Monday, 19 February 2018 13:26

Trend Carpet Bags

Accessory trend carpet bags

Patterned carpet is in the DNA of the British. We’re obsessed with patterns, textures and, ultimately, staying warm! Our Victorian forebears instilled in us a love of Axminster, and, with the second Mary Poppins - Mary Poppins Returns - about to appear on our cinema screens, it feels like the carpet bag is ripe for a comeback.

Left - Made Of Carpet - Voyager Elite - Polaris Red - £169.95

Men's accessory trend carpet bags

This is an accessory from Arthur Liberty’s time. It’s an item that suits country houses, wood panelling and aspidistras in Art Nouveau planters. They have a richness that celebrates exotic designs while feeling steadfastly domestic.

Right - Made Of Carpet - Sac Voyage - Vintage Navy - £259.95

If you want to get in on the trend early, Made Of Carpet specialise in carpet bags. Based in London, but made in the European Union, they use plush, silky carpets to construct their bags. The tote is ideal as an everyday bag, while the doctor’s style is perfect for weekends away.

Just make like Mary, and fly away!

Below - Mary being magical with her carpet bag

Mary Poppins Returns Accessory trend carpet bags

Friday, 16 February 2018 17:17

ChicGeek Comment Preppy With A Small ‘p’

Brooks Brothers 200th anniversary preppy with a small p

Brooks Brothers 200th anniversary preppy with a small p

Fashion doesn’t happen in isolation. Large corporations can influence fashion and push their aesthetic through with the help of wads of cash. This, sometimes, makes the companies bigger and more money and so the cycle continues. But, a shift can often beach the whale and sportswear has thrown the preppy baby out with the bath water. Apologises. 

I’ve written about the troubles with preppy before, Read more hereusually focussing on Ralph Lauren as the flag bearer, quite literally, of the look and its reluctance to change or evolve to suit the current taste in comfort and dress down.

Left - Brooks Brothers' 200th Anniversary Show at Pitti Uomo 93

That was a while ago, and with people soon to get bored of looking like a charity shop reject or a retro sportsperson, it’s inevitable that it will return. 

So, we move to Florence for the 93rd edition of Pitti Uomo. Brooks Brothers is one of the chosen brands to show and they are celebrating their 200th year. Which, for any retailer, let alone an American one, is something to be very proud of.

Under the painted ceiling of the Palazzo Vecchio, a deep presidential blue curtain pulled back to reveal an orchestra playing ‘Empire State Of Mind’. So far, so good. Out came the models in various guises of preppy, yet it had been styled to mute their greatest hits. Cable knits over jackets and suit jackets tucked into trousers, it looked like a collection embarrassed to brushed with the preppy magic.

Brooks Brothers can lay claim to dressing presidents and charting the evolution of American style over the last 200 years. This should have been preppy so good that you’d bounce out of the show and be googling ‘John F Kennedy Jnr’ before you hit the cobbles of Florence’s Piazza della Signoria.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. This should have been a celebration of America’s 20th century power and the handsome, dashing evolution of that dressed style into preppy and the history of American fashion.

Brands like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren need to push in order to return to fashion favour. There’s no point in sitting back and waiting for the tide to come back in on your style. Push preppy, push suiting, push people looking like they give a shit. There was was no fight here.

Preppy isn’t fully dead, it just needs to be really good. There are new American brands like Rowing Blazers, and British brand, Drake’s, is a perfect example. They manage to make preppy feel artistic, creative and beautiful. It’s the colours, the prints and the detail that makes you want to explore the fun and exaggerated side of preppy and, shock horror, put a tie on! Maybe.

David Beckham House 99 grooming review tried tested

Created by David Beckham in partnership with L’Oréal, HOUSE 99 is said to take a holistic approach to grooming, merging British barbershop culture and style with hair, skin, beard and tattoo creativity to build a home for every man’s next look. 

Twenty one products named after David’s favourite year; he has ’99’ tattooed on his hand to mark a momentous year in both his personal life and career. He married Victoria, his eldest son, Brooklyn was born, and Manchester United won the treble. 

The current HOUSE 99 must-haves include:  Going Big Thickening & Purifying Shampoo, Get Groomed. Purifying Beard Scrub, Seriously Groomed Beard & Hair Balm. You get the idea…

Left - HOUSE 99 - Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo - 250ml - £16, Get Groomed Purifying Beard Scrub - £18 Exclusive to Harvey Nichols until March

Quinoa and spirulina form the heart of HOUSE 99’s formulas, chosen specifically by David Beckham for their health-boosting properties, as a prominent sportsman. These natural protein-rich actives combine the essential constituents needed by hair and skin that can’t be synthesised by the body. 

TheChicGeek says, “Does the world need 21 new grooming products from David Beckham? Probably not. Will it be successful? Probably. The thing about the current grooming market, this massive need for new shelf space will displace or replace existing brands. I’m not sure why L’Oréal didn’t just put David Beckham into their Men Expert range or make the new Barber Club his imput. Both need more identity, editing and personality.

But, I can see why they’ve done a separate range when I look at the prices. It’s more expensive than I initially thought or looks - £17 for a face wash, £22 for moisturiser.

