ESTE SITIO MUESTRA A LOS MEJORES MODELOS MASCULINOS DEL MUNDO

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MICHAEL BASTIAN SPRING 2015

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MICHAEL BASTIAN SPRING 2015

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“The Southwest is a little bit of a challenge,” said Michael Bastian at his studio in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.

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“I really wanted to avoid all the clichés—no cowboy, no poncho, no fringes. You know, how real guys in that part of the U.S. would dress, or my dream of how they would dress.” For Spring 2015, Bastian took his collection of sportswear to Arizona.

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“Maybe because I grew up in Rochester, but the desert Southwest to me is exotic,” the designer said.

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Clichés were mostly avoided, but not entirely. There were embroidered Western shirts, suede outerwear, and bronze feather accessories from the George Frost x Michael Bastian collaboration.

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The best expression of the theme was in the dusty hues, soft, textured fabrics, and faded denim. As always with Bastian, the tailoring stood head and shoulders above the rest of the collection.

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Sharp suits in a linen-blend “denim,” plaid, herringbone, and windowpane were the highlights.

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All kinds of trousers were reimagined in typical Bastian fashion. Riding pants and cargos were stripped down; motocross pants were made summery in faded canvas and denim; and slim, tapered sweatpants were done in gray piqué.

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Bastian’s vision for guys in the Southwest favored glamour over ruggedness.

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There was something louche in the mostly unbuttoned shirts, short shorts, and, of course, the quintessential Michael Bastian racer swimsuit.

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But the ease of the collection was almost too easy. The designer might have successfully avoided clichés, but all of the softening and fading seems to have removed the grit that makes the Southwest special.

VERSACE SPRING 2014

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VERSACE SPRING 2014

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JOHN VARVATOS SPRING 2014

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John Varvatos has spent several seasons extrapolating the idea of elegance. His customers, he says, want to dress up. “They know how to dress casually,” he said after his show. He’s offering a crash course in long-legged dressiness: a tall, trim take on suiting that’s equal parts classic rocker and Regency fop. (OK, maybe 60-40.)

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His jackets are elongated, three-button, and given an extra nip in at the waist by a waistcoat; his pants, narrow or boot-cut—a style now so out of general favor that it looks practically extraterrestrial. It gave you cause to consider that the high-water, ankle-baring pant length that currently enjoys near-universal dominance will, sooner or later, inevitably find its own time at an end. But probably not right now, and probably not at these hands.

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In any case, Varvatos’ elegance had a slept-in crumple, its linens creased, its leathers hand-distressed, as if they’d survived weeks on the road. Which is the ultimate Varvatosian fantasy. While working on the collection, he’d been editing John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion, a compendium of rock ‘n’ roll photography, and the influence of elegant, traveling men like Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix was scrawled here.

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The show ended with an updated bandleader’s jacket, the kind Hendrix liked, worn by a man who may be the closest doppelgänger the modeling world currently offers of Jimi himself.

GANT BY MICHAEL BASTIAN SPRING 2013

The scene, imaginatively at least, at the latest Gant by Michael Bastian presentation was the Galapagos Islands. “It’s so funny, because everyone’s saying, ‘When did you go to the Galapagos?'” Bastian said. “The answer is never. But sometimes your idea of a place is even better than the reality. I did see the documentary on BBC America, which I encourage everybody to watch.”

Bastian dreamed up a pair of young backpackers making their way through the islands, dressed in a combination of their preppy best, their new island finds, and the technical gear necessary to weather the clime. That new technical gear, in the form of nylon windbreakers with Aertex linings, represented the newest category addition to the label. As for the rest, it was the better-than-basics it has been for several collections, with highlights including the camouflage cargo pants, knits (like a reversed Fair Isle), and Baja hoodies with South American motifs. Bastian has been designing the line for several seasons now—seven, precisely—he said as he surveyed the scene. It was meant to be one or two. 

That’s a measure of the sweet spot he’s hitting, as well as the good time he’s having doing it. No wonder he chose a voyager theme. “Gant’s like my vacation,” he said. “There’s never a very heavy emotional subtext to it; it’s just cool clothes.”

Vídeo

GUCCI S / S 2012 MENSWEAR

BURBERRY PRORSUM MENSWEAR S / S 2013

LODEN DAGER SPRING 2012 MENSWEAR

JOHNNY GEORGE (DNA)

Though Loden Dager‘s inspirations ranged from sixties Brazilian architecture to Paul Klee—as Paul Marlow explained at his studio a few days before showtime—the thing that rang clearest through the show was suburbia (and SubUrbia). Marlow imagined all the young dudes hanging out in parking lots, loitering, and lounging. The key moment was when Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” (a.k.a. “Ooh Baby, I Like it Raw”), one of the white-boy radio-rap jams of the nineties, first came blasting through the speakers.

COREY BAPTISTE (VNY)

As the guys started walking (running, really) with their Nike sneaks and pants with one leg rolled up, you could have been outside any 7-Eleven across this great nation 15 years back. That’s a very specific nostalgia to channel, but if it hits you, the way it hits you is, well, raw.

SIMON VAN MEERVENNE (VNY)

In reality, the kids back then never got as polished as this. There were cuffed tailored shorts in place of droopy saggers, and double-faced jacquards for flat prints. A hoodie sweater Marlow called a “wet-suit cardigan” zipped (and unzipped) all the way up the back, hem to hood. Mesh insets in shorts, jackets, and tanks kept it sporty (and allowed for the clever little mesh pocket squares).

NICOLAS RIPOLL (WHILHELMINA)

It all came in vivid, saturated colors like royal, orange, cranberry, and fuchsia, as well as a few cool paisleys and a motif of graphic stripes. It’s been a bright season in menswear, but Loden Dager—last season’s atypically black, white, and gray collection aside—always skews bright. Consider it a confirmation of their talent that Marlow and co-designer Oliver Helden still found a way to stand out from the crowd.

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