THOROUGHLY MODERN MAN: Hot on the Highstreet Week 272

5 Men’s Shirts to Wear Into Autumn

For this week’s Hot on the Highstreet my stylish brother has selected men’s shirts at every price point to up your style as the summer weather slowly fades away.

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Under £30

Anyone who has talked to me for any longer than 5 minutes knows that I am a big fan of Uniqlo, which I love for its very reasonably priced, good-quality basics. This striped oxford shirt, available in 3 different colours, provides a little variation to their block coloured varieties and will look great by itself with a dark pair of jeans or under a casual blazer as it gets colder.

£19.90 Uniqlo here.

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Under £60

Change up your regular-collared white shirt for this granddad-collared variety from the Cos X Mr Porter capsule collection. It’ll make you stick out from the crowd without being too loud.

£59 Cos X Mr Porter here.

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Under £100

Brooks Brothers is a classic American brand with a long heritage in classic menswear with solid construction and high quality materials, designed to last. It’s the variation in stripe width and beautiful pastel colours that make this oxford shirt stand out for me. It’s from its Red Fleece line, which is designed with a slimmer, more modern cut.

£99 Brooks Brothers here.

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Under £160

Indigo is an incredibly versatile shade of blue and this Billy Reid patchwork shirt makes great use of it. This piece is tailor made for a blue tonal look, paired with jeans and a navy jacket. Alternatively, treat it as an over-shirt, worn over a basic white t-shirt.

£150 Billy Reid here.

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Over £160

If you are going to spend a lot of money on a shirt, why not make a statement. This stunning patterned shirt from Marni certainly does that and will elevate your entire look. When wearing bold patterns it is best to keep what you pair with it relatively simple to let the design stand out; a slim pair of dark trousers will do the job perfectly.

£310 Marni here.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, Gabriel Kenny-Ryder. See Gabriel’s photos here.

THOROUGHLY MODERN MAN: Salt & Silver, Tate Britain

Salt & Silver comprises four rooms of some of the earliest examples of photography, salt prints, created using light-sensitive paper coated in silver salts with paper or glass negatives. As this method of printing was only in use for around twenty years between 1840 and 1860, there are limited examples in existence and so I arrived at the show in anticipation of the collection. The four rooms were roughly laid out as follows: very early examples and experiments of salt printing, by William Henry Fox Talbot in particular; prints of modern street life and architecture; prints of historical monuments and ruins, (the images taken in Egypt were particularly striking); lastly there was a room of portraits.

The first thing that struck me about even the earliest prints was how clear and well preserved they were. Having experimented with salt printing myself, I know how difficult it is to get a defined, well-exposed image, yet the prints display a contrast and sharpness that suggest more modern technology, and it is easy to forget that the items are over 150 years old. This perhaps removed some of the romance for me, as I was hoping that the physical artefacts themselves would provide interest beyond the subjects they depict.

The early rooms I found to be a little inconsistent, with it seeming as if the curator was unsure whether to highlight experimental processes, or the best examples of salt printing. Whilst I found the emotive and dramatic nature of the prints appealing, many of the photographs left me wanting a little more in terms of composition and subject matter. There are exceptions: an Édouard Baldus print of the damage left by a flood in Lyon and a George Kendall Warren print of a Harvard rowing team on the the river, in particular. The third room, titled ‘Epic’, delivered a little more with images of ancient Egyptian ruins and other dramatic monuments; however the difficulties of producing large salt prints means that the room’s name is a little overblown, seeing as the majority of the prints are around 8 by 10 inches and lack visual impact.

The final room makes this exhibition worth the rather pricey entrance fee, however. The room, simply titled ‘Presence’, contains a concentrated selection of some of the most interesting early portraits I have seen – the informal portraits of Hill and Adamson, the remarkable portraits of Roger Fenton out in the field, not to mention the influential work of Nadar and Frénet. Fine examples of all of these are crammed into the final space, and I’m glad they were, as they stayed in my mind as I left the exhibition.

First image: Gabriel Kenny-Ryder.

Second image: John Wheeley Gough Gutch Abbey Ruins, circa 1858© Wilson Centre for Photography

Third image: Roger Fenton, Captain Mottram Andrews, 28th Regiment (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot, 1855© Wilson Centre for Photography.

Exhibition continues until 7 June 2015, more information and book here.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, Gabriel Kenny-Ryder.