The Year That Was in Fashion: My Fashion Highlights for 2018

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You might be thinking back on this year and wondering, where did it go? What did I achieve? What were my highlights? When did I start asking all these rhetorical questions like that woman from Sex and the City? 

Here's the fashion news that made the waves in 2018. 

January - Valentino new logo and pop-up shop craze 

Valentino made an a retail play straight out of left field for its resort 2018 collection. A capsule collection was sold in a series of pop-up stores in Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong, whilst they resorted to an 80's aesthetic logo; VLTN.

A slightly nostalgic normcore-noir slotted perfectly into current 2018 trends when streetwear’s hyper-branded and irony-laden aesthetic is pivotal.

February - Lululemon CEO steps down 

Lululemon Athletica CEO Laurent Potdevin is resigned from the retailer citing that the company “fell short of ... standards of conduct” to respect employees and show integrity.

Potdevin was also be removed from his position on the board.

It was a turbulent year for Lululemon with various nefarious remarks from founder Chip Wilson regarding the company’s policy on not manufacturing plus-size clothes. 

That all said the Lululemon store on Oxford Street is awesome. The upstairs menswear division is a little well-kept secret for meetings, coffees and a yoga studio. 

March - Burberry hires Ricardo Tisci 

Riccardo Tisci, left his role as creative director at Givenchy for what many presumed was the top job at Versace, only to be installed at Burberry as chief creative officer.

Riccardo Tisci succeeded Christopher Bailey who’s departure was announced in October 2017. 

Burberry would continue to make the headlines when it was revealed they annually burn millions worth of unsold stock to prevent them landing in the hands of counterfeiters. 

April - Karl Lagerfeld opens in Soho

Karl Lagerfeld opened its first U.S. flagship store in the heart of SoHo at 420 W. Broadway in New York City. 

The flagship will features a combination of both Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Lagerfeld Paris women's and menswear, as well as accessories and footwear galore. 

May - Balenciaga 1200 shirt

This one made Twitter implode. The £1200 tee-shirt/shirt from Balenciaga.

Some Twitterist's went into meltdown  responding with a mix of disparate confusion and some pretty great witticisms. I like the one that comments it looks like it got stuck together in the tumble dryer. 

June - Kate Spade dies 

Yeah sad this one. I know it's not Menswear but Kate was a trailblazer and her suicide effected the fashion community immensely. 

The handbag and fashion designer was found by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue apartment, a note was left at the scene.

It's been a big year for mental health, don't struggle alone people. 

July - Dior announce exhibition at V&A

Shit the bed I can't wait for this one. Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition will open on the 2nd February 2019 and trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior’s relationship with Britain.

Book your tickets online. Anyone fancy being my date for this one comment below. 

August - Love Island great for clothing

This is how you sell merchandising  folks. Thanks to the scantily dressed contestants on Love Island such as Georgia, Laura and Megan, searches for thong bikinis, and even thong swimsuits, have increased by 68 per cent in the past two months alone, with an overall 41 per cent increase year on year. 

Year on year the show amps up the ratings and brands get to see a considerable return on their sponsorship. Great TV, great concept, great distraction to a productive day also. 

September - Michael Kors buys Versace

Woah who saw this coming right? Out of nowhere Michael Kors just swallowed up Versace in a ¢2.1 billion dollar and didn't even blink. A couple of Versace purists thought it would cheapen the brand, but so far there's of Versace bags finding its way into TK Maxx. 

The story of Versace on the iPlayer was also some of the best TV I saw this year. 

October - Melanie Trump in Africa

Well it's not a news round up without some kid of mention of the Trumps. Say what you like about the First Lady, but she likes to put on a show right? Not entirely sure if her colonial inspired wardrobe was the right time and place on her tour of Africa. 

November - Dolce & Gabbana

Oh Jesus guys. Why even go there and make a woeful attempt at humour at the expense of a 200 million hammering in the Asian market? 

Overall, Chinese consumers spend over $7 billion each year on luxury goods, according to the consultancy McKinsey. That's nearly one-third of the global market. 

The advert is not racist, just culturally tone death and not at all funny. Such a misstep, will cost them dear. 

December - Ted Baker 

Oh Ray, and his amorous hugs and ear massages. The founder of Ted Baker has now taken a  leave of absence after a petition was rolled out denouncing forced hugs in the Ted Baker workplace. 

Soon only footballers will be allowed to hug in the workplace. 

 

Ted Baker news: I’ve got something to get off my chest, YOU!

