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Enter Spring

GQ Spring Trend
GQ’s 2011 Spring Trend Report via GQ

by John Lockett

Most of sunny Florida experienced its first major spring rain today, which means it’s time for Vautour to start reporting on the season’s hottest fashion trends that go beyond rain boots and floral prints. From chinos to cardigans, and from shorts to dress shirts, our fashion team will analyze trends and help you pick out your perfect spring wardrobe.

GQ’s Jim Moore released his 2011 Spring Trend Report that featured some burgeoning looks along with well-established styles that have been slightly tweaked. Some highlights (pictured above) include dressier sports coats, tennis shorts, colored chinos, cardigans and just about anything red. There are, of course, classics that can never go wrong, like knit ties, short-sleeve oxfords, polos and loafers. And with fresh new styles comes the need to toss out some of the more dated, overdone looks: flip-flops, plaid shorts, pastels. You get the picture.

Each day this week, we’ll discuss some of these looks and fill you in on how you can best achieve them. In the meantime, try some stuff out on your own. Maybe you’ll be the next spring trendsetter.

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Ray-Ban Redux: Reworking the Wayfarer

Matte black Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Photo by John Lockett

by John Lockett

If you want to make a statement on a sunny day, nothing beats the timeless Wayfarer. Ray-Ban introduced this alternative to metal frame sunglasses in the early 1950s, and they have only occasionally waned in popularity. Despite briefly falling out of vogue in the 70s and 90s, these thick-rimmed glasses managed to define era after era since its inception.

Such mainstream style raises the question: Are Wayfarers overdone? Trite? Unoriginal? In some ways, yes. Hoards of poor replicas and knockoffs have cheapened the look, not to mention the bad rap Wayfarers have received at the hands of hipsters and fratty folk alike.

While Wayfarers are timeless, they have a tendency to get stale. I hate to say it, but there’s nothing more tired than glossy Black wayfarers, whether they’re the real deal or ripoffs from Chinatown.  Ridiculous colors like turquoise and hot pink aren’t helping either.

But there is hope.Black, blue and green wayfarers

Ray-Ban recently released a new, slightly slimmer Wayfarer aptly called the “New Wayfarer.” It gets better. You can get rubber crystal versions of the New Wayfarer in black, blue and green. They’re essentially matte finished frames in muted colors. The difference may be subtle, but the results are astounding.

In my opinion, the main objective of personal style is to stand out while feeling confident at the same time.  These Ray-Bans do just that. Not to mention they fit perfectly, snug around the ears and light on the nose. (Note: My head/face is average size. I think.)  The price is even better, only $120.

Matte black Wayfarers can be hard to come by. I made three trips to Sunglass Hut with no luck. The salesman said they typically only have one in stock, and it flies off the shelf. So they finally shipped me a pair, which only took a day before these spectacular shades made it onto my face. I haven’t taken them off since.

Not of fan of the matte colors? Go with tortoise shell. There’s nothing classier.

Wayfarer front view
Photo by John Lockett

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Zombie Boy

Zombie Boy Mugler Campaign

by Andrew Mundy | W. Coast Editor

Just about everyone has seen Rick Genest, the real life zombie of ink and flesh. Seriously, he’s a viral web sensation and, more recently, a fashion runway phenomenon. He’s even in Lady Gaga’s latest music video “Born This Way.” Who is this guy and, honestly, what exactly is going on here? Did he plan all of this, or is this guy just fucking nuts?

Rick Genest, or Rico, was a typical gutter punk from Montreal. Apparently a sweet boy, according to his mother, Rico left home after high school and waited to get his first tattoo until he was 16 out of respect for his parents. How darling.

His first step to extreme zombie makeover started with his hands. Like skeletal gloves, just a tad bit more permanent.

“They say that once you get your hands tattooed it’s harder to find a job,” Rico, now 25,  said in an interview with Bizarre Magazine.

Yeah, no shit Rico. Those permanent skeletal gloves ignited a $15,000 frenzy of constant tattoos funded by a job working in the circus while homeless. Times were tough for Rico, but this truly was his passion.

“They’ve been a part of me forever – before I even got them done. They reveal how I feel on the inside,” he said.

Zombie boy and Nicola Formichetti
Rico & Nicola

Nicola Formichetti, the new creative director of Mugler, apparently discovered a photo of Rico on Google and was intrigued by the inked anomaly. When Formichetti went in for his first tattoo, he was told that the guy in the photo was actually Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy from Montreal. Suddenly inspired by the revelation, he went home later that day and actually contacted Zombie Boy through Facebook.

