The Four Cities of Men’s Fashion
It will come as no great surprise that fashion transcends all societies, cultures and countries across the globe; but there are some cities that have carved a special place within the fashion world: Paris, Milan, New York and of course, our very own London. Our resident feature writer has travelled to them all and wants to tell our fashion savy readers all about it. Lets take a look at what his daily debauchery and stylish shenanigans had to offer.
1st Place – PARIS
It is the birthplace to some of the most notable brands in the fashion industry and home to a particularly elegant triangular tower. Something about this city just across the English Channel captures the imagination. Everything from the liquid language, grand architecture and fashion districts is gripping and makes it top of our list.
As cliché as it may sound, the French ooze an effortless sense of style (often complimented with a cigarette in one hand a glass of wine in the other). For the most part, it remains understated and chic. Channel the look with ease by sporting a Breton striped sweater (the above is the always reliable Zara Man) and is perfect when teamed with some crispy slim cut herringbone trousers.
Great Parisian style is all about “not trying to hard” and using a few key items to make that initial impact. Inspired by the backstage models at Paris Fashion Week there is nothing cooler than throwing on a random scarf with something random. Spontaneity is without a doubt just the ingredient for a cool, preppy look. A white cotton top, Ralph Lauren gilet and Reiss navy cotton trouser was enough to create this chic day-time ensemble.
2nd Place – NEW YORK
The movies. The stories. The fashion. It is all true. The city of dreams.
It has often been said that New York is the ‘greatest city in the world’. Naturally, living in London, it was not going to be easy to win us over. It is hard to imagine that any place that could live up to London’s cosmopolitan glory – but it did just that. The city exudes creativity in every direction. From the tall buildings, the window displays and best of all, the street style. If, like us, you enjoy immersing yourself into the culture of a city and not just the tourist hot spots (although the Empire State and MET were unmissable), you get to understand the true personality of New York society. There is drive, charisma and despite the stereotype, friendliness. From the Meat Packing District to the student hubs, there is something to suit every individual.
So. The street style. Let it be known that if you are ever in this fashion capital, you better have your ‘A’ game on – because the standards are high. Walking around New York felt like walking through the pages of GQ. There is no shortage of confidence and it oozes from the clothes on peoples shoulders. Whether they were on their way to work or riding the subway home, there was always an interesting, quirky outfit to gaze at.
Unlike London, where you need to wonder to the streets of East London or Camden to find some of the most interesting looks, New York streets have them floating around in abundance. I often noticed it was the small staple pieces that really tied a look together and took it from being ordinary to extraordinary. Whether that was sunglasses, a side bag or smart shoes, never over look the importance of attention to detail.
3rd Place – London
London is a city that is perhaps unfamiliar with ranking any where but the top, but it has strong competition with the likes of Paris and New York. Walking along the city’s most famous shopping quarter, Oxford Street, you will be pleasantly impressed by what the British high street has to offer (and the fantastic window displays that go with it). From the shabby streets of Shoreditch, smart walkways of Sloane Square and clean cut lines of Canary Wharf, London is nothing if not diverse.
Generally, our great city is smarter than our European counterparts and this is something that really shows. British heritage remains an undercurrent of our style and rush hour on the tube shows it in abundance. From your Ted Baker side bag, Topman jackets or Aquascutum trench coat, you are never far from a British brand. And we wear them so fantastically well!
Now we wouldn’t be British without some talk of the weather but it plays such an important part in the fashion stakes. Layering is therefore key and Londoners are savy when it comes to mastering this fine art. Coats and jackets should be a permanent fixture for any London resident and of course, we should always be in reach of an umbrella.
4th Place – Milan
Needless to say expectations would be high from the land that bought us Valentino and Georgio Armani. But Milan was the biggest surprise of them all – mainly because it was surprisingly underwhelmed.
In the peak of Milan Fashion Week, trailing the side streets of Duomo and the swanky hotspots of Corso Como looking for inspiration, it was strangely vacant when it came to style. European’s are generally more casual than us so we would suggest following suit with denim and a leather jacket. Comfort seems to dictate European style with haphazard pieces all merging together to produce the finished article.
If you are looking to make a bold statement on the fashion front, save your efforts for Paris or New York. Milan is more of an industrial city so unless you are planning a trip through it to Lake Como (which I found far more charming), you may wish to put it at the bottom of your list – much like its place in this article (ouch!).
As an open minded, fashion conscious wanderer, I want see how you are representing on the style front. Tag us in your holiday snaps @entouraaj and lets see what you got! Make sure that you also tag Sunil in to your style city pics at @sunilralhr.