• The Fashion awards 2019: Bottega Veneta's Daniel Lee leads nominations
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    The Guardian

    The Fashion awards 2019: Bottega Veneta's Daniel Lee leads nominations

    Brand’s creative director receives four nods only eight months after joining the Italian luxury brand, while Jacquemus and Rihanna’s Fenty are also recognised. The Fashion awards nominations for 2019 have been announced, with Daniel Lee receiving four nods – three individually and one for Bottega Veneta – only eight months after he presented his first collection for the Italian luxury brand. The “Bottega effect” has been one of the year’s biggest fashion stories, with the brand’s woven leather sandals and handbags quickly becoming front-row catnip and fodder for high-street copies. Lee is up for accessories designer of the year, British womenswear designer of the year and overall designer of the year, while the label has been nominated for brand of the year. Previously director of ready-to-wear at Celine, where he worked alongside Phoebe Philo, Lee is in his first role as creative director. Jonathan Anderson received three nominations for the second year in a row, including British womenswear designer of the year for his work at his eponymous label JW Anderson and as the creative director of the Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe. His work at Loewe has also earned him nominations for accessories designer of the year and designer of the year. Last year’s British womenswear designer of the year award went to Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of Givenchy, and was presented by the Duchess of Sussex, whose wedding dress was created by the designer. It has not yet been announced who will be presenting this year’s awards, but Meghan is not expected to make an appearance. The British Fashion Council, which organises the event, will be hoping that Rihanna attends, to bring some stardust to proceedings. Her label, Fenty, received its first independent nomination in the urban luxe category, having being nominated as Fenty Puma in 2017. Simon Porte Jacquemus – the French designer behind preposterously proportioned Instagram hit designs such as a giant straw hat and a 5.2cm (2in) micro handbag – is up for accessories designer of the year and brand of the year. Kim Jones, the artistic director at Dior Mens, who was honoured with the BFC’s inaugural trailblazer award in 2018, has also been recognised this year, receiving nominations for accessories designer of the year, British menswear designer of the year and designer of the year. Phoebe English was the only designer to receive nominations for the British emerging talent award in both menswear and womenswear categories, for her own label. Giorgio Armani was announced as the winner of the outstanding achievement award earlier this year, while Naomi Campbell was named the recipient of the fashion icon award. The BFC had also previously revealed its second annual list of 100 new wave creatives as part of the awards. This aims to recognise young talent and innovators including “image-makers, hair and makeup artists, florists, set designers, creative directors, digital influencers and stylists”. The awards will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 December. The event has previously been invitation-only, but this year tickets are available to the public. The full list of nominees is as follows: Accessories designer of the year Alessandro Michele for Gucci Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta Jonathan Anderson for Loewe Kim Jones for Dior Men Simon Porte Jacquemus for Jacquemus Brand of the year Bottega Veneta Gucci Jacquemus Loewe Prada British menswear designer of the year Craig Green for Craig Green Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner Kim Jones for Dior Men Martine Rose for Martine Rose Riccardo Tisci for Burberry British womenswear designer of the year Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta John Galliano for Maison Margiela Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson and Loewe Richard Quinn for Richard Quinn Simone Rocha for Simone Rocha British menswear emerging talent Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty for Cottweiler Bethany Williams for Bethany Williams Kiko Kostadinov for Kiko Kostadinov Phoebe English for Phoebe English Sofia Prantera for Aries British womenswear emerging talent Laura and Deanna Fanning for Kiko Kostadinov Matty Bovan for Matty Bovan Phoebe English for Phoebe English Rejina Pyo for Rejina Pyo Rosh Mahtani for Alighieri Business leader Alexandre Arnault for Rimowa José Neves for Farfetch Marco Bizzarri for Gucci Marco Gobbetti for Burberry Remo Ruffini for Moncler Designer of the year Alessandro Michele for Gucci Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson and Loewe Kim Jones for Dior Men Miuccia Prada for Prada Model of the year Adesuwa Aighewi Adut Akech Adwoa Aboah Kaia Gerber Winnie Harlow Urban luxe Alyx Fenty Marine Serre Martine Rose Moncler Genius

