Guys, Don’t Let ‘Gender-Fluid’ Fashion Leave You Holding the Bag

They won’t relent until every red-blooded American male is toting one.

I speak of the fashion industry’s newest attempt to persuade men to carry pursues.

In a new Chanel advertisement, a fashionable fellow named Pharrell shows, or tries to, that it’s hip for a man to carry a purse.

The fellow’s full name is Pharrell Williams. He’s a singer, record producer and fashion mogul who, according to Essence, is a “leader in disregarding societal norms when it comes to style.”

In the advertisement, Pharrell walks into a warehouse with a heavily ornamented purse strapped around his shoulder. He rides industrial carts with wheels and dares to walk on a dangerously narrow steel beam.

How manly!

In the spot, the 44-year-old fellow is wearing stylish tennis shoes, the way kids do, black-and-yellow striped socks, the way teenage girls do, and a dainty, high-design shirt, the way women do.

At first glance, his choice of clothing might suggest he is a casual, free-spirited fellow. But there is nothing casual about the duds he sports or the purse he carries. The purse is named “Gabrielle” and its price tag is a ridiculous $3,600. It’s part of a larger strategy for fashion executives to push “gender-fluid” clothing on an unassuming public.

Chanel executives are surely betting big that the ultra-hip Pharrell – Chanel’s first male handbag model in its 108-year history – can get millions of confused males to spend zillions on man purses.

If you’re a male who thinks you need a purse to carry your high-fashion junk – hair goop, jewelry and whatever other feminine items you shouldn’t be carrying – you’ve got to come to your senses.

Look, it was bad enough when male-focused magazines began running the same sort of headlines as female-focused magazines: “How to Trim that Belly to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Win Her Affection.”

It was bad enough when men began getting so self-absorbed with their looks that they began doting on their skin, figure and clothing the way women do.

But purses for men? Oh, where to begin.

Let’s start with a biological fact: On balance, most women are very different from most men.

According to Psych Central, a study led by Marco Del Giudice, Ph.D., of the University of Turin, made a shocking discovery: There are significant differences between the sexes.

The study used “new and more accurate methods to measure and analyze personality differences” in men and women to assess 15 personality scales, such as warmth, sensitivity, perfectionism and so on. By assessing multiple traits, rather than individual traits as prior male-female studies had done, the researchers identified several differences between men and women.

Why are we different? Michael Gurian, author of “What Could He Be Thinking?: How a Man’s Mind Really Works,” says survival is the reason.

He explains that evolution thousands of years ago geared the male mind toward open spaces (the ability to track animals), whereas evolution geared the female mind to enable multitasking (the ability to manage numerous details that were needed to keep the family alive).

And though we no longer need many of the instincts and impulses that are built into our DNA, the unpleasant fact is that they’re still there. The unpleasant truth is that our biological makeup is the reason men and women are so different.

Here’s another truth: Men and women are at their best when they celebrate, rather than obscure, their unique qualities – in actions, manner and dress.

So if you’re a trendy male who is dumb enough to spend $3,600 on a lousy purse – if you want to be the willing dupe of the fashion executives pushing the gender-fluid trend – here’s something you’d better keep in mind.

Women carry purses. Men don’t.

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Under Cover: Fashion’s New Dress Code

Finally, summer is in sight. Savvy shoppers will want to stock up on sunscreen, rosé and, perhaps most important, a new warm-weather frock of two. A good dress invites the kind of free-spirited ease that one craves as temperatures rise. And this season the news is not about showing off skin or playing into preconceived notions of femininity. In fact, as the Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote this month, a covered-up look may just be the defining style of this decade, with more and more women eschewing miniskirts and strapless dresses for longer, looser layers. Far from being stuffy or stifling, a roomy maxidress in breathable cotton or linen is effortlessly cool — in both senses of the phrase. Here are four ways to wear the season’s top styles without baring much of anything at all.

The Polo Dress Gets an Upgrade

There’s little doubt that athleisure attire is now completely acceptable to wear all day, every day. So as the weather heats up, ditch the track pants for a smart polo-neck dress. It’s every bit as easy and, when worn with cool sneakers and a hoodie, doesn’t sacrifice street cred.

Topshop Unique polo dress, $230 at Topshop, topshop.com; Vans slip-ons with bird embroidery, $70 at Opening Ceremony, openingceremony.com; Alexander Wang long cotton-blend hoodie, $395 at farfetch.com.

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The New Cool of the Wrap Dress

Don’t call it a comeback. The wrap dress never really went out, but lately it has made the transition from workwear staple to bona fide cool-girl uniform. Given its universally flattering, curve-complementing fit and flexibility, how did it take so long? This season, play up its ’70s roots with oversize hoops and loafers with heels.

Diane von Furstenberg silk crepe de Chine dress, $500 at net-a-porter.com; Dorateymur metallic leather heels, $440 at ssense.com; Lana K 14-karat gold hoop earrings, $310 at Neiman Marcus, neimanmarcus.com.

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Prairie Chic on the Street

Driven by the Western-inspired fare on the 2017 spring runways of Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui and Veronique Branquinho — or, perhaps, by a lingering hangover from binge-watching “Westworld” — prairie and Edwardian styles are enjoying a moment of popularity on the streets. When worn with a graphic bag and slides, the retro look is ideally suited for 21st-century concrete.

LoveShackFancy semisheer cotton dress with panels of floral crocheted lace, $365 at net-a-porter.com; J. Crew satin knot slides, $118 at jcrew.com; Clare V. cotton canvas tote with leather trim, $340 at net-a-porter.com.

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The Wear-Everywhere Shirtdress

The little black dress may win M.V.P., or most versatile player, when it comes to events after 5 p.m., but the humble shirtdress can rightfully claim the title for daytime. The look is put-together enough for the office when belted, ideal for summer strolls when left loose, and even doubles as an ultralight spring coat when thrown over a slip dress.


 DEALMAN

 

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6 Men’s Fashion Trends to Keep for Spring 2017

Saying goodbye to winter often means saying hello to new fashion trends. Men’s fashion is changing fast and you definitely want to be adopting the latest trends as soon as possible. However, not all trends are worth binning at this point – there are six men’s fashion trends you want to hold onto this spring.

Trend #1:Checks

Tartan and different chequered fabrics have been a fashion stable in the early years of men’s fashion. However, the stunning, funky design did drop out from radar for a few decades, making a comeback in 2016. You definitely shouldn’t let go of it this spring either.

Since scarfs and heavy tartan jackets are out of the question, you can introduce this trend to your wardrobe in other ways. Opt for swanky check suit or simply pair tartan trousers with a jumper for smart casual style. Shop at Burberry for great tartan looks in a classic style.

Richmart men’s suit

Trend #2: Wide-leg trousers

Skinny jeans have been a bit out of date in recent seasons and spring 2017 will continue the trend of skipping the tight cuts. Wide-leg trousers and loose cuts, in general, continue to dominate the fashion scene.

Jeans are naturally the easiest way to sport this trend. You could pick wide-leg jeans and pair it with a fitting t-shirt for a casual look. However, you can also find lovely wool-mixed trousers in the looser cuts, adding a bit more elegance to your style. River Island’s trouser selection has plenty of great options for affordable yet stylish looks.

Trend #3: Retro Sportswear

Sportswear is not as untrendy as it used to be. Not only is it acceptable to head out in sweatpants and swanky hoodies, but you also have plenty of luxury designers upping their sportswear game.

In terms of trends in sportswear, retro clothing has been the big thing. The past few seasons have been all about the 1980s, but you’ll also see plenty of 70s style clothing hit the stores in spring 2017. So, what should you be wearing? Matching two-piece tracksuits and drawstring trousers are a must-have. You should also invest in a good leather bomber jacket. Check out the options at Woodhouse Clothing for affordable designer options – the site’s Adidas Original Collection is a great pick.

