Wednesday, July 28, 2021

a startling reminder of my past

 For some unremembered  reason I  kept this article from the New York Times with these areas  highlighted...keep in mind I was 28 and  really  just starting  in the fashion business  though I  had been a textile designer for the previous  7 years .... there must have  been  good reason for those highlighted areas and scarily I  admit I have sort of lived by them without ever recalling this piece....


Everybody has to get dressed and go about his business, so everybody must give a thought to

what he wears, if only to feel comfortable in public and not like a fool.

 In fact, the need not to feel like a fool is a generally deep motive in the choice of clothes, but it also seems like a weakness. “Fashion” can easily seem to be bent on making fools of everyone.

One way to escape being bothered by the disturbing importance of clothes in life is to label the whole subject “fashion,” and keep it at a convenient mental and moral distance.

“Fashion” can be associated with the worst evils of commercialism and mediahype, and in personal life with mindless vanity and obsessive narcissism

 If clothes are only “fashion,” then obviously they are not basically serious or really important. Taking them seriously can safely be thought of as other people's business; “fashion” can be observed without participation.

 But fashion is not so easily dismissed.


It would be nice if the fashion business went its crazy way catering to a closed group of fanatic patrons, like the fetishleathergoods trade, and ordinary people made honest garments for themselves at home.

But of course fashion and ordinary clothing have been in bed together for at least a century, ever since clothes began to be massproduced and fashion became an international business instead of a private game for the idle.


If you want to ignore fashion you will find it impossible. At the most, you can only react strongly against fashion when you buy your clothes and that effort only shows what a strong effect it is having on you.

If you pay no conscious attention, believing yourself impervious to the mode, it will creep up on you unawares and begin to produce strange effects, like the sudden thought that you might look better with shorter hair, or the inexplicable impulse to tie knots in the ends of your long scarf and drape it around your neck like an ecclesiastical stole.

 At worst, you may, without having done anything at all, suddenly begin to feel like a fool in what you are wearing, and decide you have to do something after all.Just how deeply the world really cares about its clothes is apparent in the enormous success of all the recent books on how to dress in order to get on in life.

Most of these counsel giving fashion a wide berth. It is no doubt liberating to realize that it is not vain or ridiculous but only virtuously selfinterested to care a lot about exactly what you wear.

It does not have to mean that you are playing into anybody's treacherous hands, or succumbing to the daunting rapacity of the garment business.

Two things seem personally difficult to manage: Clothes have meanings that reveal their wearers, and clothes keep changing their look.

The desire to wear a “uniform” —versions of the same unfailingly elegant and decent suit, say and the success of books counseling such “uniforms” for successful public life indicate how thankful people are when the vexing problem of open sartorial choice no longer needs to pose a threat.

But writers of “howtosucceed throughclothes” books forget that even a wellcut conservative suit can stay in the closet too long.


In the darkness, it may develop too shapely or too straight a cut, too wide or too narrow a lapel to produce the look of success; when it it exposed to the lights, it may unhappily suggest a tacky hick or gawky youth. As the range of normal ways to look marvelous inevitably changes with time, there turn out to be fashions in unfashion, as well as in antifashion.

Clothes simply cannot be a private matter. Clothes are never visually neutral. They always publish something significant about you, and having to think about this can be painful work.

Not everybody wants to take it up. And the oldest and commonest defense against this kind of anxiety is to hold fast to the opinion that clothes are not important .But clothes don't just covet the body, they invest the self : They not only make a surface show, they strike inward from the skin.

 Our inner consciousness depends on dress, just as it depends on, sex, or on having a head and two hands.

 Nakedness is certainly a serious state; it may be mystical or magical or pleasurable, but it is not our natural condition.


What to wear reveals us to ourselves, not just to the world.

 Man is clothed because he is a creative and visionary creature it is an honorable heritage, and we can't help caring about it.

We should forgive ourselves, and admit we do.

Friday, July 23, 2021

VTMNTS spring 2022


                                                                         CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
                                                                            CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Redundant, not a new  concept in sight other than showing the same outfit in 5  color ways, yawn worthy, trendoids beware, fashion media get those  diapers, 40s/50s menswear influence, turtleneck shells ( ask your mother) with matching opera length gloves, varsity jackets, car coats, draping sweat pants, more puffers, raw sienna is not the most asked for  color in the pantone  book, all modeled on punk like neo Nazi  type  models, and after 100 looks  you  really have to wonder who was waiting for this. 

                                                                             CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
                                                                          CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

This GEORGIAN thinks he will tip the scales of fashion with this crap. The best   top was the first and then it just went downhill from there. Demna must have this ego that’s bigger than Jeff Bezos’ bank account to even think this is anything   but more thrift store stuff cleaned up and copied ... and yes, we all need more tee shirts with words on them and more adidas sweat suits....

                                                                           CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

So, my question is “where’s the beef?”