  • Heads up: why powerbands are not just for Sloanes
    Style
    The Guardian

    Heads up: why powerbands are not just for Sloanes

    Nothing screams ‘I’m posh’ quite like a headband – but the look once loved by princesses is back, and this time round it is surprisingly wearable. Sometimes a trend runs in the background for a while before it really hits. You might spot it on celebrities, on the cover of a magazine or on the bus. And then, suddenly it registers on the radar of wider culture. In the case of the headband, that was last week in parliament when Carrie Symonds, the partner of the prime minister, sat watching proceedings wearing a large, flocked, navy headband. As the Daily Mail wrote the next day – in a feature asking: ‘Are you posh enough for a powerband?’ – there is something decidedly upper-crust about this item. Other fans include: the sisters with names worthy of Waugh Lady Alice and Violet Manners; Princess Beatrice, who wore one to a garden party, and Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry’s ex, who wore one to Beatrice’s wedding. They aren’t the first cohort of young, aristo women with a penchant for the powerband. The velvet headband became a cliche of the 1980s Sloane, along with a Barbour, loafers and a pie-crust collar. Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana and Princess Caroline of Monaco were all partial to one. Peter York, author of the 1982 Sloane Rangers’ Handbook, even implies that headband-wearing may be inherited.“By descent, she [Symonds] is the sort of person who would have worn one,” he says. “Symonds’ mum would have very likely worn one.” I do struggle to think of my mum – more inclined to the artistic school of dressing – doing the same. It’s fair to say that I am not posh enough for the powerband. I have never knowingly been to a garden party. I haven’t even watched The Crown. I certainly don’t dress like a Sloane Ranger – I’m more likely to be found in a band T-shirt or hoody, and I am rarely out of trainers. I am, however, always interested in finding out how the other half live (or, at least, do their hair). So I try the headband out. I wear a straw version to dinner at my sister’s house (this passes largely without comment, although my boyfriend says it looks “a bit Handmaid’s Tale”) and to hang out with friends on Saturday. One of them says it looks like I have borrowed sunglasses from Star Trek’s Geordi La Forge and pushed them up to my forehead, which is novel. Commuting home on a drizzly Monday, I wear a green one, decorated with punk studs. Standing in a packed carriage, I think a woman nudges her friend and laughs at my headband. I don’t blame her. My takeaways? The reactions are fine – but it takes a while to get used to having a huge great thing on your head. To use an entirely non-posh word, it just feels a bit extra, like wearing a crown when you’re doing the weekly shop. Going to work in a striped number with pearls, I end up tying my hair back and matching my clothes to the headband. Off comes my usual sweatshirt and gold hoops, replaced with an old Chloé blouse with wide sleeves and some diamante cross earrings. Pretty posh. For me, anyway. Headbands are doing a roaring trade. At Net-a-Porter, the global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz says accessories sales have increased by 19% in the last season, with “headbands having a moment” and Matchesfashion.com and Asos say they are popular, too. “Padded headbands are the biggest hair trend this summer,” says Aisling McKeefry, head of design for Asos. “We’re drawing references from regal headwear but updating the styles,” she says. A Prada one will set you back £170, and a Dolce & Gabbana jewelled one is an eye-watering £975, but Asos has queen-worthy styles without the royal price tag: a pearl one is only £12. Zara has styles for around £17. As well as Princess Beatrice and friends, powerbands can be traced to the catwalk. For spring/summer 2019, every model at Prada wore padded designs, from pink satin to black and beaded. Brands including Erdem, Dolce & Gabbana and Simone Rocha have had them, too. The more ornate ones have also been linked to the Renaissance being so hot right now – a portrait of Anne Boleyn from circa 1533 has the then-queen wearing a very 2019 pearl headband. Accessorize is selling a simple, black style called the Boleyn for £9. Headbands have history before 1533. Fashion historian Tony Glenville says they can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans, and from medieval times, head-dresses – similar to Boleyn’s – were used by women to tie long hair back. Until the 20th century, women did not commonly cut their hair, he says. The alice band we know today originates in John Tenniel’s illustrations for 1871’s Through the Looking Glass, in which Alice wears a ribbon to tie her hair back. Glenville says this image means the headband has always been seen as a “simple and youthful style” and in the 1920s they were worn, across the forehead, by the Bright Young Things. You could argue the Sloanes, attending parties such as the Rose Ball in their headbands and puffball dresses, were picking up on the history of those hedonistic rich kids. “The original idea is about simplicity and practicality,” says Glenville. “The ribbon holding long, luxuriant hair back.” While there have been other headband moments since the 1980s (see Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl), York says the trend is properly back now because – in common with most fashion revivals – enough time has passed between revivals, and we’re able to see the charm of those 80s references. This is certainly true for Emma Elwick-Bates, contributing editor of American Vogue, and headband aficionado. “To me, the style recalls young Diana and Fergie, at ease and joyful,” she says. “And my perennial fashion favourite - Princess Caroline.” Yet as York says: “Toffs don’t dominate people’s imagination in the way they [once] did.” Indeed, a survey of current celebrity culture finds several headband wearers who like me, probably don’t have Ascot on their yearly calendar. The US model Chrissy Teigen, for instance, has made HOTD – headband of the day – happen on her Instagram Stories since 2018. Zendaya – a hair icon for me as Rue in Euphoria – wore one to the Met Ball in May. And they are big with influencers who are – in theory at least – a meritocratic breed (the merit being based on your ability to look nonchalant while wearing a catwalk-fresh outfit and posing in the middle of a road). Pernille Teisbaek, Tamu McPherson and Veronika Heilbrunner all wear headbands, as does Camila Carril, who has 146,000 followers, and excellent standing-in-the-road skills. Carril pre-ordered the pink Prada headband from the SS19 collection, and it is still a favourite. She says they provide a finishing touch: “The other day I was going for dinner and I wore a gorgeous, floral Zimmerman dress,” she says. “It was pretty on its own, [but] I felt the need to have an accessory to complement it.” It’s this idea that could make headbands work for people like me, who are a bit allergic to dressing up. In theory, could I do my bit for sustainability by recycling an old outfit and adding a headband (which I could also buy second-hand)? And would it mean I had “A Look” despite minimal effort? Elwick-Bates bought a Prada padded band last year, and she says it has become central to her wardrobe. “It [the Prada headband] rang in the new year, but came into its own in Richard Curtis season come May,” she says. “Several weddings later, I still love it.” Whether it is through sheer laziness or a way to be more Teigen, I’m starting to think the headband could be reclaimed beyond those who appear in Debrett’s. I’m going to give it a try this party season. If you see me on the tube, try not to laugh.

