With Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, and Kiko Kostadinov
These days it’s important to feel good in whatever way you can—sometimes it’s enough just to know that flowers are growing somewhere. Even better if you can see them on your daily walk. What else feels good? Looking down at a fresh pair. Here are some suitably vibrant sneakers to catch your eye and match the spirit of spring.
Junya Watanabe Pink Buffalo London Edition Synthetic Leather Sneakers
London street style meets high fashion in a collab that seems good enough to eat—cotton candy, bubblegum, watermelon, sorbet, rosé. Just spring things.
Reebok Classics White and Blue 96 Sneakers
Blue is rare in nature. All the more reason to wear it on your shoes—just like the name says, it’s a 96 classic.
Balenciaga Yellow Triple S Sneakers
The OG ambassador of the chunky sneaker revival is back, keeping it mellow in acid yellow.
Li-Ning Beige and Pink Sunchaser Sneakers
The laces on these Sunchaser sneakers tell us that “anything is possible”—fitting, somehow.
Kiko Kostadinov Blue and Yellow Asics Edition Gel Kiril Sneakers
You can’t go wrong with a harlequin motif in two primary colors—sunny yellow and sky blue.
Converse Purple Chuck 70 High Sneakers
A lilac on foot is worth one less in the bush, unless you’re taking nothing but pictures and leaving nothing but footprints, in these pastel purple Chucks.
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.
A hoodie is the holy staple—Protection from the elements? A stand-in beanie? A pocket for your thoughts? An everyday necessity? Thank god we’ve got a selection that’s diverse enough to match all the different (and everlasting) reasons a hoodie is this season’s go-to.
Balenciaga Grey BB Hoodie
The classic grey hoodie now comes in Balenciaga.
Loewe Black Lord of the Flies Hoodie
Ever the champion of art and craft, J.W. Anderson lends his aesthetic inclinations to this Loewe hoodie—for pondering morality, the natural world, and the meaning of life itself, cozy up in this The Lord of the Flies offering.
Noah Navy Jolly Roger Hoodie
Historically meant to signify an impending attack, here Jolly Roger is benevolent—unless you’re planning on coming on strong with style.
Sacai White The Big Lebowski Hoodie
If you wish to lament the demise of what was once a great rug a la Dude from The Big Lebowski, Sacai has got you covered. An obscure reference translates to an expansive mind.
Helmut Lang Grey Painter Standard Hoodie
Sometimes luxury feels a little too polished—let loose with some splatters of paint, for the look of utilitarian leisure.
Eckhaus Latta Yellow Atmospheric Hoodie
You can’t really wear a Mondrian but you can get close. Opt for an earthier palette, with tones of mustard, cream, and black, for that geometric LA-feel only from Eckhaus Latta.
Gucci Black Cotton Chenille Hoodie
Gucci’s “House of Love” chenille hoodie is equal parts regal and comfortable, but if you can’t get down with love, you can forget about getting cozy. Sine Amore Nihil—without love, nothing.
A GUIDE TO THE FUTURE AND NEXT SEASON’S PRODUCT
Springtime brings a chance to start fresh, to simplify, to leave the boots, scarf, and mitts behind. Though this season, you’re more likely to hear about shedding microplastics—one piece of synthetic clothing can release 700,000 toxic fibers in a single wash—than shedding layers. While many of the SS20 trends are still referencing moments from the past, thankfully, the conversation around fashion’s environmental impact has changed in a big way. This means innovation. Designers are upcycling, fabrics are mutating, silhouettes are morphing. With the new decade comes a new frontier of trends. Time to get acquainted with the help of the SSENSE SS20 trend report, part two.
Despite fashion's regular revival of the 70s and 80s, not even Sandy's power-move makeover in 1978's Grease can compete with the carnival looks worn in HBO's latest hit highschool series, Euphoria. Since the show's premiere, trend-savvy teens (and full-grown adults) have transformed their wardrobes, makeup bags, and Insta feeds with a surplus of tie-dye, miniature knapsacks, and enough sequins to form a lifetime supply of confetti. For SS20, the anticipation for season two becomes even more apparent: Palm Angels' Francesco Ragazzi offered classroom-fleeing butterfly iconography, Versace's beauty looks featured cotton candy-colored hair dye, and Bella Hadid's backstage look at Fendi brought to mind both Jules' signature mesh shirts and Rue's glitter tears. Unlike Grease, Sam Levinson's Euphoria isn't preoccupied with dressing for happy endings—instead, it sets the scene for the bittersweet (and at times exhilarating) moments of coping with reality.
If Candy Land were a real universe and not just a delicious fantasy, then Tyler the Creator’s alter-ego IGOR would be the mayor, governing the town in matching pastel suits, a different color for every day. Elements of the SS20 runways were clearly inspired by the sweeter side of things, an interesting parallel to the dark, apocalypse-adjacent styles seen in many shows. At Jacquemus, models in relaxed pastel suits glided down a pink runway that wound its way through fields of purple lavender. Fellow French label Officine Générale made a case for the timelessness of the perfect pink suit, layered over a striped tee and finished off with some white sneakers. Even austere brands like Givenchy and Bottega Veneta offered lighter moments with compelling soft pink and blue blazers respectively. A styling tip, complete your sweet-as-can-be look with Balenciaga’s Hello Kitty handbag. What better vessel to tote your Sour Keys and Fuzzy Peaches?
Molting is the process by which a snake routinely casts off its skin to facilitate new growth, evolving into a bigger, stronger version of itself. The action of shedding that which no longer serves us is cathartic, and catharsis an essential ethos to carry with us through the transition from FW19 to SS20, where mesh figures heavily. Topographically similar to a snake’s skin, its knotted, open texture varies in dimension, from discreet and gauzy, to netted and loose. Hanging from our bodies or clinging to our flesh, it suggests a soul in transition. Are you revealing or are you concealing? Growing into your truest form through shedding toxic habits (and toxic relationships), when posed with the question, “are you ready for what’s next?” mesh says, “yes.”
The Blue Lagoon
Find your beach, your villa on the beach, that is. Your private resort getaway, steps from the bluest ocean waves—the kind of water with crystal, gemlike aqua tones that feel discoverable and exclusive. While vacationing is a state of mind—cozy plan-canceling, face-masking and couch-islands certainly rejuvenate—the upshot of actually departing for warmer temps means dressing the part. Think: T Magazine travel stories, Faye Dunaway or Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair, or Lee Radziwill in Ravello, Italy. Think effortless beige and ecru and all things The Row, whose minimal silhouettes reduce beach-dressing to essential tenets: crisp cotton, crewnecks, and white denim, leather Tevas and refined layering pieces. Clare Waight Keller’s vision for Givenchy is similarly subdued and sensible, but with a touch of runway drama—vacation dressing should be cinematic, always.
Become the vacay-lady who wears her sunglasses at night and her leather in shades of tan (and more tan...a whole spectrum of delicious tan!). Brands like Max Mara follow suit with tailored shorts or sporty leather (for day-tripping to nearby seaside towns) and brands like Khaite commit—big time—to loose and loungey states of undress that bring to mind the chicest shipwreck vibes in these Jacquemus-playful times. Bottega Veneta’s continued reign of all things sex-and-suggestive-leather is a SS20 trove of vacation fetish-wear: sandals, sandals, more sandals.
Shoulder-revealing dresses and silky tops that look like boat sails, and leather in summery shades of 90s baby blue, creamy coffee, and bone-white. Lemaire’s enduring pledge to earthy-slouchy tailoring and belted nonchalance (the sort of coat that’s meant to be tossed on a Thonet chair) only further establishes the brand as refined, selective, nostalgic (their seat-cover bead bags are instantly iconic it-bags for those who loathe the term). Lemaire’s chill austerity is ideal for the vacationer who knows what she wants, but more accurately, knows what she doesn’t. And finalement! As if we’d forget the most important getaway detail: hidden treasure. Nothing says rest like returning with a tan and some gold. Or jewelry that looks like you found it at the bottom of the sea or “stumbled upon it” at the local antique market. Alighieri’s raw metal treasures have that one-of-a-kind sparkle that feels traveled, unique, rare. Jewelry for the journey home. Riches that at first glance look nonpareil.
In his legendary 1998 single “Gimme Some More,” Busta taught us that if you ain’t gon’ be part of the greatest, then you have to be the greatest yourself! He is not only one of the most original lyricists of his time, but his style is just as unique. Along with peers like Missy Elliot, Janet Jackson, Puffy, and Hype Williams, Busta created the 90s, flamboyant futuristic look. Nobody has done it like them since, but their influence is clearly still an enduring source of inspiration for contemporary designers. For SS20, Anne Demeulemeester, GmbH, and Rick Owens all sent shiny, silver, sexy cyborg-esque looks down the runway perfect for a 90s red carpet rap moment or big budget video shoot. This aesthetic is all about lounging the luxe way, draped in uncommon threads and shiny things. Think silk pyjamas and velvet Versace slippers. It’s all fair game, but be warned, requisite confidence is not included.
Brown Paper Bag
You can’t get more minimal than a brown paper bag, and we still can’t get enough of minimalism, apparently. This season, simplicity stalwarts The Row and Lemaire deliver what they do best: eloquent, tailored silhouettes in luxe materials and basic, basic shades. And there’s one thing about fashion that’s forever certain: reliable minimalism will never go out of style. Boredom can be absolutely thrilling.
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.
From bi-fold wallets to bowling bags, the carriers pf your best-kept-secrets deserve the same consideration you give the rest of your wardrobe. Make the extra consideration - a travel companion that goes wherever you do, storing your belongings for you too.
Bode Transparent Mini Tote
It's 2020 and anything is possible. Why not have a few small scale options stored for safekeeping, should you ever need them.
Balenciaga Purple Paisley Printed Wallet
Tactile, measured, and pretty, there’s something classic about paisley—but don’t mistake that for boring. An old friend who never fails to surprise you.
Bao Bao Issey Miyake Purple Book Wallet
Never misplace your wallet with a hue this vibrant, and better yet, don’t let anybody else mistake yours for theirs.
Saint Laurent Black and White Checkered Card Holder
Embossed? Check. Leather? Check. Checkered? Check. Chess pieces not included.
JW Anderson Black Cap Bag
Hats off to a bag that believes it’s more than “just a bag.”
Wacko Maria Black Bonsac Backpack
Who needs two straps when you can just have one? All the versatility of a shoulder bag with the storage of a backpack, this Bonsac is the perfect drawstring companion for on-the-go.
S.R. STUDIO LA. CA. Black ED. 50 Jumbo White Haired Red Skull Tote
Nosafashionistas, we are not sure what this is all about but we think some of you may like it. Available in a limited run of just 50.
Bottega Veneta Black Intrecciato Pouch
With its signature intrecciato weave, this grab-n-go pouch is the perfect companion who’s just an arm’s reach away.
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