The Phenomenon that was Hai Karate, otherwise known as "the Lady Killer". Please, feel free to insert your own joke here.

Splash it all over, you Brut !

When I say heritage, I don’t mean smelling like an old person, nor do I mean the overpowering pong of Hai Karate or Brut, nothing could be further away from the truth. When I talk about heritage I mean a fragrance that has a history stretching back over 200 years.

Increasingly guys want to smell a little different, hence the explosion in the shear number of mens fragrances on the market today. Men don’t want to walk into a bar and be overpowered by the woft of Joop. Plus a great opener, when wanting to chat someone up is always, “Mmmmm you smell great, what are you wearing?”  And let’s be honest we want ladies to reciprocate this. So what better way to induce this reaction then to wear a fragrance that you can be sure not every Tom, Dick or Harry will be wearing.

Two such fragrances are 4711 & Green Irish Tweed by Creed. 4711, pronounced “forty-seven eleven”, is one of the oldest recognised cologne brands. Often referred to as aqua mirabilis or “miracle water” the exact formula is still a secret today, which dates back to the Cathusian monks of the 17th Century. The Unisex fragrance’s ingredients include Lavender and Rosemary for a calming effect to steady the nerves and Neroli, extracted from bitter orange blossom to guarantee a positive attitude, which, hey lets face it, we all need right now.

Then we have Creed, founded by James Henry Creed in 1760. The House of Creed soon drew the attention of Royalty throughout Europe, even a certain Queen Victoria appointed Creed as the official supplier to the Royal household. Still today Olivier Creed, oversees the House of Creed as President and insists on using natural ingredients rather then synthetic ones. My personal favourite from over 200 scents they have produced over the years is Green Irish Tweed. A blend of floral and woody ingredients that infuses, Violet leaves, Florentine Iris, Sandalwood & Ambergris to create this unique, fresh, masculine and natural aroma which cited Carrie Grant, Robbie Williams & Prince Charles as fans.

4711 is available from good independent pharmacies & branches of Boots Nationwide. Priced at £16.95 for 100ml. (See image below)

Green Irish Tweed by Creed is available from Harrods, Libertys, Harvey Nichols & Selfridges and is £135 for 75ml. creedfragrances.co.uk (See image below)

4711

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

No some joker hasn’t double-parked his yacht on top of the Southbank centre, it’s the new quirky pop up hotel, well hotel room in ole London town. But before you rush off and Google how to book yourself into what has to have one of the MOST incredible views of the great capital, all the rooms were snapped up, literally, before you could say “A-ha me harty”.

The idea is that you can stay aboard the installation for a single night throughout 2012 where a series of artistic performances have been organised including Mrs Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and the Malian duo Amadou & Mariam, all a touch high brow for me.

But, nonetheless, the idea behind the boat is the Roi des Belges, a riverboat captained by Joseph Conrad who journeyed the Congo in 1890. The brainchild of Architectural genii David Kohn and Fiona Banner who beat off competition from over 500 entries to come top of the class in a competition to celebrate the host city of the Olympics for this year.

For more information check out aroomforlondon.co.uk

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New Year, new start, new you. No, I’m not trying to flog you the benefits of Special K, lets face it, the new year’s resolutions are all but a deem memory now and that gym membership is already gathering dust. Simple, cut out the middle man and get the torso of your dreams, as Burton unveils its latest T-shirt, which promises to revolutionise your body and to give you the six pack of an Adonis, well until you take it off again, but thats only in the small print.

This miraculous garment was designed by the, one man, two guvnors himself, Mr James Corden. James jumped at the chance to show off his artistic skills and illustrate them using a T-shirt for his canvas. While this Tee keeps you LOOKING fit, it also highlights the fantastic work of Trekstock, Burton’s new charity partner. Trekstock raises awareness and vital funds for life saving researching into cancers that affect young people. Through fashion, music, comedy and art collaborations the charity strives to make a difference and raise a smile at the same time.

Burton has pledged that all net profits from the sale of each T-shirt, priced at £16, go straight to Trekstock. So check out burton.co.uk now and log onto trekstock.com.

Psssssss by the way look out for the next  Trekstock/Burton Tee collaboration, by someone called Jack Whitehall, all I’m saying is 3 lions, like you’ve never seen them before !!!!

The very charitable Mr Corden with yours truly

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The original artwork for the Tee by James Corden.

Regularly here at Clothes make the man, we aim to answer any of your sartorial quandaries, queries or general when, what, wheres. So if you need to know where to get the best suit for that major interview coming up, or I’m after a pair of good quality brogues which won’t cost the earth, even, I saw this brilliant t-shirt, do you know where I can get it. Well, we’re at your service, all you need to do is email us here at Clothes-make-the-man, to askant@ymail.com and we’ll endeavour to answers your needs. So remember you’re not alone, don’t sit there stewing about stylish conundrums, contact us.

