How do you follow a previous-season “fashion show” that saw a model locked in the window display of a Paris gallery for three days straight, armed with little more than some arts and crafts, a good book or two, a rack full of cool clothes, and (by the end of it all) a precious few remaining shreds of sanity? (More on that one here.)
Stage a sprawling, and stylish, scavenger hunt through the concrete jungle of New York City, of course. At least that was the solution Scott Sternberg, the Ohio-bred, LA-based designer of Band of Outsiders dreamt up. Models/contestants Miles Garber and Matt Hitt were pitted against each other, fed riddle-like clues (hence the confidential-looking manila envelopes above), and released upon the Big Apple to locate iconic landmarks and complete comical tasks.
They did it all while outfitted in next season’s Band of Outsiders collection, which Sternberg has described as uniforms for a utopian civilization of his own imagining—one in which businessmen, athletes and construction workers seem to cross paths regularly, within the same outfit or even the same garment. If the day these guys had is any indication, B of O’s Fall ’13 clothes are ready for pretty much anything. Read on for highlights from Sternberg’s alternate-reality version of a runway show.
Ground control. The scavenger hunt was masterminded via this moving HQ on the back of a truck.
Don’t hate the players. Miles (L) and Matt, clearly psyched to let the games begin.
Tools of the trade. Per the game’s official rules, after a 7:30am wake-up call, the contestants’ mobile devices were confiscated in exchange for one (1) pair of clean undies.
Luckily, they were given more than tighty-whities. Here, with the score even at zero apiece, the contestants are decked out in the first of many Band of Outsiders Fall ’13 kits.
Scavenger-hunt challenges throughout the day included building Lego self-portraits…
…Strumming for change at Herald Square Station…Utilizing the Dewey decimal system to track down Kurt Vonnegut’sBreakfast of Champions at the NY Public Library…
A few glimpses of the Fall ’13 wares, including a 2D globe-print T-shirt (a collaboration with artist Sam Durant), a subway-inspired tie, and a traditional Black Watch tartan shirt—with a signature Band of Outsiders twist. View the full looks here.
Sternberg (in custom-designed coveralls) with Ansari (looks like his bow-tying technique passes muster as well) at the after-party.
Having paid his dues at menswear juggernauts around the industry (Ralph Lauren, among others), Iowa-born designer Todd Snyder was able to launch his eponymous brand, a mere two years ago, already at the top of his game. While past collections have added expanded on Snyder’s roots in traditional haberdashery and hands-on sewing with references ranging from military to classic Hollywood, the lineup for next Fall germinated from a 1950s vintage leather jacket the designer unearthed at a thrift store in Leeds, England. The result, in Snyder’s own words, is a “badass” take on gentlemanly dressing.
[Above, left: Any time Bruce Pask is backstage, you know it's going to be good.]
Precision Instruments. While the cornerstone of Snyder’s new collection—the moto-inspired leather jackets—show a devil-may-care patina, their fit is immaculate down to the millimeter. (Click images to enlarge.)
Hardcore Haberdashery. Snyder got his start at an old-school Iowa tailor’s shop. His formative years shine through in streamlined suits and outerwear with plenty of attitude.
Serious Sweaters. From a windowpane-plaid cardigan (matched with leather pants, of course) to a shawl-collar in marled mustard, to shoulder-broadening stripes paired with sweats and boots–Snyder’s sweaters had just as much snarl as his biker jackets.
New York Fashion Week: It has begun, and with it, our exclusive content collaboration with Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette. Below is a first-day glimpse from our Men’s Shop Instagram feed, where the guys are taking control for the hectic week ahead.
Keep it here for much more from Joshua and Travis in the days to come—including daily breakdowns of their killer personal style—and in case you missed it, check out our introduction to Street Etiquette from earlier this week.
Joshua’s captions—clockswise from top left:
“Joshua from @streetetiquette ringing in for our first post on Nordstrom’s IG account.”
“Richard Chai this morning.”
“@TravisGumbs layering technique.”
“Met these lovely ladies today around Lincoln Center, and they also have an incredible blog.”
There are style blogs—and then there’s Street Etiquette. By weaving a deep-rooted fascination with culture, community, history and humanity through everything they do—from the clothes they wear to the global adventures they undertake—Street Etiquette founders Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs transcend run-of-the-mill “What I Wore Today” sites, striving instead to answer a more pressing question: What I Did Today.
That’s why we’re honored and excited to collaborate with these gentlemen and scholars to bring you that rare style spectacle—New York Fashion Week—through Street Etiquette’s eyes. Joshua and Travis will be on the ground in their hometown of NYC, sending us daily dispatches of the people and places that catch their attention; and doing it all with their signature sense of personal style, which ranges from thoughtful tailoring to punk-rock pattern mixing.
Our coverage commences later this week, right here on the Men’s Shop Daily, as well as on our Men’s Shop Instagram feed (@NordstromMen). For now though, scroll down to learn about some of Street Etiquette’s recent projects—and see exactly why we’re looking forward to working with them.
[Above: Travis, left, and Joshua outside The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Photo by Andre Wagner.]
The men of Street Etiquette doing what they do best: Soaking up the scenery of their native NYC.
[First and 3rd photos from the top by Rog Walker, from their recent shoot with
model/shoe designer Armando Cabral; 2nd, 4th and 5th from top were taken at New York Fashion Week a year ago.]
Inspired by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Peter Tosh, organized by Street Etiquette, and shot by Andre Wagner, CROWNED was a portrait series celebrating personal expression through hair.
Even before Joshua and Travis shifted their focus from personal style to thought-provoking photo essays, they often based their outfit posts on historical research—mining sources like the Time/Life Archive and The Selvedge Yard for vintage inspiration.
Extraterrestrial substances. Hinged exoskeletons. A mad scientist’s lab. The out-there allegories that runway critics dreamt up to describe theZ Zegna Autumn/Winter 2013 men’s collection are highly imaginative—and quite fitting. The brand (a forward-thinking offshoot of 100-year-old fabric artisans and menswear masters Ermenegildo Zegna) has tactile experimentation woven into its DNA.
What makes Z Zegna’s vision of next season all the more intriguing, though, is a fusion of outer limits with earthly antiquity, as innovative fabric concoctions and construction techniques are grounded by inspirations randging from 17th-century masterpieces to harsh Alpine landscapes.
Z Zegna’s Creative Director, Mr. Paul Surridge, was kind enough to speak with us in the days following the brand’s recent runway presentation in Milan. Read on to learn how space-age alpaca, nomadic pilgrims, and the Mayan calendar played into one of FW13′s most striking collections.
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: The collection is titled The Urban Wanderer Meets the Great Outdoors. What outdoor locales inspire you the most? PAUL SURRIDGE:“Well, I grew up in the country, and being English, I know a bit about cold weather, windy weather, and protection from the elements. My team and I were inspired by landscape photography, in particular the work of Olaf Unverzart. It’s mountains, glaciers, these vast, corroding landscapes. I mean, I’m always inspired by nature—it’s something that’s so much bigger than man himself. Looking at the recent activities around the world, one thing you cannot control is nature.”
Would you say this is clothing for the end of the world? “I’m sorry, the end of the world? [Laughs.] Well you know, it’s funny—we also referenced The Road, the film based on the Cormac McCarthy novel. There’s a moment in the film where they’re arguing over one shoe. I quite like the fact that at the end of the world, all the things you throw away, things you have no value for on a daily basis, suddenly become very valuable. There was even a film about the end of the Mayan calendar that came up—obviously we didn’t write that in the press notes, because we would seem like religious fanatics [laughs]—but it was not so much about the end of the world, and more about this kind of shift. What people expect from clothing now has started to change. It’s about giving someone value for their money, and giving them something to invest in.”
The Road is fiction—at least for now. How do you bring things back to reality?
“We looked at traditional hiking and rambling wear—things that people wore to be comfortable while being active. When you’re dressed to perform, to do something, it’s functional and practical. It’s no longer about fashion, it’s about necessity, and it’s about the production of the garment.
