The Gift Guide for Him – Be Bold

Husbands tweed blazer, Wales Bonner velvet shirt & Moncler x JW Anderson tote

This year, I’ve decided to create dream gift guides that might make it easier for you to go (and filter) through the festive season. Get ready for a selection of beautiful items that will spark joy and last for years. The ones that will certainly please one’s senses and deliver heavenly feelings. Treat your loved ones and yourself! Here’s the curated edit of the most covetable delights, for him, which are all about being feeling bold and chic.

Quilt and Patch. For a few season now, Emily Adams Bode’ eponymous, New York-based label storms menswear, whether it’s Harry Styles wearing Bode corduroy pants or Ezra Miller wearing a full look on the red carpet. One of the brand’s signature, quilted jackets is high up on my wishlist for Santa.

BODE X Browns 50 string quilted jacket

Groovy and Cozy. Yes, your stay-at-home uniform can be as good as a eee-Lite song.

Acne Studios dinosaur-print sweatshirt, Jacquemus Soleil squared-frame sunglasses, Jil Sander sandals, Saint Laurent leopard print card holder & Dries Van Noten floral tote

Big & Chunky Knit. Dries Van Noten certainly knows how to make you drool over a knit.

Dries Van Noten green wool sweater and Dries Van Noten orange wool sweater

Modern Dandy. Break conventions and play with the notions of elegance. Elevated classics that will never get boring.

Casablanca x Browns 50 graphic-print bermuda shorts, Marni red loafers, Prada geometric-print shirt, Casablanca orange print scarf & Maison Margiela socks

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TASCHEN

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Loewe x Ken Price. Just in time for Christmas, Loewe has dropped a new art capsule. Ken Price (1935 – 2012) was a Californian artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, whose esoteric style defied categorization. Calling on eclectic influences from Mexican folk art to erotica and surf culture, his output included vibrant landscapes that have become the focus of the capsule collection – a selection of limited edition ready-to-wear, iconic bags and accessories.

Loewe x Ken Price silk LA scarf & Loewe x Ken Price LA print hoodie

Timeless Neutrals. Different shades of brown and beige… sometimes, you just have never enough of them.

Hed Mayner single-breasted blazer, Hed Mayner wool trousers, Ann Demeulemeester feather pendant necklace, Bottega Veneta tortoiseshell oval sunglasses, Lemaire croissant leather crossbody bag & Dries Van Noten pony hair derbies

Think Green, Wear Green. Green is often thought to represent tranquility, good luck and health. This is how we all want to enter 2021…

Acne Studios green hoodie, Loewe green ballet sneakers & “Expressionism. A Revolution in German Art” book by Taschen

Nerdy Non-Chalance. Tis the season of a geeky sweaters! Why not make the outfit even more so-bad-it’s-good with some statement accessories?

Gucci mohair cardigan, Acne Studios shopper, Raf Simons chelsea boots & Prada patterned jacquard knit jumper

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SSENSE GLOBAL

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The Great Outdoors. Whether its The Crown‘s British moores (obsessed) or stylish grocery shopping in your neighbourhood, gorgeous outerwear won’t dissapoint anyone.

Jacquemus “Les Mules” shoes, BODE workwear jacket, Bethany Williams patchwork-pattern polo jumper, Jil Sander checked logo-patch scarf, Bottega Veneta green rubber boots & Marine Serre denim jacket

Arty. Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist became internationally renowned for his monumental art projects that would redefine public spaces, landmarks and natural landscapes, often by augmenting or concealing their natural appearance with miles of fabric. He passed away this year, and to celebrate his ouvre, Taschen decided to update its monograph book on his and Jeanne-Claude’s artistic practice.

BODE embroidered trousers & “Christo and Jeanne-Claude. 40th Anniversary Edition” book by Taschen

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TASCHEN

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Los Angeles Cool. There are two labels coming from Los Angeles that I’m constantly obsessed with – Greg Chait’s The Elder Statesman and Eli Russell Linnetz’s ERL. While the first is a tie-dyed cashmere heaven, the second envisions a unisex world that reflects the heart and soul of LA’s youth. Both of them exude an air of nostalgia, with inspiration stemming from ‘90s films, Venice Beach skaters, and the Santa Monica aura. Oh, and both brands make genius clothes and accessories which will definitely work as a forever-lasting gifts!

ERL ski jacket, The Elder Statesman striped fringe cashmere scarf, ERL striped wool gloves, ERL socks & The Elder Statesman tie-dyed cashmere beanie

Parisian Chic. I wrote about Husbands Paris not a while ago. Everything is a dream, really, from their signature knitted ties to the most delightful trench coats. You’ll find Husbands between the orbits of tailoring and fashion, plucking the craftsmanship from the former and stories from the latter to fill an otherwise uninhabited space of the industry with culture and style. Want!

Husbands beige wool coat & Husbands silk knitted tie

Laid-Back.

Raf Simons “Smiley” print t-shirt, Maison Margiela wallet, Reebok by Pyer Moss socks, Lanvin belted jeans & Bottega Veneta sunglasses

Raf Knows What A Guy Needs. Really, if you’re not sure what he wants… buy him Raf Simons.

