Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Designer Spotlight: DIEGO VANASSIBARA

Diego Vanassibara is an emerging mens shoe designer. The half Brazilian, half Italian designer studied at the prestigious Cordwainer's College of Footwear and also has a background in Architecture. I came across Diego and his collection at London Collections earlier this month. I was drawn to the pieces of polished wood crafted onto each shoe. They looked so different compared to a lot of the footwear that's out at the moment. 

His Autumn Winter 2013 collection is made up of six different models, have a closer look at them below. Diego takes inspiration from traditional shoes like the Oxford and Derby, combined with a modern, contemporary twist. Diego chose a rich, autumnal palette: deep shades of coal grey and midnight blue and earthy tones of brown and olive. Traditional Javanese techniques and fine Italian craftsmanship are used to shape each hand-carved wooden component. The wooden components are made of Lacquered Mahogany and New Guinea Rosewood.

The level of craftsmanship seeps through every part of his collection, from the finely polished wooden parts and hand painted leather to the intricate woven leather panels (one of my favourite things ever!). The collection is all about individuality and youthfulness and this obvious in the different silhouettes. The hybrid Derby/Oxford shoe are sophisticated yet fashion forward and the boots have a slightly stacked sole which is so on-trend.  

Talking to Diego and his business partner at London Collections was a real treat, it was great seeing a designer that is as deeply involved and passionate about his work as he is. Without a doubt, I think Diego Vanassibara is one to watch in 2013. 

For more info check his out his website

Images courtesy of Diego Vanassibara

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Xander Zhou - London Collections: Men AW 13

Xander Zhou's Autumn Winter 2013 collection was a tribute to the "self-confident boy", just as comfortable on the street as he is on the catwalk. He presented a body of work that was heavily inspired by streetwear and military staples, re-presented in luxurious, tactile fabrics. The beloved hoodie and bomber jacket were re-imagined and given a sartorial yet ultra wearable edge. Metal monograms on lapels and ornate brooches were a throwback to military uniforms.

In contrast to the more formal tailoring Xander infused a sense of playfulness and mischief to the collection. This could be seen in the tongue in cheek catchphrases like "BOYS WILL BE BOYS" and "I AM UNDRESSING YOU" which were stitched or printed on to collars and around the frames of sunglasses. The footwear was one of my favourite aspects of the collections. They were designed with an 80s sneaker feel that was an appealing contrast to the sharp tailoring.

Zhou was able to cleverly toe the lines of gender with floor-length coats and jumpers that draped subtly over the shoulder, cropped tops and high-waisted trousers. I really loved the way he played with varying lengths and layering in a way that seemed almost futuristic but not totally over-the-top.

Although he's still relatively new on the British menswear scene, Zhou's talent is undeniable. There's a level of detail and expertise that can only be experienced when you see these garments up close. Luckily I had the privilege of seeing them from the front row and I was spellbound. He closed the London Collections line-up in fine style and definitely gained a new fan in me. 


Matthew Miller - London Collections: Men AW 13

"A New Revolution" was at the core of Matthew Miller's Autumn Winter 2013 collection. Staged in the cavernous interior of the Old Sorting Office he sent his models out in shades of black and slate. Brief flashes of red echoed the anarchy and rebellion of a discontent generation.

Miller used the slogan "Born To Fail" as a metaphor for the current state of society and the disparity between Generation X and Y. The slogan was seen emblazoned on sweatshirts and expertly stitched onto jacket sleeves. There was an air of precision in the tailoring and overcoats that reminded me of uniforms. The show notes talked about taking the uniforms of Generation X and re-purposing them for "a displaced Generation Y." An idea that is very much on trend when you look at the youth of today.

Personal highlights included the gradient knit jumper, the crocodile embossed biker jacket and the army issue styled luggage, a collaboration with H by Harris. I also loved the shoes, which were a collaboration with Timberland. Matthew created exclusive custom made footwear that featured the red and black accents from the collection.

Matthew Miller presented a collection that was more commercial than his past efforts (who can forget the gorgeous grafitti print suit from AW12?) but didn't compromise on the depth and high standards that he is known for.

