Ready To Wear Menswear: Viktor & Rolf edition

We’ll be rolling out a designer-a-day to cover Ready To Wear menswear for Spring 2011 (2011. Wow. That feels so futuristic to write). Today, it’s Viktor & Rolf, who were inspired by Hollywood’s leading movie men of the 1940’s. Handsome, stoutly, dressed to kill stars like Clark Gable, William Wyler, John Garfield and Humphrey Bogart. These men matched their leading ladies with tailored three piece suits (Fedoras!), two tone wing-tip shoes and accessorized with handkerchiefs and pomade-perfect coifs (Dad still talks fondly about Brylcreem). With a focus on cream, off-white and caramel tones, Viktor & Rolf gives us their interpretation of the 40’s suit with single-button, collarless blazers and pairs them with slacks and trouser style shorts (trousers seem to be making a huge comeback this summer with both genders).

Enjoy the movie stars, V&R’s collection and pieces from us to get your very own Gable and Bogart on. So classy…

Mens RTW Spring 2011: Dries Van Noten edition

It’s that time year! That glorious time when all the best and brightest of the couture mens designer worlds collide and provide us with runway eye candy, otherwise known as this year’s representation for Menswear Ready To Wear, Spring 2010.

First up, we have Distinguished Gentleman meets Elk Oak Lodge meets 1986 South Bronx with Dries Van Noten’s mixing and matching. 80’s acid washed denim jackets and jeans paired with handsome plaid blazers. Hunting style cardigans with suede and leather shoulder patches (for resting rifles on, of course) worn with classy trouser shorts. This collection definitely made me smile. I think I rather appreciate the Noten house’s sense of humor and exquisite tailoring.

Dries Van Noten’s goodies, followed by ours, a la vintage versions:

The Karate Kid: Style Idol Edition

After taking pops to see the remake of the classic, the tremendous, the perfect 1984 original Karate Kid movie, I wanted to do one thing. Go home and rent the classic, perfect original and watch it again. Because that’s the thing about classics. No matter how much time has passed, how much bigger the budget, how much more elaborate the sets, how exotic the location and how many Hollywood-born and raised children star in them, nothing can outshine the original. Don’t get me wrong, Jaden Smith was adorable. He even elicited a few close to tear moments from me with his acting skills. And his flexibility as a Kung Fu fighter in training was impressive. But he was far, very very far, from Ralph Macchio.

In reminiscing over Ralph’s Karate Kid, I found a few images of screen stills from the movie and was reminded how simply (and perfectly matched for his character, Daniel Larusso) he dressed. Heather gray cotton sweatshirts with the neck and sleeves cut off, camouflage pants, Pendleton-like plaid button downs, denim jean cutoff shorts, vintage tank tops and Nike cortez sneakers. So much of this style is (still) fashionable today. I mean, really, when will vintage tees and denim Levi’s not be in style? So, in honor of Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and classics everywhere, here are screen shots along with some items in our vault for sale that scream Bonsai, Southern California and Flying Crane karate techniques.

Vogue Hommes. The Paris, France edition.

Last Friday, Monster Vintage got the final go-ahead email from none other than Vogue Hommes Paris. After a few weeks of back and forth conversation following their initial email to us, we were told that the head stylist and photographer (I’ll reveal those gems soon) had made their final shoot fashion theme decision. With the help of our trusty in-house photographer, I ran around the warehouse gathering up the 42 requested items of our best in vintage Americana to be overnighted to Vogue’s New York city address. I cannot tell you how excited we all are. Vogue has stood as the world’s leading fashion publication for over a century and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be featured in one of their major editorial stories for their September issue, the biggest month of the year for the magazine since it covers all of Fall fashion’s predictions.

We’ll share more information as we receive it and as I mentioned above, I’ll dedicate a post each to the head stylist and photographer for our shoot this week.

In the meantime, here are some past Hommes covers. Enjoy.

Newsboys, Fedoras and Porkpies oh my.

According to my hat-wearing experts over at The Fedora Lounge, we think hats have been around since the early 1800’s. Since then, men and women have expanded on the idea of head-coverings by designing caps from the tiniest, dainty tea toppers to wide brimmed floppy sun umbrellas and straw cowboy hats. Current trends seem to allow for these and everything in between. It’s all in how you style it.

Fedora or Trilby
The family just returned from a short stint in New York (where all trends seem to trickle down to the rest of from) and fedoras are back in a big way. From street vendors to high-end boutiques, these wool blend and felted beauties were everywhere and on the heads of city dwellers as far as the eye could see. I nudged my brother into buying one of the street in Soho and told him he was definitely channeling Indiana Jones in it. You can turn any classic Fedora into a more Indie Jones version by deepening the center crease and side indents. Add a wide ribbon for added flair.

Also called Big Apples, Ivy, Eight Panel, Cabbie and Gatsby hats, I fell in love with these flat-brimmed all-American hats in 1985’s film, The Journey of Natty Gann. Newsboys became popular in the states in the late 19th century and resurged again during the great depression. They were the staple outfit accessory of newspaper delivery boys. They sometimes have a snap to hold the brim down and/or a top center button. The body of a Newsboy can be very slim and fitted or bigger and floppier.

Made popular by early 20th century jazz and blues musicians and named for their resemblance to edible pork pies, the flat topped hats are similar to Fedora with a few distinguishing features: The Porkpie brim is shorter and stiffer. Buster Keaton has a great interview online where he explains how he used to take gray felt Fedoras and turn them into Porkpies (the recipe includes sugar water). And contrary to the indented Fedora, the top of a Porkpie is perfectly flat.

Photo of a fully stocked hat closet. Courtesy of The Sartorialist.

Monster Vintage goods:

1970’s Fedora

Green wool Newsboy

Straw Ribboned Porkpie