My mind is already being blown by some of the Menswear assortments coming down the runway during Fall’14 shows in London this week. So far a few notable mentions are the designer duo Agi & Sam with their graphic West African meets Savile Row patterns, textures, silhouettes, and layered styling. Another duo that continues to get it right are father and son designers Casely-Hayford who used luxe fabrications such as fur and leather to create blocking details throughout jackets and shirting, and whose color palate ranges from fall neutrals to pops of brights in whimsical prints. Even the more classically tailored Rake collection inserted bits of geo patterns and new bottoms silhouettes for this Fall. If the shows so far are any indication, I’d say that Menswear is really shaping up to be something new and fresh this go round.
Tag Archives: Menswear
Today is the day that Parisian brand, Martin Margiela’s collection for H&M is available to the masses. The global retailer is no stranger to partnering with high-end designers to present a more affordable range, but this collaboration was particularly special to fashion intelligencia who have coveted Margiela for their avant-garde details and masterful tailoring for years. Folake Ologunja. Photo by Erica Sewell.
Unlike more well-known designers that H&M has recently partnered with, such as Versace, one could easily say that your average American consumer (and certainly the everyday H&M customer), had never heard of Margiela until rapper Kanye West shouted them out. Much like Versace during the heyday of Notorius B.I.G., West bragged about his rich and fashionable lifestyle by saying, “What’s that jacket Margiela?” in the infamous N*ggas in Paris track with Jay-Z on their Watch The Throne album last summer. The global visibility that those simple four words can bring to a french designer cannot be taken lightly, and can probably be attributed to the retailer’s decision in partnering with Margiela to ensure that the collection will be profitable. In short, hip-hop has put a large sum of money into fashion pockets across the table (per usual). In return I’m sure that Mr. West has made great friends with the those behind the label, received lots of freebies, and was certainly asked to attend the launch – clad in the collection from head to toe (we hear that the jacket that he wore that day was selling on ebay for an insane amount). Unlike the Marni for H&M collaboration, I didn’t remember to chase invites to the preview this time, but was encouraged to weather the crowd this morning with my fashion partner in crime/Art PR maven, Folake Ologunja (of Folake Forever). We came, we saw, we accomplished. After a 6am call time, bonding with determined wardrobe stylist strangers and Japanese tourists, and a pleasant breakfast in between, we walked away stress-free and with some lovely goodies.
Nas and his father, musician Olu Dara featured in the Gap Holiday 2012 Campaign, “Love Comes in Every Shade”.
Check out their holiday campaigns from the past.
Arguably one of South Africa’s most talented up-and-coming young designers, David West displayed a Spring/Summer collection full of optimism and confidence. Famous for his daring use of neoprene and other rare fabrics not usually found and used in the South African market, West continued his “Catholic Sexy “Autumn collection shapes but in fresh and exciting cotton candy and pastel colourways for this collection, titled; “How to find true love and happiness in the present day”.
The 1940’s/50’s styling and shapes felt very now with the contemporary neoprene and exposed seamed trims on wide A-line and full circle skirts, paired with tailored crisp cotton shirts, blouses and jackets.
Clever inserts of patterned gingham tonal trims and the modern take on a classic scribbled checkered blue and white print in dresses, tees, and skirts. Simple shirtdress and shift shapes along with linen khaki separates in the womens and menswear, made the smart avante guard pieces feel dandy and refined.
Little peeks of lace trim with the applied olive oil-esq laser cut collars and dress bodices, along with tonal mesh and clever little folded collar details throughout.
The palette moved from bright turquoise, soft pink, white, chambray and powder blue and khaki to pastel nudes to crisp whites, all with carefully sculptured white hats equipped with a translucent paper mache looking brightly multi-coloured paper insert that complimented the funky comic strip looking socks and doc martens.
Perhaps one of the most refreshing highlights of the show was the use of “regular people” peppered in between the models. West called upon friends with funky tattoos, and stocky sizes to model some of his looks, and it just seemed right for the classic boxy shapes.
Particularly for the less soft, candy coloured second half of the collection that included a palette of black, white, red and a bright variation on a Hawaiian print also with yellows, and greens. Crisp classic white shirts with subtle capped sleeve and collar details paired with black circle skirts and large brimmed sheer black hats, transitioned into a more 1950’s Mambo-feel, meets Gothic Chiquita Banana.
Continuing the short jacket shapes along with fishtail skirts and applied neoprene shapes, this vignette included sheer tops with padded placement and nautical stripes on boat neck tees for men.
After a brief break from the runway, with lots of European retail success and an Adidas World Cup range in between, Craig Native finished Cape Town Fashion Week with a full collection of sporty menswear.
