Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Gifts, Lifestyle, News, Scent & Aftershave

007 Fragrance: The smell’s Bond, James Bond

By Gerald Lynch on July 30th, 2012

Fancy smelling like James Bond? No, it’s not some clever olfactory disguise devised by the inimitable Q, but rather a new men’s aftershave called 007 from P&G launching exclusively online and in-store at Harrods from 15th August 2012.

Harking back to the Fougere perfumes of the 1960s (arguably the first “hero scent” range for men), the 007 Fragrance “flawlessly combines irresistible sophistication with uncompromising masculinity [...]culminating in a robust signature scent which embodies the duality of Bond.”

Ingredients include the strong vetyver, blended with lavender and apple, all packed in a glass flacon bottle as sleek as some of Bond’s motors.

“It has been an exciting experience coming together and working with P&G to create the debut James Bond fragrance,” said Keith Snelgrove, global business director of James Bond’s production house EON.

“This is a special year for 007, and we are thrilled to launch this distinctive and sophisticated scent during Bond’s 50th anniversary year.”

Expect to pay £32 for 75ml bottle and £42 foe a 125ml bottle.

 



features, Grooming, News, Retail

Carter and Bond: London’s hidden grooming gem

By Gerald Lynch on July 23rd, 2012

Hidden a few streets away from Latimer Road station, tucked inside a studio unit on the corner of a housing estate, is one of London’s finest hidden grooming gems. Carter and Bond, established in 2002, offers traditional cut and shave services of the highest quality, as well as a store touting a range of superb male grooming products sourced from across the globe.

Entering now its tenth anniversary year, Carter and Bond’s focus on quality, hard-to-come by goods is spearheaded by managing director Joe Cotton, whose time in the armed forces helped cultivate an appreciation for the finer points of men’s grooming practices.

“We’ve found that people want to go back to quality products that they can trust and traditional grooming and shaving regimes that were being lost,” explains Cotton.

“A lot of people were finding that they weren’t getting the satisfaction they wanted from the mass market, high street products. It’s all just cheap and nasty foams and gels out of aerosol cans, full of chemicals and propellants and razors with 3, 4, 5 or 17 blades with cartridges that you need to take a mortgage out on to be able to afford.

“Whether it’s in architecture or fashion or cuisine, there’s a desire now to rediscover a bygone era, to look at how things were done in the old days. We cater for that desire in male grooming.”

Though rising rates recently forced a move from Carter and Bond’s Royal Oak home to its current location, the new shop retains the charming decor that helped make Carter and Bond so dear to its loyal customers. Model Airfix planes litter the barber’s showroom, piles of Commando comics are stacked in every corner and tin robots gaze at you from atop glass-fronted, brush and blade-filled cabinets.

It’s a unique spin on the traditional grooming emporium, but Carter and Bond’s skilled barber Mustafa’s cut and shave work is as solid as it comes. Specialising in styles from the 1950s and 1960s, a cut at Carter and Bond is a friendly, warm and carefully considered affair, while the 30-45 minute full facial and hot-towel shave is the ultimate in men’s pampering.

Carter and Bond take their niche online too, offering the same range of classic grooming products through their long-serving website. Brands like Agua de ColoniaBaxter of CaliforniaCzech & Speake, D R Harris, Dovo of Solingen, Floris, Geo F TrumperHeadBlade, Marvis, Merkur, Musgo Real, PashanaProrasoand and Truefitt & Hill can also be purchased through the Carter and Bond online store.

“As the male grooming boom took off in the mid 2000s, there were lots of bandwagon brands popping up,” explains Cotton.

“Most of them didn’t last for ten minutes. So I became cynical and skeptical about these brands and became a lot more confident in the brands that have been around for decades or hundreds of years, particularly old English brands and their equivalents in other countries.

“Because these brands are quite niche and not widely available, we find our customers are very loyal.”

In a world of flash-in-the-pan fashions and trends, Carter and Bond’s classic take on grooming style looks set to stand the test of time.

“Both online and offline, we’re in a minority,” says Cotton.

“We’ve got our speciality; there’s not many people that do what we do, and the way that we do it, and I think our customers like and appreciate that.”

The Carter and Bond barber shop can be found at 15-17 Baseline Studios, Whitchurch Road, London, W11 4AT. Open Monday to Friday and Sunday, the shave and cut services are available Wednesdays and Sundays. While you can turn usually turn up without an appointment, you’re encouraged to book roughly a week in advance, especially for Sunday sessions.

A wash and cut costs £22, a standard shave costs £27, while the full facial and shave costs £35. Double deals for cuts and shaves are also available. 

For more info, click here. 

 



features, News

DARK KNIGHT GUISES: Who is the best Batman? Bale? West? CLOONEY?

By Gerald Lynch on July 19th, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES IS ALMOST HERE! One of the most hotly anticipated movies of all time, it’s the final part of Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy which elevated the potential of comic book movies to Oscar winning heights.

While Nolan’s take on the caped crusader is now widely regarded as the definitive silver screen offering, the debate as to which actor donned the Dark Knight’s cowl most convincingly rages on. From Adam West through to Michael Keaton to George Clooney, Batman’s been played by a fair few thespians since being first created by Bob Kane back in 1939. 

But who was best? Brandish enters the Batcave in our definitive rundown to uncover the finest Batman of all time.

Adam West: 1966 – 1968

KAPOW! Adam West stared in the 1960s super-camp Batman TV series, and a few TV movies that followed it. Far from the high-tech wizardry we expect from Batman today, West’s Batman wore just a spandex suit and a “groovy” navy cowl. His slow and measured voice showed a Batman almost always totally in control, while the show’s colourful comic caption flashes during fight scenes have become iconic. Though the West-era Batman gets a lot of stick for its playful tone, many forget that it’s a pretty-much bang-on representation of the “Golden Age” era comics that inspired it. It was a simpler time, when we could totally buy into ridiculous gadgets like “shark repellant”, which Batman just so happened to always have whenever he was jumped by one of the aquatic beasties.

Michael Keaton: 1989 – 1992

It took a long time for the dust to settle after the West-era show, but the late 1980s saw a massive resurgence in popularity for Batman, mostly thanks to comic book writer Frank Miller’s massively influential The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One comics. The Tim Burton-helmed Batman films that followed, starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Batman, were perhaps the movie adaptations that came closest to the gothic feel of the comic books.

It helped that Michael Keaton was not only a great Batman, but an excellent Bruce Wayne too. Though not focussing massively on Wayne’s traumatic childhood, Keaton always effectively gave off a feeling of loneliness that is central to Batman’s character. He pulled off action scenes excellently too; the opening action scene in Batman Returns in which Batman faces off against the Penguin’s clownish thugs is superb, with Keaton’s comically timed use of gadgets giving Batman the much-needed cool factor. Though sometimes overshadowed by stellar villains (both Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito made for amazing Jokers and Penguins respectively), Keaton had it all.

Val Kilmer: 1995

From Batman to Fatman, it’s hard now to remember how massive a star Val Kilmer was back in 1995. He was also a great Batman too, with his “chicks love the car” quip one of Batman’s most memorable silver screen lines. Val Kilmer came across as believably intelligent; in the scene where he shatters the dreams of a pre-Riddler Edward Nigma, you can totally believe he’s the head of the massive Wanye Enterprises empire. However, though his pretty-boy looks bagged him the girls as Bruce Wayne, he looked just a bit too pouty under the cowl.

George Clooney: 1997

Ugh. Batman and Robin. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s my least favourite film OF ALL TIME. On paper, it all seems so right: Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and of course, George Clooney as Batman. You’d think Clooney would be the perfect fit for Batman, but he proved to be terrible. Far too smarmy, Clooney had the chin to play the Bat, but failed to channel any of the vulnerability needed to effectively pull off all angles of the multifaceted crime fighter. And while the costume design wasn’t Clooney’s fault, the less said about Batman’s “nipple suit” used in the movie the better. For a few years now rumours have circulated that Clooney could return to play an ageing Batman in an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns comic book, which could be great, as Clooney would make for a far more convincing middle-aged hero in our opinion.

Christian Bale: 2005 – 2012

 

Christian Bale’s realistic take on the Batman role, under Christopher Nolan’s superb direction, totally rejuvenated the Batman franchise. Here was a close look at a genuinely troubled Bruce Wayne, constantly dealing with the guilt he carried over his parent’s death. From stoney faced watchman to playboy billionaire, Bale’s performance covers all bases.

Bales commitment to the role is also legendary, training hard to pile on massive amounts of muscle after an astounding transformation verging on anorexia for The Machinist. He brings a much tougher physicality to the role than previous Batmen; you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a smack from Bale’s superhero sleuth.

Bale’s trademark Batman bark, often ridiculed, is just fine by us. Attempting to be more than a man, a terrifying symbol showing that crime won’t be tolerated in Gotham City, Bale’s Wayne completely embraces the theatrical. His aggressive tone would strike fear into the hearts of his foes, while also sensibly masking his true voice and identity. Nolan couldn’t have picked a better star for his take on Gotham’s protector.

WILDCARD – Kevin Conroy (Batman voice actor) 1992 – present day

Do you remember Kevin Conroy as Batman? Or even know who he is? Probably not, but you’ve almost certainly heard him. Conroy is the hardest working Batman on this list, having been the go-to voice actor for Batman in everything from games to animated TV shows for the last 20 years. For many comic book fans, he’s the best Batman there’s ever been, effortlessly moving between the reserved Bruce Wayne and the might of Batman better than any other person on this list. A true Dark Knight, New Yorker Conroy also helped with the clean up effort following the devastating Twin Towers attack of 2001.

THE BEST BATMAN OF ALL TIME IS…Ermmm…

Wow, it’s a tough one! For Brandish, it comes down to two actors, who we just can’t separate: Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Both are perfect for the differing Batman visions they are a part of. Michael Keaton nails the morally charged, lonely eccentricity of the Batman comic books, while Bale’s realistic take on the Bat is so good that you totally buy into the real-world possibility of a billionaire moonlighting as a masked vigilante. When we’re after gothic gloom and outlandish thrills we’ll go for Keaton, but Bale’s tense troubled Bat gives us our intellectual kicks too.

 The Dark Knight Rises hit cinemas nationwide tomorrow (20/07/2012)


News, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

Dark Knight anticipation Rises with new Lazy Oaf Batman collection

By Gerald Lynch on July 16th, 2012

lazy-oaf-batman-2

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Over here at Brandish, we’re going a bit batsh*t crazy waiting for The Dark Knight Rises to come out. Hitting UK cinemas this Friday, it’s set to be the movie of the summer, as director Christopher Nolan draws his epic superhero trilogy to its conclusion.

So we couldn’t have been happier then to see one of our favourite London-based boutiques, Lazy Oaf, getting in on the silver-screen fun with their own caped-crusader Batman-themed collection. Taking its inspiration directly from the pages of the Golden Age-era comic books, the collection uses repeat print patterns across shirts, t-shirts and sweatshirts, with the men’s range starting at £38 and going up to £80. There’s a Bat-logo rucksack available too, for when a utility belt just isn’t enough to carry all your gadgets with.

Also, if you’ve got a lady-friend who’s also partial to a bit comic book fun, jeepers! Lazy Oaf have got a cracking collection of Batman-themed gear for the fairer sex too. It almost makes comic-book geekery look sexy, seriously!

Click here to check out the range.



Accessories, Lifestyle & Gadgets, News

Sci-fi chic hits the Kindle with “War of the Worlds” cover

By Gerald Lynch on July 13th, 2012

Amazon’s Kindle eReader; a great device but, when compared to the luscious artwork that goes into the front cover of ye olde paperback tome, it’s a bit fugly.

Enter Red5′s Run for Cover eReader case range. Seriously stylish re-imaginings of classic novel covers, you can wrap your Kindle up in a protective folio for keyboard-packing Amazon devices.

There are six different designs to chose from, including Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Dracula and Wuthering Heights. But our favourite has to be the sleeve based on H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Tapping into the retro feel of Penguin’s classics collection, it’s a sweet mix of menace and sci-fi chic.

And, if you’re one of the gazillion people currently blushing their way through 50 Shades of Grey, you can hide your Kindle vices behind the covers of a classic. You’ll look like a literary whizz, when in reality you’re getting your wordy porn kicks.

They’re cheap as chips at £9.95, and if you’re rocking a Kobo Keyboard eReader, they’ll fit that too. Click here to grab one.



features, festivals, music, News

REVIEW: The Stone Roses at Heaton Park – A second coming worth a 16 year wait

By Gerald Lynch on July 2nd, 2012

The Stone Roses - Heaton Park 2012

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Picture 28 of 30

Reunion shows aren’t quite the mystical occasion they once were. From the Pixies to Suede to Led Zeppelin to Pulp, long-missed musical heroes are now a staple head to the line-up of summer festivals.

The Stone Roses reunion, however, sits outside the realms of regular reunion shows . Following an acrimonious split, it’s been 16 years since the original line-up of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren shared a stage. With each member taken up with solo projects, other bands or ventures outside of music altogether, bassist Mani called reunion rumours “totally fantasy island”. It seemed like it was never going to happen.

But it did. Though big bucks obviously exchanged hands, this was always going to be about more than just the money. There was unfinished (monkey) business to attend to. Laying down the soundtrack for a generation with their eponymous début album, The Stone Roses took years to put out so-so follow up The Second Coming. From then on in it was a slow slide towards destruction with near misses (such as their heartbreaking headline Glastonbury show pull-out caused, by Squire breaking a collarbone while mountain biking) punctuating the run-up to the band’s inevitable implosion. The band that invented “baggy” and rejuvenated jangly indie pop never got their just deserts.

It was with genuine jubilation then, not cynicism, that fans welcomed the news of a reunion in October 2011.

Saturday’s second Heaton Park homecoming show (30/06/2012) was a triumph, silencing any naysayers and showing a band perfectly at ease with their “legendary” status. If the first night had been methodical and careful, the second saw the band enjoying themselves, playing loose with extended jams and Ian Brown prowling the stage; the King Monkey had reclaimed his throne.

Kicking things off with their traditional slow-building blinder I Wanna Be Adored, The Stone Roses powered through a set of fan favourites which included their first album in its entirety.

Though every song was rapturously received, highlights came in somewhat unexpected places. Fans sang at their loudest during first album track Made Of Stone and The Second Coming single Ten Story Love Song. A well lubricated crowd of all ages was in good, friendly spirits (a rarity in enormo-shows like these), bobbing with baggy swagger to the grooves of Fools Gold, with Squire, Reni and Mani regularly jamming segues between each song.

Though banter was kept to a minimum, Brown kept an eye on a lively crowd, commanding the swarming pit to “pick each other up if you go down”, and flying into an anti-royal diatribe before first album favourite Elizabeth My Dear.

Ending the only way an epic Stone Roses set could with an extended I Am The Resurrection, fans cheered a united, hugging band at the close as fireworks blasted overhead and Bob Marley’s Redemption Song blared out of the PA. A fitting end; after years of fighting and will-they-wont-they reunion rumours, the band have risen phoenix like, redeemed, proving their enduring relevance and position as one of the finest bands to ever hail from British shores.

The set remained identical to Friday night’s opener, and also carried over onto Sunday’s show, likely in order to help director Shane Meadow as he prepares to edit together a commemorative DVD of the weekend. Hit the Spotify playlist below to hear the Saturday night set-list in full:


Earlier in the day saw fellow Manc hero Liam Gallagher declare The Stone Roses “the best band in the world” as he lead his post-Oasis project Beady Eye onstage for the main headline slot. Carrying Gallagher’s trademark swagger throughout, a genial crowd paid most attention when the band tore through a handful of Oasis classics including Rock ‘n’ Roll Star and Morning Glory.

Beady Eye were preceded by Professor Green, whose dubstep-tinged rapping was at odds with the rest of the line-up. Despite a short barrage from hecklers, Professor Green eventually won over the crowds with hits including I Need You Tonight and Just Be Good To Green which saw a surprise appearance from Lily Allen.

The Wailers managed to bring out the sun during what was a heavily overcast day. Though few remaining members of the original Bob Marley-era line-up remain, they enjoyed mass sing alongs to One Love and I Shot The Sheriff.

Hollie Cook, daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, kicked off the day with a reggae/punk fused set welcomed by a crowd already fired up by a 16 year wait.

IMAGES – PA



News

Brandish’s Twitter feed disappears

By admin on June 24th, 2012

Apologies to those of you who have emailed and phoned to say that they are no longer able to receive Brandish’s Twitter feed (@brandish). Unfortunately the feed which provided all of Brandish’s news updates and exclusive content until last week seems to have mysteriously disappeared, along with thousands of followers.

It is currently being operated by Mr Amey Alshi. Alshi, a product marketing executive with printing company Duplo International – and ‘social media fanatic’ – has absolutely no connection with Shiny Media or our Brandish website at all.

He claims to have legally obtained the address a day before we initially reported the issue to Twitter.

We are currently working with Twitter and our lawyers to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and hope to resume normal Twitter service very soon.



News

Look dapper in a…McDonald’s uniform by Wayne Hemingway???

By Gerald Lynch on June 22nd, 2012

Wayne Hemingway/Bruce Oldfield McDonald's uniform

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Picture 1 of 6

Whether it’s pushing popcorn at a local cinema or flipping burgers beneath the Golden Arches, we’ve all had a crappy job at some point. It’s an important life stage; making you appreciate a hard day’s graft, letting you learn that the customer is always right (even when they are pushy, impatient, jumped-up dickheads), and helping you realise that YOU’VE GOT TO ESCAPE YOUR DEAD END LIFE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

It’s not helped along at all by the frankly embarrassing uniforms that you’re almost guaranteed to be forced to wear. When working in a local cinema chain for example, I had to wear a red short-sleeve shirt that, despite being a size small, would also have served Peter Kay perfectly as a one-man tent come festival season.

Which makes today’s announcement from, of all places, McDonald’s, quite interesting. The fast-food chain have enlisted the help of top designers Wayne Hemingway and Bruce Oldfield to help them create a new uniform line for their employees in time for the Olympics.

Spearheaded by McDonald’s exec Jez Langorne (who remembers with a tear in his eye the pain of donning the company garb in his early junior employee days), the line has been inspired by a 60s look, jumping on the Mad Men cultural bandwagon a bit.

So, fleeces, cheque shirts, polo tops and squat-peaked caps with the usual MaccyD’s coffee and yellow colour scheme will be in, with male managers sporting skinny ties while females get pencil skirts. Old issue plastic aprons will also be recycled, being greenly turned into new staff clothing.

So what do you think of Hemingway and Oldfield’s efforts? Enough to make you WANT a McJob? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll throw a Happy Meal toy in for the best response…



features, Gallery, London Collections, News

London Collections: Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch made his catwalk debut at Spencer Hart SS/13

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on June 18th, 2012

The crowds were buzzing on the opening day of London Collections: – a new showcase for men’s fashion developed from men’s day at London Fashion Week – but it was nothing like the talk on Twitter when Nick Hart, the man behind Spencer Hart announced that a mystery guest would be walking the brand’s show.

Photo credit: Press Association

As the show drew closer, it was revealed that it would be genious detective, and upcoming Star Trek 2 villain, Benedict Cumberbatch, and we couldn’t wait to head to Old Selfridges Hotel to take our seats.

Nick Hart describes the Spencer Hart man as an independent thinker, which shows in the label’s sharp signature style. The spring/summer 2013 collection of the luxury Savile Row tailor didn’t disappoint; with Jazz age influences and old school glamour key looks included textured finishes, lightweight fabrics (perfect for warm summer days) and classic suede shoes. We particularly liked the mix of black and dark blue fabrics as well, often though as a no-go for many in the fashion industry.

Spencer Hart Spring/Summer 2013

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Picture 1 of 10

Cumberbatch has long been a Hart fan, having worn his designs on several red carpet events such as the TV BAFTAs and the Golden Globes, so his guest appearance wasn’t that much of a surprise. As part of a celebrity five piece, Cumberbatch took to the catwalk clutching a cigar and a glass of whisky, while showing off an elegant black silk pyjama set. He was joined by polar explorer Inge Solheim, former English rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, award-winning artist Stuart Pearson Wright and Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social founder Jason Atherton.

What do you think of the Spencer Hart spring/summer 2013 collection?



News, Trainers

S&M handcuff trainers? From Adidas???

By Gerald Lynch on June 15th, 2012

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Looking for a new pair of kinky boots? Jeremy Scott has been showing off his latest styles for Adidas’s fall/winter 2012 collection, and may have something that’ll crack your whip.

At first glance, his purple/navy/grey/orange trainers don’t stray too far from the usual Roundhouse Mid mould. That’s until you see the day-glo handcuff and chain bolted onto the back of each shoe.

Elsewhere, you’ll spot a grey striped pattern now sitting across the tongue and strap.

You’ll have to wait till the end of the year to get your rubber-gloved hands on them. Makes you wonder what else Scott’s adding to his line. Fingers crossed for a paddle on the tongue…



News, Sportswear

These new Adidas track tops are more Elton John than Lion King

By Gerald Lynch on May 31st, 2012

Can you feel the love tonight for these new Adidas animal-themed track tops? We’re finding it a bit tough. Part of the Adidas Originals range which the brand are pushing heavily ahead of one of the busiest summer’s of sport in recent history, they’re emblazoned with animal prints relating to different sporting nations.

So, us Brits for instance get a red and white top with one of the three lions splashed over the front, while Germany’s equivalent has their eagle.

