Tag Archives: Ann Demeulemeester

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. 

 

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Fall 2017 Favorites

When the first of the Fall 2017 shows stared rolling out I was excited to see that the colors I had been obsessing over the last few months were represented. Plenty of burnt orange, mustard yellow and navy blue playing together among the collections. And gold – gold was everywhere, especially paired with black, (which takes me back to my jr high dance so I don’t know about that one) There also seems to be more mixing of textures such as satins and wools paired together.  I was surprised however when the Paris collections began and there was a dominance of baby blue and pink. Weren’t those the colors for last year? I can’t figure that out other than perhaps they warmed up to the idea(?) though the French are not known for following so it’s perplexing. Regardless, there is always immense diversity which is the very best part. So many choices. Isn’t it wonderful to have CHOICES!

I also can’t help but notice a deliberate pandering to the millennial crowd. Heres a tip – putting Doc Martins on the model does not transform that dress. Nor does that tired slouchy knit hat or the alternately so ugly it’s cool socks with sandals trick. Just make the clothes and leave out the gimmicks please.

Alice + Olivia

I always want to love Alice + Olivia because in theory it very much my personal taste. A little rockabilly and a little cheeky with some sparkle and girlishness all mixed together. Yet oftentimes the collection seems to just miss the mark. This time around there were a more than a few that hit and it’s my pleasure to add them to the seasons list of favorites. Particularly the camo set minus the pants whose length is bothersome, but the top and jacket are awesome. See what I mean?  Just a little off. The bird skirt is great too though I’d prefer it with a tank, cropped jacket and a hip slung belt. The white sweater and skirt are perfect and I would put that on right now, go get some coffee and be admired for my easy cool style.The two dresses are lovely especially the last A-line allover print which is one of my favorite of the season so far. So nice to have a dress that you can’t see thorough!

 

Fay

I must say that I like this because it looks like my wardrobe from when I was in my early 20’s. Plaid bondage pants that I used to wear with oversized sweaters, box pleat mini skirts with cropped jackets. Snake skin pants – if I could’ve found a snake skin jacket a’la Nick Cage in Wild at Heart I would have been all over it.

This reemerging of the trends from 20 years ago goes back to a post I wrote regarding the cycle of fashion, where I theorized that the designers now taking over the houses are looking back to their youth for inspiration on their current collections. This is how we end up revisiting eras 20-30 years later. It simply takes that long for most designers to work their way up to the top, and when they do, they are nostalgic for a simpler time.

 

Cinq A Sept

I love the colors and prints and the way they have been styled to compliment each other in such a creative and unexpected way. Like the sky blue and brown coat with the blueberry and black dress or the peach cardigan with the bubblegum pink and burnt orange dress. There is such life in these colors that the clothes really become like candy to the eye.

 

Dice Kayek

There aren’t many designers playing with volume right now – at least not as many as there should be. Volume feels like the next big thing so I’m interested to see more from this designer going forward.

 

Gary Graham

Although this particular collection isn’t my style, I think it’s distinctive and uniquely cool. The layering of knits with brocades and leather is intriguing and unexpected yet it works. The prints are all working together with textures and embellished pieces to create this modern bohemian vibe that is very provocative. My favorite is the first look where the embellished shirts are layered together and dressed down with the casual pant. so much is happening but none of it fights – it’s so harmonic. Such a distinct voice here. Love that.

 

Jil Sander Navy

Wait…This is Jil Sander? But it didn’t bore me out of my chair. Intriguing.

 

Ann Demeulemeester

What can I say other than they are designing for the modern day goth. This is the goth aesthetic. Romantic, dramatic, emotional dark and complicated. The teenage goth in me can’t help but love that. I also love that when they do incorporate color they tend to use it as a dutch painter might – contrasting deep hues with barely there tints. Now that may not be what others see. Perhaps they see modern in the consistent black and white palette, or maybe edgy due to the interesting draping and choices of textures and creative styling. Demeulemeester straddles a line where costume meets contemporary always resulting in a performance worth catching.

Hiader Ackermann

SO I have to admit I was disappointed to see a predominance of black this season from Ackermann. I adore when he uses color but here there was only a small touch of blue – vibrant though it was. He did have his own take on the black and gold trend which was masterful, naturally. where the gold was painted in like a vein along a few choice garments and it was powerfully chic. Still a myriad of impressively tailored shapes and of course the exquisite jackets. There are 2 looks in here from the menswear show that I had to include because those pants are killer and that teal blue velvet is stunning.

 

 

Maticevski

My take on this designer to date has been that they are about silhouette and volume. That is still true, but now they are crossing into sculptural design and the result is at times breathtaking. There are two looks in this collection – the white gown with the high slit and the black gown – that are so sculptural that the model in clothes actually looks like a sculpture. When fashion and art meet it isn’t always pretty, nor does it need to be by any means! But here truly, it is nothing short of beautiful.

Dolce & Gabbana

It’s funny how when I see the Dolce and Gabbana collections now I can’t help but think of what is showing at Gucci. There is certainly a shared affinity there, yet when I see Dolce I hear myself saying (out loud to no one) “See! This is how you do it!” There is a restraint at Dolce that has come with experience. They have the ideas and they know they have a lifetime to share them. They don’t have Gucci’s urgency to shove them all into a few dozen looks every season. I never would have used the word restraint in the same sentence as Dolce and Gabbana prior to this, just goes to show that context is everything. In any case, this is how it’s done. Allover sequins and insanely embellished accessories can be sophisticated and womanly. They don’t have to be hipster and loud. Adjust the volume back to 10, it doesn’t always need to go to 11.

Gucci

Well this time they take a bit of a Wes Anderson turn. I’m realizing that the Anderson type has always been there and feel silly that I didn’t notice before. Maybe now the dust is settling I can see the sweatbands and peter pan collars of The Royal Tenenbaums. In my defense there is just so much to see. There is less however of the trompe l’oiel, the snakes and crabs. Still animals though and still sequins, florals, prints and plaids, stripes and trimmings and satin and bows. It’s a lot. I still like all the glorious pattern mixing and over embellishment, but truthfully the excitement is wearing off. There is no more shock, no surprises. Now that wouldn’t even factor in to a collection normally, but when you start out so big and you keep at it, it can either get stale and the novelty wears off, or you go bigger or change it up drastically. So far it seems they are headed for the first of those. But we’ll see. Perhaps there is something up Michele’s sleeve…

 

Naeem Khan

Oh my god if Liza and Cher had a lovechild. These are some far out spangly getups. I especially enjoy that Khan really went for it with the styling too. Just because the dress in covered in beads and feathers doesn’t mean you can load on piles of necklaces and enormous earrings good Lord! That being said though there are some gowns in here that I could see showing up in a museum one day, like the one with the (is that a) bee belt. That’s a work of art.  It takes a big personality to pull off one of these outfits.  If you can, please do because we need this kind of go big glamour in our fashion.

Marchesa

I love the Celadon green, the cherry red, the chinoiserie, the trims of velvet ribbon and the fringe. It’s old Hollywood spit shined and dolled up. Hard to resist all that shimmer and shine.

Rochas

I really like this collection. The palette is paired down to basics and the prints are bold yet filtered into simple shapes. They are simply elegant and chic, with some great options for holiday.

Christian Dior

I was surprised to see the theme of outer space coming up so often during the shows. It’s not often spaceships as it is more celestial. It’s hard to make a spaceship chic. But here was more of a continuation from the tarot influenced collection of last season, with more of a focus on the moon and stars. Normally I would lean more in favor of the sparkly, embellished options, but here I really enjoyed the solid offerings. Where the cuts and shapes were the stars – no pun intended. The shapes brought to mind what Dior became famous for, new silhouettes and divine tailoring. These harken back to a time of simplicity and elegance with out all the fuss and tat. Perhaps seeing season after season of glittering sheer dresses covered in applique of everything from animals to, well spaceships, has taken its toll. These modern, clean elegant pieces say so much more and have more substance.

Alberta Ferretti

Pretty Pretty Pretty!!! A sucker for a flowing floaty dress. The colors are soft but there is a mystique to these clothes, like they are hiding a secret about the wearer. Film Noir clothes if Noir was in the 1930’s instead of the 40’s.

J. Mendel

From the first look I sucked in my breath. Oooohh! I love this. Love the textures together and the tiers and the black beading on the navy it all seemed so regal. The looks are grand and elegant and you can sense the richness and quality. These are heirloom garments.

Reem Acra

The play of textures and volume while done with luxe rich fabrics and jewels is nothing short of regal. These garments evoke an aura of royalty in their execution of cut and form and fabrication. The fabrics are heavy and dense and you can imagine the decadent feel of them. The way she has created her shapes which have a avant-garde origin yet somehow seem completely organic. Only a master of draping can take volume to this extreme yet have it look so sophisticated with not a hint of pretentiousness. If you have ever had the opportunity to wear something from Reem Acra than you know these clothes are transformative. I can only imagine how amazing this collection would feel to wear. Queen for a day indeed.

 

 

 


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