TOUCH MAGAZINE Issue one London
Editor in Chief
Inside the issue Hide and sleek 4
Dress the dean way 9
NO FLUFF 10
L’HOMME DE LA TERRE 13
fur for men: the more the manlier? 19
“There’s more to menswear than suits and ties” an interview with james long 22
Hide and SLEEK Welcome back the wild with the return of the primeval instinct. At its most basic and anthropological level, the role of man was to hunt, protect and mate. And while in 2014 this may now be dressed up in height defying architecture and expensive packaging, these primary instincts remain the same forty thousand years later. Entering menswear trends for Autumn/ Winter 2014, this primeval infrastructure can also now be applied to fashion. This season has seen texture take centre stage on menswear catwalks across the pond and the re-emergence of traditional, animal textures from furs to skins. Stereotypical imagery of cavemen evoke images of unkempt, long haired donning one-shoulder yak-skin kimonos and brandishing a wooden club. Thankfully men’s collections took a more subtle and bespoke approach to creating this primeval trend across shows around the globe, from Emporio Armani oJohn Varvatros to Roberto Cavalli. But the nod towards the days of prehistoric
around the globe, from Emporio Armani to John Varvatros to Roberto Cavalli. But the nod towards the days of prehistoric man was undeniably present. Anthropologically, man wore the skin of the animal he had hunted for practicality, accessibility and to hide and display his manhood all at once. The all-utilising nature of the caveman meant that every ounce of their prey had its purpose, from the meat for food, to the bones to weapons, to the skin for clothes. The skin would be blanched in water or the oil from oak trees and then provides warmth and protection to the tribe. This isn’t to say that 2014 will be the year of loincloths and one-shoulder kimonos. In fact the essential has become the elite when it comes to the use of animal skin from the catwalk. High-end designers are returning to the natural and traditional fabrics as a form of luxury as they are now associated with expense and exclusivity. From python to pony the skin of animals is now for its fashionable purpose, and it is this that has seen designers
sourced solely for its fashionable purpose, and it is this that has seen designers collectively reintroduce animal skins back into their ready to wear collections. Will Bosz, press coordinator for Armani explains, “for us, this season was about adventurous sophistication, about looking forward as well as looking back and the use of textures such as faux fur and pony skin was key to this. Society is currently weathering a storm and that’s what this collection had that battle of the elements feel to it, which was really important”. As expected, many catwalks were filled with layered fur outerwear from Dries Van Noten in Paris to Prada in Milan. But this season the refocus on natural fabrics dripping in texture has taken fashion full circle. Reptile skin, from lizard to python typically associated with female accessories, was the central focus for designers such as Haider Ackerman and Rick Owens. From full outfits at John Varvatos, to more subtle pieces from Paul Smith, animal4skin came in versatile stages on the decadence scale, combining the
Varvatos, to more subtle pieces from Paul Smith, animal skin came in versatile stages on the decadence scale, combining the use of both real and faux skins and furs. And Roberto Cavalli truly brought the wild side to his show with the standout piece at his Autumn Winter show being a black bomber jacket embellished with striking zebra print. The pony skin trend also makes a welcome reappearance in sleek gilets at Emporio Armani in colours from Plum to Ashy grey and a striking carmine pony skin in a vibrant red shade brought out the Avant-garde side of Costume National. Choosing to return to strong animalistic fabrics is a nod towards menswear shifting away from androgynous, looser and more feminine silhouettes that has dominated previous seasons. The primeval reflection
of man is recreated through textural fabrics and prints of animals. Menswear has full circled, and now the highest end designers are drawing inspiration from basic and simplistic hides. While the styling and layering has seen these looks updated by combining them with smart knitwear or leather, the natural foundation is ever present. Though some of the more avantgarde pieces will be reserved for catwalks and only the boldest of wardrobes, a commercial presence is inevitable. Knits of angora and mohair will sit comfortably alongside lambswool and cashmere. Faux lizard and python skin detailing will add subtle, animalistic dimension to structural outerwear. And there will be a new place for zebra, pony skin and fur for textural trousers and jackets.
