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Spring 2014 Menswear: London Fashion Week

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

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It’s pretty obvious that fashion never stops, so it should come as no surprise that we’re already moving on to the next set of collections. Right on the heels of Resort 2014, the spring 2014 menswear collections are being shown. First up is London, whose week of unique expression and daring designs is rapidly expanding. I’d love to review each collection individually, but in the wise words of Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” In more appropriate terms, here’s a summary of London Fashion Week for spring 2014 menswear.

Christopher Kane started off the week on a relatively mediocre note with a stark contrast to his wondrous womenswear. As Style.com’s Tim Blanks put it, the clothes seem like an afterthought. Some interesting elements from his ladies’ looks reemerged, but they did so in a much less exciting way, with uninspiring – and possibly uninspired – graphic prints. It didn’t help that the collection mostly consisted of basics. Men’s fashion certainly doesn’t have the popularity of its female counterpart, and Christopher Kane’s latest endeavor did nothing to change that.

Continuing London Fashion Week on a more positive note was Topman Design, whose creative director, Gordon Richardson placed an appealing emphasis on the shirts. I’m not really into anything cowboy-themed, but the urban edge to Topman’s Western-wear definitely saved the collection. Bold colors and metallics were intricately woven onto delicate silk, presenting a juxtaposition of youth and glamor instead of the belabored “cowboys and Indians” concept. Though perfectly styled, the pieces could also work well independently, as they show great potential for versatility. On the same day, Peter Jensen’s womenswear resort 2014 collection debuted alongside his menswear, which showed an obvious inspiration from Andy Warhol. The bright-colored, mod and pop art pieces effectively tied the men’s and women’s designs together through cheeky prints and unisex fabrics. Meanwhile, Astrid Andersen showed some Givenchy-esque garments with an urban, athletic feel, while Lou Dalton’s airforce-inspired gear presented a pleasing color palette. Richard Nicoll’s sober yet sensual collection for spring 2014 was another standout on this impressive day; any collection that starts with beautiful black leather has my heart. From there, more color emerged alongside provocative prints. Overall, Richard Nicoll’s spring 2014 menswear collection was made up of bold yet wearable items, and it’s one of my favorites of the season so far.

As the week progressed, we saw even more noteworthy work from London’s top designers. Sarah Burton always makes a statement at Alexander McQueen, this time with exceptional details highlighting the already top-notch tailoring. White lace and black roses told a story of “rites of passage,” from life to death and everything in between, while the materials appeared frayed and worn by the elements. Burton’s artistic reinterpretation of a dark Edwardian era further proves her capability of continuing Lee McQueen’s iconic legacy. Though not quite as intricate or thought-provoking as Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders’ collection was practical and refreshing. A “techy” shine to upbeat colors added a jolt of liveliness to an otherwise basic collection. Another standout was Rag & Bone. Designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright returned home in London after regularly showing their collections in New York, bringing with them quite a spectacle; several lights and mirrors were coordinated by London’s United Visual Artists, the same group that arranges stage shows for U2. But let’s not forget about the clothes. Rag & Bone spring 2014 menswear was, as always, wearable and effortlessly stylish, though the implementation of Japanese sashiko fabric added a unique twist.

Joanna Sykes’ first menswear collection for Nicole Farhi implied clarity, and the show reflected the idea. Peace, serenity, and tranquility fueled the models’ light steps down the runway, with each turn providing a closer look, thus revealing modern texture. Speaking of modernity, there was no shortage of that at James Long, where sporty jackets and hoodies met loose shorts. We can’t forget about the stripes enhanced with bursts of color, which made many pieces reminiscent of the spectrum on a broken TV screen. Christopher Shannon took us to Mexico, packing a new approach to wild prints and loud colors, while Christopher Raeburn opted for more of a hand painted look to the pieces, as well as optimistic blue and pink counterparts.

