As usual, Francis Montesinos showed an eclectic collection A Flor De Piel (which is a Spanish saying meaning Sensitivity) of both menswear and womenswear, blending a combined inspiration of both flamenco and Asian flavors for his SS16 looks. The event started with flamenco singer and dancer, shouting and stomping out traditional Spanish rhythms. The music slowly twanged into some traditional Mandarin violin sounds, but the flamenco singer continued to clap along to the beat, creating a strange sort of fusion between the two. The fashions also were a fusion of the two unique cultures.

The first looks very very Boho chic, with models even carrying guitars strapped onto their backs (for flamenco strumming, perhaps?). Later on, we see the Asian vibe appear with some kimono looks and then polka dots inspired by the flamenco side of the collection. Then suprise, the wedding looks came out, and the men sported white lace right along with the ladies. Of course, the man-skirt, a favorite of Montesinos was repeatedly sported throughout the collection as well as a sort of male nightdress and a man onesie, which BDMOTP actually rather liked. All and all, a lot of interesting looks from Montesinos this season. Will men wear them? Who know? But at least they were creative and purposeful.

An exciting part of the collection was that Gene Simmons, beloved singer in KISS, is partnering with Montesinos, and his face was embossed on a T-shirt within the collection. Apparently, Simmons will be opening over 900 spots where you can purchase the famed Simmons shirts. So keep your eyes peeled for spots in the US so you can be first in line for your Gene Simmons tee!

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

The Roberto Verino SS16 collection featured some flashy womenswear and subtle menswear

The Roberto Verino SS16 collection featured some flashy womenswear and subtle menswear

Roberto Verino is always one for a class masculine look. Unlike many of the other more daring designers showing their collections on the Madrid runways, you can count on Verino to provide well-tailored, traditional suits, suitable for James Bond or the likes.

The menswear collection for SS16 could be described as dependable. Not entravagant, not particularly creative, but a go-to suit when you really want to dress to impress. They were memorable not because they were exciting, but because they were simply well-constructed. Compared to the flashy womenswear looks, Verino stayed in classic territory with his masculine fashions this season.

Well-appropriated for an SS16 collection, each of the suits was monocromatic and made from soft, light fabrics such as cotten or linen. The pants were a basic cut — not a trendy wide leg or skinny but a simple straight leg pant with shoes matching the color of the suit. Matching scaves gave each look a springish air. The occasional glance at a sailor horizontal stripe made us yearn for those long summer nights.

The wow look of the collection was not particularly scandalous, but anything differening from the suits seemed flashy, and famous Cuban model Juan Betancourt sporting the look made all the more striking — a navy swimsuit. Swimwear being a first for Verino, the one masculine look did not get us too excited, but hopefully we shall see more of the Verino masculine swimwear line in the future.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

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

It has that typical London style rebellious look–we guessed it–but we didn’t know it for sure because we were able to get a sneak view in Paris during PR open days but the guess proved correct, as between all the French designers in the upstairs front room, here was hiding a licentious part of a recent and well-known collection of Nicomede Talavera, who is pretty well known in fashion circles for working with Eastpak and whose pieces breathe London warehouse style industrial cosmopolitan graphics and not baroque continental decorations or avant-guardist French concept and design.

Oliver donning his super clubbing outfit

Oliver donning his super clubbing outfit

This is London SWAG straight from Saint Martins and not French CHIC. And with a name like that – Nicomede Talavera – how can you not be the latest hot property among the up and coming young designers in London or New York or Tokyo. Perfect branding if you don’t have to change your name before turning your design and creative art into a brand. Imagine Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham doing the same. Oh hold on a minute – she did, didn’t she? But how could she – for her name is not Nicomede Talavera – and thus her brand may go nowhere. Well she will sell because the Beckham collection are quality items and they have her famous name tag on it. But NOT because she has some serious SWAG – like every single piece in the Nicomede Talavera collections. So, dude, never mind the bollocks – here is …

