Monday, 16 July 2012

The Staple: Maria Francesca Pepe Bracelet

Brace(let) Yourselves

It's been six months: #obligatorybadbloggercomment. Times are busy with Notion, but I'm still all over menswear, just pon de Twitter rather than on blogger. Anyway, a few things left me to start up The Staple again; many of which stem from the fact that my Staples have been significantly added to since I last did any proper blogging, and that I reckon there's still a bit of mileage in the format of a blog analysing menswear from the angle of individual essential pieces. Which brings me nicely to one of my latest purchases. I've long been an admirer of LDN-based designer Maria Francesca Pepe's jewellery. It's bold and statement enough to warrant its own installations at LFW (including a memorable one a few seasons back in the crypt at the Freemason's Hall), yet still subtle enough to be worn everyday. So after last season, I was contacted about pre-ordering AW12's collection at a rather attractive discount. Press discount and pre-season private ordering are increasingly common with London designers - they know who their audience is - and it's a relatively inexpensive and pleasingly ahead-of-the-curve way to think about clothes. Anyway, my longtime lust has been the perfect wrist bangle. I bought a Margiela Love/Hate bracelet a few years ago, but it's broken after the catch becoming loose. In any case, it wasn't the brass nail that I really wanted. With Cartier's beautiful signature Juste un clou bangle well out of my price range, MFP's line sheet arrived at precisely the right time. I selected this one, fairly simple copper-plated brass set with two Swarovski black pearls back in March, and it arrived in the mail just the other week. It's barely left my wrist since. And now my wrist is free from the tyranny of the green cast, it's free to be adorned. The tones complement my watch, and it fits perfectly on my wrists. It's in fact from the women's collection but items like this are pretty unisex IMHO. What I really like about it is the subtle sparkle that it adds to my gloomy summer mornings: there's something really energising about the rosy hues and reflections that it makes on the bus, and it makes me smile when I see it. If that ain't a necessary Staple quality, then I don't know what is. Other Staples this week:
Maria Francesca Pepe black pearl copper-plated brass bracelet
Not having my arm in a cast! (though the green shade was rather fetching)
Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange'
Brownies from Salvation Jane on City Rd
Pernod's Bastille Day garden party and a rediscovery of Chelsea
A full-size umbrella
A pair of comfy, retro trainers (New Balance/Ellesse)

(Hope you like the new visual motif btw - it may look like a pub table, but it's in fact a piece of wall art which was a gift from my very old schoolfriends...)

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Staple: White Shirt

It's pretty safe to say that there's not much more of a menswear wardrobe staple than the classic white shirt. I've blogged about it before, but this return of my somewhat-sporadic updates was prompted by an email dropping into my inbox from the lovely people at Jermyn Street shirtmakers Charles Tyrwhitt. Entitled the White Shirt Challenge, it's a classic Ronseal job: take a white shirt and make it interesting. Now since last LFW, I've been toying with the idea of a fur collar, so in my best Blue Peter mode, I decided that this was the right moment to trial it. I picked up an old baby's faux-fur jacket in a charity shop in Hastings for 4 quid, made a template of the collar shape of the shirt and chopped off a portion to fit the collar. Luckily fur has a shaggy edge, so it didn't need to much careful trimming and (not being a dab hand with a needle or thread), I safety-pinned it in place. For some reason, it made me think military, so I upended my enormous box of badges and made this lil militaria-inspired collage on the breast before teaming the finished article with a pair of Helmut Lang military trousers, a Reiss patent belt and these lovely (and in need of a resole) Russell & Bromley patent boots. Et voila: look complete. I'm pretty pleased with it tbh - it's been a while since I did any kind of bloggy/customisation thing and this one came around at the right time. LMK thoughts through the usual channels. And who knows, a regular return to blogging soon? Let's hope so.