Tag Archives: Jean-Paul Gaultier

Menswear trends for spring

24 Apr

Much like womenswear, the spring trend for men’s fashion is minimalism. Clean lines and toned down shades of neutrals, navy and olive were rampant at the spring and summer shows. Simple silhouettes were spotted on the runways of Raf Simons and Prada — basic suited ensembles cut with classic tailoring.

Prada Spring 2013 Menswear

Minimalism at Prada Men’s spring show

Another huge trend that is still going strong for both womenswear and menswear is the athletic look. Alexander Wang embraced the sporty side of minimalism by creating a spring collection of baseball caps and hoodies. Kenzo presented their most popular item of apparel — their tiger sweatshirt. Over at Louis Vuitton, outfits were inspired by water sports. Wetsuits and hooded anoraks that would fit right in on a boat were the standouts of their show. Baseball bomber jackets in bold metallic colours were showcased heavily on the runway at Burberry. But for a more daytime-friendly look, try a baseball bomber jacket in an earth-toned leather. It’ll go well with most outfits since it can be dressed up over a shirt and tie or casually worn over a graphic tee.

Add some street style with a baseball bomber jacket such as this one from G-Star.

Add some street style with a baseball bomber jacket such as this one from G-Star.

An item that should already be in every man’s wardrobe is the versatile polo. An essential for the warmer seasons, polos can work with a variety of styles. Pair one with shorts or khakis for a preppy look or go casual chic with a blazer over a polo and trousers. Both classic and on trend because of the polo’s sport association, the key is fit. Look for one that will provide a streamlined silhouette and avoid the oversized, boxy type that was all the rage in the 90s.

Stay stylishly cool in a coloured polo by Superdry.

Stay stylishly cool in a coloured polo by Superdry.

Fitting in with the minimalist trend is the sockless look. Appearing to go sockless in shoes from sneakers to loafers has become big over the years. Seen at the spring shows of Gucci and Louis Vuitton, to name a few, the look has been featured in a number of fashion editorials in men’s magazines. To prevent odours from sweat, try no-show loafer socks and look for ones made of antimicrobial material.

Wear two trends at once by going sockless and sporty as seen at Louis Vuitton.

Wear two trends at once by going sockless and sporty as seen at Louis Vuitton.

More often than not, guys tend to play it safe in neutral coloured ensembles. Even the menswear runways were awash with shades of grey, navy and olive. But the warmer months are all about colour. Whether you’re clothes shopping for yourself or a boyfriend, avoid the basic black, white or grey version and go for the more vivid colours. Play around with hues of pastel or bold blocks of complementary shades. For an easy transition from a monotonous wardrobe, add a splash of colour to a neutral suit with a bright shirt.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate prints into your wardrobe as well. Florals may seem intimidating at first, so start with smaller doses such as a floral tie. Trendy prints that are easier to mix into menswear are camouflage and stripes. Dries Van Noten revived the camouflage print again for this season, while stripes were seen at Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier. For something a little more unexpected, pair printed bottoms with a solid shirt. Neutral stripes usually look sharp when combined with a solid, bold colour. Try wearing a striped tee with coloured denim for a smart, casual look.

Bold stripes at Jean Paul Gaultier's spring presentation.

Bold stripes at Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring presentation.

Accessories are always an easy way to add some presence and update your wardrobe. Bags, ties, sunglasses, belts, hats, jewelry and watches are all great for showing off your personality and sense of style. Fashion trends are about experimentation so have fun with it whether you’re out shopping or choosing an outfit for the day. It can help set the tone for your confidence, attitude, and how others react around you.

[Article first appeared in the April 17 issue of Richmond Review.]

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Take your style to the next level: Fashion resolutions for 2012

24 Jan

As the end of January approaches and I’m in the midst of celebrating the lunar new year, it’s somewhat fitting that shops have also begun to get their spring collections in. The beginning of the year has always been an ideal time to start fresh and set new goals to improve your life. And there’s just something about the spring season that reminds us to blossom and reinvent our look. In keeping with the theme of resolutions, I’ve come up with a few suggestions for fashion and beauty goals to ensure you’ll be looking your best for 2012.

When to splurge and when to save

If you’re going to spend, splurge on classic pieces and save on the trendier items. Apparel such as peacoats, beige trench coats, black pants and white button-ups are basics and never go out of style. Invest in high quality, timeless pieces that can handle frequent wear and is cut in a simple style that will flatter your figure for years to come. Also, this time of year is great for coat shopping, as most stores will be having sales in order to get rid of their winter stock to make room for spring arrivals. For trendier items you’ll only wear for one season, shop at less pricey stores. It’ll save more and help reduce buyer’s remorse — it’s never pleasant to realize you paid too much for that tribal print maxi dress only worn twice.

Leather jackets from Mackage are always a fun splurge.

Pile on the layers

Perfect the art of layering. Not only is it a good way to make your look unique, but layering is completely practical for our climate. You don’t want to overdo it and end up bulky or looking like you’re including multiples styles into one outfit. The trick is to take into consideration colour, texture and proportions. Pair silks and satins with thicker fabrics like cottons or wools. Think about lengths: long, simpler tops underneath shorter, more elaborate pieces. One of my favourite go-to office looks is wearing a button-up underneath a cardigan so the shirttail and cuffs peek out, and then layering with a variety of necklaces. Explore what’s already in your wardrobe. If there’s a shirt you never wear because it’s too low-cut, layering solves that problem. And with the abundance of lace and sheer pieces available in stores now, your layering techniques will become effortless in no time.

Layering at play on the runway of Milly's spring/summer 2012 show.

Play with colours

Experiment more with colour this year. Pastels are going to be hot next season — they’ve been spotted on most of the spring collection runways from Milan to New York — so now’s a good time to play around with different shades to see which complements you best. If muted colours aren’t your thing, then incorporate some red-orange pieces into your closet. Pantone revealed that the colour of the year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, a vibrant shade that works for clothing and cosmetics. The colour-blocking trend that was all the rage last year is continuing strong into this year too, so expect to see bold contrasts of colour in one ensemble.

Corset dress from ASOS featuring an adorable pastel skirt.

A combination of layering and Tangerine Tango presented at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Experiment with new styles

Go outside your comfort zone. It’s easier to rely on old standbys, but make it a goal to frequently change up your usual outfits or makeup look. If the majority of your wardrobe is solid colours, add some prints. You’re usually a jeans and a t-shirt gal? Then switch out your denim for a skirt or dress. If you don’t think you can pull off a particular trend, test it out for a day — you just might be surprised when the compliments start rolling in. Add more accessories into your daily look. I know I’ve fallen victim to applying the same makeup every day, so my main resolution this year is to experiment with different eyeshadows. One reason for fashion is for us to express ourselves, so we should have fun with it this year and try new looks!

I need to find a pair of comfy pastel pants to emulate this 3.1 Phillip Lim look.

[Article first appeared in the Jan. 18 style column of the Richmond Review.]

Walk, walk, fashion baby: The relationship between fashion and music

8 Mar

Whether it’s models dating musicians, designers creating costumes for band tours, or even singers turned fashion designers, music and fashion are intimately linked. A lyric from one of my favourite bands, Pulp, goes “If fashion is your trade, then when you’re naked I guess you must be unemployed, yeah?” Not only is it witty but I think it also demonstrates how the idea of fashion finds its way into music content. More examples of this two-way influence can be observed throughout the past.

Blue suede shoes

As rock ‘n’ roll popularity increased in the 1950s with acts such as Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, styles also changed to correspond with the rebellious attitude of the period.

Movie characters such as Marlon Brando in The Wild One and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause exemplified the transformation in style. Outfits incorporating black leather, casual t-shirts and jeans became the norm for the younger generation.

Marlon Brando in The Wild One

Fashion journalist Kate Mulvey said, “For the first time, nonconformity was shown by dressing down. Rebelling against prosperous society in the 1950s meant going a step down the socio-economic ladder, and wearing working class clothes to give authenticity to what they were trying to say. Young people didn’t want to identify with the straight laced, responsible attitudes of their fathers and so dressed like a youthful version of the working man.”

Ticket to ride

As the mod subculture hit its peak in the mid 1960s, British pop music was dominating the airwaves and teenagers were spending the majority of their money on records and clothes. Young men were greatly influenced by the hairstyles and outfits of The Beatles and the women were opting for shorter hemlines. The attention to Britain extended to London fashion designer Mary Quant – the creator of the mini-skirt.

Mary Quant (right) with models in her designs

“The excitement of London life was brilliantly conveyed by the new breed of street-wise fashion photographers like David Bailey and Terrence Donovan. They were at the centre of the London scene and were up to date on fashion trends and social changes, which they captured in their distinctive fashion photographs.” – Marc Kitchen-Smith, style author.

Hippies and glam rockers

As 1969 rolled around and the Woodstock music festival took over a farm in New York, the fashions had turned to colourful patterns, vests, peasant tops and full, long skirts. Musicians such as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix took to the stage in hippie attire. And over the pond, Italian designer Emilio Pucci reinforced the trend of vivid patterns with his own trademark geometric print.

Guitarist Jimi Hendrix

With the development of glam rock in the early 1970s, fashion took a turn for the androgynous as musicians such as Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie took over the spotlight. The glam rock aesthetic mostly involved platform-soled boots, caberet-inspired styles and lots and lots of glitter and makeup.

David Bowie as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust

Clampdown

The late 1970s saw a revival of the leather jacket through the punk movement. Bands such as The Clash and The Ramones popularized trends of metal studs, Doc Martens, black leather jackets and bondage pants. Fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier also based their collections on punk culture. Former manager of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren, also capitalized on the look by opening a shop catering to punk fashions.

London punk band The Clash

“Punks were anti-fashion motivated, and strived to create their own unique outfits, avoiding mainstream trends which were considered bourgeois, over-indulgent and bland. [But] fashion designers created their own punk-inspired collections, which ultimately became mainstream fashions themselves.” – Melissa Richards, fashion historian.

Check yo self before you wreck yo self

Hip-hop hit the mainstream in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, bringing along with it a rise in sportswear, baggy jeans, tracksuits and Timberland boots. Accessories such as heavy gold jewelry and baseball caps also corresponded with what hip-hop musicians were wearing. But I think the biggest influence hip-hop had on fashion was the through the popularity of sneakers.

A collection of kicks

“[Hip-hop musicians] even wore their trainers differently; street styled with laces undone and logoed tongues on show. All of this pushed the sports brands to further develop their styling to incorporate some of street style customizations into new products that featured fatter laces, higher tops and bolder logos.” – Emily Evans, fashion writer.

Dress up in you

As for my musical fashion icon, I’m partial to Alison Mosshart from The Kills and The Dead Weather. Her style may not be extraordinary but it mirrors my own casual outfits on days when I don’t feel like dressing up.

Alison Mosshart

Plus she’s bad-ass in this video with Jack White:

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ bedazzled jacket from the Zero video also still stands out in my mind.

Modern girls and old fashion men

The Strokes also had a big influence on my style. They came onto the scene in 2000, dressed in ratty Converse Chuck Taylors paired with skinny jeans – a combination I would emulate throughout my university years.

The Strokes showing off their footwear

I love how they change it up for their new music video, Under Cover of Darkness. Four of the band members play their latest single in suits while lead singer Julian Casablancas hangs around in a leather jacket getup until he changes for the last third of the video.