After a long time coming me and Grace finally had a test shoot organised and prepped.
But in true NE fashion heavy rain ruined our plans and my original location ideas.
But we did what we always do up north and crack on despite the weather, retiring to shelter to get some shots in.
Carhartt Chase Sweatshirt
Model : Grace Turner
Shot by: Cal Cowie
Email - Cal@ContemporaryContent.co.uk
Through the lens of ContemporaryContent
Spring '17 Editorial
Following on from the look-book we recently produced for authentic menswear stalwart Nigel Cabourn’s spring 2017 offering, we decided to utilise some pieces from the collection stylised with some of our favourites from the team at CC’s personal collections. Here we present Nigel Cabourn ss17 delivered through the lens of Contemporary Content.
Developing the signature workwear aesthetic Nigel Cabourn pieces are known for, and incorporating this with an eclectic mix of designers such as Japanese cult streetwear labels WTAPS and Neighborhood in addition to some pieces from directional menswear-fashion designers such a Rick Owens and Helmut Lang. Rounding these looks out with a selection of our favourite sneakers from the likes of Adidas, Vans Vault and Converse 1970's; we present Contemporary Content's Spring aesthetics for 2017.
Vans x Engineered Garments
' I shoot mostly with natural light, focusing on strong contrasting shadows and tones"
"I relish the endeavour of capturing emotion and raw personality through the lens"
I am a photographer
based in Liverpool, where I have my own creative studio. I mainly shoot a lot of portraits and fashion editorials for brands and publications. When shooting I try to utilise natural light as much as possible - focusing on strong contrasting shadows and tones. My portfolio includes work with brands such as Adidas, Belstaff, G Star Raw and many more. Photography for me is all about the challenge of applying my style and creative vision to the needs of a commercial campaign, in a unique way. I love photographing people, capturing their emotions and raw personality through the lens.
In this shoot, I photographed brothers Johan and Yeesha. We shot it in a skate part as the colourful artwork and shapely location matched their vibrant sense of style and personality.
Imagery by Hannah Cassidy
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Designed, sourced and made in London, menswear brand Paladrin works with local designers and craftspeople to create a collaborative body of work. It is an honest brand that supports emerging and existing talent in the belief that clothes should be made both responsibly and ethically.
Heavily influenced by workwear from previous centuries, with a nod to contemporary culture, the collection aspires to unite functional needs with considered aesthetics. Each piece is made from sustainable and durable fabrics and will withstand the necesities of all seasons, whatever the weather.
Paladin’s first collection of everyday wear includes classic-cut worker’s jackets and shirts crafted from high-quality fabrics including corduroy, denim, moleskin and wool. Each piece is reliable and hardwearing, using a restricted colour palette to give a minimalist feel.
PALADRIN. Functional Simplicity. Made in London.
Directed and styled by Cal Cowie and Chris Harrison
Shot by Luke Million
Here at CC we have curated a set of wardrobe options in regards to the transitional summer period. Although appropriate for all, this is more so directed towards the temperamental weather of the UK and other northwestern European territories.
Relaxed Ankle Trouser
Look smart, while still repping team cozy. These trousers are a perfect example of an adaptable smart-casual piece. Favourable features include; a a cotton polyester blend aiding range of movement and breathability, a subtle crop creating a clean look opposed to your standard turn up and a drawstring belt for ease and comfort.
Champion Reverse Weave
The reverse weave tee by Champion is a modernised athletic staple and the prototypical summer base layer. Construction consists of a dense yet lightweight cotton jersey body, subtle sleeve branding and a well shaped neck line that will hold it's shape over time. For a more relaxed aesthetic be sure to size up as for the majority of champions garments, they tend to fit on the smaller side.
Images by Jen Alderson
Words from Cal Cowie
Our Legacy Quarter Zip Shirt
An easy opt for a mid layer garment, it is available in a variety of fabrics such as; linen, cotton twill or as shown here in a loose weave fleece. The garment has a relaxed, slightly boxy fit and the zip as a great addition for temperature regulation. The linen iteration is the favoured by the majority and easily the most summer-time appropriate iteration.
MHL Tote Bag
In continuing an oversized-relaxed theme we'd like to highlight this heavy cotton twill tote bag by MHL. Great for all your daily carry needs, featuring a more subtle brushed MHL logo as apposed to its' more overtly branded Margaret Howell counterpart.
Vans Old Skool
A streetwear/skate classic that requires no introduction. Comprised of robust suede uppers, a clean low profile, and a sturdy vulcanised rubber sole unit. Look no further for an affordable, iconic summer silhouette to complete your look.
In a world where menswear is constantly evolving and changing at a ferocious pace, you may expect that a brand with a very sartorial focus on classical men’s tailoring would get lost in the folds. Quite the opposite is true with Thom Browne. Since the inception of his eponymous label in 2003, Browne has in fact continued to innovate and surprise, both in terms of his couture shows, and his ready to wear lines.
Thom Browne actually never intended to design menswear; he set out in his youth to enter the world of big business, studying economics at the Ivy League college Notre Dame in Indiana. During his time at university he became fascinated with vintage suiting he’d pick up from thrift stores, and learned basic tailoring to alter these suits to the perfect fit for his body.
This hobby soon became a career path for Browne, gaining momentum as he first worked in showrooms for Giorgio Armani to eventually working directly with Ralph Lauren at Club Monaco. This experience with the giants of the industry allowed him to galvanize his craft, and gave him the platform he needed to launch his own label. This allowed him to express his ideas uninhibited by the boundaries of the brands he had previously worked for, and lead to him winning the DCA menswear designer of the year in 2013.
In his own words, Browne considers himself a ‘rebel’ in the fashion world. This may come as a shock when seeing his collections, filled with oxford shirts, wool suiting and a zealous use of the colour grey, however Browne considers the laid back ‘t shirt & jeans’ style to be the paradigm of modern menswear. When Browne originally launched his label, he was to an extent an iconoclast when examining the traditonal expectation of a tailored suit, with his rendition cutting away the excess to leave a markedly cropped shape compared to the prototypical offering. His label now exists as the more challenging aesthetic to men of this generation, daring men to ditch their white t shirt, blue jeans and sneakers for a suit jacket and some brogues, embracing a bold, contemporary yet still classic take on classic menswear.
In terms of fabric and production quality, Thom Browne garments are second to none. The majority of his cotton jersey or nylon pieces are manufactured in the most elite factories in Japan, and the tailoring hand cut and sewn in the USA. Browne’s attention to detail truly does extend to all facets of his label. For instance, the Irish knit sweaters produced every season are a recreation of the original garment; Browne literally tracked down the factories in Ireland that knitted the same woolen jumpers himself and his siblings wore as children, enlisting the artisanal expertise of this factory to craft woollen knits for his collections. This small consideration truly speaks to the parameters Browne sets for excellence and authenticity.
Thom Browne Ready to Wear and pre collections are truly some of the best crafted and wearable pieces of men’s clothing in the menswear world right now. The usual suspects are made up of the iconic sweat suit tastefully adorned with the stripe motif, alongside seasonal suiting and leather goods. Although the price points are considerably high, you receive a quality product of timeless style that can be worn for years if the right care is taken of it. There is something luxurious about each and every Thom Browne item, regardless of whether it has been produced regularly throughout the years, and they absolutely do not lose this intrinsic sense of worth over time.
In terms of Browne's runway presentations - the imagery speaks for itself. Although it is a far cry from the lines you see available on shop floors, the visual conversation Browne presents through his catwalk presentations is an insight into the scope of this designers imagination and creativity. The runway offerings centre heavily around his craft of tailoring and his unfaltering adoration of the colour grey. They are breathtaking, transfixing spectacles and it is inspiring to see a designer that still executes a runway show purely in the name of self expression through the medium of clothing.
Thom Browne is a designer already revered throughout the industry, both critically and in terms of financial success. One can only hope that he continues to grow as the years go by providing excellent, luxurious takes on a man's wardrobe staples as well as continuing to create enamouring runway shows that are the subject of fashion conversations for years to come.
Errolson Hugh is somewhat of an enigmatic character. His rearing by architect parents combined with an obsession with martial arts is ultimately what led to the realisation of his cult label Acronym. While training Hugh noticed how the traditional garb worn by martial artists - a 'gee' - allowed him to move so freely, not restricting any range of motion necessary to complete the moves. Hugh wanted this feeling of freedom to exist throughout his wardrobe, not just in his martial arts training uniform. He set out to create clothing that reflected his utilitarian requirements, yet did so in a way that was aesthetically challenging - albeit in subtle ways.
The first Acronym product release to see the light of day was actually a full kit that included a jacket, a bag, and even a soundtrack amongst other various accoutrement. It’s clear that from the outset that acronym is not only selling some incredibly well thought out and executed garments, but also the desire to create some sort of all encapsulating lifestyle appeal. This desire to create something that extends beyond the physical product and extend into the users' everyday life is certainly seen in the customers of Acronym. It is not uncommon to see a patron of the label wearing a full outfit, walking down the streets resembling something akin to an anime ninja decked out in weatherproof, anatomically cut clothing; a full Acronym fit truly creates a striking silhouette. The cultish appeal of the brand to it’s consumers is not unlike that of avant grade designer Rick Owens whose ‘followers’ as they could be referred to at an extent are usually seen draped head to toe in the designers recognisable designs, identifiable usually by hallmarks only noticed by those in the know. The similarities between appeal is apparent, and in some ways Hugh seems to have even taken note of some of Owens trademark designs as part of Acronyms' ss17 collection.
Now it can be argued that Rick Owens obviously drew influence from other sources, for instance the iconic drop crotch trousers obviously contain the DNA of traditional hareem pants taken to an extreme, so this isn't a sizeable point of contention. However upon seeing Acronyms' use of a full zip-up hoodie, eerily similar to that of Owens iconic ‘gimp’ hoodie one begins to wonder whether Hugh is respectfully nodding to a trailblazer of the avant grade fashion world, or simply producing very similar garments with no sense of respect. There certainly isn't anything playful or ironic about Acronym’s designs. Quite the contrary, they are harsh, intimidating cuts of clothing.
