Quick highlights and keywords to know when shopping the big stories of the season from the major brands.
There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said but I am very impressed with how many of the invitees actually stayed on theme this year compared to years past (I'm looking at you Punk: Chaos to Couture). Have a look at the Vogue instagram compilation video to get a feel for some of the amazing looks of the evening and check out my fave looks below.
W magazine put out a video yesterday featuring many of fashions most well known and inner circle elites giving recognition to the fact that society is made stronger when it is diverse and all should be respected as members of our multicultural nation.
As someone who has been an emigrant several times in life I know how difficult it can be but I also realize how easy I have had it and how, sadly, there are many people who are often times mistreated by a countries misguided choices.
Yes, the runway shows were July of 2016 and yes I already did a report or 2 on my favorite shows... ok 4 posts... but this one is not about what is coming but what has hit the shop floors now so by April or July you don't look like a loser. And since it's 60 degrees out today (ok, tomorrow we have a winter storm warning of 8 in. of snow...) I want to embrace Spring!
Top 4 menswear themes:
This season, it's all about the stripes! Floral made his entrance in men's wardrobe and good old basics as denim and sport are still very effective.
Thin stripes, Brenton stripes, pinstripes. Get 'em all!
Athleisure takes a turn in a more slick retro direction -aka- get a zip-up and a windbreaker.
I know big shocker! But unlike the denim you already own the new direction is patchwork and acid wash driven.
Top 4 menswear pieces:
Trench coats, raincoats, wide leg trousers and bombers are the top four menswear piece trends this season. Showcased in a huge amount of the shows, menswear becomes casual, elegant and sporty.
This menswear staple is still going strong. I mean everyone always looks cool in one.
This could go real wrong real fast proceed with caution. A silky or suit fabric in a tailored look but no JNCO style!
Not just for flashers and Inspector Gadget! make sure you get one that hits you correctly at the knee.
Don't get caught in the springtime rain without one.
I have to say I am quite surprised by the addition to the label! Raf and team have enough on their plate with this umbrella of a brand to work with that adding yet another line wasn't something I saw coming. But I think it a great way to bring his past experience of couture to a label known for its minimalist sportswear regardless of how viable it will be. I mean it's not like CK is hurting for cash so they might as well bring forward a made-to-measure line that was before exclusive to red carpet starlets.
Aside from that it's interesting to see how Raf reinvents Americana in this 14 look collection, each representing a decade in American woman's fashion from the 20-00 reinvented.
The ad images are a tongue in cheek view of what CK has to offer from it's money maker underwear to the new high-end one of a kind pieces. It also give us an idea of what to expect from the direction Raf will lead future campaigns and the clothes we will all be lining up to buy.
The Fall & Winter months edition. Why is this coming out in January you may ask yourself?
It's sale time so everything listed below will be easy and cheap to find especially important since men, in general, don't shop.
Also, thanks to global warming this is when winter finally hits. Albeit stores turning to Spring/Summer already nobody will be wearing that until July sales come around... leading us back to reason 1 and completing the circle of the maybe 2x a man goes into a store a year.
Now take some notes gentleman (or gf/bf/mom of said guy).
This is the first and most important hurdle for many men. The key to looking good is to not be a sloppy ass mess. That starts and ends with how the clothes fit your body. This will impact your mood, your posture and in turn, your confidence.
The right fit means the right proportions= the right look. Don't fuck it up.
Talking to a friend who designs outerwear, shout out to you Isabell, explained to me if you put enough pockets on it they will come.
Basically, men like to think that they can do things and every pocket/zip/button/hook... is a technical element creating interest and versatility to a garment.
I get it. The functionality adds newness to the styling and adds value in eye of the consumer. I'm looking at you G.Star... so many details.
From a design standpoint this is a place where creativity can work it's magic!
As a merchandiser I automatically think how can I remove items because how the fuck am I going to cost this out with each extra little detail.
Personally as a minimalist I prefer clothing that is free of any accoutrement. However that doesn't mean the functionality is lost. You'll be a lot happier in a pair of Hunter boots & a Rains jacket during a Lake District hike whereas a thin, overpriced, yet immaculate #likebutter Rick Owens turtleneck will function perfectly in an art gallery setting.
This is key to achieve a multitude of looks. Once you've got the form and function under your belt you can literally tuck it in or hide it with a blazer! To get a good idea of what this means look at basically any J.Crew catalog.
4. Mix It Up
Have fun! Really part 2 or #3, this is key to dressing down an overly formal look and perfect for the modern office. Swap the classic shirt for an easy plaid or chambray option. To tie the look together put a sporty sweatshirt under a smart blazer and cuffed denim. Unexpected styling adds to the modern heritage trend that every guy wants to embody at some point.
