So you didn’t make it to Milan for the Salone del Mobile this year...
Neither did we—but thanks to the magic of the Internet we were able to get in on the action and take a peek at the coolest new chairs, chandeliers and other outlandishly good-looking design being unveiled this year.
As the pictures continue to roll in from Milan, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sensibility of it all. Demure backdrops of grays, full shows of clothes you’d wear without hesitation. It was quickly turning into an impeccably dressed snoozefest.
Until Thom Browne showed up for his Moncler Gamme Bleu presentation with a winter forest, a smoke machine and jousting poles—yes, there was jousting on the catwalk. As casual observers of the entire spectacle happening overseas, this is the kind of stuff we’ve been hoping for. Kilts be damned.
We like to give the micro-trends of Fashion (with a capital F) a wide berth, but we’ve been keeping tabs on the migration of the menswear set's biannual pilgrimage through Europe—for those keeping score, they’re in Milan now and will be in Paris by week’s end—and we’re beginning to notice more and more animal prints show up on the runways. For the most part it’s been kept to the clothes, bags and shoes... until we saw these shades from yesterday’s Burberry Prorsum show with leopard print on the lenses. It’s hard to imagine it would be easy to see in those things. At this point we’re quite literally being blinded by fashion.
We’ve been taking a mostly hands-off approach to Milan Fashion Week, but the Trussardi presentation finally gave us something we can whole-heartedly endorse: models carrying bottles.
Granted, it doesn’t hurt that this one already looks like a disinherited racecar driver on vacation—but something about the magnum of bubbly nails down the reckless abandon of it all. Something about the devilish grin, the CHIPs shades and overflowing pocket square tell you, wherever this gentleman’s headed, it’s going to involve some champagne.
January’s usually an off month for glossies, which explains why this month’s crop is featherlight. Details didn’t even weigh in—thanks to December’s double-issue—but there’s still plenty to piece through, like the wisdom of Oates, blogger blue’s close-up and the rise of Parisian style.
The preternaturally on-point Justin Bridges has launched a mini-campaign for the tucked tie in the past few days, starting with these snaps for Baron Wells and this out-and-out endorsement. But before you take to the streets with half a placket showing, we’ve got a few words of caution.
Unlike the army officers who started the style, you’re not in danger of getting your neckwear caught in the gears of an artillery cannon, so there’s no functional reason for the tuck. As with so many affectations, it looks a lot better on the Internet.
Having said that, there are a few rare situations in which a modern man might find it appropriate to slip his tie between the buttons of his shirt... and we’ve compiled an exhaustive list after the jump.
Denim shirts usually conjure up images of truckers, cowboys and, well, George Harrison—but that may be about to change. This newly unveiled Run of the Mill shirt swaps the Levi’s-style blue jean for a softer Milanese denim that wouldn’t look out of place under a suit. It also boasts one of the widest cutaway collars on the market, which should give your half-Windsor plenty of room to breathe.
Once upon a time, half the eye-popping menswear on the internet was only sold in Japan. Now Milan seems to have taken up the crown.
This shawl-collar/bowtie combination comes from Coast + Weber + Ahaus, a Milanese line that’s been getting some much deserved love lately. Despite the address, they’re more interested in knits and khakis than sprezzed out suits, which makes for a remarkably sober spin on typically excellent continental tailoring.
The only bad news is, nobody’s managed to talk them into an e-commerce shop. Or at least not yet.
It’s not often we drop back-to-back Euro-MOTHs, but during this Saturday’s Champions League Final, we couldn’t help noticing the dapper-as-he-is-eccentric coach Jose Mourinho on Inter Milan’s sideline, attempting to complete an unprecedented “Italian Treble.”
Aside from the occasional egoist touch—like referring to himself as “the special one”—he conducts his team from the sideline like a maestro would a symphony. And he dresses the part. His brisk weather kits—like this one from his days coaching Chelsea—are amongst our favorites of his sideline ensembles: a tailored suit, white dress shirt, and scarf substituted for a tie.
We’ve all had dreams about hanging out in a plastic greenhouse filled with sublimated Campari gas, but last night it became a reality, thanks to the confectioners at Bombas & Parr (seen here inside the magic chamber) and their Milan-based, Campari-sponsored opening party. Also, if they ever decide to start a shoegaze band, they’ll have a pretty good album cover lined up.
We hesitate to call Liberty of London too British—it’s in their name after all—but they could probably benefit from a few international influences. This cotton tie (hat tip) might be their best collab so far, partly because it lets them get some continental distance on Swinging London.
The Italian flavor comes courtesy of 10 Corso Como—think of a Milanese Colette—who managed to coax the Brits at Liberty into some of their finest work. It’s the same dense patterning they built their brand on, but the curves make it a little more lush, and the colors are muted enough to turn it into Liberty’s first summer tradwear piece. Here’s hoping there’s more where that came from.
Maison Martin Margiela has specialized in snow-white minimalism for a couple decades now, but they just now applied the idea to home décor. As you might guess, the result is every bit as weirdly playful as what we’re used to seeing on the runway.
The first collection of home goods just debuted at the Salon del Mobile in Milan (via My Fashion Life) with items like wine bottle lamps, wallpaper, carpeting and bookshelves, all in MMM's trademark white. Our personal favorites were the paneled doors, mostly for the sheer cheek involved in applying high fashion principles to one of the least glamorous items in the house.
The collection should hit stores and showrooms in 2010.
Runway fashion is easy to mock, but it can still knock us off our feet from time to time.
For instance, the Moschino Fall 2009 collection that just took its turn in Milan. There are at least five jaw-dropping outfits, which is a higher average than most lines, but even more impressively, they make the case for the bowler hat far better than we ever could.
Maybe we’ve been a bit too 20th century with our nostalgia.