Category Archives: Men’s Fashion

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.