Category Archives: Fashion Faves

Fashion Faves: Fall 2015 Menswear – Dolce & Gabbana is Hauntingly Fashionable!

Well my bow ties, its October and that means autumn is in full swing.  As many of you are already aware, fall is my favorite time of the year!  I love the rich colors of cranberry and plums mixed with beautiful forest greens and decadent fiery reds and yellows.  The smell of apple cider and orange spice kissing the air.   Ahh… pure bliss.  It’s also no secret that many bow ties are preparing for their favorite holiday of all time:  Halloween!  This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I was never that much into Halloween as a wee bow tie.  I had a costume a couple of times as a child, but other than that, I much rather preferred to hand out candy to the trick-o-treaters than be one myself.  *sigh*  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of candy (Hey! Pick your jaws up off the floor).  Yep, unless it was “Reese’s peanut butter cups” or “Twix”, I was not interested. Still, it could be because I’m not a fan of gory, bloody, stomach turning horror movies (although that is changing now that I’m becoming more sinister as  I grow older LOL).  I tend to prefer scary/spooky or eerie stories as opposed to gratuitous gore.  But, I must admit, I have always loved  what I’ve coined, “Pretty Halloween” décor.  You know, haunting décor with a luxurious and sophisticated style. Like a tablescape consisting of  a velvety black table cloth with a gorgeous  vintage black lace table runner (and matching placemats embellished with shiny black pearls).  Crushed velvet witch hats would serve as my napkin holders and cute little stuffed black cats in faux calf hair could be my place card holders. I’d finish off the look with a bouquet of pussy willows and Dracula Vampira ‘negra’ orchids. See. Pretty.

Anyway, instead of your standard ol’ Halloween costume party, I’ve always wanted to throw a “masquerade ball” where guests would wear gorgeous ball gowns and other sophisticated formal attire. You know, like “eerie couture” (if that’s a thing).  You bow ties may be scratching your head wondering what would that look like or what would a gentleman wear to such a thing? Well, no need to fret, Dolce & Gabbana has our answer in the form of their 2015 Fall Menswear collection!

Yes, Dolce & Gabbana’s menswear collection for fall is rich, luxurious, decadent… and a bit gaudy truth be told. But that is exactly why it works as a hauntingly chic and fashionable look for a masquerade ball. Okay, okay, It can also work for your everyday wear… in pieces. Let me explain. Reviewing each look in the collection as it is presented on the runway (as a whole ensemble) may cause your eyeballs to explode due to the overwhelming visual sensory overload that lays before you.  However, when articles of clothing are viewed as individual pieces… and even a step further – as accessories, then it’s a lot easier for your eyeballs (and those who have to look at you ) to digest.  For example, lets take a look at this black brocade three-piece suit below:

Dolce & Gabbana - 2015 Fal Menswear - Detailed Brocade Jacket01

Now, I will say that this suit is fabulously crafted. However, It may be a bit much for your average bow tie to wear  all of the three pieces… at once… in normal life…  However, change out the  brocade waistcoat and pants in favor of  the same pieces but in a simple black material (but keep the brocade blazer)… and BAM, we’ve got a trend we can actually wear… in public!  We can take this one step further and view these pieces as “accessories”. You know, like a bag or a belt. When we think of articles of clothing as accessories, we are building a whole look around that item of clothing to highlight it and give the outfit a bit of “punch” (make your overall look more attractive and stand out). In order to properly “highlight” these accessories, we pair them with clothing items that don’t compete for attention with the accessory… and the same holds true for this brocade jacket. It’s the “star” of the show, your wow piece. Make sense?

Well, now that that is out of the way, try looking at some of my favorite looks in this collection in terms of pieces that you can use to give your overall ensembles some punch.  Come to think of it, while browsing this collection, I could help but think of the Addams Family.  Hey now, hey now, no side eyes. The Addams Family, as I have always believed, have always had a very sophisticated, high fashion-y style to them.  Case in point, see the picture below:

theaddamsfamily1https://robsmovievault.wordpress.com/1991/11/22/the-addams-family/

Dolce and Gabbana did say that family was a big part of their inspiration for this collection… although the image of the Adams Family probably was NOT what they had in mind. My fashion faves for Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2015 Menswear, below. It’s spooky chic and eerily stylish! 🙂

*Click on pictures for Full-size image!

(all images: vogue.com)

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fall Fashion – Autumn 2015!

Well my bow ties, quite some time as passed since my last post, but what better time to stage a comeback than during my favorite part of the year, FALL!!! As I’m writing this post, the delicious scents of eucalyptus, bergamot, mahogany and cinnamon pumpkin are luxuriously caressing the air like silky chocolate engulfing a freshly made candy.  And you know what that means?!?!  B & B W (Bath & Body Works) had a candle sale and more importantly, fall fashion is here!  Yes, I’m well aware that the Fall 2015 Menswear presentations have long since been done and gone, but unfortunately, I’m none the wiser as gentlemen everywhere are still lookin’ like a hot stack of potatoes mess!

And to my own dismay, I don’t hold them completely responsible for their dire fashion situation.  What’s that you say?!?  I know.  But, looking over the Fall Menswear collections as a whole, there were some rather uh… extreme looks (if you will) that sashayed down the runway sending your average bow tie into complete and utter shock and confusion.  Let me preface by making it clear to the fashionably challenged bow tie (who may have made their first venture at understanding fashion by starting with the Fall 2015 Menswear shows) that no.  No.  NO. No YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO WORK WITH ALL YOUR JUNK OUT ON FULL DISPLAY FOR THE ENTIRE OFFICE TO SEE!  I see you Rick Owens. What a relief.. for your junk and for my precious eyeballs. Whew, talk about a whole new meaning to the term “free ballin'”.  There were other such extreme looks, albeit none that required such blatant nudity mind you, but extreme nevertheless.  However, fear not, my bow ties.  This is why my main rule for approaching runway fashion is crucial to your fashion success: ALWAYS (AND I DO MEAN ALWAYS) VIEW RUNWAY LOOKS AS SEPERATES… NEVER AS A WHOLE ENSEMBLE! Yep. That’s it.

Let’s see.  From anorexic rock star chic to gaudy brocade and from motorcycle gang glamor to oversized accessories, trends were all over the place and unforgiving when it came to their extreme eccentric nature.  But all is not lost my fellow bow ties, a lot of these trends are in fact, very wearable. Honest! Well, that is if you can identify them through all the fashion clutter first.  Ha!  My fashion faves for Menswear 2015 are coming soon 😉

Diesel Black Gold Fall 2015 Menswear: Posh Jackets

(images: all images from vogue.com)

Diesel Black Gold - Fall 2015 Menswear, Look 6 Diesel Black Gold - Fall 2015 Menswear, Look 8 Diesel Black Gold - Fall 2015 Menswear, Look 23

What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

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Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Menswear Preview – Michael Bastian is Selfishly Stylistic!

Youth.

Now that’s a word that is sure to not only elicit strong reactions from people, but will also spark some strong opinionated and heated debatable rhetoric from, well… just about anyone with a pulse.  Everyone has something to say or at least has given it a thought or two about youth in this country and usually, it’s seen through a particularly critical and narrow telescope.  What will these youths become?  What kind of colleges and majors are they leaning towards? Do they have jobs?  Will they get jobs?  What social media platforms are they utilizing the most?  These are important questions.  And with good reason, each generation comes with the potential to and often does exert a major influence on society by setting trends and impacting the economy.  Well,  all this is absolutely fascinating stuff, eh bow ties?  But, let’s get serious!  NONE of this garbage about jobs, education level or economical influence is really important. Nope! What IS important about each new generation is what they are wearing!  That’s right. FASHION. T-R-U-T-H.

Millennials or Generation Y (i.e. my generation) has been the subject of great interest for quite some time.  Selfish, ambitious, spoiled, family oriented, tech-savvy and the need to have constant praise for a job well done from their employers are just some of the common characteristics attributed to millennials. And I for one must say that some of these outrageously offensive, unfair and out of line views are… okay, somewhat true, HA! Despite some of those uh, unfavorable attributes, generation y was met with a lot of great expectations.  What wonderful things would we event? What direction would we take the world (and what would we be wearing while doing so)?  Yes, as the country braced for us millennial bow ties to move into the dreaded “Yuppie” phase, one gigantic stinkin’ fart stopped us… the recession!

Whew! *feverishly fanning self* I think most of you bow ties will agree with me when I say, “recession is a b*tch!”  Ah yes, as we millennials graduated from college, it was expected that we would gently spill over and settle into the yuppie way of life. You know… well actually, some dude said it a lot better than I would, so without further ado:

“Yuppism… is not definable entirely by income or class. Rather, it is a late-20th century cultural phenomenon of self-absorbed young professionals, earning good pay, enjoying the cultural attractions of sophisticated urban life and thought, and generally out of touch with, indeed antithetical to, most of the challenges and concerns of a far less well-off and more parochial Middle America. For the yuppie male a well-paying job in tech, law, finance, academia or consulting in a cultural hub, hip fashion, cool appearance, studied poise, elite education, proper recreation and fitness and general proximity to liberal-thinking elites, especially of the more rarefied sort in the arts, are the mark of a real man”  (Hanson, 2010)

Well, I think it’s quite obvious that generation y did not reach that level of “yuppism” described above. Especially the “good job” and “earning good pay” part. Instead, we millennials have found ourselves overeducated, underemployed (many of us working 2 jobs) and living with our parents for a pathetically unforeseeable future (i.e. BROKE!). See, the recession does suck balls! And as a result, some of us clever millennials have found ways to remain fashionable no matter what the cost (which is why stores like H & M and Zara have increased in popularity). But wait! Wait. Why should we deprive ourselves of fabulous clothing? If millennials did move into the yuppie phase, what would that look like? Well, Michael Bastian has heard our prayers and felt compassion for our sorrows… in the form of his 2016 Spring Menswear Collection, rejoice!

Oh… chunky sweaters paired with crisp white shorts underneath casual button up shirts; printed dress slacks highlighted by a smart navy blazer and sunglasses; and finally, tailored suits with velvet slippers evoke a lifestyle filled with sparkling champagne, sunny afternoons on the yacht or a casual dinner party in the Hamptons. You know, the kind of lifestyle we overeducated, snooty, self-absorbed, rich yuppie millennials are supposed to be living! Luckily for us, Mr. Bastian has wiped our tears and come to our rescue by offering this collection, a fantasy to hold us over while we wait in vain to move into our yuppie phase.

Yes, we millennials need reminding of what living the fab and luxe life would look like in  a time that beckons to those days of yore when fully embodying the very definition of a yuppie was not just trendy, but an essential way of life! Bow ties, prepare to be Selfishly Stylistic.  My fashion faves for Michael Bastian’s Spring 2016 Menswear collection is here and it’s Yuppie Chic! Enjoy 🙂

Oh and one more thing, you’re gonna have to work way more than two jobs to afford these clothes LOL. You hear that? That’s the sound of reality smacking you right dab in your face! Yep.

(all photos courtesy of style.com)  *Click on pictures for full-size image!

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Ref:

Hanson, V. (2010, August 13). Obama: Fighting the Yuppie Factor Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/243667/obama-fighting-yuppie-factor-victor-davis-hanson. Retrieved August 23, 2015, from http://www.nationalreview.com/article/243667/obama-fighting-yuppie-factor-victor-davis-hanson

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Bally Menswear Preview – Revenge of the…

Admit it.  You know it’s true.  Everyone, no matter where they are in the world, has met one… or used to be one… or maybe, still is one?  No matter your race, ethnic background, gender, sex, sexual orientation or religion, they are present.  Some are the richest people in the world. Then there are those that have made it possible for us humans to see Pluto, in all its dwarf planet glory, up close and personal.  Others still, have ended up on the wrong side of the tracks or may be plotting to overrun the world… or both.

However, this doesn’t make them any less annoying or any less capable of creating excruciatingly cringe-worthy socially awkward situations.  Yes, you all know who I’m talking about. Everyone  has encountered… A NERD!!!

Nerds.  The mere mention of the word conjures up all kinds of images of fashionably challenged, irritatingly smart oddball individuals who would much rather read an encyclopedia with their pet iguana than do anything remotely cool.  Oh, but these anti-popular kids are so much more than that washed up and tired stereotypical image. Ah yes, there is so much more to nerd-dom that we’re willing to give credit.  There’s the painfully shy but harmless awkward nerd; the friendly, but still awkward nerd that’s willing to tutor you; the just plain annoying nerd who feels the need to throw how smart he/she is  in your face just for  the pure enjoyment of making you look and sound stupid… again.  And then there is the evil nerd.  Yep.  You know, the backstabbing, manipulative, deceptive, evil genius who uses his/her intellect to plan, connive and steal your idea only to greatly improve upon it, take the credit and watch billions fill up his/her bank account (you know who they are).

But, let’s play devil’s advocate for a second.  What if nerds were… cool? I mean really cool, like… trendy or dare I say…stylish? What would that look like? Who would that be? Well, look no further! That’s right, Bally has our answer… in the form of its Spring 2016 Menswear collection! Revenge of the nerds, indeed.

