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With London Fashion Week ending a week ago, focus has shifted to Milan Fashion Week, where a number of designers have displayed their S/S 2016 Menswear collections. The linen, relaxed nature, and light colors associated with S/S collections have of course appeared, but other unexpected surprises have manifested themselves as well.
The German house Jil Sander, though the queen of minimalism herself no longer runs the house, did display her signature minimalism in its use of blocks of color and solid colored pieces on its runway show. Uniquely, the collection was almost entirely made out of functional materials. Blazers, trousers, and coats made out of what looked like raincoat-material plastic coated fabrics gave the collection a functional aspect and created a futuristic look with its sleek textures. Though the collection utilized minimalism as expected, Jil Sander creative Rodolfo Paglialunga also expressed himself in the collection, using bustling patterns delicately throughout and creating a contrast with the Sander minimalism.
Damir Doma brought out a number of his signature loose, draped, and flowing silhouettes in typical summer colors of light grey, white, even salmon, while including darker tones of blues and greens appeared with a surprising prominence. Less busy than his winter collection, it seemed to be a refinement and minimalistic view of what we know as Damir Doma. Raw and deconstructed sweaters, linen overcoat choices dangling over the floor, and slices of various precious stones adorning the necks were the highlights of the show.
Bottega Veneta brought an unexpectedly rugged collection for its S/S menswear. Hiking boots, sandals, zip-up hoodies, and anoraks brought an adventurous vibe to the runway. Even bomber jackets were given a raw edge, made with technical fleece and the busy taped seams of a functional piece. A backpack or two along with single-strap bags fit right in with the mountaineering gear filling the catwalk. Similar to Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta has given a collection that is not only stylish, but has a functional purpose as well.
If you are wondering what is hot or trending in fashion for men this season, besides the runway and the stores, the street is a good place to look. Street style, or streetwear, is a category or fashion where you will see what people are really wearing, as opposed to the extremes of style that may be found on the runways or store fronts.
For Spring 2014, the streets of Milan Italy and Paris have some new and exciting menswear fashions. First, is a casual outfit that starts with a crisp white button-down shirt and a taupe plaid vest layered over it. The whole outfit is kicked up by adding a pair of butter yellow trousers. The total look is accessorized by casual brown leather lace-ups, some skinny suspenders from JJ Suspenders, a chic brown leather watch, a coordinating sports jacket, and the perfect shades.
Moving on to the streets of Paris, color blocking is key with this grey and ivory colored top that has a black “corsage style” adornment and is combined with a pair of slim-leg navy pants that have rolled-up cuffs. His brown leather buckle shoes and olive jacket prove that matching is not necessary, if the colors have the same tone.
Next, is a men’s street style that shows how to combine more than one pattern in an outfit. His blue geometric stripe shirt coordinates with his polka dot trousers and they are grounded with a neutral sage, double-breasted sports coat and canvas slip-on shoes. This grounding is important in keeping the patterns from looking too busy.
Lastly, is an outfit that is a turn in the “pastel” direction, which is also off the streets of Milan Italy. The light lavender, double-breasted suit is paired with rainbow colored high-tops and exemplifies a softer side of fashion. This look is a little too “candy-like” for my taste, but the suit may be a little more wearable with a light brown shirt and cognac leather loafers.
Now that the weather has finally shown us that there is a glimmer of hope that spring is on its way, all thoughts have turned to Spring and Summer clothing. It is finally getting time to shed the wool overcoats and think about urbanwear: shorts, t-shirts, and other sunny accessories.
When looking at menswear for Spring 2014, I noticed a few trends on the runway. First of all, color is still here in a big way with bright citruses like the orange suit jacket with baggy shorts and bright toe-less socks. The whole combination is a little much, but I can see the pieces working separately.
Another trend is a more formal and tailored looking short to go with suits, sports jackets, and vests for the office. It looks comfortable, but not so professional in my opinion. When your eye travels down from the jacket to the shoes, the shorts just look out of place.
From the runways in Milan for spring/summer 2014, there is also the trend of the baggy, oversized short. The center photo shows a pair of khaki pleated shorts with a longer inseam and cuffed leg. This elongated silhouette is more flattering than the shorter, more voluminous black and blue shorts on either side. Those tend to make legs look “stick-like” and overall, shorter. So, if you’re after a more skater-esque look (whether or not you float on Z-Flex Skateboards ever) then these are for you!
Two of the worst looks on the runway for menswear Spring/Summer 2014 that I have seen this year is this grey suit with blue accents, matching blue “short-shorts”, and sandals. The whole look is just wrong. Also, another terrible look is this black and white textured knit, skin-tight short with a matching bolero-style jacket. I don’t see it being a big seller in the stores because the outfit just offers “too much information”.
While I couldn’t think of anything worse than spending my weekend inside an overcrowded shopping centre instead of basking in the glorious sunlight, there’s something about overseas bargain hunting that sets off fireworks in my brain. The possibility of unearthing a unique piece that’s carefully crafted by local hands or a perfectly tailored designer ensemble becomes a priority when travelling to a new country. For those who are planning an overseas vacation (and for those who consider shopping a sport) here are the best cities to scoop up a must-have item.
Dripping in extravagance, Dubai hosts some of the world’s swankiest malls featuring not just the usual restaurants and retail clothing stores, but theme parks, dancing fountains, ice rinks and aquariums all in the one place. I am, of course, talking about Dubai Mall who boasts over 1,200 retail outlets, 160 food and beverage bistros and the world’s largest candy store for when you need a pick-me-up (trust me, you will get exhausted walking around this centre). Looking for a discount? The Dubai Mall holds an annual shopping festival in January and February with crazy discounts, promotions, citywide sales and street fairs. My advice? Avoid using your credit card if you are prone to overspending (and trust me, in a place like this you will) opt for a Travel Money Oz Cash Passport that works similarly to a credit card, except you use your own money and aren’t charged extra fees.
While there are so many wondrous sights in Milan, you can’t help but think of the major shopping element when you envision your trip to this great city. Home to the biggest fashion houses including Prada, Dolce &Gabbana, Armani and Versace, it’s fair to say that Milan isn’t for those on a budget. Although, you will be getting your hands on the latest trends way before everyone else. The interwoven streets are lined with jewellers, haute couture boutiques and lifestyle show rooms that will send the hearts of window shoppers into a palpitating spin.
Much like the aforementioned city, London will make your wallet cry, however you will find the most eclectic mix of bold and vivacious designs. For fashion forward pieces at a reasonable price, one cannot go past Top Shop or Selfridges while for more unique find, a trip to North London’s Camden market is definitely in order. There you will find everything from emerging designers to vintage and pre-loved fashion while you can ogle at all the antique furnishings.
I’ll be honest. Tokyo fashion is weird. Weird yet totally amazing! A trip to Tokyo’s main shopping district is a high energy experience at its best. Even if you would never don some of these over-the-top styles favoured by the young’uns of Japan, the fashion boutiques are not to be missed. After-all, there will always be a dress-up party where you can sport a Harijuku girl costume, right?
Hoi An– Vietnam
Besides the natural beauty, the main attraction in in Hoi An is the 1,000 plus tailor shops waiting to create you a one-of-a-kind garment at a fraction of what you would pay back home. Offering high quality fabrics including pure silk and cashmere, you could walk away with an entire wardrobe within days. It’s advisable that you bring an extra suitcase to cart home all your new outfits. Tip: Avoid the main streets and don’t be afraid to search different stores until you find the right price.
What’s your favourite shopping destination? Let us know in the comments below.