  • Birthday Special: Four Lavish Designer Lehengas Of Isha Ambani, Which  Are Totally Wedding-worthy
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    Boldsky

    Birthday Special: Four Lavish Designer Lehengas Of Isha Ambani, Which Are Totally Wedding-worthy

    Born on 23rd October 1991, Isha Ambani is the daughter Mukesh Ambani. Isha is well-connected with the fashion and film industry and she has been raising the temperatures with her luxurious designer outfits. Her lavish ethnic dresses, especially lehengas are

  • Happy Birthday Malaika Arora: The Supermodel Who Inspires Us To Step Out Of Our Comfort Zone
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    Boldsky

    Happy Birthday Malaika Arora: The Supermodel Who Inspires Us To Step Out Of Our Comfort Zone

    Born on 23rd October 1973, supermodel and dancer, Malaika Arora is versatile in her sartorial choices. From ethnics to western, the diva consistently slays in her stylish designer outfits and gives us many fashion statements. On her birthday, let us

  • Diwali 2019: This Diwali, We Have Compiled Modern Festive Wears For Discerning Men
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    Boldsky

    Diwali 2019: This Diwali, We Have Compiled Modern Festive Wears For Discerning Men

    Well, hey there discerning men, this Diwali look more stylish and flaunt your ethnic best. We have compiled five latest and stunning outfits for you so that you look notches dapper. The outfits that we have curated for you are

  • Let Sonam Kapoor Ahuja And Other Divas Inspire You To Dress Your Best For Mid-Week Party
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    Boldsky

    Let Sonam Kapoor Ahuja And Other Divas Inspire You To Dress Your Best For Mid-Week Party

    We all love parties. In fact, if we are invited to a weekend party, the first question that comes to our mind is what to wear? From dresses to sandals, our planning starts a week ago so that we can

  • Jenny Slate: 'I find myself dressing like characters from The Wind in the Willows'
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    The Guardian

    Jenny Slate: 'I find myself dressing like characters from The Wind in the Willows'

