Tag Archives: mens fashion

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NYFW S/S’15: When Consumers Direct Fashion

Fashion is one of those industries that is considered frivolous, self indulgent, and highly disconnected from the real world. People call it fake, superfluous, and something not for the masses. But what they forget to look at, is that fashion is so much more more than sparkly clothes and spotlighted threads. It’s about the much ignored part of everyone’s lives; growing up. And if time has shown us anything is that fashion has grown up to be something much much more than a grasp-able thing for a select few. Now it is for everyone. Now, everyone can contribute to it.

With so many fashion weeks happening across the globe, and so many new things coming out, it is only natural to feel that fashion has come to a point where saturation of ideas and cuts supersedes the idea that fashion weeks will churn out something new, something exciting, and something that will blow our minds away; fashion is expected to wow the audience. And with the recently concluded New York Fashion Week, it was very obvious that innovation has been taken over by wear-ability, needs of the masses, and the mundane. NYFW came to a point where every other collection seemed forced and one could not help the feeling of having seen it before. It reminded me of the Lorde song Tennis Court where she says “Well, I’m bored.”

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Since I have quoted Lorde’s song here, the song also goes on to say “because I’m doing this for the thrill of it, killin’ it, never not chasing the million things I want.” Looks like the designers are doing the exact opposite of this verse.

What we saw at NYFW was an ode to the consumer. The dresses/clothes shown were highly wearable, even if they were not price compromised, but the runway looks would be the kind of looks one would see “people” wearing. While coming down to the needs of the customer is all good, and feeding the trend of normcore seems like a good idea in a country where on the basis of consumerism thrives companies forward, it should not come as a surprise that innovation got lost along the way. Sure, a few handpicked designers put up beautiful displays of their creations, but fashion week is supposed to be about the clothes and the focus should not be taken away from it. Some of the theatrical designer presentations did have great clothes (Thom Browne for instance) and should not be dissed along with the general shows, but there was so little of what these good clothes and innovative ideas, that NYFW left a really bad taste in the mouth. And it seems so hard to recover from it.

http://petermcnierneyart.tumblr.com/
http://petermcnierneyart.tumblr.com/

Fashion, is first and foremost, a form of art; and I think people, and designers alike, have seem to forgotten that. It is not just about creating clothes that sell – it is about creating art, wearable art. Innovation in fashion is a must if one needs to see new ideas being born. But I think that in the world of street style, and personal style blogging, people seem to forget that there are people out there for whom fashion means more than just looking good. Fashion is an embodiment of our ideas, our beliefs, and our senses. Fashion is supposed to evoke emotions (good or bad), fashion is supposed to make one feel special. Where’s the specialty in wearing high priced logo-ridden clothes that are worn just for the sake of them being the “it” item nowadays. There is no Thrill in it. There is no fun in it.

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A lot of menswear shown at NYFW felt like one had seen all of this before on some ramp somewhere. Yes, sportswear and gypsy urbanite is a trend that seems emerging all over the world, but what I don’t get is why every other designer would want to get lost along the monotony by doing the exact same thing? This need to hop on the trend-specific bandwagon is what drives art away from fashion. We are so blinded by the idea of trying to make it in the world, that we forget that making a mark and creating a collection worth noticing is about not being lost in the crowd but about being able to stand out and think individually, and on one’s own.

Wear-ability accounts for this loss of innovation in fashion. People are so consumed by the idea of looking like something/someone they saw that they forget they have the ability to be an individual, and individuality requires on to think out of the box and be a pink dot when everyone else is wearing black. And designers are feeding this need of the people.

There used to be a time when people would follow designers. But now, in this world of instagram likes, freedom of tumblr reposts, twitter hashtags, and facebook shares, it seems the masses are being the driving force behind fashion; and while to a certain degree it is a good thing letting designer know what you want; but how will we be able to find someone who tells us what we don’t want, or what new things we can have, if fashion weeks keep directing their ideas according to the people’s needs?

Chameleon by Deepak&Fahad – A Story in Review

There was a time when the sun ruled the world. The trees grew, the fruit was was fresh, and the grass was amazingly green. I used to get up in the morning and feel the love radiating from the earth. Everything was so bright, so beautiful, so love-filled. And in turn, i fell in love over and over, and with everything i saw; Love at every other sight. Love at first sight is overrated. You learn to fall in love with everything every time you look at it. It’s the harmony of the disoriented colors, they fit together like a puzzle meant to fall in love with.

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The puzzle pieces; the people who i am, the personalities I adopt, they make me who i am. And the best thing is, this world where I am, everything fits. My mind, body and soul. All of it.

I danced in the wind like a flower. No. Let me rephrase it. I danced in the wind, for I was a flower.

But then the world changed. Concrete took over. Winds were blocked. And the sun was never seen.

But I didn’t give up. I braved the harshness of the skyless rain, the exhaust air, and the dust of the plastic. I wasn’t going to give up.

I stood tall, stood strong. And I survived. And i might be withered and broken, I still live. I walk on…

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Deepak and Fahad’s  Chameleon collection shown at Fashion Pakistan Week Dubai was a colorful affair that one couldn’t help but stare at, and in a good way. Usually the camo print is associated with army and some may call this military pattern so 2008, Deepak and Fahad put a whole new spin on it and incorporate the color loving man of today’s needs in to the collection by making the prints full of color.

With picket fence, puzzle pieces, and tetris patterns in the collection, it was a breath of fresh air for the kind of person who just wants to have fun with his clothes and wants a breather from all the dapper being spread around..

Deepak and Fahad have stuck to colorful patterns for this collection and it’s safe to say that that is their signature; putting a colorful spin on menswear. The collection will appeal to the younger lot more than it might the older audience, but I think it’s time to make exceptions.

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Top Menswear Picks from Lakmé Fashion Week

With the growth in the menswear market across the globe, i would expect there to be more menswear out there in the region, but it’s just so…sad that there’s not enough care to go around.

With Lakme Fashion Week happening a couple of days ago, I did notice that some of the menswear pieces stood out all at once. While it’s very obvious that womenswear designers will also churn out a menswear piece or two, but some will handle both of them with the same detail one pays to womenswear in the sub-continent. And one saw that transition of the conceptualization of the collection transcending into menswear pieces that the designers showed.

Here are my top Menswear picks from the Lakme Fashion Week.

Asa Kazingmei: Spaced Out

Day 14

His collection was out of this world. Literally. It looks like something Lady Gaga would wear, and not in a weird way. Which is good, because it’s very easy on the eyes, and one just doesn’t want to look at it for its sheer unorthodx-ity,  but also because it works. One can wear it and look good! It’s weird? Yes. It’s wearable? YES! And that is something menswear really needs. It’s a collection meant for the bold, outspoken people who just love to snatch the spotlight wherever they go, and rightfully so.

Theorem by Nitin Chawla: Fall Staple Style

Theorem by Nitin Chawla

I think this collection had to be the strongest menswear collection shown at LFW. It’s a very fall collection with all the fall colors, which is actually not that bad, and the pattern of the year; plaid.  But it was such a cohesive and a dapper collection, it was hard not to fall in love with it. The printed shirts were good but the jackets stole the show. The red and blue plaid jacket was to die for! It was a very staple fall collection, and if one wants to look good, but not be the kind who gives off the feel of giving too much time to the wardrobe, then this collection is just for that man.

Sayantan Sarkar Design Studio: Fusion Love

Sayantan Sarkar Design Studio

Another unorthodox collection which very obviously featured the minimalist Japanese culture, as was evident from the block prints of the kokeshi dolls from that region, and the aesthetics of the jackets. But what made the collection kick was taking such a rich culture, and fusing it with another culture to create something so simple and beautiful. It was a collection for the arts student who wants to stand out from the crowd for it’s creativity, but not try to hard, for it’s a subtle and a beautiful piece of individuality.

INIFD’s Gen Next Show: Fly, Birdies

INIFD MENS

I, unfortunately, could not find out the names of the individual students who presented at the show, but the menswear pieces shown showed a lot of promise. It was very obvious that the students were trying to incorporate the current trends into the collections. What one got to see was a simple, yet innovative, display of menswear that one cannot shy away from. It was strong, and indicated a lot of potential for the growth of menswear. I mean, it was simple and that’s where the strength was. It wasn’t trying too hard, not going down without a fight. It was the perfect fit for a graduate student.

 Antar-Agni: Brooding Artist

Antar agni mens

It was a very dark and brooding collection. The lose silhouettes and th dark hues just add to the cohesiveness of the collection. It featured everything for everyone. With jackets to suits to coats, it featured everything a man might need on a stylish walk in the dark. It’s the kind of collection which just speaks through its simplicity and the way the drapes, the fabric and colors come together. If you thought you’re the fashionable brooding artist who likes boldness to be subtle, this collection is just for you. It’s a perfect blend of life and death, evening and morning. It’s poetically beautiful.

Rizwan Beyg: Truck Pop

Rizwan Beyg mens

His truck art collection, though the same as PSFW 2013, was kind of a treat to the menswear shown at LFW. It was the perfect amount of color the indian menswear ramp needed. You can read my views on the collection here.

INDIVIDUAL PICKS

I so wish Huemn by Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty had more of menswear. Though their women wore very masculine pieces (it is after all, a feminist spin on menswear), i just wish they had the guys walk down the ramp in some of those pieces. The androgyny/unisexiness of the collection was just perfect and left me craving for more from them.

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Ikai had one menswear piece that I left me wanting more from them. The jacket is just the thing that can leave one in awe, and i wanted more awestruck-ing.

ikai

SVA had a good collection, but nothing left me feeling like I hadn’t seen this before. Though the following look stood out.

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Outfit – Bow Tie

InstagramCapture_05ee95e4-e28e-42be-8c1a-d52edf1bd407_jpgHere I am wearing the STONEAGE JEANS’ bowtie. It’s a woven bow tie I had been contemplating showing to the world, but how. I had known for long that I wanted it to be this shirt. So I just went along with it. And the brown woven belt is such a look/life saver.

In the back, you can see my room. Will do a detailed post on that once I get the time to set it. You know, boys will be boys, and our rooms will be messy!

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Outfit – Going Tribal

tribal menswear t shirt tee navajo mensI have been in love with the navajo/tribal print for so long, I had been craving for it in some of the menswear brands here in Pakistan. So I was surprised when this shirt caught my eye randomly walking outside my college, which happens to be in a very commercial area. I think this shirt was a steal.

I chose sandals to go along with it to complete the whole tribal look, i mean, i can’t wear shoes to a tribal event, right?! *bad joke*

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lalam0814

3rd Feature at IFB Links à la Mode: What Really Matters

I am honored to have been selected the third time by IFB for the weekly Links a la Mode section of Independent Fashion Bloggers. It’s a big deal to be selected out of so many submissions, and having over a 60,000 members i’m so humbled to be among the lucky few to have been selected.

This time, the post selected is

Bareeze Man S/S’14 – The Dapper Road Trip.

My previous posts that made it to the feature were

1. Existentialism and Fashion in Pakistan

2. 5 Innovative Collections from London Collections: Men + Trends off LCM

You can read the posts by clicking on their names.

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Here’s the link up to the feature:-

lalam0814

What Really Matters

This week has been rough for a lot of us. The news is full of terrible things. Sometimes it’s hard to focus when the world seems to be descending into chaos. But, at the end of the day, we all have to show up to our regular lives. Family, friends, work, creating the best life possible. Sometimes fashion seems, well, not the highest on the list of priorities, so sometimes you just have to return to the basics, the classics to work for you while you get your life on track. It’s not all about the clothes.

