You Asked: Can You Explain The Ugly Sneakers Trend?
Photograph by Mr Jonathan Daniel Pryce
Our resident expert answers your most pressing style questions.
Time waits for no man, so let’s get straight down to specifics. This week in our style advice column, we tackle ugly sneakers (and how to wear them), beautiful watches and over-cautious care instructions.
Got a question yourself? Post it on our Instagram feed or email firstname.lastname@example.org with You Asked in the subject header and we’ll answer three of the best next Friday.
This “ugly sneaker” trend. WTAF? MR PORTER, is this real?
Mr Dev Phillips, via email
Very real. For years, luxury sneakers have been all been minimalist, slim and elegant of silhouette, as best exemplified by Common Projects, who arguably created the category. And that’s not going away. But bulky maximalist sneakers are the next big thing. They’re an acquired taste and certainly not for everyone, but expect to see these statement pieces becoming increasingly prominent over the next year. More is more.
The “ugly” sneaker is the next evolutionary wave following on from the normcore trend. Think the so-uncool-they’re-cool trainers that Mr Larry David wears in Curb Your Enthusiasm, but given a high fashion redo.
The ultimate expression of this is the Balenciaga Triple S, which you will notice is currently sold out. It hopefully will come back in stock in some form, but will always sell out very quickly. The same designer, Mr Demna Gvasalia, is also the zeitgeist visionary behind Vetements. His clumpy Reebok Pump collab – seen here and here – is also super-hyped. Likewise Mr Raf Simons’ Adidas Ozweego sneakers here, here and here.
Wear them with tapered sweatpants or with wide-legged trousers, cropped at the ankle.
I’ve noticed that MR PORTER has launched a number of new watch brands recently. If you could only recommend one on the site right now, what would it be?
Mr Francis Gebbia, via email
Well noticed. We’re building up quite the impressive selection of fine watches these days, and without letting any cats out of bags, there will be plenty more to follow in the coming months. If I could choose only one? You might expect me to diplomatically sit on the fence here – and maybe I should. But I’m going to give a direct answer to a direct question and say the NOMOS Glashütte Tangente. When I first started getting into watches about seven or eight years ago, NOMOS became my first “insider’s brand”, like discovering an up-and-coming band before they made it big. Everyone has heard of Rolex and Omega, but NOMOS Glashütte is less well-known. But when you know, you know. You know?
Ask most watch aficionados what the best value fine watch brand is and they will mention NOMOS. They make their own movements in-house, which you can see through the sapphire crystal case back and they somehow sell them at a reasonable cost. They’re not cheap, but in relative terms, they are very democratically priced.
I just love the beautifully pared back design of (almost all) their watches and am especially enamoured of their new “At Work” collection. But for me, I’d go for their most classic watch, the Tangente, which has become a design icon.
On my new Dunhill corduroy trousers the care label states “dry clean only”. Now, we are talking about fabrics all too common to washing (cotton, elastane and polyester). If anything, I always thought corduroy was supposed to be a “roughed up” version of cotton. What do you think?
Mr Marios Eliades, via email
Yes, I see your point. You’re correct in thinking that cords can usually be machine washed and corduroy as a material is fairly robust. But sometimes brands use elevated materials for a more premium garment – and these require special care.
Thom Browne, for example, suggests that you do not machine wash some of its sweats. I made the mistake recently of putting a Thom Browne hoodie through the wash – and worse, the tumble dryer. It shrunk and I have now had to donate it to my wife, who is highly delighted to profit from the spoils.
I’d like to imagine these cords could be machine washed and then hung to drip dry. But far be it from me to overrule Dunhill here – these are clearly very fancy pants, not your common cords. (And, of course, if I were to tell you to machine wash them and they got ruined, you might ask MR PORTER for a refund or replacement.) Ignore care instructions at your own risk.