Review 
Merchant of venice fragrance Imperial Emerald best rated tried testedCreated by perfumer Jordi Fernandez, ‘Imperial Emerald’ layers iris, Egyptian jasmine and lily of the valley over a subtle base of white musk.

The perfume was inspired by the beauty and majesty of the peacock. Native to India and Sri Lanka, for centuries the peacock has been interpreted by different cultures as a symbol of immortality and regality.

TheChicGeek says, “This looks beautiful with its real feather detail, and you know how much I love Venice. The fragrance is very white florals. There’s a lot going on here with top notes of bergamot, mandarin, pink peppercorn, carnation and iris. Heart notes of orange flowers, ylang ylang, peony, egyptian jasmine, lily of the valley and a base composed of white amber, benzoin and white musk, so it’s definitely not for the wallflowers of fragrance.

It smells old-fashioned, but not in a bad way. It’s probably too blousy for me, but would suit some of those other strutting male peacocks I know..."

Left - Merchant Of Venice - Imperial Emerald Eau de Parfum Concentrée - 100ml - £250 Available exclusively from Harrods

Disclosure - A sample product was gifted by Merchant of Venice to review

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 15:19

Menswear Product Of The Week The Oversized Hat

fashion menswear product of the week Marrakshi Life oversized hatPeople say I’m shady, and I just reply, “I’m ginger!”. You probably saw it was silly hat season all over social media this summer, and it was the bigger the better - I’m looking at you, Jacquemus - but the large hat has its practicalities.

This ‘Pamela Hat’ is rag woven from fabric remnants in an array of colours by Moroccan-made brand, Marrakshi Life. The Pamela Hat has a 40cm brim, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to put sun protection on the back of your neck (and shoulders!).

Left & Below - Marrakshi Life - Pamela Hat - $212

Read more about Marrakshi Life - here

fashion menswear product of the week Marrakshi Life oversized hat

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 14:18

Label To Know Marrakshi Life

Marrakshi life Randall Bachner menswear label to knowSeptember is a month when you want to squeeze out the last rays of sunshine. Whether that’s a late holiday, or the hope of an Indian Summer, we’re not quite ready yet to pack away all our warm weather gear.

Left - Marrakshi Life - Pinstriped Cotton-Blend Shirt - £260 from matchesfashion.com

One brand which specialises in a floaty, 40 degree fantasy of Summer is Marrakshi Life. They were invited to the recent Barcelona Fashion Week and the use of colour and oversized shapes piqued my interest.

Marrakshi life Randall Bachner menswear label to knowLaunched in 2013 by New York photographer Randall Bachner, Marrakshi Life uses the local skills of Moroccans to give us that romantic Getty fantasy of North Africa.

The brand says they are “using the skill of traditional Morrocan weaving practices and a desire to take this sartorial heritage forward, Marrakshi Life uses ancient techniques to create clothing that is authentic yet with a fashion-forward urban twist.” 

Bachner is committed to supporting responsible manufacturing via sustainable, low impact production methods. He describes his atelier in Marrakech as a community rather than a factory. Visitors to Marrakshi Life can experience the family feel whilst viewing the whole process from textile creation to finished design. 

Right - Marrakshi Life - French X-Long Cuff Shirt - $323

Always wanted to visit Marrakech? See what happened when TheChicGeek visited the YSL museum there - here

 

Monday, 02 September 2019 15:58

ChicGeek Comment Say Hi To Hemp Fashion

Hemp fashion CBD legalised cannabis AfendsFashion often follows ‘wellness’ and CBD is the ingredient du jour, especially in supplements and beauty. According to Wikipedia, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.

The CBD chemical from the cannabis plant does not induce a high - that’s THC - and recreational use of cannabis is still illegal in the UK.

Over in Canada, where they have legalised all forms of its use, there’s been a ‘green rush’ into cannabis production. The Toronto stock exchange has more than 50 Canadian cannabis stocks now worth £37 billion. Investors are hungry for the cannabis boom and noises, from New York to London, are being made about legalisation.

Left - Afends, Australian fashion brand using hemp

But, what does this mean for fashion? With increased production and the world looking for less environmentally harmful fibres, could hemp be the new fashion favourite?

Jonathon Salfield, Marketing Director and Co-Founder of Afends, an Australian fashion brand known for its strong use of hemp within its clothing ranges, says, “CBD Oil is derived from the flowers of the hemp plant where hemp fibre is derived from the stalk of the hemp plant. So, in theory, the hemp grown for CBD production could also be turned in to hemp fibre. However to be more efficient with hemp for fibre, the ideal plant is a very tall Sativa strain, where the ideal plant for CBD is one that has thick flowers.” he says.

Hemp has many qualities. It is one of the strongest natural fibres on the planet, it is also one of the most resource efficient. The farming of hemp adds nutrients to the soil - hemp is only one of 6 genus of plants that enrich the soil - only requiring half the amount of water of cotton, and needs no herbicides or other agricultural chemicals. Hemp is also the only CO2 negative textile fibre, meaning its growth actually reduces carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

“There are many great qualities of hemp for fibre.” says Salfield. “What we love about hemp in clothing is the way it feels when you wear it. Hemp has had a saying that stems back to the days when cotton was becoming mainstream and that's ‘Hemp wears in, not out’. This is because of the length of the raw fibres are about 10 times longer than cotton fibre. 

