Archive for January, 2013
If you’re lucky enough to know a guy who’s handy with tools and loves to do work around the house, give him a gift that will make his work easier. Is there a particular tool missing from his workshop? Or perhaps one or more accessories would suit your guy. There are tools available at a variety of price points that will help your guy check off every item on your “honey do” list.
Do a bit of detective work to find out what tool your guy covets. Wood workers might desire a specialized saw, while mechanics may really want a particular wrench. Names to look for include Black and Decker, DeWalt and Craftsman – or just take a peek in your guy’s toolbox to see what brands he already uses
Many of the most useful tools are affordable, such as the Black & Decker HPD18AK-2 18-Volt High Performance Drill with 10 Accessories, which is widely available for less than $100 US. Another high quality bargain tool is the DeWalt DW304PK 10 Amp Reciprocating Saw, also available under $100.
If you have no idea where to begin, why not let your guy buy whatever he wants or needs? Many stores offer gift certificates in varying denominations. A gift certificate is a safe choice that ensures that the tool that your guy gets will be the right one.
High Tech Tools
High tech tools represent the best of both worlds – tools and gadgets. The best high tech tools are not only cool, but useful in performing a function that is otherwise very difficult or impossible with conventional tools. For instance, a carpenter would appreciate finding a stud finder or a laser level under the tree. Multi-use tools by makers like Swiss Army and Leatherman are invaluable in emergency situations.
A multi meter is useful for battery strength testing or conductivity level readings. Even if your guy is not an electrician, this hand held gadget can come in handy for testing motors or checking appliances. Best of all, multi meters are affordable. They are often available for as little as $15 US, and nearly always under $100 US.
If you don’t want take a chance with getting the wrong tool or gadget, but don’t want to settle for a gift certificate, you can still find a handyman related gift for your favorite guy. Just think accessories. Many of these accessories are so useful your guy will wonder how he ever got along without them.
For instance, your guy may have every saw and drill imaginable, but does he have a decent set of work gloves? What about steel toed shoes – a must for working with heavy equipment. And how does he carry his tools to different job sites? If he’s still using a metal tool box, he would no doubt appreciate a tool bag or a belt, both of which would allow him to tote his tools hands free.
Another handy accessory for anyone who works with power tools is a y-adapter extension cord. Your guy can plug it into another extension cord or directly into the wall, and run two tools on one outlet. The heads are usually spread far enough apart so that there is plenty of room for adapters or battery re-charger’s.
If your guy does a fair amount of electrical work, a self adjusting wire stripper will allow him to strip a wire in seconds that would require several minutes to strip by hand, automatically adjusting itself to the proper size to remove insulation in a flash. Many wire strippers also have wire cutters and crimping notches.
Jack Harding is a blogger who enjoys completing DIY projects around the home. When not fixing something he’ll be writing about it, sharing his tips and gift ideas for guys online. Click the link to learn more.
The bags for Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2013 menswear collection play very much on the traditional notion of maroquinerie. The large grained taurillon leather also makes a new appearance this season. The Lockit bag here makes its debut for men suitably oversized and also finds its counterpart in giant totes. Backpack shapes are frequently utilized and run throughout, even featuring in a cross fertilization with a Vuitton trunk to be carried on the back. Here the recognizable Monogram is eschewed, instead reverting to the traditional trunk material, leather. Branding is subtle this season in the bags, most frequently appearing as a shaved “V” in the shearling pieces.
Shoes feature study soles and a flash of subtle metal work in the collection. Boots and derby shoes come in beautiful grained leather that contrasts with its more decadent counterpart, crocodile, in the same styles that appear in a palette of navy, moss green and earth brown. For evening the height of luxury can also be found in what appear to be velvet dancing slippers – in actual fact they are shaved mink. They are an appropriate opulent counterpoint to the “Garden in Hell” theme of the collection.
Images via Louis Vuitton
The Magic Mountain. This season sees the Vuitton traveller, always journeying both literally and metaphorically, venture to the magical mountains of the Himalayas, particularly to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
“A collection is often an actual journey for us; it comprises what you take with you and what you bring back both physically and mentally from the experience”, explains Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Studio and Style Director, working under the Artistic Direction of Marc Jacobs. “This season involved travelling to the Himalayas for research and it was the mountain Kingdom of Bhutan that still had that mystery surrounding it; it was almost a fantasy idea as well as a real place. Backpacking has not ruined Bhutan – you have to be invited there – and it feels so exotic, almost from another time. It is the only place in the world where snow leopards and tigers cross paths and that is one of the reasons why the snow leopard became a chief motif in the collection.”
The snow leopard pattern and motif reoccurs throughout the collection, making its initial appearance in a subtle and new needle punched jacquard technique incorporating naturally coloured mink and cashmere. It transforms a traditional double-breasted overcoat and a café racer blouson and later morphs into a laser cut mink coat. The figure of the snow leopard (a design commissioned by Louis Vuitton to the Chapman Brothers) also appears on neckties and pocket squares and is given full expression in an intarsia knit sweater.
There is a confluence of past and present in the collection, particularly of mountaineering tech and tradition. The silhouette is suitably layered and on the whole mixes tailoring with traditional yet technically advanced and luxurious outerwear. The shoulder is often built broadly to emphasise the masculine and heroic point of these garments.
There is a particular focus on furs and leathers in the outerwear; astrakhan, sheepskin, shearling, shaved beaver, fox and mink appear in and on blousons, parkas and overcoats – even as linings when not visible – in a palette of soft mountain greys, creams and tans. While down jackets utilize the elasticity, softness and durability of reindeer leather rendered in navy. Bull leather is found in a single piece to form fluid overcoats with laser cut pockets. The leatherwork in the collection often owes more to the strict maroquinerie of bag making than to that of clothing. Here, detail is all.
