Sunday, 21 December 2014

Playlist Of The Month | 4

1. Lana Del Rey - Fucked My Way Up To The Top
2. The Neighbourhood - Let It Go

3. Aluna George - Your Drums, Your Love 
4. The 1975 - Menswear 
5. Findlay - Off & On 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Brand Spotlight | Acne Studios

 With the Nordic countries truly in the limelight for incredible design and innovation, one of the best selling brands and world renowned 'ACNE Studios' must be pretty good mustn't it?
ACNE Studios began life in 1997 with the cofounder Jonny Johansson expanding his innovative ideas and delving into a much broader spectrum of fashion after his 'raw denim jeans with red stitching' idea was noticed by both Wallpaper magazine and Vogue Paris. ACNE Studios had perviously been a part of a creative collective 'ACNE'. Since becoming a standalone store in 2006 and launching themselves into the world of ecommerce, ACNE Studios has built an 'orb' of interest and has a firm grasp on fashion lovers all around the world. 

Below are some of my favorite additions from the current stock list.

ACNE Studios is THE brand where artistic expression and creativity meets ready-to-wear fashion. Breaking rules and barriers alike; perfect for anyone looking for something different from the conventional. Some brands take a risk and it doesn't pay off (appealing to a niche cliental), ACNE is quite the opposite appealing to the masses. Everything from the clothes to the shops themselves have clearly undergone huge amounts of thought and design and really pays off. The brand also swears by a "never-out-of-stock" policy meaning you will never be left frustrated by out-of-stock items. 

Given that ACNE doesn't advertise it is surprising that the brand is so engraved in the brains any fashionista who considerer themselves in the know. It's only (kind of) form of advertising is the 'ACNE Paper'. Both a visual and intellectual masterpiece the paper itself explores more than just fashion but all kinds of design and thinking. The cliental ACNE appeal to consider more than just a halo of talk and hype about the brand, but are appealed by the deeper meaning, vision and identity of the brand. That is why ACNE Studios is a niche and simply incredible fashion house. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Autumn Walks 7 | Alternative Tartan

THE OVERALL LOOK - Add subtle texture and patten to a simple look.
Coat - Topman (£90)
Jumper - Jigsaw (£125)
Polar Neck - Topman (£24)
Trousers - Cheap Monday (£49)
Socks - Nike (£14 - Pack of 6)
Shoes - Loake (£245 - British Boot Company Exclusive)

THE JUMPER - When I saw this jumper I had to buy it. Jigsaw currently stock some amazing pieces including a pair amazing Tartan Trousers (£125). I haven't shopped there before and never considered it either, but that is set to change. The merino wool means the piece is of outstanding quality whilst the subtle pattern gives a hint of tartan without being too overwhelming. There are a few other options if you are looking for a tartan jumper - Fred Perry (£105) and Lyle & Scott (£100)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Item Spotlight 3 | Men's Grooming Essentials

PRODUCTS - All the facial skincare necessities a man will ever need. 
1. Kiehl's - Facial Fuel Moisturiser  (£29)
2. Kiehl's - No Shine Moisturising Lip Balm (£9)
3. Kiehl's - Creative Cream Wax (£16)
4. Bumble and Bumble - Surf Spray (£9.50)
5. Kiehl's - Facial Fuel Face Wash (£17.50)
6. Kiehl's - Oil Eliminator Toner (£18) 
7. The Body Shop - Seaweed Facial Exfoliator (£10)

I clean my skin every morning and evening with 'Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash' (5). This is a gel clenser for all skin types. It's not drying like other products I have used in the past and also leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized - perfect especially for the winter months when skin can become irritated. 

The next step in my routine is the 'Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Toner' (6). You should always use a toner after cleansing as it clarifies your skin further and closes pores; preparing your skin for the moisturiser and preventing potential breakouts. My skin can become shiny later in the day. As this toner is a spray it's perfect to carry around and to use at any point. Most toners require cotton pads to apply so this is another reason why this toner is so good! It prevents shine in the t-zone area; the cooling affect really helps in the summer as you are more prone to oily skin in hotter temperatures.

Finish off your daily routine with the 'Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Moisturiser' (1) that contains both vitamins and caffeine to rejuvenate and awaken your skin. Many of my past moisturisers either made my skin oily, brake out or didn't appear to moisturize at all. This certainly isn't the case with this Kiehl's product.   My skin looks brighter, more vibrant and pores appear less visible after use. 

 I only used 'The Body Shop Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator' (7) every other day to every three days to remove any dead skin cells. I find that if I use it any more frequently than this, my skin becomes excessively dry. This may be because this is for oily/combination skin - if this is your skin type I would recommend using it more frequently. The Seaweed range by The Body Shop is specific for pore refining and mattifying skin

The 'Kiehl's Lip Balm' (2) is specially formulated for men meaning it's great for hydrating your lips without looking like you are wearing a lip product as it is matte. Once again this is perfect for the winter as, if you are anything like me, you will suffer from chapped lips in the cold. It has a subtle mint flavor which is by no means overwhelming but is a nice touch to round off the product. 

When it comes to hair products I have always sworn by the saying 'less is more'. I use the 'Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray' (4) and 'Kiehls Creative Cream Wax' (3) - both are very subtle but do an amazing job. The surf spray adds volume to wavy hair (or any kind!) increasing the texture and body. The point to surf spray is to create waves for a beach like effect. I tend to use it on wet hair and manipulate it by using a diffuser on a low heat setting. There are many 'surf spray' products on the market but Bumble and Bumble is a classic and the best I have used. After, use the 'Creative Cream Wax' to perfect and finalise your desired style. It again has a matte finish and gives great hold throughout the day.  

Monday, 24 November 2014

Playlist Of The Month | 3

1. Bombay Bicycle Club - Luna
2. The Strypes - You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover

3. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
4. London Grammar - Wicked Game (Chris Isaak Cover)
5. Swim Deep - King City

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Autumn Walks 6 | Better In Leather

THE OVERALL LOOK - One of the many ways to style a leather jacket.
Leather Jacket - Lewis Leathers (Vintage - £740) 
Shirt - Rokit Clothing (£30)
Polar Neck - Topman (£24) 
Belt - Topman (£12)
Jeans - Cheap Monday (£49)
Socks - Nike (£14 - Pack of 6)
Shoes - George Cox (£175) 

Ring - The Great Frog (£90)
Skull Bracelet - Vivienne Westwood (£105)
DENIM IS BACK FOR S/S '15 - If you are one to follow fashion trends, denim has made a huge return to both catwalk and street wear. Denim is one of the easiest fabrics to style and also probably the easiest to pick up from the highstreet. Topman (£36) will always be a good place to look for plenty of fairly priced denim shirts. The one in this shoot was purchased from Brick Lane in a popular vintage shop named Rokit. I used to be a much bigger fan of the 'vintage look' opting for the typical options of crazy palm print shirts. Since moving into a slightly more minimalistic taste in clothes, it's been harder to find pieces that I really like. It is however possible if you have the patience and is, sometimes, far more satisfying when you find a real bargain instead of forking out a small fortune. However, you can find real quality denim that is certainly worth paying for and is guaranteed to last years. For a slightly more laid back yet smart look, opt for a Polo Ralph Lauren denim shirt (£120) or Armani (£150)  for a slightly darker wash denim. You can also watch the British GQ's Trend Report on denim.
LEWIS LEATHERS - This is a real quality leather jacket. It's not hard to see why the likes of Alex Turner and Kate Moss have worn this brand. I was lucky enough to be given this jacket by my Dad when I wasn't old enough to understand just how incredible it is. This is 'The Monza' version that Lewis Leathers stock and in my opinion, it's the nicest looking one. Take a look here and browse the previous wearers of this brand. 
THE DETAILING - As you can see this jacket consists of many incredible details. From the quilted padding on the shoulders to the contrasting deep red colour on the inside of the jacket and the astonishing heavy duty zips, everything screams quality.  All Lewis Leathers Jackets are hand made and made to measure so make sure if you do choose to purchase one, you send the correct measurements OR take a visit to their store in London. If you are interested in other brands to pick up a leather jacket from, check out Schott ($670 - $875), Whistles (£395) or ASOS (varying) to find varying leather jackets (in both price and style).
LAYERING - As mentioned in my previous blog post you can try out some different layering.  A polar neck under a denim shirt is not the norm. With a leather jacket it looks amazing

