Girl in Menswear

Not just for girls. Not just about menswear.

Tuesday

22

July 2014

A week in the life: Stockholm

Week 1

For many, keeping a blog is a bit like keeping a journal. We document what we did, where we went and who we saw. I am sure you are not interested in the ins and outs of my every day life, but if you are anything like me, you may just be interested in learning of a few hidden gems around Stockholm which I frequented this past week.

Often people tweet me for tips about what to do when visiting the Nordic capital – so here’s a tit bit or two, which I will put up regularly to advise you on where you should be spending these balmy days if you should so choose to venture North this summer.

1. View from Gondolen – The sunsets in Stockholm are hands down the most beautiful I have ever seen. If you wander up to Mosebacke torg on the island of Sodermalm, you can stroll across the Gondolen view point and take in the sun setting over the city. If you are feeling swank go for a cocktail at Gondolen bar, or better – grab a beer outside at Sodra Teatern (one of my fave Sodermalm spots).

2. Restaurant J - This statue entitled “God our Father on the Rainbow” by Carl Milles is one of my favourite in Stockholm and incidentally situated outside one of my top restaurants – Restaurant J. Hop on a ferry boat from either Slussen or Nybroplan and get off at Nacka strand – it will take you about 15mins. Arrive early at Restaurant J and recline on a sun facing deck chair whilst enjoying an aperatif before being seated outside on the water for a delicious dinner of seafood or some of the best meatballs I’ve had in the city.

3. Gröndal – Tricky to get to, but a favourite with the locals, Gröndal is situated on Liljeholmen island just south of Sodermalm. You can take the tram here or hope on a bicycle from Liljeholmen station. The water is clean and you can laze on a pontoon or the rocks until sunset. Pack a picnic, there aren’t any stores around.

4. Djurgården - This is a view of Djurgården from the ferry to Slussen – instead of taking buses and the T bana (subway/underground/metro to you and me), you should check out the ferry timetables and try to make your way around by boat – the city is exceptional from the sea.

5. Me with crimped hair – Also a sight worth seeing in Stockholm.

6. Vintervikens Trädgård- This cafe is also located on Liljeholmen island, a stone’s throw away from the water and in easy access of canoe renting facilities if you should want to get sporty on your trip. This is one of my favourite cafe’s to chill out in the capital. Grab a coffee and sit under the roses or amongst the vegetable patches in this garden cafe come nursery. 

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Sunday

20

July 2014

Sporticus

sportsMy friend Samantha has a crush on her Ballates instructor.  Yep that’s right Ballates – ballet and pilates fused into an hour long work out in Peckham – she can’t get enough of it. My other friend does a yoga and song class – no jokes they chanted the Black Eyed Peas “Where is the Love” last week whilst doing downward facing dog. Meanwhile I live next door to a tiny juice bar where for £120 you can replace your meals with pureed celery and pond scum – they call it spirulina but I know what it really is. And finally, every time I go for a coffee somebody is trying to rope me into recycling my soul, or cycling for my soul – in any case something on a bike that’s good for your soul.

Yes, it would appear my friends have all gone a bit fitness mad. Healthy living is en vogue, and because I easily succumb to peer pressure I kinda want to get in on the action.  So to start me off on the right foot I have done two things. Firstly, I’ve given up meat – for a week that is. I don’t know why this is healthy to be honest, but I do know that I’ve imbibed enough macki, nigiri and sashimi to feed a Japanese hamlet. The second thing I’ve done, which is equally constructive, is spent A LOT of time on Net a Porter’s newly launched “Net a Sporter”. As I scroll through beautifully curated spandex collections I can virtually feel the kilos dropping off me – the mind is a powerful tool after all.

So here’s what’s in my hypothetical basket – talk about an incentive to get fit.

 

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Saturday

19

July 2014

Just one of the guys

excited-baby

See that baby? Yeah you do. That baby is how I feel right about now about Jenny Lewis’ music video entitled “Just one of the guys.” Haven’t seen it? Then check it out here:

Now let’s discuss.

