Category Archives: Men’s Fashion

Mens Fall 2019

Coats. There is an abundance of fantastic Coats. I can say there is at least one from each collection listed below I would kill for – and in several case many more than just one. You see a fantastic coat is the best investment (if your climate requires) because often times you wear it more than any other piece in your wardrobe. Many times it will be the only part of an outfit the world will see – therefore making the importance of its statement (of lack therof) even more so. This abundance of fantastic coats is no doubt the result of the epic shift we have seen happen in the last 2 years in menswear where for the first time in the mainstream womenswear is influencing menswear. About time really as menswear has been assisting the ladies since the 1920’s! Up until recently, rock and roll was the only place a guy could find outrageous togs – but now there are velvet and sequins and lace and satin, glitter and glam and embroidery and beading, color and print and texture across the board. It’s a good time to be a guy.

Ami

I like this because I could see myself dressing like this as a man. The 3/4 narrow coats in plaid speak to my affinity for 1950’s era London Fog staples. The pants come both pegged or wide – depending on your mood.  The creeper toed shoes that harken back to and go well with the zoot suit-y wallet chain that I still like the look of despite its past as a played out trend from the 1990’s. All in all I like the exaggerated length when its long, and the exaggerated width when its slouchy and the overall feeling of comfort. These clothes look as comfortable as they look cool. How I aspire to be.

Junya Watanabe

I like these Frankenstein jackets, a lot. We’ve seen the leather sleeves thing before but I can’t recall seeing the same treatment among the tweeds and the bomber jacket. Such a simple idea yet it looks so clever. It’s practically punk in it’s DYI.

Neil Barrett

There is a definite Rock and Roll thing happening over at the house of B and you know I cannot resist any genuine respect for the culture of rockers. They were the first ones to legitimize outrageous dressing and freedom from gender barriers. These clothes are nothing new but they are nicely made and built to last. So if you are looking for a long term old school punk rock piece that you can live in then here’s your chance. That plaid coat with the leopard collar would be my personal choice!

Etro

Etro has always been a favorite because they have built a brand based on colorful patterns and diverse textures. They skillfully mix and play with pattern and texture in a way that is inspiring. Here they do it again – just as they always have. Some standouts are guess what … the Coats! There are some beauties here, my favorite being the blue butterfly on the fair fellow.  Where many houses are trying to apply this technique to keep up with the trends set by brands like Gucci and ACNE – Etro already masters it. It must be gratifying for them to see their aesthetic become all the rage so they can really shine.

Tom Ford

Ford delivers again in his promise to personally dress all the men of the world as suave motherfuckers. This is to say, in his own image. All the suits are tailored to perfection and come in luxurious fabrics from rich textured wools to eye catching shiny silks. Some beautifully considered leather jackets are added this season in classic black and white, I’m certain they are the finest leathers available. When I think of Tom Ford I think of dashing men checking their cuffs with a tug and giving a knowing wink.

Dolce and Gabbana

This collection felt very 1930’s which was a transitional time in mens fashion. The pants were loose yet tailored, the suits were getting flashy and there was a feeling of whimsy. This collection has charming touches of art deco in the velvet suit collars and polo sweaters (the game not the collar). Then there are the quintessential D&G hallmarks of brocade and glitter – there was so much sequins in this show it brought a tear to my eye.  I’m not sure how many men would wear a sequin coat (god bless them bc they should!) but I know a hell of a lot of women, myself included who would kill for these patterned sequin jackets and coats and sweaters… The costume element is strong – perhaps a bit too strong but there are always collectible and covetable pieces that can be found among the pomp and circumstance. (emerald green striped and sequin velvet smoking jacket? Yes please!) And as always the shoes and accessories are phenomenal!

Ann Demeulemeester

If the idea in fashion is to take a bit of whats trending and sprinkle it over your aesthetic in order to stay current is the key then Demeulemeester has got it all figured out. There has been a turn toward punk and grunge revival lately and obviously houses like Brunello Cucinelli or Armani aren’t going to even try to hop on that one, but if you are Demeulemeester and you already have a foot in that door then why not? This season they have moved seamlessly (sorry) from the previous seasons pirate/18th century poet to pirate/punk rocker. The button cuff pant is still here but feels less costume when paired with the high ankle boot and the draping shirts feel less dramatic with a long jacket. It all really works here.

Alexander McQueen

You can always count on McQueen to outshine all the others.  Here we see exquisitely tailored suits in bright flower prints and oversize plaids which are a standard for Burton. Among boxy cut leathers and painterly prints she sneaks in a few choice lace print patterns that seem to speak toward those lace curtains you’d find at your Mom’s house. The last few coats with the beaded wings are breathtakingly beautiful and the final chandelier jackets are art pieces. Standout McQueen – you simply cannot do any less.

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Mens Spring 2019

 

There seem to be two major trends happening on the menswear runways: 1. Activewear as sportswear 2. Womens inspired menswear. Neither of these are some big revelation as activewear has been encroaching on sportwear for a while now, but now it seems to have solidified its presence to where you can no longer find a sportswear collection that doesn’t include trainers and a puffy jacket… or 10. The colors are brighter, the fabrics are direct from the gym and the accessories are literal (duffel bags anyone?) Almost directly in contrast to this is the movement to bring womenswear for the men. We are seeing details as subtle as nipped in waists on jackets and as extreme as full on gowns with corsets. Women have been stealing from mens’ wardrobes since the 1920’s so why did it take so long for men to steal from them? In any case credit to the designers who can do it without looking lazy, as in, just put a boy in a dress. Those that borrow elements and use them thoughtfully have the most success in my opinion. Like Ann Demeulemeester, or Alexander McQueen – both who have made our very short list for favorites from the Mens Spring 2019 collections…

Tom Ford

I don’t think that Tom Ford’s reputation as a stylish MF has ever been up for debate. He can cut a suit that will stand out as the coolest, slickest, most expensive looking fellow in the room. By deftly using classic silhouettes and timeless fabrics he manages to make clothes that defy an era. They simultaneously subscribe to and transcend the 1950’s beetle era, the 1960’s jazz era, the 1970’s studio 54 era, the 80’s wall street – nineties mod, 2000’s hipster and on. Any of these suits would look just as sharp attending any of the parties in any of the hippest, most exclusive, most enviable homes in the hills of wherever, the penthouse of whatever. Timeless and of all times.

Yohji Yamamoto

It’s not often that I would describe menswear as beautiful. This collection by Yamamoto was just that. The clothes were fluid and thoughtfully draped to wear together.  The pieces with the screened florals were such a lovely contrast against the bleak darkness of the solid black. The pairing with leather and printed leather were just cool and had a bit of modern edge to an otherwise dreamy poetic collection.

Dries Van Noten

I absolutely always vibe with the colors used by Dries Van Noten. When I was obsessed with dusty colors against deep tones he validated me. (see it here on the old blog)

Currently I am obsessed with navy and deep greens against yellow and burnt orange, throw in some fuchsia and cherry red and now we’re talking! This collection goes a bit over wearable for mens though, in that the use of the bright color and the bold pattern can get a bit cartoonish – clownish even. I prefer seeing muted tones in the patterns and bright colors used as solids or as an accent.

Ann Demeulemeester

True to form Ann Demeulemeester has delivered another romantic collection for the modern day brooding poet. This time with a hint of beekeeper. The clothes as always are fluid and layered, gauzy and silky in an array of whites on black and minimal accent colors. This time a pale yellow and soft pink. The best bits are the pieced in satin stripe or lace details in the jackets making them unique and delightfully unisex. Lace for a man is particularly difficult to pull off but I don’t think anyone has come closer to doing it than here.  The lace sleeves still read as masculine on these jackets due to the broad cut and padding of the shoulder. Daresay sexy and not in a Prince wearing lace kind of overt way and more in a confident in his masculinity way. Nice

 

Alexander McQueen

OK this collection killed it. The mashup of a nerdy, straight-laced, dapper fellow with the edgy, tough guy and conceptual artist is brilliantly executed. Bringing together these personalities in one collection is an excellent representation of just what McQueen menswear is all about. There is always an element of punk, always a connection to nature and art through beauty and always the clothes are rooted by the bespoke nature of Saville row in London. It’s as if Burton has dissected these parts and shown them to us here, to say here are our split personalities because no-one is only one thing. It’s finding that balance of all our sides that makes us unique.