This musing aside, this collection from Acronym is much of the same we have come to expect from the brand. There has obviously been great care poured over the construction of the outerwear pieces, with returning stalwarts such as the J46 ever-present, however this spring iteration losing the wadded down fill for a lighter summer weight. In terms of the other jackets on offer, the obviously highlight is the two-tone J1 jacket completed in olive and black. Visually slightly more interesting than the full black iteration due to the way in which the two colours are split to highlight seams and silhouette of the garment, it is in typical acronym style adorned with all the pockets and zips one could ever dream up, as well as sporting cult acronym details such as the sought after 'gravity pocket' feature and the 'sling' system used to carry the jacket as a bag. Another obvious talking point as previously mentioned is the aggressively composed drop crotch jersey trousers - one for the real die hard urban ninja types. Outside of these highlights, the collection is rounded out by other Acronym staples such as functional cargo trousers in both slim an wide cuts, some lightweight jersey tees and what looks to be a very sleek and well tailored viscose shirt with a mandarin collar.
In summary, Acronym is recognised as an avant grade outerwear focused label known for boundary pushing technical garments that look the part, however this collection seemed to be lacking that edge in most items apart from one striking trouser. Even highlighted details such as the mag lock headphone holder isn't that impressive anymore - we've seen this all before. If nothing else, Acronym is consistently providing incredibly functional garments that are bit of a change from comparable bands such as the minimalist yet similarly technical offerings from Arcteryx Veilance, or other indy offerings from sporty tech-wear brand Isaora. That being said - is 'a bit' of a change enough to maintain the reputation they've garnered as vanguards of the tech wear fashion market? Despite this, Acronym will unanimously sell out - everywhere.
The combination of devastation caused by war and natural disaster has left Croatia’s landscapes full of abandoned beauty. The countries recent fight for independence from Yugoslavia which happened in the early 1990’s has left many towns and villages ruined and abandoned with no means of repair. It was also wounded by a devastating earthquake in 1962, causing citizens to flee their homes on the mountain sides towards the coast, where they could begin to rebuild settlements.
Noticing the vast amount of abandonment and rural dereliction located throughout the countryside I found it extremely interesting to pursue this with my camera. The importance of religion is clear when exploring even the most unpopulated areas. Churches, statues and monuments are scattered aplenty around the mountainaneous terrain.
In Markarska - the rural coastal area where I was situated, I naturally captured glimpses of derelict beauty in photograph as it’s echoed all over the landscape. Houses were left empty as they fell when the earthquake hit, emptying their contents in the surrounding area leaving a strange sense of eeriness behind. I was particularly attracted to these aspects of Croatia’s past and how undocumented these places seemed to be. The combination of rocky mountains and crystal clean coasts were ideal for me to capture as they were right beside one another, resulting in plenty of opportunities to photograph the contrast of nature. The places featured in the series are from Markarska, Dubrovnik and the island of Hvar within Croatia.
Words and imagery by Joe Petini
The Cole Buxton obsession of working with natural fibres and combining them with technical synthetics creates the perfect balance between garment comfort and performance. Cole's project is the result of a lifelong passion to create real everyday menswear essentials that fit an athletic lifestyle.
In coalition with the current menswear movement of smart casual CB puts out seamless garment iterations, with relaxed cozy fits and sublime quality. This obsession over the finer details and Cole's stripped back approach to design stems from an ever-relevant phrase throughout his youth; 'clutter kills minimalism'.
A large online presence has followed the brand since its first collection launched mid last year, with interest from industry insiders and influencers alike. Were now looking onward in anticipation to a debut physical location, consisting of a pop up store in London's budding neighborhood of Shoreditch. The presentation takes place at CALVERT AVENUE SHOREDITCH, between the 27TH MARCH - 2ND APRIL.
Be sure to get yourself down to sample the collection and meet the man behind the brand.
Images From Cole Buxton
Heralded as the saviour of American Fashion, has Raf Simons arrival in the U.S. made an impact?
Quite a stir was caused when it was announced after months of speculation that famed designer Raf Simons had been confirmed as chief creative officer of global fashion brand Calvin Klein. Upon leaving his previous post as head of couture at Dior, Simons had commented on the hyper-kinetic pace of the fashion industry; he bemoaned the loss of 'incubation' for ideas, to be able to take ones time and set something aside to come back later to re-examine it in a different light. This being said, Simons new post as the head of one of the largest commercial fashion brands in the world seems odd at first glance.
New York mens week is often cited as a rather lacklustre affair on the menswear schedule of fashion month, this is not to say that there isn't still good working coming out of the big Apple. Robert Geller, John Elliott and Siki Im to name a few are consistently producing fantastic clothes - however New York seems to miss something special. The boundary pushing creations of London, the youthful energy of Paris, or the storied luxury heritage of Milan. Something is missing - that something might just be Raf.
Calvin Klein is a multi-billion dollar company comprised of multiple product lines and sub brands. It's all very confusing, and not the most coherent business model, however Calvin Klein still manages to produce huge sales numbers year on year - although this could be attributed largely to the revenues and brand power held by the famous underwear line sported by various celebrities. Implementing Raf as chief creative officer of the business, alongside his trusted partner Peter Mullier as creative director marks a shift in strategy for Calvin Klein - it's clear someone realised that their multi brand business model was incoherent for the consumer, and therefore they must unify under one singular vision.