Ok, I’m pretty non fussed about the song. The lyrics are great, but I like to shake my “big fat butt” to more upbeat tunes – that is not to say I don’t enjoy the lyrics, which I encourage you to read because they make some great points.

What I’m really interested in is how the hell that gaggle of girls came together to create this video? I mean it’s a big bucks cast. I like to think that it was plotted between knocking back Moet at the Met Bell or something equally casual, I mean Beck (yea Beck!) produced the video – high five J Lew!

And the clothes? I know it’s supposed to be a parody but stop the lights, that Care Bear coloured, My Little Pony surprise of a three piece is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  The white tuxedos and head to toe adidas is pretty fly too.

Girl in Menswear salutes these girls also in menswear for their efforts, and highly encourages them to contact her if there is a sequel in the making.

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Friday

18

July 2014

A creature of habit

Nike 3From January until June this year my monochrome Nike runners were to my feet what bacon is to syrup – a match made in oh-so-good heaven. My trainers were my significant other – I could take them anywhere and loved showing them off. They were as happy going to the movies as they were to a meeting, I knew they would beguile crowds at formal functions as quickly as they would blend in at the park with my friends. They were perfect. But then, I wore them so much that they slowly began to disintegrate – it was subtle at first, a hole at the heel, a fraying shoelace, a slight whiffy odour when I removed them at the end of the day, mud stains that wouldn’t budge – sigh. I had worn my dear friends out, and it was time to put them to rest in a shoe box in the closet, where they would stay until “comfy walking shoes” were required.

A creature of habit, I did not look for a replacement pair from a new brand (that would be far too adventurous), instead I returned to the sneaker store to get a pair of Nike trainers that were virtually identical – albeit differently coloured – to my last pair. Cue today’s look styled for cocktails overlooking Stockholm.

What am I wearing? My prized Nike Max Thea’s, a pair of Topman ultra skinny dress trousers I bought whilst in London last week, an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie bandeau top from Urban Outfitters and a boyfriend blazer from Topshop.  Nike

Nike 2Nike 4

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Thursday

17

July 2014

Caraoke

Question: If an Oompa Loompa and Lucky the Leprechaun were to have a love child what would it look like?

Answer: Cara Delevingne in LOVE’s spoof of LL Cool J ft J Lo’s “Control Myself”

I highly encourage Lucky Box, Little Voice and all other dingy karaoke bars with sticky plastic sofas and dimly lit corners to purchase the Caraoke set pronto.

 

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Wednesday

16

July 2014

Enough with the Blogger bashing

“From models to bloggers to It Girls, the constant stream of gifted shoes, bags and sun-soaked, carefree faces clogging up your Instagram feed can sometimes make you (if you are not a model/blogger/It Girl) forget why it is you work crazy hours for tuppence in an industry that, at least on the outside, appears to only favour the famous.”


The aforementioned extract is taken from a recent article published on I-D online by Courtney Iseman, which explains why she finds the “It Girls” of instagram an insult to the fashion industry – here’s my response.Fashion Consultant and Casting Agent

Dear Courtney, 

Here’s the thing about the blogger “It” girl to which you refer – she hasn’t just stumbled into success, she’s worked hard to get there. You see most bloggers don’t post a few pouty instagram photos and then “SHAZAM” they have thousands of followers and Versace’s taking them out for an espresso machiato in Capri. No, most bloggers, work a 9am to 5pm job or are enrolled in full time education – their blogs (at least initially) are what they do with their free time. They too have “long days behind a desk or on set” and “fight to get ahead in the business”, but when you go home for a glass of vino with your mates, most bloggers are sitting at their laptops churning out articles about “five ways to wear Birkenstocks” free of charge for brands or publications. Why are they doing it? “Love for the clothes” just like you.

Like others in the industry, bloggers are incredibly proactive and dedicate hours to their craft – they’re stylists, photographers, pr professionals, digital marketers, writers and website builders in their own right – not bad for a twenty-something girl if you ask me. With no relevant experience under their belts, they create robust social media strategies that gain them all those thousands of followers you talk of. Most bloggers don’t have brands knocking on their doors to collaborate. Most of us bloggers are tirelessly contacting PR agencies and brands to partner with them. We email every fashion publication in the business offering our services free of charge to better our credentials so that one day we might be paid – not in bags and shoes, but in cash (wouldn’t that be nice!). Yes, we get free stuff – Hell some of us get free designer stuff, but those of us that do are a fair few years into our blogging careers by then and have worked hard for that recognition.

