Wednesday, June 25, 2008

santo gold


so i'm like completely enthralled by this girl. i'm sure y'all heard about her already and the incessant m.i.a. comparisons, but seriously, this girl is off the heezy and she is not m.i.a.'s doppelganger. fine they kinda dress alike, but seriously, half the girl at see at parties share the same steez so comparing her to someone else for that reason is bollocks. actually i think she reminds me more of one of my favorite singers of all time, homegirl res who like santo is also from the city of brotherly love and they're friends to boot. like res, santo's got that soulfulness about her even though her songs can't really be described as popular "black" music. i guess what makes her similar from m.i.a. is that both women are musical alchemists. they throw all their musical influences and cook them into something thats totally their own. fine i think the music video of l.e.s. artist is not the greatest but the song is fucking bananas.

p.s. its gay christmas (pride) here in toronto so if i'm slow with the posts its because its the time of year that i allow myself to venture into the gaybourhood. but rest assured your boy roybot won't be taking off his shirt dancing to diva house to the sounds of david morales. no. i'll be walking around with my posse with a water bottle in my hand filled with vodka. don't worry i'll take pictures.

marni - menswear spring/summer 2009

if the success of marni can be deduced into one single word, i think that word would be "charm". the honesty of the marni vision, a vision so original and heartfelt is the great starting point of the brand. in an industry where most are trying to keep up with the trends to satisfy their customers and to attract new ones, marni is an oddity because it never detours from its path and has evolved slowly, steadfastly, and rigorously into a house that invites new customers in without any ad campaigns. which in this age of media overload is quite a remarkable achievment. the unwavering support of its clientel has become the company's strongest advertising tool. and in a few short seasons since starting a menswear branch, marni has accumulated a following for men who, like his female counterpart, appreciates a little bit of quirk in his wardrobe. for spring/summer 2009, consuelo castiglioni presented a collection that was rich in volume. borrowing from classic couture cuts and interpreted on men's shirts and jackets, castiglioni managed to inject a bit of lightness on the sometimes rigid world of menswear. the slopped shoulders and the generous movement of the fabric was balanced by a slim trousers that anchored all the movement at the top firmly to the ground. despite the boyish naivete of the clothes, the strong tailoring and the relaxed feel of the clothes is certainly one that can be admired by men all across the age bracket.


Monday, June 23, 2008

prada - men's spring/summer 2009

a prada show is always a cauldron bubbling up with new ideas. and working within the stricter parameters of menswear, the intellectual accent becomes even more pronounced. miuccia prada has always played with gender ambiguity. from having her models parade down the runway in tutus for her last fall collection, to exposing the fragile neckline and midriffs of the boys in her most recent spring collection wrapped in a-line coats that suspended around their necks like a utilitarian balenciaga. exploring the tension between utility and luxury is a persistent prada theme, but confined to the limits of the mens wardrobe, the delivery of her idea becomes confusing at first, and after over a week of processing the collection, it becomes surprisingly obvious. as if it does make perfect sense to throw your jacket across your shoulders like a backpack rather than carrying it around and limiting the use of your hands. a prada presentation might not be the most easy show to digest. but once its hanging on the racks of stores and all distractions and complex ideas behind the garments are gone, then all the customer sees are beautifully constructed clothes that makes perfect sense to their lifestyle. and if that fails, then the accessories, the backbone of the prada empire, is the one who gets to pull the wallet out.


burberry prorsum - men's spring/summer 2009

perhaps the reason for the remarkable success of christopher bailey at the house of burberry is his ability to add a little bit of english eccentricity, a dab of english dandy, and a spoon full of english charm and use them like seasonings to a dish. add that with the obvious commitment he has for the brand and it becomes the ingredient that makes his collections so full of flavour and at the same time so commercially appealing. his most recent menswear collection was in many ways a continuation of last fall/winter's ideas. whereas last season there was a more pronounced focus on tailoring, for spring bailey adapted the same shapes but loosened them up a bit by adding a bit of volume and using fabrics that draped languidly. the nature of how the fabric fell allowed for the nonchalant feel of the clothes. loosely buttoned cardigans thrown over t-shirts with the collar cut so low the collar bone was practically exposed on every exit. there was a "worn in" quality about this collection that made it quite endearing in a way. wrinkled fabrics were cut into everything from pants to jackets and the way the pieces were layered felt like as air. since bailey started designing for the house, the burberry man has acquired a certain vagabond personality. there is this new sense of freedom in the clothes. like it was made for a man who enjoys beauty but is not controlled by it. a man who because is not preoccupied by it, becomes beautiful.