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Poor Ray Kelvin, I bet he could really do with a hug right now. I was aghast to hear the news that the CEO of Ted Baker is now facing a staff mutiny in light of a 'forced hug' working environment. Personally I'm a hugging man. Unless I'm fresh from the gym and haven't had the chance to shower. So this current news article really resonated with me. Are we still living in a Joey and Chandler universe where hugging is deemed an every 10 minute occurrence? 

Does this mean that Jurgen Klopp won't be allowed to run on the pitch and hug his goalkeeper anymore? Personally I'm a fan. The keeper is always left out of the hugs. It must suck being a keeper.

Why do we hug? 

Early forms of communication we give to our children to comfort them. As children we liked to be hugged by our parents, it makes us feel good. The brain releases a special little chemical called oxytocin.  

Otherwise known as the love drug. As we move into adolescence we no longer get hugs from our parents we replace them with hugs from friends, siblings, or even our friends in the office. 

The exact origins of hugging is unclear but we can assume that we're born with the knowledge and desire to hug our loved ones.

Hugging be cultural and societal based, hence hugging is less prevalent in places like Asia and more prominent in others, South-America for example.

Where did Ray go wrong? 

Maybe where Ray went wrong was not just allegedly asking staff if they would like to sit on his knee (weird) or if they would like an ear massage (kinky) but apparently he never had an office! 

He would work out in the open with other employees, that's just bananas. Every man in power needs an office. That way we can earmark boundaries of professionalism and authority. 

The wider issue

Soon we're just going to nullify any form of body contact in the work place. These headlines aren't going to cost the brand 400 million like the Dolce & Gabbana racist screw up. But this could stem to another mini me-too movement with other work places indicting their bosses and co-workers. 

Put simply, guys, just play it safe from now on. Keep your hands in your pockets and play with your balls. No one will be signing petitions against that. 

When is it ok to hug? 

It's ok to hug me anytime any place. I'm going to turn up to the next Ted Baker press conference like Clubber Lang gate crashing the unveiling of a Rocky statue. "Hey chump, I'll hug you, anytime any where." 

But lets take a look at other hugs that are still, for the time being, deemed acceptable behaviour. 

 

The celebration hug

The hug born out of spontaneity. Usually at a point of immense jubilation. Intense and uncontrolled.

Appropriate when: a celebration is in order.

 

The tight squeeze

Long lasting hug with arms and legs interlocking.

Appropriate when: greeting siblings, relatives and close friends. Only applicable with someone who is comfortable with this close level of proximity. Greeting an old friend having not seen them in a long time.

 

The A-frame hug

The casual hug between guys who don’t really want to be seen in a hugging embrace for fear of it reducing their masculinity. Called A-Frame as it symbolises the shape of an open A-Frame ladder.

Appropriate when: Greeting someone that you've established a relationship with over time or have shared a unique experience with.

 

The back-pat hug

A hug that is necessary, but indicates awkwardness. A pat on the back is a non-verbal way of communicating that it's time to let go.

Appropriate when: you are looking to be polite with someone that is initiating a hug.

On a final note. 

Why is hugging widely ignored in Asia? 

Catching germs and getting dirty is one reason why some Asians aren’t keen on hugging. Being clean is something many of us pride ourselves upon explaining why asians remove shoes at home and in restaurants. 

More reserved by nature. This is a culture that is respectful of personal space and physical distance.

 

A Casual Outfit to Wear on Your Summer Holiday | Men's Style Edit

If you have been following my Instagram Stories over the past week would have known that I have been on holiday with Anchored Cruise so therefore it seemed fitting to create another post on what to wear for a summer holiday. This time I've gone for a casual outfit wearing denim shorts and layering a t-shirt and shirt.

On holiday you don't always want to dress up to the nines every evening nor do you want to be wearing your swimming shorts all day either. So on the evenings where you are possibly going out but not out out or you're staying in at the resort for dinner and a few drinks, this is the perfect attire.

If you like the outfit, you can shop it below by clicking on the images. The shoes are from Superga, the shorts are Topman, the t-shirt is ASOS and the shirt is Ted Baker.

 

SHOP THE EDIT

The 3 Big Mistakes You’re Making Between Dates | Dating Advice

Awesome first date? No kiss at the end. Amazing 2nd date, still no kiss. Third date is beyond thunderdome; you're Mel GiveMeSome (Gibson) and she's Tina TurnMeOn, (It's a solid gag I'm sticking with it) but still no kiss! What is going on? Is it time to grow a set of balls and send her the 'are you interested or not?' text? Holster your weapon soldier.

