Tuesday, 31 October 2017 13:13

Label To Know Parterre

Grown in UK fragrance brand Parterre Keyneston Mill

Based on a 50 acre estate called “Keyneston Mill" in Dorset, Parterre - translated as “on the ground” - is a new and experimental British perfume brand aiming to grow many of the ingredients themselves. Two thousand plant varieties to be precise.

Founded by husband and wife, David and Julia Bridger, their backgrounds are farming and graphic design, respectively, Parterre launches with three fragrances, all limited in number and stocked at Fortnum & Mason.

Left - Not the Crystal Maze - Keyneston Mill, Dorset

TheChicGeek says, “Who knew you could grow vetiver in the UK? I always thought it was a tropical grass found in places like Haiti. Soon to be open to the public, Keyneston Mill looks set to be a destination in itself and not just for perfume fans. I can see a Monty Don special coming on!

No budget has been spared here with Sir Elton John’s ex-gardener Stuart Neilson and former RHS botanist Nanette Wraith being brought on board. Design plays an important part in the core of the garden with Renaissance Italy and Kandinsky referenced while the rest of the acreage is put to growing in volume.

Based on botanicals, obvs, the three fragrances, produced in collaboration with leading perfumer, Jacques Chabert, are “A Tribute To Edith”, geranium and rose, “Run Of The River”, bergamot mint and orange flower, and, the most masculine, “Root Of All Goodness”, bergamot, vetiver and leather.

Parterre British botanical fragrance company exclusive Dorset

I admire Parterre because they will be at the whim of the unpredictable British weather and, as such, they’re still trying to work out what works and what gives a decent standard of product. They’re also producing the oils themselves using steam distillation.

Right - Parterre - "Root Of All Goodness" - 50ml/100ml - £95/£160

Like the majority of gardens, things will get better with age. Everything seems quite new and experimental, and while the French will probably scoff and turn up their noses, literally and metaphorically, just remember they did that once to English sparkling wine and look how far that has come.

It would be nice to see which of the ingredients are homegrown - maybe a Union flag next to them? - I do think they’re missing a trick not doing at least one fragrance with 100% British grown ingredients, but I’m sure, in time, that will come. Also, they should use a British perfumer or try doing it in-house.

This plugs into the British obsession with plants and gardening and being able to visit and see the place will only add to the attraction. Of the three fragrances, the most masculine is the “Root Of All Goodness”, but I was drawn to the rose one. Men can wear pink and smell of roses, these days. I like the branding, it is fairly feminine, but the hand calligraphy numbering on the bottles is a nice touch. I’d just love to know what they could do with the stinging nettles, bindweed and Japanese knotweed in my garden!”

Friday, 13 October 2017 13:50

Label To Know Eiger Classic

Eiger Classic Alpine Inspired British knitwear

You don’t run before you can walk in fashion, let alone ski! Founded in 2014, Eiger Classic is a small British and British-made brand inspired by one of the founders' grandmothers.

“The brand is inspired by my Granny and her photos from when she was British downhill champion. She was also a keen photographer and we have loads of old photographs of these amazing expeditions they used to go on. We were totally inspired and wanted to try and recreate the timeless alpine look and as a result ‘Eiger Classic’ was founded." 

Left - The Viscount Montgomery - £95 -  “Warm on the slopes, cool as f@ck in the bar”

“We produce a range of leather products, but our main focus is merino wool jumpers that are all produced in Britain,” says Chris Pratt.

Chris and fellow founder, Tom Evans, still juggle full time jobs, a farmer and creative director, respectively, while producing a range of knitwear and small leather goods.

“We got into menswear because we wanted to buy products like we are producing and couldn't find anyone doing them so it was a case of doing it ourselves.

“Our range will stay pretty much the same. We will just look to add a few styles each year, we have two new jumpers coming out in the next couple of weeks. We are not looking to produce products that go in and out of fashion, we are looking to produce products that reflect a classic alpine age and are made to last,” says Chris.

Chris’ Granny’s name was Joan Shearing, and then Joan Hanlin. She was a British Downhill ski champion and won on borrowed skis in her 40's. Super Gran!

www.eigerclassic.com

Below - The Arnold Lunn - £178

Eiger Classic Alpine Inspired British knitwear Ski Retro Vintage

Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:49

Label To Know The Cords & Co

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

It was with serendipity, just as the first AW17 shows were coming through, that I walked past the The Cords & Co. stand at Pitti Uomo in January last. I won’t bore with the fashion clichés of corduroy being the cloth of kings or geography teachers, but what you do need to know is that it’s everywhere and the main trend story for AW17.

Left - The Cords & Co aiming to be “the world’s first corduroy brand”

Giving themselves the title of “the world’s first corduroy brand”, this new Swedish brand is hoping to be to corduroy what Levi’s is to denim and you wonder why nobody has tried this before. They probably have, but not within the last couple of decades in my memory.

