Month: January 2015

Nonchalant, yet elegant..

What a long day it’s been, trying to catch up on two days of fashion shows can be exhausting. I love anything fashion, so I did my best and have finally on track. It’s been a great day for menswear today. Some of my favorite brands featured today. I am happy they did. (Remember to follow my Instagram for more pics and coverage. Link on my about me section. )

Bottega Venetta how much more in love can I be with you!?!?! Tomas Maier’s SS15 collection was on my favorites. The relaxed athleticism, the casual fitted sweat pants were to die for. Yet again that trend carried over for fall. A laid back approach to luxury is the aesthetic at BV, Maier’s elastic waist trousers were talked about. Among the rich fabrics the color pallet of rust, pink,  gray and purple gave it a haute couture slacker chicness to it. After reviewing this collection it was a relaxed collection, a nonchalant feel to it.

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Missoni is another favorite of mine. I love knits for winter. Especially on those days when Chicago winters can fall down to polar temperatures. Knits hugs your body keeping you warm, Missoni knits is great for that. For fall Angela gave us an ease nonchalant elegance as well. Not relying too much on styling but focusing on the fabric. The fabrics were soft making the long coats look bathrobe like and lightweight jackets like sweaters. A colorful pallet, very Missoni, but it didn’t distract you from her point of view. A very cosmopolitan collection.

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If you have followed me from the beginning or recently. You may have noticed that I like men’s fashion that pushes the envelope. Fashion that makes you think, that has a story, fashion designers that push fashion forward. Moncler Gamme Bleu is one of those brands. Thom Browne is one those designers. I like how exaggerated and avant garde his designs are. You have to dissect it and appreciate it. His inspiration for fall was a Moncler jacket in the 50s. He reinterpreted that jacket with Moncler colors beige, black gray and navy with hints of red. Classic patterns of stripes, checks, zigzags and harlequin diamonds made it on to the collection. It was an equestrian collection, jockey uniform. It was balanced, it had idea and wearability to it.

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Fendi has been pushing themselves lately. Their peekaboo bags for both men and women have sold nicely. For SS15, Fendi gave us fabric that looked like denim. For fall they made shearling look like corduroy and it looks fantastic. They also gave us an abundance of fur scarves, wool coats, boxier blazers and patchwork wool that looked like plaid. The peekaboo like face made it on to a jacket, just like in the women’s pre-fall collection. It was uber luxurious, heavily styled. It was a Fendi collection.

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Gucci was rocked when Frida Giannini left days before the men’s show and a month before her scheduled departure. The team came together and scrapped everything and came up with a new collection, new styling, a new Gucci. This collection made me think of J.W. Anderson’s recent collection and so did many other fashion bloggers and critics. It was a bit androgynous,  a bit to fragile for the Gucci man. I personally can not wrap my head around it, do I like it or do I hate it? “Trends never start here” said one fashion critic and that is true. Was it this collection fashion or a disaster? I think it had a good ideas, the blouses were nice but it missed a hardness to it. The suits were great in color and cut but it missed a more masculine approach. Then the tunics in lace were a bit too soft, as well as the three quarter length sleeves and ruffled hems. I don’t know maybe I’ll sleep on it and think differently about it tomorrow. Or maybe this is fashion, this is the new Gucci man.

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G!

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Milano!!

Hello. I’ve had a busy last 2 days that catching up on fashion is impossible at times. I am a day behind. As much as I love fashion. I am only going to blog about the shows that have impressed me. And let me tell you, I’ve been impressed. (For more fashion follow my Instagram: morethanabowtie it is also on my about me section)

Versace. Oh, Versace. Their Fall/Winter 15/16 collection was an impressive one. I was shocked by how minimal it was, well most of the collection. Seemed like a breath of fresh air for Versace and their fans. It was sorta back to basics, making this collection about the cut and proportion. A neutral color pallet, I missed the colors tho! A body conscious collection, it was lean and athletic. Long cabled cardigans, ribbed knit bloussons that were longer even tunic like, over cashmere leggings. Impressive.

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Iceberg used to be that collection that I just skimmed through pinning looks here and there. Nothing that made me paid attention to them. In my research Iceberg turs out to be an expertise brand on knitwear. I was intrigued by the first look of the presentation. A collection that seemed influenced my Japanese kimonos and a few hints of color. These knitted tops are to die for. A collection that seemed so comfortable, at ease is worth looking into.

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Costume National Homme was the same as every other of their shows.
While many of the critiques felt indifferently about it, I think they were some great pieces. There’s always a Rock N Roll and tailored look here, yet this time it looked refined, polished. A lot brown trench glided down the runway. A bottle green feather coat that gave me a 70s bohemian feel. It was glam. We need glam when it’s super cold out side and we want summer hot nights.

