If you’re bored of Prada you could do very well to look at new brand UTC00. Founded by four worldwide creatives, UTC00 is a truly global accessories brand with an aesthetic that spans continents. Named after Coordinated Universal Time, abbreviated as UTC, a slightly more scientific version of Greenwich Mean Time, UTC00 is Greenwich and they use these different times, plus or minus, to regulate all meeting up and developing the brand.
From Milan, Seoul and London, they know their travel and have developed luxury accessories to suit. The colours are bold yet masculine and the quality details are streamlined for practicality. The majority of the materials, trims, hardware, and other components are custom developed and produced for UTC00. It brings to mind early Prada and the famous nylon rucksack and with prices of around £120 for a bum bag and £210 for a rucksack, it is premium but without the designer mark-up.
When will I, will I be famous! TheChicGeek is channeling late 80s boyband, Bros, this Spring/Summer 2016 season, in his double denim ensemble of ripped jeans and trusty bum bag. Soulland is a Danish brand established in 2002 by designer Silas Adler and known for its Scandinavian attention to detail. TheChicGeek just needs to find a suitably stylish twin!
Credits - All Soulland, Trainers - Blood Brother
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Shot by Robin Forster on OlympusPEN
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Ever the style explorer, TheChicGeek is on the SS15 hunt for the famous lesser-spotted ginger orchid!
This intrepid plant-hunter has all the geeky-gear and no idea in the latest collections from the likes of Oliver Spencer and Richard James.
Armed with his trusty torch and binoculars, he's looking high and low. But, will he find it?! To be continued...
Credits – Duffle Coat – Gloverall, Hat – Christys’, Watch – Victorinox, Neckerchief – Scotch & Soda, Green Linen Top & Shorts – Oliver Spencer at MRPORTER.com, Rucksack – Master-Piece at MRPORTER.com, Map Shirt – Richard James, Boots – Palladium, Socks – Pringle from @SockShopUK
Shot by Robin Forster using #OlympusPEN
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TheChicGeek is very excited to announce his London Collections: Men #LCM social media takeover of great British men’s brand, Jigsaw Menswear. Follow everything he gets up to during London’s Men’s Fashion Week, wearing Jigsaw Menswear throughout. Check out the stylish new collection here
Plus an extra special ChicGeek installation is taking place over the weekend in their flagship Duke Street Emporium in London’s Mayfair. Your eyes definitely aren’t deceiving you! Come down and check out what TheChicGeek is wearing from Jigsaw Menswear’s new SS16 collection plus get a #selfie with one of the many ChicGeeks.
Follow TheChicGeek during #LCM on Twitter & Instagram @thechicgeekcouk
A new ‘old’ fragrance house, Parfums de Marly, is named after the Marly Castle, which was the party place of the French kings - like Versailles wasn’t party-central enough!
Located in the suburbs of Paris, it was the famous leisure residence of the Sun King Louis XIV and became the centre for his horses and hunting. King Louis XV, succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. He was offered 8 Arabian horses - Godolphin & Darly - by the King of Tunisia. He bred these with his European horses to create superior racehorses; which he used to compete in exclusive Royal events. The King himself owned over 600 horses.
Parfums de Marly’s fragrances are all named after famous horses to reflect the places equestrian heritage.
The new fragrance, Carlisle, has been christened after the majestic English horse of the same name from the year 1695. Hailing from the fruity spicy family of fragrances, the fragrance boasts top notes of bergamot, mandarin, apple and French lavender. It then moves on to middle notes of violet, jasmine and geranium Egypt. Base notes include Paraguay gaiac wood, Indonesian patchouli, sandalwood, Guatemalan cardamom, vanilla and Madagascar pepper.
Parfums de Marly - Carlisle - 125ml - £215.00 Exclusive to Harrods
TheChicGeek says, “There is no denying the quality here. These are unisex fragrances and it’s nice to get a bit of a French history lesson in the process too. This is fruity, it has an almost olfactory of top-layer-of-strawberry-jam that is warmed by the vanilla and spicy pepper. It's a gourmand delight that makes you want to taste. It's very consistent as you would expect at this price and lasts. I did suggest that their next one should be called ‘Desert Orchid’, but then again it does sound a bit Tom Ford!”
This is young menswear designer, Daniel W. Fletcher's first collection - he's already won a ChicGeek Award - This, his SS16 collection, was picked up by American retailer Opening Ceremony and is emblazoned with 'Peckham Pony Club', in reference to the social change inner city areas are experiencing, particularly in London.
Peckham in South London was once the preserve of Del Boy and his three wheeled van, it's now become another hip(ster) neighbourhood as people have been priced out of the centre or want to move in closer from the suburbs. Daniel's collection has that retro Cardin/Courrègges futurist vibe going on with its white, baby blue and red palette. The shaved fur trims and cocoon leathers add a luxurious touch while the Peckham Pony Club slogans add a humourous and fun touch. This #SS16 collection is far from pony.
