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Thursday, 22 January 2015

GarconJon meets...Vintage Gym Collective

With a serious lack of quality design in the sportswear market, I was happy to hear that Original Penguin are launching a new collection called 'Vintage Gym' - inspired by classic American design. It's mixture of Letterman jackets, comfy knits and cotton jersey bottoms suit my aesthetic well and so was more than happy to shoot their launch imagery in East London. We selected three influential men, each fast becoming leaders in their chosen fields, and followed them on their morning keep-fit routine to see how they spend their time of out of the workplace.


La Touche, 24, Apprentice Hat Maker

As a man who's never without a hat on his head, it's hard to not recognize La Touche in the street. That and the fact he's impossibly tall means that man is unmissable. With a powering frame, there's no prize for guessing which sport he is a master of. Watching him play, it would appear basketball is a part of his DNA. We headed out to his local court in London Fields to shoot some hoops and shoot the shooting of some hoops.

What's your sport? I play basketball because it’s a sport I enjoy. Of course, I'm tall which helps and means in school I was always picked first for the team - hopefully my skill reflects that!

What's your life motto? I live my life to always be happy and grateful for every new day and never leave the house without a hat.


Jamie Millar, 30, Associate Editor of Men’s Health UK

As an editor of one of the world's leading fitness publications, I'm sure the pressure must be pretty high to keep fit. The idea of slogging away in a gym doesn't really appeal to me so when I heard Jamie was a fan of calisthenics I was excited to see how it worked. At first, I thought it'd be a bit like parkour and although not a world away, it seems a lot less dangerous and a lot more convenient. We met up at Jamie's local park to document his morning routine before work.

How did you get into Callisthenics? I was interviewing the actor Charlie Hunnan about his training regime for the cover of Men’s Health and he told me he was into callisthenics, which is a fancy way of saying bodyweight exercises but with a gymnastic element. The word actually comes from the Greek for “beautiful strength”. I was so curious that the next morning I went down to the park to train and a week or two later I managed my first muscle-up – like a pull-up but you end up on top of the bar.

Is there a real benefit to the sport beyond working out in a gym? There’s something almost meditative about trying to master your own bodyweight as opposed to just mindlessly throwing weights around. It’s endlessly compelling – more like learning a skill than simply exercising – it’s outside in the fresh air and it’s free. Plus as Hunnam said to me: “It just feels like old-school man stuff.”

Life Quote – “By trying to be a little bit better than I was yesterday.”


Tom Clark, 24, Professional Dancer

Playing a principle role in Mathew Bourne’s Edward Scissor Hands, Tom know's a thing or two about workout gear. When we first met, it was hard to see the dancer within. He's clear tall, broad shouldered and lean, but it's not until movement is introduced that his skill really shines. I asked him to warm up and suddenly a dancer emerged - elegant and poised - I saw a new man come to the foreground.

How did you get into dance? I'm originally from a sporting background and I ended up getting into dance by listening to music like Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. I would spend every evening jamming in front of the mirror at home and learning routines. Following a bit of acting and dance at a local school, I ended up going to a Hip Hop dance school in Watford in my teenage years. From here I decided I wanted this to be my job!

It's a notoriously difficult industry to break, did you find that? After many auditions for the big dance collages in London I ended up with a scholarship to Millennium performing arts for 3 years studying musical theatre and classical dance. That was my big break. I have been lucky enough to travel the world, be involved with film and perform on some of the most famous theatres doing what I love. It’s great to be able to earn a living doing something that I enjoy and also be surrounded by some pretty cool unique characters that are always up for a laugh.

What's the greatest part of being a dancer? I know this career won’t last for ever so I live in the moment. I have already had a hip operation but for now I’m going to push myself to the limits and enjoy every second of what this brilliant industry has to offer.

What's your life motto? I live with no thought of what tomorrow will bring. Live for the present because you only get to live that moment once! Most of all love those people close to you and forget those people who don’t have no love for you!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Milan Fashion Week for Vogue Hommes

My Milan street photography for Vogue Hommes is now live on Vogue.fr. Click the link here to see the full selection.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Criminal Accessory: Pitti, Florence


Tonal dress, leather gloves, front-pleat pants and a tribly. Perfect Italian combination.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Patchwork Play: Pitti, Florence


Patchwork played a big part this season at Pitti, not only outside the show but also in the new collaborative collection of Wooster + Lardini. Certainly worth a google.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Tones of Blue: Pitti, Florence


Looking at the mainstream street style coverage of Pitti you'd be led to believe every man is decked in 3-piece suits. This certainly isn't the case and there's actually a plethora of diverse design to be seen. I was particularly impressed by this gent who wore a different coloured overshirt and blanket each day to the show.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Federico Lapo: Pitti, Florence


The epitome of the Pitti trade show in Florence: tailored Italian men, congregating in groups, smoking and having a chinwag.

