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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sartorial 7 x Duchamp London: Behind the Scenes

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This week the Sartorial 7 gents and I headed to the Duchamp London store at Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush. Selecting our favourite eveningwear looks, we're prepping for our latest instalment of the sartorial quest for menswear superiority. Watch this space for our new video launching next week and see the full range of behind the scenes below.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

GarconJon meets...Charlie Anderson

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Mr Charlie Anderson, Artist

When I first heard of the formerly Edinburgh based artist, I was instantly drawn to his energetic, bold imagery. As Scotland's creative community is such a niche group, I felt certain to meet Mr Anderson at some point. It wasn't until a years later, after we'd both moved to London that our path's crossed. Working together on the Dr Marten's 'Stand for Something' campaign in August, we took some time out to chew the fat in Glasgow and take some photographs in my old neighbourhood, Merchant City.

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Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I was born in New Zealand and grew up around the world in Taiwan, America, the Solomon Islands, then mainly England, France and Scotland; where I lived for 10 years before recently moving to London.

How would you describe your job title? I’m a painter.

What's your star sign? Aquarius.

How would you sum up your work in five words? Documentary pop satire postmodern painting.

What music are you into at the moment? Been getting into a bit of minimal electro recently.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In a band.

When did you realise art was your calling? It was halfway through my fourth and final year at art college, it kind of clicked for me all of a sudden.

You told me you felt frustrated in art college as you were forced to take classes that didn't relate to painting - your preferred medium. Did you always have a strong focus? Was it always painting on canvas that peaked your interest? No, when I left school having completed a portfolio of painting for art class the last thing I wanted to do was paint. In my first year at college my painting tutor told me I’d never get into the painting course in second year. That was fine by me until I didn’t get into the illustration course, the animation course or the sculpture course. After a meeting with the head of year I managed to talk my way onto the painting course which had a few spaces left. I failed painting in second year and had to resit, scraped through third year and then in fourth year it clicked.

I feel like your work should come with it's own chair. When I see it in person, I get the urge to sit down and just take a moment to absorb all the detail. How long does it take to create one of your more complex layered paintings? It’s difficult to measure. The ideas are developing in my head constantly, then the process involves painting one layer at a time, and then painting over sections of it with new layers, then painting over that until the painting is finished. I use a bunch of hair dryers to dry the paint which saves a bit of time, so once one layer is dry I can immediately paint on top of it without the paint blending. Sometimes I’ll finish a painting then a week later paint over sections of it because the idea has changed. It’s spontaneous and each painting tends to resolve itself, so sometimes that happens soon into a painting and sometimes it’s a period of weeks.

See the full interview by clicking here:

Aleksander: Neue Schönhauser Straße, Berlin

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Man of a Kind - Part 1

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Man of a Kind is the new digital menswear bible for the contemporary sartorial gent.  Their moto is pretty simple: Get inspired, get advised and get it online. I was honoured that the team asked me to shoot their first exclusive editorial for the launch this month. See Part 1 of the shoot below where we explore Marylebone - Part 2 of the shoot will follow soon. For now, check out the new site at ManofaKind.net.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Chris Pollard: Somerset House, London

Finding consistency in style is a real treat. I first met Chris, an avid fan of vintage instant film, at last season's London Fashion Week and photographed his impeccably dapper style. Now, six months on he return's with an equally dandy look. Click 'Read More' below to see the details.

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Friday, 4 October 2013

GarconJon meets...John Brophy - GQ x GAP

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In the last segment of the GQ for GAP interviews, I caught up with the in-demand John Brophy aka Johnny Buttons. He's a creative force to be reckoned with, as a designer, director and all round visionary. He designs sets, he upholsters furniture, he art directs music videos - and he can even host a mean dinner party. It seems the New Oxford English Dictionary is missing an additional definition for 'Multi-Talented'.

We took the beautiful Roy for a walk while chatting about his former culinary dreams, cowboy aspirations and the constantly evolving London scene. John wears Baldwin chambray shirt and jeans, available at GAP.com.

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Johnny Brophy, Creative Director and Founder of Johnny Buttons Ltd

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
 I grew up in a tiny village in between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The village was a sleepy little place dotted with farms, pubs and only one shop. As a kid I spent a lot of time outside, climbing trees and building naïve huts to shelter from the unforgivable Scottish weather. I’d have died of boredom if I hadn’t been creative with my time. Now I live in Old Street, between Shoreditch and Clerkenwell.

