Saturday, 29 June 2013

Homeware Picks | No.2

We have scoured the net, to source homeware items that we think are a must have for your home. We have carefully selected these products by focusing on the three sectors we feel are important: quality, design and functionality.

For our Homeware Picks No.2 we have focused on well designed, handmade wooden shelves by some great artisan designers.

1. Olivier Dolle Tree Branch Library - This rather big tree branch design bookshelf is ideal if you have a large wall to fill. It's the work of Paris based artisan designer Olivier Dolle. The shelf is a hollow structure of multilayer birch veneer oak wood.  There's two colours available, Colourless Oak or American Walnut.

2. Chuck - Natascha Harra-FrischkornThe Chuck flexible shelving unit is by Natascha Harra-Frischkorn. It's a rather artistic piece of furniture that is also functional. Made out of plywood and brushed stainless steel means that it's flexible and stable. At first glance it's just a board on a wall, until you start playing around with the flexible 4 mm thick boards to change it's shape and make room for those favourite pieces.

3. Knife & Saw - The Bike Shelf - Keep your bike off the floor and out of the garage with this elegant shelf. There's a lot of imitations out there but this is the award-winning original by Knife & Saw. Hand made in San Francisco. It's a strong and sturdy shelf that will hold your bike and whatever else you want to put on there. Available in Ash or Walnut.

4. Amy Hunting Blockshelf - This handmade wooden bookshelf is by Amy Hunting. Using a knot traditionally used for sailing and fishing ,you can pull the strings and the shelf will disassemble. It can easily be put together again. The wood is collected from a local timber importers waste bin in London and consists of over 20 sorts of untreated wood.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Mr Maroosh | Not Your Ordinary Shaving Brand

Amsterdam based Mr Maroosh introduces a new line of unique and natural shaving products that bring the barbershop experience to your home, turning every shave into an undisturbed moment of revitalization. The label aims to be the guest that you invite into your daily routine.

This season Mr Maroosh offers two shaving creams. The first, 'Come On In', is inspired by the moment of entering the barbershop. The cream combines a fresh scent representing the dynamic outside world with a warm fragrance that stands for the kind of welcome at Mr Maroosh’s barbershop. The second cream, 'Take A Seat', is bold and masculine. This cream contains traces of wood and leather and represents the relaxing moment in the barber’s chair. The shaving brush of Mr Maroosh completes the experience.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Antica Cartotecnica | Vintage Pencils

One for you stationary aficionados today. A wonderful Vintage Pencil Set by 'Antica Cartotecnica'

The set includes a variety of five vintage pencils dating from the early 1940's all the way to the late 1960's. They look really interesting and beautiful housed in a folder which is made of vintage cardstock, that is an impressive 50-60 years old. Each set is unique, consisting of a random selection of pencils from countries like England and Czechoslovakia, and made from manufacturers that include Cumberland Pencil Co. and L&C Hardmuth. Most pencils in the set are standard No.2/HB grade.

You have to appreciate quirky, quality products like this, and it's good to see that these old pencils aren't just getting thrown away, but used in such an artistic way, if you like. If you can find a use for these pencils that's great, but they are rather intriguing the way they are and may also look good in a frame for everyone to admire.ACM

Friday, 21 June 2013

Shop Visit | Pop Recs LTD

I've spent most of my day today (Friday 21st) at 'Pop Recs LTD', flicking through vinyl, taking photos and supping coffee.

Pop Recs LTD is a pop up shop in Sunderland, in the North East of England, selling vinyl records, photography, art, furniture, tee's and totes. Opened by the Sunderland based band 'Frankie & The Heartstrings', it's a project that aims to bring great live music and arts to the city. The pop up shop isn't just a shop though, it's a place where you can just go and get a fresh coffee if you wish, sit in or takeaway it's up to you. There's also live music by top acts on certain nights, for free! 

The shop is set out well, and there's a real free, easy and relaxing atmosphere, it's a place where you are sure to meet someone with the same interests as you. You could go there by yourself, get a coffee, and just end up chatting to a complete stranger, (as I did over some Stone Roses records I had in my hand, at the time of ordering coffee). This definitely isn't a bad thing, too many people nowadays seem to have a great fear of striking up conversation with a complete stranger, so this pop up shop really helps bring like minded people who live in the city, and from afar, together.

The idea of turning a derelict shop in the city centre into a shop, arts and music venue was only meant to be a two week experiment. But thanks to big acts such as Edwyn Collins, Badly Drawn Boy and Ross Jarman (The Cribs) playing for free having gone down extremely well with the people, 'Frankie & The Heartstrings' have decided to take two months out from promoting their second album ('The Days Run Away'), to put all their time and energy into keeping the shop open, and are committed to bringing in more big acts.

This isn't just a promotion thing or a gimmick for the bands success. It's local lads who grew up in this city, who really care about wanting to put Sunderland on the map, and letting people know that you don't have to travel to the neighbouring city of Newcastle to be apart of or enjoy events like this.