From ethnic to preppy, the first looks were grounded in a tribal printed cool coloured tracksuit, moving on to a variation of blue tones inserted into varsity sweaters, and a recurring marble tye dyed denim fabric used for stand collared shirts with military epaulette details, as well as slack shaped jeans.
The occasional formal suiting and tuxedo styling was made to look more utilitarian and athletic with the incorporation of backpacks and aviator cobalt blue straps.
The tye dyed effect denim spilled over into the same treatment on red denim, making the palette full circle with mostly blues, reds, khaki’s and blacks. It felt collegiate yet athletic and sometimes sleek.
Jackets with shine in nylons and ribbed knit “Members Only“ details, as well as cotton canvas classic outwear were all mixed with an array of graphic tees, including the “WHAT U GHANA DO?” tee, which resonated brilliantly with the post-World Cup African audience.
Black and white stripes and checkered patterns inserted themselves into the front of shirts and polo’s, paired with double breasted cardigans and three-quarter lengthed trench jackets and cropped sweat pants.
Retro Italian contrast intarsia sweaters found themselves in the mix with draped capes, oversized bowling bags and the signature Native skateboarding and break dancing finale.
Collegiate meets hippie B-boy, in blues, reds and sleek blacks.
For the first time in South African history, the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week had the sponsorship of the country’s major retailer, Woolworths. The collections featured in this year’s “Emerging Show” support and promote the work of South African designers and each Guest Designer will have in-store mini collections retailing at Woolworths.
LALESSO: Known for it’s Kenyan printed Kanga’s in soft beachy dresses, this collection includes more of a Hawaii 5-0 vintage feel than a traditional East African one. The palettes are always surrounded by the prints offered, and these two vignettes displayed cut and sew resort knits in contrasty, colour-blocked black and white with pops of orange, soft pastels, and bright turquoise with hot pink and yellow. The playful colour blocked 1960’s silhouettes and turban styling remains a staple.
THULARE MONERANG: Bold, graphic tees with gold foil printing and knit dressing displaying the shape of the continent and words like, “Mizansi”, (which is a term of endearment for local South Africans, meaning ”The City”), will prove to be retail friendly.
UNDACOVA: The designer duo has a reputation for bringing the fun back to underwear, displaying a range of edgy tribal and graphic prints with solid trims, paired with formal accessories such as bow ties and suspenders.
SWAY: Known for their mixing of prints and patterns, this collection keeps a tight palette of grays, lilacs, blues and greens with a variation on a floral used in colour blocking and to contrast the inside of flirty layered hemlines.
BLACK COAL: Sailor styling in red visors and scarves, trimmed with subtle Chanel-esq chain details are paired with sporty rinsed denim dresses, jumpers and jeans with nautical details, styled with self-fabric rosettes and ruffles.
TALLULEH JANE: Androgynous Brat Pack separates grounded in black, white and neutral khaki tones makes for a tight and clean wearable collection for newcomer Tallulah Jane. Tuxedo styled vests , classic tailored shorts and Breton striped knits all styled with neckties and straw hats.
SUGA SUGA: Woolworths own in-store range closed their show with rainbow coloured maxi dresses in painterly floral prints, and asymmetric seams styled with Caribbean straw hats with multi-coloured ribbon highlights.
While chatting in the VIP lounge between shows with members of the South African press (who will remain nameless), I had already heard the grumbling of not feeling like sitting through another Fabiani show, because they “do the same thing over and over”.
Well, I’m a rookie to AFW and since this is my first runway show on African soil, I have nothing but a clean slate and un-tainted views when it comes to the designer collections. The verdict you ask? Well, let’s just say that had it not been for the length of the show, I could excuse the grumbles of boredom and congratulate the South African born/European-based menswear label for a fun, smart and colorful SP/SU ? (since AFW is seasonless-but that’s another post) collection. But when a show starts at 6, 6:15pm and ends at 7p, I have to say that even the most vibrant collection would bore the already exhausted audience.
The highlights? Well, it got lively and the napping ceased whenever one of the brazen sex pot male models came down the runway with nothing but skivies on (which I think I counted at least thrice), or oddly enough, when the striking silver fox older black male model glided past (reminiscent of a refined and dapineer Madiba).
Overall I feel that Fabiani had a well styled Menswear collection that incorporated enough bright colors, trendy silhouettes (repeated harem pant for men), and contrasting prints to suit a retail assortment – but seeing these separates on rewind for 1 hour is a snoozer no matter what beefcake you enlist.
– July 1, 2010