How would you describe your job title?
 I oversee all aspects of the company – from the initial client meetings to development of concept, working with and directing my design team, reviewing and approving ideas and managing the financial side of the business too. I call it personal interference… some would say I’m a control freak.

What's your star sign? I’m Piscean.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I actually wanted to be a chef. I won a scholarship when I was 16 to be trained up by the chefs at Gleneagles Hotel. For some reason I felt that I was too young, but then skipped off to London the following year without an ounce of doubt. Food and cooking are huge passions of mine and I really enjoy cooking and being a host for friends and family. I love simple uncomplicated food using the best ingredients I can find.

Where did the name Johnny Buttons come from? At the point of forming the company I came up with quite a few fantastically shit names. I felt pressured as work was already coming in and I just couldn’t nail down a name. Around the same time we were commissioned to create a huge handcrafted flag for PRPS and I needed hundreds of buttons to create their embellished cherub logo. Whilst sourcing the buttons I got chatting to some lovely women who have a vintage textiles stall at Spitalfields Market. They had millions of beautiful buttons and agreed to bring me a whole sack full the following week. So she asked my name, I replied “Johnny” and she took her pen, wrote in her little diary and said in her cheerful Essex accent “I’ll just call you Johnny Buttons, so I remember who you are.” I smirked at the name, repeated it in my head a few times and thought it was perfect.

Secretly, I love it when people call me Mr Buttons.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

GarconJon meets...Martin Belk - GQ x GAP

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Mr Martin Belk is a born story-teller. Having photographed him retracing his steps around New York City's East Village this summer for PORT Magazine, I knew he had some tales to tell. This was reinforced ten-fold with his autobiographical book Pretty Broken Punks: lipstick, leather jeans, a death of New York. One chapter in and I was hooked.

One short chat with Mr Belk is enough to realise his conversational skills are on par with the written word - unheard of for most writers. Now a London resident, we took a jaunt around Mayfair to talk about his fascinating life in New York, starting a Prison writing programme for Young Offenders and meeting the Queen. Yes, Queen Elizabeth II.

Martin wears Baldwin cardigan and tshirt with Ernest Alexander bag - available at GAP.com.

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Martin Belk, Writer

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? Born: Charlotte NC. Grew up, as in matured: New York City. Now, float between London, Glasgow and Paris.

How would you describe your job title? Writer, publisher, observer crazy enough to believe.

What's your star sign? David Bowie.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Freddie Mercury.

When did you realise you could write? The same time I finally realised I had just as much right to exist as anybody else, was entitled to an opinion and a point of view and that the abusive teachers along the way who wrote 'vivid imagination' and 'daydreams too much' as report-card criticisms were inconsequential to the perpetuation of real culture. Oh, and after about 20 years of struggling with all this, until I actually had something to say.

You used to be an art director in NYC agencies - where did the change from this to writing come? Is there anything you miss about Art Direction? I still do a lot of design work but the difference is now I can pick and choose. I reached a point of burnout with it in New York, watching an art form turn into a sweat shop schlock-fest. I'd been taught to render typography by hand. We understood 'depth of field' without a computer screen. Now, they teach students to use software, not design - really. I miss the early days of my career when I worked together with illustrators, photographers, typesetters, pressmen and the whole studio smelled like coffee and printers' ink. We all had offices, with a door, and the 'open plan' was in our heads, reserved for creativity. We made things.

How have your past roles informed the work you do now? Well the work in the agencies, then a couple of Wall Street IPO's during the great internet party in the 90s, along with the first rock show we did on the net with Debbie Harry - all of this informs the way I operate today. Like it or not, there are so many people posing as creatives these days simply because they own computers, writers and artists need something tangible to say and must be an integral part of the business of saying it.

You went back to school as an adult – was that a turning point in your life? Did it alter the way you look at the world? I'm an adult? Well, about the time I realised the bottom would fall out of the 'net boom, about '99 or Y2K, I knew I needed a safety net. Originally, I thought I'd just go get the degree I'd lied about having for so many years and some student grant money. But then I walked into Empire State College, part of the State University, and met a mentor, Mary Folliet, who issued me a challenge: that if I wanted to write, I could be serious if I got serious. Before they changed everything, or ruined it rather, you wrote your own degree rational and had to defend it in front of 12 academics. I went for it. She introduced me to John Calder who she knew from living in Paris - Samuel Beckett's friend and publisher, Barney Rossett's contemporary in the US - who became another mentor while getting my master's degree. We are all still friends, colleagues and writers to this day.

For whatever reason, I've tended to do life in reverse in many cases. Having a successful career, then getting my education in this case. I don't recommend it necessarily, but, what it tends to provide is something desperately needed to be effective: experience that informs my creative work. I rely on all of it minute by minute. Good writing is 90% observation, 9% skill and 1% opinion. Most people do that one in reverse.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

GarconJon meets...Karlmond Tag - GQ x GAP

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Karlmond Tang is the London blogger who's style is never short of impeccable. At the London Collections, he always has swarms of photographers shoot is every sartorial move, however it's his humility and charm that truly need capturing.

We met up and discussed the London menswear scene, which has flourished since the launch of London Collections last year. Karlmond wears Ernest Alexander for GAP backpack and shirt.

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Karlmond Tang, Menswear Blogger and Social Media Consultant

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Watford and I’m currently living in Hoddesdon, a random village in Hertfordshire.

You perform many professional roles, how would you describe your job title? A bit of a creative I suppose? I mainly balance my time between social media and blogging for Mr. Boy. Then there’s the odd styling, modelling and contributing here and there. It sounds like I’m being a bit wishy washy, but everything I do, I do love.

What's your star sign? Aries.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A chef, like my dad. Then I wanted to be the richest man in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is where your parents are from – have you spent any time there? I’ve been there a few times but it’s tough as it’s on the other side of the world. I do really like it there – it feels just a bit more care-free. The food is incredible as well. I’ve actually spent more time in Shanghai – now there’s a city I’d move to.

You've made a big career shift from finance to fashion – was there a distinct turning point when you realised fashion was for you? My friend brought me to a presentation held by a luxury PR in Shanghai, where a photographer started talking to me and wanted to introduce me to this “top stylist” in Shanghai. After a tour of his incredible studio, he gave me some advice and told me to assist him for a day. It was sort of a domino-like effect – he then introduced me to a designer, who introduced me to some models and big journalists. In three days I was surreally given this quick tour of the industry (in Shanghai to add to the story). They all told me I was doing the wrong thing and I knew I had to take the leap somehow.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

GarconJon meets...Mark Hammerman - GQ x GAP

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Since starting the 100 Beards, 100 Days last year, I've met a huge number of fascinating people in many different ways. The message spread so quickly in the first few months of the project, that London suddenly felt smaller than ever before. Mark Hammerman was one of the gents who had many friends in common, yet our paths had never crossed.

As most of my connections work in the creative industry, it's refreshing to speak with Mark, a man who operates in such a different sphere. As a Neurological Specialist Physiotherapist, his daily life focuses on helping people in need - an honourable role. This month, we took a walk around Green Park, chatting about his recent bike accident and what it's like to be ginger.

Mark wears Aviator Nation for GAP.

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Mark Hammerman, Neurological Specialist Physiotherapist

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in a small fishing and boat building settlement called Leigh on Sea in Essex. It was where Dot Cotton went on her holidays! Growing up by the seaside was a great pleasure and I go back often for my fresh sea air and jellied eel fix. I have recently moved to Haggerston Park in Hackney, East London. Having green space nearby is essential.

What's your star sign? Libra.

Describe yourself in 5 words? Spontaneous, culinary, open, ginger and ritzy.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? As a boy I wanted to be a professional tennis player. I started playing at an early age and my evenings, weekends and school holidays were all pretty much spent on the court competing or training with my elder sister. Unfortunately injuries halted play.

Which film which changed your life? The films that I recall from my childhood that were on a constant loop in our household were The Poseidon Adventure and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Both these epics taught me a sense of adventure as well as the importance of team work in overcoming adversity.

You've got fantastic facial hair. There seems to have been a cultural revolution around the beard in the past 18 months. Have you noticed? What are peoples response to your beard? Thank you. Yes indeed the beard in all its glorious forms is very much of the moment, especially in East London. I cannot speak for anyone else but for me this is partially in attempt to keep my chin warm and snug through our long, dark English winters!

You were recently featured in a film about red hair – do you get preferential treatment because of your recessive genes? How has the perception of 'ginger' changed over the years? My hair has naturally darkened as I have got older, however my facial hair has taken quite the opposite path and is now as red as ever. At times florescent. As a result I do get some startled looks on the street as the sun reflects brightly from my ginger chin. I have always been very proud of my hair colouring, freckles and pale skin and have never knowingly encountered any discrimination for being a redhead, in fact the opposite. Red hair, like beards, is causing quite a stir which is nice to see.