Tag Archives: Menswear

Evolution as a Person and Its Projection Through Fashion

When we’re growing up, we rarely see the things that we experience as changing us to our cores. But at the same time, our cores remain the same. I think it is very essential to evolve as a human being. You cannot just stay at one point in your life and not see the ability to grow into something better, or sometimes worse, over time. Time passes, so should we. With the passage of time, so should our skins, and we should allow ourselves to evolve.

Evolution is inevitable if one needs to progress in life. That phase of monotony, where everything is just how it is, and a person is doing the same thing over and over, it’s just so…stagnant. To be able to absorb the world, as it keeps on shifting, and the incorporating the desired and needed changes in one’s self is what keeps us afloat as humans. To evolve is human. And evolution is necessary to survive.

In fashion, this very well may be called adapting to the trends. But who makes these trends? Who calls the shots? If we look at the various designers and labels, we see how it happens. Inspiration, Creativity, Work, and Individuality account for all the things that make one person’s work stand apart from another’s and evolve on it’s own.

We saw YSL do it in his time. If you’ve seen the new biopic based on his life, we see how over time, YSL evolved as a human being and it translated into his work. Similarly, this is what Karl Lagerfeld is doing to Chanel. He’s making an age old label relevant in today’s time. Thanks to the human ability to evolve, fashion is evolving. If it weren’t for the ability of these people to grow as humans, we would never see fashion grow. And we’d never have the Moschino that Jeremy Scott is giving us. This is what Christopher Bailey is doing to Burberry, and Hedi Slimane is doing with YSL. They’re letting the labels they work for, evolve. Evolve to be relevant, evolve to be human.

Hedi Slimane did to YSL what can clearly be aimed at the label’s inclination to appeal to the instagram addicted youth of today.

Sure, anyone can make the staples, or the little black dress, but to turn a piece of clothing into a work of art; that is what these people have been doing. And along with the evolution that they’ve been going through, they’ve held on to the things that make them stand out, thus creating their signatures.

In Pakistan, we have seen the new age designers such as Akif Mehmood, Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeshan evolve into something that speaks volumes of their artistic growth. The veterans, Mahin Khan, Rizwan Beyg, Sana Safinaz, etc have all proved how their labels have evolved into something that’s their signature.

Ali Xeeshan
Ali Xeeshan

Similiary, we have our style icons. Surely they didn’t get to their lime-lightened spots because they were able to be great and awesome from the start. They evolved! Alexa Chung, The Blonde Salad, Adam Gallagher, Rihanna, Blake Lively etc are living examples of how fashion evolves as the human beings evolve. It just shows.

Growth is regardless of age. It happens even when the bones stop growing, but the mind absorbs. The mind’s ability to let the human being create something out of it is amazing. In fashion, this is how we get great collections every year.

Even if we look at ourselves, as fashion bloggers or fashionistas, we see that with the passage of time, our wardrobes evolve into this huge projection of how we feel and what we have become. As we grow and change, so do our wardrobes.

If it weren’t for the human ability to evolve, we’d be stuck at a point where everyone would look the same, feel the same because they’d be donning the same. And a true fashionista would never let that happen, right? So one just HAS to evolve. Fashion, and life, call for it.

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

5 Innovative Collections at London Collections Men + Trends From LCM

London Colletions Men kicks off the menswear shows of the season and we always see the aristocratic, elegant and gentlemanly collections that we expect LCM to show. But along with that, there are some collections who make things a little more fun, and present to us an imagery the world takes as a granted part of menswear. If there’s anything that LCM proves, is that the man of today is not afraid to take risk, be artistic and make his wardrobe a cool place of envy.

I present my list of the collections that did just that. Unusual collections with a side to them that’s creative conceptualization translated in its best form.

KATIE EARY: Peace Out!

Katie Eary S/S'15 LCM London Spring Summer London 2014 2015

Taking a whole new spin at the 70′s, Katie Eary’s S/S’15 collection featured a colorful world of the cowboy who just might not be into bull riding, but prefers peace over anything. And along with peace, is into an array of colors; preferably sunset. Ombre hues of the sun dominated the tops, and the patterns seem to take inspiration from the sea creatures; with fish skeletons and fins. Don’t forget the cowboy staple; denim. yes, people like that exist, it’s not always about following your ancestors and traditions, we can take two cultures and mix them up to create harmony; and in the collection’s case, something beautiful!

*****

Xander Zhou: Hormonal Balance

Xander Zhou S/S'15 LCM Summer Spring London 2015

With a dark collection, Xander Zhou maintained a simple aesthetic appeal to a probable manic collection that was down to earth and spoke volumes with the designs. It was a collection meant for the young adult, with all the hormones raging in, and the obsession with pop culture. But how it differs is the interpretation in a dark way. It was in short, a dark depiction of the years where one is going through so much psychological evolution, it’s dark and bright at the same time. And the glitter seemed to depict the fun times, even though it was shades of dark rage.

*****

SIBLING: Fitting In By Making Space

Sibling S/S'15 LCM Summer Spring London 2015

Another one of the collections aimed at the young mind, but putting a different spin  on it. Sibling’s S/S’15 collectiona was an ode to the effed up mind of a teenager where fitting in is hard when you are so different. But it gave a message that it is ok if you are weird, be yourself and you’ll be beautiful. It’s all about embracing the ugly, and sticking to your beliefs. It’s ok to rebel and not be a part of the crowd. While the message came out strong in weird stringy silhouettes and the graphic skeleton prints and the bone necklaces, the collection was aimed at a more sickly part of young adult life where punk rules, and in an absolutely deconstructed, ripped up way; just like life itself.

*****

MAN: Childhood Collage of Memories

MAN S/S'15 LCM Spring Summer 2015 London

We know it is three designers that present in a single show. But what we need to know is how beautifully the concepts merge into each other. With MAN’s focus being on childhood memories since long, this collection was an ode to the collage infested walls of our rooms from childhood memories, with stickers on our backpacks. And in these backpacks, we pack our memories of youth and take to the metropolitans of the world where we get lost in the fine patterns of the buildings. But hey, Bobby Abley knows we have everything on iTunes and DVD, so why not go watch The Little Mermaid and relive those memories from our childhood?

*****

Christopher Shannon: Filling the Empty Gaps

Christopher Shannon S/S'15 Spring LCM Summer London 2015 2014

While our dads read newspapers, all we did was make words out of headlines and the mashed up versions of the fonts got engraved in our heads. Then we came up with fonts mixing it all and gave it all to the digital world to use. With a laid back attitude to one’s life where everything just comes along and happens, it leaves emtpy spaces to be filled by one’s own mind. Christopher Shannon’s S/S’15 collection was an ode to the time when windows were open and small was big, and innocence prevailed. The loose shirts and the long shorts exude an easy breezy vibe, that is reminiscent of childhood summers.

Now that I look at the collections, I notice how youth and childhood seems to be such a common theme among them all. I think nobody grows out of their memories, and somehow is looking for a way to express something close to their hearts. Also, it is a great market move. Nowadays, social media has made the ability to have it all in reach of youngsters, and the bigger consumers of the day are them. So it only seems right to target them. Sure, you can wear a suit and look dapper, but can you make a statement. With so many social hierarchies and divisions, it only makes sense to target the underdogs, the people who are different and don’t conform to the norms.

 TRENDS

White Footwear

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Lose Silhouettes

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Denim

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Single Breasted Jackets

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White

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TrendiLike: The Short Suit

Shorts are summer essential. And what menswear has now the option to go for is the Short Suit. Basically it’s just a suit where the pants are replace by the shorts. It something that seems unconventional but when worn, looks pretty good. Yes, it seems like a weird thing at first, but come on! So much is happening in menswear, you gotta give this a try too!

While girls have had the option to go for skirts with their jackets, now men can flaunt those toned calves in their Short Suit!

How cool!

On Masculinity and Feminine Menswear

With the progression of media to a point where freedom of expression is encouraged and it is considered OK to embrace your sensitive side, men would bound to have touched upon their softer side. This closeness to their inner selves, their feelings and their wounds is coming out not only in words, art and their conversations, but it is also a huge part of fashion. In the modern world, the real man cries, the real man dances, the real man sings, and the real man can do whatever a woman can. If femininity’s values are changing, so are values of masculinity. Men are now more in touch with their softer sides. This very well translates into the fashion of today’s men.

Feminine

It’s 2014 and things have got to change a little bit, if not all the time. With the passage of time, trends also pass, cuts fade away and hemlines find new ways to adapt themselves to whatever suits the eye. Women have had a lot of freedom when it comes to their fashion. Even so that back in the 60′s was when YSL introduced the women’s trouser suit, taking inspiration from the men. While men, when tried to take inspiration from women back in the day were dubbed sissy and god knows what else.  thank god for the time span. For now, things are progressing for menswear.

