Ritz-Bazaar held its opening event at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the ritzy Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. Ritz-Bazaar is a luxury rental platform for men, founded by Irina Mologoko.

Press

Irina is one of the super stylists in the Washington, DC area. I attended along with many local fashion professionals and fashionnistas in the DC scene. The event was covered in the press by Biznow. I wore a light grey knit sweater jacket by Giorgio Armani, combined with a horizontal striped T-shirt with a custom pin-striped pant.

Alton signs

While waiting for my LIN to LHR flight, I noticed Vivienne Westwood sitting at  Linate airport.  I had just taken in her show at Moda Uomo in Milan the day before, and thought I’d let her know how much I enjoyed it.  You know, you always wonder if a well-known person is okay with an admiring fan approaching, but as homo sapiens go I’m fairly confident.  Also I figured I’d heighten my senses and look for immediate signs to indicate if she was interested to chat or not.

Clearly I was thinking about it too much, as she gave me a wonderful smile and hello as I sat down beside her.  Once through the introductory formalities, I shared with her that I really enjoyed certain aspects of her show, like her use of big plaid, suit cuts and very lightweight sweaters.  I also mentioned that I liked the berets that some of the models were wearing, and gave her the term “berets for Bradley” that I thought of the previous day, while watching the show.   She smiled.

We then segued into more about BDMOTP, she really focused in and wanted to understand the concept.  She mentioned that she was getting more into social media, and that she wrote a blog longhand that someone posted for her.  Longhand, classic….contemporary, either way is hot!  We went on to discuss the possibilities of the internet vis-a-vis empowering the masses.  Real global democracy, ideal.  We bounced ideas off of each other with regards to wealth distribution, health of the people and health of the planet.  I noticed she was reading “Broken Republic” by Arundhati Roy.  I hadn’t read the book, but had heard about it and that gave me further insight into Vivenne’s thoughts on active resistance.  It also gave me an appreciation of her relationship with India.

Thoroughly stimulated, I bid her adieu and headed to B Gates to catch my flight.  Still today, I continue to contemplate our conversation during my altruistic moments, in hopes of finding that solution.

No picture today….would not have been cool to snap her at that moment….so you’ll have to imagine….and I’ll have my memory!

Outside of the Vivenne Westwood Show in Milan, I was approached to do an interview with Fashion TV Germany.  They initially, just wanted to snap my photo but inquired about who I represented.  Once they appreciated what BDMOTP is about, they quickly changed to wanting my opinion about the show and trends.  Then asked is they could interview me on camera…and what did I say…of course, it would be my pleasure.

Interview with Fashion TV Germany

They wanted to know my thoughts about guys in printed pants, shorts over tights, and skirts, three trends that were apparent during this European tour.  In my opinion it can be a challenge for men to add color to their outfits.  Printed pants are a good way, provided that the print design is apropos, to add color and a bit of flair.  For example, I saw a nice paisley print design that was great.  We have a few pics of printed pants up on out street style section, check a few of our favorites here and here.

As for the shorts over tights and skirts, I’m not a big fan.  I am a proponent of men being confident and owning their look.  I would say, that it takes a lot confidence, or the total opposite being a seeker of attention, to pull off tights and/or a skirt.  As you get to know me, you’ll find that I’m into nuance, so when I say I want men to display confidence in their dress, I really mean a subtle rock solid confidence.  I learned something about myself today.  Other than ethnic dress, I’m not sure how you pull off a skirt subtly, just my humble opinion, but please allow me space to evolve.  And because BDMOTP is such a cool site that’s bigger than me with room for everyone, we have a few pics of guys in tights and skirts as well, that our team thinks pulls the look off.

Thanks Fashion TV Germany….look forward to seeing you in Germany in a couple months.

