Category Archives: Men’s Fashion

Mens Fall 2017

The menswear collections didn’t strike me as having any prevailing trends overall. There were your standard suit shows, your knitwear, your rumpled boys and nerdy hipsters. The same old stuff. Yet there does seem to be an underlying whisper of workout casual sneaking in. At Valentino the nerdy fellows all wore trainers. Even at Dolce & Gabbana there were sneakers paired with D-Squared-esque rolled up jeans and novelty sweaters. And almost everyone showed a version of sweatpants.

Sweatpants.

On the runways.

I blame Athleisure. Athleisure is a dangerous contagion. First it was Yoga pants and now I regularly see women in horrendously ugly patterned leggings at restaurants, movie theaters, shopping, everywhere! It’s like that sickening trend of knit patterned workout pants from the early 1990’s.

Allow me to refresh your memory….

…or the velour tracksuits that have FINALLY gone away…

 

Now this, sweats on the runways.  This is a shot from the Runway at Balenciaga.

Balenciaga!?!

Are those his sneakers from home? Did they get them from the lost and found? What is this?!

*****

Err, okay. So here are our favorites from Fall 2017 Mens.

Missoni

Always love mixed patterns, always love a well cut and nicely tapered flat front plaid pant. Double zip sweater with an interesting and somehow still chic and cool pattern (that is Missoni’s thing after all) love it. And the coat is, again, interesting without being obnoxious or trendy or trying so hard. How much do I wish they would loose the hats and Where’s Waldo glasses?

The Kooples

This showing feels more like a wardrobe than a collection. Which is great in the sense that you get the styling – you see exactly how it can all be mixed and matched without necessarily saying here is your sportswear, here is your streetwear here is your formal etc. They mixed it up so you see the suit dressed down and the leather jacket with slacks. I especially like the military outerwear and the drape on the trousers.

Diesel Black Gold

I’m digging the Asian influence here. Always interested in a new take on a classic leather jacket.

Yohji Yamamoto

The oversized look can be ridiculous if it’s too extreme. Here it’s just up to the line where it is indeed exaggerated but it maintains a cool chicness that is very French. The French  somehow manage to have an air of purpose in fashion and that is what we get here. There is a sense of the poet or conceptual artist wearing these clothes – I could easily see Basquait at a café dressed just so. The silhouettes are still clean and maintain shape despite the oversizing. These men look casual and comfortable – and they aren’t in sweatpants! Hooray!

Ann Demeulemeester

Again here we get that sense of the poetic soul. Albeit Ann Demeulemeester is known for bringing the drama. The more feminine pieces are a tough sell, so I turn to the cut of the pants and the jackets which are stellar.

Alexander McQueen

These clothes are beautiful. Exquisite even. Even though its hard for me to imagine the man who can wear them. This is a special fellow that I have yet to meet.

Haider Ackermann

Not my favorite Haider Ackermann collection but still as always very cool. The merging of fabrics which seems to be the theme of the collection doesn’t always work here but I like the idea of it and when it does work, like with the coat, it is unique in its artistry. Never in dispute Ackermann has the spirit of an artist and the eye of a tailor. His design always moves forward and it always has moments of sheer beauty and perfect balance.

Berluti

One of the more classic houses, Berluti has mastered tailoring long ago. It’s cool to see them bringing in these rich colors and luxe fabrics. There was a wonderful time in mens fashion in the early 1960’s. Where velvet jackets and sharkskin suits came in teal blue and emerald-green. Men wore these clothes and felt cool, they felt hip and they got to have fun with fashion.  Then the 1970’s came along and with it came poly double knits and menswear lost its way for the sake of “innovation”. I’m thrilled to see such an elegant reimagining here. Love the velvet jackets and that golden-yellow coat is a show stopper.

John Varvatos

Varvatos has managed to cultivate the perfect blend of rustic manliness with rock and roll. That’s got to be why he dresses so many celebrities who would be considered the coolest, the hottest and the edgiest. He knows how to cut a pair of slim pants without getting all Hedi Slimane impossible hipster tight. He can wrestle a suit into something edgy without looking trendy. He is the master and its clear when you see the transformation that takes place when a regular guy slips on a Varvatos jacket. No regular guys here, but take my word for it. Favorites are the olive double-breasted jacket and OMG that leopard coat. Not too much embellishment, just clean with a slim cut and sharp fabrics. Awesome.

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Men’s Spring 2017

My new neighbor is a 20 something man who is a model and in a band. He is gone for months at a time on tours so I guess his group has some success. He is definitely what I would refer to as a hipster, but in the most endearing way. You see he’s a bit awkward and decidedly geeky. When I see him he’s always dressed in bright colors wearing high-water pants and shrunken tee shirts with narrow jackets and occasionally glasses. I would classify his style as fitting with the new Gucci aesthetic and I get it. It’s pretty adorable because he’s such an earnest fellow. Normally I would say menswear should be more simple, clean and cool. But he makes me smile and I’m always curious to see what he’s put together. Honestly though not many over the age of 26 could pull off that style, but you gotta be you, no matter the age.  Fashion is really the easiest and most accessible form of self-expression. You fly your flag to seek your tribe. That’s why it’s so important.

Here are my favorites from the Menswear Spring 2017 collections.

