Oi Polloi

From the Land of the Rising Sun to the Rainy City

Published: Thu Feb 10 2011

It’s London Calling (again) this week, as half the office is down in the capital, no doubt eating jellied eels with Pearly Kings and Queens, probably while doing the Lambeth Walk (oi).

Stereotypes aside though, they’re off buying again. This means OiPolloi is a slightly quieter place as we’re a few men and one dog down. It’s just as busy with deliveries though and for first time we’ve not really got enough space on the regular email newsletter to tell you how great everything is this week. Don’t fret about that though – it’s what this blog is for, so make sure you keep checking back.

This week it’s some new stuff from some of our trusty old favourites, topped off by a very special drop from a new Japanese brand for us, Nanamica. So for your Sake (Japan, geddit?) we’ll start with them.

Translated into English as ‘House of the Seven Seas’, Nanamica take classic designs and give them a modern twist by using technical fabrics and constructions. There is a distinct sporty feel to their clothing, although that doesn’t mean you should be seeking the nearest game of rollerhockey to join in with.

While Nanamica take influence from utlity and sportswear, they aim to make sure their clothing looks great in any setting. When describing their t-shirts, Nanamica state “Our tees keep you feeling good when enjoying your free time at the beach”. Well, we don’t have a beach in Manchester, we have rain – and it comes roughly every other day so when we saw some of the Goretex goodies Nanamica had put together it was right up our street.

Having sold top names in outdoor clothing for around 20 years in their stores, Nanamica are perfectly placed to put their own spin on things . They take traditionally western styles and apply a very stylish Japanese sensibility to them, creating a distinctive look without taking away from performance. The Pertex Wind Parka is like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s like something a Native American from the year 2050 might wear while out hunting. Maybe with some wraparound shades and a hunting cyberdog in tow. What are we going on about? Not sure. Let’s just say it’s a great jacket from both a technical and aesthetic point of view. The same can be easily said of the Nanamica Goretex Hills Coat. It’s got lots of traditional features so it looks great and technically it’s as good as it gets. It doesn’t end there though, there’s a very nice, understated Soutien Collar Coat in Goretex plus a Shawl Collar Coat also in…you guessed it..Goretex. Their Round Collar Wind shirt is an absolute cracker and they’ve got bags too. The Messenger Bag and the Cycling Pack are different to the kind of thing we’ve had in before. Really well made and in the right fabrics.

Closer to home now and we’d describe MHL as a real stalwart if we didn’t think the word ‘stalwart’ sounded a bit like a condition you’d see on Embarrassing Bodies. Sorry, where we were? Oh yes, MHL. We’ve been real genuine fans of this brand and Margaret Howell in general for ages and it always seems to go down well with you lot so get cracking before it goes. You could have a whole new wardrobe from this week’s deliveries. It all looks like something you’d see in the coolest Royal Mail sorting office in the world. Lots of blues and very nice, substantial fabrics. A jacket, 3 shirts, 4 t-shi…actually, just go and check it out.

Next up it’s Folk - another brand that gets better with age, Cathal’s baby is growing up without getting too big for it’s boots, just how we like it. They do essentials well, without keeping them too boring, or getting carried away either. Just nice fabrics, patterns and details that add little touches of character. Their waffle crew necks in particular are great.

Sitting nicely alongside Folk is YMC. If you didn’t know, it stands for You Must Create and they’ve set a sterling example by creating another really strong collection. Just a few new bits from them this week after setting the tone last week. It’s more maritime overtones although the with a name like the Hunting Overshirt you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. It’s a mediumweight shirt in an indigo dyed thick cotton fabric which will fade beautifully with wear. The Stripe Tee would go great underneath with it’s uneven pattern suggesting it’s all about life on the ocean wave, albeit in a dead bad storm. And finally, and perhaps most impressively, the hooded Beach Jacket. It’s a lightweight smock, clearly naval inspired in indigo cotton. Nice pocket detail and like the Hunting shirt it’s something that will get better with age.

Universal Works is one our favourite new(ish) brands from recent years and once again it’s been spot on this season. The most recent delivery included a nice suit jacket for a very reasonable price, some smashing knitwear and two t-shirts that won’t be around for long. 

That’s all for now anyway,