Southern Style: Menswear


Steve Miller
Opinions Editor
The New Year is here and with it a time for new fashion ideas and innovations. Every January marks fall fashion week in Europe for menswear, where the fashion lovers of the world gather in Paris, Milan and Berlin to view the top men’s designer collections. We can’t leave all the fun to women can we?
Starting with a concept, designers do their part in creating their own interpretation of the modern man. Whether referencing the past or looking towards the future for inspiration, each brand has its own ideas leading to the final product—the designer’s ideal embodiment and representation of how a man would dress today through their eyes. Let’s take a look at some of this Fall’s most interesting collections.

Givenchy

Ever since his debut into menswear in July 2008, Ricardo Tisci, creative director for Givenchy, has been known for putting the same degree of effort into his menswear as his womenswear designs. This fall was no exception as Tisci sent rottweilers down the runway—figuratively speaking of course. The collection, starting off with a printed rottweiler button-up and shorts, opaque tights and black leather high tops, pay homage to the street style many say was the reason Tisci became interested in menswear in the first place. As if giving a metaphorical slap in the face to contemporary ideals of the civilized man, the rest of the collection featured knee high high-tops, unconventional layering techniques and a mix of varsity jackets, suits, fur and plaid. The presentation was also something to be admired. Featuring a mixed lineup of models, the collection proved to be one of the most ethnically diverse of all the Paris shows, further proving Givenchy to be one of the most intriguing brands in the world of menswear.

Lanvin

Mixing old with the new was the driving force behind the Lanvin Fall 2011 menswear collection. “Tailoring used in a sportswear way,” said Lucas Ossendrijver, the brand’s head menswear designer. While reflecting the demanding pace of today’s world in tight fitted ankle-zipped trousers, combat boots, modern layering and a mixed array of bright colored tops and bottoms, the Lanvin man also sported an air of old world elegance in tight-fitted blazers, velvet jackets and subtle white dress shirts underneath nearly every look. Mixes of fedoras were the pièce de résistance of the collection. Seen on some models, the hats added to the duality of the brand’s vision and further mixing old world pieces with more modern design techniques. Elegance was the key idea in reflecting the Lanvin man’s individuality, said Alber Elbaz, creative director of the brand in a Style.com quote. “The word is always being used to describe old people,” said Elbaz. “When you talk about the young, it’s always ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’, but we wanted to introduce elegance to the young.”

Marni

Though the brand may not have technically put on a runway show in Milan, Marni’s Fall 2011 menswear collection under creative director Consuelo Castiglioni has a serious staying power amongst other top men’s labels. Straying away from the corporate inspiration seen more than once last week in Milan, the “Marni man” was cut from a rough working man’s stone. Using heavier fabrics like felt, fleece and a cotton/nylon blend, most looks were rougher and tougher, reflecting blue-collar attire. The majority of the collection featured a relaxed fit perhaps to contrast Castiglioni’s fabric choice, but that’s not to say there wasn’t fashion sentimentality at work. A pair of paneled trousers here, a tri-color sweater there, polka dotted shirts, and orange and olive green pants—it was evident this season that while the Marni man may have meant business this fall season, it doesn’t mean he couldn’t do it in style.

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