Jazz Kuipers Teaser

For the closing show on Amsterdam FW SS16 this one was perfect. Being a closer – whether in baseball or in fashion – defines a special mentality. So yes, bring out the Mogadorians (an evil alien species from B-film staple just to fill you in) or some of the more sinister characters out of Game of Thrones if you so will. This show’s theme is beyond vampires or zombies, and something far more sinister on the spectrum of evil – dark, brooding, relentless (the cat-walking was in hyper aggressive mode, head held down) and definitely an exclamation point of Amsterdam street Goth punctuating a great week, some great shows, and a free for all of gothic, industrial, minimalistic, as well as elegant design & styles.

Jazz Kuipers is a young graduate of AMFI (guess the acronym) and this is only her second show, which makes it all the more remarkable because her dark gem of a collection left an impression powerful enough to want to see it again on the runways of New York, London, and of course, Berlin (not sure if Milan or Paris would be suitable). A gothic ambiance always for a great finale makes – for this is like that moment when you hear the church organ in crescendo at the end of mass, only for all tones to somehow deflate simultaneously and disastrously in on themselves in the second to last chords – a dim, doom, and dark end foretold for which there is no return – so that you wonder if you are actually still free to leave. Fear the wrath of the heavens ye fashion mortals – or something similar of the kind was written in the closing men’s fashion show for Amsterdam FW SS16 by Jazz Kuipers – for ye may not be back; such was the thought in mind of the designer perhaps, and BDMOTP will leave you – and Amsterdam – with it to enjoy the following pictures in quiet (and dark and foreboding) contemplation.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

You may wonder what it is what gives Tony Cohen more swag or more style than any other collection on the Amsterdam runways. Well, yes, of course Tony Cohen is a highly successful designer for women and his woman’s collections are elegant, stylish, and beautiful, and generally attract the best models that the business has to offer (Kim Feenstra was the lead model in this runway show which showed both the men’s and women’s collections at the same time), so there has to be a cross-over there somewhere since Tony started his first men’s collection only last year (BDMOTP was there for the release).

So some of the elegance and quality of the woman’s collections is clearly taking a hold of the men’s collection as well. But the style is not the same. Tony Cohen’s women designs are more traditional and classy whereas the men’s collections have a rebellious and nomadic twist to it, despite the collection showing some serious swag. It’s that ‘soft tailoring’ look where threads are bare and become visible hanging from hemlines and sleeves; it’s that wear your odd necktie nonchalantly on skin like jewelry look; that loose yet stylish feeling, which made a big difference compared to the other Dutch collections we witnessed here in Amsterdam. The French would call this it decontracté, the English stylish and casual perhaps.

This particular look was the one that we had found had gone missing in the other collections in Amsterdam, which, except for House of Byfield, were all on the dark and industrial and minimalistic side of the designing arts. Nothing against that because also minimalism and industrial and dark looks have its own merit, but here along comes Tony Cohen and no, he does NOT need a VJ to make a statement, or an aggressive post-apocalyptic and industrial theme, or a minimalist design. No, Tony makes his fashion statement in style.

Frankly this stuff would probably go off well in Milan or in Paris because of its proper urban chic – le chic urbain. Earlier in Paris we witnessed this particular style with Carven and some of the Tony Cohen men’s collection would fall into that category, but not all, because there is that rebellious rag doll look, which comes with the soft tailoring which makes this collection different from others on the same spectrum. But somehow the chic – le chic – is magically retained and maintained in this men’s collection – despite the raffles and the urbanity of the fabrics.

So where does this swag come from? Well when you sit front row at this show you will know. For Tony Cohen has legions of women followers for a very good reason. He makes people more beautiful. It’s that grand art and mastery of design which comes around now and so often and it is the reason why still today some designers are revered like gods. And thus Tony produces plain old swag and style in raffled forms and fabrics FOR MEN. One does not need to ask for more than that in a men’s collection in only its second year since inception – except for that the men here deserve their own runway show.

TONYCOHEN MEN – not just for beautiful women – but for beautiful men as well.