    The actor and standup on changing her outfit twice a day and why she loves brushing her hair out like Diane von Furstenberg. This picture was taken in downtown Soho, New York, and I’m wearing a large, striped, mohair sweater and booties, both from Acne, with Jesse Kamm jeans and a vintage silk blouse. I love this outfit because it has elements of style that make me feel mature and the pieces are by really imaginative designers. I don’t have a problem with spending money on more expensive items as long as I am buying them to feel good and provided they will last me quite a while. I’m a petite person and I love wearing oversized items in an effort to be both comfortable and chic. Sometimes I change my outfit a couple of times a day depending on how I feel or how I want to feel. There was quite a while when I dressed monochromatically; my personality is very colourful and I felt there were many different tones happening at once. I tend to be a pretty frenetic thinker – I scale emotional heights and dip to emotional lows many times a day just as part of being a live human person – so it felt very good to dress in one colour. It meant that at least one thing about me was very simple and straightforward and complete. I stopped dressing monochromatically almost a year ago when I realised that I wanted to be what I am, and not always try to control it. Occasionally, however, I still feel the need to dress in just one colour, and now I know that move is available to me. I am a fan of miniskirts, silk patterned dresses and things that might be seen as more traditionally femme. But I really like wearing outfits where I feel I am separated from qualifications that are put on gender. I love vintage Kath arine Hepburn, as well as Hepburn later in her life and what she wears in the movie On Golden Pond. I’m from Massachusetts, and love a tweed and a nubby wool. Right now I find myself trying to dress like characters in The Wind in the Willows – I really like those natural tones. There have been times when my fashion inspiration was Carmen Miranda or Fiona Apple, but at the moment I am drawn towards more earthy colours. I’m also really into brushing my hair out like Diane von Furstenberg – that is so luscious.

  • Nushrat Bharucha,Vaani Kapoor, And Other Divas Gave Festive Goals With Their Chic Outfits
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    Boldsky

    Nushrat Bharucha,Vaani Kapoor, And Other Divas Gave Festive Goals With Their Chic Outfits

    The most celebrated Indian festival, Diwali is just five days ahead and there are a lot of preparations to be done in a short span of time. But it seems like, our Bollywood celebrities are already in a celebration mode

  • We Don't Know Whether Jennifer Aniston Woke Up Like This But We Love Her Sunday-perfect Dress
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    Boldsky

    We Don't Know Whether Jennifer Aniston Woke Up Like This But We Love Her Sunday-perfect Dress

    Actress Jennifer Aniston is on Instagram and she broke the internet. Well, according to The Guinness World Records, Jennifer Aniston is the fastest Instagram user to reach one million followers. Well, Jennifer's Insta feed is getting a lot of attention

  • From Rakul Preet Singh To Shraddha Kapoor, The Traditional Outfits That Divas Wore Recently
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    Boldsky

    From Rakul Preet Singh To Shraddha Kapoor, The Traditional Outfits That Divas Wore Recently

    From Rakul Preet Singh to Shraddha Kapoor, the divas surprised us with their traditional outfits recently. However, there were some ensembles that we loved but some failed to wow us. So, let's find out what these dazzling divas wore.

  • Birthday Special: Five Times Parineeti Chopra Nailed The Casual Fashion Look With Her Classy Outfits
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    Boldsky

    Birthday Special: Five Times Parineeti Chopra Nailed The Casual Fashion Look With Her Classy Outfits

    Born on 22nd October 1988, Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra has not only entertained us with her acting prowess but has also won hearts with her charming personality and amazing fashion sense. Though the actress looks stunning in both ethnics and

  • Tiger Shroff And Disha Patani Colour-coordinate Each Other With Glittering Golden Outfits At ISL
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    Boldsky

    Tiger Shroff And Disha Patani Colour-coordinate Each Other With Glittering Golden Outfits At ISL

    Bollywood stars Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani have always been in the limelight. From their dancing videos to matching outfits, the duo give us major fashion goals. Recently, Tiger and Disha performed at the opening ceremony of Indian Super League

  • Nupur Sanon And Tara Sutaria Gave Us Wedding Wear Goals With Their Gorgeous Designer Lehengas
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    Boldsky

    Nupur Sanon And Tara Sutaria Gave Us Wedding Wear Goals With Their Gorgeous Designer Lehengas

    Recently, Bollywood actresses Tara Sutaria and Kriti Sanon's sister Nupur Sanon turned showstoppers at the 4th edition of The Wedding Junction fashion show and made heads turn with their stunning outfits. While Nupur Sanon unveiled designer Jesal Vora's Ajrak Collection,