Raf Simons faux-fur coat & Raf Simons “Antei” suede low-top sneakers

More festive gift guides are coming soon! Here’s one you might have missed – for her!

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NET-A-PORTER Limited

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All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Focus On: Husbands Paris

First of all, I’m not a suit guy. I usually hate ties and don’t feel comfortable in blazers. My personal style is rather this: a vintage cashmere knit, Lemaire-ish, over-sized pants (a big no to any sweatpants!), a big coat and Raf Simons sneakers. I yawn at all Zegnas and Brionis (although I respect them), as men’s tailoring is quite uninspiring to me. But there’s one exception. And it’s Husbands Paris. Whenever I see their posts on Instagram, I’m obsessed. Everything is a dream, really, from their signature knitted ties (they might be an ideal option that wouldn’t make me feel out of breath) to the most delightful trench coats. You’ll find Husbands between the orbits of tailoring and fashion, plucking the craftsmanship from the former and stories from the latter to fill an otherwise uninhabited space of the industry with culture and style. The mind behind it, Nicolas Gabard, is as clued up on the technicalities of suit making as he is on the depths of Francis Bacon’s art. This understanding of two worlds has allowed him to birth a bespoke identity of design. In an interview with GQ, he says “craftsmanship is the secret of styleHusbands comes from an obsession with the body – of precision and details. We keep the full canvas of tailoring and its construction because it guarantees a lasting garment. Technically, we offer a perfect piece, but its life comes when the wearer composes something with it.” That’s where the culture comes in. Gabard views fashion as an outlet for “phantasm” and, after stitching on the roots of tailoring through one eye, he seals his designs with stories through the other. They originate from expressive interests, like llistening to The Smiths and Joy Division or watching films by Eric Rohmer. Husbands is proposing the thread of forever intriguing style icons, like Serge Gainsbourg, and then using it as a hook to dig people into exploring the possibilities of their own identities. The label sources its materials from England and manufactures its suits in Naples, but Paris is the base that provides an essential interplay with the individual’s state of mind. As Gabard says, “you don’t have to live the life of other people and that’s the same for clothing – you have to wear your own garments with your body, your culture, your dreams, your past, your phantasm.

Discover the brand here or visit their store in Paris on 57 Rue de Richelieu (in post-lockdown times, of course…).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos sourced from Husbands Paris site and Instagram.

Colmar x White Mountaineering

The wait is over… White Mountaineering’s Yosuke Aizawa x Colmar A.G.E AW20 collection, as first glimpsed earlier in the year during Paris Fashion Week, is out. Founder and creative director of the Tokyo-based brand, Aizawa, known for his uncompromising rebellious yet elevated utilitarian menswear, has served up an eye- catching collaboration for the Italian Alpine brand Colmar A.G.E project. Colmar, known globally as the leading technical ski apparel and style pioneers sees its cutting- edge expertise and industrial fabric innovation prowess channeled into a 6-piece unisex collection. Finding common ground between Aizawa’s love of winter sports and Colmar’s almost 100 years of ski apparel expertise, the White Mountaineering x Colmar A.G.E AW20 collaboration serves up looks that feature a sense of two sides of the same coin. The result is a collection which reveals homogeny and full intersection between high performing, technically aligned fabrics and elevated streetwear.

Reimagined from the extensive Colmar archive this utilitarian collection does not wallow in the past instead it meets the needs of the modern style landscape with a nod to heritage. Consisting of a longer length parka plus a thigh length jacket, both water repellant and waterproof, with metal hardware vents, a patchwork of panel pockets, and an impressive warmth-to-weight ration. It’s only fitting that the spirit of invention that defines this collaboration sees both styles come in either padded filling or insulated with down so you choose the best weight outerwear that your lifestyle demands. Each style comes in either a muted black and grey hue combo or a bold biscuit colour with shots of pink and blue inserts. Buttons and zips are personalised with both labels’ emblems and the silicon logo of both brands runs discreetly along the storm flap, with the journey of the two houses joining forces found on a Tyvek label inside each piece. Additionally, the collection contains a brushed cotton pant, wool cotton mix sweatshirt and tee, as well as a boldly branded soft-shell under-jacket equipped with design features to suit a variety of conditions.This is a collection that is uncompromisingly functional in design and performance which collides harmoniously with utilitarian streetwear fashion making each piece an essential part of any wardrobe.

