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Demna Gvasalia; Photo Courtesy Business of Fashion

The New Kid on the Block

· News · , , , , , ,

After just three short years at Balenciaga, Alexander Wang’s tenure has come to a close. While many would prefer to see the New York-based designer focus on his namesake, rumors have been circulating for weeks about who would follow in Wang’s footsteps at the helm of the Paris-based fashion house.

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AP Photo, Jacques Brinon

The Top 10 Collections of the Spring 2015 Menswear Season

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , , , , , , ,
AP Photo, Jacques Brinon

AP Photo, Jacques Brinon

Just like any menswear season, there have been tons of collections between London, Milan, and Paris. And while every single label has presented exceptional work from their tremendously talented teams, there were a few that really blew our minds. Sure, this post might come with a little bit of bias. But once you read about these stunning endeavors, you’re sure to see where we’re coming from. Here are the top 10 collections from the spring 2015 menswear shows (in no particular order) as ranked by Des Phosphènes’ creator & EIC, Scott Shapiro.

 

 

WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK

To many, Walter Van Beirendonck‘s collections are far from wearable. True, mix-matched prints with lots of powerful subliminal messages might not be everyone’s go-to office attire. But what’s really impressive is the message that accompanies the show. For spring 2015, WVB explored the invasion of privacy as a force worth fighting against, battling it with, for lack of a better word, the best clusterfuck imaginable. It’s wonderfully refreshing to see such creativity from a designer given the circumstances of today’s commercialized fashion industry; Walter Van Beirendonck’s uncompromising vision is far more appealing than any traditional tux.

NEIL BARRETT

Simplicity goes a long way, always making room for the details to shine through. Case in point: Neil Barrett’s spring 2015 menswear collection. The sporty range started off with loads of all-white ensembles, eventually featuring dark blues and violets, camel and camo, all in a whole lot of fantastic fabrics. The bonded fabrics came with bountiful structure; leather, suede, and gabardine gave silhouettes a voluminous yet sleek shape. And don’t even get us started on that to-die-for yellow neoprene jacket. Neil Barrett’s mastery of details in the creation of sharp, relatively minimal designs is what often makes menswear so exciting.

CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE

If you want to talk about minimalism, look no further than Christophe Lemaire’s spring 2015 menswear endeavor. When reviewing our spring 2015 menswear trend report, you probably noticed a lot from the designer. And it makes sense; the collection showed versatility at its finest, featuring everything from clean white looks to luxury denim to Japanese-inspired styles and more. Of course, every ensemble was a true fashion creation, but the limitless possibilities of how to interpret the pieces allows for plenty of benefits for the Parisian label. We’re sure this collection will face loads of retail and editorial success.

LOU DALTON

Starting off London Fashion Week and the entire spring 2015 menswear show circuit, Lou Dalton nixed the narrative and stuck to the fundamentals of fashion. However, her collection was far from elementary. The tailoring was sharp, a considerably different silhouette from this season’s looser suiting, and these outfits looked phenomenal when paired with simple yet sporty sneakers. Baseball shirts and no-fuss bomber jackets were some of the real stars of the show, while bursts of light blue, pale pink, and vivacious coral truly livened up the looks.

BALENCIAGA

Without the huge production of a runway show, it’s easy to forget that a collection was even presented. But that’s definitely not the case when it comes to Balenciaga, as the historic Parisian fashion house’s men’s department was taken to more modern, urban territory. Alexander Wang’s New York vibes couldn’t be left behind when he took the helm as creative director of Balenciaga, but the designer still knows how to separate his two projects. With new shapes and styles, his latest was full of innovation, from Cocoon-inspired Mackintosh coats to the sleekest of suits. With concealed plackets abound, there were few buttons or closures to be seen. Yet the best part had to be the pairing of these exceptionally elegant ensembles with laid-back trainers. Good ol’ Alex Wang.

RAF SIMONS

Raf Simons is another designer whose amazing collection was highlighted by complexity and immense creativity. His nostalgic references to his past and to several of the elements that have shaped his present were shown through collages of photos with psychological implications, all of which took place on structured yet shapely silhouettes. The show itself was one of the most fascinating of the season; ominous red lights that harkened back to 1970s horror films dominated the display. Meanwhile, vibrant light-up sneakers and inventive printed tops are poised to be some of the hottest pieces of spring 2015.

