Friday, 23 August 2019 16:29

Tried & Tested Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau

Review 
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau men's fragrance best rated tried tested"When Jean Paul Gaultier opened Beau's case and, closing his eyes, the smell of coconut wood inspired a profound desire to relax, while the bergamot and the tonka bean whispered to him that lounging was the most refreshing of sins."

The perfumers were Quentin Bisch and Sonia Constant who teleported themselves to “Gaultier's garden”.

TheChicGeek says, “What a beauty! Jean Paul sticks to his winning formula here; tin can packaging, torso bottle and well priced. This is JPG’s Adam, with the giant fig-leaf to match - ooo-er.

The fragrance is an unapologetic gourmand with lots of yummy notes, making this a fun fragrance, but not sickly. It’s wearable and will definitely appeal to the devoted Le Male fan club. While containing the masstige tonka bean, it doesn’t smell generic or boring and has the same tongue-in-cheek sense of humour we adore from Mr Gaultier.”

Left - Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau - 75ml - £44.62

Friday, 23 August 2019 13:58

ChicGeek Comment Fashion Weeks Go Public

Public Facing Fashion WeeksFashion weeks’ viability are continually being questioned. It’s the same conversation every time on the front row - the fashion industry’s twice yearly deja vecu - What is the point? And, how do fashion brands and designers justify the expense and time?

There’s no doubt the major fashion weeks - New York, London, Milan & Paris - have suffered recently as the industry has contracted, brands have merged men’s and women’s shows together and others have opted out entirely, reducing both the quality and quantity of many fashion weeks. Yet, many brands are still willing to spend millions on a few short minutes of exposure.

Ready-to-wear fashion weeks’ last hoped for raison d’être trend was ‘See Now, Buy Now’, which didn’t really work. It was too restrictive in a creative capacity for brands whose collections are often pulled together and styled a few weeks before each show.

It’s time to try something else, so could ‘public-facing shows’ be the solution and create a  much needed source of income for these trade organisations?

Left - Will the BFC's idea for 'Public Facing' Shows' revive fashion weeks raison d'être?

The British Fashion Council has announced public-facing shows at the forthcoming London Fashion Week in September. Designers ‘House Of Holland’ and ‘self-portrait’, the first to be announced, will be taking part in the new London Fashion Week format which sees the internationally recognised event open its doors to the public.

Unlike the ‘London Fashion Weekend’ which is tagged onto the end of fashion week, and is more a exhibition-type event, this will take place during the main fashion week. There are public shows on the Saturday and Sunday with ticket holders choosing from three different time slots; 10am, 1pm and 4pm. The public audience is able to purchase tickets to “an immersive London Fashion Week experience” taking place at the official London Fashion Week Hub where Standard tickets are priced at £135 and Front Row tickets at £245.

The British Fashion Council says, “The experience includes catwalk shows, on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September 2019; creative installations, industry-led talk panels from experts offering unparalleled insights to the fashion industry, the DiscoveryLAB, an experiential space where fashion meets art, technology and music and a newly relaunched Designer Exhibition, which will fully embrace #PositiveFashion, the BFC’s initiative designed to celebrate industry best practice and encourage future business decisions to create positive change.”

Fashion Writer, Dal Chodha, @dalchodha says, “Fashion shows are already ‘public facing’ so I don’t think this initiative is necessarily a bad thing. “What is increasingly obvious is that the industry has tried to maintain its aloofness whilst still courting attention from anyone and everyone for too long. There has been no clear welcome of the general public into the fashion conversation, despite all of the hot air about the ‘democratisation’ of fashion. I haven’t seen it.” he says. “There is nothing democratic about showing people clothes they cannot get, or streaming experiences they cannot feel.”

Dan Hasby-Oliver, Blogger, Last Style of Defense, says, “I do think this opens up crucial funding for both designers and the BFC, as well as making an industry more transparent, given the convo. around sustainability - it all goes hand-in-hand. However, I do fear it could become a circus of phone toting teens…”

“I think it’s a great idea. The designers need customers. If we can get #shoptherunway technology and eventually solve the fit issue using technology, we’ll have a seemless way for designers to make money from a runway show. The old model is dead. Off with its head!” says Melissa Shea, Cofounder of Fashion Mingle, the first nationwide platform designed exclusively for fashion professionals.