I enjoyed my time at the shop, the fresh coffee, the complimentary chocolate cornflake cake, the layout of the shop, the music playing in the background and talking to those cool, down to earth local lads who make up the band that is 'Frankie & The Heartstrings'. So if your into your music and the arts, and you want to be served coffee by members of a really cool indie rock band, then what are you waiting for, get on down.ACM

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Homeware Picks | No.1

This is our first feature within the homeware section, and we hope to bring you many more. We have scoured the net, to source homeware items that we think are a must have for your home. We have carefully selected these products by focusing on the three sectors we feel are important: quality, design and functionality.

1. John Green Tab Lampshade (Walnut) - Tab shade is a flat pack light shade, designed for simple home assembly. Tab shade uses laser cut veneer to offer a warm glowing light with an opal acrylic diffuser that ensures an even quality whilst disguising unsightly light bulbs. Made in the UK. 

2. John Green '45' Coat Hooks (Walnut) - A solid oak coat rail supplied with 5 cantilevered steel hooks. Each hook can be moved independently, locating into the 45 degree slots from which the product takes its name. Made in the UK. 

3.Wood & Faulk Camp Stool (Chestnut/Leather) - Designed and meant for the outdoors, but it's so well made, and so beautiful that we can all agree this would make a great piece of furniture indoors. A tripod camping stool that’s destined to become a modern classic. Constructed of ash hardwood and English bridle leather, this item is as beautiful as it is useful. Comes with leather carrying strap. Made in the U.S.A. 

4. Turner & Harper Broom (Oak) - Every household needs a broom. A soft hog bristle broom suited for use on tiled and wooden floors. The wood is selected, machined and finished by hand, giving a unique character to each piece. Supplied with a hook to aid storage and prolong the life of the bristle. Bespoke stainless steel bolts fix the handle to the brush head, employing skills usually reserved for restoration of vintage motorcycles. Made in the UK.

All the above are available from: 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Saucony | Grid 9000

United States footwear brand Saucony have a history that dates back to 1910, but it was in 1977 with the launch of the Saucony Jazz that the company was transformed from the close-guarded secret of a small group of runners into a global brand. Now, as then, Saucony is a byword for quality, innovation, and performance.

Saucony has became more well known this year, becoming quite a casual style icon. It seems as if they are the new, New Balance, and they are now, not only appealing to the athletic types, but to the average Joe like you and me, who has a keen eye for style, and is always looking for that new, fresh thing.

Saucony have released the Grid 9000 in some great new colour-ways. Featuring synthetic felt, Leather and Mesh uppers with a Saucony branded tongue pull and side spilt tongue detail. Available from Togs + Clogs.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Velour by Nostalgi | Summer 13

The Velour 'Summer 13' men’s collection has an art deco inspiration. The look is based on a Miami art deco with its decorative and colourful palette. The capsule collection has a classic base that consists of shirts, jackets and chinos but is given a playful touch through different artworks and prints. The colour of the look is light pink that can be seen in both plain shirts and plaid shirts. The pink in the collection is combined with grass green and navy. The most decorative style is the round neck brushed knitted sweater. It has a navy body with an all over green parrot embroidery. Same parrot artwork is used as single chest embroidery on the shirts. The parrot artwork gives the collection an exotic and summer feeling.

The photo shoot of the collection took place at Blå Tåget, with its beautiful train coaches preserved in its original 60’s condition. The train has a luxurious, yet charming, fine dining restaurant coupé where you can enjoy a three course dinner cooked on board by the train’s very own master chef. Blå Tåget also has a unique bar coach where you can order fine wine served in crystal glass before dinner or an avec to your coffee, this to the tones of live piano music.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Muttonhead | Propr Sport

This is Muttonhead's second season collaborating with Montreal based photographer Spencer Edwards. Comercially known for his blog 'Propr Postur'. Spencer directed and shot their latest 'Propr Sport' editorial, featuring pieces from their Spring/Summer 2013 'Good Sport' collection and the 'Topo Designs x Muttonhead' collaboration kit. 

The 'Good Sport' collection is inspired by the rebellious tribes of Venice Beach's Z-Boys, the collection appeals to adventurous kids looking for kits to suit their counter-culture lifestyles. The 'Good Sport' name references the athletic theme and the easygoing spirit that embodies Muttonhead.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sole Saver | by Christian Hilton

My name is Christian; and I’m an addict; Of footwear; Of a particular brand of footwear. One of the UK’s oldest and most celebrated shoemakers. A name most people have had some connection with since childhood. C & J Clark International Ltd. Just plain Clarks to you and me.

Maybe writing this piece for ACM will be cathartic and allow me to finally let go of this ‘addiction’ which has been part of my life for most of my adult years. Then again, I doubt it. A prolonged sojourn into the realms of Adi in the late ’90’s and into the 2000’s didn't keep me from returning to the ‘suede upper and crepe soled’ goodness of Clarks and their 'Originals' label.

