Tag Archives: Ann Demeulemeester

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.


Spring 2019 RTW

The buyer must be sweating it this season. As runway after runway sees models stomping down in experimental looks, abstract conceptualism and other evidence of designers either playing with fabric manipulation, expressing political opinions and outrage, going neo modernist and anything else you can think of. The idea of expression at any cost is rampant even when the cost is wearability and sellability. Neiman Marcus, Bergdorfs and even Nordstrom are going to be wringing their hands looking for the glamour for their society ladies and the wardrobes for the modern woman. Combing through all the art looking for viable fashion. In a retail environment where businesses are closing left and right can designers really afford to be artists and revolutionaries? I would argue there needs to be a balance of art and commerce where the designers that are steadfast will be seeing the rewards while the myriad others who let expression overcome practicality fall to the wayside. With so many voices screaming and clawing to be heard it all drowns each other out. Hopefully next season some of these will soften and try to incorporate their point of view into the clothes with more savvy, after all isn’t it the reflection of our times that turns clothes into fashion in the first place? But then again what better reflection of our current cultural climate than chaos?

Nili Lotan

Nothing exciting here, no newest and latest, no cutting edge or attitude. Just wearable, well made clothes that everyone can wear in real life. Practical and good. Thank God someone is doing it.

Carolina Herrera

There is a classic 1940s Hollywood glamour to this collection that is irresistible. The full skirted dresses, the bright colors and silky fabrics all harken back to the era of I Love Lucy when they were in Hollywood. Lounging by the pool and sneaking around the Beverly Hills hotel looking for movie stars. A fitting retro collection from the new designer, as Herrera has always been synonymous with classic, sophisticated glamour.

Petar Petrov

This is the first time I have taken notice of this designer and I’m hoping I haven’t missed too much. These clothes are wearable, they look comfortable, they are practical and they have a chic ease to them that make them extremely versatile. Who doesn’t need that in their wardrobe?

Libertine

At Libertine more is always more. This season was no exception. Patches made it onto just about everything – even stockings which has got to be a first – and pattern and color were on everything. I usually tend to like their less appliqued items and go for the more artistic pieces. This time my favorites were the painterly pieces and colorful graphic prints. How awesome would it be to pick one standout piece to add to your wardrobe from each season, have a curated collection of Libertine in the closet? A girl can dream – in color!

Moschino

I’m not including this collection because I love the clothes. More often than not Jeremy Scott goes way too gimmicky and overboard but this time… Genius. The idea of making the sketch – literally making the sketch is brilliant. I don’t doubt that these items will be highly sought after and collectible for may years to come. This is an iconic collection. Bravo.

Dice Kayek

Sure there is a doll clothes reference here, but the silhouettes are so lovely. The bright satins and crisp edged sinuous lines are striking and feminine yet strong. I love this resolution of ultra feminine shapes and strong defined edges. The curves of the full ruffles, waves of fabric and the conflict of those elements is masterfully controlled.

Paco Rabanne

As a longtime fan of the national dress of India this collection is a delight. It feels like the designer has taken that strong influence and sprinkled in some grunge shapes and styling and created a hip, fun and youthful collection showcasing the rich textures and colors of India. So great!

Kes

This is the first time I’ve noticed this designer, and it’s not that the clothes are that special, but as a group there is something so effortless and just cool about them. There is an understated confidence happening that feels inviting. For some reason I see the cool girl in these clothes – the Lisa Bonet  type. That girl who just knows exactly who she is and doesn’t need nor does she care to explain.

Ann Demeulemeester

This collection was full of fluid, flowing and dramatic pieces that have a dark romance. The styling is always theatrical but underneath all the theatre, the pieces are there. The stars of the show are the long button down shirts which work as dresses, jackets and…shirts! Remarkably practical and functional items that add a touch of that romance while allowing comfort and ease. There are also some breathtaking long lightweight coats that are perfect for adding instant drama.

Rochas

Good solid collection of uptown, chic clothing for the evolved fashionable woman. Some interesting silhouette tweaking as in the pale blush dress with the bows, and the LBD that make them feel modern yet classic.

 

Maticevski

This designer has been a favorite for some time for their voluminous shapes and lovely exaggerated ruffles. Ruffles aren’t often modern feeling but the manipulation is so subtle and feels so natural – like water over rocks or fabric caught in an uplifting breeze yet the fabrics are not light and full of actual movement they are stable – like a moment stopped in time. The result is like a visual poem.

Givenchy

There have been a few changes over at Givenchy where this time last year it was being designed by Ricardo Tisci.  He designed a bit on the dark side with themes like Vampires and Victorians and has always had a gothic undertone – in some of those cases overtone. He was a visionary and designed intricate, edgy, luxury garments that more than qualified him as a master. This newer designer, Clare Waight Keller, still has an edge to her design yet it’s not quite edgy and definitely not gothic. Personally I miss the drama of Tisci’s collections but I cannot dispute the fact that Keller is good. Maybe even better than good. Her Givenchy may not have the drama but it does have the glamour and upholds the sense that this woman – the Givenchy woman – is a woman of status and distinction. The star of this collection is the genus crystal shrug/cap/caplet whatever it is, little layering piece. I have never seen that before and it’s certainly a piece that is versatile (if you are in the high society world) while still being special. Looking forward to seeing what other genius pieces she will design.

Dries Van Noten

What can I say about Noten that I haven’t already gushed? That he is my idea of the quintessential French designer – always chic, always totally unique and not giving a shit about trends. Always perfectly balanced design regarding proportion and fit. Always a strong point of view with a stunning use of color and print. Here again, he pulls off the definition of “jen ne se quios” with cool confidence.

Haider Ackermann

As a woman who has always borrowed from the wardrobes of men this collection totally spoke to me. The looks were designed to be shared between the men and women and were designed to work for either. The prints were beautiful yet masculine, the cuts modern and perfectly tailored as usual except this time with a few more straight lines in the jackets and pants. Which only makes them look even more modern. The pops of bright yellow and green along with the ever-present black and white and the hint of a metallic seem to be a signature of late and come together seamlessly, no pun intended.

Oscar de la Renta

Hooooow can I express how much I love what is happening at the house of Oscar? It is everything that got me excited about fashion in the first place. It is clothing that is transformative. In the tradition of the great houses of Paris in the heyday of couture, these garments are simultaneously elegant, expressive, sophisticated and exquisitely crafted. These are clothes that those who are lucky enough to own them – or even borrow will instantly realize what an experience it can be to be dressed in the best of the best. The feeling of confidence, pride and transformation.



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. 

 


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