The Genteel
March 7, 2021

David Walmsley

How do high-end designers and fashion houses influence the collections of high street brands? Why do many low-priced pieces look strikingly similar to last season's designer-wear? David Walmsley sheds light on these questions by discussing several permutations of the "trickle-down theory".

By David Walmsley

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David Walmsley

Vancouver Canada

David is an East to West coast Canadian currently skulking through the streets of Vancouver. Born in Southern Ontario, he often commutes between the two hubs, in search of creative stories and experiences in music, art, fashion, technology and a myriad of other disciplines. When he's not running SocialVictory, he's writing, consulting in various creative industries, or being a man-about-town with a cocktail at hand.

In the era of the dilettante, the specialist truly is king. While many individuals make purchases based on convenience and prevalence, a burgeoning international collective of connoisseurs are attuned to the old world values of craftsmanship, detailed design, sincerity and knowledge. These values allow them a deeper level of involvement with the items, sounds, scenes and comrades they choose to surround themselves with.

While Americana style has withstood the test of time, the style is attracting a new, global generation of designers and consumers. David Walmsley examines the direction of international Americana.

Seldom can one apply philosophical ideals to the fashion industry. However, deep within the practices and designs of avant-garde menswear group, The Viridi-anne, lies the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. Exploring the relationship between doctrine and designer, David Walmsley attempts to get to the bottom of how fashion and frame of mind intertwine.

Vancouver-based e-tailer, re.porter, is a veritable catalogue of some of the most sought after avant-garde apparel pieces for the post-modern gentleman. David Walmsley looks into the e-shop's successful business model. 

Finding a useful and relevant fashion app is not easy, but The Collection app by the New York Times comes through in spades, aggregating fashion content from the New York Times (and its sister publications) in a sleek online package. David Walmsley takes a look at what makes the iPad-exclusive app go the distance. 

Despite being ostracised for their seemingly nerdy sub-culture, videogame designers actually have a knack for fashion design - just look at the similarities between real-world fashion and the wardrobes of videogame characters. With the gaming industry being projected to expand to US$115 billion by 2015, what's the future for in-game and real-world design aesthetics?

The design of a runway show can profoundly affect how a collection is received. With large fashion houses devoting extensive resources to creating incredible sets for their fashion week showings, David Walmsley takes a look at a few of the most memorable.

Sweden is quickly becoming a new centre for fashion and design. With its style sensibility, expansive sales numbers, online atmosphere and celebrated stylists, the country is moving forward on all fronts. 

A twenty-year success story of menswear in Toronto, Uncle Otis proves that trends don't always guide well-thought businesses and styling practices. David Walmsley speaks with Uncle Otis' owner, Donnell Enns, about the shop's buying practices, aesthetics and its place within the Canadian retail scene.

This June will mark the first ever London Collections: Men during which over 60 menswear designers will show off what they do best in showrooms across London. Find out who's involved and what the event might mean for the future of menswear. Can independent designers sustain the same audience as major labels?

Does the suit really make the man? David Walmsley examines the assumption that the suit equals professionalism - and explores rumblings of change in traditional business attire.

By drawing from Savile Row tailoring and Californian Americana heritage, Spencer Hart is taking Hollywood by storm. The brand has created a bespoke vestibule for the modern and classic gentleman with the launch of The Vault, a VIP area within the basement of its Brook Street flagship store in London. 

Whether it's the music, the personas, the fashions or a combination thereof, the music industry manages to engage the music consumer on many levels. But far from being solely constructed by the artist and the industry, an artist's persona and style is often largely influenced by audiences. It's a reciprocal relationship, leaving one to wonder which is influencing the other.

Lark stands at the heart of Vancouver's fashion retail scene. Infused with their passion, owners Veronika and Dane Baspaly have created the ideal environment for their diverse and culturally savvy clientele. David Walmsley discovers what is behind the brand's impressive experience.

From trench coats and aviators to camouflage and technical innovations, many of the garments that are in our closets today were born in the world wars of the last century. David Walmsley traces the impact of military necessity on today's biggest fashion staples.

It's certainly not news to any British Columbia artist that province-wide arts funding has been starkly curtailed over the last few years. Vancouver's stake in public arts funding is necessary, not only to build the city's cultural identity but also to allow for the local artist population to flourish. David Walmsley speaks with Indigo, a Vancouver-based international artist, about her work and where Vancouver could go from here. 

