I have to confess that the Pitti/Milan leg of the current triathlon of menswear that is the European menswear shows was a bit of a blur. After seeing SO many shows and presentations at LC:M this season, the Italian shows whizzed by with the haste of a Vespa slash-and-grab chase. Now Paris is midway through, and it feels like a good moment to pause and reflect on what’s been shown since London and to focus in on some of the most beautiful details. If there’a anything that feels like a common thread here, its a desire for futurism, a desire to see what the future might look like even if that involves elements of the past reimagined.
1. The Nemeth fabric at Louis Vuitton
I am a huge fan of Kim Jones. From his Read More »
Opening Ceremony recently launched a capsule collection with Teva, the brand responsible for the kind of ‘leisure sandals’ worn with socks by American tourists of a certain age, and given similarly-dubious reknown through the style’s popularity with younger backpackers the world over. The Opening Ceremony brand however is unlikely to be affected by such associations, in the promo shots each sandal in the range is paired with a bold choice of sock, declaring war loudly and proudly on unimaginative commenters. Growing up in California, it’s likely that Leon and Lim associate the Teva brand with more practical concerns, like scrambling up valleys and canyons in actual sunshine and the range embraces the practicality of the design at the same time as adding such outré urban details as gold and silver metallic nylon … Read More »
As a confirmed shoe obsessive my camera lens is often to be found pointing at floor level when attending fashion shows and presentations, even when footwear isn’t the intended focus. At the recent London shows there were two strong themes evident, which have continued on into the Milan and Paris collections.
Firstly there was a definite element of fashion following the austerity agenda with simple, utilitarian shoes on display, apparently reflecting the uniforms of working men (quite literally on the wet pavements at Topman Design). And secondly, we saw the continuing influence of trainers and sportswear details in high-fashion footwear.
However, this being fashion, looks can be deceiving, so apparently straightforward shapes like simple workaday oxfords turned out to have a subtle, metallic sheen (as at Common) or were high-gloss with elements of bright colour at the sole … Read More »
In the midst of reviewing the LC:M shows, especially going through the thousands of photos on my hard drive, certain themes start to emerge. Some trends, yes, but also ways of thinking about the visual experience of being there. So, alongside analysis of shows I particularly enjoyed, I’ve decided to share with you a series of primarily visual scrapbooks from the latest Collections in London.
My first theme is Installations and Performance. Since London’s Menswear Day evolved into a fully fledged Week one thing has remained clear: London really shines in terms of how men’s fashion is presented at installations and in more performance-driven shows. Most people are familiar with the idea of a runway show and backstage footage is now a staple in the media. It also doesn’t take much imagination to envisage what happens at a fashion trade show: … Read More »
Wedge or ripple, Sir? And no, I’m not asking you for you choice of summer ice cream, but, in fact, to choose your shoe sole of choice. White Vibram soles are still widely seen on the street but as an acclaimed trend, the black ridged sole has it cornered. And Grenson has both on offer for SS12. Grenson make some of the most comfortable, and well made shoes out there. On trend, but unlikely to get you caught out in a microtrend that finishes badly, they’ve moved into first place in my hunt for something on the sturdier side for those less temperate spring days with a Vibram soled brogue in a beautiful, burnished grey.
Spring is definitely here, and with it the final Spring Shoe Watch of the season. I have to confess … Read More »
Given that I hate Golf about as much as I hate anything you may be surprised to hear my enthusiasm for the particular detail, as surfaced via Prada‘s recent SS12 catwalk show. Prada‘s “Golfwear”: loud print cocktail trousers and shoes bearing a strip of fringed leather known in America as a “kiltie” (as opposed to a tassel) were deemed one of the more outre of the season’s menswear looks. Personally, I’m enthralled by the opportunity to wear colour, print and any option to focus on a particular detail on a shoe makes this footwear addict very happy indeed. Of course, in a year’s time there’s every chance that we’ll be stepping out looking more Ronnie Corbett than Prada model and feeling a bit silly with it, but I have faith in Miuccia’s vision.
In light of subsequent shows such as Burberry Prorsum, where colour itself was a theme, Prada’s menswear AW 2011 collection was seemingly a subdued affair. The first pieces out were black suiting, which though forward looking in cut (wide and boxy over slim cut trousers as we’ve since since at Burberry) were restrained. Of course, as the show progressed, the usual Italian genius for colour revealed itself, notably in the combination of burgundy and black.
Part II in my reviews of recently streamed menswear shows is Prada SS11. I have to say watching it again has only added to my excitement about the phenomenon that is mens fashion right now, and for me it surpassed the Jil Sander show as I will actually be buying items from the Prada collection. Everything about this show is genius. The soundtrack has lots of resonance for me – a genius mashup of Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus with Jeanne Moreau’s vocal from the soundtrack of the film Querelle (both seminal pieces of media from my youth!).