28.03.2011 – Mr Sailor Salonen

Today I go as Sailor Salonen. It’s summer time, we have lost an hour and that pisses me off on a global scale. However, to counter act the new time, I thought I would cheer myself (and everyone) around me today with a t-shirt of epic scale. It is time to go nautical! My stripes came from good old H&M,cheap as chips and so workable. Loving the crisp whiteness and the gorgeous royal blue. The stripes finish at the shoulders, making me look much wider than I actually am. BONUS! To embrace spring and work some sailor inspired items in you look, there is only really one rule to remember. Less is definitely more in city sailor-look. If you are lucky enough to visit South of France this summer, you can go all out with nauticalness, but in the city. Keep it to one key item (like my t-shirt). I could have worn white trousers to really work it out, but I shall leave those for Cannes. Buy a scarf, belt, bag, top or a hat. Make that one item count, make it bright and bold and work it out! Sailor Salonen.
(Excuse the photo, the Starbucks had not kicked in yet!)

Sailor Salonen

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Jockey 135 – Birthday Party at The Hospital Club

Its a great line...really.

Last night I was invited to a very special event, Jockey‘s 135th birthday party! The event was held at the ever fabulous hospital Club in London and I knew it was going to be great evening ahead. There was going to be hot men wearing very little. What was not to like? Seriously.

After settling in and getting a drink, I decided that it was time to mingle. Spotted the ever so lovely Zoe Griffin and we shared few stories about her recently moving offices, hiding in the toilets and what ever happened to The Wellington. Turns out we are quite similar, tall, dark and incredibly gorgeous. Zoe was there for a short while as she was of course off to another party. Shame she missed the catwalk. I briefly chatted with the boys from GT. We shared our thoughs on the best fragrances and which of the summer trends is going to be the biggest one. In general a great little party crowd.

The catwalk was of course already fitted and after a few bevvies and snacks there was an announcement, THE SHOW WAS ABOUT TO START. I took my place on front row (like I would even consider sitting anywhere else) and settled down to see some underwear roll down the runway.

The amazing Dylan Jones gave us an introduction to the evening ahead, explaining the history of Jockey and how it all got started. Did you know that back in the day it was considered shameful to model underwear so the model’s faces were covered, as you do. I had no idea, thank you Dylan for educating me once again. (ps. If you don’t know about Dylan Jones, you need to google ASAP, he is one of my style heroes). Dylan finished off and the lights dimmed, it was SHOWTIME! Whoop. I havent been to an underwear show in ages, so wasnt quite what to expect. Safe to say all my “expectations” were blown away. The show consisted of the many faces of Jockey. We had the style from way back when, up to all the new stuff that is out now. Swimwear and boxer shorts. It was all there. Plus the show included a little history and even a rope pulling challenge. I mean really. It was amazing. For more photos, just click here. If you also look under my videos, there are few from the show. Very handsome men in very little clothing. Whoop!

Must admit, I have not been on the ball so to speak with Jockey as you all know I wear my Aussiebums etc. Last night thou, my eyes were opened. Truly. There were few pairs of boxer shorts, that I MUST purchase right this minute and the swimwear, HELLO! I am thinking the white and black for this coming summer. Boys and girls, go have a look at their site. They have been doing underwear for 135 years and still going strong and last night I found out why. As they say in USA, Jockey or nothing.

Swimmers for Summer 2011

Profile on Ian B, Style and Beauty Commentator

Hi Ian and thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
I’m a former fashion stylist, and was style & grooming editor of GT magazine from 2006-2008. I now work as a professional blogger (I’m the author of Diary of a Fashion Mister) and make-up artist (clients have included Alexandra Burke). I also have a TV agent and am currently working towards a career in television (not many people know that I was screen tested by Maverick Television for Gok Wan’s job on How To Look Good Naked). Msalonen: OOOOOOHHH! Search for “ianbrownstyle” on You Tube and you’ll see my most recent stint on QVC! My website is probably the best way to illustrate my diverse career: http://www.ibstyle.co.uk/

2.  How did you get started in the fashion and beauty industry? Was it always what you wanted to do?
When I was very young, I think the first job I expressed an interest in was being a fireman (Msalonen: Why do all my profile men wanted to be firemen?) However, being so young, my career aspirations changed almost weekly. I think the longest held aspirations (and most serious ones) were to be a doctor like my paternal grandfather, a barrister, then an actor (I was in the National Youth Theatre). These other aspirations aide, I do recall when my passion for fashion was first ignited. I was sick at boarding school, probably at about the age of 10 or 11, and I recall picking up a copy of Hello magazine that was lying in a pile by my bed. I remember seeing photos of a Chanel catwalk show, starring supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, and from that moment on, I was hooked.