Nothing says London more than Burberry Prorsum. Christopher Bailey made the decision to move his men’s presentation to London this season, further signifying the emphasis on British heritage that the brand is known for. Some of Burberry’s own heritage prevailed, as Bailey found yet another way to reinvent the iconic trench and other statement outerwear pieces. The theme of the collection was “Writers and Painters,” which was evident through the various colors and patterns often shown together on a single look. But there was nothing bad about these somewhat mix-matched ensembles; everything went together so perfectly to tell a story or paint a picture, just like the theme implied. Almost appearing as a mélange of fauvism, impressionism, and visual poetry, Christopher Bailey’s spring 2014 menswear collection for Burberry Prorsum delineated a wonderful work of art…of course with a charming British attitude.

Overall, London’s expansion of its menswear Fashion Week seems to be moving in the right direction, as the city is certainly teeming with talent. There’s never any shortage of creativity in the English capital, and spring 2014 is looking extremely promising for men. Looking forward to Milan and Paris in the next couple of weeks, there’s a lot to live up to; it looks like London set the bar pretty high.

Stay tuned for the rest of this season’s shows, and check out some of the most noteworthy looks from the latest London Fashion Week menswear presentations!

Feature image via LA Times

All other images via Style.com ; go to Style.com for full coverage of the spring 2014 menswear collections

Give(nchy) Me More

· Men's, Runway · , , , ,

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Just after previewing the fall 2013 ad campaign, Riccardo Tisci gave Style.com an exclusive look at his Givenchy pre-spring 2014 menswear collection. I’ve mentioned before how difficult it can be to keep up with the fast-paced fashion industry, but when it comes to this iconic Parisian fashion house, I’m definitely okay with the constant updates.

This collection is relatively similar to Tisci’s fall 2013 womenswear collection, which was honestly one of my least favorite Givenchy endeavors in recent seasons. For pre-spring 2014 menswear, some of the kitschy flame prints and overzealous florals resurfaced from the women’s pieces, along with an unpleasantly surprising amount of camouflage. But Riccardo Tisci is somewhat of a genius, and he managed to successfully incorporate these elements into the stylish, Latin-inspired “Favelas 74” collection. I still wouldn’t consider this as exciting as a lot of the recent Givenchy collections I’ve seen, but I’m loving these somewhat urban vibes.

Take a glance at some of the most noteworthy looks from Givenchy’s pre-spring 2014 menswear collection!

Brighten Up

· Men's, Trend Reports · , , , , , , , , , , ,

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The fall 2013 collections have already been shown, and it seems like spring 2013 was ages ago. But in the real world, the spring/summer season is upon us, and many of the trends shown almost a year in advance are starting to catch on. Cue the colorful suits.

Designers are turning their backs on traditional black, grey, and navy suits for spring/summer 2013. From subtle pastels to loud neons, the pieces are getting revamped with a heavy dose of color. I’m a big fan of black, white, and neutrals, so I’m kind of surprised to be so into this concept. Regardless, it’s kind of refreshing to see how some collections completely deviated from the typical standard of dress.

Gucci owned this trend with an entire spectrum of the menswear staple. Both bold and bashful blues were shown alongside scorchingly hot pinks, oranges, reds, and other shades. Paul Smith is no stranger to color, featuring similar hues. Meanwhile, Riccardo Tisci included a few pale pink pieces amongst his print-heavy collection for Givenchy. Suits from Salvatore Ferragamo, Hermès, and Mugler also got in on the trend.

You’ve got to have balls to rock these colorful suits, but if you can truly own the styles, then go for it! As shocked as I am about enjoying these looks, I’m an advocate for trying something different. This is one trend I can stand behind.

Check out my favorite colorful suits from spring/summer 2013 below!

Left: Paul Smith, Right: Gucci

Left: Paul Smith, Right: Gucci

Left: Givenchy, Right: Gucci

Left: Givenchy, Right: Gucci

Left: Hermès, Right: Mugler

Left: Hermès, Right: Mugler

Both: Salvatore Ferragamo

Both: Salvatore Ferragamo

Suit in feature image: Gucci

Item of the Day

· Top Items · , ,

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There are always so many pieces I want, and I’m still all about those items I recently mentioned. Meanwhile, I’ll probably be obsessed with Givenchy’s spring 2013 menswear collection forever, as I’m currently in the process of hoarding their printed t-shirts. One more I’d like to add to my archives is this white Madonna print style. The image looks like it’s been hand-painted onto the top, truly embodying the concept of fashion as an art form. With summer approaching, it would be great to have this crisp, not-so-basic white tee to wear in a variety of ways. Whether worn on a casual day with some shorts and loafers or during a night out with black trousers and a leather jacket, this t-shirt will add an artistic edge to any spring/summer look. It’s definitely a winner.

