Brought up in California, Paris-based Michael Tapia’s clothes echo classic, clean-cut American tailoring but the attention to detail in the stitching, choice of fabrics and fasteners are the mark of a true artisan. For the more fashionably adventurous, we recommend this lightweight summer jacket. That Tapia’s clothes are produced in a carefully limited number and are only stocked in key stores in the fashion capitals of the world, testifies to their quality and makes them a Monocle favourite.
Owning a Kilgour suit has become every wise man’s sartorial goal and wearing one is the ultimate stamp of style. Designer Carlo Brandelli’s signature one-button jacket lengthens the torso and creates a flattering slim silhouette. Match this navy blue blazer with a crisp white shirt and a a simple knitted or hand-sewn silk tie to make sure people know you are not just a dedicated follower of fashion but also a discerning one.
Lauded by the fashion brigade for its flattering skinny jeans, Swedish brand Acne Jeans sport an understated elegance in their range of versatile basic T-shirts, jackets, accessories and shoes. Expect a hint of Parisian couture mixed up with a conservative Nordic slant in this season’s pretty cardigans.
If a lady is going to purchase a handbag then the obvious choice for craftsmanship and style is one with a Made in Italy label. Loro Piana’s smart new leather and canvas “Jim” bag is the perfect option for storing those summer essentials such as sun cream, sunglasses and, of course your copy of the Monocle quality of life issue. Now there are two things that could really put a new spring in your step this summer.
Which city offers the best quality of life?
For me there isn’t just one city that has it all. I like the formality of Madrid, the energy of New York, the culture of Paris, the architecture of Chicago, the food all over Italy, and the geographic situation of Rio.
Are these your favourite cities?
Paris and New York are my two favourite cities – however, I do not want to live in either of them.
What are your favourite design features in other cities?
Examples would include the Seagram building in New York and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In short, any architectural highlight – whether contemporary or historical.
What would you eradicate from the built environment?
Spec development, buildings that are too big for their footprint and those that disrupt nature and the environment.
What city offers the best in fashion and what makes a world-leading fashion city?
Paris – it’s a combination of an eclectic array of styles.
On a more personal level, what’s essential to quality of life?
Privacy, outdoor space, a view and the elimination of unpleasant noise.
If you could make one change to the urban fabric, what would it be?
Architecture with integrity and a respect for already existing buildings that have intrinsic design value.
What makes a perfect city?
The people, culture, architecture, weather and geographical situation.
The Italian fashion industry proves it has a conscience with Carmina Campus, a collection of limited-edition bags made from recycled materials. Designed by Ilaria Venturini Fendi, the bags come in three different styles – although expect a greater choice as the company gears up for its autumn launch in Rome. Monocle is taking the Sportmas bag to the Italian Riviera this summer. The multi-coloured arm-candy is delicately crafted from 85 pieces of vintage fabric, PVC and other recycled materials. In true artisanal style, each bag is unique and comes with a tag detailing all the various bits and pieces that made it.
The Japanese phonetic for the number 4 is “shi”, giving hip hat brand CA4LA the pronunciation “ka-shi-ra”, a play on the Japanese word for “head”. With over 3,000 hats to choose from, there are plenty of solutions for bad hair days.
The saying goes that as long as you have a great-looking coat, it doesn’t matter what else you are wearing (although we do advise wearing something underneath). The design of the classic trench has been around since 1901, yet maintains its position at the forefront of current rainwear fashion. This ladies’ example from Aquascutum – its name derives from the Latin for “water” and “shield” – has been sold since 1909 and will ensure you’ll stay dry in surprise summer showers. We at Monocle are secretly praying for rain so that we have a reason to wear it.
What shoes can a man wear when off-duty this summer without forsaking his sense of style? Italian label Loro Piana, most famous of course for its luxury cashmere products, has found the smart answer to this question with the Summer Walk range. These lightweight camel suede shoes are more durable than canvas and more stylish than sandals, their skimpier footwear cousins that can teeter on the edge of fashion faux pas.