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Philipp Plien has been on my radar for a few seasons now. This fall collection was impressive on so many levels. This collection was sportswear from start to finish. More like sportswear to streetwear at times. The influences are totally there. Showing a black and white collection with hints of green and purple. The most standout pieces were those crocodile football shirts and python jersey sport shirts. This collection was impressive and I’m sure this German native has more tricks up his sleeve. But isn’t this what we want from new designers? Here is a quote from Plien about fashion: “The fashion industry is saturated. There is no space for something new. Where are the new brands? The new Dolce & Gabbanas, the new Guccis? It is protected—a protected world. And in order to survive I cannot reinvent the shoe, the pant, or the shirt; everything exists already. So you have to find a niche, and this is what we did from the beginning. And now we are growing out of that niche.” Indeed he is.

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G!

A colorful winter.

What a great day for fashion this day was. Staying true to winter, many designer chose to stay in the neutral color pallet for their collections, while other’s want to a brighter winter. I’m a bit apprehensive about wearing color. The “brightest” I go is brown and usually it’s dark one. While going through today’s shows, I can say I’m up for some bright orange or even a yellow hue for the next winter season. Well, maybe not so bright. All in moderation, right?

Katie Eary is new to me. She’s a bit out there, design wise, this collection was about brains, rib cages and teeth. This collection was a bit too surreal, having ski caps in the shape of brains, button ups with a rib cage graphic on them. Yet, the knits, scarves and coats seem to be more wearable and less gimmicky. A designer this ballsy, deserves some attention.

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What can be said about British fashion without mentioning their biggest brand, Burberry Prorsum. Christopher Bailey seemed to go hippie for this season but in a polished way. Prints, corduroy and embellishments made this collection desirable than ever. Accessories from fringed scarves all the way to the bags are on trend. Even the camouflage looked sharp. I know I want that corduroy trench.

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Baartmans and Seigel, also new to me, was a great sportswear collection for fall. Bomber jackets, fur trench coats and fitted joggers made an appearance. References of the 70s, seems to be the trend, but done very modern, relevant to the times of now. A very small collection but a very good one indeed.

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Xander Zhou is that type of designer that catches me by surprise. He can go beyond the line and sometimes stopping right before it. This Beijing designer introduced us to a futuristic Wild West.  The denim was great, there was even a scarf like denim draped over a look. Fringed leather coats looked like snakeskin. Shearling lined coats, another trend this season, to mimic cow spots. This was a great collection. Another designer added to my list.

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G!

Give them prints

What an exciting second day of Fall/Winter 2015 men’s fashion shows. Some of Britain’s heavy hitters came out last night and showed some amazing pieces. We got a bit everything and so much at the same time. Took me a while to go through the collections.

Alexander McQueen, oh my gosh,  what an amazing collection. Sarah Burton delivered war time, military collection. Although,  military inspiration can go hard core,  Sarah’s was a meloncholic. Worked on many levels. Even those poppy seed floral print jacquard suits.

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Pringle of Scotland is a brand I’ve liked since those Claire Waight Keller days. It’s not a doubt that Pringle is a very British brand. With so much history, what can Massimo Nicosia do to make this knitwear brand relevant? Mix the old with the new seems to be the answer. It’s crucial for this brand of 200 years. Knitwear can be boring but Nicosia makes it look refined and new.

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James Long is probably one of my top favorite menswear designer. Always willing to push menswear fashion forward and it must be. This season’s show was one of his best yet. It was luxurious without being fussy but subtle without being boring. The balance was great, the tone even better. Check this collection out, guys!!

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Moschino is a brand that I associate with Sibiling, for some apparent reason. I think because it is always quirky and always going for the shock value. Although, I do not dismiss Jeremy Scott’s design talent, yet most of the time it seems a bit costumey and at times a bit to literal. So, I checked out Moschino’s men’s show and was surprised of how much of it is wearable, have to wait and see how it actually looks once it arrives at stores. From coats, to the oversized boots and prints looked a bit caveman like and it fits with the Chicago blizzards we experience every winter season. Aside from all the plaid, the embellished piece and the fur, I like this one thermal looking jumpsuit. It felt warm, it was styled nicely and I want it.

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Pretty in Pink!

What an amazing second day of London Collections: Man fashion shows. I like, more like love that the designers/brands that show at London are not afraid to push the boundaries of what men should be wearing. It’s all an eclectic mix. From classic to punk, all done as an homage to the British man.

Lou Daulton has been in my radar ever since I heard of her a year or two back. Each season she surprises me. Her farming background always seems to be somewhere in her collection. Always minimalist. She is already a force to be reckon with. Check out these jumpsuits.

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Joshua Kane Bespoke,  ugh.. what can I say about this collection. It was classic British,  for that dapper man. Classic, yet modern. From the cuts, to prints and even how it was styled. I literally want every piece of this collection.

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Hardy Amies was another great collection dedicated to the suit and tie man of our time. Mahmet Ali, the brands creative director was inspired by the British and Scottish mountains, you can tell by collections color scheme. That deep green color suit was amazing. I’m still in awe.

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Matthew Miller is such a conceptual designer. His use of textile knowledge and the way he dominates them took notice this season. Using furniture textiles and making them wearable is amazing. I remember Nicholas Ghesquiere doing something similar from Balenciaga a few years back. From what I know about textiles, especially interior design ones,  they are hard to work with. Yet Matthew makes it look easy. Check out the collection!!

