Sunday, January 30, 2011

I found some things!

Here are some interesting/beautiful things I've found perusing the internet lately:

F2011 menswear male model casting. Marc Jacobs by Ryan Pfluger. Behind the scenes at Proenza Schouler S2011 (Tommy Ton). Lazaro Hernandez, media darling (Tommy Ton). Freja Beha shot by Hedi Slimane.

What Meg didn't like about Spring 2011...

I don't wanna dress for the recession.

Last week or so, I got my usual URBAN email boasting a new trend or discount on shipping. Usually, I just delete the mongering message but today I was struck by its title: “TREND REPORT: 70’s”. The images in the email displayed mousy models dressed in modest denim and sober floral against an atrocious tangerine background. Not a pleasant sight.

I have always thought of the seventies as the collection of hair at the bottom of the drain after the hot shower of the 60’s already left the basin. And quite frankly, I’m at a loss to explain why designers this season, particularly Marc Jacobs with his oversized straw hats paired with purple wide leg slacks and Anna Sui’s full length floral dresses over denim with knit sweaters still decided to invoke the 70’s as a decade of inspiration.

It seems that since the beginning of the financial crisis there has been a trend in fashion to look to ‘modest’ decades like the 30’s,40’s and 70’s as a touch stone for the non- indulgent dress. In Fall 2008, I swooned over the Vogue Editorial Collection which highlighted designers who looked to the 30’s and 40’s as way to edit high fashion’s exorbitant image and prepare for the coming troubles the financial setback would have on the market. I found Prada’s Fall ‘09 collection an incredible artistic response to the falling stock market. The frizzed 30’s hair-do of the models, their high-waisted wool shorts and their farm-ready thigh high rubber boots were a perfect anecdote to the vacillating financial climate.

We saw similar trends in S 2010, including the everywhere WWII inspired military jacket (featured in Alexander Wang's Spring line). Elle magazine called the trend, the "season's uniform" a "continued shift form excess to less" (Elle Collections Spring Summer 2010, 73). Christopher Kane's S 2010 created a similar connection to the 1930's with his Dorothy inspired gingham sun dresses. While I found these reinterpretations of recession/depression era fashion an appealing retort to our own financial woes, I found this season's look to the 70's a little drawn out.

While, I understand there are many parallels in our own time to the 1970's (economic troubles and prolonged war) I was hoping this season, more designers would have provided an optimistic middle finger to the downtrodden times. Enough with the sober, nostalgic work-ready outfits, let's look at excess again. Where else besides fashion is that sort of extravagance allowed? Fashion is of a certain medium that on the one hand, can reflect the cultural climate, but on the other, can usher new stylistic changes that are set apart from the zeitgeist and can instead inspire change. I'm talking about the future here: fur, glitter and alien-inspired-wears are welcomed.

Where are you when we need you, Alexander Mcqueen?

(Mcqueen: F06, F09, S10)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Derek liked about Menswear F2011

After discussing what our 'fashion blog' would entail and much soul searching my own part, my co-bloggers and I came up with something along the lines of this: I'm not a kid anymore and I'm growing up, I don't really have any money, so what do I turn to for sartorial inspiration, how do create my image on a budget, and how am I going to present myself to the world in a way that doesn't say 'I just got out of college look at my University of Virginia hoody'?

The creative director of Acne took the words right out of my mouth:
"It's the way they dress," Johansson said of his clientele. "It's that moment when you're not grown up and at the same time, not a kid."

With that being said, here's what I liked from the F2011 Menswear collections (It's mainly about coats):

Roberto Cavalli: These oversized knits are draped so well on the body and have excellent shape. That port-colored double breasted suit is accented so nicely with the silk scarf. I'm definitely into a well tailored suit.

Dior Homme: These hats and how they obscure identity via shadow. I don't care how Amish they may seem, they feel very crisp and smart. Also, Dior Homme's masculinization of the cape is wonderful, I think it's about time men had a different silhouette then a suit jacket or overcoat.

Burberry Prorsum: An entire line of finely executed coats. I like the coherence that comes along with the brightness of Burberry's color palette. The proportions of most of their coats in this line are inventive, the orange coat in particular gives that skinny model a presence that maybe a blazer or peacoat wouldn't. The third model's outfit is a very pleasant rendition of WWII aviator attire, and the grey-green pants are cut so well. Also I was impressed with this lines bags.

Acne: I believe this might be the simplest yet most elegant execution of a look in the entire season. Tan is a good color, it goes with almost everything.

Balmain: The toggle coat, it appears in various collections this season. It's all very Tom Sawyeresque.

Kris Van Assche: Much like the Women's S/S Collection for 2011 the box shape appears here and in other places as well. I am attracted to the way it hangs on the model and the oversized sweater look is very appealing.

Lanvin: I picked these coats because they are first of all beautiful aesthetic garments but also because this is a perfect example of moving away from military/sailor style coats that fashion has been drowning in for countless years.

Pringle of Scotland: Hands down my favorite line. From the intricate construction of that inspiring coat the doubles under itself and becomes part of its own collar to the earthy but not cliche colors selected. I am a huge fan of the legwarmers that every model's trousers are tucked into and the beautiful riding pant that some of the models are wearing. Some other things to highlight: THAT FUR TRIMMED COAT! And all of the knit outerwear.