Posted in Fashion

Champagne dreams and champagne nightmares 

The Champagne Papi’s style. 

Drake’s fashion is both lustful and woeful.
This article chronicles the best and worst of the Toronto titan’s sartorial choices from recent years.

He is a versatile dresser but, in the author’s opinion, he has been seen to bend the line.

Beginning this contemporary analyses of Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham, we shall see his style blossom in 2015, most notably in his ‘Hotline Bling’ banger.


Now, this is a hotline look.

Some will say the Timberlands and the complementary coloured clothes are unacceptable for a man who could afford a more elegant pair of LSQ’s from Harrods.

However, at the height of the chunky polar- neck wearing fad, as well as the resurgent of the Timberland boot, I thoroughly support this style. 

Perhaps the jeans could be a darker shade, which would make him stand out from the background in the music video, but with the complexion of his skin, it makes the outfit work nicely. 

A man of my own pale skin could not pull this look off so well, as the colours would drain me out and make me look rather sickly.

The only problem I have with this look is that the song was released in July, so polar necks and Timberland would have returned to the back of the wardrobe. So those who wanted to copy Drake’s style, would have to wait 3- 4 months for the weather to cool.

 

Next on the agenda is his 2016 look which is best shown in his ‘Views’ album.

In pictures taken across the his hometown’s skyline, features him again wearing wintery clothes, despite it again being released towards the summer.

Above Drake is seen wearing a bomber jacket from Cockpit USA. The sheepskin lined, leather outer jacket is incredibly desirable and its deep brown colour is in unison with the surrounding architecture.

Combined with his token necklace- which is rarely missing, and a cable- knit jumper, this is a perfect winter look, especially for those cold days in Ontario.

Yet this again raises the question why not release the album in the winter if he really had to don the jacket.

My mind jumps to presume one of two things. Either Drake does not care whether people copy his dress sense. Or Canadian pop stars are built so frailly that winter- wear is a necessity all year round.

 

On to the present day.

2017 has been another successful year for him. He won 2017 GQ’s best dressed man in January and has released another big tune in ‘Passionfruit’.

The photo on the cover of ‘More Life’- Passionfruit’s album- is of Drake’s father Dennis Graham, and so his style for this year has to be sourced from outside of his albums.

His photo for GQ’s album cover for February is fabulous, it is the best picture of Drake ever taken.

Voted for by the staff of British GQ, alongside top designers such as Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and Vivienne Westwood, Drake can be seen wearing a black suit, but casualises the look with two chains, a matching gold watch, and possibly the nicest pair of sunglasses I have ever seen.

The only way I would improve on this suit is by wearing a marcella shirt with the suit, to cover the buttons, and make the look slightly more formal and dressy, which would counter the casualness of the chains and undone buttons.

But to summarise, I could not agree more with GQ’s decision, and am only surprised that he was a new entry for this years awards, and has not been selected in the past. Continue reading “Champagne dreams and champagne nightmares “

Posted in Fashion

Ad men, Mad Men

Madison Avenue was a stressful place in 1960s New York, yet Donald Draper and his Ad Men always looked the part, despite the pressure. 

The AMC series graced our screens from July 2007, and any fashion conscious gentleman should watch it for inspiration as well as entertainment. Mad Men then aired a new season each year, until its finale in 2014. 

Putting aside Draper’s womanising, alcoholism, unstable childhood, and the complete fabrication of his former life, he is certainly a gentleman to aspire to be. Being at the top of New York must have certainly been special, and the money he earned was portrayed as ludicrous. 

Okay, so let’s talk about Draper’s fashion. 

Most commonly besuited in gray super slim, Draper has made this a cool style nearly sixty years after it’s time. Costume designer Janie Bryant generally dressed actor Jon Hamm in suits made by Ralph Lauren or Brooks Brothers, which were tapered at the waist to create a V shaped fit. 

To make Draper stand out from the rest of the cast- who also wear suits- Bryant expressed his creativity by having him wear woven, or patterned suits, as opposed to the block colour suits of the other ad men. 

My personal favourite suit of Draper’s is the charcoal pinstripe depicted below, which, with the cigarette and wood decor of his office, show him to be the gentleman of Madison Avenue.

