19/11/2014

Bonjour Paris, First Stop

To live without loving is to not really live.

- Molière


I was recently looking back on my European posts and realised that I never wrote about my time in France. Better late than never, I thought I'd fill you all in on my adventures in Paris.

I departed Melbourne and flew direct to Abu Dhabi, a13 hour flight + short layover, then from Abu Dhabi to Paris (another 6 hours) so needless to say by the time I landed in the City of Light I was ready to get off the plane. Getting out of de Gaulle was easy, thank god, and there was an abundance of "taxi" drivers awaiting unsuspecting tourists at the arrivals gate. I was pretty jet lagged and, as you can imagine, just wanted to get to the hotel for a shower and proper sleep. Our taxi driver was crazy, we were darting all over the road, tail gating, horns were beeping. But I got to the hotel very quickly and for that I'm very grateful.


Paris reminded me of the time I spent in Germany; lots of small winding roads, an abundance of greenery, beautiful old buildings and cafes everywhere. Unlike most other European cities, Paris doesn't close during the day and then re-open, although some mid-afternoon downtime have probably helped me with my jet lag.





On my first full day in Paris I decided to take the metro into the heart of the city, exchange some dollars and checkout "Galeries Lafayette", a massive shopping mall comprising of several amazing buildings, one for women and another for men; both with multiple levels dedicated to different accessories. There was a whole floor for men's shoes, it was amazing but I resisted the urge to buy anything as I had arrived in Paris with just one thing on my mind - Carmina Shoes. 

With my goal in sight, I journeyed down to avenue de l'Opera, where the Carmina store is located. The store itself is a beautiful rich burgundy with a simple and elegant fit out. Unfortunately they didn't have the exact shoe that I wanted, but I ended up purchasing an amazing oxford toecap full brogue in a cognac calf leather in the Inca last.






If anyone wants advice on the best places to shop for menswear in Paris, I strongly recommend starting on one end of avenue de l'Opera and wandering all the way to the end of the street before walking across to Rue Saint Honore, where a majority of the high end shops are located. Don't forget to explore the side streets as they hold a lot of treasures, including John Lobb (located at 32 Rue de Mogador).

17/11/2014

Menswear Mirage

"Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance."
- Oscar Wilde

The most common thing that readers say when they meet me in the flesh is, "you look a lot taller in your pictures". I promise that it's not trick photography, but merely a couple of clever style illusions that both men and women can use to alter their appearance and appear taller than they actually are.

The first thing you'll probably notice in these pictures is my use of block colours. Block colours can be worn in really clever ways and help to alter the proportions of your upper and lower body - Drawing focus in the same way that wearing high waisted pants helps to optically lengthen your legs. 

Another trick I like to use from time to time is wearing vertical stripes. Stripes help to "stretch"  the body, thus giving you a taller/leaner appearance. You can still wear check shirts and other patterns, but they are best left to the under layers of your clothing (unless you want to draw attention to the less flattering parts of your body).

My last tip would be draw the focus up towards your head instead of down towards your feet. This effect can be easily achieved by wearing lighter tones around your face or raising the gorge line on your jackets. (where the lapel notch or peak sits) which will give you a more streamlined finish.





Jacket by River Island
Shirt by Luxire
Pants by Oscar Hunt Tailors
Shoes by Loake

10/11/2014

Movember 2014

I'll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.

- Henry Rollins


The Movember Foundation aims to put a fun twist on a very serious issue - Men's health.

Using the moustache as a catalyst, the idea behind Movember is to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to learn and talk about their health concerns and take action when needed.


As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation helps to improve the lives of men around the world. This is achieved through the variety of programs they fund, which includes – Awareness & Education, Living with Cancer, Research and Mental Health. As a health movement, Movember aims to:


* Reduce mortality from prostate, testicular cancer and men’s suicide
* Support men living with prostate or testicular cancer, keeping them physically and mentally well
* Help men and boys understand their own mental health and enable them to take action when they experience mental health problems
* Fight mental health discrimination





The picture above is how most people recognise me. I've been with beard for 4+ years and am an avid supporter of beard season. My facial hair has come to be my personality, style and safety blanket. But I decided to put all of that aside to help out the millions of guys out there who are suffering, or don't know how to ask for help.
There are many charities out there doing what they can to raise money to help cure and prevent cancer and mental health issues, but I decided that I should do my part as well. Trust me when I say that if I can bite the bullet and shave for a good cause, then anyone can! 

