Givenchy, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel have always been on our lips, but not a fashion force for a long time, until now. Not long ago our favourite labels and names came from Milan. Starlets wore shape-cut Gucci, Fashion sophisticates wore Prada, and party-goers wore Cavalli. How the fashion world has changed.
With Men’s Spring Summer 2015 global fashion shows in full swing. Paris held the most buzz. Everyone was waiting for Givenchy, YSL, and Lanvin to take centre stage. Paris had fallen out of fashion for many years. Couture has always been a Paris staple, but Italian designers had even taken over couture, hence Valentino Couture and Versace Atelier. The fashion set were all-a-buzz for Milan creations.
However, evolution is what fashion is all about. Fashion houses in Paris dusted off their atelier and re-opened shop. John Galliano rescued Dior, and Tom Ford breathed life back into YSL. Yet these labels were already house hold names, just out of step with mainstream fashion at that moment. What is new is that names like Balmain and Balenciaga on fashion followers lips. French brands have become fashionable again with full force.
The love affair with Paris is not only just for women. Men’s fashion has also been taken over by French houses. What man doesn’t own a Givenchy something? Even street fashion has poured out of Paris. Hip-Hop culture has left American brands for french Labels as well, so you know winds have changed.
Men’s fashion has become a new place for designers to experiment with ideas, as men have torn away tradition for more daring looks. Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy has been able to turn men’s fashion into a playground of experimentation. Thom Browne has remixed men’s classics into abstract art, but Tisci has been able to mix mens wear with feminine aesthetics, yet masculine and commercial successful. Only John Paul Gaultier has come almost as close to his success in deconstructed men’s fashion.
Why the lengthy discussion about men’s fashion and emerging trends of the genre? The real question is where is men’s fashion going?
With fashion bloggers, street photographers, and personal style taking over fashion, we have to find new voices. No longer are trends overpowering the main stage of fashion. Experimentation with non-sexist clothing has become the norm. Not only a mix use of fabrications and silhouette , but a new idea of masculine fashion.
Where is this wave taking place? Belgium, of course!! I was privy to the school of La Cambre’s latest designer collections of their graduating class. We see a new male take centre stage: confident and experimental with a new orthodox.
It’s May, and spring is in the air. The flowers are blooming, fashionistas are waiting for fall collections to be released, and April’s Vogue Cover of Kim and Kanye is being used for mulch. Now that April showers have subsided and we’re all in a better mood, lets discuss what was lost in fashion’s most recent controversial moment.
What happened? Kim wanted to be on the cover of Vogue magazine, what girl doesn’t. For crying out loud Sarah Jessica Parker has been on more Vogue covers than she has been on any tabloid magazines. Whereas Kim has been on every tabloid cover countless times, but never Vogue. “There, there little Kim, one day.” Well the day has come and gone with little fan fare according to VP of Mag Net Data, which uses scan data from wholesalers that cover about 98 percent of the market, says the numbers are lower than anticipated.
A reality star on the cover of Vogue, “NO” the Calvary claimed!!!
I have my reasons why I think Kim should have never been on the cover of Vogue, but I am not a gossip blogger. Therefore, like all good PR agents “no comment.”
Moving forward. What we lost. Kim’s Vogue cover had to do with more than her being a reality star occupying fashion’s most coveted real estate. The bigger moment was Kanye!! An African-American man on the cover of one of fashions biggest magazines—gasp!!
Never has a man graced the cover of American Vogue magazine, yet Kanye stands lovingly behind his fame-obsessed soon-to-be bride to showcase his power, connections, and passion to the world. Say what you will, and you will, but Kanye has made a real name for himself. Not only in music, but fashion. His influence is boundless. He’s stayed relevant, controversial, and creative, as his predecessors have drifted away. In fashion he has been able to put brands on the map. Influencing media’s vast hip-hop world community—its not East Coast West Coast anymore. He’s fliped hip-hop uniforms into chic standards.
As a fashion lover, I feel that a moment in fashion history is lost. Due to the fact an over exposed wannabe took the spot light. In years to come The Kim K Klan will be forgotten, as she will glisten into the sunset with her beautiful children. I am not a Kanye follower either, I just watch fashion, and it strikes me when something this amazing happens and we forget to stop and watch. I think the noise in fashion has become too loud. Too many celebrities grace magazines. Too many designers selling out capsule collections with middle road brands, although keep doing them; I love the connection and price. Too many wannabe fashionistas claiming style status for front row seats. What I want is a moment to say, “Ah… did that really happen.”
These photographs will become an iconic staple in our history as a fashion community and society. When we look back, we won’t see Kim K reality star. We will see Kanye, man of the hour in Vogue magazine, holding the women he loves, to give her a dream that was untouchable. “Now I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ with no broke #$#$#$” –Kanye
I can’t say Spring/Summer is one of my favourite fashion seasons. I envy all those light airy people cycling the seawall, playing volleyball at the beach, and sauntering down sideways in light tee’s and cut off shorts–WTF. I am hot, I hate everything in my closet, and I can’t wear layers, I am in consent denial.
