Tuesday, 03 January 2017 15:49

Tried & Tested Boldking Razor

Review Boldking Razors The Chic GeekTheChicGeek says, “I went to a recent event that Kiehl’s had to celebrate Thanksgiving and they had a complimentary barber doing facials and wet shaves. We got to talking about which razors we used, I said I liked Gillette’s Flexball and he said he used a brand called ‘Boldking'. I hadn’t heard of them, I asked what was good, and he said that the razorblades were spaced far apart to stop them clogging, which is one of the biggest bugbears of shaving and razors in general.

I thought nothing of it and then, as what always happens, through the mystery of the internet and a greater power, an advert for Boldking came up on my Instagram feed. The conversation I had with the barber came back and I clicked through to their site and asked them to review one of the razors, which they kindly agreed to.

Boldking was founded in 2013 and is based in Amsterdam with the aim of making shaving enjoyable and affordable again.

Left - A Boldking Starter Set - £12

So, here goes. Firstly, the branding is really good. Gone are the muscles and steamed up mirrors: replaced by cute graphics and chatty instructions. This feels modern, it feels like there’s no pressure to be a certain type of man, it’s simply about shaving and doing a good job. 

I think I got sent a deluxe box, but the basic ingredients are the same. A black rubber shaving handle that has a clever suction cup to stick the blade to the mirror or wall. Please note this other shaving brands, this is a great idea: you know where it is, plus the lube strips don’t stick to anything.

You then clip one of the four cartridges on and you can see the blades are visibly spaced further apart. 

Did it clog less? Yes. Razors usually clog around the coarser and thicker areas around the chin and nose. This made shaving easier and faster. You simply shook the razor in the water and everything came out without any banging on the side of the sink.

The negatives. The plastic rubber handle does feel a bit disposable and cheap. The razor was a bit bouncy, again because it’s cheaper, but like all razors, once you got used to it, it was fine.

What do I like? The price is good. A ‘Starter Set; which has 4 cartridges and ‘Aftershave Cream’ is only £12 and that includes free shipping from Holland. 

Secondly, it works. Shaving isn’t exactly enjoyable, but it is quicker and less annoying. Think less banging on the sink. 

Thirdly, the brand feels cool. It feels contemporary. It also feels honest and caring: they offer a recycling service, but do you have to pay £1.50 for the envelope. 

Overall, it’s thumbs up for a small company up against the Goliaths of shaving. 

Boldking is only available online through their website www.boldking.com

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:22

Tried & Tested Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka

Review Jo Malone Cologne Intense Myrrh TonkaJo Malone takes a trip to Namibia and uses the potent sap of the myrrh tree in the latest fragrance in their Cologne Intense range. This species of myrrh grows on mountains in the northern region of the country. In the dry season, the resin from the omumbiri myrrh tree is collected and left to cure in the African air for a few weeks.  No tapping ever occurs in the region to ensure a sustainable wild population of these exotic myrrh trees.

TheChicGeek says, “This is very warm and gourmandy - that’s the almond and vanilla. It’s an oriental wood with the myrrh being the focus. It contains classic masculine fragrance ingredients too, such as lavender and tonka bean, but overall it’s the sticky warmth that resonates and tonka bean adds depth with a metallic edge. The myrrh isn’t distinctive, but like amber and oud, these tree resins have the warm depth people look for in modern fragrance”. 

Left - Jo Malone - Myrrh & Tonka - 100ml - £105

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 10:35

How To Wear A Parka 2017

How to wear a parka 2017 Raf SimonsOversized parka Balenciaga The Chic GeekIt's always this side of winter that the parka comes into its own. The default sub-zero style, the parka has become the trusted companion to many a fashionisto. But, there's a new way to wear it:

Go big and don't go home! There’s oversized and then there’s oversized and the designers, this season, have really blown-up the parka. Wear it big, wear it slouchy and if anybody asks, say "Demna made it for me!".

If you can't afford a Raf Simons, buy a generously filled high-street version a couple of sizes bigger. You can thank me later.

Left - Raf Simons - Men’s Oversized Down Quilted Jacket In Black & Yellow From LN-CC
Right - Balenciaga FW16

 

 

   

Oversized parka London fishtail The Chic GeekLeft - Parka London - ‘Lever’ Oversized Fishtail Parka

Canada Goose parka Vetements how to wear The Chic GeekLeft - Vetements - Red Canada Goose Edition Down Parka From SSense

Monday, 02 January 2017 22:59

The Chic Geek Style Awards 2016

Best Designer Label Loewe Chic Geek

The Chic Geek Awards 2015

Happy New Year, Chic Geeks. What a year. Fashion years are a bit like dog years, so much happens and so much is forgotten about, while other things, unpredictably, have such an impact and filter out into the mainstream. Here's what I can remember from 2016. Tweet me your thoughts on #TheChicGeekAwards 

Best Label of 2016 - Loewe

There weren’t many labels to rival Gucci this year, and while I (still) love it, I wanted to recognise something else. J W Anderson creates ‘fashion’ which is becoming harder and harder to find these days. Being the head of the Spanish label, Loewe, pronounced Loo-wavay, it has allowed his ideas to be polished with their skills in leather goods and skins.

He has created a clean high-fashion label out of Loewe, it’s almost like a male Celine, but with touches of humour and seasonal difference which gives it life without being too gimmicky and themed. If only we could afford it. He’s done such a good job here it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got the top job at Louis Vuitton, eventually. 

Best new menswear label Gosha RubinchinskiyBest New Label of 2016 - Gosha Rubchinskiy

‘Designing’ since 2008, this Russian designer is part of the non-fashion, sportswear trend that infiltrated the po-faced - read East London - side of fashion, this year. While he didn’t create anything new, he subverted like a professional and hit the sweet spot when it came to pricing the designer market. There’s a real market for affordable designer clothes and the Comme backed Gosha is cleaning up with his sweatshirts and skater style pieces. We’re spending more time in the gym and this is being reflected in our clothes and this is where it meets high-fashion with a side order of 80s charity shop.

Best high street award ASOS The Chic Geek 2016Best High Street of 2016 - ASOS

With annual sales now standing at £1.4bn, ASOS is the ‘high-street’ giant of the internet. It’s obviously doing something right and it wins TheChicGeek Award for best high-street for its pure experimentation and ridiculousness. From Yeezy inspired Mad Max looking outfits to Gucci pussy-bow shirts, ASOS has the depth of choice at a price everybody can afford. 

Where once the high-street copied designers, now, due to the sheer volume of product needed, they come up with their own ideas and run with it. Just don’t buy the ‘Super Skinny Fit’. Sequinned trousers, anybody?

Boldking razor review The Chic Geek Awards 2016Best Grooming Product 2016 - Boldking Razor

The razor market is dominated by the big players who out discount each other to monopolise the supermarket and pharmacy. They do innovate, but slowly, so it was nice to hear of a small player thinking differently. 

The big difference here is the blades are further apart to prevent clogging, which, if you have thick, coarse hair, will happen a lot. Plus the razor comes with a suction cup to put on your mirror or sink, out of the way. Simply yet effective.

The branding is really good. Gone are the muscles and steamed up mirrors: replaced by cute graphics and chatty instructions. This feels modern, it feels like there’s no pressure to be a certain type of man, it’s simply about shaving and doing a good job. Time to start shaving again. Hello, Boldking. More here

 

 

Best Grooming Brand Buly 2016 The Chic Geek Style AwardsBest Grooming Brand 2016 - Buly

Parisian brand, Buly, takes you back to a fantasy time of apothecaries and Renaissance snake oil salesmen where there’s a tortoiseshell comb for every part of your body. Where things have more meaning than is obvious, at first, and time-honoured traditions are bottled and squeezed into metal tubes and glass jars. This brand is all about the packaging which is always a big thing when it comes to grooming and beauty products.

I’ve tried the toothpaste - orange, clove and ginger - and the shaving cream - read more here

They add a difference and excitement to the grooming routine and the products work. They’re not cheap, but they’re special and feel like a historical treat. 

Dunhill Icon Absolute fragrance of the yearFragrance of the Year 2016 - Dunhill Icon Absolute

2016 was a bit of a disappointment from mainstream fragrance brands. The power of the fashion brand has waned and their offerings don’t feel as special or as premium as they once did. People are moving towards niche and specialised fragrance houses which offer something of quality, but at a higher price, usually.

Fashion brands and their licensees are too quick to release and they don’t commit to the fragrances they produce and thus fall by the wayside very quickly. I wanted to choose something more mainstream. Technically, this came out in 2015, but I only discovered it, this year. Even though Dunhill Icon won TheChicGeek Award last year, this Absolute version is completely different in a good way.

The top notes are bergamot and black pepper, middle notes are saffron, black rose and jasmine and base notes are agarwood (oud), tobacco leaf and leather. It smells really exotic and rich and warm and keeps you coming back for more. It doesn’t really last, but that’s okay, it’s not ridiculously expensive. I’ve smelt this on a few people over the year and it’s instantly recognisable. This really is rather good if you like something rich and intoxicating.

Most stylish menswear programme Deutschland 83 The Chic Geek AwardsMost Stylish Programme 2016 - Deutschland ‘83

Forget the shoulder pads and power dressing, Deutschland ’83, was a lesson in Eastern European sportswear and military dressing. It was the great pop soundtrack of 80s classics that got us channelling our East Berlin realness and Vetements irony that made us want to stay firmly behind the wall. 

