FALL MENSWEAR • UMIT BENAN FW14

PARIS – “no to racism, for the love the game” read a piece of paper that umit benan carried out at the end of his FW14 menswear runway show in paris. there was a ‘great day in harlem’ feel to the collection which was both inspired and genuinely re-created. the entire cast of male models were of black; ranging in age from young to old. the wide ranged set of designs fared well in contrast with benan’s past work, proving to be a fitting addition to his archive. completely defining classic menswear style, the idea of all-black casting is one that has become a bold statement in fashion. some question whether this is a momentary act of recognition or a mainstay. diversity across the board in fashion has been in question for the past several years. with models like naomi campbell and iman tackling the issues head on, the runway seems to be making progress. the collection presented benan signatures in both style, as well as casting. i applaud the true mark of showmanship exemplified this season, and hope that umit benan, as a label, will continue to represent diversity as it has in the past and present, as well as unbridled talent in the scope of menswear design. i loved that the collection felt a bit more pedestrian- relatable. it was down to earth, it felt familiar. the models brought about an ease, as if they had on their own clothes and it all magically happened to work together in a collection. the varsity-style letter “B” that adorned the collections outerwear brought about a feel of camaraderie, in the sense of a fraternity, or brotherhood. the message of hope, as it relates to diversifying fashion stood out, stronger than the clothes, while the clothes helped this message to be conveyed.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
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FALL MENSWEAR • ACNE STUDIOS FW14

PARIS – i remember when i first began airing the now cancelled, fashion report on youtube; someone commented about how i didn’t know shit about fashion because all i talked about was vuitton, gucci, prada and fendi. true as that statement may be, it still had no barring on what i know of style, as i see it, in my life. over time though, my fascination of fashion has evolved greatly. i find myself drifting from bigger labels, while still maintaining an understanding of their power, as well as their influence on the marketplace as a whole. this show season, i’ve taken an active position to make selections that stem from personal choices. these personal choices are what have allowed my creative work to be viewed from another perspective. a perspective that differs from other writers or, for lack of better articulation, low-budget bloggers. one label that i feel represents the same lane that i feel i do, in terms of creative independence, free from restraint is acne. this collection, though simple, showcases an approach to design that finds no reason necessary to follow or dictate trends. instead, what is presented consistently by the label is clean shit. this season, i loved this collection more than i did of kenzo, or vuitton, more than i loved of kris van assche or saint laurent. why? for simple reasons. there is a certain wearability or function that i look for in making selections for show season. acne is one of my favorite labels, and this collection is a proper visual of why. strong collection of outwear, an unexpected injection of furry footwear, and profound sense of style through use of color, in palette. i waited for paris, and though disappointed by the bigger labels, i was still able to find shit that i absolutely love. one of my favorites of the FW14 menswear season, especially in the corner of paris.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
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FALL MENSWEAR • VALENTINO FW14

PARIS – men’s couture has been cast out of the spotlight for many, many years. not showcasing as popular a concept for men as it has long been for women, the valentino label has steadily aimed to change that. providing ready-to-wear options with higher quality craftsmanship and construction to bring the world of couture to the realm of menswear, this season brought continuity to those aims. at the face of the collection it may not seem like couture, but any real fashion head knows that the power is in the details. five of the coats in this collection were hand made, produced in double face cashmere at the valentino atelier. in interviews pierpaolo piccioli and maria grazia chiuri reminded the press that the very DNA of the valentino brand is rooted in couture. which is true, the house of valentino has long held up the reputation of their haute couture roots, even in the modern day. i love the balance of masculine and feminine, in viewing the creative work of piccioli and chiuri. the collection felt casual and presented bouts of print. casual as a façade, yes- but luxe down to the details. that interchangeability of fashion is what style in 2014 is all about. i love this collection for it’s recognition of both brand identity and style releavance. the valentino brand has successfully reached a plateau of well adjusted design. there is a greater awareness of marketability and defiance pushing creativity. as a label, they are largely to credit for the re-introduction of camo on the style scene, as minor elements of that were presented in this collection, appearing like a segue for new shit to pop off this year. an expectedly strong effort of menswear, one of my favorite labels of all time, in both menswear, womenswear and haute couture. a prime example of what modern day menswear should look like. and lemme tell you, if double face cashmere is considered ready-to-wear, imagine what we can expect for couture.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
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FALL MENSWEAR • DSQUARED² FW14

MILAN – the interesting aspect of dean and dan’s style approach each season, is that they never lack signatures. denim is always a feature, while the showing of personalization is always perfectly put together. the in-mate, prison inspiration was very clearly translated. but, what might’ve seemed like design redundancy to some is actually adherence of staying true to what works. wool, denim, leather and eyewear- it was a DSQUARED² marathon of celebrated men’s classics on the runway. styled to perfection, the collection hosted crisp masculinity in ways that were expected, but presented excitingly. skull caps were seen on nearly every model in the collection, while the design duo’s signature of thick framed eyewear seemed to drive the style presence over the edge. it was all done in a way that wasn’t jolting, not completely new- rather familiar. familiar like home, something you’re used to; something that never really gets old. it’s that approach with style that allows for the DSQUARED² to remain both consistent and successful. i love the idea of rules, as they relate to menswear. the setting of such boundaries provides a line of separation. to move into a space where you either follow or completely disregard those rules. of course, balance is necessary to keep the art form of menswear design thriving, but dean and dan meticulously played up their own signatures, while showcasing this almost uniformed idea of dress. love this collection for simple reasons, it was done faultlessly. strong execution in all aspects; from accessories to full looks- loved it all.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
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FALL MENSWEAR • FENDI FW14

MILAN – striking a chord with my obsession with a dark palette ensued with grey, this season, was fendi. for the past couple of seasons, i’ve loved what fendi is doing with their menswear collections. it’s either a hit or miss, too dull or too over the top- when i sit and gather my thoughts about this collections each season. everything from the grooming to the accessories was perfect for me, personally, in this collection. quite literally, i do mean personally, as i find that this collection speaks largely to my current perception of style, as well as my own form of dress. there is a formality that is blended with the idea of casual style. the street meets the board room. this concept and design approach is becoming much more frequent. with the rise of the internet, comes the heavier influence of the street. independent style voices are the rulers, while it seems that editors and publications respectively, are taking notice. the runway is being influenced by the street, and each season the street continues to dominate with fresh adjustments of what is presented in the luxury sector. never void of their signature furs, fendi presented a striking menswear set of handsome style that bodes well with sharp tailoring and neo-classic styling. i love, love, love this collection and am pleased to see that the label is taking a younger approach to style. for men, it seems that the rules of engagement are heavier. guidelines are strict, and this can prove to be dull come show season. this collection proves that, within those limited parameters, great style can still be expressed in new and exciting ways. a strong collection for the season, another reason why fall is the best fashion season. superbly handsome fall style.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
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FALL MENSWEAR • VIVIENNE WESTWOOD FW14

MILAN – style from concentrate is how i describe vivienne westwood collections. imaginative and inspired; i love the ways that westwood’s collections are styled. runway is often about complete looks and cohesion in totality. vivienne westwood is a master of creating, and really re-creating perceptions through design. this collection was no different. a range of formal and casual looks were presented with warm fall tones, and beautiful shots of cobalt blue. grooming was interesting, as the male models looked like living ken dolls, with plastered comb overs complete with a high impact part. the collection began with a sleek, active wear and motocross type of feel. which soon evolved into more formal looks. beautiful cameos of maroon sliced into the collection palette as handsome plaid suits rivaled burberry menswear. formal wear was elevated through use of ethnic print, which created a remix to classic formality. i really loved the use of grey in the palette, personally- grey is a tone that is more versatile than any other in menswear, in my opinion. personally, when i shop, i opt for grey. black fades and white runs the risk of getting dirty or ruined with excessive use. the collection presented those options for my love of grey, which was done exceptionally well. while print was presented in the collection, which created a sense of eclecticism. the balance of eclectic was blended well with classical male style, which provided range. the minimal suiting options in the collection fare well with westwood’s british heritage and bring about the feel of saville row. the collection was successful in showcasing vivienne’s unique view of style. one of my favorites this season, a strong showing of style.

visit style.com to view archived collections by vivienne westwood
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FALL MENSWEAR • BURBERRY PRORSUM FW14

it was big bags and bold print for the burberry prorsum label this fall. burberry has lent their contributions to the classical appeal of menswear, historically, the trench coat being an everlasting style staple in the world of fashion and uniform. this season, they continue to dominate as the strongest british label and combat that title with use of print. printed leaves communicated the feel of fall fashion obviously and perfectly. bold color contrasted with the expected fall tones seems to be the trend in the menswear division this season. the rise of accessories has seemingly also been in high demand the past two years, and the runway is now satisfying those consumer needs. i always love to see collections that expand with production or designs of accessories. accessories has proven to be one of the strongest fashion markets, especially in recent years. accessories represent a bridged division of the high end market, satisfying consumer demands for customers not looking to drop dime on more high priced items like clothing. in recent years, burberry has birthed a more dominant approach with designs of handbags, as well as hats and sunglasses. their signature scarves have long been loved, and have acted as emblems of prestige. i enjoy that the label is resorting to different patterns, straying from their signature plaid, which still appears on many of their legacy accessories, handbags, and continues to line the labels iconic trench coats. burberry’s collection this season, represented the marriage of trend and classicism. christopher bailey’s winning streak continues without a hitch and this collection is evidence of that. overall, the classic approach has fared well for the british based fashion label, especially since they’ve taken greater measures to represent themselves as a UK founded brand, returning to london instead of showing in milan. with a strong set of campaigns from the last several years, and them allowing faces of color to be much more represented in their collections, burberry is making all the right moves in the right direction. it will be interesting to see who will book this collection campaign.

visit burberry.com for information on the history of the trench coat
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