Nostalgia: Por Vocação AW09 Looks #1
Having the opportunity to work at former high-end menswear retailer Por Vocação was definitely a life-changing experience for me. Besides being my first fashion related gig, it allowed me to work with an amazing team with whom I learned a lot and bore a strong influence in defining my personal take on menswear.
Their unique take on men’s style received international praise, so here are some wintery looks from the AW09 collections, including brands such as Margiela, Neil Barrett, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Acne, Our Legacy, Giorgio Brato and Buttero.
Mr. Porter “The Great Outdoors” Editorial
Photography by Perry Ogden
Styling by Dan May
Play It Fair…
If it’s generally accepted that certain colors have more in common with specific seasons, the same can be applied, although to a lesser degree, to patterns. To name but a few, stripes and gingham are usually sported in Summer whereas argyles, for instance, are more wintery. Even if within a fashion forward universe, this traditional approach is being overlooked, the concept still remains to a large extent. It there’s one such pattern that symbolizes Winter in all its frost white glory, it has to be Fair Isle.
Named after the homonym island located in Northern Scotland, it consists of a local traditional knitting technique where up to five distinct colors are combined in rows, creating a uniquely characteristic mosaic pattern. Originally found only in this island, its visual appeal has captured the heart of designers and stylish individuals alike, earning it a place in runways and shops worldwide. Its recent burst in popularity placed it on most Christmas wishlists and allowed designers to create a never before seen variety of items, in an array of fabrics and shades.
Layering it up
Lately we’ve been experiencing some harsh weather, pairing both rain and temperatures of about 5ºC. The art of layering is crucial to withstanding the worst winter days, but even more so when rain joins the picture, as most waterproof garments such as trenches or macs are not the best when it comes to keeping you warm.
Layering consists of wearing several garments on top of each other, in order to increase your body’s thermal insulation. In some of the world’s coldest regions this is vital to your survival…in others, it’s just an amazingly stylish way to stay comfortable. By combining different pieces on distinct “levels” of your outfit, you are able to add visual appeal as well as functionality and versatility, by letting you adjust the number of layers to any given situation.
However, pulling it off may prove to be a harder task than it may seem at first. As a rule of thumb, the thickness of the layers should increase towards the exterior, keeping the thinner pieces closer to your body, as in: tee - shirt - pullover - cardigan - blazer - topcoat (you don’t need to wear them all at once, obviously). Mind you, every rule has exceptions and you can leave it to the Italians to find them…puffed vests over blazers anyone? Other than that, it all comes down to personal taste and experimenting with your pieces to see what works well together.
This is something I wore to work on a cold rainy day. Although this trench has a warm inner lining, it is still not enough, so I paired it with a chunky heavy knit cardigan, a brushed cotton vest, shirt, tie and a reversible scarf. One of my favourite things about this look, besides the color palette, is how the tie remains perfectly framed among all the layers. Also, notice the versatility I mentioned above, as it adapts to more casual (chunky knit), or formal occasions (shirt and vest alone).
Beige trench coat by Paul Smith, navy chunky heavy knit cardigan by Massimo Dutti, vintage brown cotton vest, slim fit pink dress shirt by Hugo Boss, dark blue jeans by Levi’s (511 slim), distressed brown loafers by Lottusse, reversible scarf by Fred Perry, polka dot pink tie by Vicri, brown braided leather belt by ACNE and watch by Gucci.