Atelier Neutre SS17 Is a Synthesis Between French and African Aesthetics


First featured in our Under the Radar series for upcoming brands, Parisian label Atelier Neutre has lifted the curtain on its SS17 collection. The label describes its latest work as, “a synthesis between French tailoring and African aesthetics,” which means a juxtaposition of ’40s-style trousers, paisley bandanas, plush fabrics and a wacky explosion of pattern and color (see that outrageous rainbow-splattered parka in #6?).

If the brand’s OTT styling is a bit much for you, then there’s plenty of solid options in among all the peacocking — side-striped camo pants, trucker jackets cut from bomber-style nylon shells, denim kimonos, and sleeveless army jackets.

Find out more over at the Atelier Neutre website.

For more new collections, check out the highlights from H&M and KENZO’s forthcoming collab.

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adidas Is Now the Second-Largest Sportswear Brand in the U.S.


adidas has brushed Under Armour aside to become the second-largest sportswear brand in the North American market.

Under Armour had passed adidas two years ago to become Nike’s closest rival, but that loss of market share was clearly a wake-up call for adidas, with nearly quadruple the worldwide revenue of Under Armour. Industry experts say that the Three Stripes had been relying too heavily on its European heritage to sell its merchandise in the States, which was in contrast to the hype and excitement its competitors were generating.

adidas has since turned that around by reimagining its beloved heritage footwear models like the Stan Smith, Superstar, and the Gazelle, as well as high profile partnerships like Kanye West’s YEEZY line and extensive collabs with Pharrell.

In other sneaker news, this is how many pairs of sneakers Nike sells every second.

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The 30 Must-Have Items From Kenzo x H&M


On November 3, Kenzo x H&M will launch their full collaborative collection. For those unfamiliar with the Japanese-by-way-of-Paris fashion house, it was founded in 1970 by designer Kenzo Takada.

Takada was born in Japan in 1940, and he has the elite honor of being the first male student at Tokyo’s prestigious Bunka Fashion College. Other graduates include Rei Kawakubo of COMME des GARCONS, Jun Takashi of UNDERCOVER and NIGO of A Bathing Ape.

Takada moved to Paris in 1964, where he established his “Jungle Jap” boutique. He earned a reputation for his mix of animal print motifs and artful fusion of Asian and Japanese design details and textiles with atelier-level European production.

This was the guy that reinterpreted the Japanese kimono in a high-fashion context long before androgynous, super-drapey robe coats became a street style staple. His most famous fashion shows were held in 1978, with a literal circus tent as the venue, replete with performers on horseback and an elephant that the designer himself rode in on.

In 2011, Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were tapped to helm the house Takada built and revitalized it with a vibrant, colorful energy rooted in streetwear staples. For a time, the new Kenzo’s New Era baseball caps and embroidered graphic logo sweatshirts were ubiquitous on the bodies of burgeoning Instagram influencers, fashion editors and the average consumer.

Before you shop the exhaustive 100+ piece Kenzo x H&M collection, consider these choice garms that really embody what makes the label special.

Men’s Pieces

Kenzo x H&M Coat, $249


This elongated bomber features a wild masculine leopard print, with a predominantly royal blue and black motif broken up by bright green tiger stripes and a neon pink tiger stripe lining.

The chain-link pattern bottom half can be zipped off, giving you a more conventional bomber length.

Kenzo x H&M Hoodie, $99


This textured faux fur hoodie is for the bold, but it’s the sort of statement piece that perfectly channels Takada’s unique design language.

The patchwork construction gives it a distinctly Japanese appeal, though successfully pulling it off is going to be a challenge.

Kenzo x H&M Leather Jacket, $399


On the surface, this versatile, Western-inspired quilted leather jacket seems quiet enough, with vintage-style yokes on the chest and tonal ribbing at the sleeves and neck.

However, the back graphic channels the appeal of embroidered souvenir jackets while giving enough psychedelic color to tie it back into the Kenzo universe.

