Friday, 29 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
When it comes to men in fashion, it's often difficult to find someone who's honed a style that blends the interesting and ever-so-slightly outré with the refined and classic. Francesco Cominelli, assistant editor at Vogue Hommes, makes it seem - as the cliché goes - all so effortless.
^ The restrained but sophisticated document wallet and double-breasted blazer are off-set by the forest green trousers.
^ I knew leather jackets were wardrobe classics but whether this trés chic reinterpretation has me planning a trip to the naff vintage stores in search of an oversized biker jacket. Also, this shade of blue jeans should be inducing wretching but Cominelli saves it with a slim belt.
^ Proving he also does casual tee and trousers combo to perfection. The detail at the cuffs of the tee, with the pattern of the trousers makes for a surprisingly strong impact considering the monochrome palette.
^ Usually frayed edges wouldn't appeal but Cominelli makes it utterly convincing using luxe fabrics, a mlutch and curiously tied belt. One of my favourite looks ever. For sure.
^ I never really got the appeal of candy-coloured suits but beautifully neutralised by jet black accessories, Cominelli assures it's possible outside a London club setting.
Monday, 25 January 2010
Apologies for the post-less stint, have been in France's Ireland-esque region, (referring to shit weather here) Nord-Pas-de-Calais, to visit ma soeur et son petit bébé - Jacques Desgrousilliers O' Connor (were I to go about officially changing my name it probably wouldn't be all that different from this). Not gonna lie, he already has me kind of jealous with his numerous asymmetric knits in a typically French monochrome palette of steely grey and white courtesy of atelier maman. Sigh.
But adult life in the tenties does offer its advantages, too. Namely, big f*#k off leather boots at a bargain price. You may recall I spent a disproportionate amount of time agonising over which boots to buy, when, and where. While the deep chocolate suede pair I settled on scored high on 'form', I couldn't deem 'function' one of their admirable traits. Due to Ireland's cold snap and my own stupidity regarding fabric care, they're not fit for much any longer.
Having noticed the damage I'd caused them I was on the look-out for a replacement and decided (though I NEVER purchase anything I actually end up wearing here) to scour eBay for boots of a beautiful disposition. Result below...
Now, technically, these are work/safety boots (by specialist brand Grafters) and should, technically, be worn only in situations involving the processes of cement-mixing, block-laying and site-surveying. Needless to say, these activities aren't part-and-parcel of my day-to-day existence. STILL, I've never been one to get entirely stuck up on connotations - they're an amazing pair of boots and came v. v. cheap in comparison to high-street models in a similar black/leather/motorcycles vein. The only disadvantage is that they're somewhat difficult to break-in, being the sturdiest of sturdy and all. However, if it means a Rick Owens/Ann D-esque aesthetic for oh around 45 euro, then I'll suffer for the cause.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
It never really ceases to amaze me just how much fashion-devotees hasten to deem designers their idols. Yes, they're crafting the clothing but fashion in the broadest sense encapsulates a much greater sphere of artistic talent. I mean, I don't think I'd care much for Dolce & Gabbana were it not for Meisel consistently working his sex-infused magic and yes, ladies, I know Alber Elbaz is the flawless-dress-designing dad you never had but without Meisel (yeah, again, he's just that good) a Lanvin collection wouldn't conjure up images of a spindly-limbed witch/nymph chicly creeping through the depths of some otherworldly landscape.
In other words, it's fashion photography that's often responsible for constructing the beauty which inevitably leaves us swooning, salivating or just plain stunned and starry-eyed.
When I heard Dublin's finest club-photog, Peter Fingleton, had just launched a blog (about time...no one this talented should be selfish enough to keep it to themselves) I requested a few shots depicting moments of menswear magic in Dublin and beyond...
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
How is it that some of the designers whose work you rate high above the rest are often the ones you forget purely due to the fact that they don't get as much press (Neil Barrett)? And those that hold that so coveted position in fashion, which sees their work presented to be adored without question (yes, you, Miuccia) constitute an almost compulsory inclusion in a magazine spread? Something's amiss. Still, ignoring Prada, Milan seems to have turned out another stellar spate of collections...
^ Neil Barrett AW10/11 - Leather? In a Neil Barrett collection? Ok, not exactly groundbreaking. But what is really captivating about this is Barrett's use of leather patches and kind of fabric-junctions whereby the silhouette is divided into several parts. Also liking the juxtaposition of light-hearted whimsy with a hard edge (those buttons/fabric circles upon an epaulletted mac).
^ Alexander McQueen AW10/11 - This reminds me of kaleidoscopes (great) and also of snakeskin (not great). Still, despite the set's (and a few of the suits'-) resemblance to writhing serpents (and fungal spores now that I look at it again...), McQueen consolidated his position as the creator of the incredibly unconventional and yet entirely wearable. Oh, and more leather sections - always good.
^ Prada AW10/11 - I think it says a lot that the above are the best looks I could pull from this collection. No longer is Mrs. Prada bent on feminising men, but rather forcing them to regress to the age of about 3. If I find you wearing a sweater vest like these, I just can't promise that I won't plead with you to burn it post-haste. The abundance of camel, on the other hand, is somewhat more appealing.
^ Moncler Gamme Bleu AW10/11 - While I'd have to be on the brink of freezing to death before wearing one of this collection's pieces, must admit that the presentation method was pretty amazing. As far as I can see from runway pics, it began with models asleep in beds, then proceeding to dress and display.
Images from GQ
Sunday, 17 January 2010
While Milan may be considered the stagnant pool of conservative menswear by many, I'm consistently impressed. You see, I think the chief thing to remember when considering Milan menswear is that it's not the outré sartorial experimentalism that's so commended in London and Paris but more of a re-working of the classics that constitute the modern man's wardrobe i.e. you'll not find conceptual headpieces or anatomy-armor accessories (I'm looking at you Katie Eary, LDN's finest) here, but you will see that a staple like the blazer, or the trench, is subtly updated.
And, not to sound too conservative in my speech, but isn't that menswear is all about? Re-working/ever-so-slightly altering what already works? Sometimes that old adage rings true - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And so, a few highlights from Milan AW 10/11 so far...
^ Jil Sander AW 10/11 - Raf returns to a v. bare palette for the colder season but guarantees interest by throwing a host of geometric shapes into the mix.
^ Burberry Prorsum AW 10/11 - If only I could've congratulated Bailey when I met a few months back. Surely his best performance in quite a spell, countless re-workings of the trench (cinched here, belted there, zippers and asymmetry everywhere...) and much more experimentation with silhouette than this house is accustomed to.
^ Costume National AW 10/11 - Ennio Capasa continues in the asymmetrical vein and adds a dash of glamour to the mix. It seems turning menswear femme might not be the function of Miuccia any longer.
And because it's often what's off-the-runway that inspires what will be on it next...
Oh, and because everyone enjoys the antics of Dame Viv...
Images from GQ