from the mouths of BABES - on wearing ric owens:

"This coat is like  
youth and sex and butter 
all at the same time. 
You could sleep on the sidewalk 
and you would never feel a lack. 
You wouldn't even need love." 
- Cintra Wilson, 
on wearing a Rick Owens coat, 
in the New York Times.

found this on fashionista.com, 
and it about sums up what my favorite designer helps you feel.
sometimes it takes a real babe to put it all in perspective.

what Landis wore : the rick owens sweater

purchased at l'eclaireur in paris,
mainly because tim (i will blame him here, it was his fault.)
pulled it off the rack and said (i am not making this up, hence the "his fault" part):

"cool, they have it in charcoal gray.  you look great in this color."

and that was that.

the thing about ric owens' pieces is that by and large they look like . . .
piles of crap on the hanger.

then you put them on.

that is,
if you can figure it out.

there were two armholes and very very very long sleeves, but i ended up putting it on backwards.
and upside down.
until the nice salesclerk came running over and
in a very normal, non-french-judgmental way,
"ah, no, like theeez" . . .

and it all made sense.

it hangs open in front and trails and loops,
you can tie it,
toss it,
knot it,
or loop it.

it is angora and cashmere and light and thin as a cobweb.

it's tricky to wear, and not really that masculine,
and for those reasons alone . . .

it's good to challenge yourself and your comfort levels.

tim calls these things "pieces",
and even though you don't want a wardrobe full of them
(lest you become a walking V.O.F.)*
a few keep you inspired and thinking.

which is the point of this whole game, after all.

* V.O.F. - noun, victim of fashion


stuff to skip : spring 09 runway

not everything on the runways is workable.

or should be.

here are a few that i would recommend you pass on:

jil sander color blocking.
could be my nineties club kid revolting against this,
could be my retinas.

the fuschia suit.
i'm all for color.
i might have favored this at one point.  when i was twenty.
now, not so much.

i mean.  i don't.  have to explain.  this one.  do i?

(oh please, tell me i don't.  unless you're like, a pro ball player with an affinity for colored suits.  then see this, and the one above.  and don't call me.)

and while i applaud and love his runways,
there are times when galliano heads a little into,
how does one put this?

scary porny clown territory:

with sandals.

although i think the swimsuits in the line?


why yes,
it is a hand bag,
isn't it?


RUNWAY RUNDOWN : neil barrett, spring 09

neil barrett was the first designer for prada's men's line,
and he has carried that sleek, sharp look forward to his own line.

it's always one of my favorite shows,
because there are plenty of easy, yet covetable, pieces.

it is not truly future looking,
but rather small steps forward, twists on already existent trends,
and lots of vests and shorts.

this time around,
he did color, and knits:

while not groundbreaking,
his work always provides good clothing for a modern man,
very sharp,
very well edited.

any feelings on the stirrup pants, kidlets?
how about the shoes?

FALL COUTURE : an art form, up close

the couture shows for winter were what they always are:

an unattainable, yet lovely,

expression of all that a couturier can dream of,

and then make real, for a moment.

most of us won't have lives where we ever wear this stuff,

(not the least reason being that it's women's clothing only . . .)

but it surely informs and influences every aspect of fashion downstream,

from colors to textures to lengths . . .

after all, that's what dreams are supposed to do,

seep into daily consciousness.

your homework here is to look closely,

and tell me what you see that inspires you.

what can men learn from a frothy, imaginative rundown of women's fantasies?

in some ways, guys need to spend more time seeking inspiration,

and less worrying about what works.

my mother (who, among other things, was a very successful interior designer in the eighties),

once made me pull every page from every kind of magazine that i liked,

then lay them on the floor,

step back,

and see what rose to the top.

that way, i would know what i consistently was drawn to,

be it color or shape or lighting.

for the record, i liked red sofas,

violet walls,

dark wood floors,

and alabaster.

(i've moved on.  but it was a stunning apartment.)

here, a few snippets from lacroix and chanel

that should make you yearn a bit

for reasons to keep this art form



RUNWAY RUNDOWN : calvin klein, men's spring 09

calvin klein just don't get no respect.

perhaps it's just a wear-out factor.  maybe it's just the lack of "news".

perhaps it's the fact that it's almost become
a "anne taylor" for men's suits.
you know, nice, but kind of anonymous.

but you see the runway, and it's mix of sport and suit, and you think
"where is this stuff?  why can't i get some of it?  why do i never SEE IT?"

perhaps it's just that this is all that ever makes it to the racks:

you know, nice.

for a suit.

in a neutral.

i guess it comes down to the hard fact.  do you stand for this:

or this:

i guess a question people ask themselves every day.

not, however, something a brand can do.



well it wouldn't be me if i didn't include someone

this fearless,

this timeless,

and this chic,

would it, now?

cate blanchett has proven time and again,

over and over,

that with the right confidence and knowledge of yourself,

almost any fashion risk can be ridden to harbor,

and any occasion should inspire you to rise to the new.

she easily fits the five rules,

but she also inspires across gender with the radiance of her attitude.

her true gift?

she transcends whether you "get it" or not.

she makes you understand

that true style

is about the wearer:



WORKING IT : the fall 08 workwear trend

one of the most predictable trends to emerge recently
was the upsurge of "work-wear" inspired dressing that hit the fall runways.

whether as a reaction agains the feminine influence being felt through the mens shows,
(particularly subversive in the prada show),
or as a less frontal way of approaching the masculinity of military wear,
the sudden surge of rougher materials,
fuller silhouettes,
and multiple layers
(even if the above dolce & gabbana look is just a gratuitous excuse to show chad white in long johns)
speak to a shift that we will probably see intensely in the next few seasons.

masculinity, welcome back.

(or, watch the gay community and see if the "village people" effect takes hold.  we've already seen the surge of seventies style porn mustaches and the ascent of the "bear", perhaps workmen aren't far behind as a archetype to mimic.)

the trickiest iteration of the trend?

the jumpsuit.

now, this is bottega veneta,
and only thomas meier would but a lavender jumpsuit beneath a paper soft lambskin jacket,
or under a navy cashmere topcoat.

and there is something both appealingly fresh to the eye
and completely jarring.

(guilty confession:  i actually tried this piece on in paris in the store, and was shocked to find how much i loved it.  i could not for the life of me think of a reason to purchase it, an event that i would feel ready to wear it to, but in all honestly, it made me look . . . rough.  tim nearly forced me to go back and buy it the next day, he loved it so much.  sexy is a good motivator.)

it's also been done well by calvin klein (spring 08):

perhaps it's the juxtaposition that i always love,
the real life mix that makes hard pieces easier.

it's a pretty simple rule of thumb:
when men dress, they often pull of tricky pieces by putting them
with much easier to understand things.

tennis shoes with a old world three piece suit makes justin timberlake cool, not trendy.
a vivid color tempered with denim.
a speedo on david beckham. (i'm not sure which is the more "complicated piece" in that analogy)

a jumpsuit with a cashmere overcoat:

so how do the more extreme versions of a trend
work for normal men?

let's just say "normal" won't fit this item in this trend:

more power to the above gentleman,
and i love the courage to wear something outside the . . . well, even the fringe.

but for most men,
it's about balance.
and knowing what you can pull off
as much as what you'd like to pull off.

i think factors like age (witness the forty year olds in abercrombie.  hell, witness the thirty year olds. *)
or location (tokyo and new york are more forgiving than chicago or atlanta)
or event (the office?  depends on where you work.)
or courage (sometimes, the force of personality alone makes it work)

for myself,
i wasn't sure why i stumbled over this one piece.
i've worn catsuits with riding boots.  in public.
this one, and perhaps it's a sign of age as much as exposure
(i'd love a new flatscreen.  and that eighteen thousand dollar sofa at diva in l.a.)

well, if it goes on sale . . . tim may get a private treat.

it's not like i haven't worn one before:

(circa 1973, hyde park, london)

*  true story.  i was in abercrombie a few years ago and the salesgirl was happily talking about the new store they were opening.  it was the same kind of stuff, but more for people in their mid-thirties.  and i said "oh, so more adult?" and she said "yeah, like my dad's age".

* also true.  the store was ruehl.  my friend james was in it shortly after opening, and got a little pissed off at how dark it was, how hard it was to navigate, and how there was no one in the store (or as he puts it, "no one that was legal")  so he turned and walked briskly for the exit.  and walked INTO a mirror that he thought was a door.  fell the the ground, knocked over a display.  i think that's a sign, too.