London

LFW by Mike Tyle

I love London Fashion Week. A great refreshing way to start to a month celebrating a growing men's

What better a place then a city known for pushing boundaries in fashion and trying something new. In menswear I find it especially important to try and create something that, albeit sometimes a difficult sell, really helps to usher in a new direction for the coming seasons and allowing for male style to really break out.

As a menswear designer I am constantly looking for new inspiration both for design as well as to cultivate my own look.

Follow my Pinterest board to see what I am loving so far: Menswear SS15

London by way of food by Mike Tyle

This post needs no introduction. Basically... Me. Best Friend. Food.

When Krysta and I are lucky enough to be in the same place at the same time our #1 quest is new and great restaurants to try out. During my trip to London we made sure to add some spots to the map! In this instance we were all over the place. Our favorites included Pollen Street Social: Everything you expect in a high end restaurant (including the bill) and little plates of architectural yumminess. As well as the ever lovable Goat: British take on NY cooking with a great lunch menu. However I was really feeling the latest and greatest Hoi Polloi.

A restaurant should be not only about the food but also the ambiance. Something Hoi Polloi knows how to do. I have never been in a more trendy place in my life. Seriously. I was getting major Bistrotheque vibes. Which makes sense since they are the masterminds behind the new venture.

Before entering you are greeted by a flower shop, very unexpected and also a bit confusing. After seeing several hip people walking into a Mary Poppin's bag of a flower shop we ventured in.

Once inside you are bitch slapped but an intense but fun crowd, which is to be expiated since it is also connected to the Shoreditch Ace Hotel (another entrance is through the hotel as well, yet also seemingly confusing...) The chic decor was all that I could ask; rich wood and gold in a 60's Mod cafeteria meets subtle East German Plattenbau styling. Most importantly where can I buy those lighting fixtures STAT! I am still having dreams about those wire ornaments.

Image from justopenedlondon.com

As for the food... It's not very often that, When given a menu (a complicated albeit graphically pleasing newspaper in this case), I have no clue what half of the things on it say but here that seems to be the point. After a round of cocktails, Bijou Basket & a Wet Luppers (Ok, so maybe the names need homework... I chalked it up to being British), we moved onto the appetizers. Looking like large square fried the chickpea fritters w/ tarragon yoghurt just what I needed. Not too heavy and full of flavor for food with little when it comes to ingredients. We didn't have mains but for a starter I chose the Jerusalem artichoke soup and crispy duck. While the soup was a bit heavy and bland in flavor the duck made up for it. Thin strips placed on the soup, crispy as the name stated, surprisingly juicy and flavorful. I paired it with the house merlot which in the end was the right choice. To round out the evening I had a Gin Tonic with Monkey 47 and we shared a chocolate stout cake, salted caramel with hokey pokey. Mostly just for the hokey pokey... because What. Is. it? Turns out to be honeycomb. 

On a side note I am seriously obsessed with the staff sweatshirt. I NEED it. Preferably in Dutsy Rose if anyone has any tips...

Happy and full customers

Shout out goes to the Drunken Duck if you ever make your way up to the Lake District. Stop by. Well worth the detour. You will not regret it!

London Fashion Week S/S14 by Mike Tyle

Antonia Berardi: Sexy, sporty colors. Leopard (always in trend I suppose...) and crocodile prints. See through panels and color blocking. I'm not mad. Mullet hems though are still happening and not only here Fashion Weeks seem to not be able to shake it.

Burberry Prorsum: Pretty, pastel and reminiscent of the 50's. 3 things girls like. The plastic flowers looked cheap and I think the theme didn't need the extra boost from them. Otherwise this was an overtly feminine collection and the antithesis to the bright metallic looks we saw last S/S. I thought the coats looked really comfy and the striped/polka dot pieces were a nice contrast. The bejeweled editorial fodder was a nice way to end. The mens looks didn't really scream newness, mostly meh.

Christopher Kane: Spreading that Kering money all the way through 45 looks, Kane has yet again used unconventional ideas and materials to give us another science lesson. Highlights for me include the fabric that reminded me of metallic fiberglass insulation. I really liked the broaches and the little wires trims wrapped around the shoes, holding together the dresses and blazers. The sweaters with the cutout wording reminded me of Carven and the first several looks were just ok and the last couple a little too literal. Regardless making the other boys on the playground that is LFW jealous.

Erdem: This is not your normal Erdem show but a good step in a new direction. I really enjoyed the white and black contrast with the sublte flower motifs. A somber mood for Spring but it inspired me as opposed to boring me with the usual still always well done flower prints and lace that Erdem is known for. More in this new direction please! Praying the buyers come through and don't scare him back into a hole.