As an American and a frequent Amtrak Acela Washington, DC to New York Penn traveler, I can’t help but comment on the EuroStar passenger rail service.  What is commonplace in Europe and some other parts of the world, is always a wonderful experience for me.  Traveling EuroStar style between Florence and Milan at almost 300 kilometers per hour taking in the beautiful Italian countryside was joyous.  Now I did upgrade to first this time, so the seat was a bit more comfy, but the last time I had this experience it was in economy, and short of the drink service it was just as wonderful.

Alton Eurostar

 

If you are in the market for new and lesser known brands with wonderful offerings, then Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy is a must do.  It is an expansive event spread across several buildings, and there is something for every type taste.  It is also one of the best places on the planet….yes that’s right, to take in men’s street style.  BDMOTP candidates at every turn.  My team and I attended over three days, braved the heat, and covered a lot of territory.

I encountered many brands that I had not heard of, several that in my opinion are outstanding.  Among my favorites are:

Tabacchi

Great line of casual coordinated pieces.

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Viacomte A

Beautifully tailored garments, with a preppy French flavor.  Ralph Lauren-esque.

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Brodska

Frankfurt based designer and manufacturer of pocket squares, scarves, and neck ties.

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Pasotti

For the man who has everything, they offer a line of beautiful umbrellas, walking sticks and shoe horns.

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Check out our Pitti Uomo Day 1 and Pitti Uomo Day 2 Recaps for more info!

 

It is fairly easy moving around Florence, Italy if you are comfortable with a map.  Even then there are a few major landmarks that help….Santa Maria Novella train station, Duomo, and River Arno.  Great city for walking, and walking, and walking, and walking.  Chatting with a gentleman he mentioned that some friends were averaging 11 miles per day on their pedometer over a few days.  I didn’t have a pedometer with me, but I am certain I eclipsed that figure on a couple days.  Just have comfortable shoes…no revelation there.

Getting a taxi on the other hand can be a bit of a challenge.  Unlike New York City, London, or most other large cities for that matter, you cannot just step to the curb and hail a taxi.  You need to call for a taxi or reserve one the day before.  On busy days like Pitti Uomo, even when you call ahead, you may be waiting.

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Waiting for a taxi…waiting…and waiting…

We walked to Fortezza da Basso, the Pitti Uomo venue, after it became apparent that our taxi was not showing up.  The walk turned out to be not so bad.  We got a jump on our 11 miles for the day!

London Collections Men SS14 – Days two and three were packed with more exhibits, presentations and runway shows.  First up was to Hunter Gather.  The HG shop felt good and the clothes chic casual.  My favorite piece was a real funky T-shirt, in an eye-catching black and white print with a mint green collar.  It would add a little color to an otherwise basic black and white ensemble.

Hunter Gather (4)

Next was the Olebar Brown presentation, with a theme that takes us to Monaco.  They offered a great line of casual wear in unique shades, Riviera Blue and Marshall Orange.  Something for the yacht owner, gran prix driver, fan and pit crew.  A merchandised line of pieces perfect for strolling Bd des Moulins or Av Atlantica for that matter.  By the way for you intrepid executives, I recommend the Design Suite with Panoramic view at the Le Meridien Hotel in Monaco.  Sweet curved rooms with “the” view.  Now back to overcast London.

orlebar brown

Then to the Hospital Club and spent time with Frank Phillips of  ToBeFrank, Jae Wan Park, and ESK cashmere company.

TOBEFRANK blazer with velvet lining

TOBEFRANK jacket with velvet lining

In between all of that I stopped by Victoria House to see a couple of brands that I met at this same event in January 2013.  The most exciting shoe designer Diego Vanassibara and a great accessories brand Marwood.  Both of which we have big plans for!

Alton with Diego Vanassibara´s line of shoes

Marwood (4)

We also stopped in on the Oliver Spencer runway show.  Tailored as expected with his combinations of colors and fabrics.  My favorite piece was a navy peacoat with brown collar trim.  Very well done.

Oliver Spencer

I ended Day Two at the Marylebone Cricket Club.  The Savile Row Association put on a phenomenal event, The English Gentleman, showcasing what seemed to be 100 ensembles designed and produced by Savile Row shops.  Difficult to pick just one, but one of my favorites was by Edward Sexton.  It was a pistachio sports jacket worn with White Oxford Bags, and shoes by Manolo Blahnik.   You can read more about the event in our post on The Savile Grand Match.  

Savile Row (11)

On Day Three we had time for one show before taking off for Florence.  The James Long runway  show was a splash of color.  Wonderful separates with sublimated horizontal print patterns.  Splashes of color for a season.

James Long

For more on these designers, visit our Day 2 runway show post and our Day 2 presentation post.  

Flights delayed, missed my connection, got bumped from AA to BA, but eventually found my way to London to begin my European Mens Fashion Weeks tour.  The first event, London Collections Men SS14 – Day One started for me and my team at the Hentsch Man Presentation.  Casual pieces that all looked  comfortable yet rugged.  One piece in particular caught my eye, a gold jacket sported well by model Chris Chasseaud.  We are off to a good start at LCM.

Gold Jacket Hentsch Man talking to Alton

We then scurried over to the Spencer Hart runway show.  When we entered the room to the sounds of James Brown, I had a good feeling about the show.  Once they broke into Parliament Funkadelic “Knee Deep” as the show began, I knew it was on!  As I danced in my seat, I enjoyed and appreciated the entire line.  Moderately edgy yet very wearable, top to bottom.  My favorite piece was a blue linen topcoat.

Spencer Hart

Although a bit jet-lagged the shows/presentations offered just enough excitement to get me underway and through the day.

The Hakan Akkaya Show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Istanbul was the show I enjoyed most.  Beautifully tailored menswear of wonderful fabrics, solids and plaids.

Alton Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Istanbul

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2013-03-15 Hakan Akkaya

A few of my favorite looks.  In that lot, my favorite piece in the show, a plaid top coat.  Might have to get one.

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Hakan my friend.  Send me that coat!

You can find out more about Hakan Akkaya at his website.

While in town for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I found a little time to do menswear shopping in Madrid. With no destination in mind, I took off from my hotel, the Urban on Carerra San Jeronimo, to see what I could see. On my way to Puerta del Sol I ran head on into a protest (see “Protesting….” post), so I reversed course and walked with them a bit to support the people.  After a few blocks I turned off and headed to Gran Via.

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I came across a nice menswear store named Cortefiel. I hadn’t heard of them, but they are a Spanish company with many stores throughout Spain. Several nice mid-priced items on the main level. I debated a navy DB casual knit jacket, but passed because it was a bit too close to a sweater that I have. It was nice though. Then went down to the basement and was pleasantly surprised. Very nice full line of mid range pieces. Great value, quality for price, on sweaters and suits. I pushed a few racks and found a sweater that I liked. I knew that the silhouette worked for me because I have something close, but it was a dark green color which I did not have. It looked great on and was on the sale rack so I couldn’t pass it up.

Cortefiel green sweater

I pushed on and went into Nino’s. A very small boutique, that I might have walked by but a sweater in the window called me in. I tried the sweater, but it didn’t work for me. I looked further and found a sweater with a unique leahter closure on the shoulder. It looked great when I tried it and the price was reasonable so I bought it. I must admit that in my haste, I did not check the content label, and once I got back to the Urban I discovered it was acrylic. A fabric that I generally stay away from because they peel sometime, but at the price I’ll get over it and see how the fabric performs.

Cortefiel  gray sweater

Next stop was my most exciting find, a boutique called Eduardo Rivera.  It was full of great items but I did not have time to check them out properly. Check out the pictures. I assured the manager that I would have Lori, our multi-talented Madrid specialist, come by and do a follow-up post on the shop. I’ll definitely look forward to spending more time there on my next trip to wonderful Madrid.

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Madrid is a great place to find nice garments reasonably priced.

Tip

1.  Be certain to take the time to check out the fabric content in a new garment purchase to fully appreciate the value.

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