 


Mens Fall 2018

The collections that caught our eye this season were the usual suspects; a few beautifully cut suits, some exciting uses of color, some new silhouettes and lots of pattern (especially plaid). The theme running through all of these is style.

Canali

Impeccable. Timeless. Classic. The proportions are spot on, the cuts are flawless. Probably the closest you can get to Bespoke off the rack. These clothes would look amazing on any man.

Neil Barrett

When it comes to menswear my theory is that you have to walk a thin line. Clothing can look cheezy, silly, thrashy, goofy, etc if it’s not styled properly or if it’s not on the right man. Same as women’s, but lets face it women have a bit more leeway. Therefore for most men it’s best to stick to clean lines and shapes, good tailoring and leave the “personal expression” to the accessories. The hair, watch, shoes and so on. Neil Barrett has provided some perfect pieces here for just this man. Not terribly exciting, but solid – giving the man the chance to be the most exciting part of the outfit, without fussy distractions or trendy bullshit.

Daks

So in contrast to the last designer we have Daks. These are the clothes for the next guy, the one whose got a little twinkle in his eye, whose a little on the fringe, a bit of an artistic /creative type. He doesn’t mind the sideways looks and is confident enough in his personal style that he can mix plaid and mohair. Not for everyone, but thankfully we have a few of these clever fellows wandering about and if you’re lucky you might spot one in the wild like a colorful rare bird. The pants here are especially wonderful and come in a variety of cuts all beautifully crafted and fitted handsomely. The coats are also great – not too boxy not to narrow – accommodating and likely quite comfortable. Dandy.

Etro

Etro has always been one of my favorites because they are known for their use of color and they expertly mix textures and patterns. There is a youthful cheekynesss that is irresistible.

Paul Smith

Smith has always been the man to dress the quintessential quirky English fellow. That has not changed. His favorite is the classic suit; trim and tailored, wide leg or stovepipe he always runs the gamut. Here we get another vast offering of suits for the gents in his infamous broad color spectrum albeit here more subdued than usual. No complaints. A solid group with plenty to choose from. The streets of London will continue to vibrate with color and swing.

Ann Demeulemeester

In the Spring collection I thought there was a lean toward a swashbuckling pirate vibe and indeed it continues here in the fall. Demeulemeester always embodies the poetic soul and this collection adds in a bit of the rogue bandit as well. There is a feeling of romance in the styling here where the men always seem to be coming undone…Passon? Desire?  These are expressed quite beautifully and the clothes themselves are fitting costumes to wear in that state. And they are costumes but amongst them lurk wearable items – tanks, jackets, shirts…though I’d say most of the button cuffed pants are going to look a bit out-of-place in a world that doesn’t exist on the stage. Still ever lovely and inspiring.

Alexander McQueen

Mrs Sara Burton brings a fine mix of beauty and edge once again at McQueen. She has been an excellent designer for keeping with the McQueen aesthetic.

Haider Ackermann

The collection felt a bit different from the usual Ackermann sensibility, the clothes got a bit rumpled here at times looking a little messy. Ackermann usually does a slouchy shape that’s more deliberate, more controlled, here it gets a little bit away. Aside from those instances there are great looks and certainly great pieces where the cherry blossom items are my favorites. Ackermann often does asymmetric pattern placement like a painter and it’s lovely – it feels special. His eye for styling is key and it carries into his sense of proportion and overall design. There is always balance. He has yet to let me down.

Dries van Noten

You can always count on Van Noten to bring something unusual, creative and inspired to the runway. There is always a unique color scheme and clever mixing of patterns and textures. I love this about him. Here there are pieces that are 100% wearable and totally unique. What is especially nice about this for his customer is that every season he brings something new, a new favorite pair of pants or a new sweater, jacket, shoe. All totally aligned with his aesthetic, never straying from his point of view yet always realistic for the customer to incorporate into an existing wardrobe. This season he focused on abstract paint motifs as a base likely a point of departure for the color story which was blues, yellows and greens with ivory to bounce off of. It works in the collection despite the prints themselves being a bit garish. All in all the numerous offerings here are great. Fashion yet function.


