1. Bedwin & The Heartbreakers

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan Streetwear Header

    As I’m writing this brand feature, I’m listening to the Lost In Translation soundtrack, which is pretty fitting for those who know where I’m coming from - the film is based in Tokyo, which is where Japanese brand Bedwin & The Heartbreakers originates from. I haven’t felt the real desire to write a brand feature in a very long time, but after being introduced to the brand last month, I’ve gone mad for them. For those who have not heard of Bedwin & The Heartbreakers, the brand draws their influences from streetwear and music subcultures, adopting a very much “school boy” aesthetic. By that I mean it’s neither too casual nor smart, and incorporates a very playful style catered for both men and women. For this post, I snagged a few pieces to wear for the shoot, venturing out with Joe Harper to one of London’s post-apocalyptic-like Paradises.

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan Streetwearall: Bedwin & The Heartbreakers SS14

    Japanese fashion is a topic I’ve always wanted to delve into and learn anything and everything about. The fashion scene, from my foreign interpretation, is very much built around culture (not necessarily Japan’s) and context. I imagine the fascination with American culture originates from the fact that Japan is very much a segregated island all the way on the other side of the world, and although we live in a world where everything is available on a whim via the Internet, it’s hard to forget that it wasn’t always like that (and yes, the minutes where I have no battery are probably the most stressful - I’m also, really that sad and modern). I see Bedwin as very much a Japanese brand: it adopts elements from both East and West, showing an appreciation for American culture but retaining this playful-like preppy aesthetic that I believe the Japanese do so well - very few guys can pull off a tie and cropped trouser combination without looking like an overgrown school kid.

    The brand has a good blend of tailoring and casualwear, with their latest SS14 collection incorporating single-button shawl lapel jackets (which is what you’d normally find on a tuxedo) with cropped trousers and skinny ties (which is what you’d normally find watching Seth Cohen on The O.C). There’s plenty of chambray and denim which the Japanese have become so prestigious for, but there’s also suit + suit shorts combinations and varsity jackets, to provide a very diverse collection that would cater to anyone with a playful bone in their body. Footwear is also on the agenda with even flip-flops as an option (with a very cool brogue print on the sole if you ever take them off to show off). What brings this diversity together is the quality - it feels very good, and rightly so, as the brand’s slogan is “BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS: PARAMOUNT QUALITY”.

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan StreetwearMr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan Streetwear

    The pieces I’m wearing are from their SS14 collection, and while I’ve never really been the Hawaiian-print type daredevil, the shirt is probably one of my favourite things I’ve worn in 2014. I find cropped trousers quite hard to buy in the UK as people are still very much obsessed with rolling up their tapered/skinny trousers (which I like, don’t get me wrong), which means if you’re looking to get something cropped you’ll have to head to the tailors instead. And while Joe (the photographer) might have pointed out that I looked like I stepped out of a Japanese kitchen, cropped trousers are a great summer alternative for shorts, and those with recent fascination of going sockless will very much enjoy cropped alternatives. 

    Their spring/summer collection will be disappearing shortly but they do have an online store if you’re interested in purchasing. If you’d prefer an insider tip however - their PR agency Number of Names are holding a sample sale commencing on the 25th July at the Old Truman Brewery. Good luck though - I’ll be there when the doors open clearing out the Bedwin rail.

    - Mr. Boy

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    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan StreetwearMr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Bedwin and the heartbreakers Japanese Brand Feature Japan Streetwear

     
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  3. Wimbledon

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Wimbledon Ralph Lauren Poloshirt Fedora Laird Hat Belt DIY Chinos Gap

    While I might be a bit late to the party, I don’t think it’s too late to highlight my appreciation for the grass event, where people sink their hopes into one of Britain’s wonders Andy Murray. Sure, it was a bit of an anti-climax, with Andy dropping out in straight sets before reaching the semi finals, but one positive side-effect of Wimbledon is its ability to tempt people into the sunshine and enjoy the rays, cluttering every grassy patch possible on Henman Hill. For me, Wimbledon marks that time of the year when we finally get a bit of sun in London, and alongside that comes the shorts, the no-sock movement and all things short sleeved (which gets stretched to its most uncomfortable limit in the Chavsville: my home town). So for the summery look I’ve done all of the aforementioned, shot comfortably in London’s sun rays with Joe Harper

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Wimbledon Ralph Lauren Poloshirt Fedora Laird Hat Belt DIY Chinos Gaphat: Laird, shirt: c/o Ralph Lauren, trousers: Gap, shoes: Duggers of London

    Ball boy meets Indiana Jones is probably what springs to mind. Polo Ralph Lauren were the first ever sponsors to partner with The All England Lawn Tennis Club, launching back in 2006 to outfit all of the Wimbledon on-court officials. This season they released the Wimbledon Ball Boy/Girl polo shirts as part of their collection to celebrate the event, allowing happy tennis fans to have their initials embroidered near the bottom of the polo shirt (which made my brother a very happy man as he shares the same initials). Though the season has very much ended, the polos are still available to purchase and are actually in the sale, so if you’re keen to blow as much of your savings on sales as I have, I suggest you go hunting now.

    Going out without socks for some reason has become “noteworthy news” in most men’s titles, and it’s very much Marmite - some people cringe at the idea of revealing their bare, light ankles, while others revel in the slight breeze and liberation of restricting cotton-blend foot-mittens. Personally, I just think it looks a bit more summer-y, and while I do recommend guys give it a try with confidence, do try and wear low-cut “hidden” socks or roll your longer socks halfway down your foot, because it’s much more hygienic than walking around in the heat all day with skin on leather. Another tip? I don’t recommend going sockless with smart, clunky brogues or more traditional shoes where the sole tends to be thicker and wide around the shoe - it tends to look quite heavy. The shoes I’m wearing in this look at from Duggers of London who provide hand-made classic styles at a good price - they’re quite sleek and are rubber soled (with the option of leather available), which has become a preference across all my shoes due to the last and wearability in the rain (you WILL slip in fresh leather shoes on anything remotely smooth, I’ve split my fair share of trousers with impromptu gymnastics). 

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Wimbledon Ralph Lauren Poloshirt Fedora Laird Hat Belt DIY Chinos Gap

    One thing I’ll mention briefly before I wrap up - I made this belt from a piece of rope I used on a look book shoot earlier this year. It makes for a good rustic alternative to leather belts can be cut from pretty much anything. It might not have the staying power of a buckle but it does mean you can wear your trousers as high up as you’d like, if you’re as much a fan of high-waisted trousers as I am. 

    That’s it for this long-awaited outfit post. I’ve been holding back a few things as I’ll be relaunching a new Mr. Boy website hopefully within the next few weeks, featuring lots of vivid imagery for your eyes to feast on. Catch you tomorrow with a brand feature on Japanese cool cats Bedwin and the Heartbreakers.

    - Mr. Boy

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    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong Wimbledon Ralph Lauren Poloshirt Fedora Laird Hat Belt DIY Chinos Gap

     
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  5. London Collections: Mens - Backstage with Johnnie Sapong and Toni & Guy

    Contrary to popular belief - I am still alive and writing. I’ve been working a lot on Mr. Boy’s next steps as a blog, website and hub which compiles my ramblings on personal style and the fashion industry, and will as of later this year (TBC!), also feature some of my work outside Mr. Boy and some extra special editorials and interviews, which I can’t wait to reveal to the world (or at least the small world that decide my website is worth five minutes of their time). So please keep your faith in the workings of this site - I haven’t quite decided to abandon all ye faithful as of 2014.

    Back to some more behind the scenes work, I wanted to highlight some very special moments from London Collections: Men that I got to experience working with need-no-introduction Toni & Guy and shouldn’t-need-an-introduction Johnnie Sapong and his grooming team. My experience with working backstage at LC:M has always been pleasant - it’s never quite as manic as its female counterpart London Fashion Week, and there’s usually a lot more room to be manoeuvring about (depending on the venue). This season however seemed to be extra special - whether it was being there for the incredibly manic moments seconds before the show begins, or capturing Johnnie’s calm presence when resting his hands on each model’s shoulders for the final check up. Either way, it’s always great to be a fly on the wall the hours before a show begins, when you can really appreciate and see first hand the work that actually goes in to making those five minute catwalks as “flawless” and memorable as possible. 

    Toni & Guy teamed up with AOFM on the Matthew Miller show, which had both male and female models subject to grooming processes involving nets & lots, lots of heat

    Starting off the three days I delved into the chaotic depths of Victoria House to preview the mania going on at Matthew Miller’s show. My friend Marqee does the production for all Victoria House shows (where Matthew’s was), and when he’s working you’re pretty lucky to get a hello in. It’s crazy. I mean, within the small space at Victoria House’s backstage, somehow there are over a dozen models getting pampered by a mix of grooming and make-up pros three times in numbers, wangling through a sea of arms compiled of keen backstage photographers and video interviewers. Then there’s the production team who work with everybody to make sure things are on schedule, and by everybody that means it could be the door staff, the security, the lighting team or the sound team. Last but not least, the designer is there somewhere, either monitoring the pre-walk, or talking to his team of stylists and on-set tailors to provide final alterations to the clothing. I’m sure I’ve missed someone but the image should have been painted - organised chaos, like I’d imagine a World War I telegram room to be. 