We deserve to get paid for our profession. We have impressive readerships, which we present in media packs that rival those of national magazine titles. Those media packs are created in InDesign or Photoshop which we’ve self taught ourselves to better our professional offerings. The blogging veterans might get $5000 for an instagram shot, but I can guarantee the majority of us are not getting paid those kinds of figures. What’s the going rate for an advertorial in Vogue these days, hey? The “It” bloggers are at the top of their careers and deserve to be remunerated accordingly. 

Facebook and Instagram are all about showing off – I don’t think we can hold the blogging community entirely responsible for that. Luxury fashion is all about aspiration and if you envy the girls with the expensive, albeit gifted, handbags then someone’s doing their job right.  With hard work and determination (like you say), I hope one day I write like Susie Bubble, interview like the Man Repeller, style like The Blonde Salad and shoot like Park n Cube – their instagram accounts inspire me every day.

Best of Luck,

Sophia (an aspiring It girl blogger)

x

 

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Wednesday

16

July 2014

Work it to work.

SilkenHey there team, I’m back again and not budging for a while. After a wonderful week on the White Isle and another spent in the UK, I am now back to Stockholm where summer seems to have arrived and it’s as glorious as everyone promised.

Long days are spent strolling along the water front, taking boat rides out to the archipelago to sip rose at sunset and cycling around a near empty city. Although most Swedes have opted to take the whole of July off on holiday – yes that’a s thing here, they can, and they do – some of us still have to go to work and practice a normal 9am to 5pm routine – can I get an Aaaaaaaamen from the rest of the world!?

So what to wear to work when it’s hot and humid and your commute is even more hellish than usual? I always think that dressing for the office when it’s hot, hot, hot is hard, hard, hard! There are the “don’ts” of course – don’t wear flip flops, summer dresses or generally expose too much skin – but what of the “do’s”?

I say “do” wear a loose (breathable) shirt in lightweight fabrics and summer tones. You will be all too familiar with my current penchant for the colourful, intricate prints of  Silken Favours, and this shirt and shorts combination say “summer” without saying “holiday”. Perfect for those of us who work in a creative office space. “Do” cover up with a neutral Mac  - “don’t” wear it done up, flashers have ruined it for us all (selfish so and sos). “Do” keep it classy with leather brogues and monks and “do” accessorise with a slip case that is large enough for your sunnies as well as your laptop.

Oh, and DO have an awesome summer – yay!Silken

 

What I’m wearing: Silken Favours shirt and shorts, GANT by Michael Bastian Mac, GANT Rugger slip case, Russell & Bromley shoes

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Thursday

10

July 2014

It’s more than just a suit

topman_824483668773356So I’ve been a bit rubbish haven’t I? Sorry about that. A week in Ibiza meant I disconnected from the online world for a bit in favour of sunning myself and dancing in the sand – I’m sure you would have done the same in my position! I am now back to fully functioning wifi and temperatures that permit sleeves and collars – I’m sorry but when it’s 32 degrees even a girl in menswear needs to strip off a sartorial layer or two!

Before I left for the White Isle, the lovely gents over at Topman got in touch to invite me to partake in their “it’s more than just a suit challenge”. They asked me and one of my favourite male bloggers School Boy Couture to style a “Street Smart” look by selecting some key pieces from their suit collections and mix-and-matching them with other pieces from their extensive collections. Now as you well know I am a big fan of the high street label, namely because they are one of the few menswear brands to offer sizing in XXS, and I am a particular fan of their ultra skinny tailored trousers and shirts, so I of course obliged! Now you’re going to have use your imagination a bit, but my style edit includes heritage ankle grazers, tennis shoes (no socks of course), a Herschel backpack, mac, sunnies and a collarless denim shirt – what do you think? If you approve, you can vote for my look here on their website, or grab a sneak peak of my selection below.

Suit Challenge - Sophia's Edit

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Thursday

26

June 2014

Fashion East SS15

LCM 4Fashion East epitomizes why London is one of the most exciting capitals for nurturing new design talent.  Every season the intimate menswear installation invites guests to interact with the designers and their collections, offering a sneak peak to the headlines of Collections to come.

Edward Crutchley 

You’re not really supposed to pick favourites, but I’m afraid Edward Crutchley stole the show for me in his East meets West fusion of multi-coloured textiles. Crutchley may be new to design, but he is more than experienced in the world of fabrics, holding the position of Textile Consultant at Louis Vuitton Homme, Richard Nicoll and Jevoni. Layer upon layer of batik kimonos, silk, double faced polyester and digitally printed jerseys swathed models for a streetwear mood with an Asian undercurrent. Fashion East 7Fashion East 6

Marques’Almeida

The design duo have made a name for themselves with their reinterpretations of frayed denim in the women’s department and have now debuted into menswear. They explained to Dazed Digital that “it’s not about being a full-blown menswear collection, it’s about being an extension of the women’s; an extension of the same vibe. The vibe is very important for us. We didn’t want it to be about the clothes only, we wanted it to be about that whole atmosphere – brought into menswear.”.

For SS15 they were inspired by road tripping and the All American teen spirit. Slouchy hoodies, pleated denim, cornflower yellow were all sported by a cast of bored looking teenagers. With Marques’Ameida its about getting up close and personal with their designs, at first they can appear to be rather non remarkable, but the devil is in the detail, and the detail is in their beautiful reworking of denim.Fashion East 3

Shaun Samson

I was never a boy scout. Well, I suppose I couldn’t have been, but I was never the girl equivalent either. Shaun Samson however must have been, and a rather stylish one at that. Felting and mink lanyards, silk neckerchiefs with intricate printed details were punctuated by illustrations by Josh Gurrie. Caps, booting and tailored shirting gave the summer camp setting a cool kid vibe.

Fashion East 4

Martine Rose

I’m not going to lie, at first I just didn’t get it. Lonely model on a pedestal in oversized tracksuit bottoms and leather jacket somberly sandwiched between two Greek statues – eh? But then like most things I warmed to it. The Greek statues had homo-erotic flyers scattered at their base. The awkwardness was of course intentional, the angular leather toughened up the bloated sportswear for a 90′s aesthetic, which we had seen by the likes of Christopher Shannon and Topman Design. Rose managed to create something rather uncomfortable that from a wearability perspective appeared extremely comfortable indeed.

Fashion East 5

Alan Crocetti

Alan Crocetti opened the installation space with his aggressive looking models straddling black scaffolding. Dressed in what appeared to be black hospital gowns and knee socks, with silver knuckle dusters and metallic plasters bandaging their broken noses, the all over aesthetic was the bad boys of Fashion East who had been ruffled in a fight. Beautifully bruised, the inspiration was Fight Club and American skateboarding culture. For Crocetti wounds on the mend are an excuse for silver adornment. An incredibly simple presentation in comparison to his peer group, Crocetti managed to create something exquisite in a seemingly effortless fashion.Fashion East 2

Fashion East 1

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Wednesday

25

June 2014

WIN a pair of Ray Bans with Sunglasses Shop

Sunglasses 2

OK it’s official. It’s summer. I know this because instagram is now an endless stream of sickeningly bronzed legs, shots of sunsets and tropical fruit – loads of it. I’m off to Ibiza this Saturday (whoop whoop – cue Vengaboys and incessant twerking!) to clutter my instagram account with equally seasonal shots. So to celebrate the arrival of the sun I’ve teamed up with Sungalsseeshop.com  to giveaway a pair of Ray Ban retro sunglasses to one lucky Girl in Menswear reader.

Worth £98.00 (to be exact) these tortoiseshell unisex frames are the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe. All you need to do is like Sunglasses Shop on Facebook via the Rafflecopter widget and score yourself some brownie points if you follow me via Twitter and Facebook too. Hell follow me on Instagram and I’ll love you even more.

Good Luck!Rayban

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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