Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rick Owens Menswear Spring 2009 "Strutter"

Rick Owens’ style couldn’t be more recognizable at this point. It’s distinctness is both a blessing and a curse. People will either excitedly recognize it or say it looks too similar as the previous season. And to be fair, this one actually does. However, I still fall more into the former category of being excited about it. As I’m sure is apparent by now… I like when a designer does something and does it well. I like the continuity, I like the subtle progression, I like the honesty. Unfortunately in a high paced environment like that of our fashion world, this persistence is often and easily written off a being boring or a one-note.

Anyways, on to my thoughts on this collection in particular… it is peculiarly similar to last season, right down to the presentation, model and styling. But there is something really admirable and slightly amusing about this. As far as the clothes go… they’re lovely, they’re Rick, they’re clothes that malnourished young men will look sexy in… you know, the usual. There is enough progression here to keep my interest, though. I love the gradient leather jacket with the contrast sleeves, it’s really nice looking. I love the cut of the leathers, the proportions and – even though it’s something we’ve seen before – the styling; it just works.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Undercover Fall 2006

If I’m going to start posting old collections which I love, then surely this one has to be one of the first to go up. And if ever there was a collection where Takahashi showcases an undeniable manifestation of his genius, then again, here it is. This season was a sight to behold as it encompassed a good degree of what he is all about. It’s a veritable whirlwind of gorgeous and innovative concepts, pulled off with the finest of execution.

His flair for combining functionality with glamour and subsequently spawning mind-blowing results is so apparent in this collection and has since become one of the things Takahashi is known best for. The luxurious but quirky details manage to make it all just that much more special as there is so much to look at and so much to admire from every facet. I own one of the dresses from this collection and it is a dream; layer upon delicate layer of silk, with such fine details and contrasts in texture. The intricacy and high end quality of his work, not only conceptually but execution-wise is truly something special.

Many people marvel at his seamless ‘transitions’ from streetwear to high end design, but in my opinion, what is most impressive to me about Takahashi is that he doesn’t so much transition, as to pull from his many sources of inspiration and different creative visions and combines the concepts into fresh ideas all together. I don’t think he abandons one for the other but rather draws from a more advanced playing field due to his vast talents and styles. I think they all benefit from each other greatly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme des Garçons Spring 2003

I am always left with the feeling of a terrible void after fashion weeks end each season, so I’ve decided that in the absence of new collections, I should post some of my favorite collections of the past. The good thing is, many of them have proved to be timeless, so rather than taking a dated look back, it’s actually nice to see how well they’ve held up with time and it makes me appreciate them that much more. I hope you’ll all enjoy them as well.

The first one I chose was Comme des Garçons’ S/S 03. Rei has always been such a master of her craft and taking a look back really solidifies that. This collection in particular was one of my favorites of hers simply because it does a good job at showcasing some of the things that she did well at the time and ultimately went on to be known for. Her gathering and ruching techniques have always been so admirable and the construction of her pieces is always so unique.

One thing in particular I have always loved about Rei, which is really plain to see in this collection, is that while the techniques she uses are used by many designers, her work always seems so personal. It is never too polished looking, too symmetrical, but rather it is a lovely visualization of brilliant trains of thought… ones which are not restricted by the confines of traditional construction. Her work is just so honest in that regard. The result is that the garments end up telling an intricate story and are able to lead the eye in unexpected places.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Menswear Schedule : Paris Fall / Winter 2009

For those interested, here is the entire schedule for the upcoming mens fashion week in Paris:

Thursday, January, the 22nd

10.30 am – HUGO, HUGO BOSS [Couvent des Cordeliers - 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine - Paris 6e]
11.30 am – KILGOUR [To be confirmed]
12.30 pm – GASPARD YURKIEVICH [Salon des Miroirs - 13 passage Jouffroy - Paris 9e]
1.30 pm – UTE PLOIER [Maison des Métallos - salle Blanche - 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud - Paris 11e]
2.30 pm – LOUIS VUITTON [See invitation]
4.00 pm – NUMBER (N)INE [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts - Salle Melpomène - 13 quai Malaquais - Paris 6e]
5.00 pm – JEAN PAUL GAULTIER [325 rue Saint-Martin - Paris 3e]
6.00 pm – YOHJI YAMAMOTO [155 rue Saint-Martin - Paris 3e]
7.00 pm – VERONIQUE BRANQUINHO [Maison des Métallos - salle Noire - 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud - Paris 11e]
8.00 pm – DRIES VAN NOTEN [To be confirmed]
9.00 pm – HENRIK VIBSKOV [Espace Saint Martin - 199 bis rue Saint-Martin - Paris 3e]

Friday, January, the 23rd

10.00 am – JUNYA WATANABE MAN [See invitation]
11.00 am – BLAAK HOMME [To be confirmed]
12.00 pm – THIERRY MUGLER [Couvent des Cordeliers]
1.00 pm – RICK OWENS [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts - Salle Melpomène - 13 quai Malaquais - Paris 6e]
2.00 pm – JUUN J. [BETC EURO RSCG- 85/87 rue du faubourg Saint-Martin - Paris 10e]
3.00 pm – KRIS VAN ASSCHE [Musée de l'Homme]
4.00 pm – COMME DES GARCONS HOMME PLUS [Voir invitation]
5.00 pm – CERRUTI [Cité de l'Architecture - 11 avenue Albert de Mun - Paris 16e]
6.00 pm – GIVENCHY [Musée Bourdelle - 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle - Paris 15e]
7.00 pm – RAF SIMONS [Musée de l'Homme]
8.30 pm – JOHN GALLIANO [To be confirmed]