If you just can't bring yourself to shave a few years off yourself, or if you're a Mo sister - please feel free to donate instead. 

Here's a link to my Movember page: APMM.


Photographs - Giuseppe Santamaria from Men in this Town 

07/11/2014

Current Favourites

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things


- Julie Andrews, The Sound Of Music



Have you ever had something that you can't leave home without, or maybe you or others notice you keep wearing the same things.....a lot! I know this has happened to me once or twice, so I thought I'd try something new and give you a rundown of my current favourite menswear pieces and accessories:


I'd been after something that I could layer (if needed) in winter but also still wear on the colder spring days/nights. Barbour has always been on my radar but I just hadn't found anything that I loved until a friend pointed out this Liddersdale jacket. Now I can't stop wearing it, it's the perfect throw on and still feel put together piece.



I confess, I own a lot of shoes. Maybe not as many as some other guys I know, but certainly more than the average Aussie man.Whilst in Paris recently, I visited the Carmina store and purchased my first pair of their classic lace ups. I was very impressed by the quality and wearability of their footwear, and these shoes has quickly made itself into my top three most worn pairs.


Another piece I had wanted for a while to help make my wardrobe feel more casual.  I could easy wear this Denham shirt jacket day in and day out. Someone may have to actually tear it off my back come autumn.


A soft leather briefcase had been on my wishlist for years, but they were always slightly out of my price range. That was until I came across Linjer, great quality and an even better price! This case is sleek and stylish, it's my everyday work bag now and no doubt that I'll have it for a long time to come.


Hair products are one of my vices and coming from a long line of barbers and hairdressers I strive to find the best. I'd been using the same pomade for years, until just recently when I went and met Rob, the barber behind Morris Motley. Rob has created an amazing product, it's like pomade, wax, cream and hairspray all in one. It's amazing and I want more.....now, right now! I can't wait for this product to be officially launched to the public.


Last but certainly not least, I'm never without a pair of sunglasses. Bailey Nelson have done it for me for awhile now, they fit me perfectly, the style is me, the price is me and they let me feel like an individual. It's the ultimate love story and I think that if the a lady can marry the Eiffel tower then  I should probably just marry these sunglasses. I wear these all year round, not to be "cool" but because I have sensitive eyes and they protect me from the harsh Australian sun.

03/11/2014

Derby Day - House Of Walker

Keep Walking - Johnnie Walker

It's nearly the end of spring and in typical style, Melbourne is turning her weather off then on, then off and on again. 

But what's a little morning rain when there are spring races to be run? For the thousands gathered in Flemington Racecourse it was all about the canapes, hats, cocktails and a cheeky flutter, not to mention the fine fillies running the length of the track.

I was invited to spend Derby Day inside the Birdcage at the Johnnie Walker marquee, and not being one to refuse a party, I jumped at the chance to usher in November with luxurious style. 



 With a black and gold facade and a silver and white interior (not to mention a ceiling full of chandeliers), the House of Walker was the perfect location to spend the first official day of the Flemington races. 



There was also a menu designed by Master Chef contestant and ambassador Sean Baxter, who artfully matched a selection of food with 6 unique cocktails - utilising the full range of Johnnie Walker - Fiery Red, Iconic Black, Intense Double Black, Celebratory Gold, Noble Platinum (My favourite)  and Rare Blue.









Inside the marquee was a non-stop party atmosphere, with a crowd that included celebs (Thor's Chris Hemsworth), models, sporting icons, CEO’s, presenters and lots of others who all helped make it an amazing day.


Thank you to Colin Gold from The Trend Spotter for the photo.

As for the fashion, very few deviated from the traditional black and white suit, although over the course of the day I did see a few gents in shades of charcoal and blue plus the odd check sports jacket.


A special thank you to AMPR and Johnnie Walker for the invite to a great day!


Jacket, Shirt & Pants by Oscar Hunt Tailors
Tie by James Dover
Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
Hair by Morris Motley
Shoes by Loake