Prince William Wearing Savile Row’s Finest On Wedding Day

Gieves & Hawkes

Gieves & Hawkes British Uniforms: Scarlet Full Dress, RAF Full Dress Tunic, Naval Full Dress - Photo c/o Gieves & Hawkes

According to the Telegraph, defying 16/1 odds, Sophie Cranston beat out Bruce Oldfield, Philippa Lepley, Daniella Helayel for Issa, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and many others to win the most coveted fashion commission of the decade.  Libélula was chosen to make Kate Middleton’s wedding gown for this Friday’s Royal Wedding.  That’s all well and good, but what about Prince William?  Earlier this year, HELLO! Magazine had exclusively reported that Savile Row Tailor Gieves & Hawkes had been selected by Prince William to create the uniform he will wear on his wedding day on Friday, April 29th.

Uniform?  According to Kathryn Sargent, Gieves & Hawkes’s head cutter (Telegraph), “Uniforms have always been worn, since the wedding of George V [in 1893]. The modern suit evolved from uniforms, anyway. When a man wears a smart, well-fitting uniform, it makes him stand up tall. It’s a masculine garment which complements the bride’s outfit perfectly.”  The future King doesn’t have to wear a uniform, but has to opted to go with tradition and will wear either a RAF, Royal Navy or Army uniform on his big day.  Having served with all three forces, he is eligible to wear any of the uniforms.  HELLO! took an online poll asking readers which uniform they preferred:

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Perry Ellis Fall/Winter 2011 Men’s Collection

“It’s better to burn out, than to fade away,” are the lyrics from Canadian rock icon Neil Young’s somber Hey Hey, My My. The same lyrics quoted in a suicide note from legendary Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain.  It’s a bit of an odd selection, albeit a cool remix, for John Crocco’s Perry Ellis fashion show and one can only speculate as to its relevance.  For FW11 Crocco set a very earthy, serene, outdoor wilderness theme to showcase his latest collection at NYFW.

“This looks like Perry Ellis that I would actually wear,” complimented one NY-based stylist and fashion photographer.  I would have to agree, this is an impressive no-nonsense collection anchored in American menswear essentials that work.  Elegant activewear, as Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz calls it, is shaping up to be a big theme for FW11.  Crocco definitely played it safe with conservative cuts, neutral colours, and carryover trends that could have easily placed this collection into the FW10 roster.  The styling couldn’t have been more spot on.  From the beanies to the fingerless gloves, the trousers tucked into socks – it all just worked.

Starting right after the show, Crocco’s 10 favourite looks were available on sale exclusively on the Perry Ellis Facebook page.  The lucky buyers were able to purchase the limited-edition styles six months before they will be released in stores.  Highlights of the collection were the belted trenches, the oversized belted knit cardigans, the turtlenecks, the silver quilted jacket, the chestnut alpaca trench, and those cozy thermals.  There is something in this collection that will work with every single guy out there.  It doesn’t look like Perry Ellis will either burn out or fade away any time soon – at least not on John Crocco’s watch.

Perry Ellis FW11

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week – Day 7

NYFW Day 7

NYFW - Day 7 :: Click Here for Photos

February 15, NYFW Day 7 – My final day here at New York Fashion Week was a busy one.  It’s All Style To Me invitations included Brazilian designer Herchcovitch;Alexandre and Adrienne Vittadini.  I also covered the Dax Gabler Presentation at the Chelsea Arts Tower and Milan-based outerwear designer Allegri’s 40th Anniversary Retrospective and FW11 Presentation on behalf of French Magazine Luxsure.

My first and only ‘fashion show’ of the day was Herchcovitch;Alexandre’s departure from his traditional work by way of his FW11 collection.  For FW11, the designer found influence in volcanic rocks, magma, and rock sediment.  The designer juxtaposed neon yellow-green lace on black and grey wool, an attempt to evoke the sensation of magma moving through stone.  Key in this monochromatic collection was the element of contrast between colours, shapes, and fabrics.  Necklaces and bracelets made of black pearls with magnetic clasps and clutches resembling cut stone made of resin acted as accents in Herchcovitch;Alexandre’s geological foray.  The effect is interesting, but the looks come off somewhat cold, masculine, and a couple of tattoos and black eye make-up short of gothic.  Where’s the red?  It would have been nice if the designer surprised us by taking the theme a step further introducing vivid reds and yellows (even as accents) in some of his pieces.

HERCHCOVITCH FW11

HERCHCOVITCH;ALEXANDRE FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

Adrienne Vittadini’s FW11 collection was inspired by Modern Muses.  Their muses, not so modern, included famous models of the past the likes of a rather fetching 50-year-old Carol Alt and one super sexy and fit looking Niki Taylor.  These are women who express their spirit through fashion, exuding ageless style and radiating confidence thereby personifying the Adrienne Vittadini woman.  Carol, Irina, Niki, Pat, Roshumba, Frederique, and Carmen walked the runway with big smiles on their faces as fans clapped cheering their return.  The label has built quite a fan base in its 30+ years of business.  The outfits looked elegant without being too formal.  They look comfortable, simple, wearable, and versatile.  The models stole the show and were swarmed backstage afterwards.  I had the chance to sneak in before the New York Post to ask Carol and Niki for some style tips for men.  Click here for their responses.

Adrienne FW11

Adrienne Vittadini FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

Lara StoneA quick trek out to see the Dax Gabler Presentation in Chelsea (click here for photos), then a sprint back on the ‘A train’ to 59th.  As I walked out of the subway and towards the Lincoln Center, I saw the most beautiful towering blond standing outside of a hotel.  I walked by here holding eye contact with that, “I know her from somewhere,” look as she looked back at me and smiled.  I continued walking before I stopped and did a double take.  She had caught on, smiled and looked away.  With the Lincoln Center across the street and my standing, waiting for the light to change, I decided to walk back and ask her how NYFW is going.  “Are you working a lot of shows this year?” I asked.  She smiled again and replied politely, “I have one, Calvin Klein.”  It turns out this goddess is fashion’s it girl and Calvin Klein model, Lara Stone.  She was gracious enough to let me take a photo or two and then I was off to catch the Allegri presentation.

Allegri celebrated their 40 years in the fashion industry by holding an Italian style outdoor party and presentation complete with hot models, media, wine, olive bread and risotto.  No disrespect to the other shows, but Allegri managed to wrangle some of the best looking models that I had seen at New York Fashion Week this season.  Proudly sharing their Vinci roots with the famed artist Leonardo, Allegri have emerged as pioneers in outerwear referring to themselves as architects of fabric.  Allegri’s Black Label collection is making its debut in the US with pieces that are finely tailored, have decadent detailing, silky luxe linings, and a sophisticated silhouette for a refined fit.  Allegri engineers fabrics to work with the elements.  Some the highlights in menswear were the quilted Teflon Flannel jackets and bold coloured ski jackets.  Great show, great retrospective display, great party…and great models!

Allegri FW11

Allegri 40th Anniversary Collection - New York Fashion Week

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week – Day 6

NYFW Day 6

NYFW - Day 6 :: Click Here for Photos

February 15, NYFW Day 6 – This was my second last day at New York Fashion Week, a day of celebrity sightings and Spanish/Latin fashion.  I ran into Victoria’s Secret model, Chanel Iman who said she liked the It’s All Style To Me video interview we shot in Toronto’s Eaton Centre last week.  A busy André Leon Talley rushed by me donning what looked like a bear rug on his back.  The 6’6″ fashionista trapped in a NFL defensive lineman’s body, must have had half a zoo killed for that full-length chocolate fur coat.  I had already met celebrity stylist, writer, actor Mr. Phillip Bloch during Toronto Fashion Week and we had a quick hello at the Lincoln Center.  I’m very envious of his vintage green fireman’s leather jacket.  This guy is good.  I also met Elle Magazine’s Creative Director and one of the ‘stars’ of MTV’s, The City – the gracious Mr. Joe Zee.  With The City over, Joe told me that he has a new television series scheduled to start end of March called All On the Line.  When asked for his favourite FW11 collection of NYFW so far, he was quick to pick Marc Jacobs.  It’s hard to disagree given the infusion of luxury into a collection that looks more like Marc’s Louis Vuitton than his signature line.

First fashion show of the day was Peruvian designer Sergio Davila’s FW11 collection.  The South American designer’s collection combined inspiration from the two Americas including the Viceroy, the Gaucho, the all-American boy, and the New Yorker.  Think Buckler with a bit of South American flair care of millenary techniques and fabrics used in the Peruvian textiles and knitwear.  For menswear, Sergio uses very classic cuts, simple styling, and earthy tones.  One of the major strengths of his collection comes from the high quality of fabrics that he uses.  Most of the outerwear is made of alpaca wool or cashmere.