Gucci

I can see now that fighting against the new Gucci aesthetic is a waste of energy. I am finally at the point where I know what it’s going to be and that they have no intention of puling back on the excess. Okay, so it’s a new and very different Gucci now. Gone are the days of Tom Ford and his sleek sexy vibe.

Tom Ford for Gucci

Gone is the era of the 1980’s preppy god.

gucci-1980s

It’s a new dawn and the sun is rising to reveal satin and tat in all its gaudy glory.

So here we go:

Gucci

Alexander McQueen

I really like the Spanish style embroideries used on the jackets here. It’s difficult to add embellishments to menswear and not have it get gaudy or too feminine (see above). Usually I would say it’s just for the rocker type but here with the provenance of the Spanish heritage it remains dignified. I’m sure this will appeal to the younger, more hip type but if you were a more mature fellow, I think you could pull off one of these beautifully tailored jackets for an elegant, yet relaxed affair. The key here is to dress it down. I also like the designed prints on the suits because they always stand out and look very special.

Alexander McQueen

Haider Ackermann

Here’s what I hear in my head while looking through his collections,  Haider Ackermann is the coolest. I hear it on a loop in a sing songy way. It’s automatic. Ackermann will never be confused for any other designer. What he does is so distinctive and pure. It’s inspired and fascinating. The use of color is brilliant in that it’s at once unexpected and then totally natural. Of course those pants would have to be teal blue! His man is always on the cutting edge without ever getting tired or overplayed. This is just an eclectic fellow with confidence who exhudes style.

haider-ackermann

Dries Van Noten

Mr. Ackermann and Mr. Noten are really the two designers who are leading the way for the next generation with their vision and their laser focus point of view. This is what true designers do. They create a world and let us glimpse it. They offer you wonderful options that allow us to just pay a price to buy a form of self expression. They are taking the hard work out of expressing yourself by showing you a wholly different perspective. Noten always seems to know just when to shift gears and does so from say – the fitted to the relaxed – with ease. The colors as always are just as important to the design as the cut and fabrication, and all work in total harmony. Noten, in true French fashion takes risks and always has a dynamic and unique perspective.

dries-van-noten

Ann Demeulemeester

Yet another very cool French design house, Demeulemeester always has an edge that inspires admiration and yet still feels accessible. You don’t have to be a model or a fashion guy to wear these clothes…well the stripes might be a challenge for the regular Joe. There are some pieces here that would work for anyone and add that little something that says – hey, I know what I’m doing.

ann-demeulemeester

Valentino

I always have a sort of “meh” response when I see a military inspired collection these days – especially if it takes the canvas and fatigues approach as opposed to the more exciting Napoleon era Galliano approach. But here Valentino has really borrowed with refinement and if anyone could elevate camouflage they can. They have designed these clothes to be investment pieces that you can wear like jeans; the solid zip up jacket and the olive overcoat  feel easy and rather timeless. A clean collection that has just enough to stand out.

valentino

Louis Vuitton

Vuitton by way of Vivian Westwood? They feature Sid Vicious’ famous lock necklace – which immediately played the scene from Sid and Nancy in my head “Oh cool!” says Sid as Nancy clasps the lock around his neck, “where’s the key?”

“What key?”

Sid bursts into laughter. I’ve seen that movie waaaaay too many times.

sid and nancy

I used to have this poster on the back of my bedroom door. Mom didn’t care for it.

 

 

Aside from that there are also the infamous Fur sweaters.

westwood

Westwood and McLaren

Who is this new designer? As it turns out Kim Jones is indeed a collector of Westwood and McLaren’s and he has pulled some serious inspiration from them here – which is naturally my favorite influence of this show. There is  also some African influence which makes for an very unlikely juxtaposition. Punk and African that is, unless you were to reflect on the roots of Ska which is Jamaican but probably the closest association.  That’s just the music though and I don’t recall seeing any Rude Boys sporting Zebra Print. However despite all the confusion the Animal Print Creepers and  briefcase are perfectly awesome.

louis-vuitton


Men’s Fall 2016 Review

Men’s has been heading the way of more relaxed styles as a reaction to all the skinny suits and skinny jeans of the last big trend. Yet now we seem to be coming to find a tidy balance between the exaggerated and oversized, and the impossibly snug. This is great time in fashion when the trends aren’t swinging too far to one aesthetic. Sprinkle in a bit of Edwardian and Gothic and we’ve got Fall 2016. Here are our favorites.

Joseph

So here we have the moderate version of that slouch look. It’s an easy fitting pant with an easy fitting sweater and yes, an easy fitting jacket. It’s laid back, it’s cool and it’s surely a hell of a lot more comfortable than skinny jeans. (Always love a tuxedo pant.)

 Joseph
Costume National

I like how they have taken a bit of that Edwardian, Edgar Allen Poe Goth trend that is resurfacing and relaxed its often rigid aesthetic. You still have the costumey Edwardian vibe with the silk stripe pant and velvet vest but they aren’t quite so heavy nor so strict. The gothic peeks out in the form of pointy boots and zippers at the knee. Not too much, not too far, just right to work into an existing wardrobe.

 Costume National

Joseph Abboud

Here is an admittedly more subtle and decidedly English country version of the Edwardian trend. The Pants again are a bit more relaxed and the sweaters are easy. Love the relaxed feel of it all even in the velvet tuxedo.

