I don’t often write about new retail, it’s usually pretty boring and cookie-cutter the world over, but when something’s good, it’s good, and on a recent trip to Venice with Diadora, we were taken to the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, the first retail store in Europe by LVMH’s travel retail arm, DFS.
Left - Inside the main atrium space of the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi
Looking out onto the Rialto Bridge, across from the fish market, stands the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. First constructed in 1228, it was once home to the German merchants - Tedeschi means German in Italian - who traded with those wealthy Venetians, taking spices and the like to Northern Europe. It became a customs house under Napoleon, and a post office under Mussolini, then lay empty. Until now.
Right - The Venetian red escalators and special Venice-inspired product graces the entrance
Thanks to LVMH’s deep pockets and Dutch architecture practise, OMA, it been transformed into a sympathetic, luxury with a small L shopping space that feels more like a cross between a boutique hotel and museum that sells things, rather than a boring collection of luxury concessions all jostling for customers and attention.
Left - On the top floor is this exhibition space with a lit floor that just needs a disco soundtrack
It’s one of the best retail spaces I’ve seen recently. The escalators are Venetian red, like moving red carpets, they take you up to the floors of men’s and women's fashion and beauty.
On the top floor is an exhibition space and on the roof is a viewing deck looking out over the glorious city that is Venice.
Right - Head to the top floor for one of the best views of Venice.
Opened in October, the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi has been updated, without losing any of its charm, by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – who was in charge of the exterior renovation – and architect Jamie Fobert – who handled the interior design.
Everywhere there is attention to detail. Every inch has been thought about: the floors, handrails, furniture, lights and the space has been designed for brands to flow, and in our ever fickle times, be replaced.
The brands are the same old: Gucci, Bally, Bottega Veneta etc., but because it’s such a nice building and environment it makes you want to explore regardless of it being the same tired things. To be fair, the brands have done a few special pieces with the colours of the Italian flag. Also, on the ground floor, they sell wine, souvenirs and other more affordable items.
The only negative was that it was so discreet, the name ‘ Fondaco Dei Tedeschi’, which doesn't exactly slip off the tongue, was only at the front door and you wanted to know/learn the name in order to tell other people how good it was. If you’re in Venice, definitely take a look.
Mats Klingberg, TRUNK founder
“We're always on the lookout for new brands to add to the Trunk line-up and Japan is usually a good place to look. A Vontade is not a new brand, but it's still fairly unknown over here, so I thought it was a good one to bring in.
This A Vontade jacket takes it cues from the traditional clothing of artisans, feeling very much like an archival piece reimagined. Cut from a sturdy cotton with a dry handle, it has a four-button front and unusual peak lapels. An extra button at the lapel can be left unbuttoned or done up as desired, transforming the look of the jacket. Fully lined, with key details such as functioning cuffs, a flap ticket pocket and a single vent, this is a distinctive piece of workwear that will lend itself to a number of different styles”.
Left - A Vontade - Old Potter Jacket - £395
“Also from Japan is Fujito. I met Fujito-san for the first time on a trip to Fukuoka about ten years ago, so looking forward to seeing our customer's reactions to the small selection we've brought in for SS17.
This Fujito jumper is made in Japan from a cotton-poly-linen blend, with a loose knit and a crunchy texture. A classic border stripe motif which brings to mind nautical garments, it is elevated by crucial details, such as raglan sleeves and a slightly higher neckline”.
Left - Fujito - Border Knit Sweater - £160
“We sell a lot of chinos at Trunk, so when it was time to start building up our own collection it was only natural to make sure there was a great pair of chinos in there.
These Trunk Clothiers Chinos are designed as our ideal luxury basics, pairing perfectly with a knit sweater and sneakers, or just as easily with an unstructured jacket and a collared shirt. Cut from a soft washed cotton which incorporates a small amount of elastane to allow for stretch, the trousers have a smooth brushed texture and a rich colour due to the garment dyeing process”.
Left - Trunk Clothiers - Chinos - £165
“Lots of good looking sneakers out there aren't actually that good for your feet. Adam behind CQP spotted this gap in the market and brought out a great looking collection of shoes that also are great for your feet.
The CQP Racquet is a low-top sneaker designed in Sweden and handmade in Portugal with an artisanal approach. Based on the silhouette of a classic tennis shoe (as its name suggests), it has a premium calf suede upper, with a soft leather lining. The removable insole offers excellent arch support and several layers of cushioning. The sneaker has a steel shank for support, rigidity and durability - something usually reserved for fine dress shoes. A CQP tote bag and a spare set of laces are included”.
Above - CQP Racquet - £240
Pronounced ‘Loh-wev-eh’, Loewe, is Spain's premier luxury label. Designed by Northern Irish designer, JW Anderson, it is producing some of the most directional and top quality menswear ATM.
This season was inspired by the beach: shells, rope and boats decorated tops, jackets and accessories. Gold leaf on denim brings to mind the warmth of a summer sunset. This shell tote is stunning and a real standout piece. Who said life was a beach?!
Credits - Clothes - Loewe from Matchesfashion.com, Bag - Loewe from Matchesfashion.com, Trainers - Tim Little X Grenson, Fragrance - Bentley Momentum, Cooling Balancing Oil Concentrate - Aveda
Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN
Video & more images below
I’ve decided to give up processed or refined sugar for Lent. Not because I’m particularly religious, but I feel it is a nice length of time, around 40 days, and other people are giving up things at the same time - so, hopefully, some moral support.
Left - TheChicGeek is smiling at the moment, but will he be smiling in 40 days time?
Henry Tate will be spinning in his grave, but traditional white cane sugar has become enemy number one, lately. But, even without too much nutritional knowledge, it’s easy to understand that sugar is usually a cheap ingredient or substitute in unhealthy foods, drinks and snacks.
As for the health penalties of free sugar, meaning sugar that isn’t bound to fiber in fruit, it can lead to inflammation, blood sugar instability, and, over a period of time, type 2 diabetes. Sugar causes altered internal pH levels resulting in a more acidic body. It is believed that an acidic environment is a breeding ground for disease, whereas an alkaline body promotes good health.
French scientists in Bordeaux reported that in animal trials, rats chose sugar over cocaine (even when they were addicted to cocaine), and speculated that no mammals’ sweet receptors are naturally adapted to the high concentrations of sweet tastes on offer in modern times.
At a dinner, a few months ago, a lady was waxing lyrical about giving up sugar. She said how much better she felt and how much better her skin looked. Ironically, we were probably talking about this over dessert. But, I knew I wanted to try it when I was ready to.
I don't really drink sugary drinks, but my Achilles Heel is chocolate. I understand you can eat sugar free chocolate, but I’m going to try the first week without anything. I’m not going to be militant, like sugar in ketchup and bread, but I’m taking out fizzy drinks, ice cream, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets and any other obvious sugar heavy products.
I want to see whether I’m addicted, whether I can go without and how will I look and feel at the end of the experiment. As we all these things, you learn as you go and more often then not you take some good habits into your everyday life.
The first few days were a breeze, but the mid-to-end of the first week, I feel like I’d run out of things to eat, plus I don’t really feel like I know how much I’m eating, lots of crisps, probably, and there is no full stop on a meal, so the satisfaction is gone. It feels open waiting for that satisfying sweetness a chocolate bar or handful of Haribo may bring. I’m getting bored with fresh and dried fruit and I’ve been googling ‘sugar free brownie recipes’, which I may make this week.
I don't feel tired, but, I feel less energetic and I feel like I’m going to run out of energy quickly. I’m not sure if I’ve lost weight, but I don’t think I’ve gained any and if a six-pack appears at Easter, I’d be more than happy. I’m going to the gym as normal and eating everything else as normal.
On the positive, my gums feel much better and less ‘active’. I feel calmer and less prone to ups and downs.
That first half an hour after each meal is the difficult part, I need to distract myself and push through and ignore old habits. The word ‘Lent’ may derive from the old German word translating as ‘long’. Let’s see.
Lara Djandji, Men’s International Designers and Accessories Buyer, Harvey Nichols
“Utility remains a key trend for this season with style cues taken from the uniforms of US correctional facilities. This staple khaki shirt by Marni is an essential buy to update your spring wardrobe, featuring a drawstring hem that adds a sportsluxe twist on the classic shirt”.
Left - Marni – Olive Poplin Shirt - £375
“A new brand at Harvey Nichols this season and one to watch, is Qasimi. These textured shorts in a muted blush, tap perfectly into one of our key trends that sees a softer, more relaxed and effortless way of dressing. Pair with a simple white Tee and tailored jacket to embody the brands uniformity and military influences”.
Left - Qasimi - Blush Textured Shell Shorts - £310
‘“Channel Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet this spring with this playful pillar box red Hawaiian shirt from Saint Laurent. Perfect for brightening up your wardrobe and encouraging good vibes”.
Below - Saint Laurent - Red Hawaiian-print Challis Shirt - £530
“These pressed slacks by Wooyoungmi offer a contemporary take on trousers this season, with a wide leg and cropped silhouette that will give you a modern workwear look. In a black wool blend fabrication these slacks can be dressed up or down, with a smart brogue or sleek trainer”.
