Heritage is the Word! Four stand-out collections with "investment" potential & forward thinking clarity
With the end of the last decade’s heady maximalism behind us, and the dawn of a new era upon us with a loud call being heard for palette cleansing essentials in a time when the economy ain’t so pretty, many are looking for easy, fuss-free propositions that are not only right for the times, but right for the future even.
The day of instantly recognizable runway pieces is long gone and many venerable labels are looking back at not only their own heritages, but also the fundamentals of a smart wardrobe.
The urban warrior, the svelte mod, the 80’s electro playboy and the avant-garde techy futuro man we’ve seen many times around throughout the last decade have all taken a backseat (but that’s not to say things are about to get too classic). In his place comes a clever use of house signatures for Fall/Winter 2010 that epitomize easy sophistication from institutions that you can always turn to for guaranteed quality.
Four stand-out collections with "investment" potential & forward thinking clarity in this latest menswear movement were Giorgio Armani, Dries Van Noten, Lanvin & Prada.
Giorgio Armani is such an unstoppable force in fashion that even though he has a slew of other far reaching labels, his collections are always jam packed with scores and scores of desirable and easily wearable pieces. And while he may not be re-inventing the wheel, he’s always turning it in a direction that never looks back. There’s always something about Armani that’s innately modern, so much so that he’s reached a point where he’s beyond trend, beyond reference and somehow he’s able to escape the cold realms of banality.
For Fall he once again proved that good design needn’t be drastic nor revolutionary, here, the statement lie in the use of luxurious and often surprising fabrications. Classic shapes, the shawl collar, the full legged trouser, meticulously tailored suiting and proper top coats came in shades of griege with shots of electirc blue and muted green. Into the mix was a vivid use of sumptuous velvet, tonal prints, shearling, chevron and checkerboard quilting. It was a smart way of updating the ideas of fundamental menswear without having to sacrifice what works so well.
For the first time ever, or at least since I can recall, Muiccia Prada showed her latest menswear collection alongside her women’s Pre-Fall for 2010. Like any Prada presentation, the setting here was a statement making collage composed of mixed media from large screen installations to a printed runway illustrated to denote the political, cultural, environmental and economic climates of the decade past. Thankfully though, the nostalgia ended there.
The show opened with a natty take on familiar 60’s & 70’s inspired garb, a beautifully cut camel jacket paired with classic navy trousers, simple yes, yet at the moment it feels fresh. And in Prada’s hands, her smart suiting was met with abbreviated and awkwardly geekish sweaters in a myriad of offset dulled gem tones. Leaving much of those arty "Prada-isms" behind, the range moved on to offer a serious assortment of outerwear options that each had their own distinctive flair. They came in lean mod shapes from rubberized black peacoats to double necked toppers and parkas with updated camo prints. Most of all, it was nice to see such a forward thinking directional designer create modern riffs on timeless ideas that felt anything but timely.