17 posts tagged "Duckie Brown"
Clicking through Todd Selby’s snaps of Pharrell Williams’ art-filled Miami home, you could be struck by any number of things. Such as: Damn, that guy has a lot of KAWS paintings of Family Guy characters. Or, hey, why don’t I live in a spacious art-filled pad in Miami? Or, boy, it feels about 10 degrees colder in New York when you watch the sun glinting off somebody’s pool. But the one I’d encourage you to take away, if I may, is this one: Statement-colored shoes—even pink shoes, even for guys—can really make a white-tee-and-jeans outfit look like a whole lot more. And in fact, pink footwear, like Pharrell’s raspberry-hued boat shoes (left), has a long, proud history. I’m still kicking myself for missing the scuffed-up pink Chelsea boots Paul Smith showed on his men’s runway back in Fall ’09. At his color-saturated show at Pitti in Florence last season, Raf Simons showed pink on his men’s footwear—hidden on the soles. You can hold out for those when they hit stores this Spring, or, for instant gratification, head over to the Florsheim by Duckie Brown pop-up that’s currently open (through March) at 109 Mercer Street in New York’s Soho. Duckie designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have used color in particular to goose the ultra-trad Florsheim shapes: For Fall, there are brogues in a rich, bloody red not too far from Pharrell’s, and for Spring—arriving in store next month—suede bucks and wingtips in a Pepto color the designers call Chalk Pink.
One of the dominant color stories in fashion at the moment is one that’s more familiar from the makeup case than the closet—the warm, blush pink tones we’ve been in the mood for lately. Our senior market editor, Marina Larroude, picked the best of the women’s offerings in soft, cosmetic shades, but I couldn’t help noticing, when the latest footwear collection by Duckie Brown‘s Steven Cox and Daniel Silver for Florsheim came across my desk, that the duo’s feeling the look for guys, too. The classics-with-a-twist they’re offering this season are shot through with a color they’re calling chalk pink. It shows up as a suede buck and a wingtip brogue (pictured), as well as an accent color on tri-tone cap-toes and saddle shoes. A lot of guys fear pink (except the most hardened of the preppy WASPs, who can appreciate a good baby-pink polo), but, I think, as a sparingly used accent, it looks fresh. It pairs beautifully with grays, navy, and light browns, but—unless you’re channeling Boy George in his eighties heyday—I’d steer clear of black.
After his inaugural Gant by Michael Bastian presentation—for which he transformed a pre-war gymnasium into a Bruce Weber fantasy filled with Gant-clad high school jocks (pictured below)—Bastian heaved a sigh of relief. “I feel like I have two kids,” he told us. “The easy one’s done. Next up is the problem child.” The easy one—Gant—was very good. Never mind that it’s owned by Swedes; Gant has spent decades making pitch-perfect American sportswear. Tapping Bastian for this collection makes eminent sense, and he tweaked rather than twisted that heritage. He nailed the corduroys, threw in a few great blazers and a rugby shirt (this is Gant, after all), intarsia’ed the knits with laxers and sticks, and called it a day. It was perfectly simple: no muss, no fuss.
Now, what of the line he had jokingly referred to as the problem child, his much more expensive signature collection (above)? He certainly didn’t take the easy path here. The inspiration, the designer said, was a British TV doc called Sex Change Soldier, about a veteran paratrooper who feels he’s actually a woman inside and undergoes a sex change. That got Bastian thinking about the two sides (at least) to every guy. Cue the runway’s opening shot: the first walker pausing in the entryway to rip off a ski mask. The man hidden and the man revealed—can’t say it much clearer than that.
Like Steven Cox and Daniel Silver at Duckie Brown, Bastian is marching to a skinhead beat this season. The totems were on display: the Dr. Martens, the suspenders, as well as such punkish close cousins as spike belts and safety pins. And yet, we’re still in Bastian country, so they’re paired with the fine Brunello Cucinelli knits, the perfectly tailored suit jackets. (The “menace mask” that opened the show? Cashmere.) But even after the skins vanished, to be replaced by a procession of uptown-ready young gentlemen, their rebel spirit cast a shadow. Suddenly, you noticed every little chink in the refined armor: the Stubbs & Wootton slippers embroidered with flaming skulls, the dog collar necklaces, the slightly kinky gloves. Even in the quietest moments, there’s a little menace mixed in. It made for one of Bastian’s most fascinating, penetrating shows to date.
For complete coverage of Fall 2010 menswear, visit www.gq.com/fashion.
“Skinhead” may have become a dirty word, unsalvageable in North America in light of its Neanderthal neo-Nazi associations, but when Duckie Brown’s Steven Cox was a teenager in London, it was the style the coolest boys picked up at Merc on Carnaby Street, and that’s what he was remembering with Duckie’s latest. It wasn’t just period, it was place that made this collection a departure for Cox and Daniel Silver. Family matters have taken Cox home a lot more in the past 12 months, so there was a distinctly English feel to the clothes. But if the cropped pants and bovver boots (Duckie for Florsheim) were maybe too specific to find favor with the average man-fash fan, the sleek black and scarlet crombies and the sharp, broad-shouldered tartan jackets—their hard-to-master saddle/rope shoulder a mark of Cox’s acute experience with tailoring—were more than enough to seduce modern dandies. The chord of decadent ambiguity that always gives a Duckie collection its peculiar spice was struck here by an abbreviated trench in an acidic lime shade and a bellows-pocketed jacket in a sugary tweed. But best in show for me was actually a humble jean jacket in dark Japanese denim. In its own subtle way, it was the most effective advertisement for the Duckie mastery of flattering fit.
For full coverage of the Fall 2010 menswear shows, visit www.gq.com/fashion.