Thursday, 18 October 2018 11:46

Tried & Tested Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub

Review Dr Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub men's grooming expertDr. Goldfaden's cult exfoliator contains crystals that polish away dead surface skin, leaving skin brighter, appearing clearer and younger-looking. Formulated with line-filling hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration while nourishing seaweed and organic red tea extract offer antioxidant nourishment. 

Left - Goldfaden MD - Doctor’s Scrub - 50ml - £35

Powerful ruby crystals, the purest, most valuable mineral crystals that can be applied to the skin, and commonly referred to as “The King of Gemstones” are used due to their impressive metaphysical and healing properties. This deep penetrating exfoliating treatment allows for post treatment products (i.e. anti-aging serums etc.) to better penetrate deeper into the skin, enhancing overall treatment results. Additionally, the crystals mimic those commonly used in in-office microdermabrasion treatments, delivering the same results in the ease of one’s home.

Daily use will make skin feel firmer and appear stronger, working towards a radiant complexion. Good for all skin types.

TheChicGeek says, “You know I love a doctor brand, and this is a new one on me. I was told this ‘Doctor’s Scrub’ was their cult product and I really wanted to try it. 

This is interesting because it’s really smooth, yet really rough. It’s kinda hardcore scrubbing, but feels controlled because the texture is very uniform. The perfectly spherical shape of the ruby crystals makes them excellent exfoliating agents as they successfully remove dead skin cells evenly, along with dirt and oil without aggravating or tearing the skin. Dr Goldfaden is all about the naturals too, which is good.

It is relatively expensive for a scrub, but, for guys who like a really rough and satisfying scrub, then this is definitely for you.”

Review Clinique For Men Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Powder Cleanser men's grooming expertThis new ‘Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Powder Cleanser’ is a versatile, water-activated powder cleanser that gives fatigued skin the boost it needs. Renergises and invigorates even the most tired and the dullest of skins. Enriched with salicylic acid and ascorbic acid, this powder cleanser transforms into: 

a rich, foamy, face wash when mixed with a liberal amount of water, OR a deep-cleansing exfoliating paste when mixed with a couple of drops of water, paving the way for a closer shave. Use 2-3 times per week.

TheChicGeek says, “I reviewed Clinique’s 'Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C' a while back - read more here - and thought this was something similar, just repackaged for men. It’s similar in the way it is dry and you add water, but there is no vitamin C in this. The packaging and bottle are anonymous of ingredients and it’s quite hard to judge how much powder you’re going to need.

It doesn’t foam up as well as you want and the powder quickly clogs. I tried it in London’s hard water and also on holiday in Rhodes with little noticeable difference.

One positive is, with it being dry, it doesn’t count in your travel toiletries when passing through security." 

Left - Clinique For Men - Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Powder Cleanser - £22.50

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:37

ChicGeek Comment The Mass Male Sneakerheads

Male consumers are biggest footwear buyers sneakerheads trainers sneakersYoung men are officially the biggest consumers of footwear in the UK. Move over Carrie Bradshaw, or is that reference way too old when you consider many of these 16-24 year old men weren’t even born when she started shopping for her Manolos.

According to the latest research from Mintel on footwear retailing, 95% of British males aged 16-24 bought shoes last year, making them Britain’s number one footwear buyers.

There’s been a revolution in men buying shoes and while women (86%) are still more likely to purchase footwear than men (78%), females aged 16-24 (10%) are twice as likely to have not purchased footwear in the last year compared to their male counterparts (5%), as the continuation of the casual and ‘athleisure’ trends drive men’s footwear sales.

Male shoe addicts are fast catching up on women. Men’s footwear accounted for 37% of all footwear sales in 2017, up from 34% in 2015. Valued at £4.38 billion in 2017, sales of men’s shoes increased an impressive 31% between 2015 and 2017. In comparison, sales of women’s shoes grew by only 10% over the same period to reach £5.48 billion in 2017.

