Monday, 19 December 2011

Brian Clarke launches new flagship boutique

This month saw the opening of luxury menswear designer Brain Clarke’s new flagship boutique just off Marylebone High Street. Here you will see high quality tailoring using cloth produced by the mills in Scotland and Italy. Clarke takes the classic heritage look and adds his own contemporary touch.

For his SS12 collection he takes his inspiration from the nineteenth century young academics:

A softer modern bib front on Clarke’s shirts emulates the traditional starched shirt fronts, and the high standing rounded collars the look that was so popular in mid 1800 Eton College. Tan leather brogues are given a twist with off centre lacing and the Regatta blazer is available in double as well as the traditional single breasted.
For the present colder winter months he updates two traditional coat styles:

The classic rugged pea coat shows its softer side with faux fur.

The sheepskin coat‘s cheeky ‘Delboy’ reputation is replaced with an edgy and trendier look by Clarke’s design of a slimmer fit, unfinished edges, double breasted and detachable hood.

As a teenager Brian loved to interpret street fashion and create his own style. The next obvious step was to take this creativity and learn how to make his own designs. So he registered at the London College of Fashion to study how to design light clothing and pattern cutting. After completing his studies, Brian worked at Berman’s & Nathan’s theatrical costumiers. Here he worked on costumes for Colditz, Superman and all the BBC series, but promises his own collections will not include wearing underpants over tights! However, it was when he worked as assistant designer/pattern cutter for Katherine Hamnett that he really became hooked on fashion.

After a few years Brian eventually decided to go it alone and started styling and designing clothes for pop videos of numerous bands: Jackie Graham, David Grant, Imagination and Spandau ballet to name a few. He also set up a pattern cutting, sample making and small production service for emerging designer labels which included Stephen Linard, Duffer of St. George, Joe Casely Hayford and Nigel Hall. An opportunity to work for one of the leading young fashion companies in Japan became available, providing Clarke with more hands on experience in fashion design.

Clarke’s new boutique also provides in-store bespoke tailoring.

26 Paddington Street

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pringle pre-fall 2012

Whilst we’re busy hunting down the perfect outfit for this winter, something to keep us warm but also looking cool, those designers have moved on to their pre-fall 2012 collections and some are ready to tease us with their new designs. I say tease because no matter how good we’ve been Santa won’t be bringing them to us this Christmas. But all is not lost as they say good things come to those who wait. Here’s a great collection that hopefully will come our way soon:

Alistair Carr, Design Director for Pringle of Scotland, brings out his first Pre-Fall 2012 collection for the brand.

Carr has turned to Pringle’s own rich brand heritage for inspiration, looking at knitwear as outerwear, their iconic intarsia design and the classic twinset. But then adds his own twist.

He takes the twinset concept a step further by not only matching the sweater and cardigan, but the whole outfit.  Trousers and skirts are in matching geometric patterned knits with jackets whilst knitted dresses are double layered in contrasting colours of wine with peony; and bottle green with burnt orange

Pringle’s intarsia designs have a makeover with a bold woven jacquard print on a satin trimmed smoking suit, cocktail dress and skirt.

And the token classic twinsets in the collection feature a textured star embroidered design, rather than the smooth signature argyle pattern.

The colour palette is deep and rich wine, bottle green and navy with accents of acid brights. These brights are more dominant in the graffiti print used on stretch twill utility pieces.

For the outerwear, the casual parka is made in luxurious pony skin with fox and mink fur trimmed hoods.

Shoes are in collaboration with Chrissie Morris.  

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky