So a couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited to the Gentleman’s Grooming Show held at the legendary tobacco docks in London. Needless to say I was really excited about attending this, male grooming has been making a steady dent in modern day culture and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon so i was expecting big things.
With a 10am kick off we were up at the crack of dawn, fed and with slightly sore heads we hit the road for the hour or so journey into London. Stepping into the docks I was meet with a distinguished welcome from a number of hosts handing out programs and a goody bag full of Well man and Menage products, a pretty welcome change from the bottle opener or key chain we have come to expect these days. Oh! and did I mention the free whisky on the way in? Always a bonus in my book.
Walking into the main hall I was immediately meet by the scents of beard oil and hair pomade, the smells of modern man! Now the docks are quite a small venue but you wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of exhibitors they had in there and managed it without being cluttered. From the now ever present beard and hair products to barbers and from unisex scents from famous actors to tinted moistriser, everything the would be dapper gentleman could ever need all under one roof.
Unlike a lot of these events I have been to in recent years where you can feel like you have seen it all by the time lunch has been devoured, TGGS kept me interested throughout, with the show being alive with a bounty of different things to see and take in. From the kaleidoscope of products on offer to demonstrations from some of the UK’s top barbers and style icons. Oh and don’t forget the beard comp, 1st place to little old me, thank you very much *bows*
Some of the stand out exhibitors for me were Morgans Pomade, the oldest independent producer of male grooming products in the UK (since 1873), keeping everything still made in house, you know there’s quality there with this much experience and passion put into their ever expanding range of goods.
Fears watches are a London based re-establishment of the legendary Fears out of Bristol in 1846-1950’s. Heading up this re-acquaintance with Fears is Nicholas Bowman-scargill, the great great great grandson of the founders. Fears offers a personalised service and watchbook to track the life of each piece.
Third, and I strongly recommend you check him out is Shaun Gordon, Tie maker and designer extraordinaire. Shaun Gordon is a London college of fashion graduate who has a love for turning 2D formats into 3D form. Shaun has worked for Henri Lloyd and timberland in the past and now comprises one part of the design team for shirt makers Turnbull and Asser. Shaun has also consulted for bespoke products Knightsbridge tailor Edward Sexton. Shuan self named brand has grown with the demand of British luxury goods and is now sold in Savile row by tailor Steven Hitchcock.
Other notable mentions, brands that either caught my eye or my heart were Joth Davies of Savill’s gentleman’s barbers. Oil Can Grooming two distinctive scents for the masculine beard, bringing the man back into grooming. The amazing scent from legendary actor Richard E Grant Jack Perfume (and yes I did buy some, it really is that good) Lastly No Gunk a quality, natural oil not only for your beard but also your hair and post shave for those clean shaven brothers out there.
So what can I say TGGS has stood up to the test, iv’e been introduced to new brands, meet one ‘terrible cunt’, won a beard competition and have come away with a little bit more knowledge on barber skills. Its been a great day and I have fully fully enjoyed myself. I really cannot recommend going enough, and you don’t have to be one suave Mo’Fo to go either, its designed to gently introduce to the idea that grooming is just as much for men as it is for the fairer sex, look out for it next year and grab me for a pint or two.
Thought I was done? not just yet. I got the chance to meet up with Laurence, the man with the plan and pick his brains on all things from grooming to movies to chest hair…….read on my friends read on.