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company red jacket

The Cords & Co is going big, planning to open 6 flagship stores in New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles and Stockholm, - doesn’t say where the sixth one is?! - as well as a global online shop and plus wholesale partners. 

Right - The Cords & Co - Cut Poppy Red - £180

“The Cords & Co is created by a passionate group of people united by a shared love of corduroy. By exploring new ways to work with corduroy in our Stockholm design Studio, highlighting its long but little known history, and working closely with a carefully curated group of collaborative partners and cultural tastemakers in each of our flagship city locations around the world, we’re excited to share our unique story of a fabric everyone has a connection to, yet no other brand has dedicated themselves entirely to it,” says Omar Varts, CEO.  

It’s about time corduroy got some love. A practical yet smart material, it’s an easy option especially in the simple styles The Cords & Co. are offering. The best look is matching you jacket to your trousers to give you a 70s casual jean-suit feel.

The brand's images are a bit disappointing for a launch, keeping it too simple and I just hope they give the stores more life and branding as corduroy is ripe for personality and Scooby Doo adventures.

www.thecords.co.uk

Below - The Cords & Co - Trousers - £125

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

Friday, 04 August 2017 13:12

Label To Know Floraïku

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Last week, Harrods unveiled the expansion of its Salon de Parfums area on the top floor of the store. Seven new fragrance boutiques have been added including Penhaligon’s, Armani Privé, Burberry, Sospiro, Frédéric Malle, Bond No.9 and, brand new and world exclusive, Floraïku.

Left - The new Floraïku boutique at the extended Salon de Perfumes in Harrods

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

The Japanese-inspired, Floraïku, has been created by John and Clara Molloy, the couple behind ‘Memo Paris’, available at Harvey Nichols. 

Directly inspired by Japan, the collection of eleven fragrances are based on Japanese poems - haiku - engraved on each bottle. Three ‘ceremonies’ make up Floraiku: Secret Teas and Spices, Enigmatic Flowers and Forbidden Incense, each
of them composed with three different perfumes. 

The colour of the bottles, navy blue, white and black ensures recognition. A final ceremony is added to the previous three: Shadowing. Composed of two perfumes, with a red bottle, it allows, if they are affixed near a fragrance of one of the other three collections, to make it deeper or lighter. 

Right - My favourite - Between Two Trees

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Unveiled in a box inspired by a Japanese bento box, each fragrance of 50ml is presented with its travel spray, which also serves as a stopper. A refill of 10ml for the vaporiser completes this box. All perfumes and travel refills are refillable. 

Left - Sit down for tea & a biscuit & sample the fragrances

TheChicGeek says, “This is a new take on fragrance and at first I thought it was Japanese. Japanese fragrances are usually very light. Because this is French, they are of a more European strength.

They are beautiful, so too is the packaging and the boutique. Looking like a tea house, you sit at the counter and are served tea and a biscuit - always a winner - while a wooden stand allows you to work through the collection. My favourite was one of the ‘shadows’ - ‘Between Two Trees’.

This is expensive, around £250, but without the usual bling you find at this level and smells very natural. I find it interesting how confident John and Clara Molloy must be to appropriate Japanese culture like this. It’s a difficult thing to get right when its not your own culture. I really like it, but I would love to know what the Japanese think”.

Below - The testers are arranged on this board to experience the different categories & 'shadows'

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance Bento Box Packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - The fragrances come in a bento style box with the travel spray stopper & cartridge

 

Monday, 17 July 2017 13:48

Label To Know BIEL-LO

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

The modern way of shopping for something of quality often involves a little bit, but not too much - you can always ask TheChicGeek, of legwork to find the source. What I mean by this is, the majority of brands don’t make their own products. They use the ‘Private Label’ system of getting quality manufacturers to produce their goods. Often these manufacturers have their own in-house labels, producing products of the same quality without the designer mark up. While not cheap, you’re getting much better value for money.

One brand which fits this bill is the Spanish BIEL-LO. Carrying on a 25-year old tradition of expert craftsmanship, BIEL-LO produces fine quality knitted garments and accessories in the mountains of La Llacuna, Barcelona.

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

BIEL-LO constructs timeless pieces using small-scale production to provide you with their personal hallmark: each and every item has been made to delight and be cherished. The hand-finished garments are designed to ensure functionality and warmth, year after year. 

Left & Right - BIEL-LO AW17

Currently stocked at Dover Street Market Tokyo and NYC, Tomorrowland, American Rag Cie, Merci, My Boon, the new AW17 collection is a collection of the must have earth colours and textured finishes like corduroy.

To be honest, these pictures don't do the clothes justice and it would be nice to see them in a UK stockist where you can see the quality for yourself. It’s also got that slightly eccentric edge and point of difference that you find around the Barcelona area.

Below - The BIEL-LO factory

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

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