Diamonds and Dalmatians remain women's best friends – Thom Browne makes raccoon man’s favorite mammal.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

thom browne, new york, NY, catwalk, fall, winter, autumn, 2010, 2011, 10/11, tailoring, men's, raccoon, fur
Animal friends in ever house and jungle tent in the world must be in horror shock over the sight of raccoon tails dangling below the waist of straight faced models during New York fashion week. It’s like a Disney nightmare come true – Thom Browne, a living male Cruella de Ville skinning animals for shopping pleasure of the elite.

Before we all fly to JFK with buckets of red paint in hand, it is worth noting that raccoon tails may or may not be real and most likely aren’t. Regardless of the convincing imitation of the tails, they attest the outlandishness of high fashion – more correctly referred to as haute couture. It’s a category of one-off, sumptuous and labour intensive fashion creations with prices exceeding most people’s bank account balance. As of now the category is reserved for women, though Thom Brown is giving haute couture a reason to extend itself to menswear.

His New York Fall/Winter 2010 men’s collection stands true to the ethos of Thom Brown: cement-grey coloured tailoring spiked with unconventional attitude and finishing touches. The chequered knee socks made visible by trousers reaching a few inches above the ankle are well familiar sights. Pleasures we can see in falling leafs and windy autumns is that whatever we have in the clothes can be put to good use unlike during summers when stinging sunrays prevent us to wear any more than one layers on our bodies. Dressing up is fun, and Thom Browne wants us to have even more fun wearing inconceivably unrestrained clothing that are guaranteed to turn the heads of men, children, women and raccoons.


Pininfarina keeps coach building rolling on its four wheels.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Coach building is a virtue, which dates back several centuries to a time when man and machine were in the early stages of becoming truly engaged. Names such as Rippon, Barker, Carrozzeria Ghia and Chapron decked the lime light in the era of peace and love. In essence each firm wildly exhibited a unique style, grace and a forthcoming character in the automobile industry.

However, just like with most things in life. All good things in due course come to end and the scent of death and gloom prayed heavily on world of automobiles and coach building. As Picassco quoted “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” The death Chapron and the prostitution of Carrozzeria Ghia was not in vain. It paved the way for renowned firms such Pininfarina. The matrimony consequently was truly never salvaged during the purge. However today, the spirit of coach building is kept alive by keepers such as Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Bentley.
The image and dream of Ferrari embedded in my mind, usually consists of me and Gabriela Sabatini and her beautiful long black hair blowing in the wind, cursing through the Italian coastline in a 355. However we live in Modern-day and Pininfarina have angled a new approach to the tackling design manifestation and asked clients -- specific clients -- to envision their ideal Ferrari, as one lucky customer put it “My Ferrari”. This lead to the birth of the ‘Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta which is a one off creation conceived over a 11 month period. In essence however, owning this car, would probably give one the same detained honor as being married to Cindy Crawford and Monica Bellucci’s daughter if females could mate with one another.

Rolls-Royce has also bestowed themselves to give Pininfarina a Drophead coupe to use as a donor car for the amazing Pininfarina Hyperion. The car itself looks like it has been crafted by the ancient sea monster Leviathan. The Catholic Pope would probably consider an automobile this immaculate to be his method of transportation to heavens. However, it is certain, that one having the option to experience the joyful – ceramic like beauty of this car would feel like being of the oceans.


Valentine's Day Special: Mind the age gap.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

This is a weekend of tender love, flavoursome chocolate and rose petals floating on the surface of temperature controlled water in which a man and a woman will fondle in a fusion of love. Valentine’s Day is dedicated to man and woman, Adam and Eve, and anyone else who want to commemorate their emotional relationship with another human being.

Love makes the world joyful and the world go around. Whether it’s the love for you partner, friends, family, job or hobby, being emotionally attached to something fulfils life. There is plenty I love in life. One of wish is publishing but also my supporting friends, family and you the readers. Last but not least I adore women, but just like with my hobbies I’m always on the quest for something new to cherish. I just cannot get enough of variation and I actively seek new encounters to enrich my life and expand my view of the world.

