runway recaps

The series in which we hook you up with the feeds you need.


If you have even a passing interest in men’s style, stop looking at your friends’ struggle meals on Instagram and start following Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls.

Jorge was front row at the just-wrapped Paris Fashion Week, analyzing designers’ Spring/Summer 2016 creations. We must say, it’s a wild time for men’s style right now. We’re loving designers’ risks and overall confidence.

Here are some of our favorite snapshots from Jorge’s krazy life.

The hits: Supermodel Naomi Campbell murdering Riccardo Tisci’s menswear inches from Valls at the Givenchy show (automatic double tap for gender fluidity on the runway) and Thom Browne’s pop art kimonos hanging in gray space.


We’re also fans of Jorge’s images from the Lanvin and Officine Generale shows. We’re super feeling the monochrome collection from Y-3 (the adidas/Yohji Yamamoto team-up coming soon to Nordstrom). The streetwear surrealism of Hood By Air is haunting our dreams.

See Paris Fashion Week through Jorge’s eyes below, and then check his Insta for more–he’s got a ton of shots from Milan Fashion Week on there, too.

Follow: Jorge Valls

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A few tongue-in-cheek photos from Michael Bastian’s own Instagram account sum up the designer’s message for Spring 2014 quite nicely. In stark contrast to the upstate New York native’s prior collection (as discussed in our Q&A here), which traversed ominous backwoods in the rural Northeast, his new offering, unveiled recently at New York Fashion Week, conjures jaunty vibes of a booze-fueled bender on the French Riviera.


Despite the disparate visions for fall and spring, a common thread in Bastian’s work is attention to detail. This time, instead of stacking layers of gothic black and hunting gear (in the mode of fall’s The Crow goes to Cabela’s), Bastian piled pattern upon smirking pattern. Pineapples on plaid on leopard? No problem for Bastian’s European vacationer. While the rest of us might not take it to the same extreme—Bastian’s been quoted as calling it “print abuse”—we can all benefit from introducing a tasteful pop of pattern or two into the mix next spring.

Check out our favorite looks and key takeaways from Michael Bastian Spring ’14 below.

Jacket Required. Bastian’s dinner-ready gents were all business from the waist up—and ready to work on their tans below the belt. Wild pattern mixes notwithstanding, we’ll take this as evidence that the sportcoat-with-shorts look is still going strong. Just make sure they’re trim-fitting and above the knee.

Sweater Weather. For the top deck, the beach and winding your way back to the chateau after a night on the town—sweaters are a midweight spring staple. Bastian’s classic crewneck returns every season in a new motif, this time referencing extreme leisure (full-body backgammon) and the thrill of the hunt (abstract animal print).

Beach-Ready. The collection’s most casual offerings ranged from an utterly eclectic beachcomber (center) to athletic-inspired gear mixed with tailored shorts and trousers—the latter being our favorite for shifting nonchalantly from cruising the boardwalk to grabbing a coffee or cocktail with the French girl you just met.


And see the full Spring ’14 runway at


[Instagram photos via @mbastiannyc and @bastiangirl on Instagram. Runway photos by Marcus Tondo, via]


New York Fashion Week: It’s that time once again. Watch for much more coming soon, but for now, here’s a look at the Spring/Summer 2014 presentation by Ernest Alexander, named one of the Best New Menswear Designers in America by GQ, and a specialist in masculine carry-alls.

Seen here, courtesy of Ernest’s official Instagram feed, is a glimpse of the preparation process—from a mood board including Jude Law, to casting, to heavy drinking, to pre-show grooming by a guy with perhaps the most epic beard ever grown, to shoes provided by Florsheim (who else?).

Further down are a few keen details during the final showing, shot by Justin Bridges for GQ; see the rest here. (And though this brand is known for bags, note the emphasis on floral shirts.)


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While Rag & Bone’s English-born designers, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, have described their core aesthetic as a mash-up of British tailoring and New York street, their spring 2014 men’s collection—unveiled earlier this week in London, after years showing in the brand’s home base of NYC—subtly referenced Japan.

This came by way of a geometric twist on traditional sashiko stitching (see detail below), as well as innovative textiles (a Japanese specialty), such as sturdy cottons washed with salt or coated with Teflon. The British designers also collaborated with Caleb Crye of Brooklyn-based military apparel specialist Crye Precision.

In other words, spring has never looked tougher—nor more prepared for rain or shine (even the suits look weather-proof). Check out highlights from Rag & Bone’s Instagram feed below (including the space mere hours before showtime, Neville and Wainwright observing a final run-through, and R&B-branded pretzels), followed by video footage of each look.



You’ll have to wait a year for this collection to hit shelves. Until then,


Were you up at 2pm London time yesterday, to catch Burberry’s spring/summer 2014 men’s show live from London? If not, we can’t blame you—time zones throw us off too. (It aired at 6am where we are.)

In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the collection, its inspiration, stylish show-goers, and Burberry Creative Director Christopher Bailey, courtesy of Burberry’s official Instagram feed—plus video of the full show below. We enjoyed the classic tailoring (as always), mixed with op-art prints and new ideas on proportion (by now a signature of Bailey’s menswear collections).


You’ll have to wait a year for this collection to hit shelves. Until then,


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’s Breakfast of Champions at the NY Public Library…

…Powering up with custom, co-branded cookies at Momofuku Milk Bar

…Posing with Tumblr intern Tommy the Pomeranian…

…Tying a bow tie with none other than GQ Creative Director Jim Moore checking the technique…

…Delivering a burger to frequent Band of Outsiders collaborator Aziz Ansari (that’s him wearing B of O with Sarah Silverman on the left)…

…And re-enacting a classic scene from Woody Allen’s Manhattan. (Whew.)

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.

…And view the complete Fall ’13 slideshow at


[Photos courtesy of @ThisIsBandOfOutsiders on Instagram, except final Sternberg/Ansari pic by Instagram user @dmc_dmc. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]


Take a century-old, Yale-bred campus shop (J. Press), put those hundred years of heritage in the hands of two young masters of the modern menswear movement (Shimon and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons)—and the result is an immaculate, if at times off-beat, experiment in Americana. It’s called J. Press York Street, and it’s coming soon to the Nordstrom Men’s Shop. (More on that later.)

In the meantime, we’re lucky enough to have some exclusive images by one of our favorite photographers, Evan Tetreault, from the J. Press York Street Fall 2013 presentation he attended during New York Fashion Week. Check out Evan’s work below—and a few of our favorite looks from the collection below that.


Our favorite looks—from left:
1. Beanie + repp tie + sweats. The definition of high/low.
2. Tech-parka over pinstripes. Very Maine meets Wall Street.
3. Had it with V-necks? Replace it with a rugby shirt. [Click all images to enlarge.]

More favorite looks—from left:
4. We’re into olive-green everything lately—a great neutral for pants and, obviously, sportcoats.
5. Pretty much the perfect toggle coat.
6. What to wear chopping wood when the fire dies. Or when your girlfriend forgot to take the trash out. Or under your suit next winter if you live in Michigan.


[Close-up photos by Evan Tetreault; view his Portfolio and follow him on Tumblr. Full outfit shots via]


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.


…And view the full Fall ’13 slideshow at


[Instagram images, clockwise from top, from users DetailsMag, Unstill_Life, and ToddSnyderNY. Individual looks by Fillipo Fior, via of]


Rarefied Air: Kenzo Fall 2013

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.


…And view the complete Fall/Winter 2013 slideshow at


[Behind-the-scenes photos via KenzoParis_HQ on Instagram. Individual looks shot by Marcus Tondo, via]


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 Detail shots by Gianni Pucci, via Backstage photos via Givenchy’s Facebook page.]

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