“We also love the fact that hemp has antimicrobial qualities. Antimicrobial is a type of bacteria which breaks down the sweat from your body, sweat smells so this is beneficial to us living in the tropics. However, the main benefit of hemp is the peace of mind that you are wearing a natural fibre that is good for our planet.” he says.

Hemp is also naturally UV resistant and hypoallergenic.

Demand is growing, Afends’ own Hemp production from 2017 to 2018 increased by more than 30%. The European cannabis market will be worth €123bn (£106bn) by 2028, according to the London-based analysis firm Prohibition Partners. The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis estimates that 1.3 million consumers spent over £300 million on CBD products in the UK last year and BDS Analytics, a cannabis research firm, said worldwide legal cannabis spending will expand 36 per cent to $15 billion in 2019, and pass $40 billion by 2024.

Hemp fashion CBD legalised cannabis Afends

Hemp isn’t a new discovery, it’s been used for thousands of years - researchers have found hemp garments dating back as far as 8,000 BC - but we’re in an age of rediscovering fibres that take less effort and energy to grow. Just as we’ve seen a renaissance in linen, hemp is a natural and complimentary addition to fibres that are easily grown and have many natural benefits.

“As the world's population continues to grow we can't keep depending on GMO (genetically modified organism) cotton and polyester.” says Salfield. “We can't keep producing so many toxic chemicals. Hemp will eventually normalise as a common commodity. At the moment, hemp is very expensive to make clothing from, this is due to the infrastructure of hemp in the textile industry. Also its a lot easier for a farmer to farm and sell cotton.” he says. 

“If hemp was grown on a commercial scale it would be a lot cheaper to make clothing from. Being an optimistic person I see hemp being one of the major materials we will use in the fashion industry. Hemp is considered an ‘Environmental Super Fibre’ and in the future, it will be considered an environmental superhero.” says Salfield.

Right - Afends in a hemp field

This huge boom in cannabis demand, whether, medicinal, CBD or recreational, where legal, will see this more expensive fibre grown in larger and larger qualities and, will, hopefully, reduce in price.

Hemp was once seen as a hippy fibre, worn by those who were probably smoking the stuff too, but that will change as it becomes more mainstream and affordable and people learn the benefits to both themselves and the environment.

“HEMP IS FOR THE PEOPLE!” says Salfield. “Before the industrial revolution hemp was one of the most important commodities. It helped to keep people connected to the earth, it regenerated the soil and fuelled the economy. The modern-day hemp industry could potentially be the main source of pulp for the paper, fibre for fashion and give people in developing countries added nutrients to help them thrive.”

Friday, 30 August 2019 17:42

Tried & Tested Hawkins & Brimble Grooming

Review 
Hawkins Brimble grooming face wash moisturiser eye cream best rated tried testedThe idea for Hawkins & Brimble was born in 2016 when the founder, Stephen Shortt, noticed a lack of natural premium quality men’s grooming and skincare products on the shelves of British supermarkets. In addition, most of the products seem to smell of mint or lemons, he thought.

For what seemed like an eternity, Stephen went about creating products that he could use (and his wife when she steals them!), without harming his skin, and he did this with the help of a British Master Barber.

Left - Hawkins & Brimble - Daily Energising Moisturiser - £14.95, Face Wash - £8.95 & Energising Eye Cream - £16.95

TheChicGeek says, “I was sent 3 products from the Hawkins & Brimble’s range; Daily Energising Moisturiser, Face Wash & Energising Eye Cream. The latter 2 seem pretty standard fare with aloe barbadensis leaf juice in the Face Wash and aloe vera, ginseng, kernel oil, oatmeal, rhodiola rosea root, vitamin E and African fire tulip in the Eye Cream.

But, focus turns to the Daily Energising Moisturiser. It has a rich and nourishing sensation, thanks, I’m guessing, to the avena sativa kernel oil, but dries matt and doesn’t feel greasy. It smells lovely, as it’s got that addictive fragrant and woody ginseng scent. I would say this would be a good moisturiser for somebody with dry to normal skin. Oily skin could be too much for it.

I like the packaging and branding, - I’m not sure where the name is from? -it looks familiar, but it’s not trying to be too ‘Peaky-Blinders-hipster-tattoo-parlour/barber-shop’, which can look a little generic and dated. (Though it’s right at that line!). The prices feel pretty honest and it’s trying to push ‘Natural Ingredients’ which always feels like a positive thing.”

Disclosure - The products were gifted by Hawkins & Brimble to review

fashion menswear product of the week Jupe by Jackie hand embroideryHandwork is the best. Dutch designer Jackie Villevoye specialises in embroidered items of menswear from India's Uttar Pradesh region. Establishing Jupe By Jackie in 2010 at age 54, after having raised her five children, her beautiful and fun designs make a welcome addition to any shirt or tie. (Her son has just launched a T-shirt brand called J By J using the same skills - See more here)

Jackie’s main goal became, and still is, to draw attention to this impeccable art, passed down from generation to generation - giving Indian hand embroiderers the worldwide recognition they deserve. 

FYI - Ocon was a name for a person who lived at the corner of a street or village. This name is composed of the Old French word au, which means to the and coin, which means corner.

TheChicGeek says, "Nothing beats the quality of this stunning and intricate handwork and all at a realistic price. This shirt is perfect for a summer evening in a nice bar or restaurant and the bold hand embroidery gives you that extra feeling of something special."

Left & Below - Jupe By Jackie - Ocon - €150

fashion menswear product of the week Jupe by Jackie hand embroidery


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