SPRING MENSWEAR • GIVENCHY SS14

PARIS – i wouldn’t be surprised if people began wearing face paint in the streets just because ricardo tisci put it on the runway for the SS14 show season. technologically african, with a bit of native american in between is what i felt from the latest menswear collection by way of givenchy. a hands down favorite of mine in the luxury sector, i feel as though this collection is a segue into a new direction that ricardo is just beginning to introduce. as we’ve seen in the past several years since tisci was installed at the label, collections by the house remain relative or closely similar for years at a time. as the aesthetics prove to be successful in the market, the visuals or concepts become enhanced. casting is a huge factor for the house now, seeing as though actresses, stylists and relatively unknowns were cast for the same campaign. i think this is an interesting intersection of taste level for sure. the use of print was incredibly vivid. while i don’t particularly favor such use  of print in my own wardrobe, i understand the creative potential of such on the editorial circuit. which adds a level of excitement. that’s what is so dope about show season, you see what will be used for editorial, covers and advertisements before anything. that creative process, that unfolding of a vision is expanded and the market fully embraces it every time. this season, i will admit, im hesistant with these concepts. i do see potential for expansion of the vison, or the aesthetic, but i just don’t know if i like it. perhaps it’s a collection i’ll have to experience through editorial and through advertising. more to see, for sure, we shall see.

 

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SPRING MENSWEAR • HAIDER ACKERMANN SS14

PARIS – returning to the realm of menswear, haider ackermann sticks to his guns and shows us the DNA of his artistry in the vein of his personal style. that’s what the mark of true designers is, in this day in age. you want a designer that completely embodies his work, and wears it himself. haider ackermann is one of the best designers, as he remains in his own lane of artistic approach. it’s almost the equivalent of an actor getting into character. that’s what ackermann does; you’ll see him photographed around paris rocking these robe-like pieces and when you see his menswear collections, you see the same thing. it’s the same, as redundant. it’s the same as in consistent. which is powerful. that’s a sure shot way to drive your visual signature home. on or off the runway, it should be about promoting that vision. it should be a full circle movement of promotion. it’s about promoting the vision as a lifestyle, not as some momentary trend of phase in a wide ranged life of looks. while it’s easy to fall into that trap of redundancy, but i think the haider ackermann label is definitely one that has the ability, and can afford to stick to a direction long enough to promote it to the masses. beyond any of the promotion of a direction, you see the collection and it’s so fuckn chic. it’s relaxed and almost seductive in a way. it’s like a chic pair of pajamas. and we’re not talking ratty pajama bottoms with obnoxious print, we’re talking luxe textiles, fine grooming and a carefully casted set of male models in looking to promote that direction. i would’ve like to see more models of color in this collection, as there was no color at all, whatsoever. while the collection represents that feel of casual appeal that i often associate with paris, the collection would’ve been that much more effective if a range of ethnicities were presents, to showcase the global appeal of such style. a strong collection filled with true signatures of the ackermann name. a favorite of mine this season, for sure.

visit haiderackermann.be for more information on his label
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SPRING MENSWEAR • JEAN PAUL GAULTIER SS14

PARIS – gaultier is an icon so incredibly iconic, that he’s almost slept on in that regard. the fashion market is so saturated with what’s new or next that the veterans seem to fall behind while the rest of the industry centers focus on youth. which is a fucked up reality for many, many reasons. this season, presented off runway, the jean paul gaultier collection elevates the use of look book imagery. this collection was revealed in the form of a video, directed by jessica yatrofsky. it’s easy for established labels to get lost in the hustle and bustle of modernization, especially in high fashion and i usually expect a great show from gaultier. his vision is unparalleled in fashion, and he is a true original. this collection, though interesting, didn’t seem to channel that same feel of excitement that we’ve seen in the past while on the runway. i will admit the choice to reveal the collection through video is a modern idea, we’ve seen it used for other designers like gareth pugh and it’s been very well received. gaultier is a true visionary and these mere look book images are nothing compared to the video version of the collection. i loved the combining of patterns, the layering was innovative and fresh, while the gaultier vision was well translated. what i love of gaultier is the feel of the unexpected, you know you’ll get something new each season, even if it’s something you don’t initially understand. i loved the diversity in casting and the layered look book images. the idea of shooting on a rooftop is interesting as well. it’s almost symbollic of gaultier’s status in fashion, a rooftop being a high point, but still existing on a level that is somewhat grounded. should be interesting to see how these elements of modernization will be plugged into his womenswear collections. with couture season already underway, gaultier has more to show.

visit style.com for archived collections by jean paul gaultier
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SPRING MENSWEAR • MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA SS14

PARIS – commercialization is a bittersweet concept when concerning truth. as artists, it’s always about a balance. going back to the idea of truth, artists must stay true to their original vision. it’s an absolute must. the margiela label has seen greater commercialization in the last year, due to their involvement with powerhouse fast fashion retailer H&M. maison martin margiela is known in fashion for it’s curious concepts, innovative ideas and an approach to style that not many can understand, nor duplicate. it’s common for failing fashion brands to re-connect with the public in joining forces with H&M. it’s an attempt to commercialize and in a sad way, it’s as though the original margiela vision has become deluded. when looking at this SS14 menswear collection, you almost feel the pressure to sell. you see a completely regulated view of style. there was nothing spectacular or even inspired by this collection. it’s extremely sad to see that an original vision has been compromised. an industry rarity seems to have died and become a slave to commercialization and the pressures to sell in the globalized fashion market. while the collection wasn’t horrible, and can easily sell; the true tragedy is the departure for everything that the margiela name has become known for. while there seems to be no end in sight for this commercialization, i expect that the margiela label will become entirely out of context with what it used to be. this being mystery, intrigue, creativity and the unexpected. a true loss in the world of fashion as art. aside from greater commercial success, fashion is about vision and here it appears lost.

visit style.com for the archived collections by maison martin margiela
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SPRING MENSWEAR • KRIS VAN ASSCHE SS14

PARIS – i wanted to wait before the dior homme collection walked before i reviewed the kris van assche collection. i like to compare and contrast the differences or similarities in vision from one collection to the next, especially when the common factor is the creative director. what i love of the kris van assche collections is very similar to what i love of alexander wang’s menswear. the perfect follow up to my last review, i love that KVA is a true dude. with this collection, assche was quoted talking about how obsessed guys used to be with sportswear. he cited that these tend to be the best dressed men, adding that they have the best eye for detail. it reminded me of my childhood. all i wanted was something with the nike swoosh on it. i’ve probably mentioned this in passing before in some other post that i can’t exactly recall at the moment. i was in fifth grade and i had this nike pull over, it was navy with a white trim that was on the wrist cuffs, waist band and v-neck collar. i paired it with black jeans and a plain black t-shirt, had my hair gelled and slicked back, then had these ken griffey jr. nikes. i remember being slightly insecure that my black shirt was darker then my black denim pants. i remember going home every day after school and taking an old toothbrush, soap and warm water to my shoes to keep them as clean as possible. knowing that i only had one pair of shoes that i had to make last for the rest of the school year. it was paying attention to those details that allowed me to understand style, to understand the power of being meticulous, that’s what made me who i am. it lay the ground work for where we are now, here, in this space; speaking of fashion. it was nice to see kris reference that mentality with this collection, in his creative dialogue. that shit is real. when you look at nike, you see a real sense of detailed design going down- which is necessary. sportswear is a lifestyle for so many at this point. i love the idea of contrasting that sense of athleticism with polished formality that is often referenced in high fashion. it’s some next generation type shit, in a serious way. you see the blending of taste levels. i’ll let you decide about the collection yourself, but i thought it necessary to include this collection in my set of reviews for the SS14 menswear season; i love the pieces in the collection and even see some similar pieces to that nike pullover i rocked the fuck out of back in fifth grade. a strong collection of simplicity.

visit style.com to see archived collections by kris van assche
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