Here, at last, is the brand that needs no introduction in the world of man’s fashion as they make most of the fine and beautiful fabrics of which many of the bespoke men’s costumes in London, Paris, Milan, and New York are made. This is how executives are dressed and how movie stars go about looking good – in SCABAL (an acronym for Société Commerciale Anglo Belgo Allemande Luxembourgeoise). Scabal is at the origin of the creation of the bunch booklets used today by most of the great tailors on the planet.

Founded in 1938, SCABAL is the world’s foremost producer of fabrics, supplying elite tailors and fashion houses across the globe. Each season SCABAL’s team of designers and artisan weavers create collections of the finest fabrics at the company’s English mill (from a recent press release).

So Best Dressed Man is honored today to present to you a small Q&A interview with Campbell Chrichton Dunn, creative director and chief of design at SCABAL:

  • Is it true that the suit should be carrying the man rather than the man wearing the suit?

I think this is true of all clothes, they should complement your personality and make you feel more confident.  A well-cut suit that fits you perfectly will help your posture. This is achieved not only by the suit’s cut itself, but also by any man’s tendency to stand up straight and walk correctly when they are wearing a suit.

  • What is the best occasion and the best way for a man to wear a pochette / pocket square?

I think if the pochette is well chosen and folded well it can fit any occasion. I like to see a fancy printed silk roughly folded worn with a casual jacket, but am equally keen on wearing a navy business suit with a sharply folded, white crisp pocket square.

  • Style-wise, is there too much urban chic out there today and too little classic & traditional elegance for men?

There is now more choice for men’s clothing and the menswear market is more diverse than ever before and this is not a bad thing as it gives more style choices to men. I would say there is an evolution in the classic way of dressing where people are now mixing more formal items like suits with t shirts or more loosely cut styles, suits and jackets are still an important wardrobe item but men are changing the way they wear them.

  • If SCABAL were to open up shop in the States, what city would be the best venue?

I would love to see our first store open in New York City, it’s the fashion capital of the US.

  • Besides personal initials what are some of the main reasons a client would order under-collar or on-the-cuff (shirt) embroidery?

We get a lot if customers adding important dates, wedding days, birthdays etc.  It gives them a unique product and also adds a discovery talking point that they can choose to reveal or not.

  • Is the legend true that it is the softness of the water which is the best kept secret of the old SCABAL mill at Huddersfield?

The reason why the fabric mills in England are located in the county of Yorkshire is due to the terrain of the Pennine Hills. In the 18th century, the hills allowed the water to run down easily to the mills, which were then powered by water. These days, all our fabrics are still finished by being washed in the local waters which definitely gives them an extremely soft touch.

 

  •  How does The Woolmark Company fit into the farm-to-table product philosophy of SCABAL?

Both Scabal and The Woolmark Company share the same values when it comes to wool.  To create the finest quality cloth by using the best Australian Merino wool available, with a focus on traceable, sustainable sourcing. We joined forces with Woolmark to establish the Scabal Noble Wool Club, showcasing a collection of the finest quality ultrafine merino fabrics and have recently worked with them again to launch a short film showcasing a selection of Artisans who use the best raw materials to create products of distinction across tailoring, Michelin star cuisine and customized motorcycles.

  • Is it true that every tailor on Savile Row carries SCABAL bunch books?

Scabal provides a large selection of luxury tailors with our bunch books and that includes many located on Savile Row.

 

  • What kind of sustainable development is practiced at the SCABAL Noble Wool Club?

The Noble Wool Club creates superfine wool by working only with family run Australian Merino wool farms that must meet strict environmental and ethical criteria. At the same time, Scabal works with these farms to preserve traditional methods of wool growing in the face of increasingly low quality international competition.

  • Which one is your personal favorite bunch book?

At the moment my favorite bunch books is ‘Loch Lomond’ with its wool super 140’s and cashmere fabrics with soft elegant designs.

  • Is SCABAL, in fact, what always wears James Bond?

SCABAL has provided fabric to many of the costume designers on James Bond films over the years however, we did not make any of the actual suits.

(only Miss Moneypenny knows if 007 is wearing SCABAL on this mission)

  • Who – wearing SCABAL – would be the best dressed man on the planet?

I think someone like Eddie Redmayne or Ryan Gosling would look smart and elegant in a Scabal suit.

Interview by Sandro and pictures by SCABAL except James Bond which is to be found free of credits and free to reuse without commercial purpose on Google.