Get Givenchy’s Madonna print t-shirt here!

Top 8 Style Tips

· Features, Trends & Shopping · , , , , , ,

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You’ve probably lost count of how many of these types of articles you’ve read, but some people just won’t seem to learn. On a daily basis, I see plenty of well dressed people. Unfortunately, I also see a lot of people who make me cringe, and I’d really like to help them out. So here are my top 8 tips for looking stylish…or at least looking somewhat presentable:

  1. Less is More: This is definitely one of the most common tips, yet I feel like it just doesn’t register for some people. It’s more of a problem when someone is trying so hard to be stylish, hoarding all of the season’s hottest trends at once. STOP. You don’t look stylish, you look confused and quite possibly mentally unstable. Stick to one trend at a time and try to incorporate it into your own sense of style. I know minimalism isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but basics will keep you from looking insane. If you’re wearing a crazy print or embellishment, add some black or neutrals to tone it down a little. Let’s say you’re wearing a shirt with a neon pattern. Put off the printed pants in exchange for some black jeans, and take off that costume jewelry. Some great basics to pair with your wild pieces and simplify your looks are a white shirt or blouse, a black suit or a “LBD,” a basic leather jacket, and classic jeans.
  2. Throw Some Shade:
    Yes, we all have our days when we don’t want to put together a great look. Maybe we aren’t looking or feeling our best in general. In this case, sunglasses can be your savior. Some classic Ray Bans will add an extra dose of style when you’re a little disheveled, while they’ll also hide any insecurities. This isn’t necessarily an excuse for wearing sweatpants or PJs, but it’s definitely a step up for some lazy college students.
  3. Take Care:
    Even the best dressed people make the huge mistake of not properly maintaining their clothes. I’m sorry, but I really don’t care about your new silk Versace shirt if it’s a wrinkled mess. Take your ass to a dry cleaner, or at least read the washing instructions on the tags of your clothes. Also, shining and protecting footwear is essential. Nothing looks worse than a filthy pair of shoes. The price or quality of your clothes and shoes is irrelevant if you can’t take care of them. We’re all big boys and girls, and we can learn how to get our shit together.
  4. Don’t Become a Slave to Trends:
    Trends are great. They help us keep an eye on what’s going on in fashion, and they make things interesting when we look back on old styles. Also, they make it easier to decide what to wear and how to wear it. But they shouldn’t become your only frame of reference. Blindingly bright prints were huge a few seasons ago, but it’s unlikely that those same pieces would be appealing today. Don’t buy something that won’t look good in a couple short months; you’ll be wasting your time and money. As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “fashions fade, style is eternal.”
  5. Shut Up Your Shirts:
    I’m a fan of graphic tee’s. What I’m not a fan of is obnoxious shirts with obscene graphics. “I’m with stupid?” No, you look stupid. Also, in-your-face brand names or logos aren’t making you seem sophisticated. If it looks like something you could buy off of the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, don’t wear it in public. I’ll admit I have some cheesy tee’s, and I’m all about those “Homiés” or “Comme des Fuckdown” pieces. But there’s a time and a place, and certain t-shirts are immature and straight up tasteless.
  6. Dress for Yourself:
    We all want to emulate a lot of the styles we see in magazines or on the runways, but not everything works for everyone. It’s important to dress for our age, body types, and personalities. If you’re generally pretty conservative, don’t try to do the “rock chic” thing. Also, I’d just like to say that there’s a difference between looking elegant and looking like a 45 year old; you’re not Audrey Hepburn, you’re a teenaged girl. The fit of clothing is essential, especially for menswear. Clothes look sloppy when they’re too baggy, and nothing looks attractive about someone shoving themselves into things that aren’t their size.
  7. Repeat it Right:
    There’s nothing wrong with wearing even the most elaborate pieces more than once, but don’t wear them the exact same way every time. This type of redundancy makes you look boring, lazy, and uninspired. If you’ve got an awesome shirt, wear it with a different pair of pants, add a jacket, or add some cool accessories. Most importantly, allow enough time between repetition, regardless of how much you switch it up. I’ve worn certain things almost consecutively, and it’s still embarrassing,
  8. Do you:
    This is just as obvious as the first tip, but people still tend to walk around looking like clones. One of the greatest things about style, especially in Western culture, is the freedom to express yourself. I see too many people walking around looking identical, unintentionally categorizing themselves as what some like to call “basic bitches.” Don’t be a basic bitch. Also, any runway look can easily be modified to fit your own individual sense of style. I’m not going to tell you how to create your own style when it’s something I’ve been establishing myself, and everyone has their own tastes. But it’s necessary to be creative and expressive. Just don’t go overboard and become a caricature of yourself.

There’s a lot more I’d like to cover, but at least this is a start. Though slightly redundant, hopefully these tips are helpful for a lot of people. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But try to keep some of these concepts in mind before walking around looking like a fool with no sense of style.

Top Items

· Men's, Shopping Guides, Top Items · , , , , , ,

My birthday is in exactly 2 weeks, which has got me searching for a lot of different potential gifts. In my hunt, I came across a few gems, and they’re all pretty reasonably priced.

I don’t specifically go bargain shopping, but I definitely get excited when I find an incredible item for less than I’d expect (but really, who doesn’t?). That’s definitely the case with these.

Topman-Lux-Leather-Jacket

The first item is this leather biker jacket from the Topman Lux collection. It’s 100% authentic leather with a superior cut and silhouette. Honestly, I saw someone wearing this jacket and thought it was Saint Laurent at first glance. One of my pet peeves with the leather jackets I currently have is their gold zippers, so I love the silver details on this. Most importantly, this amazing quality item could go with just about any outfit, adding a luxurious edge. Though it’s one of the best leather jackets I’ve seen, it’s just $400, which is pretty good considering how versatile and long-lasting this piece will be. In a nutshell, I need it.

zaramonkstrap

Also giving me Saint Laurent vibes are these suede monk strap shoes from Zara. At just under $100, they look pristine, yet they can definitely be added to a variety of outfits. This type of shoe is very “in” right now, but this particular pair isn’t a slave to trends and could be worn for years down the line. I’m in love with these, too.

Dope_Leather_sidebig

Finally, I’m obsessed with this black leather snapback from online boutique, Stampd. I’ve been on kind of a snapback kick for the past few weeks, and I’ve been all about black leather for quite some time. So can someone please tell me why I don’t own this hat?

Overall, I’ve got to get my hands on all of these.

Look of the Day

· Looks · , , , , ,

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I haven’t been posting as frequently as I’d like, and I really haven’t posted much interesting content. This week has been torture with schoolwork dominating my life every day, but I’m going to try to stay on top of things.

Nevertheless, here’s another look I wore. For the Fashion Design, Referenced launch party yesterday evening in Boston, I wore a Givenchy pre-fall 2013 t-shirt over a white buttonup with black trousers and a Dior Homme blazer (I think from spring 2010). I got a chance to look at the book that was being celebrated, and I think everyone should check it out! Mostly, I’m just excited that I managed to get away from homework and studying for a couple of hours.

The Ultimate T

· Men's, News, Shopping Guides · , , ,

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Hermès definitely knows how to produce some pricey luxury items. If you ever get through the wait list, the famous Birkin bag will cost you at least $20,000. Meanwhile, a plain cotton t-shirt for men comes in at over $300. The latter price seems like nothing compared to the fashion house’s latest release: a men’s t-shirt for $91,500. Now I’m not one to mock the high cost of high fashion, as I respect the craftsmanship and prestige that goes into these pieces. However, I can’t deny I’m a little shocked by that price tag.

The t-shirt is made of crocodile leather, and to be honest, I’m kind of into this. Actually I love it. If I could get my hands on this top without selling my soul or sacrificing a child, I gladly would.