>NY FASHION WEEK PREVIEW: THE MEN’S SCENE – WHAT ARE MENSWEAR DESIGNERS THINKING?

5 Sep

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Ever since QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY hit the airwaves on the Bravo Chanel in 2003, designers have had some preposterous ideas about how men should be dressing.
After reading ABE GURKO’S post on www.imeanwhat.com, I’m wondering WHY talented designers such as BERNARD WILHELM and CONSUELO CASTIGLIONI FOR MARNI show styles that make a guy look as if he’s auditioning for a remake of one of MEL GIBSON’S “HOLY GRAIL” movies.
Next-up for a lashing with a wet noodle, is THOM BROWNE. Why oh WHY does he think anyone other than MAYBE ALAN CUMMINS would think it’s cool to go out in public in a suit that looks like something British public school boys were forced to wear throughout little boyhood and puberty?

Most men, want to look “suave and debonaire” as my ex-brother-in-law aptly put it. That brings to mind CARY GRANT [on and off-screen] and JAMES BOND [any of the actors – as long as he’s clad to combat evil in a SAVILLE ROW SUIT].
To verify my opinion, I asked a variety of professional men who THEY think looks great and whose look they’d like to have.

The short list I came-away with is the first installment of TheFE’s best-dressed list.
GUYS ON TheFE’s BEST DRESSED LIST
George Clooney
Leonardo DiCaprio
Hugh Jackman
Bradley Cooper
Jude Law
Brad Pitt
Will Smith
Any & all James Bonds
Cary Grant
Fashion Consultant, Robert Burke
Neiman’s Ken Downing
The Miami Sun-Sentinel’s Rod Hagwood

FORTUNTATELY, THERE ARE DESIGNERS OUT THERE WHO UNDERSTAND THAT THE MAJORITY OF MEN WANT TO LOOK GOOD BUT ARE NOT WILLING TO BE CONFUSED FOR ACTORS ON THEIR WAY TO A PERIOD MOVIE SET.
By “looking good” there ‘s a BROAD RANGE, going from the preppy NAUTICA and PERRY ELLIS style to a relaxed hipster look by
Academy of Art collective collection featuring designs by Louie Llewellyn ( M.F.A. Men’s Wear Design), and Xiang Zhang (M.F.A. Knitwear Design.
I sat in my office applauding these two, after reading the preview article on www.titansandcompany.com.
This capsule collection has it ALL: creative vision, craft, and market appeal.
The article states,” together they have built splendid pieces focused on the concept of ‘disagreement’ between the very basic yet demanding hard nature of menswear designs and the very language of soft fabrics such as knits.”
IN EVERYDAY SPEAK – LLEWELLYN & ZHANG have PRODUCED A LINE OF pieces that feature hard geometric lines softened with hand-rendered knits. The result, the article concludes “is a cross between Rick Owens and cult retailer Oak NYC”.
So, now maybe, just maybe, thanks to Llewellyn and Zhang, will have some new stylish and easy-to-wear options for spring. Retailers – take note!

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY’S s/s2011 show is next Saturday night, September 11.

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