Left - Wooyoungmi – Black Wide Leg Wool Blend Trousers - £340
“The fashion trainer trend shows no sign of disappearing, so this is the season to invest in Maison Margeila’s Replica model trainers, an iconic style within the sneaker industry. My pick this season is the all-white, brush painted style, for a subversively cool retro street look”.
Left - Maison Margiela - New Replica White Paint-Effect Leather Trainers - £455
You've probably guessed that I like a cricket jumper, or two, ATM - click here for a few of my other options for SS17 and how to wear it - so, when I saw this one from Paul Smith, with the must-have seasonal colour combo of pink and green - yes, it does look redder in the picture - I think it could top the list as my favourite.
The thing about this style of jumper is that it can easily become preppy and stuffy. Fail. The trick is to wear it like like you would a sweatshirt and team with jeans or tracksuit bottoms. Think urban rather than genteel.
Left & Below - Men's Ecru Cable-Knit Stripe-Trim V-Neck Sweater - £415
Move over the Little Mermaid as TheChicGeek gets sculptural in the latest menswear collection from Burberry. Inspired by the British sculptor, Henry Moore, Burberry's new collection was a play with form, function and distortion. Oversized dress shirts, sweatshirts with rope detailing and twisted brogues were all part of their 'See Now, Buy Now' collection.
Spot the spring carrot throughout TheChicGeek's SS17 collections as he picks his favourite menswear collections of the season and models his favourite pieces, making him one happy geek!
Credits - Clothes - Burberry SS17, Shoes - Burberry SS17, Spectacles - Salvatore Ferragamo, Fragrance - Givenchy Gentlemen Only Eau De Toilette Fraiche, Bumble & Bumble - Sumoclay
Shot on OlympusPEN by Robin Forster
See more pictures & video below
Flashback to 2012 London Fashion Week - If you're going to dress-up, then go the whole hog. Dan here is wearing a three-piece suit and has all the accessories; the pocket square, the brogues, the camel overcoat and the tie-pin. The colour of the suit is unusual but works well in both cold and warmer weather. It's classic, cliché I know, but the blue shirt and wool tie makes it contemporary.
Spectacles - Ralph Lauren, Bespoke Suit - Mark Powell, Shirt - Smyth and Gibson, Tie - From Milan, Shoes - ASOS, Coat - Acne
Robyn Ferris, Junior Buyer at MR PORTER
"This summer expect a renewed popularity of vintage-style jackets. The colour of this Officine Generale’s suede jacket pairs perfectly with jeans and is ideal for those in-between months when the weather can’t seem to make up its mind. The jacket’s water-repellent coating guarantees that the beautiful suede won't be sullied by any light rain!"
Left - Officine Generale - Slim-Fit Water-Repellent Suede Jacket - £930
"I’m a big fan of Inis Meáin and their hand finished knits. We have a great selection for spring available on site now including lightweight linen melange sweaters and cardigans. My favourite piece is this waffle-knit sweater, it will introduce textual diversity into your casual wardrobe, looks great worn with jeans or shorts and will take you through to autumn".
Below - Inis Meáin - Gansey Waffle-Knit Linen and Cotton-Blend Sweater - £185
"The relaxed vibe of this shirt perfectly encapsulates summer for me. I love the variations in tone it has from the dye and its crisp touch gives a summer feel whether worn under a cardigan with jeans or with swim shorts on holiday".
Left - Massimo Alba - Watercolour-Dyed Washed-Ramie Shirt - £200
"Having recently just launched on MR PORTER, I adore Arpenteur’s heritage-inspired collection. Perfectly capturing casual French attire, this classic cotton Breton stripe t-shirt is a must have for summer. The relaxed cut and three-quarter sleeves recall traditional naval uniforms".
Left - Arpenteur - Brehat Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt - £75
"No man’s summer wardrobe is complete without a new pair of swim shorts and my pick out of this season’s selection is this Incotex swim short. The art deco print will get you noticed on the beach and as they are designed to fit like a pair of trousers, they are far more refined than your average pair".
Below - Incotex - Short-Length Printed Swim Shorts - £150
Ryan Gosling topped TheChicGeek's Best Dressed Oscars list last year- here, and, again, his laid-back confidence shows with the reintroduction of the fun and retro ruffled shirt. He hasn't gone full-on Jared Leto Gucci, here, but, this is a wearable interpretation of Gucci's influence on menswear right now.
You can pick these shirts us from vintage shops or online and they add a touch of personality to a formal dinner or prom suit. Add a large floppy bow tie and you'll be the life and soul of the party.
Left - Ryan Gosling in Gucci Oscars 2017