Links à la Mode: August 14

SPONSOR: East Dane Codes Mackage Bags, Deadly Ponies, Campomaggi, Karla Spetic, Veronica Beard, KG London, Nocturne, Joa, Schnayderman’s, Faithful & Demylee

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Bareezé MAN S/S 2014 – The Dapper Road Trip

We’ve had a dearth of sartorially lovable menswear brands in Pakistan that cater to a westernized approach to clothing. But latelly things have been changing. One of the game changers to enter the really really shallow waters of Paki menswear is Bareeze MAN. They’ve been active for over two years but now they’ve gone bigger than before by actively showing their Spring/Summer 2014 collection not only at PSFW but also at the recently held Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Amsterdam.

GIF!!

The collection, obviously is themed around the modern traveler who likes to look good while going on the road trips. The earthy tones of sunset orange, brown, white and blue make it obvious that it chose to hit a spot close to nature, for a road trip through the city is never really a road trip. It stems from the glorious mountains you pass through, the cross roads that confuse you, the waters that seduce you, and the roads that lead to nowhere.

This collection is a homage to the modern man that has the ability to not succumb to the concrete. This collection is a journey of innocence, that connects man to what made him, and in return, falling in love with one’s self all over. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a very masculine collection, too. It’s a basic collection for every man to be worn every day. From work to partying, to hitting the road, it has it all.

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The one at PSFW featured menswear staples that are a must for every man to have in the wardrobe, maybe even the jumpsuit, since it’s making waves everywhere. But what differed was the details this time.

The leather, the suede, the white pants, and the shoes; everything was distinctively modern and spot on!

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The orange camo print jacket/waist coat was heartbreakingly amazing. I loved the leather accents through and through.

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The styling, I admit, looked better than at PSFW. Somehow, the collection seemed more enticing this time, thanks to the styling.

And once again, we look forward to the progress Bareeze MAN will bring to the Pakistani Menswear.

Here are some of the backstage images.

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Images Courtesy: Bareeze Man Facebook Page

REPUBLIC by Omar Farooq at the Woolmark

As one sits and ponders over the state of menswear, one can’t help but sigh. It’s not hopeless, it’s just that there’s so much cacophony, everything gets confused and in this confusion it all gets lost. As I said earlier, it’s very important to know where one stands and what he wants for himself, even in fashion. Brands and labels, when start off, get lost along the journey. A very important part of it is staying true to their roots and ideals. One of such labels in Pakistan who stuck to it’s signature and ideas from the start has been REPUBLIC by Omar Farooq. Omar’s attention to the details of his pieces, and the thought he puts into them sets him apart. When one is in need of a true Italian suit, REPUBLIC is there at the front, and you cannot ask for much more precision and perfection, considering this is Pakistan. It was because of these (and obviously other great) reasons that REPUBLIC was nominated for the Woolmark Prize. Now this is a big deal, for a Pakistani designer to be nominated for one of the most prestigious fashion awards in the world. YSL and Karl Lagerfeld were of the first few winners when this award was launched. You see, this award recognizes only the best in the game, those working with wool hands on, and being innovative with whatever work they produce. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60838 PM.bmp It was a pleasure to see Republic’s name on the same page as Public School NY, and Agi and Sam. This nomination is a testament to the fact that REPUBLIC has earned a name for itself not only nationally and internationally as well! His label is the “it” label for high quality menswear, and if you are in the mood to splurge on good clothing, REPUBLIC is the option.   Fullscreen capture 7262014 60914 PM.bmpWhen I reached out to Omar to tell me about his experience with Woolmark, he said it was one of those experiences where one can only learn more and more and grow. He said that being in Pakistan, one doesn’t get to know how to reach out to the clientele besides the one in Pakistan, and having experienced the Woolmark nomination, he saw that we need to expand our horizons and delve into the deep waters of fashion. A person needs top be challenged, and Woolmark was just the experience to teach one that, says Omar. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60845 PM.bmp Apart from that, Omar had to say that get your paperwork done in time. It will make things hectic once it comes a time to show at the regionals. It won’t even leave you time to go out sightseeing comfortably. While REPUBLIC unfortunately didn’t get to go on to compete at the world wide stage of the Woolmark, being a part of the Woolmark experience, and getting to be nominated among so many high profile international labels, is just an amazing thing for Pakistani fashion. Fullscreen capture 7262014 60956 PM.bmp We should be proud that Pakistan creates such amazing designers who have the potential to go to the international level and make a name for us. It is up to us to provide our designers the ability to expand and evolve in their creative pursuits so that we keep getting innovative collections over the years. What I have learned and observed from this experience is that Playing safe just won’t cut it anymore if Pakistani fashion wants to expand globally, or even nationally. We can’t stay at a static point in our fashion approaches and diss every other person who tries to break the norm. We need to encourage differential approaches and methods to fashion in Pakistan, and let the boundaries grow. Step out of our comfort zones. Here’s hoping REPUBLIC goes places around the globe and makes a name for not only itself, but also the Pakistani fashion industry. Wishing Omar all the best, with lots of love! Fullscreen capture 7262014 60855 PM.bmpImages Courtesy: Republic’s Instagram here

