One of my favorite knit pieces by Engineered Garments is definitely the shawl cardigan. It's not your normal cardigan with the straight bottom, high buttons and shapeless cut. However I think it's shape lends itself really nicely to the art of layering as a BD shirt is able to poke out the bottom and show some cuff with ease. The shape of it also fits like a glove within the outer shell of a Bird Shooter jacket. That said, I unfortunately missed my chances to pick up the sweater last fall even though it was made a a variety of great greys. This spring The Bureau have managed to score an exclusive colour in the knit cardigan, which just so happens to be the best version of it. The rich blue fleece looks perfect and would be an easy partner to any jacket and shirt combination. I'm not sure how many they have, but I would expect them to go fairly quickly – priced at £135.
Monocle and J.Crew might seem like an unlikely pair to team up but over the last 6 months the market leaders have been cooking up some interesting projects. I know I've noticed the increased advertising presence in Monocle's last couple of issues as J.Crew have been ramping up their menswear and the latest catalog. Now online, you can view the "Men of Monocle" piece that J.Crew have put together. They have photographed the guys behind the magazine in London, styled tastefully in J.Crew's spring collection and their recent collaborations. The catalog/magazine is the first real collaboration that's now in the public eye between Monocle and J.Crew but I wouldn't be surprised to see another form of collaboration in the future, maybe a shirt, or something like that. We don't often get to see the Monocle staff in front of the lens so it's nice to put faces to pens for once. The styling itself is very comfortable and what you might expect from both brands. —
There's a lot of very traditional looking parkas around at the moment; that's not a bad thing, but it's always nice to see something a little different. This season Junya's done both. He's collaborated with Mackintosh on a very clean and classic parka for the mainline, but he's also produced this version with The North Face as part of the eYe collection. This line brings up some interesting partnerships (Champion, Baracuta, Carhartt etc) but the pieces always have a good sense of balance - feeling fresh, but never compromising the collaborator's identity. In this instance, the bright blue shell, beige interior, cognac leather toggles and use of Windstopper feel very much in keeping North Face's heritage. The pocketing, however, is reminiscent of a parka Junya did with Porter a few years ago and it offers that unusual accent you always expect from Comme des Garcons. I’m hoping these appear at Dover Street Market in the coming weeks, and if the pictures are anything to go by, I won’t be disappointed. —
Post Overalls have begun to gain a nice following and a larger stocklist in the last two seasons, at least outside of Japan where the brand is somewhat "new". Present in London seems to be one of the first shops to receive items from the spring collection although it's a small delivery. The Cruzer jacket is always one of my favorite pieces from Post and this spring the Sweetbar Cruzer is probably the best of the batch. The lightweight, fine cotton has a fine tattersal pattern with nice bar tac details and perfectly balanced white buttons. —
Present have just received fresh spring stock of their in-house footwear collection made by non other than Tricker's. The folks at Present have been working with Tricker's for much longer than blogs have been around and they continue to lead the way. My favorites from the spring delivery are the low cut derby on the Vibram sole. The colours are rich and are nicely accented by the brass hardware and boot laces.
Neighborhood's first collection of 2010 dubbed "The Magnificent Seven" has recently started hitting stores and it's looking as good as per usual. One piece that hasn't shown up outside of Japan unfortunately though is the Mountain Parka. While not a collaborative piece, you can definitely see the inspiration again from classic american outdoor company Marmot here. While it might seem easy to execute with such a strong reference point there's plenty of examples out there of how it can go awry. Neighborhood add to the jacket some subtle changes like tonal snaps, slit pockets, black cuff straps and then with their typical not so subtle use of patches. The royal blue is a perfect colour for the spring, it's just a shame that costs have likely prohibited retailers outside of Japan from being able to bring in the jacket.
The Ghurka shorts are my second favorite in the Engineered Garments collection after the fatigue shorts I already highlighted. However this pair is made in one of my favorite fabrics from the spring collection. The beige cotton-linen has a really nice feel and the ideal weight for the middle of summer. I think the colour works well with most shirts you would want to wear and the length is pretty standard for everyone. I know the weather hasn't been great in London and on the east coast, but it's been pretty amazing here in Vancouver and I can't help but think summer isn't too far away when I see these. —
I couldn't help but post more Sassafras this week as some of their spring shirting just arrived at the Utility Coop. Fortunately, it's easy to check out of this Japanese website with an email to the shop, so it's not that far out of reach. The Feel Sun Shirt is back again along with a handful of other great looking pieces. Plaids, micro corduroy, cotton oxford and a nylon/cotton mix make up most of the delivery in a couple favorable styles. I personally love the long front pockets on the Fee Sun Shirt as I think it offers something you really don't see from another brand. While at glance the Sassasfras shirts appear to be simple enough, the construction, pocket detailing and fabrics definitely set them apart from other brands. —