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BDMOTP kicked off London Collections: Men with a visit to the circus. Well, not exactly…the Universal Works fashion house got a little creative this season and offered up a vintage circus theme and experience. Don’t go thinking clowns and elephants though–the designs weren’t really circus like at all–think vintage-esque long jackets, modern separates and hipster sweaters and ski hats.

The looks were conservative, but not frumpy, instead stylish and up-to-date. Touches of plaid and screen printed t-shirts made the collection relevant in today’s fashion scene. The circus was all in the accessories…not belts or cuff links, but cotton candy, popcorn, even a live goldfish in a baggie. If this is what the circus is like these days, well, sign me up!

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Post and photos by Lori Zaino.

Every once in a while we come across a new fashion concept so revolutionary that we think that it must have been around from the very beginning of fashion time. Surprise, surprise then when BDMOTP was browsing recently at fashion school annual showroom exhibition in Paris when we met a Hungarian young designer who had the foresight to come up with something what apparently has never been done before:  To create an ageless clothing line and collection for men over sixty – and simply call it – Grandpa.

Photo courtesy of designer.

Photo courtesy of the designer.

Hey, with all the thousands of super cool and hot pictures of hip and young-looking adolescent, twenty-something, thirty-something, and middle-aged men spotting the latest greatest accessories while donning the best and brightest new menswear designers flowing in stream upon information stream around the various media portals around the globe daily (yes we provide that type of content) – why not have a simple yet special collection for men over sixty?  Someone had to do it.  And in this case the creative designing artist is called Annamari Nagy, who is from Hungary and who is graduating from fashion school in Paris.

Grandpa X

One of the secrets for ageless over sixties is to use basic dark blue as a color – not to hide the wrinkles of course, but probably to accentuate them and make them stand out; and is to use basic denim and simple jacquard in minimalist fashion – again to make that age come out and not hide it; and is also to choose intelligently an appropriate collection theme or concept – which in this case is the universal and commonly known profession of ‘the butcher’.  Now imagine ageless men over sixty posing as butchers. In simple dark clothes with raw textures. It is a marvelous and grand idea – a concept long overdue.  So bring in Gerard Depardieu who must be getting up there now in age, and who is probably dying to try this collection on, as being a butcher has always been his dream.

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Butcher’s garb for ageless men

Much of the work that Annamari Nagy is doing for this SS16 collection comes in the form of crocheting and hand knitting – a dying art perhaps – but indeed quite formidable and appropriate when attempting to match & mingle the pedigree of good ancestry with men of good old vintage and age, who like soft-ripened cheese, or good old wine, or better yet still – old whiskey or cognac branded only by the number of the oak barrel, still go forth in search of more, and who do not hold back, so that when your last cigar is smoked, and your last meat has been butchered, you will find yourself where once only old soldiers were privileged to go: they do not die, but fade away…

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Grandpa, for ageless men!

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous unless otherwise specified.

DALEI Paris is a ready-to-wear brand by young designer Ahmed el Dalei, who in the past has worked with Yves Salomon Homme, as well as with stylist Udo Edling. Ahmed is inspired by an eclectic variety of sources and inspirations from around the world while his roots lie in Egypt. He sees himself as a world-traveler who brings different cultures, traditions, and superstitions out into clothing design. The current collection SS16 that BDMOTP witnessed in Paris last month was specifically based and inspired upon the hidden treasures and oracles of the hidden secret societies in the western world from the 1920’s. Since all hermetic thought and action eventually dates back to ancient Egypt, for the treatment of the occult arts as they would appear in clothing design, we could not imagine a better interpreter than Ahmed as a designer inspired by the mystic arts for this current day and age. And the looks and style he creates are therefore truly remarkable – and aye, even futuristic.

Dalei I

There is a strange urban dark chic to Ahmed’s creations and many pieces feature the long wear djellaba look that we know well from the middle-east. But if you then mix those items with mesh and other rare materials in exotic colors, forms and shapes, all of a sudden the style becomes very futuristic – as if you are walking onto the latest set of a Star Wars movie, build up for the deserts of some galaxy far, far away.

Princess Leia by DALEI

Princess Leia by DALEI. Photo by Mous.

Urban street wear or sporty casual chic?  Maybe, but this mysterious collection inspired by old secret societies could easily go further than that. It has the whiff of a clothing collection fit for ancient dance rituals engaged in to bring mummies back to life – or perhaps to guarantee someone a safe passage to the hereafter after they have departed. And in this way strangely the style of the far future beckons and seduces us as much as the style of the distant past. And that is as odd and mysterious as the design was probably meant to incorporate. A mystery of sorts. A conundrum which could not be explained – not even by a Sphinx.

Some of the mysterious inspirations of DALEI

Some of the mysterious inspirations of DALEI. Photo by Mous.

On a final note we must say we loved the DALEI collection very much. And that we believe that Ahmed will go very far with this if he keeps on tapping into the various superstitions and sub-cultures of the other side as a source of inspiration in clothing design. For who does not love – or has a secret fear of – the world of hidden rituals and dreams long gone eons ago – or those of eons hence to come? When deep underneath the deserts sands death is only the beginning!