 


Mens Spring 2018

I wasn’t even going to do a Men’s post for this season because as it was rolling out I wasn’t seeing anything that really inspired a post. But then I saw the Dolce & Gabbana Collection, and Haider Ackermann, and then Rick Owens and I thought well, I have to write about this.

Ann Demeulemeester

There is always a sort of Marque De Sade, 18th century poet vibe happening over at Ann Demeulemeester and this time was no exception. Although this time there is also a swashbuckling 1970’s seduction element. It can get costumey but for the right guy this really does hit the mark. He’s a theatrical type for certain with a romantic confidence. Plus these are prime steal from your man clothes, seriously, they’d look so good on me.

Alexander McQueen

In this collection there weren’t a whole lot of Spring clothes and even less for Summer but I find myself overlooking this glaring offence in the name of outstanding fashion. But then again an argument could be made that they are in London after all and I guess the Spring there is chilly so wearing a wool coat isn’t out of the question. Or you could just say it’s fashion, its Alexander McQueen, they can do whatever they want! The result of throwing convention out the window (and who better than the house of McQueen to do so?) are some very cool and unique clothes. The leather jumpsuit is biker chic at its very best and the string draped jackets are works of art. Sure they’d catch on every table you walk by but hey – how cool does it look?!

 

Rick Owens

I don’t usually include Owen’s work because honestly I don’t think its very wearable. His designs fall more in the realm of art and are conceptual and storytelling. His shows are experiences that don’t typically translate when posting runway stills. But this time is different. His vision for this collection was about man finding order in nature. Hoping to make his place and therefore find immortality. The evolution of the clothes was a way of showing a rise to understanding and eventually the civilization of men. Profound stuff for fashion yet it’s pulled off here with beauty at its core. This is what caught my attention, the beauty. The pants in particular are draped so – ugh – words! The are billowy and soft and light while still somehow full, formed and perfectly cultivated.  Owens was able to master the fabrics like a surfer riding a wave. He gets it here so perfectly that it’s almost moving. At least for me. And the cropped jackets are fit beautifully with long lean arms and trim waists, the result being a stunning silhouette of fit and fullness. I was blown away. Am.

 

Berluti

I’m clicking through the Berluti collection and I’m wondering why I’m liking it so much. Don’t get me wrong, Berluti has always been a well made collection but it’s usually lacking charisma. Not this time though, with each look I became more and more intrigued. The pants are cut with just the right amount of cool guy drape and sit in just the right spot on the hips. The jackets are sleek and clean and expertly tailored, just the right amount of design so that you don’t really even notice it – this is what makes clothes, staples. Timeless. Then I got to the end of the show and it all became clear. The last photo showed the designer, Haider Ackermann. Of course! The master of cool menswear has harnessed his flair just enough to make it more commercial for his new endeavor. He did a great job, totally wearable and tons of investment pieces. I’m sure Berluti will be thrilled.

Givenchy

Here are some cool options for the guy who is on the fence about wearing the outrageous pieces from Gucci. There are some stunning items here, most notably the shiny print trousers and metallic suits, which could be mixed into a more conservative wardrobe without too much blowback or concern over being trendy. Not to mention the sprinkling of some sequins shawl collared evening jackets that would certainly be in danger of being stolen by ones lady friend. A little flash never hurt anyone, particularly when it’s as impeccably tailored and crafted as Givenchy.

Dolce & Gabbana

My longstanding favorite designer never fails to deliver on the quintessential Italian flair. These fellows are decked out to impress with all their flash and machismo and somehow D & G can marry those two elements and not feel cheesy. These garments are fitted with ease, (not overly tight like Versace) allowing them to remain at once – Gentlemen. Flashy Gentlemen, but still having class. This is a man who brings humor and charm to the table, he definitely can’t take himself too seriously. There has to be a sense of fun, after all Dolce & Gabbana is all about playing dress up. Particularly love the sparkly collar tuxedos because sometimes you just want a little bit more dazzle. 

 


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.


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