A MIX OF CULTURES - The beauty of the world we live in today is that there aren't so many constraints (in a fashion sense) when it comes to mixing the cultures. The iconic Creepers and Drainpipe look was adopted by 'Teddy Boys' in the 1950s while the leather jacket was adored by every 'Rocker' in the '60s. Always mix and match styles to create your own look. Don't necessarily listen to what you 'should' and 'shouldn't' wear. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Autumn Walks 5 | Unorthodox Layering

THE OVERALL LOOK - An unorthodox way to wear the classic polar neck.
Coat - Topman (£90)
Jumper - American Apparel - Natural (£66)
Polar Neck - Topman (£24)
Jeans - Cheap Monday (£49)
Shoes - Dr. Martens (£135)
 (No longer available online) 
FISHERMAN'S PULLOVER- If you are looking for a perfect year round jumper, this American Apparel Crew neck (£66) is a must. When the weather is slightly colder this jumper can be layered with almost anything.  The quality is incredible as the jumper is very soft and durable as long as you don't catch the chunky knit on anything. American Apparel stock this jumper in a variety of amazing colours and I personally will be purchasing a few more colours (the Lilac, Burgundy and White Confetti). If you are looking for a similar jumpers Club Monaco offer some nice choices ( Donegal Wool Sweater (£150) and Cashmere Fisherman Sweater ($698) ), Burberry (£450) always sell unbeatable products or for a much cheaper option, Topman (£32) offer a good quality textured crew. 
Unorthodox Layering - Trying something different doesn't always lead to amazing outcomes but when done correctly it can create an interesting and head turning outfit. My inspiration for this layering came from the recent 'GQ Style' in the section 'Pinstripe Punk'. Putting a polar neck under another jumper wouldn't conventionally work, but this particular one is very thin,light weight and perfect for laying. Don't be afraid to try something different.

The Perfect Brogue - Brogues are an incredibly versatile shoe whether you are aiming for a smart or casual effect. These shoes were purchased last December, and in true Doctor Marten style have only got better with wear. The shoes have been worn almost everyday since being bought in varying environments; work and weddings. Brogues can sometimes be quite uncomfortable and, to be honest, when first purchased these were too. After about a week of wear they felt like slippers. As you can see, they aren't your conventional brogues being slightly more 'chunky' and feature a 'fish skin' effect. If you would like to acquire a similar pair, Loake (£175) have a pair without the fish skin, or Dr. Martens themselves have some diverse options including the aesthetically pleasing MADE IN ENGLAND Emmet Shoe (£300).

WHY THIS OUTFIT IS SO GOOD  - The layering of this outfit is really handy. On the day of this particular shoot it was very cold and because of the two jumpers, I was certainly warm. However, my day also consisted of shopping. Almost all shops seem to over-do the hot temperatures in their stores and the contrast between the cold outside and boiling inside can leave you overheating. With this outfit simply take off your coat when entering a shop and the contrasting temperatures are no where near as harsh.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Recommended Reads 1 | HERO Magazine

HERO Magazine - Published only twice a year in April and October, HERO Magazine is a publication like no other. Featuring some of the most prestigious photographers (Hedi Slimane) juxtaposed with some much lesser known figures, HERO doesn't stick to the usual constraints of most mainstream magazines exploring much broader realms and horizons. HERO is a 'fashion magazine' but don't be fooled by the name, this isn't your usual advert filled supplement. 
INTERVIEWS - HERO always explores not only people in the fashion limelight but also delves into social and cultural issues. Many of the interview techniques make the issues at hand easily digestible even when tackling some more difficult and complex subjects. A very poignant interview to me was when Linda Papadopoulos voiced her opinions (HERO 11) on the younger generation of today and how the current climate, including technology and other issues, affects the way they think. In short, HERO explores all walks of life.

THE UNORTHODOX LAYOUT - The magazine contains an incredible amount of visual feasts.  From the main text body to the photos themselves, every inch of the magazine is thought out and considered. Anyone and everyone will appreciate the artistic flair

POETIC JUSTICE - This is just one example of thousands as to why this magazine is amazing. You won't find a gritty poem (or any kind for that matter) in a conventional fashion magazine. 

THE OVERALL EFFECT - This is a magazine that you truly won't want to ever end. There is something amazing that your can't quite put your finger on. It could possibly be the fact that it is only released twice a year so you won't ever over indulge, or a mix of the eclectic content and visual masterpieces. The content almost has an 'underground' feel and tends to stray away from mainstream media and leaves you feeling enlightened.
You can purchase previous issues here: