Eugene Rabkin is the founder of stylezeitgeist.com. He has contributed articles on fashion and culture to The Business of Fashion, Vogue Russia, Buro247, the Haaretz Daily Newspaper, and other publications. He has taught critical writing and fashion writing courses at Parsons the New School for Design.

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Undercover Men’s S/S 2015 – Details

During this past menswear week the Japanese label Undercover held an intimate presentation of its menswear collection. This was a welcome move, as usually Jun Takahashi shows the men’s collection alongside his womenswear. The central theme of the collection was the band Television. Since you have probably seen the look book elsewhere, I wanted to share with you some detail shots that I took during the presentation.

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Fashion Week Ramblings – S/S 2015

As I am being airborne back to New York, I wanted to share a few thoughts on the menswear season that just ended. My adventures started at Pitti Uomo in Florence, where I go every season to report for Diane Pernet and other media. I’ve been coming here for six years and when I began doing so I would have to look far and wide to see another person dressed in black at a place where suit is king. This has been slowly changing, and I begin to see “people in black” among the sea of color of Pitti Uomo’s attendees. There is also a steady trickle of exhibitors mining the goth aesthetic. Several of them suggested that they should be in the same pavilion in order to make a statement, which is not a bad idea.

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Vincent Van Duysen: Brutalism With a Soul

Vincent’s work is human;
it possesses many qualities
that we value in people
It is calm yet determined.
It is reliable yet surprising
It is sensual, but discreetly so.
It is sober yet spirited
In other words, it is like a good friend,
like Vincent himself.
 
— Ann Demeulemeester and Patrick Robyn
 

I first discovered the work of the Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen in the Copyright bookshop in Antwerp last year. His monograph caught my eye; its cover showed the texture of gray stone, alluring in its deceptive simplicity. While flipping through the book I realized that I am standing inside a space designed by Van Duysen.

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Dieter Rams. Less but Better

Before Apple, Bose, and Bang & Olufsen, there was the German manufacturer Braun and its head designer Dieter Rams, an icon of consumer goods design. His minimalist style, characterized by the maxim “Less but better,” has had unparalleled influence on design of consumer electronics, appliances, furniture, and even fashion (Jun Takahashi of Undercover once designed an entire collection based on Rams’s work). His famous Ten Principles of Design are the Ten Commandments of the design world.

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COLD CAVE

Last year I was asking around for music recommendation when the name Wesley Eisold, the musician who records as Cold Cave, came up. I gave it a listen and then slowly started sinking into Eisold’s world. The songs seemed simultaneously familiar and new, the electronic sound that could be both melodic and harsh, and the dissatisfaction with the world in the lyrics that was set to just the right pitch.

Several months later news came out that Cold Cave will be opening for Nine Inch Nails on their European tour. This made total sense as both Eisold and Reznor have an auteur’s approach to their work, recording pretty much all of their music on their own, and obsessing over every detail not only in their music but in creating a complete aesthetic universe. For Eisold this also includes personal style and it was no surprise to find out that he sees kindred spirit in the likes of Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens.

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Luke Powell – Afghan Gold

It has taken years to produce Afghan Gold, the new photography tome from Steidl publishing, what with exacting natures of both Luke Powell, the photographer, and Gerhard Steidl, the publisher. But the result, an outstanding, slip-cased two-volume set, is a testament to the notion that some things are worth waiting for.

Powell had traveled extensively in Afghanistan in the 70s and 00s, documenting both the quotidian lives of its people and the magnificent nature in which those lives took place.

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Fashion Week Ramblings – F/W 14

The men’s F/W 2014 fashion season is pretty much over, unless you hope that New York menswear will offer something worthwhile. Thom Browne, the most exciting American designer working today, probably does not, because he shows his menswear in Paris. His show pretty much closes the schedule for those who don’t care for Hedi Slimane’s inflated ego and his expensive Topshop imitations at Saint-Laurent aimed at people who clearly have too much money on their hands.

Browne’s show, as usual, could have been interpreted in several ways. It consisted of two parts, which could be dubbed flora and fauna (or fauna and flora if you care for the order of things). It could also be the hunters and the hunted. The point is – shock! – there were plenty of wearable creations next to elaborately designed Pillsbury Doughboy silhouettes. As usual, the construction and level of craftsmanship Browne presented were couture-like and looking at things crafted with great skill and care gives this reviewer a sense of almost silly joy.

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VOLUME 5 ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear readers,

In this fast-paced, look-at-me, fifteen-seconds-of-fame-on-Instagram culture, we are once again proud to give you something lasting and meaningful. With our fifth volume we invite you to slow down. How about holding a printed book in your hands? If you need some recommendations, Rick Owens has put together a list of his current favorites for us. We also photographed his home library in Paris. I was granted an extremely rare privilege to travel to Germany to explore the world of Gerhard Steidl, the preeminent independent book publisher who works with the best artists in the world. It resulted in the biggest article I have ever written.