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.
Pattern, shape, and colour still dominate the runway for Spring/Summer 2013. Thom Browne has taken these trends and remixed them into a tapestry of eccentric style. Yet, breakdown each outfit is wearable perfection.
The Women’s side of this Mad Hatter Collection is framed on men’s tailoring, which gives it a modern feeling. The muted colour in some of his women’s pieces help you to concentrate on the shape, while the colourful pieces give pop to otherwise boring reconditioned men’s wear.
The Men’s side of his collection is blasted with colour and pattern. Browne is not afraid to have his men speak loud. Always a man of shape, Browne’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection is all about layers. He has also taken 1960’s Mod, and made it sheer madness with silver painted skin. The combination has created a perfect storm of fashion whimsy.
The ladies already know, but Wang is the man. Alexander Wang is the downtown New York Designer who always hits a home run with the “it” set.
I resisted the Wang fan club for a long time, chalking his “it” status to hype, but I was wrong. This past summer, in Los Angeles, Wang came into my life when I bought the most amazing tank-top at the most amazing shop. T by Alexander Wang is a basic line, which has developed season by season. The men’s collection has been a slow start, but worth the wait.
Guys, you must enter a Wang T-shirt into your wardrobe. The American classic T-shirt has been given a contemporary spin by Wang. Wang T-shirts have a relaxed fit that fall away from the body without making you look sloppy. I wear mine on the plane to look “cool” and put together. Each Wang T is made from the softest cotton and makes your body look amazing. I’ve started giving them to my male friends as gifts. This Spring, dump that crew and get a Wang.
The clock has stuck midnight and you’ve thrown off your tacky sparkle suit, it’s 2012. Winter is in high gear, so I guess the next thing to do is plan your spring wardrobe. Flipping through Style.com, I stumbled across an old-time favorite, Jean Paul Gaultier.
The Gaultier men’s collection is always innovative and sexy; he always makes me feel guilty for not pushing my male fashion style envelope; skits, tribal prints, and unconventional models—Gaultier is King. Like this spring/summer 2011 look, Gaultier pushes traditional men’s wear.
However, looks like a times are-a-changing, with volatility in stocks and jobs markets, people need to get back to work, including Gaultier. James Dean inspired looks were combined with signature Gaultier plaid, nautical strips, and bare-chested men to create a wearable wardrobe.
This Gaultier collection is not one of my favourites, as I normally dream of wearing each piece in a created fantasy, while this collection blends into my realty, Gaultier is my street style dream. I miss feeling bad about not having my tattoo print shirt and tribal skirt on as I walk to the nearest grocery store; Gaultier is men’s fashion at its best. The looks of this collection will keep you fashionable and sexy all spring and summer, while cash registers bulge at stores, but Gaultier’s whimsical spirit is left behind on this one. Anyway, the best thing about fashion is that a new collection is always on its way. These are the highlights of his latest.
Accessories play a delicate part when creating an ensemble, shoes and jewelry create style cohesion, but what accessory trumps them all—the bag. The iconography of designer culture is encapsulated in the bag; we covet it, we borrow it, we wait list for the bag.
No longer a logo driven product to produce brand identity and allegiance; the new bag is shaped in style, personality, and attitude. Always a game changer, Phoebe Philo shifts fashion’s direction once again at Celine. The bag is given new life by Philo’s functional, elegant, and brazen designs.
One of my favorite stores in Vancouver, where Celine is available, is Bacci’s. With home décor and fashion for both women and men, Bacci’s avant-garde collections deliver unique styleology.
Don’t worry boys, I haven’t forgotten you.
News Flash–backpack receives update! No longer just for the classroom, backpacks have gained style. The new backpack is ergonomic, stylish, and confident. Stylish tweeds and leather detail have replaced canvas and nylon. These new knapsacks go from jeans to suit with masculine shapes and edge.
Where did I get my favourite knapsack–Roden Gray, home to fashionable men and ladies apparel. Indy and establish brands, like Nanamica, share equal space in this two level loft style boutique. I personally love my Nanamica bag because of its utility and shape.
On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I wondered Causeway Bay’s Times Squareshopping mall. Walking amongst label whores that scurry from store to store, an Avant-garde boutique popped into focus. Sitting in the corner of this overdone mall was a treasure trove. Flipping through racks of clothes, a sales girl made conversation, on my response to being from Vancouver, Canada, she rushed to show me her best-selling collection, Complexgeometries, a Canadian label. Flabbergasted that Complexgeometriesa Canadian conceptual collection was making waves in Asia, I felt perplexed that after seeing this fabulous collection at New York’s Fall 2011 fashion week, these clothes were nowhere to be found in my hometown Vancouver.
Voted 3rd worst dressed city in the world, Vancouver needs to step its style game up a notch. Canada’s talent industry is cranking out world-class designers, yet none available to us. I understand that designers make more money overseas, but Canadian designers want to sell to Canadians. However, we as Canadians need to give them a reason to sell to us. The Muse Closet is about helping you explore fashion in a way that is practical and new. Understanding how small changes can send shock waves through fashion and yourself.
Vancouver is a beautiful city with beautiful people; our problem is that too many of us rely on sweatpants as dress pants. Lulu Lemon created our uniform, but kiddies we need to spruce up our closets. Challenge: Next time you have dinner plans think about dressing up. I know everyone will look at you strangely on Robson street, but fuck’em your doing Canada proud. Take a moment to develop a look around a feeling you would like to emote. Please use my examples from Complexgeometries for style ideas.