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Five designers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GatorStyle, Apr 1, 2002.

  1. GatorStyle

    GatorStyle Senior Member

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    There haven't been a ton of new topics here lately, so- as I sit in my office trapped on a conference call for the last few hours- I offer you this one.  It's amazing what you (or at least I) think about at times like this.

    Here's the deal:  your entire wardrobe is limited to five designers or clothing companies.  Price is no object- you can have whatever you like from that designer/company, and that includes all lines (i.e. both Purple Label and Polo Jeans), and as much as you want.  But you can only choose from the five to suit all your needs (work, play, evening, gym, etc.), from head to toe.  So this might be a chance to load up on $250 T-shirts from that obscure designer from Luxembourg- but his line might not be versatile enough to justify choosing it (or maybe it would, in your opinion).  Got it?

    Here's my five, after difficult deliberations:

    1. Giorgio Armani (from Collezioni to A/X, the king offers lots    to choose from) 2. Hugo Boss 3. Kenneth Cole 4. Diesel 5. Adidas

    These narrowly beat out my runners-up (but ask me again next week), as I again seek out maximum versatility:  Helmut Lang, Salvatore Ferragamo, Thomas Pink, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Nike, Puma.

    Yours?
     


  2. Dalton

    Dalton Member

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    I agree with virtually every choice you made. Here's mine in no particular order:

    1. Prada
    2. Hugo Boss
    3. Kenneth Cole
    4. Christian Dior
    5. Nike (strictly for athletic purposes only)
     


  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Nice choices. Here are mine:

    1) Giorgio Armani - I agree completely with Gator. Armani's got the best of nearly everything: Black Label for dressier occasions, Collezioni for business, and Emporio for everyday. I think that Armani is the only desgner you could wear head to toe without looking like a complete fashion victim. You guys know who you are.

    2) Miuccia Prada - her shoes, especially. And I get to include her Miu Miu diffusion line, which I actually prefer to Prada Sport stuff for casual wear.

    3) John Varvatos - I like his urban rustic style. But the real reason to choose Varvatos are his great, understated and classy assessories - his messenger and saddle bags are non-pareil.

    4) Diesel - you need great jeans, and with very few exceptions, Diesel's got the best, and the best range. I actually like the Paper, Cloth and Denim company jeans a little more, but they are rather limited, and Diesel's reach into casual clothing and great sneakers puts them well ahead of the game.

    5) Adidas - you need sports stuff, and Adidas has the added advantage of awesome sneaks.

    Runners up include: Helmut Lang, which was beat out by Armani because of Armani's versatility; Jil Sander, a former great that may or may not recover; Burberry, great casual pieces, but I think that its ubiquity hurts it; Marc Jacobs - very cool, but I can't go geek chic everyday; same goes for Dirk Schonberger - great for accent pieces, but head to toe Schonberger would kill anyone.
     


  4. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Distinguished Member

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    I'm more practical:
    1. Brooks Bros.
    2. L.L. Bean
    3. Joseph Abboud
    4. Polo
    5. Allen Edmonds (The only dress shoes I care to wear.)
     


  5. GQ Lawyer

    GQ Lawyer Senior Member

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    Ironic.  My fiancee' and I play a game called, if you had $1000 to buy clothes for (name an event) who and what would you buy.....

    In no certain order, my typical choices...
    1.  Armani (best of the best)
    2.  Boss (great suits and casual clothes)
    3.  Nike (the best athletic wear)
    4.  Zegna (top of the line suits and ties)
    5.  Calvin Klien (just love his clothes)

    Other notables: Diesel, Joseph Abboud, Brooks Brothers (nice business wear), Dior, and Ferragammo.
     


  6. LSI

    LSI Member

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  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    You guys are gonna get mad at me, but all I can say is EWWWW- Armani?[​IMG]? King of What?[​IMG] Mine are: 1. Ermenegildo Zegna 2. Luigi Borrelli 3. Luciano Barbera 4. Kiton 5. Isaia Honorable Mention- New and Lingwood, Turnbull and Asser, Canali, RL Purple Label, and custom tailors too numerous to mention
     


  8. GatorStyle

    GatorStyle Senior Member

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    Hey, LA Guy (or anyone else reading this who knows), you mentioned those Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans in your posting here.  I know a little bit about that company and the guy who started it, and I have some friends who've bought them but I haven't really looked at them myself (since I've been a loyal Diesel guy for a while now).  

    But I've heard good things about these new jeans- what can you tell me about them?  Price?  Fit?  I heard there a few styles, grouped by how worn-in/beaten up they are, but I don't know much more.

    Thanx.
     


  9. thc

    thc Senior Member

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    Interesting topic. Here are mine (in no order):

    1) Helmut Lang--he's my favorite designer now that Jil Sander is no longer what it used to be.  They make my favorite jeans too.
    2) Calvin Klein Collection
    3) A. Testoni--these are my favorite shoes in the entire world.
    4) Michael Kors--I've only seen previews from the trunk show, but I loved what i saw so far.  I just wish his line wasn't so expensive.
    5) Adidas

    If this had been asked to me a couple years ago, I would replace one of these with Jil Sander.  And I wear a ton of Jil Sander.  I refuse to buy it now that she no longer designs.
     