Trend #4: Printed t-shirts

Now, another blast from the past has been the rise of the printed t-shirt. The nostalgic fashion of the 1990s dominated in 2016, with print t-shirts featuring on the catwalk and in street fashion. The same fascination with prints seems to continue this spring.

The hottest prints at the moment have some kind of rave element to them. Menswear is full of shocking designs and colour clashing pictures. If you want to do this the right way, you opt for something bold – yellow Blondie band shirts or neon coloured designs. On the other hand, there are plenty of options for those looking to wear prints but who are not quite ready for the brightness. Graphic grey and navy coloured prints can be found from Topman’s collection, for example.

Richmart men’s suit, combined with a printed t-shirt

Trend #5: Neutral beige

In terms of colour, last year was a big year for neutral beige. This often forgotten and sometimes even hated colour was everywhere. It isn’t any wonder – beige is a versatile colour that can be paired with luxury items and casual clothing.

Natural beige looks great in a lot of styles and you can find plenty of brands with beige clothing. The trendiest option is to pick casual beige trousers – such as a pair of chinos. Beige is also a great spring colour for jackets. A longer length jacket in beige pairs well with a black suit or jeans and jumper.

Trend #6: Cuban collars

Cuban collars were among the biggest trends in men’s fashion in 2016. The collars were everywhere from the high street to high end – the popularity and reach of the trend was largely down to the influence of Mr Montana. Although it must also be said that the trend should always be a top trend – the clean cut looks sharp, timeless and extremely fun on all sorts of styles.

While plenty of Cuban collars featured in Hawaiian prints last year, you don’t need to continue with this colourful trend this spring. On the other hand, if your wardrobe has Cuban collars in botanical – and specifically, in floral – prints or in plain colours, you are in for a treat.

Pair your Cuban collar with slim-fit jeans or wool mixture trousers. The shirts will also look great with cotton If you are heading out, add a leather jacket or a tweed one for a more elegant look. Cuban collars are not hard to find – Reiss has a good selection of classic designs.

So, if you are considering a wardrobe update for spring 2017 make sure to hold onto items in the above six trends. You definitely don’t want to throw them away just yet. Furthermore, if you want to add something new and you missed out on these trends last year, add them to your repertoire now!

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This Fashion Brand Is A Celebration Of Black Trans Women

It would be a severe understatement to call LA fashion label No Sesso a work of art. Especially when you have been witness to the hours of intricate, exacting labor that goes into the construction of each garment. On any given day, you will find the room where No Sesso founder and designer Pierre Davis produces the collection, overflowing with mountains of embroidery floss, every type of fabric imaginable, and racks of meticulously crafted clothing. One denim jacket—which depicts a scene of the fantasy “No Sesso Bump & Curl Salon” in stunning, detailed hand embroidery—took six months to complete. Artists like Mykki Blanco, Le1f, and Kelsey Lu stop by to pull looks, and someone from the No Sesso team is usually around for brainstorming sessions. That team includes stylist and casting director J. Sims, assistant designer Leo King, and Arin Hayes, who helps with marketing and content production.

No Sesso’s models are almost exclusively queer, trans, and nonbinary people of color. Every intention, every image and every garment is a tribute to the elegant beauty of black women, trans and gender-fluid folks, sex workers, and the marginalized people that fashion has historically exploited, rejected, and discredited. While, in recent years, many designers and fashion industry leaders have paid lip service to the subjects of diversity and accessibility in fashion, few are actually putting it into practice the way No Sesso is doing. I talked to the No Sesso team as they were wrapping up a one month pop-up shop at LA’s Sade Gallery that will end with a party on April 22.

How did No Sesso start? What did you see lacking in the fashion industry that inspired you to become a designer?