versace - men's spring/summer 2009

the cleansing of the house of versace continues with the most recent presentation of its menswear collection for spring/summer 2009. since ex cloak designer alexandre plokhov got on board as co-collaborator, the menswear line has erased the old frivolity that attached itself to the label and what was then a questionable masculinity, is now, under the guidance of plokhov, a robust example of male sensuality. the plokhov trademark of combining futurism, military, industrialism, and a little bit of goth was spiced up this season by way of early eighties new wave. asymmetric jacket closures and strong sharp cuts were paired with traditional versace staples such as fluid tops in cottons and silks and immaculately cut blazers and trousers. providing the collection with a distinct luxury that the house has been celebrated for. like a parody for versace's womens wear label, the menswear branch of the house is in many ways being born again. the over the top image of versace under gianni's direction might have propelled the brand into international status, in order for it to move forward it can't rest on those laurels alone. times have changed and the glitz of vintage versace would be out of place during these more sensitive times. the brilliance of donatella and santo is to realize the immediate need for change and to use the talents of someone like plokhov to rejuvinate the brand assures that the legacy of the versace name is just beginning to add the next chapter to its illustrious history.


jil sander - men's spring/summer 2009

it was inevitable that eventually a claude montana/thierry mugler revival was right around a very sharp corner. it was rather surprising that it would be someone like raf simons at the minimalist institution of jil sander that the body conscious and graphic aesthetic of montana and mugler will make it's re-debut. raf simons along with hedi slimane spearheaded the now ubiquitous rail thin silhouette. while slimane augmented that look with a street wear sensibility, simons used tailoring to give the silhouette a severe definition. while montana and mugler used body conscious dressing in a different type of way, where clothes were used to emphasize the larger than life ethos of the eighties, simons adapted the techniques used by the two designers to strengthen the silhouette by giving the form sharper angles, without the over exaggeration of his predecessors. he managed to present a collection that didn't feel like a revival, but actually rather futuristic in a tradmark raf simons sci-fi kind of way. he used colour and cut to give a new sense of form and definition the the male figure. colour blocking a suit jacket isn't a new thing for raf. he experimented with the same idea for his own label for his fall 2007 collection, but this time around he explored colours outside his familiar dark palette and applied the same technique on everything from shirts, suits, to simple t-shirts. the adding of decorative hardware like zippers with geometric tags added to the graphic feel of the clothes. in the short time that raf simons has been the creative director at the house of jil sander, he has managed to stay devoutly true to the spirit of the house and at the same time remain faithful to his own vision. this collection however saw raf simons starting to break away from the minimalist tradition of the house. he took an idea and evolved that idea into an extremely cohesive collection. it might not be the perfect exercise in commerciality, but in the execution of an idea, it was flawless.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

the battle of highstreet

so considering that topshop is finally crossing the atlantic on october and i can actually get to one (even though i have to drive eight hours to get there) i decided that since h&m and topshop are the biggest highstreet retailers in the planet, how it would be like if their fall 2008 collection went head to head against each other. h&m with over a thousand stores across the globe is the obvious goliath that topshop is up against. h&m being a swedish company is a more commercial brand. it might be the more fashion forward pieces that gets published on fashion magazines, but in reality the majority of the products are rather generic and middle of the road. and the "fashion" pieces really accounts to about only ten percent of the entire inventory, maybe even less. i might not have personally been inside a topshop store but after spending many many many hours looking at their on-line store and getting upset that i can't purchase any of them because the pound is double and a half the canadian dollar and my credit card is well, not in service, i think it's safe to say that because topshop is geared towards a younger clientele and obviously because of the tradition of british youth culture, the clothes really do have a more fashion sensibility. its as if every product in the store had been carefully thought out and there aren't as much "safe bets" for commerciality's sake. even the choices topshop makes on which designer to collaborate with for a capsule collection, young up and coming designers like christopher kane and danielle scutt validates that the foundation of the company is to build itself not just as a retail giant, but a legitimate fashion company. although i have to say, the roberto cavalli for h&m collection might have been a resounding success money wise, but ask any serious fashion people and they would tell you right off the bat that it was no different from all the cheap shit you see at guess stores. but....since rei kawakubo/comme des garcons is their next guest designer, i think h&m might just kick topshop's ass in regards to that arena. there are some really good stuff at h&m, hell half the shit in my closet is from there and there have been many many times that i leave my house where my total outfit costs less than sixty bucks because its all h&m. i guess it doesn't really matter who's better. because in the end its who buys the clothes and what they do with it that really matters anyways. but it would be so good if topshop comes to toronto so i can figure out all the happy things i can do with it.