Thursday, 25 November 2010

Don Draper Style: Get the Mad Men Look

Donald ‘Don’ Draper, the fictional creative advertising head and lead character of the Emmy award winning hit series ‘Mad Men’ has amassed an astounding popularity with both viewers and the fashion pack alike. The Mad Men style that can be seen in the series has wowed the fashion world with its beautiful 1960’s styling. Set in the early 1960’s when gratuitous consumerism was just starting to take off and sexual politics were rife in the workplace, the Mad Men fashion takes us back to a time of classic groomed tailoring. The anti- hero of the show played by Jon Hamm, encompasses the changing times of this era in both character and style.

Viewers have been attracted to the simple grown up dressing of this 1960’s down town Manhattan life, so much so that Don Draper style is now seen as being highly influential in the style industries. So what is Don Draper style? It is a look that is one of 1960’s masculine authority and that exudes power and confidence. The power and sway of the mad men style can be seen in the cross-over of the character of character and the actor, with Hamm now seen as a style icon in his own right.

All the iconic men’s fashions of the 1960’s can be seen in the show where Don Draper’s style is captured in classily cut suits, sometimes in a grey square pattern, high waisted trousers worn over shiny click black shoes and finished with a just seen gentlemanly pocket square. A crisp white shirt, slim sober tie and collar bar would complete this Don Draper look. If you are wondering why the 1960’s Mad Men style is so appealing, it is this; timeless investment pieces with suave masculine touches, classic and authorative.

For a touch of this classic 1960’s Don Draper style, men’s accessories designer Michelsons’ offer simple silk handkerchiefs that can be turned into the classic pocket square. Look to British brand denisonboston for a pair of beautiful gold 60’s inspired cufflinks for another way to show just a hint of that polished Mad Men style. Don’t forget the woollen grey overcoat and black umbrella though!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Comic Book T-Shirts: Get the Retro T-Shirt Look!

Long gone are the days when comic books were for geeks, nowadays it seems everyone knows their Green Hornet from their Green Lantern or at least they give that impression! One way to show your knowledge of the comic book world is to wear it on your t-shirt! To help you pick out the coolest and most unique comic book t-shirts, we have a quick run-down of the hippest designs and brands around.

Perhaps the most infamous of all comic book t-shirts are the superman t-shirt and the batman t-shirt, iconic characters of the superpower world. Most of these comic book t-shirt designs are known as mock-costumes, where the t-shirt is designed to resemble that of the actual comic book character. Check out these cool versions on KJ Beckett; the distressed black batman t-shirt for a more worn look. Or if you fancy working on those superpowers, this bright blue superman t-shirt.

Another style of comic book t-shirt is that of using specific character images and one company whose designs do this particularly well is that of cult brand ‘Junk food’. This retro blue batman man t-shirt is one of our favourites, or if you fancy a more vintage feel, this grey superman t-shirt is fab. Using old school graphics, Junk Food also use the design of taking comic book strips or panels with this trendy superman t-shirt.

The brand ‘Urban Species’ have a great urban approach to their designs that are both contemporary yet still instantly recognisable in their use of classic comic book symbols. Their graffiti style superman t-shirt is an amazing take on comic book art.Also their amazing street art batman t-shirt in a white graffiti style is really innovative.

So next time you a stylish t coming your way, you know for sure it isn’t a bird or a plane design but a seriously fashion forward comic book t-shirt!

Top 5 Most Fashionable Men Part 1: Numbers 5 to 2

In a celebration of all things on trend, we are taking a look at the men we deem most fashionable and it seems fitting that all 4 of our fabulous men (you’ll have to wait until later in the week for number 1! ) are actually Brits. The quirky, snappy and ultimately individual way of dressing that is unique to those that we view as fashionable is unmistakably inherent to us Brits. Let’s not get confused, these are the most fashionable men, not the most stylish or influential but those men who are on trend and who set the trends in their own original, confident and charismatic way. So here we go!

No 5: No top 5 of fashionable men would be complete without our much loved football fashion pin-up, David Beckham. Consistently on trend, Beckham shows us how to be both fashionable and masculine. These days his style has toned down from the somewhat outlandish (anyone remember the man-sarong?) to a classic yet still completely bang up to date look. Loose jeans, great T-shirts and always a good jacket and pair of trainers are the Beckham daily uniform. Dinner and drinks are always enjoyed with a gorgeously cut suit often in slightly adventurous finishes such as a sheen or silk. Beckham is fashion royalty.

No 4: Heartthrob to the teenage masses, our favourite teenage vampire, actor Robert Pattinson has his own modern rock star look. His careless dress of loose fit jeans, checked shirts with light jersey hooded tops and high tops is one which many a man wish to emulate. On the red carpet Pattinson manages to translate this casual look into his own distinct style of suit dress. Slim fit suits and skinny ties with just a hint of bad boy in the messed up hair and none too careful top knot makes Pattinson the epitome of laid back lad about town.

No 3: Actor Ed Westwick who plays unruly playboy Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl has taken on some of his character’s suave, moneyed style in his own debonair English way. Open necked T’s or shirts to show a flash of chest, colourful slim fit cords and casual blazers. Westwick makes a nod to the dandy with the occasional silk scarf, silver pendant and pair of daps or boat shoes. One to watch.