Credits - All Clothes Daniel W. Fletcher SS16, Watch - Mondaine, Monkey Boots - KG Kurt Geiger
Shot by Robin Forster on OlympusPEN
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There was a time when wallets were a simple choice of black or brown. These were the small leather goods, confined to our inside pockets, and, depending on how much of a frequent spender you were, weren't seen that often. Wallets are essentially for you, which is probably why Paul Smith's pin-up girls proved so popular.
I was given a floral Givenchy wallet last year and while it wouldn't have been something I would have initially chosen, it feels a bit like a one-off and is instantly recognisable as mine. So, this Japanese scene wallet from Thom Browne caught my eye. The polished effect pays homage to traditional Japanese lacquer work while the interior, with it's red, white and blue, is resolutely American. It is ridiculously expensive, but it is nice.
Thom Browne - Printed Polished-Leather Billfold Wallet - £510 (Mr Porter)
Another year, another crop of prestigious ChicGeek Awards. Fashion years are longer than dog years, crammed full of so much celebrity, business and unpredictability, it feels like a never-ending rollercoaster of stylish ups and downs.
And, what a stylish year 2015 was. This was the year the Apple Watch arrived, Gucci became cool again and the British high-street took over the world. Here’s what TheChicGeek rated for 2015:
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Best Label of 2015 - GUCCI
Creative directors of fashion brands get replaced all the time. They come and go quicker than many football managers, but without as much drama! Historical Italian house, Gucci, was crying out for a fresh injection of ideas for a very long time, but it’s the speed and quality of the turnaround that has made it TheChicGeek’s Label of the Year.
Thanks to Alessandro Michele, the new Creative Director, it completed an 180 degree turnaround into the ultimate geek-chic look of fantasy dressing within one and a half seasons. Gone was the obviously sexual to something that is sophisticated, clever and interesting.
When you’re the world’s second largest luxury goods company and you decide to change this drastically, it has a huge global influence. I was just pleasantly surprised how radical and comprehensive it has been.
His first collection (AW15) of androgyny had many of us thinking "we’ve seen this before", but it’s the subsequent Cruise collections, campaigns and store refurbishments that has cemented this new look of vintage maximalism.
Gucci has become the buzziest label of late and looks set to continue its dominance. Unfortunately, high-street menswear isn’t copying it straight away, but expect to see details and influences in the coming few months. You can always add a simple grosgrain ribbon to your silk shirt!
A double GG belt buckle hasn’t been this cool since the 90s, but this one is in a more delicate font finished in vintage brass.
Gucci has added much needed excitement back into fashion, but there are so many ideas in each collection I’m scared there aren’t enough ideas to go around. Let’s just hope it doesn’t run out of steam anytime soon. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Best New Label of 2015 - DANIEL W. FLETCHER
Selling designer menswear is a difficult business. Men with deep enough pockets are traditionally conservative and those with the will often don’t have the way. So, any new designer menswear label that appears has to be admired.
A new menswear label that caught my eye was Daniel W. Fletcher. Originally from Chester, the brand was founded shortly after Daniel finished at Central Saint Martins, this year, after studying Fashion Design: Menswear, and his graduate collection was picked up by Opening Ceremony who will be the exclusive stockist of a capsule of 8 pieces from this first SS16 collection.
The collection - Peckham Pony Club - is a reaction to the gentrification and re-development of urban space in London. The writings of Ruth Glass and witnessing first hand the gentrification of London neighbourhoods inspired a collection which aims to capture the essence of the urban gentry which Glass defined.
Peckham, in South-East London, provided a backdrop for a collection which reflects the mix of cultures and styles as a result of socio-economic change, whilst highlighting the effects of regeneration schemes and the displacement of long term residents.
Featuring shaved mink collars, silk pyjama shirts and stretch leggings in a palette of baby blue, white and black, it has a retro-futurism quality with humorous touches with the ‘Peckham Pony Club’ branding. I’m wearing a look in a forthcoming OOTD and it sure beats all those Peckham hipsters in their Barbour jackets.
Best High Street of 2015 - NEW LOOK
After a few false starts, this was the year New Look’s menswear finally made it into the pantheon of men’s British high-street retailers. Menswear became a new focus of their business with 4 standalone men’s stores opening across the UK and another 20 are planned for the new year.
The collections became more trend lead and sophisticated with some of the best suede pieces I’d seen this season regardless of price point.
New Look menswear grew up without losing its youthful side and became a bonafide menswear player in what must be the most competitive affordable menswear market in the world.
As if we weren’t spoilt enough with affordable menswear retailers, in 2015 New Look became another great place to find well-fitted, affordable and fashionable menswear.
Best Grooming Product 2015 - GILLETTE FUSION PROGLIDE FLEXBALL RAZOR
Razor brands often herald something ‘new’ with great fanfare when in fact it’s the same old tired concept in a new colour way or they’ve added more blades. Revolutionary.
Gillette, this year, really did come up with something new and it works.
It’s a simple concept really - a sprung ball that can move up, down and sideways following the different contours of the face.
The FlexBall is a little bit like the Dyson of the shaving world allowing for ease of movement and a close, safer shave.
