Sunday, January 16, 2011

costume national / thomas engel hart

I'm not sure why I've blogged so much about menswear/men's fashion in the past. Perhaps it's because the things that piss me off about womenswear hit too close to home; even though women's fashion creates a better show and spectacle during Fashion Week, I can't help but think about how impossible half of the clothing is...not just that it's impractical, but it's designed with a narrow spectrum. It's what bothers me a tinge about Rad Hourani's unisex designs; it's not legitimately designed with all genders in mind, rather the sort of androgynous ectomorph that already has his/her pick of the litter for fashion.

So rather than post about pre-fall (which, let's be real, I have no fucking clue what pre-fall is, and it seems there are only two weeks in New York when such "transitional" clothing would work so why bother. It just seems like a supply/demand financial invention to me), I turn back to menswear. Truth be told, I haven't been paying much attention to Pitti Uomo F/W 2011 either. I probably won't until soundtrack lists come out and I discover that Riccardo Tisci used more coldwave or witch house or some nonsense.

costume national a/w 2011

Speaking of a music influence, apparently Ennio Capasa's mood board for Costume National included a photo of James Chance, whose no-wave jazz noise is a decent counterpart to CN's "rebel tailoring" theme.

He's definitely one of the most enduring figures of the NYC scene; the way he and the Contortions (or the Blacks, or when he was with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks) combined real improvisational funk skill with the squawking, punk-rock rhythms of the time--not to mention his penchant for serious concert beatdowns and a mean fist--has stood him in good fresh stead.

Costume National's collection is the only one that I've been really interested in thus far, and I think (for a high-fashion, high-sex label) the tailoring is decently analogous to Chance's music. Classically slim suiting is undone by raw edges, leather lapels, and heat-fused fabrics, and I have a real thing for turtlenecks and mod mohair sweaters. I don't know why; I was obsessed with CN's monochrome-blocked turtlenecks from A/W 2010, and do not get me STARTED on the perfection that was Jil Sander A/W 2008. I guess it's a New Wave, floppy-haired underachievers thing. Chelsea boots? Say no more.

thomas engel hart x underground

Well, actually, say more. As a designer, Thomas Engel Hart--a key figure in NYC's art/club scene in the nineties himself--has a flair for getting my not-so-well hidden punk screaming with joy. He's another who'd better move into womenswear, stat. I love it when designers play off youth cults; the aged cult members themselves (skinheads, mods, what have you) may not appreciate their teenage rebellion being co-opted by a consumer industry, but it looks damn good. TEH designed these boots in collaboration with Underground, pretty much the #1 winklepicker provider on the internet. They were available at Opening Ceremony, but tragically went out of stock before I could get my hands on a Men's size 9. (I have gigantic problem feet; the only sizes still available are the tiny men's sizes specially designed so women could order them from OC.) Mark my words though, they will be mine.

1 comment:

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