January 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
I kind of died over the sequin Dolce and Gabbana blazer Brad Goreski wore on the premiere of his new show, “It’s a Brad, Brad World.” He wore it to an award ceremony hosted by US Weekly, where he accepted an award for his signature personal style.
Beyonce wore a magenta version of the same blazer for her performance of “Love on Top” at the MTV Video Music Awards last September. It offered some fun (but pretty modest) gender play and harkened back to the days of the Rat Pack.
After doing some research on sequin blazers on the market just now, I learned that one of the best comes from none other than Joan Rivers, who apparently has her own line called “Touch of Sparkle.” The blazer comes in four colors – black, maroon, navy, and steel – and in sizes from XXS to 3X. This means that no matter who you are, Joan Rivers has a sequin blazer that’ll fit your taste AND your body!
Also, she’s her own model. Kind of amazing.
Buy your own Touch of Sparkle blazer from the QVC website here, and feel free to submit pictures of yourself wearing it, posing as Joan in the picture above.
December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
The ubiquitous minimalism aesthetic has given way to a range of geometric jewelry this season. Retailers offer the trend in diamond, triangular, or chevron shapes done in a range of precious or semiprecious metals. Some of my favorite iterations of this trend include 3-dimensional rings as seen in street style coverage from New York Magazine, as well as Eddie Borgo‘s sleek interpretations of flowers and insects.
November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
After a long, arduous hunt, I’ve finally found the perfect duffel bag at In God We Trust in soho. It’s by Billy Kirk, a duo of Amish brothers who craft each bag by hand. I love the leather handles and buckles, as well as the leather base. Also, the whole aesthetic goes perfectly with the heritage trend that has dominated menswear over the past few years.
Although I went with the traditional crafts-oriented bag myself, Billy Kirk offers a range of other styles that compliment a variety of other looks. I’m personally in love with the quirky camo bag they made in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, for example – it’s pop heritage! And the black tote they sell at Oak is great for rocker and/or hipster types.
October 17, 2011 § 1 Comment
Who doesn’t love a little Flinstone’s flair in their wardrobe?
I never thought of myself as a jewelry guy, but this bone ring I found at Sangsangmadang has proven to be my gateway into all things shiny: rings, bracelets, etc. It’s the prefect cross between Antoni Gaudí’s bone-shaped columns and Claes Oldenburg’s loopy sculptures of everyday items.
Stay posted for more of my latest adventures (and experiments) and men’s accessories. Yabadabadoo!
October 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Comme des Garcons
Strip away the costume boning and you’re left with a delicate white dress fit for a lady. I love the roundedness of the lace top and the way the underlayer fades away like a distant memory. The tiered skirt recalls an upside down wedding cake and the irreverence of the wellies comes across as refreshingly unfeminine. This look’s commentary on the perils of marriage takes it beyond the mere pleasantries of luxury fashion toward thought-provoking art.
Kenzo’s new Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim revamped the fading French label with a youthful essence and accessibility. For this look, they took classic couture shapes and technique (like the pleated peplum) and infused it with a sportive edge, adding a club collar at the neck and styling the model with a kiddish baseball cap. They also got on board the bird-print trend we’ve seen since last season with a sand skirt covered in images of sparrows. The disparate elements of the look would clash in most collections, but somehow, they all came together in Leon and Lim’s eclectic, totally fun universe.
The Lanvin woman took on a new attitude this season, one that’s darker and a bit more mysterious than usual. This newfound attitude was apparent in a head-to-toe look covered in images of coiled snakes. The silhouette was soft and feminine, but the print had an aggression that imbued the look with an unmistakable power. I also loved the beading at the shoulders that recalled an intricate plate of armor.
Maison Martin Margiela
What makes Maison Martin Margiela’s collections so alluring is their ability to make big design impact with just simple shapes and modest fabrics. Here, the MMM design team made a shapely hourglass silhouette from just a black ribbed cardigan and floor-length skirt. The hem at the waist of the sweater creates a feminine proportion and transforms the portion of the sweater underneath it into shadows of a peplum. The sheen of the skirt adds a nice contrast to the matte quality of the top.
I love the whimsy in this look – textured lace, ruffled shoulders, a cascading stream of bird feathers. It’s Junya at his best. The swirls worked into the lace of the dress have a dynamism that brings to mind Roy Lichenstein’s “Drowning Girl” (1963), and this sense of movement is echoed in the soft waves in the jacket. I also love the simple plane of leather at the bodice; it’s like the calm in the middle of a storm.
October 7, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The ruffles trend continued into Paris this week; although designers ditched the fiesta flair from the Milan shows and replaced it with a quieter elegance. Alexander McQueen ruffled the hems of a floral jacket and paired it with wavy peplums, while Dries Van Noten and Givenchy took a more minimal approach, adding sinuous flaps of fabric to monochrome looks in black and creme.
