Saturday, February 12, 2011


Best New Designers in America

GQ's stellar line-up of labels for their fifth, annual Best New Designers in America has amazing Fall 2011 looks ranging from prim tuxed-up evenings to beach-side sojourns, here is THE EDGE's short take on the six nominees.

Miller's Oath
Danny Schwarz for Miller's Oath

BNDA's most-dressed up collection, Miller's Oath has probably gotten you too stiff at a glance, what with all the hard tailoring on shoulders and peaked lapels reserved for nights at a ball, but take a closer a look and you see, peaking underneath trouser cuffs are pink and lilac socks, complementing standard elegant dress shoes. Suits for boy day and night in tight, really well-cut fits are always dashed with some youth in them visible through quirky color combinations, patterns mixes and even how a bow tie on a dapper Danny Schwarz isn't so stiff and perfect after all.

Patrick Ervell
The jacket to beat (and have) by Patrik Ervell

Patrik Ervell has been doing splendid these past few years and it's nice to see his Fall 2011 collection (or at least a part of it) looking as put-together and neat as his old ones. There's a certain Ervell clean that he's starting to build a name on, it's doable, expensive-looking without blinding a passer by and also very smart. Taking his cue from Spring 2011's favorite collar, Ervell's shirts are done in the same club collar style which seems better minus the tie in his collection. A plush, hip-length jacket in pale blue and two really chic black jackets cut in such a classic style are three of his winning points. Other looks are very simple: a black and blue sweater paired with gray trousers, a buttoned-up blue long sleeve shirt tucked in black trousers and the usual one-button plus shirt plus trousers combo that never go out of style. A really solid collection. 


Riviera Club 
Garrett Neff for Riviera Club

It's the current obsession (I think) with alpine style that's influenced Riviera Club's collection. The hiking boots that are everywhere are still here, the rubber-soled, black leather shoes and the beanies on the heads of the models. Not to mention those cool holiday sweaters. But things aren't as ski-worthy as they may seem, while berets cap other guys, a blue denim jacket on a monochromatic dark blue ensemble, brown fingerless gloves dress Arthur Sales' hands and a grainy gray suit on Ben Hill highlights the depth of a black button-down, the look starts getting a slant of industrial revolution ruggedness. Having these two perceived references combined, it gives birth to a manly, sort of mix-and-match Fall look that's pretty chic, current and would prove a handsome sight on the streets in the coming months.

T by Alexander Wang
My favorite look of T by Alexander Wag

Alexander Wang's growing reputation for churning bad-ass looks (and by that I mean in a good way) has landed him a spot along his other contemporaries for a chance to win this year's Best New Designer in America. His easy, worn-in and most definitely dark aesthetics has gotten the young and the young at heart wanting for more. I'm glad he's doing clothes for men. Sweaters in black, leather jackets in black cut in intriguingly, elegant shapes and paneled with various materials to punch in depth and richness are definitely New York---and world, staples by the time they hit stores. The shoes are high and the pants are usually tucked in since their cuts are conducive for such styling. Wearing T by Alexander Wang takes a certain blase to things, like being too prissy and prim which I believe makes Wang's look---ironically, dressed up. It also entails a simple, New York philosophy where things are on a constant go and keeping (and looking) effortlessly cool is the best way to deal with it.

Warriors of Radness 
The best look from Warriors of Radness: check out those drawstring pants
For Warriors of Radness, it's about going Cali cool in slip-on sneakers meant for skaters and youngsters. Shirts are sleevless, striped or emblazoned with messages alluding to such boyish past-times like surfing and skating. The stars of the collection would have to be the awesome designs on ankle-baring drawstring trousers with gartered cuffs. The prints come in denim-looking effects, black and gray zebra prints or streaked with surfer hues that are cool additions to a wardrobe of too-smart, void of character sportswear.For a Fall collection the offering on outerwear isn't much, but that's the whole point of a collection catered to warmer places. However, an interesting smoky black hoodie has got me wondering what it's made of and just how thick could it be? Taking it from the colors alone, you could tell Warriors of Radness has got the growing market of easy-going, happy-go-lucky hipsters as their main squeeze and judging from the looks, they'll have a mighty following pretty soon (that is if they still don't have any, which I doubt).

Gant by Michael Bastian

David Gandy in GANT by Michael Bastian's chicest look

Michael Bastian's New York interview is quite the teller, aside from the casting preferences Mr. Bastian has for GANT, he also shares with the website some hints of his collection that we see here. Knowing GANT, it's got to be sporty. And I believe that's the whole American slant to it, despite GANT citing Stockholm as the inspiration for this super chic skiing collection, there's always that sense of American vitality about the way he puts things together. Take how sleeves are rolled up carelessly cool, how shirts are partly untucked to reveal brilliant shots of colored belts or how he layers thermal wear of awesome, energetic hues with camo-print sweaters and it looks completely perfect out of GQ's pages. It's the undone that guys are loving about GANT, the sporty devil-may-care attitude that puts a grin on the male disciples of style. And this Fall 2011 collection is definitely a strong contender, especially when everyone's having a GANT moment.



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