Rick Owens’ Minimalism Spring 2016

Between that showing and New York Fashion Week:  Men's, a new Rick Owens has appeared. As he emerged from his limo the night of the show, reporters remarked on his earlier Paris collection. However, his 2015 New York collection is markedly different.  Reining in from the excessive draping of the drooping pants and wrapped upper bodies of last years runway show, he has created a collection that may prove to be more timeless.  Although the designs are just as unique, the emphasis on fine leathers, worked fabrics and  inspired draping, the fashions are eye-catching and still wearable.

Then one of the most surprising and tribal designers of our time, Rick Owens  became a bit infamous for his 2015/2016 spring runway show in Runway Paris.  The garments were strategically designed to show the models private areas.  Some garments covered everything else on the models, accenting the keyhole construction.

Owens seems to have focused his energies on transforming fabrics and leathers with coloring and texturing techniques which really brought his looks together.

When asked about his personal style, he stated that he strives to give everything a worn, soft feeling like Lou Reed's music. ("Take a Walk on the Wild Side" 1972)

Owen's 2016 spring collection seems to have a Japanese influence.  The thigh length leather or heavy fabric coats over long black leather or fabric shirts cover loose asymmetrical shorts.  The term shorts doesn't seem to match the rich leather "short pants." (Owens may spawn a new fashion vocabulary to describe his innovative designs. )  The look is reminiscent of the samurai, echoed by the hair style of some of his models.  Their hair/wigs were pulled forward covering their faces and jutting forward--looking like a samurai helmet.

His fabrics were layered, textured, dyed and bleached in a black and cream collection.  Comfortable sheaths look sumptuous as the supple leather countered the harsher architectural design.  If I were a man, I would definitely want to invest in his garments.  They look wearable, fashion daring and comfortable.

The long leather jackets layered over thigh length leather shirts work without looking heavy because of the immaculate and pristine construction.

Although the first half of his collection is predominately black on black, for men prefer a less monochromatic  palette, the second half of his collection pairs cream leather jackets, leather and tulle shirts with black shorts and lighter black jackets.  In the cream jackets the attention to detail was more evident.  Every element seemed carefully planned.

I did not expect to see such an amazing collection for Owens.  While he has always been talented and refreshing, these looks could turn out to be visionary.


Shinola Detroit–or Not

New York Fashion Week has always iconically represented the cutting edge creativity of top designers and young up and comers. Designers who have houses that design primarily for men have been left out of the party. The launching of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, this July, resolved that battle of the sexes.

As I watched and read about the debut, from the sidelines sadly, I planned to write in this blog about the designers who had the most innovative designs. But I was captivated by one interesting bag! Doing a bit of research, I found that it was designed by Shinola from Detroit, one of the events sponsors.   So….I stepped off the runway to check them out.

First, I was really intrigued because the company’s mission statement states that they are resurrecting the idea of American manufacturing in Detroit.   I am a huge fan of  Bellucci and Gucci, but I have to support the home team.   After doing a bit of research,  perhaps their statement should have been assembled in Detroit, rather than made in Detroit.

Looking at their website, I was impressed by the achievements accomplished by a company that was a start up in 2012.  From bicycles and dog accessories to watches and high end leather goods, the company seemed to be leaking creativity in every direction. Continue reading “Shinola Detroit–or Not”

Johnny Johansson 2015 Fashion Week Collection

Johnny Johansson, the 39 year old Swedish designer began his career creating unisex jeans for friends and family.  Now his brand, ACNE, which is the acronym for "Ambition to Create Novel Expressions," has exploded into men and women's wear, and children's toys.  Johansson credits his unique style with the juxtaposition of his love of the neoclassics and the influence of the early 70's punk rock group The New York Dolls.  The Dolls favored such adrogenous clothes as platform shoes and satin shirts.  He has also stated that he was influenced by the rebel surf board shaper, Robin Kegel--who ironically is also influenced by the early 70's rock and punk movement.

Kegel's long board shapes and designs are known as much for their art aesthetic as for their functionality.  After the tsunami in Japan, Kegel designed to one of a kind boards based on the Japanese folk hero Minamoto to be auctioned off in the relief effort.  Know for his kickass take no prisoners style, Kegel caught the attention of Johansson who incorporated the colors from Kegel's skateboard and the emotional pull of the beach into his latest collection.

Johansson married playful softness with the look of crisp menswear.  The clean lines of the semi-unconstructed suite, which are immaculately tailored, paired with a collarless unconventional white shirt with a drape that reminded me of chiffon.

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