Check out all of the posts in the category ‘60 Second Guides’ below. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, try searching by using the box on the right hand side of this page.
Friday, 3rd May 2013
The Giro d’Italia or the Tour of Italy is one of the greatest cycling races in the world; along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España it forms part of the Triple Crown of Cycling.
Created in 1909, the race was originally designed to boost circulation of the Italian sports newspaper ‘La Gazetto dello Sport’ – to this day the winner wears a pink jersey (Maglia Rosa) to represent the colour of the founding newspaper.
Easy to romanticise by onlookers, the gruelling 21 stage race unravels across a backdrop of glorious Italian landscapes, taking in many of the momentous Dolomite mountain climbs and those of neighbouring countries. Spanning approximately 3500 kilometres, the intensity of the race is enhanced by its unfortunate end date. Riders completing the Giro are expected just one month later to begin the punishing Le Tour de France – this overwhelming prospect often results in a decision to target winning one race and forgoing the other. Riders that complete both races successfully are given extra kudos. Riders that win both races within their careers become heroes. And those that champion both races in the same season, they become legends.
Although the start, the route and the finish point vary from year to year the race is always made up of the same components – Sprint Stages, Mountain Stages and Time Trials. The different stages play out in different ways, with riders excelling in one particular area; it is unusual for a rider to excel in every type of stage and this is why strategy becomes imperative to success.
This year 23 teams made up of 207 international riders will enter the race. Before and during the race each team will work together and decide who has the best chance of winning, the team must then dedicate themselves to helping their leader win.
There are various jerseys to be won throughout the race, the most coveted being the Maglia Rosa - which goes to the stage winner. Following on from the stage winners jersey is the Maglia Rosso Passione, whose name arguably loses some of its charm when translated into English - the red passion knit - this goes to the rider with the highest points overall; points are awarded to riders according to their ranking in each stage. Then there is Maglia Azzura, which goes to the best climber classification and the Maglia Bianca for bright young things (the best young rider).
The overall winner of the race is the competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages. Coverage of the event usually focuses around a few firm favourites and the battles between arch-rivals can make compelling viewing. Perhaps one of the most famous Giros of all was in 1949, when Italian national heroes Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali pitted against each other for three long weeks across post-war Italy. Coppi took the title then followed it up with a Le Tour win, earning him the nickname the Il Campionissimo – the champion of champions. Strong contenders for this years giro title include 2012 Tour de France winner, Olympic cycling champion and Fred Perry collaborator Bradley Wiggins.
See the latest Fred Perry and Bradley Wiggins Collection here.
Tuesday, 5th Mar 2013
The 60s kids kept it slim and tailored. The skins slipped theirs on under braces and wore it buttoned up. Marilyn Monroe famously tied hers at the waist. A recent rockabilly revival has seen it peeking beneath heavy leathers. An absolute classic, the gingham check shirt has been a mainstay of the youth wardrobe for decades; its enduring appeal recognised by each generation.
Women's Classic Gingham Shirt
With a history as chequered as the pattern itself, gingham's exact origins are unknown. Countries worldwide, each with their own gingham 'customs' lay claim to founding the fabric. The African Masaï tribe have used the pattern for thousands of years and it even features in the national costume. In Indonesia the pattern takes on a spiritual meaning; the contrasting colours represent the battle between good and evil. In India it is referred to as Gamucha and is simply a towel used to dry the body.
The word itself, thought to derive from the Malaysian word genggang meaning ‘striped’, first appeared in the English language in the early 17th Century. The brightly coloured fabric was imported to Britain under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, who notoriously created strong trade links with the Far East during this period. However the fabric's popularity truly flourished during the 18th Century when mills around the Manchester area began producing the brightly coloured check from imported dyes and cotton.
Men's Authentic Gingham Shirts
It was during the mid 20th Century that the gingham shirt truly came to the fore with the cult of the teenager - tribes emerged each with a unifying sense of style. Some were influenced by Hollywood, some took sartorial tips from the early Nashville musicians, others looked to the Italians and French. Each tribe found a way to wear the gingham shirt and in turn passed it down through the generations. The classic check shirt remains largely unchanged – a button down collar, the locker hoop at the yoke, an open chest pocket.
Shop the Men's Authentic Gingham Shirt
Shop the Women's Authentic Gingham Shirt
Monday, 25th Feb 2013
This season, an eye-catching miniature paisley pattern enlivens classic styles across the men’s Authentic collection. Originally used in Iranian and Indian design, the twisted tear drop pattern made its way to British shores by way of travelers and soldiers during the early 19th century. Men would return from foreign lands with patterned gifts, woven in rich silks and cashmere.
Paisley Print Oxford Shirt - click here to view
Noting the popularity of the exotic designs, British textile merchants were eager to reproduce the patterns closer to home. The town of Paisley in Scotland, which was famed for its textile manufacturing (and incidentally had been home to the Stewart family, after which Stewart tartan is named), became a key producer of the design which fittingly adopted the town’s name. In the early days paisley fabrics were intricately produced on weaving looms, however this timely system was soon dropped in favour of printing. The new speedy and cost effective production methods led many designers to use the distinctive tear drop design in their work and in turn cemented its place in British design.
Paisley Print Shirt - click here to view.
The pattern was notably favoured by the mods during the 1960s and famously made its way onto the iconic Fender Telecaster guitar during the 1970s.
Modernised and simplified for spring 2013, the geometric pattern looks striking printed across the three button shirt and the woven Oxford style. The small scale two-colour teardrops create an almost polka dot effect when viewed from a distance, adding flashes of maroon and yellow to blue based fabrics. Elsewhere in the collection it brings a distinctive edge to both footwear and accessories.