LONDON – the underdog of the fashion capitals, london has seen it’s share of highs and it’s many lows. recovering from one of those lows in the last few years, the fashion capital is quickly looking to maintain that track record. of the five collections i’ve selected from london this season, burberry remains the crown jewel of london. they have made the largest effort in aiding the re-centering around of british fashion with their return to the UK in 2009. london, unlike new york, represents a certain liberation of style. london is the home of punk rock, home of the mod and has long lead the influence of fashion movements while not always being properly credited for doing so. london continues to drive headlines, as the british fashion council (BFC) continues their own efforts in creating programs that help keep design inspiration and financial backing thriving in their home turf. with the collections that were presented, each held an aspect of progress visible in runway casting. london is and will always be a leader in style. as a fashion capital, the british represent the freedom of fashion and have long been a platform for true artistry. that reign will surely thrive into 2014.

burberryBURBERRY – print stormed just about every major runway show in new york. it’s interesting when you’re viewing collections, and begin to view which trends will rule in the next year. this season, burberry took a hands-on approach to print. in what appeared as hand printed graphics, the collection seemed as if it was formed by several scarves. the classic trench coat is a staple for the british label and that staple was presented but in a subtle, softer, much more feminine way. the handpainted print continued onto the collections footwear, handbags and scarves accompanied every look that strolled the catwalk, including the few menswear looks which also encompassed the printed theme. i was surprised that the collection felt so light, in textile, for a fall collection. there was inclusion of rich floral sheers while injects of the label’s usual sherling fur and suede jackets were presented as well. deep tones of maroon and emeral green were seen, as pastels were seemingly carried over from the label’s spring collection. overall, the collection presented strong concepts in an unexpected way. the runway casting was strong with campaign model malaika firth walking the runway alongside burberry favorite jourdan dunn. burberry has been wildly successful from concept to execution, and this pattern shows no clear signs of slowing down. love to see, as large a label as burberry, is embracing diversity and leading as a glowing example. standing ovation to the talented, christopher bailey.

TOPSHOP UNIQUE - in the context of british style, topshop has raised the bar for fast fashion retailers like the swedish owned H&M, and the japanese founded uniqlo. topshop remains in a class all their own. unlike their fast fashion contemporaries, topshop stages a fashion show among the high brow show season collections which continues to set them apart in a striking manner. an arsenal of blue set the collection off right, as those tones soon cooled to a wave of greys. color was major aspect of the collection, while styling did it’s part in allowing the clothes to bring about a greater feel of livelihood. yellow palette injections were seen on the runway, but the collection didn’t feel as seasoned as other labels showing this season. the model casting was stellar, but the collection felt a bit retail. while topshop understands how to stay a cut above the rest in their fast fashion market, im not sure that this collection was at the same level of other high end labels which occupied the runways at london fashion week. with london making every attempt to hold onto their reign, topshop definitely lends it’s prowess. a strong collection at retail, likely, but not as powerful a contender in alignment with fashion in london, in producing key elements of trend, focusing on bringing abouts new aspects of designs and challenging the pre-existing with how women are viewed by the clothes that they choose to buy. good, though not great, topshop definitely lends it’s contribution to london.

TOM FORD – it’s interesting the ways that tom ford can create a collection of standards, in a basic palette and be able to execute on a higher playing field. maybe it’s the fact that tom has earned his place in high fashion. perhaps it’s the fact that we’ve developed an expectation that has been proven years before a tom ford namesake collection even touched a runway. on the runway this season, ford played to nothing but standards. the palette was kept strictly in black and white with a few punches of red for contrast. sleek lines, reptile skin and use of fur were seen in the collection that is sure to be a hit at retail. while standards were presented, there were very few moments that seemed to push womenswear forward. the sequined jerseys that referenced jay-z “tom ford” record had people talking, but in my mind- it lacked a special element of surprise. void of print, which seems to be a popular trend for the FW14 show season, ford seemingly continues to create only what he wishes, having no concern for promoting trends or pushing the boundaries of design. is tom ford a design genius? yes. has he developed a proven track record? yes. was any of that genius or proven track record carried off into this collection? no. tom ford is the kind of designer that is functioning at a different level than others. there is a heavier expectation for his work and his method of dealing with that pressure is seemingly to ignore it. to create past that pressure and give something unexpected. i understand that ideology, but wonder how long until the novelty of that approach wears off.

PETER PILOTTO – in what appears to be the routine route for designers looking for greater visibility, peter pilotto has joined the ranks of designers that have partnered with american super retailer, target. while peter pilotto has seemingly scratched the surface of what it takes to win on the luxury sector, greater visibility is always the key for designers. pilotto has quickly become known for his digitized prints, and that signature was well represented this show season in london. modernized through cut and kept sleek from look to look, the collection was one of the strongest in london. speaking in terms of trend, pilotto’s signature use of print has positioned him with greater relevance this season. diversity in model casting was represented as well, which only accentuated the wide ranged palette of pilotto’s fall collection even further. i really loved the collaged effect of the print that was chosen for the collection, but was in love with the use of graphics that were used which allows mountainous regions to become plastered across the outerwear of the collection, towards the middle of the collection. overall, the collection felt like it grasped onto the range of concepts while not slipping off of cohesion. the looks were both thoughtful and visually stunning. while pilotto’s entrance into target stores didn’t seem as well received as say, philip lim, he is definitely on the pathway to gaining major notoriety outside the confines of london’s fashion scene. though i’m not sure how successful this move will be for securing the future of peter pilotto as a major brand, visibility is visibility. a strong collection, for sure, with interesting reinterpretation of florals.

MARY KATRANTZOU – another designer known for her prints, mary katrantzou has been a design name to look out for. this season however, she seemed to scale things back. the simplicity of making such moves was done in all the right ways. use of print was seemingly isolated, and some designs were entirely void of print. you could feel that a bar has been raised in this collection in comparison to katrantzou’s past work, there is a steady elevation of creativity. katrantzou is one of the standouts in all of london, and her collection was definitely the strongest showing this season. whether printed or not, each look was done in a stunning way. there were embroidered aspects of design with selected forms of encrusting as well, there were cut outs and patchwork which all seemed to bring about a sense of elegance in a smart way. it’s important for younger, newer or emerging designers to flex conceptually during show season because taking those risks set them apart. that’s exactly what mary katrantzou did for herself this season. aside from raising the bar on the competition, she seemingly competed with herself; taking what she has become known for and flipping the script. a risk well taken for the fall, i loved the exaggerated lines in the collection and the serious, deep tones in the collection palette. this collection was my favorite collection presented in london for the FW14 show season. strong concepts, with even stronger execution.

visit style.com for full LFW collection coverage
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NEW YORK – the game has been changed, and what new york city represents for our nation of american’s is very, very special. during men’s fashion week in milan this past january, it seems more and more common that american menswear labels are joining the ranks of new york fashion week to present their latest collections. selecting my favorite five collections from each of the fashion capitals this show season, these are my absolute favorites of the fall/winter 2014 season, straight out of new york city. new america thrives beautifully.

PUBLIC SCHOOL – a rapidly developing style duo out of new york city has quickly become one to watch. this season, they continue to promote and actively create a visual signature. distinctively american in their use of blending the sophisticated and the street. predominantly a menswear label, the collection this season entered into the realm of womenswear. heavy where needed but also effortless, the collection has a strong identity in comparison to the throngs of labels that are showing every season in new york. i find that public school is very modern in this interestingly classic, very new york city type of way. following their CFDA fashion fund victory last year, all eyes are on this label. the collection presented headwear and focused on layered richness. sneakered and wisely tailored, it was interesting to see the designers touch upon a perspective of womenswear. the lines have gradually become more and more blurred between men and women in fashion. women’s lines are becoming stronger and yet more relaxed, shilouettes have widened. all the while menswear collections have borrowed some of the creative ideals that often keep womenswear a cut above the rest in the world of fashion. and even beyond that, the developing visual signature was not once shifted, or off-center. overall, the runway show from concept to model was strong. i do feel that a greater sense of development needs to happen. i don’t feel that the collection was completely independent in thought, as much of the large brimmed hats reminded me of saint laurent. it’s tricky when inspiration is sourced from the street. the street is inspired by a number of elements which include other design houses. it’s important for design labels like public school to create the trends, not to follow them. in palette, the collection is also very one note, there seems to lack a true sense of versatility there. relevant of now? yes. there is clear potential here, but in order to reach past that plateau will take some time. i loved the outerwear and feel that a range of must-haves or style essentials were provided in this strong showing.

coachCOACH – stuart vevers steps in as the executive creative director at american fashion brand, coach. this collection proves a lot. it represents vevers understanding of coach in the present, while being mindful of the past in order to set up the label in having an even stronger future. print seems to be the element of fancy for fall 2014, as we’ve seen it sprayed across many collections from menswear in milan to what has been strolling the catwalk during this first leg of show season, at new york fashion week. in the market of american fashion, many are transplants. coach has been a long standing entity on the scene. past creative director, reed krakoff worked steadfastly to allow for the label to see it’s greater creative potential, which can be a blessing and a curse for new director vevers. while the brand has been set up for success, it’s track record under krakoff can apply greater pressure in the present to continue that path to greatness. what i felt in the collection, in just viewing the clothes was the potential to appeal to an even younger, cooler market but to appeal to that demographic is a more relevant way. the clothes felt competitive of proenza, while flexing a bit on brands like prada. coach is more widely regarded as an accessories brand; with millions of american women buying their bags across the nation every day. this collection seemed to take the focus off of accessories a bit and create full looks. to be present in the sense of showcasing and promoting trends and further developing ways to expand the brand’s appeal across the board. successful, even at this early a stage in the game; i am definitely going to keep my eyes on this label. i admired the ways that they respected the DNA of the brand. the incredible footwear and beautiful use of leather, fur and suede celebrated the idea of coach as an emblem of american iconicism. as a leading leather goods company, i would love to see coach become a stronger fashion force in apparel as they clearly have the consumer audience to win. in aligning themselves to compete with brands like j.crew, the company being founded in 1941 means they stand to create a stronger sense of identification by priding themselves on the construction of that legacy, even with just their handbags. a strong collection, and an impressive first showing for vevers.

VERA WANG – an interesting label associated more closely in my mind with bridal, vera wang is actually a gangsta in fashion. she has had a long, enduring career which began during her years as an editor at american vogue. her sprawling career as a fashion designer has allowed her a larger platform, in which she culivates beauty and makes women’s dreams come true. but this season, vera murdered the runways of new york fashion week, presenting an interesting fall collection that was sprayed with florals and entracing bouts of sheer. it was almost like a feminine response to all that saint laurent, hipster, emo bullshit that has been trending lately. i was incredibly impressed by the design quality. labels on today’s scene busy themselves with re-interpreting existing trends, but this season vera presented a different type of female. you felt that vera wang signature of elegance, but here we seen a greater style commentary that said, “this is new york, as we see it”. beautifully conceptualized and imaginatively executed, this collection was easily one of my favorites this season. i love that balance of agelessness, while a sense of cool is still felt. that cool can easily feel forced when the execution of certain design components is put together in a way that feels inauthentic. consumers feel that and here that cool factor was communicated clearly. there was this upper east side snob shit combined with this east village ease to this collection. a perfect marriage of street sensibility that was all very new york. the long length gloves, the bugs that were sprinkled through the collection. the plaids were super classic, but done in an alternative music type of way. which i love, love, loved. the palette was everything i live for, in tone and there was a greater sense of function that didn’t lack style or prettiness. a little touch of glitter, sheer florals, fur, leather- everything ill of the fall season was put into this collection in a unbreakably consistent type of way. through to the final collections looks, the sheers that closed out the collection were almost valentino. functional while sophisticated- everything to love about womenswear was provided in this collection. every girl should buy or duplicate what vera presented.