The day of the show of Raf's eponymous menswear line arrives, with a decorated who's who of fashion press and celebrities descending upon his setting, eager to see what the acclaimed designer would churn out on his debut in a distinctly foreign setting to his usual dwelling of Paris. What came down the runway was a more mature Raf Simons aesthetic, laced with idiosyncratic motifs one would only run into in New York, such as Raf's signature oversized knits adorned with 'NY' evocative of 'I Love NY' tourist merch found on street corners; a slightly overt reference if not a heartfelt gesture of respect for his new home. Raf has consistently been a designer that has celebrated youth culture, it has taken centre stage in his work however this collection saw a toned down use of these sentiments such as styling the more formal ensembles of wool city coats and slightly baggy tailored trousers with shiny tape belts containing slogans such as 'Youth Project'. The codes of Raf Simons were ever present, such as oversized knits harkening to school uniforms, or work wear style shirts that could be compared to Boy Scout uniforms - familiar yet slightly incongruous in terms of the proportion utilised.
This subversion of a garments purpose and setting is signature Raf through and through; however there was still something decidedly grown up about this collection. Maybe this signals a new chapter for Simons. The designer turned 49 this year, and perhaps as he reaches this sign post for middle-life he is retrospectively viewing his archive of obsession with the concept of Youth, and what it means to him now as a more mature man as opposed to his earlier collections. Perhaps his appointment to such a powerful position at the helm of a multi-billion dollar fashion company has affected his consideration of clothing and what he wants to say with his designs. The responsibility on him to grow Calvin Klein's already monolithic business through creativity and execution is of huge magnitude, and maybe this weight of responsibility has inspired a new lens of maturity with which he views life through.
In the run up to Raf's New York at Calvin Klein debut there was much debate over what would become of this new iteration of the label. Advertisements began to appear sporting the moniker 'Calvin Klein - By Appointment Only' adding an air of luxurious mystery to the massive debut. The smallest part of Calvin Klein's business at present is their high-end runway offerings, being sold only at their flagship store in New York and in a very limited selection of stockists. Had Raf's experience in couture at Dior driven him to want to expand Calvin Klein's offering beyond ready to wear and produce some stunning pseudo-couture style pieces? This would be highly off-brand in terms of the offerings Calvin Klein currently sports, however Raf's ideals of modern beauty shaped his approach to couture at Dior and could be just what Calvin Klein needs to enthuse a new luxury customer to spend their money with Calvin Klein. However Calvin Klein has a storied history and is an iconic American institution, containing a strong DNA that goes back to the very first designs offered by the man Klein himself. Calvin Klein has something distinctly American about it, yet it's a minimal approach as opposed to America's perceived relationship with over-zealousness that is often cited as one of its defining factors. This tied with a penchant for sensuality is the main identifier for the brand.
The setting for the show said as much for the collection as the clothes themselves in some ways. Discarding the typical proposition of a trendy gallery space and instead opting to show in the basement of the brands Manhattan headquarters, show invitations adorned proudly in bold "established 1968". A sense of sincerity on Simon's behalf to show respect to the history of the brand was certainly present, although this was not without him utilising his own creative license to assert that this was to be his interpretation - 'You are sitting in an artwork by Sterling Ruby... It is part of Simon's curatorial approach to the brand'. Simon's longstanding friendship with artist Sterling Ruby is well documented. The two have collaborated on multiple occasions including Ruby's store designs for Simons, Simons use of Sterling Ruby artworks as prints for couture dresses in his inaugural Dior collection, and the two's collaborative collection produced under Raf's label for the Fall '14 season. This assertiveness on Raf's part of forcing his audience to sit in a Sterling Ruby installation while viewing the collection speaks to his deep appreciation of Art and how this relationship with the art world seeps into his creations, one way or another.
In terms of what was sent down the runway courtesy of Simons and Mulier, there was definitely a willing compliance with Calvin Klein's iconic notions of Americanism and Sexiness. Sheer figure hugging tops were paired with brightly coloured wool trousers and metal toed cowboy boots. Some of these references are a little blatant, such as an American flag wrap-come dress type garment that lay under a coat in one look. Whether this was styling choice or an actual garment remains to be seen, however it felt a little forced. Alternatively there was some subtle, playful references that definitely deserve credit. Peeking out from the inner of the men's parkas were what looked to be quilted patchwork liners, perhaps a reference to America's native culture of quilt making. Subtext aside, they look to be beautiful additions to some already extraordinary pieces of outerwear. There was also a staggered use of a clear shiny fabric that wrapped garments or full looks from the tailored jackets to overcoats to dresses. This subtle reference to the American obsession with plastic wrapped furniture was a nice self-aware gesture to what could be considered an institution of the American household. The highlight of this use was definitely the use of the 'plastic covering' over the plaid printed, business-like double breasted city coats. This subversion of classic American uniform pieces typically seen on Wall Street bankers with another classically American object in the furniture covering is both thought provoking and visually interesting. Martin Margiela's use of semi-sheer lycra style fabric wrappings over herringbone wool coats particularly springs to mind with these pieces, however Simons and Mulier have executed the style in a much more coherent aesthetic with the Calvin Klein identity. Whether pieces such as these will attract commercial success is another musing that is up for discussion. Pieces such as the floral print dresses, the printed coats, the denim and the parkas are all easy and beautiful clothes that will surely be successful, however the more maximalist offerings such as the plastic wrapped brightly coloured furry coats and the head turning feather dresses that resemble something from a carnival dance troupe may be a step too far for the conservative Calvin Klein customer who have the money to spend on these pieces. The bottom line of this collection is that although the response overall on a commercial level may be mixed, there is no denying that these clothes are simply charming and make you want to own and wear them. Their sincerity and sensuality is enticing at best, and perhaps in places a minor step too far for some at worst. The offering on a whole definitely wasn't perfect, however it was a pleasant glimpse of what Simons and Mulier want Calvin Klein to be; modern, sensual, desirable, and unapologetically American.
Words by Chris Harrison
Images by Voguerunway.com
In this we guide we hope to further develop your current understanding in the art of layering. By referencing the aspects discussed in this piece we hope to assist you in composing stylish, yet functional outfit ideas.
By this we're not talking squaller such as not wearing navy with black, more to consider the awareness of colour pallets when forming clothing into styled looks. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is quite simply reducing the number of colours on option in your wardrobe. Black white and grey for the everyday, or black white and navy to keep you wavey, take your pick but either are a good rule of thumb for a sturdy foundation. Although we recommend this to include essentials for the majority of your wardrobe staples pops of colour are also essential.
Finding the right balance between these two aspects will create a consistent and flowing colour pallet throughout your garments. For example, observe the image above, consisting for two alternative tones of navy, with a crisp white tee and Pale Green cotton pants. The shade of the green is key in this case as it unites with the white and the navy; a brighter or more vibrant colour green would not please the pallet. Electing the appropriate colour of undergarment can break up the sectional tones of your outfit and can be used well to brighten up darker tones. It is favourable to select different tones of the same colour to cause lasting effect, especially when utilising a lot of black.
In this we focus on specific fabrics and ideas on how to line them up appropriately for utilitarian and visual impact. We understand at CC this is temperamental with regards to seasonal changes but this will give you a general sense of how to combine textures.
The construction of most outfits consists of base, mid and outer layers. For base layers cotton is always a good go to. Available in a variation of weights, textures and silhouettes its an easy wear for any occasion , top picks include a solid tee or a dense cotton oxford . Mid layers( usually concerning long sleeve pieces) is where you can really experiment with fabrics and where more designated thought should be placed, usual suspects include cotton sweats, linen quarter zips, vests, twill overshirts and woollen knitwear. Outer layer garments as are the highlight to most outfits usually containing some technical aspects be it; waxing, waterproofing, down or Gore-Tex.
Take the image above as an example of textile experimentation on a crisp winters day of -2 degrees. The base layer of the outfit is a cotton t-shirt providing good breathability and comfort. Above is a high neck , long strand fleece with a soft handle. The high neck keeps out a draft, also withdraws the use of a scarf. Also incorporated in the mid layer is a down vest, providing superb insulation. The sleeveless aspect of the garment is paramount, as it does not inflict your range of movement( unlike a long sleeve alternative). The outer layer consists of a brushed wool mac. This is a good choice as the collar is coming away from the neck, thus not imposing on the high neck of the fleece. The ensemble is a fine example of providing a sense of depth to one tone outfit.
Garment length is an essential thought process when pondering what to wear. This component can have a dramatic effect on the flow of your garments between layers and how things fit together. The first thing to consider is your base and mid layers. A preference for us is to have your base layer lying lower than your mid layer this creates seamless continuity between garments while also giving you the option to amplify the seperation of layers with a pop of colour (as shown in the image above).
Additionally this concept can be applied to legwear. The leg length of your trousers and the way they sit can have many implications. For example with tapered multi layered styling of varied lengths, particularly with a more fashion forward fit, (like the example above) a complimenting cropped length of trouser would sit well. With more over sized ensembles, a spill over cuff could sit a lot better workwear. With more classic and clean compositions try chinos or denim with a slick turn up.
By this were not talking about pretentious social constructs such as 'that big meeting' or 'catching a business lunch', we asses the daily trifles that could alter the need of formality of your attire for example; The active duration of your day, an evening meal with friends, casual weekends or your choice of work attire.
The line between smart and casual can be an surprisingly fine, all it takes some minor details within your outfit choices to steer between either desired preference. Take the example above; a turtle neck knit has been chosen rather than a cotton sweatshirt, providing comfort with a slightly less athletically inspired garment. Swap your formal trousers for tailored wool track pants providing relaxed tapered fit and avoiding the use of an cumbersome belt and buckle. Sporting a monochromatic leather or suede sneaker , specifically a low top, makes reference to a more proper iteration of footwear. The midsole for comfort is of high importance, if in doubt look for the Margom Cup Sole or a Vibram unit for the CC tick of approval.
Finally let's not forget a major CC go to, who can knock a classic over coat? Whether single or double breasted make sure to pay close attention to the fit and how to garment lies, when assessing the need for smart or casual. A more oversized coat of a double breasted nature was used, creating a well rounded look fit for purpose.
From the FW/16 season titled 'Mastadon', the DRKSHDW flight jacket perfectly showcases how Rick transforms a classic menswear garment with some nuanced details, making a truly standout jacket. The Bomber is cut slightly longer in the body than the standard waist length of its classic counterpart, as to adhere to Rick's continued motif of oversizing. The outer shell of the garment is fabricated in a thick black nylon shell which provides some technical weatherproofing capabilities. The inner of the jacket is completed in a soft cotton with an intricate stitched patterns throughout the lining and features a wadded down fill that provides more than sufficient warmth on colder days. The details this jacket features are the show stoppers; The sleeve lining is completed in an extremely soft silk as to allow the wearer to easily slide their arms in and out, the zip is extremely chunky and adds a small flare to an otherwise understated jacket, alongside the oversized zip guard which really rounds out this modernist take on a staple jacket.