 Joseph Abboud

Greg Lauren

Athleisure meets Ralph. The black on black vest and undershirt are a nice choice, keeping the vest from getting too hipster.  Then the jacket and loooooong shirt combo make a cool, albeit tough to pull off look.

Greg Lauren

Dolce & Gabanna

A really nice mix of the Italian houses’ signature flowers and appliques with the Edwardian influence. Love that leather jacket and excited to see a elegant little wallet chain. Believe it or not these pants are loose by D&G standards!

Dolce & Gabbana

 John Galliano

A little peek at the dandy with the flowers at the end. This is a cool guy who wants something distinctly different yet not gimmicky. Like most guys I know. The jacket and coat are just that, with distinctive design details which are enough to make them unique yet not subscribe to any trend nor specific era.

 John Galliano

Dries Van Noten

The French can thank Noten for keeping their name at the top when it comes to forward fashion. He often seems to take a cue from historic costume but always manages to completely make it his own. There has been a eastern influence in his work of late and here we see it again in the silhouette, the wrapped skirt and the buttoned up jacket of the worker. I don’t know if the embellishments are from a military or regal base. At face value though, they are very intriguing shapes and add a unique element of flair to the impeccably cut jackets.

 Dries Van Noten

Alexander McQueen

Edwardian Gothic is right in Burtons wheelhouse. She is a master at all things punk and Gothic especially if she has the freedom to make it a little femme at the same time. The prints are a gothic girls dream, all floral and butterflies in glorious black and white. The suits are so cool and the possibilities of mixing into a wardrobe are making my inner goth giddy. The long narrow black coats are stunning, especially the silver paisley. Finally, that rose print coat is like a dream come true. Oh that I had all the money in the world to spend on sublime flowery gothic fashion!

 Alexander McQueen

 Roberto Cavalli

This collection is like a smorgasbord of what is being shown by Gucci, St. Laurent and Marc Jacobs. Whether that is a good thing I don’t know, but I like what all those designers have been doing and I like what I see here too. Mostly the mash up of prints in dark colors and embellished velvet. The slouchy PJ’s and the leopard fur are all good fun. Not digging the chucks and the Aerosmith scarves but still some good buys here – mostly for me though, not so much my man.

 Roberto Cavalli

Haider Ackermann

Oh my God, a Misfits and Bauhaus mashup.

Misfits meet bauhaus

Ackerman answers to his own muse. This is not exactly on trend though it is undeniably gothic. This is rock and roll history in all its glammed out, hairless, skinny boy glory. These are rock and roll clothes and if you aren’t rock and roll at heart you just won’t understand and that is just fine.  If everyone liked it, it wouldn’t be special which is probably why it’s always leaned to the extreme – to keep the others out. When I started this review I had praised the designers for staying more toward the middle of the road on trends so I get the irony of closing on a totally extreme collection. I never said middle of the road was my favorite – just the most reasonable.

Haider Ackermann


Is instant internet access to fashion shows hurting the business?

D&G Selfie

“Selfie” Collection Dolce & Gabanna Spring 2015

When writing my review of Men’s Spring 2016, I mentioned how I was no longer really into chinoiserie as much as I had been when I had seen the collections posted online back in September. That I had moved on to a new obsession since then, which made it difficult for me to write a review on favorites I no longer felt as passionate about. This got me thinking about the public’s accessibility to the collections. The photos are uploaded almost instantly to the internet these days. This means that anyone can see the new trends, styles and influences at the same time as the buyers and the press. This is a meaningful new development. When the fashion calender was concieved it was set up to show the collections 6 months in advance in order to allow time for;

  • All buyers to set appointments to view and order the product
  • The Designer to conceive and photograph their campaigns for press
  • Edit where necessary and produce the ordered product (allowing time for corrections in production)
  • Deliver product to the stores

This idea works fine when the publics’ first glimpse hits the magazine stands at roughly the same time as the clothes are hitting the stores. But now with the internet there are countless websites where you can see the newest designs coming down the runway hours after the buyers and press. Which begs the following questions;

Do we really need the magazines to hit the stands?

Do we want to wait those 6 months for delivery of product to stores?

I can tell you that personally I have moved on from most trends by the time they actually make it to the stores. I want what I am seeing as soon as I see it. When you see famous people, wealthy clients, jetsetters and the like strutting around in special rush orders does it still feel as exciting to get those same clothes in the store 5 months after others have already worn them? Is fashion moving too fast for it’s own good? Is fashion making its own trends obsolete before they even get to market – to the consumer? Is this new way of business sustainable?

 

 


Men Spring 2016

Has 2015 been this looooooong of a year?? These collections seem like they are from ages ago. I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and work on the review and most of the images don’t even resonate anymore. I’m really surprised by that. Usually I don’t flip a switch that quickly, maybe it’s just because this year has indeed been a long one with some major changes. Experiences can shift your point of view, proof is right here. But I’m going to stick to my guns on this and show the majority of the looks I had picked way back in September.

Gucci

So I had been really excited about Chinoiserie this time last year. I even had a chinoiserie themed Christmas tree.  I painstakingly hand made at least 75 paper cranes that were glittered and tucked into the branches of the tree, the garlands, the wreaths and all. It was my obsession. To see some of the Fall 2015 and forward collections featuring that same idea was really satisfying. Even 3 months ago I was still thrilled to see these exquisite bird and branch patterned fabrics and embellishments.