With Milan, Paris and London having dedicated menswear fashion weeks, it’s only natural that the menswear industry would evolve into something that will cater to man’s any desire. One of them desire being able to opt for, what one might call, feminine menswear.  Yes, men have now started adopting womenswear trend and pieces into their own wardrobes and nobody’s stopping them. the modern man, the metro man, is someone who is bold enough to wear whatever he likes, even if it is pink. GQ openly declared:

Real Men Wear Pink

and rightly so they do. Times have come when wearing pink is normal for a man, even hot pink. And it has come to the point where skirts have come into trend and be known as the man skirt. Men have the freedom to even go for animal prints, a print notoriously bimbo (no offense intended). Men now wear brooches, don capes and scarves in public and some even have high heeled/high soled shoes in their shoe racks.

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Floral is one of the trends that used to be feminine to the core, but now the cores are changing. As floral is one of the major trend waves this year. While women had the freedom to wear our jeans and call them boyfriend jeans, and wear whatever they liked out of our itinerary, men now have the freedom to go after whatever they like. Surely, a ball gown will be worn by a woman at a ball, but having sequined lapels in your tux helps go with the feminine side of formal wear. Men can now don laces, and laced jackets actually look good.

kaleidoscopic-fashion-editorials

Men now need not feel ashamed to step out in a bright neon pair of pants. Whatever fun you made of the boy bands and the rock stars for their style, well, it’s high time you felt sorry, because leather pants are ruling the menswear runways.  Because this is what the men of today wear, will wear and won’t stop wearing. And as Miley Cyrus so aptly put it “We can’t stop.”

The Lost Case of Androgyny – Arsalan Iqbal at PSFW

Lets be honest, there never really was any, androgyny out in the Pakistani fashion scene.  Sure, there’s a picture of Fia Sofia and Rubia Butt trying to look like a man. But that won’t make the cut for androgyny.  With androgyny, we mean Tilda Swinton, and David Bowie, and that girl from Katy Perry’s lyric video of Unconditionally where the model looks like Leo DiCap. So you see, it’s a very tricky thing to handle, this androgyny, and when it comes to creating a collection that makes use of such elements, one is treading on thin ice. It’s delicate, and if you slip, you drown. Sure, using androgynous looking models can work, but lets be honest, where do we have that in Pakistan?

arsalan iqbal cargwar psfw pfdc

So it came as a genuine surprise that the menswear designer Arsalan Iqbal decided to walk on this ice, and that too while making his debut as a womenswear designer as well. He was at the same time, debuting at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, so it needed to be a collection that left its mark. And with the concept as such, his Cargwar collection dealt with androgyny and true to the meaning of Cargwar, utility. Utility was an essential part of the collection. And the theme of Odysseus and the concept of it was very artsy.

When I first saw the collection on the ramp, i was left confused and my initial reaction was a direction away from the collection. It took me some time to digest all the monotony of the collection. But this confusion lead me to think a lot about the collection. And as I went through the details of it, is when I understood how truly androgynous the collection really was. The lowers and the upper pieces, when dissected as separates, made it clear how well conceptualized the collection was. It was made for anyone, any girl, and any boy. It had the ability to be worn by both sexes, and it exuded a sort of mysteriousness one would associate with androgyny. White is the perfect colour for that and it was the dominant one in the collection.

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The lowers, worn by guys and girls alike and all their various forms; jodhpurs, harem pants, shalwars etc are more in focus for me, as the way they were designed, it kind of resonates with the hipster approach I have towards fashion. It’s skinny, it’s loose, and it’s essentially unique. We rarely get such kinds of lowers in Pakistan for the guys, and even the girls, i assume!

Another factor that got me inclined a lot towards the collection was the use of metallic studs and the rivets. Nothing speaks Punk more than studs/spikes on clothes, and gives of a careless attitude, and along with that, adds a youthful sense to the clothes. It’s good to see designers focusing on the youthfulness of clothes. Yes, the business man has always known to pay to look good, but in this gadget infested youth of today, individuality and labels make a huge part of their lives, and the House of Arsalan Iqbal is catering to us with this collection. As for the older people, you can always go with the tops.

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Another thing that the collection highlighted a lot of was the footwear. Man! It was breaking my heart, it was THAT good!

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So you see, with a grown fashion industry I am sure that we will get more and more collections that can sell and stick to a theme. With collections as monotonous yet so diverse in characteristic as this, here’s hoping the Pakistani menswear industry grows beyond the staples!

Ramp Images Courtesy: Fasisal Farooqi and his team at Dragonfly

My First Ever Feature in Links à la Mode: Style Surfing

Hi Guys!

So my blog post, Existentialism and Fashion in Pakistan got featured at Independent Fashion Bloggers’ weekly top links round up! This is my first ever Links à la Mode: Feature and I am so happy!

Here is the overview of it all. Make sure you check out other great bloggers that they featured!

lalam0605

Style Surfing

Summer is officially here. Well, not technically… but it’s still here. Headed to the beach this weekend? Going on holiday? Have you broken out your sandals and sunscreen? Yeah, summer. What to wear? How to take care of your youthful skin? Wedding season’s here… do you know how to dress for the occassion? Well, if you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. This week, we have a wonderful roundup of great summer themed fashion posts and a couple of other fun (and a few serious) tidbits. So grab your iced tea, and sit down for some good summer reading.

Links à la Mode: June 5th

SPONSOR: East Dane Sale, Watches, Loake, & Weitzman, Mcpherson, True Religion, Lolli Swim, Men’s Minkoff, DM Art, Apolis & Havaianas

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.
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outfit – nature

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Floral love. I think tropical prints exude a very vacation like feel. But floral has this classy modern feel to it that I love a lot.

look

Here i am donning something that’s fun, light yet I like to retain my signature, and how can i forget my boots. I love my boots!

Here’s a picture collage of some things I find in my backyard.

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Existentialism and Fashion in Pakistan

Lately I have been too obsessed with existentialism. I am learning that all I have learnt, and all my beliefs have a single word to explain it all, and that word is Existentialism. Well, I’m not gonna delve into the feelings I’m evoking in myself when I learn more and more about it, but since I tend to think a lot about fashion, i was left wondering where do we get existentialism in Pakistani fashion? Does one even need to think about fashion from this point of view, specially in a country where fashion came to the news front only a few years ago?

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Yes, we do need to think about existentialism in fashion. A brand or a designer or a label is known for their aesthetics, their beliefs; their signature in short, conforms to their existentialist beliefs, whether they see it or not. There is something in the soul of the collection that translates into being something more than clothes, more than stitches, and more than fashion. It’s how fashion becomes art, and it’s how this form of art retains a strong root to it’s founding ideas. It takes some designers years to come to terms with what they have been feeling all along and perfect the stroke of the fashion illustration, whereas some designers are quick to catch up to their true selves. While some just keep evolving where experimentation pays off.

The veterans of our fashion industry seem to have nailed the whole signature thing. They have learnt to embrace that some things and design senses will remain their own and to each his/her own. And it’s an important part of existentialism. To know your individuality, and embracing the differences of others from you and learning to love the diverse environment. Ego only gets in the way of it. Which we have seen getting in the way, but you see, things are slowly changing.

You see, existentialism deals with being. With exuding your insides towards the outside. Being true to yourself. And in the process, it is necessary to know who you really are.  If you know who you are, you will know what you want. If you will know what you want and where you wanna go, it will translate into your work. But it is similarly important to know what you don’t want and where you don’t wanna go. And it translates very well into the collections a designer produces. It is only natural to be inspired and evolve into something better. But it is also very necessary to know who YOU ARE, and not take the directions others took. It is very very easy to be confused and deceived along the way. And it shows in the clothes you create. It shows how confused you are, and how lost your direction is. It shows how desperately you are in need of yoga/meditation/therapy.

I have talked about the veterans, but I believe the new crop of designers, courtesy of fashion weeks, displays a strong sense of self esteem. The young crop of designers have this sense of self awareness that one craves for, like something much more than the surface and something deep and pure. They know where they stand, in terms of their art and skill, and know how to hone themselves accordingly. And the most amazing thing is the support they have for each other. It’s a great aspect of creating a community where individualism and creative expression is promoted and being one’s self is appreciated.

Existentialism is in fact, a huge part of fashion, if one sees it that way. While some might not even bother to notice, it can in fact make or break a designer. It is very important to know who you are,  where you stand, and what you want with yourself, not with your clothes/collection. It is really necessary to know all of this, else you’ll end up making clothes one will be bound to say are unstructured garments just out of politeness.