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Men in Skirts: Here’s What Happens When You Try to Ban Shorts

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2013 / IMAXtree

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2013 / IMAXtree

The battle over whether or not men should wear shorts (or as the Boston Globe called it, "shortsgate") has been raging ever since designer Tom Ford outlined his five commandments for being a modern gentleman to AnOther Magazine in March 2011. His comments were fairly reasonable and frankly, nothing more than a matter of his professional opinion — "A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach." — but ever since then, "Whither men's shorts?" has been a conversation that just won't end.

The most recent contribution to this fascinating and important debate: The only slightly hyperbolic polemic "Wear Your Shorts Proudly, Men," which was published on Gawker yesterday evening with the caption, "To refuse to wear shorts marks you as a fool." 

I guess. Do the extra few inches of fabric in pants really make such a big difference? Are some people's calves really sensitive to heat? Are boys just babies? Women are better at ignoring arbitrary fashion rules (to be fair, we have more rules to contend with and hence, thicker skin; we also have more choices about what to wear). Not long ago, fashion editor Anna Dello Russo laid out some of her own rigid guidelines for women's attire: "If you’re not that important, you cannot be wearing sunglasses inside," she said; also, "I prefer to go barefoot rather than wear cheap shoes." Obviously, we cherish and adore every sweet word ADR has ever said, but we're not going to throw away our Urban Outfitters flats just because some fancy lady wrote a list. 

Anti-shortsers: Here's a little perspective on where your tyrannical position will lead. Today the Telegraph posted a video reporting on a shorts ban (really) at a school in Wales, which has driven schoolboys to wearing skirts both in protest and to keep cool in the heatwave. Personally, I greatly enjoy the male skirt, but I suspect that shorts opponents may feel differently and should be fully informed if they want to continue along on their crusade. 

The video: 

[h/t Forum member Pricciao]

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Does Getting Older Really Suck This Much? Claire Danes on the Cover of Vogue’s ‘Age Issue’

Image: Vogue.com

Image: Vogue.com

The last time Claire Danes appeared on the front of Vogue was in July 1998. Back then, she was barely 20; the photo taken by Steven Meisel shows the actress bright-eyed and smiling, truly blooming in the grass. The image couldn't be more at odds with her latest Annie Leibovitz-lensed August 2013 cover (it's the annual "Age Issue") which (playing on Danes' lead role in the show, Homeland) shows a severe, dour woman gazing back at us. For this I blame Vogue — not the actress — whose famously bad perspective on aging is all over this cover, from the hard-bitten expression (that is not the face of a woman who is enjoying her Vogue cover shoot) to the airbrushed Land Before Time backdrop. No one chooses to get older, but people do get to decide whether they want to be miserable. (Things don't, unfortunately, improve in the accompanying editorial, which reimagines "famous" scenes from Homeland, but styled with designer clothing.)

Other things worth pointing out:

The "Fall Looks for Everyone (With a Little Help From Daft Punk)" story most likely features Karlie Kloss (the model was seen taking photos with the French music duo on the streets of NYC a couple months ago), but probably doesn't answer the question: Isn't there someone better suited to giving American women fashion advice than Daft Punk?

I'm also greatly anticipating "Brooklyn Chic — the Girls, the Dresses, the Food." I love all those things, so surely Vogue's unique perspective will enrich my future experiences sampling the lost borough's superlative souvenirs

 

 

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Lisa Ho and Kirrily Johnston are the Latest Victims of Australia’s Fickle Fashion Industry

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Last the week, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund announced the nominees for this year’s award, which gives young labels a chance at winning $300,000 (or $100,000 for two runners-up) plus mentoring from industry heavyweights.

One brand up for the prize this year is Tome, helmed by two ex-Aussies now based in NYC. Sure, it’s been 15 years since Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin met at the University of Technology Sydney, and they’re bona fide New Yorkers now. But it does raise the question: Why doesn’t something like the CFDA exist in Australia?

Actually, the question was probably raised last month when Lisa Ho shut up shop because of soaring debts. And again a couple of weeks ago when Kirrily Johnson, who appeared to be one of Australian fashion’s brightest stars, put her brand into voluntary administration. Johnston cites the global financial crisis, high rents and manufacturing issues as contributing to massive debts – though hers weren’t quite as high as the $11 million owed by Ho.

Lisa Ho

Lisa Ho

10 Magazine editor (formerly of Harper’s Bazaar) Alison Veness-McGourty told The Guardian last week that Australia needs to create a central governing body (at the moment we have the Australian Fashion Council, but as the article points out, funding and international development aren’t its main focuses) similar to the CFDA or the British Fashion Council. “The government needs to put more money into the fashion industry, it’s as simple as that.”

But nothing is ever really that simple. A big part of the problem could be the overseas perception of local fashion. Tome found success branding itself as an NYC label. Dion Lee and Sass & Bide are two more brands who have found success on the international stage. But they've both managed to sell shares in their brand for what are believed to be rather large amounts. Cue recently bought part of Dion Lee for an undisclosed sum; In 2011 Sass & Bide sold 65% of its brand to Myer for a reported $42.5 million. They also both skip Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia to show in London and New York instead. When you’re trying to grow a label beyond its home country, that’s necessary. Showing at the season-teetering mess that is MBFWA can just suck up funds best allocated elsewhere.

Another problem could be the massive influx of overseas chains. In Sydney especially, it seems there’s a Zara, Topshop or H&M popping up every other weekend. And if we spent a tenth as much on local brands as we do on ASOS, the industry might be in better shape.

Maybe part of the solution is to revise MBFWA and spend government money convincing the Northern Hemisphere that Australian fashion isn’t just swimsuits and Ugg boots. Until then, best of luck to Tome – and a sad farewell to Lisa Ho and Kirrily Johnston. 

[The Guardian]

Images: Lisa Ho's Facebook

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The Fashion Spot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week

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1. 20 Bags, Shoes and Baubles that Made Couture Week Even Hauter - Couture accessories we want to own or just gaze upon. 

2. Can’t Stop Thinking About… Haute Couture Fall 2013 Edition - Artsy peplums, an ombre revival — be still our hearts. 

3. Gail Simmons Dishes: 5 Things You Don’t Know About Top Chef - One thing we do know: Gail Simmons is the best. 

4. Then & Now: The Original 90s Supermodels are Having a Major Glossy Comeback - So many 90s supermodels being beautiful on magazine covers.

5. Best of Beauty: Haute Couture Fall 2013 - Demure faux bobs, animal printed hair, the usual. 

6. Front Row Fabulousness at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Stars dressed fashionably to fashion shows — typical. 

7. Haute Couture Fall 2013 Wrap-Up: 20 Most Memorable Looks - Some of these looks are less than wearable, but we still love them. 

 8. 50 Best Street Style Snaps from Haute Couture Fashion Week - Street style is one of the best parts of fashion week, you know that right? 

9. Can a Startup Lead the Way to an Ethical Consumer Movement? A Conversation With the Founders of Zady - It's time to re-examine our dependence on fast fashion. 

10. Beauty Foods: What to Eat Now and Why - Avocado is the name of the game.

The Buzz Latest News

Lanvin’s Fall Campaign Video (Starring Edie Campbell) Will Charm Your Pants Off, As Usual

Image: Lanvin.com

Image: Lanvin.com

We've already seen and praised Edie Cambell in Lanvin's Fall 2013 print ad, but happily, the fun's not over.

Animating the same multiple personality concept which was featured in the magazine campaign, the newly released video version shows Campbell playing six imaginary versions of herself. The short clip features menswear (not modeled by Campbell) and voice-over narration (I'm fairly certain it's actually Campbell speaking — or else Lanvin went out of its way to hire a British voice actress — but I've reached out to the label to confirm). The voice-over component is a charming, original touch, making this the latest in Lanvin's series of standout campaign videos. 

The film was shot by Steven Meisel, with creative direction by Ronnie Newhouse and Stephen Wolstenholme of House + Holme. Together, the creative team has been executing Lanvin's stunning ad work for several seasons, including the label's Fall 2011 dancing video (which went viral) and last year's real people campaign.

Watch their latest offering below. 

The Buzz Latest News

Bambi Northwood-Blyth Goes Sea Punk For Shakuhachi’s Summer Campaign ‘The Life Aquatic’

shakuhachi3

Pulling off a complete 180 from the wedding shoot she did for Vogue Brides, Bambi Northwood-Blyth has layered on the neon and jumped in front of the camera for Shakuhachi’s Summer 2013 campaign.

It’s still dreamy, but less like a fairytale fantasy than a psychedelic trance that jerks you back into consciousness when you least expect it. Titled ‘The Life Aquatic’, Shakuhachi’s freshest outing hits us right in the same soft spot we harbor for Emma Mulholland’s trippy collections and Josh Goot’s neoprene. There’s a crop top printed with what’s either blown-up snakeskin or abstracted fish scales, and sports-luxe bikini tops that scream “water optional.” Perfect for girls who split their time between city stomping and deep sea diving – or at least dip their toes into each.

The constantly clashing nature of deep sea life is here played out in harsh pinks and blues that literally slice into each other, and textured fabrics heavy on metallic and neon. All these sartorial ocean references are making us well sick of this winter business.

'The Life Aquatic' drops in stores and online this month. You can pre-order pieces online now.  

shakuhachi1

Images: Shakuhachi’s blog

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