This past run of winter sales said goodbye to the fall/winter '16 season providing the opportunity to grab some great pieces on the low. As usual a broad spectrum of fashion purveyors got involved from contemporary menswear retailers such as OPUMO and END to the more avant garde and fashion forward stores such as Antonioli and SSENSE.
One thing that end of season sales are great for is grabbing usually expensive pieces from high end or niche designers for steal prices, and this winter was no exception. A firm favourite here at CC is cult designer Rick Owens. Uniquely recognisable for his uncompromisingly narrow aesthetic centred upon draping layers of luscious fabrics over the body, with drop crotched legwear and his signature chunky take on footwear. A far cry from Rick's artistic and sometimes visually shocking runway presentations, the diffusion line DRKSHDW presents some great options to mix up your look with a piece that is more exaggerated or aesthetically challenging that you'd usually wear.
Although this jacket was purchased from U.K. retailer 18Montrose for a steal of a price the fabric and construction quality, and incongruous nature of the cut of the Bomber jacket that set it apart from the classic menswear staple it draws inspiration from definitely make it worth the retail price.
With their sale still running at up to 80% off array of brands such as; Stone Island, Folk and Y3, be sure to check them out for more sale steals and to sample their laboriously procured brand list.
So Scott first off let’s learn a little bit about yourself– what’s your background in fashion, when did you first became interested in it and so on?
My dad’s in the manufacturing business in fashion so I was always around it in the factory. They’ve done stuff for Paul Smith and some smaller brands. In school I was good at art, and growing up I was always into clothes and styling. I was the one out of my group of mates who actually cared about clothes. I did an art course and the only part of that I liked was fashion. My teachers who were all womenswear based used to try to tell me to stay in Newcastle but I wanted to go to London. I studied product design and development in the clothing industry at London College of Fashion; it was a new course and I liked the sound of what it involved. I was doing womenswear to start with, and I did a placement for a year working for a design manufacturer. I realised quickly during this time my primary focus was best placed in a menswear environment. The majority of my time there was spent sitting looking at men’s blogs and publications.
I went back and did my final year creating my own brand as part of my studies, it was a very heritage focused brand. I was looking at local influences such as Nigel Cabourn, but I was also looking at streetwear. It’s weird, I look back at my portfolio and I feel like the stuff I was producing back then is still relevant. My main inspiration was Junya Watanabe, a lot of patchwork, being his signature trait. When I finished my course, it was hard to get a job in London. A lot of the people I went to university with went on to work for companies like Burberry for free, but I just couldn’t do that. I had an interview for Aquascutum at one point, but after discussions the money they offered still wasn't appealing enough.
I ended up working for End Clothing at their store in Newcastle. I went for other interviews and the whole time I was there I kept saying I’d do my own thing. I went for an interview with a fast fashion chain and they wanted me to do a project on Navajo. I did it and their reaction was a lot of back and forward about the commerciality of the product, I think their exact words were ‘your use of Navajo is a bit scary’ and this was me trying my hardest to design commercially. So I got to a point where I said let’s try and do something.
That’s almost a narrative in itself. So how did that idea translate into the actual garments?
That came from years research and throughout my time at End. I just started drawing. I’m not a great pattern cutter, so I brought a guy in who’s a real craftsman at patterns. We sat with all my drawings; all the things I liked visually, mood boards, fabric samples etc. I didn’t have many fabrics at that time, but I knew what I wanted. Everything had to be really heavy and structured, with technical details but I wanted to keep sharp lines and really clean design.
If you notice the details on the clothing, everything is hidden and concealed. I wanted to keep things minimal, but interesting at the same time. I love London designers and fashion – catwalk stuff, but it’s a bit mad. For instance I’ll see something by Yang Li and think it’s great, but I’ll show it to one of my mates and they’ll be like how the hell do you wear that? But if you style say the shirt, with some nice denim it’ll look amazing and wearable. I guess that’s what I try to create, things between catwalk and some of the more conservative, contemporary menswear around at the minute. High-end but wearable, I want people from up here to be able to buy it and wear it, as well as more fashion forward cities like London and Paris.
What non-fashion related factors influence you and shape your perspective on design? Any sort of cultural references you draw on; musical, artistic, architectural and so forth.
In this day and age people who are classical designers will probably frown on this but, Tumblr. I remember first discovering JJJJound. I guess that’s why there are so many designers now, or creative directors anyways. To be fair, I say I’m not a designer myself , I sketch but I don’t really pattern cut and I don’t really sew. I can just visualise how I want things to look. Eventually I’d love to have a huge team of people; graphic designers, pattern cutters, seamstresses. At university I wasn’t friends with many people who did fashion, I was mainly friends with people who did fine art and they didn’t give a fuck about fashion, but they would still know good stuff when they saw it - people like that influence me.
I never look at models and think my stuff would look amazing on them; I look at my mates and try to visualise what they’d look amazing in. Overall, I can’t really pinpoint many influences. My mood boards are a mixture of everything. There’s fucking plants on there. I couldn’t tell you where that comes from, I just like the look of them, and they fit well with these other images I’ve got. Other than that it’s largely just clothes that I like to wear.