 

Custo BCN’s SS18 collection, which indeed was not shown on the catwalks of BCN 080 Fashion Week, but instead first debuted at New York Fashion Week and a few days later at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid made a colorful splash, as usual. The collection, entitled Call Me Tomorrow, had its roots in athleisure mixed with a little hip hop and street wear. There were less male looks than female, but that’s on par with what most designers who design both menswear and womenswear do.

The male looks were just as bright and bold as the female looks, using almost every color under the sun with a focus on blues, greens and red/orange. Baggy and casual seemed to be the name of the game, and it’s not surprising that comfortable athleisure is taking over the menswear runways as well as the womenswear ones. Who doesn’t want to roam around in baggy, relaxed gear while still looking stylish?

We can always count on Custo BCN to stay true to their colorful and playful style, and SS18 was no different. The menswear also featured some brocade and jacquard style looks, keeping with Custo’s usual patterns. Striped zip-up cardigans also seemed to be a popular trend too.

Combined all together, Custo BCN’s designs may seem a bit much for the average man, especially one who typically wears all black, for example. But pairing a solid piece for the Custo collection with a tamer set of trousers and footwear could be the perfect combination, adding just the right amount of punch to an otherwise tamer outfit without going overboard. BDMOTP will likely hop onboard with one of those snazzy zip-up cardigans. What will you be digging into this season from Custo BCN?

Words by Lori Zaino and photos from IFEMA.

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BDMOTP always looks forward to seeing Todd Snyder’s collections at NYFW Mens as they typically set the scene for the menswear fashions to come. For SS18, Snyder did not disappoint, creating an eclectic mix of trends encompassing all of the styles that seem to be taking over the runways this season, of course, with his own special unique touch.

First off, baggy trousers seem to be one of the main trends in Snyder’s SS18 collection. Cuffs at the bottom were an interesting touch to some of the looks, and something we haven’t seen much in Milan, Paris or London — we’ll be anxiously awaiting to see if it catches on.

Stripes were very prevalent in the collection, and the appearance of the vertical stripe —  something that women absolutely love as it’s slimming — was an interesting touch for menswear. There are definitely gentleman out there that might appreciate a slimming touch as well, anyway.

More sartorial looks graced the runway, such as suits layered over polos and shirts covered by long trenches, one of next spring’s biggest trends. Snyder of course had to participate in the athleisure trend, and in doing so collaborated with Champion. The juxtaposition between the Champion sweatshirts paired with tailored shorts and jackets was an interesting one — and this mismatching between sartorial style and athletic wear is quite literally taking the fashion world by storm.

Snyder also explains that his dad used to wear black shocks with shorts, and this bothered him immensely. But as they say, we all become our parents one way or another, and Snyder ended up using this trend, which once frustrated him, many times in the SS18 collection.

Words by Lori Zaino and photos by the CFDA of NYFW.

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And what better way than kick of the Fall Winter 17/18 collections for BDMOTP this season than with Tommy, Tommy Hilfiger, this oh so terribly Anglo and collegiate upper crust brand, which is so well known and so recognizable that it may very well may have come to stand for a style all on its own – other BCBG brands notwithstanding.

This year’s winter collection is called The American Alternative – which is rather funny and yet appropriate when you come to think of it because despite this of course being a good old American brand – like Ralph Lauren also – the Tommy core value and signature style is so strongly related to British prep school boy terminology that the majority of the sartorial names of these well-to-do menswear items would seem to come from a Harry Potter special dictionary equivalent for bespoke-driven frat school boys cloistered somewhere on isolated highlands in unpronounceable British private schools.

The Tommy signature, style, and colors.

The Tommy signature, style, and colors.

Here is sample of the vocabulary marvels you can test yourself with by going through the slide show below:

Neckwear

  • Striped college tie
  • Rugby scarf
  • Tartan scarf

Sweaters etc.

  • Stewart roll-neck sweater
  • Cardigans
  • Crew neck sweater

Coats and jackets (or blazers)

  • Jersey-button peat coat
  • Gray tweed coat
  • Bobby wool mix coat

Shoes

  • Rudy lace-ups
  • Tuppence loafers
  • Brogues (by Fred)

And Oxford shirts of course. Many Oxford shirts.

For this is the great American Alternative indeed when we watch this great and classic style topped off by faded denim jeans while carrying poppy hiking back-packs – in plaid Scottish squares. Some today would call it ‘cultural appropriation’ perhaps, but that is fine by us because it looks good on any young man, especially when worn a little bit casual in the American way, and decidedly NOT with a British stiff upper lip.