Gucci
Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Dolce & Gabanna

This is more of the Italian version but in the same vain. I love the Pajama influence in the suit, it goes with my whole slouch theory from last season.

Dolce & Gabanna

Marc Jacobs

Speaking of last season, here is that same drip of a model from Jacobs Fall outing. What’s the deal Jacobs?

These pants are what it’s all about – these are very similar to the drop dead killer pants that started my obsession with Haider Ackermann (see below).

Marc Jacobs

Third pair…Still love this.

Haider Ackermann Spring 2015

Haider Ackermann Spring 2015

Haider Ackermann

Speak of the devil. In this new season Ackermann evolves the Asain influence. The center look most notably as well as other moments through the collection. This one was my favorite though, it is very wearable despite the potentially costume-y nod to traditional robes. Leave it to Ackermann to push forward with the idea successfully all the while making the designing seem effortless. The other two looks reference a 1980’s hipster which could go so very wrong yet it doesn’t. It looks cool enough to make me question why I would ever turn my back on a drop shoulder coat.

Haider Ackermann

Ermenegildo Zegna

More oversized, softened styles here and I’m really surprised that I love the colors. Normally all these pastels would be a huge turn off.  The coats themselves feel very 1960’s business man but the colors are so humble that you get this charming kind of sheepish he’s a gentleman but he’s earnest? I need a thesaurus and a poet to help me express myself here. I just find it charming in a rosy cheek kind of way. I try – I do.

Ermenegildo Zegna

Lanvin

In keeping with the theme, here are some more exaggerated shapes – note I don’t say “baggy” which would be a direct reference to the 1980’s. (Despite the model in gray bearing a striking resemblance to Al Pacino in Scarface) These are carefully tailored clothes, simply cut wider and fuller but the lines are still strong. Nothing sloppy here which makes all the difference. This red coat is outstanding I would share it (maybe) and wear it!

Lanvin

John Varvatos

Consistent. Varvatos delivers for his customer there is no doubt. This man will always have a sharp new suit every season that will be clean, fitted, and cool. If he wants to get crazy there is a version of the oversized coat thrown in there too. It’s so nice to have a designer at this level – in this rock and roll world who just gives you what you want.

John Varvatos

Roberto Cavalli

This collection actually looks more like his womenswear than what he usually delivers for the guys. I was a little surprised that the silhouette was so lean when he usually goes more broad – more beefy if you will. I know there is a new designer for the women’s, I don’t know if the men’s has been taken over as well but it does feel different. The women’s latest collection was horrible and felt like a very different house. In fact it’s the similarity to the original womenswear that leads me to believe that this was still by Cavalli’s hand. In any case I do like the clothes but more for me! Hah!

Roberto Cavalli

Thom Browne

Thank God for Thom Browne! Circling back to the chinoiserie influence by way of Edwardian gothic! I think this is incredible. By far the most stunning collection of the season. These are art. This is art.

Thom Browne


Men’s Fall 2015

There was a notable shift on the runways for Fall 2015, from the prevailing “classic” man (the not too muscular debonair James Bond type) to more of a younger much more hip man. It really felt like the new poster boy for “Sexy” this season was The Geek. He was all over the runways in snug pants and black rimmed glasses, sometimes he was muscular and sometimes he was skinny. Either way he was everywhere. I get it, but it feels a bit late. I’m frankly surprised that this trend is just now becoming so popular with the designers because it really feels like this look was relevant a few seasons, if not years ago. It should have hit when Portlandia first came out, when popular music started including Banjos and Accordions. It feels passé, so for this post I skipped it.

The next most spotted type was the now super mainstream Rocker guy. Now it’s true that the Rocker look is a weakness of mine. I see it as one of the mainstays of cool because it is seasonless and timeless. And though I couldn’t resist pinning many of those looks, the sad fact was that none of them really said anything new. Just more tight leather pants – more lean shiloettes, more pointy shoes. Nothing that really made me say, “YES!” So for the first time ever – I’m not even going to include any in this post – I still love you John Varvatos, but Haider Ackermann is my new boyfriend.

Which leads me to the look that I feel is really refreshing. If you have been a follower or reader of this blog then you know my position on trends and how silly and predictable they are. Its been tight pants, tighter pants and tight little slim cut suits for so long. Naturally the most interesting and again REFRESHING thing on those catwalks was the slouchy, easy look of what I can best describe as The Slouch (it’s terrible I know). I have obviously struggled with what to call this look. It is definitely a reaction to the skintight dominance of the last decade – much the way it must have been in the 1980’s after the fit and flare decade of the 1970’s. Up to this point it has been Haider Ackermann in the forefront of this evolution though clearly more designers are staring to follow suit. Here are my favorites from Fall 2015 starting with one of the most pragmatic designers out there, Marc Jacobs:

Marc Jacobs

Time to relax and enjoy having some room to breathe in your trousers fellas. You have earned it. Now all you hip young things can strut with a swing in your step. These pants weighted down by a sharp looking cuff will have a nice little swish when you walk. You will actually feel the cool coming off you. Love the ease, the drape and especially the flat front. (Definitely no need to bring back the pleat front trouser thanks) This guy looks comfortable and cool despite the look of distain on his face which I don’t really get, I mean you don’t have to smile but c’mon. What a sad sac.  Geez

Marc Jacobs

Joseph

I had to throw this in because this image  really kind of says it all. The styling and the attitude are right there. Not a fan of the collarless coat but other than that, Yeah.

