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What's your favorite mainstream designer?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Well guys (And girls, I guess) what do you think? I MUST have forgotten quite a few, I just named the ones off the top of my head, and then had to delete most of them because I can only have ten... Some of these people are only 'mainstream' here in London, but whatever... And I want posts too. Name your favorite and then post why. Anyway, I'm interested in what you all think, so poll away. --European Interloper
post #2 of 61
Zegna Zegna Zegna
post #3 of 61
Actually, I would like to nominate CoSTUME National, but I don't know if you would consider their stuff mainstream. I would have voted for Prada, but really, I primarily like the miu miu stuff. Prada mainline stuff is nice, especially the suits, but getting a little tiresome. Prada Sport is, in my opinion, often unwearable. I cast my vote for Armani because if I had to choose one designer to wear head to toe, everyday, Armani is the only one on the bill who fits my criteria. Helmut Lang is great, but limited, as is Marc Jacobs. Jil Sander, After Menichetti left the menswear division, and Jil herself walked out, is a hit a miss business (although there are always a few good pieces each season - see their tuxedo style, pleated front shirts). Dior is good for suits, but otherwise overrated. And Hedi Slimane's preoccupation with sleeveless tops, which look good on about 1% of the population, is disorienting. (Often guys with really pumped arms think they should show them off. Wrongo.) Tom Ford is, in my opinion, doing reasonable jobs at both YSL and Gucci, but his collections at Gucci are becoming increasingly erratic. Ever since 2000-2001 F/W (Jet set: looks of tan leather and 70's style rich kids) he's been struggling.) Ralph Lauren Purple Label is good for suits, but it is perhaps the most overrated label out there. Anyways, just my two or three cents.
post #4 of 61
[quote] VODKA MARTINI......SHAKEN NOT STURRED OK, Here goes, this is a loaded question, but I will have to say, Hermes, because they cover the trendy and bold areas of fashion, where other mainstream houses fit in, but they have a very neo-classic look to them, that you can wear a piece of their clothing for a very long time. As to LAGUYS comments, he is right, it does look stupid with a lot of those guys have the 3/4 length jackets, black pants, dark shirt, it is very blah. but at times I am guilty of doing the same thing. D/G, is OK, so is Prada, and Gucci, but the problem with them is that everyone wants them, what I want to wear are those not-known but very sopisticated designers who have a differnt approach at what everyone else is doing.
post #5 of 61
Thread Starter 
LA Guy: I didn't include Costume because I consider it slightly off-mainstream... I agree with everything you've said there, although I'd go a bit lighter on Gucci. The YSL rive gauche line this year is amazing, I've bought most of it for when summer actually hits London (read: July). Marc Jacobs has a really cool, but, as you say, limited line this year, although I guiltily bought all of their hippy stuff in the hope that maybe one day I'd be dishevelled enough to wear it. It's a massive shame about Jil Sander, their last few collections have has maybe one desirable piece and little else... They need a super-designer to join up with them, or be bought by someone else, because otherwise they're going under. Prada in general is boring me extensively right now, I can't stand the sport collection because it's not made for what it says it's made for, and the rest of the line is lacklustre in every way... Maybe it's their design ethos, they seem so adept at taking good ideas and removing the shine from them. Armani, as you said, is one of the few brands that you can literally outift yourself purely in, it's really quite excellent. Actually, I take that back. All of it, including the Casa division, is excellent, except for A/X, which is like an upper class Gap... I really hate the idea that it even exists, it's a stain on Armani's otherwise dry-cleaned record. I think that what we will see in a few years is a switch-over from House fashion to more no-name stuff... The style is moving there in every demographic excluding Buisnessmen, who still wear their House brands. Anyway, that's my stupid prediction, to be proved wrong soon... --European Interloper
post #6 of 61
I voted for Helmut Lang. But I have to agree that his line is somewhat limited and I go for his more classic, yet still stylish, stuff. Not the stuff like fishnet tops or anything like that. Used to be a *huge* fan of Jil Sander and would buy out the whole section at Barneys. But that all stopped when Jil walked out. The only other designer I would add to the list is Calvin Klein (his Collection line.) Sure, he's been around for awhile, but I think he makes great stuff and his clothes are sleek and look good. I'm also starting to like Samsonite Blacklabel, but it's really hard to find their stuff here in NYC.
post #7 of 61
thc, Did you post that Camouflage carries Samsonite? I haven't been there yet, but am planning a visit when I'm in NYC in early May.
post #8 of 61
Thread Starter 
I really don't like CK. I used to wear quite a bit of it when I was in NYC, as it is the sartorial embodiment of the new york ethos... Clean and cold and lean. Now, however, I find his lines tiresome and repeatitve. I also dislike the way he sells a lifestyle instead of just clothes, it seems to be an affliction of most American designers: RL and Tommy are the other two big mis-leaders... If anyone wants to disagree, which I heartily encourage, go out and read Anne Klein's NO LOGO first. It really opens your eyes with numbers, you can dismiss the rest of it as an unstructured tirade. --European Interloper
post #9 of 61
Steve B: Yes Camouflage carries Samsonite Blacklabel, but only a very limited selection. Bergdorfs also has Samsonite but mostly outerwear only. I wish there was more in New York. From what I saw of the Samsonite blacklabel catalog, the stuff looked great.
