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

custom Fendi made to order monster eyes clutch
Fashion

MADE TO ORDER

As most of you will already know, I absolutely adore Fendi. Having shopped there for over 20 years, it’s a brand I shall always hold close to my heart. From the beautiful leathers to the sumptuous furs, one can always expect quality and craftsmanship to the highest degree. I shan’t even start on the family legacy and Kaiser Karl’s EPIC 50 year tenure for the brand.

I will bang on about their bespoke, or ‘Made to Order’, service however. Bear with. When the New Bond Street flagship store opened in London, I was introduced to the concept. Yes I love it when I can mimsy into a shop and bag (get it?) whatever I please, but personalisation is something very special indeed – especially from a luxury house.

So rewinding the clock back a few months, I made an appointment to commission my own unique piece. If you are a regular reader then you’ll also know I am hashtag obsessed with the monster collection, so it made perfect sense to add to my #FMF (Fendi Monster Family). At least that’s what I told myself.

Having missed out on the monster eyes clutch the first time around, I decided that was going to be the design I wanted. Next came the fun part – choosing the details. Once you have chosen on the style you want, you get to select the materials; furs, leathers, exotic skins, in a myriad of colours and endless possibilities. Certain styles may only be available in particular leathers due to the nature of their design, but the freedom to sculpt your own vision was not only vast, but immensely fun. Each creation is also vetted by the house and will only be put into production if it is in keeping with the brand’s aesthetic; which makes perfect sense as Fendi are putting their name to it.

Being my first commission I went for the ‘Crayons’ leather due to it being hardwearing and brightly coloured. I did briefly toy with the idea of crocodile and python, but I am a sensible home owner now *ahem*. Blue has always been a colour I love, so I went with that for the main body of the bag and chose yellow eyes with hot pink pupils. I wasn’t done there though, I chose silver hardware and also went for the back of the bag to be olive green. That means if I’m in a more subtle mood, I can just flip it over and have a plain, more discreet clutch. So technically it’s like two bags in one – WIN!

Fast forward a few months and I got the call to say my new baby had arrived (Thanks Cheryl!) so I hopped, skipped and jumped to The Big Smoke with glee. As ever the staff were wonderfully welcoming and really made me feel unique. Champagne is offered to those who partake, but obviously I opted for sparkling water. Collection of your brainchild is an event all in itself. Then came the really special part – not only does each Made to Order piece come in its own dedicated box, but you also get a personalised dustbag and a handwritten note from Silvia Fendi herself. Now that’s amazing service.

Stay tuned on here and my Instagram for more pictures of this incredible clutch, or ‘mutch’ (man clutch) as it was fondly nicknamed.

What would be your dream Fendi bag? A pink python Peekaboo, or an Intrecciato number with your name on it?

 

selection of Fendi coloured Romano leathers for the made to order service selection of Fendi exotic python skins for the made to order service bespoke Fendi mink fur baguette in the London flagship store handwritten note from Silvia Fendi for the made to order bag service

head and shoulder portrait wearing black leather Balmain biker jacket and Hermes silk bandana scarf
Fashion

BANDANARAMA

The humble bandana; it’s been around for decades, but lately it’s seen a bit of a renaissance. Hermès produced a not-so-humble version, which meant I had to have one – obvi. Thick silk twill? You had me from the start. I’ve been toying how to style it for months, but bit the bullet and used it as a scarf tied at the front.

Since seeing Chiara Ferragni of ‘The Blonde Salad‘ sporting one at New York Fashion week, it cemented my view that it was a wise purchase. Slightly miffed I missed the fashion boat blogging about it so late, but it is what it is. There’s a lesson to be learnt there…

What are your thoughts about the kerchief? How would you wear one?

 

Chiara Ferragni of The Blond Salad wearing shearling coat and blue bandana red and white silk Hermes bandana scarf

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…

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

 

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.

 

LadyFendi03 LadyFendi06 LadyFendi05 LadyFendi01 LadyFendi08 LadyFendi07

fendi monster face pouch surrounded by gummy candy
Fashion

MONSTER

It’s pretty obvious by now that I adore Fendi, I always have and I probably always will. Ever since getting my first Fendi bag when I was at school, I’ve been hooked. The fact that it’s still family run is a wonderful thing and Karl’s creative genius can only help. I’m also a huge fan of Silvia’s menswear line, it has gone from strength to strength, each season seems to surpass the last.

When the Bag Bug collection came out, those hooks sunk even deeper. I know I’ve yapped about them in a previous post, so I shan’t start that again. I loved that the ‘Monster’ theme has continued over the seasons, it just keeps getting more and more cute – in a kind of aggressive way. I like to have fun with fashion and these Monsters are the ideal way to express my style.

After stupidly not getting the first line of men’s Monster accessories, despite seeing them in-store (don’t you hate buyer’s remorse?), I certainly didn’t let this pouch pass me by. Crafted out of textured ‘Crayons’ leather, it’s bright and durable. Perfect for stashing the cash and cards. The Swarovski tooth is a nice detail too. Admittedly I certainly didn’t need another wallet/pouch/card holder, but I certainly wanted it. So it’s now part of my own Fendi family, which seems to be growing at an alarming rate…

black quilted Chanel clutch and gold eagle necklace on a red background
Fashion

CHANEL BOY

Chanel. It’s always been a brand I have loved, growing up lusting after my mother’s pieces – but I’ve always struggled to wear it with conviction. It’s a hard label for us guys to pull off. I’m talking about accessories, not a bouclé two-piece and pearls.

After years of convincing myself I could rock a Jumbo (when I really couldn’t), I finally bit the bullet and bought a Chanel bag. The ‘O-Case’ is designed to hold a laptop, as told by my SA herself, but I think it’s so much better as a clutch. I chose the classic black caviar with gold hardware, as the lambskin creases too easily – this is much more durable. Finally a Chanel bag a man can wear easily (unless of course you are like my Instagram friend @iatemarykate who can pull off ANYTHING).

You may also notice one of my favourite ever vintage pieces, the eagle necklace. So OTT, so fun. I bought it myself in 2001 and it was love at first flight. I play it down with an old white t-shirt and jeans, or dress it up with a crisp white shirt; keeping it just under the collar. It’s one piece I shall cherish forever.