Wednesday, 9 April 2014

SHOW THE SHORT-SLEEVED SHIRT SOME LOVE!

It's time to show the short-sleeved shirt some love. Let us cast aside any dated associations with IT technicians, missionaries and Homer Simpson, and remind ourselves that a shirt with short sleeves can be just as stylish as its longer-armed brother - with a few provisos, of course. The first is that short-sleeved shirts should never be worn with a tie or any sort of neckwear, unless you actually are at the controls of a jumbo jet. The second, and no less important, condition is that you must choose the right short-sleeved shirt to look good: think well-cut, and not baggy, with sleeves that fall at least a few centimetres above the elbows and won't flap about like a pair of wings. This is where MR PORTER brands, from Burberry to Saint Laurent, come into play, with their breezy interpretations of the style jumping straight onto our summer wish lists. Whether you go for the 1950s counterculture and rockabilly aesthetic (embodied by the likes of Messrs James Dean and Eddie Cochran) or prefer to think tropical or preppy, click through the gallery, below, to discover some of our favourite short-sleeved shirts as well as the men who wear them well!



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SURF SPOTS, FROM BALI TO CALI!

Surfers know their beaches. As they should. They spend the majority of their time there, straddling the fluid, sometimes magical line where ocean meets land. Their primary concern though is riding waves and it's the quest to find those waves that has fuelled a six-decade-long search spanning the entire globe. This wave lust has led the most adventurous surfers to scour every nook and cranny of even the most remote coastlines, and as you'd imagine, they've stumbled upon some gorgeous locales in the process. MR PORTER has compiled a list of eight surf spots that are sure to awe whether you're looking at the horizon, or back towards the land, or riding the waves between them. Click through the gallery, below, to discover more. surfermag.com




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STYLE ICON: MR KURT COBAIN!


In the 20 years since his death, Mr Kurt Cobain has become a global icon for those who feel alienated, marginalised or just plain bored by the mainstream, but in life, however, his demeanour seemed the very antithesis of an international figurehead or superstar. Diffident, ungroomed and dressed in workwear and thrift-store clothing, he certainly looked an unlikely challenger to the dominant, poodle-permed pomp rockers of the 1980s, like, say, Guns N' Roses or Def Leppard. Paradoxically, though, it was that very downbeatness that made him so sympathetic and appealing. The 1980s brash, showy, materialism had left many young people feeling disenchanted by the time Nirvana began to break through at the end of the decade, and there was already a huge audience just waiting for such an antihero to come along. 

Those early audiences instinctively recognised the significance of Mr Cobain's style, just as he himself was aware of clothing's power to make statements. As a teenage punk in a small town in Washington State, he had been a fan of the Sex Pistols, who had been dressed by Ms Vivienne Westwood and managed by that arch semiotician Mr Malcolm McLaren. Moving to nearby Seattle for its burgeoning punk/ hardcore scene, he found others with similar ideas, and their choice of a grungy, sometimes playful workwear/ thrift look was not quite accidental. What became known as the grunge look implied a rejection of conservative values and, in its androgyny (long hair for men, dresses with heavy boots for girls) a hostility to gender stereotypes. According to the writer Ms Amy Raphael, who was close to Mr Cobain and his wife Ms Courtney Love, the couple "deliberately worked that look together in Seattle" and "knew what they were doing" in using it to push alternative values in the media that covered their music. 

What Mr Cobain was doing in adopting this style and music was expressing radical views and feelings that developed out of his many unhappy childhood experiences. He had grown up in a dysfunctional, divorced family, and felt unusual and isolated at school. One of his friends was gay, and for this young Mr Cobain himself was bullied. "I knew I was different," he told an interviewer later. "I thought I might be gay or something because I couldn't identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art or music. They just wanted to fight and get laid. It gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male." Remember these were the Reagan-Bush years, 15 years before the metrosexual, a time when in Middle America, even two straight men dancing together could be hounded out of a nightclub. Mr Cobain's vocal opposition to sexism, racism and homophobia as Nirvana became famous would help change those entrenched attitudes, and the eyeliner, long hair and dresses he wore were as much a part of that opposition as his interviews and benefit gigs. 

Diffident, ungroomed and dressed in workwear and thrift-store clothing he looked an unlikely challenger to the dominant pomp rockers of the 1980s... but it was that very downbeatness that made him so sympathetic and appealing. 

In 1991, in the midst of a severe economic recession that challenged the smug complacency of the previous decade, Nevermind thrust Nirvana noisily into the mainstream. At the same time Mr Douglas Coupland published Generation X, a novel about a generation of kids who had given up on now-unachievable career success and chosen instead alternative lifestyles based on their own values. Rolling Stone magazine framed Mr Cobain as the spokesman for Gen X, and Mr Marc Jacobs used him and Seattle as the inspiration for one of the most famous collections in fashion history, namely his SS93 grunge collection for Perry Ellis. (Unconfirmed reports say that after the collection failed to sell, Mr Jacobs posted all the original samples to Mr Cobain and Ms Love, who then promptly burned them). 

Looking back, his elevation seems inevitable. "He looked like a model," says Ms Raphael. "He was startlingly handsome, he had a good body, and although he didn't understand the fashion icon thing, he did know how to dress. Most important was the ennui. Models put it on, but his ennui was real and genuine, and people felt it." 

He was, of course, profoundly uncomfortable with his celebrity, and increasingly disappointed that parts of his audience ignored his messages about politics and gender. Suffering from a serious drug dependency, he killed himself at his home in Seattle in April 1994. At the time some British commentators suggested his work and death would ultimately be meaningless, but they were wrong. Nirvana opened up the mainstream media to "alternative" or "indie" music like no act before or since. More importantly Mr Cobain enabled the marginalised to make their voices heard, and demonstrated the size and power of their constituency as no one had since at least the 1960s. 

He can also be credited with helping to usher in a more open notion of masculinity, and in this, as in his other achievements, his unique sense of style was of crucial importance. Those flannel shirts, torn jeans and perfectly sloppy cardigans may have looked like shabby make-do gardening gear to the establishment, but to the alienated, marginalised and bored their message was clear and uplifting. "Come as you are," they said. And boy, did the people come.


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Saturday, 5 April 2014

DIESEL FALL/WINTER 2014!

Nicola Formichetti presented his first collection for Diesel at the Arsenale in Venice. The show and the collection were built upon three of the timeless ‘Diesel Icons’: Leather-Rock ‘n’ Roll, Denim and Military-Utility. These three pillars are intrinsic to Diesel and are a part of the foundations of the brand today. They also structure the proceedings of the event, moving from the multiplicity of black and red leather looks of the first section, to the new innovations and experiments in denim of the second, to the military meets street-style of the third section. Each encompasses a view of the past and a route to the future for Diesel. Capturing the youthful spirit of the brand and its distinct take of ‘Italiano-Americana’, as well as a nod to late nineties London nightlife, it is the global language of ‘alternative style’ that is explored in the show, both inspired by and inspiring for Diesel.






FULL COLLECTION AFTER THE BREAK!