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diversity-ss17

The Ongoing Battle

· Runway, Thoughts · , , , , , , ,

Diversity in fashion seems like one of the industry’s longest running battles; it feels like every season, we discuss how much progress has been made and how much more we need to see. For the spring 2017 shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, this season proved to be the most diverse yet. But let’s not get too excited just yet. There’s still quite a lot of progress to be made.

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Looking Forward

· Runway · , , , , , ,

There’s so much out there in terms of fashion, and it’s up to today’s designers to provide women with choices, whether it’s a character she could become via a brand’s propositions or a message that a collection presents. Sure, sometimes the clothes are left to speak for themselves. But in that case, the pieces should carry the strength of re-presenting typical garb.

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Photo Courtesy NowFashion

Fall 2016 in Review

· Runway · , , , , ,

It feels like fashion never sleeps; right as the fall 2016 menswear shows came to a close, womenswear kicked off without missing a beat. And while there’s a lot of discussion around the somewhat “broken” cycle of Fashion Month, this was a season just like any other, with major collections, designer switchups, and all the usual elements that keep us coming back for more.

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Photo Courtesy CR Fashion Book

Next Fall

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , ,

It seems as if the men’s fashion market is growing more and more each season, attracting increased attention to the world’s most noteworthy fashion capitals. For fall 2016, we saw the top menswear creators continue to expand the dialogue on traditional definitions of masculinity and male style, playing with various elements that redefine the formerly quiet niche.

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London Calling

· Travel & Culture · , , , , , , , ,

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After the flurry – and flurries – of New York Fashion Week, Fashion Month is moving forward. Next stop: London, the city known for harvesting some of the freshest and most captivating new talent. We have to start by addressing the pink elephant in the room, that being London’s slightly lower popularity level in comparison to New York, Milan and Paris in terms of big-name designers’ collections. But London’s fashion industry is definitely a force to be reckoned with, presenting work from established names like Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum alongside underrated experts like Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Ilincic.

While the continuation of this month-long fashion festival is sure to bring even more exciting trends and concepts, London’s skilled designers have the tendency to march to the beat of their own drummer, and we couldn’t be happier. British menswear is noted for the implementation and mastery of bespoke tailoring via Savile Row, but don’t think that’s limited to just the guys. With such an immense influence on the practice of creating garments, there’s a reason London is one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world.

While the next few days are all about London’s best fall 2014 ready-to-wear collections, hosting a Fashion Week in one of the world’s most incredible cities opens the doors for limitless things to experience off the runway.

Left to Right: Courtesy Shoreditch House, Courtesy Scott's Restaurant

Left to Right: Courtesy Shoreditch House, Courtesy Scott’s Restaurant

A members-only lounge like Paris’ Silencio, The Shoreditch House is a perfect meeting place to gather with coworkers or friends. Though less clubby than its French counterpart, the upscale atmosphere provides a relaxing space for food and drinks in the midst of the Fashion Week madness. Meanwhile, Shoreditch is quickly becoming one of London’s hippest neighborhoods. But if you’re in the mood for a bigger meal, stop by Scott’s Restaurant over in the beautiful Mayfair district, where you can get a high-quality version of the classically English fish and chips. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little touristy.

Left to Right: Getty Images, Getty Images, Courtesy Hale Clinic

Left to Right: Getty Images, Getty Images, Courtesy Hale Clinic

Why not compliment your touristy meal with some more sightseeing? Though it’s impossible to go into detail about every single artistic and cultural element that London has to offer, it never hurts to start with a couple great museum visits. Tate Modern is a great option for those who prefer contemporary art, located across the river in Southeast London. Meanwhile, the Victoria & Albert Museum in the coveted Kensington neighborhood provides everything from a David Bowie retrospective to archaeologic exhibitions. And if your inevitably extensive time at the V&A leaves you feeling a little exhausted, you can stay on the west side of London when visiting the Hale Clinic, a great place for any holistic healthcare from detox to acupuncture.

