5 BRANDS TO WATCH FROM JACKET REQUIRED 2017
THIS SEASON'S STANDOUTS FROM THE PLETHORA OF AMAZING BRANDS
The Truman Brewery once again played home to the 12th edition of the premium London trade show. "Jacket Required has grown considerably in size since it was first launched," says co-founder Craig Ford. "From 30 brands to just short of 300 collections. We've always worked towards persevering with the show's original identity, and we've now reached a point where to grow the number of brands any further would mean compromising the integrity of our selection. We're just not going to do that."
It was a poor choice to wear my 'business' Oscar Milo suit. Ironically it's not called, Dinner Jacket Required, and it soon became prevalent mingling with the various reps and owners, all casually drawn, that the call for formal attire on my behalf, was deeply moot. In short, it felt like I was back in school, dressed to the nines, on a non-uniform day. Here are my picks from the plethora of amazing brands that I should have been wearing instead.
They've been on the circuit a while, had a few facelifts and now with a new financial backer, Marshall Artist are once more ready to play with the big boys. "The new collection has been refined and redefined to take on a more casual appeal, with branding being key to the proposition. The brand will now also offer a casually crafted range of denim products across an impressive range of washes and finishing techniques." A nice palette of blended pink hues ranging from ballet slipper to dishy coral, (not official colours, just a bit of artistic license). At a cursory glance they seemed to be nudging the envelope just ever so slightly. Is taffy-rouge back? Did it ever go away?
Last year they had a lad doing back flips in the Monkee Genes stand. What may sound like an amateurish ploy to garner attention, was actually one of the more memorable takeaways from last year’s exhibition. Albeit vast, labyrinth-like and troublesome to digest in one afternoon, there is a sterile, almost clinical vibe inside the Truman Brewery. With the pure white walls and no visible POS on any stand, having a lad do acrobatics added some much needed personality. Sadly he wasn't there this year, but Monkee Genes have still got a strong game and an even stronger message of utilising Organic Cotton. “Organic is not an inspiration, it’s a choice of life. Nature is a pure balance, which we all need to protect. Profit above respect is man at his ignorant best.” – Philip Wildbore.
The Italian haberdashers; Oybo, remain uncowed by 3,500 years of sock pairing tradition. They have elevated themselves above the saturated sock parapet by claiming to be the first odd-socks brand. Seems so obvious right? Especially as wearing odds socks are just corollary of men’s ineptitude to organise (I speak for myself, don't write in).
Ska and Soul
From the mind of Rob Harmer, the gentleman that brought you Lambretta, come the modernistic Ska and Soul. They're the official clothing licensees for Trojan Records (Skawear) and Wigan Casino (Soulwear). Recreating classic pieces from the Ska and Soul scenes of the 60s and 70s. An ostentatious exposé of northern hubris, dripping with swagger and dare I say, spunk.
Amongst the throngs of serious designs, I was charmed by the self-effacing attitude of Bad Sports, it appealed to every one of my immature sensibilities. "Through a hazy lens of 80s cinema, counter-culture and adolescent angst, Bad Sports celebrates the lost art of aiming low". You'll have to go one step beyond the pale to find them online as at the time of writing this their site was down and a quick dig down a few internet wormholes unveiled nothing. This aloofness, only adds to their coolness.