I love Hunter Boots. I break them out every time there’s a bit of drizzle, to the extent that it’s become a running joke at work. Yes, I get comments that I look like a farmer or Paddington Bear from colleagues, but when my feet are that warm it’s hard to care. Plus, I usually end up charging through puddles and splashing them later.
Until recently, my Hunters were a bit like a Range Rover – a relic from my life in the country where there are pretty much, occasionally literally depending on fence upkeep, cows in my back garden that didn’t really belong in the city. But in the mid-noughties (have I really just used that phrase?) all that changed – ever since Kate Moss was spotted wearing at Glasto, Hunters have been ‘in’. And with profits up 38% at the end of 2011 they show no signs of going out.
When Hunter got in touch with me offering to send me a pair of boots, I felt like taking a pair would be…a waste – three years after buying them my original green pair are still going strong, and surely no-one needs multiple pairs of coloured wellies…except Kate Middleton, maybe. They were however, gracious enough to send a pair for the little woman in my life. Never one to splash money on premium brand clothes for herself, my girlfriend’s face lit up when I presented her with a special collab between Hunter and the Royal* Horticultural Society. She’s been praying for rain ever since.
*That’s not the only thing royal about Hunters – they hold not one, but two Royal Warrants. That puts them in the company of Balmoral Tartan, Rigby & Peller, Twinings and…err, Strongbow.
Despite a million Twitter hoaxes (seems like it anyway…) to the contrary, it’s just over two and a half years until the date that Marty McFly arrives in the future. Amidst all the poor grammar infested ‘It’s <insert year here> Where Is My Hoverboard Mattel?!’ Facebook groups and, admittedly interesting, articles about predictions Back to the Future II made that came true, sits the fact that haven’t made half the progress that Hollywood thought we would.
I can’t think of anywhere that this rings more true than the world of fashion. In case you live under a rock, or don’t follow anyone interesting on Twitter (which, let’s face it, is basically the same thing), it was London Fashion Week a couple of weeks ago. And I was nowhere to be found. Ignoring the fact that I’ve spent most of the past two days feeling flu-tastic and doped up on Lemsip, I wasn’t really that psyched for LFW anyway. And I think I’ve finally figured out the reason why.
Almost every comment about LFW…scratch that, almost every comment about mainstream fashion in general contains the word ‘revival’ – everything these days seems to be ‘Gatsby-esque’ or ’60s influenced’ or ‘rave inspired’. With the exception of fringe designers like J.W. Anderson, who recently made headlines with a line of skirts and dresses for men, mainstream fashion is starting to feel stale.
It’s difficult to come up with my reasoning for the above statement, especially given I’m not sure whether I’m the only one feeling it or not. My argument that ‘everything is harking back to something else’ wasn’t even for my friend Sian, who always steers clear of LFW. ‘Well, yes,’ she said, ‘but that’s always been the case. So it can’t just be that.’* So what IS it then?
* I still think the BTTF II sketch above, which talks about ‘having no basis in anyone else’s work’, is quite revealing – it’s different to imagine any contemporary designer saying they’re doing something that’s never been done before and actually believing it.
With practically every show, cupcake, backstage makeup artistry and goodie bag Instagrammed and blogged to death within five minutes of them ending. I often found myself thinking ‘ugh, why are people still talking about that?’ about certain outfits, before realising they’d made their debut only a couple of hours ago. Yes, this may be true of all news in the 21st century, but the desire of bloggers to casually mention that you’re ‘FROW-ing’ on every social media channel they’ve used since the age of five means it’s hitting fashion pretty badly.
Stay fresh, however hard that is. Otherwise, you might get left behind…
If the price of a Ralph Lauren shirt falls at Littlewoods but it doesn’t have a Polo player on it, does anybody make a sound?’ – Me. Just now.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve worn branded clothing. A quick glimpse around my house makes it pretty clear why – from my Dad’s shirt wardrobe (yes, he has a wardrobe just for shirts…) containing 41 Ralph Lauren shirts and counting, to my Mum’s…well, I struggle to think of anything my mother owns that ISN’T covered in some Cath Kidston print or other, it’s pretty clear how I ended up like this. But why…?