Kenzo x H&M Jeans, $99


Another subtle way to pull off Kenzo’s signature tiger stripes: consider this pair of dark washed denim.

They make a small statement that can easily be balanced out with a white tee and solid jacket.

Kenzo x H&M T-shirt, $49.99


A tiger striped tee in a bold red is ideal for sneakerheads looking to let their Jordan 1 “Breds” shine.

Or if you’re really looking to flex, consider mixing it up with the upcoming “Top 3” Jordan 1s to really channel the mixed-up spirit of the Kenzo label.

Kenzo x H&M Hat, $49.99


One of the most hyped items from Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s first outing at Kenzo was their collaborative New Era fitted caps, which eventually came out in psychedelic patterns that embodied the spirit of the brand.

This rendition balances a versatile black cap with a colorful logo and embroidered tiger, putting on just enough craziness while still remaining relatively tame.

Kenzo x H&M Reversible Bomber, $199


The chain-link motif on the reverse side of this otherwise understated bomber jacket may be reminiscent of an equally dominant pattern in UNDERCOVER’s Fall 2016 line, but at least this jacket will set you back a lot less than most of Jun Takahashi’s covetable creations.

Kenzo x H&M Sweater, $99


Part-Oscar the Grouch, part-grunge thrift store steez, this fuzzy turtleneck goes great with a pair of super distressed jeans and beat-up Doc Martens for a full-on ’90s vibe.

Kenzo x H&M Sweatshirt, $59.99


Another of the most hyped pieces from Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s first Kenzo collection were the logo sweatshirts, which helped usher in a trend towards luxurious graphic crewnecks.

Fortunately, this version costs less than a hundred bucks.

Kenzo x H&M Jacket, $349


Part-Coogi, all-Kenzo, this statement coat will keep you warm while letting people spot you from a mile away.

Again channeling Kenzo’s penchant for mixing animal prints and wild colors, the ribbed high-neck gives it the retro appeal of ’90s sportswear.

Kenzo x H&M Patchwork Sweatshirt, $99


Balancing out the otherwise basic takes on Kenzo’s logo sweatshirts, this patchwork version mixes a variety of motifs on one piece.

Pricier than the other men’s sweatshirts, this design hews more closely to the label’s reputation for mixing and matching.

Kenzo x H&M CPO Shirt, $99


Ah yes, something for the minimalists. This overshirt features a printed lining and a solid charcoal color on the outside, along with a red tab on the chest pocket, reminiscent of heritage brands like Levi’s.

Kenzo x H&M Keychain, $34.99


No designer collaboration is complete without some tcotchkes to round it out, and Kenzo’s tiger stripe keychain, replete with charms, is one way to get a piece of the collection and Kenzo’s design heritage in a super subtle way.

Kenzo x H&M Boot, $199


Chelsea boots are on the feet of every other stylish male these days, and this collaborative pair taps into Kenzo’s brightly-colored heritage with a deep green lug sole.

Kenzo x H&M T-shirt, $34.99


Yeah, it’s a simple logo T-shirt—but can you ever have enough in your wardrobe? Of course not.

Women’s Pieces

Kenzo x H&M Dress, $199


Kenzo Takada’s label gained renown for mixing Asian textiles with couture shapes and a European fashion sensibility. This elegant dress channels that with bold floral accents.

Kenzo x H&M Coat, $249


If you’re gonna stunt this winter, might as well do it in a faux fur coat with elegant gold buttons, in line with Kenzo’s use of tiger stripes and bold color blocking.

Kenzo x H&M Jacket, $299


Mixing a quilted bomber with kimono sleeves, grosgrain trim and floral embroidery, this winter layering piece captures Kenzo’s East-meets-West design language perfectly.

Kenzo x H&M Bomber Sweater, $149


If you prefer your bombers a bit more traditional in silhouette, this textured color-blocked version fits the bill, while the bold chest pattern hits all the classic Kenzo notes.

Kenzo x H&M Hat, $49.99


Technically the baseball cap is unisex, but the allover floral print gives it a slightly more feminine attitude—not that dudes couldn’t pull this off, too.

Kenzo x H&M Shades, $49.99


With a bold shape and creamsicle color story, expect these attention-grabbing sunglasses to pop-up on a K-Pop celebrity sooner rather than later.

The orange and white allude to the constantly revisited tiger motifs in the Kenzo universe, plus they’re more affordable than your standard pair of designer shades.

Kenzo x H&M Sweatshirt, $59.99


The Kenzo logo sweater is given a feminine touch with a frilled asymmetrical collar, and the bold orange color is contrasted by a subtler navy blue.

It works if you’re looking for something a bit loud—or happen to be a Mets or Knicks fan.

Kenzo x H&M Shirt, $79.99


The standard blouse is reinterpreted in Kenzo’s signature tiger stripes, while a bright green is tempered with a black collar with beaded tigers and frill details.

Kenzo x H&M Dress, $299


The dresses in this collaboration really allude to classic Kenzo Takada designs, and this psychedelic floral one with frilled shoulders especially stands out. It has a slight Frida Kahlo vibe to it as well.

Kenzo x H&M Coat, $349


Considering Kenzo is one of the first houses to pioneer the kimono as a fashion piece, this kimono coat is the perfect outerwear silhouette that bridges the gap between Takada’s design legacy and H&M’s commercial accessibility.

Kenzo x H&M Turtleneck Top, $49.99


Casual turtleneck tops are having a moment, and this easy-wearing layer provides some extra warmth while infusing a bit of that Kenzo wild side into any wardrobe.

Kenzo x H&M Small Tote, $129


Expect these Kenzo-branded tote bags to go fast. Available in two sizes, the smaller one isn’t just cheaper, but the perfect size for toting around daily essentials.

Kenzo x H&M Shirt, $69.99


This pajama-inspired shirt is made of the same pattern that serves as the lining for an overshirt in the men’s offering. The colorful geometric shapes reflect a slightly preppier side of Kenzo.

Kenzo x H&M Bootie, $299


These bold digital tiger stripe booties look like something that would end up on the feet of Rihanna soon. They’re a statement-making footwear piece that communicate serious style.

Kenzo x H&M Tee, $34.99


Of course, if you’re itching just to have a piece of the collection you probably won’t tire of, you can never go wrong with a simple black logo tee.

Now check out the 15 best sneakers worn at Crepe City Fall 2016.

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Why Is the Post-Soviet Aesthetic so On-Point Right Now?


Along with off-kilter Gucci nerdiness, the fashion obsession of the moment is the post-Soviet chic envisaged by Gosha Rubchinskiy, Vetements and the new Balenciaga, styled by uber-stylist – as she has been recently dubbed by Vogue – Lotta Volkova Adam.

A bit trashy, a bit provocative, slightly exotic and spiced up with a tinge of bad taste, the new post-Soviet aesthetic attracts a cult-like following.

It’s hard to say now where the popularity of the post-Soviet style began. Maybe the story started when Gosha Rubchinskiy met Adrian Joffe of the Dover Street Market at a friend’s party, or when Demna Gvasalia showed one of his first lookbooks to stylist Lotta Volkova, or maybe when Vika Gazinskaya was asked to decorate the shop windows at Colette in the 2000s.

What is clear, though, is that the hype is on the rise with young designers from all over the world imitating the fashionable Cyrillic script and fashion bloggers rushing to St. Petersburg to capture the hot young crowd (see the 21eme Insta). But what exactly is the contemporary Eastern European aesthetic, and what makes it so special?