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Sibiling, oh my dear Sibiling. I can honestly say that Sibiling is a hit or miss with me from season to season. I remember for SS2015 some of it was too outside the box. Now for FW2015, they seemed to have restrained but yet gave you that Sibiling avant garde show they are known for. Pink! It was predominately pink. Yet, it seemed to work on so many levels and can be worn as separates. The mixture of the colors black, white and pink looked cool and fresh. From jackets, cardigans, tunics and fur it all seemed to work. Even, I believe was denim, made to look like paper bag-esque fabric. It had a sense of idea, creativity wearability.

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Let’s see what tomorrow brings us!!

G!

London-Men

Hello again. What an exciting first day of London Collections: Man Autumn Winter 2015/2016. I was loving all the outer wear shown on the first day.

Coach, which was their first ever menswear collection, and what a better place to debut than in London. I was a bit apprehensive when I first heard that Coach was venturing into ready to wear for their men’s department. Stuart Vevers, the creative director,  showed an amazing collection that wasn’t fantasy but realistic. Sheep seemed to be dominate from coat to footwear. This collection worked on so many levels.

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The one thing I look forward to at LCM is the MAN runway show. MAN, which helps fund and nurture up and coming designers, their roster is always changing. This time we had Rory Parnell Mooney sending down the runway his version of a punk-monk minimalist. 

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Christopher Kane is another favorite that keeps me inticed to see what he comes up with for following season. Known for his graphics and 3-D patterns, he surely didn’t disappoint with A/W15. Mostly all in black and pops of green. The green shirling looking cube coat was a stand out. As well as that leather bomber, looked nicely constructed and detailed.

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G!

“to clean or not to clean”

Hello, everyone. It’s been awhile since my last post. I can honestly say that I have been blessed with the remaining of the 2014 year. I’ve met interesting people that hopefully some good things come off of it. This 2015 calendar is packed with new adventures, I cannot wait to share them with you.

So, I started off the year thinking of what to blog about. Nothing inspired me and just like that great quote from one my favorite author’s Gabriel Garcia Márquez: “inspiration gives no warning” it happened.

I was doing laundry one day, this post is not about my dirty laundry, and I was appalled by how many people were washing their jeans. Denim jeans, that is. Although, I may not know them or what they do for a living. I find hard to believe that all those jeans were dirty to begin with.

So, I went to posting this atrocities on social media, which I think was a valid thing to share, but it kind of back fired. The amount of people who wash their jeans on a regular basis is mind boggling to me. I mean why? Why would you do such a thing? If there is something I learned during a textile course, which was by far my hardest course taken in college, is that denim is meant to withstand roughness and toughness. Washing them on a weekly basis is not good for them.

Before this course, I am still that type of guy that will only wash what I need. Since doing my own laundry at the age of 14, thank you mom, the less I had to carry the better. I always seemed to leave behind my jeans. They never seemed dirty to me. Until one time they got a bit smelly and I took all 8 pair of jeans to wash.

I know there’s people out there that have phobias and must wash clothes after it is worn once. I only do that for underwear and some shirts, hey it gets pretty humid in Chicago during the summer. So what kind of advice do I give you about taking care of your denim. Afterall, it should be treated as much respect as a designer suit or a evening dress. Maybe that’s a little far fetch but designer denim is expensive nowadays  just as a pair of Levi’s is. Washing your jeans after one use or washing them weekly will wear down the finish on denim. The finish that makes them withstand all the roughness young give them. It will make them weak and tear easily.

I pulled out my notes from Textiles and contacted my instructor and she stands with what she taught us.
“1. Jeans are sturdy and can withstand mostly anything. Jeans can go for weeks without being washed.
2. Only wash them when you can not clean something off by hand.
3. If they get smelly put one dryer sheet in each front pocket, all the way at the end, fold them and put them in the drawer. The sheet will absorb the smell.” I’ve tried this and it works.

As for skinny jeans. She dislikes these “skinny jean, they’re not even skinny.” “Proper way to get a pair of skinny jeans. Get a pair you like that fits perfect, sits on your hips. Put them on sit in a tub of warm to hot water until really soaked and let them dry on you. That’s how you get a skinny jean.” It is effective. The jean will mold to your hips and legs.

One of my friends suggests the following:  “(to avoid smelly jeans) I just stick them in a plastic bag and freeze them once a month. If any liquid spills on them, I’ll spot clean but if it gets soaked. I’ll do a tub hot soak w/ Woolite Dark, weights on the jeans, and hand-agitate the water so the indigo doesn’t bleed too much. I plan on doing a Japanese soak (sit in a tub of hot water w/ them on for 30 min to an hour so it shrinks to your waist and legs) on a pair next year.” Trust this man! He knows his fashion. I trust what he says!
So, share your thoughts with me on how you take care/treat your jeans. Spread the word. Correct the wrong! Add to the list or try some new tips.

Remember Tomorrow starts Men’s Fall/Winter 2015 Fashion shows! I’m excited!

G!