The figure of the gentleman climber is compared and contrasted with Bhutanese traditions and symbols; the checks and stripes of Bhutanese national dress inspire the mixed and matched patterns in much of the suiting in the collection. These fabrics are specially made in the finest of traditional English mills. Bhutanese blankets, specially woven from cashmere in the Kingdom, are transformed into ponchos. Traditional Bhutanese felts have their luxuriousness maximised by being formed in Yak hair and appear as almost seamless, soft structured jackets and coats with Himalayan stone buttons – stones from the top of Everest no less.
This season sees Jones commissioned the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman to supply key motifs in the collection. “I sat down with Jake Chapman and we talked through the idea of a Garden in Hell”, says Jones. “This was the phrase Diana Vreeland famously used to describe her apartment. It was something we both responded to, that and all of the unusual animals to be found in the Himalayas.”
The designs commissioned to the Chapman Brothers appear in silk and cashmere prints and jacquards in red and navy respectively. These anthropomorphic animals and creatures also feature on accessories, charms and motifs throughout. They appear almost like the Chapman’s own spin on the Buddhist idea of “wrathful deities”, fearsome talismanic protectors from evil and a bridge between the natural and supernatural world this season. They are a linking narrative thread throughout, building to the tour de force “Garden in Hell” eveningwear finale at the end of the show. Here traditional tailoring shapes and materials of the fifties contribute a literal, masculine heavyweight feel as a counterpoint to the extreme opulence of the “Garden in Hell” motif.
Louis Vuitton x Chapman Brothers
Dinos Chapman was born in London in 1962 and Jake Chapman was born in Cheltenham in 1966. They both graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1990 and worked as assistants to Gilbert and George before beginning to collaborate in 1992. The Chapmans weave a vast range of associations into their work, using material from all areas of the cultural landscape including philosophical theory, art history and consumer culture. They engage with inflammatory subjects and use subversive strategies to produce works that defiantly refute straightforward interpretation.
The Chapman brothers were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003.
“For Louis Vuitton’s Autumn-Winter 13-14 collection we were commissioned to create our own interpretation of a French baroque floral print. Using hand painted watercolour artworks from our archives, and inspired by the intricacies of Himalayan traditional arts, we added twisted and surprising elements to the creeping floral design; subverting and reinventing the classic.”
Images via Louis Vuitton
Suited for explorers, archaeologists and adventurers, in the noblest sense of the term, Louis Vuitton’s trunks carry with them deeply engraved memories. Open an old trunk and a myriad of images escape, forgotten odours and anecdotes will resurface.
Hundreds of thousands of trunks have been handmade by Louis Vuitton since the 19th century. They all have their own history. They are scattered throughout the four corners of the globe. Some sleep in attics, others are in museums, others are still travelling. Trunks are like special possessions, carefully preserved or lost forever.
This short film by Les Courtisans immerses us in the visual history of Louis Vuitton trunks; jumping back and forth between the many designs developed by the house throughout the years; a graphic explosion at crossroads between the late 19th and early 21st century.
Each trunk tells its own story, a story told “through those who order them, those who owned them, and the times in which they were made, as if, once wide open, they are no longer trunks but albums” – Patrick-Louis Vuitton.
Video via Louis Vuitton
This is the year for high fashion in London and Paris to put on a great display of clothing featuring sexy lingerie to evening tuxedos and slinky gowns. January 2013 will feature a runway of mens wear from a collection of designers showing luxury to casual wear. The 2013-2014 collections will showcase the designs of Lucien Pellat-Finet, Julien David, the house of Valentino and Dior, Lou Dalton and Richard Nichol, as well as many other unique designers. February will feature Rihanna and the unveiling of her clothing line during London’s Fashion Week. Beyonce will kick off her performance for the 2013 Brit Awards with fellow British performers.
The beginning of the year features London’s own world famous Moda trade show, which will premiere their upcoming collections of swimwear, footwear, lingerie, men and women’s wear and unique accessories. London is one of the largest cities globally, which has the best in fashion, entertainment and dining for individuals and families. Fashion does not end with London’s Fashion Week or a runway event, visiting the West End Theatre District is also a fashionable experience. Special theatre tickets.co.uk packages feature discount tickets accompanied by dinner at any of the West End’s eclectic dining locations.
Visitors and tourists can see early 1800 fashion from the haunting,long running musical of Les Miserable at the Queens Theatre. Fashion from the romantic thriller,The Bodyguard can be enjoyed at the Adlephi Theatre and fashionable exercise outfits are featured at the London Palladium Theatre in the stage play of A Chorus Line. Over 40 stage plays in the category of musicals, dramas and comedies are presently featured at the West End and its surrounding community. Going to a theatre event is an adventure sprinkled among neighborhoods that offer European style cafes, unique boutiques, historic buildings and fun pubs with varied menus.
Using theatretickets.co.uk is a guarantee of seeing popular London shows, quite often at half price, making it possible for families, groups and students to enjoy fascinating stage plays. Historic theatres such as the Lyric, Victoria, St. Martin’s and Vaudeville mark the theatre district’s rich entertainment culture. The London theatre scene runs the gamut from Billy Elliott at the Victoria Palace, Kiss Me Kate at the Old Vic and a salute to the Beatles in the play Let It Be presently showing at the Savoy Theatre. This website is a secure online landing page where everyone can buy discounted tickets, a schedule of all the plays, nearby hotels, public transport and diagrammed maps of London attractions and the theatre districts.