In Band Of Outsiders Capsule Liberty Fairs Mens Mens Clothing Mens Fashion Mens Spring/Summer 2018 Review Mens Style Menswear

A Passing Grade: Band Of Outsiders Spring/Summer 2018 Presentation at Liberty Fairs/Capsule

The thought occurred to me recently, "what do you do when American sportswear fails you?"  Before you cry treason, let me explain!  The unofficial male American uniform for Spring has long consisted of boat shoes, khaki bottoms, button-downs repurposed for days-off, nautical stripes that scream of the coast and perhaps the quintessential polo shirt-cargo short-flipflop trifecta.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but perhaps I'm appealing to those men that think there is something  wrong with that or in other words, those cosmopolitan gents that want an evolving perspective.  

The current epiphany that is infecting menswear from the gender-bending fluidity at Gucci to the vintage odd logo-driven sportswear at Rubchinskiy is refreshingly bizarre.  Menswear has essentially become womenswear with its flightiness, feats of fancy, myriad of options and trends for days.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you, since it was high time that menswear buyer's were forced to dig deeper to keep up with the attuned and informed modern male consumer.  This is the consumer who knows the difference between made-to-measure and bespoke and who desires to slim down their dad's vintage Saint Laurent tie to rock with their trim Lim trousers.

It's this same idea of taking the ingredients of the familiar and running it through the modern blender that have always seemed to drive the collections of Band Of Outsiders.  Actually with this brand, it's run through the blender then seasoned with a bit of whimsy, but the outcome is always appealing.  For their Spring/Summer 2018 Menswear presentation at the Liberty Fairs/Capsule trade-shows they showed a concise collection of eclectic seasonal pieces peppered with reinterpreted Americana signifiers.  Identifiable staples like the micro-checker picnic table blouson jacket, 'screeching cat' embroidered balmacaan raincoat and linear printed loose camp shirts all showcased the brand's cache for coolly carrying on the American sportswear verve.  Meanwhile, specialty items like a cheeky navy 'shark' sweater, a remixed white & Sunkist Orange pair of leisure jackets and a monogrammed hunter green coated cotton rain jacket all lived up to the fresh Band Of Outsiders aesthetic.  

It's that aesthetic that leaves one slightly connect with the familiar without the connection being so literal that they become averse to it.  That's the balance of one aspect of successful modern menswear that will continue to thrive and carry on since it hits a welcomed note of at least one piece being quite covetable with a diverse cross-section of customers.  If that fails you then perhaps you're better off sticking to your navy suit A and charcoal suit B format.  Well maybe not better off...but just, off.    

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In CXX Mens Mens Clothing Mens Fashion Menswear New York City New York Fashion Week W New York

New York In a Capsule: CXX For W New York

You may sleep, but New York City never does.  The trains run all night as do the cabs, corner stores and bodegas take care of your late night munchies and that 4am über to get home from the club is often known to pass the numerous delivery and newspaper trucks getting their day started.  I have a love-hate relationship with my city.  I hate when you have bagfuls of groceries then hear an announcement about train delays, but love when that train decides to go express to compensate.  I love when you discover a perfectly shaded bench to have lunch in Bryant Park, but hate when you come back the next day to find that everyone else did too.  Despite whatever your ups and downs with New York City may be, it still remains a resilient city worthy of being called The Big Apple.  

It's with this labeling that the label CXX has created a special line in conjunction with the W New York.  The line consists of sportswear with an urban sensibility that pays homage to The Big Apple.  Tees and caps printed with NYC iconography, track suits with unique trim that fall in line with the current trend of taking streetwear highbrow and even a cushy limited-edition bathrobe with cool embroidery.  

The Collection CXX for the W New York is exclusively available today in the guest shops at all W locations in New York City.

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In Mens Mens Clothing Mens Fashion Mens Spring/Summer 2018 Review Mens Style Menswear New York Fashion Week Teddy Ondo Ella

Perspectives From Gabon: Teddy Ondo Ella Spring/Summer 2018 Menswear Review

Cool things can arise out of small places.  From the tiny country of Gabon located on the central west coast of Africa, a flower has bloomed and made its way all the way up through the cracks and asphalt of New York City.  This is no small feat for any designer trying to grow in this metropolis.  However, Teddy Ondo Ella feels that now is the right time for his arrival as he feels that New York is becoming more open to newcomers.  And rightfully so.  In a national environment where diversity is a dirty word to some, the more modern and love-affirming populace has been embracing it with open arms, open wallets and louder voices in society, entertainment and fashion.

