Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ken's Eye View: Spring/Summer 2016 Trends Pt. 1

The guys are back!!!! In this the first of a two part trend report, Ken and friends focus on all the latest styles to come out of London and Milan forecasted for next summer.

As usual, London was one hot mess with lots of "experiments" and (non-wearable) creative expressions!!! The Brits can always rely on the sober lines of Bestoke (made to order) suits and gentlemen classics, but was passes for menswear trends was one wild and crazy ride. While most of it doesn't translate well into 1/6 scale for our vinyl hunks, there were a few fun ideas that actually work for a young, hip hop look!

The designers in Milan, on the other hand, know how to temper this young, nervous energy into something that can actually be worn on the street. In addition, there are classic looks with a new twist, showing off the Italian designers savoir-faire when it comes to dressing men.

Whether worn with sweaters, shirts or jackets, this trend which began this season, will continue on through next summer. Notice the range of fruity colors!!!  Included in this group: shorts suits!

The story here is about hot, vibrant color splashed over the simplest of wardrobe favorites: jackets, jeans or trousers. Be daring, be bold....all the best dress Ken dolls in our lives will be dressed in flaming red for the hottest summer ever!!!

The digital age is here in the form of video games and also parkas and jackets in playful prints. Again, the story here is color....this time carved up in coloring book style prints and patterns. For Sean's jacket I cut away a colorful decal from a T-shirt then used a basic coat pattern. Normally the cotton knit of the T-shirt would be too soft, however, the decal was comprised of a thick puffy paint which yields quite a bit of body to the limp fabric. After cutting out the coat, I took the scraps of what was left of the decal and glued them onto the tank top worn underneath.The result: a bright, refreshing contemporary look!!!

Newspaper prints, etchings, simple embroidery or applique, the profusion of line print and pop-art makes for fresh a new take on urban style. The lesson here is not to be afraid to mix or match bold black and white patterns and etched prints.


To be honest, I have never warmed up to ripped jeans and the whole "destroy" movement. But I must admit, it is a look that has been with us since the 1990's and has no intention of going anywhere. You might even say, it has become a new modern day fashion staple. In Italy, menswear designers have embraced the look of destroyed jeans and ripped Tshirts by transforming them into a high fashion with the addition of a classic jacket.

"Grey" is the newest addition to the "Fifty Shades" novel series. It tells Mr. Grey's side of the story much like this palette highlights the suave and timeless style of the famed character. Look for tone on tone looks in clean silhouettes, textured grey fabrics cut in layers. Note: the safari jacket will be a must-have garment next summer!

At the end of the day, nothing beats a man dressed in a classy suit. You can update the look by cutting the trousers a bit large to be worn under a fitted blazer, or making a long waistcoat buttoned high, or even the simplicity of a car coat length jacket that wraps around the body worn over satin pants.
The boys have already taken the train to Paris for part II of our menswear report. They'll be back in a few days with a wrap up of the best looks from the capital of fashion!!! Stay tuned!!!
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  1. Hi April, as usual it will take me a while to make sense of the latest male's fashions. At a first glance I would settle for good old Armani, but I know that somewhere in the future some of this ideas will pop up as new fashions for the guys.
    You did a great job with your creations, you're able to keep the general idea and in the same time to keep it simple enough to look great on 1/6 scale dolls!

    1. Thank you, Billa. As a fashion person, I try to keep an open mind. Change is part of this industry and each generation has a right to their own aesthetic expression. HOWEVER....I really don't understand many of these designers. I do not think much of what's on the runway will ever see the light of the day in any form. It all looks so very....design school concepts to my eyes. Actually, I think my dolly interpretations look better than it will on real people. If you want to stick with Armani and the like, that's ok too because lots of "ordinary" jackets, shirts and pants make up a good part of what's in today's market. My aim is to try to find a few special items which shows the more interesting elements of that season's trends that can work for the 12" doll, in particular. Though London was wild and crazy, the clothes I've featured here are the most tame!!!!
      On the other hand...you never know what will catch on. While in Paris, I was most surprised to see how many young men work narrow trousers rolled up above the ankles. I suspect the shorts suits will also be big as well!

  2. Hi April, you made great mini-versions of the fashions! The fashion for men is not exactly subtle for next summer! Personally I prefer a little bit more dimmed outfits, for real men that is, the mini's look great in the outfits :-). The design of the Pringle of Scotland jacket is interesting though, with that small belt. PS: I commented on your dolls' own blog, did it come through? Because World Fashion Doll Day is a great idea!!! The dolls need to get planning for next year :-D!!! Bug hugs xx

  3. Thank you Linda. Personally, I don't see many men wearing these clothes as presented on the catwalk. On the other hand, perhaps one piece of the look (a jacket, for example) or a shirt worn with jeans or a pair of shorts is the way to go. While I was in Paris, I did see young men in bright red jeans!
    I saw that you had stopped by the dolls' blog, but I didn't see your comment. Thank you taking a peak. Yes, my dolls have minds of their own. We'll see how well they'll pull off their "World Fashion Doll Day" event in a year's time!! ;-) Big hugs.

  4. Hi April_n_Paris! Your guys look great topping European couture. I particularly like the salmon shorts suit your Ken wears. And the Dessin Anime look. - very sharp ;-)

    I don't like the "ripped jeans" look either. Or the scoop neck pullovers some of the young singers have worn. But the bright colors look cheery.

    1. Thank you D7ana. I will tell you that the hardest things for me with this post was to make a perfectly fitted pair of jeans for my doll then slash them up!!! When you get away from classic suits & sports clothes, I find myself working with aesthetics I neither understand or agree with. But...the world's a changin' especially in menswear. And everyone looks towards rock stars and rappers for the hottest fashion trends.


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