28 April 2011

Outerwear - Trench Coat

Trench Coat n: Charles Macintosh, John Barbour, the company Aquascutum all had a hand in creating the water-proof item of clothing known as a trench coat, but it was Thomas Burberry who submitted his design of an army officer's raincoat to the British War Office in 1901. The coats were made of Burberry's own invention, the garbadine fabric and were dubbed "trench" coats after soldiers wore them on the front lines in the First World War.

Post-war, the coats became fashionable not least because they became a staple of the Hollywood wardrobe from the Film Noir in the 1940s, classics such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's". British Royalty, starting with Kind Edward VII has also contributed to its popularity. Find an in-depth history of the trench coat here.

In recent years, Burberry's has updated the trench coat with fashionable designs while the classic original pops up regularly in high street chains such as Zara, Gap, J Crew, Esprit and H&M.

The website Art of the Trench features examples from around the world

Top brands include Burberry, Mackintosh and Aquascutum.


Mrs. Robert L. Stevens as Greta Garbo at Masquerade Ball
Mrs. Robert L. Stevens, dressed as Greta Garbo, for the masquerade ball given by Muriel Maxwell, in the Crystal Room at the Ritz, Paris, on December 9, 1929

Seventies Fashion



09 April 2011

Tops - Breton Boatneck Top

Bre·ton boat·neck top n : very fine double-twist cotton long-sleeved striped top, usually blue and white with an oval opening at the top. Also known by its original French name marinière.

The striped breton shirt as we know it today came into being shortly following the 27th March, 1858 Act of France which introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seaman. The official striped navy shirt or French sailor shirt soon became more generally a working mariner garment as it was picked up by many nautical men; seafairers and sailors across the region of Northern France. It was said that when a sailor had fallen into the sea, the distinctive block pattern of stripes on the French striped shirt made him easier to spot amidst the many blurred colours of the waves. (source: Armor-Lux)

True Breton top labels include; Saint-James, Le Minor

Other options; Petit Bateau, Chance (which also sports a great illustrated history of famous Breton shirt wearers)

Coco Chanel


Audrey Hepburn (BFI)

Sofia Coppola

25 March 2011

Sneakers - Bensimon

Bensimon - French lace-up or slip-on sneaker made of cotton and cautchouch, company founded in 1980 by Serge Bensimon in Toulouse when he bought army surplus shoes and dyed the cotton.