Thursday, 24 April 2014

GarconJon wants... Spring Weekend Away Style

After seasons of overpacking for fashion week, lugging around a months worth of clothing along with all my camera equipment across 4 cities, I finally learned my lesson last year when I set myself a challenge. I attempted to bring 3 outfits for 3 weeks of travelling and squeeze it all, along with my professional life, into one item of hand luggage. Somehow I managed and Rodin's famous quote "the more simple we are, the more complete we become" started to make so much sense.

Now the season's have turned, I'm fully embracing my spring wardrobe and also on the look out for a few new choice items for a weekend roadtrip to the English countryside. Keeping in mind that over the long weekend I plan to wear only 2 outfits, versatility is key. Here's my top 6 selection from a few of my current favourite brands.

Striped Henley T-Shirt: I love a good long sleeved tee, particularly when it goes with a grandad-shirt buttons. This one by Ovadia & Sons at Mr Porter is super soft but thick enough to feel substantial.

Spring Regular Leg Jean: Denim is an essential part of my weekend wear. Hardy yet comfortable, I'm starting to experiment with brands and after a bit of asking around, I heard quite a few recommendations for Albam. Japanese denim, made in England. It's the next pair on my list.

Indigo Blue Shirt: Living in London, I can never truly be assured on the temperature so like to add a chambray shirt or cardigan over a tee in Springtime for extra warmth. I just looked at this shirt by Cleeve of London for Drake's at their studio and it's quality is superb.

Moleskin Bomber: There's something about Private White VC that just seems to hit the design nail bang on the head. Making with bombers in olive moleskin was a sharp move - the colours even more striking in person.

203 Series Watch: I've been browsing the Uniform Wares site on a daily basis, lusting after too many of their watches. The product may not be cheap but for the quality and substance of design it's fantastic for the wristwatch market. I'm really drawn to this with oxblood strap and gold detailing.

Orleans Casual Derby Shoes: Out of all the press day's this season I was most disappointed at missing Oliver Sweeney's. I'm a big fan of proper footwear and Sweeney's new stock for spring really made me look at my casual shoes in a new light. I love the balance in these derby's between smart and relaxed - something I'm always trying to get right.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WIN 100 Beards Book on Instagram

This week you've got the chance to win a signed copy of the new 100 Beards book - just regram the below image from my instagram account and you'll be in the running!

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Arron: Farringdon, London

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This is an outtake from the London Collections: Men campaign I shot for the Mayor of London and Transport for London. Arron is wearing an E.Tautz suit and Mr Hare shoes.

Monday, 21 April 2014

I Stand For...Dr Martens

Last year I shot images for the Dr Marten's ‘STAND FOR SOMETHING’ campaign and the tables have now been turned. Being in front of the lens at Portobello Road, I was photographed alongside a number of London creatives who were all asked what we stood for. My response: Authenticity.

Click below to see some of my favourite images as well as a short film of Londoners involved. To play a part in the campaign Dr Martens are letting you design your own DM boot with the chance to have it made - check that out via Facebook or share a photo of your DMs on Instagram tagging @drmartensofficial #drmartenstyle.

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Oleg: Curzon Street, London

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Oleg photographed on the street for a menswear street style feature in the new Toni and Guy Magazine.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Henry: Curzon Street, London

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When I spotted Henry, I could see the tailoring of his suit was immaculate. It's no wonder he's a tailor and made the suit himself - this is the sort of suit I would love to own. A nod to vintage, wide leg trousers with some personalised details.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Event: Fairground Talks with GarconJon

This Saturday I've been invited to speak with Individualism's Reuben Christian as part of a new creative event 'Fairground'. We'll be sitting down to talk how to make it in photography, challenges of blogging and quite likely some on beards. It was bound to happen. I'll even be signing copies of the new 100 Beards book for a special 'Fairground' price of £20.

My part of the event is at 9pm and is free to attend but the festivities are running all weekend (see below for other listings). There'll be booze on tap and fantastic food as this is an affair for all the senses. After our talk the music will be pumped up so be ready to bust a move later in the night.