    Skipping forward to five minutes before Matthew’s show begins, when the audience would have already sat down (or planted their feet standing as close as possible) eyeing up their surroundings with judgement, you’d think that everything would be well under wraps and the models would be ready to present the clothing. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case (and often so). The speed ramps up significantly and clothes are thrown on with voices shouting through walkie talkies. “FIVE minutes guys, FIVE MINUTES" Marqee shouts across the room. There are no sighs of relief though and no bouts of silence, instead, Toni & Guy are powering ahead with a swarm of hair-dryers replicating the sound of a jet engine taking off. Even as the models stand and you can sense the main room dim their lights in preparation for the walk, the grooming team are still at it making sure things are as grand as they could possibly be. It’s a sight really, and almost makes for a better show itself: seeing the calm finesse of professionals in their element in what seems like the peak of pressure. Skipping to the end of the walk, the team applauds and disperses in what seems like a fraction of the time of the prep. Then it’s on to the next. 

    casually talking on the phone, the model seems pretty oblivious to the mob behind him at Oliver Spencer

    Oliver Spencer’s show was a pretty different experience. It’s the first show I’ve been to where I’ve worked backstage and actually decided to stay there, rather than watch the final show. Showing at the Old Sorting Office meant that the backstage team got over double the room, which makes perfect sense as those who have seen Oliver Spencer’s show will know that there was a live drum ensemble, as well as a fiesta of carnival dancers. 

    The vibe backstage was somewhat different to Matthews - as there was more space it was probably easier to read people’s facial features. William Gilchrist (an ooze-cool stylist) was brought in to style Oliver Spencer’s show, and both him and Johnnie Sapong have this incredible relaxed appearance and aura about them, which is either reinforced or is of a result of their decades of experience. Combining that with Oliver Spencer’s casting, who has become somewhat known for choosing “real people” among agency models as his walking mannequins, the atmosphere seemed very chilled. And bizarre. Backstage photographers became more obsessed with the extremely colourful (in both personality and outfits) carnival dancers, who almost took my eyes out a few times with their headgear during their warm-up before waltzing on stage. 

    Being backstage during the actual walk is a pretty interesting experience. It’s like pressing fast forward on the TV remote. The models will queue up and walk around the catwalk at their casual speeds, but the second they are behind closed curtains they are ramping up for the next change. You’ll have one person throwing a shirt and jumper over your head, and the next person will throw on the tie, and before you even get something fully over your neck someone is already pulling your trousers up for you. I imagine that’s what walk-in-wardrobes will do in a Futurama-like world, except instead of robot hands you have real people. There really is so much work that goes into a show I think people often neglect, who instead choose to complain about the distance they have to travel from show to show. I’m by no means saying it’s under-appreciated, but heck, I think the behind the scenes crew deserve to be somewhere in the spotlight by the designer as well. 

    I wanted to write something about the experiences of backstage but somehow I’ve ended up with this odd narrative. I just wanted to thank the Toni & Guy team for having me, as well as Johnnie Sapong & Naz who I’ve been working with as part of Return of the Rudeboy. That’s it for LC:M this season though - until next year!

    - Mr. Boy

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  7. London Collections: Men - The SS15 Round-Up

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and Guy

    Around came another season of London Collections: Men (LC:M), London’s offering to the global menswear fashion scene. Filled with emerging designers and well-established fashion houses, London is building with great strides its reputation as a formidable menswear hub, now bringing Italian fashion house Moschino to the London schedule, as well as reorganising future schedules to no longer clash with Florence-based trade show Pitti Uomo, which means some of the best of the men’s talent will be able to remain in London for just that little bit longer. While that might seem like a bit of garble to the non-fashion readers, what it essentially means is London is simply being taken a bit more serious on the men’s fashion side, which could be noted by the increase of internationals flying in to survey the shows, as well as a hell of a lot more street photographers to make the ordinary feel like local celebrities. This season I spent most of my time getting in the way backstage for Toni & Guy and Johnnie Sapong (which will be covered in the next post), but I did manage to see some pretty good shows, and more importantly, some very lovely friends. 

