Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Male Supermodel

     In an age, where supermodels are making a comeback in the forms of Lara Stone, Georgia May Jagger and Abbey Lee Kershaw, to name a few, one is lead to wonder where their male equivalents are, or if in fact the male supermodel exists.
    Perhaps, one of the first names that springs to mind, when one hears the phrase 'male supermodel', is Tyson Beckford. However, the likeliness is that this is not related to his numerous Ralph Lauren campaigns but to his cameos in films such as 'Zoolander', not to mention his stint as host of Bravo's 'Make Me a Supermodel'. Moreover, now aged 40, Beckford's time has been and gone.
    In fact, just like Beckford, Charley Speed was almost unheard of outside of the fashion world, until he became a  'Britain's Next Top Model' judge last year, despite numerous Calvin Klein campaigns opposite the world famous Kate Moss. Moreover, Jon Kotajarena, only received his supermodel status, after an appearance in the Tom Ford directed 'Single Man' last year, in which he attracted girls and boys alike playing the  scarily good looking rent boy, Carlos.


      Thus it would seem that whilst women may become renowned on account of runway and print-work, male  models must make use of television and film to progress out of anonymity. Had you honestly heard of David Gandy, before Dolce & Gabbana used him to front the Light Blue advertising campaign?


     I didn't think so.
     Furthermore, whilst women often accuse men of objectifying them in a sexist manner, it would seem that they treat men in a similar way using models, such as David Gandy, as the lead roles of their sexual fantasies despite, having no idea, who they are, let alone their names, just as men treat playboy bunnies. 
    Thus whilst women are glorified in the fashion world, male supermodels are often seen as mere 'props' - men's designer spreads are ignored, whilst women's are praised. This is perhaps highlighted by the term supermodel, which, along with nurse, is one of the only jobs in the English language that is immediately associated with women. The name doesn't change like policeman and policewoman, it has to be accompanied by the word 'male', thus suggesting that a supermodel must be a woman. 
    However, just like Freja Beha Erichsen and Karlie Kloss, there are undoubtedly some talented and handsome male supermodels in the fashion world of today that sadly are ignored outside of their niche. From 'the one', Baptiste Giabiconi, to the Myspace discovered Sean O Pry, male supermodels do exist, it's just that they are yet to garner the attention of their female counterparts.
     Here are a few of my favourites; the question is: can you name them?




Adrien Sahores, Sean O Pry, Clement Chabernaud
Simon Nessman, Baptiste Giabiconi
David Agbodji



     

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Blues

     Chromophobia: The fear of colours

     As the SS season approaches, whilst some fashionistas are relishing the chance of being able to caress colour, others are hiding underneath the darkness of their dressers in the hope that it will disappear and that they may live their lives in the safety of black and white once more.
     The reality is though, it won't disappear. You just need to take one look at the colour blocking of Gucci and the couture of Dior to understand that this SS is as colourful and, in the case of designers such as Ashish, as playful as crayons. However, unlike these designs, life is not as playful as crayons and fashion understands this. Thus for the more reserved amongst us there is Giorgio Armani. 
     Giorgio Armani is elegance - it is not ostentatious but mysterious and as a result his S/S 2011 collection epitomises this. Whether it be the different forms of his beautiful black jackets or his dramatisation of dresses in deep shades of blue, Armani effortlessly turns the female body into a work of art and what's more is that he simultaneously manages to maintain in trend with the season. His blues are the epitome of the season's most sort after colour and the beauty of blue is that it appeals to the flamboyant in its brighter shades - check out the blumarine collection - yet also to the reserved in its darker shades, which Giorgio Armani applies to his collection in swathes of sophistication. 

    
     From cropped jackets to embellished trousers Armani has created masterpieces out of blues with the result that it only seems proper that one should be able to accompany the rich dark tones of his collection with the rich dark tones of a soulful voice. And, despite it being seemingly impossible to find a bluesy voice worthy of his clothes in the dance pop era of today, there is Adele, who now at the age of 21 has managed to match her vocal talents with a blues infused edge and lyricism, which, like Giorgio Armani, is timeless.
       Throughout 21, her voice manages to captivate a listener, without being hidden by the booming of banal beats, just as Armani's designs enchant an audience regardless of vibrant shades. It transcends melancholy in the reflection of 'Don't You Remember', commands your attention in the confident swagger of  both 'Rumour Has It' and 'Rolling in the Deep', and it surpasses sadness in the stunning 'Someone Like You' - the way in which her voice breaks in the second half is magical. The album is magical. The Giorgio Armani collection is magical. They share a simplicity, which is quite frankly, beautiful.
        Thus, whilst I encourage you to enjoy the brightness of fashion and music alike in the season to come, and its futuristic qualities in both the Giorgio Armani Privé couture collection and in the genres of dance and trance, I implore you to appreciate it's darker tones. Buy an Armani dress - or even a suit, gentleman:



       Because, whilst other trends will shine and then eventually dull the Armani classics will be forever stylish. They are style. However, if like me an Armani suit is a far off dream, buy 21 because just like the an Armani classic you shall never tire of it and it is a hell of a lot cheaper.  Enjoy.
                                                                      

Sunday, 23 January 2011

To queue or not to queue?

    Undoubtedly the majority of you are now in a state of wonder and excitement, as you prepare for SS 2011 and the fashion trend it beholds and, yes, so am I. However, more so because, courtesy of the Vogue website, I have been in the knowledge of these trends, since September last year and, as a result, my excitement for the appearance of these collections in magazines and department stores alike, is rather like that of  a controlled cat's as meal time approaches, as opposed to that of a distracted dog's.
    We have already had the chance to stare in awe at Sarah Burton's first collection for Alexander McQueen, witness the wistful whites of the Dolce & Gabbana collection and gaze at Jamie Bochart in the beauty of Balmain  - it just so happens that, unlike in September, we are now a mere mini dress from the time when those of us, who aren't models, are able to try on and purchase these designs.
     Thus, whilst the SS 2011 collections prepare to be exposed into the harshness of...Selfridges and the like, the mens collections for AW 2011-12 are already being unveiled. Unsurprisingly, I do have access to them; we all do. And so, as opposed to spoiling each and every collection for you - I have decided only to tantalise your trend spotting taste buds by hand picking a few favourites of mine from the Milan collections.


     From the bold colours of Vivienne Westwood and Versace to the street style of D&G, it seems that A/W 2011 could be as colourful as the summer and whether you want to know more is your decision:
     You may either- 
  •  Be quintessentially British and endure the process of waiting, which to be honest is like waiting in a queue when you already have a V.I.P. (Vogue, Internet, Peekaboo) pass  - unnecessary.
     Or-
  • Witness the delightful designs that are already at your fashion forward fingertips.

It's a bit easier than a masters degree at Oxbridge - isn't it?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A spoonful of colour helps the minimalism go down

Kate Phelan - February 2011 Vogue:
             Freja Beha Erichsen + Patrick Demarchelier + Jil Sander = Minimalistic Magic


    The SS 2011 Jil Sander show took place on a plain white runway and opened with a plain white t-shirt and a plain white billowing skirt. It was minimalism - the trademark look of Jil Sander. 
     However, Raf Simons, being the master of minimalism that he is, merely used this as a template for the unexpected collection that followed. As opposed to repeating the use of monochrome of his previous collections, he embraced colour. He embraced colour just as a mother embraces a child, after they have been travelling - in an excited squeeze of intrigue. 
     Indeed, the result was so intriguing that it would seem, for one moment, that Simons 'squeezed' the colour out of every other SS 2011 show - but then we are reminded of the blue of Blumarine's collection and the portion of fruit that Prada provided and, as a result, we are thankful that Jil Sander is not the only designer label delving into colour this SS.
     Unlike Simons, many minimalists avoid colour. Colour is fussy, black and white are not. Colour clashes, black and white do not. However, as Simons has discovered, colour lifts what some deem to be a 'boring' look. It captivates the inquisitive eye and emphasises the detail involved in the manufacturing of minimalism. The skirt, featured above, could swathe unnoticed if white, however, in its delectable shade of tangerine it demands your attention. What's more is that, with Simons' eye for detail, it deserves it. The whole Jil Sanders collection deserves it: whether it be in blue, pale pink or an amalgamation of colours, each item of clothing is stunning.