In fact, the Tommy press release calls the new collection – which has a 90’s theme hidden inside it noticeable especially in its color palette (winter cognac, burgundy, maritime blue, midnight blue, grape leaf, and khaki) – ‘edgy, relaxed, and effortlessly cool’ and we here at BDMOTP would like to go along with that description but adding ‘classic, casual, and a little chic’ but not also ‘rebellious’ as the press release would have it.

No, not every brand can pretend to ‘rebellious’ today except maybe Yves Saint Laurent from time to time. But definitely not Tommy. Because Tommy is fine the way it is. It’s classic quality menswear which makes you look good. And no further words are needed lest we take away from its beautiful and time-tested style.

Words by Sandro and photos from Tommy via GPS Radar.

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It’s a sunny and warm Sunday in New York, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the end of the weekend than heading up to the trendiest and most hipster borough: Williamsburg. In the 70 North 7th Brooklyn, ready to be discovered lays one of Brooklyn best Flea Markets: Artists & Fleas. A funny and eye-catching sign welcomes all visitors to cross the tiny door located in the front of what it seemed to be an old storage building now turned into a full-packed vintage market which can only be described with one sentence: creativity is exploding here!

After wandering around the stalls and having browsed all the handmade jewelry, accessories, clothes and several forms of art, two stands grab my attention. In the middle of the artistic forest that surrounds us, there it is. Gentlemen, please prepare yourselves to welcome a new version of style: “fashion and crafts”.

It is believed by some that a man without a tie is no man at all. I take one step further and say that “a man without a bow tie is not a real man”. Dap Kitsch does not create just bow ties, they create small pieces of wearable art. They reinvent the classic accessory adding a twist: it is not about polka dots or stripes anymore, say hello to new prints which include whales, tigers, beetles, paisley and anything you can’t imagine (including a Dexter inspired one). Not a fan of bow ties because you find them hard to tie? Then you don’t have an excuse, because they also come in pre-tied and upcycled styles as well.

Some steps away and with a smile on his face, you can find one of the men behind Curated Basics, a brand that offers a collection of accessories that are indispensable for those who dare calling themselves gentlemen. From some essentials, such as handkerchiefs, cufflinks or leather belts, to others more controversial like anchor male bracelets or steel flasks, they all have something in common: color. And not just pale and light colors, but those that make strong statements, those that stand out from the crowd. To make clothing more appealing they decorate cotton handkerchiefs and silk or wool ties with houndstooth and flowery prints, and fishtanks and other animal motifs. And last but not least, they offer a wide range of colors in shoe laces so the most adventurous can add some contrast to their working outfit.

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Photos and post by Paloma Canseco.

‘Exotic Opulence’ is how New York-based designer Giovanni Cattleya describes his brand of luxury menswear. Cattleya feels that designs are not about trend, but instead impeccable taste. His designs show an elegant maturity, but are still filled with fun colors and silhouettes that somehow emulate high fashion, but not in an overstated or over-the-top way.

We especially appreciate the snow-shot AQ15/16 looks, filled with bold pinks and oranges for winter, reminiscent of the Silk Road and the Orient. The feeling of ‘exotic’ shines through, above all, in the luxurious fabric and color choices in which Cattleya uses for his debonair menswear looks.

Above all, BDMOTP loves the appearance of the patterned winter white suit, with a longer jacket, of course, paired with the ever-stylish gym shoe. In case you’ll been out of the loop, pairing sneakers with suits is so “right now.” With Cattleya, we really see attention to detail, a mismatched “clashing” pattern that somehow just works, a flower on the edge of grey coat, or gold buttons to add just a small special touch to an orange leather jacket without going overboard.

Giovanni Cattleya’s designs are perfect for a New York gentleman with an old soul, someone with depth, design and a flair for elegance–someone with an inkling for the finer things in life.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Robert Hicks.

 

The MBFW New York Todd Snyder seemed to be inspired by a number of things, one being New York itself. The collection was professional, basic yet stylish and would fit a modern, urban New Yorker heading to work or even a city weekender look.

The color scheme was quite fall, with it’s base in military colors, beautiful army green leather, mixing khaki and camel tones, navy, grey, black and deep brown. Fabrics like suede, leather, wool and even velvet walked the runways, and a few of the coats sported the fur collar that every designer in showing for AW15/16.

The collection was slim fit, tailored and every New York man should have a few Todd Snyder staples in his wardrobe, especially for Autum/Winter 2015/16.

