Round Up Paris/Milan Menswear SS2012

Responding to the shout out for creative design, as cited by Suzy Menkes in International Herald Tribune, we proceed like cherry pickers this season. Heading for fun and unexpected novelty we picked out the more juicy and snappy influences. Starting with the ETHNIC, here as a proven of artisanal excellence by Burberry Prorsum. Stating the omnipresence of THE DEEP BLUE, the most-favoured shade of the season (Dries van Noten). Happily shaken up by mashed up CHECKS as masterly executed by Raf Simons. Soothed by relaxed SANDBLASTED Sahara tailoring (Salvatore Ferragamo) appealing to our sense for well being. To conclude with the big bouncer, a fun feel for ECCENTRIC, with which Prada, amongst others, keeps up the spirit.


Tribal pattern meets sporty elegance. Military tailoring adds detail to most minimal silhouettes. The story is mainly about pattern and finishing. Maasai warriors line up with modern day happy hippies. In warm earth and spice tones mingled with happy brights. The Burberry Prorsum collection is exemplary and celebrates its artisan roots.



The international catwalks were flooded with deep, dense blue. Some items gleaming in wet look surfaces where others more natural and relaxed. Tension in graduated toning and shading as well as in texture where structure meets softness and natural meets high-tech. Roomy parkas and trench coats come in silks as well as nylon and sporty shorts layer long pants.



Checks serve the feel for pattern and print. From classic tartans and plaids at Gaultier, intricate kinetic patchwork at Raf Simons to slim silhouettes in black and white 60s mod checks at Gucci. Moncler Gamme Blue speeds up towards a more racy and sporty flow.



Travelling south to Côte d’Azur while heading for Sahara desert. Safari and utilitarian jackets and pants with khaki as a key color. Jackets are belted and pants are wide at Salvatore Ferragamo. YSL presents some surprising placed lace-up details. Fabrics are plain and natural in pure cotton and linen looks.



Think American tourists playing golf in the 50s. A touch of Hawaii and American retro with a fun dose of bad taste. Tailored, double-breasted suits mismatch with loud clashing floral printed shirts or pants. Western shirts embellished with rhinestones, recall memories of young Elvis. Prada and Kenzo spice up there ranges with funky, colourful accessories




The Olympics next year seem to have energised the runway shows and positioned sport at the heart of fashion. Outdoor inspiration leads to functional garments with a utilitarian foundation. Hiking, fishing, sailing and hunting as well as golf, all fuelled with a healthy dose of irony. Mesh serves as a key fabric look at both Dolce & Gabbana and Moncler Gamme Bleu.



This will become big! Celine was the one to set off with foulard prints last season, with Prada in her footsteps starring panel printed monkeys and bananas. Now time is ripe for a true 80’s Versace revival of loud head to toe decorative foulard patterns as staged by D&G. Brave, bold and baroque. It concludes in a look reminiscent of muscle boys as photographed by Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts in the 80’s.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

Alexander McQueen Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

You need a true British designer to add some rock ‘n roll to the Milan menswear Fashion Week. After days of decent suits, sportswear and pale colors, the Alexander McQueen-collection brought wit, romance and the expressionism of Mick Jagger and David Bowie to the catwalk, although it lacked a bit of McQueens’ own provocative and edgy elements. There were Savile Row jackets in bold black & white checks or peacock shades, as well as the loose trousers in candy red & white stripes or hammered satin. Burton also presented  varsity-style jackets in leather and suede, a flame-print evening jacket and a white coat with bold red spray-effect bands.

D&G Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

The D&G- ss2012 show brought us back to the years that Gianni Versace reigned men’s fashion with his large foulard-prints. But the designers at D&G went a bit further, they not only used the prints for shirts, they also mixed them with denim in pants, showed them on bermudas, hats, suede moccasins, jackets and T-shirts. And every which way and loose, loose being the operative word for flowing shirts, low-crotch pants and roomy swimming trunks. We’ve got the message indeed.

This is the last D&G collection before it is integrated with the main label.  So we’d better enjoy it.