Is it just us, or are they a bit naff? They’re less patriotic than they are cast offs from Steve Irwin’s wardrobe. Watch it Adidas; you’re a few short steps away from “Three Wolf Moon” here.

Perhaps the prints look good when seen in real life, but there’s none of the retro subtlety that we usually associate with the line. To us they look like the sort of knock-off crap you’d find on a market stall.

Still, if you’re interested, you can click here to find out more.



News, photography

Annie Leibovitz and Kevin McKidd team up for The Macallan Masters of Photography

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on May 25th, 2012

I’m not one to say no to quality whisky and when accompanied with excellent photography, now that is a combination I can’t help but to share. Luxury whisky brand The Macallan has just announced details of its Masters of Photography series for 2012 and it’s a real treat.

In previous years the brand has worked with Rankin and Albert Watson, but this year they have topped the lot by lining up Annie Leibovitz, who has taken thousands of iconic images over the decades.

Annie has shot Scottish actor Kevin McKidd, who is best known for Grey’s Anatomy and Trainspotting (if I remember rightly he was the sporty one who ended up with the terminal crack problem), in a series of locations across New York, and they look rather amazing.

Apparently the images will feature on limited edition vintage whisky bottle out soon – you can find more details on those here.

Interestingly, before he became an actor Kevin McKidd was once an employee at The Macallan, so I guess they must have treated him well.



News, Sports, Sportswear

Adidas Originals Euro Cup Collection: ‘Cos there’s football this summer too

By Gerald Lynch on May 18th, 2012

With all the hype surrounding this year’s London 2012 Olympics, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a major football tournament going on too this summer in the shape of the Euro 2012 cup.

Adidas, key sponsors and kit designers for Great Britain’s Team GB, would have more excuses than most if they were to forget the fact. But quite to the contrary, they’re putting out their retro-inspired Euro Cup Collection as part of the Adidas Originals line to mark this summer’s footie highlights.

The unofficial collection includes reworked old-skool designs of England, France, Germany and Poland kits, with the Poles hosting the tournament.

Track tops, windbreakers and jerseys for each nation round out the collection.

Available now, check them out over on adidas.com



Grooming, News, Scent & Aftershave

Brad Pitt, male, is new face of ladies’ Chanel No. 5 perfume

By Gerald Lynch on May 9th, 2012

Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tautou. What do they all have in common? Well for starters, they’re all women. Obvious one that. And all beautiful. No points for spotting that one either. But, however, they’ve all also been at one point or other in their careers the face of Chanel No. 5 perfume.

Well, as of today, you can now add Brad Pitt to that list of celebs who’ve attached their faces to the most famous of ladies’ scents.

The thing is, Brad’s harbouring a deep, dark secret. Underneath those wavy blonde locks, piercing blue eyes and striking features, the Se7en and Benjamin Button star  is…actually a man!

That certainly sets Mr Angelina Jolie apart from his predecessors, and marks a bold new direction from Chanel’s marketing department.

Confirming the news in a press release today after rumours began circulating yesterday, Pitt is the first male face of the iconic perfume. A full blown ad campaign including a UK TV advertising spot is to follow in the Autumn, with Pitt picking up a cheque with a tidy seven-figure sum inked onto it.

Though Pitt’s the quintessential ladies-man and multi-generation spanning heatthrob, the 48-year old is still an odd choice by the brand, leading some to speculate that sultry Jolie may be making an appearance in the campaign at some point too.

“Hang on, aint this a site about men’s stuff, guvnor? What’s this gotta do with us blokes?” I hear you cry!

And you’d be right. With Pitt being the kind of guy that women want to be with and men want to be, there’s plenty of speculation that Pitt’s appearance with Chanel could be the start of a massive push from the brand into the male sector.

Come Christmas, you and your missus both could be unwrapping a bottle of scent sold by Pitt’s lovely mug.



Lifestyle & Gadgets, News

WHICH SHOULD I BUY? – Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 4S?

