Seven seconds of style that last the evening…

What can be better than the first date that flows as naturally as breathing? The timing is right, the location is superb, the conversation is stimulating and a good laugh is in place too. It all seems like the stars just align. Yes it could be true that chemistry is something that may be controlled by some higher forces we have no particular say in. However, other things can be refined and worked on. Fashion is exactly one of those things.

They say first impression takes seven seconds. Of course you have a date so there are at least few hours (hopefully) to fail or succeed. However, a good start is still a good start. So make those first seconds count. What is the primary thing that can be achieved in such a short moment? Possibly it is an impression of titivation. For instance, unwrinkled clothes. Too basic? Well strong base makes for a solid structure. Remember, your date still has plenty of time to admire the details and the ‘décor’.

I suggest we skip the debate over Smart vs. Smart- casual vs. Trainers and move right over to the tricky subject of colour for the first date. Noble shades are in trend. Check if your closet is well stocked with dark blues, earthly browns and pastels.

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Alternatively, no one cancelled black. Ten to one, black is the best short-cut for an effective appearance. Recall what Japanese fashion designer Yohji Ymamoto said: Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy but mysterious. Striving for those adjectives will certainly provoke an intrigue.

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Although, if complete void of colour sounds too uninspiring, adding some to the accents such as scarves, ties, belts or even socks would solve the problem. I am convinced that socks should never be underestimated. Dark red with grey ensembles, or bright ochres with the blue ones. This shows you know how to balance and that you don’t take yourself to seriously. Look into Supreme or UNIQLO styling for a masterly visual reference of colour mixing.

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Ultimately, best dressed men and the real risk- takers should also consider patterns and prints. Let’s inspect some of Spring-Summer 2013 Menswear collections. We have timid florals from Raf Simons, complex geometries from Burberry, animal prints with an urban twist from Kenzo and even hand craft and embroidery from Phillip Lim. It seems there is more than enough to choose from depending on your personality, mood or current weather.

Raf Simons


Philip Lim

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Saying all that, the last and the most significant equipment that should be considered is the ability to be yourself with the way you use fashion. Aside from the great look, clothes should bring the sense of confidence and calm. This way rather than worrying whether the bow tie (you probably never wore before) is in place, you can consecrate on a person in front of you. Wear a charming smile and do not overemphasise your fashion efforts. You’ve got the killer style card up your sleeve right? Or maybe even a few. She will know it and will surely want to see them in a near future. Besides, the stars are always on the side of those who know what effort is, but also those who know when enough is enough.

Posted By: Tess

Offbeat, chic, hip, and most importantly: unisex…I serve you with vocabulary used to describe The Kooples, which has, quite literally, taken over Paris and the UK, with 184 shops opened in just 4 years.  The Kooples brand has their main shops ¨The Kooples¨ and ¨The Kooples Sport¨ shops which feature a more casual look.

The brand was created by the Elicha brothers- Raphael, Alex and Laurent, who wanted to combine French style with a little bit of British edge.

It´s not just clothes…it´s a concept. The backstory on the Kooples (the french take on the pronouciation of the word ¨couples¨) is an interesting one: that clothes should and will be exchanged between couples, that after awhile couples begin to dress similarly, and of course promoting the boyfriend/girlfriend shopping together experience.  There are two distinct collections, one for men and one for women, however, the two collections complement each other and are meant to be ¨borrowed¨. As one might conclude, the clothes are more masculine than girly-with the idea that girls usually borrow a man´s blazer or jeans (hence the nicknames ¨the boyfriend blazer¨ or ¨the boyfriend jeans¨).  Their mottos include a closet for two and till fashion do them apart.

Their advertising campaigns, which feature, you guessed it-couples wearing similar fabrics and colors of clothing is original and intriguing one. I actually got lost during my Paris bike tour because I stopped to pull over and look at the window display of a Sport Kooples store on Rue Des Francs Bourgeois while the others biked ahead.

The stores launched France, spread quickly to the UK and then to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and now have recently opened up in the USA in select Bloomingdales stores in New York and New Jersey.

For more information, visit the Kooples webpage or Facebook page.

Photo Credits: Couples Photos from the Kooples Facebook page.

Posted By: Lori


African textiles generated a lot of interest at New York Fashion Week.

An example of African designers presenting at New York Fashion Week.

Ozwald Boetang


The original British rebel now offers the popular 8-eye boot ($130) and 3-eye shoe ($120) as part of their Vegan Collection. Featuring felix microfiber uppers, the hand-stitched details and traditional Dr. Martens sole make these as durable as the original. This look isn’t limited to PETA punk rockers (if that even exists). Refined gents can take inspiration from Lou Dalton Fall 2012 collection and add some edge to their clean-cut look.

For more information or to purchase, visit the Dr. Marten Website.

Photos: Dr. Marten facebook page

Posted By: Jess

How to Get Moving in Style

How to Get Moving in Style Tip: Don’t be tamed by what you wear.

Akira Chatani, Graphic Designer & Founder of Nonusual

Bike: Tokyobike SS (repainted in mat black) with Gilles Berthoud saddle and Gropes handlebar wrap grips.

Wearing: Uniqlo top and jeans, Ally Capellino belt, Converse, Bagaboo standard messenger bag.

Image byYulia Gromova

Is bicycle merely a simple commuting tool?  Let me start with sparkling honesty – I am not a dedicated cyclist. Even so, in the light of this subject asking such a question almost makes me want to run away and hide like a child who did something wrong and is now too scared to admit to it. Of course, cycling in itself is a fantastic notion. It is fast, traffic-free and it gets you fit. However, leaving the obvious out, one has to be blind not to notice and become fascinated with the whole new dimension in cycling movement – a sartorial aesthetic.

Nowadays it becomes a struggle to look or even think about London cyclists without constant referral to style and fashion. The game is on and seeing the extent to which you gents are mastering and stretching the rules makes the head spin about as fast as your custom wheels do. So without further pondering, let me get on that saddle and embark on a small journey to discover what is stirring among London’s finest male cyclists and how to get moving in style.

In the same way a person treats clothes, choosing the best two-wheeled friend is directly conditional on your personality, occupation and general fashion preferences. Moving around the city, Tokyobike or Foffa bikes are the ones you are bound to spot immediately. Vibrant, sleek and modern-esque, they perfectly represent impeccable simplicity and strong fashion statement as well as their creative owners do. Condor or Pashley bicycles, on the other hand, are the ideal traveling partners of those who enjoy details and salute the best of British tradition. At last, London is a city of vintage. Vintage furniture, products, clothes – we embrace everything that is time-honoured. Bicycles are no exception. If having a thirty years old Pegoretti frame exhilarates your breathing pay a visit to Brick Lane Bikes or Sargent & Co.

Now, once you acquire a perfectly tailored suit, you probably should get a shirt, a belt, a pair of shoes and maybe even a set of cufflinks to make the ensemble complete. Drawing this analogy, there are more than enough choices in London for the cycle “accessory” admirers. Brooks, for instance, is a classic choice for saddles, while Walnut Studiolo offers leather crafted products varying from handlebar covers to can cages. However, if you are exceedingly choosy and currently looking for something truly Nonusual, Gropes might be an unparalleled option. Produced from high quality leather these handlebar grips are coming in two sizes and numerous colour combinations for all tastes and seasons. Not only eye-catching but also fun to fit they will certainly satisfy even the most jaded cycle and style enthusiasts.

At last, my exploration shows that you can ride a bicycle wearing just about anything: ripped jeans and Toms, parkas and Nike sneakers, geek style trousers and Prada hybrids – you name it. All depends on what you do, what you love and how far you travel. However, London has not been particularly blessed with pleasant weather. Therefore, more often than not we all have to overcome some ghastly obstacles such as rain, wind or hail within a length of a day. This means that style is bound to meet practicality at some points. Rapha, a brand very much favoured by Paul Smith offers cycling and style devotees everything from jackets to skincare. A sophisticated look is easily achieved with Criterion Cycling Jacket. Designed by Timothy Everest, it configures all the necessary cycling attire functions while resembling a classic trench coat. Ultimately, if the sky is promising tremendously heavy showers consider Oxford Roll Up Rain Cape designed by the finest Savile Row tailors or practical yet trendsetting Otto London urban style ponchos. Top it up with one of the Carradice classic bags, which leaves you at perfect terms with your city, your bicycle and fashion of course.

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The final matter to disclose that concerns followers of all things old-school. To make the most out of your passion for vintage fashion in combination with delights of cycling do be sure to keep a track of The Tweed Run. Think Sherlock Holmes style to achieve an appropriate look for this annual bike ride event. Harris Tweed jackets, merino wool jerseys, cycling capes, flat caps are most welcomed. Also do not forget about pocket watches, bow ties, pipes and well groomed moustache.

I feel like I can go on “pedalling” in this topic forever. Nevertheless, the journey should be coming to an end here. I hit the breaks and dismount by Look Mum No Hands (bar & bicycle workshop), a perfect place to catch London’s cycling trend-setters at a rare occasion of being more or less motionless.

Posted By: Tess

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