Sergio Davila FW11

Sergio Davila FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is an amazing industry event.  Of course you see some incredible fashion shows from top designers, but there is the networking aspect well.  I’ve had the chance to meet some incredible people at NYFW and learn a lot.   One of these meetings has led to an opportunity to contribute to a Parisian-based print magazine called, Luxsure Magazine.  I was asked to cover the Spanish label Trias’ fashion presentation titled Definition.  I will be covering two additional Day 7 presentations on their behalf as well.   Links to these web posts will be on the It’s All Style To Me Facebook and Twitter pages.  For Day 6 Sergio Davila, Trias, and Lincoln Center photos, please visit my Facebook page.  One day left, I don’t want to leave!

Trias FW11

Trias FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week – Day 5

NYFW Day5

NYFW - Day 5 :: Click Here for Photos

February 14, NYFW Day 5 – Valentine’s Day and we are into the fifth day of New York Fashion Week.  Fitting perhaps, that this post would be dedicated to the ladies.  By now, navigating the NYC Subway system has gotten a little easier and the added breathing space is a welcomed change from the packed sardine tin can we have back in Toronto.  Things are flowing quite smoothly at the Lincoln Center, people’s faces are becoming more familiar as we make new friends, and we’ve seen some beautiful collections from our favourite designers.

First stop of the day was the presentation of the FW11 Collection by Melanie Fraser Hart’s and William Calvert’s, Callula Lillibelle label.  The design house is barely a year old having launched its first collection back in February 2010.  From the Latin for delicate beauty and Irish for pure beauty, Callula Lillibelle prides itself on ‘desk-to-dinner’ fail-proof outfits that are reasonably priced ($90-$400).  Another bonus, sizes are available between 0-14 so that there is something for every body shape.  Melanie and Calvert build their brand and the FW11 collection has many attractive quality pieces.  From a guy’s perspective:  The Red Melton Notched Collar Coat, Oversize Camel Tweed Coat, Cropped Teal Velvet Motorcycle Jacket, Red Ponte LSWB Dress, and Leopard Strapless Tulip Dress are my top choices.

Callula Lillibelle FW11

Callula Lillibelle FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

One of the first invitations I had received for this season’s NYFW was for Brazilian designer and philanthropist, Carlos Miele.  If you get a moment, check out Vogue TV’s – The World of Carlos Miele.  This guy is something else.  Carlos describes the women he designs for as sophisticated and ageless, with an innate sense of femininity that reflects the Brazilian Way.  The moda bonita perhaps?  Carlos has admitted that his favourite designers are Japanese, but their culture is about denying the body.  Quite contrary to the Brazilian culture.  For his FW11 collection, Carlos has found inspiration in 3D surfaces, overlays, chiaroscuro, satellite imagery, graphic stripes, and clashes of colour and texture resulting in a fusion of Japanese influenced Brazilian sexiness.  The fox furs, off white trousers and blouses, black, white and metallic coloured dresses, basically everything with the exception of the blue or purple/gold and moss green/blue combos were incredible.  Obrigado my friend, job well done.

Carlos Miele FW11

Carlos Miele FW11 Collection - New York Fashion Week

The final destination was an off-site visit to Chelsea’s Danise Gallery for the Barbara Tfank presentation.  As an artist, this was a real treat for me because we were given the chance to enjoy what was the inspiration for Barbara’s latest collection – the paintings of Larry Poons.  The fluid brushstrokes and fresh, contrasting jewel-like colours streaked with gold, inspired Barbara to bring those qualities to her FW11 collection.  Classic silhouettes met with fresh new additions by way of leather and denim developed in collaboration with Henry Duarte, forge a marriage of past and present in a celebration of colour, texture, and couturier detailing.  I’ll tell you one thing, that Barbara Tfank has an eye for great tailoring and gorgeous models.  Only, what’s with the Justin Bieber hairstyles?

Barbara Tfank FW11

Barbara Tfank FW Collection - New York Fashion Week

For more photos of Callula Lillibelle, Carlos Miele, and Barbara Tfank’s FW11 collections, please visit my Facebook page.

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