Tuesday, 02 January 2018 18:07

The Chic Geek Style Awards 2017

Happy New Year, Chic Geeks. What a crazy year. Things all went a bit Back To The Future II with our Trumpian dystopia, jaffa cakes got reduced from 12 to 10 in a box - the tragedy! - and online started to really eat into, and effect, traditional retail models. 

It feels like we’re in an in-between period, right now, looking to the past, while waiting for the future. Prepare yourself, it’s definitely coming. Here’s a bit of TheChicGeek looking back, rewarding and remembering the past year. 

Join in on social media with #TheChicGeekAwards 

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Balenciaga Brand of Year 2017

Best Label of 2017 Balenciaga

You had me at ‘rubber car mat skirt’. Anybody who can make a blue leather Ikea bag, at £1800, desirable, is on to something. Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian fashion designer, has made looking drab and unglamorous an art form. While not a massive fan of Vetements - his own label - Balenciaga still has some of the luxury polish left which makes something desirable. ‘Interesting’ could be the word, but what he does with this label is make you think about what you are looking at. It makes you question what you like and what you don’t, and that has to be interesting, no?

Left - Balenciaga Lookbook SS18 Glamour!

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Martine Rose Menswear Brand of Year 2017

Best New Label of 2017 Martine Rose

Before you scream 'it’s not new' at me, I know, but this year Martine Rose broke through. After 10 years on the margins, and, I’ll be honest, I never really quite got it, everything changed and fashion turned towards her style. 

She also started working at Balenciaga, above, and, used their manufacturing, giving her collections the polish it needed. She's making some of the best items of the season and if you’re into fleeces and cycle shorts, you’ll be in 90s heaven.

Left - Martine Rose SS18 - One of the must-have menswear pieces of the season - more about that later

Below - Boohoo has just launched activewear for men

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards high street brand boohoo man 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best High Street of 2017 Boohoo Man

Manchester based Boohoo has expanded hugely over the last few years. It was founded in 2006 by Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane who previously supplied high street chains such as Primark and New Look. 

Boohoo recently announced plans in June 2017 to build a 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) warehouse, costing £150m over the next three years, and would offer the capacity to deliver annual sales of £3 billion, alongside their existing Burnley warehouse. 

One of the most successful British online retailers, Boohoo has massive potential and is doing really well in the US. In fashion terms, it’s fast and cheap, and this is the only way to survive and thrive in this market, aimed at 16-24 year olds.

While they nod to the trends, Boohoo makes clothes these people want to wear and while they aren’t all hits, there’s enough choice to be able to make a selection to reflect your personality or the character you want to be that day. Affordable, yes, disposable, yes, but this market is fickle and you’re only as strong as your last product, but there’s plenty here to get excited about and it’s only going to get bigger.

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards La Roche Porsay Anti Shine Mist SPF 50

Best Grooming Product 2017 La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-shine Invisible Fresh Mist SPF50

Anything that protects, is easy to use and you’re not conscious of wearing, is the Holy Grail of grooming products. This spray goes on like a light mist and offers a high SPF protection. Sun damage is the biggest factor in visible ageing and anything that makes it simple and quick to add a layer of protection has to a good thing. You’ll actually enjoy using this and it shouldn’t just be restricted to the summer months.

Left - Get one of these for your holiday and then carry on using it - more here

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Grooming Brand of the year 2017 Perricone MD

Best Grooming Brand 2017 Perricone MD

The best grooming brands are those which make you feel like you’re in a knowledgable and safe pair of hands. Dr Perricone’s MD brand launched this 3-part men's CBx range, this year, containing a face wash, post-shave product and a moisturiser.

The 'CBx' part is a reference to Phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are non-psychoactive cannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant - hemp. 

Expensive, but it feels like you’re getting more than fancy packaging here and with a new supplements range out this year - 2018 - and twists on his cult products, I think I’m going to carry on being a big fan. 

Above - Dr Perricone's first men's range - read more here

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards men's fragrance of the year Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous

Fragrance of the Year 2017 Tom Ford’s Fucking Fabulous

Picture the scene: Tom Ford walks into Esteé Lauder’s New York headquarters. He’s here to talk about the future of his cosmetics and fragrance business. It gets to new fragrance names. We have a new ‘oud this’, ‘something leather’ that, it’s all very predictable, and then, suddenly, somebody suggests, how about ‘Fucking Fabulous’? The room laughs. We all say it, don't we?!

The execs at Esteé Lauder look at each other, want to carry on laughing and then move over the joke. But, Tom’s feeling cheeky and he wants the name to stick. 

No other brand would do it and that’s the power of having your name, and the power that goes with it, on the product. Nobody is going to question Mr Ford. What he says goes and this is why many fashion companies struggle. It’s all bit beige, a bit done by committee, nobody is willing to stick their neck out. Especially in conservative America. 

Okay, so I’ve made this story up. But, this will be the fragrance people will remember from 2017. It’s just a shame the actually scent doesn’t live up to the name and is a cult for more than its name. If this had a memorable and individual scent it would be unstoppable. I just love how they have to blank out the f-word on the adverts.

Above - More than a name? Fucking Fabulous by Tom Ford 

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Most Stylish TV Programme The Deuce 2017

Most Stylish Programme 2017 The Deuce

If you know me, you’ll know I love a bit of 70s style. Think the pimps from ‘Live & Let Die’, and you’ll get an idea about the wardrobe for The Deuce. James Franco, annoyingly, and unnecessarily, plays twins in this, but Maggie Gyllenhaal steals the show. It’s a mix of mafia, prostitutes, pimps and punters in this grimy yet quite glamourous take on bankrupt 70s New York.

Left - The Deuce's pimps getting pimped

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Topman Stranger Things Menswear Collaboration 2017

Best Menswear Collaboration 2017 Topman X Stranger Things

The right product, at the right time, driven by a massively popular Netflix series made this a big success for Topman and Topshop. It’s been a tough year for Topman and they need to think clever in order to take on the ASOSs and Boohoos of this digital world. Think ringer tees and washed denim in a collection of early 80s teen-wear.

Left - Taking a trip to Hawkin

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards Christopher Bailey Special Award Menswear Brand of Year 2017

Special ChicGeek Award 2017 - Christopher Bailey

Bailey is Burberry and Burberry is Bailey. The giant luxury goods company we see today has been created thanks to his creative design, direction and his attention to detail. This doesn’t mean it can’t change, it just means, in my opinion, it will never be as good.

For many years, Burberry was flying high. It tightened up its licensing and became a must-have for the newly rich Chinese. 

It’s hit the buffers recently, so it’s probably time for something new, but some of those Bailey/Burberry collections were some of the best of their time. Leather sleeves on jackets? Yes, Mr Bailey. He made heritage Britishness modern and exportable and gave it a gloss that made you proud that Burberry was British. Read more here

Left - 2018 is the year Burberry waves goodbye to Christopher Bailey, what will he do next?

Chic Geek Menswear Style Awards 2017 Jeff Koons Louis Vuitton Turkey Bags Da Vinci

Turkey of 2017

Jeff Koons for Louis Vuitton was a double take when it first appeared on Twitter. What looked like a collection of bags straight from the back of a Chinese counterfeit operation, was, in fact, a collaboration with one of the world’s most successful artists. This tacky collection hijacked some of the world’s greatest artists and their most famous paintings and then emblazoned their name all over it: as if you were too dumb to recognise them. If you need a gold “DA VINCI” on your Mona Lisa then this collection was for you.

Left - Never actually seen one on the street, maybe rarer than the real thing?!

What are your thoughts? #TheChicGeekAwards

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:21

ChicGeek Comment Ode To Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey to leave Burberry tribute

News just in - Burberry president and chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, who has been with the Burberry brand for 17 years, will stand down from its board in March 2018 and work with CEO Marco Gobbetti and team on a transition period until December 2018.

When Burberry’s renaissance began in the late 1990s, it was the perfect time to turn around a recognisable British name, dust it off and grow it into the new desire for luxury and branded products. We’d witnessed it at Gucci, under Tom Ford, and other languishing brands were thirsty for the same.

Burberry initially started with the Italian designer, Robert Menchetti. That didn’t last long and was soon replaced by an unknown designer, Christopher Bailey. 

Left - Christopher Bailey who turned Burberry into the billion dollar business it is today

Initially, and this was pre-Google, so you can forgive me, I thought it was the same Chris Bailey who had started Jigsaw Menswear and the soon-to-be defunct Uth. A great designer and businessman, I thought it was a perfect fit.

I quickly realised they were different people and I bought a shirt from that first 2001/02 collection. Admittedly, it was in the Harrods sale and it was very expensive, if I remember, and I still have it. It was in a stretch, striped fabric, one I hadn’t seen before, with metal Burberry branded buttons and epaulettes. There was something beautiful yet innovative which became the signature of the new Burberry.

I quickly became fan. Every collection had a strong theme and the pieces were well designed and had that all important desire factor. The brand got bigger, the shows became fancier and major events with Christopher Bailey overseeing every detail, from store fits to the music to the Testino campaigns.

Those Bill & Ben hats, the paisley collection and then there was the coats with the leather arms which are still yet to disappear off the British high-street.

Bailey is one of the greatest Creative Directors of our time. He’s up there with Tom Ford for a progressive and consistent luxury handwriting. Burberry’s growth and success is down to his balance of updating Britishness while respecting the past and knowing exactly what consumers want now.

While the average Burberry customer probably doesn’t know or care who Christopher Bailey is, for us fashion folk, we like to see the whites of the eyes of those designing and leading the brands we look at.

Seventeen years in fashion is a lifetime, especially today, and while “See Now, Buy Now” pushed him into a creative cul-de-sac, Bailey produced some great clothes and images.

I think he’ll probably take a break. Burberry has made him a very rich man. But, it is exciting what this talented man decides to do next. Perhaps he’ll join Angela Ahrendts at Apple, maybe a bigger fashion job such as Louis Vuitton, his own label or maybe something really radical like Amazon. Who knows?

See more Burberry related comment pieces:

Time to Ditch “See Now, Buy Now” here

Choose Your Rip-Off here

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 17:13

ChicGeek Comment Time To Ditch See Now Buy Now

Time To Ditch See Now Buy Now

Burberry has to be admired for trying “See Now, Buy Now” - the new way of showing clothes in-season and making them available straight away to buy after the catwalk show. While many brands have used the term or jumped on the bandwagon, they were truly the only global brand to do it on scale and fully commit.

Left - The recent AW17 Burberry Show in Clerkenwell

Other brands have done capsules, collaborations and the like, but on a much smaller scale. Some are still doing it, while others have dropped it already, but, it’s Burberry who we’ve been watching to see whether it works or not.

Burberry has done a great job at the logistics. The job of getting things in place: to drop the minute the catwalk has finished, unveiling online and in their network of retail stores and wholesale partners. 

They’ve experimented with it and while they’ve proved they can get things in the right places at the right time, unfortunately, it doesn't make for great clothes.

We are on the third collection now and they are no way as accomplished as the previous out of season shows. They still have the same Creative Director - Christopher Bailey - who I rate very highly, but it just shows that this way of working, restricted by manufacturing timetables, limits the ideas and collections. 

With “See Now, Buy Now” you’re alway working backwards. What can we make in time? Can our manufacturers make that, in the quantities we need, in time? No? Then, next idea.

What can we do? doesn't make for the most positive start to any collection. It’s too restrictive. It just makes for clothes that are basics with little details tacked on. The latest collection, shown a couple of days ago, illustrated this, literally. Chinos with doodles on or a let’s stick a silver/crystal thing on a quilted sweat shirt to jazz it up a bit. It’s not starting from a strong design base. You’re always working backwards.

Fashion collections often come together a few days before a show. Stylists or designers often ask for little pieces or accessorises to help form looks which have a clear voice and message and is what many trends rely upon. They worry about making them afterwards. This isn’t possible with see now, buy now, as it has be all signed off and produced months in advance. Burberry has over 500 shops in 50 countries. That’s a lot of product. Admittedly, the catwalk makes up a small percentage of the business, but it still has to be in the windows etc. 

Burberry See Now Buy Now

These clothes are also being made upfront. Many brands use a show to gage demand and then order accordingly. You either have a lot of wastage or you’re very conservative in your ordering of the more difficult and interesting pieces. This leads to boring stores and products.

Right - Burberry - White T-Shirt With Crystal Brooch - £495 - See Now, Buy Now isn't making for the best clothes says TheChicGeek, do you agree?

It’s time to ditch see now buy now. Burberry are good at deciding to drop things when they don't work. They tried to go it alone with their beauty offering, but realised things are too tough out there on your own and have now gone in with beauty giant, Coty. 

