Monday, 23 May 2016

Tumi x Public School Spring Summer 2016

Call me ignorant or just luxury misguided but last Thursday was the first time I had encountered the Tumi luggage and travel brand. Invited by their UK PR to the Regent Street flagship store on a typically London, very wet morning I was about to discover a new way of travelling. Whilst I am going to explore the Tegra Lite Continental Expandable Carry-On in Black (its made of one of the most indestructible materials in existence) at a later stage, I was completely unaware that they have a collaboration collection with New York based, of the moment design duo Public School. Giving fashion lovers and jetsetters worldwide another reason to travel in style, designers, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, have created a six piece collection encompassing both brand philosophies of high-quality design that brings functional superiority and technical innovation with their own aesthetic which has had fashion press salivating of their runway shows. 

Each travel piece features the Public School design aesthetic, including the monochromatic colour scheme of which the label is known for, applied to a 21” carry-on and 24” check-in wheeled bag, travel satchel, backpack, day tote and dopp kit. Whilst the wheeled pieces are crafted from Tumi's own Tegris material in black graphite with a laser-cut netting overlay, creating a weave pattern effect on the exterior of the cases. The overlay of materials is based on an architectural idea of mimicking the weave of a garment and applying it to manmade material. This pattern, featured throughout the collection, is infused into the hardware and luggage tags of the day bags and accessories, as well as the 2-D effect on the bottom of the travel satchel. Lastly, nylon and leather are incorporated into the day bags and dopp kit, while the tote, described by the Public School duo as the quintessential bag which is designed in leather and suede.

Keep a look out for the collaboration in store and online and well as my review of my case which is winging its way from Paris as I type. Travel will never be the same again...

JD High Summer

With news that the UK will enjoy a prolonged period of hot weather over June and July, the JD High Summer collection comes at the perfect time. With the upcoming UAFA Euro 2106 football matches and various festivals, from Glastonbury to Secret Garden Party, on their way, the Undisputed King of Trainers offers legendary street-ready brands such as Nike, adidas, EA7, New Balance, Ellesse and New Era - all shot on location in Los Angeles and Europe. Perfect for city or beach breaks, home to abroad, this great causal offering has you covered from head to toe ready for what could be the hottest summer on record. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums

Last Thursday I had the most exquisite experience, certainly within my top five, courtesy of Frederic Malle at their Burlington Arcade store. The luxury fragrance brand is housed in an absolutely decadent environment half way down the historical arcade, the modern yet sympathetically Georgian interior design is the perfect Anglo/French combination I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. I met with the PR upstairs in their shelved room which houses the full collection of fragrances, candles and room sprays. I openly admitted that I had never heard of the brand which I found even more a charming introduction to Frederick Malle as it made the experience even more exclusive - much like being invited to a super exclusive members club.

I sat through around 6 nose tests on a range of current fragrances, taking great pleasure in the challenge of guessing - often correctly - the different notes and given a narrative on the back story, different tones and notes of the perfume as well as intermittent anecdotes from the brand on how it was created. An absolute joy. I have to say that my absolute favourite was Monsieur; a heady and seductive fragrance which is guaranteed to make people ask where it is from. With a heady topknot of patchouli combined with mandarin orange mingle with rum absolute, while generous measures of cedar, suede and frankincense create a mystical aura, With a modern amber adding a touch of darkness. there are also races of vanilla and musk which ound off the edges for a harmonious whole. Invigorating. 

However, the latest fragrance which I was gifted in perfume, shower wash and body milk form is Indelible.  A clean yet surprisingly magnetic scent, it is a contemporary yet traditional fragrance that lasts forever with the notes of musk which the creator Dominique Ropion embraces along with a splash of neroli intertwined with orange blossom, bergamote, and musk. Simply stunning. 

Whilst Frederic Malle is available at their own website, Mr Porter, Liberty and Selfridges, I strongly recommend going to the Burlington Arcade store for the full, impressive experience of one of the last luxury fragrance brands. 

Mr Porter x Saturdays Surf NYC

This is exciting news. After finding the Saturdays Surf NYC store on Crosby Street in New York around 4 years ago, I instantly became a fan. Now, my favourite online retailer has launched an 18 piece exclusive collection. This is the first time the two brands have worked together in developing a capsule and have based it around three key looks - beach, casual daytime, and casual evening. Consisting of a mix of casual tailoring, casual shirts, t-shirts, swimwear, shoes and accessories, the collection supports Saturdays NYC’s expansion as a fashion and lifestyle brand with key styles including an unstructured cotton blazer and matching trouser, a pale pink sweater, a block colour swimshort and a derby shoe - all of which are pure perfection wether you surf or not so check it out here

Johnnys Chop Shop

If you have been keeping an eye on my Instagram, you will have seen a very clean shaven me - which was the result of a wet shave at the newly launched Johnny's Chop Shop in Marshall Street, London. For those of you who have not heard of the brand, all you need to know is that it is as visionary as it is honest, slick and full of attitude. Having launched at the Topman flagship store on Oxford Street in 2014, today see's the launch of the Johnny's Grooming Range both online and instore at Boots, of which I was given a preview of when I visited the Chop Shop. What I like about this range is that it is vibrant with great bathroom shelf appeal - and is exceptionally well priced. 

 I have yet to try the beard oil (£6) and the Sharp & Easy Shave Foam (£5) however have been using the Wild Cat Hair Clay (£7) very frequently as it is one of the best clays I have used to date, being easy to use on damp and dry hair as well as not too thick which makes it difficult to mould into the hair. Alternatively the Glide 'Em High  Style Defence Grooming Cream (£5) is a satin finish styling cream which  adds definition and texture with a bit of polish. Whilst it is often thought to be only for women - and I can not think of a male focused one on the market - the Hobo Hair Dry Shampoo (£5) has a degreasing and mattifying effect to revamp hair between washes. 

Keep an eye out in Boots for this great range and if you are in or visiting London, book into Johnny's Chop Shop Marshall Street for a hair cut or shave to get your grooming game on track. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Topman Knightsbridge x Tailoring

It turned out to be quite a busy day yesterday made particularly nicer as the sun shone and the temperature rose in London. One of my appointments was at Topman, to see their newly launched floor at the Knightsbridge store (No.70, just opposite Harrods) which opened in 2010 yet only traded as Topshop until yesterday. Presenting the  SS16 collection as well as Topman Lux and Topman Limited, they also launch with their latest campaign ‘This is Tailoring’, stocking a full range of formalwear options for summer - as well as a person shopping suite - of which I was a guest. 

I was looked after by the excellently knowledgeable and friendly Janal who picked out a double breasted, light blue suit (very similar to the one below, in the colour of the single breasted shot) and I paired it with a simple white t-shirt and a pair of black slip on lux sneakers. I do like to wear suits in a less formal way as it can work in a multitude of situations such as work, for drinks or even for a wedding. That is what is great about Topman suiting as they tick every box of need and want, for a price that is wallet friendly. Mine has a nostalgic nod to the 1970’s yet it is worth seeing the limited edition range of premium suits which are constructed from 100% wool, sourced from distinguished European fabric mills – featuring real horn buttons with fully functioning cuff. Always on trend, colour is key with a pallet focussing on summer neutrals such as pale blue, stone, sand and ash grey - although I did shy away from the all white number. 

I walked away a happy customer and highly recommend going to see the space if you are in west London, and check out the suiting in store or online - for even better still, book a personal shopping appointment. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Red Hot Part Two - Thomas Knights

There is no denying the huge cultural impact Thomas Knights' project Red Hot had globally; from celebrating the red head to breaking down social taboos and bullying. The success of Red Hot was phenomenal as the project beat its KickStarter target by thousands to touring globally - not to mention media coverage at home and abroad and raising over £45,000 for charity. 

Now, Knights together with British designer Elliot James Frieze, have their sights set on Red Hot II and need your help to get it off the ground via their new Kickstarter page. But why make a new book, although this time with an overtone of ancient Greek sculpture and Roman Gods? Knights said, "I felt there was more to say. Many of the redhead models we talked to not only had issues with their red hair growing up, but also with being pale. So this exhibition and art book will explore the beauty of the redhead's pale skin, its supposed fragility, and poetic appearance… We will also look at the beauty of freckles as well as black and mixed race redheads. We are taking the conversation further this time. Celebrating what makes us redheads unique, learning to love that uniqueness and empowering ourselves by owning that difference.”

This time the book and subsequent tour aims to raise money for the British Skin Foundation to highlight the dangers of skin cancer. The project is at, today, just over £13,000 of their £35,000 goal so head on over to their page and see how you can contribute to this superb and unique project - I will be contributing, so together we can help red heads everywhere. 

Monday, 9 May 2016

Carr├ęducker Resort SS16

It is rare to find a resort collection within menswear, however bespoke shoe maker Carr├ęducker has launched a collection of 9 slip-on shoes for the pre-summer getaway. I am a big fan of what I call the slipper loafer, being a shoe that is perfect with shorts as it is with a formal chino or a simple pair of jeans. 