OPENING CEREMONY – the minds behind the reinvention of kenzo are the same minds that have allowed opening ceremony to have a cemented place on the american fashion scene, in new york city. outfitting the cool kids, this label brings about a greater feel of style libertation. this collection felt much more poised, more refined in comparison to other collections, and reveals an entrance into the fashion big leagues. already successful on the scene with a well received consumer base, what i love about new york is the merging of the street onto the runway. this stye marriage was ever present in the collections this season, and the collections i gravitated toward all encompass that sensibility perfectly. a leader in that whole movement, humberto leon and carol lim have evolved incredibly quickly. their creative role at kenzo seems to have aligned with the ways they approach their first partnership at opening ceremony. similar to vera wang, the lines in this collection; and every collection i selected this season, have this studious feel. i love that look of school girl, i love the idea of uniformity as consistency. print is usually a trend that is presented for the spring, but for the fall of 2014-15, print will be on everything. lines were kept tight and clean in the collection that felt weighted in the right ways. deep forest greens reminded me of pine trees, and quilted leathers added dimension and greater depth within the collection. i loved the use of blue, but could’ve done without the palette cameos of pink throughout. off all the concepts provided, there was a strong identity. quite literally, some of the collection pieces were differentiated by their use of what appeared to be a finger print. i took those elements of mindfulness with a true sense of inspiration. you see that the brands work at kenzo influences some of what is presented in this collection, but it’s all done in a way that is greatly identifiable to that of opening ceremony’s distinct DNA. one of the coolest collections presented in new york.

edunEDUN – playing to my love of neutrally centered palettes, edun presented an incredibly chic fall collection that was comparative to parisienne levels of taste. as a fashion label with a greater purpose, edun was created to generate greater opportunities of manufacturing in regions of africa. that theme of africa is often incorporated in the collections, while diversity is often represented in their model castings. this season, that aesthetic was upgraded as the label continues to develop as a major competitor adopting chic cleanliness that gives brands like celine a run for their money. soft, feminine, sporty and luxe- the collections warm palette was void of print, which was seen galloping down every show’s catwalk during new york fashion week. edun as a label has developed a strong signature in their use of weaving, this season seen that signature develop in a smarter, more significant format that was less obvious than in season’s past. i loved the knitwear tremendously, and appreciate the label holding tight to their signatures while not ignoring the importance of expanding that sensibility through design. this collection, though tame, was one of my favorites for it’s subtle gesture of awareness aimed at trend. one of my favorite labels to watch, evolutionarily, this collection sees greater potential being exercised. all five collections represent that beautiful merger of suit and sport, luxury and function. a stunning showing from all five have position new york in an even stronger position as a leader in world style. a strong showing for new york as a fashion leader this season.

visit style.com for full NYFW collection coverage
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PARIS – with menswear coming to a close, we meet the immediate start of haute couture collections. at present day, the world of couture seems to be as expected as ready-to-wear. though much more exclusive, collections are presented in similar format, and inspiration of such seem to run through other facets of big fashion brands these days. in adopting a new format of runway coverage, i aim to sustain energy while balancing the need to bring about dialogue of these important fashion collections. the couture report is a report generated that includes five of the best the haute couture collections of the season. these collections protect an aspect of fashion history, as protected by the chambre syndicale de la haute couture. headquartered at 100 rue du faubourg saint honoré, in paris since 1935, the association dates back as far as 1868. made up of couturiers and designers of womenswear, the chambre aims to preserve paris’ position as the world capital of fashion design. in the process of such preservation,  designers are expected to follow guidelines in order to participate in this exclusive presentation of runway collections. established are calendars for each of the show weeks, which optimize scheduling for both venues and shows. hosted in january and july, approximately 30 haute couture shows are presented. such presentations are aligned with the fashion calendar, which accomodates 150 ready-to-wear women’s collections that are shown outside of haute couture. invitations for the couture collections are managed by the fédération française de la couture, which follows an accrediation process and tracks attendance. press and buyer information/welcome kiosks are set up during couture shows to give access to 800 buyers, 2000 journalists, 400 photographers and other fashion professionals. these kiosks allow for digital, print and audiovisual information about the shows to be disseminated to those in attendance. the fédération also aims to facilitate growth of new and emerging brands, while defending intellectual property rights, develop training and education programs and to resolve collective problems, while providing assistand and advice to members. of the season, these five collections are my selections for best couture showings this spring. through concept, detail and execution, as well as influence and discussion; these are my picks. in recounting the history, guidelines and activities of couture, my desire is to remind you, in case you’ve forgotten. when you see them bitches in valour on the street with juicy on their ass, understand how to separate that from this. make no mistake, this is couture.