A number of heavy hitters stripped away the excess of previous collections and presented pared-down looks that dazzled in their simplicity and innovation in form and proportion. Givenchy and Giambattista Valli showed a number of looks in silk and stretch cotton whose layering and subtle color contrast recalled the minimal, deconstructionist paintings of Kazimir Malevich. Lanvin’s take on the trend was 80s-inspired and reintroduced the 80s power silhouette through protuding shoulder pads and nipped waists.
Lace is a perennial spring/summer trend, but this time designers refreshed it with new shapes and color palettes. Junya Watanabe showed us an entire collection of dresses done in floral-shaped lace and worn over little black dresses; At Louis Vuitton we saw club collars and pencil skirts with magnified lace made from 60s-inspired daisies; and at Miu Miu, would-be cheery lace dresses took on a slightly sinister quality in their dark color palette of magenta and slate.
The textured floral trend carried over from the Milan shows, imbuing the Paris collections with a girlish levity. For its bride-as-prisoner collection, Commes des Garcons accented its restrictive white coats and dresses with soft white roses. Chanel showed us a floral top in shades of seashell pink, while Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen imagined a poppy trapeze dress covered in what looked like fiery carnations.
The sleeveless blazer emerged as this season’s must have item, showing up everywhere from Lanvin, to Givenchy, to Chloé. A number of them were styled over shirts buttoned to the top, and they varied in length, lapel style (club collars were a popular option), and number of buttons (often zero or just one).
October 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The surprising must-have item from the Paris shows was the body bag, or some wearable form of it. More than a few appeared at Rick Owens as high neck, floor length dresses made from single cuts of leather, and a handful spiced up the runway at Martin Margiela in clear plastic.
It seemed appropriate that all the body-bag looks preceded Sunday, as if they were preparing us for the dead-end debut collection by rapper-turned-designer Kanye West. It’s a bit unclear how his collection came together, exactly, considering he probably doesn’t know how to sew a button on a shirt. But during the show, the mystery of his ghost design team became irrelevant as ill-fitting, hoochie club wear came down the runway and we realized that the show was his singular vision. Necklines plunged below the belly button, pants bunched at the ankles like scrunchies, and dresses made of 2-inch strips of fabric wrapped around the models like bandage tape. They looked like post-clubbing hospital victims.
Despite the consensual critical panning, though, I think Kanye’s collection might have some commercial life come springtime. There’s always a market for short, tight dresses as well as the general Kanye West brand. You might not find the clothes at Barneys or Bloomies, but you’re bound to bump into them somewhere, even if it’s on Gilt.
Like the criticism following West’s show, Rei Kawakubo’s latest collection for Commes des Garcons spoke volumes about limitations. She showed a macabre parade of white-out brides with sleeves either tied together with a bow or magnified to the point of resembling pant legs. Kawakubo was commenting on the burdens and restrictions brought upon by marriage, and how this process is veiled in pretty dresses and fanciful ceremony. Her message was clear and artfully conveyed, and the clothes were really lovely too. Hems were lined with lush flowers, skirts billowed like expanding cumulous clouds, and dainty white lace peeked out from under creme silk jackets. Some of the most awe-inspiring looks came toward the end of the show as diaphanous skirts constructed from tumor-like panels with cage-inspired ribbing.
Kawakubo’s underling Junya Watanabe put out an equally stand-out collection, with numerous looks done in colorful floral lace. They had a nice transparency, which worked well over simple black dresses and under ruffled leather jackets. It was simply a joy to look at. I also enjoyed the headpieces in the collection, which called to mind mangled chickens contorted in every which way.
The big story from Givenchy wasn’t about the clothes, although they were still a boon; rather, it was about the runway-shy Gisele closing the show, as well as appearances from modeling veterans Frankie Rayder and Natalia Vodianova. Perhaps Tisci’s model casting indicated that the Givenchy woman has grown up and moved beyond the girlish waif. You could feel this in the overall sinister attitude of the show, as conveyed by ebony tops covered in black scale-like paillettes and jackets accented with leopard sea wolf skin. Gigantic shark teeth swung from necks like weighty pendulums and metal chains replaced cloth straps. The show had a dually soft side, though, as seen in the gentle ruffles on skirts and the calming shapes of peplums on tailored tops.
Like Givenchy, Lanvin had a darker tone than usual this season. Designer Alber Elbaz bathed the runway in dark blue and soft lighting, making it seem as if the models were walking on the bottom of an aquarium. The clothes – pared-down black and navy dresses and suits – echoed this effect and gave the show a sharp, clean aesthetic. It looked like what a moody Raf Simons might design. The prints of coiled and slithering snakes were alluringly menacing and some aggressively beaded looks added nice visual texture.
There was definitely some angst in Paris this season, in the bleachers as well as in the clothes. But maybe it’s the angst that drove designers to put out a round of interesting, emotive collections.
September 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’m happy to say that none of the featured men resembles a Scout, cowboy, or sailor; although, the Face Hunter guy comes close. That said, enjoy the trend yourself! With caution.
September 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Get Me Bodied
The bodysuit was an unexpected must-have item from Milan this past week. Prada showed a yellow and grey version with streamlined seams emphasizing an hourglass silhouette; Bottega Veneta gave his bodysuit a sportive flair, pairing it with a patterned gym bag; and Moschino took a sexier approach, imagining it in white lace and leaving a circular cutout just above the belly button.
Some designers looked to Spain for their latest collections, introducing looks recalling sultry flamenco dancers swaying to the beat of a drum. They did these looks in bright primary colors – red, blue, golden yellow – and decked them out in wild ruffles and diagonal hems. I loved Emilio Pucci’s interpretation of the look, particularly a blood red crop top with billowing sleeves paired with layered, silken pants. Missoni’s transparent bodice was nice, as was Moschino’s straight-forward approach.
To jazz up the perennial floral trend, Milanese designers gave it some texture, appliquéing flower-shaped cutouts on matching floral fabric. Dolce & Gabbana and Marni pursued the trend full throttle, putting out head-to toe looks with 3-dimensional floral effects. Prada showed us a more subtle, sweeter interpretation on a pink pencil skirt with lemonade flowers. Off the runway, there’s a danger of this trend skewing toward granny-land, but done right, it could add a freshness to many a spring wardrobe.
This season, a number of designers used goat hair to up the luxe factor. The boys at DSquared used long, ebony locks on a mini party dress, adding equal doses of rock n’ roll and Cousin Itt to the collection. An exercise in contrast, Etro used hair in angelic white to embellish an otherwise simple sweater worn over a flowy evening gown. Missoni dyed her goat hair Yves Klein blue, giving a handful of her Spanish-influenced looks a colorful sashay.
The ubiquitous mesh trend we saw at the New York shows carried over to Milan, but instead of imbuing the shows with roughed-up athleticism like at Alexander Wang and Altuzarra, here, it gave the collections a distinct softness. I loved the mesh two-piece dress at Jil Sander. The enlarged pores felt new and recalled a giant, elegant sponge. Marni’s mesh offerings were also of note, done with pores of varying sizes and overlaid with floral appliqué. Iceberg’s mesh tops were the most conventional of the week, used to make simple tanks and shirts.
September 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
This is a precarious look for the average woman. Not only is it a crop top, its body-conscious fit puts mere mortals in danger of displaying a whole feast of unflattering bodily delights: muffin tops, donuts, a gut. But real-world concerns aside, this look is gorgeous. I love the hearty print of blooming yellow flowers and ripening zucchini; it’s an image of bounty. The panel of midriff adds interest to what could have been a stale sundress, and the angular neckline gives the top a structured, yet freeing quality.
Versace’s “Little Mermaid” theme has grown on me. I initially thought it was too sweet, too safe, but I’ve come to appreciate how Donatella toughened up her theme with truckloads of gold studs and allusions to classic rock n’ roll garb. I particularly enjoyed a duo of plump seahorses on what looks like a white leather top. It had a plain girlishness to it, and all the swirls recalled an updated paisley. The skirt it was paired with was also nice, featuring constellations of studs that looked like the shell of a sea urchin.
Raf Simons got the “sports-girl” memo from New York, sandwiching a two-piece, ultra white mesh number in between more conventionally feminine looks. The enlarged pores of the mesh felt new and avoided the athletic cliches we saw at other shows; it also gave a new dimension to Simons’ constantly evolving interpretation of minimalism. The styling of the collection was also in good taste. Putting a thin white dress under the mesh imbued the look with a modest elegance, and the smooth up-dos kept the overall look impeccably clean.
Emilio Pucci puts forth the best prints in Milan. For this look, he took the ubiquitous pastel palette from the rest of Fashion Week and infused it with jolts of cobalt blue. The way the colors melt into each other has an ethereal quality and recalls strokes of watercolor paint bleeding into each other on a canvas. I also love the fluidity of the train. It trails behind the model like a mere memory.
Marni collections generally pass fairy quietly, but this season designer Consuelo Castiglioni put out a booming collection of textured floral dresses that we just couldn’t ignore. For this look, Castiglioni put her own spin on the mesh trend, laser-cutting squares and tear-drops onto a black, burgundy, and marigold frock. The mix of textures is nice, and the overall blockiness channels a modicum of Lego-esque inspiration. The transparent slip underneath the dress offers a soft touch, and the nude sock/heel combination is at once edgy and childishly adorable.