This dapper and pretty show collection by French brand Etudes was always going to be somehow halfway political as there is always something interestingly collectivist and genderless about the Etudes menswear conceptions when following their shows, and this time no exception (we imagined the stale look of square, brute, and odorless Mao jackets) but surprise, surprise then that to popularize the stalwart line items which were nevertheless painted on notes from the underground (show setting was a basement underground of a brutalist Parisian building) when we noticed the familiar logo of the New York Times appearing as a print signature in this otherwise beautiful AW 18 collection.

Oh well, granted that the NYT logo is quite pretty, fashionable, and iconic in and off itself so that indeed the NYT print with its mean lean Gothic letters looks great on the runway set on scarves, sweaters, or T-shirts, but we still have some troubling questions when the press release for the show then introduces the New York Times as a publication which is “… a weathervane of opinion within fashion and the arts.” And so it appears that fake news excellent trends makes these days – even on the runways in Paris as a meme.

Citizens of the underground indeed, because such was the theme of this show, and it must be said that the collection comeback signature of safety orange on dark olive, on camel, against shades of black, with some Prince of Whales in electric blue, while Adidas and Salomon provided fancy city loafers, and while the carabiners with parachute cord and climbing rope in multicolor were used as belts or decorations, with those genderless appearances, and the classy tailoring, and last but certainly not least (see if you can spot it) the magic appearance of Fritz the Cat in print, that all these things taken together made for a versatile and eclectic AW 18 Etudes collection which yet managed to keep its equilibrium and unity of purpose despite any avant-gardist progressive studies (études) undoubtedly preceding the actual défilé on the runway.

Or maybe just because of it. Because Etudes New York Times may yet become like Louis Vuitton Supreme. All they need is to come out of the underground basement and start a pop-up store. And perhaps call it Bolshevism Inc.

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Story by Sandro and photos from Etudes.

Sean Suen is from Beijing and as such is drawing direct inspiration for the AW 18 collection from the story of the life of Pu Yi aka the Last Emperor of China. Therefore see if you can see in the pictures of the collection below the three stages of the last emperor’s life story, and if you can distinguish one from the other, a journey from boy-emperor to emperor to prisoner and accused war criminal to ultimately respected citizen after the age of empire is over. The story is set in the first half of the 20th century.

After a very successful first entry onto the Paris runways one year and a half ago today people now look forward to the latest Sean Suen collections with an anticipation of expecting classy traditional bespoke and tailoring, in soft palette colors, darker for winter and lighter for summer, but gifted and lined with the sly sensuality of oriental forms and shapes, a concept and a design which, for once, does not set out to break a mold, to dissect traditions, to deconstruct beautiful menswear, but to simply emphasize natural beauty, and perfect shape, good gait, and dapper walk.

It’s exactly this what is missing in so many collections on the runways these days which only try to shock and awe by being disruptive or vulgar, but no, young designer Sean Suen probably keeping in mind China’s deep cultural and historical civilization and traditions, does not need to prove himself in such contemporary popular way, but like an old master would who already paints his creations with a soft brush, with gentleness, and with charm, steers directly for the classical interpretations of a new elegance.

Because it is traditional elegance which is the birthright of man for when he wears something that fits well and looks good – no extra cuts, tears, kinks, or hoodies or jeans necessary. And thus the only thing ‘trendy’ thing you will notice in the collection AW 18 below is the use of oversized jackets and sweaters but that was done so as to highlight the story of the life of the last emperor as a boy.

So, to sum it up, as the British would say – that there is no substitute for class. And we will repeat it here once again that the beautiful creations of Sean Suen give us at Best Dressed Man confidence that perhaps the future of classical bespoke fashion for men – outside the city of Milan of course – for this millennium may very well belong to China.

So please forget K – Pop and J – Pop. Because that is so vulgar, so passé, if not straightforwardly outré. But let’s let Sean Suen take us back to the old tailoring traditions of the Middle Kingdom called Cathay.

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Story by Sandro and photos from Sean Suen.

Hed Mayner again pushing the boundaries of sartorial class with his background in French couture with a sumptuous collection of oversized Chic L’Endroit à L’Envers, an inside-out kind of chic which tackles every trend of the moment but which manages to stay super classy, wearable, and yes – playful.

First thing that must be noticed is that by using only Sotto Voce colors in the palette that thereby you keep things traditional, and that by using classic suit shapes and forms you will guarantee the level of distinction and class that is needed to have your show’s elegance, and add to that traditional quilting, cottons and wools, but then from there on the collection becomes playful like a rollercoaster in what the press release names …

… habitual daily gestures becoming adventurous in an unusual setting …

as this is where the deconstruction and dissection sets in (décorticage), the peeling away and the hulling of the traditional sartorial items, with the interesting twist that Hed Mayner starts his re-creation process from the inside-out – called l’endroit à l’envers in French.