VALENTINO – of my most loved labels, valentino has consistently produced designs, collections and campaigns that remain in the vein of all that i love of beauty and elegance. inspired by the protagonist roles of famed operas, the collection was thoroughy inspired and meticulously produced. comprised of 55 looks, the collection held a wealth of range in palette and detail. holding true to their brand DNA that, the house continues to defend their heritage in the world of haute couture. theatrical minimalism was presented while wondrous intricacies proved that the collection was among the most complexly inspired and thoughtfully designed. with the fast pace of high fashion rapidly building greater momentum each season, some of the collections that were presented as couture had that ready-to-wear feel. that feel communicating a sense of rapid release, or quick turn over in the connectivity of design. even in the moments of minimal, streamlined design- you felt the difference. you felt the care in the construction when viewing the collection and seeing it’s movement down the intimately staged runway show. my favorite collection of the SS14 couture season, was valentino. i always feel inspired by their merging of classic and progressive aesthetics. this inspiration is felt through not only their couture collections, but all they have done in recent years. from recovering from creative directing flaws, lacking marketing and a clear voice on the high fashion scene. they are owed the respect of being able to sustain as a viable fashion label, and iconic couture house. i applaud maria grazia chiuri and pierpaolo piccioli. completely stunning from the first look, to the last.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI – beauty was in full bloom this season, as floral danced across the runways of paris. no collection felt as much of a representation of spring than giambiattista valli’s SS14 couture collection this season. usually a flair of the dramatics are seen by valli, but this collection was much more spring than any of his others- if only for the hemlines. short designs were seen this season, which are not as expected as one would think for a fashion collection. couture rides that line of differentiation from ready-to-wear collections. when i review couture, i look for that difference. i like the idea of transcendence with all things haute. that’s what you feel when you see a giambattista collection. you get that sense of wonder, that emotion of fantasy. this collection seemed a bit more tame than other collections by valli, for couture in seasons past. that said, it was no less beautiful. i loved the contrast of colors, and the modernity that was expressed in the creation of couture separates. it was young, while remaining mindful to the art of couture. loved the use of hardware, and though i could draw comparability to the likes of christian dior by raf simons, i won’t. this collection was far more interesting, as oppose to dior’s reliance of mundane minimalism. it was pretty, in an alluring way. not pretty as the sub-par little sister of beautiful. it was light, well constructed and imaginative. i loved the controlled aspects of drama that were injected in thoughtful ways.

3ATELIER VERSACE – power has long been the inspiration and founding presence of the house of versace. over the past five seasons, the house has returned to the haute couture runways, proving themselves to be strong contenders of the art form. grace jones was the female icon that inspired this seasons couture collection, as donatella described her as ‘power goddess’. the musical icons presence was felt in the clothes, and portrayed in her signature hooded look. maria borges of women model management, was the only black model cast for the show and she closed on the runway. strange as it may sound, there wasn’t enough color, representing a woman of color despite the fact that she inspired the collection. yes, there were versace elements and the embodiment of jones was vividly presented, but the casting proved to lack the true essence of her power. that power being the fact that she is black. grace jones has been widely regarded as an icon for women, but a large component of her influence is recognized by the fact that she afforded women of color the opportunity to be seen as true artists, commanding of power in undeniable ways. versace’s visibility, especially in modern day media is largely to credit for it’s lyrical reference by black artists, most commonly in the rap genre. the unease that i feel in seeing un-pigmented bodies strolling the runway to represent what cannot be faked or unrealistically reproduced is both jarring and unsettling to me. great inspiration- yes. execution? i find it puzzling, but more so, i find it annoying. represent the artist, and recognize what aspects of reality have aided her proclamation of that power. duplicate that through proper utilization of said reality.

