In Cartoon Company with Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Balenciaga
There is a time and a place for stark minimalism, but a detour down memory lane can be just as good...even goofy. Our faithful friends from the animated realm provide levity, making them the perfect grown-up go-to. Here for you to wear as you wish, from soft fleece to supple leather, Disney to Sanrio, these cartoons will keep you company.
Comme des Garcons Pink and White Disney Edition Stripe Polka Dot T-Shirt
Polkadots and a droopy bow—visual ciphers that are enough to suggest that Minnie is in the house, even if you don’t see the mouse.
Martine Rose Anywear Batwings Sweater and Martine Rose Pink Anywear Track Pants
Locomotives, clowns, puffs of rainbow smoke, and bulldogs—this Martine Rose cartoon ensemble is a synthesis of plush nostalgia with pastel streetwear. Be a cool, cozy, caricature.
Amiri Blue Grateful Dead Thrasher Jeans
If you’re not keen on hacking festival life, wear an homage to your favorite classic rock in jean form. Complete with the band’s infamous “dancing” bears and an iteration of the “steal your face” lightning skull on the back pocket, these Grateful Dead Thrasher jeans can be worn in or out.
Balenciaga White Hello Kitty Top Handle Bag
We literally don’t even need to say anything about this. Perfection.
Gucci Orange Disney Edition Wool Sweater
It was Walt Disney’s pet mouse that inspired the making of Mickey, and so too, Alessandro Michele and this Gucci sweater. With a bold pattern in subdued tones, playful just got smart—call it Michele Mouse.
Marc Jacobs Green Magda Archer Edition Mini Box Bag
You heard it here first!
Perks and Mini White Screen Time T-Shirt
Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy—can you name all Seven Dwarfs? If not, we’ve got a pretty sweet suggestion for how to never forget.
Written by Max Lakin (Dec, 2019) and originally posted here: https://nosax.me/2NSHFEU
From Louis XIV to Harry Styles, Stacked is Back in Menswear
Did any man love wearing heels as much as Louis XIV? You might suggest Prince, or Marc Jacobs, but The Sun King came first, barely breaching five feet and so perhaps preternaturally partial to a four inch heel, particularly in a proto-Louboutin red. His affinity meant that under his reign, the altitude of a man’s heel became a shorthand measure of his virility, so much so that the heel was diktat: only nobility were allowed to wear them. Like pumps in New York winter as the telegraph that your chauffeur is idling outside, a red heel was wildly impractical and hopeless to walk in, which was exactly the point—it’s wearer is rich enough to not have to walk.
Along the way men transferred their affectations elsewhere—the Great Male Renunciation sloughed off the flamboyant and the jaunty—and convinced themselves of the high heel’s effete connotations, which of course never made any sense. What is the cowboy boot, the preferred footwear of the most masculine caricature conceivable, if not a high-heeled stunner? The conspicuous flash of the cowboy’s heel is insulated by its utility (necessary to keep it in a saddle’s stirrups), but the teetering thrill of a few extra inches is surely undeniable.
Still, something subversive in a men’s heel persists, a gleeful flouting of arbitrarily prescriptive rules, the frisson of something unallowed and untested. Women have recognized the stiletto as a fount of sexualized power for a century. It was only a matter of time before men unyoked themselves. Harry Styles, the spiritual heir to the joys of pop rock’s sartorial swagger, has been dallying about in a selection of Gucci heels (it helps that he’s on the payroll); last month he announced an upcoming world tour with a tightly-cropped image of his shoe’s heel. Marc Jacobs has taken to clomping around New York in a series of Rick Owens vertiginous “KISS” boots, an ankle-high, squared-off Chelsea style in buffed leather with a three-inch stacked platform midsole that ascends, like the build before a log flume drop, into the exclamation point of a four-and-a-half inch block heel. It’s total, uncompromising camp, and pictures of Jacobs in them, vamping downtown, admiring the foliage in Central Park, doing jazz hands, suggests he’s never had more of a ball.
Men find canny ways to skirt gender edicts. For generations of men desperate to carry a bijou handbag but hemmed in by calcified gender codes, liberation arrived in the shape of the harness pack, by all appearances a bum bag but styled as a gun holster, an acceptable concession ratified by every streetwear-addled man under 35. There’s precedence, too, in Dr. Martens, a classic of the genre, a combat boot with a hefty lug midsole and heel to match which, because of its history in the punk scenes of London and New York, carries an unimpeachably hard-edged look. For the more assured pocketbook, Christian Louboutin offers his own take, a polished version with a slightly more pronounced heel that willfully jostles gender norms.
Where once innovation in menswear was marked in glacial increments of suit lapel drift, a man dressing himself in 2019 is spoiled for choice. A lot of this is thanks to the European creep into American taste: if Alessandro Michele’s Medici maximalism at Gucci doesn’t thrill, there’s Demna Gvasali’s Balenciaga’s Central Bloc chic. These are two wildly different expressions of taste and proportion, and yet, each is pushing a men’s block heel: Gucci with horsebit ankle boots, the word “Kitten” hammer-stamped on its two inch stack; Balenciaga with a glossy pretty-ugly square toe trailing a minorly more demure inch-and-a-quarter. You can find a straight flush of two-inch ankle styles in the current crop from Balmain, Lemaire, and Fendi. Y/Project has an especially mesmeric calf-high stack heel in oil slick patent leather. A high-octane treaded pair from Thom Browne, with pin-buckle straps and antiqued gold-tone hardware, looks like Timberlands on HGH, perfect for a morning of Madison Avenue mountaineering. Amiri suggests a suede Jodhpur with silver studded straps that promise the muted sheen of a Robin Hood enjoying early retirement in Palm Springs.
Of course most classic men’s dress shoes have been built with a modest heel for generations, a poorly kept secret that, like the necktie, is a holdover of subconscious masculine assertion. How funny is it that most of the men who would balk at the assumed feminized notion of wearing a heel already do so on a daily basis? To placate them, men’s heels usually exist in angled, stacked proportions that have precedence in the sturdier Cuban heel, so named for the style’s popularity among Flamenco dancers, as opposed to the taper of the stiletto, which apes the idealized feminine shape.
Because of its latter-day verboten status, the heel’s appearance on a man is like a natural wonder, like clocking a meadowlark in a scrum of pigeons. It’s instantly read as provocation regardless of the particulars or total aesthetic effect. This is true of the Tabi boot, Maison Margiela’s split-toe secret handshake introduced in 1988, a fashion deep cut until last year, when Margiela began offering them in men’s sizing, a heretofore inaccessible imprimatur opened to a new swath of men looking for something—anything—else. A picture of Stefano Pilati, late of Yves Saint Laurent and Zenga, attending Pitti Uomo in Florence in 2017 positively bleeds sprezzatura: the designer in a pair of well-worn Tabi boots, leaning against a sun-baked wall, ascending from the cobbles by eight ecstatic centimeters of cylindrical stacked leather, a spent bottle of San Pellegrino at his feet. If there’s a better appeal to men to get lifted, the world hasn’t yet known it.
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