From the age of 13, I was subscribing to the Sunday Times. Every Sunday, my ritual involved having breakfast and ripping open the plastic casing of the supplements, and reading the Style section first. The late Isabella Blow was the Fashion Director at the time, and producing the most amazing shoots and content. The pages were filled with British talent such as the late Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacy, together with aristo models such as Honor Fraser, Stella Tennant, Iris Palmer, Jasmine Guinness and Sophie Dahl. I recall this being the highlight of my week, and most likely responsible for sparking my desire to become a fashion stylist. From the Sunday Times Style, I quickly moved on to Vanity Fair magazine, which I read every month, cover to cover, particularly loving the Hollywood specials with the fold out covers. I also recall loving Sky Magazine, which I found in the airport one day (my headmaster’s wife actually banned me from reading it at school which I thought was rather tragic). To encounter such a ballsy polysexual magazine in my adolescence was just miraculous, it opened up my eyes to a whole new world (especially Karen Krizavonich’s agony aunt section, which featured the most hilarious stories).

 I moved down to London from Scotland at the age of 16, and got into the National Youth Theatre at 17 while studying for my A-Levels at Dulwich College. After that, I applied for a place at RADA. I was accepted but decided to take a gap year so I could experience life. I got a job at Whistles on the Kings Road in the summer of ‘2000 (back when it was privately owned by Lucille Lewin). Lucile was a formidable woman and probably the most important fashion buyer in Britain at that time. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful garments from the likes of Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Sophia Kokosalaki, Catherine Malandrino, Jill Stuart and Rozae Nicholls, to name just a few. This really sparked my latent interest in fashion. I was the only boy in the store, but had already built a vast customer book of personal clients, whom I would regularly style for events. One of my earliest clients was comedienne Jenny Éclair. I remember dressing her for an awards ceremony, and I was only 18 at the time. Most of the girls I worked with were studying at Saint Martins, and they became my first creative family, nurturing my interests and helping me hone my skills. Four years later, in 2004, Kate Harwood, one of these girls (and co-founder of cult London boutique Beyond The Valley), gave me my first break as a stylist. She was doing a shoot for Emmanuel Saint (who had worked with McQueen at Givenchy), and asked me to co-style his look book. After that, Emmanuel asked me to style his catwalk show, then another look book. My big break in music styling also came via Kate. She had been asked to style Massive Attack collaborator Nicolette Suwoton (Nicolette sang the tracks three and Sly on their Protection album, also featuring Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl). After working on a music video and album cover with Kate, Nicolette asked me to style her for other projects, and after that I went on to style Kanya King, the founder of the MOBO Awards, together with pop starts such as Rachel Stevens and boy band 5ive. Later, I got a job as a freelancer at Cosmopolitan magazine, which was the springboard to becoming style and grooming editor at GT.

3. What is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
The best part of the job is meeting such amazing inspirational people, travelling, dining in fabulous restaurants, and being blessed with a lot of freebies (for which I’m always grateful, as my bathroom looks like Space NK) and I’ve collected some beautiful garments, jewellery and accessories.

I think the worst aspect of working in the fashion business was the insecurity. I encountered a lot of nasty people who made me feel worthless and insecure. I think what I’ve learned, is that no matter what industry you are in, there will always be people who’d rather your star shone less brightly (especially if you have a kind nature). I’ve been reduced to tears on more than one occasion, which is probably why my destiny has drawn me towards the beauty industry, where the people, quite frankly, are a hell of a lot more pleasant. I think what you find in fashion is that the true greats, are always the ones who are the most pleasant and respectful, because they have less to prove. The late Isabella Blow and milliners Philip Treacy and Louis Mariette, are some of the kindest and humble people I’ve met, together with the jeweller Theo Fennell, shoe designer Jimmy Choo, designers Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 and Viktor & Rolf.

4. In a perfect world, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
I honestly think that I was destined to do what I’m doing, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. My creativity is my life, and my life is my creativity.

5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in fashion?
Yes. If you don’t have a thick skin, don’t even think about it. Fashion kills, quite literally. Just look at Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen.

Ian, I cant thank you enough, you have just opened your life to the readers here at Msalonen.com. Lovely to talk to you as ever. Now if only I can get my eyebrows managed like yours! Hmmm.

