THE GS TESTS: THE NEW MINI JCW

The MINI John Cooper Works is a car synonymous with performance and practicality rolled into one. Throughout the years the models and competition have progressively grown in prowess so it is important the old boy keeps himself, and his class rivals on their toes in the current consumer market.

This year then MINI has done just that by unleashing the 2015 JCW, the fastest and most powerful model yet. Being a thoroughbred racer at heart, we sought no better proving ground to test this than on a track environment round Brands Hatch were we could really put it through its paces. On immediate entry to the cockpit there are some stunning additions which really set this car off. I was drawn straight to the start stop button in the middle console, and the longer, uncovered gear stick on the manual which gives a racing sequential-esq appearance to the inside. A key aspect which i feel previous JCW and JCW GP owners will pick up on is the smarter seats. By smarter i mean instead of all leather in the older GP for example, the new JCW houses a mixture of leather and suede material in key points, which most importantly, stop you sliding off the seat should you corner a little to hard. Once you belt yourself in you find characteristics of BMW technology appearing in the new head-up display feature which is extravagant and for me, less distracting than having to glance across the dashboard to check your speed every few seconds.

As soon as I set off, the feeling that you are in a different animal from previous models was very evident indeed. Firstly from that lovely exhaust note as you start up, achieved through a larger however thinner construction to save any additional weight. What it did add in extra however was a caressing snap, crackle and pop of the turbo as you drop through the gear box on bends.

The JCW performance overall is now upped to a sizzling 231bhp with a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds seeing 153mph as the top end speed, truly figures which will see it and the likes of a main competitor in the Audi S1 lock horns. As my confidence gradually grew on track so did my smile as you get a true sense that the little MINI keeps you on edge, throwing a little understeer at you in the bends, which with a little lift of the throttle, allows you to counter this displaying the agility of the cars back end, letting it follow the nose, and nail the throttle on exit of the corner.

The fantastic thing is this car has the backing of one Niki Faulkner, famed for his wealth of experience on Top Gear and most recently, blockbuster films Kingsman: The Secret Service, the forth coming Mission Impossible 5and Rush. Speaking to Niki I got a real sense of his true passion for motoring and specifically this MINI project. “When I was approached by MINI, I agreed to test the car initially and it was fantastic. I wouldn’t put my name and time towards something that I didn’t get that true driving experience and excitement from”. Niki went on to say of his involvement with director Ron Howard on the set of Rush. ” Ron gave me brilliant flexibility to really inject a huge amount of detail into the film, enough detail which would keep the true motor racing anoraks happy, yet relative so as the audience with less racing knowledge could still get truly involved in the film”.

From what Niki said, detail is what the new MINI JCW is all about. It is a car which is a charismatic blend of a new era hot hatch, racer, as close as can be without having the childs play frame set-up in the back, yet comfort and stability is not sacrificed in pursuit of that with all the standard air con, electric windows and rear seats. For me it is a wonderful all round car which ticks all the boxes and fuels that primeval desire in us all.

We fully reccomend you visit WWW.MINI.CO.UK or pop in to your nearest dealership now to get involved in the mini experience.

LYNX BLACK SPACE: LONDON

If a big event or even simply a night out is on your calender in the city of London over the next month, may we suggest some gentlemanly pre party preperation in the form of the new Lynx Black Space. Situated in the Old Truman Brewery, 11-12 Dray Walk, Brick Lane to be precise, this summer pop-up will deliver all things cool and stylish under the one roof.

The shop follows on from the release of the Lynx Black range, a more subtle and quiter approach to the mens grooming world. The Old Truman Brewery, dating back to 1666, is a thriving hub of arts and culture just now, perfect then to act as the location for Lynx Black Space. What you will find once you enter is a brilliant mixture of music, culture, clothing and grooming, the latter of which is provided by renowned London Barber Jack The Clipper, walk in service is even available with treatments kicking off at £24 for a wash, cut and style to the full Royal Ripper at £52.

To keep you stylish after your trim, there is a specially curated range of clothing from online maestros ASOS which will change on a regular basis to supply the most unique pieces to set you apart from the crowd. Think sharp cut jackets and tees with colours that are dark and reflective of the pop-up’s namesake.

In keeping with the current audio and visual nature of the building, an eclectic mix of music will also caress your ears and senses through live performances, the space has seen involvement from the likes of Tinie Tempah, Labrinth and Mixmag since it opened the doors, so there is no shortage of heavy hitters. Backyard cinema will be doing the visuals providing some cracking old and new films to cater for all, just be sure to book ahead via the website at www.lynxblackspace.com as viewings are sure to go seriously quick.

LUXURY LINE WITH OLIVER SWEENEY

In an ever more modernising era were comfort and a more dressed style have merged, Oliver Sweeney has delivered to us a lovely hybrid in the form of their new luxury trainers line. They are a combination of your finest Oxfords, and premium a trainer which has a finish, not to disimilar to Berluti.

Aimed as a reference to classic photography and vintage cameras, the trainers beautifully posses that high shine achieved through hand coating the Italian leather, notably in the same factory as their dress shoes, with layers of polish to deliver that tamponato finish, something which stands out well on a more casual shoe.

For the customer there will be three styles to select from, the chukka boot (top picture) and both a low and high-top shoe as seen below.  These top end kicks are finished with some lovely subtle, almost hidden stitching which further displays the craftsmanship of Oliver Sweeney. I adore the almost wood like appearance, yet contradictory padding on the high-top for example, that reminds you in fact it is not a clogg you a wearing but a comfortable premium trainer.

Be sure to give your trainer game a business edge and check out the range now. Available from £279 at www.oliversweeney.com

YMC & STELLA ARTOIS CIDRE PRESENT LE POOLWEAR

Not your usual cup of tea as collaborations go by, but then again thats what makes them more exciting. The cool London brand in YMC has teamed up with Stella Artois Cidre to create Le Poolwear, your answer for that awkard swimming pool to pool bar transition.

A brand known for its rugged utility style clothing, has expanded into wild patterns and colours which nicely represent its partner Stella Artois Cidre’s fresh new thirst quenchers in Peach and Elderflower flavours. Please do grab one whilst you have a read. The Le Poolwear short suit collection is made from an Italian water resistant fabric to save you the uncomfort of damp wool sticking to your skin as you enjoy a few drinks, getting you dried off nice and quickly indeed.

You will certainly find the collection, a run of 75 jackets and 150 shorts only, emblazoned with fruit, as bold and risque as wearing a short suit itself. However factor in the sleek tailoring, with blazer you can literally throw on as soon as you leave the pool, and you have a very useful and stylish little outfit indeed. As the pairing of Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins stated “Le Poolwear is an impeccable blend of sartorial skill with continental elegance and practicality…allowing us to create something bespoke, beautiful and perfect for summer soirees,” with Stella Artois adding “our collaboration with YMC is a bold and exciting way to bring to life the spirit of Stella Artois Cidre this summer.”

Go ahead and please check out the YMC & Stella Artois Cidre collection online at www.youmustcreate.com

EMPORIO ARMANI VESPA

The meeting of two Italian cornerstones is an exciting moment to be celebrated and that is exactly what The GS has done with the revealing of Emporio Armani and historic Piaggio’s collaboration to release the Vespa 946 Emporio Armani.

The iconic scooter which orginally hit the winding streets of Italy in 1946, keeps in check with its classic style, yet has a twist which beautifully captures and emulates the Emporio Armani fashion house. A little charmer which boasts a grey base colour however also produces subtle hints of green under certain light.

Furthermore Emporio Armani matte metallic detailing, achieved through galvanising the metal, can been seen on the side, with the eagle emblem visable above that cyclops spotlight and engrained on the fuel cap. We also love the classic patina brown leather seat which harks back to the vespa of old.

The Vespa 946 Emporio Armani, which will be available in limited numbers, is due in Piaggio retailers now and is certain to sell quickly so if you do want one, act veloce.

www.piaggio.com

ORLEBAR BROWN #SNAPSHORTS

June is finally upon us which means two things, better weather (this regionally varies), and summer holiday times. Here at The Gentleman Select we want you looking your best and kitted out well.

Not only does one of our fashion favourites in Orlebar Brown help us through delivering a punchy varient of materials for beach attire and exquistie tailored shorts, but they have now created the OB #SNAPSHORTS app which gives you the opportunity to select your own favourite holiday snap, upload it to the app and submit.

Further still at the end of each month the best chosen image and its uploadee will work with the OB design team to bring that very image to life with your own bespoke pair of shorts in your selected size.

It is a fantastic opportunity to channel your inner Adam Brown and immerse yourself in what OB is all about. I found the app very simple and engaging to use which resulted in sifting through my photos for quite some time to see what would look best on a pair of shorts. Its a brilliant little tool. We advise also popping over to the website for a look at some inspirational images and the latest collection on show. Be sure to follow the simple steps below to and give it a try yourself, you might just win a lovely little pair of OB Classic Bulldog shorts for summertime.

www.orlebarbrown.co.uk

            Download the #SNAPSHORTS from the App Store or Google Play Store.

 Enter the journey to create your own shorts.

      Snap and position your photograph.

Share your new design using the hashtag #SNAPSHORTS for your chance to win your very own OB Classic Bulldog shorts.

THE FAR EAST MOVEMENT AT MR PORTER

Mr Porter is a site we love at The Gentleman Select, other than the amazing pieces, we also adore how they are consistently refreshing with new designers and articles.

Next to crop up then is a series of Japanese labels which encapsulate what is being worn on the streets in the land of the rising sun. Five top labels of Japan are included in this collection exclusive to Mr Porter, Remi Relief, Beams Plus, Beams T, Blackmeans and Neighborhood.

“We know that Japanese brands resonate well with our global customer base” stated Daniel Todd, buyer at Mr Porter. The Blackmeans collection stands out the most taking its designs from a very punk-esque, Sex Pistols style with a heavily studded black leather jacket and and biker trousers, the jacket paired with a white T is a great timeless, versitile piece. The Neighborhood Collection for us touches on the same “gentleman of attitude” persona with a rip-repair denim jacket and jeans.

The Beams Plus collection has its roots cemented in the 1960’s with shirts, shorts and blazers which really capture those chilled out, long summer days in California. We particularly like the navy button down shirt, its very varsity or something Paul Newman would have thrown on after a day racing with a pair of chinos.

Whilst we are on the west coast 60’s era the Remi Relief collection delves into a more free spirit, hippy approach with tie-dye vintage style tees worn by surfers and foundation of denim running through most pieces. The collection is available now from Mr Porter and is well worth a good look.

Key Piece: Blackmeans Studded Leather Biker Jacket £2,700

Available at www.mrporter.com

STEVE MCQUEEN: THE MAN AND LE MANS

On the 13th of May for 12 days the most glamorous film festival on the circuit begins. The inaugural 68th Cannes Film Festival arrives in as always glittering fashion, however whats more exciting for us at The Gentleman Select is the naming of “Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans” in the Cannes Classic Section this month.

The film based around the famous Le Mans 24hr race documents the trials and tribulations of the production that was well documented as being riddled with issues both on and off set, from financial difficulties to corporate politics and disagreements.

By the time Steve McQueen began working on this project in 1970 he was already at his height of fame with such films as “Bullitt”, “The Great Escape” and “The Thomas Crown Affair” on his mantlepiece to name but a few. For McQueen though this project was more personal, it gave him the opportunity to express his passion for racing and all things mechanical through the art of film.

For any fan of motorsport the film itself is a must have in their collection and for any avid McQueen fan, they will understand the passion and realism that he poured into this picture. It had so much attention to detail from McQueen, that some of the cars were reported to have dead flies glued to the bodywork.

What is most exciting about “Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans” is that it features never seen before footage and images taken from basements in L.A and Paris that had been in storage all these years. You should expect it to be like “Senna”, yet with the rogue and un-tameable essence of Steve McQueen thrown in through his voice narating, detailing how he battled tooth and nail to save the film and make it happen.

You can also be sure that the film will stay true as possible to the man himself with Steve’s son Chad McQueen featuring as an executive producer on the film. We simply cant wait to see this, a film which we reckon will really say “Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting”.

Buy a Boeing 747, then spend 400 million renovating it? Why not.

At The Gentleman Select we love all things that epitomise luxury. An Item which tends to say you have made it could be a Rolls Royce or perhaps a yacht. How about then a Boeing 747…which you then spend 400 million pounds renovating. Nothing of a myth, this is exactly what a mystery billionaire has done in an operation which has taken 3 years to complete.

The jet which has been fully customized for the unnamed billionaire, now boasts a 14 seater dining room, fully furnished plush bedrooms and even an on board restaurant to cater for its owner and privledged guests. The “aeroloft” on the upper deck of the plane, usually structured as first class for the standard 450 passengers the jet holds, has additional sleeping space for 8 guests.

Jon Buccola of Greenpoint Technologies, the company responsible for the design and execution of such an elaborate and stunning project said ” This delivery represents an outstanding past 12 months for Greenpoint. Our entire team is extremely proud of this amazing accomplishment”.

We whole heartedly agree with Jon on this one.  The attention to detail is stunning with the complete article being a fitting example of oppulance in a world were money really is no object.

Cire Trudon: Josephine Boneparte

It’s not so often we refer to candles in a luxury sense, however we cannot by-pass the release of a new scent from Cire Trudon truely the Rolls Royce of candles.

In a brief history lesson Cire Trudon was candle provider to the royal court of Louis XIV from 1643 and subsequently all great churches in the country of France. Also one Napoleon Bonaparte liked them so they certainly carry an historically important fan base. This then leads me on to their newest wax creation, Joséphine, named after Joséphine Bonaparte herself.

This latest release by the house of Cire Trudon encapsulates the passion Josèphine Bonaparte had for botanicals through the wonderful notes of Iris, Kaffir Lime and Chinese Camellia, scents which Josèphine grew up around on the island of Martinque from 1763.

The Gentleman Select has already experienced Cire Trudon and the beauty of these candles through the Ernesto leather and tobacco, believe me there really isn’t a bad choice, however we are very excited at this new scent which will really drag our noses towards summer time. The pale blue glass has that cool breeze about it and works in harmony with the smells thus creating a lasting aroma which drifts around your home for those long lazy days.

You have packaging which finishes off the look with designs alluding to Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the botanical painter who Josèphine asked to capture those lovely flowers around her. We feel it is an ideal accompaniment for anybody looking to create a unique talking point at a house party or a fragrance to just bask in.

Finish your display off with a vintage glass dome over it for that true 1643 look in which Iam comfident it will not be your last purchase from candlemaker Cire Trudon.

Key Details: Cire Trudon Joséphine Candle. €70 available from Cire Trudon stores.

http://www.trudon.com

http://www.ciretrudon.com