Apt. 12 feat. Linder Swimwear starring Henry Hinton


Apt. 12 feat. Linder Swimwear

Photography: Jim Duran // Model: Henry Hinton


C2H4 x Vans Drops Today...


Los Angeles based menswear brand C2H4 and Vans are launching a futuristic collaboration that will take you to Mars and back.  Known for their monochromatic color schemes and seamless fusion of science and fashion, the collab will mimic the brands Spring/Summer 2018 collection entitled Zero Gravity.  Fast forward to 2082 to peep the reworked classic Era and Old Skool styles in grey and off-white with transparent soles and clean embellishments.  Collab drops today at 7pm Pacific time so cop yours while you can because supplies will be limited.

Visit https://www.c2h4losangeles.com/# for more details. 

Most Stylish Men at the Met Gala

More often then not the men attending the annual Met Gala serve as escorts to the actresses, entertainers and socialites walking the red carpet.  Left in the shadows by the extravagant, one-of-a-kind, eleganza created by designers according to that years theme.  This years theme being Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination lent itself to more inspired looks for our Y chromosomes.  Everyone from Jared Leto and Michael B. Jordan to Migos and Luka Sabbat showed up and showed out.  Here are the most stylish men at the Met Gala.

FGI DALLAS: 2018 Rising Star Awards

2017 womenswear winner Ezé Azénabor and this years winner for Womenswear, Vinny Etienne of Levenity.

2017 womenswear winner Ezé Azénabor and this years winner for Womenswear, Vinny Etienne of Levenity.

Last week Fashion Group International: Dallas hosted their annual Rising Star Awards.  FGI Dallas, the largest chapter outside New York City, is part of Fashion Group International, a global, non-profit organization with more than 6,000 members representing all areas of the fashion industry.  Every year FGI Dallas selects the best of the best from the Dallas metroplex in the areas of womenwear, menswear, beauty, photography, art and fashion blogging.  Held at 7 for Parties and produced by FGI Dallas stalwart Jan Stimple, this years event was especially exciting.

In attendance was former winner Nha Khanh, designer Charles Smith, Rhonda Sargent ChambersStephanie Moore and singer Hanna who gave a special runway performance.  Last years winner for womenswear Esé Azénabor was on hand to present this years womenswear award to Vinny Etienne of Levenity who has been featured in WWD, Vogue and seen on celebs like Angela Simmons, Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child and Cardi B.  

This years winners also include: Aaron Fairooz for photgraphy,  Lindsey Meyer for art,  Jason Simmons for menswear,  Amber Lafrance for fashion blogger and Jo Franco for beauty.


Models backstage in Neo Bantu.

Tor Matthey, Stephanie Moore, this years beauty winner Jo Franco and Samantha Jane.

Tor Matthey, Stephanie Moore, this years beauty winner Jo Franco and Samantha Jane.

Designers Nha Khanh, and Charles Smith.

Designers Nha Khanh, and Charles Smith.

BLKLN exclusive: Rêve Tropicale


   Rêve Tropicale    

Photography: Maja Buck (@majabuck)

Creative Direction/Styling: Trey Short (@treshort_)

Make-Up: Lexi Landolt (@somebodydied)

Models: Trey Short and Arianna Wissinger (@ariannawissinger)

Photo assistant: Naoto Nakamura (@naoto.jpg)

Location: Grizzelda's (@grizzeldas)


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Neil Grotzinger:

Gender, Menswear, and Couture.

Neil Grotzinger

Neil Grotzinger

When someone asks you about men's fashion what usually comes to mind?  Suits, blazers, overly hyped sneakers, mortgage payment priced designer t-shirts?  What if there was more to it than that?  What if there was an elevation filled with hand stitched lace tees and silk boxing shorts with Swarovski crystal embellished waistbands?  Couture level garments created using traditional couture techniques.  Sound like a dream?  Well designer Neil Grotzinger is making it a reality.  The recent Parsons MFA graduate broke all the traditional menswear rules, and some couture rules, to delivered a socially enlightened and refreshing technical Graduate collection during New York Fashion Week in September.  Along side a few other "underground" designers, Neil has opted to elevate menswear and while Dior had the New Look, Grotzinger has given us his New Idea on dressing. 