  • From Dutee Chand To Alia Bhatt, Here Are Amazing Stylish Vogue Photoshoots Of The Leading Celebs
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    Boldsky

    From Dutee Chand To Alia Bhatt, Here Are Amazing Stylish Vogue Photoshoots Of The Leading Celebs

    Vogue India recently hosted the Vogue Women of the Year Awards and the leading fashion magazine did impressive cover shoot of the winners. The photoshoots of the celebrities were glamorous, bold, and also vibrant. So, from Dutee Chand to Alia

  • Anushka Sharma Stuns Us With Her Androgynous Outfit And Impressive Ear Jewellery
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    Boldsky

    Anushka Sharma Stuns Us With Her Androgynous Outfit And Impressive Ear Jewellery

    Anushka Sharma gave us more than just a fashion lesson with her party look at the Vogue Women of the Year Awards. She looked distinctive and wore something absolutely unique. Her outfit choice was totally worth it and the Sui

  • Katrina Kaif And Other Leading Celebs Make A Red Splash At The Vogue Women Of The Year Awards
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    Boldsky

    Katrina Kaif And Other Leading Celebs Make A Red Splash At The Vogue Women Of The Year Awards

    Red was the colour of the night at the Vogue Women of the Year Awards. A number of leading celebs including Katrina Kaif, Ranveer Singh, Janhvi Kapoor, and Warina Hussain wore red-hued outfits. So, let's find out what kind of

  • Sonam Kapoor Ahuja Proves With Her Classic Ivory Sari That Elegance Is Effortless
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    Boldsky

    Sonam Kapoor Ahuja Proves With Her Classic Ivory Sari That Elegance Is Effortless

    Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja always puts her best fashion foot forward. Be it ethnics or western, it's always a treat for the eyes to watch the actress slaying it in style. After stunning us with her modern unique white

  • The new workwear: has the suit finally died?
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    The Guardian

    The new workwear: has the suit finally died?