1. The first thingo in the morning when you get up?
Make myself a cup of green tea and have a cigarette (don’t worry, the irony of that contradiction isn’t lost on me. I will quit at some point!) (Msalonen: HA! I knew you had a “fault”)

2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
I work in the beauty business, so I always do my make-up before I leave the house for appointments and meetings. I believe in embodying the world that I represent. I’m a style and beauty commentator, so for me, that means dressing well and looking perfect.

3. On your way to work, you…?
Either listen to my i-Pod or read (more often than not I read, one of my favourite pastimes).

4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Going to the gym and doing weights and yoga, having a shower and sitting in the steam room to unwind. Then it’s home to change into my tracksuit bottoms, a hoody, my Ugg boots, having a cup of herbal tea, some supper, spending time with my dog Shiloh (a Bull Mastiff cross) and writing for my blog Diary of a Fashion Mister (which, like now, I tend to do in the middle of the night when it is quiet so I can really think without distraction).

5. The last thing you do before bed?
I pray. My paternal grandfather, the celebrated author Reverend John Bremner Purvis, was the Rural Dean of Bedlington (look him up on Burke’s Peerage or Amazon), so I guess spirituality is in my blood (together with writing!)

Amazing, thank you Ian. I cant thank you enough!

Calling ALL pet owners!

OMG! I have the best news, is time to get snapping people! Albelli the online book specialist is launching a competition to find the funniest, most unusual and of course just amazingly cute animal pictures in the world. Amazing. Did you know that most animals loving Brits take more photos of their pets than their kids. Seriously. I would most likely too. Our  dogs are the cutest. Fact. However, since I am being fair for once, I am telling you all about this competition so the girls don’t just get a home run without any competition. It isn’t a win, if there isn’t competition after all. This is how you do it, be 18 or over, choose the eight (that’s the max) amazing pics of your dog, cat, pony, bat, lizard etc and click to Albelli’s dedicated Facebook page. Upload the photos and wait for the results. The winner will be decided by public vote and will receive an amazing price, the stylish Flip Video Ultra Camcorder.
Amaze. So, better hop to it. I know I am.

Grace and Audrey

 

23.03.2011 – The Bagis by Urbanears

Loves it.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I have just discovered the future of inner ear headphones, Urbanears and their newest addition to the product line, The Bagis. I am over the moon and beyond. Got home last night and there was a slip from the post office, racked my brain to figure out what on earth had I ordered now and realized that only thing it could be was my new headphones. Sadly the post office had already closed for the day, ugh. However, bright and early this morning, I got up, did the usual morning routine and literally ran into the post office. Handed ticket and ID over and BAM. I took hold of my head phones. Whooooop!

First of all the packaging is so cool, I was almost too excited about it to even rip it open. One snaggle tooth later, I had the box open and was holding my new Navy Bagis in my hands. Secondly, I first got excited about Urbanears last year as I discovered that they do headphones in all the colors of the rainbow. There are now four different models, ranging from the new Bagis (inner ear) to Plattan (classic’s) and everything in between. The best news? It is possible to get them all in 29 colors!

Boys, girls and gays. It is time to start matching!
Anyway, back to my Bagis. They have been designed to be the compact version of the full Urbanears experience and I have been sold. The ear pieces are comfortable to wear, barely noticed them and for something that teeny, they are amazing in blocking sound. I took my normal ride on the Central line and I could not hear a thing other than my music.  Outside sounds are totally blocked and the sound you get is insanely good. I heard base in songs I have not heard yet, the sound is warm, clear and pumping. You seriously feel completely surrounded by your music and nothing can disturb that. The Bagis have a great little extra feature, they snap together, so you can carry them around your neck when not in use. Clever and a great option for people like me! I am in love with these. The only problem now is that I would really like them in every color to match the mood I am in. If you are looking for great price headphones that delivered TOP QUALITY sound, look no further than Urbanears. Unbelievable. Thank you for making me fall in love with my music collection all over again. Amazeballs.  (Ps. You buy a red pair now from here, half of the price goes to aiding people in Japan!!! Go buy now!)

Too cute!

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Dear People Who Film Your Animals!

This video is on my “list of videos to watch when feeling rough”. I mean really. How can you not smile when  looking at the little munchkin rolling around, trying so hard to get back up. I mean really. So unbelievably cute. He looks distraught, as he realizes that he just can’t get up. He hasn’t got enough strength and love how he “gives up” half way through, if only to take a breather. Awww. Now, on one hand I am thinking how cute and thank you for sharing and on the other hand I am thinking that why didn’t anyone help the poor little mutt? The video has been viewed nearly four million times, that why no one bothered to help the little flat faced mongrel. Hits over puppies needs and wants.

