Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kone on the runway and Nicky checking out his shoes

Kone: Gray Line Map Edition

We love Kone Sidou.  He’s fam and we dig his style.  We recently shot Kone (with W+P Photographer Shaun Mader) for our Portrait Series (coming in October) to show off Kone’s sense of easy, sporty elegance and effortless cool.

Now, our boy also happens to be a model.  Like, a serious one.  He was the face of Cole Haan this season (is that why I bought a pair?).  So when we were thinking about what Wolf + Panther would report on for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) we thought it would be interesting to take a different angle on Fashion Week reporting by bringing you the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale A.K.A. a male model at Fashion Week.  We were curious what it’s like to be paradoxically at the center of the whirlwind and yet also removed from it the way model’s seem to be (they are the literal focus point, but they’re not the ones having the conversation – that’s the designers and the media).

First up for Kone was walking in the Grey Line Map show.  Model Call was at 10am for the Chelsea Piers show.  Because Kone has short hair and damn near perfect skin, he told us he often doesn’t need hair or make-up, so he got to skip those chairs in favor of hanging out on pleather sofa (with quite a nice view of the Hudson).  Plenty of time to enjoy the bagels and fruit salad (they DO feed the models!) and, just like the rest of us, dick around on your phone. How much of your time in this job is spent waiting like this?  Kone: “Yeah, it’s a lot of time spent waiting.  Mostly my job takes 15 minutes, I put on the clothes and then walk.”

While Kone waited and the other models got their hair done, clothes were unpacked and ironed and finishing touches were being put on many of the garments. To keep things organized, each model’s look was assembled on a hanger with a photo of what it looks like on.  Miguel Pena, the designer for Grey Line Map,  did his thing with gust and style making last minute adjustments.  The footwear for the show was surprisingly badass looking wingtip boots by Dr. Schole’s (what!? I know!!)  When asked the prerequisite question of “are they comfortable?”, Miguel’s excited response of “So comfortable! Super light wait, I couldn’t believe it.  Dr. Scholes!!”  I need a pair..like yesterday.

Twenty minutes before showtime the models practice their walk while production tests the lights and music.  Looking around, everyone is on beat and ready to rock.  As a flurry of bodies, lint rollers and clothes move in a choreographed dance the models are dressed and lined up.  The show’s production was recognizably smooth, organized and on point.  Kone told us about some other ones (often bigger names) that weren’t quite as clean.

“The job is very simple if things are organized, when it’s not then it get’s very stressful.  A model is supposed make a face that looks strong, but when you’re stressed you look angry.”

Of course when Kone said this his face split into that amazing smile of his.  Nothing to be angry about at this show.  A zen-like calm describes the mood backstage as Simon Alcantara adds his super cool necklaces and jewelry as a final touch to the looks.

And then it starts.  The EDM gets pumping, the lights get cool and the models do that thing they do.  Kone wore an irridescent white short-sleeve button down with harem pants that become tapered to tights at mid thigh.  He strides down the catwalk, turns and heads back.  Changes out of the clothes and he’s done.  Off to his other job.  Did we tell you Kone’s a chef?  Like, a serious one at Colonie on Atlantic Ave.  We love this guy.

W+P’s review of the show:

Grey Line Map’s S/S 2013 line looks good.  Lots of formally structured button-downs in iridescent fabrics, sleeve-less sweaters, sheer tanks, shorts and calf-length pants with brightly colored socks.  With fun details like longer-in-the-back shirt tails kept the structure and formality of the looks light and laid back.

He said:  The short sleeve sailing jacket in black paired with the capri-length black pants and yellow socks was my favorite look.  Crisp, but relaxed and fun at the same time.

She said: I really digged the use of color in the socks. And of my favorite looks were the sleeveless knit wear with the crispness of the tailored shorts. Did I mention that the Dr. Scholl’s shoes were everything?

focused

JJ Hat Center: Hats Off, Swag On

A hat is a next level accessory.  You don’t need one, so it’s a deliberate move and clear statement if you choose to rock one.  ”It’s the cherry atop the sundae”  according to Marc Williamson, the sharply dressed manager of NYC’s oldest (open since 1911) and illest hat shop, JJ Hat Center.

W +P asked the question what kind of a guy wears a hat?   Marc’s answer was “a confident guy.”  Marc is specific, making the point that he wouldn’t say it is a “well dressed guy” since “well” is a matter of taste.  Marc builds upon his distinction that a “man who dresses” is someone who thinks about their clothing as opposed to the majority of guys whom Marc says “don’t dress at all.”

Today wearing a fedora or stingy brim is considered the edgier fashion choice, a stark contrast of when a man wouldn’t be caught dead without a proper hat.  JJ Hat center has been around that entire time.  What changed?  Marc points to the Flower Power revolution of the 60′s which was an anti-establishment rejection of the trappings of tradition – the formality of suits, ties, and hats were given over to casual ease of jeans, beards, and t-shirts.

Marc is the kind of person that makes you want to buy a hat, his style is effortlessly cool and hats look straight up fly on him.  He’s owns over 30 and when asked how he finds the right one ”the mirror is the best salesmen in the house… It’s that nod of approval that you give yourself.”

