Ryan Wohlgemut is a Canadian-German aspiring fashion editor who graduated from The University of Guelph and studied Sociology and Business. After university Ryan moved to Toronto, Ontario to begin pursuing his dreams of becoming part of the international fashion industry. We had the pleasure of chatting with Ryan and discussed all things fashion, and also found out what he could not live without.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
RW: As we are in sort of a transitional period right now with the weather finally beginning to become a bit warmer, the same is happening with fashion. Specific to my own style, winter brings out a more sophisticated character. It tends to involve darker colours and larger garments (jackets, boots, cardigans etc.). This past winter I went for the “sporty-grandpa” look. I wore a lot of dress pants, usually pinstriped, oversized or cropped and crew neck sweaters, and also turtle necks paired with a sporty or more casual footwear such as my personalized Stan Smiths or my all white Nike Air Max sneakers.
I think that menswear is really at a turning point right now and with summer approaching I am really beginning to see myself take a more exciting approach to my style. One of my biggest goals right now is to always strive to present some sort of loudness within my outfits and I think colour is a subtle way to do so.Though out winter I was – and still am – really into the colour red. I think it is a bold and a strong shade that can make a statement but as summer approaches I want to incorporate more yellow and possibly green.
Another way to incorporate loudness is through print. A trend I personally am excited to indulge into this season is animal print. As we saw in many Spring/Summer 2016 shows – Saint Laurent and Burberry to name a few – men are finally beginning to support this trend. Animal print is often a seen within the womenswear sector of fashion but now we are finally seeing it on the runway for males.
This brings me to the next aspect of my personal, femininity. I think one of the most subversive actions as a male that you can play with in terms of style, is simply paying attention to womenswear trends. Throughout the Spring/Summer 2016 show season we were seeing femininity all over the menswear runways. With Gucci mastering the pussy bow and the flared pant, Louis Vuitton making the Japanese souvenir sukajan jacket and neck tie omni present, and Burberry redefining classic menswear pieces with typically feminine fabrics such as lace, it’s pretty clear this season that the menswear industry is beginning to soften gender lines. I think mixing femininity and masculinity is something I have recently started to enjoy playing with. This past season of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week I sported a pussy bow, a neck tie and an Asian-inspired souvenir style bomber jacket.
Finally, the last aspect of would like to speak about is mixing kitsch with “high fashion”. I think since the streetwear trend is finally beginning to diminish on the runways, designers are moving back towards more “high fashion” risk taking yet still looking for ways to present themselves in a less serious way. Demma Gvasalia of Vetement is an absolute expert of this. As I am always interested in incorporating an exciting “fun” aspect to a “serious” outfit, this is also something I am beginning to experiment with. For example, to the Novella Magazine Launch Party I wore my Thrasher Magazine flame font t-shirt – one of my favourite tee’s right now – paired with a black blazer, oversized Polo Ralph Lauren caramel corduroy pants and my Stan Smiths. Mixing both the fun sort of joke Thrasher flames tee with a classic black blazer known for being serious and sophisticated, is a clever approach to incorporate a sense of confusion amongst ones audience which is ultimately the best thing you can do.
2. What is your favourite item in your closet and why?
RW: It would definitely have to be my AMI crewneck sweater. When in doubt this sweater is just perfect as it can be dressed up or down and is extremely comfortable!
3. Have you ever had a “What was I thinking” moment about something you have worn?
RW: Yes of course! I have had many “What was I thinking” moments. I look back on my past wardrobe in general and the word “plain” comes to mind. I am not sure if that is just a result of my current desire to present a sense of “loudness” or what has inspired me to spice things up but I definitely look back on my elementary school days and often wonder “what I was thinking?”. Specifically, in grade six I was really into the shiny “soccer shorts” as they used to call them. I had them in almost every colour.
4. What is your first fashion memory?
RW: On my first day of kindergarten, I believe I was 5 years old my brother and I had matching beige polo’s from The Gap. Before I went to school that day I went to my aunt and told her that I needed to come home at lunch and change my outfit for the afternoon. I was insisting that an outfit change was necessary on my first day of school! Looking back on that memory I have realized that was the moment I knew fashion was something really special to me.
5. What is your favourite fashion era and why?
RW: The 70’s, I like to reference this era within my wardrobe. I think this is due to the fact that through out the 90’s, 70’s clothing was widely referenced, so growing up being a 90’s baby the 70’s brings back memories and has that nostalgic feel to it that we all love!
6. Where do you shop?
RW: I would say most of my clothing is from Hudson’s Bay. Its become one of my favourite spots for sure. I think The Bay does well at providing the consumer with many different brands and an array of styles as well as price.
7. What would be your theme song and why?
RW: I think it would have to be Confessions Part Two by Usher. It was my favourite song growing up and still to this day would consider it one of my favourites. The song is about how Usher cheated on his lover and is now having a baby with someone he barely knows. The song is basically his message to his lover about finally being honest and letting her know what has been happening while he had been away “for work”. This is my theme song because honesty is something I take very seriously and something that I really value.
8. What are you currently coveting?
RW: I have been on the hunt for month’s now to find the perfect pair of silk pyjama’s. I think this trend tends to confuse people because they aren’t being worn in their literal context but I think that is what makes them so interesting and I think it was very clever of fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana to embrace this trend. I’m also on the hunt for a Japanese inspired souvenir sukajan silk bomber. I have been searching for a while now but have yet to come across the perfect one.
9. Whose closet would you want to raid?
RW: For sure fashion icon Simone Marchetti. He is the Fashion editor for La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper. His style and bravery is something that really inspires me. Simone is someone that is not afraid to take risks with his wardrobe,which I find really admirable. Simone loves to experiment with neck ties, lace, colour, femininity and his most recent obsession pyjama’s.
10. What fashion trend would you like to see go away?
RW: I think the “streetwear” trend has had its time. Long or round hemlines, Joggers, skinny jeans – most of the time involving some sort of knee detailing such as a single tear or padding – , Chelsea boots, brim hats have all become huge fashion trends over the past couple years and I personally think it’s time for something knew to take its place. Thankfully, we are seeing it slowly diminish on the runway and big house brands are steering back towards more serious fashion but still attempting to make it enjoyable for everyone.
11. Who are a few of your fashion icons?
RW: Simone Marchetti, Alex Badia, Anna Wintour, Alessandro Michele and Grace Coddington.
12. Fill in the Blank: I could not live without _________________
13. What is your secret obsession?
RW: Lately, I think its been the colour red. I am not sure thats a secret though.
14. What is your fashion mantra?
RW: “First they laugh, then they copy”
15. Who are a few of your favourite designers?
Ricardo Tisici – Givenchy
Alexandre Mattiussi – AMI
Alessandro Michele – Gucci
Demma Gvasalia – Vetement / Balenciaga
Nicola Formichetti – Diesel / Nico Panda
16. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
RW: Always be honest.