POWERMASK: The POWER of Masks by Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck examines the many different aspects of masks: the link between Western art and African masks, the supernatural aspect, rituals about masks, masks in fashion or as a fetish.
POWERMASK includes work by James Ensor, Paul McCarthy, Keith Haring, Louise Bourgeois, Emil Nolde, Axel Hoedt, Leigh Bower, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, André Breton, and many others including designers Martin Margiela and Thom Browne.
Credits: POWERMASK: The Power of Masks from Lannoo Publishers.
With fall just around the corner, everyone will begin the transition from summer wardrobes to their fall/winter wardrobes. When it comes to women’s clothing for fall, the transition tends to be a lot easier than it is for men’s. Often, men’s wardrobe options for fall are just an uninspired extension of the trends offered for spring/summer. However, menswear designers have taken hold of the industry and have begun to produce collections that differ and better represent each season.
Here at Novella, we value the beauty and importance of seasonal change. And to help our male readers out, here’s a list of the must have menswear pieces for fall.
The Reworked Denim Jacket
It’s no surprise that denim has been a go-to in fashion for a few seasons now, but it wasn’t until last season that denim truly exploded on the scene. This fall, denim is in full force and finding the perfect denim jacket is exactly what every fashionable guy in the city needs. But simply choosing a regular denim jacket isn’t enough this time around. This season calls for a denim jacket that is equal parts classic and out of this world. Look for tassels, motorcycle silhouettes, two-tone colours, patches, and exaggerated tears.
The Graphic Pullover
Although it’s been around for quite some time, the graphic pull over crew-neck has become one of the most profitable and in-demand garments in the fashion world today. Now crewnecks may not be the pinnacle fashion in their original state, but if you find the perfect graphic crew-neck, make sure it has something extremely high fashion woven into its design. Look for either sleek art school chic designs, oversized athletic silhouettes, or elongated and exaggerated sleeves.
The Punk Rock Trouser
Punk rock has been at the heart of fashion since its birth back in the ’70s. However, this season’s punk pieces seem to have focused on everything below the waist. Rather than creating a head to toe look, this season calls for punk rock bottoms above all, with countless brand emulating the severity and cacophonous nature of authentic punk rock clothing. To pull the look off right, look for pants with harsh colour combinations, heavy patchwork, plaids, leather and faux leather, and extreme wear and tear.
The Double Breast
Once thought to be severely out of style, the double breasted blazer and coat are once again back in style and as in demand as ever. Having been injected with a fresh dose of modern flare, the new double breasted garment aims to add a relaxed and vintage aspect to men’s everyday suiting and tailoring. However, it’s best to not trust this look if it’s a little too vintage looking. You may end up looking passé, rather than modern and in the now. When attempting this look, make sure to look for trendy and modern materials, boxier and more relaxed silhouettes, severe shoulders, and pop colours to avoid looking like the chorus line of Guys and Dolls.
The Quilted Puffer
It comes as no surprise that puffer jackets have once again come back into style for another season. However, this time around, the puffer jacket has transformed from its oversized and overstuffed debut to a leaner and thinner version of its former self. Instead of embracing the former ’90s puffer style jackets, designers are now opting for thinner quilted puffers that fit tighter to the body and offer more modern shapes. Instead of a voluminous, oversized puffer, opt for one that’s either cropped or waist length, double breasted, a caplet, a blazer, or features and avant-garde silhouette to avoid weighing down your look.
Men’s fashion weeks around the world sometimes get a bad wrap as being mere fillers used to hold the fashion market between the ladies’ shows, which, to some extent, is true. With fashion being a predominantly female-focused industry, designers sometimes ended up creating menswear as a quick fix to engender male buyers’ interest in the brand. The result: lackluster and uninspired collections that really had nothing to do with the brand apart from carrying its name on the label. However, it seems as though many designers are finally understanding the power that a solid menswear line can have. Every season, it seems that more and more designers are popping up on the men’s week schedules, all with their own styles, twists, and innovative designs aimed at changing the face of menswear around the world.
It looks as if the biggest trend this season is genderless clothing, the mixing and matching of men’s and women’s to create a new range of clothing that fit the term “humanwear” rather than menswear. At Thom Browne, the air was heavy with the idea of gender non-conformity. What was once seen as women’s clothing was quickly turned into a collection of genderless formal wear, at once crisp and heavily based on traditional tropes of masculinity, but also made soft and feminine through the use of tailoring and length. Thom Browne created a double image, almost like two images placed on top of one another. It isn’t either or, it’s about humanity and its similarities rather what makes what gender what.
Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the spring collections are riddled with shorts. The whole point of a spring collection is to provide the customers with a seasonally appropriate outfit as the weather starts to warm up. However, it seems that, over the past few seasons, men’s shorts seemed to have been getting shorter and shorter. This is most likely due to the fact that menswear is only very rarely affected by the rules of masculinity and femininity. So it wasn’t in the least bit shocking to see designer Kris Van Ashe send out a flurry of cropped hems on the runway at Dior Homme.The beauty in this collection comes from the casualness of the shorts. Instead of creating a traditionally formal look for menswear, it creates a much more youthful and carefree silhouette.
Jun Takahashi is no stranger to creating interesting and fiercely modern knitwear for his collections at Undercover. His post-apocalyptic ’90s cyberpunk collection is very relevant to what’s been happening over the last year with the massive influx of punk, grunge, and metal in menswear. But it isn’t just the heavy knits that make this collection something worth looking into. The outerwear is exceptionally well made and eye-catching. Oversized garments also seemed to be a big selling point throughout the collection. Exaggerated trapeze style coats walked alongside massive, overstretched flannels, and sweaters add to the “I don’t care, I wear what I want!” attitude of the collection.
