April 30, 2009

Poker Face (Lips)

Chapped and sun-dried lips.
Not sexy.
Not kissable.
You won't score with those (I'm guessing that was the cause...).
The cure? There are a lot of protective lip balms out there, but only one has truly spoken to me (pun intended).
Those who know me personally, know I always have a tube of Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 with me. It's the Messiah of all lip care, and there is no arguing about that!
Only $6.50 (a tad more expensive in Europe) and it comes in various editions (with SPF 15, or the Aids Relief Fund Edition).
We're not all born lippy (pun intended, once again), so get smearing!

(image: www.kiehls.com)

Celebration of a collaboration

As some of you may know, H&M's new fashion collaboration is with English designer Matthew Williamson. Williamson is well-known for his work for Pucci, where his love for colour was a prominent feature.
Now his men's line for H&M is about to hit the stores, around the 14th of May, and it's looking good. Expect a whole lot of vibrant colours, psychedelic patterns, summery florals and pinstripes and a dash of rock'n'roll (how cool is that studded leather vest?).
Be sure to be quick to pick up the pieces you like though, men may be less frantic when it comes to scoring H&M limited editions than women but the good stuff flies off the racks faster than you think.
Check out the previews:

The model for the campaign is Williamson himself, how recession-savvy!

Spring/Summer '09 Trends

I couldn't come up with a slightly more original title, but the designs I'm about to show quite certainly are.
After browsing the most important fashion shows, I discovered five big recurrent styles that are sure to influence any fashionisto's wardrobe for the months to come!
Before we get to it, I'd like to address the fact that this post is mere journalism, and that this doesn't mean that I personally love every one of these looks. I think it's very important to know what's going on and what the current tendencies are style-wise (hence this post) but at the same time it's crucial not to lose your own sense of style. Being a total trend-slave is just not cool.
Without further ado, here are the five biggest trends for the season:

1) Think Pink
It was pretty hard to ignore this colour as nearly every designer sent at least one model down the runway clad in a shade of pink. From a muted puce to bright magenta, pink is the way to go.
You can go head-to-toe in it (for the very confident, as seen at Salvatore Ferragamo) or as a bright accent (pink trousers at Emanuel Ungaro).

2) Traffic Cone Chic
Think fluorescent, Glow In The Dark, neon hues! It seems that at last the day has dawned that your fugly high-visibility vest has become fashionable. Givenchy pushes the envelope in a hot pink suit (see, pink again!), while Calvin Klein Collection goes for an effulgent orange and yellow. Don't forget to get matching shoes!

3) Printimidating Apparel
This season, almost every print imaginable has been spotted on the runways, most notably floral and paisley prints (for those of you who don't know what paisley is, it's that print that looks like a collection of kidney-shaped amoebas).
Spotted at Etro, a paisley robe worn with floral shorts and a cummerbund(!). Paul & Joe go for a contrasting floral pattern.

4) Gentleman's Safari
I'd love to go on a safari this summer, and if I do I'd like to do so in these outfits. Think khaki and beige (your typical safari tones) but with a dandy cut. Imagine a contemporary English Lord who knows not of comfort but loves bird-watching and giraffe-stalking.
Try this wrinkled beige suit by COS, or go for Yves Saint Laurent's trench coat ensemble.

5) White Dreams
As the ultimate summer colour, white evokes images of undulating linens hanging out to dry in the warm breeze. White even has it's own code (Labor Day rule anyone?) and has remained a powerful symbol throughout the years (peace, rendition, remembrance...). So it comes as no surprise that white is still a fashion favourite! Costume National brings us this white suit, and Louis Vuitton goes slightly more casual with a white vest, shirt, shorts, shoes and an ivory bag.
Is that the sound of a giant yacht I hear?

So there you go, you are now officially up to date!
My work here is done.
For now!

April 27, 2009

Get carried away...

Man-bags, murses, messenger bags or even Scottish sporrans (those dangly purses kilt-wearers carry around)... Men have stuff they need to lug around too! There's only so much you can cram in your pockets, and running around town with pockets looking like hamsters' cheeks just looks plain ridiculous. So now the man-bag has become a familiar sight in today's society, ranging from a sturdy weekend holdall to a slim everyday casual messenger bag or briefcase.
Which style of bag you choose depends on the occasion: a canvas messenger is perfect for university lectures, a slick leather work bag for the office and a carry-all for those long anticipated weekend trips. The right bag does wonders for one's over-all look, and so do the ones I'm about to show you.
Let's start with some nice messenger bags.

The first one is an amazing piece by Marc by Marc Jacobs. The Sam Bag (p.n.d.) from his S/S09 collection is a high-quality camel-coloured leather bag, with a very original silver handle. This bag can easily double as a work bag as the strap is removable. A great vintage look, and a total must-have for this season.

