side view with Fendi bag bugs backpack and Funich bag bug
Fashion, Menswear

BUGGING ME

Stop the press, I’ve published a blog post.

When you have picked yourself up off the floor, please accept my apologies for a rather long absence. With a gruelling work schedule and spare time spent either organising my flat (yes I still haven’t moved in) and attempting to enjoy some vague form of social life, I simply haven’t had the chance.

That said, the other day my good friend Simon, of The Very Simon G, came to visit me and we spent the day in Brighton enjoying the elusive thing known as the British summertime. Good job too, because it lasted one whole day. You read that right, *sigh*.

In between gossiping and gushing talking about all things fashion, we managed to take a few photos of my OOTD – that’s ‘outfit of the day’ if you still don’t know. I wore a speckled blue top from COS, Fendi black cropped skinny jeans, Adidas Stan Smith shoes and accessorised with my beloved monster backpack and bag bug (both Fendi obvs.), Tom Ford ‘Campbell’ Sunglasses – as blogged about here and an Hermès CDC cuff.

A pretty good outfit even if I do say so myself and Fendi obviously also thought so too, as they kindly regrammed my Instagram post. Kudos me.

While you’re here, feel free to check out said epic account.

 

close up of navy Fendi monster eyes backpack and green bag bug back view wearing navy Fendi monster eyes backpack smiling wearing blue COS t-shirt and Tom Ford sunglasses holding Fendi monster backpack in Brighton wearing Adidas Stan Smith sneakers

black and golf flatlay with contrasting textures
Fashion

FLAT LAY FEVER

The flat lay. It’s a hard thing to master and it certainly took me a while (not to mention a little lot of help from a good friend – you know who you are) to arrive where I am presently. Now I’m not saying I’ve nailed it by any means, but I have made progress.

If you search #flatlay on Instagram, it yields over 100,000 results, so it’s fair to say that the ‘lay is here to stay. Or maybe it’s just a case of flat cliché? Either way, I’m officially obsessed.

When attempting to compose your ideal image, it’s best to have a theme. In this instance mine was texture, with a black and gold palette. Composition and placement of the subject matter is crucial, so you may have to play around until you find what works for both you and the image. If you are capturing it with your iPhone, the square camera setting on iOS is godsend; but when using a DSLR, bear in mind that the image will have to be cropped when uploading it to Instagram.

Backgrounds and lighting are also key factors. Even the most amazing things can look awful on a hideous base; yet the most mundane objects can be transformed with a beautiful backdrop. Ultimately it’s a matter of taste, find what you like and do your best to make it work. Natural light is preferable, unless of course you’re a pro; and remember that shadows can actually work in your favour.

So what are your thoughts on the flat lay? You can check my Instagram to see my attempts. From food to fashion, it is what you make it. And yes, some attempts may be less flat yay and more crap lay, but progress not perfection…

flatlay of my beach holiday essentials
Fashion, Travel

BEACH ESSENTIALS

At this time of the year with all the rain, snow, or whatever Mother Nature sees fit to throw your way, you can escape it all with a holiday. Unless of course you like the bad weather, in which case you can probably skip this post.

So in all it’s technicolour glory is my beach holiday edit. I normally play it down colour-wise with clothing, but I do like a bit of colour whilst on the beach – too much sand can be oh-so bland.

A good quality beach towel is a must; if you invest wisely not only do they dry you off much quicker, but are easier to spot on that sun lounger you poached at 6am (if you’re that way inclined). My garish colourful choice is the Giacomo towel by Missoni, with it’s distinctive pattern you’ll certainly be making waves wherever you choose to go. Available as part of a set here, or similar here.

My Goyard St Louis tote is not only water resistant, but also extremely hardy. I’ve dragged this particular one halfway round the world and back and it still shows no signs of wear. Pricey, yes, but well worth it in my opinion. Plus you can chose from a myriad of colours to suit your mood. More affordable options can be found here and here.

For swimwear, I recently purchased a pair of Orlebar Brown Setter shorts in Magenta. Not too loud and actually the perfect tone to wear with both light and dark clothing. They extremely comfortable, fantastic quality and they too are quick drying. Perfect for a quick dip. You can find a similar pair here, or a slightly longer version here.

Accessory wise, I am never without a pair of sunglasses. I stick to Tom Ford for holidays as they are sturdy and provide excellent sun protection, but buy within your budget. The only advice I will give is to make sure that they have good quality lenses to prevent damaging your eyes. You may also notice a bandana, granted it’s an Hermès one, but they do come in handy for covering the back of your neck or sea-swept hair if you’re vain like me. Just be careful how you tie it.