Believe me I have been in this boat with a girl that I ended up dating for a while. I couldn't figure out if this was going great, she was just wanting to be friends, if she thought I was Don Juan De Pedro or what! We met on Tinder, we messaged each other non-stop until our first date. 

I've always been fairly good on the text chat, as all sardonic and self-effacing men with nothing to lose should be. Dates were never my strong suit at the beginning. Once I booked a restaurant in St Pancras Station for a date, and couldn't even find it. After doing about five laps around the station I gave up and bought her a Pret Sandwich. Never bothered with a follow up text for that one. But what should we do between dates? 

3 rules

Don't lose momentum

The key to dating early on, especially if you're on Tinder, is to keep up the momentum. There's really little point in playing it cool after date number one, waiting for her to text. I can't remember a time when playing it cool ever ended in a scenario that led to me getting any action, you know? 

I can't remember RSVP'ing to my friend’s wedding and putting 'my coolness' down as a plus one. Don't break a winning formula, use the same tempo that got her on the date and get her on a second date pronto. 

Don't send dick pics!

You're super horny, I get it. You might even be tempted to ask her what she's wearing to bed in the hope she says 'nothing' beckoning the - 'PROVE IT' cliché. Don't fall into the trap of doing what every other numpty is doing; sending pictures of his balls. If she is not responding to your flirty innuendos, doesn't mean she's not into you. It might. But hopefully it just means she's just classier than you. 

Don't change your profile picture

Weird one this, but if you've met your girl online, and you've been on a couple of dates, don't update your profile picture on your dating site! My mate did this one. He innocently changed his profile picture from colour to black and white because he thought it looked cooler. (Again, how's that cool thing working out for you?). Next thing you know he's sent packing. Sometimes black and white isn't worth the fight. 

My advice is don't go on the profile at all. I often hear my mates say, 'I'm only going on there (dating site) to see if she's on there'. Don't get embroiled in that rubbish. You're better than that. 

So there you go, three don'ts, and I hope this has helped you out. I have been on the online dating scene for about 2-3 years and it is hard. It is like that island in Life of Pi where nothing lives. If you have any questions, leave some notes in the comment bar below and I'll try to give you some advice.

 

SHOP MY SS18 FIRST DATE OUTFIT

Get stylish up top - 5 best winter hats for men

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Hats in general can be hard to pull off. Whether you’re looking for pure warmth or a bit more attitude, when the temperatures drop, make sure you have something stylish up top. From classic to more vibrant designs, no matter what your look and budget, here are some of the best on offer for autumn/winter 2017.

Hats exclusively illustrated by Joseph Larkowsky (@josayhef)

 

Beanie

Beanies bypass all rules of hat-wearing. The knit style has a simple, universal quality that makes it look just right on anyone. Plus, it keeps your head warm, disguises bad hair days, and adds an easy detail to every outfit. Our pick is from Drake’s, the British menswear haberdasher, founded in 1977 and built around Mr Michael Drake's philosophy of 'relaxed elegance.' Their blue Donegal Merino Wool version is spun with vibrant orange, red and green merino yarns.

Available at www.mrporter.com £55

 

Trilby

While most of us can carry off a hat of some kind, not everyone can pull off a trilby. If you can, good for you and we recommend you go for a bold colour to bring a bit of stylish drama to winter days. The trilby hat’s name, sometimes also known as the ‘brown hat’ in Britain, comes from a play. During the stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby, performed in London, a hat of this style was worn and so the trendy trilby hat was born. Our favourite is Paul Smith’s cobalt blue trilby with a black grosgrain headband complete with feather.

Available at www.paulsmith.com £135

 

Bobble hat

The humble knitted bobble hat is very much in vogue and the joy of a great bobble hat is in its simplicity. It’s warm, cosy and easy to throw on with any outfit, and the more colourful the better. We couldn’t help but go for Burberry’s cashmere-wool beanie in a bright Fair Isle pattern. The design fits snugly with a turnback hem, and is topped with a playful pom-pom.

Available from uk.burberry.com £150

 

Flat cap

Yes, the flat cap can have a little Oliver Twist energy to it, but when braving the winter temperatures with your collar turned up, it's really "dapper British gentleman" that comes out most and who wouldn’t want that compliment? The main thing to remember when styling a flat cap is that they’re not like beanies. When you wear a flat cap it takes centre stage, and the rest of your outfit needs to be built up around it. We love the effortless style of Barbour’s Moons tweed cap from the renowned British mill, Abraham Moon & Sons.