5. The Chambray Shirt
Easy to wear and adaptable aka you wont look whack as fuck with this oldie but goodie. Just trust me.
6. Knitwear Hybrid
It's cold but not that cold... remember the functionality of point 2, here is where a sweater does the job but the trend factor comes in. 2-become-1 as knitwear becomes outerwear aka a chunky cardigan.
Look for chunky ribs and twisted yarns to create the right texture and weight for this jack of all trades. Thank me later or instead just go and buy a light down jacket at Uniqlo and call it a day. You'll be happy either way.
7. The Sweatshirt
The star of this new era of laid back dressing is the humble loop-back sweatshirt. Worn with smart chinos and sneakers, this is a key piece in the topic for wardrobe building. Works with separates and perfect for layering. Comfy enough for a lazy Sunday but nice enough to layer up on Monday at the office.
Salt & Pepper surfaces, space dyed yarns, mossy textures create the feeling of the season... Have I lost you already?
Just remember adding textured surfaces to plain crew necks add interest and a level of casual cool.
9. Shearling Jacket
Attention to detail with shearling trims. A cosiness is created with the teddy bear optic. A simple and effective way to elevate outerwear styles.
Started as a trend item the past few seasons and has grown to be a wardrobe staple.
Don't be scared, embrace something other than black and navy... unless your a Dutch man reading this. One look in a Scotch & Soda store tells me you guys got color and pattern down.
Key color statements most men can easily wear, especially in winter months, are jewel tones. Everyone looks good in them!
With a heavy heart I learned this afternoon that Franca has passed earlier today.
Such an influential figure in fashion bringing Vogue Italia to the forefront using powerful images to portray how the global climate affects fashion and in turn effects the the world.
Here is a slideshow from some of my favorite photos which was difficult to choose from an editorial archive spanning 1988-2016. Featuring some of the amazing and striking stories that show the encompassing power and boundary pushing Franca allowed photographers to portray in her magazine.
Thank you Franca and rest in peace.
The ever inspiring Michelle Obama has outdone her self the past few months campaigning for Hilary and showing us how to go high when others go low.
Perfect timing for T magazine this month to release a magnificent cover portrait of the much loved Michelle. Inside there are several articles written by famous admirers as to what she means to them and how she has affected all of America for the better.
In a bittersweet end the final State Dinner started with a jaw drop. With the Italians coming into town Michelle welcomed them in an Atelier Versace gold rose chainmail dress. A powerful statement about femininity & strength.
While we have to wait until Nov. 3rd to line up for the newest collaboration at least half the wait is over. The lookbook for the forthcoming Kenzo x H&M line came out today!
Keeping with Kenzo tradition the collection is full of color and print featuring several reincarnations of past highlights such as F16 zebra stripe & geo/flower trims. However a Kenzo staple, the tiger, has been altered for the line. The below slideshow are feature some of my must have items from the 40+ looks presented.
The images features several performers and social activist and could not be more different from the last H&M collab with Balmain. Unlike Balmain with the in your face Kardashian factor I don't think Kenzo will sell out within hours. Instead I foresee it will go more the direction of Margiela or Marni collections. Of course the line will be out the door and there will be some items gone in minutes. Don't get me wrong I am in LOVE and need several pieces ASAP but commercially it is a much more difficult for the average consumer to understand. Which means... easier for me to get ahold of!
I also find it an interesting collaboration from a selling stand point. Obviously, Kenzo has been a hyped brand ever since Humberto Leon & Carol Lim took the reigns. This will open the brand to a larger customer base. However similar to the A.Wang line, but unlike other past design collaborations, Kenzo is more of a contemporary level brand, tiered higher than "fast fashion" but lower than traditional high-end & fellow past collaborators such as Versace, Lanvin or Stella McCartney. For ex: Kenzo embroidered tiger sweater retails for $195, Balmain mohair with naval buttons is $990.
Only 6 months after the former MyTheresa womenswear buyer, with no design experience but 102k Instagram followers, was made creative director. Within that time he re-branded the house including new logo and advertisements juxtapositioning high-end cashmere with Metallica as models.
Re-branding is never an easy task. Sometimes it works i.e- Gucci, but trying to move forward and not loose your super rich traditional customer (Bironi suits start at 5K) before the new customer base has picked up is very tricky.
It's hard to say what exactly caused the rift but it's safe to assume that holding company Kering didn't like the direction the house was going despite the clothing itself getting general good reviews... but reviews are one thing turning a profit is another and the conservative CEO-type might not like seeing their traditional brand with a new font and a heavy metal band, who (safe bet) probably doesn't speak to the customer, fronting the campaign.