This made me wonder. Granted this video is VERY cute and no pups were harmed in filming this (other than emotional scarring), so that’s all good. How about all the other videos thou. (Like the one linked, “cat fan”). Admittedly I do giggle when I see it, as the cat goes flying and screams for dear life, this in itself concerns me. I am still hoping that it is in fact a fake video and no cat got flung across the room. Who knows?

I often see our girls doing the funniest things and wish I had a camera ready at all times to record their antics. Their most recent “trick” is to sleep in my jeans draw. Audrey goes MENTAL, if you ask her if she would like a spray, this is due to mouth spray from years ago that she hated. Grace is generally just funny. She has odd ears, they turn into a knot and she looks like Princess Leia. She is also very good at “stopping the ball”, with her it isn’t about catching or fetching the ball, but about stopping it. Grace also skips on three legs. See, I told you, she is funny. Audrey is the sulkiest dog in the WORLD. End of.

My question is, should I be camera ready at all times? To catch them at a weak moment, such a Grace having her head stuck in an ice cream tub? Or when Audrey is refusing to eat and looks away? I think if I started filming the girls, they would become worldwide hits with in days and I am not sure if I want that. They are OUR girls. Our children and every special moment is shared at home or with any lucky friend who might be over. That’s enough for me. So next time before you pick up the camera to record your dog struggling to get up or your cat spinning on a wheel, just think; Is this a moment you have to share, or would it be ok to have it as a moment just for the two of you?

Testing Motorola DEFY, part 1. (DEFY vs. water)

"Can you wait for a moment?"

Right then, the Motorola DEFY (rugged Android Smartphone) has just landed on my lap, quite literally and I wanted to share the first piece of news with you all. They claim that this handset is “life proof”, but is it “Marko proof”? This remains to be seen! I heard about the phone few weeks back and was immediately interested for one reason only, I have gone through four Blackberries in the last year. All of which have been demolished. Me and phones just don’t mix. Which is a shame really as most of my life is spent on one. I am all about emails, tweets and so forth as you all already know. My entire life goes around in circles with my handset in the middle. It what I do, to my friends and family’s despair.

So, the new Motorola DEFY promises to be “life proof”, it will remain fully functional even after I have dragged it through the bush backwards. I am liking it already. I switched the phone on last night and was amazed by how clear the screen is. It has been on a full minute, I make one phone call to check it’s all ok and asked the friend to hang on for a bit. “Test 1”, open the tab and insert phone under running water while the call is ongoing. The phone survived (like off a ducks back)! The call was still there and the phone was clean.

DEFY 1 –  Marko 0
. PAH! Next time on “Testing DEFY”… The Throw Down.

Dear Nicole Scherzinger

BLOCKED

I am starting to adore Nicole Scherzinger even more and all because of this great little number. One of the strongest trends for S/S 2011 is colour blocking. Those of you who are not in the know, this means wearing block colours in contrasting colours. Well, that’s what I means to me. Therefore, that’s how it is on msalonen.com from now on. Sorted.

Anyway, as we all know Nicole was the strongest (if not the only singer) in Pussycat Dolls and from the first video, she made it very clear that she was the girl-in-charge. That long raven hair, beautiful (little Persian looking, minus moustache) face and most likely one of the best bodies in the business has catapulted her into A-List straight through GO and collecting the 200 bucks. This all was obviously helped by the fact that she is dating a cartoon character from F1. I always thought her singing wasn’t really as good as we thought it was until she performed at last year’s XFactor. She may have not sounded “amaze”, but she looked shit hot and sang her little heart out, LIVE. She remains as one of the only acts to sing live on that stage. Loved her energy, confidence and sex appeal, which was only made cuter by the fact that she sounds like a little teeny mouse when she speaks. Adores. don’t even get me started on how cute she was as a judge. UGH.

Where was I? Oh yes, so with this little outfit she has just cemented her spot on my list “The ones to watch, fashion wise”. She does sometimes get it horrendously wrong, such as the tight high ruffled boots the other week, that made her legs looks like pale sausages. I have forgiven her for that and really can’t wait to see how she works the other S/S 2011 trends. This green dress snuggles her amazing curves like nobody’s business and the little jacket is perfection, as it the hat. PLUS anyone who can walk in THOSE heels deserves a small medal. Fabulous. Nicole, I salute you. You are poison on my mind.

