Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transition to Fall: A Style Guide

While items for Fall have been trickling into stores for a while now, it can be hard to visualize why you need that great new sweater when even the thought of going outside makes you sweat. 

But I felt it was time for a story on transitional dressing into the new season and how to create versatile looks. The key word is: versatility. With a few key pieces you can easily be comfortable in and out of work, and even continue wearing some of it once winter approaches. 

To that end I relied heavily on two retailers that have been focusing on growing their men's business: Club Monaco and J. Crew. Each are accessible and provide a mix of basics and more seasonal trend driven items.

Look #1: 

In colder months I love using texture to create a standout look. Here the heft of the tweed jacket contrasts against the formality of the slacks. Using a small-checked shirt provides  pattern-on-pattern with the striped wool tie. While the burgundy brogue may not be for everyone it is a rich color and stands out.

Jacket: Aubin & Wills (similar), Shirt: Club Monaco, Pants: J. Crew, Tie: Fahlgren, Shoes: Florsheim by Duckie Brown

For a more casual day I swapped out the blazer for a shawl collar sweater. I'm a big fan of a shawl collar as it provides a nice smooth visual line around the neck. In a cream color this one lightens up the whole look, and while the sweater keeps the whole outfit business ready it is also a comfortable alternative.

Shawl collar sweater: Club Monaco (similar)

Look #2:

Again using texture was important, as seen with the quilted vest and corduroy tie. I used a white oxford and ginger khaki as the base so there would be more neutral colors to contrast with the shock of yellow. I have always been drawn to a bright hue like this, and think it is perfect for the transition into Fall. It also serves as the fashion piece that helps pull together your basics. We kept the brogues as again that rich color provided a nice blend with the rest.

Quilted Vest: Club Monaco, Oxford Shirt: Uniqlo, Pants: Club Monaco, Tie: Unis (similar), Shoes: As above, Bag: Model's own

For the variation here I replaced the vest with a cotton shirt jacket. The navy darkens the whole look -- and while I personally haven't worn any camo, everyone else seems to be, and the collar is a nice surprise. To take him from the office to canvassing design showrooms, we switched out the footwear to a bold red sneaker. Still holds its own with the rest of the look!

Shirt Jacket: Unis, Shoes: Nike

Look #3:

Now I don't subscribe to "no white after Labor Day" and received some looks when wearing white jeans during fashion week. But I think when changing seasons it is perfectly acceptable. Paired with a gray heathered shirt for a soft and nubby feel, and with a military inspired khaki tie. I kept the shirt jacket which can stand in for a casual blazer, and those red sneakers just wouldn't quit.

Shirt Jacket: As above, Shirt: Club Monaco, Jeans: Uniqlo, Tie: Todd Snyder, Shoes: As Above, Bag: As Above

As seen here it didn't require a whole new closet to create a lot of different looks -- you can even pull from what you already have. Everything shown can be worn in any number of ways -- encouraging layering, mixing up colors, and making it your own! 

Photo Credit: Mikey Kay
Model: Jon Call

GQ X Gap Collaboration: Things I Have

Ever since GQ announced this year's Best New Designers in America I've been anxious to see what these designers would create in partnership with Gap, who was the co-sponsor for this year's awards.

The list of those selected included a number of my current favorites: Todd Snyder, Saturdays Surf, Ovadia & Sons, Ian Velardi...  so it was with no small amount of anticipation that I got up today to finally buy some of the pieces at a Gap store.

Since the GQ October issue included a 12 page spread showing all of the pieces available, along with photos of the designers wearing some of them, I had made a mental list of what I was after. And after a brief chat with GQ Fashion Editor Garrett Munce, I ran in and made a grab!

First up was this ampersand sweatshirt in green, from Saturdays Surf. These guys have far expanded from their well known line of tees, but the icon hash mark or the constant play on their logo have given them an easily identifiable visibility. The sweatshirt's simplicity is its brilliance and it fit me perfectly.
Next on my list were the cargo pants from Todd Snyder. I can't seem to stop talking about this guy and how much I enjoy his well designed and crafted collections. I threw these on and they were slim but with enough room to move around. And I grabbed a 30 inch length to keep them a little above the ankle.

The other TS item I'd been eyeing was this uber-soft and perfect for Fall patch crewneck sweatshirt. Even though I knew it would fit I tried it on in the store and decided it may bump my James Perse sweatshirt out of the "most comfortable thing I own" category.

There were a lot of other pieces I could've grabbed but tried to restrain myself. Be sure to get online or to a nearby Gap store to check it all out for yourself!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fahlgren Tie: Things I Have

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by the GQ pop-up store done with Nordstrom... it was in the Treasure & Bond space and the team did a fantastic job of merchandising a wide selection of product, from some of my favorite designers. There was a lot of Todd Snyder, a great Michael Bastian double-breasted jacket, and a vintage watch case (which I wasn't expecting).

They also had stocked a number of Fahlgren ties, and Brett Fahlgren himself was in the shop that day, helping customers with products and dong some visual merchandising. So I thought it was a great chance to pick up one of the pieces from his line...

Of course my instinct was to grab something in navy, but I stopped myself and instead chose this red and gray striped tie. It still complements the abundance of navy I own, and is a nice staple to have.

Even though it is better suited to a little later in Fall (when the temp drops), I couldn't resist wearing it and so rocked it to the Michael Bastian show... I loved how the whole look came together + can't wait to give it another wear soon.

Check out Brett's site for more details on the rest of the line -- and you can buy one directly from Nordstrom here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just One Look: Black Fleece Spring 2013

Last week Black Fleece showed its Spring '13 collection and yet again Thom Browne delivered the right mix of classic Brooks Brothers pieces (infused with his own silhouette) and a slew of punchy, colorful, and print laden looks.

For Spring '12 I purchased quite a bit (too much?) of Black Fleece, including a seersucker striped jacket, rollneck sweater, and canvas duffel and so was curious to see what next year's version would include.

Moving into Spring there was a tropical inspiration with bright madras + large printed palm fronds. For me the look that stood out was this mix of stripes + prints -- the jacket is a classic that has been re-worked, paired with patterned shorts and a diamond-print shirt. The tote bag was a nice addition, incorporating Browne's red/white/blue core. Hopefully they will roll the design out to a variety of bags, like they did this Spring, to provide some summer luggage options.

Essential Homme has all of the looks -- start brainstorming where your palm frond suit will make its debut!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Michael Bastian Spring 2013: NYFW Review

I still remember the first Michael Bastian show I attended, in a cool warehouse building. He ran the show multiple times, so you could arrive at any time and see it. Well, times sure have changed!

Bastian's show is now one of the most anticipated on the NYFW men's circuit, and his move from Exit Art to Milk this season has amped it up even more. And as expected, Spring 2013 did not disappoint. Partially inspired by being poolside in Fire Island, there was a definite ease and flow, which was seamlessly integrated into the suiting and knitwear. 

The first thing I noticed in the collection was the use of cross-body kimono style tops. I liked how they felt more loose and casual, but fit right into the Bastian aesthetic.

 Double-breasted knitwear. That's all I needed to see and knew I'd want it.

Continuing with the double-breasted, this single button jacket really stood out. It continued the relaxed feel of the collection and I could imagine pulling on this beautiful piece with a pair of shorts and having lunch beach side.

There were also some really interesting knits in the mix for Spring -- while the giraffe spotted shoulders got a lot of attention, I really liked this one with the soft mix of color and the jagged lines.

The final look was this fantastic evening jacket with a slim black shawl collar. Worn by Noah Mills, with giraffe print Stubbs & Wooten slippers, it was not what I'd wear to dinner on Fire Island, but definitely got me in the mood for summer soirees.

Overall another very strong showing from Michael Bastian -- a collection that was consistent and very on-brand, while stretching and expanding so as to remain fresh and new. Can't wait to see it in stores come Spring and have that single button DB high on my want list! 

Check out the rest of the collection at GQ...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just One Look: Public School Spring 2013

Okay, well actually two looks... I am definitely coveting the jacket with leather sleeves, below. But the dinner jacket with shawl collar also caught my eye.

Public School was high on my list to see for Spring '13, as I'd really enjoyed the vibe they showed during their re-launch last season.

So about this dinner jacket... the favorite piece currently in my closet is a Patrik Ervell navy tuxedo, and the jacket has a black satin shawl collar. So how could I not obsess on this version from Public School.

And given that Noah Mills closed the Michael Bastian show in his own version of a light colored dinner jacket with black shawl collar, this is looking like a trend for Spring.

But for me the real winner in the collection, and a piece that seemed to connect to the brand's ethos, is this cotton jacket with leather sleeves. It's not your regular dark denim jacket: the washed fabric gives it a well-worn look. And the color of the leather sleeves is light enough to keep the contrast from being too harsh. 

This is definitely a jacket perfect for Spring, and one that can be worn any number of ways.

GQ has all of the looks from Public School and stay tuned for more info via the brand's website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rhett Bonnett Spring 2013: NYFW Review

Last season I had come across the first collection from designer Rhett Bonnett while at Project, and was interested by the styling (he also shot Cory Bond for the lookbook). So this season when I had the chance to stop by Bonnett's studio and see Spring, I was curious to check it out.

The collection was inspired by a photo of Paul Newman, looking young and relaxed in a polo shirt. Bonnett mentioned that while he will always have a red, white, and blue core to his line, here he introduced other colors -- including a seafoam green.

One of the first pieces is this cotton peacoat, with a striped cotton lining. The vintage looking white buttons etched with an anchor caught my eye (as always, a sucker for anything remotely nautical).

I also liked this navy jacket, with a cinched waist and detachable hood. The type of thing you take boating in Nantucket, or for a rainy Spring day in the city.

Sticking to the red/white/blue game, this striped shirt was simple yet stood out (and there is a matching tie... see below).

For Fall, Bonnett had sweatpants that he paired with sweaters and outerwear. With Spring he showed this washed striped tank with a matching pair of shorts. A muted take on his core color palette was a nice way of showing it differently and softening the look.

And now the neckwear... the striped tie to go with the shirt above; a vibrant blue and some seersucker rounded out a nice accessories story.