Hmmm,  what if nerds were actually fashionable?  Was it possible? Could it be done? Did a cute fashionably forward nerd exist out there? Impossible to prove… or so I thought. That is, until my BFF Ms. Amal Alamuddin steered me to this collection and thus, the evidence I had been looking for was discovered! Ahhh… as I gazed upon each look presented in the collection, I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the nerds that had come and gone in my life.. except now when I pictured them.. they looked like the models sashaying down the runway… and that wasn’t even a stretch. A first!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Mr. James, all the smart fashion editors for fancy smancy glossies who use really big words that nobody has ever heard of in their fashion reviews are calling Bally’s Spring 2016 Menswear show, hipster chic! And that’s not nerdy at all”. Au contraire my little bow ties, au contraire. You see, hipsters and nerds are much more alike than you might think.  Swap out the anti-social and annoying attributes for attributes that are still anit-social and annoying…but on a much smaller scale.  Add 3 full cups of a coolness factor thrown in and  what do you get? A hipster that’s what! A hipster is just a polite way of calling someone a nerd.. a nerd gone “good” that is! Yes, a hipster and a nerd are very similar, just on the opposite sides of the same scale. Hipsters are very intelligent, follow an unbeaten path and tend to favor unique non-mainstream pursuits like finding a peace of mind with,  as Taylor Swift taught us, “some indie record that’s much cooler than mine”. See. Much like nerds only more attractive.

And what a great look that formula has produced! Modern with a touch of retro, neat and slick lines in a beautiful color palette. I believe the “Hot Nerd” may be a better moniker than the hipster! And if you are like me, I tend to favor a hunky, but smart look. It’s what all men should strive for. Trust me, its what your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/groupie/mistress/friends with benefits wants! Besides that, there’s no rule that says you can’t create medically revolutionary machinery that will be able to perform the as yet possible operation of  “placing your head on a genetically engineered and hand crafted lab grown body” while looking devastatingly dapper in the process. Now, that’s a look worth seeing! My fashion faves for Bally Spring 2016 Menswear Collection, below. Enjoy!

(all images from style.com) *Click pictures for full size images!

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Menswear Preview – Balmain

It’s a very common problem most gentlemen will have to contend with at least once (if not more) in their lives: What on Earth are you going to wear on your annual African Safari?!?  This is a serious problem bow ties, very serious.  And to make matters worse, you’re going on an African Safari while in the military.  What is a wee little bow tie to do?  Luckily, for all us fashion expedition challenged bow ties, the good Lord has parted the clouds in the sky, come down from the heavens (temporarily) and bestowed the answer in the form of a blessing upon Balmain top ho Mr. Olivier Rousteing’s precious and talented head. The result? The 2016 Balmain menswear show… duh!

Now, although Balmain has a long and revered history which has placed them in contention as one of the premiere fashion houses of all time, all that means… well… nothing! Ha! Balmain truly could not be and was not at the top of the fashion world until it was endorsed by one of the most important person in the ENTIRE world.  Anyone?  Anyone?

Answer: Kim K!  Oh… and Kim K’s husband.

I mean, they practically made Balmain what It is today. Most bow ties wouldn’t have even heard of Balmain if it weren’t  for them… right?

Anyway, as I was saying, Balmain has provided us gentlemen with completely appropriate and totally practical Safari clothing. Whether you choose to just watch and observe the animals or prefer to blow their innocent brains to smithereens, at least you will be in style!  And that’s what’s most important isn’t it? Nothing is worth doing if you can’t do it in style I always say.

The collection was filled with gorgeously detailed jackets, stylish cargo pants and shorts as well as enviously well-crafted bags that’ll definitely make you want to book your safari immediately!  Dusty tans, brilliant beiges and rich khakis dominated the runway which also included a touch of military presence in each look.  The end result was a safari chic, desert sued, military suaveness that I think many gentlemen will enjoy.  Now, does that mean that each of these looks (as they were presented in the collection) sent sashaying down the runway will gracefully translate to a gentlemen’s everyday wear?  Probably not. I mean, let’s face it, there’s a real good chance you’ll look like a freak if you show up to work looking to be the only person dressed to go on a safari… by yourself.  But, but… that is why my first rule for observing runway shows is so incessantly crucial to your overall fashion well-being:  View looks in terms of individual articles of clothing instead of the whole look.  Why? Cause you’ll miss wonderful pieces (like the jackets and bags in this collection) that could be a bit overwhelming for the regular eyeball to take on a daily basis as a whole, but when viewed in terms of pieces and not the whole outfit, gentlemen might have found the formula to fashion success!

So, pack your bags, bring your binoculars, load your guns and thank fashion God Kim K. as we gentlemen are headed to an African Safari… in style this time! My favorite faves for Balmain 2016 Spring Menswear, below. Enjoy!

(All images courtesy of style.com)  **Click on pictures for full-size photos!

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).