Jim Duran:  Tell me about your graduation collection.
Neil Grotzinger:  "My Graduate collection was developed around the concept of subverting masculine stereotypes, specifically those I felt I had a difficult time understanding while I was growing up.  A great deal of the initial stages of development for this collection involved a process of getting dressed up in clothes that signified a fictional masculine archetype. I was trying to embody those archetypes in an ephemaralized, exaggerated way, just up until the point when it began to feel feminine. As the process went on, I began to think about how I could use textile to subvert certain recognizable garments into facades of themselves.  A t-shirt within the collection, for example, was made entirely out of lace, and hand sewn together using red beads wherever there would normally be a cover stitch or rib trim. Other garments, like wrestling singlets were also made out of lace, as a way of teeter tottering between athletic sportswear and erotic lingerie."

JD:  What did you want the industry to take away from this collection?
NG:  "I wanted the industry to recognize that there is a vast grey area within Men’s fashion, as it remains relatively unexplored to its fullest potential in our current day and age.  Fashion is becoming very political right now, as people are beginning to address their sentiments towards their social climate in more complex ways.  This collection was my way of addressing how fictional our concept of masculinity really is."

JD:  Did you have a moment when putting together this collection where you thought you had something very special?
NG:  "I think there were little moments throughout the entire process that were very rewarding, but I can’t think of one moment when it all came together. Working on the embroideries for the collection, and finding ways of embedding symbolic garment details into couture bead work felt very exciting because I could really feel the balancing act at play, but the whole process was exciting overall."

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JD:  Tell me what role gender plays in your designs.
NG:  "Gender is the basis of what I do. Understanding the vastness of gender perception and identification, as well as trying to figure out how to contrast that with the narrow-minded framework of gender clarification in America throughout history is my way of building social commentary into my clothing." 

JD:  How do you think the idea of gender is changing in fashion?
NG:  "I think the underground is starting to play a big role in fashion, and gender looks very different in the underground.  I think people are starting to become more stimulated by the idea of social stereotypes being challenged in fashion, which is making them reconsider what it means to be a certain way or seem a certain way."

JD:  How do you perfect the balance of masculinity and femininity in your work?
NG:  "It’s a difficult process, but it usually isn’t always necessarily about balance. For me, it’s about finding the right way to make something contradict itself. If it feels like I’ve challenged masculinity, or infused something with a heightened sense of effeminacy, then I’m usually satisfied."

JD:  How has life changed since fashion week?
NG:  "Since fashion week, I’ve started teaching at Parsons and developing new concepts for my next collection. I want to transform my ethos into a sustainable brand, and build a very tangible market for Couture Menswear."

JD:  You've said that your goal is to create a men's couture market. What do you think will be the biggest obstacle in accomplishing this?
NG:  "I think it can be challenging to get people to recognize this as a social necessity.  Because of the fact that menswear has been on the same plane for so long, it’s difficult to get people to recognize that it has the capacity to be something else."

JD:  Do think it will be difficult to change people's perception of what couture means?
NG:  "I think the process of establishing yourself as a couturier was structured to create a society of custom “dressmakers,” which may have made sense in the late 19th century, but it doesn’t really make sense now.  It’s just a matter of reconsidering the parameters of what it means to be a couturier, because couture is hurting itself every day as it remains so exclusive to one very specific type of person."

JD:  Do think it more difficult now for young designers to find an original voice than ten years ago?
NG:  "No, I actually think it’s easier.  Young designers are finally being listened to in fashion again.  In some sense it can be hard to find a voice today because there is so much out there, but at the same time social consideration for alternative fashion has grown so much in this day and age that I think it’s the perfect time to make a statement as a young designer."

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Photos courtesy of Neil Grotzinger.




Men's SS18

Last Friday, guests were transported to a neon graveyard in anticipation of Jeremy Scott's presentation of the Moschino Men's Spring/Summer & Women's Resort collections.  This would be Scott's second Moschino presentation stateside, and LA's finest including Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Hudgens and Fergie all sat front row eagerly awaiting the show to begin. 

Photo by Joey Arias

Photo by Joey Arias

The lights dimmed and the crowd was surrounded by the swirling sounds of casino arcades and jackpots. In a flash, the neon graveyard was resurrected in all its blazing, electric glory.  Cheers and applause erupted because we all knew we were about to win big.  Flirty dresses and separates appliquéd with sketches of pinup girls played along side patchwork denim and leather pieces.  Waves of slick cowgirls and rhinestone cowboys sauntered by, leaving us begging for another look.  They were emblazoned with rhinestones, race car flames, and you could almost smell the seductive pull of leather and gasoline.  Luxe moto-racing looks added the right amount of danger. 

Designer Jeremy Scott, Joey Arias

Designer Jeremy Scott, Joey Arias

Scott summoned SpongeBob SquarePants back onto the playground for a new collaboration between Moschino and Project (RED).  SquarePants' image was throughout the show, placed on swimsuits, t-shirts, bags and backpacks.  Betty Boop also came out to play appearing as both a biker babe and a pinup cowgirl.

Our excitement increased as pinup girl inspired looks took center stage and even Moschino's beloved teddy beargot in on the game, featured wearing a pair of bunny ears of his own.  A pair of leather pants studded with the Playboy logo on the back pocket are definitely on my wish list.  Black lace separates and tasseled gowns only increased our already racing pulses. To bring us to an even higher state of revelry, Jeremy gave us not one, but two fully realized Las Vegas showgirls in sexy peekaboo lace detailed jeans and bustiers, complete with cascading plume headdresses.  Joan Smalls closed the show in a gorgeous fiery beaded gown that seared the runway.  Jeremy emerged onto the runway after final looks in a sweater featuring the new Moschino x (RED) SpongeBob Squarepants, and humbly accepted the showering of love and praise that poured onto the stage.  

The most engaging aspect of Jeremy's work is all the excitement and emotion evoked from his runway presentations which easily translate to the streets.

Joey Arias

Photos by Joey Arias and courtesy of Vogue


Every year during art fair The Joule Hotel hosts the Eye Ball which serves as the unofficial closing event to Dallas Art Fair.  I'm not sure if its the excitement due to the overwhelming creative energy buzzing through the city of Dallas or if its pure exhaustion after a week of non-stop openings and parties, but the Eye Ball is always a great synergy of fashion, art, and alcohol.  With over the top staging and production by Jan Strimple and the exclusive guest list from Forty Five Ten this year's Eye Ball did not disappoint and neither did the fashion.  From Nini Nguyen in Fenty x Puma to Mary Bennett in Jacquemus, this crowd slayed and left me thinking aye eye aye!

Dallas Art Fair

This morning the Dallas Art Fair kicked off its ninth year with a press preview of this years exhibitors at the Fashion Industry Gallery. Guest speaker Mayor Pro Tem, Monica Alonzo welcomed everyone and announced that April 1, 2017 marked the first day of what is now Dallas Art Month. DMA, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Gavin Delahunty, announced the winners of the second annual Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program including artists: Justin Adian, Katherine Bradford, Derek Fordjour, Andrea Galvani, Summer Wheat and Matthew Wong. This year with over 90 galleries from 16 countries, the Dallas Art Fair's reach is now global setting it on par with Miami's Art Basel and Frieze in New York

With great art comes great style. Art Fair has quickly become one of the most truly stylish events in Dallas with patrons donning their best fashion often straight from the runway.  One fashion rag recently published an article debating who was more fashionable: the art kids or the fashion kids. Not sure who takes the cake, but during Dallas Art Fair it's a no brainer. 

From Top: Ruben Burgess, Christen Wilson and Samantha McCurdy from Dallas Art Fair Preview Gala 2016.

J. Balvin for Ovadia and Sons S/S17

It was announced Tuesday that international superstar, style iconic, and our favorite men's week mate, J. Balvin, is the face of the Ovadia and Sons Spring 2017 ad campaign.  This comes as no surprise as Balvin sat front row this past February at the brand's Fall 2017 runway show alongside hip-hop artists Young Paris and Fabolous.  Shot in Twentnine Palms by photographer Sean Sullivan, the brand took there line off the streets of NYC and to the California desert, and the results were major.


Photos by @_seansullivan, courtesy of Sean Sullivan and Ovadia and Sons.

Get Your Hands On Vetements' First Collection...

