Over the last few years Balmain has re-established itself as one of menswear’s top houses and one of the most desirable luxury brands. Renowned for its bold maximalist aesthetic the Paris-based house has gone from strength to strength with each passing season, and spring/summer ’14 is no exception. Under the guidance of creative director Olivier Routseing, the young prodigy has balanced the strong heritage of the house with his own vision for developing Balmain.
This season Routseing has created a collection that is masculine but still retains a quintessential Parisian chic, with strong rock n’ roll, moto and nautical references throughout. Shot by fashion photographer Karim Sadli and modelled by Elliot Vulloid, key pieces include Balmain‘s signature biker-denims, leather jackets, quilted leather chelsea boots, bomber jackets with strong houndstooth prints and double-breasted jackets.
In the last few years London Collections: Men has risen to become one of the pinnacle events on the fashion calendar and has given designers an exciting platform to show their work. One of the aspects of this incredible event that intrigues me the most is location. As one of most visited cities in the world London is host to an array of cultures from all around the planet, each with a unique take on all things sartorial. A melting pot of culture, both residents and guests of this wondrous city are treated to it’s famous street culture which is both inspiring and mystifying.
As if this in itself wasn’t exciting enough, Tom Ford has debuted a new line of high top leather sneakers during his most recent show in London for Autumn Winter 2014. The designer has become synonymous with his signature tailoring and vowed to “never do a tennis shoe”, until now. The sneakers are said to be hand-polished in only the best leather available, and from current shots we see can that for now these white soled beauties have a limited colour scheme and design variation. The sneakers are definitely an interesting move for the brand, as it has become famous for producing some of the best suits in the world and venturing away from this is a new opportunity for expansion. Continuing on this, Ford’s vision for this years winter is far more relaxed than his usual offerings with big volume coats and sweaters paired with relaxed knitwear and button-ups and slim trousers. Though Ford experiments more outside of his now famous tailoring, the collection still preserves the vision behind the brand as it grows and expands.
The late Andy Warhol once described Frank Sinatra’s former Manhattan penthouse as a “glittering grotto in the sky” and from looking at these incredible shots it’s hard to imagine otherwise. The space was designed personally by Sinatra in 1961 and acted as his main residence till 1972.
Although the apartment has received extensive renovations in 2008, which saw the additional of a few more modern touches, the layout of the 3200 square-foot apartment has remained intact. Features include only the necessities that one would need when residing in the Big Apple, particularly on the island. These include up to six bathrooms, four bedrooms, marble fireplaces, glass staircases as well as two enormous terraces that offer incredible views of the East River. Like I said, necessities. The penthouse is currently on sale, with an estimated market value of $6 million (USD).
Art and fashion have always maintained a very close relationship with one-another, however over the last few seasons the art world has been the main source of inspiration for more than a few houses. This brings us to Dior. For his recent collections as creative director Raf Simons looked for inspiration through the works of Andy Warhol, the father of the Pop-Art movement.
At the Homme side of things, designer Kris Van Assche drew inspiration from more abstract expressionist pieces to for next summer’s wardrobe. Dior Homme’s signature tailoring remains while being blocked with Pollock-esque brushstroke motifs.
Sir Paul Smith is one of the world’s top designers and as testament to his success the London Design Museum has recently opened an exhibition in his honour, entitled “Hello, My Name is Paul Smith.” This exhibition acts as a tribute to Sir Paul’s 40 year contribution as one of Britain’s most commercially successful and celebrated designers. This acts as both a retrospective as well as a glimpse of what is still to come. The curators of the museum went to great lengths to produce an exhibition that highlights this.
A full-scale replica of his first 3M X 3M store – which opened in Nottingham in 1970 – was built to illustrate Smiths journey from humble beginnings and another replica, his present day office, highlight his rise to global recognition. Additionally the exhibition features previous collections from Sir Paul’s immense archive, a Smith narrated digital immersed experience as well as voluminous amounts of print imagery. The “Hello My Name is Paul Smith” exhibition at the London Design Museum runs until 09 March 2014.
Thom Browne is set to introduce a new line to his eponymous brand, which will move away from his signature silhouette in favour of more conventional tailoring. Entitled “Thom Browne New York” the line is set to be released for Fall 2014.In a few short years Browne has become an icon in menswear, particularly famous for constructing very distinct looks in his collections as well as re-inventing the classic grey suit. A move towards the introduction of a more traditional and conservative line is seen as a way of expanding the Thom Browne brand. Although Browne has generated huge acclaim for his extreme tailoring of shrunken proportions, the aesthetic is not for the mild of heart.
In his own words the designer has described “Thom Browne New York” to be for a buyer “who likes the personality of my clothing, but wants a more classic proportion and fit.” No confirmation on price or dates of availability have been released, but the starting price for suits is said to begin at $2,200 and the line will include shirts, coats and accessories.
Collaborations between high-end designers and major scale retailers are emerging as a significant trend in menswear at the moment. 2010 saw Paris-based house Lanvin design a collection for H&M as a an edition to the Swedish retailer’s annual guest designer collections, and fast forward to 2013 and the North Face has recently collaborated with the urban-cool Supreme, Kanye West is working with APC and Rick Owens is designing sneakers for adidas. With this, the recent announcement of Public School’s collaboration with the ever-growing J.Crew is already being considered to be one of the most exciting collections for 2014. Although announced via Public School’s Instagram account, no information has been released as to when the collection will be released, nor for which season.