By Gerald Lynch on May 4th, 2012

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There was a time when every self-respecting man about time worth his salt wouldn’t be caught dead with any smartphone other than an Apple iPhone. And though Apple keep on delivering the goods year-on-year with updates to the range, Android smartphones are now every bit as desirable. The new best-in-class model is Samsung’s Galaxy S3. Revealed at a glitzy launch event in London last night, Brandish’s pals over at Tech Digest went hands-on with the new smartphone to get all the juicy details. Is it better than the iPhone 4S, or should you steer clear of the Samsung Galaxy S3? Read on to find out which smartphone you should be spending your money on!

review-line.JPGDesign and Build Quality

iPhone 4S
Though it’s a rehashed version of the iPhone 4 (with the dreadful antenna issues all ironed out) it’s hard to fault the iPhone 4S design. Whether you grab it in black or white, the angular unibody design with chrome trim oozes style. It’s arguably hit the sweetspot for mobile-phone size at 115.2 mm x 58.66 mm x 9.3 mm too. It does however lack a HDMI-out port, pretty much a standard with high-end Android handsets these days, and it’s a little delicate, with its glass prone to shattering if dropped from even a modest height.

Galaxy S3
Thin at just 8.6mm and light at 133g, the Galaxy S3 feels great in the hand, and slips almost invisibly into a pocket. Available in Pebble Blue and Marble White, its curved edges are meant to conjure memories of nature. However, its plasticy “Hyperglaze” finish lacks that premium feel, and some may decide the Galaxy S3 is a little flimsy, albeit unfairly.

Winner – iPhone 4S
galaxy-s3-screens-iphone.jpg
Screen

iPhone 4S
The latest iPhone’s Retina Display is pretty much as good as it gets for mobile display technology right now. Measuring 3.5 inches diagonally, it uses LED backlit IPS TFT LCD technology to deliver images at a staggering 326ppi. What the screen lacks in size it more than makes up for in detail, with vibrant colours, lush brightness and deep blacks.

Galaxy S3
A 4.8 inch Super AMOLED HD display sits on the front of the Galaxy S3 and it’s gorgeous. Though its extra size and resolution mean it “only” hits a 309ppi pixel density, to the naked eye that won’t make a difference. Vibrant and colourful, it dwarfs the iPhone 4S screen, which is a far less comfortable size to view videos on. Bigger, in this case at least, is better.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Processor

iPhone 4S
Apple’s 800Mhz dual-core A5 chip may sound a little dated in this age of quad-core mobile CPUs, but thanks to Apple’s careful marriage of software and hardware, you’ll never find the iPhone 4S being overly taxed. You’ll fly through menu screens, tap away at breathtaking polygonal-3D gaming apps and playback detailed HD video without a stutter.

Galaxy S3
Samsung have popped a quad-core 1.4Ghz Exynos processor in the Galaxy S3. And despite having to push more pixels than the iPhone 4S (and running off the sometimes temperamental Android OS) there wasn’t a stutter or hang to be seen. This is one powerful phone, best presented by the Pop Up Play feature that offers true picture-in-picture multitasking, offering windowed HD video playback. Impressive is an understatement.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Storage

iPhone 4S
Though Apple’s iPhone 4S doesn’t offer expandable storage, they at least offer three different configurations when it comes to size. 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models are all available, with pricing rising appropriately. It’s a crafty tactic though, as those opting for more storage space have to pop money directly into Apple’s coffers, rather than picking up cheaper expandable storage elsewhere. With the iCloud back-up feature too you’ve got a little leeway with which to store files remotely too, though extensive cloud storage through Apple doesn’t come cheaply.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s generous storage options make Apple look very cheap here. For starters, you’ve got the same 16GB, 32GB and 64GB handset options. Add on to that the option of popping in as much as an extra 64GB from a microSD card. Then pile on top the 50GB of FREE Dropbox cloud storage that comes as standard with every Galaxy S3 purchase. There’s no competition here.

Winner – Galaxy S3
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Battery

iPhone 4S
The iPhone 4S is said to have 200 hours worth of battery standby time, 8 hours talk time on 3G, 14 hours talk time on 2G, 6 hours 3G browsing, 9 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video playback or 40 hours of audio playback. In reality however, you’re going to be juggling through all these tasks (at times simultaneously) throughout a day, meaning that you’re going to need to recharge that battery long before the day is done.

Galaxy S3
Samsung have popped in a whopping 2100mAh battery in the Galaxy S3. It sounds awesome, but remember there’s a massive screen to power, as well as a quad-core processor draining juice all the time. Touches like the Smart Stay tech should keep battery usage as low as possible, but we can’t pass judgement here till we’ve put the phone through its paces for a bit longer. We’ll call it a tie for now.

