NYC’s Fashion Week and FNO Post Mortem

Bold, bold, bold!!

Let us explain.  Today marks the end of the September Fashion Week here in New York City.  It got kicked off last Thursday with everyone’s favorite incredible, worldwide, synchronized fashion party, Fashion’s Night Out!  Believe it or not, FNO is only four years old.  It was started as a way to help to jumpstart fashion shopping in the recession-crippled economy with the backing of Vogue Magazine and its publisher, Anna Wintour.  Who’s Anna Wintour?  Well…

“Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet.”  -Barbara Amiel

So it probably wasn’t invented as a gigantic, global fashion block party.  And that’s what it has become: a night of insanely fun mini-parties filling every boutique clothing store and department store in every major city in 19 countries spilling out onto the streets.

We mean that literally.

This year, the crowd skewed a bit younger than it has in the past, and it seemed as if the designers were anticipating that.  After all, the final night of the DNC was scheduled for the same day as FNO, and young people are notoriously poor voters, so it might have been some smart reading of the tea leaves at work there.  Whatever the reason, “young” and “informal” seemed to dominate the windows and stores.  From the more preppy looks…

To “modern hipster”…

To everything in between, but still on the same wavelength…

The celebrities and designers on hand were usually dressed more formally than the collections of the stores they were helping to promote!

We recommend against the golden loafers, though.

In fact, women’s clothing completely dominated, easily outnumbering the displays for men’s clothes by four to one.

But as if to prove that Fashion’s Night Out is not Fashion Week, the runway shows on Fashion Week went in very different directions.  The key word?  “Bold!”  No, seriously, every fashion journalist on the planet said that.  And we agree.  The stripes, crazy patterns, wild color selection, leather, suede and frayed edges of the Spring Collections displayed all scream “look at me!”  After last year’s dark look, and the previous two years’ austere designers, it makes sense that we were getting a bit antsy and ready to go for broke.

Apparently, if Boy by Band of Outsiders is any indication, so for broke that we’ll be living on the beach. We’re strangely okay with this.

But to be honest, as fun as Fashion Week and FNO are, they don’t mean much in the scheme of fashion.  Yes, we can get some general ideas from them (generally looser, less-form fitting and more colorful designs will be in vogue next year), but this certainly doesn’t mean we’ll all be dressing as hipsters in lime green stripes.  Ultimately, FNO is about getting people in the door and paying attention, and Fashion Week is about selling fantasy.  On those counts, they both succeeded.

Advertisements

What’s Your Look and What Does it Say?

Remember how we talked so much about the power of your image?  How people make quick and lasting assumptions based on what they first see?  A very talented guy that doesn’t look ready for a promotion based on his horrible suit…  A young man trapped in his college years, who might be very capable, but comes off as unreliable.  A very smart person that is not so smart, since he always looks so preppy.  Don’t get stuck with the wrong character!  …Unless you want to role play, and be a bad boy rocker for the night to get some extra attention from the females!

The True Gentleman

This guy looks sharp even in his PJs.  The epitome of a “gentleman,” the highest tier of manhood.  From his fabric and color choices to his always classic accessories, this is as good as it gets.  His spruce and stylish look is a true representation of everything he is and does, always number one!

Who’s That Punk?

Let’s face it, he is out there prowling for his next heart to break, and he will find plenty of girls willing to give it to him.  His black jeans and T-shirt, in combination with his Harness Fry boots, creates his mysterious, rocker look.  Thanks goodness he goes with the wind, so he wont stick around for long.

Swanky, Preppy and Ultra Cool

This guy loves fashion, and he is not shy about letting everyone know about i.  Très sartorial, always looking to push the envelope, he is young and gets away with being young while getting the respect of someone twice his age.  He will wear that great suit fabric you wish you had the, well, courage to wear.  Needless to say, this look opens all kinds of doors.  He might not be the brightest bulb, but indeed, he is the savviest!

Old Corporate

This specimen, hopefully soon to be extinct, usually comes with the worst, unfitted, outdated suit (because of work, you know?).  In his mind, the bad pant pleats are probably part of the dress code, too!  In general. his whole wardrobe is a mess, yet he still wonders why he doesn’t get that promotion.  What can a nice suit do?  It can erase that incompetent look.

