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


FRU3 : Una Kaludjerovic

  Hello all, welcome to another edition of FRU profiles! This month I’ve decided to feature another one of my Serbian friends, Una Kaludjerovic. Una is a PR Student from Belgrade with an innate sense for all things cool and on-trend. Her personality sits somewhere between that of a BuzzFeed employee and a Style.com editor, combining humor and wit with a knowledge of fashion that exceeds the boundaries of a mere interest and becomes almost obsessive. First and foremost, she’s a city kid with New Yorker-like mannerisms and Parisian flair, but you can tell Belgrade is her hometown from her instinctual knowledge of the location of the nearest wi-fi blessed café.  

  Una’s style is most likened to that of famous Man Repeller - Leandra Medine, often combining the unusual and quirky together with the classic and pretty to create truly unique sartorial choices that definitely prove she’s a stand out.  She’s very versatile in her choice of outfit, switching between fashion cliques almost as quickly as she can memorize the pages of the latest Harper’s Bazaar.  Don’t let that fool you though; there is always a touch of Una in everything she wears, whether it be a name-stamped necklace or a crème-colored beanie. With dreams of becoming a fashion editor in NYC and the shoes to back it, Una is a true Front Row Underdog. 

  If anything, her thoughts on what being a Front Row Underdog is show it fully. She says “For me, being a Front Row Underdog is a lot more than an attitude towards fashion - it's a way of carrying yourself. It's a complete awareness of your own taste, style and individuality. Front Row Underdogs are witty and sprinkled with a bit of sass, but still earnestly enthusiastic about the things they love. They've learnt a lot standing on the sidelines of fashion and once their time comes, rules will be broken in the best way possible.” This is exactly what I wanted from this blog – people being able to recognize areas of it that coincide with their own thoughts and personalities and realizing that just because you’re not there yet doesn’t mean you won’t be. Everybody successful in fashion was a Front Row Underdog at the start, whether it be Grace Coddington or Rumi Neely - it’s the perseverance and love of style that got them where they are. So, if perseverance and stylistic obsession is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing Una at the helms of Vogue before you can say “Taxi!”. 

You can follow and find out more about Una at instagram.com/unasaurus

Una is wearing:

Coat from Zara
Blouse by MaxMara
Culottes from Zara
Shoes from Zara
Una necklace is Model's own
Choker from Topshop
Sunglasses from Camden Market

Photography by Front Row Underdog


Flower Power

  The late 60’s/early 70’s must have been a wonderful time to be alive. If not just for the bell bottoms and copious amounts of fringe (both of which are having a moment on the Summer runway), for the social and political movements that were happening across the world. Flower power was the term used to describe the peaceful protests against the Vietnam War, in which Flower Children handed out flowers, balloons, toys or even candy to policemen, press and politicians. Allen Ginsberg originated the idea and used it to change war protests into peaceful street theater in contrast to the violent actions of the Hells Angels gang, who supported the war. Embroidered with florals and peace signs the flower children became symbols of the counterculture and “hippy” movement, unrestrained by societal norms and expectations. 

  The way the flower children dressed defined their ideals and beliefs, and cemented their status in pop culture history, but can fashion truly be used to make political and social statements? We’ve been experiencing a resurgence in such matters, in line with current events, with feminist protests staged on the runway at Chanel, consumerism commentary at Christopher Shannon, and marriage freedom at Betsey Johnson. Vivienne Westwood is another designer who frequently uses her shows to convey her humanitarian and eco-friendly values. The use of fashion as a symbol of protest can’t be disputed, from the Chanel use of jersey to free women of literal restraints, to trousers becoming one of the primary symbols of the women’s rights movement. What is interesting is the use of fashion to protest itself; Prada regularly mocks the ideas of traditional beauty set by her contemporaries and prefers an ugly chic aesthetic. The unrealistic beauty and youth standards set by Vogue Covers and Victoria’s Secret models were even commented on just last week, at the Undercover show in Paris, where models wore plastic face masks emulating those who had had extensive plastic surgery. The best fashions shows, in my opinion, are those that go beyond the clothing and use imagination and art to provoke thought and emotion. 

  In fact, it is difficult to see any movement without its associated sense of style, the most apparent being punk. Punk politics aside, the movement is mostly associated with individual freedom and anti-establishment rules (in some ways, much like Flower Power). Herein lies an example where the industry was inspired by a movement while also defining it. Originally, punk was all about the DIY aesthetic, the safety pins holding together ripped jeans and spray-painted leather jackets, but from it sprang thousands of collections ranging from McQueen to Westwood, who lauded the style and frequently incorporated it. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted an exhibit inspired by punk titled “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” that examined the hardware, destruction and re-purposing of clothing. Punk is a defining social movement, but it wouldn’t have had as much of an impression without the clothing, in my opinion. Clothing can be used to define our personalities and opinions, which is what makes it so interesting, and a spectacle within itself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a flower child or a punk rocker, use your style to shout out who you are and you’ll always be on trend. 

Shirt from Uniqlo
Trousers from Topman
Boots from Dr Martens
Sunglasses from Ebay


LFW A/W 2015

  London fashion week holds a special place in my heart. Not only because it's where I currently live, but also because there's always a rebellious spirit in the air. Home to the most experimental, dark and beautiful brands in the world, London truly stands out from the other fashion weeks not only in it's outlandishness, but also in it's ability to celebrate true talent. Here are my favorite shows of the season. 

