Monday, August 29, 2011

First Look: Ian Velardi F/W 2011

I haven't known Ian or his namesake collection for long, but that hasn't stopped me from going on record and singing his praises.  As it stands today, Mr. Velardi is one of my favorite American designers.  You might not explicitly know Ian Velardi, but you're probably already a fan of his work.  Previously, Ian was part of the Hickey brain trust, who along with Aaron Levine (another Sart Inc favorite and currently at Club Monaco) designed some incredible clothes that were arguably ahead of their time.  I truly believe that if Hickey had come out just a year or so later it would still be around today, but that's a different story for a different time.  Anyhow, Ian is only in his second season (F/W 2011 and S/S 2012), but is already on the radar of people whose taste I respect - you'll be able to find his stuff in Barneys and Park & Bond any day now.  Ian's collection actually reminds me a lot of when Michael Bastian first started his namesake line.  Not so much in terms of aesthetics per se, but both gentleman are doing similar things.  They took impressive menswear pedigrees and turned their talents to creating classic sportswear that sets itself apart thanks to an understanding of fabric, fit and details.  The end result is a collection that when looked at as a whole represents a solid wardrobe for the style conscious guy.  The only down side to this, as far as I see it, is that getting hands on with clothing like this is truly the best way to experience it.   See, that's often the conundrum that great sportwear faces.  To the untrained eye and in pictures it often appears basic.  But then, again, that's what men should be aiming for.  You shouldn't want to stand out.  You want beautifully made clothes that fit properly.  That's what Ian is doing.  Everything is Italian made (some of your favorite players are involved in the manufacturing process, especially with the sportcoats and trousers) save for some accessories so there is inherent value in each garment.  S/S 2012 images on deck...GQ has the exclusive on that.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Piombo's World

Most people are familiar with Piombo for their beautiful sportcoats that often grace the backs of street snapped men's editors.  This is a fine reputation for sure, but Piombo is much, much more.  In fact, Massimo Piombo has created one of the most fascinating and enthralling Italian brands in recent memory.  That may seem like high praise for clothing, but when taking in the Piombo brand as a whole you get a much better idea of what I'm talking about.  Take, for example, the F/W 2011 advertising campaign, shot by Oliver Zahm, featuring Maxwell Snow (Dash Snow's brother) and Leah De Wavrin.  Fascinating is probably the best way to describe something like this.  Or maybe Italian pimp shit is better.  Regardless, I'm impressed, that's for sure.  I love how Piombo can make beautiful pieces of clothing that speak to quality and style on their own, but when viewed as a collection through Piombo's lens, it takes on a new significance (I have juxtaposed these images below to help prove my point).  Similarly, Piombo's F/W 2011 lookbook creates a feeling of Italian luxury that is equal parts brooding, engaging and wholly unique.  Piombo's relaunched website is titled "Piombo World".  That might seem kitschy or lame to some, but I think that perfectly encapsulates what Piombo is all about.  The clothes exist in their own twisted world that presents Italian style in an exciting and refreshing way.  Don't get me wrong, I love the classics as much as the next blogger, but it never hurts to push the envelope.  And push it the right way while you're at it.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Credit Where Credit Is Due

If you pay close attention to any of this menswear shit you will know that Barneys has been getting glowing reviews as of late (I'm looking at you Michael) mainly due to that fact that they are going to start carrying some of the most sought after, but hard to find brands this wide ol' world has to offer - Piombo, Ovadia & Sons, Salvatore Piccolo, Ami, Camoshita, Salvatore Piccolo, Slowear, etc.  Barneys' The Window (I'm not sure if I would call this a blog) recently interviewed CEO Mark Lee about S/S 2012 and he gives a little insight into the department store's mindset when it comes to menswear.  More importantly, however, is that my buddy Justin Doss gets shouted out.  Yeah, it happens to be in reference to his status as a street style all-star, but I just wanted people to know that Barneys' sportswear resurgence is thanks to this guy.  I do not know anyone who has better taste than Justin and it shows in all the new and exciting brands he's bringing to Madison Ave. and online.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

L.B.M. 1911 F/W 2011: The Campaign

As with any of the L.B.M. 1911 campaigns I've seen up until now things are a bit, let's just say, styled.  But that's the point.  None of use are ever going to wear L.B.M. 1911 head to toe.  This is just a look into a crazy world where sporting types (read: rich dudes with a lot of time on their hands) ball out (no pun intended) in all Lubiam everything.  The images are supposed to tell a story, inform a collection's theme, so on and so forth.  To each his own, right?  Moral of the story - L.B.M. 1911 is doing it right and doing it well.  Hopefully between the campaign and the actual jackets themselves you've found something to either purchase or mine for inspiration.


Monday, August 1, 2011

L.B.M. F/W 2011: The Jackets

Back in March I gave you guys the first look at some F/W 2011 looks from L.B.M. 1911 - one of the most buzzworthy (no Pitchfork) and rising names in menswear right now.  The styling was bold to the point where some of the individual pieces might have been overlooked.  But fear not, my lovely blog reader, as I can finally share with you guys the bread and butter of not only the F/W 2011 collection, but the line itself.  The jackets really do speak for themselves.  And we're talking volumes.  Both the sportcoats and outerwear fall somewhere near perfect - custom fabrics, unconstructed, great styling, etc.  It's more or less internet menswear's wet dream.  Take these in.  Study them.  Love them.  Campaign images coming once it's all digested.  If I've learned anything from my year's on Earth, it's that you gotta pace yourself.