  10. thc

    thc Senior Member

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    Also, here are my honorable mentions:

    Samsonite blacklabel; Cerruti; hLam; Malo; Prada; Tod's; Marc Jacobs (his signature line and the stuff he does for Louis Vuitton); Burberry; Rene Lezard; Sulka; and Neil Barrett.
     


  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Gatorstyle,

    About Paper, Denim and Cloth (or just Paper - and I got the order wrong in my last post) jeans: The jeans come in a variety of washes and wears, similar to Diesel - but I find that they have a slightly more classic feel to them, both in terms of fit and colors. Think vintage 501s. I've noticed that the denim they use is a little softer than that of Diesel jeans, and that their details (like a small, worn part on the back pocket, or wear marks in the front,) look like they've been better designed than those on Diesels. For example, the wear lines have a slightly uneven quality, the way real vintage jeans look. They are (or at least in my limited experience) a little more fitted than Diesels, for equivalent styles - but remember that, for example, Kratts feel a lot different from Kulter jeans.

    Finally, I prefer them because of their cachet quality. I prefer to wear something different from what people around me are wearing, and it seems that everyone and their dog wears Diesel jeans. Paper jeans are still generally available only at non-mainstream, funky boutique stores. They are pricey though. I think that they are in a slightly higher pricepoint than Diesels, and seem to start at around $130. Anyways, hope this helps.

    BTW, note to everyone in this thread: I think that we should distinguish designers from other manufacturers that are not actually designers per se. For example, Helmut Lang is a designer, as is Ralph Lauren. However, Polo is not a designer, although since it is a line headed by a designer, we might be tempted to let it pass. On the other hand, Adidas is a sportswear and athletic gear manufacturer, and not associated with a designer at all, although they have done collaborations (recently with Yohji Yamamoto). By this definition, we could let companies like Burberry, which are designer driven, count. However, traditional clothiers like Canali and Borelli, and sports companies like Nike certainly would not.
     


  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    OK LA Guy, Explain to me how a "clothier" like Borrelli, or Canali, who've been making clothes since the 1930s don't "count", and Ralph Lauren, who makes very few of his clothes, and has only done so since the 1970s, does?[​IMG] Same with Armani.....
     


  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Hi Steve B,

    First of all, no offense meant. Clearly, some of these clothiers make some of the world's finest clothes. Shirts by Borrelli and suits by Kiton, for example, are clearly the standard against which the workmanship of any tailor should be measured.

    However, my point was primarily semantic, and I stand by it. There is a fundamental difference between designer and tailored clothing.

    Designers are concerned with developing themes in the context of their particular design pholosophy.

    When you say that you like Borrelli, you are saying that you appreciate fine quality. That is less revealing statement than saying that you like the minimalism of Jil Sander, or that of Calvin Klein; or that you like the deconstructionism of Dirk Schonberger or Martin Margiela.

    Its true that many designers have diffusion lines, and that, even in the case of the main lines, the designer does not do all the pieces. However, they theoretically oversee that all the clothing represents their vision, and endorse as such.

    Anyways, I realize that we could probably discuss this a long time; but I just wanted to explain what I meant and that my was not intended to denigrate brands like Zegna, Canali, etc...
     


  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    LA Guy:

    None taken (offense that is). I guess I'm more of a proponent of the classics, and not the hype. We all know who the hyped people are, so I won't name names. A big plus with the classics is that they stay in style, and you don't have to replace significant portions of your wardrobe every season, or, at minimum, every two years.


    I think that may be more where we are agreeing to disagree. Plus I'm a 46/58L, and most of the fashion forward designers don't even make anything that fits me. So, while I may admire their style, or think their boutiques are incredible (e.g. Yohji, and Helmut Lang in NYC), I consider them non-players because the general public is not exposed to their clothes, and will never wear them.

    But I see where fashion can be like religion and politics...LOL
     


  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Steve B.,

    Of course, I was guilty of including a few "non-designers" in my chosen 5 as well. So in the spirit of this discussion, here are two lists. The first is a list of my 5 chosen designers, and second of traditional clothiers.

    Designers:
    1. Giorgio Armani,
    2. John Varvatos,
    3. Marc Jacobs (I'm sort of a downtown type of guy, so I'll use him for everyday wear.)
    4. Prada,
    5. Dirk Schonberger (I feel the need to include at least one deconstructionist.)

    Traditional clothiers:
    1. Canali (Their suits fit me better than Zegna, Brioni, etc..., so this is just a matter of personal preference). Besides, their proposta line gives a little latitude for my younger personal style.
    2. Borrelli: Need dress shirts, may as well get the best
    3. Hermes; actually, beginning to take the "designer route", and their women's line is already designer driven. Nevertheless, they have been around forever, and their ties should be a staple in every guy's business and dress wardrobe.
    4. John Lobb; have never actually ever owned their shoes, but I've been told that they are the best in the world. Would liketo test that
    5. Aquascutum; feel the need for something British.
     


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