Gentle reader,

I apologize for yet another gap in my coverage of what’s what in fashion. In addition to settling in at my new Rodeo Drive home base, I’ve been asked to speak at several venues around Southern California in the last few weeks — I’ve somehow become a traveling attraction on the topic of anti-aging. It looks like I have a little break in touring; my next gig isn’t until August 6th at Los Robles Golf Club in Thousand Oaks.  If you happen to be in the area, stop by around seven and I’ll buy you a drink.

For my most recent engagement earlier this week, I made my way out to lovely Old Town Pasadena and, though the name conjures a place filled with old-timey ice cream parlors and a high school band marching down Main Street, it was actually quite lovely.  I like to be punctual and, because this is L.A., I gave myself a couple of hours for a drive that should take about thirty minutes.

I ended up with plenty of time to explore nearby Colorado Avenue, which is filled with shops like Restoration Hardware and Banana Republic.  In the process, I was reminded of what terrible customer service was like.  Well, perhaps “terrible” is too strong a word — I wasn’t verbally or physically assaulted in the process of shopping.  Let’s just say that the service was nonexistent, as I walked in and out of one shop after another without a single greeting or inquiry about what I might be looking for.  Granted, in my t-shirt and skinny jeans I wasn’t dressed like a coke-snorting hedge-fund millionaire, but I was carrying a two-thousand dollar Giorgio Armani valise, people!  I mean, get with the fucking program!

Anyway, if you’re willing to undergo the frustration of trying to give someone your hard-earned money in exchange for some goddamn clothes anytime soon, let’s talk about what the guys should be looking for, aside from the no-brainers that made a big appearance on the fall runways: those blacks, grays, leathers and shearlings that we’re going to see every winter.

  • Checks and plaids:  My favorite collection for fall, which was incidentally presented in one of my least favorite runway shows, was Etro’s mad collection of plaid suits with matching plaid waistcoats, ties, gloves, shoes and anything else they could put fabric on.  It was silly but it was pretty awesome and you wouldn’t wear the head-to-toe look anyway.  I mean, really, don’t.  Alexander McQueen also mined the Scottish pattern’s possibilities and, though you may not favor a skirt over the matching pants, it’s definitely a look.
Etro Men F/W 2014

Etro

  • Velvet:  You may say that this fits in with black or leather as a returning fall/winter staple but I think that velvet has made a stylish return this season after a couple of years of being basic background.  Dolce & Gabbana closed out their crazy medieval fantasy with some nice velvet pieces. Etro also produced good ones, and Gucci gave it a Mod 60s twist.  I recommend pulling out your favorite velvet blazers when it starts to cool off and wear it with jeans and an old t-shirt or layer it over a hooded sweatshirt.  It’s really easy when you get into the habit.
  • Whopping big coats:  We’ve had a couple of years at least of these enormous coats for women, with designers ignoring the pleas of the ladies to appear sleek or slender, instead cocooning them in huge outerwear pieces that, in many cases, could stand up on their own.  Now it looks like it’s our turn, guys.  Big, big coats showed up at Raf Simons, Dolce & Gabbana, and, most expensively, at Louis Vuitton.  In some cases, the effect is pretty overwhelming, but you could do it like Valentino and pull it off beautifully in double-faced cashmere.
  • Skinny 60s:  I’ve heard several references to the Rolling Stones and The Beatles in discussions of the fall collections.  Other major trends like Savile Row-style tailoring and athletic wear influences may be eclipsed by this late-60s David Bailey idea to the season and, when all is said and done, it may well be this super-slim rocker look that Gucci did with class and Saint Laurent did with flash and designers at Lanvin and Jil Sander dipped into when it felt right.  It’s not hard to emulate if you weigh one-fifty but the rest of us are going to have to get pretty damn creative.

Good luck out there, my friends.  Until next time!

Much love,

xxJames

A Few of My Picks

Jill Sander

Jill Sander

Lanvin

Lanvin

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

Valentino

Valentino

Vuitton

Vuitton

Raf Simons

Raf Simons

Gucci

Gucci

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Etro

Etro

Jil Sander

Jil Sander

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

Valentino

Valentino

Gucci

Gucci

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana