Here is my round up of the best from Jacket Required AW15. I would traditionally shy away from the menswear trade shows, simply because for a long time, high fashion and niche trends have ruled where I would prefer updated, current evolution of classic tailored style. Thankfully with the resurgence of the modern gentleman over the past couple of years, times are changing and I like to keep abreast of current developments.
Even knowing there was going to be a number of familiar faces to bring a number of gentlemanly staples, I was really surprised at how much I found that I really liked. So with that in mind, here is a quick round up of the best of the show for Modern Gentlemen of all ages.
Not content with offering some of the best tailored clothes around, Timothy Everest have been steadily building their ready to wear range. For AW15, fantastic materials are combined with updated visions on classic themes. Even though it was the jackets that first caught my eye, it was their great selection of quality knitwear that I would buy first and not something I would usually associate with TE. Everything I would want to see and one of my stand out exhibitors at the show.
I have been following Realm & Empire since being fortunate enough to see them at their AW13 takeover of HMS Belfast. I love the fact that not only does every piece have a real story, but you see the obvious military and naval influences in every range. AW15 is no exception and you can see R&E transitioning into a real premium brand. I loved their gloves from the Officer range, and that is one look I would happily wear in it’s entirety.
Without stating the obvious The British Belt Company make some great products, but aside from the belts, I was really surprised at the range on display. Some of the nicest braces I have seen for a while, fantastic leather bags from locally sourced leather and my favourite, tweed weekender bags. The British Belt Company had something for everyone.
Not only did Gibson London have some of the best clothes, they were also being presented by two of the funniest and nicest gents at the show, who also happened to be two of the best dressed. I am a sucker for a nice tweed or traditional herringbone jacket and Gibson London had a rail of them to die for. This is one brand I will be keeping a very close eye on from now on.
As soon as I entered Jacket Required I was treated to what is one of the most beautiful men’s bags I have seen in a long time. Godspeed had a whole range of products on offer but the selection of bags were simply stunning. This is on my must have list for 2015.
Regular readers will know I am a big fan cool socks and some of the nicest were on display at Sock and Trotter. But it wasn’t just the designs that set them apart, it was the materials. Cotton, Shetland wool and the increasingly popular Alpaca socks were all available. Not only that, but Dean was happy to chat socks and give away tips on selecting the best quality socks. Definitely recommended.
As much as I would like to be a leading horologist, I leave the watch posts to the experts. What I do know is what I like the look of, and I was surprised by Nixon watches. Not only good looking, but supremely functional. The action watches have a diving depth of over 100m, which as a casual diver is far deeper than I ever go. So some of them were more robust looking than I could get away with wearing, but a quick scan of their website showed their range to be extensive and I have been enchanted by the very stylish and elegant Sentry Chrono Leather.
With the increasing popularity of hats in recent years, it will be safe to assume that many of you will be ‘hat people’ for want of a better phrase, so Borsalino will need no introduction for you. I would not have considered myself a hat person until today! The Borsalino range of Trilby and Fedora hats had me mesmerised. I will be investing in proper hat for 2015 and looking at the small sample of Borsalino hats on display, simply stunning and totally classic.
I consider myself a real shoe fanatic, having my shoe collection outnumber my suit collection by a factor of about four to one. So imagine my surprise, and embarrassment in having to admit I wasn’t familiar with Sanders shoes before this show. I am now, and the range of coloured brogues looked fantastic. Unfortunately some pressing matters on the stand meant I couldn’t spend as much time with them as I wanted, but rest assured I will be seeking them out for a closer look.
Eighth generation family owned and run, British designed quality men’s clothing…. what’s not to like? But it gets better. Classic style pieces made with state of the art materials and methods are at the heart of the Peregrine range. This was the one stand I wish I spent more time with. I looked at a few key pieces and was blown away. The jackets were high tech whilst retaining a classic feel, but it was their knitwear range that I will be searching out in the future.
Accessories are a big deal and knightsbridge neckwear has them all. Ties, braces, scarves, Pocket squares, you name it and they had it in every colour and design imaginable. It was their range of silk cravats that caught my eye. If anything there was simply too much to take in, and they would have benefited from a bigger stand because I for one would have enjoyed going through every piece.
Gagliardi were my biggest surprise of the show. It felt like my entire wardrobe had been transported to the Old Truman Brewery. Sumptuous suits, to trendy tweeds, classic cut chinos, shirts in great fabrics and all the accessories you could need. I simply didn’t have enough time to go through all the great jackets on display, but they were probably my favourite. If ever there was a one stop shop for men’s clothing, Gagliardi was it.