Welcome to the first AskAnt of 2013, here hoping that 2013 is a lucky year for us all loyal reader. Today’s enquiry is a common question that I’m asked a lot about and something I suffer with a little myself. So let not waste any time and see what today’s issue is –

 

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OK Kev, as always thanks very much for taking the time to write to us and as always we endeavour to answer to your needs. Basically, you will find a proportion of GOOD retailers will do size 13 shoes but because of the lack of demand they will buy only a couple pairs of them. You mentioned you are looking for boots, now great brands like Red Wing, Wolverine and Dr Martens will all cover size 13. Plus you mentioned cost, Oliver Sweeney is a fine shoe brand and you get what you pay for, most of the time, but you have come to the right place and we believe guys with manly feet shouldn’t have to pay over the odds, when it comes to footwear. Nonetheless, essentially you have slightly reduced opinions, unfortunately, which are

1) You need to do is be really organising and buy your shoes at the start of the seasons, so essentially Jan and Aug/Sept.

2) If you’re feeling brave, hold out and go to the sales at the start, you should be able to pick up some right bargains my friend.

But I think we’ve done a pretty good job coming up with a cross section of shoes which should see you right no matter what the occasion. So firstly,

These great boots, as you mentioned boots, are from Aldo and are currently on SALE so a double bonus

These great boots, as you mentioned boots, are from Aldo and are currently on SALE so a double bonus

 

You didn't think we were only going to give you one opinion did you Kev ? Here are a super comfy and highly directional pair of Desert boots from Clarks and as in Grey will go with most things from jeans to a suit.

You didn’t think we were only going to give you one opinion did you Kev ? Here are a super comfy and highly directional pair of Desert boots from Clarks and as in Grey will go with most things from jeans to a suit.

 

Next up is something a little more formal. A nice black Brogue from Marks & Spencer and at a price which I could not believe sir !

Next up is something a little more formal. A nice black Brogue from Marks & Spencer and at a price which I could not believe sir !

 

Now you mentioned price and all the shoes we've cited are all well under £200 and we've tried to give you lots of options. So if you are feeling slightly Imelda Marco and decide to buy them all, it won't bust the bank. Now these are a classic and a all round great shoe from a great shoe producer, Camper. These boat shoes will see you nicely into summer and will fit you fine all year round.

Now you mentioned price and all the shoes we’ve cited are all well under £200 and we’ve tried to give you lots of options. So if you are feeling slightly Imelda Marco and decide to buy them all, it won’t bust the bank. Now these are a classic and a all round great shoe from a great shoe producer, Camper. These boat shoes will see you nicely into summer and will fit you fine all year round.

 

Lastly, Kev, we've gone for a versatile boot, that once again you can pretty much wear with anything. Now these boots from from Jacamo who specialise in larger sizes whether that be shoes or clothes. So well worth bearing in mind the next time your thinking of a purchase.

Lastly, Kev, we’ve gone for a versatile boot, that once again you can pretty much wear with anything. Now these boots are from Jacamo who specialise in larger sizes whether that be shoes or clothes. So well worth bearing in mind the next time your thinking of a purchase.

 

So Kev, all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Do let us know what your decision was and  join us again soon for another style clinic.

If you have any stylistic problems, events, that  you don’t know what to wear, after the right shows to go with that all important outfit. Whatever, you query no problem is too big nor small, please just email askant@ymail.com and I’ll happily give you informed, knowledgable common sense advice.

lens flare 16_LOW_RGBRumours of this partnership have been rumbling around for about a year now with many people dismissed it as pure speculation and never gonna happen. Well, here it is, Savile Row’s finest, Nick Hart Creative Director and Founder of the renowned sartorial brand, Spencer Hart is set to launch an exclusive collection in February 2013 with British tailoring brand, Austin Reed.

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Nick, adds the finishing touches to the suit

Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robbie Williams, Dermot O’Leary, David Beckham, P Diddy and David Bowie are all fans of Nick’s designs and for this project, entitled AR RED Nick Hart, its tried to encompass his trademark influences from the world of music. From British jazz, soul and funk from the 70’s and 80’s, whilst taking inspiration from some of todays leading musicians such as Alex Turner of the Artic Monkeys.

Nick Hart says of the launch, “Taking into consideration the extensive tailoring heritage of Austin Reed, I have designed a range in my vision that is entirely accessible and wearable for the office and exudes the style expected of a modern day gentleman who has a contemporary attitude to businesswear and style.”

The collection includes Hart’s signature Shawl lapels, Peak Lapels and dresswear all cut with a very tailored fit. Key pieces include the sharp, slim fit suit in statement teal. A 3- piece dress suit with black satin lapel in both slim peak and shawl, offering a modish sophistication.Waistcoats are a major feature to the collection featuring Hart’s trademark lapels. Silk scarves and dark ties complete the looks.

Casualwear brings together key pieces including seersucker jackets, a gingham Harrington jacket and navy Harrington bomber style jacket.

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Ami Menswear AW13

Carven Menswear AW13

After we bid a fond Arrivedercci to Milano, its Paris, the city of love’s turn to show us its wares. Carven, was first off and also a first for them to host a Menswear Catwalk Show, it blended contemporary office wear with vintage ski attire, perfect for the weather at the moment. The collection offered beautiful tailoring and everything a modern man could possible yearn from his wardrobe. However, I’m really not sure the trouser length of just below the knee will catch on, them poor models’ll catch their death !

Louis Vuitton Menswear AW13

Louis Vuitton Menswear AW13

Over to Louis Vuitton next, where the Men’s Style Director Kim Jones transported us to the Himalayas offering us all sorts of animal prints and pelts. British Art duo Dinos and Jake Chapman, one of Jones’s Favourite artists,  worked with him on a number of motifs across the collection, including their “Garden in Hell” which appeared on tuxedos, luggage and pyjamas. What more could a well travelled gentleman ask for ?

Maison Martin Margiela Menswear AW13

Maison Martin Margiela Menswear AW13

Maison Martin Margiela, was the next port of call and offered a brilliantly cast show showcasing gentlemen full of gallic charm and character. Although I love the wearability, usually, of this brand, sometimes I find it a little lost on me and I’m sure I’m not solo on this. Why ruin a great double breasted suit by making it into a jumpsuit or trash loads of vintage biker jackets to make a cape, which wouldn’t have been out of place on a horror film villain ? But on the whole, I still love what Martin does in his Maison.

Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Menswear AW13

Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Menswear AW13

As Christopher Kane looked to his dark side in the form of Franenstein’s Monster for his Autumn 2013 collection, now it was the turn of Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy. The candles laid out around the catwalk gave a seance feel to the proceeding and one hoped  this wasn’t an omen for the range. Not at all in fact Tisci, interpreted, in a rather gothic fashion, the images of American artist Robert Mapplethorpe using monochrome tones. Plus, loved the styling tip of tying your jacket around your waist, bring it on !

Ami by Alexandre Mattuisuu

Ami by Alexandre Mattiussi Menswear AW13

Ami is quickly establishing itself as a label of choice for those in the know and its really not difficult to see why the label designed by Alexandre Mattiussi is doing so well. Its success, like main key brand of the moment in its ease, easy to wear, easy to put together, easy to outfit build which in turn makes your life easier. The show’s set was staged to be the morning’s commuter train, where sharp dressed chaps made their way to the grind.

And to, what has to be the most anticipated event for seasons, the last show of the schedule, an unmistakable Parisian Fashion house with a new name, kinda, with a new designer, kind of…..Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. His first menswear show, well his second as he was at the house for a short time back in 2000, but now he’s back and in a big way and….. Well, and not a great deal, nothing we hadn’t seen before and nothing you couldn’t pick up elsewhere for a fraction of the price. I want to leave it there as I believe Hedi Slimane is a great talent and look forward to seeing what he produces for next season, as we have to remember this is the man who caused literally a revolution in mens clothing, in what we wear and how we wore it, back at Dior Homme.

Reflecting on things – Mark Powell in his Soho Store

Mark Powell, is somewhat of a modern day maverick, he can often be seen striding around the streets of Soho, almost resembling a great kindly monarch prevuing over his kingdom and acknowledging his subjects as he goes. Additionally, and in complete honesty, it has to be said Powell is one of London’s most iconic and influential bespoke tailors. Renowned for his nostalgical and classically inspired tailoring, combined with experimental cuts and styling, he was one of the first tailors to successfully bridge the gap between the traditions of Savile Row and modern street style.

Over the years he has dressed literally every leading zeitgeist celebrities including George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Mick and Bianca Jagger, David Bowie, George Michael, Bryan Ferry, Naomi Campbell, Tom Jones, Take That, The Kray Twins, Ant and Dec, Daniel Radcliffe, Usher, Frank Lampard, Morrissey, Neil Tennant from The Pet Shop Boys, The Killers, Paul Weller, Keira Knightley, Rupert Friend, Martin Freeman and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, now that’s what you call a celebrity rota and what you’d give to be at a party with all those in the room !

Away from all of this celebrity nonsense, Mark is a true craftsman and this has seen him work with everyone from Marks & Spencer to Mulberry in the past, who have sort him for his signature balance between true Savile Row tailoring and contemporary vision. Lets see what the man who is never short of a thing to two to say, makes of the questions from Clothes-make-the-man.com –

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

Shoes, I love them.

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

Only having one day left to live

What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire ?

My brown double breasted alpaca and cashmere Ulster coat.

What inspires you ?

Great style, old Hollywood movies and Soho for its diversity.

Bunny Roger

Who is your style icon ? Why ?

Amongst many, one would be Bunny Roger for his neo-Edwardian style.

Tell us something no one else knows ?

Sorry, I can’t, it’s a secret.

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Always wear a suit with a tie, can’t stand the current relaxed look without one.

Who would do you ideal diner guest and why ?

Ava Gardner because she was very beautiful and headstrong which I like in a person.

What piece of clothing best describes you ?

One of my bespoke suits because they’re unique, stylish and characterful, like me.

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

I got into the industry from my personal interest in tailoring, people started to ask me where my suits were from so I started making them for them. My first big break was opening my first shop, Powell & Co. in Archer Street, Soho in 1985.

A young but still very dapper Mr Mark Powell

www.markpowellbespoke.co.uk

WholeRangeLineUpHiResThe guys behind the Bulldog grooming range like to boast, quite naturally, excuse the pun, that it’s the UK’s first and largest natural skincare brand for men, according to Birthorderplus. Simon Duffy co-founded the range with friend Rhodri Ferrier, both still in their 30’s, don’t you hate them already, in 2006, out of a frustration that there were no options available for switched-on men who wanted to reduce the number of man-made chemicals in their bathrooms. Initially Simon and Rhodri got Bulldog off the ground by combining their life savings and maxing out credit cards to scrape together just under £37,000. Today the range is listed in over 7,500 stores worldwide and successfully competes and sits with leading brands on those shelves.

All Bulldog products are body friendly and don’t contain controversial man-made chemicals such as parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colours, or synthetic fragrances. Instead, Bulldog products are loaded with essential oils and other natural ingredients to deliver great skincare results. The products are not tested on animals and never contain ingredients derived from animal sources.

We asked Simon for some of his top inside grooming tips –

1) Moisture, always use a quality moisturisers that won’t overload the skin or leave an oily residue at least once a day. The award-winning Bulldog Original Moisturiser offers top quality and performance at a great price.

2) Avoid soap – regular soap will always leave your skin feeling over-dry, tight and uncomfortable. Conventional soap often contains strong fragrances and foaming agents that can irritate sensitive skin. Bulldog Original Face Wash is a brilliant facial cleanser that avoids such nasty chemicals.

3) Different Strokes – men’s skin is very different from women’s,so it’s very important that they use products that have been designed specifically for them. For a kick off, men have much oiler skin then women’s and this makes it much more prone to shininess, enlarged pores, acne and other skin imperfections. In addition, men’s skin is more acidic (with an average pH of 4.5) which means it can react very differently to products than women’s skin will. Therefore, it’s important that you buy your own products that have specially formulated for men by a proper male brand, rather than think you can borrow hers in the bathroom !