Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Mountains, Monitaly and Me... By Saul Wilks

I remember when Sinister Delicious was my main creative outlet, something I looked forward to writing and doing. Something I was really passionate about. Going out and taking photographs of my travels, clothing, music and everything in between made up the basis of what was done here and lately I thought how much I had missed doing that.

Having founded Ardour Brand from these very pages, producing blog posts took a back seat and pretty much died a death for both Shaun and I. I recently logged back on here and had a good read, it stirred some memories and made me realise we should always take time out to do the things that make us happiest and seeing as this was one thing that always made me feel like that, I decided I'd write another post - and who know's, perhaps it will become a regular thing again.

I'm something of a deep thinker, a trait I have always had, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Either way, I sometimes like some tranquil time to think clearly and let the stresses of life melt away. I've often found that the outdoors supplements this process perfectly, maybe the fresh air, maybe the serenity of the surroundings, so I set out early yesterday morning armed with a rucksack, two pairs of shoes I thought would be apt for walking up steep gradients (how wrong I was) a bottle of water and my camera.

About 12 miles from Newport, near to where I spent my time in secondary school stands a mountain called Twmbarlwm, it's distinctive due to the fact that on the very peak there's a man made mound affectionately known as the 'pimple'. It's the remnants of an iron age hill fort, complete with earth works and probably the best vantage point to look over the Severn estuary in the area.

I've climbed it once before, getting lost on the mountain paths and getting caught out by the weather which is generally cold, wet and misty. The clouds form around you as you get higher and it holds quite a mystic aura about it.

After 2 hours of navigating muddy tails, obstacles and gradients of various angles It dawned on me that my heels felt like they were going to fall apart, so my quick morning thinking of taking two pairs of footwear had paid off and I was able to carry on. God only knows what would have happened if I hadn't. because it's a long walk back down with your heels in shreds.

Twmbarlwm is pretty misleading in the fact that you think you're going to reach the top, can see it on the horizon and then when you get to where you think the top is, it carries on another slog by which point you wonder how people ever have a pop at K2 and the like. Your legs go to jelly, your heart feels like it's pushing out of your chest and you feel exhausted.

Having reached the top, or 'summit' (went to watch Everest recently) it was extremely gratifying to marvel at the views, breathe in some good clean air and allow myself to think clearly. The view is quite spectacular, nothing a camera can really do justice for. What struck me as well was the fact that there were no other people around, in fact the only other person I seen during my climb was one bloke who worked for the forestry services.

Having drunk in the scenery and feeling a lot more loose and relaxed than I did, I disembarked the cloud formations circling around my head and headed for the sanctuary of lower ground - getting mercilessly caught in a storm of heavy rain as I did so. Turns out Ikat isn't waterproof.

All in all, this was something that was free to do, both healthy for the body and the mind and was less than 20 minutes drive away from an other wise industrial and concrete landscape.

The treasures that lay on our own doorsteps.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ardour Brand Bromport Parka

We haven't posted on here for a long time, but if you still pop by every now and again you'll probably know that we made the transition and created our own label, Ardour Brand.

This is our latest output, the Bromport parka - a bonded cotton with corduroy detail fishtail hooded parka. You can follow us here: and shop with us at www.ardourbrand,com

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Ardour Brand Coach Jacket - Ivy Styling

Today was a perfect day to go out and shoot our new coach jacket - now available at photographed here in classic maroon.

As with all of our IV Bear line, the emphases lays heavily on classic Ivy Style and classic American sportswear.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

I V Bear Coach Jackets...

As our IV Bear line continues to grow, paying homage to classic American sportswear and the look christened Ivy style, we're exceptionally happy to introduce our very first piece of outerwear in our own take on the classic coach jacket.

The original sample that we had manufactured had to have a couple of tweaks because we didn't want to lose the look and feel of an original coach jacket, it's functionality was also a factor so we replaced the outer fabrics with a PU coated cotton/nylon mix while keeping the cream twill inner.

This elegantly simple jacket has been a synonymous symbol of American sporting prowess through the years, adopted away from its natural home of sporting arenas by the streets of America's inner cities and can now be counted among modern wardrobe staples.

Easily wearable, the coach jacket is an effortlessly stylish garment which looks just as good complimenting a neat, button down Oxford, or a t-shirt and a pair of nicely worn denim for a laid back look in the warmer months.

Details include a white twill lining and an inside pocket with our IV Bear insignia patch, two oval pockets, a rounded collar, waxed lace drawstring hem and full steel popper button closure, adjustable poppered cuffs and keeping things traditional in the look's department we have used a PU coated cotton/nylon outer.

They are available through the links below and if you are finding it from this blog don't forget to use the code sinister15 for your 15% discount.



Sunday, 13 April 2014

Ardour Hornets, College goodness and Heavyweight denim...

Continuing our love affair with classic college sweatshirts & taking inspiration from the 1950's state jerseys we have finally released our Hornets sweatshirt.

Using a traditional colour scheme of Maroon and Mustard, together with original font, we feel we've captured that healthy competitive fervour that was evident between the Ivy League sporting fraternity's with a sweatshirt that gives an admirable nod to days gone by.

Pictured below with our coach jacket which is due for release next month, showing how the I V Bear range is going to shape up over the next few releases.


Following on nicely from our initial college sweat and continuing with the I V Bear line we've kept things on a vintage sportswear tip with a new colourway of that original design.

Using a beautiful clean combination of Bottle green and cream, our college sweater befits the classic varsity sports look, complete with our large AB insignia.
Versatile enough to be worn in a number of ways, whether that's over the top of a neat button down Oxford and pair of chino's, or with a pair of your favourite worn denim for a more laid back look.


And finally we are proud to release a premium piece in the form of our Labourer shirt.

Made In England.

A heavyweight shirt that is made from 11oz hickory denim and made to a very high standard.
We have limited this release to 20 pieces worldwide with no re-run, safe to say you won't see anyone else in one.

The distinctive Hickory stripe is synonymous with classic work wear, a traditional reminder of bygone days and working attitudes seldom seen in today's times.

Our Labourer shirt takes reference from both American and British work wear heritage, fusing together details from rail road attire and factory labourers shirts with a modern cut to create a contemporary take on vintage work clothing.
Adorning the chest we've added a single tab fastened pocket complete with button closure that's perfect for keeping your daily writing essentials close at hand.
To round things off nicely and to give the shirt a more modern guise we've added our glasses tab's, perfectly balanced and cut to provide a neat and handy way of keeping your eye-wear safe when not being worn.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Ardour Brand I V Bear Coach jacket sample

We have finally received the sample back for our maroon coach jacket.
With a few tweaks to make we will be going into production with a view of release on May 5th.

Below is the sample of the Maroon version but it will also be available in a mustard yellow.

Made in England carrying a retail price of £160.

We wanted to make the jacket substantial enough to wear throughout most of the year so we have put a twill lining in and beefed up what would usually be a shell with the following features…

Reinforced collar as the photo below
Hanging loop on outer and inner
Rounded collar
Inside pocket with I V Bear patch sewn on
Steel popper fastening
Cuff adjustment via poppers

Friday, 28 March 2014

Ardour Brand I V Bear line...

As we prepare for the new Ardour collection to be finished we wanted to give some background as to why we have designed and manufactured the items we have for our I V Bear line. 

I think for the most of both of our lives growing up and going into our adult years we have spent a lot of time crossing over in terms of styles, with heavily rooted values in British sub culture we have both always ventured outside of these styles looking elsewhere for inspiration and also curiosity and bringing in different ingredients from other culture's.

One such ingredient is Ivy League and Ivy sportswear, already close to home as a smart look it houses the main properties of what we love in clothing, harrington's, knitwear, oxfords, loafers, sweatshirts, sportswear and cagoule's to name a few and they are all items we have lovingly adopted into our wardrobes over the years while keeping a rugged British rogue tone with it, character, something that feels less preppy and more underground as we wear it differently than those stateside and is more about some working class lads dressing in a way that we probably shouldn't and mixing it up a bit.

Looking back and seeing the similarities of traditional Ivy style compared to modern day styles you can almost chain the links from Ivy and Mod to Suedehead and Casual and other cultures with a lot of similar styling still present in places if ever so slightly updated, maybe it's something that only lads from a certain background notice, especially in Britain where throughout the 1900's up to the present day scenes and cultures have always been formed from a different outlook and from a predominantly working class background and that's always evident when browsing old photos whereas Ivy was born through very different circumstances.

Traditional Ivy Leaguers might turn their noses up at our point of view probably in the same way they turn their noses up at others who take Ivy into their own hands, less Brooks Brothers more Mark Mcnairy, but that's what makes it exciting and with the values being slightly different of why we dress that way there will always be a slight conflict of interest.
In terms of Ivy Styling today we think it's evident that it's at a strong point in fashion, albeit slightly twisted but then we've never been one for complete traditional values because I think at some point you do have to move on slightly but the core character of Ivy style is as cutting edge now as it has always been and browsing through collections from the likes of Margaret Howell, Our Legacy and Mark Mcnairy (to name a few) it shows that Ivy styling is in a firm position and not just within the core labels that we expect it from. 

Going back to Ardour and how we vision things, from our point of view we are always drawn back to the letterman's and jackets, in particular coach jackets and rubber rain jackets so this is the route we have gone into for the first part of this year.

Last year we started a sub line up under Ardour called the I V Bear range (Ivy Bear range) where we wanted to bring out Ivy inspired clothing and accessories starting with our collaboration with Ebbets Field Flannels and also our own AB college sweatshirt. 
Continuing with this line we have a new range of college sweatshirts that will be on sale soon, plus two coach jackets and also a rubberised rain jacket collaboration which is in the making. 

We have used our sportswear AB logo in cream on the bottle green sweatshirt, and also a traditional looking Maroon sweat with our mustard Ardour Hornets logo.