If leather isn't really your thing, Diesel has a cool messenger in nylon with an original imprint and loads of extra pockets so you can stuff everything from a laptop or chewing gum to your courses in it. Sturdy, rain-proof and young, and not too pricey at €130.
I really like this next one. It has an old-school Cambridge or Harvard vibe to it, and I can imagine feeling a little bit smarter just by carrying it around campus. A classic satchel in granulated dark brown leather, stylish and timeless. By Burberry (£550), of course.
On to the bigger weekenders, I commence with this retro ivy-coloured holdall by Fred Perry, a total buy (£45) plus it emanates a cool London vibe. Made out of nylon, looks like leather. This bag won't mind taking a little battering, so if you're not the careful type this one's what you're looking for. Oh, and a little style update: Fred Perry's currently selling a limited edition line in collaboration with the great Belgian designer Raf Simons. Vibrant and edgy colours, and African-inspired textures. Go check it out on the Fred Perry website!

This military-style weekend bag by Yves Saint Laurent ($1995) is very masculine and straight-forward. Expect no fuss with this one, and that's what's so great about it. Effortlessly stylish and practical, Stefano Pilati has truly captured YSL's modus operandi.
And last on the list is this incredibly vast yet sophisticated holdall (p.n.d.) out of the S/S09 Marc by Marc Jacobs line. Large enough to transport your entire wardrobe and a few small babies, this bag's ideal for the longer holidays. Everyone will give you jealous looks as you pluck this puppy off the conveyor belt at the baggage claim, and that's exactly what we're going for.
But seriously, don't put any babies in there.

April 22, 2009

The Copycat

Lo and behold! The Copycat is back for more!
Everywhere in this world stylish men roam the streets, exuding a certain je ne sais quoi with every step they take. People turn their heads as these guys pass by, wishing they had worn something less bland that day.
No reason for desperation! Just look at what the following men are wearing and try to incorporate these outfits in your wardrobe. Don't forget to add your own special twist to the mix, that's what makes a truly wonderful outfit.
Mathias Lauridsen is sporting one of my favourite spring looks: a crisp white shirt paired with a preppy grey cardigan. But then add some punch to this look by combining the above with a pair of bright yellow shorts. The shorts immediately light up the entire outfit and give a cool touch to a classic look. Belt the shorts with a black leather belt and wear some nice canvas shoes with it, and you'll look amazing. This entire look can be purchased at H&M.
Next up is this fresh look by Gucci's Spring/Summer 2009 collection. A striped pale blue cardigan (can you tell I've got a thing for cardigans?) combined with a beige shirt and khaki trousers. Finish it off with some nicely polished brown leather dress shoes and you're ready to go! Remember to incorporate a little colour in your spring apparel, but don't overdo it. Combine mainly muted colours with one eye-grabbing colour.
Now these guys may have passed out on the floor and couch for some random reason, but they have done so in style. Pepe Jeans' spring/summer collection does not disappoint. The guy on the couch is wearing a dark purple tee and some meticulously distressed jeans. I admit, a simple look, but he kicks the outfit up a notch by sporting some brown leather riding boots. Perfect for a day on the ranch or at the manège.
The model on the floor has a casual shirt on, with large white, black and beige checks. Combined with some very light grey jeans and not-so-white All Stars, this look is ideal for a relaxed stroll down the city streets. Don't forget your black Ray-Ban Wayfarers or Clubmans, and you're good to go!

April 15, 2009

Must! Have! Now!

This week's MHN! is an awesome t-shirt by Balenciaga ($194, I know...).
It's totally worth the cash, with it's futuristic Roman Head print and grey melange 100 % cotton.

Pair this tee with some casual jeans, a dark blazer and high-top sneakers (like the Lanvins I talked about). You'll look like a million bucks without having to spend that amount.
(Notice how the tee makes your chest look broader by having the pic being wider on top than in the bottom! Genius!)

April 13, 2009

Down Under

The one piece of clothing you never leave the house without?
Underwear, of course! Unless you're into the kinky 'I've got no undies on' stuff, I think all guys could do with some cool bodywear.
Because you might really hit it off with someone, until the clothes come off and you reveal a pair of scruffy, washed-out, three-days-old undies! That person will flee like a bat out of hell, dude!
So take note and check out these stylish undergarments!
First off, I present you with these high quality, aquamarine cotton boxers by BOSS Hugo Boss. At €46 ($62) they don't come cheap, but they'll be a big hit with whomever gets to see them!
And how about these banging polka dot boxers by Marc by Marc Jacobs?
A total bargain ($10) and the right choice for nearly every occasion.
Now, personally, I prefer the jersey shorts when I'm wearing a suit, and the loose boxers under jeans but you can choose whatever's most comfortable for you.
These stretch cotton jersey shorts in a bold tonal stripe pattern by Burberry ($37) are the right amount of masculine and contemporary.

