Monday, 6 April 2015

In Good Company

Valentino offers a sartorial alternative to your work place wardrobe

Working in a corporate setting often mandates a strictly regulated dress code.  But they do not need to be monochrome and unimaginative. So, trust Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli to transform the workhorse parka into a style statement with graphic patterns and geometric prints.  We can only describe it as “showtime” as the duo turned to Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes for inspiration for their latest collection.

Considered by many to be the greatest theatre producer who ever lived till his death in 1929, the prodigious Russian prompted cultural experimentation and good-natured pomp and flamboyance with spectacles such as The Rite of Spring and Le Spectre de la Rose. Coco Chanel is a BFF, while Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier paid tribute through their fall/winter collections in separate decades.

Cube Mentality

There is a definite buzz of excitement as Diaghilev’s muse Pablo Picasso and Leon Bakst frolic on fabric that highlights blooming flowers decorating typically unadorned lapels.  Australian artist Esther Stewart’s take on patchwork and shapes, in addition to blazers trampled with herringbone skid marks is a triumph in any stifling boardroom. Witness the gorgeous textured jackets that look like axed designs rescued from conservative vaults.

Think intentionally overstated; embrace big coloured-pockets and industrial PVC zippers. We have a soft spot for coats with winterised camo print, its military chic and worth the investment. It strikes an ideal between corporate cool and urban hip. Wear it during outdoor and indoor pursuits alike, or take it to GSC and pretend to be a Slavic Tsar at the Gold Class lounge with your entourage.

Excessive Theatre

The new length for pants still hit just about the ankle; but try also a little drape when paring cigarette trousers with sneakers on a casual Friday – pin-rolling your cuff is so 2014, so consider your options when bearing a little skin.  The Italian label is setting before us an array of cleverly conceived amendments to classics that are useful and utterly desirable.

So, stir up colour-envy by taking the plunge with corporate attire that boasts a trippy Carolina blue trench (with leather and 3M reflective pockets, no less) as your new go-with-anything staple. That’ll show them who’s in charge. Not to mention that Zoolander and Hansen decided to show up during the ladies' show to mix things up a tad.  

Sunday, 5 April 2015

SevenFriday adds two new makes to its growing stable

Having introduced its industrial aesthetic to the men’s timepiece market in 2012, SevenFriday is a brand to check out if you’re looking for watches that bring a little more to the table: whether as a conversation piece that garners admiring looks at the bar or a rugged add-on during a hiking excursion. With that sort of Swiss pedigree you can be confident about the quality: 

Muscle Territory

The P3 BB “Big Block” may look like a hunky brute but it is also a very smooth operator. This limited release from SevenFriday takes design cues from American muscle cars of the 1960s that boasts V8 monsters under the hood. Souped-up rides such as the Dodge Challenger were mind-blowing road munchers that meant burning rubber on tarmac and doughnuts were the order of the day. 

The engine within is SevenFriday’s go-to Japanese automatic Miyota 82S7 movement. The open balance wheel is visible through the dial face and a lively animation ring made from lightweight aluminium with eloxed red block inserts keep things moving along swimmingly. Two separate disks provide the hour, minute and second indicators that are functional even as they enhance the overall good looks.

Symbolic of this quest to compensate for small time-telling appendages, the P3 BB is encased in an oversized stainless steel case with black PVD coating on the inner bezel. With five separate layers and SuperLuminova indexes, there are only 350 of these bad boys made. A padded black leather strap that is inspired by sporty car seats provides the finishing touch for an investment that will pay dividends in spades.

The SevenFriday P3-BB retails for RM5388

Man Machine

On the other hand, the M2-2 takes time-telling swagger up a notch by throwing on a tuxedo for the occasion. The latest addition to SevenFriday’s M-Series dresses up with rose gold touches and provides some much needed relief for those suffering from a serious right crown affliction.

Taking design cues from factory machinery during the Industrial Revolution that were mostly made from copper and cast iron, the M2-2 is duty bound to tell the time without hour, minute and second hands – preferring instead a seven layer interface that allows three customised disk to soldier on independently. It is also worth noting that the hour plate is hollowed out by a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine and the entirety is powered by an automatic Miyota 8215 movement that has a 40-hour power reserve.

In a bid to retain the dimensions of its predecessors, the same ‘squircle’ (coined from ‘square’ and ‘circle’) stainless steel case has rose gold PVD treatment along the edges as well as the on the identification plate at 3 o’clock. Rose gold also lines the dark grey mirrored bezel that nicely accentuates the sandblasted animation ring of this well-oiled machine.  

The buttoned-up appeal comes courtesy of a brown calf suede leather strap that is a subtly pared down feature. By its nature, technological mechanisms are always outmoded, but this throwback to industrial artefacts of a bygone era will not fail in provoking a sense of ironic nostalgia.

The SevenFriday M2-2 retails for RM6499.