You’re definitely designing for yourself by the sound of things. Tell us some of your opinions on menswear. What are you backing aesthetically right now, and what are some things that you just can’t get behind?
People will frown upon this but I don’t really like the stuff that comes out of some of the huge catwalk shows in Milan and Paris. I love the London scene, I love seeing the mad shit. I love Mathew miller, and Craig green is another one I love. Honestly a lot of the people I’m into I might not even like their clothes, but I like their whole ethos of ‘fuck it I’m doing it because I want to do it. I think this is cool and it should be cool’. But then again people might look at my stuff that seems fairly ordinary looking at first glance might say you’re not doing anything mad. But I’m doing my own thing, this is my vision. I can’t get behind these t shirt brands that people are doing now with the screen prints or the quotes. Fair enough if that’s your thing but it’s just not for me. I know this sounds weird, but I hate when huge hordes of people jump on stuff. I’m sick of seeing Yeezys purely because they’re everywhere you look now. I just hate when people take things past the point where they’re maybe a little bit cool.
What does the future have in-store for Scott Robert in your mind?
I want it to be more established. I’ve had conversations with my business partner, and because he’s business minded he’s all about ‘we need to sell this and do this’. But for me I don’t care about money at this point in time. I know I need it to keep going but what would make me happy would be to see people on the internet wearing it or walking down the street wearing it, thinking that it’s good stuff. So to get there, I’d like to be in some stores. Originally you’d like to have the following to sell by yourself, but I understand you can’t do that without a lot of marketing. I’d just like to be an established menswear brand really. Nothing crazy, I just want people to mess with it.
And what about the collections growing, are you thinking about increasing the size of the collection or incorporating anything new like footwear?
Yeah I’d love to do a pair of trainers, and bags at the moment too. Eventually I’d love to do a womenswear line. I’ve even got people in mind, some mates in London who’d be cool to work on a womenswear line with. It would be like the stuff I’ve done now, but just tailored differently - a bit more feminine. Right now though we are focusing on expanding the next collection to double the size for AW17.
Finally, if you had the chance to create a collaborative capsule with another designer or brand whether it be footwear or accessories or a full line, what would it be and why?
I’d like to collaborate with a couple of my mates who do art. One of them has a show in Glasgow right now, and another has a painting show in Kensington coming up. In my head it would be great to have a big group of mates who consistently collaborated on projects. Its way cooler than me going to some big designer and being like, ‘let’s do a collection to get my name out there’, when there is no real connection. When I was at university, me and my two mates would just sit all night with a few bottles of wine just sketching and brainstorming ideas for hours. That’s the sort of thing I’d like to do, where it’s natural. Oh.. And maybe a pair of Scott Robert Jordan 1’s would be nice (laughs).
Shop the debut collection at Scott Robert Clothing
Late last year you launched your debut collection, tell us a little bit about the process you went through developing the collection from the conceptual stage to producing the garments?
When I decided to do it, I spoke to my brother who’s now my business partner and he knew I’d wanted to do this for a long time. It works because he’s great with the business side of things, I want to focus all my energy on being creative. Obviously my ideas changed a lot over the period I was working at End, getting introduced to new brands and my own personal tastes developing. But the idea was always there, so as soon as I actually sat down and drew out a collection it really didn’t take me that long.
And what about the main ideas behind the collection?
It’s pretty much just what’s aesthetically pleasing to me. People always tell you that you have to have a narrative to go along with your product, but I just like what I like. That’s how the whole ‘where’ concept came about. I used to randomly sketch these line and arrow designs, and one day I researched what it meant. Apparently it’s subconsciously wanting to be somewhere. That turned into me sketching these triangle designs pointing in every direction, leading me to the conclusion that I really don’t know where I want to be. So as much as everyone wants a story, I really don’t have a story to the collection. You get these sort of questions in the industry but I just want to make some stuff that I like, my friends like, and people can actually wear.
That’s quite a democratic way to approach your designs.
Yeah anyone can wear it, if you’re into fashion you’ll notice the details and the cut and such, but if you know nothing about fashion you can still look at it and like it. It’s only a small collection, but this is our base to build on, each piece we’ve created can be changed and augmented into a completely different piece. Our pattern cutter took my drawings and came back with these basic silhouettes, and during the first fitting we were just drawing pencil lines, placing pockets, cutting fabric and pinning things. Then we had the model walk around the factory so we could see it in motion, it was very organic, and things just went from there. It’s fun to draw on fabric when on model, because I can actually visualise the final outcome.
What’s it like from a designers perspective to start your own label from the ground up?
It’s hard and its long, I always knew it would be. People say to me look at Common Projects, they were in the same situation and 10 years later everyone is rocking their shit. To start it was always going to be hard, honestly the stuff I’ve learned in the first 6 months of producing this was more than I learned in 4 years at university. The way fabrics sit, things like that they just don’t teach you at university. I noted frustration of myself as most likely most designers in all fields is; having an idea in my head about how something will look, then when it’s constructed it looks shit because of the fabric or the construction.
Getting the ideas realised has definitely been the best part so far. The amount I’ve learned about fabrics, I’m constantly collecting fabrics now and thinking of how they’ll sit.
Did you have any pre-conceptions about running a label that you’ve experienced now?
