Saturday, 15 March 2014

How to make friends and influence people?

I am ripping of the title of a well known book for this post clearly but something happened at the end of last week that truly amazed me.

I had, through a reputable magazine, seen an article promoting a tailoring event in London along Savile Row hosted by a relatively new company to the row. I won't mention names as that is bad manners and am not out to damage their excellent reputation rather make aware to any that follow in their footsteps how you can become a sad and fearful boss or figure rather than inspiration to others.

Back to the article. It read that this event is free and open to all that wished to join. All I had to do was register online and would be welcome.

So I did and was helped wonderfully by the magazine. I registered with my personal email as was not on company business, remember I am in the same line of business as the company I am talking about. The visiting tailoring business.

To be honest, the reason I had wanted to go was I had read a lot about these chaps and the success they had and kind of wanted to get to meet them and hear what expert knowledge they could impart.

My registration was paused as they couldn't take a personal email for the event and must have a company name in. So I sent my work one.

Silly me, I though that meant it was a trade event and that must mean other tailors would appear. I was wrong but was my thought process so was even more excited to meet lots of different chaps in the industry and talk shop over a glass of champers.

I was accepted and even went on to ask if I could bring a date. Yes was the answer from the mag. No was the answer from my wife when I asked if she wanted to go as she had studying to do for a test. So I invited one of my work colleagues who I knew knew the owners personally.

He thought it would be a great idea and evening to boot. I had been looking forward to all week, as I rarely get some me time being a dad of a little one, and a good mate was joining me to go. Even better.

So we arrived, talking about what it was going to be like.

We ascended the Savile Row office steps and then further up to the first floor and entered what seem to be a event in full swing. Well dressed gentlemen and ladies were everywhere and photographers were dotted around (Karl Lagerfeld was opening the new Regent Street Chanel shop round the corner so most photojourns were there).

My colleague and I immediately made for the owners to say hi from him and introduce my self from me.

Not for an instance did I expect the reaction we got. It wasn't angry or furious or anything that terrible. He just said (and I do appreciate I am paraphrasing but apswaer blind it is as close to the true gist of it as can remember):

HIM "I don't think its fair that you have come here tonight."

US "Huh? What do you mean?"

HIM "I don't think its right you have come. I imagine it would be an unspoken rule to not turn up here." (because we were from another visiting tailoring company I assumed correctly)

US "Why? What's wrong with us being here? We're not here to try and steal your clients."

HIM "Well, I can't force you to leave so stay if you really must but I do think it's unfair."

(there were 10 or so people directly around us but felt that if we were only he would have walked us to the door himself)

I tried to explain my reasons for coming as both me and my colleague love tailoring and fine fitting clothing and had wanted to enjoy an evening hosted by two guys who have made some great success for themselves. Eager to learn always.

He still felt we were crossing some awful line that we should have seen. So, we politely left, clearly not wanted and basically kicked out for whatever reason. I can only imagine it was fear. Fear of us stealing clients (nothing would ever tempt us to reveal we were from a rival company to their clients let alone try to steal them. And we had gone straight up to them to introduce ourselves or say hi in my colleagues case. Theives don't operate so), fear of us learning something about their business, fear of....i know not what.

It was sad more than anything. I hope when I am succesful to that degree I won't operate out of fear and uneeded secrecy from people in the business. Or anyone for that matter.

So there, that was my thursday night event.

My colleague was livid and took a while for the smoke to stop emitting from his ears. We ended up for a quick drink at a wonderful jazz and blues bar nearby where we had, we felt, a much better time than we would have had at the tailoring event.

We didn't get slammed. We left by 8pm. But my colleague did bump into an old friend and his friends grilfriend so we chatted with them whilst a live band played a foot away from our heads.

I even bumped into a very happy client who just happened to be there that night and his delightful partner who complimented me on my work for his first suit.

So thanks to those that deserve and a shameful shake of the head to the owners. Hope you think better of your business brothers in the furture guys.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Win Free Men's Clothing - Bonobos "Work Essentials Giveaway" - USA only!

I have been asked by the extremely kind and forgiving (I completely missed his original email) Jason at Bonobos, the US men's clothing company, to see if I was interested posting about a competition they're having. I am. Normally I may think twice about promoting without trying the product myself but after seeing that two of the prizes available are from the handmade English shoe company, Grenson and that it's a free prize draw I decided to offer it to you.

Of course, you will have to submit your email for a chance to win any of these items and that means you will get some correspondence from them and from third parties unless you unsubscribe. But they look good and that is the way they can offer these items for free. But you know that.

So if you wish to win some cool gear then hit the link below and enter the draw. I hope you win and please let me know if you do and how it went.

This is only open to people in the US and entries will not be given to those outside the US or need it to be shipped outside the US.

The "Work Essentials Giveaway" is running from 3rd of March 2014 to 16th of March 2014. So only a few days left. They will be giving away over $3,000 worth of work clothing and accessories. This includes a suit from their Foundation Suit Collection, four dress shirts from their new collection and everything else you need to take your everyday style to the next level!

The Prizes are individual items mostly, not all of the picture above. Enjoy and hope you win.

Click here to enter


Monday, 10 March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

If you're a fan of quirky, eccentric and wonderfully delightful cinema then go and see The Grand Budapest Hotel immediately. It is truly beautiful and poetic such as films rarely are nowadays. The director is Wes Anderson who's CV includes Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and now The Grand Budapest Hotel.

My post is not truly continuing as it may seem as a simple plug/gush about how good this is but I encourage any fan of good cinema to see it. Whilst I sincerely dissmiss most cinemas these days as souless carriages of overpriced Box Office rubbish with a simple Popcorn and Drink seemingly doubling the ticket fee there is every now an again a film which warrants your discomfort and pain to experience something that transports you beyond reality into the field of fantasy of which I believe is the reason cinema exists. So please go see The Grand Budapest Hotel. I don't think you will regret it.

So no, I am not reviewing or posting to lament cinema or films state of reality. More to laud the beauty in sartorial ellegance and power of The Grand Budapest's design and aesthetic quality.

And this nomination for cinematic beauty goes to Milena Canonero the Costume designer of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Her Film credits are long and varied and include such works as The Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Ocean's Twelve and many of Wes Anderson's films. he clearly appreciates her vision and we are not disappointed with her latest venture here.


The film boast an array of outstanding acting hertiage but I will focus on the most powerful in their costume presence towards men's style. Whilst the outfits of TGBH may not be worn in everyday living they should certainly influence the trend towards the classic, traditional origins of todays suitings just as Robert Downey Jnr's Sherlock Holmes has. Incidently Jude Law is in both Sherlock Holmes and TGBH and perfectly attired in both as befits the character. I envy him.

So lets start with him. Jude Law:

Jude plays the young writer (Tom Wilkinson plays the present day older version and both are in identical costume) travelling alone in the now forlorn and soon to be demolished Grand Budapest Hotel and comes across a story that inspires a new book. Milena dresses him as a rather proper gentleman in heavy shooting tweed apparel with pipe to match. Smart, a little stuffy and shaded in earthy tones of oatmeal and beige.

Next is F. Murray Abraham who plays Zero the mysterious owner of TGBH who tells his story, of which the films plot follows.

We see him in two ages, as his younger self, and then in the late 60's when he meets the Young Writer Jude Law. His dress echoes a nostalgic stereotype of the 60's of someone garbed in turlenecks and wild facial hair. The velvet jacket he wears is a beautiful purple/blue contrasting nicely against the powerful red of his turtleneck.

Then is Ralph Fiennes as Gustave, The Grand Budapest Hotel's concierge, and a man of extreme servitude and loyalty to the excellence and honour of a type of Victorianesque habits. This is not set in England though. It's a fictional country in eastern europe called Zubrowka (a polish vodka is its namesake). His main costume is as the concierge and is as colouful as the film in general. Formal, impressive and immaculate.

The last I will do is Jeff Goldblum's character Deputy Kovacs. I could continue as this film is love letter to beautiful dress and many characters need at least small mention but have not the time or wish to do all and leave nothing to your hopefully soon visiti to see this gorgeous film

Deputy Kovacs tends to the dramatic in his manner as does his dress and Milena Canonera again gets it dead right. There is fussiness in his look and a grey overtone that may suggest a drab man but it is all elegantly entwined in such a style that speaks of the more businesslike gentleman of Milan. Large and wide peak lapels on his chalk stripe flannel suit match the man with a fantastic pair of spectacles which I must find out more about. He later wears a dove grey double breasted topcoat and and fedora (I think, will check).

All works to engance this great script and visual feast and transport us to a place and time that soothes us yet stimulates us. Like coffee. But one of those great artisan coffees that doesn't send bitter notes everywhere throughout the body and leaves us with demon breath for our friends and families to shy away from.

It lulls us and leads us gently by the hand somewhere wonderful. I suggest you go and see for yourself.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Crazy long time between Posts...

Hey all


My deep and sincere apologies for leaving a gap so giant between posts that it resembles the hole left in some of the buildings in the new Godzilla trailer (looks awesome but have a feeling may not be all that).

So, how have you all been? Anything new happen whilst I've been away?


Myself, I have been working hardcore and spending some time with friends and fam.

Just wanted to share a few looks that I have seen recently and thought looked great.

If you have only one DJ (Tuxedo for our USA friends) it then has to be this one. A simple but hugely elegant Peak lapel (the pointy up bits under the front of the collar). Ignore the overblown and rarely good looking Shawl lapel below...

...or the rather boring and missable notch lapel...

...ok, it would be very hard to miss this fabric, but look at the collar lapel area and then imagine the rest was a plain black fabric as a DJ (Tuxedo's) should be. Its dull and unworthy of your greatness.

Go for the first and never look back. If you want it to still look good in 10 years, as a good suit rarely worn should last as long as weight doesn't change too greatly, then stick with a medium width lapel (3 to 3 1/2"). This is playing it safe but too wide (4"+) like a Tom Ford jacket and it may look dated in 3-4 years as fashions change. Too trim (2 3/4") and it looks silly. Especially if you are have a 44" chest or wider. 2 3/4" lapel is NOT a bad thing if you are very slim. 38" chest and under are ok for this width.

Look forward to your emails and comments.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Where in London is a good tailor for alterations?

Say no more my fellow well dressed enthusiasts. I have the very place. I recently met John, a very generous and humble egyptian tailor around the Old Street area of London. He has been doing tailoring for 15 years since he was 2 he says but think this may be a porky as he resembles the bad guy in the desert in the first Iron Man and he doesnt look 17.

Address and contacts are above and have already had back some great and very fast work done by him and a tailor that does what he says he will in the time he says he will and at a price which is right for the work is well worth shouting about. So wanted to offer you a great option to visit John and try out his very worthy services.