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Posted by Sandro and photos by designer except those by Mous where credited.

Paris being home to many fashion schools it means that fashion students come from all over the world in order to study fashion design and fashion management and that eventually they will have their first showroom or runway experience towards the end of their study. This is a final graduation project which then becomes an entry ticket into the wider of fashion, and thus it was that BDMOTP was very lucky to be able to visit such a final fashion project showroom for international fashion students recently when we met Xu Qing from Shanghai whose showroom display was impeccable and perfect in its execution, its blue noir and shades of black collection being the centerpiece of the room standing out as a stark professional display as if this were the third floor of Printemps Haussmann Homme where all the other young and upcoming designers are proudly displaced – and not just the beautiful showroom for graduating international fashion students.

Sitalence I

A picture perfect display of a new menswear collection

Besides the perfection of the presentation itself and the concept and execution of the collection on display, in order to graduate from the program of the fashion school, a candidate has to produce the following items (where we must admit that Xu Qing deserves the very highest marks):

  • a look-book of course
  • a brochure
  • a business card
  • a book about the materials being used and applied
  • a design book with the entire design process in detail from A to Z
  • a manual with courses followed in order to obtain the degree
  • and a video / audio presentation
The fine parts of a final fashion project

The fine parts of a final fashion project

Xu Qing’s menswear clothing line is called S I T A L E N C E which is a combination of three words.  It has the word silence in there, because of the colors of the collection which are usually associated with stealth. The word metal, because of the metallic looks and perhaps feel. And the Chinese character / word called ‘Si’, which means snake, or serpent, and which of course adds much to be imagined about silence and stealth of character of this veritably impeccable collection.

Sitalence III

Indeed the finishing on Qing’s work is nothing less than remarkable. Not only is the finishing perfect (haute finition / high finishing), but inside the finishing the designer weaves his hidden signatures as if he had been working for Hermès for 20 years. A+ on that account. Look at the button work in the picture below (which comes back in matching cufflinks).  Notice the hidden octagon in the product tags (picture above). Notice the perfection of the branded zippers.

Sitalence X (1)

Notice the ‘Si’ serpent character (which kind of looks like a number ‘7’) hidden in the seams and even on the branded costume covers. Now that is perfection. And that is branding. It’s great and it is class.  And frankly it makes you want one of these items as if it is a high-end luxury product.  Which of course – it is!  Remarkable work by Xu Qing to be admired at .

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

Jorge Ayala is a Mexican architect and fashion designer with a studio in Paris. He is quite accomplished with an eclectic coterie of clients that range from Louis Vuitton (luxury) to Swarovski (crystal) to Franck Provost (hair styling) to Google (technology), and he also has a fashion line called JAP (Jorge Ayala Paris), which is both for men and for women.

Jorge Ayala I

Thus, while browsing through the racks during fashion PR agency open day at a showroom in Paris last November, we discovered part of the Jorge Ayala SS16 collection in outstanding colors and with voluptuous digital prints and designs.  The fabrics were advanced and the press officer related that the collection may have been used for Google Mexico, which kind of made sense, because when you think of Mexico you think about colors, and when you think about Google, you think about different (primary) colors too.

And because the items are unisex the involuntary image that came to mind was Google ‘interns’ sitting somewhere in Mexico somehow wearing Jorge Ayala’s latest SS16 collection in some outdoor cafeteria or ‘third space’ trying to hack each other’s laptops in the spirit of some form of friendly competition in order to prove themselves to have the necessary ‘creativity’ for the job for which they are applying. A form of creativity and a competition which of course necessarily also extends to shape, color, form and style.

Jorge Ayala II

[Ay]A (Ayala Architecture) was launched by Jorge in 2011 and is a company which works and experiments with applied arts & designs while using different materials and techniques used in architecture in order to enhance visual merchandising, as well as product & clothing design. Hence JAP as the embodiment of the fashion line.  And hence that Jorge calls himself boldly ‘a producer of culture’ and a ‘post-digital artisan’.  This, because he uses analog forms of materials known to architecture but decorates, and prints, and tattoos them with digital drawing and designs born out of 3D modelling in order to create the outstanding quality of his collections.

Here is an example of method and material that Jorge works with technically applied from the realm of architecture:

  • laminated silk
  • pleated laser cuts
  • tattooed leathers
  • building fabrics & textile

Jorge Ayala III

That the results are surprising and beautiful we do not have to explain to you, so we’ll leave Jorge – the artist as critic – with the last word when he describes what he thinks fashion design also has in common with architectural design:  ‘Precision, structure, engineering, texture, material, assembly, and innovation’.

Jorge Ayala IV

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

BDMOTP was recently able to check out an exciting young designer, Sean Suen, in Paris.  We headed over during press day and there it was: Sean Suen’s recent collection staring at us from the rack in a corner of the pretty showroom.

 

Sean Suen I

Sean Suen definitely has the typical urban chic style (here in Paris we like to call it chic-urbain) which everyone is looking for these days from all over the planet. It’s something that goes in Beijing where Sean had his first show and launch in 2012 with the SS13 collection, but it is also something that goes well here in Paris, or in New York, or in London, as it has that special back-to-the-future look, those kind of clothes you know you have seen somewhere but do not recall from what movie, with the added twist that you only remember that it was in some vague urban setting, and that there was a decent plot to the film because the actors were all well dressed, and that the movie laid claim to an immediate future and not the present, because of the minimalist style and sharp-edged looks you noticed, and the unusual materials, cuts, and prints aspiring to unknown destinations of that general post-industrial setting in an obscure world of tomorrow, where style still matters, because street clothes need to be not only functional, but definitely chic – because in the common future of our planet not everyone in life will be a cop or an ordinary citizen. There will be gentlemen still.

Sean Suen II

So those of you who would dream of going soon in style to meaner freely and independently in some futuristic urban setting, now you may wet your chests – or beards – with la collection chic-urbain de grande classe by Sean Suen.

Sean Suen IV

Just a reminder: this is no high street wear, but that these pieces are all unique in their gentlemanly deconstructionist poly-technical applications (Sean has a background in both graphic design and printing & painting), and that yes, we know, that it is not easy to get your hands on such items, but you can find them here, so you can get your hands on one of these beautiful and exclusive items.

Posted by Sandro and photos by Mous.

Sandrine Philippe, a designer from France presented her collection for the first time at Serbia Fashion Week for SS16. The line was comprised of dark shades of grey and black and inspired by the idea of self protection in the future. Using leather, sharp cuts, dark make-up plus strong music, everything appeared to be an urban jungle–without animals, of course.

Her collection was a reference to the process of metamorphosis: The organic evolving nature of clothes revealed strange materials, such as wild animals skins. Models seemed wild and even wore grey and black paint on their hands and faces, showing the savage, free-spirited wolf-man vibe of her collection.

Maybe, just for a moment, too much black seemed monotonus, but Sandrine Philippe is definitely a woman who pushes the boundaries, breaks down barriers and shows dominance. No wonder she took home the award for the best international designer at SFW!

When we look into her unique world, her dark land, we spot blazers with elongated panels, embroidered pullovers, restitched clothes and so much black.

A man who wants to show his strength, lead and protect should definitely invest in some Sandrine Philippe pieces.

Vincere aut mori!

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Posted by Nikea Vucetic and photos from the official Serbia Fashion Week.

Retienne Zammit, a designer from Malta showed a mixed men’s and women’s collection at Serbia Fashion Week which was playful, colorful and lively. Suits and T-shirts with prints of human faces or newspapers aimed to present the culture of this Southern European Island country and the lovely spirit of this young artist. She has energetic approach to color and she’s not afraid to show it.

The faces on the creations are well-known Maltese poets created with simple materials and interesting collages. Paper mustaches were attached to the models for the utmost elegance. Using patches of anatomical hearts and monohromatic newsprint, she showed us her vision of love for her country. The fashion show ended with the Maltese flag proudly in the hands of each model.

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Posted by Nikea Vucetic and photos from the official Serbia Fashion Week.

Are we in a comic strip? No, just a runway show! Serbian designer and ex-TV host Bosko Jakovljevic opened his show Strip(ed) Soul in a crowded “Master” hall, presenting “3 shows in 1”. The first part of the show marked the eighties, accompained by the music of Duran Duran and David Bowie. The second part attracted special attention, because garments were made out of hand-painted paper, clearly for a very modern man.The third part of the show was quite spicy with coats in all colors, “hanging” tracksuits and sweaters with a large zippers. The collection could be characterized as many things: urban, chic, pop-art style and classic, interesting design, with bright colors. Andy Warhol in a suit, anyone?

One of the most memorable elements during the show was the model’s interesting cartoon speech bubbles, casually shadowing over them as they walked down the runway, with phrases such as “Like me”, “Follow me”, etc. This meshed fashion with the social media age we live in, and it totally worked. You felt like you were in a comic strip after seeing the models sport tailored suits with asymmetrical lines, large scarves, florals and cartoon or comic book prints. Does he recycle these paper suits or what?!

A relief to all audience members: the paper fabric is not as delicate as it may seem: of the models tried to rip his jacket off mid runway and failed.

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Posted by Nikea Vucetic and photos from the official Serbia Fashion Week.

Winner of the best male collection at the Serbia Fashion Award, Bata Spasojevic, closed the autumn edition of Serbia Fashion Week.  Bata Spasojevic definitely brought refreshment to the local fashion scene.His urban and strong collection for SS16 helped him to be selected to show his next collection at the New York Fashion Week in February 2016.

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This season, over 20 men models showed how this collection makes a man  daring, courageous, confident, bold, strong, safe and solid. Black fur, silver zippers, buttons, leather printed T-shirts and baggy trousers were all spotted in the collection. Key pieces included coats and a very eye-catching yellow sweater.

From the audience a resounding:

SPECTACULAR! IRRESISTIBLE! IMPRESSIVE!

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Posted by Nikea Vucetic and photos from the official Serbia Fashion Week.

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