Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ken's Eye View Menswear Spring Summer '16 Trends: Pt.2 PARIS!!!

Quite often, fashion is flipped off as being a mindless activity carried out by out-of-touch designers alone in their ivory towers. Nothing could be further than the truth. Clothing design is, after all, a multi-billion dollar business spanning the globe. Fashion designers are some of the most knowledgeable, culturally diverse people on the planet. Their job is to reinterpret all aspects of modern day life--from pop culture to politics, climate change to current events, contemporary art movements to cool new travel destination---into a line of clothing. As with women's wear, menswear trends also reflect everything that's happening in the world around us.

Gender Bender Skirts
Recent laws that have legalized gay marriage in the United States, former athletes and current film stars going public with their transgender identities...nothing went unnoticed or unaddressed in Paris. Jean Paul Gaultier was way ahead of his time when he featured skirts for men some 35 years ago. Some designers resurrected the debate by featuring "gender bender" skirts (with or without coordinated trousers) down the catwalk. This was more of a "nod" than an actual trend. Whether you love or hate it, this is an excellent illustration as to how fashion functions within the context modern lifestyles.
Easy, breezy, not girly at all, our guy Zak, was tempted to try one on for size. Think of the "skirt" as a sarong--like a bathrobe wrapped around the hips and worn around the house on a weekend holiday.
This is a look borrowed from hip-hop with super-sized silhouettes. What's new is the choice of fabrics that sport colorful prints from nature.

As usual, everything including an XXL T-shirt, is cut with plenty of room to spare. Note the baggy pants.

With selfies so much a part of our culture today, it was just a matter of time before they'd end up on our backs. This is not a new concept--Gaultier did them years ago. But somehow now, with so many cellphone cameras flooding the internet with photos, it seems so natural that pants, jackets and shirts would end up in a photo vortex of extreme proportions!

We live in troubled times with S.W.A.T teams, secret service and other forms of urban militia have become incorporated into our society in their efforts help keep us safe. The nylon, technical clothing they don--complete with multi-usage pockets, zips, snaps and belts--easily fits into our complicated lifestyles of devices, gadgets and gewgaws.

"Save the planet" is the battle cry from Pope Francis to Greenpeace. As our eyes shift towards preserving the wonders of nature,  the designers play homage to Mother Nature's works of art by incorporating "placed prints" and vegetal patterns into jackets, trousers and the like.

Here again, the story is about prints. XL shapes and silhouettes are zapped with "electric" prints. For our dolls (and our guys), these overall prints are a bit too much. But if you team up the jacket with a solid pair of pants or slide on the crazy trousers with a fitted tank top--it all works in a hip hop sort of way.
Let us not forget that we continue to be engaged in military actions in far away lands. Designers continue to borrow from the color palette of the desert, the utilitarian aspect of armed servicemen's garb. Think of safari jackets, drawstring pants, and clothing with pockets.

The message here was: textured top and drawstring baggy pants. Lamar's top was cut from the "wrong" side of a sweatshirt. The pants have drawstrings at both the waist and the ankles.

The best looking suit for the summer is topped off with a safari jacket!

We live in a diverse world of cultures, nationalities and ethnicities, each contributing to the melting pot of today's society. As such, color is a major force in fashion for next summer. What's different here (as opposed to the colorful garments in Part I) is that the colors are a little bit subdued for a more sophisticated look.
Mr. Ken's classic taste in suits and sports jackets is given a contemporary twist when drenched in a subdued but distinctly saturated color palette.

The Millennials have now taken over from the Boomers and are now in charge. With them comes a more relaxed, less stuffy sense of aesthetics. They're keeping it real with simple 2-button sports jackets in lightweight fabrics and matching trousers or denims. T-shirts and sweaters are for the "daily grind" while suits with butt-grazing jackets worn over shirts and ties, are left for important business meetings.  
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  1. I love all the men fashions! Phenomenal job. Are those welt pockets on that blue jacket? So impressive.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa. And yes, that is my attempt at welt pockets on the blue jacket. I remembered a "short-cut" to doing them in full scale and attempted to apply the same technique for the 1/6 version. Working this tiny is really hard.

  2. I agree with Vanessa, the job on the blue jacket is amazing! I also love the Philip Lim outfit....right now I'm working of formal outfits for the new guys I'm deep into men fashions again!

  3. Thank you Billa. Both the drawstring pants and the oversized T-shirt were quite fun. I was amazed how "real" the Philip Lim outfit turned out. I think Loic, with his short haircut, was the perfect choice for this look. Well, hope you were inspired by something in the trend report. Look forward to seeing your menswear fashions!!!

    1. Hi April, Loic is perfect fro the Philip Lim outfit!
      I'm intrigued by Balman's jumpsuit, interesting line for a hommes fashion. I'm not so much into fantasies for men, maybe they would grow on me, who knows!
      Your trend reports are a continuous source of inspiration, but I can tell you: no skirt for my guys.....not after all I've been through learning how to sew trousers!!!

  4. Wow, a great fashion review. Loving all of the menswear choices. The looks you created for your men are nothing short of phenomenal! I especially like the Emit Berlan and Berluti looks that you re-created. You are so talented!

    1. Thank you, Phyllis, for your kind words. I have such a good time putting all of this together. In Paris, there is usually something for everyone and with this report I wanted to include a range of looks that would appeal to a wide range of tastes. I also like (and understand better) the same two suits you like. Playing with color is fun!

  5. I love everything in that desert storm photo. That textured sweater is so cool. Excellent 1/6 interpretations. I especially like Ken's colorful suit.

    1. Thank you Jewell. I had thought about trying to do a textile manipulation to create 3-D textured fabric similar to the sweater in the original photo, but didn't have the time as there is a Couture report (women's) that comes right after this one. In a future post, I plan to do more posts where I explain how I analyze a look then interpret it for 1/6 scale.

  6. Hello from Spain: fabulous photos. I like these looks much. A great fashion show.We keep in touch

    1. Thank you, Marta. Glad you enjoy these looks. Will be in touch soon.


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