Sunday, 06 November 2016 20:55

Film Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals Tom Ford Film The Chic GeekYou know times are tough when you have to sell your Jeff Koons dog. This is the predicament Amy Adams, the lead in Tom Ford’s latest film, Nocturnal Animals, finds herself in as her relationship falls apart.

Left - How many redheads can Tom Ford get into one film?! The lead, Amy Adams

An art dealer, this perfect redhead lives in her perfect Neutra-style house with her perfect looking husband (Armie Hammer). All very 'Tom Ford' so far.

I was never a big fan of Tom Ford’s first film, A Single Man. While it looked beautiful, I didn’t really care about the characters and, ultimately, that’s what a good storyteller will make you do. The film was more a long commercial, while Nocturnal Animals has less fashion, isn’t so design obsessed and is divided into two opposite parts: a warm, violent, poor, rural Texan story and a cold, harsh, rich and clinically urban story and leaves you wanting more.

There are three main storylines running throughout the film albeit with a slightly confusing timeline, but Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal hold it all together.

jake gyllenhaal michael shannon Nocturnal AnimalsRight - Michael Shannon as the police officer & Jake Gyllenhaal as the witness

For somebody with Tom Ford’s taste you’d think he’d exercise more subtly. The art is big-hitters like Koons or Damien Hirst, the Republican mum has Margaret Thatcher hair and one of the main jarring moments, a wanky art gallery assistant is wearing something that felt more Ab. Fab 'fashion' than believable and her flippant attitude really rammed home the vacuous point. None of these things really add anything. But, these are minor points. What the film majors in is suspense, in spades. It’s the suspense that draws you in and nervously keeps you there. The Texan bulk of the film is of the raw Steinbeck variety that is scary in its lawlessness, but doesn’t romanticise it. There are the big Texan vistas, but it is for more a sense of place than a cinematography award.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the ringleader of a gang who bullies, rapes and murders. Michael Shannon is great as the police officer and Armie Hammer is the ice-cold husband. The soundtrack is great and the shaky film style adds to the thrill. There are a couple of Tom Ford fashion and beauty moments, but it feels like decoration, which it should, rather than the main gist of the film.

This is good. I’m not sure if it's a great film, I’d have to see it again to decide that, but, I’d definitely give it the chance.

 

Friday, 04 November 2016 15:10

Hot List The Cycle Jumper

cycle jumper Ted Baker House of Fraser Chic GeekAs menswear has become more streamlined, fitted and influenced by sports it was inevitable, particularly with its rise in popularity, that cycling would start to play its part off the track.

Designer, Paul Smith, is a renowned cycling fan and references always appear on his catwalk or collections. The zipped funnel neck, fitted cycle-inspired knit is a key piece this season and has been appearing all over menswear, both designer and the high-street.

Paul Smith cycle top AW16 menswearLeft - Paul Smith AW16

This example by Ted Baker from House of Fraser is the perfect thickness for winter and can be worn easily under tailored jackets or coats. A rich, deep grey, it will dress down a suit or dress up a pair of jeans or tailored sports trousers. Comfortable, sporty and always a winner, it's the Bradley Wiggins of knitwear!

Far Left & Below -  Ted Baker 'Pinball' Funnel Neck Jumper - £109 from House of Fraser funnel neck grey jumper Ted Baker

Friday, 04 November 2016 11:21

Chic Geek Comment Fashion Saturation

fashion saturation obesityFashion has been saturated for a while now. The industry has accepted this and is trying to accommodate and change while saving face and putting on a positive new one.

We’ve seen a massive growth in retailers offering people choice, both online and offline, since the beginning of this century. Nearly two decades later, people don't need anymore stuff and the want, that seldom matched with the need, especially in fashion terms, has also waned, especially when you feel like you’re not seeing anything new.

How many things in your wardrobe still have the tags on or are in their boxes? You’re not a shopaholic or a hoarder, you’re an average person who has more than they need and is showing the middle aged spread of affordable clothes and easy availabiity.

We’re facing an obesity crisis in our consumption and it’s starting to make people feel gluttonous and suffocated with stuff: baggage, quite literally.

I think the average person could probably go a whole year (okay, easily 6 months) without buying anything new for their wardrobe and outwardly showing it. A retail detox, if you will, which is a cleanse of overconsumption and quantity over quality.

You’d often see people outside of Primark having their Pretty Woman moment with armfuls of brown paper carrier bags, but even that sight seems to be scarcer.

It’s a great thing that people can buy what they want when they want it. Clothes have never been so cheap, but the novelty is over and people are seeking alternatives.

Next recently revealed bad sales figures, which probably means the same for retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams. They cited people spending their money on eating out, travel and experiences and not clothes. Debenhams is focussing more of its shop space on food and restaurants and for good reason and I expect other retailers to follow suit.

Over in America large numbers of department stores are being shut and shopping malls are replacing them with a different mix away from retail.

On another note, people’s houses or living accommodation is getting smaller so there is even less space to store even a regular amount of things.

I’m not sure what the solution is to all of this, but I think technology will play a part and make this all look very last century. Maybe it’s a more disposable, but environmentally conscious one? Drones could deliver newly laundered and ironed clothes that we hire rather than own. It seems so Victorian to wash our clothes, dry them, iron them and waste valuable living space storing them. It’s laborious and time hungry and it could easily be replaced with a new service industry along the lines of Uber or Air BnB.

Maybe it’s a brandless future that just focuses on keeping us covered, protected and warm? The majority of people buy clothes and not fashion anyway and many groups aren’t well catered for at the moment.

I think in the new year we’ll see many brands and retailers contracting or going out of business. A survival of the fittest and what capitalism thrives on. The fashion industry that involves us buying more of what we don't need is eating itself and is starting to feel and look stale. Fashion is having an ouroboros moment and it’s turning people off.

The Chic Geek's latest vlog looks at his favourite grooming brand of the moment, Buly, Tom Ford launches body sprays as a new way to wear fragrance, pimps his old Sperry Topsiders with a Vibram sole and shows you how to do Gucci black tie with a couple of pieces of velvet ribbon. Watch TheChicGeek video below and subscribe to his YouTube channel here 

Beast Grooming Earlham StreetI’ve never really liked the term ‘grooming’. It always felt more reflective of animal lovers than contemporary guys wanting to look their best. More Pets At Home than the modern, touchy-feely man, wouldn’t you say?

Walking past this hoarding on Covent Garden’s Earlham Street (left), a new business called Beast is opening that proclaims to be ‘changing the way men shop for beauty’. I asked the guy outside what was new, and he said it would be a one-stop place with all men’s grooming products in one place. 

This isn’t new. The majority of men call it Superdrug or Boots. I'm being facetious. Yes, I know this will be higher-end, but there were previous attempts at this concept with a store on South Molton Street, which I can’t for the life of me remember the name of, and one on Bond Street, which, again, I’ve forgotten the name. They both closed a few years ago.

Many prospective businessmen look at the men’s grooming market as half of the adult population. This is far from the truth. Men’s grooming is a growing niche which seems to have flourished online. For big brands, such as Clinique, men’s represents about 5% of their business, so it’s still pretty small. That being said, the guys who are into it, are really into it, so, while a smaller number, they do splash the cash. 

To compete with online this place needs to offer the theatre of retail, something new and great customer service and advice. Recommending products is so individual and subjective and many times guys don’t really need what their needs are, let alone why they need to pay a premium for something.

I’m not judging this place before I've seen it, but the term ‘beauty’ is new and for the first time feels right. The new softer, more confident and emotionally aware male is able to approach looking after themselves without pseudo-macho words to sprinkle their moisturising and eye creams with a pretension of overt masculinity. 

Proving this point further, a new beauty and grooming destination for Generation Z and young Millennials is 'Very Good Light'. ‘Refining Male Beauty’, it is a space for guys aged 16-26 to share beauty tips. Founder, David Yi, says it’s “a safe haven and a non-judgemental space for guys to talk about manly things from all spectrums of manhood,”. This feels fresh. It’s a move on from that hard, Men’s Health type language that is all competitive and chest beating. This feels open and inclusive.

Finally, male beauty is here and it feels right.

www.shop-beast.com

www.verygoodlight.com

Friday, 28 October 2016 11:14

Hot List The Creased Track Pant

wes anderson gym kit lacosteIf Wes Anderson did gym kit then this would be the bottom half. Sports is everywhere at the moment and, if like me, you've grown used to the comfort of spending the summer in shorts and tracksuits it feels like an effort and a step backwards to put on anything else, especially regular, non-elasticated trousers. Oh, how things have changed!

Left - Lacoste FW15

I’m a big fan of what designer, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, is doing for Lacoste in their mainline catwalk collection, which they show in New York. I couldn’t find a good image from the current collection so I used last year's, but I know they do these smart creased track trousers with bold stripes as I saw them in the windows of their Knightsbridge store, yesterday.

I couldn’t find them available on the internet, but Fila do a mean retro tracksuit bottom with that ever so sharp and important crease in their Heritage collection. Go got ‘em.

Fila smart track suit bottoms chic geekLeft & Below - Fila - Molveno Trackpant - £45Fila Molveno Wes Anderson Tracksuit