Honesty and Intelligence. Prada Resort 2021 + Men’s SS21

In her last solo “show”, before Raf Simons enters the role of co-creative designer in the September collection (I really, really, really can’t wait for this match to finally happen!), Miuccia Prada delivered a collection that was absolutely 100% Prada vocabulary. “As times become increasingly complex, clothes become straightforward, unostentatious, machines for living and tools for action and activity.” So said the press notes for The Show That Never Happened, which was a digitally delivered group installation of five Prada-facing films by Willy Vanderperre, Juergen Teller, Joanna Piotrowska, Martine Syms, and Terence Nance. They were all made at the Fondazione Prada, the company’s museum of contemporary art collection and the place of all Prada events. The film – which ran consecutively with the addition of a quick final walk at the end before Mrs. Prada’s usual fleeting, half-lateral bow – came to 11 minutes, the ideal duration of a live fashion show. The collection was all about pure elegance, simplicity and a sort of detox from fashion noise. Many looks were identical to Miuccia’s autumn-winter 1995 show, which forever became the image of 90s Prada. Architectural, 1950s silhouettes mixed with a touch of feminine cliché (of course, done in Prada’s ugly chic manner) for resort, and smart, business ready tailoring with a touch of nylon for men’s summer – ta-da, a collection that really got me obsessed in the last few weeks of digital presentations. The press release continued with more food for thought chez Miuccia: “I think that our job as fashion designers is to create clothes for people, that is the honesty of it. That is really the value of our job – to create beautiful, intelligent clothes. This season, we focused on that idea: It is about clothes, about giving value to pieces. The clothes are simple, but with the concept of simplicity as an antidote to useless complication. This is a moment that requires some seriousness, a moment to think and to reflect on things. What do we do, what is fashion for, what are we here for? What can fashion contribute to a community?” As Prada and her peers (plus Raf Simons, of course!) work to anticipate how change alters the specifications of taste and clothes it will be fascinating to watch the architecture of fashion change too.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Kim Meets Amoako. Dior SS21

While the digital fashion month of men’s spring-summer 2020 collections is full of sleepy look-books, there are some line-ups that make my heart skip a beat. I was quite on fence with Kim Jones‘ menswear at Dior, but the new collection is brilliant. And it redefines the word “collaboration” in 2020. Jones invited the 36-year-old Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, whose stunning huge-scale portraits of Black subjects – partly richly finger-painted – have a skyrocketing reputation in the contemporary art world. “It’s a portrait of an artist who I greatly admire,” Jones said. “[The gallerist] Mera Rubell introduced me to Amoako last year in Miami. I really loved his work and wanted to work with him because of my own links to Africa. He lives between Vienna, where he studied, Ghana, and Chicago. So we sat down and discussed.” The first results – a collection fusing Boafo’s art with Dior artisanship, a look book, and a documentary film shot at the artist’s studio in Accra and at Jones’ home in London- are launched in a more intimate, in-depth and intelligent way than could possibly have come across in front of the usual roar of the crowd and show hustle of the Paris collections. In the video, Boafo is in his studio in Ghana as he paints and describes how he captures friends and family, “and people who create spaces for others to exist.” He speaks about the flat colors he uses to silhouette his figures, and, he explains, “how fashion inspires my work. I tend to look at characters who have that sense of style.” Friends hanging at Boafo’s place are wearing pieces from the collection, and the artist is working in a faded wallpaper print Dior Men shirt, whose pattern has bounced back in a creative arc from portrait to garment. The collection is smaller and more edited than it would have been – which actually works better than nearly 100 looks shows Dior has every season. Jones was working out of his Notting Hill house with a small team and long distance with Dior ateliers in France to get it done over the past months. The result: clothes saturated with uplifting color and print, which pinpoint Boafo’s signatures within the language the designer has established for a Dior man. Celebrating and platforming Boafo’s work for a luxury fashion market meant, among other things, transferring the tactile energy of his finger-painted heads into two intensely embroidered sweaters. The pattern from a semi-sheer fil coupé jacquard shirt sprang from a close-up Jones had taken of Boafo’s brush work. He also lifted subtle inspiration from haute couture – the gray taffeta blouson being a renewed, more youthful and summery iteration of the opera coat which opened his last show.

Still, even without the Black Lives Matter uprising which is fundamentally changing the way all institutions are being interrogated now, a collaboration like this was always going to demand detailed explanation. This one is tooled differently from the usual artist-brand collab. Behind it is an exchange with Dior which was stipulated by Boafo. “He said he didn’t want a royalty [for himself], but help to build a foundation for young artists in Accra,” Jones said. A donation made by Christian Dior (the sum was not specified) backs up Boafo’s activism. In using the leverage of his market power to lift up African art and artists, he is one of the new generation of Black artists who believe in the transformative empowerment of cultural education. In May, Boafo raised $190,000 (three times the estimate) with an online auction of his painting, Aurore Iradukunda, to benefit the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. The initiative will consist of a building that will host Boafo’s studio, a residence, and an artist-run gallery, supporting young artists in Ghana and their studio practice. “The change needed right now is to support young people through college and training to give everyone equal opportunities,” Jones said. The focus of this project is close to his heart, and, he says, to part of his own upbringing as the son of a hydrogeologist who worked throughout the continent. “We moved to Ethiopia when I was around three years old, spent time living there, and then moved around east Africa and then Botswana. I’ve kept going back for the rest of my life.” Underlying his motivation – using Dior’s fashion broadcasting capabilities to enlighten a broad audience about the vitality of contemporary African art, as well as facilitating a project with cash – is a quieter salute to Jones’s father, who recently passed away. “The fact that we are working with Amoako Boafo, from Ghana, which was one of my father’s favorite African countries is,” he said, “a fitting tribute to the man who introduced me to Africa and the world.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki; artworks by Amoako Boafo.