The press release claims it as …

a bourgeois repertoire cut differently from within:

  • Oversize it, yes again, in each and every show this week in Paris everything is oversized, it’s the trend
  • Use different sizes at the same time, like oversize level one, level two, level three
  • Overlay it and underlay it in contrasting colors of different materials
  • Wrap it and drape it, another Paris runway trend this week
  • Collapse collars and cuffs over and about
  • Let it hang (like your tie over your shoulder and your shirt out in well-studied nonchalance) and certainly don’t button or zip anything
  • Loosely wear studied spectacles

Et puis voilà – there you have it – now you will come to see what Hed Mayner likes to call ‘form following function’, with what we can see the function being to look classy and cool all at the same time, while the forms and cuts while staying within the realm and boundaries of sartorial bespoke, still manage to give the impression of contemporary streetwear chic (draped, loose, and oversized).

No questions asked – the Hed Mayner AW 18 collection is a grand success.

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Story by Sandro and photos from Hed Mayner.

This show was simply called ‘Lapped’ probably because the models on the runway were draped and wrapped into their winter menswear rather than to be dressed or clothed in it and, frankly, in a way this makes sense when it is really cold outside, and if then you can still manage to move about in high designer streetwear chic you – and the designer Juun J. from Korea – will have done something right. For it is never too cold to go in style.

Covering Juun J. before we noticed the same signature of lots of exaggerated oversized menswear drapes which seems to be the hot topic of Paris FW this winter with every second designer who presents (and thus a trend), but we know that Juun J. did this popular feature all along in previous years as well, so perhaps that his draping and lapping will catch on as a trend in the coming year as well.

Nevertheless we see here the one hot item museum of modern art piece pop up once again – the reversible jacket blazer-coat, or coat-blazer jacket, hmm reversible coat-jacket – where the one side is coat and the inside a street jacket, the latter functioning as a scarf to be wrapped sleeves and all around your neck when you wear it as a coat. Well, check it out below in the pictures so you get the idea rather than reading this sentence again.

But that is not the only signature noticeable for Juun J. who loves to go either genderless, or gender neutral, or non – gender with his collections which is achieved as is well known in the industry by putting loads of tall slim models of both genders in wide and oversized clothes, while giving them carry on hand bags, and by adding some jewelry, caps, and hoodies so that no one would still know from afar if this is a men’s or a women’s show, but hey what can we say, because as they say – beauty is only skin deep.

And so it is with this fab and posh genderless streetwear chic AW 18 collection and a special honorable mention must go to the marvelously lapped drapes set in colorful Prince of Wales and Scottish Square patterns (some hounds tooth and pin stripes as well) as these items defy the standard Juun J. collection signature colors of military green with shades of black. So here is our request: to drape it. Lap it. And color it. Pattern it. Wrap it. But please don’t paint it black. Because this Paris winter has been dark enough (lowest hours of sunshine since weather records began).

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Story by Sandro and photos from Juun J.

Not the first time covering Acne Studios we notice each time and again the remarkable care and precision and quality of the work of creative director Jonny Johansson. This time no exception. And there is always this elegance of the simplicity of the creations that shines through. And colors that are unusual and rare. Patterns, ideas, and forms taken from new and refreshing sources such as in this collection the drawings of children who were asked what they think of clothing. Elegance, simplicity, naïve artwork with some chunky cotton flocking, pastel colors like camel and pastel grey mixing with electric blue and the red-orange of mandarin, poppy stripes warm pulls and sweaters. Knitwear, knitwear and more knitting even going as far as knitted necklaces of metallic yarn. Oversize is the ruling signature as in many other fashion shows this Paris fashion week as a sign of the times. Different yarns and wools. Beautiful bountiful sweaters, the hallmark wear of any good winter, but in gorgeous and simple tones and patterns. Pullovers, crew necks, turtle necks.

One has to love this work and these creations for the simple ambition in that it highlights the beauty of the core value of what we think of first as when we think of clothes (and indeed such it may be in the child-like conception) in general: The knitted sweater or pull-over! Where did you get that sweater, it looks beautiful!? It is the very first think we see on a person before we see their jacket, their coat, or their shoes – let alone your pants.

Thus the knitted sweater is the one piece that offers most room and inspiration for creativity and for the courage to express yourself, and it is the first thing ever we remember as a child of having worn that was both beautiful and special. And so Jonny Johansson is our master sweater maker. In fact it is remarkable in how the coats come to look like beautiful sweaters in this collection.

Some of the secrets of the special simple beauty of the Acne Studios collections we see year in year out probably lies in the meticulously consistent sartorial work processes that are implemented in the making and fabrication thereof. For we were once privy to see all the different look books and drawings that it takes to make a single collection. The wealth of detail and precision was truly astounding, so when seeing the Acne Studios collections on the runway or live in person you know you are witnessing a creation as a result of a superior production process. And this shows.

So nothing to reinvent here. No false millennial dreams. No deconstruction necessary. Just beautiful and elegant knitted sweaters slowly becoming classy coats. Timeless. Superior. Beautiful. Only by Acne Studios with Jonny Johansson.

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Story by Sandro and photos from ACNE.

There is something delightfully perverse – of course – about John Galliano’s latest heroic attempt to rewrite the annals of fashion history. For here the old master goes on a brave crusade doomed to nothing less but sudden death or failure in a titanic struggle to open up a new page in the book of the glamour so as to introduce us to what can only be called Millennial Glam.

By means of artisanal tailoring.

As we already noticed a reversible blazer coat-jacket in the Y/Project collection yesterday in Paris, here for Maison Margiela the vivisection of sartorial principles is taken even one step further in that in addition to cross cultural cuts between street, sports, and classic menswear, at the same traditional fabrics are used in direct opposition and contrast to artificial materials like rubber, poly-urethane, and gabardine. And that thus the sartorial effects can be rather unpredictable. But maybe that is what Glam is all about: For Ziggy played guitar.

No, this is Glam for the Millennial Age, which only a master like Galliano could provide as he splashes, splits, splatters, and splices between different materials, cuts, colors, and styles, using rubber for cardigans (ouch), turning overcoats into jackets and trench coats into formal wear, leaving seams and linings half untouched or unfinished, so as to give the impression that all was tailored in a form of irrepressable haste, waste, and hurry – as if when so many millennials would probably rather be on their smart phones rather than to pay attention to sullen bourgeois sartorial propriety.

All is revamped, rebooted, and turned topsy-turvy and inside out, and the appropriate concept connotation for this type of sartorial dissection activity is apparently ‘décortiquer’ (to hull or to peel in French), which may probably translate into American English under circumstances as Peel my House. For mister Galliano calls his provocative creations ‘house ideas’, with the brilliantly sordid silver lining that some of the artisanal tailoring may have been done in the name of Glam & Slam (notice the Glam Slam Bags) and SMS (Security Margiela Sneakers) for Maison Margiela AW18.

It’s Brutish, it’s Kinky, and it’s Beautiful – it’s John Galliano for Maison Margiela AW18 with the Millennial Glam collection.

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Story by Sandro and photos from Maison Margiela.

Paris FW opening with the Glenn Martens Y / Project on the first day is a grateful reminder always that A you are in Paris and B that there is this unlimited and boundless pool of creativity in fashion readily available in myriad of colors, shapes, concepts, materials, and people. Ever eclectic, and always changing mister Martens from Belgium, who has build a distinct global cult following over the years for his marvelous creations, mixes in hyper non-conventional and post-contemporary style both streetwear and sportswear with classy and traditional chic, which is something, frankly, which only very few (bar none) menswear designers are capable of doing. And in this respect Y / Project is beyond any particular trend in that it manages to set a trend.

Hoodies under classic blazers, faux furs (of course), UGG city loafers under swollen pajama trousers, buckled urban cowboys with traditional bespoke overcoats with double panels and visible linings, suits turned halfway inside-out with oversized lapels, cuffs or collars, not to mention oversized pleated shoulders, and – something which was probably never seen before and which might end up in a museum one day (see if you can spot it in our slide show below) – the reversible jacket-coat blazer, where the outside is a dinner or business blazer and where the inside functions as an outdoor coat and street jacket (zipper and all) – just in case (so very Parisian) you would want to go and be cool and smoke alone outside for a few minutes while having to return to your business meeting – or hot restaurant date – just right after. But you are prepared.

And so the Y / Project always seems to move on like a grand incredible tableau of pretty awesome characters inspired by Breughel the Elder that have both personality and style. Which of course is always good for at least one iconic image.

Vogue and others jumped on the one image right away. And so here does Best Dressed Man, for whether this was his intention or not, by creating the oversized hoodie and by setting it against a blown-up doudoune (down jacket) à la Moncler, mister Martens is onto something. For here is an iconic / ironic image fit as metaphor for our warped times picturing a self-absorbed urban streetwear millennial wearing expensive winter luxury goods but who is no longer able to see or look even but one inch or centimeter beyond himself.

Add to this a casual look of a set of plugged in headphones, whether that be to listen to music or to chatter on a most recently purchased latest model smart phone, and voilà, here you have the perfect millennial passenger ready to take on the world in the name of that grand 21st century concept and project called ‘me’. Autism incorporated. Louis Vuitton Supreme. Adidas Gucci. G-Star Chanel. Or simply the Glenn Martens Y / Project. Ahead of the times as always. And the opening act for Paris Fashion Week Homme.

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Words by Sandro and photos from Y / Project.

Daks is always a BDMOTP favorite. Dapper as ever, a very vintage collection walked the Milan runways this season. Inspired by taking a journey on a vintage steam train, the show actually opened with a vintage steam train puffing out fashion. BDMOTP’s immediate reaction was that the collection, which featured both mens and womenswear for AW18/19, was chock-full of color. Bold yellows, bright greens and palpable reds shone on the runway, giving life to the neutral greys and beiges that also marked the collection. Velvet was also key in the collection, with rich red velvet blazers and evergreen velvet trousers.

The collection was marked by all different styles of hats — derby, baseball and otherwise. Mixing up the plaids and houndstooth, we also saw some delightful floral patterns, elegant and feminine, but meshing perfectly with the otherwise-masculine vibe of the collection.

Models walked to fun, inspiring tunes from the 60s and 70s, and then lined up to dance together at the end, giving the looks a lighthearted, fun vibe. Each look was detailed down to the very last bit — with leather driving gloves, pocket watch chains hanging out of pockets and small flowers pinned to suit lapels and coat collars. All the knitwear in the collection was artfully created using merino and Shetland wool — British to the very heart. Any gentleman from round the world would be proud to sport any or all of the items in this colorful Daks collection — possibly one of the best we’ve seen yet.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Daks.

Cifonelli is always one of the most dapper at Milan Fashion Week, and the AW18/19 collection was no different. As expected, Cifonelli’s luxurious fabrics, sleek designs and handsome models made a serious statement in the world of a gentleman. Always understated, that’s precisely why Cifonelli stands out — impeccable tailoring and neutral fabrics allow you to focus on the shape and creation of the design, which is nothing short of perfection.

This season, the focus was on the warm and soft alpaca and merino wool as well as everyone’s favorite winter fabric: cashmere. Although we were set away in a stylish atelier in Villa della Spiga in Milan, the garments are reminiscent of Savile Row, or a cricket game at famous Lord’s field in London — decidedly British but of course, never losing that element of Italian chic.

Houndstoth, plaid and herringbone dominate the collection in colors like beige, grey, brown and black. Turtlenecks are also a key element as keeping the neck warm in such a fashion is not only stylish, but practical during fall and winter. Silk pocket squares were delicately placed in overcoat pockets, reminding us that day looks can always go on into the night. Touches of velvet and derby hats completed the looks.

BDMOTP especially love the sleek plaid overcoat covering a head-to-toe grey look, which a warm turtleneck sweater and grey trousers. We also loved how the looks, though wintery, were paired with sunglasses, reminding us that even during a harsh winter, the sun still shines.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Cifonelli.

Andrea Pompilio presented his AW18/19 collection Supermarket a little differently this season. Heading away from the glitz and glamour of fashion week, the designer chose instead to create something that featured the strength of the clothing and the collection. No backdrop, no big show, just the power of the garments themselves.

After many years at fashion weeks — we’ve seen it all — so it’s nice to see a designer return to the importance of the clothing instead of the importance of the show.

Now for the clothes. Pompilio created a collection focused on some of his favorite travel pieces as well as some limited editions. The clothes were casual, with elements such as plaid, layers, stripes, and bold colors. We loved the way the designer combined modern and futuristic (an oversize bright blue shiny puffer coat) with more vintage items, like cowboy checks or a fitting 70s-themed floral shirt. Normally when designers delve into different styles like this, it doesn’t always fit, but this collection was cohesive as ever.

This season Pompilio worked to design his own sock line with Japanese-based designers, and we also noticed some very specific beanie hats. Long plaid overcoats and suits gave the looks that added bit of tailoring but also a fun vibe, and baggy jeans and trousers ensured that looks still met some streetwear criteria.

The only decoration in the warehouse where Pompilio showed his collection was a group of old television with a sign that said ‘Who the F*** is Andrea Pomplio,’ which is interesting, because we think everyone should know exactly who he is.

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Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Andrea Pompilio.

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