BDMOTP favorite: army green leather coat with fur collar, and the mixed camel/khaki looks

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Robert Hicks.

Welcome to the wonderful Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, whose February edition always seems to bring out the models, the fashion editors, the creme de la creme of trendsetters, despite snowy and sub-zero temps. This edition of MBFW New York: Richard Chai for AW15/16 brought us stylish, autumn flavored menswear pulling out many of same trends we’ve seen along the London, Milan, Paris and Madrid runways already this fashion season.

Layers are the name of the game for Chai, and that, plus the appearance of graphic tees giving the collection a casual, yet tailored vibe. We see visions of the grunge area with mixing different plaid patterns and adding a little baggy volume, but things stay tightened up enough that we haven’t totally gone back to the 80’s, so leave your Metallica black album at home.

We also see the appearance of vertical stripes which is typically rare. In fact, women love this trend because it makes them look longer and leaner, and should have the same effect on males, so perhaps a heavier-set male would enjoy a vertical striped pair of pants or top from Richard Chai.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an AW 15/16 collection without a little fur, which we see in soft details like collars and lining. All in all, a solid, wearable collection from Richard Chai, and not without some staple trends for the coming Autumn/Winter season, especially everyone’s fave, the turtleneck.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Robert Hicks.

The Todd Snyder SS15 collection at MBFW New York was inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright quote:

“Form follows function — that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”

The collection clearly joins form and function together, being modern and architecturally stylish while still being wearable and comfortable. I think the idea of comparing clothes to architecture works–really, the concept of fashion, making something that aesthetically works and is pleasing to the eye yet fulfills the function of safety and comfort is quite similar to that of architecture, as one aims for the same goals when creating a building.

The SS15 collection was muted and sleek, and made for  New York man. There wasn’t outlandish fabrics or new age designs, rather sophisticated, well tailored clothes for men. The fabrics were soft and casual, yet had that edge that every New York man needs to look rather dandy in the snap of a second. The line had trendy styles such as the every-present round sunglasses that will continue into spring and tailored short suits, that are still going strong through the seasons.

BDMOTP favorite: green jacket

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Robert Hicks.

Time is early afternoon of Tuesday May 27, 2014 and location is the garment district of Manhattan and BDMOTP feeling lucky because we get to interview Koos van den Akker, fashion designer and creator of the iconic “Cosby Sweater” seen on Bill Cosby in old school sitcom The Cosby Show. We are in his workshop and Koos is behind his sewing machine, ready to spill.

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Koos: Do you mind if I smoke?

BDMOTP: Of course not!

And Koos lights a cigarette.

BDMOTP: Koos, how do your goals and experience jive with the goals of the young and the hip of today?

Koos: I have no idea.

BDMOTP: Can a creator ever be separated from his creation?

Koos answer is in the negative and he indicates that he is always creating in his workshop even over the past Memorial Day weekend when everyone else is out partying or travelling.  There is no place Koos rather be than in his workshop creating.  He creates not to please customers, but for the sake of creation.  He hopes that what one creates will be pleasing to someone.  Koos considers himself to be a craftsman and not an artist – too many people call themselves artists today and they produce, well, sh**.

Koos lighting up with Kevin van Delsen, a Dutch model showing one of his creations

Koos lighting up with Kevin van Delsen, a Dutch model showing one of his creations

BDMOTP:  Koos, are there certain concepts or ideas you employ during the creative process or is it all intuition?

Koos responds that simple shapes are his canvass and that fabrics are his paints.  He was much inspired by the access to fabrics he found in New York when he first moved to Manhattan from Holland in 1968. Koos has always been much inspired by New York skyscrapers, and when he is creating and designing he thinks of men even though it is mostly women buying his creations. Today “women want their men better dressed”, Koos says.

Koos with model Kevin van Delsen

Koos with model Kevin van Delsen

BDMOTP: What will be your legacy Koos?

Koos: I hope to drop dead behind the sewing machine.

Koos wants to be remembered for his hard work, for being successful with doing what he loves to do, for not compromising, and for making beautiful things.  But he rather not have his work end up in a museum when people no longer wear it, because, according to Koos, ” … that is like death”.

Kevin modeling just another very famous Cosby Sweater

Kevin modeling just another very famous Cosby Sweater

You can find his creations at Koos & Co on 1263 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.  Or you can find Koos on Facebook.

  • Interview by Richard Chianese
  • Photos by Rayzor Sharp
  • Modeling by Kevin van Delsen
  • Written by  Sandro, BDMOTP
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