Society is engineered in a way that in a loving couple, the women is commonly younger than the man. The most photographed woman to have ever existed, Lady Diana, was 33 years younger than Prince Charles when they were a power couple haunted by the media and spineless paparazzi accountable for her death. Despite the wide age gap, it is socially acceptable for men to be older than their partner. Older and more experienced, the man plays the role of steering the relationship forward. The male gender role involve responsibilities such as choosing what restaurant to eat at, ask a girl out, walk her home and picking the right engagement ring. Done with pleasure and care, the dedicate gender roles can at times be numbing. Lusting for adventure I set to aim my bow and arrow of love at older women. Not to say that I had boy toy ambitious like the 23 years old Jesus Luz currently dating a women who could well be his mother, Madonna. It was more of a personal curiosity to trade gender roles with a firm and older individual who knows what she wants and can spur unimaginable thrill to my life. Little did I know that my undertaking would be bring about adventure, but not the kind I had foolishly and naively envisioned.
So one night in mid-November last year I was in a positive mood for trying my luck with women of a higher calibre. Invited to a press event at 18:30 I neatly ironed a red tartan shirt and tucked a white handkerchief into the chest pocket of my blazer. The weather was ambiguous as ever: grey, damp and slightly windy with possibility of rain – but the optimistic weatherman in me walked past the umbrella in the hallway and intentionally left it behind. Arriving at venue in Mayfair, my comrade for the night, Matthew, was late but there was no sense of displease in me. Punctuality is problematic in London and I have grown accustom to lateness -- which is an issue when I visit my home town Gothenburg in Sweden to where embarrassingly carry my dysfunctional time management with me to the highly punctual Swedes.

After 5 minutes of waiting in the gloomy night, I stepped inside and was instantly greeted by the warmth of some 100 people gathered in a small two floor boutique. It was a press event for a food company and alongside the walls was colourful merchandise ranging from plates and aprons to wallets and artwork. While taking off my jacket and unwrapping my scarf I navigated through the crowds of public relation assistants, hedge fund managers and the obligatory press people from various London based publications. The ground floor was bright and well lit with high voltage halogen lamps radiating heat which pushed me to escape upstairs where lighting was dim, music was loud and catering were distributing canapés of various kinds. Late but looking preppy in a one button blazer, striped shirt, pleated beige chinos and a burgundy tie, Matthew arrived 35min late of which I spent mingling and searching for familiar faces.

Matthew was agitated by the moist and hot air which had close to zero escape routes because boutiques rarely have windows that can be opened. And more annoying was the lack of air condition or a wardrobe to leave coats and bags. Tired of holding our jackets and scarves we found a corner behind a shelf to chuck the outerwear. I didn’t care too much about my jacket getting a bit dirty on the floor because it’s a quilted Barbour jacket. Inarguably the least personal jacket money can buy but it’s an excellent beater-coat designed to withstand wear and tear. With our hands free to pick up delicious chocolate truffle served in cute turquoise boxes, we soon saw something even cuter that we wanted to sample – two girls who looked as disconnected from the mature crowd as we were. Attending press events is like taking a time machine to 5-10 years ahead in time. I sometimes feel like a toddler next to 38 years old art directors and marketing executives who are past playing Pro Evolution Soccer on PlayStation 3 – and are more importantly very protective of their personality by putting on their colourless and dreary professional persona. But the two girls, whom I will nickname Betty and Gemma, candidly exhibited their personal character. Signing the guestbook, which was a innovatively a white table, we interrupted the girl with some amusing mutter and loose talk about fashion and life over a glass of complimentary mojitos from the open bar. Betty was tall, wearing a glamorous silky top and high heels upstaged by her sharp and posh Fulham accent. She a characteristic London extrovert: Very outspoken, great party talker and confident as a knight on a high horse. Her companion Gemma was shorter and had a more bohemian and ecological fashion sense. Off course, she had a personality to match. Inviting and calm the mutually pleasant chatter took us closer towards the end of the event.
With a judgement clouded by two mojitos and a further two glasses of Chardonnay, I agreed to join the ladies for the proceedings of their evening which were to one of their favourite bars. The sober and focused Matthew told me it wasn’t a good idea but I convinced him to come along for what I was hoping to be a joy ride. And indeed it was a joyride. Betty sneaked out a glass of chardonnay on our way out and embarrassingly a man at the door noticed and remarked sarcastically. My reaction was laughter and fascination over this girl’s fearless bravados. Their favourite London lair was Bob Bob Richard which is an upscale Soho restaurant/bar with an extortionist service charge of 12.5%. Chewing on black olives and peanuts I and the girls ordered a glass of Chardonnay each while Matthew conservatively opted for a glass of elderflower water. Immersed in the blue and golden Greek interior we socialised comfortably and out of the blue Betty put forward the topic that had been lingering all night – age. We gave her and Gemma our birth years, 1987 and 1989 and subsequently Gemma revealed that she was born 1982 and Betty in 1980. To my surprise they looked deceptively young and another surprised followed when I heard the words “my ex is 34 years old” coming out of Betty’s mouth. It had previously not occurred to me that seducing older women entail competing with 12 years older men. But I remained upbeat as me and Matthew gossiped during the two breaks when Betty and Gemma went outside for a smoking break. Having sat at Bob Bob Richard from 21:00-12:55, the girls barged outside for yet another smoking session but this time with their bags, a mere 5min before we all intended on leaving. When the bill came it was off course only us men left at the table to pay and so we did. We rejoiced with our female company outside but did not make any mention of the bill nor their suspiciously planned escape from paying for their drinks.