Davis: No Sesso started in 2012 when I was going to school for fashion design. The instructor gave the class a project to create a collection, find a target market, and construct three looks for a class presentation. I was having a hard time finding clothing I could relate to in stores and was so tired of everything being “only” for women or men … there was nothing for people in between.

No Sesso is a never-ending peaceful protest—shaping the future of fashion, where everyone can wear whatever they want and feel confident.

Shopping for new clothes can be very frustrating because some girls have broad shoulders and some men are petite. I wanted and still strive to break these fashion binaries because they are very problematic and lead to a lot of insecurities and anxiety for people. Getting dressed is something we all have to do on a daily basis, and I want to make clothes that everyone can wear comfortably. The worst thing is going out and seeing the perfect dress, but it doesn’t fit because it’s only made for a “certain shape.” With No Sesso, I want to create for all shapes, sizes, and identities. I notice in fashion that androgyny and trans women are often trendy or “in season.” No Sesso is a never-ending peaceful protest—shaping the future of fashion, where everyone can wear whatever they want and feel confident.

There is always a story behind your collections. One of your most moving and profound collections, “Working Girls,” was about the empowerment of sex workers. Can you tell me more about that?

Davis: Yes, “Working Girls” is a peaceful protest for sex workers. Black trans women have it the worst in this world. We are dying constantly—from hate crimes to not having proper health care. Where I live, I see a lot of black and Latina trans women working at night, on Santa Monica Boulevard. Most of the world looks at these women as if they are doing something bad. There is nothing wrong with sex work; what’s wrong is how sex workers are stigmatized. Not all sex workers want to make a living doing this line of work. However, it’s a fast way to make cash when corporate America doesn’t give you a chance because you’re not “passing” or “professional.”

I dedicated this collection to sex workers because, at the end of the day, they are out here trying to survive just like the rest of us. It’s important to shed a light on them that shows them as regular, everyday people.

J, how do you se the models and style the garments to make the most impact?

Sims: A major mission of the brand is to make our work accessible​ to those excluded from the fashion scene, so the majority of the models we work with are friends of ours. Personalities are important, so when we work with someone new, I usually find them on Instagram, which is a good way to see what they’re like and what their interests are. I look for people that reflect the DNA of the brand and that represent the kind of real people that we’re surrounded with … free spirits, artists, rebels, people that really understand what we’re trying to do. Styling is the easy part. I imagine how my friends would wear the pieces, and I collect all the bits of the No Sesso world that Pierre has built and arrange them into outfits.

Repurposing materials to create such high-end luxury garments is such a powerful statement. Tell me why using repurposed fabrics is important to you, Pierre.

Davis: The more we reuse, the less damage we are contributing to. No Sesso plans to take as little part as possible in adding to the ecological footprint.

LA is not traditionally included in the conversation about fashion-forward cities. What’s it like being a designer here? What differs in your creative process from say, someone who lives in New York?

Davis: You would think LA would be a major fashion city by now, but it’s definitely on its way there. When I go to the fashion district downtown, I’m constantly inspired.

I would say my creative process is different because I’m not making collections to traditionally follow fashion guidelines. For example, I don’t need to show my collections for spring/summer during the season that all the other designers are showing. I’d rather show when the season is approaching so my clientele doesn’t have to wait months to get looks from the runway. I wouldn’t say it’s easier to design here, but I will say it’s not as competitive.

What will your next few collections be about? What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Davis: I can’t say too much what the next collections will be about because that spoils the surprise when I present it to the world. All future collections will continue to bring light to important matters in the world. In the future I want the brand to become more global so that we can fight against hate and donate to important matters. I would love to collaborate with an organization that caters to trans women of color. I just want us safe and healthy.

 DEALMAN

 

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FASHION, PASSION AND YOUTH IN MONTREAL

Montreal prides itself on its vibrant and diverse fashion scene. It’s interesting to see how young designers draw inspiration from our distinct, cultural melting pot and re-transform fashion in unbelievable ways!

