The Missoni Man Winter 2019 Collection Draws Inspiration From Sculptural Forms

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This season Missoni transformed it’s pristine white Milan showroom into, well, a pristine white gallery for its latest men’s collection. On display, a sublime counterbalance between the brand’s savvy reconstructs of tailored classics including its signature, luxuriously colored knitwear, and the organic sculptures of the U.S.-based Swedish-Chilean artist Anton Alvarez.

Angela Missoni, always a fashion maverick, continues to explore and draw her inspiration from the contemporary art world. So the pairing of the label’s colorful heritage with the influence of Alvarez – whose creativity reflects a process that oscillates between tradition and innovation – results in a an entirely new vision for the men’s collection. Indeed, the sculptor’s extruder-produced pieces turned out to be the perfect complement. However the eclectic use of color and material across all the looks – a demonstrated playfulness between designer and artist – are all unmistakably Missoni.

 

Ensembles created for the modern jet set, the Missoni finesse with a dash of effortless cool is ever present this season. Structured silhouettes are narrow and elongated, the refined color palette of soft gradients enchants, and the house’s foray into evening wear delights with its take on the ho-hum tuxedo (think lamé and loom-knit fabrics, very 70s soigné). The smartly tailored blazers and high-waisted tapered trousers almost serve as the sensible foundation for the Alvarez-influenced cable knits: sweaters flecked with mohair to create abstract motifs and handmade roll-necks with whirling relief patterns that have been embroidered by hand. Each unique piece, a dynamic interplay of pattern and texture, reinterprets the sinuous whirls and undulations of his sculptural forms.

Reverberating with artsy charm, chic informality and cultural cues, Missoni has done it again. Luxuriously soft knitwear in cashmere, fleecy wool to envelop the body, chunky bombers with velvet collars, reversible dégradé cardigans and crewnecks and shawl collar and roll-neck sweaters. Missoni Man has ensured that there are reimagined staples here for every gent looking to stand out, yet stand out in a slightly more subtle fashion.

First Images: Emporio Armani’s A/W 19/20 Unleashes its ‘Animal Instinct’ Onto a Milan Runway

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Emporio Armani has just unleashed their latest men’s collection into the wild. To set the scene, the runway event was showcased inside the eagle-topped hangar of Milan’s Linate Airport – you know how these fashion houses keep it so casual nowadays.

Inspired by the animal world, the new collection for gents is designed with a “hybrid habitat in mind.” Made for the man who walked out of the jungle and onto Houston Street, the collection encompasses the spirit of the outdoors while maintaining its distinctly urban ethos.

And mixing the worlds of jungle and concrete jungle turned out surprisingly quite well. Among our faves in the collection is a faux fur trench, snakeskin sweats, and feline stripes galore. The palette is a mixture of cool colors, including icy whites, along with hints of frosted gray and blue. The checks also sport red and black accents and Prince of Wales patterns.

 

 

As the male models paraded down the runway, the key collection pieces were clear: narrow-shouldered jackets, coats with strong volume, and fluid trousers with a cuff at the hem. The looks were topped off with some woodland inspired accessories including roomy “fur” backpacks, duffels with zebra stripes, and functional body pieces including belt bags and vests.

While the silhouettes are essential, we really took notice of the textures, hues, and wild animalistic patterns and motifs that set this collection apart. (Imagine the stampede scene in Jumanji but with, um, good-looking humans.) There was the presence of pythons, crocodiles, felines, zebras and “fur” (all eco friendly)…just this time, it was on coats and trousers rather than actual animals chilling out in the old Parrish house.

The animal inspiration seen in Emporio Armani’s AW line gives a fun spin on winter-wear and has led to a completely cohesive, if a bit wild, collection.

Welcome to the jungle.

 

 

Charles Fréger’s ‘Fabula’ Opens at the Armani/Silos Museum in Milan

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With holiday travels behind, we enthusiastically return to the international cultural whirl that is our lives the other 50 weeks out of the year. And the first show to have decisively caught our attention is Charles Fréger’s Fabula, opened this month at Milan’s striking Armani/Silos museum.

The Rouen based French photographer has made a mission of documenting the dress codes of various communities of peoples around the world, whether they be soldiers, swimmers or sumo wrestlers. His images (taken from 2000 to the present) explore how our sartorial presentations define us as both individuals and as groups, and help to develop boundaries of codification that specifically effect the way we carry out our daily existences.

The exhibition seeks to create a dialogue between different groups that Fréger has photographed, from the Sikh Regiment of India, to the Finnish ice skating team to painted elephants in Jaipur. The work plays upon the fears and anxieties connected to the human need to belong or fit in (FOMO Art, if you will).

 

 

“It feels like visualizing the works chapter by chapter,” he explains “as if the sublime architecture of the Silos was giving the rhythm to the photographic exhibition. There’s a sensation of time and evolution, a conversation with the rooms, the grey concrete walls and the precise lighting giving the best possible echo to the color of my photographs.”

Fréger caught the eye of the museum’s namesake, Giorgio Armani himself, via the the bold expressions of color that characterize his images. But the idea of messaging through stylistic / aesthetic presentation also plays particularly well to the designer’s ultimate mission for the museum.

‘The vitality of color is what caught my eye first,” Armani enthuses. “That color, however, is no mere visual feat: it is a depiction of human energy. As a fashion designer, I know clothing is charged with a great symbolic meaning: Fréger constantly reminds us of that, scavenging the deepest aspects of dressing up as a way of communicating.”

Fabula opens January 12th (during Milan Men’s Fashion Week), and will be on show through March 24. For full immersion, book into the glamorously understated Armani Hotel Milano, perfectly positioned in the heart of the Italian style capital’s dazzling fashion/shopping district. Prepare to burn up the Black Card.

 

Louis Vuitton is Now Music to Your Ears…Literally

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With designer and part-time DJ Virgil Abloh at the helm of Louis Vuitton, it only makes sense that the fashion house would be actively joining in the fashion / music crossover. Five-upping (seriously, not just one-upping) Apple’s simplistically designed AirPods, this hot LV new ear gear is now the only way to listen in truly supersonic style.

Indeed, the new collection of Louis Vuitton Horizon wireless earphones will officially launch at the end of January. In staying true to LV’s timeless values of forward-thinking but classic luxury, this elegant new lifestyle accessory uses a cutting-edge system developed by audio powerhouse Master & Dynamic. As expected, the earphones will work with all Bluetooth devices, as well as with LV’s Tambour Horizon smart watch. The smart, or “connected” watch will release around the same time of the earphones and matches it’s high-tech caliber. With features like ‘My Travel’, ‘Agenda’, ‘Step Counter’, and ‘Pollution’, LV is becoming more innovative than ever before.

 

 

Available in four color-ways, each style, naturally, flaunts the signature Vuitton logo. Have your pick at black, white, or red with the classic LV monogram, or a yellow and blue LV stripe design. And what’s a fashionable earphone without a matching case? The earphones are stylish stored in a case that charges them up to a total of 10 hours of battery life.

Priced at $995, you could look fly as hell commuting to work or just taking your morning coffee. Just be sure to keep a close eye on those wireless babies – as of this writing, we’re already on our fifth pair of AirPods.

Exclusive Images: Louis Vuitton Menswear Debuts Virgil Abloh’s S/S 2019 Collection at Chrome Hearts

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Images by Robyn Dutra

 

Virgil Abloh is everything. And more. For the highly anticipated debut of his Spring/Summer 2019 menswear collection for Louis Vuitton, the designer has transformed the neo-gothic Chrome Hearts shop in the West Village into a high-fashion-meets-streetwise altar of beyond cool. Indeed, entering the cavernous second-floor showroom where leather, leopard and iron crosses usually rule, one is immediately struck by how Abloh has re-concepted the space to reflect his own singular aesthetic.

It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it is very, very fabulous.

He’s arguably ushered in a new vernacular for men’s fashion, in eye-popping colors and jaw-dropping cuts. Sneakerheads can also rejoice, he’s even issued his own sleek, monochrome high-tops. Judging by the enthusiastic crowd of well and wildly shod individuals, Abloh has ensured his place beside the likes of Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs (and in our opinion, even superseded those designers’ respective work for Vuitton).

 

We were only too happy to worship Abloh’s bright selection of LV-embossed duffle bags and belts, psychedelia-inspired knits and scarves, and even a silver foil cape that wouldn’t be out of place on P-Funk’s George Clinton. Our faves? The ghostly white and deepest black versions of traditional luggage pieces, now with neon-hued plastic chain accents, only serving to reaffirm the 38-year old American designer’s trendsetting genius, which he has until now cultivated via his hugely successful Off-White label. In this debut, he’s proven you can reinvent the classics.

Audacity is part of Vuitton’s story, the brand now known for merging the up-and-coming with the tried and true. And Abloh doesn’t disappoint. His monogram mashups in this first men’s collection blend heritage and craftsmanship with a certain cultural currency to buzzworthy effect. Given the reception at the opening and giant LV shopping bags on almost every guest’s arm, you may want to get there sooner than later – before it’s all gone, and you have to wait for his drop at retail. (Quelle horreur!) Alas, this short-term residency only runs from January 10 through the 17th.

Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019
New York Temporary Residency
42 Bethune Street
New York, NY 10014
Tel. +1 917 281 1755

 

 

 

Superhero Spokesmodel: Michael B. Jordan Stars in the Latest Coach Men’s Campaign

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Now joining the ranks of cool “Coach Guys” (our personal favorite being Kid Cudi in 2015) is none other than Creed’s Adonis Johnson, Mr. Michael B. Jordan. The swoon-worthy actor has just made his debut as the face of Coach Men’s in their latest Spring 2019 global advertising campaign, as brought to life by photographer Craig McDean, stylist Jane How, makeup artist Carola Gonzalez, hair stylist Jove Edmond and legendary art director Fabien Baron.

Set against a backdrop of a faded carnival in a sunlit desert outside of LA, Jordan is nestled on a vintage car dressed in Coach’s reimagined, iconic American silhouettes: a color-block shearling jacket, blue leather moto and patchwork leather MA-1. Accompanying Jordan and his Coach swag are also the brand’s key pieces of the season, which include the Signature Rivington Backpack, the Rivington Belt Bag and the Metropolitan Carryall.

While Jordan’s Coach spotlight is shining bright, what the heck, he also appears in their campaign for the Men’s Fragrance Collection. In these images, Jordan is shown sitting in a vintage car, set in a garage among chrome-plated reflections conveying the approachable masculinity of the Coach Guy.

 

 

It seems this collaboration has been a long time coming, as Coach’s Creative Director Stuart Vevers has been an unapologetic devotee of MJB, and vice versa. Vevers declares, “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Michael over the last few years. He has been a true supporter of Coach, so it felt like a really natural step to collaborate more closely and create a partnership we can take to the next level.”

Extending the flattery fest, the Fantastic Four / Black Panther actor enthuses, “I’m proud to be the face of Coach Men’s. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and truly respect their inclusive and optimistic values. I’m honored to be a part of Stuart’s vision and creative process.”

As huge fans ourselves of the dreamy MBJ, we cannot wait to see Jordan looking A1 in Coach duds plastered in ads around Soho, on our Instagram feeds, and hopefully at the next big Coach launch event.

 

Images © 2019 Craig McDean

BlackBook Exclusive Interview + Shoot: Model/Activists Alaia Baldwin + Ireland Baldwin In Conversation

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Alaia Baldwin

 

In an exclusive interview for BlackBook, model and animal rights activist Ireland Baldwin (daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger) sat down with first cousin and fellow model Alaia, to catch up on life and reflect on their shared love for fashion and music. Alaia Baldwin, daughter of Stephen, niece of Alec, William, and Daniel, and sister of Hailey Bieber, is an advocate for model rights and an accomplished dance artist (she’s trained in ballet, as well as modern and jazz styles) in her own right.

Splitting time between residences in New York and Los Angeles, Alaia navigates her modeling career, social activism and charitable work with the demands of her new marriage to movie producer Andrew Aronow. These oft competing priorities make for a careful balancing act, as she also travels extensively both in the U.S. and abroad, in pursuit of her passions – as well as for family, professional and social obligations.

In addition to modeling, she has completed her studies in Eastern Medicine, with a goal to helping people to take on a more holistic approach to their health.

Here’s how it went…

 

 

Ireland Baldwin: I would say you and I are both somewhat passionate about fashion. You much more than myself…but what and who inspires your sense of style?
Alaia Baldwin: I really feel that my sense of style evolves with me. I am intrigued by historical influences in fashion, such as punk rock’s influence on fashion in the ’70s. What inspires me is not necessarily what I wear on a day to day basis, however. I do like to keep my personal style simple, clean, classic and comfortable. A good pair of jeans and a leather jacket – you can never go wrong. A person who I would say inspires me stylistically is Jane Birkin; she’s classic, cool and relaxed.
IB: What drives your wardrobe choices day to day?
AB: My daily wardrobe really depends on my mood, but I like to find one great item and wear it often. A good white t-shirt, black ankle boots, jumpers, etc. I like things that are easy to choose in the morning and that are easy to wear.
IB: Who are your all-time favorite designers?
AB: I do love so many designers!  Overall, I would have to say Azzedine Alaia. His influence on fashion, clothing, and sculpting of the female form in a garment is something that can never be replicated. He was one of a kind, he was revolutionary. He understood a women’s body better than anyone else.
IB: What brands have you been wearing lately?
AB: I’ve been wearing some great vintage finds, like a men’s Christian Dior leather jacket. I love this pair of Rag & Bone ankle boots, I wear them every day. Also Hanes t-shirts, and a black leather fanny pack I purchased in Italy at this great little leather shop. Simple but stylish looks that are perennially fashionable.

 

 

IB: What few trends do you wish would go away?
AB: I really appreciate athleisure, but I think it’s gone overboard.
IB: If you were a genre of music, what would you be?
AB: Bossanova.
IB: What have you been listening to these days?
AB: Daily I usually listen to rap, like Childish Gambino or Drake. I love Radiohead, In Rainbows is my favorite album, so that’s played a lot.
IB: If you could be any musical artist in the world, who would you be?
AB: I recently watched The Beach Boys documentary (Pet Sounds, Showtime) and was really inspired by Brian Wilson. He was a genius…and it would be interesting to get inside of his head for a day.

Follow Alaia and Ireland at @alaiabaldwin @irelandbasingerbaldwin

 

Photographer: Nelson Castillo
Stylist: Lexyrose Boiardo
Stylist Assistant: Melanie McCord, Hannah Sheron
Make-up: Anya Sinclair
Hair: Li Murillo 
Production: Alfredo Mineo / Mineo Media
Clothing Credits:
Top Look / Top: Miaou Pants: Miaou Coat: Michael Kors Shoes: Suzanne Rae Rings: M Jewelers Earrings: Anna Sheffield
Middle Look / Top: DSquared2 Pants: Sally Lapointe Shoes: Jill Stuart Earrings: Anna Sheffield
Bottom Look / Sweater: Michael Kors Skirt: Michael Kors Shoes: Jill Stuart

 

BlackBook Exclusive: A Most Unusual ‘Oddities’ Holiday Gift Guide

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Holiday gift guides can be such a bore. Pricey sweaters you’ll only wear thrice; an expensive new iPhone you really don’t need; and, of course, a gym membership you’ll never, ever use.

With that in mind, BlackBook decided to slide our 2018 wish list over to the magnificent realm of marginalia; and so contacted that renowned impresario of all things mystical and macabre, Ryan Matthew Cohn. Should you require edification, RMC was the star of the fantastical Discovery Channel show Oddities, and is currently the co-founder, with his wife Regina, of the Oddities Flea Market Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn. He is also the co-owner and curator of Brooklyn’s iconoclastic House Of Wax bar.

To that ultimate end, we asked him to dip into his cabinet of curiosities, and check his calendar of eerily enigmatic experiences – resulting in a holiday gift guide shot full, as we had hoped, of bewitching bewilderment. Batteries not included.

 

Catacomb Culture “Human Skull Cereal Bowl” (pictured top)

Have you always longed to eat your breakfast out of a human skull? I know, I do too – but it gets so messy with all of those porous bones in the cranium, not to mention that pesky occipital bone. The solution? This “food safe,” plastic rendition of the cranial classic.