Saturday, January, the 24th

10.00 am – MIHARAYASUHIRO [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts - Salle Melpomène - 13 quai Malaquais - Paris 6e]
11.00 am – KENZO [Palais de Tokyo - 13 avenue du Président Wilson - Paris 16e]
12.00 pm – ARMAND BASI [Maison des Métallos - 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud - Paris 11e]
1.00 pm – TILLMANN LAUTERBACH [Palais Brongniart]
2.00 pm – ANN DEMEULEMEESTER [Couvent des Cordeliers - 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine - Paris 6e]
3.00 pm – KAZUYUKI KUMAGAI / ATTACHMENT [Garage Turenne - 66 rue de Turenne - Paris 3e]
4.00 pm – WINTLE [Atelier Richelieu - 60 rue de Richelieu - Paris 2e]
5.00 pm – DAMIR DOMA [Elysée Montmartre]
6.00 pm – EMANUEL UNGARO [To be confirmed]
7.00 pm – PETAR PETROV [Espace Saint Martin - 199 bis rue Saint-Martin - Paris 3e]
8.00 pm – HERMÈS [To be confirmed]
9.00 pm – JEROEN VAN TUYL [To be confirmed]

Sunday, January, the 25th

10.00 am – U-NI-TY [To be confirmed]
11.00 am – LANVIN [See invitation]
12.00 pm – WOOYOUNGMI [Le Labo]
1.00 pm – MASATOMO [Hôtel Meurice - 228 rue de Rivoli - Paris 1er]
2.00 pm – DIOR HOMME [To be confirmed]
3.00 pm – PAUL SMITH [Couvent des Cordeliers - 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine - Paris 6e]
4.00 pm – WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK [Bataclan]
5.00 pm – AGNÈS B. [17 rue Dieu - Paris 10e]
6.00 pm – JULIUS [Maison des Métallos - salle Noire - 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud - Paris 11e]
7.00 pm – ROMAIN KREMER [Maison des Métallos - salle Blanche - 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud - Paris 11e]
8.00 pm – DUNHILL [La Maison de l’Architecture - Couvent des Recollets - 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin - Paris 10e]
9.00 pm – GARETH PUGH [To be confirmed]

Aside from Gareth’s collection, I am really looking forward to a bunch of other shows as well. Ute Ploier has me eternally pulling for her to bring back some of the magic and creativity that her Fall 2008 collection showcased. It was so solid, it was weird to see her revert back to Rafism after such a great response, so I am hopeful to see what she’ll present.

Also I want to see Julius – why? Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but perhaps they’ll come with something new… something that doesn’t look dreadfully similar to the last bunch of seasons. It’s getting OLD, time to move on. When they were on point it was so good but they really milked it horribly.

Number (N)ine has me in great anticipation after the range of styles that have been popping up, I definitely am looking forward to seeing what is coming next! I hope it’s a mixture of the N(N) roots and new inspirations, instead of something completely out of left field or reminiscent but we’ll see – it never disappoints, either way.

I am really hoping that Damir Doma sort of takes it up a level or expands his horizons a bit, be it with different textures, new concepts, cuts, something – because while I adore him, let’s face it, he is being lumped in with the “goth ninja” cliche but I personally believe his potential is much higher than this niche.

Bruno Pieters for Hugo is pretty exciting for me. I have high expectations for him but it’s because of the great things we’ve seen him do. He could breathe a hideously needed breath of fresh air into a brand who’s name is synonymous with… well… not a whole lot of positives.

Dior Homme… again, maybe I am asking to be disappointed but I really want to see what kind of damage that KVA will do with his tacky little paws this time around. It couldn’t be worse than last season – surely?!

Of course looking forward to a bunch of the usual suspects: Branquinho, Vibskov, Raf, Ann D., etc, etc. It’s not long now until it will be upon us… who are you looking forward to?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Helena Hörstedt Spring 2009

Swedish designer Helena Hörstedt’s latest collection, entitled Broken Shadow, is as impressive as ever. Her intricate techniques and amazingly flawless execution are an endless aesthetic delight and this collection is absolutely no exception. The silhouettes are always out of this world and powerfully feminine. Her color palette may be black, but there is so much depth within the garments. These pieces are then successfully brought to life by position, light and the thoughtful materials she chooses to use, which compliment her designs brilliantly. I am always blown away at her work, and with each new season’s offering, it’s apparent that she is a major force to be reckoned with. I can only wish her the best of luck as her career is one I’m always excited to follow.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sandra Backlund Spring 2009

One of my favorite masters of knitwear, Sandra Backlund, has created yet another brilliant collection for S/S 09. It’s always a treat to see new work from her and this is definitely no exception. She is incredibly talented and I love to see the new ideas she comes up with and how she brings knitwear to new heights. As always, the shapes are so interesting, whether they’re voluminous or tight fitting garments. This season in particular, I really like the patterns going on as they create amazing silhouettes. In addition to the unique patterns and compositions within some of the pieces, there are protruding shapes, descending in size, which draw the eye outward and which create dramatic dimensions to the silhouettes. She also always does a wonderful job on the color palette; it always effectively enhances her concepts. The details are really distinct in this collection, they’re so intricate and feminine but still with a futuristic feel. They also overlap in interesting ways within some of the pieces, creating great textures.