GIVENCHY

Like many other designers this season, Riccardo Tisci went back to his roots for his spring 2015 Givenchy menswear collection. The end result was far more simplified than his recent collections, featuring a predominantly monochrome version of his urban, streetwear-influenced aesthetic. From the floral camouflage prints to even the skullcaps that the models wore, his latest looks felt fresh and inspiring. And the womenswear ensembles provided an exciting preview of his next ready-to-wear work, looking exceptional on the likes of Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel.

CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION

Italo Zucchelli never disappoints at Calvin Klein Collection. This season, the designer’s Milan show featured his signature minimalism in a predominant shade of nude, while pops of bright yellow and orange brought the ensembles to life. Sporty outerwear and vibrant eyewear appeared natural, making way for a wearable, simple yet bold range of menswear looks. The collection proved that aesthetic extras aren’t always necessary, and the straightforward designs were perfect for today’s modern man.

ISSEY MIYAKE

At Issey Miyake, Yusuke Takahashi evoked something different from the predictable, explicitly Japanese-influenced styles. Instead, he drew inspiration from exotic resorts and the landscape of Palau, which resulted in an exciting mélange of innovative design techniques. On a journey from the jungle to the beach into the deep sea, Takahashi explored the construction of fabrics via an unexpected use of pineapple and banana in creating jackets, ultra-flattering pleating to make beautiful gradient prints, and the digital reproduction of colorful images onto his beautiful garments. And just when things couldn’t seem any better, the show was bolstered by upbeat music and smiling models. Talk about good vibes.

LANVIN

The white neoprene outerwear pieces were enough to make us fall in love with the spring 2015 Lanvin menswear collection. But Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver wouldn’t leave it at just that, including super desirable sneakers with their luxury looks. Silky fabrics and loosened shapes were other positives, and leather accessories appeared to be of the highest quality imaginable. Decadent elegance mixed with today’s active, on-the-go energy to create one of the best – and most appropriate – collections of the season.

All photos via Style.com

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CRUSH

· Editorial · , , , , , , , , ,

Take the heat and go where the wind blows. Summer is upon us, and this one’s bound to be endless.

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Photos, styling, editing, creation, and execution by Scott Shapiro

Drawing inspiration from surf culture and the 1990s grunge movement, “Crush” aims to showcase high end fashion in a grittier, natural setting. Juxtaposition is ever present; luxe and laid back, street but sexy, and passionate yet poignant, witness a new dimension to the summertime framework.

This piece features items from Kenzo, Acne Studios, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, and more. Please contact for styling notes and additional details.

The Year in Fashion: 2013

· Thoughts · , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

That was fast, wasn’t it? Yeah, with the blink of an eye, 2013 came to a close. But in these short 12 months, there was no shortage of drama, spectacles, and undeniably iconic fashion moments. Let’s get a little nostalgic for a second and reflect on some of the most noteworthy fashion events in 2013.

And just like that, the year came to a close. Sure, maybe something groundbreaking could happen in the next few days before 2014, but otherwise, here’s to a happy New Year and plenty more exciting fashion moments!

Feature image via Getty

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Nicolas Ghesquière Confirmed at Louis Vuitton

· News · , , , ,

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Everyone get excited, because Nicolas Ghesquière’s amazing designs will be gracing the runways once again! After rumors and statements essentially claiming said rumors were true, Louis Vuitton officially confirmed via Twitter that the former Balenciaga designer would be replacing Marc Jacobs as creative director. It’s truly difficult to imagine Ghesquière’s futuristic, unexampled designs translated into the Louis Vuitton woman that Jacobs depicted, but there are few things more appealing than seeing such an incredible talent’s work finally earning the necessary respect. We hope there won’t be many creative constraints for Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton, as his unhappy ending at Balenciaga shouldn’t repeat itself. So now that his new position is finally official, let’s hope for some more of the most inspiring, iconic designs in fashion history from Nicolas Ghesquière, this time at Louis Vuitton.

 

Feature image via HighSnobiety

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New Beginnings

· News · , , , , ,

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Right off the heels of Marc Jacobs’ departure from Louis Vuitton, announcements about the New York-based designer’s successor are flooding out. Rumors have long been circulating about Nicolas Ghesquière taking the wheel, and as of now, they’ve basically been confirmed.