“Men’s footwear, particularly among younger age groups, is really fuelling growth in the footwear sector.” says Chana Baram, Retail Analyst at Mintel. “In fact, our research shows that men aged 16-24 are more likely to be swayed by big brand names than women of the same age.” says Baram. “With trainers such a popular category for men as a whole, young men in particular are likely to respond positively to advertising campaigns by the big sports brands that feature their favourite male sports personalities.” she says.

This footwear sales growth is being fuelled by trainers, trainers and more trainers. Casual shoes and trainers are now the most popular shoe styles purchased by men.

“These are not just essential buys, but, got-to-have-it buys,” says Richard Wharton, footwear veteran and founder of Office & Offspring. “It’s all about the latest sneaker, there are millions version of that: the luxe trend, the Balenciaga Triple S, Off-White, Converse or Vans or whatever.” says Wharton. “These young guys have never worn formal shoes or been forced into wearing them at school. They buy what they want,” he says.

“Sneaker culture has really grown, from being a niche market to having mass appeal,” says Pamela Dunn, Senior Buyer, Schuh. “The rise of exclusive collabs and hard-to-get releases from brands like Nike/Adidas has fuelled the sneaker market.” she says.

In our age of sportswear and dress-down, our footwear choices have mirrored this and what was once unacceptable in certain social situations has now become mainstream and mass. Comfort is key.

“In modern offices nobody wears any other formal attire anymore so it’s acceptable to wear sneakers,” says Wharton. “Hype’s there. Before you didn’t have trainers for different occasions,” says Wharton. “Where you had that in formal wear, you, now, have that in sneakers: all black sneaker for work, weekend, something casual, or a club, maybe Dior or Louboutin,” he says.

The trainer market has grown to such as size that there is now multiple categories within this market and men are buying a full wardrobe of trainers for every social occasion. Designer brands have piled into this market seeing big margins and huge volumes. But what are these guys buying into? 

“Big brands at a more mass market level like Nike/Adidas or more top level brands include Off-White / Gucci / LV etc.” says Dunn.

“It’s so broad. They are buying high-end street couture to basic Vans or Converse,” says Wharton. “Nike rules with guys buy into their new technology. There are huge queues waiting for the next thing and Nike limit it, so they drip feed it in.” he says.

Boys are buying brands and this may go someway to explain the latest movements within the men’s footwear market. Ted Baker recently bought back its shoe license for £21 million. The fashion brand bought ‘No Ordinary Shoes’, the worldwide licensee, from the Pentland Group. “This is an exciting opportunity to drive further growth in our footwear business by leveraging our global footprint and infrastructure, in line with our strategy to further develop Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand,” said Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin. 

As Pentland lost Ted Baker, it appointed Marc Hare as the new ‘Product Director of the Lacoste Footwear Joint Venture’. He will be leading the new ‘Mainline’ and ‘Future Concepts’ product teams and working with Lacoste JV CEO, Gianni Georgiades, to support the company's vision for the brand. Marc Hare is known for his luxury evening styles and his, now, defunct Mr Hare footwear label. It’ll be interesting to see whether Pentland want to grow Lacoste further out from its sporty origins or use Hare’s skill by giving those sports shoes an elevation to compete within the luxury sneaker market.

What these brands see is growth, but is there further room for expansion or is the market becoming saturated?

“I think males will increasingly buy into footwear in the future, but the market will change,” says Dunn. “I think exclusive products may become less desirable, but brands that are big now will become even more dominant e.g. nike/adidas.” she says.

“It depends when it becomes saturation point,” says Wharton. “So many people want comfort that looks cool and there are multiple sub-genres such as Japanese sneakers, and Palace/Supreme collabs,” he says.

