FALL MENSWEAR: PRADA

 

MILAN – miuccia prada is one of few true trendsetters in fashion. im always wondering what she’ll unveil each season as she clearly comes at fashion in her own lane, separate from others. refined, sophisticated & in control- this season seen prada taking things one step further in creating almost presidentially sleek style for the runway. described as a ‘parody of male power’, the collection seen models walking alongside actors in the theatrical event. sprawling across a square, red carpeted runway- the models walked stiffly on the runway outfitted in regal coats, blazers & three piece suits buttoned all the way up each models neck. an accurate portrayal of how up tight powerful figures can be was demonstrated well on the runway & delivered the vision of the collection entertainingly. what i love of prada is that muiccia is smart & it shows in the clothes.

with a PhD in political science, miuccia prada; transcends beyond typical trend & is uses design as a reflection of the times, as seen each season. as a mere vehicle for this ultra-creative expression, muiccia again remains in her own lane with this concept of power that is seen in the strict slihouettes, double breasted blazers over trench coats & the unmasking of the male façade that is seen in the exposed undergarments of the models at the back end of this runway show. the runway show sequence started out very formal, what you would expect of a man in power to be outfitted in. but as the collection progressed use of print & bold tones appeared strikingly. the role of power was extended that much more with actors. gary oldman, academy award winner adrien brody, willem dafoe & jamie bell were cast for the role of model in the ‘palace of role play’ themed collection. everything about the collection was grand, the setting, the idea, the delivery- it was well played. always armed with dope accessories, i loved the color dipped footwear in the collection, which added an air of trend to the otherwise classic collection. the styling approach to layers was probably the most inspiring aspect of this collection to me. even with the solid toned looks, there were multiple layers of coats & blazers which made you take a closer look. throughout the collection, you were almost trying to figure out which level of power each look was designed to have. some looks more classic than some of the more bold, the collection palette was in line with other collections this season as a rich palette of earth tones was contrasted with maroon, plum & yellow for balance. eyewear had a subtle but charging presence in the collection as the shows soundtrack cut in & out from operatic vocals to new wave. arrogant by design, if such a thing exists, the collection was unapologetically masculine & took on the role of male stupidity well. added the fact that this role reversal of power was calculated at the hands of a women, this made the show much more exciting. the level of expression & meaning behind prada collections adds greater value, allowing fashion to take on the greater role of art. im eagerly anticipating if this same theme will be mirrored in the house’s womenswear collection & how that will all be translated through campaign direction. strong collection with a powerful message of male domineering. fashion with a message- that’s what its all about.

FALL MENSWEAR: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

MILAN –  overtime, i’ve grown more & more fascinated by vivienne westwood. in my observations of fashion, i was initially lost & confused by how her sense of design could be seen as wearable, though i’ve continued to expand my perception & challenge my own understanding of style for her work. for the past few seasons, i’ve caught myself falling deeper & deeper in love with her collections, not knowing if my eye for style was much more exposed or if she has commercialized her approach. that said, this season, the same theatricality that confused me is now inspiring to me. an iconic designer in london for her contributions to the punk rock movement in mainstream, westwood continues to remain a fresh force in fashion with one of the most influential design perspectives in the world. the concepts presented this fall defend that title, beautifully.

a true visionary westwood is, as she put male models on the runway with frost bitten beards. a motion which signaled, creatively, that this was a fall/winter collection. a throng of my favorite male models were cast for the show as david agbodji, jean carlos, tobias sørenson, miguel iglesias, paolo roldan & rael costa all made their cameos on the catwalk. interlaced perfectly, to balance the classic with the modern; the collection hosted a gang of handsome formal looks that were given a punch of westwood’s incredible, one of a kind style. contrasting the loud with the formal, patch worked pants were seen paired with rich golden brown coats as navy jackets were accented with brown buttons & paired with yellow shoes. the concept of style for westwood knows no bounds- anything is possible. theres no matchy-matchy bullshit during this show, it’s all a challenge of the pre-established; which has allowed dame vivienne to stay on top of her game as a true original in a world of commercialized glamour that becomes controlled by luxury conglomerates & expectations for revenue. what’s so striking about the vivienne westwood collections, whether men or womenswear, is that each look is made of multiple powerful style elements & combined each looks packs an even more powerful punch. a master who understands style from every angle- westwood wins yet again.