  Mother of Pearl, like Delpozo, was one of my favorite collections last season. What’s great about these types of brands, that aren’t household names yet, is that you get to see them grow and flourish before your very eyes. It was therefore especially amazing to see Mother of Pearl complete its first collection without the assistance of an artist, and yet still retain the artistry. The show married sporty silhouettes to grungy floral prints while still retaining an effervescent cool that’s rarely seen in the A/W shows. Particularly interesting was the outerwear, with silhouettes ranging from short bombers to ankle grazing coats. It was a lot to put into one show, but there still existed a clear train of thought connecting each look to the other. Amy Powney showed London that she doesn’t need an artist to help, because she is one. 

  Christopher Kane has finally opened a flagship store in London. As amazing as that may sound it also puts into play the effect of commercialization, which plagues most designers today, and threatens to tame their creativity. So, naturally, I was a bit apprehensive before this show, because I thought Kane would lose his edge. I was proven completely wrong. The collection Kane put out was extremely daring and out there, with blatantly sexual (the words electric orgasm were mentioned) references and starkly different fabrics. The colors alone were to die for, but what was really amazing were the figures sketched out in blue red and white he put on the clothes. The fabric choices were almost fetishistic, with loads of velvet, leather, lace and fur. The collection could have easily gone overboard but Kane smartly utilized a restrained (almost innocent) silhouette, with high necklines, ruffles and flowing skirts.  Kane played on the notion that sex sells, and by the looks of it, he’ll sell well. 

  The mood at Erdem was even more bohemian than usual. Now, I’m not a fan of boho, but when it’s done as glamorously as this, and with an insane woman as a muse, I’m down. Erdem dreamed up a fantastical creature, inspired by the art installation “The Collector” by Helly Nahmad. In this installation, an extravagantly overcluttered apartment is shown, portraying what it looks like when personality spills from inside us into the outside world. Depicting a woman’s fall from grace and sanity never seemed so beautiful, with an ombre coat going from restricted black into a satin pink, almost literally depicting a descent into madness. The frayed edges of the dresses mirrored a frayed personality, bursting at the seams. Feminine and graceful silhouettes were paired with almost utilitarian outerwear and accessories, showing the stark contract of life before and after the fall. Erdem works best when he has a clear figure to design for, and this collection proved particularly strong. 

  Gareth Pugh has come home. After several years of playing the away field, Pugh decided to play home, and return to his roots, both literally and stylistically. With sacrifice on his mind, Pugh showed a dark collection inspired by the brutish side of Great Britain, with face paint mimicking the warriors of days past or perhaps even the football fans of today. Pugh may be singular in his choice of color, but he makes up for it in his choices of fabric and silhouette. Oversized tailoring warped the models bodies into proportions that seemed almost protective. Pugh is unique in the fact that only he can show a collection involving both a Mongolian fur coat and a dress made out of straws and still make it work. The show closed with a literal waving of the flag, as one should when they claim victory.


The Final Frontier

  The past three decades have seen more technological advancement than any era before. The pace has quickened so much that today’s breakthrough gadgets become the junk of tomorrow. Take a look at the difference just in mobile technology; 15 years ago we were impressed to have color, nowadays we’re nonplussed by a phone with a fingerprint scanner. Much like fashion, technology constantly evolves and progresses, building on consumer-feedback and developing into new and exciting spaces. We’re breaking into unchartered territory on a daily basis, both figuratively and literally, with Tech-Giants like Elon Musk even looking into terraforming to build us a new habitat on Mars. 

  Fashion’s interest in the space age began in the 60’s. As the “race to space” began designers made clothing for what they assumed would be our future lifestyle. Enthralled by the endless possibilities they saw before them, Courreges and Cardin churned out white utilitarian clothing paired with bug-eyed sunglasses and plastic knee-high boots, pushing personal style into the sartorial stratosphere. Nowadays, we’ve come back down to earth, but the influence of technology is still there. Where in the 60s it was white plastic and flat boots now its metallic neoprene and platform sneakers. We’re still as amazed by what the cosmos and future hold, we just don’t show it as much. 

  Another way technology is influencing fashion is in the construction itself. The word of the day is now laser cut rather than handcrafted, and machines are mass-producing bags that emulate what was once seen as luxury. 3D-printing is making waves in the accessory department, with customizable jewelry becoming freely available online, and we may even be making it in our own homes a few years from now. Wearable technology that scans our biometrics or allows easier access to the internet is also a reality; and by looking at the Apple Watch, the “chic” factor that’s held it back so far may finally be coming into play. Who knows, in 2020 the newest trend-setting piece could be an Alexander Wang health-monitoring dermal implant. We are addicted to technology, as much as we joke about it. To give a basic example: smoking an e-cig means you are literally addicted to technology. It is however a double-edged blade, and as we come closer to integrating with technology completely we also become non-functional without it. The actual final frontier isn’t space, its humanity. 

Sweater from Topman
Jeans from Topman
Backpack from New Look
Shoes from Asos
Sunglasses from Camden Market

Dedicated to Leonard Nimoy R.I.P