#MCM Style Inspiration: Julian Mentch
#MCM Style Inspiration: Julian Mentch
By: Elizabeth Kabakjian
1.How would you describe your style?
I guess I would have to describe my style as traditional, because it is when you compare it to what else is going on today, but also ageless. A lot of what I wear is fairly simple but easily identifiable in terms of what it is and where it comes from, meaning the era and also the culture perhaps. I’d like to say, hopefully without sounding too nationalistic, that it is very American, or maybe just based on what clothing staples have come about and lasted in America.
2.What are your staple items? Is there something that you couldn't live without?
My staple items are items that have been with me a long time, such as the boots. I’ve gotten to the point now where the only footwear I can wear are boots. I’ve worn a few different types but the ones I’m wearing now have become THE ONE; they function well in most if not all situations. I haven’t done anything to them except wear them and not take care of them, and they’ve held up well. Also, I can’t go anywhere without my watch. I’ve had this same watch for about 4 years or so and it’s the only one I own and the only one I need. It doesn’t do anything but tell time and that’s all I ask of it.
3.When you wake up in the morning, how do you decide what you're going to wear?
I decide what I’m going to wear usually the night before. It’s an old habit of mine from when I was younger and it’s shown to be a good habit to have. Basically, it comes down to what I’ll be doing that day and what the situations call for. If it’s just work, which is mostly if not all outdoors, I’ll dress lighter, depending on what season it is. If there’s more than just work going on in the day it usually calls for a change of clothes to be on hand if I can’t make it back home.
4.Are there any inspirations for your style?
The inspirations are pretty collective in terms of where they come from. I’ve always looked at Paul Newman as an inspiration or influence and not just in terms of style though it has always been an aspect of his influence on me. Bob Dylan is one of the great figures and heroes of our time and for me personally so he has surely had an influence on me stylistically as well as musically. I went to a concert of his back in April of 2015 and the man was dressed like the great elder statesmen that he is; western suit, hat, colonel tie, cuff links, well shined boots…can’t be beat. I’d wear that now and every day of the week if it wouldn’t be so out of place in the normal everyday life of our times, but maybe one day. Besides them, I’d say that maybe some of the great American western films have been an influence somehow. You watch films like ‘Blood On The Moon’, ‘Rio Bravo’ or ‘High Noon’, or even films that take place out west like ‘Hud’, you see how there was a time when clothing was almost all about function, whatever the case may be, and that’s something to remember as well. Also, just how the trousers and pants were made and worn in relation to what was necessary for ranching and farming at the time, it all makes sense and I guess I’ve applied some of that to what I wear. It all has to make sense in accordance to what you’re doing and who you are.
5.What do you feel most comfortable wearing?
I feel most comfortable wearing these Levi’s 511 pants that I’ve been wearing solidly for a few years now. I have a few pairs of them in rotation and they’re the only pants that I wear. They’ve replaced denim completely for me and since I’ve never liked shorts or anything along the lines of “comfort wear” or “athletic wear”, the 511’s just seal the deal. Along with those I feel my best when in a western shirt or work shirt as they are called. Always simple and never in any outrageous colors or patterns, just timeless and to the point. And the boots of course, always wearing them.
6.What are some of your favorite brands/stores?
My favorite brand has always been Levi’s. Levi’s have been around for so long that they’ve got this almost foundational feel to them, like they’re the very thing that a lot of what we call American fashion or style is based off of. What I like so much about them is that at first they were a company making items of clothing for work purposes and even though that is very different today, you can still wear their denim or pants to work every day, even labor intensive work, and in my experience they just don’t fail.
7.What accessories do you seem to always pair with your outfits? (watches, etc.)
As I said before, I always wear my watch. Sometimes I will wear both of my grandfathers’ military dog tags on a chain under my shirt, but I’m always afraid I’ll lose them somehow so it’s only once in while that I will wear them.
8.What advice do you have for other guys that would like to achieve a similar style?
Just to look at the people I named as my influences and get a sense of what the essentials were or might have been. Also, look at the films that have stood the test of time; ‘On The Waterfront’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘East Of Eden’ etc., observe the styles of then and make note of what seems to have lasted into today. After that, it’s all up to your own interests and tastes and that’s the best way to find your style.
9.Is there a favorite color that you most usually end up incorporating into your outfit? (i.e. you always end up wearing a lot of black or blue)
Blue, grey and black are the colors that always seem to be most incorporated into what I wear. They are probably the easiest colors to work with and anyone can wear them.
10.If we could go through your family photos and see a photographic documentary of your style phases, which style phase would be the most embarrassing? We've all had them!
Everything from middle school all the way through high school is bad. Just plain bad. I never honed in on exactly what I like to wear until I finished school and could finally figure out who I am and what kind of person I want to be. Out of that comes the realizations needed to understand yourself and what your tastes are, and that of course includes your style.
Thank you Julian Wilson Forest Mentch for being a guest on the blog!
All images digitally produced by Elizabeth Kabakjian