    The suit is dead… long live dressing down: Richard Godwin styled by Hope Lawrie; grooming by Juliana Sergot. Left: suit, shirt and briefcase by Paul Smith; tie by Drakes; brogues by Russell & Bromley; socks by Falke. Right: coat by Ami; hoodie by APC; trousers by YMC at mrporter.com; trainers by Veja; socks by London Sock Company. Photograph: Dean Chalkley/The ObserverOne afternoon about a decade ago, I was standing at a pub urinal not far from my old newspaper office when the man standing next to me opened up a conversation.“A tie, huh?” (He was American.) “Never take a job where they make you wear a tie.”He was in his mid-30s, wearing expensive-looking trainers, jeans and a sweatshirt. I was in my mid-20s, wearing my standard workwear: some nicely cut trousers, a decent white shirt, probably some black Chelsea boots and, yes, a tie that I would have taken some care selecting.I tried to explain that I liked my job. And I wasn’t forced to wear a tie, I chose to wear a tie. I liked ties! I liked how the French actor Romain Duris paired his tie with a high-collared leather jacket in the movie The Beat That My Heart Skipped. I liked how those old Italian dudes wore their ties on the Sartorialist blog. I liked how I never used to wear a tie and now I did and that meant I was a grown-up. I liked how people sometimes went: “Ooh, looking sharp,” and they definitely hadn’t said that a few years before, when I thought a Sparta Prague football shirt was the way to communicate how cosmopolitan and discerning I was.Seldom seen: Mark Zuckerberg, for once without his usual Silicon Valley T-shirt. Special case, he was testifying before a Senate committee, 10 April 2018. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty ImagesI even liked buying ties. So easy – one size fits all – and potentially bargainous. I had a fancy peacock silk one that my then-girlfriend-now-wife had bought me from Liberty, but also a weirdly chic green blobby-stripy one we found in an old flea market in Florence for about €2. But hang on – why am I justifying myself to a random toilet person? Who starts a conversation in a urinal?The kind of man who never wore a tie, clearly. The kind of man who refused to see the tie as anything other than a corporate noose around my neck. The kind of man whose workwear vision would ultimately prevail.For the American Neckwear Toilet Evangelist clearly had a better grasp of the future than I did. To wear a tie in 2019 is only marginally less eccentric than turning up to work dressed in chainmail. Formalwear, in general, is increasingly the preserve of dandies and defendants.According to market analysts Kantar, sales of suits are down 7% year-on-year, ties are down 6% and blazers down 10%. Marks & Spencer is cutting back on its formalwear; Moss Bros, the suit specialist, has issued three recent profit warnings. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs – whose bankers were once renowned for their Armani suits and Gucci loafers – announced a move to a “flexible dress code”. A company-wide memo cited the “changing nature of workplaces generally in favour of a more casual environment”. Other financial firms have since followed suit as the banks seek to emulate the “whatever” dress codes of the tech companies.Power dressing: Dominic Cummings sports a laidback look in Downing Street. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty ImagesThe suit in turn has become “a uniform for the power- less”, according to the American site Vox – only worn by people impelled to do so. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wears a suit when he testifies before Congress. When he is in control, he wears the Silicon Valley uniform of T-shirts and jeans – and don’t think that isn’t its own form of power-dressing, a way of saying: “I’m not going to play by your rules.” Boris Johnson’s calculatedly dishevelled appearance is another way of communicating that, too. However, it’s his special adviser, Dominic Cummings, whose dress is emblematic of the age, somehow – a contemptuous mish-mash of athleisure, dadwear and public school signifiers: the grey Levi’s hoodie with workshirt poking out; the hurriedly grabbed tote bag; the quilted gilet. This mess is what the people voted for, he seems to be saying. Deal with it.I am now in my mid-30s and I don’t work in a London newspaper office any more. I am freelance and I do a lot of my writing in a co-working space in Bristol where I moved a couple of years ago, amid nut-butter influencers and CBD start-ups and 20-something digital marketing types who say things like: “Yeah, a third of my capital is in crypto.” It’s kind of fun. But I have never even attempted to wear a tie there. Bristol isn’t really a tie sort of city. Not having been called to testify before Congress recently (what have I been doing with my life?), I haven’t worn a suit for a while either. The grown-up accoutrements I collected in London – the vintage mother-of-pearl cuff links, the Brooks Brothers shirts, the Paul Smith socks – I sort of left behind. If you want to know the truth of it, I’m writing this in slightly mildewy jogging bottoms and luminous orange Adidas running shoes. And it doesn’t necessarily feel like a liberation.Clearly, I am not the only person readjusting to the new workwear rules. Dan Rookwood, formerly US editor of the menswear site Mr Porter, was once rarely seen without at least eight items of exquisite tailoring. He has recently taken a job as creative director at Nike, moved from New York to Portland, and adjusted his attire accordingly. “I now have the best wardrobe I’ve ever had – a proper walk-in wardrobe, where I can see all my clothes,” he says. “But what it shows me is that I can’t wear the vast majority of it any more. It’s all made-to-measure suits and shirts and ties and bench-made shoes that I just can’t see myself wearing outside the occasional wedding as the winds of style have changed. It’s like a museum.”Clean cut: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men. Photograph: PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy Stock PhotoRookwood notes that the shift away from formal is industry-wide. “Men’s fashion changes more slowly than women’s fashion. But if you look at what men were wearing in 2014 compared to 2019, it is markedly different. This is a big change. We’re just not as buttoned up as we were.” The emphasis has moved from fine tailoring to luxury streetwear; from Milan and London