vol. 2, bigger and better.
as i promised, i checked out john varvatos, dsquared, and salvatore ferrgamo. i also took the liberty of meandering through givenchy, moschino, dries van noten, gianfranco ferre, commes des garcons, yves saint laurent, and costume national homme. yay for you, you smartly dressed (or soon to be smartly dressed) chaps! let’s begin, without any further delay:
1. salvatore ferragamo menswear s/s 2010: lord, almighty. i heart ferragamo. this collection was beautiful! despite some blatant throwbacks to the forties, this line oozed classic. slightly tweaked and updated basics, such as the more fitted suit jacket, paired with old-time favorites like the cocked fedora, looked absolutely dashing. oh, and the shoes…the shoes, the shoes, the shoes! certainly, ferragamo is known for great shoes, but these two-tone brogues/spectators were to die for! final grade: A+
2. givenchy menswear s/s 2010: i usually like givenchy women, so i thought i would be pleased with givenchy men as well. wrong. this was a suprising dissapointment. the only two looks i liked out of the 30 some odd looks were a layered, all white ensemble, and an all white suit. the rest of the collection was a blinding confusion – a mismatched fusion of scottish-tribal. that’s right: scottish + tribal. swatches of red tartan combined with african-style motifs and patterns. it was quite horrible, and completely unwearable. a man would have to possess the confident yet apathetic air of john galliano to pull off any of these looks, and i think he has better things in his closet. i liken this show to eating a strange concotion of japanese-mexican food – things didn’t mix, and tasted bad. it’s ok – there’s always f/w 2010. final grade: C-
3. comme des garcons menswear s/s 2010: this was certainly an interesting show. first off, i’d like to mention that the majority of the models at milan men’s fashion week are between the ages of 17-23, with the ages varying a bit either way. many of these models walk at multiple shows – even looking at the few shows i have, i recognized several familiar faces, such as ash stymest, a “rising star” according to the powers that be of the modeling world. he’s 18. if there’s any proof of how transformative clothes can be, it’s the fact that these young (really young) men look like they are in their mid- to late twenties when they walk these shows. that’ s what made me decide i actually liked commes des garcons this season. i usually lean towards the classic, and perhaps classic with an ingenious twist on my wild days (watch out), but i noticed that this season’s comme des garcons looked “age appropriate”. the clothes were a bit childish – the slightly oversized suit with the pants rolled up, the untucked shirt, the multi-colored patches (and neckties sewn on as patches) and pink+black shoes – these were all a bit boyishly irreverent. thanks to the fact the models were the right age for these outfits, it made me believe they were wearable; very boy-raids-his-father’s-closet and puts together his own suit – a surprising “yes” vote from me. final grade: A–
4. dries van noten menswear s/s 2010: as opposed to givenchy, this was a show where patterns were done right. i usually shy away from patterns not involving straight lines, but dries did an excellent job injecting some into otherwise classic looks. casual + formal was also a common theme this season; i loved a look that had loose, patterned pants topped with a slightly reflective black suit jacket with a pocket square. another aspect i loved was the fact that dries presented fall colors for this s/s season – mustard, navy, rust orange, and dark brown. while some ensembles were too busy for me (one had a patterned shirt, pants, and shoes…) the majority managed to pair things together in moderation. overall – a good presentation. final grade: A
5. dsquared menswear s/s 2010: i’ve never previewed anything by dsquared before, and i was tempted to make my first time my last time. this collection was downright disgusting. i was so confused, and my eyes hurt so bad from trying to run away into the back of my head. this show had absolutely no flow, no continuity. on top of it all, i wasn’t presented with anything new – no new ideas, no new pieces. there were models sent down the runway in galoshes, wearing a bucket (fishing) hat and holding a tackle box, wearing nothing but a speedo-like… thing! shirtless models came out wearing acid wash jeans with the cuffs rolled up, there were sweatshirts, fishing vests, cargo pants (which need to go far, far, far away), blue camo ponchos, baseball caps… four models came out in nothing but galoshes and underwear. if a model came out naked it would have made more a statement. the final straw was a model that came out wearing only plain green boxers, socks and hiking boots, with a sleeping bag thrown over his shoulders. at this point, i couldn’t believe this line could possibly have a following, churning out shit like this – i pulled up dsquared’s menswear fall 2009 collection, and to my relief, it was much, much better. i don’t know what happened this season, but design duo and twin brothers dean and dan caten must have been partying away after the success of fall 2009 and woke up the day before the s/s 2010 show and said, “shit! we’ve got to show shit, like, tomorrow! we’ve got to throw shit together! let’s go! let’s go grab some shit!”, because shit’s what i saw on the runway, and that’s the only excuse i’m accepting. f/w 2010, my dears – let’s do it right. final grade: F
6. costume national homme menswear s/s 2010: this collection was a bit repetitive. the three looks i picked to show at the end of this post effectively sum up the idea behind the rest of the 37 looks. the solid color looks were fairly nice – very wearable. the notable theme was the tucking of the pants into large, black motorcycle boots. while i ground my teeth at the sight of graphic print tees (graphic tees are the bane of my fashion existence), i felt the rest of the show could be easily understood and emulated by the general male masses – the feel i got from this show was “cleaned-up grunge”. final grade: B
7. gianfranco ferre menswear s/s 2010: this collection was also slightly repetitive. the three looks i’ve picked to post below also do a good job of representing the collective. i did like the simplicity – the palette was black, white ,and shades of grays, including silver. once again, while nothing “wowed” me, the pieces were very wearable; i was surprised at how the shorts+suit ensemble paired with chunky white hightop sneakers worked, and i very much liked the silver loafers and oxfords. an unexpected shoe is a good way to punch up an otherwise plain outfit, as long as it’s the only flashy piece (hint: nix everything else). final grade: B+
8. moschino menswear s/s 2010: moschino is usually a bit comical for me, a bit too arthouse modern. i was surprised to discover i liked this collection. a recurring theme was a paint splatter look – it appeared on coat hems, the top of shoes, shorts hems…etc. there were also several thin, 70’s style neckties. i couldn’t tell whether they were knit or not, but the large color block stripe made it very “today”. while i thought the placement of some of the splattering was too realistic in color and placement to be perceived as ironic, the more obviously humorous pieces were to my liking. i especially liked the black and white splatter jacket, which i’ve posted below. another piece i liked was a light gray-blue suit that had a small black ink blot on the left lapel – adorably tongue-in-cheek. final grade: A
9. john varvatos menswear s/s 2010: varvatos was beautiful, and in a different way than i thought ferragamo was beautiful. this collection was sleek, clean, and fitted. each piece and look felt lightweight, but protective and waterproof. the palette of black, dark gray and navy, and silvers brought everything up to date. i can’t put my finger on it, but i feel the best way to describe the collection was modern classic – but even more modern than the term usually implies – almost a retrained futuristic modern classic. final grade: A
whew! hopefully all that has served as some inspiration on your fashion journey, good sirs. as is for women, be sure to know what looks you can and can’t pull off, based on your body. for example, larger men should distance themselves from the “skinny pant” look (we’ve all seen the emo/punk kid squeezed into girls jeans…poor them); only some guys are slim enough, or toned enough to pull of such a closely tailored look. on the other hand, thin men should stay away from looser looks, or at least balance them with something more fitted – a billowy linen pant could be paired with a fitted shirt, or a slim cardigan. i’m no expert – i only know what i like or don’t like, and why. my rule of thumb for the fit of clothes for men is: if you can’t move comfortably in it, it doesn’t fit. clothes shouldn’t pull or stretch across your body, nor should it swallow you. also be aware of proportion – jackets should hit either at your waist, mid thigh, or knees (or ankles, if you’re a vampire or an actor playing a vampire, but only then); pant waists should sit at the hip. high waist pants are a thing of the past for men…please keep it that way. also, men can also make the common female blunder of going too low. pull your pants up! buy a belt, it’s cheaper than repairing injured pride after a fashion faux pas. finally, the big whopper for men: pant hems. for chinos, khakis, or casual slacks, the last 2 to 3 inches should rest cleanly over your shoe when you’re standing. there should be no bunching, just a nice crease, and the back should not touch the ground. jeans should break (crease) at your ankle, and the hem should also rest over your shoe. the back hem should never touch the ground. the unfortunate rule of thumb for jeans is that they must fit you in length correctly straight off the rack – there’s no hiding a hem job on a jean. uncuffed suit pants should have a single small break over the top of your shoe. if there is no break, your pants are too short; if there are multiple breaks or the break is deep, your pants are too long. finally, the cuff of your cuffed suit pants should fall cleanly over your shoe, with the rest of the leg straight. in other words, the break will be at the cuff, so it isn’t very visible. remember, these are all descriptions of pant hems while in a standing position, and hems should never touch the ground. some men seem to think that a visible sock when sitting means your pants are too short – this is not true, and sadly leads to pants that are too long, and pants with disgustingly stomped and shredded back hems.
i think i’ve said enough – i’m open to questions or comments from you all, and i hope everything’s been helpful! please remember the reviews of the collections are purely opinion…if strutting around in nothing but your skivvies and hiking boots whilst dragging about an unzipped sleeping bag is your signature look, please don’t be offended (although i strongly suggest you cease and desist). the tips, however, are not opinion…
*photos courtesy of new york magazine.