If it’s any consolation, they can be confident to know that if they couldn’t make it work, then nobody could make it work and can be very proud of themselves for trying something that many thought too difficult and didn't even entertain. 

Like all new ideas, some are more successful than others. This is one to put down to experience and it's time to let Christopher Bailey do what he does best.

As Christopher Bailey says goodbye to Burberry, read TheChicGeek's Ode To Christopher Bailey - here

Published in Fashion

OOTD The Chic Geek Burberry MenswearBurberry menswear SS17 RopeMove over the Little Mermaid as TheChicGeek gets sculptural in the latest menswear collection from Burberry. Inspired by the British sculptor, Henry Moore, Burberry's new collection was a play with form, function and distortion. Oversized dress shirts, sweatshirts with rope detailing and twisted brogues were all part of their 'See Now, Buy Now' collection.

Spot the spring carrot throughout TheChicGeek's SS17 collections as he picks his favourite menswear collections of the season and models his favourite pieces, making him one happy geek!


Credits - Clothes - Burberry SS17, Shoes - Burberry SS17, Spectacles - Salvatore Ferragamo, Fragrance - Givenchy Gentlemen Only Eau De Toilette Fraiche, Bumble & Bumble - Sumoclay

#FollowTheCarrot #TheChicGeekCollections

Shot on OlympusPEN by Robin Forster

See more pictures & video below

See LoeweSee Neil Barrett, See Paul Smith See Tim Coppens See Dries van Noten

OOTD menswear Burberry SS17 Henry MooreThe Chic Geek style icon blogger male BurberryTwisted distorted brogues shoes Burberry SS17Carrot The Chic Geek OOTD Burberry style menswearOOTD Menswear influencer The Chic Geek BurberryOOTD menswear flatlay Burberry

Published in Outfit of the Day
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 19:39

TheChicGeek Visits Burberry’s Makers House

burberry makers house soho gardenThere are two types of Britishness: urban London Britishness, which is too often clichéd and touristy, involving bowler hats, red telephone boxes and the like, and, then, there's the Britishness of the countryside, which comprises of green rolling hills, National Trust properties with colourful herbaceous borders all soundtracked by the theme of The Antiques Roadshow. 

Left - The not-so-secret garden at the entrance of Burberry's pop-up Makers House

The British countryside is basically a giant garden dotted with the history of people aiming to perfect their little corner of it and that's why we all love to be tourists in it, regardless of where we are from. 

Makers House Burberry menswearAnd, it is this Britishness that Burberry has mined for its latest show and show space, which has been opened to the general public for a week afterwards and is called Makers House.

Right - Makers are gonna make. The day I went it was bookbinding

Located in the old Foyles book store on Charing Cross Road, on the edge of Soho, Burberry has teamed up with British craft collective, The New Craftsmen, showcasing their hand-working skills, making everything from tassels to keys to scissors. There are different people displaying different skills, on each day, creating theatre in the bottom of the space.

burberry shearling makers houseJust to be clear, these people didn’t produce anything for the new Burberry collection, but it’s an illustration of the type of skills involved. I guess Burberry needed huge volumes and a long lead time if they were able to be the first brand to fully deliver their new ‘See Now, Buy Now’ concept worldwide, all at the same time, both offline and online.

Left - One of the standout pieces of the menswear show

Burberry fabric print V&AYou can buy their products in a small shop here, but I think Burberry missed a trick by not including a few of their own products. Maybe a few of the classic pieces.

Right - A print taken from the V&A archive and used in the collection and on the show seating

Alongside them is a pop-up branch of Thomas’, the Burberry café from Regent Street, which has to be one of the best of the big brand versions of this type of thing, offering seasonal British fare all served on British made tables and chairs, and in this case, leading onto a garden of white busts and classical plaster casts contrasted with lush green planting that welcomes you at the entrance.

burberry chic geek staircaseIt’s like Daylesford Organic has comes to Soho, hostas and all, in this mix of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Nancy Lancaster’s decorating skills, (she was the owner of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler), and a celebration of the great and good of British history all lined up like a friendly who’s, who. I feel like we may have been given a glimpse of Christopher Bailey’s Yorkshire lifestyle. He has to spend all those millions somewhere after all. This is the fantasy perfection of British country living that we never seem to tire of and one which Burberry has used as inspiration before such as Charleston in Sussex or gardening at Sissinghurst.

