December 23, 2009
It’s no secret that I am quite the conservative dresser. Robert = classic pieces with a taste of the modern. I practically live in beige, brown, black, grey and white and spice it up with a little color sometimes. My shoes are practical, which means, to me, they are black or brown, ridiculously uncomfortable and gorgeous. Short on bling, tall on man-bags: I prefer simplicity. I imagine that the minimal collection I have reflects my business-casual, adult-seeming professional personality. [Imagine is key in that sentence.]
That said, I adore so many of the ridiculous men’s collections on offer this year. This season, more so than others, tends to be absolutely ripe with wild patterns and outrageously cropped shorts. And, surprisingly, I accept this year’s staples more than the previous. Save the conservatism for fall’s 10 hours of daylight and break out the freak this summer, I say. [NOTE: These collections are from New York Fashion Week. Milan, being so very fantastic, has far too many amazing pieces to mention…aka Bottega Veneta = LOVE!]
Who did it best? My top three are below in no order. Click to enlarge the photos if you are so inclined or enamored.
Thom Browne has a most fantastic collection this spring, replicating and Americanizing a look patented by Burberry. Browne, whose modus operandi is the alteration classic men’s pieces, maintains a vintage thread throughout with modern details affixed. Pieces vary from very classic with cropped legs and windbreakers a la 1994 to transparent banana pants and man-mini-skirts. But it is gorgeously executed, accessories to footwear. Check out these look below:
Michael Bastian‘s collection is one of the sexiest on offer this season. It fits into that understated, subtle hotness category. The George Clooney of 2010 menswear: it’s classic and office acceptable, but suitably suave and attractive for an unexpected beach side dinner and makeout session. Whereas Thom Browne’s male mini-skirts were somewhat cringe-worthy, the feminine aspects of Michael Bastian’s are a welcome intrusion in men’s fashion. Loafers that border on ballet-flat territory, lots of leg and long skirt action, gypsy-esque belt/cumber bun, it all works for me. It’s all adds to the effortless quality that I adore in these looks. The best looks are many, but favorites include:
Robert Geller has produced the most pret-a-porter collection this spring that further develops what is actually being carried around on the backs of the east village crowd. It adds more color than the previous two designers mentioned above. And, to be honest, this coloring and the many layered pieces used give an evening feel to it all, a nocturnal sensuality if you will. It is just so wearable and honest! Here we go:
Honorable Mentions: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone
Disappointments: Marc Jacobs, Band of Outsiders, Lacoste, Spurr
January 12, 2009
I do not like award shows. They do not entertain me. The movies and actors they celebrate do. So I leave it to their movies and their television shows to be their ackowledgement and triumph. Those movies and shows will last longer than the memory of any speech they will make at an awards ceremony. The Golden Globes in particular, which really do nothing for me other than prepare me for the Oscars.
But, hey. At least there is the red carpet and the fashions to look at. Here is a look at my favorites from last night and the others that grabbed my attention.
January Jones from Mad Men looks wonderful in Versace. Perfect color for her fair skin. Perfect hair to complement the overall shape of the gown and offset the strong lines. Very old glamour-art deco feel.
Cameron Diaz, attending for who knows what reason, stole the show with this pink gown by Chanel Haute Couture. It is perfect for the Golden Globes: not too formal, light weight, and more expressive with color. Even the shoes are great.
Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire looks great in this mustard gown by Christian Lacroix. The color is a fantastically rich pastel, like Cameron Diaz’s, and gives her body some necessary curve by bringing out those hips and that bust, while extending the length of the leg. The hair is easy, providing the necessary messiness (seemingly preferred this year), but still giving a clear shape.
Evan Rachel Wood, not known for her dressing skills, scores a big hit with this dress by Elie Saab. Take note Tina Fey (this is said with love, I swear), this is what a plunging neckline should look like. With the pulled back hair, she really looks great.
Renee Zellweger definitely took a risk with this gown by Carolina Herrera. And I think it works well. Sort of Victorian, I like the transparent top when added to the lush cut of the opaque fish tail. The hair I am NOT crazy about.
I love Kristen Scott Thomas. And, although this looks a little messier than I would prefer, I think this outfit by Lanvin works well on her. I am not a big fan of flesh tones, and I would have liked to see this in an olive tone or white. That bag is a big no for me.
This is a gorgeous dress by J. Mendel. And Kate Beckinsale has the perfect body for it. I think it may be a little too formal for the Golden Globes, but those earrings offset the formality and make it seem, along with the bracelet, more hip and fun.
Sandra Bullock (right) and Eva Mendes (left) both look hot in these Dior gowns.
January 11, 2009
We are nearly two weeks into 2009, and I STILL have yet to go shopping and explore the lingering sales from the holiday season. Luckily, I have read that the massive sales offered during the end of the year are likely to continue into the early months of 2009 due to disappointing revenues for the first quarter (December specifically). Because of this, I have once again decided to put in some research and plan my forthcoming purchases for January and February. Looking at the trends that will shape this year, I can decide which of them are the best options for my budget. While my resolutions for the new year made clear that I would not spend extravagantly on individual items (instead preferring to invest in experiences like travel), I think that evaluating new trends will allow me to then look for knock-off versions of these items and save money with style. So, with that, I will explore my favorite trends of the upcoming year, head to toe.
Some music to accompany the trends: Rilo Kiley, It’s a Hit
Made popular by the other sex in 2008, the fringe has now come to men. Granted I had seen it atop New York hipsters’ heads for much of the fall season, it has now arrived in full force for the rest of us. And I think it is a very smart and useful choice for men. Keeping the sides and back relatively short is wise for upkeep: it will not grow out too fast and is favorable for those who shower at night and do not want to find bed-heads in the morning. Assuming the top is cut with care, blending nicely into the sides and nearly meeting the brow, it can frame a face wonderfully, while looking youthful and classic. With a necessary part on the side for longer styles, it provides an older look that matches other clothing trends of the year.