When the hipsters rediscover shaving again they’ll be pleased to know it’s got a lot easier and more comfortable since they last did it thanks to this.
Best Grooming Brand 2015 - KIEHL’S
American grooming brand, Kiehl’s, seemed to have the most innovation this year. Admittedly, a lot of it was unisex, but it still introduced me to facial oils and leave on overnight masks.
Kiehl’s has cornered the market in that pharmacy stroke skincare brand with attractive stores and simple yet recognisable packaging. They’ve expanded yet still managed to keep it cult.
I also particularly liked the Peter Max psychedelic makeover they gave their packaging for Christmas 2015.
Most Stylish Man 2015 - HARRY STYLES
Harry gets an A for effort. A stylist can take a star to water, but they certainly can’t make them drink. Harry took a tall glass of water, this year, with his floral suits from Gucci and silk pyjama shirts from Daniel W. Fletcher (above).
He’s owning that Saint Laurent/Gucci rocker look that is one part timeless and one part contemporary. It’s a tough ask being the new Mick Jagger, but it needs to come easy especially when it comes to the clothes.
He’s been cleverly distancing himself from the rest of One Direction and using his wardrobe and hair to do this. While not every outfit hits the mark, it’s the experimentation and interest that he gets TheChicGeek recognition for.
Best Fragrance 2015 - DUNHILL ICON
This was an early release in the year. dunhill ICON opens with top notes of Italian bergamot and neroli absolute intertwine with a black pepper, fusing the mid notes of cardamom lavender de Provence.
The dunhill brand was given a refresh by new designer John Ray and this was the first fragrance to complement that. The advertising for this matched the advertising for the main brand. The bottle perfectly reflected dunhill’s art-deco heritage while the fragrance was mainstream yet sophisticated and wearable.
It sits up there with Mont Blanc Legend. A modern classic.
Most Stylish Film 2015 - CRIMSON PEAK
Director Guillermo Del Toro’s spooky, gothic thriller Crimson Peak gets TheChicGeek award because of its attention to detail. While the beginning American section is a little bit Titanic, the rest is a visual feast in high-Victorian gothic.
Costume designer, Kate Hawley, fills the film with late Victorian menswear and while it does take a back-seat to the women’s costumes, it adds to the many layers of this visual feast of incest and gory mass murders.
Best Menswear Collaboration 2015 - MONCLER A
Menswear is suffering from something that I can only describe as ‘Collaboration Fatigue’, right now, so this year wasn’t as perky as it once was in the world of collaborations.
One that caught my eye was Moncler A. A Wes Anderson like exaggeration of logos and colours, Moncler A is tie-up with AMI, founded in 2011 by Parisian menswear designer Alexandre Mattiussi.
Playing with the tricolour palette - red, white and blue - of Moncler, Moncler A was a tasteful and handsome take on Moncler’s outerwear classics.
Special ChicGeek Award 2015 - CILLA BLACK
What’s Cilla Black doing on TheChicGeek Awards, you may ask, but she was instrumental in one of the most exciting periods of British menswear.
Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter and master cutter Edward Sexton teamed up and opened ‘Nutters’ on Savile Row in 1969, and was financially backed by British pop singer Cilla Black and Beatles’ executive Peter Brown.
She introduced the label to her long-standing friends, the Beatles, three of them are wearing Tommy Nutter on the cover of Abbey Road and others within her pop-star circle.
This was and still is the most influential of 1960s tailors and gave rise to the Peacock Revolution and the huge lapelled and flared suits of the 1970s.
Her friendship and financial support of Tommy Nutter left us with one of the most exciting episodes of 20th century menswear. I bet she has left one of the best vintage collections of Tommy Nutter.
There's a rediscovery of the space race at the moment. It could be Major Tim Peake's stay at the International Space Station or the recent exhibition at the Science Museum of Soviet Cosmonauts and their extraordinary journey into space that has inspired this rediscovery of retro futurism.
Always one with his finger on pulse, J.W. Anderson, has a Laika-like intarsia jumper for all of us wannabe spacemen. Laika was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth in 1957. Amazingly she was a stray found on the streets of Moscow. Now, that's an inspirational journey!
Left & Below - J.W. Anderson - Space Dog Intarsia-Knit Sweater - £625 (From MatchesFashion.com)
The mulled wine was flowing and the Christmas tunes were pumping as TheChicGeek hosted his Curious Night Out with Fossil on Oxford Street, last thursday.
Left - TheChicGeek checking out the new range of Fossil smartwatches and bracelets
Guests were treated to an exclusive ChicGeek discount, monogramming service on leather good and jewellery and luxury goodie bags. I got to chose a selection of gifts, suitable for the whole family, from Fossil's extensive range of watches, leather goods, jewellery and gifts.
Right - Where's ChicGeek?! Fellow blogger, Fashion Foie Gras, getting digitally papped
So, with Christmas wrapped up, all in one place, there's nothing left to do but wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Curious New Year!
Left - TheChicGeek 'geek-handling' Fossil's leather rucksacks
Below - Fossil Oxford Street, London