After I presented a few of the people and shoe combinations at MRket Las Vegas 2013, I would like to draw your attention to a number of noteworthy products. Since there are so many, I will just focus on jackets & shoes today – more tomorrow.
I was surprised to see quite a few velvet jackets in a number of unusual colors ranging from teal to gray, to green and crimson red. One manufacturer even offered Vegas style jackets with leather stripes etc. Of course, this is way over the top, but I thought it was interesting to see what is out there nonetheless. For evening occasions that are too informal for a tuxedo jacket, I think a velvet coat is the perfect companion because it is distinctly different to daywear, and it reflects light beautifully.
Plaids seem to be omnipresent in many sizes, weights and color combinations. Personally, I think this is a fantastic trend because it is much easier to create a unique yet elegant casual outfit with a nice plaid or windowpane jacket than with simple solids. Of course, being so bold, it is always a challenge to combine a plaid jacket with other patterns. More often than not, solid pants will pair best with it.
This beautiful red and light gray plaid jacket would work great with navy pants in my opinion.
Marvelous example of pairing plaid, tattersall and a solid color in one ensemble – very unique yet classic. I used to be a great fan of Chester Barrie in the old days when they were still made to high standards in Cheshire, England. At that time, even Ralph Lauren Purple Label had their suits made there. Chester is a spin off which is produced in India. I have never owned anything from them, so I can’t comment on the quality, however this style ensemble is outstanding.
I can totally see Pete Campbell from Mad Men pull off such a jacket for an evening. What do you think, would you wear it?
I think I have never seen a tartan style overcoat, but I am certain there are several Ivy Style fans out there who would love to wear something like this.
Plaids are coming back – big time!
Nordic patterned sweaters by weatherproof.
Fair Isle inspired patterns remain popular.
Johnston & Murphy had quite some colorful winter styles.
A new brand that surfaced at MRket this year is Well Bred. Currently there are a lot of American-made products on the market but as I outlined extensively in the past, you don’t always get a product truly Made in USA although it is advertised as such. Well Bred stands out because not only do they manufacture in the US, but all of their inputs are sourced here as well. The leather comes from Horween in Chicago, the metal buckles from Ohio and even the packaging and shoe boxes are made in Minnesota.
Ironically, the founder and man behind the brand – Jorge Gomez – is originally form Colombia. In regard to styling, the shoes are a blend of Red Wing and Allen Edmonds. Personally I am not a fan of the crepe sole styles and these are overly rugged for my style but I have respect for what Well Breed has done so far.
Last but not least, I stumbled across Fennix Italy (careful – music). Their specialty is the production of exotic leather shoes and I thought these loafers were quite different because they use aniline dyed, open pore ostrich leather.
Apart from that, they also work on sneakers and boots with matte croc / alligator leather. Usually, you only see the shiny version which reminds me a bit of the 1990′s. Obviously, these kind of exotic leather shoes are not inexpensive but if you are looking for something beyond Louis Vuitton and Prada sneakers, you might want to take a look at Fennix shoes. Would you wear them?