Gentle reader,

I feel very fortunate to spend most of my days breathing the rarified air of luxury fashion, but working for a designer who has several large collections himself each season and then using Lanvin, Dior or Barneys as my go-to solutions for clients’ sartorial troubles that can’t be solved in-house because they are mere steps away can make one a little, well, fragile when faced with people on the street.  One evening last week, for instance, after I’d had a very busy day in Beverly Hills, Scott and I paid a visit to our friend Francisco at the charming Enoteca Drago on Sunset Boulevard and sat on the patio.  I knew the Sunset Strip Music thing was going on because I’d already got stuck at the roadblock that morning, but I had no idea of what that might mean in a fashion sense.  Maybe the characters traipsing up the street that night seemed especially sad because we were gazing out from a  little table loaded with clams and mussels in a garlicky tomato base and decadent lobster spaghetti, but I don’t think there could be any excuse for dirty tee shirts commemorating old bands pulled over the guys’ beer bellies or ripped fishnets clinging to the girls’ pasty white thighs.  What made it worse, I think, was that these people were all consciously going for a “look” and ended up looking like that.

Canali FW 2013

Canali

All that leads to me wondering into my laptop, like an updated Carrie Bradshaw:  Was my daily labor to dress my clients with taste and originality too small a drop in a sea of Forever 21?  And what about the thousands upon thousands of words I’ve written for this site?  Was anyone listening?  Well, I’m going to give it another shot because fall is coming hard and people obviously need a shitload of help getting dressed for it.

Let’s start with some big trends in menswear and top of my list are the large-scale plaids that were so great at Gucci, even if I could do without those rounded shoulders.  I’m much more a fan of the shapes at Valentino where big checks were also featured and which is, by the way, my favorite collection of the season.

The athleticism that will be a huge part of the look of next spring made some early inroads this season with the nearly ubiquitous baseball jackets, from soft suede at Missoni to black leather at Givenchy.  Hiking or mountaineering boots were also spotted on many runways and I especially like pairing them with classic tailoring, the pants hemmed on the short side.

Men's Fall color trends

Fall color trends

In color trends, we are seeing a lot of burgundy—or claret, which is a better description because it doesn’t have the dingy 1970s overtones—in everything from knitwear to velvet evening jackets.  Blue is once again important, from deepest midnight to the Wedgewood blue on the amazing coat that opened the Gucci show to bright cobalt blue on Emporio Armani’s sporty neoprene.  We’ll also be seeing a lot of ochre, or mustard, and I was excited about this development until I tried on a shirt in that color.  I’m still not fully recovered.

I personally passed up the more vivid colors—big surprise!—and chose my fall starter wardrobe in black and blue, literally.  A couple of pairs of black skinny trousers, one with tuxedo stripe details; a tuxedo jacket in wool and cotton that reads shantung silk; a tailored jacket that looks like a luxurious cardigan in navy with black lapel; superfine tees in black and navy, stretch cotton shirts in black and navy, ties in black and navy and a navy cardigan…I’m so excited!  I can get dressed in the dark with my eyes closed and I’ll still look fucking fabulous.

Much love,

xxJames

Gucci Mens FW 2013

Gucci

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