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Posted by Sandro and photos from the Tony Cohen PR team.

Another Amsterdam practical street and casual menswear designer is Franzel. We did a report on Franzel Amsterdam last year and the SS16 this year is a variety on the same themes with one notable difference: Lots of very interesting jewelry (primarily in shiny blinking gold) worn by all models on the runway in the most exotic of places – teeth, arms, necks, fingers, ears, nails, piercings, eyebrows, aye even foreheads – the life of high jewelry as a street style concept extraordinaire, as Franzel likes to offer us a grand mélange of different urban ideas on the same plate.

Franzel is a street and sports/menswear line designed for the contemporary guy on the move who likes to get things done but who is not afraid to take a hit every now or so often – that’s part of life their credo reads, and this brand concept shows on the runway if you look carefully because some of the fabrics are torn, and the ubiquitous jewelry is worn in rather rebellious fashion as if for reasons of finding totems for good luck and protection.

All Franzel wear is made in Amsterdam and they have a very nice street style portal. When you visit the site you will understand the need of the contemporary urban man in Amsterdam. The site offers not just a style but also ideas and concepts.

Indeed today ALL of us think in style and in concepts. It used to be that you needed an ‘education’, a ‘driver license’, or maybe an agree in ‘accounting degree and a nice car’, but no, today what the urban man needs most, is a comfortable style, a good place to belong, an idea, a stylized concept, a home where all your angst and urban fear can rest until you have found the place where you are comfortable, and where you feel like yourself – this is the rabid search for an urban style adaptive which can be so difficult to find in the urban jungles of our day and age. Men the world over are simply looking for a good code to live by – a street style code which is casual yet sporty – and this is precisely what Franzel Amsterdam offers men of today: A home away from home – your own city style, and your own concepts to go along with it.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

This collection is good. It’s very good. It appears that each year (BDMOTP was here last year) Jonathan Christopher sets the standard for the men’s shows in Amsterdam. And it’s pretty high. It’s class when a man lives up to his own reputation.

Last year there were dark and ominous black birds in the show and the collection had left a grand brooding impression. So much so that our article on the collection was very well received at the time. Then Jonathan used the color orange as a signature color to strike contrast against all the dark and brooding shades on the spectrum of black, and this year it was flame red, flame and fire red as in those ominous flares you will find on industrial pipes high above the ground or sea when oil is burned in open air so as to mark the finding of black gold.

Grand image, and even better show and collection. Lots of oil, oil being pumped out of the ground and immediately burned into the air, but all set against a stormy and ominous sky – clearly the skies of the North Sea – flames twisting in the wind, with flame orange barrels laying or standing scattered around on the runway, the slow and rhythmic pumping of the oil pump following the footsteps of the models shuffling on the move.

They wear dark colors and shades of grey and black but with that flame red somewhere tinkering in between. Their fingernails are dirty and they wear metallic rings and watches and oil is smeared on their faces around their eyes. Who remembers the housepainter workman’s clothing line and then the kitchen apprentice and cooking ready-to-wear work wear available a decade ago? But today in the age of who owns most oil wins the game that is not enough.

Because there is no industry darker and more ominous than the oil industry. Aren’t we, deep down, oil rig workers all? No friendly place. But a dark and brooding abode where all is not well. Jeans and shirt are ripped. Hemlines are cut off or worse, sawed off. Pants are opening and the flame color shows. Flames ripped in the wind across the dirty skies of the North Sea. Oil. Work. Dirt. The stormy skies. The dark sea. And yes all this this crude today controls a lot of the world’s trade, business, and power, so hey, why not dedicate a fashion show to it. Why not design a clothing line with oil rig workers as the going theme and inspiration?

Jonathan Christopher would do good to maybe become a stylist for a dark sci-fi film some day on some future date. It’s a good artist name to have anyways ‘Jonathan Christopher’, because with a name like that you will have to live up to a double epithet. And that he did, because indeed this show was the only time this week here in Amsterdam that the ever-so-aptly called Transformator Huis (the Battery House), where some of the shows are being held, was raving about a new collection.