Friday, July 16, 2021

Valentino couture 2021

At first glance I was completely taken in but the color explosion which certainly was a welcomed sight this season but then the reality set it...the color palette looked like pantone book exploding and the clothes suddenly looked far more like ready to wear than couture.

                                                                        click image to enlarge

These is no doubt that the clothes that bear the label are impeccably made and should be at those prices but when you take a second look you see this is just another pile of clothes. Once upon a time a designer used couture as a hint or launch pad of what was to come for ready to wear that was soon to follow but in this instance where’s the difference?  Shows and their collections had a beginning, daytime, a middle, cocktail, and an end evening... they had a signature they were promoting whether it be a shape, an accessory, a pattern, a skirt length general, a look. Well tell me what’s the look here other than a jumble of colors that even a goat would be attracted to.

                                                                        click image to enlarge
                                                                         click image to enlarge

Phillips Treacy’s man of war feathered hats and a second skin LBD have nothing in common with high referenced YSL (shapes and patterns) or Cardin and more or moomoos. Yet that hat was the only thread that held this so called collection together. It was long, short, slim, loose, shapeless, second skin with little to no embellishment except sequins which can be bought by the yard.

                                                                          click image to enlarge

In essence what makes this couture ... what makes this a collection... where is the cohesion and what differentiates this from ready to wear? It would be far more entrancing to go back to the archive and bring back some of masterpieces that made the brand a juggernaut in the fashion world.

                                                                    click image to enlarge

So let the fashion media use up their collective supply of depends but be smarter and think about what I’ve written here!

                                                                     click image to enlarge
PS... wardrobe call ... Belle Watling and Divine ... fitting!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

YSL men’s spring 2022

One might subtitle this collection as Death In Venice!

                                                                    click image to enlarge

One thing we know for sure is that this collection was not designed as work wear since I’m not quite sure where or why you’d wear these clothes.

                                                                          click image to enlarge

Vaccarello said he referenced Yves’ 70’s and 80s collections which indeed he did but he weakly referenced the women’s collections and paraded out a cavalcade of pirate shirts, capes, platform boots, shoes that hurt just by looking at them and let’s not forget lace blouses all shown in models of questionable gender!

                                                                       click image to enlarge

These are clothes that cost 1000s of dollars and can only be worn by the very young or shall I say should only be worn by the very young and now you do the math!

Leg o mutton ruffled neck lace blouse on men is a mockery of the late designer.At a time when we are all trying reach the post pandemic stage of life, these clothes are almost an insult or possibly just erasing the past 18 months as if they never happened.
click image to enlarge

YSL menswear never set the world on fire as I was a good customer in those early years at Rive Gauche before the Bidermann years. My point being, you never looked like you shopped in the back of your mother’s closet and the clothes were not age centric but they were luxe, chic, understated and fabulous. Fact is, I bought my very first pair of sweats at Rive Gauche and even they were fabulous and keep in mind this was about 35 years ago ... they were simple drawstring cotton fleece lined but they had thermal tuxedo stripes running down the legs.

                                                                             click image to enlarge

There is nothing discreet here nothing soigné or natty except for a few tailored jackets and might I add that even 35 or 40 years ago spencer jackets for men were not flying off the racks for any designer. If Vaccarello was really influenced by the collections of those years where are the lush color combinations, the bold statement making clothes and the aspiration that went with it all.

The only thing I see here is buy these clothes, wear them in daylight and pray no one throws stones at you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

meet Gary Trente ..the silver fox renaissance man

In this age of Instagram and Facebook it is not a stretch of the imagination to admit that one’s attention is drawn to a stranger by  how they present themselves in a single image but it is upon  further exploration  that this writer came upon a gentleman who  fit the  bill when it comes to people who are  subjects of my interviews.

                                                                                     click image to enlarge

I have written and interviewed painters, silver fox models and just about any type of créateur that you can imagine so when he consented to this interview, I was thrilled. There is so much more than just that single image we see on a phone screen, iPad or desktop.

                                                                                  click image to enlarge

He has led a life that so many might be envious of and yet he is easy to speak to, open and diverse in in his talents and so he shared with us a few of his thoughts on topics that I selected as pertinent to this sort of renaissance man I had stumbled upon.

                                                                                       click image to enlarge

So now, the reluctant conversationalist “speaks” ....

Jeffrey Felner: Let’s trace your trajectory and find you how you landed where you are today. Keeping my eyes on your posts, you have a very philosophical point of view about life, was there anything or anyone who influenced that way of thinking and why do you still adhere to it?

Gary Trente: I’ve always thought in a philosophical manner.  College of course encouraged that.  My English Literature professor, sophomore year probably boasted my ideas and encouraged me to read other philosophers.  I did study comparative religion in college as well.  My aunt had a huge impact on me.  She is my Auntie Mame, she used to live in NYC and would take me to anything that was new and exciting in the arts, music or spiritual.  She really expanded my view of the world. Why do I still adhere to it?  I can’t see any other way of living.  Doesn’t everyone want to know who you are and why you exist. What’s the purpose? What’s to point of life?

                                                                                      click image to enlarge

 JF: Since you are also involved in fashion as a model, tell us your feeling about clothes being shown on boys rather men and do you honestly believe that showing $4000 suits on a 20-year-old enhances the brand or detracts from it? Please be painfully honest here!

GT: Young models in mature men’s clothing; I think it’s wrong and short sighted.  I tend to not look at clothing (retail) that advertises with young models.  I can’t relate to them.  I think there are many reasons why they choose that type of model.  There’s the attraction to youth both from the buyer and the designer.  The clothing usually hangs on the models like a hanger and that’s what designers are looking for.  Older models who are advertising to a mature audience, is seen as a waste of time.  They must believe that more mature buyers are already set in their ways as far as what they will buy and I I don’t agree.  I constantly get asked what do I do for my skin, hair, weight for example.

                                                                                     click image to enlarge
JF: As I told you, I was an art major and yet I never mastered drawing and painting so I am awed by your talent as an artist and by your subject matter, your medium of choice and that almost photographic quality you achieve... where and how did this come about?

GT: I’ve always drawn.  I went to The Atlanta College of Art for my undergraduate and New York Academy for my graduate work.  I’ve been director of a few galleries, worked at MOMA and assisted many artists.  I’ve had working studies in New a York City and Miami.  So, art has always been in my life.  There was a long break before the pandemic.  Covid gave me the time to revisit my love of Art.

                                                                                    click image to enlarge
                                                                                         click image to enlarge

JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?

GT: Dinner hmm, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Fran Lebowitz, Dorothy Parker, and GERTRUDE STEIN.  I’m not big on conversation so I can just sit back and watch... I’d be listening far more than conversing. The choice should be blatantly apparent given their gift of gab, their cache of stories, escapades and my predilection to be a listener.

                                                                                      click image to enlarge

Sunday, July 11, 2021

pyer moss haute couture 2021

pyer moss haute couture 2021


With all the buzz surrounding this designer’s collection I felt compelled to finally have a look and read one review which happened to be that of Vanessa Friedman from the New York Times. That being said I wish to state that fashion is a business, couture of ready wear, and it is a business of selling clothes. Ms. Friedman seems to think this is an ethno/political/ sociological statement which reflects the present and future of what was once called fashion.

I emphatically and patently say that fashion is about clothes and not politics, racism or any other sociological facet of life that you can think of. It is offensive that Ms. Friedman, who more than once talked around the clothes of a collection referred to the blah blah blah of couture which is exactly what she’s done with this collection by talking all around the business of fashion and turning into an ethnic/racial situation.

It doesn’t matter if the designers of these costumes are black, white yellow or green... what matters is that it is a shame and a disgrace to discuss him in the same breath as true couture designers such as Balenciaga, Charles James, Norman Norrell, Givenchy, Yves St Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and you get the idea....  these clothes are not even drag queen worthy as they want to wear Bob Mackie and Naeem Khan and not look like some cartoony comedy sketch costumes from a 1960s comedy variety show recreated by some design student or look like they shopped in Billy Porter’s red-carpet closet.

All of fashion has devolved with the advent of ad dollars influencing reviews and turning heritage names turned into H&M worthy collections but this one takes the cake and it is the media who has demeaned and disgraced fashion by hyping and oohing and aaaahing no talent talents by rarely offering a truthful review in fear of losing one dollar of ad revenue. In this case it is more based on the current socio-/financial climate around the world.

Shame on you all who declare collections like this and Balenciaga as a new path for fashion.

Friday, July 9, 2021

FENDI couture fall 2021

Now that the collective so called fashion media has used up all their depends and talked around the collection but instead spoke about Kim’s blah blah blah, let’s now talk turkey and yeah well it was pretty much a turkey fest or if I was to be kind it was bunch of very formal gowns, most of which bordered on the molto signora side except for the obvious ones and a few that were beautiful, I guess by accident.

                                                                         click image to enlarge

The fact is that no woman ever said I must own that Fendi dress, sweater, skirt, pant or any piece of clothing but you did hear them say I gotta have that baguette, that bag, that luggage, that fur or that logo canvas that started the logo craze almost 50 years ago. So, my question is why would you have an “it” designer create, no less, a couture collection of basically generic looking, been there done that clothes that say nothing about the brand.

                                                                       click image to enlarge
                                                                          click image to enlarge

It’s one more time much ado about nothing ... look closely. You can see stitch work at the hems, clumsy heavy-handed draping at the necklines and waists and lots of oh well another long dress for the mother of the bride. Who’s kidding who here, Fendi is all about fur, leather, handbags, luggage and small leather goods never about any type of wearing apparel. Its only allure when it came to apparel was when Karl designed it and that was weighted far more by Karl’s name than by the Fendi brand! People forget that Karl saw the impossible and made it possible.

                                                                    click image to enlarge
                                                                   click image to enlarge