Left to Right: Getty Images, Courtesy Celestine Eleven

Left to Right: Getty Images, Courtesy Celestine Eleven

Despite all of these suggestions, let’s not forget that we’re still in one of the world’s fashion capitals. And what would a fashion capital be without shopping? Selfridges is always a good idea, while the department store’s personal shopping suite makes the process of navigating through the dreamlike selection of fashion goods exponentially less hectic. You can always stop by the Hale Clinic again afterwards, but it’s probably a better idea to reduce your stress as much as possible during Fashion Week. Though a bit on the pricey side, a two-hour consultation with Selfridges’ specially trained personal shoppers will have you feeling like the best dressed at London Fashion Week. If the big bad department store doesn’t do the trick for you, try Celestine Eleven, a boutique that’s more manageable without sacrificing an extensive inventory. Sorry, guys, but this place only features womenswear. However, this womenswear comes from some of the best luxury designers, while Celestine Eleven also carries home goods and more holistic products within a peaceful environment.

There’s much, much more to be seen during a trip to London, but when negotiating with the madness of Fashion Week, this will surely be a start. Of course, all of the endless excitement throughout London does nothing but help to inform the stunning and inspirational designs we’ll be seeing over the course of London Fashion Week. Enjoy!

All information courtesy of #TheList at Harper‘s Bazaar by Yasmin Sewell

Feature photo by me

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Pringle of Scotland Fall 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , ,

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Massimo Nicosia delineated something of a “coming of age” story for Pringle of Scotland’s fall 2014 menswear. “It’s a small-towner moving to the big city…it’s about building a wardrobe,” he said. There was a bit of naïvety in the collection, as eveningwear was paired with bomber jackets and outerwear got the oversized treatment. Meanwhile, the boys all wore what looked like older shoes, indicating that they haven’t quite made a full foray into the maturity of fashion. The styling was at the pinnacle of street smart, making for a highly market-friendly collection. Yet the historic knitwear didn’t just stick to its roots. Sure, there were plenty of pristine sweaters, but there was also a knit jacket and the use of more modern scuba-jersey material. While many could claim Massimo Nicosia was looking back, the pieces themselves suggested a confident move forward.

Photos courtesy of Pringle of Scotland

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Burberry Prorsum Fall 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , ,

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Burberry Prorsum is arguably the biggest show of London menswear Fashion Week, as the British powerhouse attracts viewers from all over the world to see what’s next from Christopher Bailey’s empire. Bailey’s inspiration for the Painterly Journey collection was drawn from Duncan Grant, an artist known for his open sexuality, which was clearly represented throughout the show. At the start of Bailey’s fall 2014 menswear presentation, the standard Brit-rock on the soundtrack was replaced by crooning female voice. This sense of femininity permeated the collection, as the Burberry man was shown in sheer mesh tank tops and printed silk scarves delicately draped over his shoulders. However, his confidence in his masculinity is what brought life to these pieces. A label all about outerwear, Burberry’s strong coats and signature trenches proposed further ideas that proved Christopher Bailey’s unlimited ability to reinvent classics. The iconic check made a few appearances, too, but this wasn’t just another retrospect on the house’s heritage.

But as the title of the collection alluded, there was a sense of artistry, as well. Geometric prints adorned bags and accessories, while there were also hand-painted leather and cartoonish illustrations of fall foliage. Burberry has been recently noted for being an extremely global brand, which made the man of fall 2014 exceptionally traveled. Merged with the artsiness, the collection featured prints of famous global cityscapes, and internationally inspired details such as tapestry-like prints, fringed jackets, and even some South American-looking ponchos. While not every cultural reference would fit cohesively into a single collection, it’s hard to deny that the Burberry man garnered lots of artistic advances through his universal voyages.

A collection of multiple diverse ideas, Burberry Prorsum fall 2014 menswear was tied together under the wildly creative mind of Christopher Bailey. We can’t wait to see where this “Painterly Journey” takes us next.

Photos by Marcus Tondo

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Agi & Sam Fall 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , ,

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Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton had a lot to live up to after earning the British Fashion Award for the best menswear designer this past December. In support of this achievement, the duo created a collection that appeared minimal at a glance, but it carried a more substantial political context below the surface.

