Wednesday, 15 July 2020 13:09

Label To Know Reyn Spooner

Label to know menswear Reyn Spooner Hawaiian Shirt holidayHawaii is the spiritual home of the tropical floral shirt, so, say ‘Aloha’ to Reyn Spooner. 

Reynolds (Reyn) McCullough returned home to Catalina Island, California after serving in WWII. He was inspired to explore his natural connection to that easygoing Cali style, at first as a shop clerk at the local men’s shop, then as the owner of Reyn’s Men’s Wear, soon running six popular stores across the state.

Meanwhile, in 1956, Ruth Spooner had opened Spooner's of Waikiki and quickly built a reputation in Hawaii for manufacturing quality surf trunks working with just one sewing machine.

When Reyn opened his first shop in Honolulu, he didn’t sell Aloha shirts. The shirts being produced at the time just didn’t meet Reyn and Ruth’s standards for style and construction, and it wasn’t until after a local surfer showed Reyn an inside-out sewing method championed by locals, that the dream took shape.

Left - Deep Sea Jive Tailored Buttonfront - Black Onyx - £130

Label to know menswear Reyn Spooner Hawaiian Shirt holiday

In 1962, McCullough teamed up with Ruth Spooner to ensure consistent quality and decided to merge the two company names to create Reyn Spooner in Honolulu. He then set up four sewing machines in the basement of his Ala Moana store to create ‘Aloha Apparel’.

Developed by founder, Reyn McCullough, Spooner KlothTM is a unique woven cloth made of cotton and spun poly that’s amazingly durable, wrinkly-free and breathable.

Reyn Spooner is now owned by ‘Aloha Brands’, representing a group of investors, led by Charlie Baxter and Dave Abrams.

The brand is available at Liberty of London and The Hip Store.

Right - Kainapu Rayon Camp Shirt - Crocodile - £160

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products groomingShaving Goliath, Gillette’s, new brand, King C. Gillette, "brings a century’s worth of expertise to life and promises to be a one-stop-shop for all men with facial hair.” 

Bearing the name of Gillette’s founder, King C. Gillette, the man who invented the double safety razor, it embraces nearly 120 years’ of heritage, innovation and grooming experience and, in a first for the brand, includes a range of specific beard care products.

The full range is made up of eight grooming and facial haircare products for men including a Double Edge Safety Razor and blade refills, Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor, Transparent Shave Gel, Beard Trimmer, Beard & Face Wash, Soft Beard Balm and Beard Oil.

Left - King C. Gillette - Beard & Face Wash - £10, Transparent Shave Gel - £7, Soft Beard Balm £10

TheChicGeek says, “When consumers think of the Gillette brand, it really should be as the Levi’s of grooming. The originally inventor of the double-edged safety razor, King Camp Gillette, is one of America’s biggest business success stories - Gillette sold $6.22 billion of men’s razors and blades and $1.28 billion of women’s razors and blades worldwide in 2018, according to Euromonitor data - and, along with Levis Strauss, provided products to the American working man.

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products grooming

Therefore, it’s surprising that few men would be able to tell you much about the man or whether the brand was even named after an individua

So, Gillette is going back to its 1901 roots “Est. Boston 1901” with this new “King C. Gillette” range of razors and grooming products.

Interestingly, this range is more focussed on facial hair than pure shaving.

Some of it is a simple rebrand. Gillette is part of the giant consumer group, Procter & Gamble, who also own Braun, and the provider of the beard trimmer here. The other razors - Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor - feature Gillette’s Fusion heads and don’t really offer anything new other than I’ve never seen a monikered ‘Neck Razor’ before?!

The hero product here is the return of the safety razor. While Gillette invented this in 1901 they actually stopped making these 1989 and it offers a really economical way to wet shave. If you want to know more about safety razors and how they work, I wrote this for The Independent last year - here

As for the grooming products, the Beard & Face Wash is a whopping 350ml, so you could do your whole body with this. It has a refreshing menthol sensation, but no individual distinctive smell. It’s light and easy to wash out. The Transparent Shave Gel is probably an already existing Gillette product repackaged and as such you could just buy that and save money. The Soft Beard Balm doesn’t look or feel premium. It looks like a product you’ll find at a cheaper price but it’s more than adequate when on.

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products groomingI would have tried to make King the expert in shaving and taken the premium route a bit higher by highlighting more of the ingredients etc. It still feels anonymous, like the other Gillette products. I would have linked it in with Gillette Labs, Gillette’s pioneering heated razor, read more here, and played on the fact that Gillette has always invented and pioneered things.

The ‘Beard Kits’ idea is good on their website, where you buy a collection of products and razors or trimmers according to your style or needs, as the range is broad taking in Victorian shaving through to hipster beard maintenance.

Clearly, the King isn’t dead. How about a spin-off rainbow coloured Pride range called ‘Camp’?!”

Takeaway - The King C. Gillette is premium compared to Gillette’s regular prices and I like the concept and branding of bringing the founder back. Maybe they should have put more of him on the packaging to hammer this home? 

Disclosure - A sample for review was provided by Gillette

Saturday, 11 July 2020 22:05

Hello World

pink What is happening in the fashion world...

NEWS

Vogue Scandinavian edition prepares for a spring 2021 launch

Label to know Reyn Spooner

Burberry Pre-Spring 2021 by Riccardo Tisci lookbook is modelled by Burberry colleagues

Paris fashion week confirmed from September 28 through October 8, for Spring 2021

New York fashion week Spring 2021 shortened to three days.

Kanye West has signed ten year deal with GAP

Fashion carries on. @LouisVuitton men's show is slatted for Shanghai on August 6th.

menswear product of the week keen sneaker sandal UneekWe all like the wind in hair, but how about between our toes? Keen is famous for its woven cord sandals which are perfect for summer sports or taking an energetic dip in the sea. Their new 'Uneek' range pushes the classic style into the chunky trainer hybrid territory.

Left & Below - Keen - Men’s Uneek SNK - £99.99

The Uneek's upper is constructed entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles. By using this material in its new line of sandal webbings as well as Uneek sneaker uppers and laces, Keen will keep over 1 million bottles out of waste.

The insoles are infused with probiotic technology that naturally breaks down odour in sweat without heavy menswear product of the week keen sneaker sandal Uneekmetals or hazardous chemicals.

They come up small, so go for a size up.

Disclosure - TheChicGeek was sent a pair for review

 

book review The Chiffon Trenches Andre Leon Talley Anna WintourA name dropper who was dropped, André Leon Talley’s latest memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, charts his life and career through the glittering war zone of fashion’s front row and his time at American Vogue. From his childhood in the southern states of America, raised by his grandmother, to New York, bouncing between there and Paris, depending on his roles at various magazines, it’s a who’s who (or who he knows) of fashion and society in one of the most exciting periods of 20th century fashion. Think the great 1970s period of Yves Saint Laurent.

Left - André Leon Talley - The Chiffon Trenches published by HarperCollins - £20

While I’ve never read Talley’s journalistic work, being pictured on the arm or by the side of American Vogue editor Anna Winter saw him enter fashion folklore. With his voluminous kaftans and capes he became a memorable fashion caricature alongside Wintour’s bob and dark sunglasses.

As a journalist, this is lite and while he thinks he’s describing things, throwing in a few French terms just feels a bit dated and doesn’t impress. Well, not this side of the pond anyway. It’s fluff. 

The beef between YSL and Karl Lagerfeld is legendary and it’s interesting to hear about his dealings with John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, but apart from that there’s no great insight other than continually reminding you how he knows his fashion history and what a great dresser Lee Radziwill (Jackie O’s sister) was. 

Clearly used to the golden years of magazines, when you could expense everything, had a car at your disposal and got put up in the Ritz, he glosses over his failings, like losing his job at Ebony, they couldn’t afford him, or so he says, and then messing up a huge opportunity writing YSL’s book because he took much on and didn’t have the time. Doesn’t look good, or sound professional.

Wintour and Lagerfeld dropped him a few years back, so the reason behind writing this book was probably the death of the latter. He knew that his friendship with Lagerfeld was the reason Wintour held him so close. 

This, along with his documentary, The Gospel According To André, has a feeling of still trying to stay relevant and visible. But, what does he do exactly? He seems to mostly accompany rich women when they go shopping. He loves ‘a strictly private invitation funeral mass’ and has to drop in how he’s always frow or got a select invite to something or another.

He hates it when others don’t like his chosen gifts. It’s a lot of giving and receiving special stuff. All about the alligator. It has to be the best, most expensive and this attitude feels again dated. He moans about people treating him badly yet carries on doing things for them or going to their launches and dinners. He wants to feel important. Has to. 

He compares Naomi Campbell to Elizabeth Taylor. Really? #eyeroll And addresses Edward Enninful as a Sir, which he’s not. He has an OBE, and, for a man who think he knows everything, this feels like a stupid thing not to know. I'm surprised the publisher didn't pick this up.

Sycophantic, he’s like one of those people who hears something new then acts like they invented it. It’s all Goyard luggage and blacked out cars. He’s sucked in by breeding and heritage and he's spoilt by a free and expensed lifestyle. Those days are over. 

The book is quite repetitive; Met Gala, Anna Wintour Costume Center, Diana Vreeland, Lagerfeld, Chanel, Chanel, Chanel… 

There’s a best dressed list at the end of the book and even a ‘picture section’.

Takeaway - He’s a self-professed ’elegant walker’ and, while bitter about his detachment from Wintour, Talley has kept all the receipts, literally, and they are all here to read. Burn.

Friday, 03 April 2020 14:51

Label To Know ERIBÉ

Label to know menswear eribé rosemary made in scotland knitwear fair isleI love Scottish knitwear, especially the folky kind, such as fair isle from the likes of Jamieson’s of Shetland, but there’s another label to know. Eribé, eponymously founded by Rosemary Eribé 33 years ago, is a knitwear design house and manufacturer based in Melrose, in the Scottish Borders. They’ve recently taken over the old Burberry mill and opened a new showroom on Tweedbank before Christmas.

Left - Eribé's knitwear is all proudly made in Scotland and its signature is the multi coloured and pattern yokes

I first saw Eribé at the Premium trade show in Berlin a few years ago, and loved their fair isle berets - which I can’t find on their website - and I had a reminder, this year, at Pitti Uomo, where their colourful knits oozed authenticity and quality.

Their designers are specialists in their field, especially in the heritage knitting technique, Fairisle (Fair Isle) all crafted from quality, natural yarns spun in Britain from lambswool and merino.

Label to know menswear eribé rosemary made in scotland knitwear fair isle

Proudly all made in Scotland, Eribé exports to 20 countries, and Rosemary continually pushes for innovation in her knitwear, together with her team.

Her vast knowledge has been garnered from working with premium knitwear factories in Scotland and beyond, leading knitting machine companies and consulting with global designer brands. 

Right - Eribé - Bloc Beanie Solstice - £47

Below - Eribé -Clootie Yoke Sweater Mirage - £399 - Hand knitted in 100% Superfine Lambswool

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

Label to know menswear eribé rosemary made in scotland knitwear fair isle


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