Saturday, 11 February 2017 22:25

ChicGeek Comment Where's The Sex, Raf?

Bruce Weber Calvin Klein Raf Simons AW17Raf Simons Calvin Klein AW17 The Chic GeekSo, Raf Simons unveiled his first full collection for Calvin Klein. As about exciting as New York fashion gets, it was an accomplished - of course it was, he's had plenty of experience - collection which, no doubt, Americans are breathlessly hailing as the 'New Look'. but it just looked like yet another Raf Simons collection. Where was the sex?

From Left - Bruce Weber advert for Calvin Klein underwear (1982), FW17 Calvin Klein Collection

Raf Simons showed his own eponymous menswear collection, the week before, with the same leg-warmers-as-sleeves idea he put on the catwalk here. This Calvin Klein Collection was wearably different, yet without any of the minimal sex appeal that Calvin Klein was built upon. Who could forget Kate Moss' nipples in that sheer, simple dress circa '93?

Raf Simons should have added athleticism to the collection in the casting of the models to differentiate between his and this collection. Maybe that'll be coming in future advertising, but if Raf Simons is going to connect and drive sales with the masses who have never heard of him and probably don't care about him, then it needs sex.

Fashion has a strange relationship with sex, but Calvin Klein pioneered the objectification of men and their bodies in advertising through the 80s and 90s. What looks quite tame, today, was revolutionary at the time and the first time men and women really looked at men's bodies.

But, whether it's the 80s or, as Instagram proves, today, people will never tire of looking at firm and worked out men's bodies. Ultimately, as always, sex sells and that's what the new Calvin Klein needs. 

Chic Geek Comment Obsession Calvin Klein Left - Calvin Klein Obsession advertising (1987)

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 18:16

Menswear Must Have The Cricket Jumper

Raf Simons Cricket Jumper The Chic GeekIt all started with Raf Simons with his AW16 collection and, now, it’s the knitwear neckline du jour. The quintessentially British cricket jumper has been grunged up and distressed and become less gentleman's summer sport and more urban and edgy thanks to designers such as Alessandro Michele at Gucci. Brands such as Stella McCartney and Kent & Curwen have all done their interpretation of the cricket V and there's plenty of mileage in this style as many brands such as the Spanish knitwear brand, Sweaterhouse, is showing them for AW17. If you don't want to pay designer prices then pop to your local sports store, university or school shop and buy the largest size they have.

Left - Raf Simons AW16 

Best Fashion Cricket Jumpers AMI MatchesfashioncomLeft - AMI - £225 - matchesfashion.com

Below - Prada SS17

Menswear Prada The Chic Geek

Stella McCartney Cricket Jumper The Chic GeekLeft - Stella McCartney - £570 MRPORTER.COM

Cricket jumper menswear Gucci Left - Gucci - £560 - MRPORTER.COM

Below - Kent & Curwen - £495 - MRPORTER.COM

Best Men's Cricket Jumpers Kent & Curwen

Raf Simons Oversized Cricket Jumper MenswearLeft - Raf Simons AW16

Cricket Jumper Smart Turnout The Chic Geek MenswearLeft - Smart Turnout - £149

Below - Cambridge University - Magdalene College Cricket Sweater - Ryder & Amies - £110

Cambridge University Cricket Jumper 

Monday, 16 January 2017 16:08

Hot List The Super Holdall

Troubadour holdall black duffle bagThis bag is the bomb. Actually, Troubadour should call this the ‘Bomb’, as it hasn't got a name.

British accessories brand, Troubadour, produce some great luggage and accessories and has, over the last few years, been growing their range and developing and enhancing their products.

I’ve been watching their progress and they know exactly what their stylish customers want: capacity, functionality, quality and understated branding.

If this was a ‘designer’ bag it would easily have a 1 in front of the number. It’s a giant holdall slash rucksack that could easily hold a week's holiday or trip. Stitch-free straps are injected with technical rubber for comfort and an external side pocket, top flap and internal mesh side pockets complete the design. The fabric body is strengthened by the crossing over leather straps while keeping the weight down.