Listed on the guest lists of a club off Regent Street near Piccadilly, we were invited by Gemma to join. Hoping for a happy ending to fulfil my arousal I dragged Matthew crawl deeper down the rabbit hole of chasing older girl. Inside the club a handful of guys were wearing oversized wigs, heavy make-up, extravagant costumes and full body latex suits. Matthew’s face tightened up as he was trying to compute the unusual sight before his eyes. Thanks to the beautiful company of Betty and Gemma, we had somewhere to divert our eyes. At the overly crowded bar, the four of us managed to grab a free drink right before the free supply alcohol was depleted by people with eccentric fetishes beyond my imagination. Relaxed dancing to the electronica music blasting through the roof positioned speakers, was followed by conversation at a comfortable leather sofa. With empty glasses in front of us, me and Matthew stayed true to our principle of not buying strangers drinks, and after a mere 30min at the club, Gemma and Betty stood up and said they had to leave. Feeling hollow, used and abandoned, the walls in the rabbit hole were closing in on me and it didn’t take long for Matthew and I to call it a night. Disappointed but in a spirited mood I crawled out of the rabbit hole not having found wonderland nor I found wonder-women of an older age.
Sober and recovered I woke up the following day pondering over the adventures of the previous night and conceded that I had been outsmarted by a smarter opponent. As adventurous as it turned out to be, older women are more experienced – not just in life but with dating men. They have met enough men to know how we behave, what our tricks are and how we can seductively be compelled into following their commands – or as I would comically put it, being leached around like dogs. Not salivating for Betty anymore I licked my wounds and accepted the lesson I had learnt. At two opposite sides of London, Matthew and Gemma were happily chatting on their Blackberries. As an introvert, Gemma’s good conscious prompted her to ask Matthew “Do you think that we use people for our own gain?”. Shown the message on his spanking new Bold, I chuckled over her guilt and the £29.80 financial hole the trivial episode of thrill seeking had burnt in wallet. Ranked high up on my list for hall of shames, I look back at the night happier than ever with my gender roles and will next time will twice about trading places with an older girl.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


How Robert Pattinson preserves his handsomeness on the road.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Robert Pattinson, Twilight, hollywoodMale vanity has long been stigmatised and even 7 years after David Beckham, the epitomizer of male vanity, opened gates to narcissism and made it acceptable for men to wear V-neck t-shirts with deep cleavage – talking publically about your beauty morning regimen is still controversial in the lightest sense.

Pastime boardroom discussions rarely extend beyond the borders of shaving hardware about who uses Braun, Philips or who is a Gillette loyalists, not to mention the obligatory dick measuring contest over whose shaver has the most number of blades or rotaries. Channelling the discussion down the path of anti-ageing crèmes, fruity bath oils and conditioners will have fellow comrades spitting coffee out of their noses in bewilderment over when the estranged topic will be cut short by a mention of yesterday’s football games.

Despite the influx of dedicated concessions for men in cosmetic shops to lure hesitant and deferring customers half way – there is one area of grooming that still belongs to women, the makeup bag.
Pragmatism dictates that one should not be in possession of something they do not need. Men do not wear makeup and thus do not need to waste energy carrying a makeup bag. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that we occasionally don’t need to “freshen up” like the opposite sex. But it’s a touch up not involving foundation, eyeliners and lipstick and is done in a different context. Ever wondered how Robert Pattinson keeps his spikey hair alive and magnetic to hordes of girls whose lust for him is equal to a vampire’s thirst for blood? He has a freshening-up kit at hand, though it’s most certainly doesn’t held in Twilight star's coat pocket but in the hands of his hair and makeup stylists.

The reason why it’s a good idea for us other mortals hold a trio of 50ml and 75ml bottles unsuspectedly hidden away in drawers at work is for days when the time gap between work and leisure is not wide enough for a quick pit stop at home for fixing the hair and possibly taking a shower. A starter kit consisting of facial moisturizer, body spray and hair clay/wax suffice most needs for clearing the face of fatigue, camouflaging odours and quickly touching up the hair using a palm of water and clay. The tiny bottles fit discretely into most briefcases and as an added bonus, they fit into the useless transparent bags given to airport travellers to put liquids into.
FCUK grooming, men, cosmetics, facial moisturizer, hair clay, body spray, French Connection UK, United KingdomRobert Pattinson, Twilight, hollywood, hair style, grooming, photo


Autumn Winter 2010/2011: Ready to wear style by Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

For the fashion season of the second half of 2010, Louis Vuitton and Gucci presents to us two collection of masculinity and style -- melted and then moulded -- into clothing worthy of your attention.

