Monday, June 30, 2008

Design Major: Paris Spring 09 Louis Vuitton

-I've been surprised by LV menswear in recent years. I, like most people, associate LV mainly with leather goods, but a few years of solid collections are moving the label beyond the iconic luggage. However, this photo of Kanye, taken by The Sartorialist Scott Schumann outside the Louis Vuitton show in Paris, might be the best thing to come out of the Spring 2009 offering. The collection didn't show me anything that hadn't been done before, but I still managed to select a few looks I could see myself referencing this upcoming spring.
-Also notice that Yeezy is rocking one of those ill Marc Jacobs Lego pins. Oh and on the same note, Hypebeast had a little Kanye x LV rumor today.
-As always, photos and analysis of our favorite looks from the show after the jump.

-Yeah see, nothing special right? But I like how it makes you think about working sporty pieces like a hoody into a more elegant look.

-Same thing here, the feeling I got was luxurious sport.

-I used to hate short-sleeved button-ups but they've been growing on me ever since I saw how fresh Ryan Gosling rocked them as a drug addled middle school teacher in Half Nelson.

-I mean, things like this are definitely good looking pieces, but for the price you would pay for this suit you could get something with much more character. I also really don't like that there is not any cuff showing beneath the sleeve of the jacket. At least 1/4 inch, kids.

All photos by Alessandro Lucioni via

Faculty: The Original Street Photographer

There once was a time when New York street photography was about more than graffiti and American Apparel. Over the course of the last month, the New York Times has devoted several pieces to Weegee, whose dark mid-century photographs captured the city at its worst. Weegee, whose name was derived from his innate ability to be in the right place at the right time, gained recognition for his raw, black and white pictures of crime and spectacle. He captured the side of New York that could only be seen in film noir, while acting in and inspiring noir legend Jules Dassin's classic film The Naked City. I was lucky enough to see the last Weegee exhibit at New York's International Center for Photography, and I was truly affected by the gritty realism of his pictures and the vulnerability of his subjects. For photos and video, check out


Design Major: Milan Spring 09 D&G

-D&G made the kind of loud statements that Gucci did, not with bright, solid colors, but with variations of intense patterns. A lot of what I could say about the D&G show is reminiscent of my last post about the Gucci collection. If you're following our coverage, you should see a clear distinction between the rain crafted pieces from a collection like Burberry's, and the looks presented by Gucci and D&G. Drawing from nautical inspirations, my favorite timeless theme, D&G used navy and white stripes to create volume and texture, maintaining a quintessentially Italian flair. As before, photos and analysis of our favorite looks after the jump.

-Intricately patterned trousers have been in quite a few of the recent shows, I'll have to search for some affordable ones someplace. It's good to see flip-flops getting some love from high fashion.

-Again, I love nautical as a theme. The pattern on this shirt seems a little corny, but the pairing with solids keeps it in check.

-Again, the pants are great. This show really wasn't about tons of innovation with shape or function; It's cable V-necks and trousers and Tuxes, but the patterns and proportions are nuts.

-A good deal of the show, more than is proportionally represented here, was more formal.

-Striped pants play well in a sort of dull vs. the sheen of the jacket. I almost always support bow tie usage.

-Playing the nautical theme on an elegant standard.

-Again we see the pairing of an intricate, busy pattern with a solid. Great dressers understand balance.

All photos by
Marcio Madeira via


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Design Major: Milan Spring 09 Gucci

-Of the major Italian houses, only Gucci did not disappoint. Well that is a bit of an understatement; Where Armani, Prada, and Versace's offerings were all solid, they encompassed nothing we haven't seen before. Every single look from Gucci excited me. I wanted to save every photo for the blog but undertook the task of choosing a select few to show.
-Among the field of lesser known standouts and disappointing staple labels, Gucci continues to innovate, pushing the frontier of youthful luxury. As always, photos and analysis of our favorite looks after the jump.

-There is not much I have to add, the photos mostly speak for themselves. This collection from Gucci, like most, has an air of flair that only confident sartorialists ought attempt. As I write that though, I think about how often people tell me that they couldn't pull off the things I wear. I tell these people you can pull off anything if you are confident that you look good. A tip for trying something a little adventurous: try purchasing a really great piece (like something from this collection) and you'll have to wear it to have not wasted a great deal of money.

-Classic slim-cut suit, I really love the 70s touch of color on the tie. The shoes are a little fruity.

-This looks very much like something I'd wear. I hate when runway shows are so avant garde, you can't imagine anything you'd actually wear within the concepts. This is a look that could be achieved for a fraction of the price if you replaced the pieces with similar ones from a brand like Modern Amusement.

-This 80s style jacket is sick, straight up. It's probably $3,000, but what can you do. This is a good example of how a theme doesn't have to dominate an entire look. The pants, boots and jacket are rock 'n' roll, but change the pants or take off the jacket and it's a very casual outfit.

-Like I said earlier, you're not going to see many American men rocking baby-blue skinny suits, but maybe you take just the pants with a gray V-neck.

-A white suit provides enough flair, a well matched shirt/tie combo pulls it together.

-Another take on the same suit.

-Again, this looks like something I would rock (minus the murse and the flowered shoes. I haven't seen a patterned club collar before, I need to look for an affordable one.

-Just looking at the show, and thinking of all the runway shows we've presented, I've got to mention that we are normally inclined toward affordable clothing. This is why we advocate rocking high/low. Selecting a few pieces of high fashion that you truly love and will keep for a long time, and searching thrift shops for affordable, unique items. In the end it evens out at about the price as if you'd been shopping at the mall or at Abercrombie, except you know, you look good.

All photos by Marcio Madeira via

Design Major: Paris Spring 09 Richard Chai

-This is the first line I've seen from Richard Chai, though he's been showing collections bearing his name since 2004. His spring 2009 collection is unsurprisingly legit considering that Chai studied under Marc Jacobs before launching his own line.
-Chai was reported1 as saying he referenced the S.E. Hinton classic The Outsiders when designing this collection, playing on prep vs. punk themes. This play is what appeals to me as I often look to contradict classic school-boy forms and modern, music influenced aesthetics.
-As with prior posts, photos and analysis of our favorite pieces after the jump.

-This could be stock, uncreative school boy, but the fit and the air-tie set it off. I love the length and cut of the shorts. People's biggest mistake when wearing shorts is balance of size/fit between their tops and bottoms, this is a perfect example of balance done correctly.

-The long cardigan was everywhere on women last fall, and I never thought about it till I saw this, but the look can look just as good on a man. As with the other shows we've reviewed, the color is subtle and effective. It lets the fit speak for the genius, not loud color.

-Here is a great example of the punk meets prep aesthetic I mentioned in the intro. The jacket is a bit more rock and plays off the pastel sheen of the shorts.

-We've seen the blazer with shorts in the past few years, but a trench with shorts is true forward thinking spring.

-This look is just badass. The double-breasted coat serves as the standout element.

-A lot of the shows are using rolled up, or just short pants, I think it's a look thats going to take off with fashion forward men in the next year. Obvious rock elements in here, and the most essential spring tactic, layering of light fabrics.

1- according to writer Josh Peskowitz
all photos by Marcio Madeira via


Design Major: Milan Spring 09 Burberry Prorsum

-Christopher Bailey has surpassed Kris Van Assche as my favorite designer. I don't need the repeat the praise that has followed Bailey ever since he took over, and single-handedly revived, Burberry Prorsum. I read an interview with Bailey (in GQ) a while back, and something he said really revealed to me how genius he is. He said that Prorsum has an essential task of balancing classic and avant garde, and that the collection lines need keep the ubiquitous handbags and scarves in check. Balancing the ultra-commercial and the elegant collection is something more labels should take note of.
-Anyway, unsurprisingly the Burberry show in Milan was on point. Photos and analysis of my favorite looks from the show after the jump.

Photo:Christopher Bailey by Marcio Madeira

-I love the olive for spring. Spring doesn't have to be about bright color, but in most cases, it does have to be about some color. Go against the grain with an olive green and you'll definitely stand out. There was a lot of talk about the bare chest (beneath the cardigan) in a lot of the Burberry looks. I don't think this is a trend that we'll see in the streets, but it's more about spring and how we've got to find creatively stylish ways to manage the varying temperatures.

-I wasn't digging the hats in this show, or really any of the hats that seemed to be in almost every show, but thats just me. What I like about this is just the combination of classics with a narrower fit. The trench, the cardi, and the pants. Neutral colors are sparked by the classic Burb check lining.

-Same thing here, classics assembled in a fresh way. I also like the sheen of the pants, which I think most people don't associate with spring. All these looks aren't doing insane bright colors but they aren't boring, textures and subtle color variations set them off.

-This look, and a few others from the show, seemed a bit feminine for my tastes. But that bit of a tendency to cause an uneasiness is an effective tactic; I'm drawn to doing something different. The very subtle play of soft purples and gray is a hugely powerful look.

All photos by Marcio Madeira via

Friday, June 27, 2008

Design Major: Spring 2009 Show Reviews

-It's men's fashion week and as fucked as it may sound being June 08, the Spring 09 shows are happening. It's never too early to start thinking about the next (next) season I guess, so I've got reviews coming up.
-You could read the reviews on, but you shouldn't. Besides, all their reviews talk in metaphor about silhouettes and materials and shit; We will give it to you straight up, what looks good, and why.
-I'm not gonna do all the shows because, well, some of them suck, and are not worth my time or your time reading about. So I'm sticking to my my favorite labels or any labels that jump out at me as innovative.
-You may be wondering why I assume I have credibility worth listening to, and maybe I don't. But I've followed men's fashion since I was 14, and have always been one to adapt trends and themes employed in high fashion to a budgeted, young, wearable aesthetic. And I'm straight.
-I'll be doing one or two reviews a day until I've shown you all the sickest looks, so keep checking back.
-Lets start in Milan with one of the cleanest shows, Dsquared2

-Analysis and our favorite photos after the jump (click the more link).
-Above: Photo by Marcio Madeira

-This look (above), and the look from the beginning of the post, really show what Dsquared's show was all about, clean rock 'n' roll. The ultra-tailored (notice the peaked shoulders, a tell-tail of Italian cut suits, and the straight legged trouser) business with accessories that pop. In this photo the flare is a little more muted, the purple tie, the tie bar, and the gold chain. In the first photo the flare is more obvious, the patterned shirt (there were a lot of bold patterns in the spring shows), the denim vest (badass) and the gold chain (also badass). The key here is that a khaki suit is a clean summer essential, but it can be boring, make it pop with well chosen color and accessories. Moving on.

-This look (above)is the fresher, younger, more weekend part of the show. The patter from the shirt in the first photo is not the focus on the outside. Maintaining balance thought, the shirt and tie are simple, and the shorts are crisp but light.

-This look (above) gets back to the business aspect a bit. The key in this one is the small things that make it pop. The mackintosh and the striped shirt are European business essentials, but the color on the belt, the bag, and the tie bar add the spark.

-So just ignore the terrible hat and this look is the shit. Firstly I've got say that I've been using colored socks as a subtle way to add color for a long time, I think it's a practice extremely under-appreciated. Another thing I like about this is the sheen of the jacket fits well with the crispy, shiny jeans. I think a more distressed jean would have thrown the look off. I love the chain, again. And the key here is the layering with the cardigan, which is what spring is all about - light layers. The look would be just as great during the day without the jacket.

-I chose to feature this last one because it employs something that I think is rarely done well; Mixing sport pieces into everyday attire. It's hard to do without looking lazy, but something simple like this tennis inspired shirt, with the simple pants and the tennis-shoes really shows you how it can look great.
-Overall, this was one of my favorite shows so far. It was very indicative of how the modern (young) businessman can add personal quirks to his look.
-Thats all for now, more tomorrow.

-All photos of Dsquared2 by Marcio Madeira via Men.Style.Com


Design Major: Public Works

As if kicks, street art, and Legos weren't enough, the Danish takeover continues this week with four waterfall installations stationed throughout NYC.
The career of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has been built around showcasing the forces of nature in metropolitan settings, and this is his most ambitious effort yet. It is also New York's biggest public art project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates" (see below), which graced Central Park in 2005. The city's willingness to support and showcase the work of its artists has helped it retain its status as one of the world's creative meccas. Certainly doesn't hurt aesthetically, either.

*Photos courtesy of Seattle-based (and, coincidentally, Danish) photographer Molly Sorensen. more

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Design Major: Carey Haider-Under the Influence

-Keeping the northwest DIY artscene afloat, Carey Haider is proving to be the archetype for the 21st century artist. Simultaneously achieving success as a gallery artist, graphic artist, musician, photographer and most notably, as the creator of his label Blacktooth, Haider shows that the model for subterranean success is diversification.

-Despite press and exposure around the world1, Haider has stayed true to the punk rock roots that shaped his style. His creations represent a unique variety of recurring themes and inspirations. He makes what he feels like making, and one things for certain, he doesn't give a fuck what you think about him.

- The man behind Blacktooth took a minute to explain some of his diverse influences. Full interview and samples of Haider's work in all mediums, after the jump. (aka click the more link for interview)

Ok, so it's after the jump so I can be all informal. How this is going to work is, what I say (because I'll be adding commentary throughout) will be in regular font, and Haider's words are in italics, get it? All photos are used courtesy of Carey Haider, click to enlarge.

-What are you favorite portland stores?

--I really dont go to Portland stores, well I do go to a lot of thrift stores but im not gonna give up which ones I spend my time at because there are still a lot of treasures at them. (I recommend Magpie on 9th or Ray's Ragtime on Morrisson)

-Above: "Bitches to Riches" $28, from the latest Blacktooth collection.

-Designer/artists/label you'd love to collab with?

