Raf Simons

Menswear SS18: Shopping guide by Mike Tyle

Quick highlights and keywords to know when shopping the big stories of the season from the major brands.

Prada: Sport's quirky younger brother. Technical fabrics & Velcro straps. Graphic lines. Comic strips. Layered items & popped collars. 80's.

Prada: Sport's quirky younger brother. Technical fabrics & Velcro straps. Graphic lines. Comic strips. Layered items & popped collars. 80's.

CK: "American horror, American dreams." Retro silhouettes. Sinister prints. Americana remix.

CK: "American horror, American dreams." Retro silhouettes. Sinister prints. Americana remix.

Gosha Rubchinskiy: Post-Soviet Russian teenhood. Football & electronica. Burberry. Adidas. Sportswear with a nightclub rave feeling.

Gosha Rubchinskiy: Post-Soviet Russian teenhood. Football & electronica. Burberry. Adidas. Sportswear with a nightclub rave feeling.

Raf Simons: Blade runner. Joy Division & New Order. Culture clash: East meets West.

Raf Simons: Blade runner. Joy Division & New Order. Culture clash: East meets West.

Calvin Klein by Appointment by Mike Tyle

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. 

Menswear SS17- Part 2 by Mike Tyle

As not to overwhelm here is a continuation from my last post featuring another set of reviews to my fave Menswear designers this season.

Dries Van Noten

Every season I am astounded. His collections bring sophistication to the masses. Always bringing fans on a journey to another time and place. Normally I am not a print kinda guy but when it comes out of het Modepaleis I know it will be something I need in my closet. This season is no different the collection moves effortlessly from cream, soft whites and punches of metallic silver intermixing with macrame and patch work reminiscent of the arts & crafts movement of the 70's intermixing. Then medieval tapestry prints and camouflage. Ending in loose draped indigo fabric looks. Wow. Basically,  Scotch & Soda will be knocking this off in...

 

 

 

 

DSquared2

I found the Ziggy platforms to be a bit distracting but I know the Caden twins always have something tongue-and-cheek to offset their designs but also show that gender-fuck can be mainstream! DSquared2 always love a good theme and I am right there with them! They can make anything be over the top yet still masculine enough that a fashionable guy would want in their closet regardless, ok maybe the sequined camo parka is pushing it... This SS the theme was skinhead which has been done by numerous designers over the season and I've always been a fan of the outcome. This time around Dean & Dan added a bit of an overtly homo-dandy twist to make it their own.

 

 

 

 

Gucci

The imagination of Alessandro Michele is unique in that he can take so many different ideas jumble them up and create something new out of it. Always exciting and intriguing this season is no different. There are so many elements at play you don't know where to look first!  Now to say fishermen, Dynasty China & Donald Duck don't mix hasn't seen the Edwardian preppy dandy boys of Gucci under Alessandro!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maison Margiela

Quintessential imperfectly perfect Margiela delivered as always. Why do something dramatic when you have a wining combo every time? Paper fabrics mix with fluid fabrics, unfinished garments and tailors tacking galore left me feeling happy.

Niel Barrett

Sports references were still heavily referenced, and do well for the brand. Instead of the army green, black & white palette we have become used to has now branched out into more 70's brown tones with red-orange and yellow highlights used in diagonal inserts and modern graphics. Also something we haven't seen much in past seasons is his use of denim. I've always been a fan of his work but I like this toned down grown-up direction more than the use of broken-up statues artworks of past seasons. I especially love some of the leather pieces with symmetrical inserts on the sleeves and breasts.

Prada

Nylon. The fabric that started Prada. Season after season reinventing the label only this time using the founding fabric to create yet another utilitarian look. This Prada man is ready to wander. Weather it be trekking across countries or from work to the gym the look is apparent. Athleisure is king and peoples attitudes towards relaxed dressing has long been the norm. So why not pair breathable nylon with a suit coat, leggings, socks & sandals. Bright colors, weather maps and some cute conversational prints added for good measure. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raf Simons

In collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation images adorn each outfit with the over all look of each model sent out as an homage to the great photographer. Whether a still life, Patti Smith or a semi-hard dick with a cock ring the pictures framed, printed, cut & sewn to the items brought to life the works of a great photographer and melded perfectly with the oversize garments and added another layer to the thinking man's wardrobe.

Raf Simons for Calvin Klein by Mike Tyle

By now this is no surprise. Starting in April the rumor mill was already rampant and by August it was confirmed.

I've waited a bit to put my thought down but personally, I am here for it! I do wish he spent more time focusing on his eponymous line... but I can't hate, get that American coin!

I think it will be great for Calvin Klein. The official word from the company: “A new brand direction will ultimately follow one creative vision across all categories of the business.” is a big deal both for Raf and CK. To have his creative focus really streamline the brand will be quite interesting to see.

But it is a lot. There are tons of sub-brands! Of course PVH (the company that owns CK among other heavy hitters like Tommy) is. A. Machine. Unlike Dior there are MANY teams and licensees that are constantly developing the lines Raf will oversee. From an outsiders perspective he likely will put his main focus on Collection, hopefully keeping chances of a burn out to a minimal (however Collection is more or less for marketing purposes) and just giving his ok on direction and finished product for the other lines..

While we all know Raf can do modern, timeless, clean and minimal. How will his image of the CK man affect the customer? What worried me is that Calvin Klein is known for machismo athleticism. Raf has, in the past, been all about waif, sexless boys. That is what intrigues me. How will he make the red line from Collection through to Underwear coherent while keeping the best-sellers unaffected.

Let's just hope he stays long enough to see how it will impact the everyday consumer!

Simon Doonan: Getting It Right by Mike Tyle

The ever funny Simon Doonan once accurately depicted the 3 categories most women fall into when fashion comes in play:

The Gypsy, The Socialite & The Existentialist.

Ever since reading this years ago I have been waiting for a follow up Menswear version. Finally courtesy of Slate. The time has arrived!

Here is my breakdown of the 4 archetypal male tribes:

The Perverse Prepster

"The Perverse Prepster can best be described as Ralph-Lauren-hits-the-psych-ward."

It's like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of Wallstreet. Classic. Preppy. Professional with a quirky twist.

Go to brands: Thom Browne mixed with Supreme meets Raf Simons & Bellrose.

THE ARTY NINJA

"Every generation seems to throw up a black-clad outsider cult: rockers, bikers, and punks. And now we have ours."

My current fave look at the moment. Quite diverse: It can easily be athleisure as it can be Kanye meets dystopian future as it can be Japanese avant-garde.

Go to brands: Rick Ownes, Givenchy, Public School.

The Dedicated Follower of Satin

"Incorporates a compelling mixture of hippie-dippie, glam rock, and rockabilly."

Not for the faint at heart. But it is growing on me with every re-invention. I love a satin bomber and I have been known to wear suede fringe...

Go to brands: Saint LaurentGucciDries van Noten

The Statham

"Shaved head? CrossFit body? Wall-to-wall tattoos? Dirty, slouchy denims?"

Rough, manly man, mid-life crisis driven. "Heritage" driven denim, "Authentic" pre-worn leather jackets... keywords this man goes the worker look but is all facade. The wearer is both the man who wants a motorcycle to a man-bun raw organic vegan beehive trader. Looks dirty but is scared of dirt.

Go to brands: BelstaffJohn Varvatos, Denim & Supply

 

The Schlub

Naturally the majority of men fall into this category.

In general men DGAF. 

Despite working in fashion and talking every fucking day about changing the way men dress. How the younger man cares much more about being fashionable (which is true), the opposite is also just as true. 

They want to be comfy. The want navy/black/grey. They want cargo's.

They wear socks and sandals... not ironically. The mix prints and patterns... not ironically. They wear full on denim... not ironically.

Go to brands: Walmart, Kohl's but most important: wear for a full 12 year cycle before returning for 2nd pair of boot-cut.