March 31, 2008

British lithographs

Spending Sunday at the Midcentury Modern exhibition in West Dulwich I spotted some fabulous British lithographs. Here is one by Garrick Palmer b.1933. Further examples of this lovely style can be found at Emma Mason, who sells limited edition British prints.

March 30, 2008

Book of 1920s illustrations by Tony Sarg

This new edition of Tony Sarg's Up & Down New York will appeal to kids of all ages, to designers, illustrators, and book collectors, as well as anyone interested in New York or 1920s-era drawings.

'Tony Sarg was famous as a master puppeteer, a cartoonist, and an author/illustrator of more than a dozen children's books during the 1920s and 1930s. He was the person responsible for developing the flying helium character balloons used in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades', comments Magma Books.

March 28, 2008

Luxury redefined

In Europe we are seeing mature consumerism, meaning a more pragmatic approach to choosing brands and the emergence of elitism, wisdom, poeticism and meaning in purchasing behaviour. Cleanliness is increasingly important to this mindset. The modern male consumer demands that businesses move beyond overt greenwashing, labelling themselves as ethical, organic, ecological, fairtrade, green for the sake of market share. Instead simply being 'clean' matters more and provides consumers with the reassurance that a brand uses the right materials, right processes, right systems and right ethos throughout the entire business - essentially a wholesome operation. John Smedley's new range of Luxury Redefined knits performs in this way.

'The luxury redefined concept combines the ultimate in luxury with the ultimate in sustainability. Every aspect of its sourcing and manufacture has been carefully considered, to create the finest and most responsible luxury garment. Brought to you by John Smedley and better thinking ltd, this unique process redefines luxury for the 21st Century', claims the brand.

March 24, 2008

New summer peacoats by Filippa K

Market for manxiety

Men and their attitudes to health, wellness, wellbeing, and personal grooming have never been more discussed or debated. Technological advances, female competition, a heightened appreciation for being groomed and a desire to stay younger longer mean more men are investing time and money monitoring, improving and advancing their bodies.

The pressure on men to look younger than their years is increasing. ‘Men across the population are catching up with women in looking after their appearance without any embarrassment. Dedicated high street centres offering grooming advice are opening, while more skin analysis equipment is coming on-line,’ says Sally Penford, education director of the International Dermal Institute. ‘Technology, via nanotechnology, is starting to be applied to creams targeted at men. The big issue for them, however, is aging. The idea that it is acceptable for men to grow old gracefully is slipping. Age-related issues have been a pressure on women for decades and society no longer cuts men any slack. Anti-aging products targeting men will increase massively.’

The male grooming market now outpaces the female beauty market. The International Spa Association predicts that spa use will be equally balanced between the sexes within the next three years. According to Datamonitor the British market for male toiletries was last year worth some £576m, with the Times reporting an 800% increase in the sale of male toiletries over the past seven years.

Male consumer habits have undergone a process of refinement, leading to a less brand-driven outlook, or at least one that is less inclined towards those brands pushed strongly by media and advertising. It is products that mix connoisseurship with technical ability that attract men’s grooming and wellbeing budgets. Opting for the specialist likes of Bumble and Bumble, Refinery, Boots No.7, Dr Sebagh and Anthony Logistics, or professional brands such as Dermalogica, Keihls, Chantecaille, Peter Thomas and Menscience, it is through notions of expertise that men are finding a way to assert their masculinity.

Above: Boots No7 For Men Protect & Perfect Anti-Ageing Serum

(Excerpt from Future Laboratory report for Oral-B)

March 20, 2008


I'm off to Seven Sisters race track on Saturday to drive one of these - a treat from my Ingvild. There comes a time in every man's life when it's got to be done!

Above: Lamborghini Gallardo LP540/4

HD males

As men live more of their life online, their online image becomes increasingly important. ‘Before, photos would only be seen by a small circle of friends’, says Ben Terrett, founding partner of The Design Conspiracy. This has led to a trend in people carefully controlling their online image, resorting to professional retouching to make sure they look their best. According to report I worked on at the Future Laboratory for Kodak, 37% of Europeans already use software to retouch their photos. With the introduction of high-definition cameras, which reveal every pore and blemish, retouching will become more relevant.

Ross Phillips, head of interactive at online fashion and art project ShowStudio, believes that camera companies will start to offer amateur retouching software to consumers when they buy a digital compact camera, allowing them to carry out minor functions themselves without having to face complex programmes such as Adobe’s Photoshop. Snapmania, an online photo manager, has introduced a ‘Tourist Remover’ tool that allows users to remove unwanted tourists from their photos of landmark sites.

Above: Nikon concept 360 camera

March 15, 2008

Fantastic Man No.7

Fantastic Man No.7 launches this month with a timely feature on Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, and a good shoot on pyjama-wear. The article on the art of packing marks a return to the etiquette of travel, as feature in Monocle and Esquire recently.

Essential classics enter the market

Albam celebrates its second Spring season with more essential classic pieces, like this Fisherman's cagoule. Attention to detail, a simple palette and considered manufacturing make this new label a must-have for the discerning intell-gent. More and more it seems that at a time when the high street becomes increasingly polarised by low end retailers and premium markets, it is the clever middle market that increasingly delivers value for money and satisfaction.