A true man of the cloth – Mark Powell

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


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr-reat – Bulldog Grooming range

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 !







Spring 2013 Preview

As stores start to get in their new Spring 2013 ranges and as the weathermen start to inform us of blizzards and freezing conditions. I thought I’d try and lighten the mood and give us something to look forward to. In the last couple of months of 2012, I was lucky enough to have a preview of countless apparel’s brands Spring /Summer collections for this forthcoming season from high end designer to high street brands. So I thought I’d give you a sneak preview, but keep it to yourself 😉 ENJOY.


Channeling a little warmer weather Tommy Hilfiger had some of the best swimwear around this season.



The Brilliant Sunglasses range Sunday Somewhere, well worth keeping your eyes peeled for, gettit !



Looking sharp and expect the unexpected from Peter Werth, over the next couple of seasons.



Look like a living work of art with casual wear brand FLY 53



We’ll definitely be seeing more of Tourne de Transmission, well certainly on here anyway.



Have to be honest, I L O V E love Hancock and they have a great back story. I know let’s do a post on them !



I can honestly say Camouflage HAS to be one of the biggest menswear trends for Spring 13 and this shirt from Addict is a great way of saying it. I have an idea this isn’t the last we’ll see of camo pieces.



I had to include this one, even though its more of a girls story, but if your stuck for a gift idea for the lady in your life these Eley Kishimoto X Clarks shoes will absolutely stunned.



This was one of my favourite jackets from the Press days and great for that unpredictable summer weather, well done Banana Republic.



Maybe its because of my love for Hitchcock but these sock from Thomas Pink are a much have for Spring.



Sir Paul Smith never fails when it comes to adding a spot of colour to our life and always manages to keep it looking masculine.



The day I saw this top with matching shorts from 55DSL, the weather was particularly fowl and left me longing warm barmy climbs.



Dr Martens are continuing to prove that they are going from strength to strength in the shoe department.



Smarten your act up over the summer with the simple deconstructed blazer by Boden.



Clarks have come up with this great footwear range based on its founder Nathan Clark, which has bags of potential to be expanded, in my humble opinion



These great boat shoes with a twist were a real pleasure surprise from Romain Kremer X Camper shoes



Told you we’d see more camo and this time it’s a collaboration by Passarella Death Squad X Boxfresh



OK granted not the most exciting of pieces but I guarantee Lacoste will have more planned to celebrate their 80th Anniversary !



One of the most exciting collaborations for Spring 2013 has to be Austin Reed X Spencer Hart, a lot of people have high expectations from this project and it don’t disappoint. More on this VERY soon.



A brand we haven’t heard to much from in this country for a while is J.Lindeberg. Well its well worth taking another look at them. The collection for Spring is amazing, this rucksack was a personal have but the burgundy tux and the tweed suits were worth smashing the piggy bank opening for !

New Year New You, WHATEVER ! – Detox your skin

With the overindulgence of Christmas long behind us, has jog on January passed us by and the gym membership is already gathering dust ? After all the over doing it of eating, drinking, changeable weather, late nights and stress of the Seasonal period, it can REALLY take its toll on your skin.

We’ve search the length and breath of the market to find the best products to give the stuff that keeps you all in there, Skin, a well earned detox for the start of 2013, don’t worry it doesn’t involve wiping oneself with the branch of a birch tree or drinking only hot water and the occasional concoction from some quake. No this is the best products for breathing life back into you face and giving you a more healthy colour.

Firstly, we sort the advice of a medical practitioner , Naturopathic Doctor Nigma Talib, who advised us;

“Your body eliminates about 1/3 of bacteria, viruses, and toxins through the skin. The body removes toxins through the pores to the surface of the skin. These toxins clog the pores, cause breakouts, irritation and inflammation to the skin. This in turn accelerates your skin’s ageing process as your skin is no longer making healthy cells, but instead fighting off “foreign invaders” in order to protect the skin. In order to keep skin and hair healthy and detoxified on the outside, you must eat foods packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly foods rich in Vitamin A, C, B, Zinc and essential fatty acids. Obviously drinking plenty of water is key too and I suggest using the following treatment” – 

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 13.49.05The Clarifying Clay Masque, by Skin Ceuticals, is a wonder product at getting rid of dead skin cells, lifting impurities from the skin’s surface and deep cleansing the pores. Formulated with the highest quality natural earth clays; Kaolin and Bentonite, with extracts of aloe and chamomile, it helps to purify, clarify and refine skin.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 14.23.44Weleda Birch Juice works to eliminate the toxins out of the body, accumulated over the indulgent seasonal period. Helping to kick start a detox programme, with a recommended as a 3-6 week course, a tablespoon of juice should be diluted into a large bottle of water and drank throughout the day to cleanse the system. Drinking the organic juice on a daily basis will boost lack lustre skin and restore vitality, ensuring a clear and bright complexion.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 15.47.02Fatigue Fighter by ClairnsMEN, offers a light cream-gel which gives an almost instant energising boost to tired, stressed looking skin. As soon as it’s applied, skin appears fresher, healthier, firmer, even rested. It works with all skin types as a pick-me- up after a late night or heavy week at work. An active ingredient is wintergreen plant extract which removes dead surface cells which make skin look dull and grey. Marie Mckeever, Clarins Head of Treatment Development, believes –

“Over the festive period, late nights and an excess amount of alcohol will cause skin to become dehydrated, making it look dull and lacking in vitality.  Start the New Year by drinking plenty of water and stick to a time efficient skin care routine- it takes less than a minute per day and will keep those dehydration lines at bay in 2013”


Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 15.11.14Pure Athlete Detox Bath Salts (Soak) combines 15 pure essential oils and mineral rich salts sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas and the Dead Sea( Ohh it must be good then). This special blend is designed to draw out toxins, which may have accumulated as a result of training and competing, or overdoing it during Christmas even, which cleansing the body, soothing the soul and rejuvenating the skin.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 16.03.30Lastly to give our bodies a kick start and return them to the temples they normally are, a good course of multivitamins are essential. Centrum have tailored a course of multivitamins and minerals to the needs of the male gender. Specific levels of B vitamins and Iron in Centrum Men help to support much needed daily energy metabolism and heart health. Vitamin D and Calcium contribute to normal muscle function and antioxidants like vitamin C and E protect against physical stress, helping men to stay healthy and take on whatever the days bring.

Milan Menswear Shows AW13

The review of the Milan Menswear shows for this coming Autumn has a truly international feel to it, no not just because it’s Milanese, but we kick off with the review with the first lady of German, no not Angela Merkel,tut, the other iron lady Jil Sander and we conclude with the colourful Canadian duo the Brothers Caten and along the way we’ll throw in a Brit and a Yank for good measure.

Jil Sander AW13

Jil Sander AW13

You know when you attend a Jil Sander show it isn’t going to be all Peacock feathers, day glo and a gangster rap sound track and do you know what ? It wasn’t this season either, but what we were treated to was a vintage collection of true, pure Sander genius. There were covert military references, no surprises there, the colour palette was masculine and continued with the slight military undertone. But what was the show’s greatest success was the fact that it offered a sensible, wearable and contemporary collection without being boring.

Dolce & Gabbana AW13

Dolce & Gabbana AW13

Moving on to designers on more home turf for Dolce & Gabbana, who surely must be expecting a call from the Vatican’s legal team, for a share of their profits ? First they took the Rosary beads and turned them into a must have male Fashion accessory now they seem to have turned their attention to the miraculous medal, ask your Catholic friends. Their theme was “devotion” and boy did they mean it. They had turned their Teatro into a shrine, so much so, I nearly genuflected when I entered. This was full on Roman Catholic iconology, either a saints image was used to decorate a garment or the models looked as those they had stepped out of the seminary. Move over Geek chic this is parish priest chic !

Burberry AW13

Burberry AW13

Told you we’d throw a Brit in for good measure and who better then Mr Christopher Bailey MBE for Burberry Prorsum, who opted for the rather nostalgic theme of “I ♥ Classics” for his Autumnal showcase and on the whole I’d agree with him. It was a beautifully wearable collection but I’m just not quite sure about the injections of animal print, whether on bags, sunglasses, macs or on all the shoes throughout the show, maybe it’ll grow on me.

Next up is the all American brand helmed by the Italian Italo Zucchelli, Calvin Klein Collection. For this season Zucchelli seems to have fused a mix of contemporary masculine tailoring and futuristic sci-fi outerwear ala Blake 7, which saw the models look like either delegates or officers at some far flung inter galactic sartorial conference.

The Missoni show and its 60th anniversary was marred with the sad news that Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni are still missing after their plane disappeared off the coast of Venezuela last Friday. The family decided the show must go on and indeed it did. The family run business famed for its patterned knitwear, offered a collection that couldn’t fail to please, not only were the aforementioned knits on display in outdoorsy hues. But the iconic family patterns were more subtly used in the weave of the fabric used in the construction of overcoats and suiting.

Prada AW13

Prada AW13

What can I say about Prada, well I want that Blue jumper NOW ! for starters. This collection wasn’t tricksy or whimsical, apparently the design team have been working on the exact tones of colour for months and it certainly paid off for them. Sub-culture references were there, this time Teddy boys, but it wouldn’t be a Prada show without these. If I had to make one criticism of it, be it a small one, was I found the casting distracting, the models looked like the 3 stooges and their dad or some odd Slovakian version of Hollyoaks, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the show.

Gucci AW13

Gucci AW13

And so from one Italian Dynasty to another, Gucci are freakin good at what they do and Frida Giannini, is doing a sterling job as Creative Director, almost to the point of making it an impossible task to think who could ever replace her at the iconic Fashion house and who would have thought that after Tom Ford. The Gucci vision and DNA is so strong there is no mistaking a piece from this company from accessories to a tuxedo, it is undoubtably Gucci and this collection does not disappoint and can be summed u in one word, Classic, this is without a doubt Giannini’s most traditional of collections to date.

DSquared2 AW13

DSquared2 AW13

Finally, to the Dynamic DSquared2 duo of Canadian Twins Dan and Dean Caten. What a show ! Congratulations lads, the best collection to date and it all centred around 1940’s jazz clubs. But don’t let the retro theme fool you this was bang up to date and offered something everyman could buy into.