The Dissolution of the Soviet Bloc

Sputnik 1985

The main point of attraction is arguably the aura of exoticism that still surrounds the post-Soviet bloc. For more than 50 years the Soviet Union remained a totally closed, isolated society, inaccessible for outsiders, mysterious and vaguely threatening. That’s why its collapse presented a sort of social conundrum to the rest of the world – in a rapidly globalizing world, the countries and cultures of the former Soviet Union were strikingly different and unfamiliar.

However, from the post-Soviet perspective, it was the outer world that seemed an exotic and unknown place. Despite the mild democratization that started in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Western art and literature, just like the home dissident and underground culture, were still hard to get one’s hands on.

It was the 1990s that put an end to censorship and created the impression of total freedom. The early 1990s, one of the most controversial times in the recent history of the former Soviet republics, was an era of powerful cultural upsurge. Art and literature that had been banned before – including so-called dissident, underground Soviet culture as well as Western culture – could now be accessed freely.

The Influx of Western Culture in the East


This created opportunities that the Soviet creative scene had never known before. The masses were fascinated by the arrival of international magazines and the newly-attained availability of Hollywood cinema that were rapidly incorporated in the popular culture. The now-iconic Titanic hoody by Vetements is also a piece inspired by the Eastern European 1990s that were literally flooded with cheap T-shirts decorated with poorly-made prints of Kate’s teary face.

At the same time, it was not only Western culture that was imported, but – following the deregulation of the economy – the principles of the Western consumerism, which was a complete novelty at the time. In the Soviet Union, goods from the West, like jeans or Coca-Cola, had had an almost mythical status and were now being imported freely.

Brands and logos were being discovered and re-invented; turning into the symbols of the new order. Gosha Rubchinskiy’s SS17 collection featuring abundant logos and brand names was reminiscent of this 1990s fascination with products and consumer goods.

The Impact on Soviet Creatives

Gosha Rubchinskiy

It’s noteworthy that most of the fashion creatives from the former Soviet Union who are now celebrated internationally are in their late 20s to early 30s, meaning that they were very young when the Soviet Union fell apart. For them, the Soviet republics are a half-mythical past, the decaying remains of which are still scattered across countries – empty buildings, crumbling monuments and grey concrete walls covered with amateur-looking tags.

This atmosphere of the post-Soviet angst permeates works by Ukrainian photographer Lesha Berezovskiy, and can be traced through the collections of the Moscow-based Sputnik 1985 or the celebrated Gosha Rubchinskiy whose fascination with the Russian skater scene and its main habitat – urban fringes – is universally known.

Trying to explore the mythical Soviet past, designers turn to the early years of the Soviet era with its utopian idealism and absolute faith in the socialist model of society.

The Rise of Constructivism


The beliefs of the time were, perhaps, best articulated by the Constructivist movement. Constructivism, which was a design movement as much as it was an art movement, propagated egalitarianism and offered a new type of clothing that was supposed to suit people of the new formation – utilitarian, simple, clear-cut.

Basically, the Constructivist idea of “clothes for the future” was a uniform, and though their utopian vision of the perfect uniform society was never meant to come true, it influenced the whole history of the almost-ascetic Soviet fashion.

While the Constructivist-inspired purity of form has become one of the core principles of the still-popular normcore trend, Constuctivism itself is a constant reference point in the works by Ukrainian designer Yulia Yefimtchuk, the Moscow-based brand Nina Donis and ZDDZ by Dasha Selyanova. It’s not surprising that normcore hype emerged from Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian by birth who grew up in the post-Soviet Saint-Petersburg in Russia.

Equality and Feminism


Another aspect of Soviet culture that strikes a cord with contemporary fashion is the stance on equality and feminism.

As Lotta Volkova, the Vladivostok-born stylist who works with Demna Gvasalia for both Vetements and Balenciaga said in an interview with Vogue, growing up in post-Soviet Russia meant she was used to seeing women as strong and independent, and she now seeks to channel this attitude in her work.

