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 www.ardourbrand.com 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. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ardour Brand Bengal Scarf and Pocket Square set…

We are slowly starting to receive our new stock for 2014, and we are very happy to offer our latest heavy linen scarf and pocket square, now available to purchase as a set, the first of our styles comes in the form of the 'Bengal'.

The Bengal set is produced from imported heavyweight Japanese linen, a natural beautifully woven fabric with a navy spot throughout.

As always they are manufactured locally in Birmingham, England.

Ardour Brand Bengal Scarf and Pocket Square set

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ardour Brand Inspiration: Ivy Style

When the fashions and styles of previous generations cascade through to the modern day wardrobe, reborn, revived and celebrated in equal measure, it’s easy to see where the saying ‘fashion goes around in circles’ comes from. However, rummaging around vintage clothing shops or flicking through old photographs to see the things being worn by our ancestral cohorts is not necessary, as so many classic garments from our not so distant heritage are being worn today and are as popular as ever.

If we take the archives of Mod fashion for example, it’s clear to see that the styles of that era are constantly being drawn upon for inspiration for use in a more contemporary guise, with specific items such as the obligatory parka jacket now an everyday item of clothing, with its original template being adhered to and reworked by a multitude of designers.
Of all those important and charismatic looks that flourished here in the UK, passed down through time, forgotten and then rediscovered, often adapted for a more up to date look, it’s perhaps overlooked that one of the most important and influential styles that still holds a strong presence to this day actually originated in the United States rather than here in the UK.
From the mid 1950s and throughout the 1960s, there was a fresh new look that gripped America, encompassing a vibrant social outlook that encapsulated music and an appreciation for quality made clothing. Males from a varied spectrum of professions and backgrounds become totally committed and engrossed in this autonomous scene that oozed a refined confidence and an appreciation for a new found modernistic philosophy. This independent and detail conscious existence was termed The Ivy look and is as evident today as it was in the days of Miles Davis and Steve McQueen, both iconic figures to the advocates of this most elegant and stylish lifestyle.

With its name originating from the college campuses that were the birth place of this charismatic scene, it’s no surprise that the look held an almost scholarly complexity, yet was carried off with an edge of sophisticated cool. Jazz music played a synonymous part in proceedings with an array of artists wearing the clothing that was associated with the style and the likes of John Coltrane and Quincy Jones were often portrayed on understated yet chic record sleeves that were a valued part of Ivy culture, sporting the get ups of the everyday dandy.

Cut, design and quality were the essential elements longed for by the followers of the Ivy look with J Press and Brooks Brothers being the favoured purveyors of this much revered and sought after clothing. The typical day to day look held a strong resemblance to a number of styles that are currently prominent in modern day wardrobes with archetypal items such as the classic chino, long sleeve button down shirts, tennis court sneakers and the loafer all featuring predominantly.
The anatomy of any self respecting wardrobe was formed from a selection of essential items, all important in there own right and chosen for their respective qualities. However, the wearer’s choice of footwear was perhaps the most scrutinized aspect of the Ivy get up and was deliberated over with as much sartorial vigour as possible. Bass Weejun loafers were the shoe to be seen in, a beautifully crafted and classic piece of footwear that was a symbol of ultimate integrity when it came to being well turned out, which was a paramount aspect of Ivy style.

Together with Bass Weejun, a standard protocol was followed regarding applicable footwear and clothing, with both Converse all stars and desert boots being heavily favoured as an alternative to the loafer. To compliment the footwear and depending on the season, leg wear varied from chinos or khakis to slacks, and when dressing for a more non formal and laid back occasion, a pair of Levi 501 XX denims were more than an acceptable.

Tab collared or long sleeved button down shirts were the all important item for the upper part of a well chosen get up with the Oxford cloth and checked variations being the most typical of selections. These were sought after with great aplomb, with the cut and details of each individual shirt often being discussed and debated with much fervour and enthusiasm. To complete the perfect ensemble, the jacket or coat was as important as the rest of the outfit and a number of choices were available in an array of different guises and styles, yet the cut had to comply with the adamant demands of the wearer with only a superlative amount of detail attracting the most passionate and obsessive of considerations.

Attention to detail and the sharp rhetoric in which the way Ivy style was adhered to held an unmistakeable correlation to ambitiously minded and talented individuals, exemplified by the likes of the Kennedy brothers, numerous musicians and film screen actors such as Paul Newman who were all keen patrons of this most refined and sharp lifestyle.

The Ivy look has been one of the most consistently seen silhouettes over time, from its heyday in America to the undeniable influence it had on Mod culture in the UK with its similar outlooks and ethos. Fast forward to the modern day and Ivy style is arguably one of the strongest influences present on the modern day wardrobe, lending itself to the quite charming thesis that although fashion may go around in circles, style, in fact, will always be timeless.