The young French brand Officine Générale  (2012) under direction of designer / creative director Pierre Mahéo remarkably seems to sell more product in the United States than in France and is currently opening up its second store in Paris. It prides itself therefore in the collections on what is considered the typical French, look, style, and quality and of course inevitably the question will then be raised what exactly is considered as ‘French’ in the sartorial arts.

Well, we all know it when we see it, when we recognize it but let’s try to define it. Take a good look at the collection below in the slideshow and you ask yourself why what you see is so very French; then try to define what you see or what you think. It is,frankly, easier said than done, but Best Dressed Man will give it a try here.

Of course ‘French’ style means a certain degree of elegance – or rather élégance – the phonetics themselves defining the meaning of the very word by difference of the accents with which it is pronounced. A certain aspiration to chic, or class, or good style, or good taste, but WITHOUT being BCBG (bon chic bon genre, like let’s say, Tommy or Ralph Lauren etc.).

It clearly also means a certain ‘decontraction’ of style – a casualness in dressing up – as in casual wear or as in the word ‘décontracté’ – like loosely wearing your shirt hanging out of your pants for example – and Pierre Mahéo in a recent GQ interview makes the interesting comment that indeed this liberty of style does not only belong to women but certainly also to men; and that when this freedom of wearing the things the way you want is applied also to men that this is so very French.

What is even more interesting is the point made by Mahéo that casualness is really not so much about the clothes themselves that you are wearing but that it has everything to do with the way you wear them which makes the look French (Le Look anyone?). As an example the designer gives the idea that older and used shirts and sweaters are often much better in wear, because of the wrinkles that give a natural look – so that one may look very ‘décontracté or casual indeed. No need to buy stonewashed or pre-shrunk or faded clothes therefore. For that is NEW.

No, above all, to look and feel French in your menswear, you need that globally branded French attitude well-known in pop culture which simply is called ‘nonchalance’, a the-devil-may-care or casual I-don’t-care attitude – and you don’t even need to be pretending to be chain smoking unlit cigarettes loosely dangling from your bottom lip in order to obtain it.

For here is the Best Dressed Man on the Planet guide of tips on how to look positively French:

  • Unbutton your collar or wrinkle or flap it halfway up (think: Eric Cantona) and whatever you do, do not straighten it
  • NEVER wear a tie
  • Wear a T–shirt, turtle neck or V–neck sweater under your jacket and NO shirt
  • Knot your favorite neck scarf or foulard tightly around your neck
  • Do wear clean wrinkled-up or old clothes – in other words, don’t fold your clothes too crisply, and wear them out but not completely
  • Often buy something elegant or a little chic and NOT too poppy or sporty, like something made by Officine Générale for instance
  • Make sure your belt misses the buckle, or that your shirt, jacket, or coat misses a button here or there (and pretend you never noticed or are too lazy to fix it)
  • When choosing colors go against the grain, be very contraire (wear light colors in winter and dark colors in summer) but never disagreeable
  • Wear ‘baskets’ (hmm Converse) or other types of old timer sneakers under an elegant two piece suit or beautiful alpaca sweater
  • Always dress down gently and never dress up

Since indeed the theme of this Officine Générale AW 17 collection is the French look, Pierre Mahéo defines for us in the press release what he considers to be typical French style icons for men:

 “This «French style» seems to exist. Roger Vadim, Maurice Ronet, Francois Truffaut, Jonas Bloquet, Louis Garrel, Jacques Dutronc, Tahar Rahim, Jean-Michel Frank, Benjamin Biolay, Nicolas Godin… a few names from a list that will never be entirely exhaustive.”

Finally, so as to end this essay while leaving it ambiguously open to multiple interpretations, it’s said that Napoleon was once asked about who was the better soldier, the Englishman or a Frenchman!? His answer, as history shows, is both pointed and telling when applied to men’s fashion, and may perhaps explain the last thing that you may want to know before buying (and trying) your first item at Officine Générale so as to create a French look for men:

“An Englishman is proud, and proud people make good soldiers; but … a Frenchman, he is vain, and a vain man – he can or will do anything.”
























Word by Sandro and photos from Officine Générale.

