The Adventurer

14 05 2011

From the deserts of North Africa to ancient Asian dynasties, the New World to the Wild West, man’s existence has been fueled by the desire to explore new frontiers. The idea of the unknown has a primitive appeal to us and every generation of boys idolise the great explorers of their time. Homer, Sir Francis Drake, Buffalo Bill and Yuri Gagarin were all held in reverence by their respected publics because they had what are maintained to be essential virtues of man: courage in the face of uncertainty and the ambition to achieve what others thought were impossible.

Being born in the eighties, all the frontiers had largely been discovered and there didn’t seem to be anything mysterious in the world. So we admired fictional characters who explored the fantastic – Dr Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, Back to the Future’s Marty McFly and Han Solo in Star Wars. But the principle remains the same, exploration speaks to every man.

I guess that’s why I’m always delighted when the world of the gentleman explorer meets my other labour of love – men’s fashion. You might not realise but the two are inextricably linked. Historically, only the affluent could afford to make far reaching expeditions and they were hardly going to do it in a potato sack.

For instance, when the famous explorer and missionary Stanley Livingstone died and was brought back to England he laid in state at No.1 Saville Row – now the home of Gieves & Hawkes, tailors to Queen Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

Another example of when men’s fashion meets exploration is unfolding before us this summer. The return to prominence of the chino has led to a revival of adventurer style. Safari shirts, Madras scarves; items that summon images of distant lands and foreign people.

I think the way in which the Afghan Scarf (essential tribal wear for the harsh weather conditions) has lately been interpreted by high-end designers such as Paul Smith draws some really interesting contrasts. By combining hardy essential wear made of neutral cottons and linens with more decadent items, you can really project an image that displays masculinity and style.

I really think this look will take off this summer. It seems that all it takes is a slight rise in temperature to stir the imagination of the British Consciousness!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post. To see daily posts on UK men’s fashion, exercise advice and entertainment reviews keep coming back to the site!




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