So where does this brand loyalty and love come from?  It can only be the past. Trying to cling in some small way to what’s gone before: as a kid being measured up ‘properly’ by the starchy dressed shop assistants and that machine - like something from the robotic future - that your young mind thought might crush your feet. Or maybe it’s ’89 - ’91 ‘Baggy era’ seeing Wallabees work so well with flared jeans, floral prints and tees on lads enjoying their ‘Summers of Love’. Then again it could be ’95 seeing the Gallagher's - before putting their name to Adi models - wearing 'Treks' and 'Desert Boots' (hard to believe now, but at some point we did look at them as knowing how to dress) or ’97 with Ashcroft iconically representing the 'Wallee' on the cover of 'Urban Hymns' or in the video for 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'.  Mad Richard gave the 'Wallabee' attitude. 

I know others got to my position of Clarks Love via different cultural routes - 'Wu Tang' for example; many hip-hop kids have never shied away from showing their love for the Clarks Booty.

So where am I now?  Well, one thing I'm not is a ‘collector’I'm a buyer, an admirer and wearer. I'm not precious about the shoes I have. I wear them. Consume them. Use them. Some are kept in their boxes, others not.  None are really put on a pedestal.

I have nowt but utmost respect for those who over the last decade or so have sourced, cleaned up and repaired vintage ‘Made in England’ or ‘Made in Ireland’ Clarks; and I'm not saying I wouldn't love to own a cupboard full of ‘Pristine Shoe Porn’ like that. But I haven’t. What I have got, just like loads of you reading this is an expanding wardrobe full of Originals. Current count - 30(ish).

I'm lucky via location in that I live close to the (still) Street, Somerset based HQ of Clarks and with it the ‘potential’ goldmine of the outlet store.  Since moving here in ’99 I think back fondly of the gems I picked up and all at half RRP. Most of which are now long gone; worn to death and then discarded in the folly of youth. I have still got a couple of pairs from that time - 'Made in England' 'Treks' in sand suede, and a 'Made in Ireland' pair of 'Natalies' - shot to pieces, but having learnt my lesson of getting rid too quick, will never now let go.

So, favourite pairs?  Well, I love both the Oi Polloi edition 'Wallabees' from last year. What looked on first picture view as no great shakes, was as soon as you felt them and the quality suppleness of that ‘Unicorn’ (Elk leather) upper a truly great shoe. The choice of colour-ways wasn't half bad either.  'Wasabi' for the win for me. 

I'm a big lover of the ‘Polyveldt’ line of shoes - polyurethane soles and leather uppers - and of these, the 2 classics I'm most proud wearing are the 'Tan' 'Oberon' and 'Sand Leather' 'Ramblers'. Shoes which bring back an instant mental image of the mid 70‘s. Geography Teacher Chic of the highest order.

It’s this ability to access their extensive archive and bring life back to these lost ‘ugly-beautiful’ classics which I'm chuffed to see Originals running with and developing (As they did this season with the mighty 'Edgar Way'). With that in mind, I'm really excited by the brief view I've seen on some blogs of the AW'13 range, in particular the 'Wallabee Ridge' (reissue of the Deep Country / Caravan model) which alongside the 'Seam Trek' (an amalgamation of the best bits of a Rambler and Trek) see this reinterpretation of ‘classics’ returning.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not oblivious to some of the ‘failings’ of the brand. Just because it’s designed and produced by Clarks Originals, doesn't mean I’ll buy it. I know the ‘Hipster Youth Market Sector’ needs to be reached, but older Connoisseurs mustn't be forgotten. In some areas I do believe quality could be improved, and to have a standard 'Wallabee' shape between Europe & The US would be ace.  In addition in these increasingly ‘Local’ times, how good would it be to have a 'Made In England' run of the classics - Desert Boot, Wallabee, Desert Trek for example all made to original specs?!

But no; this heartfelt piece hasn't cleansed me of my Clarks addiction. I do, increasingly lust after other shoes I see from different brands; especially those with a historical tale or material story to tell. But it’s Clarks Originals where my heart lies, and with which I’ll keep on keeping on.CH 

Guest post by Christian Hilton (@HiltonShoegazer)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bucks & Co. | AW'13

Get Bucked Up this Autumn/Winter as Bucks & Co launch their latest collection for the Modernist Hunter. Mixing street style with traditional hunting details, the brand has created a unique look for today’s Alpha Male. The collection is made up of tailored denim pieces available in a range of contemporary washes and fits, as well as street inspired items such as hoods and sweats, all of which feature cleverly hidden crucial hunting details

Bucks & Co. is made for the 'Modernist hunter', taking inspiration from original hunting goods, from the smallest of details, such as the colour orange (warning/safety) concealed pockets, hidden bullet holders, 'D' rings (attachment for hunter I.D.), reinforced pocketing and stitching, any number of these inspiring but crucial details can be found on a bucks garment.

We have picked out what we believe to be the four key pieces in this collection; over-shirts, camo, Japanese styling, and of course the parka; ticking all the right boxes for us.