CHANEL – in the last several months, i’ve discussed the merging of suit and sport. since that time, i’ve consistently highlighted and documented collections that support that theory. in areas of menswear, and womenswear- i’ve remained vigilant in observing various elements from magazine covers, to the silhouettes within pre-season collections. chanel haute couture goes on to further lends themselves in show of support of my theory even further. chanel is king with their crown being lagerfeld, himself. this season, they threw versatility high into the sky with their couture collection. opening the show was model it girl, cara delevingne, strutting rhythmically with a metallic accented eye onto the runway that was described by karl as, ”an ice palace, a nightclub from another planet.” the future? i completely agree. the collection began rather tame, taking casual looks and elevating them with couture detailing. a focus on silhouettes brought the eye to the torso, which was narrowed by hidden corsets that were only visible as the models walked away from the front row and back up the two-way stair case. the models walked the show with the greatest of ease, slightly galloping to the runway beat down the stairs in, and what could be more chic; chanel couture sneakers! there was no greater element to support my theory of suit and sport than the couture sneaker this season. as the collection progressed, the looks evolved smartly into formal looks that leaned more heavily into the essence of couture through to the end. the collection held a palette of iced tones, lending the idea that karl understands the vein of consistent and well executed vision. one of the strongest collections this season, and a tried and true mark of defense for chanel being held in regard as the greatest fashion house in fashion history. knee pads as well, the sport theme was in full effect and lagerfeld continues to prove why he is, very much so, the crown atop the head of chanel as king.

CHRISTIAN DIOR – dior has since been altered in aesthetics since raf simons has stepped in as the replacement for john galliano. though the discussion of galliano is now stale, the conversation of the brands transformation is not. i’ve been watching the collections, recognizing improvements and being mindful that change is a process. simons’ approach to design is very psychological. it’s almost as if it’s overanalyzed design, in my opinion. im all about clean lines, thorough inspiration and design abstraction. this couture collection’s strong suit was cut. whether it was strategic placement of cut-outs, or the shortened hemlines that brought about a spring feel- the only cut i noticed severely enough was couture. the collection seemed to lack design intricacy that is most commonly associated with couture, as an art form. here, i felt none of that in these clothes. though psychological and interesting in design, there seemed to lack a defining line between these clothes and that of ready-to-wear. the clothes were more closely aligned with simons’ aesthetic with jil sander, i felt, and didn’t particularly resonate with the brand DNA of christian dior. silhouette was destroyed, and widened in a way that seemed to deface the signature of dior in design. aside from the casting of grace mahary, a model who also appeared for both chanel and valentino on the couture runways this season, the collection was otherwise boring and seemed to lack beauty. simplicity is key, and overindulgence can be vulgar, but here there was no balance of theatricality, and no stretching of the imagination in a way that felt exciting. though not the worst collection of the season, i find it necessary to contrast ideas of excitement with those of wonder in curiosity. as historic as the dior label has been in fashion, i have a greater expectation than what was delivered here. for me, it’s simply not enough.

visit style.com for complete coverage of the SS14 haute couture season
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PARIS – saving the best for last. commentary in this space has revolved around the message that both suit and sport are becoming very quickly aligned in the market of style. as the categorization of independent and corporate continue forth on the battle field of artistic expression, the FW14 collection presented by riccardo tisci for givenchy is a prime and ripe example of what i have been saying all along. my christmas gifts this year were all purchased for my family, through nike.com; amazingly i have found myself to be at one with culture, in a way that leaks through my writing, my personal taste level and surrounds the dialogue between each of those financial, creative and expressive transactions. givenchy has remained a fashion rarity for me; always giving us the new, now and next of style. this season, the feel and direction of athleticism was inspiringly produced. a neon light lit basketball court fenced male models in for the runway show. in light of the announcement that tisci himself will be collaborating with nike this year, the collection seemed more fitting than ever. most interesting to me were the basketball inspired lines in the collection. i loved the tamed palette and injections of color throughout. the merge of sport and art was present as well, as the collection clothes seemed to merge on the court elements with high art signatures of mondrian. male models walked the runways with ‘nothin but net’ fishnets lining their faces, unmarked black fitted six panel baseball caps and appropriately, sneakers. fur jerseys, and the always beautiful male model castings by way of daniel peddle accentuated the feel of diversity, as only givenchy can. what is so liberating about givenchy, is their merge of the street and the runway; they take urban elements and spin them into luxury. we, as consumers, feel presented by the urban elements, which is why givenchy has been lyrical content for multiple rappers on the musical scene. tisci is a true visionary, and cultural inspiration for an international audience.

visit givenchy.com to explore their archive of inspiration
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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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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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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
click image to view collection gallery