--Missing Toof, Jason Adams, Hellcat Records, Vans, Keep Company, Chanel, this is hard, never really thought about this.

-Above: "Holy War" by Carey Haider

-What, besides your stuff, are you wearing frequently?

--Most of my clothes are from thrift stores. I like a good leather jacket, a fedora (Brixton makes nice ones), and for the feets either a good pear of leather boots or some Vans.

-Above: Carey Haider Photography

-Give us a few Carey Haider summer essentials?

--Don't cut your jeans off cause when winter rolls around your gonna freeze, instead roll them up. Buy black pants cause when they rip you can sharpy your skin and no one will know. Im probably a bad person to ask summer essentials cause I wear a beanie and jeans in the summer. I guess the best advice would be to be yourself and be comfortable. Ride your bike, it saves money, doesn't support the oil industry, and you need the exercise anyways from all the burgers and beer your gonna be consuming.

-Above: Carey Haider for Bent Metal

-What tunes are you digging presently?

--The Coasters, The Raveonettes, Lil Wayne, Townes Van Zandt, Motley Crue, and Mogwai.

-Above: Flyer designed by Carey Haider

-Which designers inspired your style?

--In the beginning I was inspired by Black Label Skateboards and the whole Six Gun thing, Defracto Death Camp, and the whole 70's Seditionaries movement.

-What things influence your personal style?

--Well early on back in middle school I was influenced by punk rock and skateboarding. So where I am at today is still in that arena. Its weird cause I used to get beat up for wearing ripped tight jeans, having long hair, and riding a skateboard but now its what moms buy there kids. Buying pre ripped jeans is a fucking joke and especially paying $125.00 for them. I guess that whole thing kinda goes along with the radio and how its all watered down mall music. I guess this whole thing is leading me to the whole Blacktooth thing. I want people to know its independently ran by only me, no corporate funding, no marketing schemes. I think if people are going to buy new clothes its important to support the small guys. Brands like Elias, Keep, and other D.I.Y. outlets keep the world breathing. Its really cool to see larger chains like Urban Outfitters supporting the small guys now. I think people are getting sick of the logo t-shirt. A lot of this has to do with where we are at right now. Its like a new Vietnam/Reganomic's and people are starting to wake up and realize you can change the world. I kinda strayed off subject so back to the question. If you look at bands like The Boys, The Dead Boys, the whole mod movement, mixed with a little Creedence Clearwater Revival I guess thats where you could pin me at.

-Above: Mixed Media piece by Carey Haider

How do you deal with the haters?

--The funny thing is I actually love haters, they make me smile. I guess maybe I'm weird but the more hate someone has for me the more I enjoy it. Usually the hate derives from jealousy, misunderstanding, or complete ignorance. The haters I know of will stand next to me and never say a word but you hear from other people they are talking. I find it very funny cause it proves the point that there words must not be true cause if they were they'd talk to me to find out the truth. Success causes more problems. I remember one time I did a shirt with a diamond on it way back in the day and this dude was trying to fight me in a parking lot saying I ripped him off cause the diamond is his logo and he's been drawing it since middle school. Well point and case be, right down the street was a diamond on a jewelry store sign that had been there at least 20 years before he was born. That is the type of stuff I run into. I wish haters would just quit talking and start creating. I remember this one dude said I ripped his style off and could only trace line drawing stuff. So the next day I painted a 4 foot tall David Bowie portrait in realism. I like a good challenge and if your hating I'd be glad to sit down and talk to you cause I bet I can teach you something or two. Criticism is always good anyways. And at the end of the day I get about 200/1 on a hater scale. I love it when kids send me emails saying they are into what I'm doing and ask me questions of how they can make t-shirts and what not. I think its very important to give them advice and support cause I never had that as a kid. The youth are the future.

-Above:Screen Print/Illustration by Carey Haider

I have a shirt with the illustration above on it, I bought it at the Red Light on Hawthorne in 2005, shortly after me and Goody heard about Blacktooth. It is still one of my favorite t-shirts (I don't really wear t-shirts that much, either) and it gets me more comments than any other piece of clothing I own, which relates to the paragraph below.

Basically, what I think the key is after all this, forget the naysayers and the scene and all the shit, he makes clothes that people want to wear. Clothes that in their production and marketing, represent individual inspiration. Whats more real than that? Blacktooth represents every dream of every artistic kid that wanted to make his own clothes, but because of all the people that said they didn't have the knowledge or skill or resources, couldn't make that dream happen. Make the the dream happen, whatever it is, whatever your creative outlet is, do whatever can to share it wish people and to stay true to your original intentions. Word.

-The shirt says it all
1-His Web site has a list of press and shows and stuff, I didn't feel like listing it all.