21.03.2011 – Jo Malone “Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne”

Surprisingly amaze!

The best thing about having a birthday? PRESENTS! I am now officially in my 32nd year and as scary as it is, I am taking it to my stride and keeping my chin up. I mean really, 32 is the new 28, therefore I have nothing to worry about so to speak. I am a 32-year-old gay man, deal with it. However, back to presents. In recent years, I have stopped being so OCD and have not been handing out a list, where potential present buyers can choose from. I now just let it all unravel itself. This year I was blessed with amazing presents once again. From friends all over the world and here in London and of course from the Husbear.

Which brings me to Jo Malone. I am obsessed yet again. “Earl Grey & Cucumber”. I mean REALLY. As I first heard of this new scent, I thought to myself that this time they have gone TOO FAR, I rather not smell like tea and cucumber. Or would I? Come to think of it, I certainly would and it is just what I am wearing today. I smell gorgeous. I know you are all thinking that I have finally lost it. We did do few highlights last night and the bleach most likely leaked into my head. However, this is not the reason why I adore the cologne. It smells divine and goes straight to the top of my favourite fragrances of all time, a list that keep growing longer and longer. YEAY!

Profile on Adam Moger, Retail Manager for Boodles

Adam and Gruff (awwwww)

This week’s profile is one of which I have been chasing for a while. I met Adam Moger a while back and was immediately intriqued about his chosen career as a Retail Manager for Boodles. I have never met anyone who works in the jewellery business, let alone for a luxury brand like Boodles. As I am interested, it of course means that so are all you lot. So without further nonsense, over to Adam!

Hi Adam and thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
Retail Manager for Boodles luxury jewellers. We have a new boutique within the Savoy Hotel, I am responsible for looking after existing customers and generating new customer base from the Hotel and surrounding area.

2. How did you get started in the business? Was it always what you wanted to do?
My mother had always commissioned jewellery for herself and I used to go along with her and help her choose the stones etc, I fell in love with the loose gemstones and associated sparkly, shiney things. After deciding the option of Fireman wasn’t right for me, yes I always wanted to go into gemstones in some way. I originally qualified with a degree in Gemology, a subdivision of Geology specialising in gem stones etc. From there I fell into retail and have been doing it ever since.
 
3. what is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
At the risk of sounding cheesy the best bit of my job is having somebody walk out overjoyed by what they’ve bought and the experience they’ve enjoyed whilst buying it. The worst part is dealing with customers who have no concept of how to treat a piece of hand-made fine jewellery. The phrase, “I spent £xxxxx on this therefore I expect it to be more hard-wearing” makes me mad, price has no bearing on durability. I mean would you drive a Bugatti across a field or wear a couture gown to do the gardening in…? Exactly! Fine jewellery needs maintainance regularly and then it will last life times.

4. In a perfect word, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
Ski Instructor would definitely be at the top of the list although more practically, I love event organising and run some of the big events for the company. This was very nearly an option if I hadn’t done well in selling the bling.
 
5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in luxury jewellery?
Do your research into the brands that you like and approach the ones you like via phone to introduce yourself to the relevant person then back it up with a personalised letter and your CV. This is what I did and had 5 opportunities offered to me. Most luxury jewellers like ourselves get dozens of CV’s a week but the ones that stand out are those that we can instantly imagine looking after one of our customers.In short present yourself like you would to a customer of that company and you’ll have a good chance.

Right, since Adam wanted to be a fireman and ended up playing with jewels all day long, I am thinking that I need to get into the business as well. I will of course be wearing a ski instructor outfit while dripping in diamonds. Me and Adam aren’t really that different, other that he gets to look at gorgeous jewellery all day long and I get to dream about wearing them! Fast forward 25 years and I will most likely be one of those queens who wear big rings and shiny things. I am counting on Adam for NOT letting this happen. 
 
1. The first thing you do in the morning when you get up?
I’m a morning freak, I smile when i wake up. and switch say morning to my followers on Twitter. (Msalonen: This is true, he is always happy on twitter in the mornings!)
 
2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
I have my phone and headphones to listen to my music.
 
3. On your way to work, you?
I normally go to the gym before work then pop into Cafe Nero for a grande skinny latte.
 
4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Chilling out and getting into jeans and a t-shirt.
 
5. The last thing you do before you go to bed?
Shower, then say night to everyone on twitter. (Msalonen, again true. Every night without a fail)

Adam, thank you so much for joining us (well me) and shining a little light on your chosen career path. I do hope you realize that I will be hounding you for shiny things for years to come!