Yes, I knew him when... I am one of those old friends who I hope he won't forget as he continues to climb the fashion ladder. Unlikely, as he is by far one of the nicest fashionistas I have ever met. He came to us at Valentino in his final year of school... Thanks to Matthew for finding him. He didn't report to my team as he was in PR, but we had the good-fortune of having him sit in our little menswear office. He quickly became part of our family!!! He immediately displayed his innate style sense and deep love of fashion and even then I knew he would soar to great heights. After his "tenure" at the House Of Val, he landed a plum job as an Associate Fashion Editor and although I don't see him often, I follow his ascent on Facebook and of course notice his editorial hand in the pages of the magazine so lucky to have him.
Meet my friend Paul. If you don't know him, you should... If you don't appreciate his personal style, you should!!! I asked him to send me some pictures to use as I wanted to make sure I represented him properly and what I loved about each and every one was his ability to mix it up. Although he always looks chic, he never looks like a victim. He has a classic sensibility, but he knows how to make his look pop, by mixing brands, textures and colors. We all of have our favorite designers, but only those with true style know how to blend brands and effectively combine the high and the low. I love everything about this photo of him... Sure I am a sucker for black & white, but it also gives me so much to talk about.
He is wearing a perfect trench by hot indie design house Shipley & Halmos, a hip vest by the American dream team, Rag & Bone, a tie by the rocker-meets-every-guy brand, John Varvatos and the essential white shirt from the great basics retailer, Club Monaco. He finishes his look with the perfect pair of glasses. The overall effect is masculine, cool, smart, sophisticated and most of all accessible-chic. It can be hard for guys to pull off fashion without looking "costumy", so a look like this is perfect for any true "stylista" or even any low-key "every guy". The key is to never look like you tried, even if you did... I also adore the fact that he brings the seasons together. It looks "right now" and will look even better as we painfully inch our way towards warmer weather (damn Punxsutawney Phil). He combines different neutrals and fabric weights for a flawless effect!!!
Great trenches are a dime a dozen, but I want to share some of my quintessential favs. I love the Sutherland Trench by J. Crew. It is beyond versatile as it is beltless...perfect over a suit, or Paul's look. At $225, it is one amazing buy!!! Now for the other extreme...I love me a fashionable guy and can tell you that any man in this Burberry nubuc stunner would get my vote. Of course the price is not for the faint of heart...it will cost you a cool $5,000. If you are just too cool for school for either of these finds, then go for a trench in a hot metallic neutral, like this notice-worthy glossy number by Dirty English by Juicy Couture. It is $450 at Neiman Marcus.
Guys...I tell my female readers all the time to have some fun with fashion, so like Paul, mix it up a bit, play with shape, texture, color, weight... That said keep it masculine and sophisticated when "going combo". Top it off this season with the perfect trench (take a cue from one of my favorite Spring shows, Burberry) and look oh-so hip, oh-so smart and oh-so sexy!!!
Oh and keep your eye on Paul...you will be seeing lots of him in years to come...