Tuesday, 30 March 2010

D&G Men Spring / Summer 2010 Collection: My thoughts.

Instantly logging onto the D&G Store website you see the words "Spring Summer 2010, Summer Tailored Mood". This tagline really sums up the new D&G collection as many of the catwalk outfits feature the suit and blazer look. After checking out the latest styles of D&G the main look I seem to be getting is the "stylish preppy with a tailored attitude". Blazer jackets, waistcoats and straight cut jeans seem to play a big role in this collection. The featured colours of this new collection are browns and pastel blues, completely contrasting with last year's rainbow colours.

The new collection definately feautres some staple wardrobe items, such as this "virgin wool stripped waistcaot":

http://store.dolcegabbana.com/item/store/DG/tskay/436A8784/rr/1/cod10/49113011NM/areaid//sts/ .

A definate investment buy as it features that all important tailored look yet has an aura of relaxment about it. This stylish piece can be worn for any occassion (that is, of course, if you dress it properly). Neatly matched with a shirt and straight cut trousers it can be the perfect look for the office, or if desired, dress down with a pair of dark toned jeans for an image ready for a casual night out with the mates.

The 2009 "Grandad" look still looks as stylish as ever, however, appearing in a more conformed style rather than the relaxed 60's look from last Summer. Knitwear plays a vital part in any man's wardrobe, giving off the more gentleman rather than caveman image. Branching off from the tailored image, D&G have created this 2 in 1 number:


This piece can be worn by the larger male for a more casual outfit, however, still smart enough for the office. Although the piece is moving towards the tailored image of the new collection, I'd not bother in splashing the cash on an image that can be pulled off using items from last year's wardrobe.

It appears to be that the tailored look is best accesorised using eyewear. Many models seen in the Spring / Summer 2010 collection are decked out in the latest D&G glasses.

Sunglasses are a must for any stylish gent's wardrobe as they give off a confident and mysterious image (and sunglasses take many years to go out of style). Even when you find yourself not wanting to wear them anymore, they're sure to come back in style in 20 years or so. (Last Summer I found myself wearing Ray Ban's from the 80's). Some of my favourite sunglasses in the new D&G collection include the more earthy toned style.

These shaded lenses give off style and confidence and will look good against any sun kissed skin in the late summer evenings.

On a side note, practical glasses seem to be edging into the smart cut image as well: with eyewear taking a more rectangular shape able to portray the perfect cut gent.

Gone are the days of chunky glasses lenses, along with the days of bright colours. This season's colours are the more earthly browns and the sky blues. In the new D&G collection it's all about smart, tailored and fitting clothes giving off the aura of a man who takes pride in his appearance. With this fashion line you're sure to have heads turning in the office and out of the office with the smart looks.

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Trench Coat

We see them in almost every shop, whether it's a high street store like Topman or a more luxury store like Burberry but wherever we look, we can't escape them... It's the single must have of every male (and female) wardrobe: The Trench Coat.

Time for a history lesson: originally made for practical reasons during the First World War, the trench coat was designed by Burberry for the use of Officers in World War I, over the time it was adapted to suit the needs of World War II and was soon seen in other countries. Since 1901 (when the design was first submitted) it has evolved into one of Burberry's iconic designs and has been developed by pretty much every other fashion designer in the world (atleast in the UK and New York).

After browsing trench coats from Daks to Jaeger, Topman to Burberry and Asda to H&M my personal favourites are in the lighter colours, however, they work just as good in the blacks and navy's. As we move into Spring it's advisable for a more of a "jacket" than a "coat", a perfect example of a navy jacket trench coat can be grabbed from Topman for £60 and is sure to keep you going for the next three or more seasons. (http://www.topman.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=17551&storeId=12555&categoryId=56915&parent_category_rn=38994&productId=1668004&langId=-1) Perfect for anyone looking for style but an affordable price tag and any male of any size. Definately for the casual look, dress it up with a pair of dark (but not black) jeans and smart black shoes you're ready to hit the swankiest bar in the city (plus it's perfect to wear to work over the usual office attire.)

Now, for those wanting to splash the cash you simply MUST have an iconic Burberry trench coat in their lighter colours, the creams work well to inject a bright atmosphere into those Autumn 2010 styles. For a price of £1659 you can grab yourself this magnificent number: http://uk.burberry.com/fcp/product/clothing-accessories/coats/single-breasted-ruched-leather-trench-coat/10000009835?colour=trench&lastcategoryurl=true . With minimal buttons, large pockets and cream leather this coat really gives off the "relaxed yet perky, stylish yet classy" look. However, not for the larger male as the belt will make that beer gut more revealing. Dress it with some Italian styled leather shoes and darker (try to stay away from black, keep to rich tones of brown) trousers this look will definately have heads turning as you grab your morning coffee for work.

These are just two of the coats that are out there, quickly walking Armani Exchange last weekend I noticed they were appearing in those windows. Topman always have an array of the jacket styles and Selfridges is always a good place to look (they have an affordable hight street section and an upper market design section).

Now, if you haven't got one already I suggest you hurry quickly to the nearest high street. You can easily nab one from GAP for £70 or for £60 from H&M. Not only is the "military" style becoming hot this season, your trench coat is sure to remain in your wardrobe for a long time as it provides a classic smart - yet modern look for any respectable gent living and/or working in the city. After testing and trying many trench coats I'd suggest going for one of the upper high street price ranged ones from designs such as Firetrap and Ted Baker, not only will you have it for the rest of your life (a good investment), the performance quality is much better than one grabbed off the rails at Asda, and the style / cut / material / overall look tends to be better when you splash the cash.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

DKNY Jeans - Spring / Summer 2010 Collection.

