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Friday, August 20, 2010

Boys With Swagger

Now I'm not usually one to follow men's fashion. Firstly, there's not much point in it for me, as I'm not really the demographic the menswear lines are aimed at, and secondly, because it's so boring compared to women's wear. However, after I put my prejudices to one side and decided to check out the catwalk photos for some of the men's R-T-W shows I found myself absorbed by the sharp shoulders, careful tailoring and intensely beautiful models interesting fabric choices found in many of the Autumn/Winter menswear lines for this year. So, on the back of this new and exciting obsession, I decided to take a look at some of the cool kids bringing menswear into the limelight.

The Fayed and Goncalves brothers make up the team behind Bespoken Clothiers, a brand that brings Italian and British fabrics together in classic Americana styles with an east end mod twist.
I just re-read that sentence, and there's a lot of themes and ideas bouncing there. Let me try to re-phrase it in a less poncy and more grammatically correct way...
The brothers source all their fabrics from British and Italian textile mills, in this way keeping the quality of their fabrics standardised and (from the way the pieces move in the video lookbook) of a very high standard. With three out of the 5 men behind the brand receiving tutelage from the world renowned Turnbull & Asser of Jermyn Street, the classic sharp London suits are easily spotted, but the freshness of the designs, teamed with the New York edge (coming from the Goncalves brothers) gives the autumn and winter collection a mod edge. These guys bring the best parts of modern trends into a brand that focuses on quality tailoring and beautiful textiles. The photos from their lookbook made me cry sharp-fitted tears of beautifully-cut joy.

The brand describe themselves as part Saville Row, part Rock and Roll. I want me some of that mixture. Anybody that knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a really really good suit. It makes me so angry when I see men in suits that don't fit them. Why would you do that to yourself? Pay all that money, go to all that effort, just to look absolutely shite. So brands like bespoken make my days, weeks and months. Their philosophy states that, just as in old England, where bespoke tailoring meant your garment was "spoken for", aka, made to fit and labeled with the owner's name accordingly, Bespoken don't make garments that won't look good. They have taken the delicate process of suit making and modernised it to fit today's trends.
Ah, music to my ears.

Anybody else really want to be that sofa?
I went a trawling to find more info on the brand and cold-season collection and found an interview with some of the brothers on LimitedHype...

"I guess you can say this is a goal.  If you think about it, our generation has been accustomed to having things whenever & wherever we want, down to the stylish clothes we sport.  And now with some of the mass brands that have popped up in recent years, they could be purchased with very little expense.  Due to that, some people have been willing to overlook the quality & craftsmanship.
But I do think more and more people are now taking notice of things that have more of a handcrafted story – whether its bikes, or lo-fi records to clothing.  It feels like people are searching for something authentic, something they could appreciate.  I don’t believe we’ll ever be for the “masses”, for now we’ll take it one customer at a time."
»Paulo Goncalves to LimitedHype

Making Sewing Sexy - The Process by Bespoken:

Passion for the Details... from Bespoken on Vimeo.

Goncalves makes a good point, our generation have begun to overlook quality and individuality in favour of immediate trend-hopping. With "disposable clothing" from chain stores such as Primark and Matalan, people look less for quality wardrobe staples and more for immediate trend-hitting items. We have our culture of mass-consumerism to blame as much as we do chain-stores on the high street profiting from our indulgence. Hopefully, more brands like Bespoken can edge into the market and push forward the appeal of really damn good clothing.
Now we just need a womenswear line from them... How's about it boys?

Fall/Winter 2010 from Bespoken on Vimeo.

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