Lastly my iPhone. Perfect for some tunes, social media stalking, or checking the weather back home and dreading your return to normal life.

saint laurent paris suede boots with an all black ensemble
Fashion, Menswear

GETTING THE BOOT

Ask and you shall receive. I asked in my last post what you would like to see more of on my blog, so now it’s answer time. The lovely Lorna, of www.lornaluxe.com, asked what luxe items the stylish man (or his wife) should be buying right now. My answer? A good pair of boots.

There’s only so long a man can get away with wearing wear high-tops and what about the evenings? High-tops? Highly unsuitable if you ask me. Putting your money into a decent pair of boots is a sartorial no-brainer. Putting your feet in said boots is the next step.

Whatever your style, you can find the perfect pair to suit you. Chelsea boots are always chic and every country gent needs a pair of Hunter wellies (you won’t catch me in any other), but my current obsession is the suede boot; Saint Laurent’s are saintly. Not only are they thoroughly versatile, pair with skinny jeans or smart tailoring, they’re also pretty damn cool.

So here’s my picks, all currently available: Balenciaga’s black offerings, Hunter’s classic Wellington Boot, the Saint Laurent Paris Holy Grail and if you’re feeling bold, the wildcard – black suede boots by Alexander McQueen. Just remember guys, please, no Uggs.

 

Harry Styles wearing a shearling jacket skinny jeans and brown suede boots London street style shot of man wearing black outfit with boots

samuel from styleoversubstances.com walking through the streets of San Francisco
Fashion, Travel

SAN FRANCISCO STYLE

Christmas shopping is such a bore (unless it’s for yourself) and not to mention horrifically busy if you leave it this late; therefore Lorna and I decided to do ours further afield. New York is always great, but a little clichéd, plus it’s fucking super cold there at the moment. So where else better than sunny San Francisco? It has all the shops you need possibly think of, amazing restaurants, beautiful scenery AND loads of attractive men. Oh some of the buildings are really pretty too.

For this post I chose to wear my beloved Balenciaga ‘Join a Weird Trip’ t-shirt with a custom check flannel shirt over the top (you know I’m cray cray for custom shirts), distressed Balmain biker jeans, and white Louis Junior Spikes shoes by Christian Louboutin. I accessorised with my new Dior ‘So Real’ sunglasses, Hermès cuffs and a Marlboro menthol. Sometimes you just have to.

Thanks to my girl Lornaluxe for being a kick-arse friend, photographer and director all rolled into one. She even tolerated my constant selfie taking. Now that is what I call a keeper.

 

sat on the curb smoking looking at pictures on a camera taking a selfie as seen by someone else stood outside the cliff hotel San Francicsco shot from afar selfie sat on the curb smoking with lornaluxe

selfie wearing black dior so real sunglasses and black givenchy t shirt
Fashion

SO REAL

Dior used to be my go-to sunglasses brand from the late nineties, when the brand was as it’s best; but the later designs began tantalise me less and less with each coming season. Suffice to say my love affair sadly ended.

When Raf first took the helm after Galliano’s dramatic exit, I have to admit I wasn’t keen. Something just didn’t sit right with me. I wasn’t a fan of his first collection at all; the second was a little better, but then BOOM – it was back and I was officially obsessed.

It’s probably no surprise that when I first laid eyes on the So Real sunglasses, my heart was captured once again. So fresh, so unusual, so sophisticated and just the right amount of cool. Not only do they look amazing with the Dior women’s collections, they also look pretty damn good with Raf’s own menswear line. Double points for versatility.

So sat here in my new shades I’m saying see ya Céline and ta ta Tom Ford, my love for Dior is real. So Real.

 

black dior so real sunglasses with mirror detail gleaming in the sun

 

diptyque green and purple christmas candles on windowsill
Home

DIPTYQUE DELIGHTS

One of my favourite things about the festive season is all the scents – think rich spices, spruce, chestnuts and open fires. As I’m too lazy to make pomanders or constantly bake gingerbread in order for my home to smell appropriately Christmassy (is that even a word?), I go for the easy and chic option: Diptyque’s annual Christmas candles.

Yes I know it’s only November, but the big day is just over one month away, so whilst I am waiting for this year’s festive offerings to arrive in the post I thought I would share some of the previous editions I have left over. Not only are the jewel-coloured glass vessels beautiful to look at, but they also smell divine. Using only natural ingredients means they smell exactly that – natural. No hideous synthetic odours are permitted in my abode.

Coincidentally my good friend Lornaluxe is hosting a Diptyque candle giveaway on her blog, to celebrate her Instagram account reaching a whopping 60 thousand followers. It really is one of the most beautiful accounts I have seen and by golly she has put the work in to earn those followers. So if you want to be in with a chance to get your mitts on your own Diptyque treat click here and good luck.