No 2: The don of tight jeans and Cuban heels, comedian and actor Russell Brand’s offbeat and slightly camp style of dressing is that of a man confident in his own skin. What is so wonderful about Brand is that he emits absolute self-assurance, so sure is he of himself and this undoubtedly plays out in his clothes. Slim fit T’s low at the neck, skinny black girls jeans worn with plenty of necklaces and bracelets is not a look that many men could master but Brand carries it off with aplomb. Absolutely magnificent.

No1: ...You’ll have to keep an eye out later this week!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

John Smedley Accessories: New at KJ Beckett

With the cold nights drawing in, our minds are not far from the accessories we need to keep us ticked up safe and warm. One brand that will allow both comfort and style is that of iconic luxury knitwear company, John Smedley. Originally set in the Derbyshire countryside, John Smedley has a 225 year heritage that shows in the craftsmanship of their designs. In 1784, the original John Smedley and Peter Nightingale set about building their knitwear company, showing innovation from the out by setting up spinning, knitting and manufacturing practises all in one mill. The focus on quality has remained through the years and today John Smedley are recognised as creating some of the best knitted tailoring in the UK.

A past as rich and as long means that John Smedley have had to adapt to changes over the years, creating an ability to be truly innovative in design and fabric. Integrating the traditional with the modern means that John Smedley accessories are both high quality in finish and contemporary in design. John Smedley can also proudly say that their garments and accessories are made in England, an idea that sits comfortably with their ethos of recognising how cultural influences seep into their designs. In uncertain times, we can find comfort in the confident design and classic luxury that John Smedley offers.

This years John Smedley winter collection continues to break new ground with textural and colourful designs. KJ Beckett is thrilled to be able to offer a beautiful selection of John Smedley accessories, and is also proud to be working with such an important heritage brand.

For a classic yet contemporary look this winter, the John Smedley scarf is made of a beautiful and soft merino wool which will keep you warm, toasty and smart looking whether you’re wearing casual jeans or a sharp suit. In subtle and understated colours, you can also pick up the Taurus wool beanie hat and for the particularly suave of you, the wool bow tie and wool tie finish off a gorgeously sumptuous and dapper winter look. You will also be in great company as local Brit celebrities such as Tim Lovejoy and X factor heartthrob Matt Cardle have already been seen out in John Smedley this winter!

Wall Street 2: Get the Gordon Gekko Power Look!

No film is perhaps as symbolic of the greed and excess of the wealthy 1980’s than that of ‘Wall Street’ where in 1987, Michael Douglas introduced the world to the villainous corporate raider, Gordan Gekko. Playing on the archetypal Wall street image of a powerful suave man, the film’s stylist Ellen Mirojnik created the power-dressing look for men of the 80’s and so Gordan Gekko fashion was born. Bright leather tabbed braces, shirts with colour contrast collars worn with slicked back hair became the look to emulate for business men working on the real-life Wall Street.

Fast forward to today and Gordan Gekko fashion has returned to our screens, but this time bringing a whole new look, that of Street 2 fashion. This time, it is the character of trader ‘Jake Moore’ (Shia Leboeuf) who presents an entirely new take on power-dressing for the moneyed man of the noughties, creating a whole new Wall Street 2 style. This time our hero is dressed in sharp lines, closely fitted to the body using beautifully strong, sleek cuts for a Wall Street 2 fashion that is slick, modern and commanding. The clothes worn by the character of Moore represent that of a man who is hungry for success, one who is confident and powerfully masculine. Crisp tailored shirts and a sleek strong silhouette show a man that cares about his look and has the expensive watch and ego to match.

If you take a walk on the sidewalks of the financial cities of the world, you will see Wall Street 2 style all around; sharp suits, sleek cufflinks, tie pins and smart loafers. Accessorized with ego and attitude, Gordan Gekko fashions are designed to be worn by men who thrive on the thrill of money. As the film states, when fashion and finance come together, money never sleeps.

Friday, 12 November 2010

J. Fold: The Original Sports Wallet!

New York based accessories company J Fold’s star is on the rise. Since their launch in 2003 with the now infamous product line ‘The Original Sports Wallet’ – they have steadily garnered a name for themselves as the go-to brand for the stylish mans wallets and bags.

The company’s superstar status has been galvanised by a following that includes the likes of Justin Timberlake, Bruce Willis and Snoop Dogg. J Fold’s celebrity fan base gives just an inkling of how distinctive these products are. The quality of the 100% top full grain leather used for the wallets is matched only by the robustness of the military based formulation of wax coated cotton for their bag collection.

Designed to age naturally, both the wallets and bags have a rugged appeal which make J Fold’s products one of the most hotly sought after accessories brand of the moment. It also doesn’t hurt that the prices are wallet friendly! Recently they have diversified into laptop and passport carriers making them a must have item for both professionals and creative’s.

The success of the brand is the focus on top quality and appealing design and the UK market has been quick to take note at just how brilliant the J-Fold aesthetic is. Online men’s retailers such as KJ Beckett are now stocking a selection of the brands wallets for those in the know who want a little flash with their cash!
J Fold has managed to create men’s accessories that are unique and luxurious yet totally masculine. Now boasting one of the widest ranges of men’s wallets, the brands’ use of textured leather, contrasting interiors and muted yet fresh colours means that their appeal to those looking for something a little more creative and bold than the usual design.