Available from www.barbour.com £37.95

 

Trapper

If the weather starts hitting arctic temperatures, the biggest drawback of the other styles is their incomplete coverage: the lower part of the ears is left bare, as are the cheeks and chin. Looking to stay extra warm this season? Go for the (faux) fur-trimmed trapper, or ushanka, achapka or “Elmer Fudd” (after the iconic Loony Tunes character), which solves the problem by adding two flexible flaps, one on each side. Our cosiest choice is the navy ‘BEARDY’ from Ted Baker with its soft faux fur lining and branded detailing.

Available at www.tedbaker.com £45

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Grooming at Home with Ted Baker & Ted's Grooming Room

When you find a great barber, keep them, cherish them and trust them...do not cheat on them, just watch the parody video below and you'll realise why! The service that I received on my recent visit to Ted's Grooming Room in Covent Garden was absolutely top notch and one that would keep me a customer forever. Over time I've built a great relationship with Ted's Grooming Room and my barber Bruno (book him, trust me!) so when Ted Baker develops a grooming range I trust them to deliver an exceptional collection. They'll use in the collection in their barbers as well as in Ted Baker stores for you to purchase to use at home. I trust they have created something incredible, with their customers at the fore front of the product design.

Firstly lets look at the product packaging, which takes inspiration from the traditional barbershop pole with a luxurious update with metallic chevrons, contrasted against a pearlised base that leaps off the shelf - making it look great in your bathroom or bedroom at home. The collection itself includes shave gel, cologne, hair & beard shampoo, face wash, moisturiser, beard oil and hair mud. Infused with ingredients inspired by the ancient Ottoman Empire, this performance-led treatment regime by Ted's Grooming Room has been authentically crafted to recreate the master barber experience.

The collection has been perfected in London with a emphasis on the traditional Turkish shave, using powerful, naturally active ingredients to transform the grooming ritual.

Ted’s Grooming Room range includes:

COLOGNE, 200ml, £40 Inspired by the traditional Turkish aftershave, Ted created an invigorating cologne to complete a shave and turn heads. Top notes of grapefruit and lemon are balanced with leather, black pepper, amber and musk to deliver a clean, masculine scent that lingers long after shaving. Salon tip: Splash face post-shave to close pores and prevent razor burn.

MOISTURISER, 75ml, £18 This lightweight moisturiser absorbs quickly to leave skin feeling soft and hydrated. Sour Cherry fruit oil and Moringa extract help to protect skin cells against ageing and everyday pollution. Suitable for all skin types. Salon Tip: Use post-shave to calm and protect skin.

HAIR & BEARD SHAMPOO, 300ml, £15 Ted’s Hair & Beard Shampoo offers a thorough cleansing and conditioning treatment. Aloe Vera and cumin seed extract help to protect the sensitive skin beneath beards while taming follicles for a smoother, more nourished texture. Salon Tip: Leave on beard for 1-2 minutes for extra softness.

SHAVE GEL, 200ml, £18 Ted’s moisturising Shave Gel is formulated to deliver a close and comfortable shave. Containing antioxidant vitamin E to help moisturise and reduce razor burn, this active gel leaves skin soft and fresh, while an invigorating scent of citrus and spices energises the senses. Suitable for all skin types. Salon Tip: Wash face ahead of shaving to open pores and soften hair.

BEARD OIL, 45ml, £20 Ted’s Beard Oil leaves beards at their best. This lightweight formula with Meadowfoam seed and Jojoba Oil softens and smoothes facial hair while moisturising the sensitive skin underneath. Salon Tip: Ideal for twirling moustaches.

HAIR MUD, 100g, £14 Ted’s Hair Mud offers a firm, lasting hold and matt finish to shape and define hair. Cumin seed extract and olive fruit oil help to improve hair health, while adding texture and style. Salon tip: Style hair when wet for a naturally textured finish.

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GROOMING AT HOME...Coming soon.

The range will be available from at all Ted’s Grooming Room locations and online exclusively to tedsgroomingroom.com from September 21st and in Ted Baker stores from October.

My final outfit blog post of 2016

December has been my busiest month by far on my blog, posting an massive 23 times and for a personal blog that is quite a lot. My posts have ranged from the normal fashion type posts, reviewing tech, a bit of travel and even an interior design post on 'How to create a feature wall'. This is quite a simple outfit of the day post for my final one for the year as frankly I want an early night to prepare myself for a big one tomorrow. Although the outfit does have two items that I would like to discuss in further detail.

I'm incredibly proud of how my blog and Instagram has grown this year as last year it was a little bit stagnant and didn't really have a voice. However this year, I've worked on my networking with PRs and other menswear bloggers and have met some incredible friends. IHere are a few honest interesting stats:

2015 Blog Posts - 97
2016 Blog Posts - 159

2015 Blog Page Views - 15,600
2016 Blog Page Views - 122,893

2015 Instagram Likes 29,040
2016 Instagram Likes 280,199

YouTube Views - 108,862

Anyway enough of the statistics, lets get on to the outfit post and what I'm wearing as it is a mixture of brands Reiss x Ted Baker x Hawkins & Shepherd.

Firstly I would like to mention the incredible made-in-Britain, 100% British cashmere camel over coat from Hawkins & Shepherd. This over coat is tailored by the finest hands and it shows in the detail of the stitching around the traditional peek lapels, the tortoiseshell buttons and the 100% silk lining. I've then shopped at Reiss to find a couple of pieces that equal the quality and luxury feel of the cashmere overcoat. Im wearing a cashmere grey roll-neck and formal trousers from Reiss. Finally I wanted to wear a pair of stand out shoes that were going to really turn heads and I found these at Ted Baker. The pair in the styled outfit above are from a new collection called 'Well Heeled' by Ted Baker. A new line of handcrafted footwear, eye-catching and expertly constructed by the finest of shoemakers. 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Label Online collaboration with Ted Baker

Isn't it great when your local coffee shop serves your favourite homemade velvet cake, when your barbers sells your favourite hair product or the supermarket also sells office supplies? Okay okay, enough of the analogies, I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at! When one of your favourite clothing brands starts selling another one of your favourite clothing brands, it makes shopping a whole lot easier and most importantly quicker! For me that is Label Online where they also sell other popular, designer brands making shopping simple.

Label Online have just launched their Ted Baker menswear collection, making it one of the premier online marketplaces for other great brands.

Ted Baker has always been a brand that approaches menswear design with a clear focus on quality, attention to detail yet with a quirky sense of humour. Their suit blazers have a unique printed silk inner lining, a lapel pin and the inner lining of the breast pocket can be pulled out and used as an impromptu pocket square. 

This outfit which I picked out from the Ted Baker collection features their crosshatch charcoal matching suit blazer and trousers. I've paired this charcoal grey suit with a wardrobe classic - a crisp white classic collared shirt with double-french cuffs, which you'll need cuff-links. Finally I love brogue shoes and these dark tan coloured ones from Ted Baker work extremely well with the suit. You can finally style the look with items from your wardrobe as I have done, such as a tie, overcoat and classic watch. 

Ted Baker now have a wider collection available online at Label and it encompasses tailoring as well as their main range. They also have a great range of bags and accessories, perfect for Christmas gifts, just check out my top picks at the bottom of this email...get shopping people!

 

SHOP THE LOOK FROM LABEL ONLINE

SHOP TED'S CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Photography by Ella H

THE MUST HAVE SHIRT STYLES FOR SS15

We all know that Spring can be a tough month to dress due to the changeable weather and with Summer creeping slowly into the picture it may be time to refresh your wardrobe with some new shirt offerings.

Spring and Summer shirts need to be breathable so you’ll have to choose the correct weave for the weather. My recommendation would be to go for a poplin weave, which is simple in design, light and breathable. Avoid heavy weaves such as herringbone or Oxford.

Now that I have saved you from those embarrassing sweat patches, it is time to work on your style. So make an effort guys, don’t follow the norm and always take pride in your appearance whilst feeling comfortable in what you are wearing.

Here are my must have shirt styles this season:

The Gingham check

Let the iconic gingham check take centre stage. This distinctive design is perfect for your Friday shirt as it looks great styled with a plain tie or unbuttoned during your well deserved after work pint.

Go Green

I’m not expecting the greens to light up any records in the polls but they get my vote for the colour of the season. Green has been the most underrated shirt colour for a few seasons but with luxury shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd and Eton Shirts coming out with some beautiful designs, its time for change.

Prince of Wales Check

Often voted as one of GQ’s best dressed men, the Prince of Wales check is fabrics best dressed weave. Classic and versatile, this royal style should be in everyone’s wardrobe.

Bold Stripes

Evolution, from fine stripes to medium stripes, its time to go bold or go home.

Floral Prints

The marmite of shirts! These shirts will turn heads good or bad. Wear these styles with confidence and you’ll be fine.