Manmade to Perfection – Manmade by Sarah Gilfillan

imageMy clients often ask me for recommendations for their haircuts and grooming to complete their look once they’ve been on a Personal Shopping trip with me. So when Dan Gregory contacted me telling me about his new male grooming salon and aesthetics clinic – Manmade – I was interested to hear more, so I popped in to meet him for a chat.

Centrally located in Marylebone and newly opened, the salon is sleek and sophisticated……small enough to feel friendly but big enough to feel spacious. Dan was welcoming and down to earth and clearly passionate about the new business he’s set up with his other family members- Peter Gregory who’s the Clinical director and Sarah Gregory who’s the Commercial director.

Dan is at the forefront of the brand and having built up an impressive list of celebrity clientele through his work as a freelance, session stylist, he now wants to be able to offer traditional barbering services including haircuts, cut throat shaves & colouring to the discerning non-celebrity gentleman too.

Taking the grooming aspect one step further, is Dr Peter Gregory – head of the “Aesthetic Clinic”. Offering a discreet selection of anti-wrinkle injections, skin rejuvenation & perspiration reduction treatments, he’s dedicated to providing an ethical high quality service where the client feels truly valued and respected.

You can really see that these guys aim to go one step beyond, and even a haircut and finish has all the bells and whistles with a neck shave and a hot towel infused with essential oils included. It’s these little touches that make the point of difference to a salon and as Dan said “Men’s grooming really has evolved”. I couldn’t agree more and I can’t wait to introduce my clients to a little part of that evolution, that is Manmade.

Sarah Gilfillan is founder of Sartoria Lab Personal Styling and Shopping Consultancy for Men.

The Gentleman’s guide to wearing a suit

As you all know I love to share, whether it be a common cold, my last Rolo or great emails I’m sent. The following post falls into the latter of the aforementioned categories. A creative agency,, sent me through this vintage style infographic guide on how to wear a suit like the perfect gentleman. Focusing upon key aspects such as the ‘sometimes, always, never’ rule in buttoning up a particular style of suit and highlighting male celebrities that are championing current trends.









It’s Hip to be Square – HipHunters

imageOnce again in our eternal quest for stumbling across great sites were we can stretch our menswear muscle and exercise the might of our great spending power, we came across the rather splendid HiphuntersLaunched in December last year, it’s a global online platform for luxury brands. A shop, a magazine and an online community, Hiphunters helps you discover unique and highly interesting new brands and cutting-edge premium designers from all four corners of the world.

imageThe shop has over 6000, yes 6000, brands including the likes of Burberry Prorsum, Stone Island and APC, but also lesser known gems like  CYCLE, Myo and Patrik Ervell, plus new items added daily. Recently they have opened their own market place, where you can find some great emerging brands which is promised to grow in the coming months. Like a mix between Tumblr and Pinterest the online community is where the users can connect with each other. It offers a space to refine your style and inspire others through sharing and interactive content, while at the same time promote their own blog or products and even become a featured honourary Hiphunter.

Partnering with some of the best e-commerce sites around, including Farfetch, Mytheresa and LN-CC, Hiphunters can keep you connected to all things style related in one convenient destination. Aside its shop, it also publishes a digital magazine with informative insights into what going down style wise, local street style, and an international network of “Style Makers” spies.



Carolyn Massey of Lyle & Scott -Textual Conversation

imageFor today’s Textual Conversation we had the utter pleasure of catching up with Carolyn Massey, head of design for British Heritage brand Lyle & Scott. After completing her MA in Menswear at the Royal College of Art, Carolyn launched her own successful and critically acclaimed label under her own name. She was awarded the NEWGEN MEN award by the British Fashion Council three consistent times which allowed Carolyn to present catwalk on the official London Fashion Week schedule. Then in 2012 Massey was appointed Head of Design at Lyle & Scott to create on brand concept and direction. 2014 is an achievement of a year for Lyle & Scoot who celebrate their 140 anniversary !!! The brand prides itself on seven brand pillars that underpin Lyle & Scott today. Its heritage is unrivalled. Its Britishness is a given. It will always be premium quality. Its close relationship with golf informs the design aesthetic. The Classic designs offer a timeless style. A contemporary outlook is essential. And a refusal to conform comes from a strong sense of self.

So for Spring 14 we see the brand looking back through the archives and delving into the roots of the brand to create an 11 piece premium line. The collection exclusively features the original ‘L&S ltd’ logo which is indicative of where the brand started. Alongside this, the embroidered tonal eagle sits proudly on the sleeve subtly recognising where the brand is today.

Unlike the bright colours the brand has become associated with due to its strong golfing heritage, the palette is drawn from the Lyle & Scott tartan forming sedated Scottish tones ofberry, blue, black, navy and ivory. Ohh and is only available for the anniversary year, so get your skates on. Ave a read….

If you could collaborate with one brand who would it be and why?

We have 2 really exciting collaborations coming up for AW14with 2 very different designers that are totally relevant to the brand. One is the Glasgow born Jonathan Saunders for the Scottish kinship and the other is Universal Works for David Keyte’s personal history & relationship with the brand. In the future I’d love to work with an artist, Lyle & Scott has such a history in colour, someone who could reflect that. Watch this space!


If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?

Trust your intuition. Know yourself. These things come after time and experience, as a creative I often don’t know why I’m doing things at the time, but know myself well enough these days to trust that part of the process.


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

I studied a BA and then a Masters degree in Menswear. I’ve been lucky to have a few big breaks, working alongside some fantastic people. Getting sponsored by Topman to show on schedule at London Mens’ was always going to be a great highlight.


What track would always get you on the dance floor?

‘I wanna dance with somebody’ by Whitney Houston, clearly…


Who would your ideal dinner guests be ?

Oh wow.. that’s a question- Joseph Heller (Author of myfavourite book “Catch 22”), August Sander (Photographer who travelled through pre-war Germany photographing tinkers, vagrants and circus-folk amongst others- his book Citizens of the Twentieth Century is a firm favourite and a book I turn to for constant inspiration), Brian Clough (you’ve got to have one controversial character at the dinnertable), Massimo Osti (so that I can charm my way into his archive), Oliver Sacks (author of one of my favourite books “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”) and my Grandfather.


What piece of clothing best describes you?

I’d like to think I’m Churches’ monkstrap brogue. Black in winter, brown in summer.


What do you have to do after this conversation?

I’m preparing for a presentation to the business about how one of our new ranges should look.


Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it? 

Always! Particuarly in my fashion student days. A rather fetching over sequined top springs to mind. My tutor at the time, the wonderful Ike Rust, told me I reminded him of an out of season Christmas bauble. It wasn’t the most the most stylish of tops! Now I tend to buy once and buy well, but I do get bored of clothes quite quickly.


What piece of clothing should every man have in his wardrobe?

Why a Lyle & Scott Lambswool jumper of course! Seriously though, its a really great piece, something we are really proud of, a true part of our 140 year heritage.


Who is your style icon? Why?

I’ve got some amazing print outs above my desk of guys wearing Lyle & Scott in the 80s – peoples dads, lads out watching football, boys in teenage bedrooms. These men are my style heroes and inspiration.


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

I don’t have regrets- it’s a waste of energy!

Lyle & Scott 140 Anniversary range





Nickel & Dimes – Nickel Spa by Sarah Gilfillan

imageA friend of a friend was singing and dancing the praises of Nickel Spa so much one day, that I decided I’d better pop in and check it out. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden and created by a man for men only, it’s a spa & skin care range exclusively designed for men’s skin & bodies.

When I arrived to have a look around their six treatment rooms, I found the staff to be friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The concept is based around creating a venue for men to feel comfortable in and treat themselves to massages andtreatments. There’s an extensive “menu” of professional grooming treatments to choose from such as a “REN – The Quickie facial”, a “Love Handles Wrap massage,” “overground” or “underground” waxing, to name just a few. Male and female therapists are on hand so you can request who you’d prefer to do your treatment.

The website echoes the friendly feel of the spa and has a reassuringly humorous do’s & don’ts section if you haven’t been to a spa before & feel unsure about the etiquette.

All the products they use are available to buy in the salon including their own Nickel range, or if you’re buying online you can search by concern ie: “I party hard”, “I have love handles” and it’ll bring up a range of products to choose from – neat eh?! They work on the premise that “Regular guys want efficient and no nonsense user friendly and yet serious cosmetics and treatments. Just the products, not the blurb and the nonsense around them”.

Even though the men’s grooming market has moved on in leaps and bounds since Nickel first started in 1996, there are still plenty of men who don’t feel entirely at ease with the thought of “masculine beauty”. So Nickel Spa, with it’s refreshingly down to earth treatments and products is just the sort of thing I like to hear about, and I for one, won’t hesitate to be recommending them on to my clients.

Sarah Gilfillan is founder of personal shopping and style consultancy for men –