A lot of trend whores claim they buy labels because the products are better made. Well, that may be the case sometimes, but I’m pretty sure that a few years ago ALL of us spent a night out listening to a friend complaining about the sleeves of his heather grey All Saints jumper fraying even though he’d only worn it once. Once upon a time I worked in a department store, and they had a whole rail devoted to those faulty jumpers. Equally, there are people who have gone to great lengths to figure out which high end products have high street equivalents that are made in the same factory. The rumour that if you go to ‘the right market’ in China you’ll find knockoffs that are actually better made than genuine products has been kicking around for years.
You might claim that people cling to brands and products because they define their identity. But, if that really is the case, why are such a high percentage of teenagers still fascinated by Abercrombie & Fitch even though you can’t walk down Regent Street for more than 30 seconds without seeing an overweight Persian man wearing one of their polo shirts? And how can Dr Martens simultaneously be the calling card of both crusty punks and pallid bloggers? Even if the latter DO claim to love The Clash…who, let’s be honest, weren’t all that great, and are regarded in many circles as a pre-Cowell manufactured boy band.
Plenty of writing has been done on branding (like Naomi Klein’s No Logo), but unless you’re an academic you probably don’t have time to read it. Also worth observing that Klein walks a really dangerous line of kinda being a fox but also sometimes looking a bit like my mother. My own stance on the whole thing is that brands permeate modern culture to such a degree that it’s impossible to avoid them or even define them for more than five minutes – Nike is trying to look like Timberland, Reebok is trying to look like Nike, Vans are trying to look like Rockport, and it’s hard to know what anything ‘stands for’ anymore. Topshop, one of the biggest retailers on the planet, has a section devoted to a brand that used to spend its days splattering charity shop denim with bleach but whose stuff is now starting to look more and more like…Topshop’s.
When Selfridges got in touch to tell me about their ‘Quiet Shop’, I was definitely interested. A thousand design students have removed the words from a can of Coca Cola and smugly been like ‘ahh, I bet you still know what this can is! That’s the power of branding!!!’, but (aside from a brief flirtation with the idea of ‘stealth wealth‘ <– Warning: Daily Mail link! If you’re not down with that, just listen to Gucci Gucci by Kreayshawn as the message is pretty much the same) I can’t think of any fashion brands that have ever gone as far as to remove their branding. In fact, in most cases the opposite is true – the Abercrombie moose and Ralph Lauren’s polo horse seem to have been getting bigger and bigger in the past few years, and I’m expecting them to have an apocalyptic battle a la Megashark vs Giant Octopus before long.
But it’s exactly what a number of brands, including Levi’s, Clinique and Heinz are doing for Selfridges’ No Noise campaign. Selfridges aims to encourage customers “to proactively seek out moments of peace and tranquility in a world that bombards us with information and stimulation.” I certainly like the idea of removing the focus from garish packaging and focusing on a product’s quality and function – I admit that I’ve previously found Beats a bit garish and showy, but this toned down cream edition is very sleek. It also sounds a lot better than my previous setup…which, admittedly, alternated between standard iPod earphones and a set of Sennheisers that only played through one ear. But still.
I expect that the campaign will actually be pretty divisive – I wonder what extent the cachet that brands have stems from their logo and, indeed, their very name. Will people be willing to part with their money for something that doesn’t have that? Just as with another brand involved, I think this is one you’ll either love or hate…
If you’re looking for a masterclass on how to win over a whiny blogger, look no further than Gant. A while ago, after frustration got the better of me, I tweeted about an employee refusing to give me a refund for a pair of socks that had gone into holes after I’d worn them twice. Since then, they’ve sent me two replacement pairs (both of which have stayed intact!) and spontaneously invited me down to a bloggers’ breakfast to check out the new collection. WELL, I figured it would be positively rude not to…
You might imagine that for a brand like Gant, things are very much ‘business as usual’ and, to an extent, you’d be right. However, while it remains clear that they aren’t planning to fix something that’s not broken, their latest collection is full of little touches that really demonstrate the brand’s commitment to stay fresh. I spoke with a member of the brand’s marketing department, who told me that social media and blogger outreach are starting to play a much bigger part in the brand’s strategy. While those of us who spend most of our lives online don’t find that too surprising, it’s worth observing that this already puts Gant ahead of a lot of their competition. It’s also worth pointing out that word of mouth has always been a big part of Gant’s business, and this is still true today…except now it’s probably more likely to be in the form of a tweet than a conversation on campus.
With brands like Shore Leave and Farah, two high street contenders that both (to my mind) recall the preppy style of Gant and Ralph Lauren, on the scene it’s clear that Gant don’t intend to rest on their laurels. Take, for example, this unstructured dip dyed blazer…
…from the brand’s collaboration with Michael Bastian (a partnership now in its third year), also Head Designer at Gant Rugger. Speaking of Gant Rugger, I’ve fallen pretty much head over heels for this varsity jacket from their latest offering, which has sheepskin on the sleeves instead of the usual leather -
For once, I think I’ll let the pictures do the talking -
The fact that Gant invited a group of bloggers to their flagship London store says as much about the brand as the fact that this year’s S/S collection draws from coastal cultures all over the world, as opposed to the brand’s humble New Haven beginnings. It’s clear that they have big ambitions (evident from the fact that they now have stores in over 60 countries), far beyond just being ‘that one preppy brand’.
Now, if you need me, I’ll be in heaven (read: by that shirt display).
Do you remember how excited you used to get when you were a little kid and you bought a new pair of shoes? Remember wearing them around the house and trying to convince your mum to let you wear them in bed? I got that feeling back yesterday. I’d seen the Area 72 Air Max 2013 online a while back and thought it was…interesting. It reminded me a lot of the Air Mag from Back to the Future II, which looks (somewhat oxymoronically, since it’s supposed to be from 2015) a little dated and plain in comparison.
As the release date drew closer and closer I tried to figure out whether or not I was going to get a pair, but it wasn’t until the day before that I was overcome by a desire to splash out on them. It was no longer a case of just wanting them, it felt like I needed them. I’m going to get into why I think that was the case in a future blog post, but I’m so happy I took the plunge. I haven’t worn them outside yet, but they’re abnormally comfortable (I’m starting to believe all the spiel on the box about it being made of materials from outer space…) and I feel like a character from Space Jam when I wear them. Which is totally the dream, right?
It’s rare that getting a shoe feels like ‘an experience’, but that’s exactly what Nike have done with the Area 72 collection – from the custom paper wrapping to the glow in the dark soles (gloriously impractical) and all the colourful detailing, it feels like something from another world. Move over Air Jordan IV, I just found my new favourite shoe.
There are two things in life that I never ‘got’. The first, one I still don’t really get, is pubs. Maybe it’s just a Newcastle thing, but the concept of going out and not getting drunk enough to think it’s acceptable to proclaim the person you met in the toilet your best mate and give homeless people regrettably large sums of money before waking up on your friend’s sofa with sick in your hair is…weird. To this day, whenever someone suggests ‘just going for one or two’ I make a face like I’ve opened a packet of salmon that’s gone off. The second thing I never used to get is running.
Until a couple of years ago, I was like one of those supporting characters in rom-coms who ends up lagging behind a quiet, but actually super fit, mate (probably played by Hugh Grant or, since it’s no longer 1998, maybe Ryan Reynolds) who proceeds to chat up some other curiously in-shape misfit while I fall into an artificial lake in the background because my legs have gone numb. Then, last year, I ran a 10k ‘survival race’ with 10 obstacles in just over an hour. I realised, actually, I was not bad at running; I just used to be really lazy. During this survival race, people literally stood and clapped as I ran past. Clapped! Turns out that applause for putting one foot in front of the other was exactly what my ego needed to realise that running isn’t so bad after all.
But it wasn’t until today that I realised how much impact a decent pair of running shoes can have. I recently managed to pick up the shoes pictured above (the Nike Lunarglide+ 4 if you want to give it its fancy name) for the quietly knocked down price of £66. Since then, they’ve gone back up to £90. This is either due to the fact that I’ve told everyone I know about these shoes (I literally rang my estranged uncle to tell him about them) and Nike whacked the price back up, or they’ve sold out of the epilepsy inducing colourway that I purchased. I usually find myself with a bit of ankle and foot pain after a long run (which I probably should have taken as a warning sign, but I assumed it was just my useless body falling apart prematurely), but after a 5k run in these babies? Nothing. Nada. I could honestly go outside and run another 5k. If you too get sore feet after a long run I can’t recommend these shoes, or something similarly ‘specialised’, enough.
Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘This is all a bit first world problem-y, isn’t it?!’ Well actually, smartass, it’s not. It’s also a huge, and much more serious, third world problem. In fact, 300 million children worldwide don’t have an adequate pair of shoes. Meanwhile, 790,000 pairs of shoes end up in landfills every year. To draw attention to this issue, my friend and fellow fashy blogger Madison Hughes is doing a project called Febshoeary which involves her wearing just one stacked pair of heels for a whole month. To work, to the gym, to go shopping…to do everything. She’s getting a lot of funny looks and, despite what this picture would suggest…
…she’s actually doing pretty well. I encourage you all to donate, offer her support and/or chuck a Compeed blister patch at her if you see her in the street. Good luck, Madz, only 15 days to go.
Finally, to end this shoe mega post, I came across this great video by ESPN to celebrate Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a big fan of the Jordan brand, and this vid neatly summarises a lot of the reasons why. I present to you, ‘It’s Gotta Be The Shoes’ -
In case you haven’t been paying attention to my snarktastic tweets, I am not a fan of the ’50 random facts about me’ tag. This is for two reasons. First, MISNOMER – most of the facts mentioned are about as ‘random’ a choice as picking the best out of the seventy three outfit photos you took earlier that day to post on your blog. George Takei recently posted a great photo on Facebook, noting that most people only share what they consider to be the best of themselves on social media. I’m noticing a lot of people doing the same with this tag. Second, I can only think of one thing about myself that’s remotely interesting – at the age of 13, I took a MENSA test that revealed I have an IQ of 161…technically making me a child genius.
Still, I like the idea of doing something that lets readers know a little more about you. Although #WIMH posts have been around for a while, they rarely go into much depth. The last one I saw was pretty much like ‘This is the blusher in my bag. I use it to make my face red.’ So, I decided to tip the contents of my bag onto my dining table and briefly cover why each item is in there.
Vaseline, hand moisturiser & caffeine eye roll-on: Although I spend a fair amount of time faffing around in the morning, my beauty regime when I’m on the go is so low maintenance I’m not even sure you can use the word regime to describe it. These are pretty much the only essentials I need.
This is my lucky hat. I don’t remember how I got it and I don’t remember what happened to make me think it’s lucky. I like to think I’m better off not questioning either of those things.
Hand sanitiser & moist towelettes: A few years ago, I was diagnosed as having OCD. While my particular breed of compulsions mostly affects stuff in my head (checking I’ve set alarms and that I’ve emptied my locker at the gym are two biggies) and how I view future events, I do like to make sure my hands are clean whenever I can.
On a few occasions at restaurants, fellow diners have asked where I got my moist towelette from. There is no moment quite as awkward as having to tell someone you brought it from home. On the plus side, ‘moist towelette’ is really fun to say.
Books: While I enjoyed Don DeLillo’s Underworld, at over 800 pages it’s hardly a book to undertake lightly. I struggle with books that have a lot of characters (probably a sign of Asperger’s or something…), but neither that nor the disjointed plot could take away from the beautiful flowing prose.
On the other end of the spectrum? John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. Once the exclusive property of meek, indoors-y Tumblr kids (I ought to know, I was one), John Green has exploded into the mainstream with his latest effort. While there’s no doubt that it’s very nicely put together, not to mention pretty moving (it may have made me cry on a train, hence Tissues), I can’t help but feel that the teenagers in the book talk more like teenagers who wish they were in a John Green novel than actual teenagers. Still, a wonderful book.
Moleskines: When I was a boy, the following paragraph came to me in a dream -
‘As we came over the hill, the neon rainbow of the city stung my eyes so much that they watered. The focus of the lurid scene was the white shaft of light emerging from the tip of The Luxor, scanning the skies for silver Spitfires and falling angels. Holy shit, I remember thinking, the searchlights of hell are looking for a back way into Heaven, and I’m about to sell my soul to the devil.’
To this day, it’s probably one of the better things I’ve written, and I didn’t even come up with it myself. Feverish and squinting, I wrote these lines in a Moleskine notebook at 3AM. Since then, you’ll rarely find me without one.
Protein bar: Because one day, ONE DAY, I’ll pack enough muscle on to stop looking like a stick insect.
Sunglasses: In case of nuclear explosions.
Alibi: I got sent a crate of this to blog about it. It does seem to lessen the impact of hangovers which, when you’re not 18 anymore and have chores to do at the weekend, can only be a good thing.
Jack Daniel’s: You never know when Ke$ha is going to show up with a toothbrush. Also, because sometimes Jack is all that will do.
Filofax: I sometimes get laughed at for how resistant I am to use online or iPhone calendars. Despite being pretty tech savvy in almost every other aspect of my life, this is the one thing I am unwilling to budge on.
* * *
So, I hope that gave you a bit of insight into what makes me tick. Though I’m not on some huge quest to create a ‘tag’ of my own, I think the above says more about me than the fact that I’m an only child or that I’ve been to 13 U.S states. But what do the contents of your bag say about you?
This post is written in response to this Daily Mail article and comments from WIWT founder Poppy Dinsey. I hope my tone doesn’t come across as too combative towards her, because I lav the Poppy. As for the mainstream reaction towards anorexia? All of the combative.
EDIT: To be clear, Poppy did not use and has never used the term ‘manorexia’; that’s something I came across in the Mail. Not sure whether or not it originated with them.
Of the caustic terms that permeate contemporary debate, ‘manorexia’ is one of the worst. Anyone who’s read this blog is probably already aware of my disdain for the term ‘metrosexual’ (read why here), but manorexia is ten times worse. Barring a couple of isolated examples (postnatal depression springs to mind), I fail to see what gender, race or class have to do with mental illness.
I’ve never really had any issues with my weight, but I can’t imagine it being easy for men to deal with having anorexia. It’s traditionally seen as a feminine illness, to the extent that the ‘ideal’ anorexic body conflicts directly with the traditional ‘masculine’ body, i.e. broad shoulders, muscular arms etc. In this way, anorexia not only others you from your gender, but also from your sexuality. I say this as weakness and limp wristed-ness has been historically (not to mention ridiculously) associated with homosexuality.
To go one step further and label their *version* of the disease as manorexia feels seems to completely trivialise it – it reeks of punny newspaper headlines and the idea that ‘it’s like what girls get, only different’. It’s on par with labelling someone’s depression as ‘a bit of a downer’, or calling sexual deviance ‘just a phase’.
Although newspaper columns, Twitter and website articles are awash with women, and men (myself included), highlighting the fact that the trend of calling curvy women ‘real women’ is not only ludicrous, all too many social media users seemed to misinterpret Poppy Dinsey when she tweeted the following:
Despite being directed at the fashion house rather than the model, Dinsey’s tweet led to many of her followers commenting that the model looks ‘disgusting’, something Poppy later protested about. She has since tweeted me remarking that she spends a lot of time arguing that all women are real women. It’s worth noting that my response is mostly motivated by the Daily Mail’s response to the story (link at the top of this post) and the issue in more general terms.
Yes, the fashion industry has traditionally been dominated by underweight models. However, does that mean that their presence should be outlawed? Once upon a time, religion was compulsory – does that mean that everyone should now be Atheist? Homosexuality was once illegal and regarded as a mental illness, does that mean everyone should be gay now? Jumping from one pole to another is never a sensible way to handle something, because it always comes across as disingenuous. Not to mention how impractical implementing either of the above would be…Admittedly, these debates aren’t quite the same thing, as there is a medical risk associated with being clinically underweight.
However, my problem with the ‘real women’ debate and the ‘banorexia’ (a term I think I’ve just invented) movement is that it insists that skinny people aren’t ‘real’. By excluding size zero models, the mainstream media creates the idea that anorexia/thinness is wrong. We’re already seeing this force the culture to move underground. I hesitate to use the term culture to describe a group of people who have what is still widely believed to be a mental illness, but that’s what’s happening – ‘pro ana’ blogs, tweeters and Instagram accounts collate anorexic imagery and intensify it by making it the only point of focus, which is far less healthy than a media that features all different body shapes.
Please don’t take from this post that I’m pro-anorexia, because that’s not the case. What I am tetchy about is labelling a skinny male model ‘shockingly’ thin and ‘disgusting’, especially given that we know nothing about his mental state or eating habits, because it drives a stake between people (who may already be on their way to looking like this boy) and normality. Whether their thinness is due to extreme dieting or their genes, they may feel that they have no choice but to embrace an increasingly toxic underground movement that promotes anorexia as aspirational and beautiful.
Of course, the big comeback to this is that allowing images of extremely thin people in the media distorts young people’s perception of beauty. While that may be true for a tiny minority who already have a predisposition to eatings disorders, it simply isn’t true for 99% of people. I had the following debate with Poppy on Facebook, which I think bears repeating here -
Evidently, I am part of that 99% – yes, pictures of Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron and all those dudes on Abercrombie bags motivate me to hit the gym harder, but never to the extent that I’d start taking steroids or gulping down raw eggs every morning. I’m sure the same is true of most women – they might wish their face looked a bit more like Emma Stone’s, or their rack looked a bit more like Beyoncé’s, but they probably just…well, get on with things because sometimes eating half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is more fun than going to the gym. Something I know from experience.
So what will help that 1%, the people who are susceptible to images promoting extreme thinness? It’s definitely not labelling them ‘freaks’ or ‘disgusting’. Once we know for sure that someone’s emaciated state is caused by crash dieting, it’s time to raise the idea that they may have a problem. But just as you wouldn’t tell someone with depression to cheer up, this can’t be as simple as saying ‘eat something!’ As for exactly what the answer is, I’m not sure. If I did, I’d probably be writing this piece somewhere a lot cooler than my blog.
In case you don’t have eyes, it snowed this week. And with the snow came the things that inevitably accompany it – people moaning about the snow on Twitter, people moaning about people moaning about the snow on Twitter on Twitter, flurries (pun, lol) of Instagram pics out of people’s windows and fashion blogger-y pictures like this.
Overlooking the fact that the above outfit is OUTSTANDINGLY well co-ordinated (a particular love of mine), let’s just consider how impractical it is for the snow. The answer is very. Let’s face it, she’s going to last two minutes in those heels before ending up falling over and ripping that flimsy looking sweater.
Of course, it’s not just when it snows that fashion and fashion blogs walk the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. Take this guy -
Yes, he looks very moody and striking in a ‘quiffy Zac Efron in a world where gyms don’t exist’ sort of way, but where did he get that chair from? Aside from the fact that it looks like Kurt Angle should be breaking it over The Rock’s head, remember that he’s had to bring that chair from home. Imagine the looks he got on the bus. I bet the local hoodlums call him ‘chair dude’ now.
And we can’t forget poses like this one – bloggers taking photos of themselves ‘walking’ (satirised in this old post of mine) is…really weird. It’s like in Peep Show when Gog catches Jez pretending to write.
But let’s get a little deeper. Poses like the one above generally remind me of classic paparazzi shots, which implies to me a subconscious yearning to be in the public eye. That’s what a blog is, right? But casting oneself as the perpetually visible artist is a pretty dangerous thing to do, because with celebrity comes huge pressure to be perfect. I was talking to Lily Pebbles and Ella Gregory (Names? Dropped.) about blogging the other day, and the amount of pressure they put on themselves sounds far more intense than my ‘might sit down and write something today’ approach…I think I even heard the phrase ‘content schedule’ being used. Meanwhile I was sat there picking dried pizza off my shirt.
At some point, without anyone really being aware of it, it seems like it was decided that cupcakes, Mulberry Alexas and meatLIQUOR are the pinnacle of perfection and that everything else isn’t worth blogging about. You know what I say to that? I say, pfft. Some of the most prolific blogs and features in the past couple of years were so successful precisely because they dared to break the mould. Look no further than Advanced Style (street style for over 50s) and Style Rookie (a fashion blog started by a twelve year old girl) for evidence of this. Not to mention that Chinese man who started modelling his granddaughter’s clothing.
It probably shouldn’t surprise me that blogging is getting surreal – we live in a world where airbrushing, size zero models and overly posed photos are ‘normal’ and permeate the mainstream media. It makes sense that bloggers would mimic this, because it’s what we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Yes, it’s difficult to be ‘different’ in a world where everything seems to be the same. But it’s worth the fight.
After briefly mentioning a few predictions for 2013 in my last post, I checked out some of the new collections at Selfridges and noticed a few more surfacing. SO, I thought I’d post this – S/S ’13 menswear for dummies.
While a lot of people have focused on the (perhaps ill advised, given we don’t have the same climate as that of Miami Vice…) return of city shorts, another strong trend to come off the catwalks is the coloured suit. The Paul Smith number above is pretty sharp, and this really is an example of a trend that’s come out of nowhere – as recently as Summer 2012, menswear writers were still being majorly critical of coloured suits.
If bright colours aren’t your thing, Givenchy showed this beautiful white suit pretty similar to what I imagine well dressed angels wearing.
Last Autumn, I fell in love with (and took a creepy stalkery picture of) this guy’s backpack. I asked him where he got it, but he turned out to be a Chinese tourist who didn’t speak a word of English, so I never found out where it was from. Still, he was definitely ahead of the curve – from graphic to digital to optical, prints are inescapable this spring. I was a huge admirer of Mary Katrantzou’s shenanigans last year, so I’m please to see that us guys are getting a chance to play this year.
No, not the sailor kind – J.W. Anderson has already done the nautical thing to death so much so that he’s having to shake things up by making dresses for men. Stripes take on a whole new, modern feel for S/S 2013.
I dig this Ralph Lauren number, which seems to draw inspiration from all kinds of places, from pirate to old school sports jerseys (Google tells me that orange and blue are the colours of the Florida Gators, so GO GATORS!) to a smart casual Frenchman. Plus, the model kinda looks like Brad Pitt and Keith Lemon’s lovechild. If you’re not in the mood to go so formal, check this Shore Leave t-shirt from Urban Outfitters. Or the one below, which is on sale for £10. (You’re welcome.)
So there you have it; some more ideas for S/S 2013. One final thought? If you know where that Chinese dude’s backpack is from, please tell me. Otherwise, sayonara.