Winner – Tie

Software and Apps

iPhone 4S
Apple say there’s an app for everything, and with the iOS App Store, that’s pretty much true. With over 500,000 different apps available in Apple’s store, there’s pretty much an app to cater for every potential need. From fitness to finance, arts to archaeology, you name it, there’s a shed load of apps for every possible niche. Gaming in particular is well served on the iPhone, with it more than a match for handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita these days. Just check out Infinity Blade 2 if you need convincing.

The iPhone 4S also features the much-publicised Siri voice control app. With it, you can search the web, set calendar reminder, dictate emails and much more with just your voice alone. In the US it’s a fully-featured service that has a giant database of details on local businesses and events. In the UK, it’s far less comprehensive in terms of what it can do, making it a bit of a novelty for the time being.

As for the iOS operating system itself, it’s incredibly easy to use and looks beautiful. It pretty much invented the grid-based app layout that everything from the Xbox 360 to Roku entertainment players have ripped off since. It is also however incredibly limited in terms of customisation, and if you’re a tinkerer who likes to get under the hood of his device and tweak every property and potential UI layout, it’s not a patch on Android.

Galaxy S3
The Galaxy S3 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich. When it comes to apps, Android just can’t compete with iOS. For starters there are fewer apps available, and they tend to be uniformly less visually appealing than similar ones available on the Apple App Store.

Likewise, Android is a far less user-friendly OS, but what it lacks in dummy-proofing, it excels with customisation options. You can make your Android look and act pretty much however you want it to, freely adding widgets and personal touches throughout the device.

Samsung have also gone a long way to stamping their own touches into the software of the phone too. As well as the aforementioned Pop Up Play feature, there’s superfast data sharing over NFC with S Beam, intelligent facial recognition and photo tagging capabilities, eye-tracking screen dimming tech called Smart Stay and their own Siri rival called S Voice.

Winner – iPhone 4S
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Camera and Video Recording

iPhone 4S
Though its megapixel count of 8 isn’t any higher than the majority of top-tier smartphones the iPhone 4S’s imaging systems consistently deliver stunning results. Using a lens with an aperture of f/2.4, and combining that with clever HDR and Macro software, you get excellent still image results almost every time. A super-fast shutter speed that lets you snap multiple images directly after each other sweetens the deal, as do the many superb photography apps on the App Store. However, you can’t tweak sensitivity settings like white balance and exposure, which may irk pro photographers.

1080p video recording with anti-shake functionality likewise returns brilliant results on the iPhone 4S, with the iMovie app letting you make a few simple edits on the go.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s top-tier smartphone camera seems every bit as good as the iPhones. Again, it’s an 8MP offering, with impressive start up speeds of 990ms, and the ability to fire off 3.3 photos a second. A 20 in a row, six photos per second, burst mode also features, alongside Best Shot, which takes 8 pictures and picks out the best based on framing, lighting and blur, as well as elements such as open or closed eyes on the subject.

Then there are the facial recognition features. Snap a friend, tag them in one photo, and every subsequent picture you take of them in the future should automatically be tagged accurately by the handset. Groups of people appearing in the same shots can also have group tags associated with them, making organising large photo libraries incredibly easy. Images can quickly be shared via email or social networks using this feature too.

Elsewhere, more standard features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), panorama, Smile Shot and Beauty Modes are onboard too, as well as plenty of manual settings for things like Exposure values.

Though we spent less time with it, 1080p video recording is also onboard. Just like the S2 before it, the results from our early tests looked a real treat, with video stabilisation options working superbly. Up front, a 1.9MP camera for video calling and shooting 720p video is also available.

Winner – Tie

Price

iPhone 4S
Unlocked, the iPhone 4S in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes cost £499, £599 and £699 respectively.

Galaxy S3
We’re still waiting for official pricing for the Galaxy S3, but if the Galaxy S2 was anything to go by, expect premium pricing. The S2 started at around £500 SIM-Free too depending on retailer, so we’d imagine things to be similar with the Galaxy S3.

Winner – Tie

review-line.JPGOverall Winner – Samsung Galaxy S3

There’s not much in it, and the Apple faithful will likely see nothing that will make them change their ways, but our first impressions of the Galaxy S3 suggest it may be the best smartphone on the market today. A great camera, superb screen and innovative software features show Samsung have really pushed the boat out with the Galaxy S3. If the price proves right, and the battery is up to scratch, we could have a new smartphone king on our hands. Remember though, the iPhone 4S is based on a design (that of the iPhone 4) that is now a couple of years old. With the iPhone 5 launch almost certainly looming, the tables could turn yet again very quickly…

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