As Mdumulla was inspired by his Maasai heritage and his stay in Maasai territory, the style notes for Agi and Sam’s fall 2014 collection conveyed a conversation between the first and third world. Typical Western garb like coats, shirts, and trousers were done with extra length and layering, referencing the ensembles of Maasai warriors. Meanwhile, the East African tribe’s archetypal red and blue check was drained of all color. The only noticeable hues were to be found on the vinyl-printed tops that held African oil company logos, taking a deeper step both politically and sartorially. Maybe a bit of a heavy concept, the motivation behind Agi and Sam’s fall 2014 menswear collection told a story and discussed a real topic through the use of wearable and well-made garments. And that’s how you win awards, folks.

Photos by Yannis Vlamos

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Tom Ford Fall 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , ,

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If anyone embodies exclusivity, it’s probably Tom Ford. After his epic comeback a few seasons ago, the legendary designer has stuck to private presentations, his latest comprising of just a few select looks. Yet that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lot to show.

So how did the man who has his own Jay-Z song dedicated to him live up to his luxury reputation? By creating his own dapper version of James Bond, of course, though this Bond could squeeze in some downtime. A fur trimmed parka enveloped one of the more casual looks Ford has designed, which paired a check shirt with slim trousers and smoking slippers. Afterwards, another superb piece of outerwear was presented via a heavy shearling number. Perfectly placed over an optimal cream-colored knit and light grey trousers, the coat provided an effortless element of sophistication and a slight dose of opulence, something that Tom Ford knows quite a lot about. What was most surprising about this look was the pair of sneakers thrown in the mix. Even he said, “When I started this company I said there is no way I would ever make a tennis shoe.” But Ford did just that with his own high-end signature, creating a pair in brown and burgundy leather and another that comes with the options of black, navy, or white velvet. The second sneakers looked unexpectedly excellent with a midnight blue velvet suit, while Tom Ford finished off the collection with what he does best: a perfectly tailored tuxedo. The one in question featured a pattern detailed blazer with all black basics.

It doesn’t take much for Tom Ford to prove his mastery and command over his own fashion empire, and his latest “quality over quantity” presentation reminded us yet again.

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Photos courtesy of GQ

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Nicole Farhi Fall 2014 Menswear

· Men's, Runway · , , , , , , ,

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“Protection; sanctuary,” read the heading of the style notes for the Nicole Farhi fall 2014 menswear collection.

Like many other brands did during London’s menswear Fashion Week, the Nicole Farhi team held a static presentation above their Saint George Street boutique. These days, such an event involves a cordial atmosphere, complete with food and drinks, as members of the fashion industry take a look at the latest styles without the hectic hype that accompanies a fashion show. A social event of sorts, it’s often easy to forget what we’ve gathered for. But that wasn’t the case at Nicole Farhi, as the amicable ambiance was complimentary to the collection itself.

Joanna Sykes’ fall 2014 menswear for Nicole Farhi, was all about – believe it or not – comfort. Many feel that this state of being can only be achieved by sacrificing style, but Sykes swiftly put that myth to rest with her short and sweet selection. The pieces continued the trend in loose tailoring, but things didn’t get too loose, leaving an undeniable element of sophistication. The Nicole Farhi man continued to be as elegant and thoughtful as always.

The idea of “protection” became most noticeable through the outerwear, appearing almost like shells around the models’ perfectly styled ensembles. There were traditional overcoats, shield-like parkas, one striking biker jacket, and a stunning turquoise and black check peacoat. Items were double face constructed in unexpected fabrics such as English scuba wool flannel and an updated shearling, creating a modern, almost minimalist overall appearance. A sense of relaxation was truly evoked through the rest of the clothes, which ranged from cozy knits to trousers that looked like track pants. Charcoal, navy, and khaki made up the majority of the collection, while pops of bright blue like the shade of that check coat bolstered the energy. Most of all, the luxury quality of each garment presented a type of versatility that could easily place each item in any context, whether formal or casual. It was easy to become jealous of the models, not just for their good looks, but for being lucky enough to be so snugly bundled up in clothes that still evoked a sort of “Parisian cool.”

It was smart of Joanna Sykes not to put her models in sneakers, but instead in an updated monk-strap shoe. The relatively formal footwear was redone in collaboration with English shoemakers, Tricker’s, and the additional element of maturity and intelligence was the final touch on a desirable fall wardrobe.

Who said you need to sacrifice style for comfort?

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Photos courtesy of Nicole Farhi

Feature image by Scott Shapiro