While the sports brands continue to offer newness, limit 'exclusive' product and raid their archives for classic styles, the trainer market seems healthy and will sustain the desire of men to keep adding to their collections. But, this rise of young men becoming the largest consumers of footwear is skewed towards one category and it will be interesting to see how the footwear industry gets this entire generation off their sport wears addiction and into a pair of leather lace-ups. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 10:31

ChicGeek Tribute Mr Turk

Tribute to Mr TurkI’ve never been to Palm Springs. I’ve never been to a Mr Turk store or bought anything from the brand, but I was a fan from afar, always hoping that eventually he would, or a store would, pick up on the brand and bring it over it here.

Left - True ChicGeek, Mr Turk, aka Jonathan Skow

Unfortunately, Mr Turk, aka Jonathan Skow, died on Saturday aged 55 after suffering a spinal cord injury in Hawaii over Labor Day weekend while in the ocean bodysurfing. The husband of L.A. designer Trina Turk, he was known for his colourfully patterned swimwear and patterned suits. It was a contemporary version of Lilly Pulitzer with all the camp and playfulness of mid-century design.

Skow was also a photographer and captured the brand perfectly for the Instagram age with its scantily glad models and bright colours.

Tribute to Mr Turk

A Seattle native, he and his wife purchased the 1936 Art Deco house known as the "Ship of the Desert” in Palm Springs and painstakingly restored it, sparking a revival in the once-fabled desert playground of the stars. 

Skow and Turk met as students at the University of Washington in a textile science class and came to Los Angeles in 1985. He was a fashion stylist for 12 years before a career as a fashion and advertising photographer. In 2008, Skow began to devote all of his time to their apparel company and created Mr Turk. 

Tribute to Mr Turk

This is menswear as sunshine and shows warm weather clothes can be stylish and put together. As men have become braver and bolder in their choices, Mr Turk perfectly charted this rise over the last 10 years.

While Trina may continue with Mr Turk, like any brand when it loses its founder and main creative driving force, it’s never usually the same or as good.

Right - Menswear to make you want to go on holiday

Left - Mr Turk x Jonathan Adler collab.

Below - This blazer is timeless Palm Springs style

Tribute to Mr Turk Jonathan Skow Palm Springs

Monday, 15 October 2018 17:12

Best Dressed ChicGeek Timothée Chalamet

AW18 menswear trends Timothée Chalamet Louis VuittonHollywood’s golden boy, and probably one of the coolest actors of the moment, Timothée Chalamet, is currently on his press junket for the new film ‘Beautiful Boy’. When you’re this in demand you can have your pick of the newest and best clothes, so it’s always interesting what they choose.

He’s quoted as saying, “I can wear cool clothes from some of the nicest designers in the world. [So why] am I going to pay someone to figure out what I should be wearing?” 

AW18 menswear trends Timothée Chalamet Alexander McQueenTrue, Tim, but sometimes you need somebody to help with the logistics and the ringing around, oh, and the returns!

This beautiful boy has got a lot to learn, but looking at him, he’s doing a pretty good job at stylising himself and is the perfect leggy shape for designer clothes.

Be inspired by Timothée in Call Me By Your Name - here

Left - Louis Vuitton SS19

Right - Alexander McQueen AW18

Below - Saint Laurent AW18

AW18 menswear trends Timothée Chalamet Saint Laurent

AW18 menswear trends Turnbull & Asser ruffle front shirt silkSome of the best shirts in the UK, scrap that, the world, Turnbull & Asser has just upped this year’s evening wear ante, added a full injection of Tom Jones swagger and jumped on the silk shirt trend - See more here - to produce this ruffled masterpiece.

Produced in a limited number, the shirts are individually hand-made in Turnbull & Asser’s own Gloucester shirt factory by their highly-skilled craftspeople. 

TheChicGeek says, "I would add an oversized velvet bow tie, matching evening suit and delicate gold chain. Now, shake those snake hips!"