The full line-up of catwalk shows, talks and designers taking part in the London Fashion Week “Designer Exhibition” will be announced in the next few weeks. London isn’t the first fashion week to try to tap into this enthusiasm from the public.

"I have visited Seoul Fashion Week four times to report on it for Wallpaper and I was most struck by the energy, the excitement in the room!” says Chodha. “I believe they operate on a lottery system, but I don’t think people pay money for tickets. The first show I went to was bizarre because people were screaming and smiling and laughing each time they saw a celebrity or a look they liked. It felt like the photographs of 1980s shows coming to life. People were ENJOYING them – in contrast to the glum faces you see in Paris, Milan and London. Most of us are too busy trying to process what we are seeing to really enjoy it. No one applauds at shows anymore because each of us is wielding a phone, ‘gramming the moment. So if people are avidly watching and enjoying the stories, why not free up a few seats and invite them to the show? I don’t see the harm in it, as long as we are still allowed to do our job. Fashion is a tricky industry because it is so seductive. I just wish that more young people were encouraged to go and see scientists or surgeons at work too, rather than just designers!” he says.

With ticket prices to rival a rock concert, the BFC is clearly hoping to make serious revenue from this. They’ve previously sold tickets to the British Fashion Awards, and sponsors have always been given tickets to London Fashion Week in exchange for money.

“I agree that the pricing is an issue as it pits itself as a ‘luxury’ experience - also in terms of broadening out the kinds of people who have access to fashion, the price of the tickets will foster no new ways of thinking.” says Chodha. “The move from the BFC just confirms fashion’s new role as a type of theatre. It is a spectacle (even when it is bad). Just like traipsing around an art gallery or squeezing yourself into a concert, fashion is entertainment. 

“‘Outsiders’ have been going to fashion shows for a long time under the guise of ‘sponsors friends’. Is this the future? It is the here and now. To be snobbish about it is to refuse evolution. Something has to change, that’s for sure.” he says.

“Fashion week is a working environment, and to perhaps make it a free for all could make professionals reconsider their place during the week, thus transitioning the event to a redundant, consumer facing replacement for See Now, Buy Now.” says Hasby-Oliver. “Perhaps more work-place/open days/industry support would benefit keen outsiders looking to the industry instead. I do think, the current price package is prohibitive to the less privileged. Concl: Yes for transparency and education for the few, No to making it a frenzied free for all.” he says.

Traditionally, Haute Couture fashion shows have always been about the consumer with the hope these ridiculously expensive clothes are ordered off the back of the show. But, it was a model only for the mega-monied who could buy entry by becoming a customer. These shows will be separate from the press/buyer shows, but should give attendees a feel of going to a full fledged fashion show. Many people want to attend a fashion show once in their lifetime and if the BFC get the designers, music and models right they should satisfy those with the desire to stump up this sort of cash to go. Unfortunately, the best designers will probably decline to take part.

Fashion and fashion weeks’ exclusivity is one of the attractions of the industry. The desire for tickets, the scrum at the door and the hysteria are all part of the fun. To sell out 6 catwalk shows for these prices will be a challenge, but will certainly generate some income. These shows need to be buzzy and full to give the full LFW experience. If successful, other brands could look at offering another public show after their main one and possibly give the tickets away in a ballot or to VIP customers. The industry will be watching.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 16:06

Menswear Product Of The Week Tartan Trews

fashion menswear product of the week Charles Jeffrey Loverboy Tartan trousersHow do you call your lover boy? Come here, lover boy? And, if he doesn't answer? Oh lover boy! Well, that’s enough Dirty Dancing - luv, btw - and so to London’s Charles Loverboy Jeffrey, who really impressed me with the finish of his latest AW19 collection - Read more here - The quality is really there in the cut, fabric and finish and this striking tartan is just the right balance between bold and wearable. Tartan is as British as the Kit Kat and soggy Bank Holidays, and this season it’s the main pattern to covet. Get on board, loverboys!

Left & Below - Charles Jeffrey Loverboy - Check Print Trousers - £868 from FarFetch

fashion menswear product of the week Charles Jeffrey Loverboy Tartan trousers

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 14:25

#OOTD 125 United Colours Of Chic Geek

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandalsSomewhere in the depths of rainy Kent, TheChicGeek, was a Lego-like vision of colour.

When we think of bold colours we often get sidetracked by prints and pattens. Plain primaries, like these, should be looked at like children's building blocks, all adding up to a balanced whole. Don't be frightened by bold trousers, because, when they're balanced, like here with other just as strong colours, they don't feel as bright and daring. It says confidence and references masters of colour like David Hockney and Luke Edward Hall.

Credits - #Gifted Shirt - Barena, Sandals - Grenson, Socks - Falke, Jacket - Slowear #NotGifted Trousers - Polo Ralph Lauren

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandals

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandals

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandals

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandals

Menswear OOTD The Chic Geek Blogger Barena linen shirt slowear jacket polo ralph lauren trousers Falke socks sandals

 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:05

Copenhagen Menswear Trade Shows SS20 Report

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows string bags trends SS20 menswearMaybe it was the summer season, or a sign of the times, but Copenhagen was noticeably quieter in terms of visitors and brands. Both major trade shows, Revolver and CIFF, felt emptier than previous seasons with many brands, both large and small, missing.

Regardless, there was still plenty to take note of and get us excited for the SS20 menswear season. So, here goes:

Trends

Strings Attached

A womenswear trend from a few summers ago, there’s been a distinctive uptake by guys on social media of the humble string bag. Despite all your worldly goods being on display, the string bag is the cool reusable shopper. These from Danish brand, Épice, are the designer version with the price to match. Established in 1999 by the Danish designers Bess Nielsen and Jan Machenhauer, it offers also a range of printed bags and knitwear made in Italy. Around €70 for a bag.

Left - Épice string bags

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Bobby Rocky Fun fur trends SS20 menswearReal Fun Fur

It was inevitable that the fun fur movement would touch menswear at some point. But, for those worried that fun-fur/vegan just equals more plastic in the world, new Scandi coat brand, Bobby Rocky, uses woven wool - no sheep were harmed in the making - to create a range of coats. This full shaggy overcoat retails for around for a reasonable €600.

Right - Bobby Rocky wool fun fur

Brands

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows FRIEKNOCK korea trends SS20 menswear

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows FRIEKNOCK korea trends SS20 menswearFreiknock

Wishful thinking, designer, Joohyung You, looks at peace between North and South Korea for the SS20 season. This former footballer, who played for German teams, launched his label Freiknock in 2013. This season sees cute peace bears, North Korean propaganda imagery and tailoring inspired by the wardrobe of Kim Jong Un.

Left & Right - Freiknock

 

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Maium raincosts trends SS20 menswear

Maium

The Dutch slang for water or rain, this raincoat brand has ingenious side zippers that allow the jacket to go up over your bike. Maium’s rainwear is produced from recycled plastic bottles, does not contain any harmful substances and is said to be manufactured under fair, safe and healthy working conditions. Around €135 for a coat.

Left - Maium raincoat

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Agent New York trends SS20 menswearAgent

The third season from this New York based menswear brand. Creative Director, Terrence Williams, previously a shoe designer with Creative Recreation, with experience spent at Thom Browne, teamed up with English designer, Joshua Fronda, “to develop a playful modern adaptation to subculture classics which became Agent”.

Left - Agent

 

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Ejder Old Street trends SS20 menswearEjder 

Based on Old Street roundabout, this multi-brand retailer is pushing its own brand label of  £60 tees and tops amongst its list of independent designer brands and trying to keep up with the ever-evolving streetwear consumer.

Left - Ejder 

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Pseudonym trends SS20 menswear

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Pseudonym trends SS20 menswear

Pseudonym 

A graduate of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Singaporean designer, Zheqiang Zhang, won the ‘Euro Fashion Award’ in 2018. His label, Pseudonym, is a mix of stunning silk scarves and trench coats incorporating further striking designs.

Right & Below - Pseudonym

 

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Uncle Bright trends SS20 menswear

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Uncle Bright shoes trends SS20 menswear

Uncle Bright

With a store in Copenhagen, Uncle Bright mixes 50s Americana with the philosophy that all garments are created to be worn with a functional yet stylish purpose

Uncle Bright says it is happy to wallow in nostalgia and never looks forward for inspiration. Most worthy of note is the handmade footwear. Manufactured in Spain at a factory with more than 100 years of experience, every single boot goes through minimum 200 different stages in production.

Left  & Below Left - Uncle Bright

 

 

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Maium Dutch raincoat trends SS20 menswearCollaborations

In our modern age you have two hipster artistic choices; Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo? Well, Amsterdam based brand, Daily Paper, has teamed up their Dutch icon, Van Gogh. Knowing their irises from their sunflowers, this capsule collection in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is a painterly hit on shirts, jackets and jeans.

Left & Below - Van Gogh Museum X Daily Paper

See Paris Menswear Trade Show Report - Here

Copenhagen ciff revolver trends trade shows Maium Dutch raincoat trends SS20 menswear

Friday, 16 August 2019 13:45

ChicGeek Comment Box Everything

Boxpark Croydon successMention Croydon and the first thing the majority of people say is ‘Boxpark’. That, and the fact the place is a bit run down, is all people seem to know about this outer South London suburb. The metal shipping container type concept of Boxpark has become the ‘up and coming’ stamp of hipster approval and many councils and developers see it as an opportunity to regenerate their town centres, drive footfall and appeal to a younger audience.

Since its launch in 2011, Boxpark has morphed from retail to food outlets, and, now, work places. Just announced, Boxpark has nationwide expansion plans alongside two brand new concepts; BoxOffice and BoxHall. They currently have 3 sites in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley. and there are plans to expand with a further ten new sites over the next five years. 

Left - Boxparks new concepts; BoxOffice & BoxHall

The new concept, BoxOffice, is a co-working space which will be incorporated into brand new Boxpark sites. The Boxpark and BoxOffice schemes will be a 50,000 - 150,000 sq ft. in size with developments featuring the Boxpark streetfood and bars set up on the ground floor and leisure operators such as virtual reality, cinemas, crazy golf and karaoke on the first floor and between two to four floors of co-working space above. Boxpark will work along alongside existing co-working companies on the launch and operation of the new BoxOffice concept. 

BoxHall is a new food hall concept. These smaller, 10,000-20,000 sq ft, food and beverage destinations will be based on existing sites within city centres across the UK, featuring between six and twelve street food vendors at each site. Boxpark’s turnover is reported to be currently in the region of £10 million a year.

Boxpark founder and CEO Roger Wade said, “I’m really excited to announce our plans for our brand new BoxOffice and BoxHall concepts. Boxpark has always been an innovator in the retail and leisure sector and these brand new formats demonstrate our investment in continuing to evolve both the brand and the sites we build and operate. These two major new innovations will help us secure a further 10 sites across the UK over the next five years.” 

They haven’t named the sites, but proposals were submitted to Brighton & Hove City Council to revive the crumbling Victorian arches on the seafront, and will incorporate a new premium hotel operator alongside a Boxpark.

Founder Roger Wade’s background is retail and he was the founder of footwear brand, Boxfresh. The pop-up Boxpark idea has been successful because it has mirrored Generation Rent. The temporary nature and its choice of more ‘edgy’ locations needs less investment and has less local competition. It’s the opposite of chainy, while still being a chain and situated at travel hotspots for a generation who aren’t learning to drive. Read ChicGeek Comment Neighbourhood Shops - here

Time Out Market London Waterloo

Councils are also encouraging them too. Croydon Council gave Boxpark a £3million loan, plus another £180,000 grant of public cash towards its launch party. Croydon Boxpark has 40 traders from around the world, both established and start-up, set in over 90 shipping containers. With Croydon as a further example, while the Boxpark seems to be thriving near the main East Croydon station with direct trains to London and Brighton, Westfield’s much feted shopping centre in the middle of the town seems to be wobbling and being pushed back further and further. Bricks and mortar is expensive and these easily converted containers are ripe for small start ups, offer more customer choice and can be moved easily if a location doesn't work.