 

Paris Menswear Backstage + Trends

Givenchy - Trends: monochrome tailoring, men’s and women’s sportswear-styled pieces and updated uniforms.
Givenchy – Trends: monochrome tailoring, men’s and women’s sportswear-styled pieces and updated uniforms.
Dior - Trends: Bohemian meets bourgeois, pinstriped suits mixed with deconstructed denim pieces, an arty edge alongside a new take on sailor stripes and boat shoes paired with a tuxedos.
Dior – Trends: Bohemian meets bourgeois, pinstriped suits mixed with deconstructed denim pieces, an arty edge alongside a new take on sailor stripes and boat shoes paired with a tuxedos.
Haider Ackerman - Trends: layers of rich material for a five-star boho nomad look.
Haider Ackerman – Trends: layers of rich material for a five-star boho nomad look.
Hermes - Trends: florals, vibrant colors and graphic details.
Hermes – Trends: florals, vibrant colors and graphic details.
Kris Van Assche - Trends: pants ripped at the knee, mix & match prints and cut-off ties
Kris Van Assche – Trends: pants ripped at the knee, mix & match prints and cut-off ties
Lanvin - Trends: Leather Inserts, Visible Stitching, Somber pallatte
Lanvin – Trends: Leather Inserts, Visible Stitching, Somber pallatte
Louis Vuitton - Trends: preppy style, military cuts and utilitarian jumpsuits.
Louis Vuitton – Trends: preppy style, military cuts and utilitarian jumpsuits.
Rick Owens - Trends: exploring animality and sensuality through costume and make-up.
Rick Owens – Trends: exploring animality and sensuality through costume and make-up.
Raf Simons - Trends: collages of inspiration, fabrics from the collection and the off-the-wall hair styles.
Raf Simons – Trends: collages of inspiration, fabrics from the collection and the off-the-wall hair styles.
Paul Smith - Trends: blazers, fringing, satin fabrics and off-the-wall prints with casual looks
Paul Smith – Trends: blazers, fringing, satin fabrics and off-the-wall prints with casual looks
Trends: printed silks and embellishments.
Valentino – Trends: printed silks and embellishments.
Kenzo - Trends: Parisian chic meets urban New York style, colorful looks and large polka dots.
Kenzo – Trends: Parisian chic meets urban New York style, colorful looks and large polka dots.
Dries Van Noten: Inspired by dancer Rudolf Nureyev and the Russian Ballet
Dries Van Noten: Inspired by dancer Rudolf Nureyev and the Russian Ballet

