Britain recently lost one of its retail and design kings, Sir Terence Conran, who was famed for his love of cobalt blue. From his shirts to his socks, this knight loved his French blue workwear or 'bleu de travail’. He actually has his own blue called Pantone 072 C, aka Conran Blue.
It help you celebrate this giant of British style, Drake’s has a thick suede ‘Chore’ jacket in this striking blue primary. Made in Italy with horn buttons, it also has a touch of the Hockney’s about it, which I’m sure Terence would have appreciated even more. Wearing this will never be a chore.
Left & Below - Drake’s - Chore Jacket - £1195
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Being a geek, it goes without saying that we like a sandal and sock combo. And, we don’t let cold weather stop us when getting our geek footwear on.
Left & Below - Cheaney X Richard Biedul - Vetri - £325
Part of a new capsule collection with English shoemaker, Joseph Cheaney, and, solicitor/model turned artistic director, Richard Biedul, is this elegant 'Vietri' sandal in black rub off hi shine.
This T-Bar sandal, also known as a Gurkha sandal, has something of the jelly and fisherman sandal too and I’m all over it. The high-shine takes it up a notch.
Biedul is a man of good taste and has become one of the most photographed men during London Fashion Week Men’s both on and off the catwalk. This is a man who knows how to rock a suit or Oxford Bag trouser and further proof of his expert eye for detail is seen this new collaboration. I’m sold.
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Founded by management consultant Pieter-Jan Beyls, who wanted a skincare range that delivered for his active and varied lifestyle - extremes of temperatures, humidity and pollution from the daily commute, to air conditioned offices and humid gyms, BEYL's formulations auto-adapt to hot and humid, cold or dry skin conditions and protect against city pollution, thus preventing premature ageing, dull skin tone and promoting healthier looking skin.
Above - BEYL - Purify & Refresh Cleansing Gel 150ml - £35, Firm & Revitalise Eye Cream 15ml - £65, Clima-adaptive Anti-pollution Moisturiser 50ml - £85
BEYL is tailored to work on the three different levels of the skin: the surface, at barrier level and deep into the dermis at cellular level.
Working with a team of experienced scientists over 3 years, following multiple user trials and clinical tests, a simple yet effective, scientifically proven, three-product system was created: cleansing gel, eye cream and moisturiser.
TheChicGeek says, “BEYL, as a new brand, has done the right thing by keeping it simple. Too many brands launch with too many products. Launching with three standard, and useful, products means you get completely involved with the brand and quickly.
This is really good; a fusion of naturally derived actives – power botanicals, microalgae, glycoproteins, and nutrients work at different levels and I saw a noticeable positive difference in my skin.
The result is an uncomplicated, yet thorough and effective three product routine that works with each man’s unique skin and adapts to the changing environments that we face on a daily basis leaving a balanced, energised and healthy looking skin.
This is premium priced, so here’s the science bit:
On the Skin surface - Encapsulated Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, works to increase the skin’s antioxidative capacity against free radicals, thus protecting the skin as well as improving skin hydration.
At the microbiome level (epidermis) - A prebiotic microalgae actively restores the homeostasis of the skin by protecting it from inner stress signals, cortisol and adrenaline, restoring its natural circadian rhythm & balance. Broad spectrum pre and probiotic properties maintain a balanced and diversified microbiome.
At the cellular level (dermis) - A glycoprotein promotes keratinocyte growth and fibroblast adhesion for skin regeneration and rejuvenation. It additionally helps the skin retain water and gives a cryoprotective effect due to its ability to modify the morphology of ice crystals.
The only negative, the cleansing gel could be dispensed slightly smaller because you don’t need a lot and at £35 you’ll want to enjoy and savour every drop. My skin looked visibly healthier. I’m completely sold."
Takeaway - Premium, but worth it.
Available at Selfridges and BEYL
Disclosure - Samples were gifted by BEYL for review
Shaving Goliath, Gillette’s, new brand, King C. Gillette, "brings a century’s worth of expertise to life and promises to be a one-stop-shop for all men with facial hair.”
Bearing the name of Gillette’s founder, King C. Gillette, the man who invented the double safety razor, it embraces nearly 120 years’ of heritage, innovation and grooming experience and, in a first for the brand, includes a range of specific beard care products.
The full range is made up of eight grooming and facial haircare products for men including a Double Edge Safety Razor and blade refills, Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor, Transparent Shave Gel, Beard Trimmer, Beard & Face Wash, Soft Beard Balm and Beard Oil.
TheChicGeek says, “When consumers think of the Gillette brand, it really should be as the Levi’s of grooming. The originally inventor of the double-edged safety razor, King Camp Gillette, is one of America’s biggest business success stories - Gillette sold $6.22 billion of men’s razors and blades and $1.28 billion of women’s razors and blades worldwide in 2018, according to Euromonitor data - and, along with Levis Strauss, provided products to the American working man.
Therefore, it’s surprising that few men would be able to tell you much about the man or whether the brand was even named after an individua
So, Gillette is going back to its 1901 roots “Est. Boston 1901” with this new “King C. Gillette” range of razors and grooming products.
Interestingly, this range is more focussed on facial hair than pure shaving.
Some of it is a simple rebrand. Gillette is part of the giant consumer group, Procter & Gamble, who also own Braun, and the provider of the beard trimmer here. The other razors - Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor - feature Gillette’s Fusion heads and don’t really offer anything new other than I’ve never seen a monikered ‘Neck Razor’ before?!
The hero product here is the return of the safety razor. While Gillette invented this in 1901 they actually stopped making these 1989 and it offers a really economical way to wet shave. If you want to know more about safety razors and how they work, I wrote this for The Independent last year - here
As for the grooming products, the Beard & Face Wash is a whopping 350ml, so you could do your whole body with this. It has a refreshing menthol sensation, but no individual distinctive smell. It’s light and easy to wash out. The Transparent Shave Gel is probably an already existing Gillette product repackaged and as such you could just buy that and save money. The Soft Beard Balm doesn’t look or feel premium. It looks like a product you’ll find at a cheaper price but it’s more than adequate when on.
I would have tried to make King the expert in shaving and taken the premium route a bit higher by highlighting more of the ingredients etc. It still feels anonymous, like the other Gillette products. I would have linked it in with Gillette Labs, Gillette’s pioneering heated razor, read more here, and played on the fact that Gillette has always invented and pioneered things.
The ‘Beard Kits’ idea is good on their website, where you buy a collection of products and razors or trimmers according to your style or needs, as the range is broad taking in Victorian shaving through to hipster beard maintenance.
Clearly, the King isn’t dead. How about a spin-off rainbow coloured Pride range called ‘Camp’?!”
Takeaway - The King C. Gillette is premium compared to Gillette’s regular prices and I like the concept and branding of bringing the founder back. Maybe they should have put more of him on the packaging to hammer this home?
Disclosure - A sample for review was provided by Gillette