So what does this mean for the future of menswear? “Menswear is finally becoming equally as experimental as its female counterpart” Will Bosz adds “It’s digging into the archives and becoming really exciting”. As menswear makes a return to its historic roots, this season is a celebration of dimensional masculinity. For Autumn/Winter, expect a sombre palette of black and grey, with the occasional plum hue cut into crisp lines and simple shapes. Knitwear will be redefined with shaggy and shear textures and animal skins both real and faux will be refreshing choices especially for outerwear. Onedimensional fabrics will be transformed with embossing and quilting that will add a more subtle texture for the less experimental. For new season menswear, expect a new era of texture.
Quilting is no longer reserved for a spot of clay pigeon shooting. Designers have played with materials and techniques to give the traditional style an ultramodern makeover for autumn… A troop of slick, blue-haired models sporting street wear in hyper tech fabrics – for autumn/ winter 2014 James Long gave us a view of the urban man in the future. This space age sartorialist is partial to a Matisse-esque collage in primary colours, leather interwoven with ribbon but most of all, he loves quilting. In one impressive feat of construction, Long transformed the quilted jacket from staple item of the landed gentry and modern Sloane Ranger into edgy sportswear essential. A galaxy away from the original olive green popper jacket, mounds of undulating fabric appeared on everything from jumpers to jogging bottoms. The colours were bright, the fabric futuristic and quilted scales in various sizes added a fresh dynamic to the 3D pattern. “Designs need to have a certain amount of commerciality but I don’t hold back,” Long explains. “It was abstract and architectural and allowed the story to tell itself.” Long’s story was that of Japanese cosplay and sci-fi conventions but the designer was just one of a number to weave a fresh take on quilting into their narrative for next season. From Christopher Raeburn to Versace, quilting is having a renaissance. From Christopher Raeburn to Versace, quilting is having a renaissance. While
insulating properties have made it a perennial favourite in outerwear, designers are now seeing the visual as well as tangible potential of this textural effect. Quilt stems from the Latin cucita meaning cushion or bolster. As with so much of fashion, its origin as clothing lies in practicality on the battlefield. The medieval gambeson was a padded defensive jacket commonly worn under metal armour and often contained additional stuffing made up of scraps of cloth or horsehair. Despite an association with British heritage wear, the modern quilted jacket was only created in 1965 by Steve Guylas, an American living in England. Prime clientele in the Royal family had sealed its association with the upper echelons of society roaming their country estates or the streets of Chelsea until now. While the modern warrior has moved on from horsehair, a middle layer of cloth is often included for extra warmth. English quilting manufacturer Lavenham still uses the same factory and basic processes as it did in the 1970s. Each quilted jacket passes a 16-stage process involving three inspections and the application of a top-secret number of stitches per inch on the quilting machines.
It has skilled workers with 20 years of experience but even Lavenham is modernising. The company has collaborated with a range of youthful brands including Cassette Playa, Tinie Tempah’s Disturbing London and most recently YMC. This progressive approach is only set to continue after fashion and sportswear brand Fred Perry bought the company in 2013. An 8-piece collaborative collection of outerwear is expected for autumn/ winter. But for the coming season designers have been exploring quilting’s versatility. “You still have more classic quilted jackets but I saw more gilets in particular on the runways this season,” says Dan May, Style Director for Mr Porter. “It was used more as a layering item than an out and out outerwear piece.” At Mr Gentleman bright quilted turtlenecks in glossy fabrics appeared beneath long line leather jackets and trench coats. Quilted gilets were worn over woollen jumpers and diamond quilting added interest to basic grey jogging bottoms. “The world is moving so fast nothing sticks to just summer or just winter any more,” Long says of his own collection. “It felt right to do something that doesn’t restrict to one season.” Then there was the way quilt stitching had been used as
embellishment. Channel quilted lapels were the stand out detail on Kent and Curwen’s leather biker jacket. While amidst the flamboyance of Versace’s rhinestone cowboys was a black leather motorbike helmet with a bold quilt stitch design. Such multi-dimensional patterns are not only decorative but also highly tactile. For May, it was Sacai that stole the show: “They played with the inside out idea of regular garments but, either through a gilet or with it attached to other fabrics like leather, created some quite unique pieces.”
Many designers experimented with different styles through combining textures. Calvin Klein’s futuristic shiny gold quilted jumpers were brought down to earth by tailored wide-leg camel trousers. While Philipp Plein’s quilted leather jackets were accented with fur collars and Moncler layered quilting over Argyle knits or crisp white shirts with Argyle patterned ties. The autumn/ winter collections have proved the longevity of quilting lies not only in practicality but adaptability. Such
resourcefulness makes it a worthy investment and even Long, one of our more directional designers, agrees it has a bright future. While his blue rinse may not catch on, the quilted texture is set to be as fashionable with a classic tweed suit as jersey tracksuit bottoms.