to New York and Los Angeles; from Don Draper on the front of GQ to Kanye West on the sneaker site Highsnobiety. Louis Vuitton last year appointed West’s old associate Virgil Abloh as the artistic director of its menswear collection. Abloh made his name with the Chicago sneaker brand Off-White, where his stated mission was to add an “intellectual layer” to streetwear. While in the past, a woven silk tie from Brioni sent a subtle cue about status, now it’s more likely to be limited-edition Yeezys. There is a whole new set of rules to fall foul of – as the billion-heir Kendall Roy discovers in the HBO TV series Succession when he fails to impress some prospective clients by wearing a pair of Lanvin calfskin sneakers to a meeting.Rookwood feels that suits and all that will come around again – “everything comes back, eventually, in fashion” – but I’m not so sure. There’s a feeling of permanence in this shift, a once-and-for-all changing of the guard. You might cherish an idea of a father taking his son out to buy his first suit. Now a father is more likely to ask his son where to get a limited-edition Supreme hoodie. In any case, today’s 40- and 50-somethings grew up in a world of hip-hop and punk and trainers and tees. It’s what they know.Besides, when I survey a few not-particularly-fashion-y friends, they seem OK with the new relaxed dress codes. No, hardly anyone wears a suit to work any more. And no, hardly anyone mourns this loss. It’s just easier, freer and more comfortable to wear, say, a checked shirt and chinos. And if you happen to spill mayonnaise on your Urban Outfitted crotch while snarfing an al-desko sandwich, there’s usually no need to visit a dry-cleaner either. Economy comes into play. One friend notes that if you spend £100 on a suit, you will end up with a rubbish suit, but if you spend £100 on trousers and a shirt, you can look sharp and distinctive. He does keep a suit in the office, just in case he needs to go and meet that sort of client. But it’s become the sartorial equivalent of a fax machine; a faintly arcane piece of equipment reserved for specific uses.The way we wore: Dan Rookwood, US Editor for Mr Porter in January 2015. Now he says his wardrobe is ‘like a museum’. Photograph: Rex/ShutterstockIt wasn’t supposed to be like this, notes the American style writer David Coggins. “If you look at the men who wear formalwear well, they always look incredibly relaxed and ultimately comfortable. That’s what style is: it’s having a sense of ease with yourself in any situation.”The idea of tailoring wasn’t about following trends – massive collars one season, tiny ones the next, etc – it was to find something that worked for your shape, your build, your outlook. It was a process that required a certain self-knowledge. I suppose there’s no reason why luxury streetwear shouldn’t provide the same journey. I mean, when Frank Ocean sings about Nikes, it sounds like a meaningful relationship. But one thing that troubles me about this new power-dressing is the emphasis on branding, labels, items that cost hundreds of pounds not because an apprenticed tailor has spent a long time crafting it, but simply because that’s what the market says this thing is worth. Enforced sneakerdom is its own tyranny.Coggins suggests we have come to place too high a value on comfort as a society. “It used to be accepted that you would go through stages of slight discomfort to have an education. So you would read difficult books, or you’d sit through some operas, and maybe the first time you didn’t like it, but you would learn to like it – or at least appreciate what it is at stake. Now there’s this thought that comfort is everything. People dress as if they’re at home all the time, and they act like they’re at home when they’re in public. It’s why people lie down on the floor in airports and Facetime in restaurants and put their feet up on train seats.”There’s another aspect of this that troubles me. One of the pleasures of wearing a suit to work, for me, was shedding it when I got home. Now there is less distinction between work and home, on and off, public and private. I might be answering a work email at 10.37pm, I might be having a nap at 3.07pm, I might be tapping away in a café a 11.45am on a Sunday while families brunch around me.Some freelancers I consult cherish the freedom of working in their pyjamas – “If you can’t motivate yourself without a literal suit on, maybe freelancing is not for your temperament,” says one. Another notes the environmental cost of maintaining a full office wardrobe with a different outfit each day. But others warn against the entropic lure of Uniqlo stretch jogging bottoms.> Freelancers warn against the entropic lure of Uniqlo stretch jogging bottomsPersonally, I’m usually in some smart-casual-compromise outfit that is neither truly smart nor truly casual. Maybe some overly formal trousers and some underly white Stan Smiths. Maybe a canvas tote bag with my laptop in it, or a shirt that could use an iron – but am I going to iron a shirt for the school run?I am more often than not in trainers. I find brogues or loafers make a huge clomping noise on the laminate floor of my co-working space. And when I come up to London, I’m often, literally, running between meetings. I can’t help thinking that the move towards trainers as acceptable workwear has a lot to do with the fact that work is now so much a question of inputs and outputs; life is just hectic; we’re expected to “perform” like athletes. But the trainer is also the footwear of the retired, the overleisured, the underemployed.In Nikolai Goncharov’s 1859 novel Oblomov, the dressing gown worn by the title character – khalat in Russian – becomes a symbol of the turpitude of the archetypal 19th-century “superfluous man”. There is even a word in Russian – khalatnost, “dressing-gown-ness” – to describe the condition. I wonder what the 21st-century equivalent would be. Sneakerness? Jerseyness? Dressing-down-ness?I say I never wear a suit and tie any more. The one exception was a recent 20-year university reunion which required all of the men to dress in “lounge suits”. Everyone remarked on how they never wore suits and ties these days. Everyone spent the evening complimenting one another. And everyone, I sensed, enjoyed looking their unashamed best. What if you never had the chance to look your best again? What kind of future would that be?

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