You can find out more about Rhett Bonnett and points of distribution on his website. I am interested to see what comes next!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Todd Snyder Spring 2013: NYFW Review

Over the weekend I got into a vigorous debate about Todd Snyder's Spring collection. Some felt it was too safe and similar to his past work. My opinion is that Snyder continues to deliver high quality, well tailored pieces in a tight collection that are consistent to his core aesthetic, with seasonal variances. 

For Spring he did just this, keeping within the arena for which his popularity is growing, but through an inspired lens... in this case the film The English Patient.

Since the v-neck tee I bought from his Spring '12 collection is the softest and most comfortable I've ever owned, I definitely gravitated to this lightweight long-sleeved sweater with a chest pocket. Paired with white shorts with low slung pockets, it is casual but with an obvious luxury and refinement.

Another area that Snyder has excelled is outerwear. In fact I just tried on a fantastic quilted reversible cropped jacket for Fall that I may just have to buy... with that in mind, this cropped navy jacket for Spring caught my eye. With the khaki/khaki shirt and tie combo (which I already own from him), this jacket would get a lot of wear.

I think my favorite piece from the collection was this double breasted jacket. Snyder's suiting has been a staple of the line (as seen through his recent pop-up at Odin) and I am confident this will also fit perfectly. The color keeps it versatile, and worn here with shorts and boots shows you can definitely dress it up or down.

Needless to say, I remain a fan of Todd Snyder and will be shopping Spring when it hits stores. Get over to GQ for a full set of photos.

Just One Look: Billy Reid Spring 2013

I couldn't make it to the Billy Reid Spring '13 show last Friday evening, but I did have intrepid reporters there, texting updates and pictures. It was nice to see the double-breasted suiting Reid showed, some of it in a wider silhouette.

The drapy nature of some of the pieces was on trend from what I've seen for Spring, nice and loose and light. 

But my favorite look was this one... this paneled knit sweater that is almost sheer on top, with a dark copper colored pant that has a fantastic shine and polish. Finished up with the jacket the whole thing reminds me more of Cary Grant than southern gentleman, but it's a nice move forward for Billy Reid.

Check out the rest of the show images at Fashionisto!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Raleigh Denim Spring 2013: NYFW Review

Earlier this week Women's Wear Daily ran an article about menswear made in the U.S. -- and they should have featured Raleigh Denim. Produced in their North Carolina workshop, using local materials, the brand produces great denim as well as a growing assortment of apparel.

I hit their Spring 2013 presentation earlier this week and was again impressed with the wares...  held in a cool space in the West Village with lighting that really helped the line stand out.

As I was saying, apart from the denim there were some other standouts... like this green jacket that's a perfect light layer for Spring.

And I think my favorite item to pair with some dark denim is this washed oxford. Love the color and it looks so comfortable + easy to wear!

Overall another solid offering from Raleigh -- and as my eyes turn more and more to Southern based brands, one to definitely keep an eye on. GQ has all of the looks here!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen Spring 2013: NYFW Review

Yesterday I was able to catch the presentation of Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen -- which always brings a street-ready youthful collection. Spring 2013 was no different: cool prints, cotton varsity jackets, camo pants, and a band rockin' out in the corner.

One of my favorite looks was this two-tone sweatshirt, with matching shorts. It tied nicely into Cohen's inspiration of "streetwear's athletic influence". Definitely a weekend look for me, but I liked the marled nature of the fabric offset by the solid colored arms.

The second standout was the cotton varsity jacket, shown in both the navy/red colorway below and a navy/grey.

Another consistent showing from Micah Cohen and looking forward to picking up some of these pieces come Spring.

Image Source: Fucking Young

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tim Coppens Spring 2013: NYFW Review

Last season I saw a lot of great menswear for Fall 2012, but there was one show in particular that stood out... Tim Coppens. I said as much in my profile with Fashion We Like, and waited anxiously to see it hit stores.

For Fall I loved Coppen's outwear -- the stitching detail, the panels, the mixed material. So I was definitely excited to see what he delivered for Spring 2013, the third collection under his eponymous label.

Inspired by post-World War II pilots, the collection was titled "Gentlemen of the Sky". Coppens evoked color as a major story: "dust blue, rust, ivy green, sepia, sand, midnight, and ivory." It was on the whole a darker palette than his first Spring collection, but one that had more continuity to Fall and felt like a step forward as a result.

Components I was drawn to last season were here again: bomber jackets, a strong use of stitching to separate out elements of a piece, well crafted hardware, and the use of paneling to give a technical bent (no surprise given Coppen's background at RLX).

A standout was this bonded leather bomber jacket with the use of bright gold hardware.

Bags were done in collaboration with Masterpiece Japan and the use of quilted panels tied it back to the jackets also being shown. 

While a number of pieces stood out, the shorts below were a favorite... jet black, quilted, and with leather pockets. A subtle tone-on-tone juxtaposition that Coppens creates without seeming overdone.

I am really excited by the execution and the progression in Coppens work + can't wait to see it in stores... Get over here for more pics.

Image Source: Fucking Young