Left - TheChicGeek on the poetry staircase doing his best Rapunzel impression!

burberry ruffUpstairs, where the catwalk show was, 83 mannequins show off the full collection of men’s and women’s wear, 250 pieces in total, where you can look at the details and touch the fabrics. Everything is available now, if you can afford it, and the collection was Bailey’s usual strong balance of wearability and fashion. Think artist-like relaxed shirts with ruffled collars and cuffs interplayed with brocade and cropped shearlings and slouchy trousers. I particularly like the orange/biscuit coloured shearling and 30s style printed pyjama shirts. The green carpet design was taken from a garden print from the V&A.

Right - The Tudors are back! Taking the ruff with the smooth

Burberry makers house sculptorBurberry took a risk on the ‘See Now, Buy Now’ concept, but I think they’ve pulled it off. Unlike other brands, this show season, who have made it a token gesture to gain attention and PR, this is full on and took some organisation. I guess many items had to be comprised or changed to fulfil the tight delivery dates, but it doesn't show. 

Left - Pieces of Michelangelo's David looking over his shoulder while a sculptor builds up his clay maquette 

Nancy Lancaster's bed burberry I like the way it’s been opened up to the public. You spend all that money on the show space, you may as well as justify it by making it customer facing, especially now they’re selling the items straight away. I can’t wait to see how they will top this in February.

Many other luxury brands will be watching this enviously and wondering whether they could or should do the same. 

Right - Nancy Lancaster's bed from her house, Ditchley Park

In a post-brexit world I think Burberry should take this whole concept on a world tour. Tokyo, Shanghai, and Mumbai would relish this little outpost of Britishness, pots plants and all. We have to remember there’s a big world outside of London.

Burberry Makers House Open Until 27th September 2016, 1 Manette Street, London, W1D 4AT

classical figures burberry makers house

How many of these great British figures can you name?

Published in Fashion
Monday, 04 April 2016 07:09

Tried & Tested - Mr Burberry

mr burberry chic geek review“Mr. Burberry is our most significant men’s fragrance to date. Inspired by the iconic Burberry trench coat and by London, a city of great contrasts and contradictions. It is traditional yet irreverent, elegant without being pristine. It perfectly encapsulates a mood and an attitude that today’s Burberry man will recognise as his own.” says Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer, Burberry.

Left - Josh's Bottle! Burberry - Mr. Burberry Eau De Toilette - 100ml - £64

Inspired by Burberry’s iconic black trench coat and by London, the Mr. Burberry fragrance was created by Christopher Bailey, working in collaboration with renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. A sensual herbal woody eau de toilette, the fragrance opens with notes of crisp zesty grapefruit, cut with a seductive base of earthy vetiver and smokey guaiac wood. 

mr burberry grooming range

Right - The full Mr Burberry range includes a beard oil

The Mr. Burberry campaign was shot in London by Oscar and Turner Prize-winning British director Steve McQueen in his first commercial film, and features British actor and musician Josh Whitehouse and British model and actress Amber Anderson. The soundtrack was created by British singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine. 

TheChicGeek says, “This is a big deal for Burberry. After buying back their fragrance license they are now in full control of this side of the business and see this as one of their growth areas. They need this to be a hit.

They’re one of the few mega-brands in fashion with a creative director overseeing every little detail of the business and you can feel the consistency here.

As for the fragrance, it’s nice, but not distinctive. The refreshing grapefruit of the top soon gives way to a soft and warm wood. The main negative is that it doesn’t last. You’d be better off using this as a type of cologne and applying lots and often to keep it with you. There’s also a full range of products to go with this, including a beard oil, which, while not revolutionary, at least shows they’ve thought about the men’s market and offered some difference. 

I like the touch of gabardine, the original trench-coat fabric invented by Thomas Burberry, made in Burberry’s own factory in Yorkshire and tied around the neck of the bottle. This is as close as the majority of people will get to owning one of their expensive trench-coats. You can also have each bottle personalised with up to three initials. 

The campaign feels a bit more risqué than the average perfume commercial, think quite a bit of nudity, but you do wonder how much will be cut to please different markets and advertisers.” 

Below - Face of the fragrance, British actor & musician - Josh Whitehouse

mr burberry face josh whitehouse

Published in Grooming