Photo courtesy of Style.com

Photo courtesy of Style.com

Style.com has partnered with Vetements to bring back the brand's iconic first collection that catapulted them into the mainstream. In 2014 the Gvasalia brothers shook fashion consciousness with their thoroughly modern and radical vision of oversized proportions - either too big or too small - and fresh, often slogan-ed, street wear. You can find the reissued collection here, https://www.style.com/womenswear/vetements/

Monse and de la Renta Shake Up NYFW

Photo courtesy of Monse.com

Photo courtesy of Monse.com

The catwalk is continuously evolving as Monse and Oscar de la Renta combine their shows this coming February. Designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are co-creative directors for both houses, a happy home coming of sorts as the duo previously left de la Renta more than a year ago to launch Monse. This will be their debut for the former. It will be interesting to see how the lines are drawn, with de la Renta known for its Upper East debuntante aesthetic, and Monse with its more rebellious and sensual vibe.

Garcia insists having the shows together is easier and cost effective. The separation of ideas will be very apparent, but the two will complement each other. Alex Bowen, de la Renta's Chief Executive, wants to convey that the two are part of the same brand family. A bid to attract a younger audience for the elder brand, perhaps? Garcia and Kim will certainly evolve what we've come to expect from de la Renta, and hopefully they can infuse the new modern embraced by Monse.


BLKLN feature:


Photographer: Tracy Morford (@tracy_morford)

Stylist: Trey Short (@treShort_)

Model : Austin Chevier (@dontcometotexas)

Prabal Gurung for Pokémon

Prabal Gurung has partnered with Pokémon for a capsule collection now exclusively soldat Jeffrey's New York. The nine piece collection is fun and whimsical, with the price point ranging from $325 for a t-shirt and $1,795 for a color-block tunic dress.
"With this collection, we engage a younger clientele who still embraces our elevated sense of style," said the designer in a statement. The collection is currently online at www.jeffreynewyork.com.


Photos courtesy of Jeffrey New York.

Neiman Marcus to open Rent the Runway Pop-Up

Rent the Runway shop in Georgetown/photo courtesy of Rent the Runway.

Rent the Runway shop in Georgetown/photo courtesy of Rent the Runway.

In a bold move, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has partnered with e-commerce business Rent The Runway, in a bid to attract new and young customers. The first in-store boutique is set to open today in San Francisco, with more set to open in 2017. The 3,000 square foot space will showcase a rotating selection of clothes shoppers can rent, with complementing accessories for purchase from the retailer.

Neiman's has reported a loss in sales in the most recent quarter, and with the current trend of sluggish mall traffic, it is the first among major department stores to partner with an e-commerce rival to help boost sales. The partnership signals a response to changing consumer attitudes and hopefully reels in Rent-The-Runway's 6 million members.

Neiman Marcus San Francisco/photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus San Francisco/photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Stella McCartney Menswear Hits Online Store

Today Stella McCartney Menswear has been made available for pre-order on the designers website. The collection "interjects energy into timeless classics. Welcoming psychedelic and graphic prints, easy tailoring and fuss free outerwear, combined with everyday, wear-everywhere footwear and accessories."  

For more information please visit www.stellamarcartney.com . Photos courtesy of Stella McCartney.

Brock Collection wins CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

Selman, Barrett, Vassar and Brock.

Selman, Barrett, Vassar and Brock.

Monday evening the winner of the 2016 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was announced at a star studded ceremony in New York City hosted by Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg. Lifetime achievement honoree Michael Kors alongside Zendaya presented winners Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock of the Brock Collection with the grande prize with Stirling Barrett of Krewe eyewear and Adam Selman as runners up. The winner takes home $400,000 and a year of mentorship from top industry players while the runners up both get $150,000. In what is easily the most grueling process in any young designers life, all 10 finalists faced a series of challenges spanning several months before going in front a panel of judges that include industry heavyweights, Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing and CFDA Chief Executive, Steven Kolb. Other finalists include: Laurence Chandler and Joshua Kyle of Rochambeau, Chris Stamp of STAMPD, Chloé Gosselin, Ji Oh, Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane, Maryam and Marjan Malakpour of Newbark, and Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszcyk of Area. Vassar and Brock join the ranks of past winners and some of today's most celebrated designers including Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Rodarté, Public School and Altuzarra.

Jim Duran.

Vassar and Brock with son and Gigi Hadid, photo by Gregory Harris

Vassar and Brock with son and Gigi Hadid, photo by Gregory Harris