“Articulate a Cat Skeleton” Class with Ryan Matthew Cohn

This is for people interested in bones/skeletal articulation – perfect for that osteological beginner or skeletal novice. In this class you are granted the rare opportunity to pose and piece together a complete real cat skeleton, and give new life a deceased feline friend. You will be provided all supplies, base, and all required tools for building your skeleton.
Each student will leave with a fully finished piece. This class takes place January 12, 2PM – 6PM, at Brooklyn’s most curious and macabre full service drinking establishment,  House of Wax Bar in Downtown Brooklyn. Note: All cat skeletons are humanely and ethically sourced.

 

 

Golden Grove Custom Memento Mori Ring

Are you mourning the loss of a recently deceased pet or loved one? Well, you really never have to say goodbye with one of Margaret Cross’s “Memento Mori” rings. Each is custom crafted in a series of designs. The ashes or hair locks from the deceased are then added to the final piece as part of the hauntingly beautiful “Love & Loss” series.

 

 

A Print or Book by Belgian Artist Duo Mothmeister

Mothmeister is the nonstop morphing alter ego of two artistic soulmates based in Belgium, home of surrealism. Through their eerie, imaginary postmortem fairy tales they portray a series of masked, grotesque characters – often accompanied by stuffed animals and a variety of curiosa from their private collection.
Similar to the Victorian era, when dear dead loved ones were photographed as a memento mori for the relatives, Mothmeister immortalizes animals in a weird and wonderful fairytale world. Their book Post Mortem Fairy Tales is highly recommended.

 

 

Madame Morbid Haunted History Trolley Tour

If you live in or are visiting NYC, take a ride with Madame Morbid in a custom-made turn of the century trolley, to relive New York’s dark history. The service offers Brooklyn’s only trolley tour that will uncover stories about ghosts, vampires and aliens throughout the borough. Equipped with cushioned leather seats, chandeliers and curtains inspired by Gone With the Wind, the 22-seat trolley is perfect for hosting large groups. #RideOrDie

 

 

Honorable mention: coffin shaped bathbombs by Witch Baby SoapsBurke & Hare candles, insult teacups by Miss Havisham, and prints by the incredibly talented Karen Jerzyk Photography.

Rock Those Pearly Whites – Lenny Kravitz is Doing a Toothpaste!

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Next up in celebrity spokesperson match ups that you didn’t see coming…Lenny Kravitz and Twice toothpaste. May sound strange, but it actually makes sense. Allow us to break it down for you.

Brothers Julian and Cody Levine and music legend Kravitz co-founded Twice upon seeing an epidemic of poor oral health conditions – due to the inaccessibility of proper dental care – while on a visit to the Bahamas in 2016. This eye-opening trip and the fact that over 100 million Americans do not brush twice daily led Lenny and the Levine brothers to seek to improve that statistic and revitalize oral care. Not to mention that it immediately sparked the idea to name the brand “Twice” (Get it?).

Twice offers two refreshing flavors of toothpaste, Early Bird and Twilight, and, you guessed it: one is meant for the morning, while the other is for nocturnal brushing. While we personally think the names should have been “Are You Gonna Brush My Way?” and “It Ain’t Over ’Til They’re Sparkling,” we understand the more practical considerations.

 

Early Bird is meant to awaken you with it’s energizing blast of wintergreen and peppermint. When it’s time to hit the hay, Twilight hits you with a calming combo of peppermint, vanilla, and a touch of lavender (sort of like a quick visit to Provence before bedtime).

Twice is now available to purchase as “The Duo” for $18.99, or individually for $9.99 on their site. And while it seeks to improve smiles all over the world, 10% of all proceeds also go to benefit the GLO Good Foundation, bringing healthy smiles to communities in need with life changing dentistry, education, and supplies.

Keep an eye out in 2019, as Twice will be expanding and releasing new products. We’re still hoping for “My Mama Said to Brush Before Bed.”

(N.B. – Lenny’s brilliant new album Raise Vibration was released this past September, and he’ll be touring South America and Europe in the spring.)