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Rules of Style: Consuelo Castiglioni

Monday 21 Jul 2008, fashion news
The creative director at Marni on male vanity, the importance of modern suits, and the perils of ugly shoes.

A man has to discover his own taste and then base his sartorial decisions on that—you shouldn’t buy something because you saw it on TV. You need to feel at ease in your clothes or you risk being a bit ridiculous.

I like a guy in a suit that’s cut a little smaller—slightly shorter, with smaller lapels. Inside, the jacket should have beautiful finishing that only the guy wearing it notices.

Italian men are very vain, even if they won’t admit it. They care about their style.

Not everyone looks good in a tuxedo. It’s important to look at proportions and find one that fits you well.

Shoes define the kind of man you are. They should never be too trendy or showy but lean toward the classic. There are a lot of ugly shoes out there, and they can ruin even the most sophisticated attire.

A little bit of chivalry always makes a woman happy. You shouldn’t exaggerate, but I do like it when a man holds the door open for me. I think, Okay, this guy has manners and knows how to comport himself.

When it comes to wearing color, you need to be a bit careful—a bit more traditional. A man should look sophisticated and refined, and color can sometimes get in the way. You have to be moderate.

Men can carry bags as long as they are masculine, like a tote or an attaché case. Look for a sturdy canvas or handsome leather one, maybe with a raw finish. A bag should be functional and practical.

Clothes don’t necessarily render a man sexy—his attitude and his nature do. For me, someone who is not classically handsome but has a lot of charm is more attractive than a really good-looking guy with no personality.

My husband’s style is classic, but he’ll occasionally wear a Marni sweater or sneakers with a suit or try a jacket that’s slightly shorter, and it works for him. My son is more daring. The most important thing is to be yourself.

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It's Time to Lose the Embellished Jeans

Sunday 20 Jan 2008, fashion news
An unusual wash is one thing. Denim embroidered like a throw pillow is another.
-By Katherine Wheelock

How do you take your denim? Defend bedazzled jeans—or stand up for basic blues—in the comment section below.


The torn knees, the bleached thighs, even the girlishly embroidered back pockets—those could have been predicted. But no one saw this coming: At the Country Music Awards a few years ago, the person in the most jaw-droppingly ornamented denim outfit—the country-western equivalent of Louis XIV's brocaded finest—wasn't Dolly Parton, it was Keith Urban. Granted, it was the Country Music Awards, where the red carpet isn't exactly a parade of Jil Sander minimalism, but Urban's clingy jeans, covered with doily-like embroidery, represented a tipping point.

The denim offensive, which began in the late nineties and, according to the 2006 book Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon, saw almost 800 brands on the market by 2004, seems to have broken down the barrier between men's and women's denim.

"Jeans were designed to be tough and rugged—the epitome of cool," says Scott Morrison, the founder of Earnest Sewn. "They're not supposed to emanate femininity."

Urban's dolled-up Wranglers were only the beginning of the bastardization. Criss Angel and Dave Navarro have since shown up for events wearing jeans more elaborately decorated than a third-grade girl's jazz-recital costume. Kevin Federline and Justin Timberlake haven't taken it that far, but they've flirted with the look, wearing jeans with appliquéd back pockets and airbrush-style bleaching.

"It's very L.A.," says Simon Miller, who started a line of men's jeans last year. "It's also kind of Dallas. Big hair, big heels, outrageous jeans. It's like when women try to outdo each other by wearing the most jewelry."

The men who made jeans an American icon wouldn't have been caught dead using denim fit for a Vegas showgirl to prove their potency. The laborers whom Levi's made the prototypical pair for in 1873. James Dean, who wore his out on the seat of a motorcycle. The Marlboro Man, whose jeans' only unnatural adornment was the worn spot from a pack of Reds. For guys like that, being a bad-ass wouldn't have involved wearing jeans adorned with embroidered Gothic crosses—getting tattoos of them would have been enough.

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Follow the Rules: Jean Touitou

Sunday 20 Jan 2008, fashion news
The opinionated A.P.C. designer on bad art, what makes a good guest, and men who work out too much.
Photograph by Stéphane Gallois

We’re not living in a very creative era. That’s not good or bad; it’s just the way it is. I think it’s in very bad taste to buy art right now. People should leave it to the hedge-fund owners who want to satisfy their wives. “Hey, I bought a Chinese avant-garde thing.” Good for you.

I think it’s very important to look sexy at home. I hate it when people say, “I will take this to the countryside because it’s not fashionable anymore.” I love being well-dressed when nobody’s looking at me.

At hotels, they always mess up the cleaning. They will do a crease when it’s not necessary. You give them a cotton shirt and they dry-clean it. It smells funny, so you have to rinse it again. So I travel light.

If you can tell a man’s sexuality by the way he dresses—like a “gay” uniform or a “macho” uniform—that’s disgusting.

Nowadays, people work out way too much, and they look like invaders from another planet. A guy who works out two hours a day—focusing on his chest because he thinks it’s sexy—you can’t dress him, even if you send him to the best designer or stylist in the world.

Finance men have money but no taste. They’ll say, “My wife thinks this tie looks good on me.” They don’t focus on what’s beautiful and what’s not beautiful—they leave it to women.

The rock star who uses a personal stylist to dress him should go to jail. If you’re doing rock and roll, you should know how to dress. You shouldn’t need to hire anybody.

Anybody can be a good guest for dinner. When it gets delicate is after one day. The worst guests are the people who come to your place and in the morning they say, “Okay, what do we do today?”

I once wore a pink, ruffled shirt for dinner, and I wish I had never done it. I thought it was funny, but I felt so bad in it I realized I don’t have the humor to deal with ugliness.

After you’re 35, it’s difficult to drink unless you’re running 10 miles a day. I’m not talking one dry martini every Saturday or something. I’m talking three dry martinis a night. And I don’t think that’s possible—it’s too much poisoning. It’s not a very sexy way to talk about drinking, but that’s the truth.

Posted by humbertostar (estilista) | Comments (0)

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