Feb 22, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster Recommends: Mr Porter

A new bookmark for mankind.

In the year 2000 some very important things happened. At five minutes past midnight on New Year's Eve we discovered that Y2K was a load of crap, in March I finally hooked up with a guy who I'd a crush on for ages, in September, Sydney hosted the "best ever" Olympic games, and in November Mad Cow Disease reared its ugly head in Europe. But, of course, I am forgetting a matter of great importance - the launch of e-commerce phenomenon, Net-a-Porter. The first online store of its kind, women all over the (first) world rejoiced with the knowledge that they no longer had to leave the comfort of their own home, in order to shop and make themselves feel better (or maybe that's just what I do?).

Traditionally men, when it comes to fashion, are a little slower than women to take to things. Which is why today, some eleven years later, Mr Porter has finally launched. The first global on-line style destination for men, the site offers a selection of exciting brands such as Lanvin, Burberry, Gucci and Bottega Veneta, along with editorial content featuring style advice, interviews, video manuals and 8 from an in-house team of world-class menswear editors. Editor-in-Chief, Jeremy Langmead (pictured below), delivers the cold, hard facts on this exciting new project.

Alice Cavanagh: What can we expect from Mr Porter?
Jeremy Langmead: Mr Porter has very clean, masculine aesthetic; it has the undertones of a broadsheet newspaper with the attention to detail of a magazine with high production values. The idea is that it is all about style rather than fashion; that it's incredibly easy to navigate, and makes even those men who are uncomfortable with shopping feel completely at ease with it how it looks, works and delivers.

Do you think men shop differently to women online?
Absolutely, and I think the biggest problem until now has been that menswear online has always been seen as second fiddle to women's wear. You always have to find menswear by scrabbling around for the button hidden away at the top left or right hand corner of a women's wear website. There hasn't been a dedicated global men's style destination for men.

What are your thoughts on the following looks: Three-quarter pants?
Better to buy a pair of full-length trousers, roll the hems up a couple of times and team with a pair of deck shoes (and no socks obviously).

Deep v-neck t-shirts?
If you've got the body and are on vacation.

Tattoos (sleeves)?
Obviously, tattoos are a personal choice, but many of the designers showed models sporting tattoos on the runways for the spring men's collections. I happen to have two tattoos (but not sleeves).

Are we over skinny jeans or not?
They are still around, and can look good, but a lot of men, and designers, are now experimenting with looser fits. With men, I don't think things are ever really in and out. It's just whether they look and feel good or not. Currently, most men's brands are offering trousers in fitted and loose styles. It's entirely up to the individual.

Which brands are you personally most excited about?
I'm a fan of Lanvin and Ralph Lauren, so I am thrilled that we will be stocking both of them; I am very much looking forward to investing in some John Lobb shoes, Orlebar Brown swim trunks, Acne jeans and a Balmain blazer.

Are there any up-and-coming designers who we should be aware of?
E Tautz is a great British label with a Savile Row background. I am also a big fan of the US-based designer Simon Spurr's dress shirts and the new tailoring line Mr Bathing Ape is interesting, too.

You've had a lot of experience working with the likes of Wallpaper and Esquire. How has men's fashion changed since you started working in the industry?
In the last few years, men have become a lot more confident with how they dress and are a lot more experimental. Many men have gone to more traditional modes of dress (double-breasted suits, bow ties, wingtip brogues) and played around with them a bit to give them a modern, youthful feel. A new generation has gone back and embraced the rules of men's dressing and then broken them just a little. I really think men today are dressing better than they have for decades.

And finally, what has been your biggest fashion faux pas?
A red velvet frock coat by Jean-Paul Gaultier in 1987.

Alice is the Editorial Director of Oyster Magazine.