For the uninitiated, Public School NYC is one of the most exciting labels to come out of the big apple in a very long time. Every piece is made in New York using only the best materials sourced from the around the world, including Japan and Italy, with a distinct aesthetic that reflects both high-fashion and street-wear. Designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne founded Public School in 2008 and in the space of a few short years have won acclaim and numerous awards, including the Swarovski Award for Menswear at the this years CFDA’s, and in the process have created one of the most exciting menswear brands in the world. With all this in mind, the announcement of collaborating with J.Crew is truly sensational.
From 1983 J.Crew has evolved from being one of the United States’ affordable, seemingly conservative retailers is becoming an upscale – yet relatively priced – boutique with a distinct Americana vintage inspiration. CEO/chairman Mickey Drexler, formally of Gap, and creative director/president Jenna Lyons have taken J.Crew to new heights and continue to produce consistent and stylish collections.
For their recent “A New York Holiday” collaboration Jay Z and luxury retail giant Barneys enlisted some of the worlds top houses as well as up-and-coming brands to design unique luxe pieces inspired by the Hip Hop veteran. With houses such as Balmain, Acne Studios, the Elder Statesmen and En Noir producing pieces for the collection, all proceeds raised will be donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation. As a part of this endeavour, avant-garde designer Rick Owens was recruited to create a unique take on his now-iconic asymmetrical leather jackets, retailing at a staggering $58, 000. The Mollino Crocodile leather jacket is styled with Owens’ signature leather cuts and exceptional tailoring. Lined with silk blend twill and made in Italy, the jacket is available for purchase from Barneys’ online store.
The ‘Isabel Marant pour H&M’ collections launch today in selected branches of the Swedish super-retailer. H&M has been collaborating with some of the biggest names in fashion for almost a decade to create small, exclusive, yet reasonably priced collections. It all started with a collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, and since then houses such as Versace, Lanvin and Maison Martin Margiela have all designed for H&M.
Having started her namesake label in 1994, Parisian born Marant has risen to become a serious force in fashion. Her signature bohemian style finally comes to a full menswear collection comprising of 28 pieces for H&M. Layering, soft textures, and lush accents with subtle Native American embroidery make this collection one that exudes effortless cool taste.
David Beckham, one of the most sartorially inclined men on the planet, is set to receive a knighthood. There has been no confirmation however if he is to be knighted he will be subject to a thorough examination of his finances among other assessments. It is reported that Mr. Beckham will be knighted for his contributions to British football as well as his philanthropic endeavours. Having played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy as well as captaining the English national side Beckham has certainly left his mark on the world of football. As a result of this and multiple brand endorsements and campaigns, he has gone on to be one of the most recognised and famous people in the world. On top of this he remains to be one of the best dressed and most high-profile trendsetters in men’s fashion. Just as effortless in a t-shirt and well-cut jeans as he is in a bespoke suit from Saville Row, the man not only knows style but lives it on a daily basis.
For the latest issue of the Wall Street Journal, famed photographer Terry Richardson shot with French electronic masterminds Daft Punk and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The robotic duo was recently honoured with the magazine’s Entertainment Innovator of the Year award and sat down with Brian Raftery of the WSJ to discuss the phenomenal success of their fourth studio album Random Access Memories, the conceptual and recording process involved, as well as their plans for the future.
Shot in Richardsons distinctive style, the shoot sees the group wear all custom-made stage gear and tuxedos by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane where as Bündchen wears an assortment of designers from Valentino Haute Couture to Armani Privé. All styling credits go to George Cortina. Images from the Wall Street Journal.
Legendary Japanese cultural icon Tomoakin Nagao, more commonly known as NIGO, has been named as the Creative Director of Uniqlo UT, a limited edition line of t-shirts by the Japanese retailer.
The 42-year-old multi-faceted creative has a huge influence over Japanese music, fashion and culture. His path in fashion began as a stylist and editor for Popeye magazine before he founded legendary street-wear brand ‘A Bathing Ape’ – or BAPE for short – in 1993. As the BAPE brand grew popular outside of Japan, and onwards to cult status, so to did NIGO’s reputation. He has gone on to partner with Pharrell Williams to create Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, as well as the vintage inspired Human Made. Additionally, NIGO is a DJ and producer who owns a record-label under the BAPE namesake. After his much-publicized departure from BAPE in April this year many were left astounded and wondering what his next move would be. With all this in mind, the recent announcement of his venture with Uniqlo has been met with general praise.
With hundreds of stores around the world and dedicated customers, Uniqlo has risen to become one of the top global fashion retailers. The company has based their business strategy on the idea that their products are not made for specific markets but can be worn by anyone. Quality, price, accessibility and a focus on style over trends has taken this brand to new heights. As the brand is continually expanding to new locations and continents (hopefully Africa will be one of them) NIGO has already begun to design the men’s, women’s, and children’s lines for SS14. We can’t wait to see what he churns out next.