For Spring 2018, Teddy Ondo Ella celebrates the colorful richness of his beloved Gabon by playing up the color and prints on classic American silhouettes.  In what has recently become an almost modern play off of the suit, Ella showed matching loose fitting silken shirt and pant combinations in playful ankara-esque prints.  Almost every piece of clothing in this collection, from shirtings to jean-style jackets to sarongs/wraps were laced with a colorful print that had modern sensibilities for an Eastern market.  

There was a delightfully light and airy quality to the collection that, with the addition of the color and prints, gave the clothing even more fluidity.  Starting off the show was an impressive display of traditional beats, dance and acrobatics that birthed the way to the wonderfully wearable debut in a 'from then to now' style christening.  The various shades of models on the runway, the festivity in the form of Ella's languid clothing and the celebration of his Gabonese perspective with tinges of American sensibilities were fresh, invigorating and welcoming.  His collection and his background furthered the reality that paints the African continent as a progressive, expanding and influential  continent.  Embracing that which is new with a respect of the already-established and an openness to hear and experience all points of view without fear or prejudice are what will really make America Great Again.  Welcome to New York Mr. Ella.

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In Mens Clothing Mens Fashion Mens Spring/Summer 2018 Review Mens Style Menswear New York Fashion Week New York Mens Day NYFW

Once Upon a Time, There Was Just a Bolt of Fabric: Albini Group Partners With Designers for NYMD SS18

After the initial consult, the exchange of expectations, the complimentary glass of scotch and the measuring while in your unmentionables, there's the delicately gliding your hands over a crisp and smooth striped oxford shirting.  Before the initial sloper, the first fitting, another complimentary glass of Chivas Regal and the second fitting, there's the marveling over the luster of the drape of a Super 180 over your arm.  While walking up the corridor and into the first class cabin then planting yourself into your cushy window seat, there's the sweet satisfaction of knowing that the spongy crepe wool of your blazer can create the same comfort and contentment as the jersey of your favorite tee.  The point is that it all begins with the fabric.

If the fabric is not right then it makes the experience less personal.  If the drape and softness don't speak to you then it's as if you are just wearing clothing and living your best life in them.  That's a key in designing effectively.  It's not just about creating pretty clothes to make a statement, it's about creating something that adds value, balance and satisfaction to the unspoken dialogue of the wearer's life.  Great fabric, like great style, has endurance.  It could be the toughest of denims, just look at the longevity of Levi Strauss Inc, or it could be the finest of cottons, just ask the tenured team at the Albini Group.

Since 1876, the Italian-based Albini Group has been giving you shirtings and cottons to pamper your wardrobe with style, comfort and technology.  They've been around since 'Made In Italy' became a thing and has lived up to the infamous branding ever since with classic and progressive fabrics that often set the industry standards, technologies in manufacturing that have become the standard and sustainable efforts that keep them relevant and above standard.  This season the Albini Group finds their expert cotton textiles paired up with several emerging menswear brands for the Spring/Summer 2018 New York Mens Day Shows (NYMD).
 David Hart sketch using Albini Fabrics for Spring/Summer 2018

Descendant of Thieves, David Hart, Krammer and Stoudt and HEAD OF STATE+

Part of the interesting thing about this time in menswear design is how to remain true your aesthetic while taking the modern economic climate, consumer buying habits, pace of popular culture & social media and political and environmental climates into consideration.  Twelve designers have been furnished with expert textiles from the Albini Group to match their individual aesthetics with 85% of the costs being covered by NYMD.  So designers like David Hart, Descendant of Thieves, Krammer & Stoudt and HEAD OF STATE+ among others will be able to give you more of their aesthetic with less financial corners cut for Spring/Summer 2018 menswear.   Come Monday July 10, 2017 it'll be interesting to see first hand how the talents of a fabric powerhouse connects with the insight of modern menswear designers.  To reflect on some food for thought from one of my earliest favorite menswear designers, Giorgio Armani, a design may be in the atelier's head, but you never know what will be tweaked, re-examined, upgraded or perfected once you experience the fabric.

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In Comfort Foods Dr Smood Fitness Food and Drink Health Mens Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Nutrition Vegan

Mind, Body, Spirit And Moringa: Dr. Smood Review

Spring has sprung.  Has the metamorphosis begun?  That seasonal shedding of Winter's pounds and ounces for Summer's abs and pecs.  If not then have no fear, since I realize that it's easier proposed than executed.  After all, until you can get into the swing of exercising daily, many men find it much easier to grab a cold cocktail than to grab a free weight.  However, as many a trainer will tell you, exercising is key, but if you don't control the way, when and what you eat, then all your efforts slide down the drain much like that sweet roll slides down your throat.  There is hope though.  In-between workouts, spin classes and afterwork jogs, your food choices don't have to be the ones that turn on you.  They can be the redemptive, restorative, nurturing and honorable kind that'll make your trainer not give you the side-eye.

How do I know this?  Well I am almost two months vegan now.  Let me be the first to tell you that this is quite an undertaking especially from someone who was once the proverbial carniverous bully on the lush green vegan playground.  Why vegan?  Well, this being my 40th year of existence, I wanted to challenge myself and on the brain lately have been thoughts of my own humanity and equipping myself to be around to better help others.  

That brought front and center the very personal ways in which I looked at my behaviors, mannerisms and choices.  A very personal thing is what one puts into their body and after 40 years of getting it right, wrong, and all the in-between I thought a great way to see what my character is made of was to test the very personal connection I have with what goes into my body coupled with how my body responds post-consumption.  I've had ups and downs with various meats and dairies so I decided one Sunday to say farewell to the meats and cheeses and up the intake of greens.  What I discovered was a couple days became a week then that became a month and now I'm approaching the two month mark and I must say on this journey I've had better digestion, more energy, better brain function, better workout results and more peace of mind.

So with peace of mind in full swing and the fact that I live in a city that often tries to rob you of it, I delight in little oases where I can properly indulge and escape the manic energy until I can return to the confines of my abode once again.  One such place I recently discovered was Dr. Smood with their appropriate slogan 'Smart Food For A Good Mood'.  My first encounter with Dr. Smood was two days ago as I previewed their newly opening Soho NYC location at 470 Broome Street.  I would classify Dr. Smood as a holistic culinary experience to cleanse, simplify and beautify by promoting natural foods, nutrition and wellness.  They achieve this by offering a bevy of fully organic, non-processed, sustainable ingredients made into wonderfully enriching foods, drinks, beauty products and programs.  

On this particular day I got a chance to sample an array from their Live Menu of fresh organic juices like the Energy Juice with apple, red bell pepper, pineapple and ginger and their delicious organic smoothies like the Healthy Smoody-Tropical Twist with cashew mylk, almond, banana, strawberry, pineapple and Himalayan salt.  Also on tap at their bar are signature brews using the cleanest of coffees and pure ingredients as well as the option to add-on superfood combinations with names such as 'Anti-ager', 'Medicinal Power' and 'Cleanser' featuring ingredients like maca, açai, moringa and lacuma. 

Then I jumped on over to their selection of Power Sandwiches that offer a delicious vegan option and others that use ingredients like antibiotic-free turkey and wild pole-caught tuna.  These are freshly prepared on super-tasty locally-baked Performance Bread made with spelt & millet flakes with organic delectable add-on options like vegan cream cheese, hummus and pesto.  Accompanying these decadent fresh assortments are wonderful organic coffee and organic mindful tea bars.  Their Grab & Go menu offerings feature energizing Organic Green, Fruit and Detox Juices as well as Organic Boosters made from sourced ingredients and Organic Mylk options made from combinations of fragrant spices and Brazil nut and almond mylks.  A full and impressive Organic Raw Breakfast section offers up raw pancakes, raw oats, probiotic yoghurts and matcha & mama chia pudding.  The Organic Power Salad section works with a bevy of ingredients centered around kale, quinoa, sprouted black lentils and tabouli while cold drinks to grab & go feature refreshing selections like high alkaline water, organic iced tea blends and beauty water made with rose petals. 

Rounding out what Dr. Smood has to offer is a full beginner to advanced & post-detox Detox Program, recommended by Dr. Etti, the head of R&D, to accompany the company's holistic offerings and to create what she calls a "clean environment for body, mind and spirit".  What's really nice about Dr. Smood is that they don't just operate under the guise of fresh and organic, it truly is fresh, clean, organic and backed by the expertise of nutritionists and doctors to ensure a full-circle health experience.  Dr. Smood has five locations in Miami and now three in New York, with the newly opened 470 Broome Street location with two more to open in NYC soon.  For more information on all the wonderful products, programs and locations they have to offer, head to their website here at  Maybe a nice hearty Cacao Shake and nourishing DrS Veggie Pattie can tie you over until you become inspired for a Soul Cycle class.

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