And, finally, these baby rib briefs by American Apparel ($12). These come in almost every colour imaginable. So if you like a bit of zest down there, why not try them? Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: they're unisex! So in these harsh economic times, you can save a little dough and share with your girlfriend!
I like these Royal Blue ones.

(images: www.hugoboss.com, www.marcjacobs.com, www.uk.burberry.com, www.americanapparel.com)

April 06, 2009

"A ragged coat may cover an honest man."

...As the saying goes. But you needn't be honest to rock the coats that I'm about to show you. Nor are they ragged (unless they were meant to be, of course).
Springtime is in town, unless you live in Australia or down in Africa and it's like autumn now (damn, I need to stop finding exceptions for everything I say!).
Anyway, back to the subject: it's spring and that means that most of the time it's not warm enough to just wear a tee or a shirt, but a light spring coat may be in order. That's where I come in.
I've browsed the catalogues in search of the greatest spring coats I could find, going from light trench coats over bomber jackets to hoodies.
Select, buy and enjoy!
When people say 'trench coat', you think 'Burberry'. And that's right because Thomas Burberry invented the trench coat in 1914. This dashing specimen is out of designer genius Christopher Bailey's spring '09 Burberry collection, and with its dark crimson fabric a cool alternative for the classic beige trenches.
At $1245 it doesn't come cheap, but consider it a good investment.
Our next coat is a fancy seersucker vest by Paul Smith ($937.50). The epitome of summer style, this vest will have all heads turning as you cruise in your classic Mercedes convertible or as you stroll down the boulevards of Saint-Tropez.
And a more detailed shot...
For those who prefer a less classic and younger look, this great bomber jacket by Diesel (€170) is the best alternative. Fitted, casual and good for any laid-back occasion.

And last up is this hoodie raincoat by Carhartt (p.n.d.). Young, hip and impermeable: what more could you wish for?

(images: www.burberry.com, www.bergdorfgoodman.com, www.diesel.com, www.carharrt-streetwear.com)

April 05, 2009

"I totally belted it"

'to belt' (-verb, used with object): to gird or furnish with a belt.
Ah, the illustrious art of belting. A nice belt can make or break an entire look, so it's best not to ignore this subject.
There are some basic rules when it comes to wearing a belt, most of which you probably know, but one can never be too cautious so let me lay them down for you.
1: Leather belts -> make sure the leather of your belt matches your shoes (brown leather belts go with brown leather shoes etc.).
2: A suit requires a fine belt.
3: Wear grosgrain or canvas belts with casual summer outfits, like khaki shorts.
4: Again, be subtle with the label-whoring. If I had a nickel for every shudder I
have experienced at the sight of guys wearing white pleather belts screaming GUESS or EMPORIO ARMANI at me with their rhinestone horribleness, I'd be a rich man.
Comme d'habitude, here are some pictures of nice belts that would go great with your clothing.
This Ralph Lauren belt ($95) is a great everyday basic. Wear it with your jeans or chinos!
Next up is this preppy grosgrain striped belt, also by Ralph Lauren ($65).
Great for when summering in the Hamptons or France with Muffy and the rest of the Upper East Side.

As you can tell, I have a thing for brown leather belts, and I like this one by Diesel Black Gold ($230). It's called 'the Stopwatch' and with its eyecatching dangly chain, all the girls will be staring at your groin. I know, right, great belt!

And last but not least, this simple black leather belt by Levi's.
Classic, goes with nearly everything, and at $38 a great bargain!

April 03, 2009

Shady Business

When the ardent sun shines, all the clothes come off, the drop-tops drop their tops, the legs flash and...out come the sunglasses!
Designer sunglasses are not a new phenomenon, but there are some basic rules that are to be followed when shopping for men's eyewear.

Rule #1: Avoid flashy designer logos: nothing screams "garish, devoid of style nouveau riche douche" like D&G or GUCCI in ginormous gold or diamond lettering. Keep the colours subtle too, unless your wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

Rule #2: Invest in quality sunglasses, cheap H&M ones can be great fun but the more expensive ones last longer and are more protective against UV-rays and direct sunlight.

Rule #3: When shopping for shades, stick to the more classic styles as aviators or rectangular frames as these shades don't easily go out of style and can last you for more than one season.
Listed below are three of the coolest shades available for men at the moment. With one of these on your nose, you'll be the slickest guy in town. And that's a promise.

These Yves Saint Laurent rectangular frame sunglasses in tortoise brown ($285) are masculine, sexy and great for dodging the flocks of papparazzi!

These Tom Ford aviator sunglasses (p.n.d.) are the cool way to fly.

Dior Homme
does it again with these streamlined bad-ass shades made out of black acetate ($235).

April 02, 2009

I don't ♥ acne, but Lanvin does!

Acne! About the worst thing in the world! No, I'm not shallow, it's a fact!
But when we're talking about the Swedish fashion brand ACNE (Ambition to Create Novel Expressions), it's a whole different story of course.

ACNE and Lanvin, two of the hippest brands at the moment, have collaborated to create a new line and it's a hit. The garments are flying off the racks and most items are already sold out, so I suggest you get (online) shopping to get your hands on these unique pieces. The menswear pieces are cool, comfortable and in various shades of navy.
Check out the collection in the pictures below.

(Fashion Fun Fact to impress your fashionista girlfriend: Lanvin for women is designed by Alber Elbaz, the man responsible for the hip menswear is Dutchman Lukas Ossendrijver)

Chug! Chug! Chug!

This blog is primarily about fashion, but I believe a stylish drink is also essential. What woman doesn't swoon when the bartender shakes up a drink specially for her? And who would James Bond (one of the most stylish fictional characters I know) be without his Martinis "shaken not stirred"?

So, obviously what I present to you now is a drink. Not just any drink, but the Vesper. Anyone who's seen the 2006 James Bond film 'Casino Royale' (if you haven't I suggest you get your ass to the nearest entertainment store and buy a copy!) knows this is the cocktail he conjures up for his beloved beauty Vesper Lynd.

When the weather's hot, there's nothing like an ice-cold cocktail and the Vesper is just the drink to quench your thirst.


First, put a martini glass in the freezer and slice a lemon peel in a twister shape. Then:
  • Six parts Gordon's or Tanqueray gin

  • Two parts vodka (preferably Stolichnaya Blue)

  • One part of Kina Lillet (or Dry Vermouth)

Shake all the ingredients over ice in a shaker. Then pour into the chilled martini glass and add the lemon peel as garnishing. Now you have a refreshing and fancy cocktail!
Be sure not to have too many, though, one too many of these and you'll feel it in the morning!

(Don't drink and drive, y'all)

(images: www.images.google.com)

DIY Designer!

So you really like some designer item, but can't really afford it right now? Well, if you check the 'DIY designer' section regularly I'll give you examples of how to recreate designer looks without having to spend the equivalent of your college tuition money.
Check out this awesome straw Fedora hat by Gucci. I especially love the side ornaments (enlarge the pic to see the Gucci crown cork!). But retailing at $495 at Bergdorf's and €295 in Europe, it's not exactly a bargain.

Don't despair, because you can recreate this look in a heartbeat! Or you can just buy the original, but that's not what this section is about!
If you surf to wwww.thefedorastore.com you can find all sorts of fedora's and panama hats.
I found this nice one for only $59.99, but prices start around $38. If you don't like ordering online, H&M does some pretty good faux-straw ones for only $15.

If there's any ribbon on your hat, remove it.
Now run to the nearest H&M or Zara. There you will find loads of accessories: just look for two star pins (about $4.99 a pop).
Ask your parents or grandparents if they have any old college or army pins and apply one on the same side as the stars. Now get a crown cork off your favourite bottle of soda, Superglue some Play Doh on the hollow side of the cork and wait for it to dry up. Finally Superglue the Play Doh-filled crown cork to the side of the straw hat, et voilà: the perfect summer hat! Order some cocktails, turn up the latin beats and just lay back...

La Belgique, C'est Chique

Belgium is a wonderful country: great food, awesome beers and amazing chocolate. Home of the world's greatest female tennis player Justine Henin, the inventer of the saxophone Adolphe Saxe and birth country of Audrey Hepburn and Diane Von Fürstenberg.
Okay, so we have lots of trouble with the language divide and forming a government. But what i'm very proud of are our wonderful fashion designers.
Known throughout the world for their creativity and innovative designs, Belgian fashion designers (and models) are what's hot in the world of fashion.

Every now and then I will offer a closer look on a Belgian fashion designer or model.
Today I'll be talking about the renown designer Dries Van Noten.

Dries Van Noten has been described by the NY Times as 'one of fashion's most cerebral designers' and last year he won the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) International Award.
Dries is known for his eccentric use of vibrant colours, prints and fabrics. A non-conformist in the world of fashion, Van Noten doesn't offer a haute couture line but solely prêt-a-porter.
Paying close attention to the touch and feel of the fabrics, his Spring/Summer 2009 collection for men is of superior sartorial quality: dandy shapes but with a quirky twist and clean lines but unusual prints.

Here are five of my favourite looks out of the collection: