FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fashion's ABCs: "B" is For Biker Boy–and Belstaff

When it comes to Fashion's alphabet, "B" belongs to "Biker Chic," as evidenced by top-of-the-line brands as diverse as Balmain, Burberry and now Belstaff. All three of these labels start with the same basic masculine elements–traditional men's sportswear and, specifically, driving gear–but then add either dustings of glam rock glitter (in the case of Balmain), or varying shades of sepia-toned nostalgia to invoke the dashing spirit of a hundred years's worth of live-fast-and-die-young, speed-loving men.

Martin Cooper is Belstaff's most recent designer (after a 16-year stint with Burberry's outerwear design team), and he's obviously decided to emphasize the chic in Biker Chic. These are extremely fancy clothes, made of cashmere, calfskin, crocodile, shearling and the like. But they're also cool, in the way that reworked classics can be. Shades of Hermès? Perhaps. Overtones of Burberry? Yes. However, that distinctive belted jacket is definitely Belstaff's own, whether made of the original waxed cotton from the 1920s or très haute olive green leather. And all we know is, we want one, now!