Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Jason Broderick: Knightsbridge, London

Jason Broderick, Fashion Director of Menswear at Harrods, always looks impeccibly tailored and is rarely seen without a smile on his face. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Universal Workers: Via dè Tornabuoni, Florence

Take me back to paradise city. In a months time we'll be back in Florence for Pitti with the locals (and David Keyte from Universal Works).

Bomber without Collar: Kingsland Road, London

The eyes are the windows to the soul.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Which Gola are you?

It's an unusual circumstance when I find myself in front of the camera, but when it does happen it's always for good reason. I was recently asked by Gola, one of the UKs oldest sportswear brands, to be photographed as part of their new campaign and after a visit to their showroom I found it hard to resist. Not only is their history dumbfounding, they're also big advocates of British manufacturing with a line of "Made in England" trainers - a cause close to my heart. More on that later, when I officially launch the new Man/Men project.

Digging a little deeper into the brand I discovered a rich background from their first small factory in 1905 to their domination of underground youth culture of the 1960s and 70s. It's that kind of heritage that no marketing budget can fabricate and something that really draws me in. As a huge fan of vintage design, particularly from British counterculture of the 1970s, I had to select the brown suede Harrier style as my Gola - it's a design that's as strong now as it was four decades ago.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

GarconJon meets Alexandre Molimard for Brooks Brothers

In the final installment of my Brooks Brothers interviews, I speak with a Frenchman in London, Alexandre Molimard. I first spoke with the talented eyewear professional in 2012 at London Fashion Week to discuss all things hirsute, and now 3 years on I've delved deeper to discuss style, culture and his daily routine. Alex is wearing a Brooks Brothers plaid blazer.

Alexandre Molimard, Eyewear Developer

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
 I grew up in central France, Clermont-Ferrand. If you don't know it, the Volvic mineral water label will give you a clue. The heart of Auvergne is one of the most beautiful regions of France with ancient volcanoes, lakes and gorges. The general landscape is so diverse. It has so much to offer people who love nature.  After 24 years I got itchy feet and felt the need to move onto somewhere new so I arrived in London. Since then, I’ve always split my life between London and Paris to get the best of both worlds. Living in two cities isn’t tough emotionally but it does take precision, both in your career and your personal life. It just requires an unusual commute.

How would you describe your job title?
 A short summary could be : what, when, where, with whom. I provide vision, direction and leadership. Once you have a vision, you have to spread the word in your business. My job is part of building something new. It is about building & managing relationships between my teams, between clients & the brands I work with, between products themselves and their consumers - for all of which communication is the key. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with very influential names. The process, to me, is way more important than the product itself.

What's your star sign? I’m a true bearded bespectacled Leo.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a lot of things. For the longest time I wanted to grow up to be an artist. I did every kind of art when younger: drawing, painting, music. I also wanted to be an actor and a journalist.

Describe yourself in 5 words? I am a creative, real, passionate, generous gentleman. And a dreamer. I think that's a reasonable summary.

How did you get ino eyewear? At 14 when I've had to wear a pair of glasses all the time. Without them, quite literally, everything looks hazy and indistinct.

Can a pair of frames change your life? It certainly improves your life quality and the way you see things. Then, the right frames can change your entire face. They can make a statement of beauty and sophistication. The superior craftsmanship and high quality will change your life in ways you never even dreamed possible, challenge your perceptions and even empower you to be yourself. Your glasses shouldn't hold you back from expressing the person you are. A pair of glasses or sunglasses is the single best accessory that you will ever own. Adding a pair to your wardrobe is the beginning of a whole new you.

As a dual-city resident, what are the 3 biggest differences between the two? Paris has more beautiful buildings in general, it is more 'quaint' and I think even long-time Parisians continue to notice and appreciate this in their daily lives. London is quaint too, in its own way: with its greenery, low-rise buildings and multi-centered character, it often looks like a village but doesn't feel like one, whereas you could say Paris is the opposite.  London often feels a bit bland, 'corporate' to me, as if all the variety of cultures present in London had just been reduced to their lowest common denominator. All the chain stores contribute to this bland atmosphere too. Parisians are, well, Parisians, whereas true Londoners are nowhere to be seen in London! Paris is fairly multi-cultural, but not nearly as cosmopolitan as London, because most of the non-French communities in Paris come from France's former colonies in North and Sub-Saharan Africa. They are largely French-speaking with cultures that are already strongly French-influenced.

London as a whole seems to be kept going by a form of raw energy. Paris is a bit more relaxed. It remains the Sleeping Beauty. And after all, to misquote Samuel Johnson, “When a man is tired of London, he can always go and have a three-star meal in Paris.”

As a Frenchman what does 'British style' mean to you? Sophisticated, traditional and practical, it is a synonym for eternal elegance and romantic classicism. British style offers a point of view aimed at utility and imagines a wardrobe in which to enter and then going straight to the point. A wardrobe without dogmatisms, a way of reconciling old fashioned and modern expectations of manliness. It embodies a new kind of modern masculinity based on timeless and iconic pieces. It’s a rediscovery rather than an innovation, a look at the modern world through the steamed up monocle of a more refined age. It is dedicated to all things sartorially British like well tailored suits from Savile Row, handmade brogues as well as bowler and top hats. I am a devotee of traditional British style, but I bring my own modern twist. I always bring in fun and interesting textures, prints, patterns, and indulgent flourishes of colour, be it through knitwear, ties, gloves, an umbrella or hats. As for "Made in England", I still believe in it. I really believe. I like things that are all built to last. My Grenson brogues were bought in the late 1990s and I wear them at least once a week. I polish them regularly and see no reason they won't outlive me.

See the full interview below.