J.W.Anderson: He's always been experimental this time it seems to have become even more so than in past seasons, especially when it comes to his use of materials. I've been reading a lot of flack for his maybe too literal inspiration from other avant-garde designers but haters are gonna hate not many can get away with mixing such designs and keep it fresh and understandable enough for a commercialism price point, but then again leave that to pre-fall, resort and collaborations. It will be interesting to see if LVMH backing comes through, it could lead to some really great things.

Jonathan Saunders: A very early 90's look and also a departure from the work Saunders has done in the past. While it keeps with his bright color pallet mixed with deep jewel tones which are signature Saunders I found this collection to not be my favorite of his. Sorry. Either way he's still hot.

L'Wren Scott: Cultural appropriation much? Ain't nobody got time for that. The shoes were intense and the embroidery was well done though.

Marios Schwab: I little bit all over the place. There were a lot of nice pieces as per usual but mostly disconnect.

Mary Katrantzou: The silhouettes and construction of her clothes are top-notch and while the girl knows her way around a computer and a dizzying photo print. I want to see something new! Shoes are not doing it for me and I know that she has to have more up her sleeve. If she was able to do what she has done thus far then I know there is more to see. I will say while the shoe looks didn't do anything for me and the flowers were pretty but a bit been there done that I did find the cuts to be new and interesting. I just hope next seasons she wows us all again!

Matthew Williamson: clothing for the woman unafraid of color. I always enjoy seeing anything Matthew Williamson, it's hard not to be happy with all the bright colors and ethnic prints and embroideries. This season showed a more grown up look which is fine but sadly I have to say I just didn't like this collection. It looked dated. maybe it was the flowers and the jank dragonfly prints or the mumu's...

Michael van der Ham: I love a good fabric and pattern mix in this case those are two things that Michael van der Ham can do right. At first I wasn't sure this collection could hold up to the past seasons which I really liked but felt that much like with Mary the newness was missing. I think like many of his looks the whole and the parts are all worth taking in. His dresses have a different look from afar and when you take a look at the details you see a whole new dress.

Mulberry: In the past I've given a lot of side eye at Mulberry not because it was cray but mostly just found it well tailored and but meh... this season was a different story. I loved the Marimekko looking prints, leather, bold stripes shoes, bags...and naturally the bull dog. Basically if Tory Burch took this and mixed it with Michael van der Ham I might have liked her line this season, yes that was a read. Then again she runs a billion dollar company, guess I am the loser in that equation.

Paul Smith: I am thankful that Paul Smith makes menswear because I don't know where else I would get colorful Saville Row mixed with quirky details in one place. WIth that being said if I were a chic fun lesbian I would be set in clothing department! This season was typical Paul Smith bright colors, menswear inspired, mismatched buttons... the only things I was not into was the over exaggerated lapels and photo prints.

Peter Pilotto: Peter Pilotto the man of the hour and the latest to come out with a Target collab. Can not wait!! This season he is really giving Mary K a run for her money in the prints department, he seemed to be using his tricks yet again with mixing and matching prints and fabrics but as always it worked well and still seemed fresh and new. I liked the construction and even the mullet hemlines.

Preen: I want to say I've seen this already as the collection was typical Preen with the mix of flower photo prints and colorful blocks but I don't care I'm always for Preen. But I'm not here for that version of a betty rubble skirt that they kept sending out. On a side note look 23 I see you in your Spice Girls/ S Club 7 get up. Someone find some platform tennis shoes stat instead of those plastic kitten heels! The buckle trims used were interesting and gave a more industrial feeling to the looks but was also giving me some watered down C. Kane vibes.

Richard Nicoll: Very clean pallet. black, white and silver. herringbone, mod stripes and ankle boots. I thought it was easily wearable and nothing too crazy or over the top. Nice.

Roksanda Ilincic: Same ol' crazy Roksanda at it again! I was surprised how into it I was, the neoprene jackets and the 50's feel worked well. I liked the pops of color which make a Roksanda collection every time. As far as a 90's trend can be seen I am surprised this was the first time I've really noticed the pants with skirt trend, this needs to be brought back.

Simone Rocha: Art school mixed with money. Really interesting details, feminine but deconstructed. It reminded me of Comme des Garçons meets 80's madonna, work bitch!

Tom Ford: Those are some sexy clothes. The Tom of yesteryear is back! My only questions is who besides Beyonce and Rihanna will be wearing it?

Topshop Unique: 2nd half was better than the first, but I always have a hard time with Unique for Topshop. Possibly because it's Topshop and we all know the quality there is lagging. I understand this is a bit higher price point but still... aside from that I found the collection ok. I am not sure about the green twill coats if it were a lighter color I think I would have been more behind it. The beach theme with the 90's hair was easy for S/S. The Moroccan tile print was a nice link to hold it all together, plus you can never go wrong with Moroccan tiles.