For the young fashion creatives from the former Soviet Union, fashion has become a source of empowerment as well as a means to understand and reconcile the past. Hence, we see lookbooks shot on the Red Square with Lenin’s mausoleum as a background, models styled as prim heroines of the old Soviet cinema and outfits reminiscent of the retro school uniforms.

The New Post-Soviet Aesthetic

Gosha Rubchinskiy

The new post-Soviet aesthetic is the epitome of postmodern irony with its crazy, incoherent, startling mixture of allusions and motifs. The new collides with the old in quirky ways – for instance, Gosha Rubchinskiy’s works are inspired by the skater subculture and decorated with the orthodox “Cпаси и сохрани” (“Guard and save”) written in the old Cyrillic, and Demna Gvasalia’s collections oscillate between Soviet asceticism and the sexy audaciousness of the Western ’80s.

The strength of the new set of East European creatives is their ability to move freely between the global culture and the culture of the former Soviet Union, connecting East and West in a way the politics never could.

With its candor and irony, wit and simplicity of design, the new Soviet aesthetic has garnered hype for a good reason. It’s exciting to watch this style evolve as designers discover new inspirations within the Soviet cultural legacy.

For more fashion from the East, check out this month’s installment of Meanwhile, In Japan.

  • Words:
    Ira Solomatina
  • Lead image:
    Gosha Rubchinskiy
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Watch Milan’s Most Stylish Explain What They Wore For Fashion Week SS17

Milan Fashion Week may have drawn to a close a few days ago, but we’ve got one last piece of sartorial eye candy from Italy’s style capital for Highsnobiety readers to feast their eyes upon. Rather than the usual street style gallery, though, we’ve got a video snapshot of some of the best outfits on show at the fashion extravaganza.

Included in the short flick are some covetable streetwear pieces from Palace and Kanye’s latest batch of tour merch, as well as some archive COMME des GARCONS and plenty of sneaker heat (of course).

Here’s some IRL, live-action coverage of some of the best Milanese outfits on show. See what hyped sneakers were worn during Milan Fashion Week, too.

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Alpha Industries Unveils New Styles With Latest FW16 Release

Alpha Industries has always been a brand that could easily separate itself from trendy brands and fast fashion – in a good way. Backed by a history of more than 55 years, suffice to say the brand is experienced in what it does, giving us a reason to get excited with news of their latest FW16 drop.

This season sees the release of various colorways of Alpha Industries’ MA-1 Tight jacket in olive, black, beige and dark red. Additionally, two different styles of souvenir jackets will be available with asian-inspired graphic designs, arriving in olive, blue and black. Rounding out the collection will be a camouflage-style souvenir jacket.

With prices ranging from $165 USD to $244 USD, you can expect the new Alpha Industries collection to arrive in the near future at select retailers and online.

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Brain Dead Delivers More Edgy & Bizarre Graphics With Its 5th Drop

Brain Dead’s 5th drop is inspired by the theme of “mondo,” a word connecting to the old movie Mondo Cane, as well as the slang word from surf/skate culture.

Featuring a selection of cut and sew-pieces as well as a mixture of bizzaro ethnic subculture and skate/surf style, the collection’s timeless silhouettes such as crewnecks, tees and the like serve as solid foundations for otherwise shocking design motifs. One of the most surprising looks from the collection is the tee adorned by a violent graphic of a decapitated head, which really serves to headline the theme of the collection.

With colors such as red and blue and neutral bases also, the collection has something for everybody – everybody who’s into the edgy.

Brain Dead’s most recent offerings are now available through the brand’s online store.

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High-Performance Label 7L Kicked Off Its First Season With a Party in London

With the needs and demands of modern-day active types squarely in mind, newcomer label 7L is all about high-performance gear that doesn’t compromise on style. Named after the high-performance seven-layer system that offers all-conditions protection, the label is, in its own words, “an ultra-modern, state of the art outerwear brand fusing ground-breaking technological manufacturing techniques with a meticulous design ethos.”

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