Looking to revamp your wardrobe or just searching for inspiration?  This week Gen’s Delights introduces you to a unique jewelry designer and proposes two student run fashion showsthat will surely set your creative wheels in motion.

*** Enter to win:  Answer the question at the end of the article and leave your comments below for your chance to win a pair of entry tickets to Globalista this Thursday!

I got the chance to interview French designer Perrine Marez, a brilliant young artisan who discovered her passion for handcrafts by studying art and design at the St-Luc School of Art in Belgium.

After her arrival in Montreal, she launched her own unique collection Bijoux Pépine: a contemporary line of elegant and timeless jewellery pieces made from various resined minerals that that can be worn under all circumstances and that cater to a bevy of styles.

  1. Please tell me a little about your background and your studies. How did the idea of working in jewelry come about? Who in your family helps you and what is / are their role?

“I have always bathed in creation. I owe it to both my mother, who was very hands-on and always harbored original, creative ideas to decorate the house and to my father who is an entrepreneur at heart. Like all children, I loved to draw, but with me this creative passion persisted and developed.

During the course of my higher studies in art and design (St-Luc Tournai, Belgium), I acquired and perfected quite a few manufacturing techniques, was driven to develop a personal universe and taught to complete projects as an entrepreneur. I also met my spouse, a student in graphic design, who supported my vision and who shared with me other plastic and visual inspirations. He’s now my graphic designer, helps develop my brand, website and any printed material.

I never imagined I would start a business here in Canada, let alone jewelry; paradoxically I hardly wear any!  Yet, when I arrived here, the idea of jewelry making came naturally.  I felt like creating something from home, without having to resort to imposing machines – which I did not have access to. From markets to street sales, I slowly built up my network, increased my online visibility and today, my products are found in stores nationwide. I often collaborate with international players (France, Japan, and Luxembourg) as well as with well-known local personalities. I intend to keep developing this company which is like my second child!

  1. Why did you choose minerals (sand, resin, concrete) as your medium of choice? It is easy for you to obtain these materials? Are there competitors locally / internationally? 

My inspirations are both visual and conceptual. I love Nordic-style minimalist modern design: clean, geometric lines that preserve warmth and sensitivity. In contrast, I am also quite attracted to the authenticity of ancient, primitive civilizations. The mystery and spirituality that emerges fascinates me.

An important part of my creativity is fueled by my history. I am originally from Dunkirk, a coastal city in northern France that was 90% destroyed during World War II and swiftly rebuilt with basic architecture materials of bricks and concrete. The current city is now flourishing, but still retains its seaside charm with its many natural dunes. There are also the Blockhaus (German bunkers) that are part of my cultural heritage.

Most of the materials I use can be found in groceries or specialized stores, however I also collect special ingredients from my travels… Lucky for me I have several friends here in Montreal from various cultural backgrounds that help contribute to my supply when they return from abroad!

As for competitors, I guess there are other designers ( local or not ) who are using the same kind of mediums (minerals and spices crystallized in resin), but I don’t know them. My creations are the result of my experimental garden: I seek, I try, I miss, I continue, to finally arrive at something that speaks to me and that I like.

CLEOPATRA the brand’s emblem, that inspires glory and fame like the famous queen of Egypt!

  1. How do you see your fashion jewelry line evolving, what is the next step?

Who knows! I’m a very intuitive person and I am just trying to make things I like.  Business wise, I seek to expand in many boutiques all over the world, focusing first in North America and then in Europe. I would like to see my line elevated, yet accessible while retaining its sensitive and sleek nature, because that’s what I like. I will continue on this path and see where it will take me in the future. What I can definitely say is  as a creative person, I will always want to create new items and keep my eyes open to anything that can be inspiring.

  1. Could you give some words of advice for those wishing to enter the field of design or fashion?

I’m not sure I will be very original with my answer, but in this very highly competitive field, I would say: Fully commit to yourself and your goals, work hard, work harder, be perseverant and be creative. I believe it’s the only way to stand out!

