Ermengildo Zegna’s Acqua Di Iris takes on a splashy transparency from the high-quality, citrus freshness of Zegna Bergamot - they grow their own - and dewy violet leaves. Elements of spice serve to drive the immediacy of the signature and invigorate the top. Sleek woods and cistus labdanum absolute power the signature with strength in order to zero in on the iris’ masculine heart. All are lightly softened by musk.
TheChicGeek says, “When I first saw ‘Iris’ on the label I was pleased as these is one of my favourite ingredients. Often called orris and derived from the root of the iris, it is mega expensive and as such is very much prized in perfumery. It’s also very Italian, which works with a brand like Zegna.
Orris is said to smell like violets and this is where I have the problem. By adding violet leaves they are taking the fragrance in that direction and it’s too dominant. The woods and musk softens it, but ultimately reminds me that Zegna also do a fragrance called ‘Florentine Iris’, in their pricier Essenze Collection, which I prefer”.
Left - Ermenegildo Zegna - Acqua Di Iris - 100ml - £82 Exclusive to John Lewis
So, we’re coming to the end of the sugar free experiment and it’s gone quicker than I thought. The cravings are still there, but the thought of caving in, this close to the end, keeps me strong.
What I’ve noticed is you definitely over compensate with other things, so I’ve been eating more crisps and drinking more alcohol.
I’ve tried sugar-free chocolate - tastes okay, like cheap chocolate - I made a sugar- free chocolate cake, which was from a packet mix, so probably not the best anyway, but was dry and not to be repeated. The picture on the packet showed it served with cream and jam which probably would have helped, but they didn't have any sugar-free jam.
I’ve eaten more dried fruit that before and fresh fruit, especially for breakfast. I’ve discovered plain coconut yoghurt with honey. Even though it is high fat, this is a keeper.
I haven’t had a miraculous moment of change, where I’ve thought I’m over cold turkey and floating on cloud nine, and, like I said before, I don’t think I had that much refined sugar to start with so it hasn’t been such a drastic change.
It's been an effort, but it hasn't been really hard. Like I said in Part 1, my teeth and gums feel much healthier and this is definitely a reason to keep it up give or take the odd Jaffa Cake.
See Part 1 here
Over the centuries, the humble beard has been through many styles and transformations, but British men continue to love them and use them as a means of expressing their individuality. So far, we’ve witnessed everything from the glitter beard bomb of 2016, to intricate plait designs and wax styling wonders that would make most catwalk models jealous. Just when you think there’s a lull in beard trends, some crazy new twist is put on them to bring them back to the here and now.
So, which style do you go for when it’s time for a trim? Whether it’s the artistic goatee, the traditional gentlemen’s moustache, a bohemian style with funky dyes, or the full fisherman’s beard, each of these styles have something to say about your personality. However, it appears your facial hair can also be determined by where you live. In the following infographic, not only will you learn about the most popular beard trends of 2017 in Britain, but you’ll see why those who hail from Leeds are more likely to opt for the chin curtain, those from Sheffield prefer the mutton chops look, and Geordie’s choose the goatee. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see how our facial hair trends in the UK compared to those overseas, and some handy ideas on grooming.
It must be all that Flemish DNA because Dries van Noten mined a rich tapestry of ideas, quite literally, for this SS17 season. He said he was inspired by the British Pre-Raphaelites and their love of turning their art into woven wall hangings and this transfixed itself into quilted bombers, wide trousers and crocheted scarves.
Dries always does a good theme and is one of the best menswear designers there is. The shirt, here, will look great with shorts, a sort of renaissance Hawaiian shirt, and the wide trousers is part of the movement away from tight, slim trousers. This is classic Dries.
Credits - Clothes & Bag - Dries van Noten SS17 from MRPORTER.COM, Shoes - Tim Little X Grenson, Spectacles - Salvatore Ferragamo, Grooming Products - Omorovicza
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Shot on OlympusPEN by Robin Forster
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Fashion always surprises and reinterprets. We all have our preconceptions about things and it’s that willingness to change that separates the leaders from the followers. I love it when something you think couldn’t be less cool is presented in a new way that makes it desirable. This is what good designers do.
Far Left - Balenciaga SS17, Left - Striped Cotton-Poplin Cropped Shirt - £285 from Matchesfashion.com
When Georgian designer, Demna Gvasalia, of Vetements fame, started working as Creative Director of Balenciaga, I was a bit sceptical. I thought they - the parent company Kering - were chasing the latest cool wave and it was more about column inches and gimmicks than making great clothes. I’ll put my hands up and say I was wrong and they are making interesting clothes at more realistic prices. It’s also the first time that new designers have brought in some of the DNA of the house into the present.
What he has done is play with proportions and shapes, that at first sight seem comedic, but when they start to sink in become desirable and cool. It feels fresh, which brings me to the easiest way to buy into this collection.
Fashion has got basic, and that’s basic as in #basicbitch. Items you wouldn’t have given a second thought are now at the forefront of menswear thanks to Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga.
Long the wardrobe of the postman or the office dad, the short sleeve shirt, slightly oversized, is the style you should be going for. You want those nerdy triangular sleeves, this isn’t a gun show, and I would team with a pair of tailored sweat pants to stop it looking too dress-down office.
You can opt for the original or find a standard short sleeved shirt in most men’s shops like this like blue version from Esprit.