Olivier in Nicomede Talavera ready for some rive-gauche chic

Olivier in Nicomede Talavera ready for some rive-gauche chic

Yes, this is some serious uppity club wear – as a matter of fact the only place in Paris where you could get away with this type of swag is probably in Le Baron – open at midnight and closing at dawn – a Paris rarity, but still a gem. That is IF you get in the door and by the velvet ropes of course. And for that you need serious London SWAG and deep pockets and some good shoes also, or boots perhaps, and those preferably in black – and IF you show up in your Nicomede Talavera you will be fine. They will let you in. You will be recognized that you belong on the scene – like a record machine – like a sex-machine – get on the scene -, but, never mind the bollocks, for here is Nicomede Talavera!

Sucker.

Sucker!

Sucker!

Unless you have access to Parisian PR agency backrooms for private viewing (which you don’t) you will be able to find Nicomede Talavera collections at the following ‘stockists’ (yup it’s exclusive):

  • Machine-A (London)
  • LN-CC (London)
  • Joyce (Hong Kong)
  • H-Lorenzo (LA)
  • Opening Ceremony (LA / NYC / Tokyo)
  • Space Mue (Korea)
Assume the NT position

Assume the NT position

Posted by Sandro, photos by Mous and modeling by Olivier.

Skagen is a seaside village in Denmark, but it is also a minimalist lifestyle products brand owned by the Fossil Group that’s been around since 1989 and that makes quite a beautiful collection of watches, leather goods – like rucksacks and handbags, and menswear accessories like wallets and card holders.

 

Skagen 1

The great thing is, besides its style emphasis on functionality, minimalism, and simplicity in the time tested Northern European mold, that Skagen luxury goods are on the LOW end of the price spectrum despite the brand having the pedigree of high quality materials and workmanship. A kind of luxury-prêt-à-porter if you like. Great for gifts. Or great if you need to do yourself an unexpected favor when you don’t have time to do extensive research on which product or brand you really wanted in the first place.

Skagen 2

The latest Skagen collection for 2015 boasts several new items, like for instance the Kallan watch, which is a limited edition only, depicted below as the pendulum watch with a simple round dial in mouse grey and hands in Egyptian blue. Trust us when we say this would make for a great gift for a great price.

Skagen 3

As far as signatures go the watch collection this year is inspired by the different phases of the moon – the full moon which, if you look at the shape of each watch, becomes clearly recognizable as an outstanding shape. Other style cues the collection takes from the simplicity and minimalist functionality of the Danish landscape and from Danish life in general, in which riding a normal bike (and not a sporty or an extreme one) has always been a central feature. Imagine the spokes of the wheel from a normal bike as the simple hands on the dial of the watch. Voici your Skagen concept and functionality.

Skagen 4

 

 

This ubiquitous simplicity and functionality carries over in the leather goods and into the accessories so that the whole lifestyle product range becomes instantly recognizable as Skagen but also as a very classy and desirable luxury product despite its reasonable price.

Skagen 6

BDMOTP visited a Skagen showroom in Paris before FW had started, and more and more you will see that at the world’s largest fashion weeks that lesser known brands will open up shop in anticipation of the main events to come ahead of time. You may call it the opening acts to the big shows but what is interesting is that perhaps some of the better luxury items can be found ahead of the main events precisely for the fact that they are lesser known. Because they yet need to be discovered by the public at large. And thus, since exclusivity is one of the very key features which makes a luxury product stand apart, BDMOTP hereby fully endorses Skagen as the best and latest nouvelle collection for the summer and fall season of 2015 lifestyle products.

Skagen 5

Posted by Sandro and photos from Skagen.

BDMOTP recently had the pleasure of visiting AVOCwhich is a French acronym which stands for ‘Architecture Vestimentaire Ornement Corporel’ which, in English, would be Clothing Architecture Bodily Ornament, and which, of course would need some serious explanation.

This is not exactly your average run-of-the-mill concept wear as there is not so much just one concept involved (like, let’s say, minimalist 3D printing with recycled materials to help the rainforest) as that there is an actual bit of performance art or ‘dialogue’ that takes place between the AVOC menswear itself and an architectural ‘installation’ in which features a certain story inside a setting of stylized interior design.

AVOC therefore, around since 2013 and founded by the French duo designers of Bastian Laurent and Laura Do, is not just only a clothing line or a brand but is simultaneously also an interior design and art direction agency which works with architectural installations mise-en-scène and set up with a story woven into it in which then an iconic piece of clothing resembling the scene will feature.

AVOC 0

The overall concept thus is that the materials and style of the clothing line and collection is going to fit into the story as well as match the installation.

Imagine a kitchen in which both a man and a woman are having an argument. The stone cold tiles of the kitchen walls and floor are styled and shaped by reference to the emotions that are taking place during the scene (this is called scenography and is done by taking stylized photos). Perhaps that we could expect certain shades of blue for sadness or red for anger and sharp angles to the tiles in case the argument gets out of hand? An old TV set with a particular movie playing while the couple is wearing something not dramatic, but drab, dim, and bland indicating the daily slumber of life in general?

Key in this imagined scene above is that the iconic clothing items worn by the performance models both fit and match the SCENE and not just the person, the idea being of course that our personality today is not only shaped by what we wear (no hipsters please) but also by what happens to us at which point in time and where and how.

Our model Olivier AVOC - decorated as architectural avant-guardist

Our model Olivier AVOC – decorated as architectural avant-guardist

For this reason the collection of AW15 AVOC homme that we witnessed has, besides containing the very structural elements and materials which can be related to the architecture and interior decoration in the scene and the story (let’s say the gabardine of the furniture coming back in the overcoat), a very minimalist and functional look, while the colors used are basic and not flashy so that they can become part of many stories – your story, and many scenes – your scenes.

Oliver as architectural performance artist

Oliver as architectural performance artist

The colors used for AW15 AVOC homme are basic Hooker’s (look it up, it exists) green, basic Independence blue, basic Battleship grey, and Taupe (very close to Beaver but not quite). Likewise the cut and the style of the collections remains basic, functional, and minimalist, so that in this way the items themselves become iconic – as if it were your beautiful oak front door with the old brass knocker in the form of the head of a deer, or your baroque cast iron fence around the house which keeps those pesky dogs in the neighborhood out of your yard, or your iconic retro Aston Martin 1977 –, all of which, of course, many stories do tell, and many scenes will remember.

The grand idea here, it must now become clear to you after this torrid and twisted explanation, is then that each piece of the AVOC collection can be worn indepedently as a bodily ornament or decoration – so that indeed, all explanations notwithstanding, it must be said that the items are beautiful to behold, nice to wear, and very special.

Post by Sandro, photos by Mous and modeling by Olivier.

Alton spotting casual chic in front of the old Paris Stock Market made into the venue of the Paris fashion trade show

Alton spotting casual chic in front of the old Paris Stock Market made into the venue of the Paris fashion trade show

Ly Adams is a ready-to-wear menswear only casual chic brand with a boutique located in the Paris hipster district the Marais and was founded in 2010 by Séverine Lahyani. This was the last stand BDMOTP visited at the TRANOI fashion trade show.

Ly Adams 1

Back to the future: that early fifties hipster look

This casual urban-chic style – or chic-urbain as the French would say – is very much en vogue or à la mode of course in different cosmopolitan centers around the world today, as we have seen this type of sporty elegance come back time and again on the runways of Paris (Carven), Amsterdam (Tony Cohen Homme), London (Wooyoungmi), and undoubtedly in other cities as well. No surprise then to find this elegant style at the Paris tradeshow, but we will question what is the secret behind Ly Adams that drives hipsters so crazy over this type of style today.

Jimmy Dean chic

Jimmy Dean chic

For one thing the brand and savoir-faire are French whereas the sartorial arts and manufacturing are Italian, which always makes for the most casual and best of fits – something which when compared to German or English bespoke that will never be the same.

Secondly, the style signatures at Ly Adams are derived and taken from classic masculine movie icons like Jimmy Dean, Steve McQueen, and Humphrey Bogart which of course will give both colors and cuts a beautiful retro look. Perhaps that we may call what we looked at during the trade show: The Collection of the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

That old army trench by Ly Adams

That old army trench by Ly Adams

Which brings us to the last important point:  if you are going to go crazy over retro (the French like to talk about ‘revisité’ (revisited) urban chic casual and come to Paris or London or New York to look for one of them boutiques (like Ly Adams) where you can be fitted into the only mold which is going to turn you into a fifties or early sixties movie character with grace, chic, elegance and all the other good stuff (yes, you may have to take up smoking and change your daily portion of wheatgrass for Martinis) which you have always dreamed of would one day turn your street style cool finally into some real urban chic – then, for style’s sake, don’t wear a tie!

No, take it from Steve McQueen and wear a simple dark turtle neck sweater. Or maybe just a T – shirt. Forget your cool. And be ‘décontracté’ – be casual, and be yourself …

Steve McQueen, style machine

Steve McQueen, style machine

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

Always wanted one of them super cool police – or firemen knitted sweaters?  Well, now you can have one thanks to knitted sweater specialist Pic de Nore, a brand from Castres in France, a small location somewhere below the Massif Central, where they manufacture according to old rules of the craft called ‘tricotage’ (the art of knitting sweaters with the help of special sewing machines) about 100,000 knitted sweaters per year for army, gendarmerie, sapeurs pompiers (firemen), and police.

Pic de Nore 1

Oliver spotting a fireman pullover

Pic de Nore is named after a well-known mountain top in the Massif Central in France where many go biking or exercise other types of sports, which of course perfectly fits the newly established brand because this type of outerwear (which can be worn inside with lots of style and pleasure) is really also action wear as it lasts and endures in rain and inclement weather while retaining its quality, form and shape – and color – throughout.  For a good comparison think Paul & Shark, the boating outerwear sweaters, which comes to mind as having the same type of quality and a style despite featuring a different set of colors.

The fireman dandy

The fireman dandy

Thus BDMOTP was privileged last spring to be able to try on a few of these miraculous items during Paris fashion open day in April at the Pic de Nore PR agency and the pieces you see here worn by our model Oliver are of course for the winter 2015 / 2016 collection – their first winter collection ever. One really wonders why it took so long that for the general public also being allowed to wear these gems because they were made famous as a style item long ago in countless movies about Paris or France. Ever wonder why the police and firemen look so super cool in Paris in the movies?  Well now you know now that you can go buy these types of knitted action sweaters yourself

 

Pic de Nore 3

Stylized knitted sweater NOT in red & blue

Pic de Nore has a shop in Japan and PR agents in London and in Paris and from what we at BDMOTP can gauge from our experience of how fashion markets operate probably also one in America in the foreseeable future, because this is a style too cool and a quality simply too good to ignore. As for exclusivity besides the Made in France tag each individual piece at Pic de Nore has its own unique serial number (like police / army / fireman items do) so that yours can be tracked and found if it is lost or stolen – or if you want to simply show it off as an exclusive item. Well, that is of course if your local police department is not run by the blundering detective Peter Sellers – aka the Pink Panther.

Pic de Nore 4

Cue theme song ‘the Pink Panther’

Post by Sandro, modeling by Olivier and photos by Mous (except the gendarmerie sweater image in black and white which is from the Pic de Nore website).

Laura B 2 (3)

Laura B is a luxury accessory mesh and chainmail designer who started her first men’s jewelry collection back in 2003, and we at BDMOTP were lucky to find her beautiful stand at the Paris fashion trade fair back in July as the items are veritable pieces of art on the high-end of the luxury spectrum. It shows in particular when you see such a ‘collection particulière’ in person because it is as if visiting a small private collection just made for you, which of course, in reality, it is.

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The mesh bowtie

The mesh bowtie

Whereas the signature of the collection is mesh or chainmail, Laura B uses different other high quality materials to make the most beautiful things. The weave of mesh and chainmail is interlaced with croc, python, stones, Swarovski crystals, lace, silk, horn, coins, silver, and many other precious things except for perhaps Valentino Liberace – pink rhinestones. It is then also but a small wonder that Laura B can not only boast a whole host of famous accessory houses and companies as her clients, but also several celebrities. For this is definitely the stuff that celebrities would chose to wear on occasion – as the glamour inherent to well-worn mesh and chainmail really never would have a serious rival in what is jewelry of pure opulence and glitter.

Belts of craftmanship

Belts of craftmanship

Thus we were most impressed with the on item pictured in black and white below: The mesh chainmail tie – wonderful to behold, wonderful to touch – and most wonderful to wear.

The celebrity masterpiece: the chainmail tie

The celebrity masterpiece: the chainmail tie

Yet the collection for men is not limited to just ties and bow ties but verily includes wallets, belts, key chains, hand bags, and lots of different men’s bracelets – the type of accessory you don’t want to leave behind after finding yourself unexpectedly waking up in a stranger’s bed in the morning after a celebrity-only FW after-party. As rumored it may be true that after-parties are not for the faint of heart sometimes, and that unexpected things happen, but after admiring this ‘collection particulière, it will be safe to say that it is always better still to part quietly with a lover than to forget your Laura B.

That well-known ‘rockstar’ chainmail bracelet

That well-known ‘rockstar’ chainmail bracelet

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

Furtive 1

It is amazing what is possible today and what innovation in fabrics and materials can accomplish in fashion. BDMOTP was lucky enough at the Paris men’s fashion trade show to run into a state of the art fashion product innovation called FURTIV which is a cooperative effort between designers (Fizal Khan / UK), high-end clothing manufacturers (La Rocca / Italy), specialists in ballistics, armored protection and law enforcement (PROTECOP / France), and a fashion house specialized in urban chic outerwear (Inventive Citi / France). This is a unique combination between a practical solution and a serious style statement with the additional quality that besides being stylish and bullet proof FURTIV is well … very furtive, hidden, and discreet. Call it fashion stealth technology if you want.

The ‘integrated’ solution

The ‘integrated’ solution

The items come in parka, blouson, and trench and in the stealthy colors of black, navy, and blue mezzanotte (midnight blue). Its main feature is an authorized level of civilian ballistic protection provided by a virtually unnoticeable integrated solution of 1.8 kg except for that you slightly feel the weight. And yes we did try it on. Other elements part of the package are hidden sleeve pockets, thermo-regulation, removable pieces to improve mobility, reversible reflective cuffs, zipped side vents, faux-pockets, and a 100% cashmere insulation. It’s really the gadget you always wanted to have when imagining you are James Bond or Ethan Hunt in a mission impossible.

From left to right:  Fizal Khan / designer, Alton Barber / BDMOTP and Nicolas Bert / Inventive Citi

From left to right: Fizal Khan / designer, Alton Barber / BDMOTP and Nicolas Bert / Inventive Citi

But besides stealth and protection, the element of style is not forgotten. Made in Italy/France and designed by Fizal Khan from Britain these are stylish pieces of outerwear designed for the civilian market. The look is minimalist, sporty, discreet and has a look of urban chic and thus could be worn in any type of outdoor environment for that very reason.  Despite being ready-to-wear the solution can be individually applied and made for measure so that it can be worn under your existing clothes, or, alternatively be made-to-measure using the fabrics of Loro Piana, a well-known high-end fabrics company. Prices hover around the 3000/ 4000 euro mark per item, which, truth be told, is a stealthy steal for giving you the security and safety you will not be able to purchase anywhere else.

Furtive 4

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

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