Thanks to Perrine Marez, designer of the brand Bijoux Pépine, met at Fashion Preview 2017.

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Get to know fashion blogger Rach Parcell like never before!

If you wanted to get to know a famous fashion blogger, here’s your chance!

Meet Rach Parcell, the brains and beauty behind the popular blog Pink Peonies, and the founder of the Rachel Parcell fashion line.

Parcell has clearly made a name for herself in the world of fashion blogging. She visited New York City for New York Fashion Week, and we had a chance to sit down with her to chat about her go-to song to sing in the shower, her must-have item, and more.

Check out our Facebook live video with her above, and some breakout questions with her below!

If that wasn’t enough, see our part one and part two interviews with Parcell as well.

#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Rach Parcell, click here.

What can you not leave home without?

Well, my phone, because when you’re a blogger or Instagrammer, you know you need your phone. And then, lipstick. I’m a lipstick girl, if I don’t have lipstick on I feel dead. I don’t feel cute. I need lipstick on all the time, so you’ll always find my phone and lipstick on me at all times.

What is your go-to magazine?

In Style, for sure. From the time I was in high school, my mom had a subscription to In Style, so it came to our house all of the time. I hoard it. I have issues from 2009 — like stacked. In Style has just been a favorite throughout all seasons of my life.

If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?

Right now, I would choose Alexander Hamilton. Like I said, I’m a total fangirl of this — I started listening to the music and fell in love with it, and I sing it to my kids all of the time now. I’m so intrigued by that, and that era of the revolution. So, yes I would go to lunch with one of our founding fathers Alexander Hamilton.

What’s your go-to Starbucks or coffee drink?

I actually don’t drink coffee, believe it or not. All of my friends are like ‘how do you survive in the morning without coffee?’ But I don’t know what I’m missing because I’ve never tried it. My go-to is hot chocolate and it’s so bad because it’s so many calories, and I love the whipped cream on it. Especially when I’m pregnant, I crave that stuff. You’ll catch me in July in 90-degree heat, and I’ll be drinking hot chocolate. So that’s my go-to morning treat.

What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?

Suits, okay, it’s on the USA Network and I love it because it’s a show you’re going to like and your husband or boyfriend will like too. It’s a good guy and girl show, and Meghan the actress is dating Prince Harry, so it’s fun to see their relationship and to watch the show she’s on. I want to quit blogging and move to New York to become a corporate lawyer because of it. There’s like six seasons, so you can gear yourself up and get food, and just binge watch it. Suits is for sure my number one. All of my friends I’ve recommended it to have fallen in love with it.

You do some cool stuff with interior design, do you have a favorite DIY hack?

The 3M command hooks. I love to decorate my house for Christmas and the 3M command hooks save my life. If you’re trying to put up a garland or wreath, I always use the 3M command hooks. I also like to entertain a lot. I just had my little boy’s blessing and I had everyone come over to my house, so I wanted to do this really pretty centerpiece, and we had this gorgeous garland hanging off the marble countertop and I couldn’t figure out how to drape this garland, and the 3M command hooks saved my life. Even if you’re just wanting to put up a picture frame, the command hooks, and the heavy duty ones are a really great way to hang things.

RELATED: 100 years of women’s beachwear fashion

 

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Reclaiming the word ‘old’: How fashion is fighting ageism

Jacky O’Shaughnessy had just moved back to New York after a 20-year stint in Los Angeles and was staying with friends in the West Village when she stepped outside to have a cigarette. It was 9 p.m., and she was relishing the sights and sounds of her former home, when a woman walked out of a nearby restaurant and approached her.

“You look so regal,” she said to the surprise of O’Shaughnessy, who was then 60 years old. As she began to interject, the woman said, “It doesn’t matter, you’re beautiful,” and walked off into the night.

DEALMAN

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