Monday, 14 January 2013

James Long - London Collections: Men AW 13


James Long's Autumn Winter 2013 collection took the established preconception of casual sportswear and turned it on its head. From the elasticated trouser legs that accompanied every look to the embellished hoodies and rubberised plaid macs, there was a sense of playfulness that created a contemporary and wearable silhouette. Long's signature knits were also prominent, the way he cleverly created incredibly detailed 'visual terrains' in his knitwear was deeply satisfying. Long's new spin on the classic bomber jacket featured geometric padding and quilting fused with knitted sleeves.

Then there were the nods to John Waters, pink flamingos and one of his most iconic characters, Divine. There was a real sense of excitement when those all-too-familiar arched eyebrows were seen emblazoned on raglan sleeved jumpers and sweatshirts. These glamorous motifs were a stark contrast to the dark, mood colour palette they were rendered in.

His attention to detail and vast experiments with fabric and technique again proved why James Long is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry. Seeing him at the end of the show in one of the rubberised macs from the collection was a nice touch, a great sign that he believes in the work he showcased.

Images via: HommeModel

YMC - London Collections: Men AW13

There was a palpable sense of nostalgia in the Autumn Winter 2013 collection from YMC. Designer Fraser Moss took inspiration from the brand's post-punk, 90s roots. The youthful exuberance and frustration that defined the era was represented by the beret, a clear statement piece for the season. The combination of relaxed knitwear and fine tailoring gave the collection an understated cool factor that really embodies the YMC look. Zip detailing and exaggerated pockets on boiler suits and chinos were functional, almost uniform-like.

Moss' palette for Autumn/Winter was predominantly black and grey but it was the rich jade tones and brief flashes of pink and red that really brought the collection to life. One of my favourite highlights was a jade green cardigan over a checkerboard print shirt and slate coloured chinos topped with a beret and shades. It just screamed effortless sophistication.

There's something really charming about YMC's 'no frills' approach to design, nothing seems just thrown on to distract or shock. The result is a collection that is timeless but contemporary at the same time.

Images via: HommeModel

Monday, 7 January 2013


By now you'll know that London Collections: Men is in full swing, after Monday's brilliant turnout it'll be great to see what Day 2 brings. It all kicks off this morning with a special presentation from Burberry. Margaret Howell will be the first runway show of the day at 10.30am. Today's highlights will include collections from emerging talents SIBLING and Christopher Shannon and favourites like Jonathan Saunders and Oliver Spencer. We'll also see a return of the menswear collections from Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to the London Fashion Week calendar. So there's no doubt that there will be something for everyone today.

BLEU06 will be in the thick of it on Day 2! I managed to nab tickets for YMC, James Long London and Oliver Spencer so look out for live updates and pictures on Twitter @BLEU06ike and Instagram@BLEU06 

Catch the live stream here and stay tuned for the latest reviews and images from each day.

Here's the full schedule for today:

Image Credits:
Menswear Photography: Sam Hofman 


The second edition of London Collections: Men kicks off today. All eyes will be fixed on London's best and brightest designers over the next 3 days. From fashion stalwarts like Hackett and TOPMAN DESIGN to some of our favourite emerging talents like Agi & Sam and SIBLING to name just a few. Lou Dalton, a personal favourite of mine will kick things off at 10 am, live from The Hospital Club in the heart of London. Catch the live stream here and stay tuned for the latest reviews and images from each day.

Watch out for live updates on twitter: @BLEU06ike

Here's the full schedule for today:

Image Credits:
Menswear Photography: Sam Hofman 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Bleu

So here we are guys, Happy New Year! 2012 was an amazing year, it brought us everything from the fantastic summer of sport that was London 2012, to the first London Collections: Men and everything in between. As thrilling as it was it's great to think that from this moment on anything can happen. Here's hoping 2013 is bigger and brighter for all of us!

So I've obviously got my own New Year's Resolutions for 2013 and one of them is, yeah you guessed it — to blog more! Not just more posts, I want to make better content and imagery and get to know you, my (hopefully) captive audience a lot better. So with that in mind you'll be seeing a lot more of me on your favourite social media. So thanks for your comments and support thus far, I hope you come along for the ride in 2013.

BLEU06 on Twitter: @Bleu06ike

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BLEU06 on Instagram: @Bleu06