harvey nichols menswear the chic geekTheChicGeek says, “Finally, Harvey Nichols has put its hands in its pockets and spent on its flagship store. Luckily, for us boys, it’s the menswear department that gets the first big overhaul. Working from the bottom up, Harvey Nichol’s new menswear department has been completely redesigned and what was and still is a difficult space has been given a fresh look while sorting out the flow and differing levels.

Left - The suiting/tailoring room

The 28,000 sq. ft. department, on two floors, has moved away from the that mini-airport concession look and given itself set rooms to cater for different customers and needs. Knowing they are limited on space, Harvey Nichols, is being clever by putting brands together on product rather than in set areas. So, if you want a formal suit, then all the formal suits are together. Accessories are scatted within the rooms and work together with the clothes rather than being stuck in defined areas away from each other. This is all about time and ease which, when selling to men, is a massive USP.

harvey nichols concierge knightsbridge londonRight - The new 'Concierge'

There’s a new ‘concierge’, aka personal shopping service, in a separate area downstairs with generous changing rooms, some big enough for a whole family with their own sound systems and there’s no minimum spend.

harvey nichols turkeyAs for the design, it feels designed, but not trying to hard, which is hard to pull off. It’s not trying to be ‘expensive’ or ‘exclusive’, it feels relaxed, welcoming and inclusive. There are lots of little touches like a set of stuffed birds and toy water guns which creates personality and lowers the serious factor.

Left - The only turkey I spotted

The white marble is there, the polished copper is there, plus a few mid-century modern pieces of furniture, yet it feels fresh and very ‘2016’, which I think is cool. It feels likes the kind of warm space you’d want to spend time in and revisit. As fashion becomes more mixed and broken down to item rather than price and branding, this feels like the future direction of retail and I'd be surprised if they don't see a massive increase in sales.

Harvey Nichols needed this badly and I’m pleased they’ve got what they deserved. It’s good. Go take a look.”

moses mods mr fishA new exhibition charting the emergence of the modern male wardrobe has opened at the Jewish Museum in Camden, London .

cecil gee shaftesbury avenue 60s london birdThis new exhibition tells the story of men’s fashion and the emergence of the modern male wardrobe – taking visitors on a journey from the tailoring workshops of the mid-19th century to the boutique revolution and mod culture of the Swinging 60s. The story is told through the huge number of Jewish companies who were at the forefront of the major developments and changes in the design, manufacturing and retail of men’s clothing from the mid-19th to late 20th century.

Right - Cecil Gee, who helped bring the 1960s Italian Mod look to London, in his Shaftesbury Avenue store in the 1960s. I love the birdcage

mr fish peacock male menswearFor over 100 years British menswear set trends which led the world – and many of the most influential figures of that period were Jews, from Montague Burton and Moses Moss to Cecil Gee and Michael Fish. 

Left & Below - Mr Fish outfit & label on a 'Kipper' tie from his store in Mayfair

Mr Fish kipper tieTheChicGeek says, “I hadn’t been to the Jewish Museum before and, as far as I know, this is the first exhibition they’ve had dedicated to menswear. It’s a concise and compact exhibition starting with the early mass suit producers such as Burton and Moses Moss up to the colourful Peacock Males of Carnaby Street.

It’s a simple timeline with lots of images and a few films illustrating the processes these manufacturers invented and also giving a feel of the time these things were happening. 

I didn’t realise so many of the Carnaby street sixties brands such as Mr Fish, Granny Takes A Trip, Lord John etc. were all Jewish and it’s always a joy to see this colourful chapter in British menswear. 

The exhibition is perfectly timed as the Mr Fish label is set to return under new ownership. The original Michael Fish is said to not be very well and he doesn’t have many examples of his own work left, unfortunately. The exhibition does has a couple of pieces, including one of his famous ‘Kipper’ ties, lent by the Victoria & Albert museum. While Jewishness doesn't necessarily have an influence on the product, this is a celebration of the Jewish community's input into British menswear over the last 150 years."

Until 19th June 2016 

www.jewishmuseum.org.uk

Saturday, 26 March 2016 18:53

Hot List The Elasticated Shoe

COS white mens trainers sneakersAs simple as it gets. It's either modern or retro modern, but a simple, large elasticated strap is making this shoe style look fresh and contemporary. There's this white, trainer style, from COS, which looks like it just stepped off 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is one part nurse, one part 60s futurism. While this pair from Jimmy Choo's pre-fall 2016 collection, which I spied at their recent press day, is dressy enough for a tuxedo or minimal enough for any business suit. Whether black or white, the future is definitely thick and elasticated!

Left - COS Unisex Sneakers - £89

Below - Jimmy Choo - Prefall 2016

jimmy choo men's black shoes elastic

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 11:15

Oscars 2016 Ryan Gosling White Tie

ryan gosling oscars 2016 white tieExpectations are never very high when it comes to menswear at the Oscars. Giorgio Armani usually has a monopoly of safety with his sea of black tuxedos and matching bow-ties.

Well, it's the small changes in menswear which really make a difference. By simply changing his self-tie bow-tie from black to white, Ryan Gosling has given men's formalwear a contemporary freshness. While safely in the parameters of acceptability it added an element of difference and style.

Definitely something to think about come prom/party season.

Left - Ryan Gosling in Gucci presenting at the 2016 Oscars

Monday, 29 February 2016 14:26

Hot List The Monkey Boot

Grenson monkey boot the chic geekI’m not sure where the Monkey boot got its name, *quick Google* and no decent explanation. They were the standard issue Czechoslovakian army boot of WW2. That's all I can find out.

I’ve been wearing mine all winter and they seem to go with everything. They dress down a smart trouser without looking forced and keep a jean looking smart without looking sloppy.

Their history as a skinhead’s boot of choice doesn’t hurt, plus they’re really comfortable. When I was at the Pitti menswear show in Florence, last summer, they looked fresh and contemporary and there were a lot of brands producing them for this spring season.

There’s something solid and traditional yet also street about the monkey boot. They’re the kind of boot you don't notice at first, but the more you look, the bigger the appreciation. These polished toe cap version from Grenson have a nice contrast between the front and the grained leather and the solid, wedged sole adds a modern touch.

 

the monkey boot the chic geek grensonLeft & Below - Grenson - Andy - £225