We will not have seen or heard the last of this very talented designer who is carving out a big name for himself, and who, if you would follow the natural but dark and ominous trajectory of global oil politics, will most certainly make an international ascendency sooner rather than later. So if you get a chance, Jonathan Christopher is worth the wait and worth the trip to go see in person. Or just invite him to Tokyo, London, and New York, and his collections will stand up like rocks – before sagging down and spilling like a greasy slick of oil on the runways – flames and all.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

Amsterdam was decidedly lucky to have Carmichael Byfield to show his SS16 collection on the runways here, for it proved to be a nice and refreshing twist from the minimalistic and sober and gothic that we had been witnessing thus far. Here out comes paisley patterns and odd pastel colors and carrot pants with zippers from top to bottom and crazy shoes in checkered, azure, and gold, while models are spotting an odd retro hairdo mostly – surely a touch of the Caribbean here – let’s call it an odd Mods and Rockers of the Caribbean look on the runway – but greatly appreciated by the crowd and camera, as you can see below.

Several signatures were quite immediately noticeable and as a travelling fashion writer one learns to immediately distinguish the brands who actually are capable to present a coherent collection, rather than a ratatouille of different styles and ideas. So here indeed, with Byfield, we found a collection which was not only cool, but also very coherent in that the intention and the purpose of the collection did not leave much to the imagination.

Because on display were guys happy to dress lightly and flaunt it for summer in the odd pastel colors, with a classic cut (Cuba comes to mind as the place where this cast would be set), with different odd colors, a retro style, old hairdos, and grand checkered or azure shoes – and plenty of zippers on each piece of fabric, characteristics all of a great and inventive collection, but one with a definite signature, and one, that if you were to see it on the streets of New York or London, or even Miami, you would immediately recognize as a Byfield. And that’s class!

And thus it would be superfluous to further state that Carmichael Byfield will set a very nice new style trend with this his latest very creative and interesting collection Men SS16.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

The Futura collection followed more of the same Dutch design patterns that we had previously seen on the runway; more minimalism, the clean look, simplicity paired with quality – in this case the special prints on the collection being our bonus. Anne Bosman had recently graduated from Saint Martins in London and is now sponsored as one of the young and upcoming Dutch designers by Vodaphone and Fashionlab in Amsterdam to come out with this new menswear collection SS16. The collection makes a lot of use of Japanese denim as well as cotton, and even though some pastel colors were present in the collection we recognized the markedly Dutch penchant again to use that light greyish blue set against some white sneakers or simple loafers – the simple look and the simple colors so as to not go super-noticed on the streets, but casual without asking for too much attention.

Futura is a new menswear label doing the rounds in the Netherlands and this collection breathes a fresh form of street practicality, a concept that was enhanced – of course – by the ever so present and good VJ’s in Amsterdam, this time mixing it up ON the runway. There is a techno, drum & base form of rebelliousness to such collections when you see them on the runway paired with a good VJ. The simplicity and the practicality of the streetwear bounced nicely off of the drum and beat and except front row everyone else was standing on platforms inside an old machine factory hall which gave it the ambiance of a club setting.

Even though this is not club wear (except for some of the T shirts) we should not forget that many of the music events with VJ’s take place outdoors which makes a streetwear look all the more common and appropriate in the context. It will be interesting to see if in the future the Futura collections could make it from the runways of Northern Europe to the open beach discotheques in Europe’s south. Perhaps that this is a bridge and a leap too far (except for those T shirts) at this point in time, but suffice to say that the party is on…

Club Futura, a quality simple street and club wear collection for practical and moving young men.

PHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITSPHOTO © 2015 TEAM PETER STIGTER FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CREDITS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sandro and photos from the official Club Futura Press Office.

Doing the fashion week in the Netherlands one expects of course to find a lot of simplicity of design and color, and lots of minimalism as these are both trademarks in many of the good things that the country has to offer, but we were surprised indeed to see these virtues in the MAYNE SS16 collections to be taken to the extreme: It was a little bit like the Ramones – two chords, and three minutes, switching the chords back twice, and a drum finale – hey ho, let’s go, what just happened – it’s a good show. From black to navy and back from navy to black (with some white for good measure) – that’s one short track. Design, stitches, cuts – all being reduced to tidiest of minimalist standard. This is below ready-to-wear. These are almost uniforms, but not quite. These are WORKMAN’s clothes. And that is what explains the collection.

MAYNE – ‘made for makers’ the leaflet reads, but when you read between the lines it becomes clear that this Amsterdam based menswear brand is trying to re-conceive and re-brand traditional working man’s clothes, and indeed, even before reading the show’s notes the impression some of the collection leaves is street and industrial wear from antebellum China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion – monochrome in color, as simple as possible in cut, and as practical as can be in style and design. Indeed, the leaflet reads, it’s the work wear of villagers. Those who rebel against Western imperialists no doubt, or so the story book reads.

The only curves visible in the design are inspired by Yuanyang Rice Terraces, and the leaflet makes a connection with the curves of Dada artist Jean Arp. That’s one giant leap to make inside something which reads like a Ramones tune but if you realize that Dada was a form of art which tongue-in-cheek deliberately tried to subvert traditional forms of art by mixing and misplacing other art forms into different molds, then you will start to get the total picture.

For ours is an age in which there is an overflow of individual and personalized expression. And so it’s quite a rebellious and fashion-radical statement that MAYNE is making here. Because in the same way in that the monotony of Ramones tunes in the seventies was a reaction to too much song and dance in the sixties, here we see a fashion reaction to our hyper personalized and uber-branded and super-styled contemporary selves. Keep things simple and don’t be a fool. And work hard. For the road from the village to the markets is longer than your vain cosmopolitan dreams.

MAYNE, the beginning of the end of hipster-dom. Let the Boxer Rebellions begin.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

This was a deliciously perverse gothic industrial male fashion show – second show for BDMOTP to witness – and very much in place and venue, for this is Amsterdam where northern gothic dark vibes can mingle with some outstanding VJ’s (if there is anything in which this location outshines other fashion venues around the planet it is in the apt use of some excellent (techno, house, base etc.) VJ’s both on and off the runways).

The Dutch brand Army of Me exists since 2008 and has interesting range of ready-to-wear collections and has grown rather rapidly ever since. One can see why because the look incorporates post-modern industrial wasteland styles with something that amounts up to a heavily serious gothic street-style code. The fact that there was only one or two pieces shown in contrasting whites was the affirmation thereof. As when you witness in the Mediterranean countries so often the colors and the different lights and pastels here in Amsterdam (and undoubtedly also Berlin) you will often witness monochrome dark and depressed shades of black – and maybe grey. But that shouldn’t stop the party. Not with those excellent drum and base VJ’s anyways.

Standout item in the Army of Me dress code, besides the black strap-laced ankle boots and army boots were by far the ominous looking MUMMY SANDALS. Grand concept and great execution. Get ugly black duct tape on a bad end of the black spectrum (scarab, ink, or jet) and twirl it and wrap it randomly around foot and sole so that it looks as if done in a hurry. Voilà, arise ye dark and gothic mummies from the northern graves and go forth. We see the undead armies walking the runways quite often in fashion shows these days – it seems to be a trend. But these sandals are worth a special honorable mention. Made the show.

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One thought is that if Army of Me prêt-a-porter ever goes mainstream around the globe that everybody on the streets will have the swag of extras out of the latest Mad Max movie. This is stuff that really transcends the word ‘cool’ because there is a certain threat-factor in wearing industrial dark street clothing loosely around your waist and your shoulders while spotting industrial shades and a forgotten raven-colored glove on your wrist – without a watch. Because who needs a watch or tell the time when you have some serious style and attitude.

Army of Me – street wear ready to go for a darker and more ominous age.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

Good opening for Amsterdam Men’s Fashion Week with Aziz Bekkaoui happily flaunting the Dutch colors in an elegant design: Red, white, and (Dutch) blue, with a streak of orange of course because the fate of the old constitutional monarchy the Netherlands has always rested safely in the hands of the House of Orange since the 17th century. So appropriately it was that orange was one of the signatures in this first men’s collection to hit the runways this week.

But the UK national colors were very visible as well and it is remarkable to see how the Dutch red differs in hue from UK red, and how Dutch blue is lighter than UK blue if you see it up close and first hand. UK blue is closer to navy, and UK red is deeper. Compare that to French royal blue, and French red you yet still get another set of colors, which in extensor is of course also true for American red and blue.  But French and American red and blue were not on display, just British and Dutch, and design and the cut was elegant yet sporty.

This summery collection breathed both style and elegance and it was like a breath of fresh sea air coming from the North Sea coast on a beautiful day how the men on the runway were introduced to us as happy sailors perhaps or as wholesome beach goers from a bygone era when beaches were still clean and without too many people and without trash, and all with a sense of style and purpose – and with more than a touch of class. The patterns were very Dutch in its minimalistic contours and the colors very primary which made for an interesting and apt metaphor when one model spotted a visible life-size Mondrian tattoo (composition in red, yellow, and blue) on his right arm (see slide – show) reinforcing the same basic structures as in the design and motifs.

Top this off with a little bit of John Galliano-esque gold – dirty rose and yellow gold – in the form of shoes, gloves, and scarfs – and you will get the whole picture of this striking show.  It’s a subverted touch which highlights the elegance that was there in the first place. Look for disequilibrium and then see if the style still stands and holds up.  If it does, it’s a good show.  And so it was with this opener by Aziz Bekkaoui in Amsterdam.

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Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.

TWOgreen

Why use leather, metals, stones, or fabrics, when you can use wood?

Strolling through the aisles of the fashion fair at Amsterdam Fashion Week  BDMOTP encountered for some brief seconds a small but remarkable stand when we decided to snap some quick pictures for a later article. And here you see the results. We did not want to keep this from you because the interesting collection transforms the art of traditional woodwork into an innovative and excellent idea: To use wood to create men’s accessories!

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As the colorful collection of wooden butterfly bowties above attests, there are things that one can do with wood which cannot be done with fabrics. One can paint them with different designs and colors, or one can simply leave them ‘as is’ because wood indeed is very warm and agreeable to look at. They also wear simply and colorfully.  The bowties are great for a casual or a perhaps even a chic party when you have no time to go through the ritual of tying your own butterfly – alone in front of your bathroom mirror – miserably and unsuccessfully.

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Then also, remember those romantics of the late 19th century who would love to show up at a gathering with a beautiful corsage courageously pinned unto the buttonhole of one’s favorite vest?  Those times are long gone because which florist today does still have the wherewithal or the time to assemble and put together a real corsage for men only – something not too feminine please – but beautiful and happy nevertheless? But no worries! We have here  your Two-O wooden corsage come to the rescue and prêt-à-porter – and not just for parties one dare say – no maybe just specifically made for casual business gatherings– to spice and spruce things up a little bit and set the tone for a difficult meeting – so that you are sure you are going to sign that contract once they have noticed your wooden cuff links matching up to the teak or mahogany colors on your vest.

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But the BDMOTP favorites in this rewarding collection are clearly the wooden phone and tablet covers & cases. Because wood is naturally beautiful and immediately protects whatever is inside, these items offer a very practical and very cool enhancement to your accessory collection indeed. And there is definitely an element of style and class to carrying your tablet or your phone in wood.  Perfect for lawyers maybe, who often have to go to court.  “Arriving with his phone in Sapele and with a Walnut cover for his tablet, the young attorney – well-prepared for his first meeting ever – sat himself carefully and quietly in the oak padded chair in front of the senior magistrate. It would be a day to be remembered.”

Or so the script probably reads.

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In brief:  Sunglasses, bowties, cuff links, wallets & cardholders, phone & tablet covers, and even some watches, today all these practical collectables come also in WOOD and you can find them or order them at TWO-O.  Oh, and yes, they can do custom-made.

Posted by Sandro Joo and photos by Paloma Canseco.

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