Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cutler and Gross: To be SEEN rather than To SEE

A trip to London wouldn’t be a complete without a visit to Cutler and Gross, the UK’s premier eyewear designer. With two boutiques in Knightsbridge, London, Vintage and Flagship, it was great to see was this label was up to over the last 40 years.

Vintage Boutique

Flagship Boutique 

Graham Cutler and Tony Gross are the men behind the brand. They are practically responsible for transforming the purpose of eyewear from “to see” to “to be seen”. Their pieces have graced the faces of celebrities like Elton John , Victoria Beckham, Beyonce and among many others.  The name is very much associated to one’s originality and flair. It transcends time. And its client base diverse.

I’ve personally been a fan of the brand since I first saw them at Vancouver’s best eyewear store, Bruce Eyewear. So during my visit to London, it was bound to happen that I take home a couple of pairs. Here are the members to my growing collection of eyewear pieces. If you’re in London, visit their Vintage boutique first, to see one of a kind, special editions pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. And then make a visit to their flagship store to see some unique, modern day collections. If you’re in Vancouver, Canada, come to Bruce Eyewear in Gastown. 

For more information on Cutler and Gross, click here 
For more information on Bruce Eyewear, click here

London Fashion Week: Menswear Highlights

Its been more than a month since my visit to London Fashion Week. The memory still lingers primarily because of the quality of the shows and the lovely people I met. Being a menswear writer, my favorite day was February 24. This is when men with great style and designers with fashion forward ideas step out and converge.

The Vibe. Eclectic. Energetic. Exagerated. The buzz was definitely there. As it was the day for the gents to shine, every guy in the crowd had their own concept of style. From tuxes to colored trousers, military boots to espadrilles, from bow ties to oversized knots, the guys covered it all. Of course, the ladies loved it. Some of them participated in the event by wearing menswear inspired outfits like blazers, boyfriend jeans, and even bowties. Hair Salon Toni and Guy were giving free haircuts to male attendees.

The Shows and Installations. We all know that some of the best menswear comes from Europe, London especially for ones that are more fashion forward and unique. This season was dominated by some up and coming designers who I hope make it to North America. Here are my top picks:

Carolyn Masey. It's not always that you see a female designer successfully create pieces for men. Carolyn is an amazing talent. Her unique attention to detail beats some of her male counterparts, hands down. I spoke to Carolyn after the show and asked her "What is the biggest difference between a male and female menswear to detail." And her response was "Female menswear designer see things in a different light. We know what's sexy. We know what looks good on men. We are bit more daring on what we want guys to wear. Our attention to detail is more meticulous. Our style is more pleasing to the eyes. Male menswear designers tend to put out pretty much the same commercial stuff out there. Boring!" Here are my favorites from her AW2010 collection:

JW Anderson. Relatively new to the industry (label started in 2007), Jonathan William Anderson has created quite a name for himself in the London menswear scene. His unique perspective on style has caught the attention of stockists locally and internationally. He says that the JW Anderson man is one who is "a chameleon, a researcher and open to change. He's kind of a loner. But overall he is obsessed with taste". I couldn't agree more. Check out my favorites from his AW2010 show:

TopMan. Topman Design is a directional premium collection which is stocked online at, the London Oxford Circus and New York Flagships as well as key international stores including La Foret in Tokyo, Incu in Sydney and Shine in Hong Kong. Creative Director Alister Mackie - AnOther Man, Fashion Director and superstylist - and Gordon Richardson - Topman Design Director all decided to do a solo show as part of London Fashion Week. If you haven't had a chance to browse or shop at their online store, check it out here. This season saw a great showing of unique coats, jumpers and pants. There was a hint of conservatism but also a flash of creativity in the detailing that only a London based brand can do. Belted coats, faux-fur lined collars and contrast piping on jumper pants are just some of the element that caught my eye. Here are my favorites from their upcoming AW2010 line: