the McQueen of the Castle

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

Short, back and sides please – The return of the barber shop in a shop

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.

Clothes make the man offers some Mens Health

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

Slip, Slap, Slop – The importance of Sun Creams, tried & tested

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/

 

 

 

 

 

London Calling

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After the success of the Opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic games on Friday we thought we’d give you another chance to sample the delights of our guide to the host city. We decided to give you a insight to the not only the home of London Collections, but also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the capital of Great Britain, yeah you guessed it, LONDON. Now to spice thing up we’ve only gone and asked a couple of the key designers who have shown their SS13 collection last week, for their favourite London tips, destinations and hang outs, with the help of our friends at the British Fashion Council. So whether you reside in Londonium, are planning a visit or just wanna know a little more about the place, relax and read through your essential guide ;

Top 5 Things to do

5) Head down to Borough Market, go hungry and take advantage of all the free samples.

4) Let yourself go, do something touristy – we recommend the London Eye, the Olympic Stadium or an open top Bus tour.

3) Head east and see what everyone is talking about, avoid the Nathan Barley’s (the reality is worse then the show, the show was tame), have a look round the Box Park pop up Mall. See where your taxes are being spent.

2) Use the Boris Bikes, obviously not a after a drink or two and take a ride down to the Serpentine.

1) Get a Time Out and see what’s on, it sound corny but, there is always so much going on in London. So, take advantage of being in one of the best cities in the WORLD.

Eat – Tayyabs – Probably the best curry this side of Mumbai (www.tayyabs.co.uk)

Sleep – Dean St Town house, you couldn’t get much more central (www.deanstreettownhouse.com)

Drink – The Cat & Mutton Broadway Market, a great pub in the one of the globe’s trendiest areas (www.catandmutton.com)

Ask a Designer

Christpher Raeburn – “The Chiswick Boot Fair has always been a personal favourite. I also recommend The Wapping Project and a walk around the surrounding area, as well as escaping the city (sort of) to Epping Forest.”

Lou Dalton – “The Charles Lamb pub in Islington, St. John in St. John Street and the Hunterian Museum.”

Oliver Spencer – “The Barbican for Bauhaus, followed by the James Bond Exhibition. Primrose Hill for the weather and Lambs Conduit Street because we love it.”

Patrick Grant – “Drink a Vesper at the bar at Dukes Hotel. Go for oysters at Wilton’s or Bentley’s.”

Christopher Shannon – “Shrimpy’s at the Filling Station in Kings Cross, Mishkins in Covent Garden and a walk along the Thames as long as your legs can take it.”

Matthew Miller – “Stour Space café in Hackney Wick for breakfast. You can sit next to the canals and the Olympic stadium and watch the rowers row by while enjoying the wares of the local artists, and the best Eggs Benedict in East London! Vietnamese from the Green Papaya, Hackney, is the best I have tasted anywhere.
Just spend a day walking around the streets of London, you never know what you’ll find.”

Richard Nicoll – “Sunday at Herald Street Gallery and shopping at LNCC, dinner at La Bodega Negra Mexican in Soho (book ahead) and then on to Horse Meat Disco for an evening jig.”

London skyline by night

www.britishfashioncouncil.com/

www.londoncollections.co.uk/men