You’ll look like a chic Action Man and carrying it will be the most stylish workout you’ve ever had. Now, squat!

Left & Below - Troubadour - Fabric + Leather Duffle - £895

Black holdall The Chic Geek

Chic Geek comment on the state of menswear & LFWMLondon’s men’s fashion week got its Ronseal title, this season, replacing the old London Collections: Men moniker. The change didn’t make any difference to the lack of content and money, unfortunately, but, hopefully, it meant more to the wider public with many still not realising there even was a men’s fashion week in London.

Left - Daniel W Fletcher Presentation

London and Britain, is good at fashion, we’re good at menswear, we should celebrate it and this is the event to do that at. Twice a year, we come together, test the temperature of the industry and move forward in the way fashion always does. There will always be ups and downs and better and worse seasons, but ultimately it’s big business, from luxury to high-street, and we’re one of the best at it. Let’s champion that.

LFWM is just more pointless than previously, yet still necessary. It needs to be done, otherwise other cities will take the focus away from London and London needs to seen as a centre of ideas and fashion. 

When we leave Europe, the British Fashion Council need to lobby the government for more funding for an industry that employs so many people and encourages people to visit and shop in the UK. If we’re going to build a successful post-European future we need to focus on areas we are good at. Creativity is one of those areas. Fashion links many of these together and is the energy and catalyst for newness.

When then pedestrianise Oxford Street, fashion weeks should move there into see-through marquees and become inclusive to those interested in it and bankrolling it on the pavements either side.

What’s the opposite to ‘having a moment’? Because this is what menswear is currently facing. It’s not solely a London problem, affecting all the main fashion cities, but as fashion is a business, when it needs to change and save money, things get cut.

There was lots of talk during LFWM about whether this would be the last one, but I think if it was going to disappear it would have done so this season. The doom and gloom of the last LC:M was replaced with an optimism that things can only get better and the acceptance that those big brands, now missing, are gone. It’s okay, nobody died.

This was a medicated fashion week. A fashion week on Prozac. Things weren’t as important as before, so it felt more democratic. The must-have tickets didn’t exist so people were more equal than ever. The have and have-nots of fashion weren’t as separate and it felt more inclusive and less frantic.

One of the problems I have it predictablity. Designers showing exactly what you think they’re going to show. They don’t move their collections on. I don’t expect a 180 u-turn every season, but as nobody is really buying anything anyway what do they have to lose? They just make you wonder why you turned up. A signature style is fine, but a designer known for tasteful newness will always excel.

Another, is this idea that fashion collections look a certain way. It’s all a bit graduate Fashion Scout,  and was new sometime in the Thatcher era. The bong-bong-bong music and po-faced press releases suck the life out of the spectacle and the audience and has the bullshit detector on max. Fashion always needs its wanky, taking-itself-too-seriously label, I get that, but there’s only so much eye rolling one can do.

So, let’s think positive. When things hit rock bottom things can only go up. This half glass full attitude to men’s is what will keep it going. Those big brands disappearing will create room for something new: a vacuum for the future. The future is close, we just need to entertain ourselves until it arrives.

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:22

Hot List The Military Ribbon Trenchcoat

Trenchcoat menswear The Chic Geek I've always been a big fan of Belgian designer, Dries van Noten, but he was very slow to embrace the internet and e-commerce so his collections haven't been as visible as other brands or designers over the last few years.

He's finally got with the programme and this season's collection is beautiful. He's used military embroidery and details to decorate his menswear collection. I particularly like the use of this medal ribbon which looks like a (Gucci) snake from a distance. Because it's medal ribbon it feels masculine and complements this traditional military style trench coat which has the addition of two large and handsome external pockets. This is a great update of a classic coat style.

Left & Below - Dries van Noten - Radley Grosgrain-Trimmed Wool-Blend Trench Coat - £1410 From MrPorter

Military trench coat hot list menswear Dries van Noten