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The past few days, New York has been host to a variety of designers from around the world and their offerings for spring/summer menswear. The runway was host to a number of styles as always, traditional menswear, contemporary, even avant-garde. The new kid on the block at this NYMFW was the streetwear style. Streetwear has always been closely linked to high fashion, with pieces from designers always being incorporated into streetwear outfits. However, streetwear has never taken its own spot on the runway the same way it did this week.
American brand John Elliott + Co presented their second ever runway collection, with their first being fall/winter NYFW. Among fashion boards and forums, John Elliott + Co is known for making basic, but high quality pieces. Though popular and essential to streetwear, many wondered how such a seemingly simple brand could manifest itself on the runway. With a simple and solid fall/winter show, Elliott was off to a decent start. The question was; how could he expand on this for his next show while staying true to his signature basic style? Running Through Vietnam, Elliott’s S/S 2016 menswear collection, was given as an answer. The models came out, dressed in greys and muted earth tones. Rugged military style jackets, vests, and shirts adorned with pockets were the first layer in many looks. Running thermals and athletic hoodies accompanied them. Sweat drenched the faces of every model. Green bandannas were tied around necks. The immediate impression given by the collection was that it did in fact take place in Vietnam. The earthiness and raggedness of the show connected what the Vietnam War truly was; dirty, grimey, and fought by soldiers who were sick and tired. Though the military inspiration was obvious, it was not the military inspiration seen in the collections of Balmain. It was not from the view of the general, but rather the footsoldier.
The New York-based Public School made a strong appearance in order to defend their home turf. As with their past collections, the S/S 2016 show from the brand displayed extreme minimalism. A simple but tasteful palette of black, white, and navy were perfect choices for the large amounts of color blocking. The only deviations from the solid colors present were several plaid shirts, mostly hidden under outer layers, and a simple line grid pattern. A faint shininess was almost always visible on the traditional blazers, youthful bomber jackets, and modernistic double-zip fleeces which served as the collection’s outerwear. The contrast of shirts buttoned to the neck and blazers against flat brim baseball hats and loose bomber jackets showed the mixing of streetwear and traditional menswear that much of both high fashion and streetwear seem to be undergoing. With several blazer looks, thick-soled high top sneakers were used to further this idea. Twitter and Instagram famous teenage model Luka Sabbat was featured in the show, giving the message that the youth of this newest generation do desire to involve themselves with, influence, and innovate fashion. Public School has shown that fashion is getting ready to move itself with the next generation.
Robert Geller, like Public School and John Elliott + Co, is based in the US. Though unlike the two, Geller has always designed runway shows and has had little-to-none involvement in streetwear. Though he stuck to his high fashion roots, Geller did incorporate several standout pieces which displayed streetwear elements. First, athletic shorts with an elastic waistband seemed almost out of place paired with a loose, drapey coat and flowing shirt. Shortly after, a quarter zip hooded vest appears, and can be noted as the only zipper displayed in the collection. The vest is made of a technical fleece material and appears in contrast to the silky flow of the rest of the collection. Besides these two articles, the models are curiously draped in billowing trousers, similarly flowing shirts, low-cut tees, and baggy outerwear. High waisted pants, sashes, and belts cut across midsections of loose fabrics to create what appears to be a feminine silhouette. Footwear carried this feminine element as well, single strap shoes were given large windows on the tops and were worn without socks. Tall grey hats, reminiscent of World War II military helmets, cover the heads and shadowed the eyes of models, contributing the androgyny of the show. Containing both youthful elements of street style and breaking gender confinements assigned to men, Geller’s collection proved itself to be forward and refreshing.
When it comes to men’s swimwear, there has always been a wide variety of styles or each season. The multitudes of oceanic menswear choices are out there, but then it comes down to what you are comfortable in and what looks good on you. For most women, “beach season” is a stressful annual event that consists of trying on endless bathing suits, trying to find one that inspires confidence on the shore and at poolside. However, finding a great guy’s bathing suit can also have its issues.
Since the average man is not built like one of the Greek Gods, sometimes choosing a new swimsuit will also come with a few physical issues, as well as the need to be comfortable and functional. Take this set of men’s swimsuits from the well known design house of Versace. Even though the white suit on the left has built-in ruching to keep the fabric from being one-dimensional and too revealing, the style is just too diaper-ish for my taste and I’m sure that it is much pricier than a box of Huggies. Now, while the swim suit on the right is still a “closer to the body” style with a shorter rise, the black and white bold geometric design is a nice modern pattern that has some “camouflaging” capabilities.
Next, is a set of swimwear by HM. The board short and lifeguard-style trunks has always been a popular choice because you get a lot of coverage, as well as having the functionality of the ability to join in on summer sports and activities like beach volleyball, a poolside barbeque, or pulling up a table at your favorite harbor side restaurant. This style of beachwear doubles as shorts when you add a t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops. I like the bold blue plaid with the longer inseam a little better because it has a more versatile look, but some men may like the increased movement of the shorter leg length that comes with the orange HM swimsuit on the right.
While suits have been around for ages, you’d be surprised to learn just how many different styles of them are available, from the obvious in terms of colors to the not-so-obvious subtle differences in cuts. Some suits may always be in style, but if you want to really stay ahead of the fashion trends and formal menswear, the following are THE styles of suits for the (hopefully) hot, sweltering summer of 2015:
Neutral colors are anything BUT boring. If your personal tastes for menswear tends to gravitate towards neutral colors, you’re in luck. Beige and creamy colors are in, including nude tones as well. Because they’re quite light in appearance, these colors give off a fresh look that’s perfect for a warm summer’s day. Plus, you can experiment with them and wear white dress shoes or casual summer sneakers.
No, that’s not a tongue twister. Redish-pink hue suits are in for the summer of 2015. The only thing is to go completely uniform in it, so make sure that pants and the jacket both match. It’s not only eye-catching, but it allows you to play around with some striped pattern dress shirts under the jacket. Our recommendation: a white and black checkered shirt. Even a traditional white dress shirt with a black tie gives off a sharp, yet casual appearance.
Blue is the New Black
Unlike the TV series, for mens suits, BLUE is the new black when it comes to menswear in the Summer of 2015. What blue offers that black doesn’t are the sheer number of variations in color tones that can accompany it. You have a multitude of more options to chose from, and you also can play around with more patterns. Black suits will always be in no matter what, but blue is certainly the more trendier of the two right now, and when you see the sheer amount of options you have with it, you’ll understand why.
Separate But Solid Color Schemes
This trend is simple but still lets your personality shine forth. All you have to do is make sure that every piece of your suit is a different, yet solid color, from your pants to your dress shirt to your jacket to your tie. You could have four different colors if you prefer, it doesn’t matter. You’ll really be able to mix and match and see what you feel comfortable with, all while being extremely fashionable.
Silhouettes and Casual Suits
There’s been more of a focus on being comfortable during the hot months this year. We all know how hot you can feel in suits at times, even during the winter, so if that really seems to bother you, you’ll be happy to know that silhouettes are now not only becoming a standard for those who live next to the beach, but also for those attending various workplace meetings. If silhouettes just don’t do it for you, you can try pants that go down to just below your knee, various sporty jackets, or low cut dress shoes / sandals.
As the weather is getting warmer, it is time to shed the heavy, closed shoes and look for something a little more open and airy for the summer. In men’s leather sandals – a very particular focus of menswear – there are at least three basic styles.
First, are the ever-popular flip-flop or thong men’s sandals. It is the most open type of sandals and a great choice for casual wear. Sometimes this type of flip-flop sandal can be more of an athletic or beachy look, but there are some that can be worn with a dressier outfit. These white leather thong sandals, for example, have a white leather upper and twisted/woven brown and blue leather that keeps the sandal interesting and less boring than the rubber type of flip-flops. Something a little different from the typical Birkenstock and Vince fare!
Another favorite style of men’s sandals is the gladiator or strap sandals. One, like this pair of brown leather sandals, gives you a little more support than the thong style sandal because of the straps across the toes and at the heel. They would be a nice alternative to a walking sandal because it is a look that can be worn with both shorts and casual pants.
The third basic style of sandal is the slide This one is easy on and easy off and doesn’t have what might be an annoyance, if you are not partial to anyone around or between the big toe. In this photo, they have overlapping leather uppers that have side cut-outs, which will give you a fuller coverage on the foot, as well as a more secure fit. It is a great sandal to keep by the door because it will be a shoe that you will reach for over and over again. The stud detail that runs down the front, is also a nice modern touch and the gives the sandal more interest.
When it comes to popular fashion trends for an up-coming season, people look to design inspirations on the runway. However, not every couture, artistic interpretation of fashion translates well into everyday wear.
Pantone, which began as a printing company in 1950, is a New Jersey company who is well known for their color matching system. It uses a standardization for reproducing colors. How Pantone is related to fashion is that they release a “Color of the Year”, which prompts clothing designers to use this color in their fashion creations for the up-coming year. For 2013, the color was Emerald Green and for 2014, the color is Dazzling Blue. You may recognize this particular tone of blue if you happen to be a Facebook user.
While I was taking a look at what the menswear designers had for 2014, I found a few items that were Pantone inspired. The first one is from the Canali Spring/Summer Collection at the Milan Fashion Week. It is a slim-fitting suite jacket and cuffed trousers in a tonal stripe done in “dazzling blue”. The brightness of the suit is contrasted by a darker blue polka dot tie, a white and blue polka dot dress shirt, and navy leather slip-ons.
The next menswear item in the color of the year with “dazzling blue” is a pair of blue and white floral slip-on shoes by Giorgio Armani, in the Spring 2014 collection. This particular pattern and color is a bold look in a shoe and may not be for everyone.
Another menswear item with the same color is done by Iceburg. It is a combination of trends with one being the vintage style baseball jacket and the other one is the color blocking with the gold, blue, and black asymmetrical design. The blue color makes the jacket pop.
Lastly, is an infusion of a brighter tone of Dazzling Blue with the crew neck, raglan sleeve sweater by Burberry. They keep the blue tone going with the blue suede lace-up shoes. However, if you are a guy who leans more towards the neutral colors, then the “Pantone Color of the Year” may not be for you.