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17th January 2023



Writing about men’s style is a rare treat for me and a break away from the fast-moving world of women’s fashion. Over the festive season, two shows were on binge-level in my home, and both of them were absolutely packed with breathtaking looks for the guys. So I had a catch up with Mark Blankstone to talk about screen style, fresh looks for this season, fave Blankstone brands and what’s new for 2023.

First up, we both love a box set, and so we have to talk about The White Lotus Season 2. Surely you watched it, Mark?

‘We have really enjoyed both series of the show at home, but the second one was compulsive viewing, as the backdrop of Sicily was just beautiful. Of course, the female characters were brilliantly cast as well as beautifully dressed – Jennifer Coolidge deserves every award she is receiving – Tanya absolutely takes over the screen in every way.

The men certainly don’t take a backseat when it comes to drama, and style. I loved this sequence where she and her husband Greg enjoy her dream day in Sicily – he’s wearing Oliver Peoples, by the way!

Theo James as the devilish Cameron is a smooth-talking, almost-Preppy American hedge fund manager who, let’s say, has more than an edge. The styling team put him in a lot of colour and prints so that he doesn’t look too conservative. He’s certainly not someone who is into on-show labels, and his eyewear is by Oliver Peoples, too. He looks really elegant in The Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck, which is inspired by Hollywood royalty.

When it comes to a more casual laid-back look, tech billionaire Ethan has an even more casual look, with not a label in sight. However, I love that they styled him using Persol sunglasses: this ultra-cool jet-set eyewear brand, with its Hollywood history and that classic silver arrow signature feature really adds a touch of elegance to Ethan’s holiday wardrobe.

Tom Hollander is superb as the British thrill-seeker Quentin. He brings his own brand of glamour, and again opts for Persol. It’s a really popular brand here at Blanktone, and one our male clients often return to. As well as being finely crafted, and handmade in Italy, they have been the choice of the ultimate style-seeker since Steve McQueen wore them in the original version of The Thomas Crown Affair. I have a feeling Quentin is probably a fan, because he has exquisite taste.’

Next up – have you caught up with Emily in Paris?

‘I think my wife and daughters have had great fun with this one, and I know that there is a bit of a battle going on between two guys to win the heart of PR superstar Emily. The fashion and style featured is really fun, and the styling team has done a fantastic job.

The men’s style featured tends to be a lot more tailored and classic, whereas the style for the girls is definitely more fashion-forward and colourful. Lucien Lavinscount brings a great touch of English-gent tailoring as Alfie. In real life, I have noticed all the major fashion labels and magazines are working with him. Away from the screen, he wears his own style well. He’s pictured here wearing Cutler & Gross, a quintessential British specialist eyewear brand, which is a huge hit here at Blankstone.

I did catch the episode which involved the lilac McLaren, the ultimate in driving luxury. I know the shade was created especially for the show – and that it is such a powerful hit for Netflix that it can pull in the most prestigious brands.

McLaren Vision is a label we have just introduced at Blankstone, and it’s definitely one that our male customers head to.’

Eyewear – what’s new for 2023? (Heads up – I asked Mark to try on the latest models himself!)

‘I know this year that incoming clients will be looking for models that are really contemporary and a good investment. For the guys I know who have eyewear wardrobes, they tend to move between brands and they often enjoy eyewear brands which are exclusively about optical and sunglasses alone.

When it comes to high fashion they really appreciate Tom Ford – our city region is really style conscious, and the traditional TF look is one that is certainly streamlined and glamorous.

I picked the following looks from our new-in collections because they caught my eye. I never get bored at getting to know eyewear, after three decades in the business. The very best glasses add something to your look, reflect your personal style and can also show off your best features, rather than hide them.

Mark wearing the Hublot 5019

Mark sports the Hublot HO58

Mark dons the Hublot HO520

‘The Hublot range is really outstanding. Using their art of fusion system, marrying Swiss craftsmanship with the Italian flavour of founder Carlo Crocco, these high-tec, beautifully detailed pieces are so luxurious and unusual.’

Mark in the Tart Optical USA FDR

Mark wears Tart Optical Arnel

‘I started stocking Tart Optical last year on an exclusive basis when clients came into the store asking for the Stanley Tucci look! It’s actually quite rare for one person to have such an influence on so many people, but this is a label which men have really taken to. It has a classic, American feel to the range, which never goes out of style.’

Mark sports the McLaren Vision L00502

Mark wears the McLaren Vision L020

‘McLaren Vision is also a new introduction to our stable of brands, mixing absolute luxury with the technical excellence which goes with the McLaren name. These are lightweight, with a sporty edge, each pair are hand-crafted and use the most contemporary materials.’

I really enjoyed having a chat with Mark as he is always so enthusiastic about eyewear, and he does enjoy a good box set, as well! If it includes beautiful optical and sunglasses, as 2022’s Succession and Inventing Anna did, then all the better.

As for 2023, don’t forget to book your eye test, because eye health comes first, and then call in and have a chat with Mark and let him guide you through the very best in men’s exclusive eyewear.

Oh, and perhaps we could both take this advice? Spend a little bit less time in front of a TV screen. Square-framed glasses are forever in fashion. Actual square eyes, on the other hand, are never going to be a look…

You can view the Blankstone Oliver Peoples range here:

Check in with the Blankstone Persol range here:

Catch up with the Blankstone Cutler & Gross range here:

You will find the Blankstone Hublot collection here:

The Blankstone Tart Optical range is here:

The full Blankstone Tom Ford range is here:

The Blankstone McLaren Vision range is now available to view here:

Additional images courtesy of HBO/Sky Atlantic/Netflix/Lucien Lavinscount/Tom Ford/CNN

The White Lotus Seasons 1 and 1 are available to view via Sky Netflix

All three series of Emily in Paris can be caught on Netflix

This month’s Blankstone Blog is brought to you by our resident style reporter, Nancy Buckland Kirk.