De Minimis

  Minimalism (min·i·mal·ism) – use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature or design. In fashion, minimalism is a marriage of form and function wherein all the unnecessary is eliminated and only the essential stays. Defined by solid colors, crisp lines and zero embellishment, it’s seen a huge resurgence in the past few years, and proves as an almost direct contrast to the glaring colors, prints and patchwork denim disasters of the early 2000’s. However, minimalism is no mere trend: it’s a philosophy.

  There have always been those who worship at the minimalist alter designing for the runway. Helmut Lang, Comme Des Garcons and Issey Miyake are just a few examples of an almost obsessive dedication to  simplicity that truly sprouted in the 90’s but has only really blossomed in this era. In art, sculptors like Carl Andre reduced their work its utmost simplicity, working on the concept that perfection is attained, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing to take away (as mused by Saint-Exupéry). 3D Printed, laser cut, and ready for our next intergalactic voyage, minimalist clothing often mimics sculpture, and as within the art movement, refers to nothing but itself. 

  Minimalism goes beyond just what you wear, and floods into daily life. It eliminates choice, and by doing so, frees you of the burden of making that choice, letting you focus on what’s truly important. Imagine stripping your wardrobe down to 10 pieces of clothing, what would you choose? I can assure you it wouldn’t be the sequined sweater or the statement heel, but rather the white shirt and the black jean. For me, minimalism will never be a long-term possibility - I’m too prone to change to commit. Instead, I’ve always viewed it as a beginning, starting at the basics and building upon them to create something truly unique to you. That’s exactly what style should be - a personal statement and signature. 

Coat from H&M
Sweater from COS
Shirt from Topman
Jeans from H&M
Shoes from Asos


Men's A/W 2015 : 2

  Kane has always had an eye for geometry, and never has it been so cool and calculated as in his fall 2015 menswear collection. With prints that would make a calculator blush, and silhouettes so sharp they could cut diamond, this collection is an evolution in minimalism. The mixing of prints seems effortless and almost perfect, with the trouser cuts just above the ankle preserving a line so clean it could have been measured out by a ruler. However, don’t let the clean cut fabric deceive you, the man in Kane is not one to play by the rules, he defies the nonplussed ease of today and goes that extra mile to look different. In my book, that’s something to strive for. 

  The reviews were not amazing for the Costume National collection. The brand has become recognized for its defined aesthetic approach, but this collection seemed almost chaotic in nature. Sure, as style.com says the polos over a turtleneck weren’t amazing, but that is the eye of a critic. In my opinion, although the collection as a whole wasn’t mind-blowing, there were a lot of looks that were. The play with masculine elements paired with feminine pieces proved for a lesson in rock androgyny. The sleek slim scarves proved as an antecedent to the bulky almost blanket like ones of today, and to be honest, I wanted one. Who knew a pairing between 50’s screen siren and 70’s rock icon could work so well? In my opinion, Costume National should just continue doing what they’re famous for – breaking the mould for what is normal and tasteful to become unique and outrageous.  

 Uniform-inspired and fall menswear have become synonymous. It’s a dreary show when yet another designer decides that he’s going to reinvent the men’s uniform before snow starts grazing the ground. However, Craig Green took an old idea and made it new. His show was as much a fashion show as it was a performance piece. With several distinct looks made in three distinct colors (manufacturers are going to love it), the designer took uniform and made it almost emotive and fragile. Once again loose trousers were present, as were androgynous shapes. In particular a cut-out sweater open at the sternum (Where Craig says the soul comes out of in cartoons) served almost as a counterpart to the midriff baring womens trend. It’s the kind of clothing a poet would wear in 2050, but like a serious poet, who you actually listen to, not unlike Craig Green himself really.
  Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite films. Not going to lie, it even influenced my university choice partly, as parts of it were filmed in my own lecture hall. As you would imagine then, I loved this collection. Marjan Pejoski usually designs the kind of clothing I like, but paired with one of my favorite references, it killed. Although I’d never wear a bowler hat (not for lack of trying), the punk-tribal aesthetic really spoke to what I think fashion should be: rebellious, creative and flattering. Playing with print, color and patches may seem a bit chaotic, but it all made sense at KTZ. Especially interesting was the mix of houndstooth and tribal markings, really taking the organized chaos theme to a new level. The pathes with the faces of dictators like Lenin could have seemed overboard, but just managed to teeter on the edge between artistic and trashy. All in all, Pejoski is a designer to watch, and here’s hoping you’ll be seeing these pieces on the blog again. 

