Liberty – There aren’t many other stores that can boast shopping in such a beautiful environment

Many things are described as a British institution, everything from Bruce Forsyth to Eton Mess have at some time been cited as one. However one such institution that is undoubtably British through and through, as the afternoon teas they serve in their café is, Liberty. Nonetheless, dear reader, there is something distinctly Un-British at the heart of its corridors of power…..

Since, joining as buying director, from luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, Ed Burstell was promoted to Managing Director in June 2010 and is now responsible for overseeing all buying functions and marketing at Liberty. The larger then life and surprisingly funny New Yorker, has blown off all trace of cobwebs from the traditional department store and transported Liberty well and truly into the 21st Century and placed it back on the international fashion map as a shopping destination for not only the local consumer but the cosmopolitan tourist to boot. Burstell, has been highly instrumental in the recent launch of the new Liberty Westfield Stratford City store, just in time for the all important Olympics. In this period Liberty has collaborated with such brands as Nike, Barbour & even the international value retailer Target, taking full advantage of the legendary floral print. There is no possible doubt that Burstell has taken Britain to his heart, but at the same time it’s very clear the UK and Liberty have adopted Ed too. Now a man this busy you would have thought wouldn’t have time for interviews and yes he doesn’t but when Clothes-make-the-man.com call you, its hard to say to no;

Ed Burstell – The Managing Director of Liberty

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Never dress or admit your age or you’ll become your age.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing ?

My Miguel Adrover cashmere column top coat – years before Twilight or True Blood…

Who is your style icon ? Why ?

Steve McQueen. Hot, in absolutely anything.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A hoodie. Cotton for the kids and cashmere for the rest of us.

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

The airplane or space ship. The mystery of flight still amazes.

How did you get into the industry, what was your big break ?

After my gap year of living on the beach in Florida and doing what one does when living on a beach in Florida I found myself back in New York with no money and no job.

It was November and I went to Macy’s. They had two jobs – Santaland or a fragrance sprayer. I chose sprayer and worked my way up from the very bottom.

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret ?

That I had given up any vices.

 

What do you have to do after this conversation ?

Boring meeting with a supplier.

What would you like to be doing after this conversation ?

Pimms o’clock with a cigarette

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ? Why ?

Rick Owens, for his consistent original vision over time.

Who would do you ideal diner guest and why ?

Grace Jones, 64 and still kicking ass.

www.Liberty.co.uk

Never one to do things by convention, the brand and house of Alexander McQueen has long been known for its dark, gothic and unusually beautiful nature in how it produces garments for both Womenswear and more recently menswear. After the untimely death of its namesake, figurehead and dare I say Spiritual leader, Lee McQueen who tore up all of the fashion protocol and did things very much his way. Still in keeping with Lee’s spirit and producing equally jaw dropping collections Sarah Burton has taking McQueen’s mantle and completely ran with it, to her credit.

For the Menswear Collection for Autumn 2012, the brand has produced a short film to showcase the range, which is directed by Marlon Rueberg, with music by John Gosling, The film very much captures the essence of McQueen and truly what the brand is all about.

www.alexandermcqueen.com

The Murdock London Barber Shop at the Shop at the Bluebird in London

The Art-Deco inspired Tommy Guns barber shop at the Superdry flagship store

Regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com may have noticed of late a trend developing at menswear retailers with the addition of a traditional barber shop, but with the all important, contemporary twist, in their flagship store. However, this isn’t a new phenomenon, for years bastions of traditional department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and some of the more old school House of Fraser stores such as the former Kendals in Manchester, have all boasted grooming emporiums to answer any possible requirement the dapper gent may request.

Nevertheless, the style pendulum has well and truly swung back in favour of the traditional barber shop experience. In the last few months alone we have seen the brilliant Murdock London open at the uber trendy Shop at the Bluebird on the Kings Road in London and then only last week we had Ted Baker inviting us to experience his Turkish inspired Ottoman Lounge, as you fans of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know only too well.

Mr Natty himself, Matt Raines at Albam

Nonetheless, these retailers are far from being on their own on this particular grooming tip. TopMan have enlisted the service of top barbers Sharps, as too have Ben Sherman who are soon to open this service in their Islington, London store . Superdry have opted for the grooming skills of Tommy Guns for their retailing flagship stores. Tommy Guns are particularly known for creating a striking environment that blends heritage Barbershop influences, faux narratives and modern day craftsmanship to their hair cutting prowess. And those guardian of No 1 Savile Row themselves, Gieves & Hawkes are a dedicated contemporary oasis within their traditional male haven, maned by Gentlemen’s Tonic.

