The North Face Purple Label SS14

The North Face Purple Label is one of those things that is ¬†very hard to come by outside Japan. Like the clothing equivalent of a green tea flavored Kit Kat, you have to scour to find pieces from this sub-label. ¬†As they have done for many seasons now, Purple label continues it’s tradition of paring down North Face technical pieces into something more refined and better fitting. I’ve always enjoyed how minimal the branding has been compared to regular North Face and you can expect pretty toned down shirting in an array of plaids, earth tones, navys and olives. Add to the fact that the female model in this lookbook is straight wifey status and you have yourself a lookbook worth looking through.

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C.E x Beauty & Youth SS14 Collection

When it comes to straight forward streetwear, few brands are doing it better than C.E right now. I’m happy to own a handful of pieces from the label and I’ve mostly found the quality, fit and detailing to be best in class when it comes to streetwear basics such as tees, hoodies and crewnecks. They paired up with fellow Japanese label Beauty & Youth for a small capsule collection of items featuring an ‘eyes’ motif.

The release date for the capsule collection is Jan 28 at Beauty & Youth stores around Japan. If interested in finding out more about C.E this interview with co-founder Toby Feltwell is a must-read.

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HUMAN MADE SS14 Lookbook

2013 was a year of transition for Nigo. He formally left his role at BAPE after 20 years and began his job as creative director for UT (Uniqlo). Along the way he continued working on his own line HUMAN MADE which is a logical extension from A Bathing Ape. While the lookbook doesn’t show us much we haven’t seen before, HUMAN MADE is really all in the details. There’s an usual assortment of men’s casual staples including crew necks, beanies, and a varsity all modeled by Nigo himself. Human Made is expensive but being able to feel the garments in person at Haven, I do feel the brand has a certain intangible quality that isn’t found anywhere else. The menswear world has an obession with vintage and heritage but Nigo has always been that rare visionary who could bridge the gap between current pop culture and old manufacturing.

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Nonnative Spring/Summer 2014 ‘Subcity Deweller’ Lookbook and Video

Japanese label Nonnative has been flying just under the radar for many years. The brands signature ARE well-made, easy to wear staples that subtly riff on the trends of the moment. Similar to brands like A.P.C or Acne, you can readily incorporate Nonnative stuff to a variety of wardrobes without too much fuss.  I thought the styling this collection was quite well done; really displaying how you can put together many different  types of looks from the spring/summer pieces.

nonnative 14ss SUBCITY DWELLER from euphoria factory on Vimeo.

In addition to the lookbook Nonnative put together this shaky VCR video which plays off of a group of young men who run across a bunch of roadside mannequins dressed in the season’s gear.

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Undercover Men’s SS14 Collection

Designers usually choose to add ¬†colors to their Spring/Summer collections and keep Fall/Winter collections monochromatic. Jun Takahashi reverses this trend with Undercoverism SS14. ¬†The collection is murdered out for the most part, and features a consistent shape; slim-cut long tops and jackets with skinny trousers or jeans. It seems like Jesus and the Mary Chain was an audio inspiration to the line with jackets emblazoned with ‘I’ll be a Plastic Toy’ and ‘Pyscho Candy’.

The collection shares much of the same DNA as the SS14¬†womenswear collection which was unveiled in Paris. The leather rider jackets here are excellent (as to be expected from UC) but there are some great looking basics in here as well (the longsleeves which fit slightly long and oversized come to mind). While leather accents on clothes is something the men’s market doesn’t need any more of, there’s plenty of that here too. All in all while presentation and styling seem a bit uninspired, there’s still plenty here that’ll worth buying come next year.

See all the looks after the jump.

 

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SASQUATCHfabrix SS14 Summer Lookbook

Japanese label SASQUATCHfabrix has one of the strangest brand names in menswear. This spring/summer collection is suitably quirky featuring slightly oversized t-shirts, jackets and hoodies in a color palette that traverses from off-whites and tans to blacks and deep blues. Also of note is that this might be one of the first lookbooks ever to effectively use a chainsaw. SASQUATCHfabrix isn’t the easiest brand to find in shops, so click HERE¬†for a list of stockists.

 

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Boris Bidjan Saberi SS14 Video

Barcelona based designer Boris Bidjan Saberi released this promotional video through his official site as an accompaniment to the lookbook for his Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The designer is known for his masculine, sometimes aggressive designs. Being a warm-weather collection, the video focuses on the lightness and motion of the garments. You can shop the current … Read more

KOMAKINO SS14 Presentation

London based Komakino held a presentation of their Spring/Summer 2014 offerings in an empty Paris parking lot. It’s hard for me to look at this line without thinking of Raf Simons, but that doesn’t take away from my appreciation of what Komakino does. The brand adds tasteful details to ¬†sharply-fitting staples that men want to wear : hoodies, t-shirts, bomber jackets and button-ups. Examples in this collection are a cut-out detail on the arm of a blazer or a graphic design hit on sleeves of the MA-1.

You can find Komakino at Opening Ceremony (NY/LA) and Substance (LA) in the US. A full list of stockists can be found HERE.

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Louis Vuitton SS14

Kim Jones may have initially seemed like a strange fit at Louis Vuitton but he’s¬†definitely¬†hit his stride at the world’s most famous luxury brand. I was a big fan of his fresh take on FW13 , and he continues to inject newness and youth into this spring/summer collection. This time Kim Jones set his sights on America, literally hitting the road from coast to coast to get inspiration from this collection¬†(going from New Orleans to Las Vegas with plenty of spots in-between). ¬†Jones showed a runway collection where the mythology of the American road trip is merged with the brand history of Louis Vuitton. While Louis Vuitton isn’t really a brand I look to for my own wardrobe I can’t deny that there’s something special about what Mr.Jones is doing for the historic French luxury house. This collection is in the vein of what Ralph Lauren may have done in the mid 90s updated for the way men want to dress now.

If you ever wanted to see the LV monogram and riffs on everything from plaid to west-coast paisley prints in one collection; look no further than this. This is the summer road trip clothing for the gentleman who’s wealthy enough to fly private.

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Dries Van Noten SS14 Menswear

Dries Van Noten comes correct with another extremely strong season. As one of the few designers who constantly threads new territory with each men’s collection while still maintaining the DNA of his¬†aesthetic¬† his collections are ones I always look forward to seeing. While brands have started an arms race of sorts, ODing on bigger, brighter, and more elaborate prints, Dries shows his mastery here ,¬†succeeding¬†where many have failed. Models wore an array of florals taken from different periods throughout history.

The details are carefully thought out and the fit of the tailored pieces impeccable as to be expected from one of the Antwerp six. Everything from the size of the collars on the shirts, to the eyewear choices, to the gold-foiled background of the runway match the tone of the show perfectly. While his¬†aesthetic¬†may not be my own, Dries is an aspirational brand for me. I can always imagine myself in it and I hope I can acquire some pieces from this collection. I applaud Dries for avoiding the noise in the fashion industry and humbly steadfastly¬†containing¬†to deliver quality collection after quality collection at an incredibly fair price-point for the men’s fashion market.

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