Till Sunday - Alex


Men's A/W 2015 : 1

  The men's Fall collections this year have been stellar. It's been a long time since a season has been so well populated with unique, on-point and beautiful collections in the men's world that I am frankly in awe. A lot of the stuff I was talking about in terms of Pop-Fashion and Androgynous tailoring have been evident in bright coloring and loose tailoring. I've decided not to split these up by location this time around, as I believe the men's collections are less inclined to steer strongly towards their cultural origins (with the exception of Pitti in Milan, which is always decidedly Italian). So without further ado, here is the first batch of my favorite men's runway collections for fall 2015:

  As you could have witnessed in my post on the Moschino Barbie collection, I’m a huge kid at heart. So, it’s no surprise that the Toys R’ Us, Lego inspired collection of this London duo was one of my favorites at LCM. The coats in particular were absolutely amazing in primary color blocks bringing to mind the build-a-blocks we all used to play with as kids. There was even something Mondrian-like in the color usage and straight minimalist silhouettes. Tailoring was majorly loose in the trousers, which is something we’ll definitely be seeing a lot of during Fall. I’m gagging (in the colloquial sense of being positively overwhelmed) and googling how to make Lego masks as we speak!

  Burberry definitely took a turn for the dark and mysterious this season, and in my opinion it’s been long overdue. The boho looks that came down the runway evoked a British Poet who’d just come back from a trip to Southern Africa. As a person who lives in Britain, and is from Southern Africa; and I’m not saying I, specifically, inspired the collection, but I’ll leave that in the hands of you lovely readers. Jokes aside, print matching is a trend that is becoming more and more evident in menswear, and Bailey has it down to an art. Using primary colours like red and blue he’s stuck to his strengths but pushed himself in a darker and more luxurious direction, befitting the Burberry brand. It seems like he’s perfectly sat upon his CEO throne with many more surprises in store.

  This is Derelicte done right (Zoolander reference; watch the movie NOW if you haven’t please). Consequently, the collection is a political statement done right (side-eye Chanel), with no huge signs proclaiming the message, but it still being evident as day. Shannon playfully looked at the Poundland persona of today, and putting together pieces taken from here, there and everywhere else in order to put yourself together. Once again, primary colors and loose tailoring were present, as were masks in the shape of actual plastic bags on the Model’s heads. All in all, a strong and creative collection with an even stronger message. 

  Eary completely plays to the OTT, pop-fashion wearing Serbian side of me. Her collection inspired by modern artists such as Koons and KAWS explodes with color to the point of almost making my brain hurt. Speaking of brains, can we talk about the brain hats? Made via 3D printing, the skull embroidered hats and sweaters may have seemed Eerie to some (I had to), but in my opinion they were mind-blowingly cool. The surgical theme was evident not only in the exposed skeletons on the clothing, but even in the stitched jeans. This paired with the quasi-candy skull makeup really showed that Eary took her subject and ran with it, not taking any prisoners. 

  Finally, the first collection of the season! As you’ve probably noticed if you read the “what I’m wearing” at the bottom of each of my outfit posts, I wear a LOT of Topman. Why? They’re simply the most unique high street retailer. It comes as no surprise then, that this collection was also quite unique in its design. Mixing Americana, Bombay and British boy band references, the collection stood out as different and well put together. It’s difficult to make a collection that’s supposed to inspire an entire retail line, but Gordon Richardson seems to have no problems in doing so. Topman has the Star Power, drive and creativity to stay in the spotlight while competing on both the high-end as well high-street for years to come.


FRU1 : Jovana Popovic

  My Grandmother has decided that my blog is WAY too self-centred, and to be honest, I agree. I started this blog for people who aren’t in the front row (yet anyway) but all I seem to be talking about is myself. So, to counteract this, I’ll be putting out the profiles of people I believe to be Front Row Underdogs now and then. If you believe you should be featured, feel free to send me an e-mail to FrontRowUnderdogs@gmail.com and we’ll discuss!

  The first person I’ve decided to feature in these “FRU Profiles” is one of the people I hold closest to my heart, Jovana (J read as a Y) Popovic. I’ve known Jovana since we were around 12, and to this day we’re still as close as can be. Although Jovana is currently studying psychology in Vienna, while I’m in London, not a day passes that we don’t get in touch for whatever reason. She is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree and plans to complete her masters in London. After that, she says, she wants to become a business advisor, tying her love for psychology with her business driven mind.

  Jovana is a worshipper at the Dello Russo shrine. A huge advocate of excess, Jovana is never afraid to go above and beyond while dressing herself. The only reason it works? Jovana could draw your eye to her in a potato sack, which she owes to her undeniable charisma and presence. She has an obvious femininity to her style, and doesn’t own a single pair of trousers. This feminine approach is offset with her edginess in choice of outerwear, shoes and accessories – if there’s one thing she’s good at, it’s at taking the unbearably couture and making it wearable.  

  Now you may be asking – what makes Jovana a Front Row Underdog? It’s simple; she has no obvious ties to fashion whatsoever. Jovana would be perfectly content living in her own world with no knowledge of fashion whatsoever. Instead, she’s perfectly up-to-date with the latest shows and inner workings of the industry; all while constantly window shopping all the websites imaginable to find her next avant-garde acquisition.  I’ve seen her grow and evolve both style and life wise, and I’m telling you, she may not be in the front row, but the way she dresses could rival any Russian street style star.  