 

Mad Men and Don Draper first entered my life in passing referred during an episode of USA Network’s Suits, where Harvey Spector aspires to be like the ‘mad man’. From this I thought to myself, if Harvey Spector, the coolest dude in New York likes Mad Men, then I’ve got to give it a try. 

It was one of my best decisions. 

Posted in Fashion

Leg tattoos

As if tattoos don’t generate enough debate as it is! Throwing in colourful leg tattoos would surely be a step too far for the well kept gent… or is it? 

GQ’s fashionista Nick Carvell, did much to sway my opinion on leg tattoos. Before, I thought they were very metrosexual, and only for the Beta- male. 

I was wrong. 

Leg tattoos are cool. But the question is whether you suit them. 

As a genetically (so I claim) chicken legged, amateur bodybuilder, I try to keep the attention away from my legs. So creating a piece of art for people to stair at on my pegs, is not a good idea. However, this does not mean I cannot appreciate the appeal of, and class of a leg tattoo on the right gentleman. 

Ideally, the best suited customers are those with complete slim anthropometrics. Tattoo adorned Demi- God Alex Turner shows this to be true. 

Now, the rise in the number of animals engraved on people’s legs has caught my attention, particularly when I was in Barcelona last summer. The Catalonian youths seemed fond of such pictures, with Jaguars being a popular choice. When I questioned Enrique, a 18 y/o resident of La Rambla, on his choice of a bear on his left lower quadricep, he said: ‘the bear is strong and feared, I like to be the same.’ It should probably be mentioned that my Spanish is horrendous, so the poor young chap had to splutter this out to me in his broken English. 

To be perfectly frank, the best suited Enrique’s rather reinforced frame, and got me wondering what animal I would chose… hypothetically of course- I should have probably mentioned that I’m an aichmophobe- and have no intention of letting something as sharp as a needle touching me. 

I digress. In this dreampt up world, where the tattoo artist was not Satan and the needle his trident, I thought about having a snake. The simple reason being that it would look cool. This was a mistake, as I soon realised; a snake slithering down ones quadriceps will likely get you kicked out of a family restaurant, for reasons a gentleman should not divulge. 

My second thought was a wolf. 

This seemed relatively safe; they are strong, attractive to look at, raise no sexual concern when visible out the bottom of a pair of shorts.

Despite looking nice- certainly some designs I have seen are very aesthetically pleasing- I circled back to the earlier issue of: whether it would suit me. 

Comfortably this can be answered… nope. 

Despite having a slightly rugged appearance, my personality couldn’t be any less wolffish. Perhaps something more resembling a budgie would suit me, but who the heck wants one of those on their body?

Anyway, less able my own misgivings, and more about leg tattoos. 

Ignoring the unforgivable act of wearing visable Nike socks with smart attire, this gent has got the leg tattoo look spot on. 

As aforementioned, the sleekness of the tattoos compliment the slenderness of his leg, and creates the desired effect of a clean, yet artistic look. 

Evidently I am going to have to address the Gucci’s. Topping off this chaps style, the low cut of the shoe allows more of the tattoo to be seen, thus projects the full extent of his artwork to the world. 

I do sometimes find myself wishing I could pull off such a look. However, some were meant to be desired, some were meant to admire. I am comfortable with that fact. 

Gucci shoes in this style are available from flannels.com. Prices start from £365. My person favourite ones are the Noel Gg (I hope this doesn’t stand for Noel Gallagher) web leather loafers, which are on the cheaper side, but are still awesome! 

Posted in Fashion

Black/ Brown/ Blue: The Debate

Questions often arise, in the fashion world, on whether the aforementioned colours can be worn together. They are called neutral colours, and so allegedly can be worn with any other colour. I am sceptical to say they can, however, sometimes there are exceptions. 

The rule to follow is: never wear all three at the same time, and try not to wear black with blue. The evidence for this is based on my experiences with people at university; where they chuck these colours together willy- nilly because they believe the university nightclub scene does not judge. This is a folly and their partnering of navy shoes, with black jeans, and light brown shoes is disastrous. 

The main exception to this is dark navy upper wear, black trousers, and dark brown shoes. This was a match I donned commonly whilst at sixth form, but nowadays one does not see the need to. 

Further evidencing this is suits. You would not wear a black suit with a brown pair of shoes, or a brown belt; without looking foolish. Zac Efron has had to learn this the hard way at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. He sported a black suit and tie, with brown shoes and no belt! Now I am a fan of ZEfron, but who the heck wears a suit without a belt, unless one has braces? I do hope he had a stern word with his stylist after this, or, if he did not have one, invested. 

So to summarise this brief discussion on a often overlooked rule, only wear these colours together if you have to. And definitely do not do a ZEfron! 

Posted in Fashion, Gentleman

Luxury Leather

When deciding upon the perfect leather jacket, my rule of thumb is: brown for blondes (myself), and black for browns. Clearly this is not gospel, however speaking as a blonde haired male, I feel, not to mention look, much better in brown leather. The dark of hair Chris John Millington constantly condricts this rule, and despite looking good in brown leather, I do feel he is suited better to black jackets. 

When my father was around my age, he too had the agonising task of buying the perfect leather jacket. Processing this image of my father, a man who will only wear Craghoppers or Berghaus, sifting through for a stylish item of clothing, tickles me. Anyway, he chose a black leather jacket, of good quality and wore it with pride with his other big budget buy- a pair of black Dr Martins. For the record, I had to prise this information from my mother, as my father would likely ask which surgery this Dr Martin belongs to. My father adored this jacket, and wore it everywhere; even to my maternal grandfathers farm… to his peril. 

Due to my grandfather being of the inventive sort, he used to create lighting for his workshop out of long poles, attached to a lorry tire on the floor. Standing at around 5ft, this unorthodox looking light, was the perfect height for a coat hanger, which my father saw as fit to use. Out of pure habit, my grandfather switched on said light at a switch on the wall. Well… the inner lining of the leather jacket proceeded to combust at a fair rate of knots, and my late grandfather had the frightful task of informing his soon- to- be son- in- law, that his most treasured item had been for a dip in the inner sanctum of Mount Doom. 

From this anecdote, I learnt two valuable lessons: do not be liberal with the word coat hanger, and if you buy an expensive leather jacket, do not wear it everywhere! 

In terms of style of leather jacket, my father had a double rider (like what one will have seen the likes of James Dean wearing), however this is not a favourite of mine. I prefer the café racer style, as depicted in the image below, due to its streamline fit which, on the right person, accentuates ones figure. 

Belstaff is an icon and trustworthy brand in leather attire, with this being a recommendable place to purchase a pricier jacket. The Belstaff jacket pictured below is the Atherley jacket, and is expertly paired with beige knitwear. 

Many fashion houses, as well as many bloggers, vloggers, hoggers or whatever other names people go by now, often present bright leather with equally bright undergarments. This is not the gentlemanly way. A smart leather jacket will attract jubilation for what it is; it does not have to be forced upon the beholder with bedazzling and so forth. Phillip Plein is one example of this, where he has exhausted and arguably ruined this once staple member of the gentleman’s wardrobe. Keep it simple chaps, it looks classier that way. 

Belstaff leather jackets can be bought from http://www.tessuti.co.uk from £325. Considering the lifelong companion this product may well become, the steep price tag, is not so Himalayan after all. 

For the Atherley jacket shown below, eBay.com is the only place I can locate this item. Prices start from £1100. 

Posted in Fashion

Oxfords vs Brogues

Embroidery, or no embroidery… that is the question. A brogue is an Oxford with detailing across the cap of the shoe, and sometimes around the side. Oxfords tend to be a plain shoe, sometimes with a converse style toe cap. 

Similarities between the two shoes include: open lacing, a heel cap, and a curved toe. 

Differences include: a ‘w’ or wing shaped piece of leather features the brogue, with Oxfords maintaining a smooth leather exterior. 

This debate is addressed recently and notably in Kingsman: The Secret Service, as Colin Firth emphasises the superiority of oxfords. This discussion relates to the traditional predjudice of brogues only being for the countryman, with Oxfords being the choice for a stylish city gentleman. 

This is a foley. In the present day brogues can be worn fashionably and respectfully for any occasion, especially for upper class city dwellers. 

Blake Scott, Instagram menswear icon, can be seen wearing subtly embroiled Oxfords, smartly on the fashion conscious streets of LA below. He is an example of how brogues are perfectly acceptable for any situation and dresswear in the modern day. 