Singapore-based men’s magazine, Men’s Folio was the first to break the supposed news, while the story was ultimately picked up by elite fashion publication, The Cut. Of course, the Twitterverse is now teeming with excitement regarding the former Balenciaga creative director’s return to fashion after an abrupt and controversial departure.

It seems a bit bizarre that Nicolas would design at such a widely commercial house after leaving Balenciaga due to his supervisors’ stifling of his creative vision. Meanwhile, many people were hoping for the designer to start his own line. However, many are saying that the LVMH will allow more freedom of expression, while it’s possible the company will even cover the legal fees from Ghesquière being sued by Balenciaga’s owner for breach of confidentiality.

But wait, the LVMH has yet to confirm whether or not Ghesquière will actually take over. Though the Internet has essentially declared the exciting news, who knows what could actually happen. Fashion is full of surprises, after all.

If this is all true, it’s very exciting to imagine Ghesquière’s reinvention of Louis Vuitton. Regardless of the outcome, let’s hope for a positive future for Nicolas Ghesquière, full of unlimited creativity.

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Meet the New Guy at Paco Rabanne

· News, The Come-Up · , , , , , , , , , ,

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Paco Rabanne has been dealing with a nasty game of “designer musical chairs” since the iconic 1960’s label was revived in 2011. The label’s struggle is just as noteworthy as that of houses like Emanuel Ungaro (though Paco Rabanne can boast never hiring Lindsay Lohan as creative director); Manish Arora designed just two seasons’ collections, the same as his successor, Lydia Maurer. But just as Ungaro recently found itself a new designer in Fausto Puglisi, Paco Rabanne is set to hire Julien Dossena. The 30-year-old French designer assisted Maurer in her recent collections at Paco Rabanne, while his previous work experience also includes the impressive role of working under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. Showing his ability to reinvent the futuristic, sexy aesthetic implemented by the label in 1966, Dossena recently debuted his own label, Atto, during the resort 2014 presentations. We’re excited to see Julien Dossena’s take on Paco Rabanne’s ideals when his collection shows on September 26 during Paris Fashion Week, and hopefully the label can keep the designer for more than a couple of seasons.

Check out some looks from Atto by Julien Dossena, as well as some recent and vintage pieces from Paco Rabanne

Looks from Atto by Julien Dossena resort 2014

Looks from Atto by Julien Dossena resort 2014

A look from Paco Rabanne fall 2013 ready-to-wear

A look from Paco Rabanne fall 2013 ready-to-wear

Looks from Paco Rabanne fall 2012 ready-to-wear

Looks from Paco Rabanne fall 2012 ready-to-wear

Looks from Paco Rabanne fall 2012 ready-to-wear

Looks from Paco Rabanne fall 2012 ready-to-wear

Looks from a 1966 Paco Rabanne collection

Looks from a 1966 Paco Rabanne collection

All images courtesy of Style.com

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Alexander Wang Spring 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , ,

awang

If anyone knows how to appeal to a trend, it’s Alexander Wang. Though his aesthetic was extremely noticeable in his spring 2014 menswear collection for Balenciaga, his eponymous label’s presentation was a true display of his streetwear expertise amidst a season almost uniformly leaning towards the concept.

The ultimately urban medley featured check print tops in industrial shades and apparent textures, as well as high-performance tech materials. There was no shortage of t-shirts, sneakers, day bags, shorts, or caps in Wang’s latest collection, but many of the casual pieces were accented with leather details to provide a requisite amount of luxe. Some of them were even entirely made of the material, like truly desirable leather backpacks and snapbacks. Surely a hit among Alexander Wang’s loyal, youthful audience, the bold accessories would go perfectly with the generously fitting tops and sports team-inspired outfits. The immaculate leather jackets Wang made for Balenciaga also resurfaced, only this time in more laid-back styles.

Alexander Wang’s spring 2014 menswear collection was unfortunately lacking the same element of unique innovation that he may have excluded from his Balenciaga designs. However, there’s no denying the best seller potential for every single one of these pieces…I know that I’m all over all of them.