Joseph - Bag

Bottega Veneta

What I love about this is the modern day Englishman I get  from these looks. I realize it’s an Italian house and I get Italian as well. But at first glance I thought of 1900’s era street clothes and I dig it. I think it’s so charming and different from anything we have seen lately. This is probably the first double breasted blazer that makes me wonder why they were forsaken.

Bottega Veneta

Berluti

Here again is that same kind of look, the wooly blazer the hook laced boot, the fitted coat. They all have a rumpled, everyman 1900’s feel that is charming. Paired with the easy soft trousers it all feels so chic.

Berluti

Moncler Gamme Bleu

I have to include Moncler Gamme Bleu. Thom Browne always does something different and interesting and totally without regard to trends. I love him for this. Here is my order: I would like one pair of the pants on the first model and the jacket and pants from both other models. I would wear the hell out of these. I think the inset stripe through the leg it so cool and sexy, and these crazy, loud, over the top blazers are so in your face they cannot be denied. Love love love – for me that is. I don’t know too many men who could pull these off, but I’d love to meet them.

Moncler Gamme Bleu

Dries Van Noten

Another great visionary designer at Van Noten. I was really excited to see the Asian influence that I have been inspired by on this runway in Paris.  Chinoiserie has been my latest obsession and this is just right. The totally modern interpretation of the classic Chinese costume. The suit is especially successful in it’s wearability. The jackets turned inside out is such a clever way to style them and I am so curious as to how they look from the outside even though I totally took them at face value before I realized the trick. The plaid pants are really cool in that they evoke a bondage pant, punk rock Asain hybrid of sorts. and the Silk jacket and shirt in the center are just hard to pin down – it’s like sloppy elegance? Provocative and totally inspired.

Dries Van Noten

Haider Ackermann

Even though this collection is not the epitome of the Slouch (ugh – I have got to do better), Ackermann was certainly the first. Check out the breakout collection from last year. Here is the evolution and it is such  eye candy. The colors are rich as are the textures and the fabrics. As always the styling is everything particularly with Ackermann.  I don’t know that the clothes would make any sense if you didn’t see them presented in the designers’ vision. This man is Johnny Depp in his heyday. The thrown together expensive luxury of it all.  You can imagine the story of this man and it is romantic and captivating. This is totally brilliant and I want it all.

Haider Ackermann


A Holiday Revival

Since the holidays unrelenting approach I have been busy.

Too busy as it seems to tend to this poor neglected blog. This is my bleated effort to stay current until I can finish the upcoming “Fall 2015 Review”, (which is embarrassingly late at this point). I have made reference to our Fashion Manifesto a few times in previous posts. It is one of the very first posts on our original blog (located over at blogger) and it was written back when I had time to spare. I keep thinking about it as I peruse the Pre-Fall 2015 look books and see shot after shot of Retro influences. So I thought since I don’t have the time now – nor do I foresee time becoming available until after the holiday blitzkrieg – that a revival of the good old gal was in order. In the meantime if you find you want to keep up with the enexile “feed” (sorry) you can always follow us on Pinterest – where we have TONS of inspiration organized into teeny digital boards.

I Hope you enjoy it and  Happy Holidays from enexile – Cheers!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Historic Style


This is what I do best.
Clothes, fashion, styling, accessorizing, merchandising. I love it all. But I don’t love the trends, never have, though what is wonderful about fashion comes from the trends and after all they can be fun. I see the necessity, trends introduce the masses to new ideas and show variations of style, which is what I love about “fashion”, STYLE. I love to tell strangers that I dig their shoes, hat, top… whatever. Everyone loves a compliment, and when I get one from a stranger, it makes my day. We all like to think that we have style. I always thought that style was something you were born with, but as I’ve gotten older I really feel that though it can be innate (in a blessed few) it can also be developed. I have known several people who were uninspired, but after being exposed to good tailoring, good fit, flattering cuts etc – took to fashion gradually – and developed a real sense of personal style. So I encourage everyone I know to experiment, to try new things. If you’re spending any money at all on clothes, then you might as well spend it wisely. Style does not have to come with a huge price tag, fashion might but style  (once developed) can come from thrifting, discount stores, or high end boutiques. As long as you know what works for you. Then you can decide how much you want to invest in your wardrobe.

  Fashion presents itself in the form of trends – which are basically reactions to the last big thing. If “skinny jeans” are popular – you better believe the “full leg pant” will be on the runway next season. “Short is in“ ? Hell no … by the time people are wearing “short” at the mall – it’ll be all about “long“. So don’t bother. My advice is to take advantage of the trends (when the stores are stocked with options) to get the best piece for your long term wardrobe. If short is in, then here is your chance to invest in the short skirts or dresses that your wardrobe has been lacking. If you have style then you won’t care what is “in” and you’ll wear your favorite mini when everyone else says it’s “out“. Most likely it’s not the people that are on trend, but the people who are wearing what is “out“, (and WEARING IT WELL) that are the ones designers look to for inspiration. Be one who inspires, that is something to aspire to, and it will NEVER go out of style.