In my Givenchy post, last week, I hinted that sometimes I feel lost in my clothing decisions. I felt in a bit of a crisis, as I am watching all these great colourful clothes for Spring. What the hell I am going to wear. Givenchy had some nice ideas, and I have become a great fan. However in my denial of Spring, and of course always shopping a season ahead, boots for Fall entered my mind all weekend.
Therefore, like any fashionista, I was up till 5am scouting every website to find a good pre-season deal. I didn’t find any boots, but what I did run across was some amazing stuff from Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2012. My friend in NY is always wearing his clothes, but I never felt compelled to wear Rick Owens myself. My friend is super creative and works magic with a make-up brush, so I leave creative identity to him. However, Rick has won me over.
These gender bending creations summed a time of breakout expression. Leading my critical thought, Madonna “What it feels like for a Girl.” The concept of men in female garments, has been done to death in the nineties, but Owens has made if feel masculine and contemporary. The looks are strong and confident with no apology–I like that.
Fashion’s new direction of deconstructing rules, has built a new construction of male identity. As to not make my post so designer driven, I am posting some street style photos to bridge fashion creativity and street reality, based on Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
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I spend a lot of time obsessed with everything fashion, so much so, that I get lost in my mind. I see everything, I want everything, and I can never get my look right. Personally, I know who I am inside, but outside I am in consent evolution. I’d like to say I take fashion risk constantly, but sadly no, I am way to self-critical. In my younger days, I was obsessed with designers like Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci (Tom Ford days), and D2, love my Canadian boys!! Now, a little older, a little more travelled, and almost out of university, NOW WHAT?
In middle school I was sporting Dolce and Gabbana to every party, yes we partied a lot. High School was all about Prada, I thought Prada’s intellectual style would translate into good grades–nope! Summer’s in Japan led to DSquared, and Tom Ford’s Gucci days of cool. I felt at ease with myself at this point, but as University wore me out, and my clothes became lacklustre. No time for style when you’re sprinting to class.
Back on the fashion block, I am perplexed about what to wear next. What will define my new understanding towards style? Travelling has been great way to observe new looks, cultures, and perceptions. However, I still haven’t found my signature look. Walking away from fashion to study has left me in a position of new discovery. I am enjoying for the first time, in a long time, not knowing what to wear. I love walking down the street and checking people out, attending the shows, and saying “I’ll try that.” One collection that has snapped my attention for a couple of seasons now is Givenchy. Givenchy Spring 2012, men’s collection has me wanting to take a fashion risk, step out from my comfort zone, and into rock-hard style.
Like a child, I am discovering fashion all over again. The cards have shifted so much in the fashion world, as new designers take centre stage, and established designers draw the curtains closed. There is a storm brewing in fashion, one that is wild and unpredictable. The names of the future are being etched as we speak. Keeping our innocence of exploration is what will keep our eyes to the horizon.
For those of you who follow fashion know that brands go “in” and “out” like hemlines. The power of a brand is to start with a powerful creative designer force that mirrors society for a moment in modernity. What becomes difficult is when a brand no longer speaks volumes by way of designer death, retirement, or bankruptcy. How does a brand go forward?
Like Hollywood studios, brands have become crippled by corporate rule. A brand must take what is iconic and familiar to audience, then reference past images to gain stability in today’s market place. Take for example, comic book film genre, which references nostalgia, textual material, and iconic symbol into box office results—now fading. Always reading the pulse of society, fashion has stepped forward with symbols of what is to come—style customization.
The romantic build of a brand has faded—a bit—think Galliano early 1990’s, when models helped financially keep a designer’s vision afloat—I know his current situation—but he has contributed to our fashion vocabulary. Galliano, McQueen, Ford, and Largerfeld created the blueprint to resurrect a Power House Brand; take the essence and symbols of the past and remix them for today’s marketplace—now what?
Post resurrection, designers are taking back what belongs to them—creative control. Corporations may own the name and supply the cash, but designers are taken fashion back. Case and point, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, and Celine’s Phoebe Philo, who’ve taken creative control of these bands by way of stylization; by separating from past imagery, these two designers have been able to connect fashion in today’s world. Fashion will always be about fantasy because style built by identity through self-image expression is timeless. A band can no longer blanket society, but create discourse with a highlighted niche. Philo has taken what was Calvin Klein’s modern woman, and elevated her consciousness of motherhood by giving her style power and function at Celine. Tisci has taken Gianni Versace’s vamp and made her elegant and stylish in Givenchy.
Take a look at these images and let me know what you think.