As a young male spending much time in the city, it's hard to escape the fashion life. (Plus I'd never be seen out looking a mess!) Now, I'm not one to go around in the haute couture fashions (all the time!), when I shop I look for classic yet contemporary, vintage yet modern and something with a twist. Recently I ventured into the DKNY Jeans store and had a browse at the new Spring / Summer collection and picked up some amazing pieces.

I've not always been a fan of DKNY, however, in recent times I've started to take turn to them. DKNY Jeans is the more affordable branch of Donna Karen New York, with purchases starting from about £50 for a t shirt. Dubbed as the "New York State of Mind" I enjoy their urban vibe yet still classic look. Not too Lady GaGa fashion, yet not too boring I've started to mix and match their collections.

According to the website: "The New York mindset: it's a sensibility, an attitude. Whether you're a New Yorker by birth or desire, the spirit of that city runs through your veins: raw ambition, energy, and courage with a streak of rebellion." This gives the fashionista much choice in what they want their look to be.

Now, the new collection appears to feautre a lot of demin and hints towards this seasons military look. A prime example of their New York inspired and fashion trend style can be seen in their use of military garments. Not too soldier-y, yet not too boring I'm definately enjoying their jackets and shirts in this collection. A personal favourite is thier "Short Sleeve Patch Shirt", (http://www.dknyjeansintl.com/collections/Spring-Summer-2010/men/Spring-Summer-2010--br-Look-17.aspx), the lapels and breast label create the military feel with an almost pastel colour giving it a Spring atmosphere. However, I do have a shirt almost the same as this in my wardrobe from about two seasons ago from one of the Armani Exchange collections - this is a prime example of the "recycling" of trends.

One of my favourite items is their "Slim Fit Jean, Rinse Wash" (http://www.dknyjeansintl.com/collections/Spring-Summer-2010/men/Spring-Summer-2010--br-Look-21.aspx) . It appears that the short jean style is making a come back in much darker tones this season. This is definately a staple for any wardrobe as we move into the Summer months.

Now, one thing I'm not too keen on, not just in the DKNY Jeans collections but in pretty much every other designer's collections is the graphic - print style t shirts. They never seem to suit me and I'd rather have a plain(ish) t shirt that I can dress up with accesories. (A typical example of my "classic style" buying).

Another note to make is that the "layering" style of last year has definately started to take a decline with DKNY Jean's collection with outfits appearing much simpler and less textured with much more detail in one colour than a mixture.

As my first fashion blog comes to a close I'll leave you with a tip: remeber, mix your wardrobe with staple items from top brand designers and dress them up with off the rail accesories from the cheaper high street stores.

Wicked the Musical - 2009 to 2010 Cast Review

So, last Wednesday I had the opportunity to see the last Wednesday matinee of the 2009 / 2010 West End cast of "Wicked". Having already seen the show numerous times before I knew what I should be expected: the fun "Popular", the spectacle "Defying Gravity" and the twists and turns of the story.

Among the theatre world many people often look down upon the show, saying that it's not well written and has a sloppy score. I completely disagree with these, I think the show is fun, has great songs and has a storyline that anyone and everyone can relate to.

The first time I saw Wicked was all the way back in 2006 when it first opened with Idina Menzel as Elphaba, this time I saw Alexia Khadime as the green girl. I loved her portrayal as the Wicked Witch, however, I wasn't too keen on her singing all the way throughout. She had some great belting moments, but during the softer songs she sounded very nasal-y. However, her acting skills definately brought up her marks. I loved her sense of vulnerability during Act One, helping her to grow and definately giving "Defying Gravity" a meaning behind the lyrics. Her rebelious side in Act Two can clearly be seen from the development of events during Act One. (In fear of getting eaten alive by the Idina Meznel fangirls, I shall refrain from saying "Alexia was better than Idina").

Dianna Pilkington played the role of the ditzy Glinda. Her comic timing was to die for and her vocal skills were definately top notch. Her rendition of "Popular" had the audience in stitches, definately something hard to do on a Wednesday matinee. My personal highlight of her performance for me was her performance during the song "Dancing Through Life", seeing her less ditzy and more intelligent side as she schemes to make Elphaba look a fool and get rid of her "stalker" Boq. Not giving her a horrible side but more of an innocent character unaware of her horrible doings.

The rest of the leads and ensemble cast were absolutely perfect! It was clear to see that the cast enjoyed the performance. One day I hope to play a role in this show! Probably the most suprising part of the show? When the audience gave a standing ovation! A rarity for a Wednesday matinee audience.

The new cast - Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Louise Dearman as Glinda - definately have something to live up to! I'm interested in seeing how their interpretations differ from the previous cast.

The Start Up

So, today is the 28th March 2010 and I suddenly decide to start blogging. I ask myself "why?" and suddenly find my head spinning round in circles with a million different reasons. The first reason is: a hobby - which is great. The second reasion: for fun - just as great. The final reason: the spread my interests with everyone else on the world wide web and to see where it takes me... You never know these days, the internet's wonderful!

I then find myself wondering what I should blog about, I then realise that my life often evolves spending a lot of time in an amazing city in the UK - Birmingham. I find that my life evolves around the art, the dining, the music, the shopping, the fashion, the theatre, the culture and everything else to do with it! On a personal note, my favourite things in life are male fashion, the theatre and art and so, that is what I shall be blogging about.

All I need to do now is get some followers! So, spread the word of what is sure to be an amazing (or an epic fail!) blog.