“We were also inspired by nomadism, and early religious paintings of pilgrims. Looking at the way people used to travel, they couldn’t just step into a car—it was more like two weeks on horseback. I wanted this kind of medieval approach that referenced a time in which no one today has life experience—when people had very little, but what they had, had to have a purpose. They would own one single cup, for example, which would be multi-functional. This idea of having very few things that have to perform and function was my way of moving away from minimalism, and into a kind of practicalism.”
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[Caravaggio's Saint Jerome Writing, circa 1605.]
PART II. STROKES OF GENIUS
What drew you to the works of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio [1571–1610]?
“I like the sense of drama you get from Caravaggio’s paintings, and the sense of power. And I like that the stars of his paintings were often people from the street, rather than princes, and kings, and dukes. They were very much like real people, who were being depicted in their normal way of life, or quite painful depictions of real life.”
[Caravaggio's Portrait of Pope Urban VIII, date unknown.]
And how did those inspirations manifest in the collection?
There were a few paintings in particular. One was more about the composition and the segmentation of the body, so you’ll notice in the show there was this kind of belted-jacket bodice, and the tunics with the big white sleeves. Other paintings inspired the color palette. I wanted to reduce the color down from past seasons, but not present a black collection, which felt kind of wrong. So it’s about taking real pigment color—the actual color from pigment itself, before the colors become contaminated—natural color that’s kind of permeated in this sequence of darker tones, and then these highlights of cadmium red and the white shirts.”
[Caravaggio's Judith Beheading Holofernes, circa 1598.]
Do you have favorite items within the collection, or do you look at it more as a whole?
“There are always things that stand out personally. The things I like, more often than not, are the ones that are the most painful to get right [laughs]. But one of my favorite looks was the navy tabard* [below, center] with a white shirt, and a kind of matelassé pant. I like the simplicity of the garment. It’s a key look, and I think a new proportion. A lot of people have picked up on it in reviews—it’s kind of a heraldic, medieval simplicity, but made modern.
“One of the things that people picked up on after the show, was that it felt kind of menacing, or medieval, or dramatic, but without being too poetic. And that’s something that I didn’t want the collection to be—dandy, or romantic. I wanted it to have this historical element, but without being costume.”
[*Tabard: a sleeveless jacket consisting only of front and back pieces with a hole for the head. historical: a coarse garment of this kind as the outer dress of medieval peasants and clerics, or worn as a surcoat over armor.]
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PART III. A FABRICATED FUTURE
Ermenegildo Zegna was founded in 1910 as a high-end fabric supplier. How does that history play into your work today? “One thing that I’m very careful about is the fabric content, because for me, that’s how you ‘Zegna-fy’ everything. At the starting point of each collection, it’s crucial to ask, What can we do with the brand to keep to the Zegna tradition? And for me, the biggest sort of safety net is fabric. I work with our fabric directors to create fabrics—this season in particular, we used an Agnona fabric, which was a shearling-looking alpaca wool mix. It was actually a jersey construction that looked like shearling.”
How else do new innovations play into the collection?
“I’m very keen to make Z Zegna like a forum for technology. For me, it’s not an entry into the Zegna world, it’s a brand by itself. Technology is something that always inspires me anyway, be it in product design, or architecture or other disciplines. In fashion, you see it a lot in sportswear, but it’s kind of lacking in contemporary tailoring. We’ve really embraced the technology and manufacturing side lately—heat-sealing, giving things a permanence and durability, almost like a protective element.”
[The man himself: Z Zegna Creative Director, Mr. Paul Surridge.]
How much does your own personal style affect your design process?
“I find that it becomes stale when you design with only yourself in mind. For me, the personal side is really the sensibility of the color, and the manipulation of the fabric. Taking classic matter, and putting a new spin on it. And I don’t think it’s classic with a twist—it’s more concept than that. It’s more like taking wool, and then taking the yarn from the knitwear to create pinstripes. Doing the textures. Using different forms of technology to create an entirely new product. It’s something I’ve done throughout my career, but at this show in particular, it surfaced in a way that felt very personal… I think that’s what made this collection special.”
[First image: Front row at the show, photo by our Men's Designer Buyer, Jorge Valls. Backstage and runway images: Courtesy of Z Zegna. Caravaggio paintings: via Wikipedia. Landscape photographs by Olaf Unverzart.]
Whereas Kenzo’s spring ’13 show was rooted in the brand’s 1970 ‘jungle’ origin story—replete with a monkey-screech soundtrack, safari-pocketed silhouettes, parkour performers, and acidic shades of blood orange and papaya—the new collection has its head in the clouds. Designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim call it The Jungle in the Sky, and say they were inspired by visions of stratospheric deities while gazing out airplane windows during their frequent sojourns between Paris and New York. The show took place earlier this month in Florence, Italy (where Kenzo was a special guest at menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo)—but its creativity and visual impact were so inherent that we’ve been eager to report on it ever since. Our favorite standout trends:
Touch the Sky. An ethereal color palette transcended the ruddy earth tones and army greens Kenzo’s previous season. While later looks in the new collection veered into menacing red and deep-space navy, these oddly innocuous shades of powder-blue—along with jet pack-like backpacks and belts mimicking safety harnesses—set the tone for the show’s lofty theme.
Use Your Illusion. Color and shape were used to create double-take-inducing modifications in the human form. From left: a shirt that sliced the torso diagonally, sleeves that ghosted out the wearer’s arms, and a sweater that conveyed supernatural strength. (While we might not recommend the latter for, say, an average day at the office, it is a poignant reminder of the power of tailoring.)
Powerful Prints. While leopards and tigers have ruled past Kenzo collections, the new prints look skyward—from buoyant cumulus clouds on a ruggedly oversized coat, to a menacing storm that translates as intangible camo (right). The primary-color stripes (center) are a tougher read: An abstracted sunset horizon? An homage to a pilot’s badges of honor? Check out the full-on flight suit for a closer look.
Abstracted religious icons. Subversive stars and stripes. Angular flora and the now-pervasive snarling Rottweiler. By emblazoning instantly recognizable symbolism on everything from luxe T-shirts to tailored jackets, from his signature warrior kilt (don’t call it a skirt) to Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s album art and stage wardrobe, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci has achieved a rare feat: pledged allegiance from runway critics and cool kids alike. While the man named Designer of the Year by GQ scattered a few emblematic graphics throughout his new Fall ’13 collection, the most memorable moments were delivered through creative fabrications and silhouettes. Check out our favorites below, followed by a video of the complete show.
[Above: artwork from the show's invitation, by M/M Paris.]
Out-There Outerwear. Lapel-less suits and topcoats made a minimalist impression at the start of the show, but were soon displaced by experiments in sartorial armor like glazed tweed and primitively patchworked goalie gear. (Click images to enlarge.) Parkas worn as accessories at the waist were common throughout: an all-black evolution of Kurt Cobain’s cinched flannel shirts.
Graphic Content. Tisci’s signature pictographs manifested as Renassaince humanism juxtaposed with stark geometry—and upended Americana.
Leather Accents. Sometimes a little (like shoulder patches on a cropped toggle coat)—sometimes a lot (like the leather-front overcoat that alludes not-so-subtly to a butcher’s apron).
The Show. The cryptic vibe of the invite (up top) was carried through on the runway with séance-like candlelight and baroque classical music (which then gave way to an unapologetic break-up song).
The Details. Here’s a closer look at the elaborate jacket that looks like Frankenstein’s football pads…Sartorial looks so minimal that they lack lapels…A shackled twist on monkstraps…And argyle turned obscene.
Givenchy is available at selected Nordstrom stores.
For assistance, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1-877-543-7463.
[Invitation design by M/M (Paris), via Givenchy's Facebook page. Runway photos by Marcus Tondo, via Style.com. Detail shots by Gianni Pucci, via Style.com. Backstage photos via Givenchy's Facebook page.]
Last season, Dries Van Noten (alumnus of legendary Belgian design collective known as the Antwerp Six) turned his attention to the ubiquitous but clearly open-to-interpretation realm of camouflage—transforming the traditionally rugged pattern into incarnations that alternately skewed gruff or gossamer, vibrant or vicious. For Fall ’13, Van Noten’s eye is on a different pattern—paisley—and his mind is focused not on far-flung wilderness, but simply on facing daylight after an evening of untold depravity. ‘Clothes for a quick exit,’ as Style.com quotes the official press release; the bleary-eyed walk of shame has never looked better.
Seeing Sounds. What began with widening lapels has morphed into a full-on early-’70s homage across the menswear landscape this season. Van Noten’s embraced the insanity, with exploded paisley paying tribute to acid rock like Hendrix and The Doors.
Reality Check. Where some looks drove the hallucinatory aspect home head-to-toe, others were rooted in wardrobe staples like shawl-collar blazers, DB topcoats and shearling-lined biker jackets—and only hinted at insanity.
PJs for the PJ. These luxed-out iterations of derelict-chic (robes, peej pants, the wooly socks with sandals up top) are one part agoraphobe, two parts what you’d wear to roll out of bed and onto your private jet.
Dries Van Noten is available at selected Nordstrom stores.
For assistance, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1-877-543-7463.
[Instagram photos, clockwise from top left, via @fashiontv, @philip_manghisi, @hannahemslie, @mensfashionfix; individual looks via GQ.com. If your work appears here and you'd like it removed or credited differently, please contact us using the 'Email the Editor' link at right.]
Having started as a forward-thinking shoemaker to Hollywood stars of the 1920s, the late Salvatore Ferragamo’s eponymous brand has come a long way. One aspect that remains a guiding force under Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti: a scientific approach to the art of style. Chiseled lines and innovative mixes of luxe leather and wool with technical fabrics define this calculated new collection, rooted in a cavernous spectrum of near-black hues. The result is an army of outerwear that would somehow look as at-home in the Matrix as it would on your sunless, socked-in commutes next Fall.
Leather Weather. The show featured a wide range of takes on this quintessential piece of all-attitude menswear—from cropped biker jackets to hip-length trialmasters to knee-length trenches.
Soldier of Fortune.Military references are invading throughout the season’s shows. No exception here, with double-breasted officer coats and peacoats, aerodynamic bomber jackets, and the all-terrain trench in the Twitter pic up top.
Rain Men. Soaked cement was a clear influence, with storm sounds starting the show and puddles literally lining the runway. Giornetti found countless ways to revel in the rain—like a voluminous cloak, rubberized sweater and futuristic poncho fit for a gunslinger in space. (Click images to enlarge.)
Watch the video above for a glimpse backstage prior to the Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2013 runway show—which took place in Milan only a few days ago—and hear from Giornetti himself on the thought process behind the new designs.
Missoni, an Italian fashion house founded in 1953, is known far and wide for its innovative experimentation with eye-shocking patterns in wildly varying shades. Sixty years in, the brand is still family-operated, with Angela Missoni serving as menswear designer. (Her daughter, model/heiress/accessories designer Margherita Missoni, offered GQ some salient dating tips earlier this year.) By varying the color and configurations of the brand’s signature stripes, plaids, zigzags and speckles, Angela Missoni’s recent collections can come off as space-age and streamlined (see the current Spring collection) or earthy and ancient—the latter being the case for Fall/Winter 2013, which melds Italian swagger with a palette that reflects the rugged American West: from desolate plains and grand canyons to lush wilderness.
Controlled Doses. Sometimes a dab of pattern is all you need—like on a vest layered over your jean jacket, or a statement sweater that stands alone. Click the guy in the middle to see the subtle pattern in his pants, and on the panels under his arms.
Pattern on Pattern. It wouldn’t be a Missoni show if some of the looks didn’t go all in. Click the images for closer looks at how color, texture and scale subtly interplay—and make these bold mixes totally work.