Speaking of never going out of style, here are my thoughts on what has been born from trend – yet has become timeless over the decades. I have kept fashion journals, I guess you could call them since high school and anything that I clipped from a magazine in 1989 that I look at today and still love – that is what I consider good design, good fashion and ultimately a good investment. These are my favorites from each decade…

From 1900 to 2010, here are my picks:

1900The Corset – at the time if you DIDN’T wear one you would have been shunned by proper society, yet ironically now it is considered risque. What a fantastic evolution. I certainly don’t suggest that you wear a corset everyday, but they are a beautiful piece when worked into a dress or jacket. They have never gone out of style.

The Original, the Modern and the Dolce & Gabbana

 

 

1910The Gowns -Now, obviously they had dresses prior to the 1910’s, but not yet like this. These were “gowns” not big fussy evening ensembles. This was a glorious era for intricately beaded, laced and trimmed gowns. If you look at old drawings of gowns from this decade, they are clear blueprints for the red carpet gowns of the generations that follow.

1920The Beads – beaded gowns, beaded bags, piles of long layered beaded necklaces. We can thank the flappers for all that beaded glory. Love it!!

 

From Coco Chanel to Louis Vuitton 2011

 

 

1930The Bias. The Bias cut was a revolution that hit in the 1930’s and draping was reborn. Fashion was changed forever, and my favorite example of the era manifested not in the evening wear, but in the nightgowns. Nothing says romance more to me than the silk nightgowns from the 1930’s, bias cut with touches of lace are so feminine, and just as sexy now as ever. I collect them fiercely whenever I can.

Jean Harlow to Donna Karen Spring 2011

Jean Harlow to Donna Karen Spring 2011

 

 

1940 – So much to offer – how does one thing stand out?
First and foremost is the amazing and classic hairstyles. Some of the most iconic looks come from the era of limited shampoo! Ironic. Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth and many more of the glamour icons were featured in this decade. Versions of these hairstyles can be found easily in the decades that followed.

Veronica Lake and her iconic hairstyle

Veronica Lake and her iconic hairstyle

For clothing, this is a toss up between the Platform Shoe, and the Structured Suit. The Platform Shoe has been victimized by fashion many times over the years (hello 70’s – UGH!) but is best in it’s classic state – the platform peep toe is a definite classic. The structured suit for women will always be a staple, and we can thank the 40’s for some beautiful originals.

Carmen Miranda and her platforms, some lovely 1940's ladies off to work in their modern suits, and Dita Von Tease rocking the whole look today.

Carmen Miranda and her platforms, some lovely 1940’s ladies off to work in their modern suits, and Dita Von Tease rocking the whole look today.

 

 

1950 – Again I am torn, this time between the makeup and the clothing. First the classic 1950’s makeup. The big black false eyelashes, liquid liner and simple red lip are perfection. They will always look clean and fresh while looking youthful and feminine. For clothing – HANDS DOWN ICONIC – the blue jeans and the leather biker jacket. (Thank you Marlon Brando in “The Wild One”)

Who's a more perfect example of 1950's makeup than Marilyn?

Who’s a more perfect example of 1950’s makeup than Marilyn?

NOBODY is cooler than Brando

NOBODY is cooler than Brando

 

 

1960The boots. Love a great pair of knee high boots! This is also the birth of the mini skirt. Two looks that will forever be in style, regardless of trends. Find me a man who doesn’t love a woman in a mini! (Not that we dress to please men – just stating a fact)

1960s boots

 

 

1970 – So many wonderful fashion moments happened in this era despite the events of the decade. Here are the highlights for me: (all the runway looks are of like minded Balmain Spring and Fall 2011 respectively)

The Americana – the 70’s are responsible for most all of the looks that have become associated with the badassery of America, the American flag jean Jacket, the aviator sunglasses, the beat up leather pants – basically anything worn in “Easy Rider” (I realize easy rider came out in ‘69 – but it’s fashion impact hit in the 70’s for sure)
americana

Punk – One of fashion’s greatest muses. Tight leather, brightly colored hair cut wildly, metal as an accessory, I could go on…but I know you get it.

punk collage

Glam – Which I personally credit to David Bowie. Thank you David Bowie for your contribution to fashion and music and all culture in general.

glam collage
1980Goth! The era where punk meets sweet misery, and Goth is born amongst the neon and Lucite in a moment of fashion history. A personal favorite of mine as I was walking proof in my teens. I love to see Goth revived over and over on the runways – though black has never been “out” in my wardrobe…

(Top) Siouxie and The Banshees circa 1980, compared to (Left) Givency 2009 and this shot of  the Chanel Runway 2011.

(Top) Siouxie and The Banshees circa 1980, compared to (Left) Givenchy 2009 and this shot of the Chanel Runway 2011.

 

 

1990Grunge. I said it! I’ll never get tired of the juxtaposition of feminine and tough. We saw it here first when the baby doll dress was paired defiantly with army boots and plaid was given it’s 15 minutes of fame. Beat up jeans were reborn at ridiculous prices for the trendy (but dirt cheap for those who actually had kept their jeans – perfect example of how fashion always repeats.)

Marc Jacobs did grunge most famously (left) in Vogue 1992

Marc Jacobs did grunge most famously (left) in Vogue 1992

 

 

2000 – This admittedly is a tough one. It’s so close that it’s hard to have perspective. But here is my best bet. The hipster…much of what the hipsters wore in the millennium was retro with a twist, which will continue to define the hip in their future manifestations as it has in the former. But there are always a few new ideas that come about in the mix that help tie that particular group to their decade. In the case of the “Y” generation hipster, the most sustainable ( to use a term from their era ) were:
1.The side slung belt, or the layering of belts. Textured, colored whatever…the belt was a necessity worn off center or backwards, often layered 2 or 3 deep. This look still works for me, and I think it’s
a keeper.

The band "The Kills" is a shining example of hipster styling

The band “The Kills” is a shining example of hipster styling

 

2. The Vest. Now I know what your saying…the vest is by no means new. It’s been around FOREVER, but the way it was vested…now here me out. Yes, we saw the vest over the tee in the 80’s on the likes of Debbie Gibson (who ruined hats in the 80‘s also BTW) but she wasn‘t the only one. They were worn open, loose, over tee shirts with big breast pockets, paired with bike shorts (UGH!!) and to make it even worse – baggy socks and patent leather shoes tied with a bow! TRAGIC. I was one of the guilty, I did it too and I am ashamed. After this trendy application I never thought vests could make a comeback, but come 2000 the hipsters proved me wrong! It was done well by the Y-Gen, they took the vest and gave it proper distinction by choosing the tweeds, the worn leathers, the dignified vests. Coupled with the hipster trademark thin tee and skinny pant ( and belts) maybe throw in a few jumbled necklaces, one of those loosely slung scarves and viola! Hipster! The point is that the vest triumphed, and I for one was impressed at it’s cool rebirth. I now give the vest it’s proper due. The Vest…Is cool.

vest collage

So all this leads me to the point.

Hang onto those skinny jeans – they will be back in 6 to 8 years. Hold onto everything actually – if it still fits, keep it – it’ll come back in style, and if it’s a good solid well made piece it’ll be a shining example of timeless. I guarantee this to be true. In fact, I challenge you to make a fashion time capsule, take all the clothes you feel are not in style, (if this is an issue for you at all, really you should just wear what you like and not worry about it) and put it in a box for 10-12 years and trust me, those pieces will be cool again. In some cases, you will be considered fashion forward! The only issue then will be if YOU have moved on, not fashion.


Menswear Spring 2015 Review

This season offered up mostly the usual fashiony mix: the crazy and totally ridiculous, the tried and true, the daring newcomers, the avant-garde and the rockers. Within fashion in general the menswear designers have a much harder go of it because frankly most men aren’t interested in most of what’s on the runway. Even the self proclaimed stylish man will usually stick with his specific look, be it a suit and tie gent, a jeans and tee type – what have you… This is why as a retailer we tend to lean toward more wearable real life clothes that function and aren’t too costumey. Although every now and then even that stable stylish fellow wants something flashy – a statement item, so we keep a look out for that too!  With that in mind, here are the picks from the runways of Spring 2015.

Diesel – Black Gold

 Not quite the rocker not quite the hipster. Diesel has come back in the last few years and has really found it’s customer. The clothes are interesting, wearable and unique. They really fill a hole in the market for the man who wants to dress cool and do it quietly. Plus a casual tuxedo pant is always welcome.

Diesel Black Gold

Costume National

I love that somehow these suits look both painfully 1970’s pimp and/or Mick Jagger while also looking super suave for that guy you know who charms all the ladies with his David Addison crooked smile. These suits are for the Motown loving, sly fox,  cool cat that the world needs more of. That purple suit is just killing me with cockiness – in a good way.

Costume national

Miharayasuhiro

This I had to include because I am nostalgic and all I see here is Duckie from Pretty in Pink who is probably the most originally styled character in a movie ever. If you don’t get this reference then immediately stop reading this and go watch the movie.

If you are still reading, then I love the distress on this blazer. Its effin awesome.

Miharayasuhiro

Lanvin

The styling is a problem – the neck scarves are a bit alienating I’d say. But the clothes fit so well, the shoes are great – I love the messenger bag (really the only bag I see as reasonable for stylish men to carry as a  “man purse”). The pants are narrow without being tight, the jackets are slim without sacrificing ease – these clothes look comfortable right? The first rule of cool – be (or at least look) comfortable.

Lanvain

St Laurent

So here’s where the pants are too tight- they look uncomfortable (camel toe) so that’s right out. What I love here and cannot get enough of is the idea of seeing these embroidered jackets in person and being blown away. There is no question that these jackets are amazing quality and fit perfectly – this is St Laurent after all. To have any one of these would be like the signature item in the rock god wardrobe and that is just freaking irresistible. My eyes literally have stars in them looking at these. Rock and F IN Roll man.

Saint Laurent

Dolce and Gabanna

Dolce and Gabanna menswear is hit and miss for me. The same aesthetic that kills it for the women’s wear , The lusty Sicilian siren – often times is just cheesy when interpreted for men. Though the last few showings have felt less like Versace and more like La Dolce Vita and I am glad for it. The bullfighter was undoubtedly the inspiration here and as always with Dolce, they show tons of looks.  Many just to support the theme, yet amongst the frivolity were some solid numbers. For example, these first two suits are really refreshing. The vest is classic looking paired with the 3/4 jacket and the polka dot in grey and black seems very sophisticated despite the whimsy of the dots. The dashing fellow in the 3rd shot is wearing a great alternative to the black tie basic black and finally the jacquard slippers are just so cocky they are hard to deny. I love the world these two designers have created and the fun that they have decorating it is apparent in their shows.