Left & Below - Turnbull & Asser - Tailored Fit Cream Silk Ruffle Front Evening Shirt With T&A Collar & Double Cuffs - £425

AW18 menswear trends Turnbull & Asser ruffle front shirt silk

Bill Cunningham Fashion Climbing Autobiography Fashion BookBill Cunningham’s first love was fashion, but the Big Apple came a close second. He left Boston for New York aged nineteen, losing his family’s support, but enjoying the infinite luxury of freedom. Living on a scoop of Ovaltine a day, he would run down to Fifth Avenue to feed on the spectacular sights of the window displays – then run back to his tiny studio to work all night.

Working as ‘William J’ - to spare his parents’ blushes - Bill became one of the most celebrated hat designers of the 1950s, his hats were featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy. Bill’s mission was to bring happiness by making beautiful things – even if it meant pawning his bike to fund fancy-dress outfits for all his friends.

When women stopped wearing hats and his business was forced to close, Bill worked as a fashion journalist, touring the couture houses of Europe. But New York remained his home, and it was as a street photographer of the fashions of the city that he became well known, in a job that would last almost forty years.

Fashion Climbing is the enchanting memoir he left behind. Found after passing away in June 2016 aged 87, it captures the madcap times of his early career and the fashion scene of the mid-century. Written with the spark and wit of Holly Golightly, and brimming over with Bill’s infectious joy for life, it is a gift to all who seek beauty, whatever our style or status.

Left - Fashion Climbing - Bill Cunningham - £16.99

TheChicGeek says, “We don’t have the same affection for Bill on this side of the pond as the Americans, but we know him from the 2010 documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York’, charting his life as a street style photographer for The New York Times. (I probably need to watch this again soon).

One thing to point out about this autobiography is, it doesn’t touch on his later life as a photographer. It focuses only on his early years, moving from a hat designer to fashion journalist and ends in the late 1960s.

Bill leaves his conservative Irish catholic family in Boston, who tried to curtail his creativity, via a job at department store Bonwit’s and on to New York. Bill finds himself making hats and using his imagination during the heyday of Dior’s ‘New Look’ and America’s obsession with following Paris’ lead.

Bill takes us back to a time when people applauded at fashion shows and not the one handed clap while social media-ing you get today. As delicate a bird as one of his favourite feathered creations, Cunningham projects himself as an outsider purely driven by the love of fashion. He’s exasperated by the social climbing and the following of fashion of women during this part of the 20th century.

This is America at the height of its power. Post war and the golden age of the American dream, this autobiography works through the decades when America peaked and was a powerhouse of fashion consumption and was its biggest patron. Bill must surely be the only man to combine time in the American army while sitting frow at Parisian couture houses.

This is a fun read, and, while it feels exaggerated, it is endearing and is an amusing look at America trying to find its fashion feet. Bill isn’t particularly modest though and wants to continually remind you how individual and original he is. At one point he proclaims he’s ten years ahead of fashion and how nobody gets him. Nobody wants to be ten years ahead of fashion, plus you’d think somebody would have moved into something other than hats faster if you were so ahead of your time.

The hat business dries up and he starts to use his expertise documenting the latest fashion shows and writing fashion articles for WWD. He certainly doesn't have many positive things to say about the fashion press and notes how badly dressed they mostly are.

The book charts his struggle, particularly financially, but you get a feeling his family have more money than he lets on and his uncle sounds very wealthy.

What’s interesting in the book is how things are so different, yet the same. His talk of fashion shows isn’t far off of the circus today. But, fashion has changed and that breathless wait for the next creation from a chosen designer doesn’t ring true anymore. We look, yes, but they no longer have the power with people following sheep-like.

For many, at this time, fashion is a vehicle for social standing, climbing and showing their wealth and his eyerolling at those who just use clothes for these purposes isn’t disguised. He wants them to just enjoy it for what it is, but, you can only do this if you understand fashion, and very few people truly do.