Left - Esprit - Poplin Shirt With Short Sleeves - £29
The full title for this is Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator Activated Water-Gel Concentrate and is said to “deliver a turbo-boost of cool supercharged hydration to increase skin’s moisture reservoir with an immediate 179% moisture boost that is retained for 24 hours at 65%”.
The breakthrough weightless formula transforms from a gel to a liquid, releasing a cooling burst of oil-free hydration that’s instantly absorbed by your skin leaving zero tacky residue. Skin is left feeling soothed, comfortable, and fresh.
Formulated with dual-action Liquid SphereTM Technology, new Clinique for Men Maximum Hydrator Activated Water-Gel Concentrate, helps to break the cycle of dryness and oxidative damage, releasing vital antioxidant protection.
The Liquid SphereTM Technology encapsulates spheres of Vitamin E and Vitamin C that burst instantly on application to release potent antioxidants that protect against oxidative damage and fend off free radicals. ‘Moisture Holding Matrix Polymer Technology’ uses moisture-magnet polymers to seal and lock in hydration, helping to boost skin’s moisture retention
For best results, apply AM or PM to face and neck on clean skin. Also ideal to use after shaving to soothe and calm irritated skin. Safe for eye area.
TheChicGeek says, “Thirsty?! Well, your skin definitely is. This does look the part and you can see the vitamin spheres inside the gel. Unfortunately, they don’t pop on the skin, which gives it that oh-so-satisfying sensation. Can you remember Mr Radiant from Givenchy?
This is very light and you don’t need much of it. It goes on easily and is non tacky. It just doesn’t hydrate as much as you hope. I wanted something dewy and it just seems to disappear. Clinique already has a Maximum Hydrator, in white cream form, in their range and I don’t think this is really offering anything new. You could use this as a moisturiser and then apply an SPF sun product on top".
Left - Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator Activated Water-Gel Concentrate - 48ml - £34
Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., is pleased to introduce the limited-edition Tommy Tropics fragrance.
Tommy Tropics celebrates the relaxed beach lifestyle, with sun-filled days and cool nights. Notes of fresh mint combine with lavender and the warm, richness of amber. The fragrance packaging features a tropical take on Tommy Hilfiger’s signature nautical theme, with a silver tone cap wrapped in navy and white stripes and a banana leaf.
TheChicGeek says, “It’s all about the 90s at the moment, so it seems timely to rediscover Tommy. I’m not going to lie, I can’t really remember Tommy. Back in the 90s, yes, that long ago, I was more a Calvin Klein boy: it was the fragrance equivalent of Blur versus Oasis.
Firstly, this is a great price. Fragrance seems to continually escalate in price so it’s good to get something new that is also affordable. It’s a classic fougere, which means it’s lavender based, with a sticky amber dry down, which you get at this price point. This isn’t revolutionary, but perfectly acceptable and ideal for something you’re less precious about to take on holiday.
It says banana leaf on the box and bottle, but it’s the leaf from a Swiss Cheese plant. Not that I’m being picky!”
Left - Tommy Tropics- 100ml - £30
I didn’t really know very much about Tim Coppens, I actually thought he was American, until I attended his AW17 show in Pitti in Florence. Born in Belgium and graduated from the acclaimed Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, according to his website, he has worked with various prestigious luxury and sports-performance brands before founding his own label in New York. In 2012 he received the Ecco Domani Award for “Best New Menswear Designer”. The following year he was awarded the Fashion Group International Rising Star of the Year. Most recently Coppens was the 2014 winner of the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and a top 10 finalist for the LVMH Prize.
This year he has been nominated for the CFDA “Menswear Designer of the Year” Award and the ANDAM Fashion Award.
His collection was luxury sportswear with retro references and styling. And he knew how to fit a trouser which always puts a designer in my good books. This quilted coat is a very versatility piece, but add shorts and a T-shirt and you're ready for an English summer.
Credits - All clothes Tim Coppens SS17 from Harvey Nichols, Spectacles - Salvatore Ferragamo, Fragrance - Paco Rabanne 'Invictus Intense', Shoes - Tim Little X Grenson, Soothing After Shave Balm & Easy-Glide Shaving Emulsion - Pevonia
Mr rose gold himself, Michael Kors, has been the billion dollar unicorn of the fashion industry with his ubiquitous bags and watches. His menswear has never really gained much traction, but his fragrances have always been pretty reliable. This is packaged as before, but in a blue colourway.
It opens with black pepper and nutmeg, then a middle of cypress and clary sage and, finally, a base of orris and tonka bean.
TheChicGeek says, “I must be getting old because I can’t remember the last time I had an ‘Extreme Night’. I think Michael Kors' idea of an extreme night out might be a bit more glamorous than ours.
The first thought I had when I smelt this was tonka bean. It does revolve around this, but has a soft aromatic quality which is fresh and green and smells cooling. Fans of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male will like this”.
Left - Michael Kors Extreme Night For Men - 120ml - £70
Somebody pass me a spanner! Or, should that be my blow torch?! Part of Jigsaw’s new ‘Raw State’ workwear-inspired collection, this jacket is looser than a traditional denim jacket, comes in Italian cotton and garment dyed to this amazing smokey colour that feels authentic enough to be worn by an Okie in the Grapes of Wrath: dustbowl chic, anybody?!
The shape is cropped and sits nicely on the waistband. I tried it on yesterday and it comes up big. Take a size smaller.
Left & Below - Jigsaw - Raw State Welder Jacket - £249