Luxury x fast fashion has its way yet again. 29 year old creative director of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing has collaborated with H&M to deliver some beastly looks to the masses. In typical Balmain fashion, the looks don’t make much of an attempt to satisfy bland sensibilities: they’re all at least a little gaudy, and very recognizable as belonging in the Balmain universe. Don’t be fooled by the H&M side either; these aren’t your typical mall price points. Most of what you’ll see will be over $100, but you can find some decent pieces below that. The outerwear ($$$) and tops ($) were my personal favorites. In any case, if you’re someone with couture taste on a budget, look no further. Just make sure not to lose sight of the fact that even though you may see a Balmain label, it doesn’t necessarily stand for Balmain quality.
Are you from New England? Have you ever shopped LL Bean? Have you ever seen someone wear boots? If you answered yes to any of these three and aren’t living under a rock, chances are you’ve seen LL Bean’s signature Bean Boot around campus. They’re the staple of the modern student up north: I haven’t had a recent winter where a pair hasn’t been sighted at least once a week. People seem to vibe with the rugged prep aesthetic and the boots have sold out every year since 2011. The combination of the fashion world’s insatiable lust for reliable, versatile boots and LL Bean’s strict adherence to their home state of Maine, (and not outsourcing to cheaper and more efficient labor), makes these a hot commodity. Build time clocks in at just over two hours, which is split between about 200 people working three separate shifts. Make no mistake, a lot of care goes into these. Can you find something more unique and pleasing to the eye? Absolutely. The price point is hard to argue with though, especially for a reliably classic boot.
Jockeying for political party nominations is in full swing and no, it will never end. Lip Service is one thing that all of these blowhards excel at but let’s see how one candidate is conveying his values through his clothing. Entire staffs are hired to coordinate outfits; there’s an entire psychology behind how their outfits are assembled and their colors are coordinated to subconsciously help everyone TOE THE PARTY LINE. How many times have you seen a candidate, mic in hand, with a tie and rolled up shirt sleeves, speaking to factory workers? That’s not a coincidence. Bernie Sanders has been doing a great job of this (or maybe that’s actually how he dresses: kind of considering the latter now that I think of it). His presentation is as informal as his Larry David voice is loud. Most of the looks I’ve seen him in at rallies and even in professional settings lend him that everyman quality that can only be undone by the fact that he is a doppelgänger for one of the best, most socially irresponsible characters to ever walk the face of the Earth.
I’ve noticed an unequal amount of support and backlash for New Balance as of late. On the one hand, the vocal majority (with whom I side in this case) has been eating New Balance up like there’s no tomorrow. I see them on almost every fashion blog, and for good reason; NB has been killing it lately. Before I get into one of sixteen thousand different reasons why you should cop these or almost any other pair, let me me explain the backlash a little. These kicks aren’t exactly your CP Achilles or your Yeezys. They aren’t revered for their extreme minimalism or for breaking new ground. They’re a little loud at times, a little busy. The logo is huge, it’s present, it’s brash. For every picture I see of an outfit with NB’s, there’s at least one comment complaining how “dadcore” these things are. How ugly they look. How much they mess with the direction of the outfit. I can see where they’re coming from. They’re wrong, but I can see where they’re coming from. Dadcore works on many levels though. Dad’s have seen enough of the world to know that geeks entertain, that trends never last, and that comfort reigns true. New Balance is the tasteful application of these philosophies.
I’m going to use the release of Drake’s Hotline Bling vid to shamelessly plug my love for puffer jackets. It’s okay because, well, look at them. You’re looking at an impenetrable, fluffy steez shield. They offer a great fit in that you can simultaneously look streamlined while conserving that upper body bulk that you may or may not have underneath. This Moncler piece damnwell better be stuffed with gold leaf goose feathers if they’re gonna ask for $1200. Luckily for us poors, the same style can be found at your friendly neighborhood Uniqlo for about a tenth of that stack and change. If that’s still too much for you to stomach, feel free to shiver out in the cold to your heart’s content, breesh.
Images: Tres-Bien, gq.uk, llbean.com, timeinc.net, moncler.com