Although I spend a good amount of my life reading, writing, buying, selling and generally existing through footwear I do enjoy all facets of clothing. In general I’ll never confess to be an expert on footwear let alone apparel, I think that label requires a certain amount of actual qualification and a much broader knowledge of the whole facet. Sure I can go on and on about sports footwear ranging from the early 80s through to the current day but that’s only a tiny sliver of the entire story and something that only someone with the expertise can truly grasp and quantify. Nevertheless when it comes to taste I well and truly know what I like and seen as how this website is a well and truly totalitarian regime I will appease my own desire to write about some things that have piqued my interest of late…
Études is French, those that know me are well aware of my weird interest in French things even though I’ve never even been to the damned place. I don’t know why but I guess it’s that nonchelant cool that true French clothing exudes, they’ve been at it long enough and struggled through other things like y’know, political stability and racial equality and well just about everything else but they still got that style thing down-pat!
Études is a collective work that includes some printed matters and whilst that’s cool and I respect the diversity I’m generally not too interested in the old “communal project” vibe that can give off. Luckily it’s all pretty harmonious and their signature “Études Blue” which skirts the line between electric and royal is perfect. The SS14 show hit an immediate chord with me, the layers of flowing blue, their signature Sesam hats (of which I could never pull off) are all totally badass without seeming try-hard.
Harmony continues the vision of Brooklyn We Go Hard founder David Obaida to create terribly named clothing labels… Well not really but I really disliked BWGH’s name even in acronym and Harmony doesn’t do much for me either although I will say it sounds way better when a French person says it. I figure that his previous label’s collaborative nature was somewhat constraining to Mr Obaida so doing something on his own would make sense.
Looking at the range on the website which promises some e-shopping very soon it’s pretty simple and nothing necessarily outstanding. I guess you could say the same thing about BWGH except they did make chenille French words on jumpers cool, and his Puma collaboration managed to make kids pay attention to some great shoes even if their motives were somewhat lame. Where Harmony goes is yet to be seen but that heather black fabric and using International Klein Blue are surefire ways to get me paying attention.
I’m always weary of any brand that in some way refers to itself as a “denim label” and then does things that aren’t associated in any way with denim. I get it, you’re like totally into your denim and you spent ages working out your perfect cut and the right weight and slubbiness of your fabric but unless you wanna run with the big dogs that actually make denim and have done so for decades just leave it out of your name ok? I mean unless you wanna hang with the G-Star Raw gang.
Naming prejudices aside (a common beef of mine) I actually like what Mr Hussein is getting at; with super clean cuts and hits of techy processing and a legitimate family fashion backstory (and a wicked language/accent to boot) I’m rooting for this Amsterdam man. The Tom jacket is my pick for now but it’d be nice to check it in person. I’m also digging a bit of a different approach to the whole runway-to-rack idea with the whole range simultaneously being shown and photographed for upload to his website for immediate purchase. There’s nothing worse than waiting a year for the stuff you spotted last week and especially for a brand that’s aimed squarely at those like me who’ve come from a less (shall we say) “cultured” fashion upbringing.
It’s lame and really trendy to draw parallells with streetwear and high-fashion at the moment but I feel like this idea is something that really is a change; Jeremy Scott did a similar move over at Moschino and I think it’s going to happen more and more. Fast fashion gets faster, Olaf will remain cool though. Somewhat on that topic, Four Pins published an oddly good article on sportswear and fashion’s current relationship recently, I assume Rachel Seville will be cut from the staff promptly for her actually informative and interesting article.
I will keep talking about OAMC because I like it lots and I think people are dumb if they don’t like it. Few do workwear as well as Carhartt, few have done streetwear better than Supreme and few can make a garment like the Italians even today. Stitch it all together and an Over All Master Cloth comes out the other end. I don’t even hate the name, even though I probably should because it’s pretty dumb and the inspiration is kinda silly but it rolls off the tongue quite well.
Yeah it’s expensive and yeah it’s pretty simple and kinda looks like Carhartt WIP but it just fits that bit nicer and the quality is just so much better. Those two points aren’t really something you will rate though unless you appreciate them and for someone like me who seems to care more about the smoothness of zippers, the peek of a sleeve from under a jacket and the knowledge that this is just about the best piece of whatever it is you’ve got on.
Ya boi Virgil Abloh aka Kanye West’s stylist been making moves on the fashion world after doing his thing for who knows how long. The whole Pyrex thing was funny but Off White kicks it up a notch by ditching the Champion blanks and going all Italian on everyone. I’ve been weird about this brand since it’s first range dropped and I’m still a bit unsure. The graphics are good, apparently inspired by (depending which faction of society you get opinions from) architecture or cocaine and featuring the same sort of Pyrex branding vibes on most pieces it definitely works on some and not on others. WHITE on your balls is a very Bape move albeit a bit less authentic feeling and given Abloh’s recent interviews on the brand’s direction I feel like it’s definitely a serious attempt at making a high-end brand.
I continue to be confused by this label, there’s some bits that I really like and then there’s some wack as fuck shit that I don’t even like from the most objective of views. Looking forward to the next collection it gets even more confusing and maybe if you know the guy it makes more sense? I do know that the womens collection seems to be infinitely better at least from this first range, it borders on actually being pretty damned good. It might be the fact that men have had printed basics with heavy branding for years and that flipping the script to give the girls some refined high-end streetwear gear is a refreshing change. It’s a step up from wearing APC and Carhartt at least.
Looking forward I can’t like anything for the ’15 range, it’s even more confusing and comes off super wack but it might just be the styling on the whole lot as well. The floral print seems like what 10Deep have been doing for years and the literal inspirational cues seem a bit too forced. It’s quite similar to what’s going on with sneakers at the moment with everyone getting a bit too literal with the stories. Sometimes it’s nice to leave things a bit more open-ended. I still think that beaded version of the camo jacket is dope though.