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Raf Simons

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Following a press launch last night, the exhibition North, exploring the depiction of Northern England in art, photography and fashion collections has just opened in, appropriately enough, Liverpool. Curated by Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, the exhibition includes iconic imagery by such celebrants of the Northern aesthetic as Raf Simons…


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Mad About The Boy, curated by Showstudio alumnus Lou Stoppard, opens on 8 January exploring fashion’s obsession with youth, focuses on the way ideas of the teenage boy are constructed through definitive collections and fashion images. Inspired by designers’ fascination with youth culture, Mad About The Boy will examine the…


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Next week a new exhibition opens at the BOZAR centre for fine arts in Brussels, exploring the rise of Belgian fashion designers and their huge influence on the international fashion scene. Presumably the ‘unexpected’ in the exhibition title comes from the fact that at least in other regards, Belgium remains…


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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.…


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The recipients of New Gen Men, one of London’s most highly regarded initiatives for fledgling menswear design talent, were announced this week by the BFC. Backed by Topman, the scheme provides successful recipients with tailored mentoring support alongside their sponsorship, with a view to helping these emerging designers build their businesses. Among…


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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…


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At the recent menswear shows I caught a glimpse of some of the more adventurous summer footwear heading our way next year: glossy winkle pickers at Jonathan Saunders, bright suede espadrilles at Mr Hare, and endless variations on high-tech, luxury trainers and printed pumps. Colourful monkstrap shoes are also set…


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I like to think I helped popularise use of the word ‘insouciant’. In fashion circles, at least. I picked it up from my interest and studies in film history, where it has typically been used to describe the kind of ‘not acting whilst acting’ of such slouching, shrugging male archetypes…


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Following a tip off from Fantastic Man’s @charlie_porter I just watched the Jil Sander show at Pitti Uomo in Florence online. I’m still amazed by the democracy that such a step as broadcasting catwalk shows over the internet evidences. Now THIS is the type of live event I do want to watch. Real-time tweeting with menswear Twitter stalwarts Steve @StyleSalvage (who was there in person) and London designer @johnhlittle, added to the sense of live-ness. And the clothes? I loved the confidence with colour. Raf Simons has definitely moved on from his days of Gothic gloom and post-punk hardness. The cinched-back jackets, rolled sleeves and long, belted suit jackets were a playful take on shape and structure but the most outstanding element was those COLOURS. Sometimes layered in single-colour pieces, othertimes it was an acid flash(back) – the cinched belts on the jacket reverse, the acid coloured shoe soles. This colour frenzy though was grounded by the contrast with simple white shirt/black tie/black jacket and some really strong, youthful suiting in a lovely deep blue. That’s if anything could be said to be grounded with the incredible Madchester-era, acidic house music pumping away throughout. If there was one item I’d want to beg, borrow or steal it would be the acid striped sweater: thick vertical lines in modernist colours taking a detour towards the top of the sweater into a neat, square angle.


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