SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA : Fashion Blogger Kaitlyn Ham (Photo by Merilyn Smith/WireImage)
I was lucky enough to be taken to the new M restaurant on Victoria Street in London the other day, with a friend and her uncle whose Argentinian wine, Alpasión, is stocked in the restaurant and wine shop upstairs. The restaurant is run by Martin Williams, a former manging director of Gaucho, who met us with a warm welcome and tour of the restaurant, including the plush members’ lounge where each member has their own bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue label in the cabinet. In the members lounge I’d recommend the tangy lemon and gin cocktails made with Tanqueray 10.In the main restaurant the emphasis is on the steaks and grilled meat. Each main is meant to represent a different country; I of course went for the Argentinian steak to match the Alpasión wine, the Argentianan Malbec. The food was delicious – the sweet potato mash was the creamiest, tastiest mash I think I’ve ever eaten – it’s a must! I must admit the steak wasn’t as good as my all-time favourite: Hawksmoor.
Back to the starters, I had my eyes on the venison salami, which came with hazelnuts & toast, or the red prawn coconut curry. But unfortunately these were unavailable (we were pretty late sitting) so I went for the buttermilk fried chicken instead – the poshest version of KFC there is.
The restaurant itself is luxuriously decorated in duck-egg blue with boothed seating round the side. For a grill restaurant the décor was refreshingly feminine in comparison to the usual dark-wood, brown leather and dim lighting you find at the likes of Hawksmoor. With the meat hanging on display in a fridge, you know you’re in for an authentic experience.
The wine is from Argentina, and comprises the Alpasión Malbec and the Private Selection, which is made from a blend of grapes – I didn’t get to try this one. The design of the bottle label makes this brand particularly unique; on the label are the fingerprints of all the brand’s owners. It’s only UK stockist at the moment is M – but keep your eyes peeled as something tells me this won’t be the case for long.
A little haven of luxury in the busy Victoria. Make the most of the well-chosen cocktail list before dinner. Be sure to get the best cut of steak you’re willing to pay for and a bottle of Alpasión Malbec, of course.
A hot topic in the fashion industry has been the rise of gender-less clothing. While the idea of unisex fashion is nothing new, there are now a number of designers catering for this once-niche area of the market, and even mainstream brands are pushing the boundaries of gender norms.
Last year, Selfridges launched its Agender pop-up department in store, where men and women could shop together irrespective of gender. The idea of the concept came as Selfridges noticed people were increasingly shopping outside of their allocated shopping sections. While this launch no doubt coincides with the spotlight growing on trans, LGBT and gender equality issues, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a reflection on this. It can merely relate to the increasing overlaps between men and women’s fashions and this is something we are set to see more of. As Dazed & Confused put it:
It’s true that many key trends are found across both menswear and womenswear. On the streets we see girls in over-sized bomber jackets, men in skin-tight jeans while women wear their denim ‘boyfriend’ style, both donning this season’s chunky knit or rollneck jumpers. The image below is from Mr Porter’s Instagram account, yet the outfit posted here could easily be seen as women’s style inspiration.
Mainstream unisex ranges could in theory cover the same key pieces, just with different cuts to suit different body shapes. Enabling men and women to shop together, this would also put the focus back on the quality of the garments and the longevity of the styles.
The notion of breaking down the gender barriers is here to stay. Expect to see more brands experimenting in this arena.