Tag Archives: Fantastic Man

EHUD Spring/Summer 2011

Fantastic Man has always been a source of inspiration for me. Their daily recommendation is something I follow rather closely and Ehud Joseph, designer of EHUD was a recent find that made me stop and observe with wide-eyed appreciation. EHUD not only speaks to the carefree side of me, but the lilac, grey and blue palette is so muted that it can stand up to more adventurous design. A large hooded rain slicker/poncho a la ‘Riding Hood does not require future-friendly comic prints or foil overlay. It doesn’t need the flash and bang of an “avant-garde” designer, because its simplicity makes it wearable. Although adventurous for most men, it is still a stunner and I could see plenty of men opting for it come spring 2011.

Separates are usually the defining feature of a menswear collection. In short, the typical male consumer is practical. An ordinary man will likely never change his brand of underwear and that manner of thinking usually translates onto the runway when viewing more streamlined, simplistic design. The goal is to see a classic within the collection – something you may want reproduced over and over again. Seen above is a simple v-neck sweater with rib detailing over a slim pair of trousers. Perfect for what appears to be a game of croquet on a cobblestone road. Oh yes, this is something people do.

I was very impressed with the tweed suiting. Speckled in a faint blue and paired with a bright white, there is the illusion of something cosmic. This is a very on-trend option, given the abundance of prints, plaids and paisleys on menswear runways in Paris this season. Although the trend is certainly alive, it is much more subdued, which I actually prefer. The unassuming colour indicates that you can get a lot of wear. I am not sure how frequently you’d wear your oversized paisley suit. Prove me wrong.

It wouldn’t be spring/summer without an above-the-knee shorts option. Sadly, these just remind me of a paper hospital gown. Not quite a skort, not quite a skirt, but certainly shorts that look rather ill-fitting.

EHUD’s portrayal of the modern man is certainly striking. Minor blips cannot take away from the well executed fabrication, perfect choice of colour and bolder shapes. Even when he is treading traditional/heritage silhouettes, the clothes seem to have new life to them. It must be the breath of a Central Saint Martins graduate – that’ll do it, 9 times out of 10.

See the remaining pictures of the collection below, including a quilted jacket with an apron that mimics a 90s shirt-wrap around the waist.

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YES x TFI present Fashionista’s Den

Youth Employment Services and Toronto’s Fashion Incubator teamed up to offer “Passion for Fashion” classes to Toronto’s youth and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

At 24, I just made the cut and I am glad I did, even though I was a bit reluctant. It seemed like a program that was catering to young fashion designers, not aspiring fashion journalists. I quickly learned that the lessons I would learn could easily translate to my own career aspirations.

Where to start?

The teachers (who would become our judges) were always eager to take my questions and I had a lot of them.

Richard Healey had the business background – it seemed like he could write a business plan in his sleep. I can assure you that I did not write mine with such grace. It took a lot of research, but I got it done.

Danielle Meder of Final Fashion discussed everything from the importance of rich boyfriends (har – this was in jest, obviously) to fashion illustration. Somehow, without the aid of a croquis, I was able to sketch something that resembled the skeleton of a fashion illustration. Danielle did that. She was a great teacher and her candid discussions gave me piece of mind – my perception of “fashion community” was too rigid  and I learned that there a lot of people who are willing to listen and offer their expertise.

Kendra Francis, designer behind label Franke was such an inspiration. Her excitement and business savvy kept me fascinated and I really felt as though I had met someone who was legitimately interested in helping youth looking to tap into the fashion market. Her class was so personal that it was easy for me to slip into her life for a moment or two – She is someone I would love to write for someday, in some capacity .

Lastly, Jen Kluger of Foxy Originals brought us her take on the fashion biz, since she is a co-founder of a high-end look, moderate price point accessories line. She took us on a trip through the fashion curve, illustrating how fashion goes from early adoption to mainstream retail. I love an opportunity to discuss tipping points and this was no exception – I talked and talked … and talked. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she showed us that a little resilience makes the difference between a folding company and a brand that caters to celebrity clientelle (her pieces have been worn by the likes of Paris Hilton).

The program culminated into a competition YES and TFI named “Fashionista’s Den” – a competition based on the British and Canadian entrepreneurial competition “Dragon’s Den.” Our judges (the four named above) were by no means village-destroying dragons, but they still offered constructive criticism that aimed to bring our brands from light bulb idea to reality.

Above is my presentation board, which all entrants needed to complete in order to be considered as a finalist. As the only aspiring editor in the making, my board was a little different. I mocked up my magazine cover for Smith Magazine, a mens lifestyle magazine that emphasizes the importance of classical menswear – taking the heavy attention away from fast fashion and trend pieces. To the right are my inspirations, from Fantastic Man to Paper and DV Man. To be honest, having this creative outlet gave me the drive to move forward on my dreams, which had reached a standing point. Through meeting the teachers and getting their advice and  letting my creative juices flow, I was able to create a magazine on my own – something I had not allowed myself to do. For this, I would love to thank YES, TFI and all of the judges.

My wonderful mentor Gail McInness and fellow finalist Santanae Luzige

Last but certainly not least is Gail McInnes, a woman who took time out of her hectic schedule from her new company Magnet Creative to mentor me. I was really excited to meet Gail, because I shamelessly knew of her from her days at The Style Box. I think there is a lot of value that anyone can get from a mentorship program – learning from the expertise of someone who knows about the industry you yourself are planning to get into is priceless. Gail was patient and guided me down the industry lines where I met Editor in Chief of Corduroy, Tim Chan and various other industry professionals who were willing to help lend a hand in my fashion education.

Gone are the days of my fashion pessimism. Thanks to YES, TFI, teachers, mentors and myself,  I now have the building blocks to get my life together. I would recommend this program highly to all budding fashion entrepreneurs –  you will get more than you bargained for, if you put in the time and effort. What are you waiting for? Check out Passion for Fashion

You can read about the program and see some more great pics at Danielle’s website, Final Fashion

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Skirting the Issue

Since 1999, Anderslandinger has been creating the male equivalent of a Spring/Summer staple. Sure, 2009 is not the first time the world has been given a preview of avant-garde aesthetics with a ‘man skirt,’ but 2009/10 proves to be the year where a man can wear a skirt and still be called masculine, without seeming too playful and dramatic. This look will work best if you choose to pair this season’s male staple with dress  socks, brogues (or another dressy equivalent), sharp Oxford shirt and possibly a blazer.The skirt must be your show stopping piece, leaving little emphasis on accessories and additional pieces. However, when choosing to wear a skirt or kilt, the sky can really be your limit – it all depends on how far you want to push the trend.

Think of it in terms of interior design. When entering a room, there should be a focal point, because if your eye travels to too many places at once, the overall aesthetic seems scattered and lacking in cohesion. By combining subtle, more classic pieces with the advent of the new ‘man skirt’, the outfit comes together seamlessly, introducing a new look that before may have come across as too feminine.

Fantastic Man S/S 2009

Fantastic Man S/S 2009

Pushing the Trend

Anderslandinger's Helsinki Skirt

Anderslandinger's Helsinki Skirt

As you can see, this 100% virgin wool skirt by Anderslandinger has been paired with knee high combat boots, which creates a rougher edge overall. This is an example of pushing the trend past a more formal look. The observer wonders if the wearer is hoping to detract from the femininity inherant in the skirt or if this look is meant to wow on multiple levels.  This pairing does not fail, but it certainly takes a degree of confidence for a regular day time look. This skirt/boot combo would pair nicely with a pressed Oxfort shirt with the top 1 or 2 buttons undone for a more casual feel.

Spotted: Marc Jacobs

Photo of Marc Jacobs by Getty Images

Photo of Marc Jacobs by Getty Images

Marc Jacobs can be regularly seen on the streets of New York in his kilt and combat boots, but as seen here, he has paired a beautiful tartan with black leather sandals and the effect is casual, yet classic. I think what excites me about the very idea of mens skirts is how  impactful a statement you can make with such a simple idea. There will be a excited response, because people are not yet comfortable with the idea of men in what are traditionally womens clothing. This debate between feminine and masculine will continue for years to come, but from where I am sitting, there is definitely sex appeal, confidence and strength that come from a man in a skirt who does not succumb to traditional male standards of masculinity. Why shouldn’t a man with nice legs show them off? If you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em.

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