“How do you do preppy in 2017 without having to resort to beige cargo shorts and a candy coloured polo shirt?” That must have been the question designer Lucien Pellat-Finet must have been asking himself when he designed this fun take on the varsity jock’s go-to for his Spring 2018 collection. What’s interesting about this collection is the subtle yet completely recognizable throwback to the early ’90s jock — the inviting pastels as well as the velours and gauzy prints that scream varsity loungewear. Think Mark Paul Gosslear in Saved by the Bell, just far more high fashion. Another statement that jumps out here is one that was being made at many of the other collections. There was a real sense of soft femininity which may have either been brought on by the pastels, or the subtle change in fit. While most of the garments looked to be normal length, some were designed to fit a tad bit on the cropped size; an ode to womenswear for sure.
One of the biggest surprises to come out of Paris menswear week this season had to be designer Juun. J’s “formless and genderless” collection. The collection, which featured men’s and women’s clothing, was created with the ultimate goal of being interchangeable, the line between menswear and womenswear virtually indistinguishable. There were clear men and ladies influences. The hard pinstripe suiting and outerwear and the soft flowing shirting and caftan style dresses meshed and interchanged beautifully with one another. The collection showed its audiences that interchangeable unisex collections aren’t something of science fiction. They’re very now and seem to be a driving force behind the engine that is fashion. Take the army green hoodie paired with the long white caftan dress that walked the show. The entire look is completely wearable for both men and women without altering the look of the outfit itself.
Resort season is one of the most overlooked seasons in the fashion world. While fashion lovers around the world pine for spring, pre-fall, and fall collections, resort seems to fall behind in the eyes of the fashion community year in and year out. Luckily, this season, it seems that designers around the globe were bitten by a creative bug and produced some of the most successful and innovative resort collections to date. And the best thing about fresh and innovative design is that it pushes new trends forward, giving fashion aficionados around the world new inspiration that breathes life into their cold weather wardrobes.
The Printed Knee-High
Now, to some (I’m talking to you private and Catholic school girls), knee-high socks are the bane of humanity. They’re fussy, tend to always fall or roll down. and generally come in either black, navy, grey, or whatever ridiculous hue of maroon or mustard your school colours were. But don’t dismiss this posh staple just yet. This season’s knee-high stocking was more than just an accessory. Unlike their academic sisters, the knee-highs at high fashion houses Prada, Thom Browne, and Gucci came in printed patterns and interesting hues. Marrying the traditional sock with blogger-it-girl street style, they transformed the good old scholastic knee-high sock into one of the most in-demand accessories of the season.
Shades of (Navy) Blue
Resort and cruise collections are created with the sole purpose of giving high-fashion clientele luxurious options for their jet-set vacations. Instead of throwing on a gauzy sarong, resort collections offer up the option of opting for luxe ensembles made especially for the warm summer months, the yacht, or the country estate. And it seems as if the designers visited the same luxurious and exotic locations as their clients when they designed their collections. No colour seems to have popped up during resort season more than deep ocean blue and nowhere else was it used better than at Pringle of Scotland, Delpozo, and Versace. Rich and luxurious shades of indigo and navy dominated the design landscape, creating daydreams of the deep blue oceans that surround the world’s most heavenly rivieras.
Mix and Match Rock & Roll
Back in the days before rock music began influencing fashion, one could be called out or even ousted from social circles if they chose to sport a particular rock clique attire for the sake of style. It was a rock & roll travesty to merely wear a studded leather jacket for the sake of looking punk or a Slayer t-shirt because you wanted to look like a metalhead. Fast forward a few decades and the walls of music (and fashion) have come down. It’s no longer a sin to want to mix and match styles from the various eras and genres of rock music around the world. Designers took that notion into full account this season. At Mugler, I’M Isola Marras, and Acne Studio, rock saw its various style meshed with one another to create a perfect cacophony of textures, layers, and colours. Punk mesh was mixed with grungy florals, while oversized blazers were paired with pop rock hoodies and eyeliner, and goth trenches were paired with clean Bowie-esque slacks, giving a new look to the traditional rock ensemble.
Green With Envy
Emerald, pea green, evergreen, mint, lime, avocado: It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour of green is because you don’t have to choose this season. From the look of it, green seems to be the next big trend in colour right after navy blue. At Vivetta, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Vionnet, green played a vital role and added a fresh and crisp summer look to many of the garments in the collections. Taking the designers’ resort wear from regular vacation attire to bright and exotic à la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy’s in Versace. And what woman wouldn’t want to have her own JLo moment?
Rock & Roll Florals
Resort 2018 seemed to be the season of turning tradition on its head. At Badgley Mischka, Preen by Thorton Bergazzi, and MSGM, florals were placed front and centre. But these weren’t your average florals. This season’s floral called for something a little out of the box. Instead of having the same old soft and summery pastel florals, the designers opted for prints that brought a little edge into the mix. Dark background colours added to the pops of crimson, teal, and gold that wound around one another to create florals that were a little more ’80s glam rock than garden party pristine. Making these prints the perfect mould breaker for a fashion lover who wants to go somewhere a little darker and a little harder with their pretty petaled prints.
One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.
Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.
Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.
Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.
Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.
Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!
Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.
Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.
Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.
Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.
Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.
Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.
Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.
Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.
Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.
Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.
Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.
Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.
Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.
Anya Hindmarch: Anya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.
Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!
Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.