You think you’ll be able to make clothes and sell them, but it doesn’t work like that. You need these skilled people like our pattern cutter, and a business advisor I’m working with to help actually turn it from clothes and concept, into a brand. I had ideas in my head for all these pieces I wanted to complete in certain fabrics but half of it just isn’t feasible yet. We never started with a huge sum of money to invest in the brand, we’ve had to work with what we have. But I said from the beginning, if I was going to do this then it had to be exactly how I wanted it to look and feel. There’s still work to go with the product, but what we’ve done so far without any money I’m happy with.
We’ve had meetings with some people in London, they were impressed by the fact that we’d gotten as far as we had. Most brands didn’t even have a look book to show them. We had a cut & sew collection and a look book. The conversations I’ve had so far are promising, but it’s all a learning curve. There are just so many small issues you wouldn’t think about; like neck labels for the t shirts. It took us two months to get labels, it shouldn’t fucking work like that. I saw an interview with Nasir Mazhar, and he was explaining how when they get an order in they get a deposit, and by the time you manufacture sometimes you’re even losing money. We’re lucky because we have a factory based in the UK that can produce stuff in small runs for us.
Photographer - Luke Million
Model - Alex Dunn
A Maritime Exhibition by Northside Tattoo in collaboration with Pink Lane Coffee, held in association with the Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe.
Following the success of Northside’s anniversary event at Pink Lane Coffee last year, a follow up was arranged and met with the same success with outstanding contributions from: Firebrick Brewery with a steady supply of beer and the Mama Zen’s Gang for the vegan and vegetarian cuisine at hand.
With Jack Lowe’s Lifeboat Station Project being the main focus for the event, a maritime theme was the main inspiration of the artwork. Lowe took the opportune time to publicly show one of the prints from his project for the first time. The success of the event was more than proven by the facilitation of 288 pints served up in 2 and a half hours and a huge quantity of food sold.
Words and content by Sam Cook
Here at Contemporary Content we’re a big fan of staple pieces that will stand the test of time, without a doubt one of the leaders in this is London based brand, Folk.
Founder Cathal McAteer, hailing from Cumbernauld (a town used to accommodate the population overspill of Glasgow) started out his career in the fashion industry at the budding age of 15 after being asked by Stephen Flannery, Co-Owner of the infamous Glasgow boutique - Ichi Ni San to model for the store. This then lead him to working his way up from Sales staff, to Store Manager and eventually ending his time as part of the buying team - bringing CC favourites such as Dries Van Noten and Helmut Lang to Glasgow. Not being satisfied doing all this work for someone else, he knew had to carve out his own path in the industry.
Jump forward to 2001; Trucker hats donned the heads of anyone wanting to make a statement. Their collar most probably popped, loud colours and logos were all the rage. Cathal, stating that he felt at the time everything was ‘too designer’ for his taste set out to create the first Folk collection. With no great funding or finance he drew upon inspiration from his favourite pieces in his own wardrobe and began designing and producing easy to wear, understated products with focus on a combination of fabric quality and a diverse colour palette.
The brand has come a long way from when Cathal produced his first shirt; now spanning featherweight Wadded Jackets, clean and simple Tailored Blazers, perfectly fitting T-Shirts and chunky Mohair Crew jumpers all feature prominently throughout their collections. There really is something for everyone.
Cathal quotes iconic designer Charles Eames, “The details are not the details, they make the design”. This design philosophy couldn’t be more appropriate to Folk. Every aspect of a Folk garment is considered, from thread colour to pocket linings. This attention to detail is still at the forefront of the label and is constantly being evolved by Elbe Lealman - who became the brands Head of Design in 2011. The distinct lack of branding on Folk pieces stems from this ethos, Lealman stating “We consider every single design option, all the thought processes are so pain staking and laborious that when you get to branding it feels so difficult” and “to stick a fucking name on the outside feels like we’re spoiling it".
Folk was Cathal’s ‘Lifetime Ambition’ and that ambition has definitely been realized. The brand consistently goes from strength to strength with every collection. The brand currently has three brick-and-mortar stores in London, the first one opening in 2007 on Conduit Street in Bloomsbury - now neighboring the Folk Womens store, housing Folk’s Womenswear offerings launched in 2012. In 2015 the brand launched a ‘see all, buy all’ concept store in the heart of Soho surrounded by the likes of Our Legacy, Albam, Oliver Spencer and Universal Works. Everything in the store from the clothes to the lighting and furniture are all designed by Folk and available to buy.
If you’re looking to build that wardrobe of essentials that will see you from season to season you don’t need to look any further than Folk.
New York City is thriving with diversity and the suburbs of Manhattan in particular are saturated with the photographic settings that I am interested in. Urban landscape and graffiti are more prominent to me because of their attachment to hip-hop and its origins to the city. So, photographing Brooklyn came naturally to me with the volume of culture, personality and atmosphere abundant on every street corner.
Before I explore the surroundings for the body of work I set out for, I initially already have the ideal concept in my mind. And with this I want to create a sense of the atmosphere that I’ve acquired whilst being at these charismatic locations. By documenting these subjects I aim to create a story and also reflect my personal interests, which are primarily the urban environment and the characters it inhabits.
The people and places I came across whilst exploring Brooklyn worked in my benefit as every photograph was captured naturally, and the rawness of my surroundings gave my work the organic feel that I pursue.
These select few photographs from the full series are a teaser of a larger full scale exhibition Joe is planning, keep your eyes peeled for details of this in the future and CC's coverage of the event.