Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Et voici! As would behoove a self-respecting global men’s fashion power blog, BDMOTP presents to you the man who inspired Oscar Wilde to write Portrait of Dorian Gray  who may very well have inspired Michael Jackson to become the gloved one AND have a squeaky little voice, who inspired Karl Lagerfeld to take Choupette as his most beloved icon pet, who was an example for the reveries of Marcel Proust in the persona of Baron de Charlus in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu and who most notoriously was the hidden subject–if not indeed the exact copy and model – of Karl Joris Huysmans’ deliciously poisonous and forbidden book A Rebours (Against the Grain) in which an improbable character called Des Esseintes is immortalized as the prototype godfather of all dandies for all time, a particular and eccentric man who celebrates an extravagant lifestyle of pleasure and beauty in complete solitude yet surrounded by the most outrageous & extraordinary home furnishings, decorations, and accessories.

But not yet many know that this gentleman was not fiction but actually existed, and that his name was Marie Joseph Robert Anatole de Montesquiou–Fézensac, better known as the Marquis Robert de Montesquiou, and that, perhaps mysteriously, two famous portraits of the man himself are still hanging in museums today one in New York (the Frick) and one in Paris (Quai d’Orsay) so as to silently witness and attest to his continuous private importance to the world of style for men even in our information age 125 years later.

Thus the following BDMOTP interview is a fictionalized version of a meeting with one very real vampire of men’s style and fashion – and an icon for the ages.

portrait of Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac by Whistler

portrait of Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac by Whistler

BDMOTP:  Hello Robert, thank you for granting us this special occasion for a brief interview. First off, are you the best dressed man on the planet?

Robert de M. (squeaks a little and twitches and takes off one white glove laying it across his knee while folding his legs gently, then tips his moustache and giggles, but never answers the question and sighs deeply): Umm..

BDMOTP:  If you had lived today Robert, would we be able to find you on Facebook?

Robert (giggles a little more and then taps his cane on the floor):  I always enjoy my pleasures privately, and I have few friends– also I do not like to share, I rather like to keep things for myself and treasure them and admire them alone.  Thus, as a proven butterfly, I need not many friends, because I have flowers, many beautiful things and flowers – and their colors and shapes inspire me to flutter on, and on, and move from one to the next.  If you can find them, flowers are always there for all to see, so there is absolutely no need to put them on Facebook.  Ah, the smell, I love the smell of roses, I close my eyes and they are there …

BDMOTP:  The French bourgeoisie in your lifetime had quickly condemned you as ‘un esthète au goût souvent discutable’ (an aesthete of frequently questionable taste) but the English speaking public of today really loves your style and your manners. What is your message to our readers?

Robert de M. (pouts and touches his moustache):  That every good conversation starts with a pose. And that in order to strike a proper pose, one always needs a personal style as well as particular manners.

The art of how to strike a proper pose, undoubtedly inspiring Oscar Wilde

The art of how to strike a proper pose, undoubtedly inspiring Oscar Wilde

BDMOTP:  What is it with the white gloves?

Robert de M.:  You don’t like them?  They are my favorites. Chamois – leather. Antelope. So soft!

BDMOTP:  We love your Persian cat Robert.  Today we have a fashion icon with a very famous Persian cat whose name is Choupette (the cat of Karl Lagerfeld). How do you feel about it that 100 years later people – famous people in the world of style even – are still copying your ideas and your manners?

Robert de M. (cackles and giggles and crosses his legs carefully and sits up straight):  I love my cat! She is my darling. She is NOT an accessory!

Robert holding his Persian cat, inspiring Karl Lagerfeld one century later

Robert holding his Persian cat, inspiring Karl Lagerfeld one century later

BDMOTP: But Robert the ugly rumor is that you once had a pet tortoise at your private residence and that you painted its shell gold and then it died (according to the account of French author Mallarmé who visited your house). But we did some research and we don’t believe you ever did what Huysmans wrote about Des Esseintes that he had gemstones encrusted in a turtle’s shell. You would not do this kind of thing would you now?  In today’s world this does not go off very well–to say the least. A tortoise is not an accessory.

Robert de M. (starts to cry and sniff a little): I am sorry, I am sorry I should have never painted the shell of my tortoise in gold – it is true–but I swear I never encrusted my tortoise with gemstones–this is pure fiction.  My notoriety must have gotten ahead of my reputation.

BDMOTP:  Robert, you talk about your notoriety as if it is a good thing?

Robert de M. (twitches his head and tips his hat up a little bit, then puts his cane between his legs, and looks indignantly ahead and purses his lips): Excuse me! I used to be a successful stockbroker, with an excellent reputation, and now that I have become a well-known esthete and dandy, and a legend, I cannot discuss my own notoriety? And just because I now know how to strike a proper pose whenever and wherever it does not suit society at large, I have become ‘notorious’? Does this frighten you? I tell you that a good notoriety and a little scandal here and there has always been the spice of life in style and fashion, in the same way as taking risks and speculations have always been the key to success in business and finance. If a man is no longer willing or able to risk his reputation every day the moment when he wakes up, then he will never go again in style! And people will forget him. Dixit.