When asked where his swagger came up Marc answered: “I grew up in the hip hop culture of Queens.  Baggy pants, one leg up, spotless Tim’s, gaudy gold jewelry… breaking out of that came with time.  I admired it when I wasn’t doing it, but it wasn’t until, number one: having the call, and two: I didn’t want to do it temporarily.  Dress one way one day, than back to the other the rest.  I wanted to wait until I could do it all the way.  Not wear the clothes until I had a closet full of them.”  He says one’s fashion game comes up “when life calls for it.”

Once life calls for it there are some details to learn.  Here is Marc’s advice on headgear wear and care:

Seasonality: “Traditionally it’s felt in winter, straw in summer.  Me? I’ve been wearing my felt all year.  It’s great to have tradition.  Tradition teaches and it trains you to not be traditional, so it’s good to have both.”

Care:  ”Treat a hat like a pair of shoes, don’t wear it in a torrential downpour, if it’s worn in light drizzle let it dry away from heat.  For straw hats don’t grab the pinch, even felt hats get worn out at the pinch.  Use a lint roller or packing tape to get the dust off the surface and a horse hair paintbrush to keep it fresh by brushing it counter clockwise.”

Etiquette:  ”It has gotten a little looser than it was 50-60 years ago.  If you’re in a restaurant take off your hat.  If you’re in a bar, no.  If you’re sitting at the bar in a restaurant, no.  I don’t think you have to take your hat off if you’re in an elevator with a lady.  If you know enough about fashion to be wearing a hat you should just know in your heart when you should take it off.”

Do you have to be dressed up to wear a hat?  ”I’m a believer that the hat you get you should be able to dress it up or dress it down and that’s for stingy brim or wide brim.  I’ll wear the same hat with a blazer or with cargo pants and a denim shirt.  Historically that’s been the case.  You had farmers or construction workers wearing a fedora with their coveralls and then wear the same hat with a suit to church on Sundays.”

JJ Hat Center also owns Pork Pie Hatters.  Check them both out here.

He said:  Hats, like all traditional fashion pieces, were originally created as performance gear.  A straw hat keeps the sun off you in the summertime and felt keeps you warm in the winter and I find hats quite effective in this role.

She Said:  There are few things sexier than a man who knows how to wear a hat.  It takes style and confidence to add that as the final accessory. Personally, I prefer wearing mens hats with my own outfits.  It adds sex appeal to any wearer.

 

Nice looking crowd

NYFW s/s14: Photo Book

Sneaking going into the main tent with proper credentials to see a show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is unlike any other New York City tradition.  Catching the shows are only part of the experience.  Seeing, being seen and wearing sunglasses indoor is the main event.  The tent dwellers are the epitome of free-form fashion self expression.  Wolf + Panther dove into the melee to find some examples of solid style amid the circus.  Thumb through the photo book and have a look at the suits, the style, and the swagger.  Next NYC tradition: Fleet Week #justkidding.

Tools of the Shave

Last Night at Bloomingdale’s

Why don’t they serve free drinks at Bloomingdale’s all the time?  Last night GQ x Bloomingdale’s British Invasion brought booze, food and some interesting opportunities.  Of the offerings Harry’s of London and Mr. Natty were the favorites.

Harry’s of London specializes in italian made leather shoes with Vibram soles.  If you bought a pair last night Harry’s was offering to custom dye them any color you wanted on the spot, right there in the store while you load up on shrimp.

The other interesting option, and the reason W+P stopped by, was the Bloomingdale’s launch of Mr. Natty’s line of grooming products.  To celebrate the duo behind the brand, Matt Brook and Matt Raine, were on hand to offer the traditional experience of a straight razor shave.  Yes, it was the kind of night where you can wander into a storied department store, get a hot shave, down some WhistlePig Rye, and try on formal wear that is lined with images from the covers of Beatles albums.

Stay tuned for a full interview with Mr. Natty where we will get the details on how they combined refined with gruff to create the kind of products guys have been waiting for (seriously, where has this Beard Elixir been all my post-pubescent life?) and find out if in fact everyone involved is named Matt.

Summertime cool: Canvas Sailing Jacket and Blackboard Sweatshort

NYFW: Shades of Grey Spring/Summer 2014

Somewhere on the spectrum of casual elegance, in between the sloucher chic of James Perse and the ever-so-precisely-rumpled high end formality of Todd Snyder, is Shades of Grey by MIcah Cohen.  And yes, he was using this name for his line way before the soft core book craze.

What we like about this designer is the easiness of his formal wear and sharpness of his street style pieces, the perfect wardrobe for the kid who grew up rocking Vans and living on his board. The coolness of these clever design choices were evident at his Spring/Summer 2014 presentation during this years NYFW.

This time around Cohen took his Shades of Grey moniker quite literally, forgoing the bright hues and patterns of the S/S 2013 collection in favor of keeping the palette tightly controlled and anchoring the look with black bucket hats and dark socks in Birkenstocks (this latter move is never going to be ok in my book, but innovating and pushing the boundaries always are – so I applaud the move, but dear reader, please don’t try this at home!).  This segment of the collection conjures images of grey mornings along an atlantic beach: cool and meditative.

The other part of the collection skewed towards a casual formal look, combining suits with basketball jerseys to emulate the rocker cut t-shirt and blazer combo that has always kept it’s place in the book of downtown cool.  The silhouette of the pants mirrored those of the sweatpants giving the suit a fresh jolt of modern street style.  I’ve particularly got my eye on the wool suit in… (you guessed it) grey.

This collection won’t be available until next year, but hit up Shadesofgreyclothing.com to get your fix.