This is the Mad Men New York of parties in hotel ballrooms, social gatherings and peacocking. This is America at its most formal, yet still shows how conservative they are and yet with all the money. They would never buy anything that original or daring and that still rings true today. 

This is a lite and inspiring read for anybody who gets excited about vintage fashion, women with cinched in waists and full skirts, Parisian fashion salons of the 1950s and bouji New York beach resorts."

Read more ChicGeek Fashion Book Reviews here

Friday, 05 October 2018 11:13

Tried & Tested Tommy Now

Review Tommy Now Tommy Hilfiger men's grooming expertTheChicGeek says, “Tommy Hilfiger has really carved out that niche of affordable designer. Once they realised that they weren’t a true ‘designer’ brand and just stuck to making distinctive and fun clothes, they seem to have flown.

This is the latest incarnation of the classic Tommy fragrance which was released in the 1990s. Now is a woody and spicy fragrance with bergamot and mandarin notes and geranium, ginger, cardamom and warm wood.

This is fresh and easy, and at, £35, it’s also cheap. It’s sort of fragrance as an everyday body product and that's how you should use it. What I would say is, if you don’t go to the upper price level for fragrance, I would ignore the mid range - anything £50-£70 - and come down to something like this. It’s basically the same thing, and, here, you’re not paying over the odds for the same thing.”

Left - Tommy Now - 100ml - £35

Thursday, 04 October 2018 15:50

Tried & Tested Baxter of California

Review Baxter of California men's grooming expertTheChicGeek says, “You’ve probably seen this brand before. This is L’Oréal relaunching the men’s grooming brand, Baxter of California, back into Europe. Established in 1965, it is one of the oldest men’s grooming brands and was acquired by the huge beauty conglomerate, L’Oréal, in 2012. (They’ve been hoovering up a lot of brands over the last few years).

The thing I remember most about Baxter of California was the metal tubes. It gave them a retro and quality feel. These are now gone, though the packaging looks similar and I still like it. I don’t actually remember the products themselves.

Left - Some of the vast Baxter of California range

It’s a big range, but feels reliable. I tried the Oil Free Moisturiser, which I really liked and they also do an SPF option which is great. The Citrus & Herbal-Musk Deodorant, is an alcohol and Aluminum-free stick sensitive skin. I also tried a not very memorable body wash, and, the deep cleansing, black bar of soap. These could both do with a stronger and more longer lasting quality fragrance especially at these prices. Men expect and desire this, now, especially when paying a premium.

Review Baxter of California men's grooming expert

The pricing is relatively high, with similar prices to that other L’Oréal brand, Kiehl’s. 

It’s simple and easy to understand, which is good, but I’d like to see more of its background and history in its products. Where’s my California sun? Which ones are new? Which ones are your heroes? This brand would be perfect to tap the outdoor/active feel that grooming should be heading in.

If I was going to pinpoint one standout product, then it's the Oil Free Moisturiser. 

I’d rather buy this than L’Oréal’s new men’s brand, House 99. Read why here

Right - Everybody loves sunshine - Baxter of California needs to push more of its heritage. Or make some up?!

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 16:35

Hot List The Granny Coat

AW18 menswear trends Milan Gucci Granny coatI spotted this coat on the Gucci catwalk in February. It is the type of coat people bought in the 1950s and 1960s and came with a matching hat, usually a Baker Boy style. It's the same coat grannies were wearing 40 years later and has that vintage feel that I'm always looking for.

Looking like a walking pub carpet or wallpaper is the look for AW18. Even though it's fairly loud, you could pretty much wear this coat with anything and it would take centre stage while making it look like you'd pilfered your grandmother's wardrobe. You'd probably have to sell her to pay for it anyway!

Left  & Below - Gucci - GG Diamond Wool Coat - £2660

AW18 menswear trends Milan Gucci Granny coat

See more picks from TheChicGeek's Milan Scrapbook here AW18 menswear trends Milan Gucci coat