Jovana is wearing:
Coat by Dondup
Dress by Stella McCartney
Bag by Chanel
Shoes from NastyGal
Watch by Chopard

You can follow and find out more about her at: instagram.com/gospodjica_popovic_mitrovic

Photography by Moi



  In my previous post I mentioned the new positioning of men’s fashion into a space where it has started taking inspiration from the women’s lines. It’s ironic that menswear has been so strictly defined in the past few decades in the first place, as many staples such as heels (actually started by men) were regularly worn by all before the era of the suit. Consequently, womenswear is regularly inspired by its male counterpart, with collections full of masculine suits trotting down the runway each fashion week. 

  Women had to fight for their right to wear the trousers in their life (both metaphorically and literally). They may have been introduced in the early 1900’s by Paul Poiret, but trousers were only truly adopted during the second feminist wave, when women finally demanded to be seen as equal to men, and have all the accompanying freedom. Feminism is still a battle being fought today (ever so more in the limelight now, if you count Beyonce or Chanel) and is slowly bringing alongside it a change in the masculine as well. 

  There’s no reason we actually assign clothing to either gender. A piece of fabric is genderless, it’s the hands that construct a garment partnered with the social construct behind it that give a garment its gender. We see a man in a dress as strange, and yet a man in a toga is perfectly normal, even though they’re basically the same thing. It’s a barrier that is slowly crumbling, but still stands firm. The two biggest influences in breaking it down being trans-people and the fashion forward (for completely different reasons). Fashion forward men are tired of relying on menswear and have turned to womenswear to find more interesting pieces. It’s why you see Pharell on the red carpet in a baby pink Celine coat: because there is no baby pink coat in any mens line. 

  On the design side, new up and coming giants such as HBA and JW Anderson have started pushing the envelope. The designs of both HBA and Anderson are all unisex, a refreshingly simple viewpoint that lets them focus on the psychological traits of the person who will be wearing the clothes rather than on their biometrics. Even in modeling, androgynous models such as Andreja Peric (fellow Serb, holla), have broken boundaries and appeared on both sides of the runway, specifically because of their gender-bending nature. It shows the beginnings of something great to come in the future of dressing, when we can put aside thinking about who other people want us to be in the morning and focus on who we want to be. It’ll be a long time till you see a guy in an Elie Saab dress at a red carpet event, but a clutch is right around the corner. 

 Shirt from Tudor
Jumper from Topman
Jeans from Asos
Bag from Givenchy
Shoes from Dr Martens
Sunglasses from Covent Garden Market


Blank Slate

  I’m a firm believer in new beginnings and altering your state of mind. We only have one lifetime to live, so why not change and mould yourself in as many different ways as possible during that time? 2014 was a huge year of change for me, I graduated from university, started working in an industry I knew nothing about (pharmaceuticals) and permanently moved to the UK. Yes, I’d been living here for 3 years but never without at least 5 months a year back home in Serbia. My psyche became a Petri dish in which I cultured myself with new dreams, wishes and thoughts.

  This is also the year I started this blog, which consistently pushes me to be on point with my style game while challenging me creatively and (let’s be honest) serving as the perfect place to vent all my philosophical thoughts on not only fashion but life as well. I couldn’t have asked for more positive reception, seeing as I was expecting only my grandparents to read it. In such a short space of time I already get a couple hundred hits a day and the feedback has been stellar. Most importantly though, the blog is helping me hone my style, and find exactly who I am and where I want to be in the future. 

  2014 was also the year we reached a crossroads in fashion. Normcore and Pop-fashion have battled it out throughout the year, but now it’s all said and done, it looks like we’ll be toning it down in 2015. Looking at bloggers like Pelayo or even BryanBoy, the crazy antics just aren’t there anymore. It’s all about good pieces paired together with smart details rather than over-the-top outfits stripped off an 80’s couture runway. We’ve become oversaturated with the look-at-me antics of street fashionistas and those in the know are rebelling in protest. 

  Men’s fashion also looks like it’s at the brink of being at a very exciting place. As gender boundaries are finally being broken (the amazing and long awaited trans-acceptance and feminist movements are to thank here) men’s fashion is becoming more comfortable in sending androgynous and moreover risqué pieces down the runway. We’re recognizing that a camel coat is a camel coat, no matter whether the label reads Topshop or Topman. It’s allowing all of us to experiment with our style in ways you couldn’t imagine 5 years ago. I mean, we’re not in platform high-heel stiletto boot alley, but we’re definitely walking down Céline Tote Street. If you ask me, it’s the update Men’s needed, as too long have we been confined by boundaries we set up for ourselves. 

For me, style-wise, I want to push myself to think my outfits through more in the future. I want to shop less but wear more, and invest in interesting pieces that minimize clutter and maximize impact. However, I won’t be devoting myself to normcore anytime soon, but stay firmly planted at the crossroad aforementioned previously. I want to be exactly in between pop-fashion and normcore (NormPop? Is that a Gaga album?) and hopefully y’all will be the people to keep me on track. To an amazing 2015.

 Love, Alex. 

Shoes by Asos
Tracksuit by Converse
Sweatshirt by Asos
Ring by Asos
Sunglasses by Topman