My favourite pair of brogues are from Gucci, with the not so subtle addition of their logo to the wings. They can be purchased from mrporter.com for £485. Office.co.uk provide a budget alternative pair of brogues for £60. 

First choice of Oxford shoes has to be ‘Mansion’ from kurtgeiger.com for £120. These are reasonably priced, and are proven to last by their good quality manufacturing; I have had mine for 3 years and still look new! 

Posted in Fashion

Tartan

Sports and tartan are not something often combined on the international stage. 

However it is clearly a success, and is Scotland’s fastest selling rugby kit of all time. This is evidently due to the blue and green tartan design under the flanks, collar, and sleeve. The kit makers Macron have excelled here. 

The kit was first worn at Murryfield on Saturday 29th August against Italy, and is still being worn by the national team to this day. 

Dominic McKay, Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs, said: “The response to Scotland’s new playing jersey is unprecedented.”

The men’s replica shirt, that Ross Ford wears here, can be bought from shop.scottishrugby.org 

It can be purchased for £62.99. 

Posted in Fashion

Kent & Curwen

A traditionally British brand is on the rise, reknown for its classic style and tailoring.

Kent and Curwen was established in 1926, when the founders Eric Kent and Dorothy Curwen met on Saville Row. They have supplied ties for Oxbridge and public schools since 1929, and the brands label was also stitched in the ties of the British army. The company started producing knitwear in 1932, and further expanded to blazers in the 1950s. The Saville Row duo registered its trademark three lions logo in 1982, which makes it so distinguishable, and so British.

Moving into Kent and Curwen’s recent history, former England footballer, David Beckham, became an ambassador in 2015. Mr Beckham commented on his latest collaboration with K&C saying: ‘it respects the old and brings in the new.’ He further said he was ‘excited about the launch of his new collection’.  Mr Beckham joins former England cricket captain, Alistair Cook (left in the picture above) and Nick Compton (right in picture above), who notably fronted K&C’s promotional campaign in 2013.

Having sports stars as ambassadors, suits the label’s sports inspired clothes. Their recent products have drawn inspiration from rugby and cricket attire, with military style here and there.

A personal favourite of Mr Beckham’s collection are the knitted cricket sweatshirts, as advertised by Cook and Compton above. Coming in white or blue, with yellow or green collars, the jumpers certainly capture the crisp and clean nature that many British gents can recall from their schoolboy days.

For those interested, Kent and Curwen’s cricket jumpers can be bought from KentandCurwen.com, with the price of the v- neck cricket sweaters at £495.

Posted in Braces, Fashion, Gentleman, Skyfall

Braces

A controversial item for some, braces can make or break an outfit. 

Teenage hipsters matching these with a pair of Doc Martins, are not what we want to see. 

A correctly worn pair of braces can produce the image of an Oxbridge aristocrat who has a ballsey stylist,  or is not afraid to accessorise his suits. 

Gareth Mallory is a recent addition to the James Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre, and wears this item of clothing in the perfect manner. 

He is depicted here in the aristocrats natural environment; a classy, wood dominant office, somewhere in Whitehall. 

Portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, Mallory wears a pair of Ede & Ravenscroft Dark Blue Fleur De Lys braces (suspenders). The subtle Fleur De Lis pattern on these suspenders certainly exemplify one traditional meaning of the flower; perfection.  

An interesting question is why the stylist for Skyfall decided to befit Mallory in the risky accessory. Skyfall’s costume designer Jany Temime said: ‘You have to respect a certain style – English gentleman’. An English gentleman is certainly something Mrs Temime has created in M.

Prices for these were from £55, but are no longer available new. Similar braces are available from £45 on their website edeandravenscroft.com

Posted in Gentleman

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes returns to our televisions tonight, and so does its fashion features. 

This is the interior of 221B Bakers Street. How classy and traditionally British the television depiction of this famous character is. 

Despite it looking like a range of useless antiques, this style is certainly something I would desire from any house, let alone one in central London, as perfectly set as Mr Holmes’ house. 

My regards to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for bringing us this amazing character, and thank you to the BBC for presenting such a fantastic show for fashionistas like myself.