Best collaboration Craig Green Bjorn Borg Best Menswear Collaboration 2016 - Craig Green X Bjorn Borg

Affordability seems to be the word of 2016. Collaborations needs to tap a new market or appeal to those priced out. That’s why H&M always seem to do so well. Craig Green teamed up with Bjorn Borg this year to produce a collection that didn’t meet in the middle, it just gave the great unwashed Craig Green at a price they could afford. His samurai favourites were here in a capsule collection of unisex pieces. Doubles your market, natch!

Chic Geek Awards 2016 Dover Street Market Best RetailSpecial ChicGeek Award 2016 - Dover Street Market

While the world tipped towards online, and the high-street continued to try to pile it high and sell it cheap, Dover Street Market moved.

It became what it should have always been. It got a proper retail space and had a flow and order to it. It’s dedication to designers and their visions will make Dover Street Market the hardcore venue and destination for devotees of the catwalk and its silliness. This is serious fashion for those who can’t see the humour in it all, but mock what you will, it’s nice that a Dover Street Market as good as this one exists in London.

 

 

 

  

Most Stylish man Jared Leto Gucci The Chic Geek AwardsMost Stylish Man of 2016 - Jared Leto

If you’re going to be a ‘style icon’ you need to take risks. We can all do a Thom Sweeney three piece suit with a horseshoe waistcoat and look the part, but it’s those little touches and breaking-out-of-the-mould outfits that gets TheChicGeek nod. 

I’ve never been a fan of Jared Leto, not really sure why, but since he became Alessandro Michele’s dress-up doll, he’s really committed, with both GG logoed feet, to the Gucci renaissance. Some have been hits, other misses, but it’s definitely not safe and hats off to him.

Turkey of 2016

We got a lesson in how not to launch a website this year with Condé Nast’s style.com. The much delayed and anticipated site was supposed to use their expertise and kudos in the luxury market to rival Net-a-Porter and matchesfashion.com by using the power of their magazine brands and offering a new take on curated commerce. What we got was a quiet launch of something that didn’t have much content, was a shopping portal and didn’t offer anything new in a saturated luxury market. It will be interesting to see whether they further commit to this or quietly shelve it and put it down to experience. Read more here

What are your thoughts? #TheChicGeekAwards

 

Designers at Debenham chop The Chic GeekYesterday, The Evening Standard reported the new chief executive of Debenhams, Sergio Bucher, is cutting back on some of the older fashion designers who have been selling ranges at the department store for decades as he tries to freshen up its cool credentials. 

About time. They desperately need a clear out. They haven’t named who is going yet, but they’ve already said they want to shift the focus of the stores away from fashion to more experiences like dining and beauty.

Left - Who is for the chop at Debenhams?

When ‘Designers at Debenhams’ started Debenhams was one of the first retailers on the British high-street to acknowledge and react to the growing demand from consumers for a ‘name’ on a product. It was a genius move at the time. After seeing their success, other retailers such as Marks & Spencer copied with Autograph, while, strangely, never put anybody’s name on it?!

That was 23 years ago and Debenhams hasn’t moved it on. They’ve stuck with the same crop of designers and 23 years in fashion is a couple of lifetimes, especially how fast it is today. The menswear, in particular, with the exception of Hammond & Co. hasn’t seen any new life or blood for years.

At past press days, where they preview their new collections, they’ve shown me 4 rails of men's clothes, all different ‘designers’, but all looking the same because they are designed by the same people.

Many of these designers have grown fat and lazy with Debenhams. Making millions while Debenhams has become a sea of grey, black and navy. While the men’s high-street has embraced so much over this time, Debenhams has stuck with an older customer who they disappointly underestimate with their product mix. A 45 year old man today is very different from the 45 year old man in 1993.

It has lost any form of excitement and point of difference. This seems an obvious and much needed step in the right direction. Department stores are looking old-fashioned at the moment: they have to make themselves relevant if they are to survive. You have to create newness all the time with the likes of John Lewis and Amazon biting at your heels.

Bucher will update on his strategic plan for Debenhams in April.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 16:32

#OOTD 96 Chic Geek The Smart Tracksuit

Lyle Scott tracksuit navy The Chic GeekTom Ford, you’re missing out! Even after all his daily baths, you'd think it would be too tempting to slip a tracksuit on, but, he recently told GQ America that he didn’t own sweatpants, but he did concede that he’s a member of a tennis club in London that only permits its members to wear white, and yes, sometimes he does get into the car in this one pair of white sweatpants, since it’s required, but no one on the street sees him because his driver pulls him right up to the club.

Oh, the shame! Can you imagine?! Well, the tide has turned and boy, does TheChicGeek love a good tracksuit.

Credits - Tracksuit - Lyle & Scott, Watch - Mondaine, T-Shirt - Derek Rose, Trainers - Russell & Bromley

Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN 

More images below

UK OOTD Blogger The Chic Geek TracksuitManspreading Geek Navy TracksuitThe Chic Geek Lyle & Scott sportswearnavy blue tracksuit sportswear geekThe Chic Geek styl icon menswear lyle scottsports casual chic geek navy tracksuit