrics, quilting and impressive paneling while keeping to their monochromatic style. Taking risks was their first goal and may I just commend them on succeeding.

While some of their contemporaries at fashion week were trying on new styles nothing like their prior collections, Augustine was improving on their existing model ten fold.  See some of their new campaign images below and visit the Augustine Facebook page for more.

Modeled by B-boy Amelio Franck, Augustine a/w 2014 was shot by Pieter Vosloo in Yeoville, Johannesburg. 10172748_497188660381315_7406178255053028802_n

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CHARLOTTE KINGSNORTH

frontPage Charlotte Kingsnorth is an industrial designer based in London. Her, I guess re-purposed furniture (for lack of better wording), is fantastic. Taking structured frames and angles and giving it the illusion of a blob sliding off was not only well executed but rather genius. These ‘fleshy biomorphic’ forms, as she calls them, are certainly helping push boundaries and the expectation of what modern furniture should look like. The green upholstered foam chairs are my favourite and I could certainly see the tan velvet and sheet latex in a studio space, it was inspired by the bond between a person and their sofa, disturbing and yet beautiful.

See her website here for more.

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VOTE SHARE DISCUSS

10175059_778425198835713_1203366238_nAnother week, another set of looks from around the globe for Vote, Share, Discuss. We put it to you on Facebook and you got to weigh in, like or just roll your eyes. Love them or hate them, these were the looks of the week.

vsd Monday:  Ace of Hearts  -  WWD

Tuesday:  Prints Charming  -  The Sartorialist

Wednesday:  Cape town  -  StreetFSN

Thursday:   Red  -  Unknown

Friday:  Sir-Mix-A-Lot  -  Pinterest

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WHAT IS NORMCORE AND DO I HAVE IT?

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I know what you’re thinking, what is normcore and what happens if I get it? Well for starters I didn’t know that it happened to me. But looking back I realize how careless I was, how unaware of the consequences I had become. Establishing my blog before the height of the hipster age allowed for me to play dress-up and be quirky and young before it was “cool”. People would often look at me funny but they didn’t realize there was a whole shit-storm of nerd-glass wielding twenty somethings on the way. I got out alive, but barely.

Normcore is a response to the hipster fashion wave. The sort of antithesis of it. Think about it this way: If Lady Gaga has lost her ability to shock or fascinate people, it may be a reflection on our times at large. Normcore by loose definition is going out of your way to appear like you don’t go out of your way. Your normcore role models? Barack Obama, Seinfeld and Steve Jobs. It’s not looking great. While this is an extreme example it may be onto something, GQ wrote this lolworthy exaggeration on it. If a broken clock is right twice a day, your dad may be more fashionable that you right now.

I reached a point last year where I couldn’t take some of my contemporaries seriously because the outfits were becoming just plain silly. I then put all my fancy coloured brogues away and pulled on black jeans and Converse high-tops for three months straight. I embraced the relaxed freedom in wearing basics, perhaps subconsciously I was saying ‘I’m not with them!’. While true normcorists (the normcorporation as GQ call it) will dig through thrift stores for unbranded sweatpants and well-worn adidas, the point I’m getting at, is perhaps some of us are so over extreme fashion that we’re simplifying it as much as possible. I still love fashion but I’m not about to wear a cape with a neon beanie and studded Louboutins to fashion week.

Ironically, normcore will be the new hipster which threatens the cycle to spin once more… Do you think there is something to this? Weigh in.

Image from here.

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THE NEW DIESEL BY NICOLA FORMICHETTI

diesel_fw14_fy35My earliest fashion schooling happened when I worked for Diesel a good 7 years ago. At the time menswear in South Africa was not as generous as it is today and denim was a ruler in fashion. Diesel was the best available. Years on and the market for jeanswear has become saturated and Diesel suddenly become one of many brands to choose from, which is when it lost its appeal. The problem was the same looks were appearing on rails almost a decade later and consumers became bored.

That’s where Nicola Formichetti comes in. You may know him for taking Lady Gaga to new levels as her stylist, but it is he who believes she made him. A brief history: Nicola collaborated with Gaga on her fashion and eventually moved on as artistic director for Mugler, where he worked for two years. He is also the fashion director for Vogue Homme Japan, the creative fashion director for Uniqlo and now more recently, the man chosen to reinvent Diesel.

100 looks were unveiled for his first full collection, the main motive taking the brand back to its roots: denim, leather and military and bringing in elements of punk and grunge but modernising it beautifully.  I think a job very well done. What did you think of the show?

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PUNKRead this article from Vogue UK.  Images sourced from FuckingYoung.es

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SNEAK ATTACK

 

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If you have followed this blog since the beginning you’ll know that I was always more of a brogue kind of guy. These days however i’m more into my sneakers; my line of work requires running around and I don’t see the practicality of Italian shoes. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to wear awesome and fashionable shoes.

Sneakers have been embraced formally (the likes of Lanvin and Bottega Veneta have executed this beautifully) and the economy has shifted casual footwear to step up their game. I couldn’t be more pleased.

New Balance was a big contributor to the resurgence of sneaker culture, but there are some pretty great contenders for us to look at:

adidas recently launched the ZX Flux which I just got my hands on (thanks adidas!) and they are so great. My top pick is the pixelated/geometric shoe below. It belongs to the adidas ZX Flux Photo Print series. We have witnessed many major collaborations over the past few years. One being Raf Simons, who took on Adidas once again. I’m not crazy about this one but check out his reimagining of the adidas Stan Smith and decide for yourself.

