Thursday, 31 May 2018 14:55

ChicGeek Comment PrEPpy Style

PrEP influencing how men are looking

Let’s take a moment to step back and see how fashionable men are looking at this moment in time. You’ve probably noticed a proliferation of thick moustaches - well away from the month of Movember - alongside lean and toned bodies all clothed in fitted, retro sportswear. It’s hard not to see his counterpart mirrored from the late 70s or early 80s. An era of disco, gay liberation and pre-AIDS.

Left - How men are looking today - lean, toned and a hair top lip - Gone is the bearded and tattooed hipster

This isn’t just gay men either. Young straight men and homosexual men are almost indecipherable in how they look, today, bouncing the trends off one another and have the confidence to do as they please, rather than worry about being labelled either way.

Henry Cavill superman

Christopher Reeve superman

I was recently in a gay pub in East London. In walked three young guys all proudly sporting cropped hair and thick moustaches. I thought it was interesting how they looked like the same young men from nearly 40 years ago. I wondered why all these things: the clothes, the body shape and facial hair styles, had all collided back to this one point in time. And, then I thought, maybe it’s because we’re entering a Post-AIDS era? 

Right - Two Supermen, 40 years apart - Henry Cavill & Christopher Reeve

Thanks to medication, HIV can be prevented and people who do have it can no longer pass it on. Medication such as PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) can stop HIV from taking hold. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed and it recently became available on the NHS.

Consciously or unconsciously, it feels like we can finally celebrate this time because we’re no longer scared of it. Previously, looking at the images from that era had a heavy melancholy knowing what was to come and how many men  didn’t make it out of that decade. But, it feels like that has lifted. It’s a mental freedom that the fashion industry is clearly relishing and focusing on this hedonistic era and image of hyper-masculinity. 

PrEP influencing how men are looking Fire Island Pines

Popular Instagram accounts such as ‘TheAidsMemorial’ celebrates the lives of men who lost their lives and it’s interesting how contemporary these images look. Publications such as ‘Gayletter’ play with retro homoerotic imagery and books such as ‘Fire Island Pines’ , is a collection of Polaroids from 1975-1983 of men holidaying in Fire Island in Long Island, New York, and they look like a contemporary men's swimwear shoot. Recent films like ‘Tom of Finland’ focuses on the illustrator who drew the fetish/leather side of gay men and can be seen throughout the recent AW18 collection from Moschino.

Left - Photography book - Fire Island Pines by Tom Bianchi

PrEP influencing how men are looking Moschino menswear AW18

This is obviously centred on the gay community, but gay men influence straight men, so quickly now, and vice versa. 

“In the inimitable words of power PR Samantha Jones of TV show ‘Sex and the City’ (fictional, of course) "First comes the Gays, then the girls and then the industry"!says David M Watts, Editor & Publisher, Wattswhat Magazine.

"Gay men have historically been regarded as trend setters when it comes to fashion and style. However, the resurgence of male erotica imagery making its way into mainstream fashion has more to do with lazy millennial designers looking back and copying 80s and 90s imagery rather than using it as inspiration to create something new,” says Watts.

Right - Moschino AW18

Contemporary films, documentaries and TV shows such as Ready Player One, Stranger Things, The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Antonio Lopez: Sex, Fashion & Disco - Read TheChicGeek review here, keep us continually coming back to the 70s and 80s. 

“I think nostalgia is a feeling which anchors us in a constantly-changing world, and that period between the late-Seventies and mid-Eighties, pre-AIDS crisis, pre-Section 28, and the birth of the Gay Liberation movement, is sometimes seen by gay men as a golden age of hedonism and queer sexual politics. Hence the continued popularity of the music and style from that period,” says Lee Clatworthy, Writer and Press and Media Officer for Sparkle - The National Transgender Charity.

"I think this style has filtered down to the mainstream because of the availability of cheap flights to cities like Berlin, which has a large queer art community, but is also a focal point for innovative electronic music and club culture at present.” says Clatworthy.

Gone is that built, steroid-fed and hairless muscular body of the 90s and in its place is a more natural yet Instagramable toned shape. It’s more youthful and suits the current fitted style of men's clothes.

PrEP influencing how men are looking GQ Style SS18

Trying not to fixate on the moustache too much, but it’s definitely one of the defining factors linking the two eras, one thing to know is, it’s not the twiddly gin-drinking Victorian type, but the solid Magnum PI style. The many years of Movember would have played a part in its return, but it’s most probably a reaction to the hipster beard.

Left - GQ Style SS18

PrEP influencing how men are looking

“I would say guys wearing the moustache are normally stylish and looking to stand out a bit more in a world of beards. It normally means they are confident in themselves too.” says Tom Chapman, Founder of the Lions Barber Collective.

“I think the obsession with facial hair as a whole has been with us for a few years now, but people are starting to feel confident with a furry face and beginning to experiment with different shapes. There are so many choices when it comes to the moustache which can be easily changeable and stylable.” says Chapman.

Right - Selfie from Pinterest

PrEP influencing how men are looking GQ Style SS18

“The thicker, denser looks with less styling have definitely come from those 70/80 icons such as Freddy Mercury and Hulk Hogan and I would say that young men are most definitely influenced by iconic TV and films. They have a powerful way of making something feel cool or stylish.” Chapman says.

While this ‘PrEPpy’ look has already been strong, particularly amongst East London gay men, it is definitely being pushed out into the wider male aesthetic. As we move further away from the bearded hipster, this seems to be its cool replacement. It is starting to influence straight males who won’t even know where it’s come from.

Or, it could simply be just a lot of young men with moustaches. It’s only a theory!

Left - Clearly influence by Tom of Finland, GQ Style SS18 showing the lean, toned and tached male look

Read more expert ChicGeek Comments - here

Published in Fashion
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 actual 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 The Fashion Archives
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:29

Get The Look Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look MenswearWe seem to be fixated on the year 1983. First came Stranger Things and now, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name. 

Left - Getting rave views - Call Me By Your Name - The new film by Luca Guadagnino, who also made I am Love & A Bigger Splash

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look MenswearA love story between Elio and Oliver, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, respectively, it is an Italian summer romance featuring the power brands of the decade.

Right - The film's wardrobe was very casual 80s brands such as Lacoste & Polo Ralph Lauren

From Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, clothing the arrogant and preppy Oliver, to the striped Lacoste polos on the young and loving Elio. 

Mix it with a bit of 80s Italian disco and copious amounts of drawstring swim shorts and you have your next warm weather wardrobe sorted. A future classic, it’s a peach of a film!

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear B D Baggies shirtsLeft - B.D. Baggies - Bradfort Oxford Butt Down-Pocket - £73

Below - Ray Ban - Original Wayfarer Classic - £127

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Ray Ban Wayfarer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Polo Ralph Lauren Green Shirt Armie HammerLeft - Ralph Lauren - Slim Fit Cotton Oxford Shirt - £95

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Lacoste polo striped shirtLeft - Lacoste - Men’s Lacoste Regular Fit Striped Pima Cotton Polo - £79

Below - Boardies - Overlay Shortie Swim Shorts - £50

Persol - Havana - £153 from Sunglasses-shop

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Boardies swim shorts 80s

Converse - Fastbreak ’83 Vintage - £70

Casio - Classic Digital Watch F-91W-1XY - £13 from ASOS

adidas - Originals Football Swim Short - £29.99 from Footasylum

See More Get The Look - The Assassination of Gianni Versace - here

Get The Look - Wild, Wild Country

Call Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Persol Sunglasses OliverCall Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Converse trainersCall Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear Casio digital watchCall Me By Your Name Get The Look MenswearCall Me By Your Name Get The Look Menswear

Published in The Fashion Archives