Simon Spurr: Daring Elegance

Simon Spurr has done it again. The former Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Yves Saint Laurent menswear designer flexes timeless aesthetic with his Spring 2012 collection. If there were ever doubts about the breadth and depth of Mr. Spurr’s sartorial scholarship, he has certainly demonstrated with resounding achievement. The Simon Spurr brand essence is clean, classic garments juxtaposed with modern patterns and modern silhouettes. Black, white, and shades of navy, grey, and olive are represented for Spring 2012. The collection offers just what most (I’ve) have come to expect from Simon Spurr; flawlessly tailored three-piece suits. The grey on grey pinstripe three-piece peak lapel was the first of three on the runway.  There were splashes of typical spring colors in a contrast lavender, pink pinstripe, and green gingham dress shirts.

Spurr saves the best for last and unveils an asymmetrical burgundy motorcycle jacket. This hand-finished leather jacket is a vision of rugged sophistication. Placing the look at the end of the show is absolutely perfect. The jacket literally took my breath away. Jacquard garments, bold patterns, slim black denim, leather sleeves and lapels, and mesh tanks leave Spurr admirer’s with new interpretations and quintessential cool.

7 Things We Can Learn From Simon Spurr

 I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Spurr at Bergdorf Goodman and view his Spring 2012 collection up close. And let me tell you, it’s much better in person. Ultra clean; cleanest of the clean. I told Simon how much I loved his assymetrical leather biker jacket and to keep cranking out 3-piece suits. He was charming, really nice and an approachable guy. Dream come true. I was a bit nervous, i mean he’s like famous. I had my camera in my pocket ready to ask someone to take a picture of him and I, but I felt like a total geek and decided against it. Here’s a look backstage at the 2012 Spring Simon Spurr show during NYFW. The British designer’s advice for his models are reccomendations I try to adhere to everyday.

Tommy Hilfiger & The New Spring Prep

The Spring 2012 Tommy Hilfiger collection isn’t your usual northeastern private school prep. Good move? Great move. The americana king surprises ( I believe ) most of us and presents a collection like we’ve never seen from Hilfiger.

Click here at CHAOS Magazine  http://chaosmag.blogspot.com/2011/09/tommy-hilfiger-spring-2012.html to check out my full Tommy Hilfiger review. Enjoy!

Primetime Emmys, Primetime Style

The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired this past Sunday. This is an event to honor television’s most talented stars. It’s also an event for those stars to honorably showcase their style. Every year a handful of men really miss the mark and end up on worst dressed lists across the web. This year, I’m surprised to say, saw more men acing the red carpet test than failing. If it were me, I would wear a Tom Ford double-breasted tuxedo every year. And I would never fail. The following three men did not disappoint on the red carpet.

Jon Hamm laid waste to most of his peers on the red carpet wearing a Tom Ford double-breasted shawl lapel tuxedo. Great minds think alike. Mr. Hamm could have shown a bit more cuff for spot on detailing. The “Community” star Joel McHale wore a Michael Bastian tuxedo and was as dapper as anyone has ever seen him. And that’s saying a lot given that he can be seen hosting “Talk Soup” regularly in Burberry suits. “The Office” star John Krasinski looked almost regal posing with his wife Sunday night. And really presented a vision of how most men want to spend their lives; sharply, confidently dressed with a beautiful woman.

Peak Your Interest In Peak Lapel Suits

Popularized during the Roaring Twenties, peak lapels were universally worn on either double-breasted suit jackets or formal single-breasted dinner jackets. Peak Lapels coalesced with single-breasted suit jackets and defined elegance in menswear. Whether on suit jackets, blazers or overcoats, the peak lapel always communicates class, sophistication, and style. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at peak lapel aficionado and perennial leading man of style Cary Grant. One essayist writes, “Men want to be as lucky and enviable as he is-they want to be him. And women want to land him.”  What makes Grant such an archetype? A number of things, but surely his consistent appreciation of peak lapel suits. Budding intellects like Langston Hughes, wore peak lapel suits during the Harlem Renaissance. And even notorious gangsters like Al Capone wanted to embody the gracefulness that peak lapel suits represent.

The broad V-shape a peak lapel jacket creates is ideal for displaying bold and creative shirt-tie combinations. Contemporary peak lapels are much slimmer than those originally worn in the twenties and thirties, allowing for a superior silhouette. These contemporary designs still harness the graceful nostalgia of original pioneering style. Reputable attire for the office and especially dinner dates, a peak lapel suit will set you apart as a man with choice style. Recent designs by mastermind Tom Ford, prove peak lapel suits will always be a suave selection, undoubtedly complimenting any man.

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Adoration For Junya Watanabe

Designer Spotlight: Junya Wantanabe

 Junya Wantanabe is the Japanese designer behind one of the most talked about labels in menswear. Wantanabe graduated from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and began to work for Commes Des Garcons creator Rei Kawakubo. After years of apprenticeship as a knitwear designer, Wantanbe debuted his own collection, “Junya Wantanabe Commes Des Garcons” in 1993. The fashion gods looked on us with love when Wantanabe expanded and began designing menswear.

Wantanabe’s Fall 2011 collection is a beautiful representation of fearless contrasts of fabrics, textures, and patterns. Seasonal patterns dominate the collection, particularly Fair Isle knitwear. One of my favorite pieces is a double-breasted Fair Isle royal purple shawl collar jacket. It’s visually stunning and immediately caught my attention, as it is unique in its creation and imperial in its essence. My second favorite piece is a navy Fair Isle hooded toggle coat. Again, I’ve yet to see a toggle coat this majestic from any other designers but Junya Wantanabe. The silhouette is flawlessly streamlined and the colors are meticulously complimentary. I suppose it’s only natural that I enjoy the knitwear the most from the former knitwear designer.

The Fall 2010 collection has a bit more of the rebellious attitude we associate with New York City, with asymmetrical double-breasted jackets and contrast suiting. One piece that stands out is a textured drab olive shawl cardigan, perfect for stylish layering. The most recent Spring collections do not disappoint either. Spring 2011 is a mix of colors; creams and whites, paired with shades of navy and plaid. Conversely, the 2010 collection is bold, colorful window-pane and plaid blazers, ascots, and oxford brogues.

I really can’t get enough of Junya Wanatanabe. The designer is a master of manipulating menswear classics into contemporary hallmarks. Not only is Wantanabe acclaimed in the fashion world, he is also acclaimed in the music industry. Lupe Fiasco created the track “Gold Watch”. A track dedicated to “peruse the essentials of cool”. In that song Lupe boasts “Such a good designer, Junya Wantanabe”, before shortly saying he also admires Yohji Yamamoto. What does that mean, you ask? When music and fashion begin to merge, it’s the sign of a designer at the top of his game.  

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Idris Elba Has It Figured Out

No Longer Floating Under the Style Wire, Idris Elba Graduates From Underrated British Bloke, To Bona Fide Style Icon.

 British actor Idris Elba is best known for his portrayal of economically driven druglord, Stringer Bell, in the HBO series “The Wire”. The popular television series is recognized for its accurate depiction of American socioeconomic issues. “The Wire” introduced American audiences to the talent of Idris Elba and immediately catapulted the Brit into popularity. Soon after, Elba was showcased in Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s Little Girls”, Ridley Scott’s blockbuster “American Gangster”, and the television series “The Office”. Last year Elba starred in the thriller “Takers”, as the architect of a group of heist criminals whose swagger is off the richter scale. This sartorial gem is visually salivating, as every character is aggressively tailored and aggressively urbane. Something all men should seek to be. Elba’s character, Gordon Cozier, can be seen strutting about town in a navy Dolce and Gabbana suit, and a heather brown Versace pinstripe suit. I’m talking serious bravado personified. Consequentially, Elba began attracting the attention of style enthusiasts and he did not disappoint.
 
Standing 6 foot 2 inches and weighing 215 pounds, this dude is a physical specimen built more like a football player than a prototypical thespian. This might lead you to believe he is plagued with conundrums finding proper fits, like most men with similar physiques. Quite the contrary, there is nothing ill-fitting or ill-conceived about Idris Elba or his wardrobe. That’s what I find so endearing and admirable about Elba. While most guys his size don’t understand proportions, fit, or how to use their size to sartorially work in their favour, Elba does. He’s definitely winning.
 
His formal and casual style ethos rivals any of his contemporary colleagues. Have a look at Elba when he attended the Giorgio Armani menswear show at Milan Fashion Week. Or have a look at his arrival to the “Legacy” premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, where he manages to be the best dressed male in a slim suit, showcasing shades of grey, lavender, and an ankle boot. That’s right, ankle boot. And Elba doesn’t lose an ounce of confidence or swagger. Admittedly, Elba has a somewhat small albeit important role in the summer blockbuster “Thor”, as Heimdall. You would think he played Thor himself the way Elba walked the red carpet in a steel blue slim suit. There’s a presence, a coolness, and a calmness about Elba that can’t be ignored and American audiences are finally taking notice.
 
DJ Driis is Idris Elba’s musical alias. Listening to his music, it’s not hard to believe DJ Driis is fourteen years deep in the game. His most recent album, “High Class Problems”, is a mix of seductive, soulful beats like the “Private Garden” and “Best I Can” tracks, and dope hip hop bangers like “Exhibit Driis” and “I Owe You”. Elba’s everyday style appropriately resembles his alter ego’s musical vibe. Not on a red carpet movie premiere, DJ Driis sticks with comfortable, pragmatic staples that don’t sacrifice first class cool; Gucci cardigans with contrast trim, Nike wind runner jackets, tee shirts, dark denim, and sneakers.
 
Idris Elba has crossed over the pond and joined the ranks of his other British mates, like perennial icon David Beckham. Fashion and style voyeurs can only expect bigger and better things from Elba, as he is studded to act alongside Nicholas Cage in the new Ghost Rider sequel, as well as another Ridley Scott project. Whimsical cinematic visions dance in my head of Elba in a Tom Ford tux, portraying James Bond. And I love James Bond. And I particularly love how Elba’s peer Daniel Craig has transformed the character. In the track “Rise Up”, DJ Driis exclaims, “I care not about the number on the chart, I’m a ten pound baby from the start.” It’s plain to see we’re dealing with a [literal] heavyweight in Idris Elba. Knockout power, knockout style, and knockout talent. 

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