Tag Archives: men’s tailored clothing

After All That Movement Where is The Real Fashion?

I just got back from Paris where the much anticipated shows from Dior and St Laurent produced a wild media frenzy for collections that were …um …OK. Yet again the media created controversy for the big houses with tons of copy and air time, and I am pretty sure the luxury consumer could care very little about the outcome . My take on these shows was that they were derivative of other designers work and the press gave the credit to these mega brands. Let’s start with St Laurent. The good news about the St Laurent show is that Mr. Slimane used the foundation of St Laurents original looks from the 70’s for his 2013 show.

St Laurent in the 70's

Now St Laurent 2013

St Laurent 2013

 Rachel Zoe’s has always been accused of copying St Laurent (but updating the fit). Here are pictures of her past shows and advertisements….

A Rachel Zoe Ad

From a Rachel Zoe Fashion Show

Confused? So was I….what was all the fuss about? Another show, much anticipated,was the return of Jil Sander, back to her namesake (which she sold for $250 million) . Granted Jil is still getting her feet back into the business at age 68. Her show was OK….good attempt…lots of press and lots of talk about it….But the Marni show was Jil Sander at her finest (only not designed by Jil) Marni has been exploring a new version of Minimalism for a long time but the press only talks about the big advertising accounts which is not Marni. If they do talk about Marni it’s usually a small blurb about her prints not her architecture. Who do you think did Jil better?

Jil Sander S/S 2013

Jil Sander S/S 2013

Or Marni?

Marni S/S 2013

Marni S/S 2013

 

Raf Simons did a pretty good job for his first Dior Show…Over 50% of the show was decent. The press LOVED it which was over the top but of course Dior is a BIG advertiser. Here are a few shots of that show.

Dior S/S 2013

Dior S/S 2013

What’s the point of this blog? Fashion has so many dimensions and unfortunately  the public only gets about 15% of the information. Plus if advertisers are the only people that the press talks about how can anyone grow in this business? Same old houses, same old designers….no credit for the real new and different….this bothers me.

Is It Relevant?

 

Who Are They Talking To?

In today’s style section of the New York Times, Cathy Horn wrote an article about the five things you need for Fall. The article starts off with her version of how the ads in all the “Big” September Issues of the major Fashion magazines have nothing to do with the modern working women…she then proceeds to ask all the editors from these magazines and others, what are the five top items that they are really lusting for  (meaning the items that they really WILL buy) this Fall Season.

The way that the fashion magazine world works is that if a brand advertises, then their clothes will be prominent in the editorial sections in the back of the book. A certain major editor set up that paradigm many years ago and now the integrity of fashion journalism has been tainted and the magazines are completely IRRELEVANT.

So much money, time and energy are wasted on advertising and editorials that the true American consumer of these kind of clothes wouldn’t buy. As always I ask…What’s wrong with this picture?…..In a time when the economy is forcing everyone in this industry to be as sharp and clever and as economical as possible, how can these people be wasting so much money on bad fashion and bad fashion advertising?

The joke of the NYTimes article is that after reporting on these fashion shows last spring as if they were the gospel, they dismiss all their efforts in one article that gets to the heart of the matter….what is it that the consumer WANTS to buy instead of what “god(the magazines)” tells them to buy. I remember one vendor saying to me that it doesn’t matter what you buy for your store it’s more important what the magazines TELL you to buy….really???? We never bought into that.

These paradigms are fading…slowly. When something become too obvious it’s time to move on. Another one of these is the combination of a “Famous Person” in association with  “DESIGNING” clothes and other products. First they are not designers….they sell their name to promote clothes that are copies of other peoples work, in Chinese Factories. I don’t fault the people who make these clothes they make lots of money doing this….the fault lies with the consumer for buying into this falsehood. Madonna’s daughter is 13, I’m sure she’s creative, but you can’t put her in the same category as Proenza Schouler who have , I think, reached 30. Jessica Simpson is probably going to meetings and saying “I like this I like that” but she hasn’t had the training to know how to construct a garment. But it seems everywhere you turn this formula is appearing…..make-up, bed linens, QVC…..Are the top requirements for purchasing items; 1. They have a “famous” name attached to them  2. That they appear in magazines (maybe worn by Stars), 3. That there is a fake discount (or flash sale) attached to the purchase? Is it that formulaic? Are we not capable of judging  a product on it’s own merits anymore?…I don’t know you tell me….We’re betting that you can….and we are  betting that you will prefer it that way.

 

 

 

Here’s What the News Didn’t Tell You

I’m sure it’s a big deal that Whitey Bulger got caught….now that’s he’s 81 years old. Everyday down here at Fan Pier there is heavy security and three police boats on the harbor for every visit. There are also a tons of “News Vehicles” and reporters ready to report his every move. Here is the scoop the tax payers are paying for his expensive transport, his healthcare and his legal team for years to come and he will probably die before he ever gets sentenced. But you would think while they have news crews down here they might walk 500 feet to their right and find an amazing event taking place on the water for the next four days. Extreme sailing races  happen all over the world and followed by millions of fans. The organization chose Boston as its’ first destination in the United States because it was the perfect set up to bring the people closer to the races. Usually the races are farther out at sea and video is the only way to watch them. The races started yesterday and will continue until Monday.

