Tuesday, June 19, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--Etro

Kean Etro set aside the traditional paisley of the Etro house and instead focused on an Asian-influenced collection, called Natura Manifesta, with kimono silhouettes and obi waist wraps for his SS '19 collection at Milano Moda Uomo (Etro has a very Eastern-inspired sensibility...he is a seeker with a metaphysical bent--just look here at his FW '17-'18 collection based on the psychedelic and metaphysical allegorical novel MOUNT ANALOGUE by René Daumal).

A bamboo-stalk-and-leaf motif woven into fabrics signaled the fact that many of the garments are made of spun bamboo. There is interest not only at Etro but also on a global scale in sustainable materials. "Bamboo is virulent, infestate! You don’t need water to grow it. And hemp! We should go for these fibers, and we do. I don’t know why cotton was chosen—it’s not cotton’s fault, it’s humanity’s fault," Etro said at the show while the website confirms, "The word sustainability immediately refers back to love: love of Nature, pure love, the love that’s deeply rooted inside each one of us, something that’s primitive and ancestral, close to our origins. First and foremost, a way of 'feeling' that should be transformed into 'action', for companies, too."

Garments were colored with natural dyes made from beetroot and coffee. In addition to the bamboo material, he also showed pieces made from nettle, raffia, hemp, and linen as well as sandals of cane woven in the style of Viennese canework. It's a beautiful sentiment made manifest in a beautiful collection...but I confess, I do miss the paisley just a little...


BEAUTY: Clothing--Pal Zileri

Pal Zileri's new creative director Rocco Iannone (this is only his second outing), showed a glorious, easy-to-wear, yet sumptuous SS '19 collection at Milano Moda Uomo that proves that today's streetwear style is tomorrow's discount rack. I'm so tired of the athleisure/streetwear/sportswear obsession and it must stop. Truly, because just look at this lovely, loosely tailored collection that feels as if it could be dressed up or worn as shown in a sort of, almost--dare I say it--Romantic sense, like one is lounging in a Pre-Raphaelite painting. Now, this is what one wears for spring.

The show itself sounds wonderfully relaxing and refreshing as well. Vogue's Nick Remsen said that Iannone "staged a tranquil outdoor Spring show in the annex of the Museo Diocesano on Corso di Porta Ticinese. A choir, seated centered on a gold-foil platform, enriched the recorded soundtrack. The models walked languidly. The sun shone and the Milanese swallows skittered overhead." What a perfect description of the kind of place one would wish to wear these clothes...like sipping a Campari and soda on a loggia overlooking a Tuscan valley as the sun sets... the draped lightweight sweaters, the brocade and jacquard jackets, the floating striped trousers (I adore a striped trouser), the gorgeous fringed sandals, the understated yet beautiful insect pins on lapels, and oh, may I please draw your attention to the STUNNING corded belt with long tassels (Looks 8 and 18). I simply have to have that belt...


Monday, June 18, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--Billionaire

Billionaire is not, how should I say, my cup of tea. The brand is owned and run by over-swaggering, toxically masculine, blowhard/braggart Phillip Plein and is as ostentatious and hollowly showy as he is, but damn it, they cast almost exclusively mature models. And for that reason alone, here is the Billionaire Spring Summer '19 collection from Milano Moda Uomo, a fantasia of mature men checking into The Billioanire Hotel and heading down to the pool or spa. In Plein's mind, this Billionaire Hotel is based on the Hotel Bel-Air in L.A., hence the palm tree motifs on the clothing. As gaudy goes, I suppose it's not so bad--there are some very nice suits on display here. But just look at the handsome models representing any man over 30! Thanks Plein and thank models for showing that age is not something to be avoided or ignored.


BEAUTY: Clothing--Robert Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli's twenty-five-year old son Robert has started his own label, Triple RRR, which debuted this winter at Pitti Uomo. With fashion in his blood, he seems a natural to create clothing. While this lookbook for his Spring Summer '19 collection does not show anything groundbreaking or avant-garde, I give him kudos for trying to steer clothing away from the dreadful, bland "athleisure" and streetwear trend of late. I love that his casual wear does not reference sports but instead a kind of decadent, pajama-esque lounge wear. His use of burn-out velvet on jackets and coats resembling bathrobes only supports this rakish ideal.

He also pays tribute to his roots, not only in the name of his brand (R for Roberto his father, R for Robert, himself, and a final R for the brand) but in the prints he created featuring photos of his famous designer father and his mother Eva. One shirt even says "VOTE FOR EVA," a reference to when she was a finalist in the 1977 Miss Universe contest. Elsewhere, he brings in the kind of animal print beloved by his father and several images of horses, a play on his last name which means "horses" in Italian. "I AM A HORSES BABY!"

I can't find a site for the brand.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--MP Massimo Piombo

Moving on to our next stop for fashion season: Italy for Milano Moda Uomo.

When I last featured the work of designer Massimo Piombo here, the collection's silhouette was a mash up of Indian kurtas with Western blazers and jackets. And for his SS '19 collection at Milano Moda Uomo, he headed off in the same direction. An inveterate global traveler with a love for the exotic, Piombo set up a mustachioed, cowboy-adjacent character wearing black leather engineer boots in loose kurtas block-printed with Indian florals, or wearing and holding pashminas. It's kind of what summer is all about, really: vacationing in exotic locales and soaking up the beauty of another culture. I love the kurtas, and if a man in a horseshoe belt and motorcycle boots wants to wear one, more power to him!


BEAUTY: Clothing--M1992

A newer label, M1992 is headed by creative director Dorian Tarantini and for his Spring Summer 2019 collection, he made a bold statement about our planet and the climate. Concern for the ocean (plastic pollution, petroleum pollution, changing oceanic temperatures, etc.), and a speculative meditation on the future of our current trajectory gave rise to a very dark vision that melded surfer wear with a dark, frightening sensibility. Shirts printed with the flaming word "OIL," oil rig platforms, and a businessman in chest deep water were set off by neoprene wet suits as everyday wear, something we will need if we are to live with the rising waters of climate change. The collection can be broken down into wearable pieces now, but ultimately, it is a heavy, sarcastic, warning statement.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--The Style of Pitti Uomo

The twice-yearly trade show Pitti Uomo wrapped up in Florence yesterday and the attendees of the this global fashion gathering are often as or more interestingly dressed than the clothing inside the venue, the Fortezza da Basso. I love to see the "street style" of people in the fashion industry, to see how they take key pieces from runways and collections to incorporate them into an everyday look.

The Italian style is to be impeccably dressed, and while there were many men who followed this snappy tradition, a more Bohemian, artistic, eclectic look has made great headway, with Western wear, Hawaiian shirts, and a mix of expected masculine elements like khaki and camouflage.

Photos below by Gianluca Senese via Vogue.com

Photos below by Kuba Dabrowski for WWD.com

BEAUTY: Clothing--Craig Green at Pitti Uomo

Pitti Uomo wrapped up yesterday in Florence, and while it has been primarily known as a trade show for the fashion industry, the organizers have been adding more and more events and runway shows.

And for this Pitti Uomo, the headline guest designer was Craig Green (previously here). Green has a penchant for cords, ties, and ropes as well as cobbled-together sculptures from scrap wood and fabric that he straps to the fronts or backs of his models. But the near-ecclesiastical sparseness and Zen-simplicity of his garments belies the larger concepts beneath them. He regularly cites the ideas of deconstructing the masculinity of war and conflict, of the juxtaposition of protection and safety (his sculptures often resemble armour or wards) with vulnerability, and of seeking a more spiritual, higher level of functioning in this world.

Made in collaboration with Nike (Green used the high-strength, lightweight material Nike uses for its Flyknit line), the collection was inspired in part by the unsung heroes of our everyday lives. "I’d been looking at cleaners, surgeons, and postmen. They’re the people who have your life in their hands. There was that forgotten savior idea. I liked the idea that people could become angels in their lives by working hard and doing good," said Green. This could explain the cutout silhouettes of people following some of the models. A few of the ensembles resemble not only the simplistic, perhaps monastic garments of the past but also surgical scrubs. But there seems to be a split happening about halfway through the collection with the front halves of ensembles made of the Flyknit material while the back of the garment shifts at the seam into a soft, shimmery, floating statement. The human silhouette flips forward with diagrams of what look like energy lines in the spirit body. These energetic lines dissolve and in their place is an expression of the radiance of pure force from a central point. Green eventually morphs the collection into a transcendent moment with full-length tabards (or blankets!) held together with rope and overprinted with deep, shifting patterns in which one can make out Renaissance angels. Green said, "I thought they looked like a portal, a doorway, an escape to a better place...Sometimes the worst nightmare is reality."


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--Misc. London Fashion Week Men's

Here is a wrap-up of some miscellaneous details I found interesting during the SS '19 shows at London Fashion Week Men's:

E. Tautz's Patrick Grant showed a collection inspired by the dignity of workers and trade unions. Long a supporter of British manufacturing, spinning and weaving, Grant put slogans from historical British labor movements on shirts...slogans such as "MY FATHER WAS A TEXTILE WORKER," "GIVE ME A FUTURE," and a black skull from an 1848 Punch magazine cartoon calling attention to low-paid, downtrodden garment workers; the number "2 1/2" next to the skull was the sweatshop labor payouts at the time, in pence. Fittingly, the show took place at the headquarters of the TUC Trades Union Congress near Covent Garden.

And now...SHOES!

Martine Rose showed some slick, square-toed loafers in a variety of materials...

But the best of the crop were Charles Jeffrey's fantastic striped, laced, and strapped platform loafers in a ton of colors...and if they are too flashy, they come in a classic somber grey as well... hee hee...
I've been hankering for some platforms for a while...and Robyn fueled my hankering!