Is 2020 back already??
Lessons on dressing cool, and the wobbliness of time, from last week's coolest shows
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— Jonah & Erin
Ayyy what’s up!
Last week a bunch of cool designers showed their fall clothes in Paris. The collections won’t be touching down for a minute, but there’s powerful actionable intel that all of us can extract & absorb right now about rocking dope s**t and how to get dressed with extreme panache.
Here’s what leapt out at us here at Spyplane HQ—
First off, 6 especially popping looks, above.
Top — Capacious Over Coat Overdrive (C.O.C.O.) Mode meets Cloud Mode on this fire padded wrap-coat from Issey Miyake, left, which stows into its own embroidered Ronan Bouroullec-designed kilm-style cushion!! The layering and tonal-harmony game at Lemaire, right, is always elite level: this entire fit looks & feels like a single organism rather than discrete pieces. One thing this dude is doing that you can do right now is **wear outerwear under more outerwear.** Also, that is how you roll wide pants!!
Middle — There were lots of strong shoulders on display, few stronger than this oversize jacket from J.W. Anderson, left. With that fit and the Hed Mayner look, right, we’re at a place where more and more people’s eyes are adjusting to roomier and roomier silhouettes, and here are two SLY and EXTREME if not outright ACCELERATIONIST takes on this jumbo-proportion s**t. As with David Byrne’s famous Stop Making Sense suit, take these fits as provocations and jumping-off points rather than templates to copy: In both cases the scale is almost ludicrous but, somehow, retains a sense of balance.
Bottom — A double-breasted black moiré (leaning heavily “woodgrain”) suit with pops of bright cobalt from Martine Rose, left, rocked by a king with the flat-top who looks on the verge of a belly laugh and literally danced down the runway??? When you see sauce this profoundly joyous, you salute it and hope an iota of it passes into your soul. (Find video of this show & exult!) And, at Kiko Kostadinov, right, we are loving this extremely advanced color pairing, with the faintly tech-y lilac shirt & the big, tracksuit-looking contrast-stitch pants in a rich shade of plum.
BTW one commonality across the above fits is large pants. There were a non-negligible number of remarkably slim-to-skinny pants in the mix, including at Prada (who showed in Milan) and The Row, but… that’s not where our eyes are at. Big pants are beautiful, full stop. And even though we’re Mach 6+ visionaries who see around corners, here in January, it’s way too soon to even consider a return to the NARROWS!!
You know who knows that ? —
Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran of Lemaire, whose show was rich on big pants — and so dense with understated saucely details that we gotta hit the “enhance” on the Spyplane Proprietary Sauce Visualizer Technology and call out some of our favorites…
In look A. we’re feeling the energy of the round, wide, cropped-ish black leather blouson with the big jeans, and the downplayed effect of two quick pops of silver (necklace charm & belt buckle) in an otherwise murdered-out fit. In look B. a similar principle is at play with an extremely toned-down take on “western flair” — the cowboy filigree at the collar of an otherwise (apparently) unadorned button up, and the graceful & CLEAN silver minimalist bolo-type jawn.
In look C. we wanna draw your attention PAST the cool gray contrast lining of the topcoat to the hint of black shirt tail that would be fully hidden behind a field of rich browns if it weren’t for that hand in the pocket, tugging back the curtain.
This is what it looks like when an outfit decides to let you in on a secret —! It’s the quietest, easiest little trick in the world, and it rips.
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The suit in look D. is great and ayyy peep the ~tWiStEd~ outseam on the trousers. In look E. ma has knotted the sleeves of a neatly folded cardigan so it can be worn over the shoulder — like a bag, except not. Wow. This embodies a banger styling technique that Erin saluted in Concorde here, where you repurpose a garment into a layering accessory. And finally, at F., there was a lot of tapering and pooling at this show, but here’s a great wide pant cuff floating pleasingly over a small squashy leather shoe.
Mad Cool Color Combinations —
It’s a question on every Mach 3+ clothes-rocker’s mind circa 2024: ‘How can I liven up the beautiful array of BROWNS that have crept pleasantly into my wardrobe over the past few years??’ In show after show we saw browns paired with grays, browns paired with Robby Müller Reds, and browns paired with yellow-greens.
And, of course, there’s the power of pairing earthtones with DEEP PURPLES — the coolest color you can rock in 2024 — which we saw in full effect at Sono, Paul Smith, and John Alexander Skelton, among other collections.
Here are 4 color combos we f**ked with esp. heavy —
In look A., from Issey Miyake Homme Plissé, we’re feeling the bright accent of the blue funnel-neck scarf against the brown & tan top and brick-red pants. The simplest takeaway here is: throw a bright blue element against an all-brown fit.
Look B., also from Issey, is OUT OF CONTROL ! A chromatic vision. You gotta take a second to sit in wonder at that mushroomy YURPLE coat with the pale-yellow midlayer, acid green shirt, yellowy-green undershirt and milk-chocolate brown pants. F**k !
In look C. it’s not a dark YURP but we still salute the lovely effect of the lavender on the shroomy brown at Auralee…. And in an even more muted tonal swag register, peep look D., in which Yohji Yamamoto shows us how to enliven (the stalwart yet slightly stale-feeling) NAVY BLUE, treating it not as the main event but as a neutral base for flashes of green, and three different shades of cranberry~burgundy~red to careen swaggily off of.
Also, not pictured here, we saw mad reds paired with aquas, lilacs, and pinks (“the ALPs”) at Prada, MSGM, Valentino and other shows — a popping color combo that Erin called out in Concorde last summer here.
Finally… A time-twisting mystery —
When we started Blackbird Spyplane, in May 2020, among the styles that helped define the tastes of the era were GORP and chore coats. We can’t help but associate these closely with the dominant trends of ~2017-2021: People couldn’t get enough of either — until, around 2022 or so, they finally kind of could.
The common fashion wisdom should tell us that that moment has passed… And yet, we saw new “elevated” chore coats and potent incursions into the GORP idiom at a few key presentations…
Evan Kinori unveiled a very clean high-pile fleece, with the GORP-referencing patch-pocket, above left — a style he hasn’t made before. Similarly, Lemaire showed what is possibly their GORPIEST piece ever — a very sick trail-style sneaker, pictured above right in tan & black.
Meanwhile, Fendi, Prada and Auralee are all putting out CHORE COATS, three of which are above.
What is happening here? Have trend cycles accelerated to the point that “2020 is back” already? Have GORP and workwear transcended time to become “staple” modalities of jawnscraft? Prada already showed oversize takes on Carhartt barn jackets in SS24, a couple years after the real things went supernova on the streets, with thrashed Detroits becoming a ubiquitous (banger, borderline cliché) piece… Is Prada “late” to the workwear trend, or simply descending from the heavens to anoint it? Both at the same time?
While we are all in favor of ingenious designer iterations on “vernacular” styles, it bears asking, just to be sure: When you can still find beautiful, oversize, weathered chore coats at resale for peanuts, if you fork over Prada, Fendi and Auralee prices for tributes this straightforward, do you risk looking like a deep-pocketed MARK??
Much to contemplate…
P👉E👉A👉C👉E until next time !
— J & E
Peep our list of the world’s 35 slappiest shops, where Spyfriends have added a ton of gems in the comments.
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