Monday, June 30, 2014

Saint Laurent Spring 2015 men's

Talk about ending on a low note!  After an almost interminable roster of shows that spanned 2 continents and seemingly endless weeks, the Spring2015 season has ended. It is sad that I want to say something positive here but all I can say is that Hedi Slimane is consistent and that is nowhere near a compliment, just a sad fact.

 I have spoken many times of Donatellamommamia beating the already dead horse and Mr. Slimane is doing the same albeit he does it with more and more absurdity. To say that these clothes are referenced is quite hysterical. To say that he hasn’t had an original thought since he started turns out to be a statement of masterful understatement? To say he has narrowed his audience is beyond factual as well as laughable. 

I am shocked that he did not try to spin this pile of thread to the rioting in the streets of Paris when Yves first began. Alas, that whole pretense of referencing the late designer and the DNA of the brand has flown out the window and now, we have Saint Laurent which would have been far more aptly named Hedy’s Delusional World of Fashion. As has been pointed out already by many, ponchos and crocheted afghans with fringe, roach killer pointed boots, levis and anorexic tattooed pre-pubescent heroin addled boys are not exactly what one thinks of when they think of fashion. Many of these so called styles are merely retreads of thrift store finds and some may even say that there is some Rifat buried in these relics of times gone by but no one with any fashion intelligence will say these clothes are original. He might have even mentioned Talitha Getty but then again he “invented it all ” so no need.

A little aside here --- if this is Spring will Fall be cut offs and crop tops?

Mr. Slimane might be compared to the theatre of the absurd that Thom Browne offers every season except at least I can marvel at what must be involved to create the horrors that Mr. Brown shows. Mr. Slimane is the aging rocker who needs to get over himself, his fantasies and this phase that has now become a fixation. Besides the so called fashion esthetic that is involved, these clothes are seriously ugly no matter what and no matter how one spins it and laughably presented with all the pretense he seems to shun.

Rather than rant on and on over this crap, I wonder time and again why the name has been perpetuated. Slimane has taken the product so far afield that no matter what anyone tells me, I find it very hard to believe that these clothes sell to any great degree... between the so called clothes themselves, to the stratospheric pricing to the target audience... Where is the appeal and who has the budget? Maybe I just underestimate how many fashion victims there are who are willing to starve to look like this!

PS.. on a humorous note.. the camouflage jacket with the tatty bouillon fringe reminded me of Gone With the Wind.. Hedi and Mammy must have gone to the same fashion school!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

HERMES spring 2015 men's

I can’t see out my window ... the pigs are flying by blocking the sunlight. This might as well be the case as one of the great rarities of a season has happened. Hermès, yes that heritage brand, which has been long known for its scarves, discreet luxury leather goods and their always understated and chic concept of fashion has taken a giant step. Under the stewardship of Veronique Nichanian, Hermès has boarded the trend train! The difference here is that while the route taken might be different, the destination is still the same ... tu comprends cheri?

Using a series of  tonally subdued but atypical prints which vary from a sort of abstract cubist to a floral that scarily resembles a Liberty of London print to a faded vintage wallpaper floral, Ms. Nichanian has massaged the DNA of the brand and presented it with a new vocabulary, so to speak … pun intended! In essence, the chic of the collection is there as is that cosmopolitan luxe that Hermès is famous for but it now shown as a younger hipper and more trend driven selection.

The season is skewed younger in presentation and yet the clothes would miraculously suit a man of any age as they are not tricked out; they are straight forward and simply constructed in exquisite fabrics  and using a very limited but universal palette. It wouldn’t be Hermes if there weren’t the amazing croco pieces ( CROCO HOODIE ANYONE? )  and now the exquisitely crafted suedes in their lighter than air handling. That athletic footwear trend has even crept in with the Hermes version of a slip on Vans and once again it is all about the discretion and details. What is also endlessly appealing and agreeable to the eye is the ease of the collection, for the most part it is a relaxed silhouette but never sloppy and never overly layered; It is all very cut and dry and it is never boring.

I actually love the collection a lot but what I miss is the polish and the slickness that usually accompanied every collection. It might be attributed to the season and then again it might be a shift in design direction. We won’t know which till next season!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

BERLUTI .. SPRING 2015 .. men's

Alessandro Sartori. I salute you!! Bravo!!

It seems rather amazing to me that this brand has so quickly become a high water mark for men’s fashion. There is a reason why these clothes are in demand and it surely is not the price! Please try to remember that less than 5 years ago this was a company that made shoes… albeit very expensive shoes, but for once in a very rare moment of lucidity the brand extension is a perfect fit!

Mr. Sartori, he of the amazingly coincidental last name, certainly makes a sartorial statement here by offering clothes that shriek chic, raffiné, urbanity, soigné, ageless and timeless. This designer indeed does design but he designs without bells and whistles; he designs by massaging his collections with details of the “oh I hadn’t noticed” variety. The details and discreet flourishes are what takes the classic and morphs what was in to what is and will be. The collection evolves and the DNA is every present while the vocabulary expands.

Contour seams, closures, lapels, silhouettes, fabrications, pocket treatments, coloration, presentation, ease and the apparent overall image are all part and parcel of what makes Berluti an almost stand-alone resource in the sea of sameness. Mr. Sartori has done what so many heritage brands are trying to do and that is show their validity and justification within the world of 21st century men’s fashion. 

These are the clothes of the terminally tasteful and for those who have no circus freak fantasies. These are clothes that are just extraordinarily and excruciatingly well made with an appeal that spans generations without effort. These are clothes that some will deem banal and some might even say boring, but I say to them “pffffffft” to steal French colloquialism. Then there are those who will laud it because they are told to as this is the baby of one Antoine Arnault ... is the name familiar?  He has surely cemented himself a place within the corporate hierarchy with this brand which blossomed under his tutelage.

Rather than continue at this laudatory rant I will simply say have a look ... the devil is in the details... look closely as they are there and they are why Berluti will evolve into a mega brand. Most of all please remember this about Alessandro Sartori... he is a designer who designs!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Balmain ... spring 2015 ... men's

Even though I am the one who beats the drum about salable and commercial and al that rational stuff, I too can carried away when I see fabulous. When I saw Balmain spring 2015, I realized this collection is just all about pieces and special pieces and fabulous pieces and show pieces that require no explanation other than their presence.

One cannot overlook  the graphic element of the collection nor can one overlook the literal sportswear influences but what is astounding is the beadwork that is used in quite  a few of these pieces. Granted, I am 99% positive that they are more than stratospherically expensive but so what! They are beyond description and what strikes me is the Native American influences I see in them. Olivier Rousteing has clearly put his imprimatur on this label that started out in in its reincarnation as a collection of lacerated jeans and jackets. .. All wildly dear in price.

Simply said, Monsieur Rousteing knows no boundaries and has a distinct vision for the brand. He is a designer who designs! He is talented beyond his years and whether or not these clothes enjoy any sort of commercial success is questionable BUT what a visual feast for those who know what they see!
Without question this is all about the young, very rich, uber hip, bells and whistles and rock n roll crowd! These are not the clothes of brokers and hedgies even though they are most likely the ones who could afford them. Of nothing else it is a pleasure to look at clothes that possess a justifiable lust and covet factor for a particular audience and not just some more of “me too” looks that bear a particular label.

With all this said, these clothes appear to be impeccably made with amazing workmanship that is rarely seen in ready to wear for men or women and for that I say BRAVO.