Think of me as your Agony Ant.

As you may know or maybe you’re blissfully unaware that Wednesday was MAN day at London Fashion Week, which saw great whispers and anticipation for the all new, LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN, I know not the catchiest of names, set to launch on the 15th June this year. It will serve as a 3 day showcase, exclusively for British Menswear, with such big names as Sir Paul Smith, Margaret Howell, Aquasctum, Richard James, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford, OK the last two aren’t British, all confirmed as participating in the proceedings. Also, someone called Charles Wales, errr sorry HRH The Prince of Wales will mark the event by hosting a reception at St James’s Palace….. I better get an invite. Plus, there will be a change of venue no longer will the grandeur of Somerset House serve as the magnificent backdrop, but a move around the corner to the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

But back to the present, or at least the present shows, which were displaying to the Menswear press and buyers of the world, the Autumn/Winter 2012 ranges. The day started with J.W. Anderson, who described his inspiration as mix of Aristocracy, youth culture & individualism, have to be honest, I couldn’t see it myself but there were some great individual pieces.

Next, the Great British institution that is Gieves & Hawkes literally steeped in history; this house has dressed everyone from Rock Stars to Royalty. In relatively new hands, Barry Tulip who was previously at Zegna & Dunhill, sited the three Davids as his inspiration. No! not Cameron, Jason & Beckham, tut, but Hockney, Hicks & Bowie. He offered an exceptionally wearable, luxurious and safe collection.

From formalwear to casualwear now as Christopher Shannon showed us his wears. The scouser who now has stockists from Sweden to Saudi Arabia, displayed a really wearable collection (see image below) which showed elements of Classic Moschino in its Streetwear. Shannon drew inspiration from Derek Jarman, Sinead O’Connor & John Maybury for the collection, now there’s an episode of Come dine with me, you wouldn’t miss.

I then ventured round the corner and came across Baartmans & Siegel, who were showing later in the day at the Freemason’s Hall, what an incredible venue, nuff said !!!! The muse for this collection was none other then….The Milk Tray Man, yes the 1970’s man of mystery supplied the goods in a sartorial sense. Think Scottish cashmere, puffa coats and bobble coats, trust me it was very wearable, I promise.

A change is as good as a rest and it was across the road to the Covent Garden Opera House for the TOPMAN Design show. A full house (see images below) and packed full of the brave and the bold, the meek and the mild were on full display, the celeb count included a very dapper Amir Khan, brother & sister Freddie & Emelia Fox, Ronnie Wood and Alex Zane. Later in the day I caught up with Gordon Richardson where we discussed the collection, I felt it was summed up by Ann Widdicombe’s quote regarding Michael Howard, “there was something of the night about him”, which he loved and completely agreed.

Both James Long and Patrick Grant for E. Tautz offered great collections for this season. Long showed brilliant knitwear pieces from cable knits to cardigans and Grant showed what a master of tailoring he is and as he himself put it, “ At the heart of the E.Tautz collection is Savile Row cutting”.

Moving on to a show I had been looking forward to, Oliver Spencer, a down to earth designer who offers great clothes which would look good on literally anyone and he didn’t disappoint. A wonderfully cast show, full of unusual models, not ugly, interesting, not a trace of a sickly looking teenagers in sight, but fella’s who looked as though they had lived a life (see image below). Workwear was fused with suiting and a young Lucian Freud was the iconic persona who supplied inspiration.

The penultimate show of the day was Matthew Miller, a genuine buzz was around this show and Matthew Miller IS a name to watch out for. The demand to see this show far outweighed the size of the venue. Another great Northern talent, Miller has collaborated with the shoe genius that is Oliver Sweeney for this collection both the footwear and apparel reflected urban prints like modern camouflage, maybe not the easiest thing to wear in a single outfit but nonetheless unbelievably striking.

Last of the day, but by no means least was Rake, held at the equally impressive Calridges. Fresh from dressing Tinie Tempah for the Brits, surely the winner of the best dressed male, if nothing else. Clive Darby, who previously worked for Savile Row bastions Richard James & Kilgour, displayed what can only be described as a masterclass in how a contemporary well dressed male should attire himself(see image below).  Like Spencer, the show was cast with equally interesting individuals, models somehow doesn’t seem fitting. It rounded off a great day for British Menswear and illustrated what a world leading entity the British Style industry is, now can someone inform the government of that, oohhhh political.

A.M

Christopher Shannon A/W12

TOPMAN Design

Oliver Spencer

Rake