Robert de M. suddenly gets up quickly and angrily holding up his head up and slightly backward without looking or saying goodbye stodgily taps twice with his cane on the floor and leaves the room carefully closing the door behind him. We have no time to thank him and are left wondering about many things, with a large list of questions left unanswered and a feeling of uneasiness.

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Posted by Sandro Joo.

If you’d asked me a few days ago what “Steampunk” fashion was, I honestly would have had no idea. But wandering through pop-up shops at MQ Vienna Fashion Week, I spotted some of the most original and creative jewelry for both men and women I’d ever seen at Kupferdach Production, which literally stopped me in my tracks.

Steampunk Jewelry made of vintage watches

Steampunk Jewelry made of vintage watches

Theodor Kupferdach has been creating vintage steampunk jewelry out of old watches for about a year. Just think about all the broken and discarded watches there are in the world.  Theodor collects these and turns them into rings, cuff links, buttons, pins, bracelets and more. This really gives new meaning to the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”

There are also items for women--the perfect gift for a mother, sister, girlfriend or wife!

There are also items for women–the perfect gift for a mother, sister, girlfriend or wife!

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Each item has been delicately molded and changed to create a new piece of jewelry, but not so much the original charm is lost. Most of the pieces feature the inner works of the watch at various sizes, shapes and colors. The pieces are made of brass and coated to preserve the color, though they will wear over time. You can easily clean them to get their color back.

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The bow tie pins are especially original, and the cuff links would made for an extraordinary “wow” piece — a conversation starter for sure.

Even buttons!

Even buttons!

Kupferdach also creates clothes, which are “steampunk” period pieces. The are made as eco-friendly as possible, produced in Austria with material purchased in Austria as well.

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If you are hoping to purchase one of these original pieces for yourself, you may have to head over to Vienna. You can find more information on the brand by visiting the Steampunk Jewlry: Kupferdach Production Facebook page.

Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

Bangkok Fashion is a staple at Vienna Fashion Week, and it’s a showcase of promising young Thai designers. This season, Bangkok Fashion: The Next Generation featured four talented young designers from Thailand: Adhoc, Paul Direk, Lakwilai and Pattric Boyle.

Additionally, there is always a feature on the traditional Thai silk. This season, the Thai silk presentation was actually two parts: designs by Kamlangjai and by Sacict. Kamlangjai is a design group where female prison inmates are taught to sew and design and they themselves have created the garments. The second part was by Sacict and the museum shop of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, which featured the Princess of Thailand walking the runway in a traditional Thai silk gown, among many other silk designs—two of which were for men.

Pattric Boyle

The first designer, Tanyapat Srivisakorn showed his Pattric Boyle menswear collection. Having seen some of his designs last season, I was excited to see what he would come up with. The result was “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, a collection of whimsical and playful t-shirts, shorts, pants and even suits patterned with typical and cultural references such as chili peppers, cactus, and my personal favorite, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Day references. The Pattric Boyle collection is perfect for a young male, perhaps college age, looking for a casual, eye-catching way to stand out in a crowd.

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Paul Direk

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Krungthep Direkmahamongkok showed his Paul Direk collection, geared towards what he considers “high street men”—urban streetwear for the young and fashionable. His menswear looks were few but featured black and white patterened shirts and shorts, adorned with his logo, topped with bowler hats.

Sacict: Thai Silk

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Finally, the two silk looks for men from Sacict  were definitely different, but it’s always special to see something that is created from a deep cultural back ground into the Thai culture. The colors of pale blue and beige/brown were soft and welcoming.

Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

Mariella Morgana in cooperation with Love Irene put on a great show this season at MQ Vienna Fashion Week, with just a few select menswear looks.

The trends spotted were plaid pants, oversize coats and layers, and turtlenecks. The showstopper was a large wool coat fit for a king. Each look was covered with knitwear from Love Irene, in the form of shawls and scarves of different styles and sizes. There was also a wool cape (right on trend with the cape comeback), and belts made of rope appeared in some of the looks.

The designs were warm and perfect for a chilly fall or winter day. The knitwear was a wonderful addition to the looks, really completing the fashions and pulling them together as stylish outfits.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

“El viejo mundo se muere. El nuevo tarda an aparecer. Y en ese claroscuro surgen los monstruos.”- Antonio Gramsci

“The old world dies. The new one takes time in appearing. During this gray area, the monsters come.” This quote brings forth the David Delfin’s SS 2015 collection for MBFW Madrid called “El Tiempo de los Monstruos”–Time of the Monsters.

The collection started off with sharp, geometric angles and crisply tailored pale blue suits, white shirts and boxy black shorts for men. Delfin created an interesting take on the backpack, a triangular shape with thin straps, a side pocket and a red, bold triange shape on the back. A definite standout piece, one can be worn in the back as a traditional “backpack” and also worn in the front–a new look, “the frontpack”.

Each of the looks was paired with polka dot Dr. Marten shoes, adding to effervescent quirkiness of Delfin’s design aesthetic. The models having their ears painted blue gave off that ‘monster’ vibe.

The show closed out with some fabulous bold emerald green sparkly looks, which would be a bold look for a confident man hoping to stand out in a crowd.

Front row celebrities include Alaska, Carmen Lomana and socialite Belen Esteban.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

The Szimon & Rosenthal show at MQ Vienna Fashion Week was eclectic and quirky. It’s clear that the designer Benny, who is also the editor of Faux Fox magazine, has a taste for the art scene, blurring the difference between male and female for a collection of looks, some of which can easily be androgynous.

Each design has a bit of personality, and the looks are casual streetwear for an urban cool dude. Tattoos optional, of course. The comfortably, uber trendy looks range from skirts to hoods to capes, made out of movable and relaxed fabrics.

Scarves and layers were also a big part of the collection. The big finale included a groom and bride, the bride wearing a mustache and a black, structured wedding “dress”, and the groom swathed in a velvet, urban tuxedo and a sheer shirt. Olé!

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

Paptiste showed unqiue collection at MQ Vienna Fashion week filled with colorblocking and layers. The two designers, Juergen Christian Hoerl and Martin Wagner explained that a real man should dress according to his emotions, which may be different every day. According to them, fashion is about dressing how you feel.

Their most recent collection is futuristic yet simple. The designs are basic, with one splashy like an interesting neckline or turtleneck. Bright blue is the color pop of choice, and the occasional 3-D butterfly or yellow duck adorns the outfit. Layers play a big part, with a pair of slim leggings under a pair of shorts, plus vests layered over shirts. Long vests were the chosen vest style, and grey was also a large part of the collection. The standout piece was a huge floor length blue west wool coat, with a beautifully structured, avant garde neckline.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

The Shakkei collection at MQ Vienna Fashion Week was not only stylish, but we can rest easy knowing it’s almost 100% eco-friendly, as almost all of it is manufactured right here in Austria, and the remainder within the European Union.

It’s no easy feat to product a collection in such a manner but designer Gabriel is passionate about the collection being organic, and so he combines eco-friendly fabrics to make luxurious and fashionable clothes.

This season, he delves even deeper into menswear with some “Great Gatsby-esque” hats and suits, a spring ode to the roaring 1920’s. Plaid blazers, spring colors such as lavender and yellow, and beautiful patterns paired with crisp khaki’s ruled the runway. A beige trench pulls the line into spring, as well as a lavender one for some color pop. These retro chic suits and looks are not stuck in the past though, modern details and touches like a boxier suit jacket and tapered pants, keeping them right on trend.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

Liniert, founded by a team of two people, one from Vienna and one from Barcelona who create casual urban sportswear. The designers describe their clothes as “armour” which I think clearly fits for their style of creation. The Liniert designs are not only fashionable, but functional styles for an urban man who needs to have a daily garment that can weather rain, sun, wind, public transportation and any other hazards the modern man may face.

The Liniert Show at MQ Vienna Fashion Week opened with a solemn-faced opera singer and a tribute to the original designer, recently deceased. It set the tone for the collection, sober but important.

The Liniert show opened with an opera singer

The Liniert show opened with an opera singer

The garments were elegant and well-tailored, but also extremely wearable and ready for a city man sport. Most of the garments looked to be wind and rain resistant, reversible, and very lightweight. However, fashion and trends were not compromised to create useful and waterproof looks. Liniert still found a way to incorporate pinstripes, plaid, vests and other cool details that put the clothes on a stylish level.

The fabrics were airy and light, and the collars and necklines were open and comfortable. Even fabrics like neoprane were used–water resistant yet fashionable.

Liniert has created a collection that works on so many different levels–being a part of the fashion world but also useful for a man that wants a no-fuss look.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

 

Pitour is a sporty, casual brand that designer Maria Oberfrank (who also organizes and runs the entire MQ Vienna Fashion Week) has taken to new heights this year. Though there is little menswear, what she does show is unique and imaginative, as her take on mens lifestyle and activewear looks is interesting and modern.

There were only about seven menswear looks shown in the collection, each with its very own vibe. The grey cutout sweater is an original and special piece that could be paired with denim or dressy trousers. The linen, relaxed jackets and the casual suit are great pieces for warmer weather, and the pieces always come with delicate lines throughout, adding shape and detail to each look, making them special.

When we chatted with Maria from Pitour, she was quite excited with the growth of the brand and hopes to take it to new heights this year, over the pond to the USA, and expanding in her menswear as well. Her trendy and urban sense of style tells us there will definitely be more to come from Pitour!

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Paloma Canseco.

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