post #10 of 61
You won't get any surprises for me, I voted for Armani. It's what I wear the most of and I don't see that changing any time soon. All his clothes is very wearable and never overly trendy, I never feel out of place wearing them. I haven`t seen much of the line but what I have seen of YSL Rive Gauche I really liked. Unfortunately it can`t be found in Canada so I have to wait till next fall to get a closer look at the stuff.
post #11 of 61
Since I'm pretty new to this fashion stuff (my brother introduced me to it) I have to go with the more traditional look i.e Armani.
post #12 of 61
I wonder why no one's mentioned my favourite fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo. Their clothing is truly exceptional, completely on level with their shoes and ties. Everything from jeans and polos to "dress shirts" to tailored stuff. I don't think they put a foot wrong in their S/S 2002 collection, and I bought quite a bit of their F 2001/W 2002 collection as well. Indeed, the only reason I might look forward to it getting a teeny bit colder is to present an opportunity to wear my Ferragamo camelhair sportcoat... I could definitely wear Ferragamo head to toe. So, what is it? Is Ferragamo's distribution too poor in the USA? Peace, JG PS: I voted for Helmut Lang, only because I thought it was the least bad choice of those presented.
post #13 of 61
I wonder why no one's mentioned my favourite fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo.
Oy, again with the Ferragamo. I don't think Ferragamo is marketed in the US in such a way as to compete for attention with the names in the poll and others like them. With few exceptions, the current high-end trend is towards a cult of personality around an individual designer. The more populist trend is to wrap one's self in a highly recognizable luxury logo. If your company has both, you have a winner. Prime examples of the double-whammy: Miuccia Prada (Prada/Miu Miu); Tom Ford (Gucci/YSL); Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel/Fendi/Lagerfeld); Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs); Martin Margiela (Hermès/Martin Margiela); Giorgio Armani; and so on. You can argue who belongs in the designer and logo categories, but I'd say Ferragamo doesn't really make it into either. Salvatore Ferragamo himself is no longer with us, and nobody on the street knows the names of the family members who carry on with running the company, nor who does the designing. The signature logo is recognizable, but it doesn't pack the punch of, say, the LV monogram or the red Prada stripe. Ferragamo also lacks the exclusivity of ultra-expensive marques like John Lobb or Kiton, and doesn't have the youth-oriented street cred that even such staid lines as Coach and Burberry have. What Ferragamo does have is a solid history of providing excellent goods that are well behind the cutting edge in design but still ahead of the most conservative houses, at prices that are commensurate with the quality but not in the realm of couture insanity. That's no small achievment, of course, and I believe Ferragamo has its legion of faithful fans. However, I don't think Ferragamo inspires passion in most buyers the way the A-list labels do. A Ferragamo isn't a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari or even a Mini Cooper; it's a Volvo. I think of Ferragamo items roughly the way I think of Bally, or Coach, or Magli; a good, solid purchase about which I'm unlikely to have regrets, but would never lust after the way I would, say, a Dior Homme suit...even if I suspect that the Ferragamo will still be wearable years after the Dior is "over." Of course, with the right campaign, the Ferragamo family might get more fashion press. However, they may feel that such a campaign would be neither dignified, nor the best long-term strategy. We shall see.
post #14 of 61
Hasn't Ferragamo taken out an inordinate amount of ad space in GQ and Esquire the past few seasons? I don't think, from the tenor of these ads, that their campaign is geared toward the so-called fashion set, which may be one of the reasons they have kept a rather low profile on the American (and also European, as far I know) scene. Their clothes are quite well made, but, as pstoller states, rather behind the curve in terms of design. And this is, again restating pstoller's point, be by design. It's conservative image and design philosophy may appeal to their haute bourgeois customer somewhat more than an Hedi Slimane designed suit would. The brand makes me think of a well-to-do (literal) little old lady from Pasadena whom I know, and who wears Ferragamo shoes and carries a Ferragamo bag every time I've seen her. Taking nothing away from the indisputable quality of their garments, the Ferragamo image remains that of the sensible shoes of the fashion world.
post #15 of 61
Interesting comments. I don't think Ferragamo is completely "cutting edge", but that's what makes it "mainstream". Although their exposure (except for ties and shoes) is definitely lower than the Pradas and Guccis of the world. I guess it fits with my preferences for quality ueber alles, though. Loro Piana is another not always bleeding-edge house that I love, because no one that I've discovered makes a finer cashmere. Another comment. The main reason that I seldom find things by more forward designers (excepting Helmut Lang and a few others) is that their fit models don't resemble me at all. The average Yamamoto fit model, for example, is probably 5'8" and a very skinny 140lbs. The average Slimane fit model isn't much bigger. That's not much help to someone 6'3" and 220's, who likes to go to the gym. So, one goes with what looks good on him. As for logos, that's what bothers me most about fashion today. I like distinctive designs: people who are interested in fashion will know who you're wearing, and that's fine. A logo to scream out the marque of your clothing annoys me. Indeed, the only logo'd things I'll even consider wear are bit loafers (Gucci/Ferragamo) and the occasional polo shirt. (Even then, the logos that I'll wear are things like a gunmetal omega-shaped zipper pull on a Ferragamo, or a "78" on the sleeve of a Rene Lezard polo.) Peace, JG PS: haute bourgeois, ouch.
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