Sunday, September 26, 2010

Top 5 most influential men's fashion designers of the 2000's

Considering that the turn of the decade occurred over six months ago, I guess this post is a bit late (though I suppose I can just as easily entitle it "Top 5 most influential men's designer of the past ten years").  Anyways, the purpose of this post is not to identify the best, most popular or even my own personal favorite men's designers over the past decade. Rather, I intend to outline the men's designers whose innovation has caused the greatest buzz in the fashion world, for better or worse.

5. Raf Simons

As a Belgian, Simons is in impressive company with his fellow compatriots (Dirk Bikkembergs, Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, and Ann Demeulemeester). Simons is best known for his ultra-modern, angular and highly tailored garments. The cuts  and proportions are interesting and by no means conventional. His influence has grown in recent years (see for example Prada and Calvin Klein collections) and he has been appointed as creative director for the Jil Sander label.

4. Brunello Cucinelli

Though unquestionably the most questionable designer on this list, I think BC deserves to be here. The brand has brought casual, luxury Italian menswear to the fore of all upscale men's boutiques. Items currently in style such as unstructured blazers, elbow patches, suede shoes and zip-up cardigans, all have their provenance, at least in part, in Brunello Cucinelli.

3.  Alber Elbaz of Lanvin

Alber Elbaz is huge and no, I'm not just talking about his rotund physique (zing!).

During the past few years, there has hardly been been a more coveted label than Lanvin. The trademarks of the label are soft, loose-fitting garments with very delicate (and often "wrinkly") fabrics. The colour palette almost always involves creamy pastels. Recent collections of other designers have followed this lead. With Lanvin, there are no bright colours, no bright lines or any hard seams. It's all one luxurious, flowing, creamy vibe. Do you dig?

2. Thom Browne

Love him or loathe him? I think for most people, it's a mixture of both. Coming from the New York scene, Tommy  very quickly catapulted himself as an international  fashion superstar, assisted no doubt by his zany, trippy fashion shows.

His trade-mark schoolboy look-- blazer, ankle high pants (or shorts) and clunky shoes-- has now become iconic, as has his fixation with grey, white, red, white and blue.

1. Hedi Slimane

As previously described here, Slimane was probably the single most influential designer peddling the super slim, rocker look while serving as head creative designer for Dior men's during the better part of 2000's. In so doing, Dior's fashion shows featured a series of male models that looked more like gawky teenage girls with eating disorders.

For whatever reason, this look really took hold in the fashion world especially in the first part of the decade. By nearly single-handedly impacting men's couture by advocating a clear and recognizable fashion silhouette, Hedi Slimane is my choice as the decade's most influential designer.


-The Scandal

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gant by Michael Bastian, Spring Summer 2011

It is not uncommon for relatively affordable labels to launch a more upscale line in collaboration with a big name fashion designer. For example, Thom Browne collaborates with  preppy Brooks Brothers to produce the Black Fleece collection.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, by Thom Browne

 It's not surprising that the equally preppy Gant has recently partnered with Michael Bastian to put out a separate collection.  At first blush, the two may seem like perfect pair due to their shared preppy vision, with Michael Bastian incorporating a more sophisticated flare. However, when I looked at the Michael Bastian Gant collection, it struck me that the label might actually be better complemented  by having a designer that offered more of a contrast to Gant's look. The collaboration would then potentially be more interesting. I'm not advocating that Gant should partner with a Rick Owens type,

Rick Owens Fall/Winter 

but Michael Bastian's collection --nice as it was-- really didn't look all that different than the run-of-the-mill Gant. Heck, it didn't look much different than Polo.

Gant images from

-The Scandal

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Michael Bastian, Spring/Summer 2011

I must confess to be being a bit disappointed with MB's latest collection. I thought it too sporty --do American men wear speedos anyways? And it didn't have enough of those fitted preppy suit and tie combos that worked so well in previous seasons. It was a bit too much Abercrombie for my liking, but still worthwhile.

All images

-The Scandal

Monday, September 13, 2010

Simon Spurr 2011 Spring Summer

Simon Spurr has to be my favorite American-based designer. In his latest collection he seamlessly managed to combine old world Saville Row dandiness with the sleekness and simplicity of some modern designers such as Italo Zuchelli, of Calvin Klein. I am also impressed that he doesn't feel the need to embellish his shows with absurd gimmicky pieces to establish his cred as an "artiste". Are you listening Thom Browne? Didn't think so.

(All images

-The Scandal

Friday, September 3, 2010

Erdem RTW 2010 Fall Collection

Although I cannot say this is my favorite collection by Erdem, it nonetheless deserves an honourable mention.

Erdem Moralioglu was born near Montreal, Canada to a Turkish father and an English mother. He studied at Ryerson University in Toronto and eventually scored an internship with Vivienne Westwood in London where he proceeded to earn a masters degree in women's wear at the Royal College of Art. After winning a few prestigious awards, Erdem was able to establish himself as the most promising new designer among the London clique. 

The palette for his RTW 2010 Fall collection is very colorful. Known for his floral English-like prints, he decided to use many shades of green, dark red, blue, brown, and grey-  to give an illusion of a warm- flowery autumn palette.