though a wide range of style & design concepts was seen on the runway, the most impressive to me was the collections use of plaid. sure, the idea for the frost bitten beards was dope & came as a surprise but if you look at the collection as a whole, the use of plaid was most refreshing. as much as i love a showstopping stunt, i still value a collection that possesses a winning quality of wearability. would i wear this? i ask myself & in this case, the answer is yes. from more subtle use of plaid to more of the outrageous mix-match concept which was seen toward the back end of the collection, vivienne won me over this fall as one of the best menswear collections in milan. i applaud her unstoppable & challenging eye that remains a cut above the rest. [source]

FALL MENSWEAR: BURBERRY PRORSUM

 

MILAN –  as the leading british label of the moment, burberry has dominated for the past few seasons & i’ve definitely developed an emotional attachment to them since my live stream a few seasons back. generally, i approach menswear during show season with a slight hesitation. i know what i can expect, considering the number of season’s i’ve taken more of an active interest. i often talk about these requirements or limitations that exist in menswear & each season those limitations become more & more clear to me. in comparison to womenswear, most labels can’t even extend the level of creativity that their women’s collections can. for men, it’s the coats, the hats, blah, blah, blah. but beyond my assumption of the blah came a pleasant surprise in the form of burberry’s latest fall menswear collection. a sensible remixed set of the classics was presented all while allowing a feeling of new to be represented.

i consider what i respond to pretty simple; i like certain colors & am generally more minimal when it comes to structure or silhouette. to me, style shouldn’t be complicated, im very much about effortlessness. so, naturally, i look for those things in a collection. i look for beauty, inspired concepts & thoughtful details. i respond to things that are clean & classic with a touch of modernization & all those elements were represented, this season, in the latest burberry men’s collection. given the weather conditions in burberry’s base of london, their collections have a deep rooted history in the creation of the rain or trench coat. the show began with the sound of rainfall as the first look was a belted trench which had umbrella’s accompanying the models on the catwalk. it was all very straight forward, crisp & sharply tailored at the front end of the runway sequence. as the expected slim fit trousers, newsboy caps & three piece suits made their expected cameos in the expected tones of black, white & grey with little to no contrast of other more vibrant tones. most appealing to me in this collection was the grey pieces, the use of wool & more tamed usage of studs. the burberry label has been more edgy in their use of studs in the last two seasons & im glad to see that this concept or design addition is slowly dying down, being used in more controlled, more subtle forms. studded gloves, umbrellas & laptop bags were thoughtfully included into the collection. multi-colored patterns & stripes accented classical pieces of knitwear & trench coats- elevating the sense of new to the otherwise typical collection.

those same modern palette notes on the collections accessories & leather bags were seen as the use of color seemed to be used much more freely as the collection drew closer & closer to it’s end. the color palette grew more & more beautifully, rich & deep as velvet looks walked alongside leather coats, next to contrasted tones of teal, maroon & mustard yellow. the collection seemed to appeal more & more to the younger demographic toward it’s close as there was a larger presence of flash, vibrance & exotic detail. diamond quilted coats in militant greens & brown fur collars skated on the runway alongside stoned faces of bejeweled foxes, which appeared on dress shirts & sweaters. while i’ve expressed my hatred of velvet, this collections use of it was sophisticated & beautiful as oppose to it being hideous or camp, which is how i’ve seen it used by other designers in the past. at the close, the familiar sound of rainfall drummed along the runway through the sound system as the lights were dimmed to allow a holographic image of rain to be projected. following the projection of rainfall, the house lights were again signaled on & the cast of models did their final walk with opened umbrellas. overall, christopher bailey is an outstanding talent at burberry who has allow the company & historical label to dominate in the high end arena through skillful execution & modern ideas. as popular or played as the burberry label has become in recent years, i value bailey’s creative approach & value his skill set as a director. superb collection & a true reworking of classic items that will never, ever go out of style. one of my favorite men’s collection this fall, no doubt.