Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ken's Eye View: Fall '15 Milan Men's Trends

Blame rock star phenomena. The most in-your-face trend out of Milan was fur coats for men! We saw the beginning of this trend last year.

The fact that Haute Rapper, Kanye West attended a few shows dressed in big, long-haired fur coats clearly inspired designers to further explore that fuzzy-wuzzy route. For those of you with Ken dolls or FR Hommes who want the look, this means heading to the faux fur section of your local (or online) fabric store and choosing the more ostentatious items in the store! In other words, anything good enough for Barbie, is perfectly fine for Monsieur Ken.

Then again, not all furs are as outrageous. With a short hair fur cut into a simple jacket silhouette or coat, a more sophisticated look can be achieved. You can even get the look without investing in faux fur by substituting velvet. A plush, thick pile velvet will render the look of shaved mink. A panne or even crushed velvet is a great way to imitate Persian lamb! For Ken's white jacket in the first photo, I used a (cut and sew) shaggy synthetic knit fabric.

This whole fur thing is also found on other types of garments like overcoats, sports jackets and parkas. You can make a separate scarf, or add a touch of fur to the collar or hood of an existing garment! Old gloves or mittens are other great sources
when you only want to add just a touch.

All in all, men's fashions for next Fall seem to be very relaxed! Think country gentlemen with lots of safari-type jackets, short slim jackets in muted autumn colors. Velveteen, corduroy, and plaids are star fabrics in this group.

As in the case of London fashion week, concrete grey is a MAJOR color next fall. But look for greys with lots of texture woven into the fabric. And don't be afraid to mix different textures with prints.

Jeans are a wardrobe staple. But again, notice how the added texture brings the lowly denims up to date! Quilted jackets or vests, lots of layering (or as much as your doll can stand), ripped and patched jeans, or a "throw back '70s"shaggy coat worn over loose jeans will bring Ken into the thick of the new season.

Another look that attracted the boys' eyes...the thick licorice black look of leather and black on black textured fabrics for day and for night. The silhouettes are simple but the overall effect is massive. Can't work with leather? No problem, get the look by substituting a lightweight vinyl or a heavy black satin.

Well...just because I liked this look, I thought I'd share it with you. I've done faux leather for my guys using a thin stretch vinyl. Some craft stores (like Michaels in the US) sell squares of reptile embossed vinyl.

Last year we also saw menswear designers "reconnecting with their feminine side" with what looked like suits and sports clothes cut from very feminine looking fabrics. I will admit, I hated much of what I saw. I think many others felt the same way, because this year things calmed down a bit. There is still a hint of print this year, but at least it's more subtle and for a dressy occasion or a red-carpet event, it could work.

At the end of the day, the Italians are best known for the quality of their menswear and our guys chose these stunning coats for their workday wardrobe.

For those of you new to my blog, here's a tip as to what you can do with the information in my fashion reports. You cannot create fashion unless you know what's in style. That seems obvious when it comes to womenswear, but the average person doesn't think about it for the guys' clothes! Menswear is wildly different than it was just 10 years ago and like womenswear, trends come and go in lightning speed!

Use these reports as a guide for your fabric purchases. Be inspired by the looks or some aspect of the looks when creating clothes for your doll. Even if you are not into making Ken doll clothes, often there are lots of original and great ideas in menswear that can be converted into stunning garments for your Barbie!

Up next: the boys are in Paris right now. We'll have a wrap up while the girls get ready for Fall '15 Haute Couture!

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  1. Hi April! a great report, I haven't made my mind up about what I actually like, but very interested in the different lines. As usual they will deposit for a few months in the back of my mind and then will begin to pop up as "original ideas" LOL
    Kisses Billa

    1. Thank you Billa. Regarding your "original ideas," that's exactly how things work in the industry. Designers see things, put them in the back of their minds which are then tossed around like a salad... and then presto...six months later a new collection is born!!!! Big hugs

  2. I love that you recommend fabrics to substitute. I may have to give thick satin and velvet a try for doll coats.

    I made some doll pants/leggings the other day out of a stretch velvet leopard print. The print was itty bitty, perfect for my Barbies. I made a black t-shirt to go with it, and now I'm thinking... it needs to be topped off with a jacket. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you for sharing. The T-shirt and leopard you made sound awesome (and very much on trend!!!).

  3. Thanks for another awesome report! I just made a "leather coat" for one of my guys last week and it's right on trend.

    1. Thank you KMQ. I'm thinking of making a black leather something for one of my new guys. Very on trend and never really goes out of style!

  4. A great overview! Some of the fur coats are really cool (or warm, hmmm...)! I like the autumn colors and safari-inspired jackets a lot. Great coats you made too! xx

  5. Thank you, Night Owl. The guys were envious of the girls' fur coats. I made a faux lamb coat last year and the Italian trends give me a reason to make two more. However, I've noticed that since posting this article, my Barbies have "borrowed" the two coats in the first photo!!!! Big hugs.

  6. Hello from Spain: fabulous photos. These guys are very stylish. Nice collections. Keep in touch

  7. Thank you Marta. Glad you enjoyed my photos. See you soon!

  8. wow i am in love with all this guys style,Milan is the city!!

  9. I totally agree. Of all three cities, this season, Milan was my favorite.


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