Humans are like computer programs. We are raised up to perceive the world around us in binary – things are either a 1 or a 0, male or female, black or white. Anything in between is almost seen as a virus, a threat – an abnormality. Our obsession goes that far to perceive dogs & cats as two separate sides of the same coin, when in fact they are completely separate species. Somewhere along the way of evolution, we decided that everything needed a category, or a box, otherwise it wouldn’t fit. In reality, life isn’t black and white, it’s not even 5000 shades of grey – it’s blue, orange, pink, green, yellow, purple and every other color you can imagine.

  Even in fashion, people and designers are expected to stick to a certain aesthetic, a certain sense of style that becomes their brand. If you’re a minimalist, god forbid you go out in a tie-dyed fringe top and floral shorts, or if you’re into grunge you’re positively forbidden to wear something too upscale. From a business point of view, it makes sense, you want people to come into your store and get what they expect. This has lead to many designers being doomed to producing repetitive collections baring the design influences of people they didn’t even know. When designers change around brands, unless they stick to their true heritage, they’re basically doomed to be slated for the first few years. For instance, take Hedi Slimane and YSL (or should I say Saint Laurent) – the man took an old and basically dying brand and renewed it with an innovative direction that retailed better than anything else had in years. However, his redesign was met with criticism from 90% of the fashion world, with comments ranging from comparisons with forever 21 to flat-out statements he was ruining the brand’s name. Even now, once most of the fashion world has accepted him, Hedi can’t just pick up and change direction; he’s expected to consistently turn out young rock-influenced clothing. 

  Unless it’s a complete overhaul in image, with a new distinct & clear direction, change is seen as a bad thing. Change goes with indecisiveness, and the inability to commit. Whereas, in actuality, change is never a one-stop trip, it’s constant and eternal. Even in history, we’ve never changed overnight, its taken centuries. Why then, do we expect everybody around us to fit themselves in one box or the other? We push for people to think outside of the box but despise if this doesn’t lead to them fitting into another one. In my opinion, there is no box, unless you decide to build one. Setting up limits stifles creativity, and puts us into neatly packaged finished products divided by style on shelves labeled with generalistions. But life isn’t a supermarket, and we aren’t cans of soup – stop labeling yourself and you allow the opportunity to be anything you want, which is the best feeling in the world. 

Coat by H&M
Top from Topman
Jeans from Asos
Platform Sneakers from Asos
Sunglasses from Topman
Bag from H&M


The Importance of a Name

  There is nothing that we take for granted more than our names. The syllables given to us at birth, as an initiation into society, become the word with the most meaning, yet the one we think least about. A name carries along with it your entire being, for all intents and purposes, and is used to transmit the thought of you to other people or even as a symbol of your existence. Your name is something that nobody can truly take away from you; it is your brand and your connection to reality, your factor of differentiation. In the barest form of all, your name is what sets you apart from (almost) every other person on the planet. 

In fashion, and the business of fashion, nothing is more important than a name. Whether it’s Alaia or Armani, the name is the key part of every brand. Unless you’re speaking to a someone with a scholarly knowledge of fashion, you wouldn’t be able to describe any designer, or any collection, without the use of a name. We even go so far as to call the most widely known and celebrated brands “name brands” as a brand with a person’s name is personal, a signifier of luxury and uniqueness. There’s a reason why almost every large luxury brand is named after a person, whereas nothing on the high street is. The reason why we celebrate these people is because attaching your name to something that can be as fickle as fashion is a huge act of bravery, and should be rewarded. What bigger reward than having your name written in the history books, as an icon of style or an artist with fabric, to have your work inspire millions after you for years to come. Becoming famed as a designer is so wonderful because your brand continues long after you have, and your perspective of the world alongside it. 

Personally, I’ve had multiple names, and each one corresponds to a different time in my life. Currently, I have three names – Alex, Alek and Alexander. My real name, the full one, Alexander, is the one that is used the least, and usually in the coldest way, a name with no added frills or endearment. When I see or hear Alexander I know it’s either on my tax return or because someone is genuinely mad at me (usually my grandmother). Alek is my Serbian nickname, and what’s strange is that as soon as I go there, or I hear it, my personality changes. Yes, I’m still on the same behavioral spectrum, but definitely on a slightly different shade. Now that I’ve moved to the UK, Alex is the name I now hear the most, the name I’m most likely to be identified by. The transition from Alex to Alek is one only I really notice, but it’s taught me that understanding my name is, ultimately, understanding my identity.  

Snapback from H&M
Sweatshirt from COS
Sunglasses from Topman
Ring from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Jeans from Asos
Sneakers by Adidas

- Till next week, Alex


Trends for Spring 2015

  Before I go into my spiel on trends, a big (huge!) thank you goes to my amazing collaborator, illustrator Alex Acid, who self-handedly edited these pics and drew me in Givenchy, Bobby Abley and Topman Design! His work is absolutely amazing and you should check it out here.
  The whole cyclical renewal of clothes one should and should not wear seems a bit off-putting, and honestly the best dressed people in the industry are those that have their own unique style that stays more or less the same, unwavering in the face of change in retail tastes. However, it is undeniable that the runways can have a pretty big influence into what’s cool and what’s not, so I’ve decided to compile a list of my three favorite trends from the men’s Spring 2015 runway, and how I think they’re best worn. 

  All black and white was probably the stand out trend of the season, with, objectively looking, around 70% of all clothing shown this season being Monochrome. Monochrome is a great trend because it’s super easy to pull off and can be worn in 1000 different ways. Whether it’s decidedly goth and dark like at Givenchy, or minimalist-inclined like at Philip Lim, the contrast of monochrome compliments any skin tone or body shape and always stands out. Monochrome is also amazing because of its versatility; it transcends social settings and becomes wearable in any situation. Monochrome works really well when it’s worn in coordination with something sporty, like at Wang or KTZ, but also on a more classic silhouette like Tom Ford. Pro-tips include buying a pair of Adidas superstars before they sell out and finally investing the time in finding the perfect pair of black jeans (you can never have too many pairs of black jeans). 

  Another super-easy trend to pull off is the re-emergence of the graphic sweatshirt. The reason I love graphic sweatshirts is because they’re the easiest way to show off a small part of your personality, whether it’s an overblown picture of your favorite Disney character (Bobby Abley) or just a quote from your an influential figure you identify with. The best of these are nowadays oversize or of a longer length (knee length if you’re brave) and are most complimented by a cool backpack for a fully street-style worthy look. If you like your simplicity, go for something geometric with a simple trouser, like we’ve seen at Christopher Kane, or if you want to go full Russian stylista something eye-catching like Moschino might take your fancy. If you want to be particularly on-trend, take a note from the ladies and buy something in Neoprene, the quintessential fabric of the moment.

  Finally, one of my favorite trends is the use of bold and inspired print. Miranda Priestley references aside, florals had a huge moment on the runway, especially at the 70’s inspired shows like Topman. Print adds loads of depth to an outfit, both on its own and paired with another print, and really helps in standing out from a crowd. If you’re more of a classical dresser, wearing a full print suit is always an amazing look (and a pretty easy way to be the standout dresser at any occasion). Particularly stunning were the full prints at Etro, with bold and colorful full print looks instantly becoming the envy of any fashion-savvy person. Even the most acidic, like those at Dsquared, can look particularly good in the hotter days of the season, paired with a good tan and some coconut-scented suntan lotion. If you’re feeling especially bold, mix and match all-printed tops and bottoms. 

However, anything can go and is cool as long as you wear it with confidence! If you really like what you're wearing and think it's in, so will everyone else - They biggest trend in fashion will always be starting your own!

- Till the next post, Alex