When observing Henrik Vibskov’s marvelous creations and collections on the runway each time they somehow seem to resonate with E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story about a Kingdom of the Dolls, better known publicly the world over as ‘The Nutcracker’. Here are colors, cuts, and shapes and forms gently playing out the grand cabaret of characters from childhood dreams, and when you read the press release indeed it is mentioned that some of this latest marvel of a Henrik Vibskov collection was inspired by ‘puzzles’, ‘painted wooden toys’, and ‘board games from the 60’s’.

Add to this that two of Henrik’s projects this year include working on Madame Butterfly in Belgium as well as on Swanlake here in Paris, then you will understand that we did not witness just an ordinary fashion collection homme but rather an entire theatrical set where a small drama was being played out in front of all the grateful fashionistas present. For where fashion design ends perhaps this is also the place where the theatre of dreams may begin.

A sport and exercise based theme necessary for a time when our lives are hectic was actively being played out by 12 human dolls in slow motion on a stage in the middle of a grand square runway in a ballroom like setting – before the show, during the show, and still continuing and slowly dying out with the music after the runway show was already over. Of course the unexpected effect of having different elements of a similar theme going on at the same time but at a different pace, makes for most a most marvelous experience: The doll-like fashion creations parading around the grand ballroom on the runway while slow motion dolls are performing a stationary sport or yoga like exercise on the stage in the middle.

We have seen this concept applied before at fashion shows (notably Philipp Plein) but never seen it implemented this perfectly and professionally. Because if the choreography or the music are off – even by one beat – the effect is gone and the show will fall apart at the seams. But the Henrik Vibskov AW 17 show was executed and rehearsed to perfection.

And so all the patterns and colors and the style are clearly recognizable as Vibskov – and especially his sweaters are things worthy of wonder and admiration – during this grand parade of the human dolls while a cacophony of impressions, sounds and various colors slowly comes to a grand decrescendo as if when imagining or witnessing a recently discovered antique tablet or mural – full of colors and odd shapes – from deep in the Aztec or Mayan jungles having come alive for the first time, only to slowly fade away again into the hidden world of dreams.

Henrik Vibskov is a master, and you can even spot him on the runway below.
























Words by Sandro and photos from Henrik Vibskov.

Get ready for some serious class.

For AW 17/18 ACNE once more delivers (like they always seem to do) with a very strong fashion statement, this time with an 80’s urban chic retro look which was inspired by working men, not career or business men, but by what the Japanese would call the salary man, but then occidental style, the man who goes to work every day quietly but who loves to pride himself on how he dresses, on how he behaves, and on how he walks. It’s interesting to see how many good brands recently – like for instance Paul & Joe or Carven – are similarly trying to capture that style (and the oddly pastel colors) from the early eighties, not because it was such an exciting time period in recent history, but probably precisely because of the lack excitement thereof, because in today’s world which is ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ we may very well be able to use the style of a time when nothing much was up, when things were rather calm on the block, and when going to work was not interrupted by trepidation of the total security state, by the buzz of high technology, or the latest reports of brutal climate change. Aye, how about just carrying a simple newspaper for a change! It’s the perfect accessory after all for a quiet ride in the bus or train on your way to work.

Indeed creative director Jonny Johansson is using those sweet pastel colors (he calls them sorbet) in the collection which hark back to a time when life was more innocent and much less stressed and much gentler on the eye. Indeed this was the time of double-breasted suits, those wider pinstripes, leather suspenders, short V-necks or double turtle necks, and perhaps a Prince of Wales pattern here, and oddly square-framed Thunderbirds-are-go sunglasses, but perhaps most of all – yes Jonny please break this vulgar post-modern taboo, please do – a time when men still wore their pants and trousers high up ABOVE their hips and not sadly below them like today.

And thus it may be said that ACNE has succeeded in this collection in bringing back an iconic look and a style of class most desperately needed for our often desperate times today.
























Words by Sandro and photos from ACNE.

The latest AW collection from well-known Korean men / women wear designer Juun.J is simply called Archive. It features a variety of shapes and forms of the designer’s signature commitment of gently deconstructing classical tailoring over the last ten years in what perhaps can aptly be described as an androgynous or genderless street style experience.

Mixing men and women on the runway and making sure that all clothing is wide or raffled, that all models wear pointy ankle boots, that men wear their hair long and women short, that military combat khaki as a color and bomber outfits breathe the uniformity of a uniform, that no tattoos or beards or piercings or jewelry or other characteristics are visible, that there are many turtlenecks on display, as well as many oversized coats and sweaters, not to mention hoodies and yet more hoodies, virtually guarantees that gender is almost impossible to distinguish in some of the runway pictures. In fact, the one good way to distinguish differences between men and women is to be present at the runway show, where you can see how the models WALK.

This is gender neutral streetwear in classic and traditional shapes and cuts of elegance spiced up with kinky leathers, ghetto hoodies, military colors and shades, and lots of dangling straps, belts, and fastenings. Its motto is Supersize. The theme is Archive 10. The logo and the brand Juun.J. The style an urban deconstructed Chic Militaire.

Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017Juun J Paris Menswear Fall Winter 2017 January 2017






















Words by Sandro and photos from Juun.J.

This is the second time that Best Dressed Man is reviewing Boris Bidjan Saberi in Paris and again the show theme offered a stark example of what has become a common cause among many of the menswear fashion avant-garde in its portrayal of a modern young road traveler (or urban climber in this case), who often seems to go, not by the comfort of AirBnB from cosmopolitan city to cosmopolitan city supported by urban settings of neon lights and concrete or suburban sprawl, but rather by severe hardship and pain like a Silk Road Warrior across the Sahara desert from Algiers to Timbuktu, but then without a rally car or a racing team – and rather self-reliant, dapper, enterprising, and aye, why not DAFT – as in so ambitiously silly that the normal risks we take in life have now become an afterthought.

And if then you read the press release that the inspiration for this grand winter collection is the experience of the designer himself as an ICE CLIMBER, then all of a sudden things start falling into place. For was not this week a meter of snow recorded for the first time somewhere in the Sahara desert? Or is he climbing on Antarctica?

Indeed, a closer scrutiny of this winter-way-beyond-Moncler collection by Boris Bidjan Saberi shows all the elements and gadgets of extreme sport climbing – but modulated into a grand fashion statement for the ages: Harnessed pants, vest-jackets, parkas & trenches, woolly-warm hand-knit jumpers, webs of vertebral braids, optional removable pockets, removable linings, adjustable straps, climbing knots, double or triple fastenings, and – to top it all off – of course anti-snow blinding goggles and even military crampon mountain boots (the latter provided by the brand Salomon just for this occasion).

Yup, that may be extreme, but it is also beautiful. And actually much to the point for a young man in this urban life of today which requires a serious mountain or ice climber’s attitude – as well as the necessary equipment and style – in order to survive. Thus this latest collection of the BBS on-the-road menswear is shown here to breathe some serious class and has a remarkable freshness of style born out of hardcore hardship of risky and hazardous endeavors.























Words by Sandro and photos from Boris Bidjan Saberi

Masanori Morikawa from Japan is back on the Paris runway this time with a new ‘dadaist’ collection simply called ‘blue’.  And shades of blue it has: Police, Turquoise, Topaz, and hints of Spanish blue are ubiquitous in this interestingly layered deconstruction of styles and fabrics that the designer likes to practice in each new collection, and this time around accentuated by ‘classical tailoring with recomposed silhouettes’ – a veritable rhapsody in blue (with some bold reds for contrasting effect), which according to Japanese legend must indicate all the angst that youth has while living in modern society.

The motive is hidden in the details where quite originally – and as an example of how modern technology has an impact on fashion statements – we can perceive tassels, cords, belts, and shoe laces dangling about as if they are headphone jacks which get lost in the shuffle of an urban street city center cellphone manoeuvre when you are quickly trying to call a friend but when you are prevented from doing so by the doors of the bus or the train suddenly opening.

In this sense Masanori is right on target by quoting that this patchwork of classic-modernist streetwear is meant for young men who like to go by the saying ‘too fast to live too young to die’. And it explains the ‘Police-Topaz blue pretty well in terms of angst and vain cosmopolitan dreams of living in large and nameless cities around the globe. And perhaps so specifically in Japan – which, as lore has it, is rather crowded and full of people.

So wear blue. Not navy or royal blue. But police – turquoise – topaz blue.  Wear different layers while tassels hang from all elements of your urban outfit as if you are some type of cosmopolitan pirate. Hey, and wear a simple blue hat. Hey, and as an accessory add perhaps to wear what is called ‘an amplifier bag’ so that the batteries you carry for all your electronic equipment fit in nicely without disturbing anyone else.

And don’t forget that style-du-jour de l’année 2017 which we see plastered over every runway in Europe today: OVERSIZED sweaters, coats, pants, cuffs, collars, and shirts.  And then finally, of course, don’t forget them BLUE lacquered shoes, for those shoes are soo 2017. Police – Topaz blue. So that in the end you will have arrived at being a real urban Dadaist, protected by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi (an old Zen ritual of purity and simplicity in which things handmade and irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze, cracks, or beauty with deliberate imperfection are highly prized) because you are wearing the latest collection Christian Dada.
























Words by Sandro and photos from Christian Dada.

Someone had to do it. So leave it up to two young Parisian designer brothers from a bespoke family (dad was a London tailor) named ICOSAE to redefine and deconstruct Vermeer’s famous Girl with the Pearl Earring into today’s sensitive, brooding, yet elegant young man: Le Jeune Homme à la Perle – the young man with a pearl earring.

Here ICOSAE presents a dark (lots of underground shades of black fabrics and metallic detail in embroideries and accessories backed up by patchy prints) and rebellious collection, yet according to signature as we have witnessed in a prior show, still elegant and classy despite its penchant for deconstruction and provocation in both cut (oversized coats), shape (cut and turn sleeves), design (monster lapels), fabric (a mix of modern and traditional), and even color (the blood red on black being a primary feature following a ‘family conflict theme’ with the catchphrase that blood runs thicker than water as per the press release).

We had dubbed this particular style ‘punk chic’ last time we wrote an article when ICOSAE was presenting its first show, but this being their second we will have to redefine (or perhaps rather further deconstruct) the description of the style into something more subtle and sensitive as the direct and unavoidable result of every model on the runway boasting that marvelous metallic earpiece with ONE shiny pearl so softly and gently dangling from a small pendulum just below the ear. For that’s no longer punk, but rather swag. And frankly one could only imagine bad boy boogie John Galliano coming up with similar ‘innovation’ before it becomes – if ever – mainstream.

Nevertheless this is what youth is for: To give a distorted twist of sensitivity & sensibility either faux or real to traditional rebellion and a raw, ruckus & raucous approach to life, and then to match the style to go along with it, which now, despite all because of ICOSAE, will be available near you at your local Urban Chic outfitters of uppity menswear for the trendy and the bold in shapes and forms of true elegance and style. Punk Chic gone Pirate Swag – think Boy George, George Michael, and especially Adam Ant of the past, then Captain Jack Sparrow of today, only to culminate in what will be perhaps every second or third millennial gentleman of the future.

For what, if not for ICOSAE, is a real angry young man without a dangling PEARL earring?
























Words by Sandro and photos from ICOSAE.

Some fashion shows are so good that they develop their own cult following. And this is one of them. The way some people were used to follow the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, or Metallica on tour from city to city, there are also people who follow fashion designers from city to city, to see and revere their latest work in awe and adulation. Like rabid football fans, they dress up in the same style as that their heroes latest work would dictate. And like Justin Bieber fans they scream while taking pictures outside the event even if they have no ticket to get into the venue. And so it oddly is as well with Glenn Martens Y/Project show, which year after year, like good old Burgundy wine, only just gets a little darker and better still.

One must then wonder therefore what it is precisely with Belgian fashion designers that makes them special and stand out. For Belgium is a small country yet they have so many well-known designers. Here is just a simple five who are showing this week alone in Paris: Glenn Martens, Walter van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela, and of course Raf Simons, who need no introduction to a fashion public. So perhaps that it is not coincidence that Glenn Martens harks from the dark old city of Bruges, that obscure and hidden left over from a dark medieval past which never completely seemed to have reached modernity – not even until today. For was not this city the capital of Old Burgundy, a 14th century empire that stretched all the way from Switzerland to Amsterdam? And which mysteriously disappeared within the deep mist of European history?

Sorry that it needed that long introduction but only then will you perhaps understand a little bit about the origins of the creativity of this fabulous and fascinating show which gets better every year. The press release describes the work as ‘graphic tailoring woven into structural elegance’ as a technical description and almost every time there is an underground scene in the show ambiance but the effects of the materials used, the form, the shapes, the colors, and the cut and the design with Y/Project somehow always become visible upon the faces of models on the runway expressed as a strange but intense form of self-confidence.

And it is for a reason that they seem to breathe and represent the cockiness of princes or pashas. Can you spot Napoleon, Henri the IV, Louis XIV and other notables past in the runway line up in the slideshow below? Not only in the patchwork prints and the design, but in the faces of the actual models? For indeed it is rather remarkable what kind of confidence grand clothes can make for man: The confidence of the Prince – oddly fitting in the age of Donald Trump – which as the theme for this Y/Project show Glenn Martens aptly calls ‘the real Slim Shady’ after the nickname of the rough mean street alter ego of rapper Eminem.

Aha, so THAT is what grand clothing can bring out in a man, and it also explains the cult following of this fabulous and highly creative work of the sartorial arts called Y/Project.

Glenn Martens, the fashion cult hero Slim Shady from Bruges

Glenn Martens, the fashion cult hero Slim Shady from Bruges

And did anyone notice that Glenn Martens is an Eminem lookalike?























Words by Sandro and photos from Y Project.


Something very French about this FIRST runway show (after 23 years of having a well-known brand and boutique in Paris) by Lucien Pellat – Finet, old Don of the French fashion scene, and something très Pop – Culture.  Not only do promotional tie-ins and markings of John Matos (aka the Graffiti artist called ‘CRASH’), as well some latest designs and images of the new installment of the grand animated movie ‘Discpicable Me 3’ feature in the work and art, but we also notice that not without a twist or hint of irony the fashion avant garde – the frontrunners – is exploring some long-since washed-out pop-imagery like for instance skulls, hemp leaves, and aye, even the Popeye-esque ubiquitous image of the lighthouse (yes a lighthouse, that retro pop image par excellence when pop was still innocent).

Interestingly this eclectic strand of DNA made for a novelty patchwork of fashion which rendered good homage to its purported mission statement that the ‘bad taste of today is the good taste of tomorrow’, which perhaps should have more appropriately read that the ‘bad taste of yesterday is like the good taste of today’ but hey, it pretty much matched very well the precise and indicative words in French from the press release which we don’t want to withhold from you: That the style of the LPF collection represents a ‘nonchalance étudiée’ – a form of studied nonchalance (bingo), carried by what can only be described as an L.A. MAN (not an L.A. Woman although the reference bears a point in case) of yesteryear – who perchance likes to go on ‘noctambules en balade à l’orée du jour, sur les longues avenues d’un Los Angeles circa Nineties’ – get this as per the press release – on night-walks at the break of dawn along the long avenues of Los Angeles around the nineties.  Wow!  Hence the slippers and PJ pants. And who will undoubtedly be very lucky not to get shot or arrested while never returning home.

Let’s call the LPF style L.A.:  A study in the REDUX and FLUX of pop-culture; pulp fiction in fashion.

That’s not to say though that this collection does not breathe some serious style or class.  You MUST know therefore that for the LPF collections only the very best and precious materials are being used (alpaca, cashmir, fleece, etc.), that the sourcing is state of the art, and that items are made either in France, Scotland, Italy, or Japan, and that yes that you can even notice the effects thereof by simply looking at the pictures – it shows in the colors and in materials coming out much better and brighter. Add to that that the simplicity of the styles on display and it will make the LPF menswear very universal and timeless, and all of a sudden the pop-culture ‘méli-mèlo’ (mix) is all but forgotten and substituted for some serious French style. Probably precisely WHY Lucien Pellat – Finet (we’ll call him LPF to popularize his name) was honored by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture to be the Opening Act (first show on the fashion calendar in the new year) in a series of French fashion weeks to have kicked off and which has officially commenced today Wednesday January 18, 2017.
























Words by Sandro and photos from Lucien Pellat–Finet.

Canali has decided to go minimalist for AW17/18. This, in turn, doesn’t take away from the sheer elegance of the brand, in fact, the collection seems to become even more dignified. Simply put, there aren’t any extra bells and whistles to distract customers away from the simple truths of Canali: fine fabrics and fine tailoring.

Speaking of fabrics, a focus on cashmere and wool keep the garments soft and worn. Above all, we see long trenches, some belted in a more casual robe style. Keeping up with trend, layers are present, turtlenecks under blazers under trenches. Patterns like plaid and herringbone give off a slight 1960s “Mad Men” feel. BDMOTP loves the rich browns and oxblood colors present in the collection.

For a little bit more on how the lovely Canali garments are constructed, check out their video Rewind.





















Words by Lori Zaino and photos from Canali.

Page 10 of 77« First...89101112...203040...Last »