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Dior Homme took on a simplistic design for their latest collection. The matte/gloss ratio works well and I love that isn’t overrun with branding. This is ideal for pairing with a suit. I want these.

Lanvin, however…
lanvindiorIf you’re more of a tennis shoe kinda guy, Saint Laurent offer up the Court Classic. My personal pick has the neon collar. Nothing wrong with classic when it comes with a bit of a twist.

saintWhich brings us to more animated sneakers. Valentinos paneled camouflage sneakers were an eye-sore for three minutes for me and then I loved them. They have been introduced in many versions (including all-black and neon) but this one is great, the yellow is a particularly clever addition.

Kenzo took an approach that feels vintage and futuristic at once. The blue High Waves Running shoe comes in high-top and striped versions.

margielaThese shoes did not belong to Jackson Pollock., but the paint splatter series from Maison Martin Margiela might very well have been inspired by him.  There are several other versions to enjoy.

Do you have a favourite?

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APARTMENT TOUR: GERARDO RUIZ-MUSI

Freunde-von-Freunden-Gerardo-Ruiz-Musi-76-930x620Gerardo Ruiz-Musi recently allowed Freunde von Freunden into his gorgeous Parisian apartment. The Mexican designer mixes simplicity with quirk quite nicely. I have always said that I just want a light-filled room with white bedding and books piling up on each side, this apartment is particularly perfect for that. Take a look below.

See his bag designs here.

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VOTE, SHARE, DISCUSS

1530533_774546232556943_316279674_nThis week’s Vote, Share, Discuss offers up dungaree’s, pops of colour and the man-skirt. The most likes went to Wednesday’s yellow beany, but the most comments went to the man-skirt! What did you think? Offer your opinion on the Man of the Cloth Facebook page here.

VSD

Blue Monday:  Mr. Raro in this windowpane check –  The Polysh

Tuesday:  Dungarees  -  Lee Oliviera

Wednesday:  Pop of yellow  -  Street Style Seconds

Thursday:  The long black raglan –  Tausendsassa

Casual Friday:  The man-skirt  -  WWD

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COMPLETED CONVERSE CLASHWALL JOHANNESBURG

DSCN1679Man, what a great finished product. Converse Africa have completed their ClashWall offering in Johannesburg after three days and 31 hours of tiresome work. Headed by Rasty, three artists covered a 53 meter tall building (14 storeys) in Braamfontein with your tweet suggestions. The colours were adapted using several key colours from the Converse Chuck 70s collection – black, white, red and yellow. You didn’t get a chance to see RSA House being transformed? Don’t fret, the ClashWall will be up for the next four months, located in Braamfontein at the corner of Melle and Jorissen Street. Good going, Converse.converseclashwall

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BLUECOLLARWHITECOLLAR BY ANDREW BRAUTESETH

GWC_3320Ex ad-guy turned photographer, Andrew Brauteseth (Guy with Camera) has joined forces with another talented Capetownian, Paul van der Spuy. The latter owns the local clothier Blue Collar White Collar. Guy with Camera and I go way back (see here) and I have always loved and admired his passion and contribution to South Africa and this industry.

In this photo series, Brauteseth called on friends Kristian and Christie to model pieces from BCWC and Nicole Reichlin for hair and make-up. The shirts are affordable and well-made but also come in a huge variety of interesting prints and colour combinations as fun as the man who makes them.

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IKEA STOCKHOLM RUG VERSION FROM MR PRICE

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Ikea’s Stockholm rug, the black and white striped one, has been on my wish list for some time. I thought I’d go for a kilim rug or something more natural but the stripes have a way of tying in other colour and design elements and I wanted to give it a try. It’s not a cheap carpet to buy and try, though.

Mr Price Home stocks a lot of home-ware and décor items, a bit of a hit and miss selection for me, but varied none the less. I was fortunate enough to stumble on the very convincing rug- twin photographed above. As far as I can tell Ikea came up with the original and it has since been replicated by various other home brands. Ikea‘s version is larger and can be found at Nevada furniture for just under R3000 and a couple months delay with shipping. The smaller version from Mr Price Home is R399 and I’m having it sewed together to form one large carpet, it feels like it needs cover more space and for R800 I’d say why not.

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 1: My apartment  2: Fancy 3: Clean lines 4: Mixed elements 5:  On tiles

 

 

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CONVERSE CLASHWALL JOHANNESBURG

afterlight11Just over fourteen storeys high, this Converse Clashwall on Melle street, Johannesburg is the largest offering in the world. Graffiti and tattoo artist Rasty Knayles headed up this huge undertaking and finished it over the course of a weekend. Makes your lazy weekend look real bad, doesn’t it?

Working against paint fumes and vertigo, the boys got your suggestions (submitted by Twitter with the hashtags #clashwall #Jhb) onto the wall and did a fantastic job at that. I got to watch it take place from across the road on Saturday, it is something far greater to witness in person, the sheer size alone will impress you. Props to Daniele from Skye Brands for getting this done, quite impressive.

Watch this space for the completed wall this week !  See the finished product here!

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