Tucked away in the Tuscan countryside resides Canadian-born fashion designer, Ria Dunn, founder of the label, Lost & Found. Much like her surroundings, Dunn's work is steeped in the traditional design and manufacturing that she was unable to find in the world of disposable fashion. With garments that fuse old-world construction with modern aesthetics, Lost & Found's collections are a return to lasting quality.

Kidult's defacing of a Marc Jacobs store in SoHo has spawned a battle of words and apparel. With the advantage clearly in Jacobs' court, has Kidult's message become too convoluted?

Jamaican-born New Yorker, Zam Barrett, is a best-kept secret of the avant-garde menswear world. The deeply hands-on designer applies unique tailoring techniques to heavy-duty fabrics. David Walmsley spoke with Barrett about this season's collection, his design process and outlook for 2013. 

Nik Palmer is the skilled hand behind artisanal leather company, Palmer and Sons. Creating everything by hand using traditional techniques, the company constructs leather pieces that stand the test of time. David Walmsley recently sat down with Palmer over a pint in Vancouver's Gastown district.

Canadian craft maven, Molly Spittal of The Stowe, is helping redefine classic Americana style, with cut-to-order pieces. She talks to The Genteel about her design mantras, her upcoming bags and accessories line and her recent move from Vancouver to Montreal.

The concept of design can also extend to high treble and booming bass tones. David Walmsley sits down with Robert Rizk and Garret Louie, creators of Vancouver's Fortune Sound Club, to talk about the club's interior and audio design.

In Crome Yellow, Vancouver's Gastown district can boast yet another masterful example of independent retail and meticulous apparel selection. Disregarding the fast and bland motif of the city's self-proclaimed "runway" of Robson Street, the shop maintains an impressive inventory of well-crafted international and North American pieces not often seen in Canada.

The independent design force is growing with the addition of the Duly Equipped menswear line from Toronto-based designer Yenting Chen. Combining traditional cuts with modern colours and unique designs, Duly Equipped is a new take on the classic men's suiting. The "Rebellious Gentleman" has arrived.

As a combination of café, dress shirt shop and whisky tasting room, Sydney's Shirt Bar creates a space where craftsmanship mingles seamlessly with accessibility.

Last month, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition launched The Higg Index, a tool designed to assess the environmental and social impact of apparel and footwear products. Still in its early stages, David Walmsley let's you know what you can expect from it.

As the first Canadian designer to be invited into La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute CoutureRad Hourani is in a unique position to showcase Canadian-grown talent and unisex design. But does Hourani signal "the birth of unisex couture"? David Walmsley explores. 

As a young fashion designer without formal design training, Rad Hourani defies established fashion traditions. Through his emphasis on unisex design and season-less collections, Hourani's recent runway shows have grabbed the eyes and wardrobes of many non-traditional fashion enthusiasts. 

While Japanese brands such as nonnativeSophnet and Neighborhood are quickly becoming well-known names in the North American apparel market, there are many more enigmatic collections out there to be found. One such collection is Gene by Yukio Mishiba. With all aspects of construction and design done in-house, Gene is a truly self-sustaining experiment in fashion design.  

Motorcycle culture has captivated North American audiences for nearly a century. From repurposed military jackets to the biker-oriented designs of Schott NYC and Belstaff, David Walmsley goes on a two-wheeled journey, following the course of the iconic American statement piece.  

On June 5, Badgley Mischka teamed up with Bergdorf Goodman for an online "pinning" event that gave fans a play-by-play of looks from its 2013 resort collection. But will "live-pinning" catch on with the rest of the fashion industry?

Moving from traditional tailoring techniques to streetwear and the avant-garde, London Collections: Men A/W 2013 offered a panoply of styles that examined Britain's cultural and style heritage, as well as introducing a larger fashion audience to modern techniques and trends. 

Several record labels are re-envisioning how music and fashion can work in tandem, to create more well-rounded organisations.

Inspired by sexy doodles Yoko Ono drew for John Lennon as a wedding present, Opening Ceremony launched Fashions for Men 1969-2012 last week, its capsule collection with Ono. Lacking wearable pieces and of questionable artistic value, what are Opening Ceremony and Ono trying to achieve?

Canadian designer Kim Cathers injects personal style and beliefs into her kdon line, while juggling different professional positions within the fashion industry.

Architectural nuances in fashion design is evident through engineered frameworks and a direct reliance on stark angles. David Walmsley digs deep into the connection of architecture and fashion design, highlighting the relationship through fashion greats such as Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens.

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