D & G

Valentino

The Valentino men’s seems like a cross between Prada and Burberry. It’s playful like Prada yet traditionally cut like Burberry. I like this cross because often times the look of the Prada outfit is quirky and cool – but the cut of the garments can be alienating. Where as Burberry has got the fit that most anyone can wear but they typically don’t get as playful. So here is a great mix. The plaids are almost cheeky and the floral embroidered suit is fun. I hate “fun” as an adjective but really… I can see a cool cat wearing those tulip pants with a beater and a black cardigan. Any of these suits can be dressed down in this way and look fantastic.

Valentino

Haider Ackerman

I have become an official fan. In my last men’s review I pointed out how Ackerman ‘s show looked like an 80’s reinterpretation. I belive I mentioned “Men Without Hats” Well here again I see a total 80’s reference via the slouchy blazers, the pastel satins, the pegged pants and dropped trousers- it’s all here and it’s awesome. Ackerman does something magical when he interprets an era. He finds the best bits and exploits the hell out of them while somehow making it look totally easy. This all looks like he just put pen to paper and it flowed like a poem. The silks, the colors, the layers, it’s all so lovely. In fact it’s enviable for the women – I would steal all of these clothes the second my man turned his back. And I stand behind my prediction from that last post. This is the new hipster look.

Haider Ackerman

Belstaff

First this model is not doing these clothes any favors.

 Belstaff are all about classic, expertly crafted, functional biker clothes which are not necessarily made for bikers. They never let me down and if you have some money to drop on a piece you will wear and keep forever then they are your go to designer. They have that leather jacket you have always wanted, the great sweater, the everyday pant. Stellar and reliable.

Belstaff 1

John Varvatos

The king.

If rock and roll prayed for a designer then Varvatos would be it’s answer. These clothes are for the self respected rocker or the man who just knows what it feels like to be admired for his confidence and style. I don’t really feel that there is anything to say other than : more please.

J varvatos

Thank you so much for stopping by! We’ll see you for couture 2014…


Men’s Fall 2014 Review

Men’s certianlly isn’t as fun as women’s. The more outrageous the Menswear the more silly it usually seems. Where with women’s outrageous can be art – the gateway to the next big trend and so on.  My take is that men’s should be real, should make the Man the best version of himself – whether that’s a rocker, a gentleman or a dandy for example. That in mind, here are the standouts from the Fall 2014 runways:

 

Belstaff

The quintessential Biker from whatever era – the best of all? This man wears only the finest. This is the top of the line for Leather and the styling is dead on.  Another great showing.

 

 

Belstaff

 Haider Ackerman

This is a total throwback to the 80’s for me. When I first saw this I flashed on Men without Hats – Safety Dance… anyone else? But then I realized, I don’t mind as a matter of fact these guys look  pretty cool in that, I don’t care I just threw this together way. Not for everyone, but I see the next hipster here.

Haider ackerman

 

Alexander McQueen

Another revival here. The rocker will like this and so will the hipster. It’s classic punk from the vantage of a suburban bedroom window. Familiar and comforting in a way, not to mention extremely high quality. If your looking for your last shredded sweater look no further! (anyone else see Nick Cage from Valley Girl?)

McQueen

Shoes

So lets take a break here and look at one of the accessories that are easiest for men. Shoes can do so much to an ensemble. They are often beloved by their owners when they find that perfect pair and for good reason. Shoes can notoriously say a lot about their wearer. Here are some cool characters we spotted this season.

Dolce & Gabanna

D & G

Saint Laurent, Prada, Bottega Veneta and  Thom Browne

shoes

Ralph Lauren

The Great Gatsby. This is simply beautiful. Lauren has clearly taken from the 30’s 3 piece here, which are my favorites because this is a man who is DRESSED. The collection also showed some nice looking clean casual pieces that make good solid staples in any man’s wardrobe.

 

ralph Lauren

Roberto Cavalli

Lets forget about the headbands here. That red jacket is such a standout and the snake print coat is so cool you should have to pass a coolness test to wear it. I don’t get the styling here at all, but who cares. Those 2 pieces are amazing.

Cavalli

Saint Laurent

So people have been going gaga over this new designer for Saint Laurent and I really honestly don’t get it. It’s derivative  and not really in a very successful way. Both the Men’s and Women’s lack polish and lack class. It all seems very sleazy and at the price you are paying that just doesn’t compute. So – yeah – I don’t get all the accolades. That all being said, these are Rocker clothes, and I cannot resist the rocker. Period.

St laurent

I think it’s obvious to see that many designers can’t put down that torch they have for the past. Many creative people began noticing the world in fine detail at the time of puberty. Whatever they saw at that crucial time has burned into their psyche the same way a first taste of rock and roll does to a musician – that Chuck Berry or The Beatles will always be an influence on thier style. Here we see it is no different for fashion. It’s probably the explanation for why fashion goes in 30 year cycles. As the preeminent designers at the time will likely be in their 30’s or 40’s doing throwbacks to their youth – making that era come alive all over again for a new crop of aspiring artists. SO are we doomed to repeat fashion over and over every 30 years? I don’t think doomed is the right word…

Certainly in Menswear, the classics are classic for good reason.