New Menswear Brand comes to West Malling

So for those who were regular readers of my blog last year, you may remember a post I wrote about a lovely restaurant in West Malling, The Swan. It is definitely a ‘treat’ place to dine but has brought the little town a sense of cool sophistication and has kept up with modern times through its stylish decor. However The Swan isn’t the only place which is helping the small town reinvent itself.

monks

Monks Clothing is the most recent neighbor to join the growing number of fashion shops and boutiques in West Malling. Offering a small collection of quintessential British menswear brands, Monks aim is to cater for the fashion aware through a personal and peaceful service. Brands such as Pearly King Clothing and Religion are currently stocked with more premium brands to come. Religion already has a large international following, bringing street culture and british heritage fashion world-wide. Their modern take on edge and unique style is reflective in their design with washed and worn, distressed garments.

Making these top menswear brands accessible whilst avoiding large shopping centers is a unique amenity in the Kent area. By basing the store in a pleasant town such as West Malling, customers will feel a welcomed and approachable assistance. Whether you want one signature item or style up a traditional British winter look, Monks can provide!

Jessica's pick

Top Picks: 1. Black Chunky Knit Religion Jumper £70.00 | 2. Navy Religion Jumper £59.00 | 3. White and Grey Contrast Religion Shirt £45.00 | 4. Pearly King Jeans £79.00

Monks Clothing is currently available to view online with purchases and delivery being active from mid-August. The launch date of the store is yet to come however when they do open their doors they plan to celebrate with a party at The Swan. If you would like to attend the event you can do so by signing up to their mailing list on their website.

Screen shot 2013-08-05 at 03.51.00

I will be visiting the store to meet the lovely people of Monks Clothing and will also attend the launch party so keep checking the blog for a follow up post!

http://www.monksclothing.co.uk

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Oliver Spencer show…

So I thought I would be really smart and spread out each post of London Collections: Men, rather than bombarding my readers with everything at once. Unfortunately this smart idea didn’t go to plan and I ended up completely forgetting to post about the Oliver Spencer show, which ironically was my favourite collection!

So here it is…

Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 17.32.47To set the scene, The Old Sorting Office was transformed with walls of glowing red and purple, with a catwalk decorated with giant-sized glass frames. The collection itself was inspired by German art theorist Joseph Beuys and his relation to the 1960s fluxus movement resulting in a collection full of bold outerwear pieces. Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 17.33.45There was a strong presence of heavy wool knits, bold colours and turned up trousers. Again, we saw lots of the bright orange and mustard colours, but this time there was a bright blueberry existence, popping out every so often.
Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 17.34.34My personal favourite look out of the whole show was the stripped head-to-toe suit, which can be seen in my finale video (see below).

Oliver Spencer, you didn’t disappoint.

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Martine Rose: LCM AW13

During London Collections: Men, I also took a look at Martine Rose’s presentation at The Hospital Club. After a bit a of wait to get in and awkwardly positioning ourselves in a white room the presentation began.

Inspiration was taken from Jamaica’s Rasta community and their lifestyle of attitude to reflect status rather than wealth. Elements of the dress by Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I had been woven into the collection also through colour and fabric. However my favourite parts of the collection was the styling. Wet-look trousers with bomber jackets and hoodies make this collection current and urban. The layered outerwear of metallic shirts, knitted jumpers and thick quilted jackets with bright coloured linings are the boldest styled looks in my opinion.

MR closeups

But the pub towelling quilted jackets were my favourite just because of its charm and humour….plus the model looked exactly like Ian Brown and was drawing me in to think’…it couldn’t be could it?’. Although the press release didn’t mention much on the 70s or 90s I saw prominent features of this collection drawing me back to flared, oversized trousers of the 70s and Oasis like figures from the early 90s music area.

Sadly the room itself which had carefully position seats and sofas for the models to be displayed on didn’t really work for me. The ‘clean, blank space’ they were trying to achieve as a background to present ended up being crammed with guests with assistants crawling on the floor to move them out of the way. The lighting went down half way through and the music just stopped but the models kept going. Whether this was meant to happen and it was just a bit too conceptual for me to understand I don’t know! A disappointing end to the presentation had to be when instead of the models leaving to go back-stage to hint it was the end, one of them was just left there and a voice from the back shouting to us that ‘the presentation is over, please leave so we can get the next lot in!’. As we did so, trying to dodge the poor guy left on the rotating podium, there was a huge struggle to get out and let the rest of the crowd in.

I loved the collection itself and really pleased I was one of the guests who were able to attend!

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Bring on the boys….YMC

The last three days has been a feast of London menswear talent…London Collections: Men. Sadly, I was only available to attend one of these days however what a great day it was.

Most of my shows were at the Topman location….The Old Sorting Office near Holborn. I absolutely loved this location! Since attending the MAN show in June which had also showcased there, they have transformed it from a huge, empty space to a buzzing, contemporary background for the shows to be displayed in.  Loved what they’d done to the place.

First stop….YMC

YMC 1

In a nut-shell…there were boiler suits, berets, sunglasses with tiny frames and fisherman jackets.

However later after reading the press release these key pieces were representations of revolution, freedom and rebellion. I love this as inspiration and it is very powerful in it’s delivery.

Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 18.41.26

With this came statement outerwear coming from the post-punk era including checkerboard prints and lots of wax wool and leather. This 90s relation to the collection originated from a nostalgia for the brand’s birth that decade. This personal touch is quite warming in comparison to the title of the collection…’Dead Inside’ which is ‘a response to modern culture’. If YMC want to stay in the 90s to avoid crossing with modern culture then thats fine by me!

Note: (Literally take ‘note’ of the tangerine shoes and bag above. Not only do I love this colour in menswear, every other designer is doing it so boys expect this on your shopping list at the end of the year!)

YMC finale

I really fell for this collection. I was in doubt that maybe I was just drawn into it due to my obsession with brand and the excitement of being back at Fashion Week shows but looking back now I really do adore it. Was a great start to my day.

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Terry Fox Bridal ad campaign

So just over a month ago a team including myself braved the ridiculously cold and windy weather at Kent’s coast to shoot bridal designer Terry Fox, new ad campaign. I have been waiting patiently to see the final images and film, and now its here. I am so excited to show you the finished outcomes and so so so happy with them. Enjoy!

Creative Director: Fisher & Moss
Photographer / Director: Adam Angelides
Stylist: Jessica Jenner
Stylist Assistant: Lauren Dickinson
MUA / Hair: Mila Victoria
Model: Victoria KC (Gingersnap)
Video Editor: Anthony Bristol
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Valentino truly is the Master of Couture

Today I was invited to join the fashion enthused media at the private showing of Valentino’s exhibition at Somerset House. This divine exhibition is one to remember, leaving me inspired in so many ways as to which gown I would pick to get married in (I’m thinking one of the pearly lacey ones!). If the curators of the exhibit just put these fantastic gowns on some mannequins and shoved me in a room with them I would be satisfied, however they really played with presentation and the core of Valentino, the brand.

The first room simply titled, Valentino, takes the visitor through the secret life of the brand and the Italian designer with unseen photographs, invitations for the couture catwalk shows, press cuttings and personal letters. These letters of congratulations for producing wondering collections or reaching another impressive anniversary were hand written by the rich and fabulous including Meryl Streep and Anna Wintour (who has surprisingly very very large hand-writing for such a petite woman). These cases of memories are elevated by cream wooden seats, representing the front row of a fashion show which later in the exhibition comes to life. In this room a large raised 3D flower is presented, Valentino’s recognisable brand symbol, with moving image projected onto it in a very delicate form. The symbol follows through the whole exhibition, reminding us what Valentino stands for.

Renowned design team Kinmonth Monfreda have created a catwalk setup in the next room, transforming Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries into a vibrant runway location. Decorated with lines of ‘reserved’ seating and colourful mannequins which displayed decades of collections, us as visitors played a reversed role. As the visitor walks down the sixty metre runway we observed and indulge as we admire the ‘invited’ mannequins from the 1950s to today. It is almost as if we have gone back in time and glamourous attendees are frozen as they take their seats for an exclusive catwalk show.

Each gown is a talking point. I think my friend was getting bored of me saying “ooo look at that one!” by the 100th time however it is hard not to. Because there is a strict no camera policy (which I admire for exclusivity reasons) I ended up rigorously sketching my favourites down all over my press release which is highly decorated now. I hope to turn these into some pretty pictures once I splash a bit of colour on them but its been a long day.

To excite the visitors some more they have presented a lace wedding gown who owns a whole room. Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece married her prince in 1995 in this pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown, lucky thing. It looks so precious you almost have to whisper if you want to talk about it.

The exhibition caters for the modern eye by using digital technology and virtuality but with classic taste of Valentino’s history and respected design. We are not just appreciating great craftsmanship here but experiencing years of personal history, detail and people. Valentino: Master of Couture opens to the public tomorrow 29th November 2012 and runs until 3rd March at Somerset House.

To end the day myself and blogger Emma Griffiths sat down to a complementary glass of bubbles, just to top off the afternoon…..I love my job.

Above: Myself (left, holding bubbles) and Emma (right) 

 

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The Rain Room at The Barbican

Today I went to The Barbican to experience a rain shower installation which the visitors control. One may find this a little dull..and possibly think you can just go outside to experience the rain (especially this week!) however this is different. You have to put your trust into the shower because when you walk through the rain stops falling yet the shower encapsulates your body without getting wet. Kinda like Rihanna on the X Factor before the end bit where she became pretty soggy and left dripping in the corner!

What I loved most about this installation was the fact that we make the piece. Without the people the installation wouldn’t work and instead the rain would just fall straight, rather than the sensored patterns.

The sound of the rain created huge impact as well. We almost take the sound for granted, for instance when have you ever just heard the rain? When have you just listened to it without the radio in the background or a car driving through puddles? Although there felt a little pressure to get in and out of the room fairly quickly due to the queue of people hovering to get in, it was a great feeling to experience this powerful weather element and its natural noises.

The lights which shone through the rain in this dark room made the droplets twinkle ‘like diamonds in the sky’. I think these lights make the room so much more intense, and with jokes aside, Rihanna’s performance on the X Factor came to life with the usage of bright lights to illuminate the rain.

I would definitely recommend people checking out this installation. We went on a Tuesday, mid-day and the queue was about 40mins long so ignore the 2hour long warnings on their website…its really not that bad. Its definitely worth the wait! Plus its free. The exhibition space is open until 3 March 2013 at The Barbican in The Curve.

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