London Collections: Men for Vogue Hommes

My street photography for Vogue Hommes is now live on Vogue.fr. Click the link here to see the full selection.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London Collections: Men


I may already be a Londoner but after experiencing a crazy schedule last season I decided to take a residency at the Bloomsbury Street Hotel over London Collections: Men. Shooting both backstage and street style can take it's toll so having a central location was the perfect solution. Luckily, the team at the hotel worked with me and as well as using it as the base for myself and my team, they offered to co-host a launch breakfast for the shows. It was then I realised that this was certainly the right choice of hotel as we dined beside the likes of James Sleaford, Bruce Pask and Olivier Lalanne. If it's good enough for Vogues Hommes and GQ, it's good enough for me!

Monday, 12 January 2015

William Gilchrist: New Oxford Street, London


William Gilchrist before the Oliver Spencer Show at London Collections: Men, photographed for Vogue Hommes

The British Accessory: New Oxford Street, London


It's probably now seen hundreds of accessories over the past few day's of London Collections: Men but nothing is more appropriate in London than the gentleman's umbrella.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tin Cup Worker : Henrietta Street, London


Photographed outside the Nigel Cabourn store and presentation for Vogue Hommes at London Collections: Men. Mr Cabourn's clothing are always high on my most desired list, not only because he's one of the nicest men in British design, but the focus on fabric and longevity is unwavering.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Leather in London: Victoria House, London



Photographed for Vogue Hommes at London Collections: Men.

The Sartorial 7: Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street, London


The only way to start the season right is with a good Sartorial 7 breakfast. Great chat and wholesome food at Radisson Blu Edwardian was the perfect start to the morning. N.B. Terry, Chris and Phil give a lesson in layering.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Kadu Dantas: Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street, London


Easing my way gently into this season's London Collections: Men I had a spot of very British afternoon tea with Kadu. We met at LC:M's official home on Bloomsbury Street where I'll be staying for the duration. Check out his work at BlogDoKadu.com, filled with a wealth of mens style inspiration.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

British GQ: Men's Style on the Street


So often National publications focus solely on London and forget about the vast land we have in the rest of the UK. This is particularly true when it comes to the fashion industry. Style across the UK is impressively rich so I'm proud to have shot this project for British GQ looking at men's style across 6 British cities: Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. I haven't shot street style outwith fashion week in months and I forgot how much of a challenge it can be to shoot in the winter weather but I was impressed with the diversity on the streets. See the full gallery on GQ-Magazine.co.uk here.

The Mr Porter Lookbook: Behind the Scenes SS15

It may still be January but the official Spring 2015 lookbook from MrPorter.com has now launched. Set in a traditional London Manor House, we shot a range of Mr P's new and classic brands including Ami, Yojhi and Zegna. See a range of exclusive behind the scenes photographs below and check out my interview with Style Director Dan May which went live on GarconJon.com yesterday.





















See more from the shoot below.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

GarconJon meets Dan May - Style Director, Mr Porter


Next month it will be exactly 4 years since the inception of MrPorter.com. Over that time the brand has become an international powerhouse of excellence in menswear placing superb editorial content beside the best brand mix of any British department store I know.

For me, one of Mr Porter's strengths has been it's consistency and this is mainly down to a team who built the brand from scratch and are still there today. Dan May, Style Director is one of those people.  I caught up with him on set of the SS15 lookbook shoot where some of Mr P's newest brands are being showcased.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? South Africa. Somerset.

You're the style director of Mr Porter, how would you actually describe your job? Most of the time it's the fun stuff. I get to travel and photographing interesting people in great places.

What's your star sign? Taurus.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grow up? A professional sportsman. Ideally a tennis player.

As a man on the inside, what does 'style' mean to you? It's really about being comfortable and pushing the limits of how far you can develop your personal style before you feel ridiculous!

What's the most challenging thing about your job? Probably trying to approach each shoot with a fresh idea and perspective as we have so many shoots going on all the time.





This shoot features some of Mr P's newest brands, which are you most excited about for SS15? I'm excited about Issey Miyake and the Mr Porter take on such a great brand. Also Tomas Maier's own label.

Of the more longstanding brands, are there any that you think gets it right time and again? Ami just seems to go from strength to strength each season. For consistency I'd say Margaret Howell, Valentino and Marni.