Moncler Gamme Bleu Catwalk Fashion Show SS2012

June 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items

Tom Browne surely knows how to morph the craziness for sports into a wearable collection for the Italian label Moncler Gamme Bleu. You can’t believe that after his extra-ordinary shows led with military precision, the Italian teenagers actually buy his clothes. But leave all the quirky details and entertainment out, and left is a collection with nice athletic jackets and bombers, T-shirts, shorts, leather motorcycle gear and navy-inspired costumes. Checks came in gray and black, stripes in blue and white with an occasionally red accent and black and white played their of role.

The show was set in a real fence-club with trophies and photos of fencers lining the walls. Giant, fluorescent sci-fi lights were there just for the occasion. The connection between a fencer’s padding and Moncler’s skiwear heritage is rather obvious, but you need Browne to make the link between this and the storm troopers in Star Wars. To the tune of the movie’s ‘Imperial March’ the masked corps filed out and lined up against the back wall of the club. The tone was set.

Prada Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

No doubt Miuccia Prada is into golf. Her new ss2012 menswear-collection screamed golf from head to toe. From the oversized caps to the shoes and colorful bags with clubs. She must have been on the green lately and asked herself why those golfers looked so geeky and dressed so bored. And she decided to draw a totally new world. Literary. The setting of the Prada show was unreal, as in colors and prints that were to bright, outfits that looked out of this world, too green fake grass and kitchy, shiny clubs.

But you’ll never know with Prada. The collection was a strange, casual mix of vintage-looking golfwear, rhinestone western-jackets, Sixties-inspired flowerprints and Fifties-inspired comics of jazz-musicians. Black, blue and gray played with faded yellow, blue and taupe. The silhouette was slender, with straight pants topped with double breasted jackets, a pullover, a polo or a short jacket. Scarves tied in the neck instead of ties. It all reminded me of the cliche-image people have of American men in the fifties. You’re shocked at first view, but at second sight you admire them for their courage. It’ll make the world a lot more brighter.

Bottega Veneta Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

Oh, how I wish every man would dress like Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta uses to dress his men. How tough, sensitive and beautiful they would look in one outfit. The Bottega Veneta ss2012-collection proved it again. Impeccable suits in decent colors and patterns, soft and tough leather pants and jackets, workwear de luxe in denim and leather and intelligent mixes of prints, knitwear and fabrics. It seemed a fine mix of the inventive and the innovative without screaming or being to eccentric.

The sheer quality of the materials put the collection into a high register and the essential alost invisible codes of the house were all there, especially in the soft bags folded under the arm like giant envelopes. Even the use of ‘shocking’ colors, as in turquoise or green suits, the result was still classy.

Roberto Cavalli Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

It was the first time Roberto Cavalli’s son Daniele Cavalli had some influence on the menswear-collection. His father asked him to add some youthful juice to the line. He presented an almost clean collection, where blue-tones and white played a central role plus some bold colors. The show was a romantic take on Riviera summers with influences from all over the world. Instead of playboys in flirty clothes came men dressed smart casual in natty blazers, suits in vivid fuchsia, yellow or purple/blue, and jackets with inserts of python.It seemed the young designer wanted to do a very good job, not too cool and hip.

And somehow it worked out fine, to be honest: it was better than all the rock ‘ roll, Jim Morrison meets Mick Jagger inspired Cavalli-collections we’ve seen in the past seasons. Although it lacked a bit of irony.

Jil Sander Catwalk Fashion Show Milan SS2012

June 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Menswear, Milan

Shorts, that’s exactly men need in steamy hot Milan right now. Eehm, in black? Well, why not. Since everybody visting Milan is wearing the bold colors of this summer why not try them in black? Raf Simons started the colorblocking trend at Jil Sander, so he’ll be the first to end it. Or to offer something completely different. And that’s what he did this afternoon with his Jil Sander ss2012 collection.

To be honest, all that black soothes the eye. And Simons didn’t give up on color yet, he just added fragments or fragmented colors to the black. In cotton knits, printed stiff T-shirts, the petrol-colored jackets and with the snake-skin pouches attached as a small life-vest to the models’ body. It seemed leather accessories were a big, loud message too.

Although all the black was a surprise,  the collection didn’t have the impact his eye-popping colors had a year ago. Look around you and see what it did to the streets. And the big wave still has to come. Let’s take it positive: black matches beautifully with bright orange, yellow and pink. Black is still the new black, but differently.