I tried three products: Greater Look Face Moisturiser, Purefectly Clean Face Wash and Truly Brighter Eye Balm. The only thing of interest was the peppermint tingle in the face wash. The ‘Eye Balm’ is a bit too thick for such a delicate area.

Overall, I’m not sure where this fits. It’s priced to compete with Clinique and Lab Series, but it's packaged to compete with Nivea and Bulldog. I’m not sure what you’re paying a premium for other than for Golden Balls’ name. I also think launching 21 products at once is overwhelming and it’s a lot for anybody to take in. Modern grooming needs to be simple.

The tattoo products make sense with Beckham as the face and if they do box sets for gifting, I can see this being a popular present come father's day or Christmas.”

www.house99davidbeckham.com

David Beckham House 99 grooming review tried tested

 

Friday, 16 February 2018 11:56

Buyer’s Guide Harvey Nichols SS18

Lara Djandji, Menswear Buyer, Harvey Nichols

Raf Simons New Order Jacket Harvey Nichols Menswear

“From Raf Simons, SS18 saw the re-launch of key pieces from Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album and I can’t get enough of the entire collection – my favourite piece being this jacket - it’s the perfect mix between fashion and music. For real fans, we’ve also bought the cap to complete the full look.”

Left - Raf Simons - New Order Oversized Denim Jacket - £1135

Amiri Jeans SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

“Amiri’s exceptional quality and craftsmanship of each pair of jeans makes it easy and chic to wear them everywhere – from a flight to a night out.”

Left - Amiri - Broken Black Distressed Skinny Jeans - £645

“I love this iconic Dries Van Noten look – it’s so effortless yet still elegant and can easily be worn with the signature boxed shoulder coat to transition between seasons.”

Below - Dries van Noten - Reedley Checked Wool Coat - £1010, Carlton Printed Ramie Shirt - £565, Patrini Checked Wool Trousers - £390

“I love this vintage inspired jacket by Dior. Designed by Kris Van Assche, it references the punk and rave designs of the 70s and 80s, but also makes anyone looks instantly cool.”

Bottom - Dior Homme - Jacket - £490

Dries van Noten Coat SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dries van Noten Shirt SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dries van Noten Trousers SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dior Homme Jacket SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

Dior Homme Jeans SS18 Harvey Nichols Menswear

 

Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:30

Tried & Tested Jo Malone English Fields

Jo Malone English Fields review tried tested

This year’s limited-edition range of Jo Malone scents is inspired by English fields. “Sunlight skipping across golden fields. Plentiful. Rich with precious grains. Hearty oat. Fluffy barley. Earthy rye. A warm and wholesome celebration. Cooled by the freshness of flowers. Poppies. Primroses. Cornflowers. Alive with colour. Dancing happily to the hum of crickets. The buzz of bees. The essence of the English landscape in five captivating scents,” or so the blurb goes. I can feel a Sting song coming on! 

Left & Below - Jo Malone - English Fields - 30ml - £47

TheChicGeek says, “ The five scents are; Poppy & Barley, Primrose & Rye, Oat & Cornflower,  Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet. The middle, gourmand three are the most interesting; the other two I think you can find elsewhere.

Primrose & Rye is pure holiday sunshine. It has that dry sun-tan lotion smell - a bit like Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc - from the mimosa and vanilla. The Oat & Cornflower smells really oaty with a hint of hazlenut, while Honey & Crocus, many people's favourite, smells like an almond biscuit, in a good way. The honey and almond milk will certainly get those saliva glands operating. I think they need to pump this into supermarkets to make us buy more!

This is a really fun collection and, like I’ve been saying for ages, these small sizes make it more playful and something you take away on holiday, plus they run out before you get bored. They just need to make the names on the bottles larger as you really need to concentrate to read them.”

Jo Malone English Fields perfume fragrance review tried tested

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 12:17

Meat Free Geek

Meat Free Geek Vegetarianism Veganism Quorn Lent

Whether religious or not, Lent is that perfect time of year, and a decent length of time, to challenge yourself to give something up or try something different. I’ve been thinking of trying vegetarianism for a while now and while I could have easily done it after Christmas, as a New Year’s resolution, but it could feel a bit like jumping off a cliff edge, after the indulgence of Christmas, and I wanted to give it a proper go. 

Lent is perfect, being in the middle of February, you feel mentally prepared and can block off the next 6 weeks as you countdown to Easter.

Christians traditionally abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the wilderness and with Vegetarianism and Veganism growing in popularity, it felt like the right time to give it a go.

A few of my friends are vegetarians, so I’m going to tap them up for recipes and advice. I’m going to put some Quorn in the fridge for those days I may need something meat-like. My main worries are getting bored and also feeling hungry quickly after meals. I also don’t want to pig out on carbs or turn to sweet things to fill me up. I think I’m going to have to be more organised with my meals and less lazy with the snacking.

If I lose loads of weight and feel like a bag of bones, I’ll think about stopping. But, the main driving force is, it’ll be healthier for me and for the environment, and I want to take more vegetarian options into my everyday and maybe find a few things that I will enjoy and carry on eating. I’ll keep you updated.

#MeatFreeGeek

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