Top 5 Collections at Milan Menswear Fashion Week + Trends Off the Runway

With LCM behind us, Milan steps up its menswear game by giving us a number of big names to look forward to. While some brands stuck to their signatures in their new collections, others experimented. But what came to behold was the fact that unlike LCM, MFW had to offer a more subtle and an understated feel to its collections. Surely, the street style blogs are an indication that the man at those shows liked his wardrobe dapper, and while is not afraid to experiment, he would still prefer to go for normcore any day and take whatever normalcy the clothes have to offer instead of making a statement.  Some of the labels did make a statement – Vivienne Westwood – but most of the labels stuck to catering to the common man needs.

In these terms, the following five collections were fun, visually appealing and at the same time very very wearable.

Marc Jacobs

marc jacobs menswear spring summer  s/s 2015 milan

Expect the collection to be a step out of the comfort zone of the contemporary man, and be prepared to shatter those expectations. The collection was love at first sight, and while pastels dominated the other runways, we got see the emergence of a new color; flamingo pink. With the flamingo print shirt rocking the social media waves, this collection featured light tones of other colors such as blue, brown but the various shades of flamingo hues and the prints is what makes the collection stand out. It was very dapper, and effective in making a statement with the sharp suits and jackets.

Fendi

fendi menswear milan spring summer 2015 ss

Think basics. and then think individuality. Yes, functionality of the everyday wardrobe, with a hint of colors. With the common man now being on the go all the time, it only made sense to give the models earphones (A collaboration with Beats by Dre). What’s specifically summery about this collection is the relaxed fit and the footwear – sandals. With earthy, neutral tones and the basic of every menswear wardrobe, the collection featured denim, leather, wool all incorporated effectively, and stylishly, to give a youthful feel to an old men’s wardrobe. The colors were neither too dull, nor too bright, and had the effect they were aiming for; a stylish metropolitan guy you’d run into on the subway!

Gucci

gucci menswear milan spring summer ss 2015

Stripes and black and white, the Gucci show was a step away from the regular Gucci collections. But this collection appeals for it’s use of the sailor concept that executes into the way the youth of today might get into it. While a lot of people are not on board for the collection being so dull, cliched and tried, I think the collection is reaching out to the social media infested man, who would take his labels, his style, and his statement seriously, even if it is a collection defying the regular image connected with Gucci. Call it an anti-hipster mentality, but cliched is not being done by anyone else right now, and for that fact, the stripes, the sailor theme, and the black and white attire works so perfectly. And it doesn’t hurt that it was an extremely wearable collection!

Prada

prada menswear milan spring summer 2015 ss

Prada went the retro road with it’s S/S’15 collection and the result was amazing.  With denim jackets and the coats, the collection seemed like a modern form of the western attire. Yes, it was denim, but we also got to see embellishments and leather that seemed to indicate that there’s a thin line between menswear and womenswear, with the few girls thrown in to highlight it. The stripes and the plaid added to the retro vibe. But the collection itself was very adaptable to the concept it was trying to execute. And the fact that it was werable, that doesn’t hurt, does it? Because in the end, no matter what happens, and how much theatrics a collection displays, if the collection doesn’t sell, what’s the use?

Les Hommes

les hommes menswear milan spring summer ss 2015

Dark, grungy, youthful and black. With hints of yellow and grey. Yes, and the cuts of the clothes, the stripes and the prints make this collection a visual treat for someone who like his clothes tones down (me!). the collection had a very boyish vibe to it that appeals to the younger lot, and not the working man, while it might attract them too with it’s sharp suits and casual jackets, it’s essentially a modern sophisticated punk collection.

 TRENDS

stripes 

stripes menswear trends

vests 

vests menswear

earthy tones

earthy tones menswear

pink

pink menswear

yellow

yellow menswear