 

diptyque red and green festive candles on windowsill

two bespoke rings from Baroque Brighton in their boxes against a colourful cushion
Jewellery

BAROQUE BESPOKE JEWELLERY

If you have read my previous posts (and if you haven’t read my blog before – welcome), you will know I love anything bespoke. I also love jewellery, so bespoke jewels seem to be a logical progression right?

I have been purchasing loose stones for some time now, but was waiting to find a competent jeweller who could live up to my exacting standards. After a bit of internet research and good old fashioned foot work, I came across Baroque Jewellery. Established in 2006 and situated in Brighton’s famous Lanes, it’s a unique and glamorous shop run by a team of skilled designers and craftsmen with over 60 years combined experience in jewellery making. As if the sumptuous dark interior wasn’t enough (box ticked), the shop features unique and eye-catching window displays with both their own pieces and those of other featured designers.

Upon entering the store I was greeted by a friendly chap who was incredibly knowledgable when it comes to stones (another box ticked). I am admittedly picky and rightly so, I like good quality and craftsmanship with that extra flourish when it comes to design. So after a chat about what I had and what I was looking for, I left it with the team to come up with a design.

My first piece was to be centred around a flawless half carat cognac diamond I had picked up on my travels. I was a little unsure of what style to go for, but Aaron and Jason came up with a beautiful design in rose gold that surrounded my centre stone with smaller varying colour brown diamonds – I couldn’t be more pleased. Especially as they were also able to use some existing 9 carat yellow gold from an inherited ring and bump it up to 18 carat rose gold (tick). The finished piece was a simple yet striking design, which I know I shall cherish forever (tick, tick).

close up of hand wearing bespoke cognac diamond ring set in pink gold

On to my most recent piece. I have always wanted an emerald ring but struggled to find a design that suited me and my style. So after discovering Baroque and seeing the quality of their work first hand, I again chose them to commission another piece.

The stone this time was a bit larger, weighing in at 2.6 carats, so I needed to balance out the emerald by having an appropriate setting. In order to stop it looking delicate I went for a ruby halo, made with stones from a band I never wore. Think of it as recycling, but in a luxe way. As the centre stone had some inclusions (which I love in emeralds), I thought a good way of echoing this was to have the ring set in blackened white gold. A great contrast against the pink rubies.

After around 6 weeks, my second bespoke ring was ready. The team at Baroque kept me regularly informed on its progress and I was able to pop in and see the model of the ring to make sure everything was to my liking.  It really was a pleasure to build up a rapport with the team and for them to get to know me in order to fully understand my crazy mind vision. The result was far beyond what I had desired, a stunning unique jewel that perfectly showcases my style.

So my thanks go out to all of the helpful, professional and friendly staff at Baroque. They truly are skilled craftsmen (and women – not forgetting you Pippa) who not only make wonderful jewels, but also good business relationships.

 

wearing bespoke large emerald ring set in blackened white gold surrounded by pink rubies bespoke black gold emerald ring with ruby halo in brown leather box on a colourful cushion

Chanel jewellery and cosmetics flatlay on a sheepskin rug
Beauty, Fashion

CHANEL FLAT LAY

It’s currently day two of the horrible ailment that is man-flu – It’s a serious condition. Whilst I really can’t be bothered to do a blog post, I know I should at least post something. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that the picture is a few days old, if not, then forget I said anything. It started off simply as flat lay practise (man they are hard, especially if you are a perfectionist like me), but I must say I’m super pleased with it.

I adore beauty products and these two are fantastic new additions to my ever expanding grooming hoard products. The Chanel Beauté Initiale Spray Serum is a lightweight product ideal for those who have oily skin, perfect for when you just need that little boost. It’s relatively scent free, which is always nice, as sometimes I just don’t fancy smelling like a wild flower. The Beauté Initiale Eye is a lighter eye cream that soothes and cools; it may not be anything too groundbreaking, but it’s perfect for when your eyes require a little TLC.

The rest was mainly just filler for the photo, but you will spot my beloved eagle necklace, tie pin and crossbones brooch. They are all pieces that I cherish. I love how Chanel makes their accessories fun, plus they never really date.

On that note, I’m off to get another Lemsip.

lady fendi against black front door wearing navy coat and pastel blue hair
Fashion

LADY FENDI

I’m not one to normally post editorials, as I feel a bit of a fraud – after all, it’s not my work. However, I could not let this one slide. It is EVERYTHING. Maybe this is the start of something new for my blog, who knows.

Citizen K International completely nailed it. Alice Rosati shot Australian model Rose Smith as ‘Lady Fendi’ wearing total looks from the brand and I would not change a single thing. It completely encapsulates everything the Fendi means to me, luxury, heritage, excess and opulence – with a subversive twist. The colours and textures are sublime, not to mention her hair…

What are your thoughts on the editorial? I know it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely mine. Here’s to Lady Fendi.

Images from Citizen K.

 

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