The slick-back is hardly new (and, in fact, resembles much of my own style this past year…at least when I actually styled it). It harkens back to the 1930’s and automatically showcases one’s face and bone structure. Those without a strong jawline and beautiful skin and eyes beware! It is very professional and can be worn with anything. Again, the part is key here, as well as the height of hair. No one wants to look like a shiny-headed alien.
One trend that I have previously acknowledged in lately-written entry within the Gucci spring collection was the elaborately-printed shirt. Though this particular top has a tunic form, it features a relatively typical structure that allows for the loud pattern and color. Prints like this must have a strong collar and restrictive form to work. There are lots of options available for accessories and layering with shirts in this style.
Though most recommend the return of the windbreaker for this spring, I would like to plug this fantastic winter coat that I just discovered by Stussy. I realize it is not practical for the spring, but I found it lovely. The tailored form detracts from the oversized plaid pattern and makes the bulky material seem more flexible. Breast pockets can be troublesome, especially in this material, but the tailoring again takes away from them. I like it. Maybe next year?
What I like about the suits above is the cut, which brings back images of the 1930’s with patterns of a much older variety. Featuring wide shoulders, slim waists, and a skinny pant, this cut accentuates more classic shapes of the male body, avoiding the super-skinny trend that has plagued fashion for the past two years. The traditional patterns utilized in these suits gives the still-thin material some visual weight, making the wearer seem a little bulkier in a positive way. And yet, the suit itself is lighter and easier to move within. It is a smart look in more than one way.
I have been working on this look for two years while in the city, so I am glad to see it break through and hit the mainstream. It is preppy yet relaxed. It suggests to me ideas of Martha’s Vineyard and New England vacations back in the day. Hitting just above the knee, it shows off the male leg, especially when there are sockless shoes involved. It is sexy and fun with a touch of formality. I can easily see this paired with a white button-down for a more formal look.
What can I say about these chinos by Land’s End. They are cheap, lightweight, and colored right for spring. With an original fit, they reach back to classic cuts with a nod to tight-fitting skinny pants that have been favored lately. Beautiful.
As opposed to the personally reviled perforated shoes, these “mocs” are hot. Very spring, very Vineyard, very useful. These can work well with the Polo and pant set that is often found at yaught clubs across the northeast. But they also look great with the more hip cuffed-short set, who refuse to wear socks.
Accessory of Choice
I adore wallets of this variety because they are absolutely an accessory. Where bi-fold/tri-fold wallets go into your back pocket and are largely squished and forgotten, these are to be placed in your carrier and stared at when you remove it to pay for something. This piece by Hermes costs a ridiculous $1800. But many quality replicas can be found for a much more reasonable price (perhaps even obtained second-hand). These are too elegant and aesthetically-pleasing to pass up.
January 5, 2009
As a result of a metabolically successful holiday season (meaning that, in spite of my constant sampling of tasty Christmas treats, I have managed to look and feel better about my body), I have had fashion on my mind quite a lot. Purchasing new clothing and accessories seems a brilliant way to complement my Christmas haul and complete my wardrobe to fit my current needs. And it sure is fun to shop! Due to the messy meteorological conditions of the past few weeks, I managed to miss many of the large sales offered in the shops. I did make my usual trip to the local Salvation Army to search the racks for any bargains I could find without any success. It never hurts to search though.
As such, I have been scouring various websites to find out upcoming trends and items that are particularly suited to my style and body type. While I have yet to physically seek out any of these and try them on, I thought it would be useful to organize what my ideal collection would look like. With this complete, I will have a more efficient search when I actually go shopping. So this entry will focus on the items I am looking into.
Here is some music to accompany the rest of the article: Edith Piaf, Padam Padam
I generally prefer my clothing to have a formal touch to it, closely resembling business casual. As such, I am in love with the revival of the traditional style that occurred this past season. I suspect it was a result of the geek-chic movement that grew out of Williamsburg hipster fashions. Thick tweeds, strict formality, unnecessary eyewear, and a tighter fitting pant all contribute to this lovely style that blends modern and classic lines.
The skinny, less formal, fit of these pants is offset by the higher position on the waist, giving a more proportional shape to the model and a more professional appearance to the denim pant. The look is finished with a simple white button-down that visually lengthens the torso (which is shortened slightly by the high-rise of the pant) and a well-groomed haircut.
I cannot deny the fact that I love Burberry. From their plaid-topped briefs to their magnificent outerwear, I love this brand. Their 2009 spring collection confirms this. With a color palette that suggests the cold of winter with accents of the forthcoming spring and a cut that emphasizes those same attributes (layering for the cold with drooping, light fabrics of warmer weather), the photo above epitomizes a great collection. The light, truncated trench is lovely, and the black carrier bag is an oversized accessory to provide real weight to the look. The fairly neutral colors maintain formality inspite of the cut of the shirt and the scarf.
This look by Gucci for their spring collection of 2009 is fantastic and really youthful. Maintaining classic lines with the multi-buttoned cardigan and tapering black pant allows the design to explore color and pattern. With a paisley shirt, the designer was able to bring in a neutralizing and smart baby blue cardigan that still adds a punch (neutralizing because it tames the pattern-lined shirt underneath). This also allowed for well-chosen accents, including the leather carrier, decorated black shoes, and a somewhat chunky bracelet. I would most likely never wear the bracelet or the patterned shoes, but I do love this look overall. It is professional, but fun.