All images via Style.com

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Balenciaga Spring 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Alexander Wang is on top of the world these days; his own New York-based label has nothing short of a cult following, and his first two collections at Balenciaga were both met with substantial praise. Though he didn’t always have a prominent presence in the men’s scene, Wang’s sporty-luxe style has already garnered an equal fanbase to that of his womenswear, thus setting the stage for a buzzworthy menswear debut at this esteemed Paris-based maison. 

As he’s done with his previous women’s collections, Wang polished his street-chic aesthetic for the luxury brand. This meant that his latest show featured resourceful outerwear, like utilitarian biker jackets and transparent overcoats, with everything highlighted by slim tailoring and the mostly black and white color scheme traditionally associated with the designer’s pieces. Possibly the most precise and perfectly cut leather jackets garnished crisp white shirts, presenting a standout look for the spring 2014 menswear season.

However, a potential setback of Wang’s work at Balenciaga must be addressed, as his first few collections have been relatively safe. I’m left wondering why such a trendsetter in the New York fashion world seems so skeptical to truly branch out at his new position. Perhaps the pressure to live up to Ghesquière’s iconic image for Balenciaga is a bit intimidating, or working in the presumably different environment of Paris poses another element of nervousness? Taking on a name as big as Balenciaga is surely a daunting task, but Wang must have some sort of potential to have been chosen as creative director, so it’s only necessary that we start seeing some more expression.

Nevertheless, this collection showed yet another understanding and appreciation by Wang for the essence of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s legacy. His knowledge of the archives informed a modern, almost futuristic interpretation to create what will probably be a success; he has something of a Midas touch, and his spring 2014 menswear collection will most likely sell just as well as essentially everything else he’s designed in recent years. Though I’m hoping for more variety from Wang for Balenciaga in the near future, his premiere men’s collection for the brand was a notable asset to Paris Fashion Week.

Feature image via DerriusPierre.com 

All other images via Style.com

No Last Resort

· Runway · , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

resort 2014

I’ve made my point that I sometimes find it difficult to keep up with the pace of the fashion industry, but it’s impossible to ignore the resort collections. The resort 2014 presentations have been going on for the past month or so, but in case you’ve missed anything, here’s a quick recap.

Resort collections typically provide “pre-spring” attire meant to be worn on vacation during winter months, noted by a luxurious joie de vivre and carefree color palettes. Meanwhile, designers tend to adapt their aesthetics to more market-friendly themes. Starting off the resort 2014 presentations with a Singapore sling was Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, whose collection certainly embodied these ideas. The parade of loose tulle and relaxed silhouettes framed with pristine pearls created a hypnosis on holiday, culminating in one of the most impressive collections from the iconic French fashion house in years.

In the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, Raf Simons presented his resort 2014 collection for Christian Dior in nearby Monaco, embodying the spirit of the French Riviera. The marriage of pastels and brights was greeted by the effortless motion of Simons’ flouncy fabrics, and it was all tied together by delicate materials that nearly screamed, “get free.” Just like a vacation, it was all about release.

Although Alexander Wang’s woman isn’t quite the Parisienne on holiday that Karl Lagerfeld and Raf Simons delineated, the New York-based designer also got in on the colorful action with pops of pink interspersed throughout his collection. The leather-heavy, somewhat sporty medley might not have been the most traditional resort looks, but there was still an element of laid back coolness. Meanwhile at Balenciaga, Wang added his own interpretations of the house’s archives with funky prints and atypical shapes.

No coverage would be complete without mentioning Givenchy. Just like his pre-spring menswear collection, Riccardo Tisci’s resort endeavor played with some of his most memorable elements. The silhouette from his fall 2013 collection reemerged alongside camouflage prints reinvented with florals, while there was no shortage of clean, all-white ensembles.

Of course, there’s much more to resort 2014 than the collections I’ve mentioned, and I wish I could individually cover all of my favorites. Plenty of other designers presented the best parts of their aesthetics, while there was no shortage of pastels, brights, prints, light fabrics, and white (all great elements for summertime, too). If resort stays true to its “pre-spring” motives, then I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the spring 2014 collections later this year.

Check out a gallery of some of my favorite looks from resort 2014 below!

Feature image via A Truly Intriguing Subject

All images via Style.com ; Check Style.com for complete resort 2014 coverage