Unordered List

Saturday 21 January 2012

Fall 2012 Menswear: Yohji Yamamoto, Burberry, Etro, Moschino, Gaultier, Umit Benan, Cavalli, Kris Van Asshe, Paul Joe, and Versace.

Yohji Yamamoto
Many designers take a stab at the loosely-tailored casual suit, but in my opinion none of them ever measure up to Yohji Yamamoto. I rarely post other designers' attempts because they tend to look like ill-fitting pajamas, but with Yamamoto there's always a real solid elegence to his menswear, highlighted by his model choices. Yamamoto is a great proponent of using "real"-looking models, something that's always more common in menswear runway shows than in women. He's right, as well... a sylphlike 18-year-old wouldn't look nearly as good in outfits like this as this guy:
Another thing I count in Yamamoto's favour is that like Vivienne Westwood, he creates clothes that are authentic to his own wardrobe. One never has any doubt that Yamamoto would wear almost any look from his menswear collections, to the extent that he could easily blend in with his models on the runway.

Stolid, traditional fabrics such as tweed anchored the more unusual-looking (by everyday streetwear standards, that is) aspects of Yamamoto's designs, such as double lapels and exaggerated assymmetry. There wasn't a fitted trouser in sight, but in the case of Yamamoto that's an expectation rather than a disappointment, and as a rule they seemed more practical and comfortable than unwieldy or extreme.

Burberry Prorsum
At the other end of the spectrum we have the perfect -- yes, perfect -- tailoring of Burberry, brand of the dapper and beautiful young man who likes to imagine that he's just on the way back from a grouse hunt in 1915, but who in fact is probably a graphic designer.

I love this pattern. There's something about it that almost edges it into 90s territory (and therefore tackiness), but most of the outfits seemed to pull it off somehow.

This was yet another show celebrating the long, tailored coat -- a look which I hope becomes more popular on the street, and hopefully not limited to hundreds upon hundreds of near-identical black trenchcoats (although if that does happen, I implore everyone to sew red thread into their lapel buttonholes, like Sherlock).
And the monochromatic paisley-esque patterns return more delicately in outfits such as this, just a tiny edge away from being flamboyant. The details on the trousers and accessories are offset by the wall of black velvet provided by his coat.
Brick pattern. Not really to my tastes -- too much like a Windows 95 background -- but I post it because...
Jean Paul Gaultier
...a couple of days later, Gaultier showed something suspiciously similar. Did one steal the idea from the other? Did they both go to the same street-art show? We may never know. But both shows also featured outfits made up from grey brick-print trousers and dark jackets, later on. My personal favourite is Gaultier, though, although in general the Gaultier show didn't live up to my expectations.

Umit Benan
Umit Benan's was a concept show, and another one modeled by non-professionals -- although it might be inaccurate to describe them as Elizabeth Hurley's "civilians". The entire show was solidly military, reflecting Benan's interest in military service -- an obligation that under Turkish law, he still has to undertake. The show was heavily masculine and to my eye, not as imaginative as it could have been, but I'm far from the target audience for Umit Benan's designs. Some items such as this jacket -- a rare example of leather sleeves looking OK -- stood out for me, though. The collar and buttoning pattern in particular caught my eye, and almost make up for the sack-like appearance of the trousers.

Roberto Cavalli
Yet another collection of attractive but yawn-inducing Cavalli menswear, occasionally spruced up by outfits such as this one, which made me think of possible costumes for the upcoming Hunger Games movie.

Kris Van Asshe
Do these jackets look like straightjackets? Possibly, but I like them nontheless. There's a certain danger of over-cinching, though.

Paul & Joe
A splendid combination of modern and old-fashioned suitmaking. 

Presented without comment.


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