Fashion, to some, is the oxygen they breathe and their only reason for existence – to others, the world of “made in Italy” labels and patent leather wallets have no more relevance in their life than bag-less vacuum cleaners. Being well presented in public, dressed in comfortable clothes, is all that matters to a wide public of individuals who just want to look good without dedicating excessive energy to browsing the latest magazines to read what the experts dictates.

Louis Vuitton have long been per purveyors of the classic man: Metropolitan, Sophisticated, a gentleman and one who don’t buckle onto trends. Previous runway collection have been rather mundane – comprising of pieces with a small differentiation from what is neatly folded and displayed on the shelves of the bog standard premium men’s boutique. One can almost label the collections as ready-to-wear due to their lack of spark to ignite interest in the most flammable fashion devote.

On the other side of the coin are the non-devotees seeking just what the LV AW10 menswear collection offers: Dark colours, traditional materials perhaps spiked with a few subtle touches such as a knitted lapel on a sports coat. Or what about a windbreaker in leather? That is rather innovative but not radically so to deflect shoppers who are less adventurous with their choice of attire, and only shop when suggested by their girlfriend. Tucking trousers into your socks can make it stuffy and itchy down by the ground but is a nonchalant way at displaying a pair of new jodhpurs.
Gucci’s style of clothing runs parallel of that with LV’s, but does embody more daring touches and details for added specialness – such as the scarf enriched by ruffled and invigorating print. Rich and dynamic is also the pallet of colours ranging from white and beige to deep burgundy and vivid nuances of blue.
In the accessories department is a plethora of charming overnight bags sports the classic red and green Gucci ribbon but also other variations of it. The bags can also double as daily bags to concur with the trend of man purses, preposterously dubbed `Murses`. Sewage rats will cry the day a designer releases dress for men which would appropriates earn the name ´Mess` -- which would be a rather fitting description too.

However, most of Gucci will fill their stores with during the fall-winter of 2010/2011 are handsomely cut two piece suits and a glowingly positive mixture of materials and textures: Wool, leather, suede and cotton – there is something for all tastes and personalities. Worth noting are braided leather belts and obligatory and forever-classic, Gucci loafers.


Vacheron Constantin has what you need for the next event of formailty.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Vacheron Constantin, fashion blog, London blogger, UK, luxury,  time keeping, instrument, mechanical, Historique Ultra-fine 1955, 1968The new Historique Ultra-fine 1968 and Historique Ultra-fine 1955 wrist watches are sterling pieces of Swiss engineering by 255 years old watchmaker, Vacheron Constantin -- but because their discrete nature, they are likely to slip under the radar of watch buyers. Yet, their slender cases can be purposeful in the context of formal occasions, such as the Grammies and Oscars where a storm of interest most commonly surrounds the silky and extravagant couture dresses worn by A-list singers and actresses.
Roy Ghazizadeh, mode, svensk, modeblogg, manligtWe entrust our watches informing us of the correct time, to the point that we instinctively confirm with the metal object on our left wrist whenever someone in our presence tells the time – or more fittingly, what their time is. Because of the comforting in what’s ours, the favourite watch is caringly strapped to the wrist regardless of what the daily agenda is. Round and honest, the Historique Ultra-fine 1955 is a reason to cut the umbilical cord to the only time instrument we trust, and purchase an old-fashioned but fashionably correct watch for occasions where Chuck Taylors get a thumb down but a black smoking gets an approving nod from the porter.
Vacheron Constantin, fashion blog, London blogger, UK, luxury,  time keeping, instrument, mechanical, Historique Ultra-fine 1955, 1968,  wrist watchAt an impossibly thin height of 4.10mm, it will unnoticed slip under the cuffs of shirts with a tight fit while telling time with clarity thanks to a white face with subtle golden dials and hands. However few the functions are, this is an incomprehensibly advanced watch. Developing a mechanically hand-wound movement no thicker than 1.64mm is an exercise in precision engineering of great delicacy. The Historique Ultra-fine 1968 will find itself in the hands of enthusiasts wishing to add a watch with a square-shaped case to their collection. Fastened using a black leather strap, either of them will complete an elegant outfit wholesome while making sure the wearer does not arrive unfashionably late.