    
    It's  magnificent, isn't it? Even his colour blocking is magnificent - the colours clash and yet somehow under the magic of Simons' needle, they work. The neon pink and mint green are like David Cameron  and Nick Clegg, they shouldn't agree with each other but occasionally, when put together, they do and, in the case of Jil Sander, the result is genius. 
    Moreover, the minimalism of  Simons' clothing adds to the beauty of it; it manages to look effortless in its  intricacy, as is shown in Demarchelier's photograph for Vogue. The background is plain, Erichsen sports a plain white t-shirt and the make-up artist, Val Garland, only embellishes the look with a red lip, with the result that the focus cannot deter from Erichsen. It cannot deter from Erichsen and the floor length, tangerine Jil Sander skirt that envelops her, with its delicate puffball ruffle. The look achieved is minimalism with a spoonful of colour and it is the perfect look for the S/S 2011. Are you ready ladies? - because quite frankly I am.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

One of the many reasons to love Scotland

Christopher Kane:
    
    It is funny think that less than 5 years ago, Glaswegian Christopher Kane was yet to exhibit his debut collection, less than 5 years ago, the world had not experienced his use of galaxy prints or more importantly his use of neon.
     In fact, it was not until I saw the S/S 2007 collection that I realised that neon shades could be more than just garish. Fuchsia shades frightened me, fluorescent green gave me goosebumps and yellow well ... yuck. I didn't understand it, it was offensive and seemed to belong only to those, who have a need to glow in the dark, like cyclists and ladies of the night; but it does not. Kane has proven that it isn't and that it can be beautiful.
     Having won many prestigious awards, such as the Harrods designer award, Kane was already well known in the fashion world before he had even designed his debut collection. As a result, he had to prove himself; the collection was highly anticipated. However, he was under the sort of pressure that new designers can only dream of - if he failed he would disappear into anonymity but if he succeeded he would become the youngest member of fashion royalty - and he did.
   
Whether it be his striking body sculpting neon  mini-dresses ,

the innovative lace and leather collection,

or what he has in line for S/S 2011,

     Christopher Kane's designs are intriguing and they have lead to collaborations with Donatella Versace, a clan of celebrity clientele and, perhaps what is most exciting, the new mens collection which he has just designed.
     Men are often neglected in fashion. There are over four times as many womens designers as there are mens - and sadly there are four times as many women interested in fashion as there are men. Thus when a respected designer decides to expand their range and give us guys a chance, we ... well I, wait with impatience to see it, just as if I were about to listen to a new Lady Gaga single - for those of you, who for some inexcusable reason do not know, Born This Way is released on the 23/02/11.
     Moreover, when it is a statement designer such as Christopher Kane, we know that the designs will bring something new to mens clothing - the collection is now on for sale at Browns but for those of you who can't afford it or do not live near the fashion store, here are some pictures of the collection.


     Excited? - I am and even if he created this collection so that he could have 'a decent wardrobe', I think that he won't be the only man enjoying his use of galaxy prints and leather now.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Where is the chav?

     As the vitality of the S/S 2011 collections begins to decorate our magazines and brighten the winter days, it has become apparent that Burberry Prorsum has well and truly evolved since the days of the late 90s. When gazing longingly at the S/S collection, it seems a distance past since the British label was regarded as the chav's link to designer.
    In fact, Christopher Bailey's, barely over one year position, as chief creative director, has allowed the label to cement its position as the emblem of British cool - from its quilted jackets to its trench coats, Burberry understands the British fashionista. Moreover, it hands out a high fashion hand to us, in that it dresses us for the weather. Thus, whilst we admire the shorts of D&G and swimwear of Calvin Klein,  it is the macs and biker jackets of Burberry that will make a splash in the forthcoming April showers - not to mention the neon belts and leather trousers which, under the lord of leather's hands, evoke edginess - not escort.
       For us Burberry boys it is time to invest in a pair of Burberry's skinny fit leather trousers - but if you aren't brave enough the quilted jacket will suffice.


     And, whilst we ponder as to how daring we really are, ladies stare at the studs - despite a trip on the catwalk, Miss Bone Structure 2010, Nina Porter has still achieved the ever so important money shot. You want the jacket - don't you? And if not - because you happen to have been poked by a stud in the eye as a child and as result are scarred for life - surely the softer dress beneath with it's lilac leopard print will be your Spring show stopper.


     And although these collections may not be as innovative as the shearling of the previous season, they are undeniably Burberry and undeniably beautiful. Where is the chav? - on a one way train full of daleks, where it happens to have been exterminated. It doesn't exist; thankfully Burberry does and, if you can afford it, it will exist in your wardrobe in the not so distant future. 
     Unfortunately, if like me, you cannot, hopefully we shall see some of the pieces in Rihanna's upcoming video for her new single 'S&M' - I have images of Rihanna whizzing around my head looking undeniably sexy and stunning in this collection. However, sadly I think that this won't happen and with a title like 'S&M' she may be making a video for boys' home alone entertainment as opposed to fashionistas. But let's see, after all she is the 'Only Girl in the World' who has the bravery to rock fluorescent red hair.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A new year, a new Chanel girl

Gabrielle Coco Chanel - the original Chanel girl.


     When Gabrielle Coco Chanel founded Chanel in 1909, she didn't just create a fashion house, she created a lifestyle of elegance and luxury. The classic suits, the young, yet sophisticated handbags, the perfume - Chanel is timeless.
      Her death in 1971, appeared to be the end of an era, no one could replace her, as both a designer and embodiment of the brand. However, in 1983, Karl Lagerfeld took over and reinstated the label and its untouchable style. In doing this, as well as becoming a designer - Lagerfeld has become a kingmaker within the fashion world because, unlike us mere mortals, he has the power to elevate girls and celebrities to the status of the Chanel girl. And who doesn't want to be a Chanel girl? I'm a sixteen year old boy and I want to be a bloody Chanel girl.
      However, unlike me, some people actually are muses of the Chanel brand. Whether it be Georgia May Jagger, Audrey Tautou or Lagerfeld's male muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, they have all managed to capture the label's elegance and more increasingly apparent edginess ( check out the S/S 2011 campaign featuring punk models Freja Beha Erichsen and Stella Tennant).


      The brilliance is that Lagerfeld differs between the brand's spokeswomen - you wouldn't expect that Jagger and Kidman regularly exchange make-up tips over a coffee and a panini, would you? However, each emulates the unmistakable elegance of Chanel because...Lagerfeld is a genius.
       Thus, his new decision to make Blake Lively the face of the Mademoiselle handbag line is exciting. He is leaving the U.S. edge of Georgia May, the European mystery of Freja Beha and venturing into the new but familiar territory of the classic, American beauty.
         However, as we all know, Blake isn't just a 'Girl next door', nor is she the girl around the block. Blake is the girl in New York who, courtesy of Gossip Girl, has become a fashion icon for young girls across the globe - one need only remember those electric blue crop trousers and the metallic Emilio Pucci jacket she wore in Paris last year - it was bold, daring and quite simply brilliant.


As were these high wasted trousers - perfection.


So, as we imagine Blake in head to foot Chanel with her own Mademoiselle, have a ponder as to who's next in line for Lagerfeld?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A letter to the reader

     Dear  person, who has happened to stumble here, perhaps on purpose but probably by accident,

    Welcome to my blog. I am Sam, a sixteen year-old boy, who ever since working as an assistant in a vintage shop last summer, has aspired to become a fashion journalist - not because of 'Ugly Betty' or 'The Devil Wears Prada' (although, I do enjoy them) but quite simply because fashion is brilliant.
     Fashion allows one to become, on the outside, what they are on the inside. It is art, which we wear; not the meaningless waste of money that a peculiar group of people suggest it is.And to those cretins out there, who are shaking there heads in disagreement and for some reason haven't already left this blog, I pose you this question:
     Surely it is just as, logical to spend £2000 on a Burberry Prorsum S/S 2011 studded, biker jacket, as it is to purchase a painting by the likes of David Hockney?
    The David Hockney dresses a room, whilst the jacket dresses you and is portable. Now unfortunately at the age of sixteen I am unable afford any of the marvellous designs of Christopher Bailey but I can appreciate them and their detail ... as can you.
     Fashion may bore you and so may I, but why? Is it the prospect of attempting to update your wardrobe biannually because that is immaterial, you can add to your own collection whenever you like. It just so happens that fashion reproduces twice a year in order that we may change and develop our own collections, just as we change and develop, both mentally and physically, ourselves. Your wardrobe, like your iTunes library, is unique and personal to you - no one shares it. 
    Fashion, unlike some of our thoughts, is not immaterial. It is material which has the power to make us look and feel amazing. Whether it is the art of Rei Kawakubo's collections for Comme des Garcons, the fun of Anna Sui's or Marc Jacobs' ability to turn the female body into a masterpiece - fashion has the ability to help. It even helps the economy which, as us Brits and our friends across the puddle in Ireland know, needs help.
      From Karl Lagerfeld to Karlie Kloss and Adrien Sahores to Alexandra Shulman, fashion captures the talented and I shall be posting my thoughts on the fashion world through the medium of this blog for both men and women. Read it if you wish and don't if you do not, but having just read Orwell's 1984, I feel the need to make my thoughts known whilst it is possible to do so - without censorship; so I shall.
     
      Yours sincerely,
                          Sam