Milan Fashion Week: Burberry Prorsum

Without a doubt, the Burberry show is my absolute favorite thus far from Milan Fashion Week. As if the colors weren’t fantastic on their own, designer Christopher Bailey added layers of seemingly contrasting textures. But they work flawlessly together. The metallic pieces are insanely good. There’s no legitimate reason a man should ever find himself needing a pink trench coat, and yet it works perfectly.

Dear Chris,

Well done, sir. Well done.


The Mylar Minion


Femme Friday: Scarf Prints

Today’s Femme Friday focuses on one of the most colorful and exotic trends this season: scarf prints. Bright and bold, scarf prints were seen on Spring 2012 runways in dresses, blouses, blazers, and even shoes. No other design house more elegantly captured these prints than D&G.

Retailers worldwide were quick to offer easy options to incorporate scarf prints into any woman’s spring/summer wardrobe. Pairing a printed blouse or skirt with simple neutrals like white highlights this trend without being overwhelming. Accessories like bags or actual scarves are also a great way to dip your toe into the scarf print pool.

Despite today’s hot weather, look cool and stay stylish and have a very Femme Friday.

Row 1: John Zack dress via ASOS $53; Zara blouse $60 Row 2: Zara blazer $129; Lipsy dress via ASOS $96 Row 3: Gypsy 05 Belted Venus maxi via Piperlime $253; Zara shorts $80

Tosh.0 #highfashion

I think most people (at least the normal ones) can agree that the fashion industry has a tendency of taking itself a little too seriously. Sometimes we just need to step back and poke fun at ourselves. Enter Tosh.0.  This season comedian Daniel Tosh has been satirically sporting high fashion looks that have often been as ridiculous as they are expensive. To honor tonight’s final episode of #highfashion, I’ve put together a little ensemble of my own from Comme des Garçons, a designer I inexplicably love.

You may think it’s kooky and even a bit tacky. But at the end of the day, they’re just clothes, guys.

Circle pattern sport jacket $1,510; Dotted leopard shirt $525; Circle pattern bermuda short $540; Jack Purcell low top $125. All from Barneys.

Now & Then: Lanvin

The evolution of fashion is a given. Lapels get slimmer then wider again while pants are skin tight one season and almost JNCO-esque the next. But that constant tide of change is what drives re-invention and gives the industry an excitement like no other.

Headed by Creative Director Alber Elbaz, Lanvin has become one of my favorite fashion houses. It’s quintessentially French collections combine the brand’s inherent romanticism and whimsy with the edginess that permeates the streets of Paris. The men’s label, designed by Lucas Ossendrijver, showed it’s first collection for the Spring 2007 season.

I thought it might be interesting to compare Lanvin’s first spring line with its most recent, pulling my favorite looks from each and seeing how the brand has changed (and stayed the same). Think of it as a five year report card. Spoiler: it’s acing everything.

Now (left): Blues prevail while black lace up boots give a regimented feel. Bags, from duffels to portfolios, take center stage. Then (right): Trying to align itself with the women’s brand, the line is soft and relaxed. Even with almost every model wearing a tie, the collection feels casual.

Now: One of the edgiest looks of the season, the asymmetrical jacket is a favorite of mine. Then: Somehow this jumpsuit looks completely work appropriate.

Now: This jacket is killer, although I’d probably opt for pants myself. Then: The belt is the perfect update to the military jacket.

Now: The boots add a clever Parisian twist. Then: A silvery palette that worked then, still works now.

Now & Then: Both collections highlight pieces in the forget-me-not blue synonymous with Lanvin.

Now & Then: Prep isn’t the first word I’d use to describe most French runway looks, but here it’s the most appropriate.

Now: Both the collar and lapels are wide. Then: Ossendrijver opts for neither.

Now: Like so many other designers this spring season, Lanvin showed some incredible bags. Then: The line seems a bit more reserved, almost timid.

Now & Then: Lanvin has become much more playful in the last five years, stepping out and taking risks with silhouettes and materials. Where the first spring collection was well conceived and well made, it’s missing an element of surprise. It will come as no surprise, however, if the brand continues to deliver chic and progressive collections for another five years.

Joe Fresh, eh?

In honor of Toronto Fashion Week wrapping up last Friday and at the behest of a loyal Canadian follower, I decided to turn my sights north and review the Spring 2012 collection from Joe Fresh. With the brand opening its US flagship store on Fifth Avenue this month, the Canadian retailer is taking America by storm. Joe’s line, designed by Joe Mimran, offers incredibly chic and trendy clothing at affordable prices. Think H&M but better. The Spring 2012 collection is no exception.

This season’s line is almost a perfect checklist of every major trend. It’s got bright colors, bold prints, and white solids as far as the eye can see. I’m loving the blazers paired with shorts, a combination we saw time and time again on spring runways. Orange, tangerine tango to be exact, took center stage, appearing prominently in jackets and pants and accenting the soles of classic oxfords.

As Joe Fresh plans widespread expansion into the American market, expect to hear much more about the Canadian retailer.

This jacket is the color for spring and the perfect open to the collection.

The trench is great. The pants are amazing.

The toggle jacket is a flawless convergence of two trends: nautical and color.

Neutrals, clean and simple, can be incredibly chic, too.

These white pants are loose fitting and accented by a belt that perfectly pops.

There’s no endorsement I can offer for nautical that this look can’t argue better.

Green was another big color story of the season.

This yellow is anything but mellow.

This is by far my favorite printed blazer from the collection. I hope it comes with the matching loafers.

If you learn nothing else from Joe Fresh, at least swap out your suit pants for a great pair of shorts.

A ticket to the next Joe Fresh runway show (or any of Toronto Fashion Week) would be amazing. Hint.

Antonio Azzuolo

The Spring 2012 collection from Antonio Azzuolo delivers classic pieces impeccably tailored for the sun loving gentleman. Long shorts, hemmed and not, anchor trim blazers and bright anoraks. Double breasted jackets are slim, while pants are light and loose.

Azzuolo sells us summer in a clean and sophisticated package. Tan sold separately.

Nothing says summer like white pants, especially in a loose fit with a nice drape.

The short vest under the longer jacket is the perfect play on proportions. The unfinished hem of the shorts is a clever foil to this classic look. Love the tortoise shell sunglasses? Here’s a similar pair from Warby Parker.

In case you’ve been someplace without printed media, television, or the Internet, double breasted jackets are back. The new DB has been slimmed and trimmed to give every man a great shape. H&M welcomes you to the band wagon for just $60.

For the timid gents among us, a great way to diffuse a bold color is pairing it with black.

The nautical stripe is the summer pattern. The Saint James tee from J.Crew exemplifies this trend.

Anoraks are the jackets of the season. They’re lightweight, easy to throw on, and handy for those pesky pop up showers.

A hooded nylon zip up, like one from Old Navy, is a great alternative to an anorak. Just think color. Bright color.

While I don’t wear shorts myself, I can appreciate the perfect pair. Check out this offering from Express.

“Extra, extra! Twenty years after Newsies’ release, Azzuolo offers a fashionable update!”

Wear this to those half dozen summer weddings you’re getting dragged to this year. I guarantee you wont’t regret it.

Femme Friday

While listening to the Scissor Sisters recently, I couldn’t help but remember the collection that had prompted my love affair with the band: D&G Spring 2007. This is arguably one of D&G’s wilder collections, not that I’m not applauding it. In fact, I think it’s incredible. The zebra prints, fluorescent tights, corsets, and spiked heels combine to create an army of Mad Max neon vixens marching down the runway, ribbons in tow. It works. I don’t know how, but it works. And the entire trek is set to the undeniably catchy “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” by the Scissor Sisters.

I know I’m straying from my menswear roots, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. A gentleman doesn’t discriminate. This one’s for you, ladies.

Watch the entire show here, although the quality leaves something to be desired.

A General Idea

When I first saw the Fall 2011 collection from General Idea last February, I was admittedly not familiar with the brand. The Korean menswear label immediately grabbed me with its ingenius mix of high fashion and practicality. The line was a refreshing blend of traditional plaids and khakis with clever outerwear and re-interpreted camo prints. And while the collection was clearly design oriented, everything seemed surprisingly wearable.

Fast forward to the Spring 2012 show and the same can still be said. Bright colors are paired with bold stripes and muted neutrals. The use of color is often brazen but never overwhelming. The jackets are ridiculous, in a good way, eliciting thoughts of lounging on a sail boat off some beautiful coastline. But make no mistake, the ship has definitely not sailed on General Idea.

This color blocked jacket sets the tone for the entire collection.

I love the stripes and the mix of blues is simple but really smart.

I fully endorse a good tie tuck, especially when said tie is bright orange.

While the jacket and pink collar are exceptional, the neon belt is a perfect pop of color.

This is not your typical nautical. It’s better. I can’t get over those jeans and belt (as I Google “neon cord”).

Before I saw this collection, I wasn’t an orange person. Mea culpa.

These colors pair perfectly together; one doesn’t overpower the other.

Keep an eye on General Idea as it continues to do everything right.