John Smith

His look is fitted, somewhat up to date and is just flat-out boring.  You’ve got to figure that you can only do so much with a pair of khakis and shirts in a three color palette range.  Let us tell you something pal, besides boring, that look comes with a big tag that says “lack of creativity.”  Not a good thing to spot, especially when looking for a job.

Let’s Be Friends (Neo-Hipster)

Ah, this kid.  Left his brain, and probably his heart, in college.  Basically a low-rent version of all those way-too-genre-savvy-for-their-own-good kids in Williamsburg, he still wears those funny saying and cartoon heroes T-shirts with jeans and sneakers.  Because his brain is still somewhere in college, this kid is not stressed, he is chilling all the time.  The girls love him.  He is nice, sweet, almost always very funny, approachable…  Harmless.  The perfect friend, and he will always be just that until he finally mans up and throws his whole wardrobe away.  This look is just unreliable.

Special Entry: The Reformed Nerd

Sitting somewhere in a demilitarized zone between formal and casual, this fellow found his confidence and sense of style later than most, and it shows.  Part hipster, part preppy, part “John Smith,” part gentleman, he favors dark colors and sleek lines, but probably dresses a bit too young for his age.  He also probably needs to loosen up a bit!  Open up those collars, man, you aren’t in church!  But he’s come a long way from the Super Nintendo T-shirt days, and thanks to that old streak of nerdiness, actually knows how to polish his shoes and color coordinate, and for that, we salute him!

Dress to Impress at the Derby

Oh, Mr.  Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr…  Your 1872 trip to England introduced us to a fantastic sport that is as fashionable as it is grand.  The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, as they refer to it these days, as if you ever dreamed it to one day be this big.  Sir, thank you!

Everything is grand on this famous first Saturday of May.  The hats.  The tickets (if you haven’t inherited a Derby box from grandpa, it can be a very expensive pleasure, with tickets ranging from $655 at the Grand Stand Section to $11,592 at the Clubhouse Box near the finish line).  The Thoroughbred industry is a large agribusiness, generating around $34 billion in revenue annually in the U.S.  Even the prominent blanket of red roses is grand (all 554 of them).

An event of this magnitude comes with a fantastic and celebrated dress code.  You know we love this type of gathering.  So read on, this is your guide for Kentucky Derby Fashion and Southern style that is traditional, which means pretty preppy!

The Derby is one of the few times that gentlemen can dress up and stand out more than the ladies.  Classic styles of seersucker and linen are nothing to miss, but this year, men have the chance to really turn some heads thanks to the fantastic color pants trend that is the staple of this spring season.  Pair them with a gorgeous plaid jacket and gorgeous accessories and it should land you in the winners circle!

Here is what you must have…

Seersucker suit

White Crisp Shirt, off the press, preferably.

Some of our favorite white shirtings, priced upon request.

Tie/Bow tie.  Remember, this is one of the very few times you will be actually encouraged to wear something festive, so go for it.  Just keep it on the preppy side, not the crazy side.  And if you really want to get into the spirit, go for a needlepoint belt.

Shoes. Wing-tipped two-tones are a must.  We really love these Fratelli Rosetti ones!

Fratelli Rosetti two-tone leather in brown and white creates a classic Oxford style shoe for a sleek country club look, accentuated by a brogued wingtip design at the toe.

Now that you are all suited up, you can enjoy the “alpha” of horse races in the U.S.  The excitement of this event is palpable, believe us.  We can’t quite decide if we want to grab a mint julep with “El Padrino” before joining “My Adonis” for burgoo dinner first, or to make the most “Optimizer” time management move ever, so that we have time to meet the “Gemologist” and discuss that big sparkle before we are “Done Talking.”  “I’ll Grab Another” Mint Julep, party all night and celebrate the unofficial beginning of the ever so preppy Seersucker season!  Confused?  You won’t be after a day at the races!

FYI…

“Interestingly, most publications focus on the hats that women are wearing to multi-million dollar horse races, but there is an exception.  This year, at the Dubai World Cup, their Style Stakes contests included a category for ‘Best Dressed Man’.”

Music to our ears, my fellow sartorialist, we are taking over the world, again!  To that, another mint julep!  Cheers!