Also, we have seen the likes of Albam, yes trendsetters extraordinaire Albam, who have been offering the unique services of Matt Raines and his Mr Natty brand within their stores.

And for our Irish readers, or if planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, the wonderfully stylish Brown Thomas have recently opening their own grooming enclave in Brown’s offering packages from the ‘10 minute Quick Fix’ and the ‘40 Minute Rejuvenation’

Although, the first time I saw this new modern day trend, of a return to the barber’s chair within a men’s shopping experience was with the Mancuian style gurus Oi Polloi. Who for years in their original store, had queues out their door waiting to take advantage of their single barber’s chair.

A couple of months ago the lovely guys over at Mens Health Magazine gave me a call and asked if I be interested on seating on their style council, OF COURSE ! was my response so please see below the first of our consultive ventures, this time on five ways to wear a polo shirt. Enjoy. Ohh and remember to log onto menshealth.co.uk/style/essentials/how-to-wear-a-polo

We men and I do mean to generalise here are pretty damn awful when it comes to safe tanning, laying in the sun and most importantly putting on suncream and when we do, that it’s a high enough SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Now as a result of this and without sounding like some Harbinger, I know where my strength lie and talking about suncream, the importance of it and what to do with it, is not one of them. I’m the person who has burnt in an outdoor meeting in LA at 7am in the morning, I’ve burnt in April in Galway and I’ve had local residents in Greece laugh at how I would burn if I didn’t get out of the sun at 10am. Due to this fact, I’ve called upon the services of the very capable, knowledgable and general good egg, Mrs Mc to help me on today’s post and so we carried out a comprehensive and concise tried and testing on the nation’s best suncream brands and their products, which covered the entire price spectrum. Over to you my lil ray of sunshine ;

Now the weathers hottin’ up and the summer holidays are officially here, you may want to chuck out the out of date sun cream and invest in some derma protection for face and body. As always Clothes-make-the-man have done the hard work and tried and tested a range of products on your behalf, so you enjoy the sun and avoid looking like our friend to the left.

We tried out these creams in 40 degree blazing sun and focused on protection, ease of application, appearance, price and smell.

 

For the body BODY

Piz Buin -Tan and protect

Tan accelerating spray

SPF 30

 

Piz Buin -Tan and protect

Tan intensifying sun spray

SPF 30

 

Both these products performed well overall as they go on easily and gave a good gleam to skin, were reasonably waterproof, smelt good and protected well. In 40 degree heat probably needed factor 50…..and to remember to reapply after swimming! Don’t be like my husband.

 

NIVEA SUN

Moisturising Sun spray 50+

 

NIVEA SUN

Pure and sensitive sun lotion SPF 50

 

Again these are strong scoring products, well priced and easy to apply though the sensitive took a while to “disappear” always best to apply when inside your apartment, fresh from a shower to avoid white streaky bits, sand sticking and missing bits…

 

 

SOLTAN

(Boots own brand)

Invisible, Dry touch transparent sun care spray SPF 50

 

This worked well, very reasonably priced and easy to apply and stayed on well after swimming. Good all round option

 

Clarins

Sun care Milk lotion spray 50+

 

Clarins have produced a protective sun care range for both body and face. We trialled this milk lotion , one of 8 sun products for the body that deliver deep down UV protection and offered efficient sun protection.

 

Garnier – Ambre Solaire

Clear protect + SPF 50

 This product is clear, so leaves no white marks, and is in a spray so easier to apply to those harder to reach areas. Pleasant in smell and well priced is a good all round option.

 

FACE

Clarins

Sun wrinkle control cream for face 50+

Our personal favourite product for the face, this cream offered great protection, didn’t sting if  it went in yours eyes and kept face moisturised in very hot/dry conditions. Smelt fantastic and reminded you of holidays straight away. A tad pricy but a little went a long way and it is for your face

 

SOLAIT

(Superdrug own brand)

Mattifying face Sun Fluid SPF 50

This scored well and compared well with the more expensive products, its mattifying fromula meant less shiny face, and though slightly tinted (don’t be scared) it looked very natural on, one the girlfriend will be pinching.

 

SkinCeuticals

Brightening UV Defense. SPF 30

 

This is serious stuff! It offered as good protection as the 50SPF and is loaded with all sorts of botanicals to ensure it’s an effective moisturising sunscreen that evens out skin tone. It’s also the most expensive product tested but worth it for those of you who want to seriously protect your face whilst indulging in some sun worship and why wouldn’t you …

 

Useful link to Cancer Research UK being safe in the sun!

http://www.sunsmart.org.uk/advice-and-prevention/shade/