The capacity is quite tight so grab your free ticket via eventbrite here before they go. See more info at FairgroundLondon.com.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A response to 'Peak Beard' #100beards

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Today has been particularly interesting for me on the beard front. Usually a day doesn't pass without a friend texting me something along the lines of "just saw an awesome beard you should photograph" or being tagged in a photo on instagram of a '100 Beards' fan showing me their facial hair but today there was a turn in the conversation. The University of NSW Australia published a study which suggested that we've reached 'peak beards' and now is the tipping point for men to go clean shaven. In the wake of this I was bombarded by media outlets asking for my opinion on the matter and spent 2 hours on the phone to 8 radio stations across Canada (big beard fans it transpires) to discover if this trend is 'over'. As this news story seems to have generated more interest than the Ukraine crisis, I thought it only right to give my views in a post of it's own.

Firstly, if we're looking solely at this study it's best to get the gist of what it says. Basically it asked females to rate men on a scale of attractiveness with and without beards. Once they'd viewed a whole bunch of bearded men, they found the clean shaven variety more appealing. This leads to the question, if women find men unattractive with beards will the men be persuaded to shave? Speaking with so many gentlemen about their life with facial hair, it seems the majority of them don't have supportive partners, particularly when those are female. The growth occurred in spite of opinions from the opposite sex, not due to it. In this case, the argument to keep a beard wins.

On another note, we have to consider whether we've reached saturation. For me, I actually think we have. When I started documenting the facial hair trend on July 1st 2012, I had two thoughts in the first week of consecutive portraits. Firstly, how on earth will I find a new beard every day? And secondly, is this trend already dead? At the time I thought I was late to the hirsute party but in the months that followed I realised it was only just started to grow, pun intended. Today, nearly 2 years later, I feel the shift it happening and a balance of beards is starting to occur. This doesn't mean we'll suddenly be seeing a pack of Don Draper's roaming the streets but it does mean that those who don't suit a beard or aren't truly comfortable with one will give up the gig.

There's something more important to mention here. In different regions beard growing means different things. From what I can see in the UK, it's about returning to gentlemanly style, masculine grooming and taking pride in taking pride in your appearance as a man. No that wasn't a repeat-typo. Beard wearers aren't wearing sloppy joes and scratching their arse, they're probably cleaner than those "clean-shaven", more culturally aware, more buttoned up and more socially plugged-in. There's not a great bearded man I've photographed yet who told me they keep a beard solely because they're lazy. In fact, for many of the men I photographed they have stories of reclaimed masculinity in a feminised culture and aesthetic transformation leading to an increase in confidence, self-esteem and self-acceptance. You don't get a much greater transformation than beard-leaders Ricki Hall and Chris Millington who both have build fantastic modelling careers and fanbases around their ability to grow facial hair.

I'm asked regularly if I have a beard and when I respond 'no', after the shock has worn off, invariably I'm asked 'why?' My true response is that I'm not going to grow one because it's popular but because it's my truest form of self-expression. After photographing well over 200 gents with fantastic beard, it's hard not to develop a complex over your own average growth. As I said multiple times on air to CBC radio, it's best to leave it to the experts.

In short, if you're considering shaving your beard because some journalists have deemed it unfashionable then you probably shouldn't have grown one in the first place.



Hear one of my many interviews on CBC Radio above and please let me know your thoughts. Are you tired of the beard or will they live on? Is it a fad? Are they attractive to you? Tweet me @GarconJon or Instagram your thoughts tagging @GarconJon and #100Beards.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Oli: Shepherd Market, London

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I photographed Oli in vintage leather and Air Max Nike's for a mens street style feature in the latest issues of Toni and Guy's Magazine - out now. See Oli's full look below.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Henry: Green Park, London

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It was the glasses that made me spot Henry, wearing a Carhartt jacket and Clarks Originals wallabees on the street outside Green Park tube station. I photographed him for the latest edition of the Toni and Guy Magazine, in stores now.