Dress the Yves Saint Laurent has wished to have invented blue jeans, and with good reason. In terms of recent fashion history, the blue-collar never looked so cool. The humble denim jean has gone from workman's overalls to a fashion staple. And not just any staple: jeans are the major and essential component of a modern man’s closet. Known for its versatility, jeans can be sported for practically any occasion: you can wear them around the house, in your workplace, for a casual day outing, or a date. But who is it that made blue jeans a wardrobe staple? It is none other than the notorious James Dean who strongly influenced menswear fashion, marking the end of the buttonup era and introducing the “cool laid back lad jeans”. His need for speed and taste for fast cars accompanied his blue jeans staple. It is no secret that everyone either wanted him or wanted to be like him. His legacy no doubt lives until today. The good news is; it is possible for all of you to sport the James Dean look and be
Dean way almost as irresistible and rebellious as him without putting your life in danger. It’s quite easy to infuse his sense of style within your wardrobe. You might actually be halfway there. We all have a wardrobe. You might actually be halfway there. We all have a pair of Tshirt and jeans. The tricky part remains the cut and the shade color. Your safest bid in terms of cut would be a straight cut that flatters all body types.
As for the color, you might want to stick to the typical blue jeans if you are not a fan of taking risks or too into funky style. Dark denim is perfect for an evening out or to pair with a smart blazer to dress up the look. On the other hand if you are quite daring when it comes to your style you could experiment with the tie-die or washed denim jeans. Either ways, dressing the Dean way is surely going to generate as much attention as women as from men who will admire you embodying the essence of cool. Be the modern James Dean and embrace the texture of jeans!
NO FLUFF Once the mark of the East London fashionisto, sculpted facial hair worthy of the V&A may have finally full-circled back to a memory of a ‘what was I thinking?’ era. It’s official. Beards are over – apparently. Fashion’s elite and those that follow are catching up to the catwalks, which have done away with the rugged take on manhood and swapped it with clean shine and perfect gloss. 2013 saw the beard craze go airborne, spreading through trendy high streets and fashion magazines alike. Moustaches adorning the faces of suited gentlemen and Urban Outfitters merchandise seemed an inescapable pain of London life. As we move through 2014, however, the consensus of the fashion press is that of a timely end to the trend. The likes of Dries van Noten and James Long opted for ultra-wet looks for the autumn collections, whilst Gucci and Prada sent out boys next door; healthy heads of hair and meticulous, preppy dos. The international designers have traded one type of hyper masculinity for an assertion of man in a traditional, and also British, way. Clean and sophisticated. At the more extreme end of the grooming spectrum, the luxury labels have taken us back through evolution for 2014, channelling reptilian textures and colours whilst maintaining an air of elegance. Hair stylist and make-up artist for the top international design houses, Julien D’Ys, created a warped, Prometheus-style world for the Comme des Garcons Autumn/Winter 2014 menswear catwalk, shown earlier on this year in Paris. Long, oiled hair drowned the models’ faces; the matted, black armour, or gas masks perhaps, were inspired by the
Hindu god Ganesh according to D’Ys. Although enigmatic and sombre, the extraterrestrial hair added an alien edge to the utilitarian collection. In a more subtle manner, Kenzo played with slick sophistication and textural twists, literally: ultra-shiny side partings meeting playful, just-washed fringes. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s work-wear inspired collection was given a tailored, heritage twist, a textural conflict reflected in the hair. Likewise, the boys of the James Long show were sculpted a second skin layering the hair; a more subtle take on the alien-inspired look, but no less striking. The plastic, blue shells covering the heads evoked the sense of a primal, unevolved planet Earth. The glossy, almost amphibian, skin perfected the balance of otherworldly sophistication. “Beards are the sign of raw masculinity, dominant aggression,” says Jaymarie Winkler, editorial and TV hair stylist, “the slick, parted look is a different message altogether. This masculine statement is more elegant and luxurious.” This particular approach is nothing new to British style, and Jaymarie believes this trend has special relevance to London. Although the rugged, devil-may-care look may still be a favourite globally, a penchant for the classy and subtle in men’s grooming might just keep winning out when it comes to the boys of Britain. “It’s definitely something to do with the mod look of the sixties which, more than anything, still has such a massive impact of how men dress themselves in London.”
Despite the so-called ‘beard backlash’ we’re seeing amongst certain trendy hipster sets, the strive for the perfect beard is now widespread. The look has pushed past the borders of Shoreditch and filtered throughout the UK, as trends tend to do. It looks to be the setters of this trend only that are abandoning their bold choices on the barber shop floor.
Of course there are the men who stand outside the fad, to whom the beard is as important as their left arm or exposed-brick studio in Dalston – taking a razor to the face would be a sin against everything sacred and masculine. But these men can’t deny the self-parody that is the east-London beard/moustache-pairing, a cliché that many have simply had enough of. So what’s the alternative? Is fluorescent hair paint and an intoxicating amount of shine spray what 2015 holds? Probably not. More likely is a push towards clean, strippedback and glossy partings à la Mad Men. “The 90s grunge look is also back,” says Jaymarie, “loose and relaxed, still tidy but not overly styled. I like dapper looking men though, if it were up to me I’d have all men take inspiration from Boardwalk Empire.” It makes sense in theory, but do we honestly expect a shedding of beards on mass? “At the moment the beardy look is still going strong for the most part. Salons were popping up all over London last year specialising in facial hair shaping, but they are still doing well with strong client bases.” It seems still too early to tell, probably best to step away from the clippers for now
Lâ€™homme De la Terre photography Pippa Holiday creative direction Jack duce hair & make-up Jessica driver
Fur for men: the
more manlier? the
To assert: to state or declare positively and often forcefully or aggressively.
Don’t worry this is not a feature about English grammar. I am simply emphasizing both terms “forcefully” and “aggressively”. Do they not ring a bell? I must say they sort of rhyme with fur. I am pretty sure that the UKbased charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), dedicated to protecting the rights of all animals, among others would agree with this. There is no doubt that the fur business is far from being the most ethical one. However ethics aside, the fur trend is not to be neglected within the fashion industry. Once considered a style only exclusive to women, it has now crossed over from female counterparts and men have claimed it. This year, various menswear designers decided to take a walk on the wild side in their winter 2014 collections.
their winter 2014 collections. From Gucci, to Armani, to Dolce and Gabbana, to Burberry, to Dior, to Valentino, to Fendi, to Prada, to Saint Laurent. To Louis Vuitton, to Kenzo, to Canali, to Belstaff – and the list goes on – designers are responding to men’s demand for fur and delivering a myriad of looks varying length and impact to match every wearer’s personality. Numerous questions are raised to whereas the significance of this growing staple: What types of men wear fur? Is it an assertion of one’s manhood? As for your take on the fur issue, it is up to you readers to
issue, it is up to you readers to decide where you stand on that. The attributes of masculinity are a constant debate in our modern society. Due to social constraints and pressure, men are imprisoned in this “macho” stereotype and the body is at the center of it. Common beliefs state that the more hair a man has, the more he is manly. Recently, we have witnessed a bombardment of the fur garment being sported by men. Is this a new way of asserting manhood? Are we following the logic of “the more hair the merrier?” – or in that case, the “manlier”? 19 In his cultural text Brutal: Manhood and the Exploitation
In his cultural text Brutal: Manhood and the Exploitation of Animals, Brian Luke examines the relationship between animal exploitation and gender. Animal exploitation encompasses hunting and animal experiment, thus the use of fur. Luke links the continued existence of these practices to the predatory nature of men and their need to express their masculinity, providing them with an enhanced sense of virility. Men are built and taught to be hunters, fighters, which is why they are immune to animal slaughter and on the contrary take pride in exposing a trophy such as wearing fur. The above literature reference set the scenery of the men/fur industry today. Whether the trend began with Kanye West’s extravagant parade of furry jackets, or by an adaptation of female
counterparts’ winter wardrobe, there is no doubt that men wearing fur is no longer a simple fad, and the fur market is booming. From accessories, to furry coat trims, to fur/fabric combos, to fur trapper hats, the trend has now escalated and men are seen everywhere, on the streets, on runways, on magazine covers, all wearing something furry. The question was just a timely one. I went to the Fendi shop on New Bond Street and was surprised to see almost an entire floor dedicated to fur for men. Should I have been though? Although we are in one of the world’s most notorious fashion capitals, seeing men wear fur garments all around London has admittedly risen more than a few eyebrows. Bruce Woodford and Cherry Colacicco from the fur Portwine Galleries on
Portobello Road reveal the most demanded types of fur garments by men nowadays. Cherry opens her agenda and shows me a list of orders for men and waiting lists. She states, “When they want to buy something for skiing, they go for Coyote or Wolf coats. The mink coat is highly demanded. I think men customers perceive it as a sense of assertion of power. There is also a particular coat that is very expensive. It’s a very pricey mink doublebreasted coat called the “Ambassador Coat”. Fur sales are growing year after year. You might think that it’s spring season and that no man in his right mind – or skin – would invest in a fur piece. Well, think again. Sebastian and Helen from the fur shop under the Portobello tent tell me that
they had a man buy a fur coat earlier today. It doesn’t take a branding expert to affirm that the image of a man wearing fur is someone that we call “macho”. Manhood nowadays is defined by the power of not being afraid or intimidated by the creepiness of wearing a dead animal basically. When a man is seen wearing fur he is classified as a boss. Bruce Woodford agrees with the stereotype of men in fur. When asked about what types of men wear fur, he says: “I think the Ambassador coat is self explanatory in terms of clientele. The stereotype is usually someone eccentric. Yes, eccentric is a good word. The man sporting fur is a man that is macho and wants to impose and assert his power. It
does remind me a bit of the man as a hunter, that kind of figure. So, yes, it is a sort of way to state that they are manly but they also have to be quite into fashion. The movie American Gangster is a good comparison to the typical fur customer that we get. He is a man that wants attention, and knows that wearing this full-length chinchilla coat will draw that attention. It gives them the power and status they crave.” Aside from gender and power connotations, the primary practical benefits of fur are its warmth and softness. Cherry states, “Usually in winter when men go skiing I sell a lot of long hair fur sporty coats essentially because of their warmth and practicality. We make them to measure for the men. They also ask for bedspreads.” Another fur asset derives from the.
technological progress. It has resulted into turning fur into a more versatile material, meaning that is now mixed with different types of fabric such as silk, leather, wool. The result is a defiance of traditional apparel and menswear and the creation of funky, original pieces that are defining the modern man today Today’s sexism and gender criteria are a key element behind the fur industry’s success. Perhaps if we redefine manhood by revoking requirements of violence, and if we reject this polarized conception of gender, there will be less demand for fur and men will have to assert their virility with new established values, “fur real”.
“There’s more to menswear than suits and ties” -jAMES LONG James Long is one of the most exciting designers in London at the moment. After completing his menswear MA at the Royal College of Art he debuted his first collection with Fashion East’s ‘MAN’ in 2007. And by 2011, aided by the encouragement of Fashion East cofounder Lulu Kennedy, Long branched into womenswear for AW11. His intuitive and somewhat abstract design has seen him become a firm favourite among both the London mens and womens fashion weeks. And with his showroom now based in Paris, James is fast becoming an international success. But it is his iconic menswear that James Long has become truly renown for. From embellished t-shirts, to leather outerwear and innovative knitwear, Long has truly put textural pieces on the map in London for menswear. AH:Your menswear line is the focus of James Long, but what initially drew you to menswear? JL: It surprises most people but theres so much you can do with menswear, its visually exciting, constantly innovating, my eye has always been for menswear.
AH: What is your menswear aesthetic? Do you have a favourite style? JL: I pick something and go with it, I’m constantly inspired by things that you wouldn’t usually get inspired by. Texture is really important to me. Silhouette can be totally transformed by textures, fabrics, details. Menswear is details. AH: Texture is particularly prominent in your design aesthetic, what drew you to have such a strong interest in it? JL: texture is what menswear is all about. There’s more to menswear than suits and ties. I like the animalistic, the fabrics and textures that come from them are always important to my collections. I like high textures. In an international market its key. AH: Even when technology appears to be dominating every other industry, do you think the roots of fashion, the primeval, still has its place? JL: Yes. But there’s room for both. From the start my work was about a certain protectiveness, which itself is an animal instinct. And fashion is all about instinct. Theres always a lot going on. Theres always a story to tell. AH: What is the future of menswear? JL: It’s limitless.