Friday, 02 October 2015 12:16

Menswear Must Have Hat Beret

Gucci beret must have mens hatIt was Prince who once sang about a raspberry beret and while he was admiring the wearer, going in through the out door, this season he should be one sporting himself.

Left - Gucci catwalk AW15

Seen on the catwalk at Gucci, it’s the beret’s simplicity that really makes it appealing for the cold weather season. 

Gucci beret menswear the chic geek

Left - Gucci - £160

A stylish alternative to the beanie or bobble hat, here are a few suggestions, but they can be picked up, relatively cheaply, on eBay and Amazon.

From the French word béret, it is a simple flat woollen cap traditionally worn by peasants. It was adopted by revolutionaries and artists and adds that romantic feeling to any look. Just remember, you want to look studious not like a New York Guardian Angel!

Picasso in beret the chic geekLeft - Picasso

 

Lock & Co Mens beret the chic geekAbove- Lock & Co - Basque Beret - £85

Below - Che Guevara

Che Guevara beret the chic geek style

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 09:41

TheChicGeek Meets Public School

American menswear Public School the chic geekHere to launch their Woolmark Prize winning men’s collection at Harvey Nichols, TheChicGeek grabbed design duo, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of American fashion label, Public School, for a couple of minutes to talk Made in the USA, DKNY and state schools

Left - Not your average public schoolboys! Dao-Yi & Maxwell of Public School

Winners of the inaugural International Woolmark Menswear Prize, Public School has been gaining attention over the last few seasons and has been tasked with the makeover of American fashion giant DKNY. The winning Woolmark collection is in their signature black and features machine body-conscious hoodies, sweaters and leggings and is available Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge and Matchesfashion.com. 

Where did the name Public School come from? “It’s from the idea of New York being a melting pot. Public School is about not being an intimidating designer name: we wanted to make it something everybody could get into it,” says Maxwell.

Do they realise that public school means something completely different in the UK? I suggested they renamed the label ‘State School’, “We need to change the labels here!” laughs Maxwell.

So, they’ve just taken over at DKNY, will they be doing the menswear and what can we expect?

woolmark prize menswear public school harvey nichols“No, just women’s. As for men’s, they’re exiting the business. Maybe in a couple of years it will return,” says Dao. 

Right - The new Woolmark Prize winning men's knitwear on display at Harvey Nichols London

How would they sum up Public School for those not familiar with the label?

“It’s a men’s and women’s designer collection based out of New York and also the production is done in New York City. It’s around this idea of convergence and mixing,” Dao says.

How do they find production in the USA and doesn’t it make selling in Europe prohibitively expensive?

“Production is difficult in general. But, it’s easier for a company of our size, now, which is small, to keep production in the US,” says Dao. 

“We have to get creative. Give a retailer discount if they can buy more to off-set the difference,” says Maxwell.

The Public School Woolmark Collection is available at Harvey Nichols & Matchesfashion.com - Prices - £235 - £740

Monday, 28 September 2015 09:51

Splash or Cash? The Grey Ombré Jumper

vince menswear chic geek jumper greyDesigners use the terms 'ombré' and 'degradé' to describe this graduated colour effect, while the high-street just cuts to the chase and opts for 'dip-dye' .

However you want to call it, it looks great in knitwear - as pictured here - and in particular in this grey.

American brand, Vince, is perfect if you're a messy eater, while M&S has the reverse effect, ideal for disguising a bit of belly.

Left - Vince - Wool/Casmere Ombré Pullover - £215 From StyleBop

Below - Marks & Spencer - Autograph - Merino Wool Rich Slim Fit Dip Dye Jumper With Cashmere - £55marks and spencer autograph grey cashmere jumper sweater chic geek

 

Friday, 25 September 2015 12:46

Hot List - Gucci GG Blooms Duffle Bag

Gucci GG Bloom Duffle Bag flowersYou’ve probably noticed Gucci getting a lot of Chic Geek love recently. This is new, improved, just keeps on getting better Gucci: a Gucci that hasn't excited us since Tom Ford left the building over a decade ago. 

One of the most distinctive items of their new look is the famous GG monogrammed canvas printed over with painted geraniums. Seen on bombers - as in the new Cruise SS16 advertising - here and various accessories. 

A real man shouldn't be afraid to carry flowers, especially when they're on his duffle bag. Be the first to get this. 

Left & Below - Gucci - GG Blooms Duffle Bag - £1100

Gucci floral men's bag

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 14:54

ChicGeek Comment - Be Exclusive Not Excluding

LV Series 3 Sticker Wall Louis VuittonIt should be remembered that the term exclusive, long touted by fashion brands in the positive sense of the word, is the opposite of inclusive.  The opposite, to exclude, becomes a negative: a pushing away and a physical wall between the them and us.

Left - The LV Series 3 Sticker Wall - Take home a sticker of an item you probably can't afford

Luxury brands tread a fine line between wanting the masses to buy en masse - they have to in order to sustain these giant businesses - while keeping this positive form of exclusivity.

As brands find it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, both in physicality and ideas, some are using that muscle to ‘educate’ the consumer and let them into this ‘exclusive’ world.

French brand, Louis Vuitton just opened a new, month long exhibition, opposite Australia House on The Strand, entitled LV Series 3, to showcase the thought processes their womenswear designer, Nicholas Ghesquière, had behind their current AW15 collection.

Like many of these things, it is a risk. You either leave with the brand going up higher or lower in your expectations. Obviously, the brand, spending huge sums of money, wants the former.

Rather than a wow, it wasn’t quite clear what you were looking at and then, unfortunately, you ask yourself, do I really care? 

Brands have to be careful not to believe in their own myth and hype. They have to remember who put them there. Some of these things can have a touch of the Marie Antoinettes: the great unwashed allowed in, on their terms, to look, but not touch.

People are giving up their precious free time and making a journey to see these things featuring perspex boxes housing £5000 bags with the pretention that you should feel privileged that they are even allowing you in to see something you’ll never be able to afford. 

I understand brands want and need to put their product on a pedestal in order to make it feel special, but it also needs to feel inclusive. If people are taking time out of their busy lives to frequent these things it needs to be on par or better than a museum show or don’t bother at all. These things are beautifully made and while there are two artisans demonstrating and making product inside the exhibit, you leave feeling like you don't know anymore than when you first went in.

It could be that I'm not a fan of Ghesquière's, but I went in wanting to be wowed and educated on why he's been given the top job at the world's biggest luxury goods company. It fell flat on that front. I left feeling that luxury brands need to remember that it’s important not to patronise if they want us to carry on patronising.