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and GuyMaharishi rehearsals with less than 30 minutes to go. The protruding shadow on the right is Johnnie Sapong’s rastacap, who oversaw the hair 

    I’ve always reinforced the idea that the best thing about LC:M is the school-like reunion. Every six months you walk to the local venues, you see the familiar faces (or familiar outlandish styles) and embrace, moaning about how long it’s been (six months to be exact). You go see a few shows together, menially comparing tickets and seating arrangements and then heading to parties together, where you see how far you can tip the intoxication scales until the possibility of getting up for that 9am show gets blurrier, and all the prints and colours and eccentrics in one room seem to mould into one giant fashion haze. It might sound like I’m moaning, but it’s great fun - where holiday meets work.

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and Guyone of the many grooming stations at Oliver Spencer backstage, also headed up by Johnnie Sapong

    The three days were pretty brilliant this season. Aside from meeting some lovely new people, the show standard definitely stepped up a notch with people adopting some impressive theatrics, such as Oliver Spencer incorporating a live-drum ensemble, and a series of carnival dancers during the final walk, who definitely stole the hearts and attention of the male models backstage (and unfortunately all the photos of the guys hitting on the dancers ended up blurry). I’ll never forget the shock horror that hit the faces of the front row during Sankuanz’s show, who is new to London as Kay Kwok’s successor for representation by GQ China. Sankuanz’s show featured an all-white catwalk, until the music skipped a beat and the “safeness” was replaced by Russian-like carnival music, eccentric ceramic giant gloves/claws and make-up inspired by Japanese manga/anime, providing insanity that I don’t think London’s tailoring scene is quite ready for. GQ China had some pretty big shoes to fill after Kay Kwok’s AW14 show being one I’ll never forget, but I think they did a pretty darn good job. 

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and GuyEnjoyed this season’s COMMON presentation as much as last (and actually invested in one of their shirts earlier this week..!)

    Other personal highlights included British designers Matthew Miller and Casely Hayford, who both shared a love for pinstripe which I’m always keen on. The COMMON presentation was quite a stand-out as well, with much of the collection being all-white with the occasional piece of denim. Design duo Agi & Sam had some really memorable prints on their shirts - pieces I’ll be keenly investing in when they hit the stores next year. I spoke to a fair few newcomers this season, who when talking about some of the shows and designers, simply said “I didn’t like it. I just didn’t get it”, which fair enough is a pretty valid statement. I think fashion shouldn’t really be objective, and ultimately it’s okay to have tastes and preferences. You shouldn’t like something just because someone told you the collection is meant to be a masterpiece - if you don’t well, you just don’t. And it’s okay to have opinions, despite people’s hesitancy to go against the norm.

    "Not getting it though" - I believe that comes from people perhaps not realising that what you see on the catwalk isn’t necessarily what you’ll be seeing on the streets. The catwalk should be something you take inspirations from, and think of ways to incorporate it into your own style, as very few can really take a look off the catwalk and look just as eye-catching (at least for the right reasons). For example, I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to wear James Long’s boxer-inspired hoody, bomber and leather pants combination, or Maharishi’s Middle East camouflage, face mask and bucket hat ensemble, but I know the James Long blue bomber is going to go great with these blue tailored trousers in my wardrobe, or that Maharishi has just the varsity jacket I’m looking for. For me, it’s about seeing the presentation as a spectacle (as a hell lot of thought goes into it), appreciating the collection and then thinking about ways of wearing it in my own context. And I think if you see it from that way, you might get past the whole pretentiousness that the fashion industry is judged with. 

    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and GuyHarmony, one of the few female badasses who walked the Matthew Miller show

    I think that’s all for the spring/summer 2015 round-up, filled with the usual highlights, observations and usual Mr. Boy ramblings. In the next post I’ll be covering a bit of backstage work, as this season I’ve seen some truly remarkable things, with hair and make-up done with seconds to go before the catwalk begins, of which the sight is then polarised with another show seeming almost completely chilled before the crowd has even taken their seats. LC:M was pretty memorable this season, and that includes the lovely people, giant monster claws and absolute backstage mania.

    - Mr. Boy

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    Mr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and GuyMr Boy Style Fashion Menswear Mens Fashion Blog Mens Style Blog Chinese Asian London Hong Kong LCM London Collections Mens Common BACKSTAGE Behind the Scenes Oliver Spencer Toni and Guy

     
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  9. Have been busy working on Return of the Rudeboy, which is a brilliant exhibition being held at Somerset House until the 25th of August.

    I’ll be writing about it - so be back soon!

    In the mean time, check out my Instagram brainchild @RudeboysReturn

    (Photo by Dom Fleming)

     
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