Based on a classic espadrille, each of the nine colourways is inspired by and named after a traditional English seaside resort in a palette of greys, greens and blues. With Whitby, Dunbar, Broadstairs, Pembroke, St. Ives, SouthwardMargate, Cromer and lastly, BrightonPriced at £199 and available from the brands web store, they are all made by a small artisanal manufacturer in the North of England, the leather-lined shoe is reinforced with a padded sock for comfort and with a leather heel and sole, which are great marks of superb quality and synonymous with British shoemaking. 

Casio Edifice

Perhaps when you think of a smart watch, it is likely you will immediately think of that one made by the company named after a fruit. Whilst they have made a significant contribution to the technology industry and a huge cultural impact, other smart watches have taken their lead to flood the market with ubiquity. However, Casio - a world leader in timepiece technology and production - have a superb solution. 

I had the pleasure of getting up close to the Casio Edifice on Friday at a meeting in north London and I was very impressed with their proposition which combines traditional timepiece making with some excellent smart features - it is all quite James Bond for a very reasonable £300. By downloading the app to your smartphone, the watch will adjust to a time zone of 300 cities globally automatically via Bluetooth in tune with the way in which your phone would upon landing in a new country, as well as displaying your homelands time on a separate display. It also has a daily alarm which can be set via the app, as well as the impressive find my phone feature which will send a sound signal to your phone even if it is on silent - very handy for when you are in a rush and have misplaced your phone in your hotel, car or office. Of course, it also has a 1/100 second stopwatch, a feature on many a Casio watch, as well as running on solar power but it also includes a power saving feature so both phone nor watch power will drain - important when the watch uses information from over 4000 servers via WiFi and telecom signals, and is backed up by GPS signals should the other methods fail. 

Whilst you and I may of thought a smart watch is one in which does everything from displaying emails, texts and everything else in between, then think again. What's more, the brand are also sponsoring the Scudiera Toro Rosso, with18 year old Max Verstappen and racing prodigy Carlos Sainz Jr fronting the collaboration; taking the Edifice technology not only to new heights, but faster ones too. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

HERO #15 Dream Star

It's that time of the year again when menswear magazine HERO is released, packed full of great stories, interviews and editorial images. For HERO #15 - Dream Star, they speak to cover model and actor Tye Sheridan who is on the brink of career explosion with a  fresh resume of critically acclaimed performances with an endorsement of the highest order: being selected by Steven Spielberg to lead his next epic movie, Ready Player One. Touted by the magazine as articulate, driven and energy-inducing, they speak to Sheridan about the roles that have brought him this far, and what the future holds for him. 

Another stand-out is this story below, The Weekenders, styled by HERO Fashion Director Gro Curtis and photographed by Alessia Boni. Finding themselves on an isolated weekend break with models Marijn Aper and Elias de Poot, they shoot an epic editorial for the new issue with a great narrative which captures the superb aesthetic of the magazine which you can buy here now. 

Original Penguin x Men & Dogs

Summer is on the way (this weekend is set to be hotter than Ibiza in the UK) so the guns, the men and their dogs come out - which are all celebrated in this new Original Penguin video featuring their new polo shirt. Taking a walk through the streets of London's Covent Garden, captured by photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce, aka GarconJon, the brand have teamed up with six men and their dogs; YouTuber Jim Chapman and his sausage dog Martha, Shortlist magazine’s Style Director Adrian Clark and his Jack Russell Crumble, model Amar Daved and his French bulldog Hugo, writer and editor Colin Chapman and his border terrier Scout, London DJ Fat Tony and his staffy Taylor, and radio presenter and model Reece Sanders with sausage dog and French bull dog Gina and Maurice.

The new Original Penguin polo has the unique ability to keep you feeling cool while looking cool is near unparalleled as its collar and pique fabric lend the style a formality which has that unusual ability to be dressed up or down - at a party, the office or just taking your dog for a walk. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Orlebar Brown #SNAPSHORT

Famed for their well cut luxe swim shorts, British brand Orlebar Brown have introduced a great social project named #SnapShort just in time for the summer getaway. Whilst the brand was inspired by 1960s resort photographs of the French Riviera and Palm Beach, Florida (and have since used many a photograph in their collections) they are putting the creative skills back to their fans. By downloading the app (search SnapShort on Android and iOS) you can upload your chosen photograph and can edit it as you wish, then turn it into a pair of swim shorts. The shorts will then be created with a turnaround of 3 weeks, much faster than the usual 6-8 weeks of similar products. It can be anything; from a family photo or a unique print to a beautiful scene from a holiday - making these a unique and ever lasting momento of one of life's greatest pleasures; travel.