Right - Time Out Market London opening at Waterloo Station in 2021

When Boxpark first opened in Shoreditch it was retail focussed with brands such as Calvin Klein Underwear and Nike. It quickly moved more into food when it realised young people wanted experience over stuff. The two further Boxparks were purely food focussed. Now, they’ve realised there is potential to develop further and make ‘Box’ the ‘Easy’ brand for younger generations.

Eating at these places is cheaper and cooler than eating in standard restaurants. It has spawned imitators such as Pop in Brixton and GRUB in Manchester while chains like Byron Burgers and Jamie’s Italian have all suffered. Shopping centres and town centres are seeing that these hipster concepts appeal to Millennials and Generation Z who want authenticity, and, while a similar idea, they feel like the antithesis of the traditional American mall type food courts.

Food is the fulcrum for all these developments, and it's the theatre of food that creates the buzz and energy missing from many modern retail locations. People need to eat, it brings people together and makes them leave the house. 

These mini-food halls are seeing a boon ATM. ‘Market Hall’ opened at Victoria Station and Fulham with a third opening, the flagship, ‘Market Hall West End’, opening late 2019 in the old BHS building off Oxford Street and will become the largest food hall in the UK. Covering 37,500 sq ft over three floors, with over 800 covers, "this impressive space will feature twelve independent food vendors made up of crowd favourites in Fulham and Victoria as well as some new faces, four bars, a children’s play area, three dedicated events spaces and TV recording studio including a demo kitchen". Market Hall founder, Simon Anderson, told the Big Hospitality website in April 2019, “We are concentrating our attention for the next year and a half within the M25 as we know the London audience well. When we go further afield we’ll go to the north first as half our management team is based in Yorkshire and has a good understanding of that marketplace. Within the next few years we hope to have three or four more sites in London and three or four out of London.”

These modern food halls are like an internet portal or host. The umbrella brand hosts numerous smaller and unknown brands offering more choice and novelty while charging a fee and not getting their hands too dirty. Shopping centre owner intu asked Market Hall to open at their Lakeside centre in Thurrock this Spring. I wrote this last year, ChicGeek Comment Returning Malls To Markets

Eataly Liverpool Street Food Halls Bishopsgate

'The Hall’  “brings together dynamic and independent food traders from across the south east and use the big-city energy, theatre and excitement of street-food to create a compelling dining experience for intu Lakeside’s 20 million annual footfall” says the blurb.

The Hall at intu Lakeside is 14,500 sq ft and includes seven kitchens, a coffee shop, pop-up areas for food trucks, two bars and seating for 680 people.

Other examples include the Time Out Market London, opening at Waterloo station in 2021  - Read more ChicGeek Comment Investors Letting The Train Take The Strain and Eataly, opening on Broadgate, next to Liverpool Street station, in 2020.

Left - Eataly opening on Broadgate in 2020

This global Italian food “marketplaces” operator, which combines retail and restaurant concessions, already has locations in New York City, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, as well as in Japan and Brazil. It promises a selection of “the best Italian products, restaurants, bars, quick services, exciting on-site production laboratories, and a cooking school.” 

The Boxpark brand is the leader in this area of pop-up food malls and developers and towns are seeing this as a worthy replacement for the contraction in retail demand. The new BoxOffice and BoxHall concepts seem like logically growth of a popular brand.

Umbrella brands like Boxpark also know councils and shopping centre owners will offer financial incentives for them to bring these currently cool concepts to their locations. The only difficulty I see is expecting an unlimited supply of authentic, ambitious and quality start-ups to fill them. These concepts are only as strong as their groups of operators and it will be a fine balance of supporting them while profiting from them.

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