When asked if he’d like to go to Paris for Mugler’s fashion run, Zombie Boy responded, “Yeah, sure, I would love to, but I don’t have a passport.” Not to mention Rico racked up tens of thousands of dollars in fines for sleeping on the street while homeless.

Beyond frustrated, Formichetti contacted his lawyers to figure out how to get his new biffle a passport in time for the show. A trip to Montreal and couple days later, Zombie Boy was headed to Paris.

“I remember thinking I have to do this, I just have a gut feeling, I have to work with this guy,” Formichetti said in an interview with Hint. “Everyone said he’s a freak, why would I want to do that to a luxury brand?”

Now the  face of Mugler’s new men’s line, Lady Gaga’s latest muse, and on-top of the world, Zombie Boy is living the good life. With plans to tattoo his eyes black and remove his ears and nose, we’ll see how far he’s able to go. Chances are, ain’t no grave gonna hold him down.

Fear and Loafing

Suede loafers from Aldo. Photo by John Lockett

by John Lockett

I was somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when my love of loafers began to take hold.

By Ralph Steadman

It was a long journey from loathing to loving these stylish slip-ons. I always thought they looked hideous, mainly because seeing a pair would conjure up images of the ratty black penny loafers my dad wore to church when I was a kid. It doesn’t help that my exposure to shoes while going to high school in Niceville consisted of Rainbow flip-flops and nothing else.

Needless to say, my taste in footwear was limited from an early start. But after interning at the Mecca of fashion last summer, I finally realized how genius, practical, and stylish loafers really are. And they’re not only for the sartorially inclined.

Loafers will probably be the easiest pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. They’re perfect for slipping on when you’re in a hurry, but you still want to look good. You can wear them with virtually anything, from shorts and a t-shirt when you’re on your way out to enjoy all that spring has to offer, to a formal suit when you’re going in for an interview or going out with your girl. Socks are never required. And above all, they stay in prime condition with little care. Unless you’re in the middle of a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream.

They come in all sorts of colors, textures and designs, so it may be daunting picking your first pair. Take my advice: start simple –dark brown suede or leather, no frills—get used to them, then move on up to something a little more bold and daring. Like these Tom Ford loafers below. Aldo offers a wide variety at affordable prices. My first pair cost  only $45 on sale. It’s well worth it considering all the compliments you’ll receive.

In case you were wondering, all these “Fear and Loathing” references are a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, who set out on his infamous Las Vegas adventure 40 years ago today.

“Some may live, but the crazy never die.” -HST

Tom Ford Shoes
From Tom Ford’s “Made to Measure” collection.

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The Life Aquatic with Michael Bastian

Runways still and moodboard
A couple runway stills from Michael Bastian’s S/S ’11 collection and the moodboard. Photos from Michael Bastian and Details.

by John Lockett

It’s fair to say that the world of men’s fashion in America is dominated by dusty old relics. Ralph Lauren. Tommy Hilfiger. Calvin Klein. Don’t get me wrong, they’re amazing designers and brands that rightly deserve credit for their impact on fashion. But in this day and age, one man stands above the rest in terms of American menswear: Michael Bastian.

Michael Bastian S/S 11 Collection Image
Photo from michaelbastiannyc.com

Bastian, who was just nominated for the CFDA menswear designer of the year, is a genius when it comes to designing preppy rags that reek of good ol’ Americana. Launched in 2008, his past collections were created around red-blooded themes such as backwoods America and Kerouac’s beat manifesto On the Road. Nearly all his clothes feature a military undercurrent, embracing masculinity to its fullest.

Bastian’s S/S ’11 collection was inspired by Jacques Cousteau and his crew of French sailors who explored all corners of the ocean in the 70s and 80s. He also drew references from the Navy Seals, going back to Bastian’s ongoing military influence. The 41 pieces showcased during Fashion Week last fall were nautical in every sense of the word, but not like most summer collections that tend to have more of a beachy So-Cal or Mediterranean vibe. Bold shades of yellow and orange are used in subtle ways (except for the canary yellow raincoat and pants). Even his interpretation and use of wetsuits is remarkable.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Bastian’s newest collection is how it remains quintessentially Michael Bastian. The man knows how to keep classic preppy alive, without letting it get stale. He emphasizes the importance of quality materials coupled with flawless tailoring. While his pricey, self-titled label may not be financially accessible to most (including Bastian, himself, according to a recent article by Esquire) his partnership with GANT offers clothes that are just as nice, but more affordable (still pretty expensive though).

Although Bastian’s CFDA nom means he’s an established designer in the fashion world, he has yet to become a household name. But keep an eye out for this guy. Before you know it, he’ll be up there with those other influential old relics we all adore. Dust and all.