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August 2 2014

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Giorgio Armani to Host Angelos Bratis at Milan Fashion Week

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ArmaniGiorgio Armani has become a major advocate for young designers. For the Spring ’15 menswear season, he hosted Christian Pellizzari’s show at the Armani Teatro, and for the women’s shows in September, Angelos Bratis will take the stage. This is the sixth season Armani has championed emerging design talents in Italy.

“My initiative in supporting little-known but promising designers is paying off, and personally I’m quite passionate about it,” Armani said in a statement. “The future of the system depends on new generations, and I am happy to be able to contribute in an active way.”

Bratis, who was born and trained in Athens, also studied in a Dutch atelier before landing in Milan. His aesthetic is clean and minimal, with quietly complex details that earned him the 2011 Who’s On Next prize. “I am truly honored to have been chosen by Giorgio Armani to present my new collection in his prestigious theater in Milan,” Bratis said. “For me, the great Italian maestro is the perfect example of a designer who has deep values, expressed throughout a long career. These are the same values that I try to express in my work: femininity and pure elegance without artifice.”

While Angelos Bratis’ show date is TBD, Milan fashion week will take place from September 17 to 22.

Photo: Via angelosbratis.it

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EXCLUSIVE: Common Projects Makes More New Classics for Fall ’14

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cp1cp2It’s only been around for 10 years, but Common Projects can already take credit for one classic design—the inimitable Achilles model—and for building a brand that is now synonymous with quality luxury sneakers.

Founded in 2004, Common Projects is the collective effort of designers Prathan Poopat and Flavio Girolami. For those who have ever worn or tried on a pair, there is no other option when it comes to high-quality sneakers. Comfortable, sturdy, and distinctively understated, the brand’s cult following is well deserved.

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If there’s a secret to their success, it’s simply good taste and quality. “We produce in Italy, and that doesn’t hurt,” says Poopat. “We make what we would like to wear and that’s something usually pretty classic. We’re not so interested in creating the hot new thing and in fact prefer to make something that looks like it’s always been there.”

For the men’s Fall 2014 line, seen here first, rich, earthy-colored leather and suede make up most of the collection, with a few added pops, like the wool camo. Best of the bunch is still the Achilles, now available in low-, mid- and high-cut styles. Fall-appropriate boots will definitely be fan favorites, especially the brown Chelsea boot.

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When understated style is the currency you trade on, consistency is of utmost importance. “In some ways we’ve really evolved, and in others we’re exactly the same,” says Girolami. “Starting with just two models, we have now grown to have over 50 styles a season between men’s and women’s. Apart from that, we are still a small independent company, and our process and execution have largely remained the same. We evolve when we need to, and that keeps things real for us.”

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Visit commonprojects.com for more information.

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James Franco, No Longer Reclusive, Debuts New Film

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James Franco“This is a movie with murder and necrophilia,” James Franco warned the audience last night before the screening of his new film, Child of God. “So if you didn’t know…now you do.” The movie, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same title, felt like Franco’s career: It was scattered but ambitious. McCarthy’s tome spans just 200 pages, and chronicles the disheveled life of Lester Ballard, who lives alone in the woods and spends his time preying on young women. For the silver screen, Franco, who both directed and acted in the flick, translated the novel into somewhat of a collage of scenes, many of them gruesome and perverse, but some satirical. It was no directorial revelation, but it was another notch in the actor-slash-model-slash-saucy-selfie-taker-slash-academic-slash-artist-slash-director’s creative bedpost.

Lead actor Scott Haze definitely deserved a nod for his acting chops here. Haze prepared for the role by living alone in a cabin for a month in Sevierville, Tennessee, where the novel is set. He lost about 45 pounds in the process. The actor celebrated his return to civilization by becoming a fiend for custom Ferragamo suits. After watching the woodsy film, it was somewhat shocking to see Haze looking so dapper. “[Lester Ballard] is a guy who was not shown love,” he said. “This is a guy who was lonely and isolated.”

Save the aforementioned murder and necrophilia, Franco said he could relate to Mr. Ballard. “For such a long time I was so reclusive and so into my books and stuff,” he offered. “I think I’m past that now and just want to have friends over all the time,” he added. Just then, one of his new “friends” (read: rumored girlfriend) Lana Del Rey wafted into the Tribeca Grand theater to show her support.

Photo: Patrick McMullan

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The Best Straw Hats of the Summer

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Dakota JohnsonSummertime has reached its zenith, and here at Style.com, we’re trying to soak up as much sun as possible—with weekend getaways, backyard barbecues, and maybe even a Six Flags excursion—before the Spring ’15 shows kick off in September. Naturally, we’ll be protecting our skin from UV exposure with SPF, but when sunblock alone doesn’t cut it, we’ll be reaching for cool straw hats. As we learned during the recent menswear and couture shows, when it comes to statement-making accessories, nothing gets street-style photographers snapping quite like a shady fedora or flat-topped boater. Ulyana Sergeenko was spotted in a woven lamp-shade style on the haute circuit, while back in NYC Lindsey Wixson wore a classic wide-brimmed look to cheer on the teams at Adidas’ Fanatic soccer tournament. Celebrities from Lupita Nyong’o to Dakota Johnson have been breaking out the woven headgear this season, too, and Michael Kors and Rosie Assoulin’s recent Resort collections featured matching raffia caps and totes.

Here, a slideshow of this summer’s best straw accessories.

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Let Needles Expand Your Menswear Purview

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It’s no secret that we—menswear nerds, I mean—look to Japan as a beacon for enhancing and broadening our spheres of style. It’s practically a cliché at this point that Japanese brands perfect a style or trend and eventually some diluted version of the original reaches the States. A cliché, maybe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Needles, a brand distributed by Nepenthes, is the proof.

Based in Tokyo, designer and Nepenthes founder Keizo Shimizu has been at work on Needles for 20 years. The Needles collection consists of sportswear, denim, and tailoring, in addition to a range of brilliantly Frankensteined vintage known as Rebuild by Needles. The collection puts an emphasis on unusual detail, as with the intricately re-engineered military and hunting outerwear and collaged shirting. For Spring 2015, Shimizu’s inspiration was 1970s American sportswear—denim overalls, wide-leg tracksuits—with particular focus on Southern California and Mexico. Shimizu cites James Taylor’s album Gorilla as an especially powerful influence.

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You won’t be alone if your first impression is that Needles’ approach to menswear is a bit too far left for most guys. These are clothes that require an adventurous and highly discerning taste level, but that’s what makes it great. And if you don’t get on board now, you likely will in a few seasons.

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