What item in your wardrobe you go back to time and again - rain or shine? My military jacket from Levi's.

Why is London a great place to be right now? It's always a great place to be. It's such a melting pot of people, styles, energy, culture, food. It's endless!

What's on the horizon for you in 2015? More of the same and hopefully ticking some new destinations off my bucket list.

Leave us with some words of wisdom. Don't put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.




See the full range of photos below and check back to GarconJon.com tomorrow for more Behind the Scenes exclusive images.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

GarconJon in 2014: A Year in Review

With my birthday on January 14, I feel like New Year is a particularly poignant time of renewal for me. I love taking a few days around the holidays to reflect on the year gone and set some goals for the year to follow. God may laugh if you tell him your plans but it's always nice to dream.

Looking back on 2014, I find it hard to believe the last 365 days flew past so quickly, probably faster than any other year and one that was filled with adventures I couldn't have even imagined in 2013. As I sit on the first day of January, I'm primarily filled with gratitude. The people who've made me laugh, the experiences we've shared, the love I've felt, the client's who've challenged me to grow creatively and the city that's provided so many opportunities. To review in full would take days, so for now I've pulled together a few key highlights from my year and the year in menswear.







Navy Blue

It may seem like the most lackluster discovery of all time but 2014 was the year I discovered the brilliance of navy blue. Despite the fact it seems ubiquitous in menswear, it's actually incredibly difficult to get a good quality navy tone. Whether it's a strong indigo denim or an over-dyed work shirt there are seven brands who nailed it for me this year:

Old Town - Jigsaw - Whistles - Blue Blue Japan - Brooklyn Circus - RRL - Levi's Vintage

The Sartorial 7

Our little menswear collective founded in 2013 grew tremendously in 2014. We started at London Collections: Men in January, collaborating in video with Reiss and ended on an Amsterdam adventure with Atelier Scotch. Check out our new YouTube channel where we've just uploaded all our videos to one place and also our Tumblr here to see the full story.

Duke Street

This year one location in London emerged as a beacon of great menswear: Duke Street. It all started with the Duke Street Emporium - a collaboration between Jigsaw and The Shop at Bluebird which houses an enviable collection of menswear and lifestyle items. Not only is it a pleasure to shop, it's also an ideal meeting spot with Fernandez and Wells coffee inside, just around the corner from Bond Street tube. See my photography from the launch event on the Jigsaw blog here.

The importance of Duke Street was underlined by Private White VC with the opening of their Mayfair store a few doors down. The pioneer in truly British menswear (all items are manufactured in their Manchester factory) has made huge steps forward in the past 12 months and this store is the cherry on the cake. Pop along now to see an exhibition of my photography in store now.

Finally, in September E Tautz opened their first store at number 71 and generously gave the world 2000 square feet of menswear brilliance over 2 floors. That's it. Stick a fork in me. I'm done!

Peak Beard

2014 was the year the beard was declared "over" and since shooting the 100 Beards book in 2012, I became a temporary spokesperson for facial hair. After being called for my opinion more than a handful of times I decided to write my official response to peak beard. In short, my experience with those who grow a beard showed me that for most of the men this was a personal transformation. It was a way to come into their own and this reality couldn't be further from the 'hipster-fad' portrayal in the press. If sales of the book are anything to go by there's also been no slowing in interest. The 100 Beards blog is currently sitting at 234 portraits and I've decided that in 2015 I need to to complete the final 100 to reach 300 - watch this space.

Printed Publications

As is clear to see from my repeat questioning in the 'GarconJon meets' series,  I'm a stickler for print publications. I love the quality of printed word and image on paper, so I've collected 5 that made an impact on me this year. Each are well worth a good coffee and a few hours of your time.

Men in This Town - Faculty Department - Cereal Magazine - Men's File - Man of the World

The Man/Men Project

After a successful launch of our first print publication in June at London Collections: Men, the Man/Men project got fully underway. Working alongside David Evans, 6 months hard graft documenting the state of manufacturing menswear in the UK uncovered a whole world that required exposure. We're now working on issue 2 of the journal and the website will be launching in a matter of weeks at ManMen.uk. Follow us @ManMenUK for updates!

Travel

Whenever I'm asked what I consider the best part of being a photographer, I always respond the same way. For me the camera acts a passport that not only takes you into other peoples lives but also around the world. This year I travelled more than ever across Europe and the United States with highlights including Puerto Rico, Milan, Barcelona and my mistress Paris. Here's to embracing all that's new and going even further afield in 2015.