How LUCKY we are to have this in our city yet our press and television stations find it NOT noteworthy. What wrong with this picture?  Is it too POSITIVE  a new story so we should not be privileged to the information? Are they holding the story a secret  until the races have been here for five years and then they might mention them???? OK maybe sailing isn’t generic enough to be put on television…how about the most amazing FIREWORKS ????? The fact that they had to close Logan for the fireworks last night, would that be newsworthy ?????? Oh NOOOOOO even the Globe couldn’t drum up a photo and report on what’s happening right under their noses but I’m sure they had an article on who visited the courtroom yesterday….500 feet away.

By the way here’s the fireworks finale from last night…it was amazing!!!

The Fashion Underbelly of Boston

More often than not I get asked the same question over and over again “Who Shops in Your Store?” My answer is always the same…Boston has an underground group of well dressed, art centric, patrons that keep their patronage quiet. We are definitely not a “Fashionista” town but we do have an “underground” following of entrepreneurial, innovative consumers who support people and stores that introduce them to “the new and different”. The Institute of Contemporary Art is a perfect example of how this town came together quietly to create a wonderful space to house “the new and different” in art. And it has become a destinations for people all over the world to come and visit. I’m very proud of the fact that Boston accomplished such a feat.

Well, I have discovered another underbelly in this town. We have an amazing group of young fashion bloggers that not only have style but have knowledge about the industry. We had a Blogger event here at Louis the other night and was floored by the kind of conversations I was having about what’s going on in fashion and retail (especially on line retail). Usually I set aside those kind of conversations for my trips to New York and Europe when I talk to people in the business. I usually steer my “fashion” conversations in Boston to …. well some other subject. That’s not to be mean it is a reality that Bostonians are usually not up to speed … so what, no big deal…but I just usually don’t talk business to people outside of my company.

Well that changed for me that night. As matter of fact I was having a hard time keeping up. That’s a good thing. The chit chat wasn’t about “the latest trends” which is usually the conversation with the printed and television press….the talk was about the new way to style with black and the merits and appreciation of un”BRANDED” designers. We talked about working and building a wardrobe not disposing of it after one wear. We also talked about the tricks of discounting in retail and on line sites and the pitfalls when purchasing for the sake of only saving money.

Here are a few of my new best friends…they rank up there with any of the people from the industry….all over the world….and believe me I know!

Samantha Chu, Jane Chun, Thomas Dai, Victoria Benjamin

Samantha’s Blog is “A Glimpse of Glamour”

Joseph Gordon Cleveland, Maria Fei, Brigid Nastasia

Joseph is styleboston blog and Brigid is Agency Contra

Jessica Sutton, Soonha Lee, Nicole Deponte

Andrew Ray One Man's Style Blog

Soonha Lee and Naomi Miranda

It was an exhilarating night and I thank all those who attended….I hope to see you again in the underworld.

Its All in the Cloth

When I first started to understand the true meaning of the quality of a Kiton Garment, it was explained to me the cost of the garment was in the make. The fabric would changed the cost by just a little because the tailoring was so time intensive. I bought that explanation for a while. But every season when I sat down in front of the swatches I would get a little giddy waiting for their “New” presentation. The innovation of fabrics, and the depth of their colors are always more incredible than the last season. These selections only add to the value of the jacket, plus add to the “real soul” of the the garment.

When one of the ONLY differences between a man’s wardrobe is the make and the fabric why not enjoy the distinction that quality and innovation of fabric can bring to a garment.  What does that mean exactly? Well, for example, men as a rule are always hot, like temperature hot. Fabric mills over the last seven years have spun yarns to their finest, lightest point but still sustaining the same durability as a heavier fabric. By using the best (“longest”) hairs from each of the specific animals, they have discovered they can even have the same “look” as a heavier fabric but the properties of one 40% lighter. The mills have also discovered that mixing the contents of the fabric, using the “best” qualities of each contributing yarns,  make a great cocktail.

Kiton Spring/summer 2011 Sport jacket

This Fabric is made up of 50% wool, 25% Cashmere, 25% Linen

You can see the depth of the color,  married with the texture that the wool and linen create make the fabric have a personality all it’s own. What you can’t see is the hand that these yarns feel to the touch. The predominance of wool in the fabric control the wrinkle effect of the linen. But the linen gives the appearance and airiness of a spring/summer fabric.

This Fabric Contains 50% Wool 36% Cashmere and 14% Linen

The texture of the fabric  is so visible. The traditional Glenn Plaid has such a modern feel when you can see (and feel) the blending of the yarns. here are some examples of the suits fabric as well.

Kiton Suits all with Different Blends, Unique to the Designs