The advert for L’Agent, a diffusion line designed by Mónica and Penélope Cruz for high end lingerie company Agent Provocateur, marks Penélope Cruz’s debut as a director, and not a bad one at that. The advert is classic lingerie: sexy, steamy, desirable. All the things needed to sell the product. I for one would happily buy the underwear, having been convinced by said advert that I will look like the women seen here if I do. (N.B. I am easily swayed by luxury advertising.) Highlights? The poor man breaking out into a sweat at the sight of such a bevvy of beauties, swanning around in their rather delightful undies. That, and a very pregnant Mónica Cruz in a babydoll – she gave birth 2 days after filming. Enjoy, it is cheekily charming (pun fully intended).
A new brand on the menswear scene, making their mark and definitely one to watch, comes in the eclectic form of Agi & Sam. Think sartorially printed shirts and suits, ‘Fresh Prince’ printed t-shirts, and shorts teamed with blazers and you have the look of Agi & Sam; the go-to brand for the ultimate modern cool kids. Based in East London, these two young UK designers have burst onto the scene in a cloud of vibrant print and colour paired with sharp tailoring.
Agape Mdulluma and Sam Cotton got together to start creating their collections in January 2010 after working together at Alexander McQueen. Sam is the print man, having studied Illustration and designed prints for Karl Lagerfeld, J.W. Anderson and Armand Basi. Agi studied Fashion Design and takes on the role of creating the modern silhouettes of the clothes.
Agi and Sam describe their signature as “bespoke print and humour” with trademark uncompromising colour. This is certainly true; their collections are an explosion of striking printed suits and shirting in a riot of primary and secondary colours. One collection was named ‘Tequila, Tabasco and Tomato Juice” whilst another featured duck printed trousers; these two are not afraid to push the envelope – their dream client is Ace Ventura Pet Detective. In order to keep the clothes wearable and not completely bizarre, Agi creates simple, laid back silhouettes providing the perfect canvas for Sam’s print work.
Fashion East gives them a platform to raise their exposure and has allowed them to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Christopher Shannon, Holly Fulton and Jonathan Saunders, amongst others. The design duo has only shown 5 collections so far but their star is rising fast and the fashion world is sitting up and taking note. They manage to perfect the often tricky task of fusing colour and style. Whilst other designers are pulling prints from their archives, it’s intriguing to see these two producing something fresh and unseen. Their work is truly visionary. Fans of bold tones and exciting prints should jump on the Agi & Sam bandwagon, fast! Shrinking violets need not apply.
Mankles, they’re all around us. From the catwalk at Margaret Howell, to celebrities like Jude Law, Mankles remain firmly in the fashion spectrum. But should they? I often find that the lack of sock required for the Mankle leaves the wearer looking as though he was in a rush in the morning and forgot to get dressed properly. There is something luxurious about a proper shoe/sock combination that gives a man a gentlemanly air. With so many possible sock choices available, it leaves the Mankle seeming unimaginative and dull. Let us compare a photo of a well dressed man flashing his Mankles with that of one sporting socks with his chic cropped, skinny trousers.