Saturday, June 24, 2017

BERLUTI spring 2018



Behold fashion evolved!! Ackermann took the trends and smoothed them out to the point of elegance, chic and a degree of sophistication that has been rarer than hen’s teeth on the runways this season. He also catapulted the brand into an unchartered sphere by adding women’s looks to the menu but taking androgyny to a place where it’s negligibly been seen and that is to a level of the intelligent manipulation of fashion. It's got attitude!
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The Berluti collection  ... from the shoes up ... reflects a taste level that surpasses and I’m sure evades many of its competing brands as well as their supposed critics. This is not just a case of dumbing down trends or putting men’s clothes on women … Ackermann offers this rather ... almost esoteric minimal point of view which is one of true high fashion in both a literal and cerebral level. Even the subtle color palette is refined to the point of an array of barely there tints, not colors, all offset with black.
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These are clothes that possess a slick polish and urbane approach to menswear which has been mostly void from the collections of the past several weeks. These are not clothes for the fey barely past pubescence these are the clothes of men who own their style and want to look stylish and somewhat trend driven. Let’s say it is classically trend driven! The cool factor has been set on high. There is a sort of intentional sprezzatura that few collections have achieved ... in other words. .. none of it seems contrived.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Dries Van Noten men's spring 2018



I am merely an on again off again fan of Dries but what has always spiked my interest is that this is a designer’s designer. He is not about jumping on a trend or a moment in fashion; the man stays true to himself and to his vision. Though not crazy about his casting, there is a treasure trove of wearable salable and fashion worthy clothes and if you are a devout and deeply loyal follower, you will be in hog heaven
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Two things that remain in my mind when I see Dries’ collections and they are that he is a tailor at heart and most of all he is a fabric guy! The textures, the patterning, the colorations and the mix of the collection is almost cultish in appeal . The palette has this earthy, desert, autumnal and camouflage vibe which normally would visually offend me but not here. The palette and many roomier silhouettes bring to mind a sort of 50s vibe … a sort of Beaver and Wally Cleaver and maybe a Ricky and David Nelson which would also normally turn me off.
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The collection needs to be dissected as it is amazing in the amount of beautifully rendered jackets, coats, pants, shorts and blousons that there are within this cavalcade of fashion according to DVN! Me, I’m loving that cardigan blazer, the self-belted khaki pants, the square toed trainer and in general the array of patterns, colorations and combinations. For me it is about the components of the whole “picture” rather than the look in its entirety. I read one review and the most they could muster up is all the trends that Dries hit in the collection but alas as usual they miss the true beauty of this collection and many more by never having any context and never seeing beyond what’s right in front of them; after all if they did that it would intimate that they actually know something of fashion’s history and something about the actual designer.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Paris men's spring 2018.. Act 2 w/ 3 scenes



Here we have some freakish insinuations as well as some new meaning given to the term urban cowboy. In the first scenario we have tumescent growths hanging off some rather frail sickly boys including some who looked like their clothes have been mauled by a gang of pit bulls or picked from a dumpster. In all 3 scenarios it is about buying a label and not buying fashion unless these are your aspirational moments.
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The second scene is when very rich white boys want to go to the ghetto to become hip hop stars… not meant to be politically incorrect...  Just calling it out. So let the fawning begin and the dampening of the undies start……………..
 
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Scene one also manages to proffer every bodily distortion imaginable which let’s face it … everyone wants to look like their waist is inches away from their nipples and a head that is the size of a raindrop atop some freakishly proportioned body.. It is not even body dysmorphia, this goes beyond that. Colostomy bags, homelessness and elephantine tumors come to mind
 
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Scene 2 proposes that the very rich men who can afford this are all under 30 and want to be so hip  that it hurts. Bike shorts and camp shirts are de rigeur; could it be that a fishing trip was on this designer’s mind as in some comedy with Chevy Chase. Then there is the loose as a good option where the clothes just hang on you. Somehow I can’t even imagine these clothes making it to a casual Friday scenario and please let’s not forget that stratospherically expensive bucket hat or denim overalls. In their defense, these guys only worry about selling key chains,  handbags and luggage so the clothes don’t even really enter into the picture since it is just an add on to what really makes the bottom line.
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Scene 3 is about a heritage brand that has opted to go pedestrian in the extreme. This is a collection that maintains that all rich men of every age need to have $700 hoodies. $1000 trainers and god knows what priced jogging pants. Trainers are the only footwear you need and you can spend boatloads of money to just blend in because you can. Yawn worthy is an understatement. There is no DNA anymore … just clothes... boring clothes, who cares clothes that could bear any label at all.
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Haider Ackermann spring men’s 2018



There is something oddly magnetic about this collection that made me look more than once. The obvious is its graphic stark patterning in black and white. Then you notice the exquisitely rarefied color palette and how this collection was shown. The presentation is slick, clean, sharp and so appealing on so many levels. Lastly there is this curious undercurrent of unisex or androgyny that once again is so irresistible in this incarnation. 
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The tailoring is superb; the sprezzatura of it all makes it all the more eye catching although nothing about it is by chance. The models, though interchangeable, are perfectly cast as components that assist in fulfilling the designer’s vision on the catwalk. It’s all razor sharp, simple and yet nods to current trends without looking trendy. 
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Do I think this is the antidote to the pervasive “ugly is the new pretty” trend …no...? But, at least I think Ackermann offers clothes that can be worn by men and coveted by men and still look like men … and then there are the women who will wear this and feel as sexy as if they are wearing the scantiest of bikinis.

Paris men’s spring 2018 .. A PLAY IN 3 ACTS



Chalk up 3 more for the who cares column... 
Balenciaga.. click image to enlarge


Opening day of Paris collections for men and the best I can come up with is who cares… it ranges from the Spartan and almost sterile Lemaire to the patently absurd pedestrian pile of rags from Balenciaga designed to shock and draw attention by the sweetheart of fashion victims everywhere … Demna Gvasalia… so let the fawning and oohing and aaahing and cooing begin ….  And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse there is the unclassifiable Facetasm who provided the so called “male” answer to the much ballyhooed and copied Tom Ford caped gown.
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The truth is in front of you and you won’t need me to guide you through, so have a look and have at it!
Lemaire.. click image to enlarge


Hardly what one could call an auspicious or propitious start to the last stop of the fashion caravan? 
Balenciaga.. click image to enlarge


P.S. one doesn't have to think twice as to why the retail business sucks!